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Daniel W. Harris
Hunter College (CUNY)
  1.  92
    Intention and Commitment in Speech Acts.Daniel W. Harris - 2019 - Theoretical Linguistics 45 (1–2):53–67.
    What is a speech act, and what makes it count as one kind of speech act rather than another? In the target article, Geurts considers two ways of answering these questions. His opponent is intentionalism—the view that performing a speech act is a matter of acting with a communicative intention, and that speech acts of different kinds involve intentions to affect hearers in different ways. Geurts offers several objections to intentionalism. Instead, he articulates and defends an admirably clear and resolute (...)
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  2.  90
    Intention Recognition as the Mechanism of Human Communication.Daniel W. Harris - 2019 - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, Language: Essays in Honor of Brian Loar.
    Intentionalism is a research program that seeks to explain facts about meaning and communication in psychological terms, with our capacity for intention recognition playing a starring role. My aim here is to recommend a methodological reorientation in this program. Instead of a focus on intuitive counterexamples to proposals about necessary-and-sufficient conditions, we should aim to investigate the psychological mechanisms whose activities and interactions explain our capacity to communicate. Taking this methodologi- cal reorientation to heart, I sketch a theory of the (...)
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  3.  88
    Speech-Act Theory: Social and Political Applications.Daniel W. Harris & Rachel McKinney - forthcoming - In Justin Khoo & Rachel Katharine Sterken (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    We give a brief overview of several recent strands of speech-act theory, and then survey some issues in social and political philosophy can be profitably understood in speech-act-theoretic terms. Our topics include the social contract, the law, the creation and reinforcement of social norms and practices, silencing, and freedom of speech.
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  4.  36
    Semantics Without Semantic Content.Daniel W. Harris - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    I argue that semantics is the study of the proprietary database of a centrally inaccessible and informationally encapsulated input–output system. This system’s role is to encode and decode partial and defeasible evidence of what speakers are saying. Since information about nonlinguistic context is therefore outside the purview of semantic processing, a sentence’s semantic value is not its content but a partial and defeasible constraint on what it can be used to say. I show how to translate this thesis into a (...)
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  5. Speech Acts: The Contemporary Theoretical Landscape.Daniel W. Harris, Daniel Fogal & Matt Moss - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Matt Moss & Daniel Harris (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    What makes it the case that an utterance constitutes an illocutionary act of a given kind? This is the central question of speech-act theory. Answers to it—i.e., theories of speech acts—have proliferated. Our main goal in this chapter is to clarify the logical space into which these different theories fit. -/- We begin, in Section 1, by dividing theories of speech acts into five families, each distinguished from the others by its account of the key ingredients in illocutionary acts. Are (...)
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  6.  25
    How the Philosophy of Language Grew Out of Analytic Philosophy.Daniel W. Harris - forthcoming - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Cambridge University Press.
    This chapter tells the story of how the philosophy of language, as it exists now, grew out of work in the history of analytic philosophy. I pay particular attention to the history of semantics, to debates about propositional content, and to the origins of contemporary pragmatics and speech-act theory. I identify an overarching narrative: Many of the ideas that are now used to understand natural language on its own terms were originally developed not for this purpose, but as methodological tools (...)
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  7.  20
    Intentionalism and Bald-Faced Lies.Daniel W. Harris - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In Lying and Insincerity, Andreas Stokke argues that bald-faced lies are genuine lies, and that lies are always assertions. Since bald-faced lies seem not to be aimed at convincing addressees of their contents, Stokke concludes that assertions needn’t have this aim. This conflicts with a traditional version of intentionalism, originally due to Grice, on which asserting something is a matter of communicatively intending for one’s addressee to believe it. I argue that Stokke’s own account of bald-faced lies faces serious problems (...)
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  8.  26
    The History and Prehistory of Natural-Language Semantics.Daniel W. Harris - 2017 - In Sandra Lapointe & Christopher Pincock (eds.), Innovations in the History of Analytical Philosophy. Palgrave-MacMillan. pp. 149--194.
    Contemporary natural-language semantics began with the assumption that the meaning of a sentence could be modeled by a single truth condition, or by an entity with a truth-condition. But with the recent explosion of dynamic semantics and pragmatics and of work on non- truth-conditional dimensions of linguistic meaning, we are now in the midst of a shift away from a truth-condition-centric view and toward the idea that a sentence’s meaning must be spelled out in terms of its various roles in (...)
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  9. Wittgenstein’s Influence on Austin’s Philosophy of Language.Daniel W. Harris & Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):371-395.
    Many philosophers have assumed, without argument, that Wittgenstein influenced Austin. More often, however, this is vehemently denied, especially by those who knew Austin personally. We compile and assess the currently available evidence for Wittgenstein’s influence on Austin’s philosophy of language. Surprisingly, this has not been done before in any detail. On the basis of both textual and circumstantial evidence we show that Austin’s work demonstrates substantial engagement with Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. In particular, Austin’s 1940 paper, ‘The Meaning of a Word’, (...)
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  10. Review of Imagination and Convention: Distinguishing Grammar and Inference in Language, by Ernie Lepore and Matthew Stone. [REVIEW]Daniel W. Harris - 2017 - Philosophical Review Current Issue 126 (4):554-558.
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