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Compositionality and Sandbag Semantics

Synthese 191 (14):3329-3350 (2014)

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  1. Compositionality and Believing That.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 15:60-76.
    This paper is about compositionality, belief reports, and related issues. I begin by introducing Putnam’s proposal for understanding compositionality, namely that the sense of a sentence is a function of the sense of its parts and of its logical structure (section 1). Both Church and Sellars think that Putnam’s move is superfluous or unnecessary since there is no relevant puzzle to begin with (section 2). I will urge that Putnam is right in thinking that there is indeed a puzzle with (...)
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  • Wittgenstein as a Gricean Intentionalist.Elmar Geir Unnsteinsson - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (1):155-172.
    According to the dominant view, the later Wittgenstein identified the meaning of an expression with its use in the language and vehemently rejected any kind of mentalism or intentionalism about linguistic meaning. I argue that the dominant view is wrong. The textual evidence, which has either been misunderstood or overlooked, indicates that at least since the Blue Book Wittgenstein thought speakers' intentions determine the contents of linguistic utterances. His remarks on use are only intended to emphasize the heterogeneity of natural (...)
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  • A Gricean Theory of Malaprops.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (4):446-462.
    Gricean intentionalists hold that what a speaker says and means by a linguistic utterance is determined by the speaker's communicative intention. On this view, one cannot really say anything without meaning it as well. Conventionalists argue, however, that malapropisms provide powerful counterexamples to this claim. I present two arguments against the conventionalist and sketch a new Gricean theory of speech errors, called the misarticulation theory. On this view, malapropisms are understood as a special case of mispronunciation. I argue that the (...)
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  • Saying Without Knowing What or How.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):351-382.
    In response to Stephen Neale (2016), I argue that aphonic expressions, such as PRO, are intentionally uttered by normal speakers of natural language, either by acts of omitting to say something explicitly, or by acts of giving phonetic realization to aphonics. I argue, also, that Gricean intention-based semantics should seek divorce from Cartesian assumptions of transparent access to propositional attitudes and, consequently, that Stephen Schiffer's so-called meaning-intention problem is not powerful enough to banish alleged cases of over-intellectualization in contemporary philosophy (...)
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  • The Edenic Theory of Reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):276-308.
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Second, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents (...)
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  • Representation Without Thought: Confusion, Reference, and Communication.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2015 - Dissertation, CUNY Graduate Center
    I develop and argue for a novel theory of the mental state of identity confusion. I also argue that this mental state can corrupt the proper function of singular terms in linguistic communication. Finally, I propose a theory according to which identity confusion should be treated as a the source of a new sort of linguistic performance error, similar to malapropism, slips of the tongue, and so-called intentional obfuscation (inducing false belief by manipulating language in specific ways). -/- Going into (...)
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  • Contexts in Philosophy: Pragmatic Competence as Filter.Carlo Penco - 2018 - Modeling and Using Context 2 (1):1-19.
    This programmatic paper is an attempt to connect some worries in the philosophy of language with some traditional views in artificial intelligence. After a short introduction to the notion of context in philosophy (§1), starting from the inventor of mathematical logic, Gottlob Frege, I list three debates in the philosophy of language where the solution is strongly undecided: §2 treats the debate between holism and molecularism; §3 describes the debate on the boundaries between semantics and pragmatics; §4 hints at a (...)
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  • Confusion is Corruptive Belief in False Identity.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):204-227.
    Speakers are confused about identity if they mistake one thing for two or two things for one. I present two plausible models of confusion, the Frege model and the Millikan model. I show how a prominent objection to Fregean models fails and argue that confusion consists in having false implicit beliefs involving the identity relation. Further, I argue that confused identity has characteristic corruptive effects on singular cognition and on the proper function of singular terms in linguistic communication.
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