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Dorit Bar-On
University Of Connecticut, Storrs
  1. How to do things with nonwords: pragmatics, biosemantics, and origins of language in animal communication.Dorit Bar-On - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-25.
    Recent discussions of animal communication and the evolution of language have advocated adopting a ‘pragmatics-first’ approach, according to which “a more productive framework” for primate communication research should be “pragmatics, the field of linguistics that examines the role of context in shaping the meaning of linguistic utterances”. After distinguishing two different conceptions of pragmatics that advocates of the pragmatics-first approach have implicitly relied on, I argue that neither conception adequately serves the purposes of pragmatics-first approaches to the origins of human (...)
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  2. Pragmatic Interpretation and Signaler-Receiver Asymmetries in Animal Communication.Dorit Bar-On & Richard Moore - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews Jacob Beck (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge. pp. 291-300.
    Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are thought (...)
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  3. (How) Is Ethical Neo-Expressivism a Hybrid View?Dorit Bar-On, Matthew Chrisman & James Sias - 2014 - In Guy Fletcher & Michael Ridge (eds.), Having It Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern Metaethics. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 223-247.
    According to ethical neo-expressivism, all declarative sentences, including those used to make ethical claims, have propositions as their semantic contents, and acts of making an ethical claim are properly said to express mental states, which (if motivational internalism is correct) are intimately connected to motivation. This raises two important questions: (i) The traditional reason for denying that ethical sentences express propositions is that these were thought to determine ways the world could be, so unless we provide an analysis of ethical (...)
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  4. Millikan's Beyond Concepts Summary Notes.Dorit Bar-On - manuscript
    These summary notes on Ruth Millikan’s latest book Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information (OUP, 2017) were prepared by Dorit Bar-On for a discussion group that met in Summer 2018. The notes have been lightly edited by Millikan and prepared for online publication with the help of Drew Johnson.
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