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Eliot Michaelson
King's College London
  1. What's New About Fake News?Jessica Pepp, Eliot Michaelson & Rachel Sterken - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (2).
    The term "fake news" ascended rapidly to prominence in 2016 and has become a fixture in academic and public discussions, as well as in political mud-slinging. In the flurry of discussion, the term has been applied so broadly as to threaten to render it meaningless. In an effort to rescue our ability to discuss—and combat—the underlying phenomenon that triggered the present use of the term, some philosophers have tried to characterize it more precisely. A common theme in this nascent philosophical (...)
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  2. Shifty Characters.Eliot Michaelson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):519-540.
    In “Demonstratives”, David Kaplan introduced a simple and remarkably robust semantics for indexicals. Unfortunately, Kaplan’s semantics is open to a number of apparent counterexamples, many of which involve recording devices. The classic case is the sentence “I am not here now” as recorded and played back on an answering machine. In this essay, I argue that the best way to accommodate these data is to conceive of recording technologies as introducing special, non-basic sorts of contexts, accompanied by non-basic conventions governing (...)
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  3. Ethics for Fish.Eliot Michaelson & Andrew Reisner - 2018 - In Anne Barnhill, Mark Budolfson & Tyler Doggett (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 189-208.
    In this chapter we discuss some of the central ethical issues specific to eating and harvesting fish. We survey recent research on fish intelligence and cognition and discuss possible considerations that are distinctive to questions about the ethics of eating fish as opposed to terrestrial and avian mammals. We conclude that those features that are distinctive to the harvesting and consumption of fish, including means of capture and the central role that fishing plays in many communities, do not suggest that (...)
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  4.  48
    Who’s Your Ideal Listener?Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
    It is increasingly common for philosophers to rely on the notion of an idealised listener when explaining how the semantic values of context-sensitive expressions are determined. Some have identified the semantic values of such expressions, as used on particular occasions, with whatever an appropriately idealised listener would take them to be. Others have argued that, for something to count as the semantic value, an appropriately idealised listener should be able to recover it. Our aim here is to explore the range (...)
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  5.  80
    Daylight Savings: What an Answer to the Perceptual Variation Problem Cannot Be.Eliot Michaelson & Jonathan Cohen - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Significant variations in the way objects appear across different viewing conditions poses a challenge to our ability to communicate univocally about their colors. Doing so would seem to require that we break the symmetry between multiple appearances in favor of a single variant for reporting purposes. A wide range of philosophical and non-philosophical writers have held that the symmetry can be broken by appealing to daylight viewing conditions — that the appearances of objects in daylight have a stronger, and perhaps (...)
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  6. The Lying Test.Eliot Michaelson - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):470-499.
    As an empirical inquiry into the nature of meaning, semantics must rely on data. Unfortunately, the primary data to which philosophers and linguists have traditionally appealed—judgments on the truth and falsity of sentences—have long been known to vary widely between competent speakers in a number of interesting cases. The present article constitutes an experiment in how to obtain some more consistent data for the enterprise of semantics. Specifically, it argues from some widely accepted Gricean premises to the conclusion that judgments (...)
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  7. This and That: A Theory of Reference for Names, Demonstratives, and Things in Between.Eliot Michaelson - 2013 - Dissertation, UCLA
    This dissertation sets out to answer the question ''What fixes the semantic values of context-sensitive referential terms—like names, demonstratives, and pronouns—in context?'' I argue that it is the speaker's intentions that play this role, as constrained by the conventions governing the use of particular sorts of referential terms. These conventions serve to filter the speaker's intentions for just those which meet these constraints on use, leaving only these filtered-for intentions as semantically relevant. By considering a wide range of cases, including (...)
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  8. Discourse and Method.Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (2):119-138.
    Stojnić et al. (2013, 2017) argue that the reference of demonstratives is fixed without any contribution from the extra-linguistic context. On their `prominence/coherence' theory, the reference of a demonstrative expression depends only on its context-independent linguistic meaning. Here, we argue that Stojnić et al.’s striking claims can be maintained in only the thinnest technical sense. Instead of eliminating appeals to the extra-linguistic context, we show how the prominence/coherence theory merely suppresses them. Then we ask why one might be tempted to (...)
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  9.  65
    The Big Shill.Robert Mark Simpson & Eliot Michaelson - forthcoming - Ratio.
    Shills are people who endorse products and companies for pay, while pretending that their endorsements are ingenuous. Here we argue that there is something objectionable about shilling that is not reducible to its bad consequences, the lack of epistemic conscientiousness it often relies upon, or to the shill’s insincerity. Indeed, we take it as a premise of our inquiry that shilling can sometimes be sincere, and that its wrongfulness is not mitigated by the shill’s sincerity, in cases where the shill (...)
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