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David Liebesman
University of Calgary
  1. Generics and the Metaphysics of Kinds.David Liebesman & Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2021 - Philosophy Compass (7):1-14.
    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the semantics of generics. And a relatively mainstream view in this work is that the semantics of generics must appeal to kinds. But what are kinds? Can we learn anything about their nature by looking at how semantic theories of generics appeal to them? In this article, we overview recent work on the semantics of generics and consider their consequences for our understanding of the metaphysics of kinds.
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  2. Ambiguity Tests, Polysemy, and Copredication.David Liebesman & Ofra Magidor - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    A family of familiar linguistic tests purport to help identify when a term is ambiguous. These tests are philosophically important: a familiar philosophical strategy is to claim that some phenomenon is disunified and its accompanying term is ambiguous. The tests have been used to evaluate disunification proposals about causation, pain, and knowledge, among others. -/- These ambiguity tests, however, have come under fire. It has been alleged that the tests fail for polysemy, a common type of ambiguity, and one that (...)
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  3. The Normativity of Meaning.David Liebesman - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press. pp. 1015–1039.
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    Sodium-Free Semantics: The Continuing Relevance of the Concept Horse.David Liebesman - 2016 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Philosophy and Logic of Predication. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    Far from being of mere historical interest, concept horse-style expressibility problems arise for versions of type-theoretic semantics in the tradition of Montague. Grappling with expressibility problems yields lessons about the philosophical interpretation and empirical limits of such type-theories.
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  5. Partialhood.David Liebesman - 2008 - In Dean W. Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    My bedroom window is a part of my house, but it is not a partial house. A half-built house is a partial house, but there is no house it is a part of. Being a part of something—parthood—is a familiar topic of philosophical inquiry. Being a partial something—partialhood—is not. The neglect of partialhood is a shame because it is intrinsically interesting as well as metaphysically and semantically important. After using fractions and counting constructions to identify partialhood in §1, I give (...)
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  6. Quantifier Variance, Intensionality, and Metaphysical Merit.David Liebesman - 2015 - In A. Torza (ed.), Quantifiers, Quantifiers, and Quantifiers. Springer.
    Attempting to deflate ontological debates, the proponent of Quantifier Variance (QV) claims that there are multiple quantifier meanings of equal metaphysical merit. According to Hirsch—the main proponent of QV—metaphysical merit should be understood intensionally: two languages have equal merit if they allow us to express the same possibilities. I examine the notion of metaphysical merit and its purported link to intensionality. That link, I argue, should not be supported by adopting an intensional theory of semantic content. Rather, I give a (...)
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