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Henry Jackman
York University
  1.  18
    William James on Conceptions and Private Language.Henry Jackman - 2017 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 30:175-193.
    William James was one of the most frequently cited authors in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, but the attention paid to James’s Principles of Psycho- logy in that work is typically explained in terms of James having ‘committed in a clear, exemplary manner, fundamental errors in the philosophy of mind.’ (Goodman 2002, p. viii.) The most notable of these ‘errors’ was James’s purported commitment to a conception of language as ‘private’. Commentators standardly treat James as committed to a conception of language as (...)
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  2. Semantic Intuitions, Conceptual Analysis, and Cross-Cultural Variation.Henry Jackman - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):159 - 177.
    While philosophers of language have traditionally relied upon their intuitions about cases when developing theories of reference, this methodology has recently been attacked on the grounds that intuitions about reference, far from being universal, show significant cultural variation, thus undermining their relevance for semantic theory. I’ll attempt to demonstrate that (1) such criticisms do not, in fact, undermine the traditional philosophical methodology, and (2) our underlying intuitions about the nature of reference may be more universal than the authors suppose.
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  3.  44
    Externalism, Metasemantic Contextualism, and Self-Knowledge.Henry Jackman - 2015 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Externalism, Self-Knowledge and Skepticism. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 228-247.
    This paper examines some of the interactions between holism, contextualism, and externalism, and will argue that an externalist metasemantics that grounds itself in certain plausible assumptions about self- knowledge will also be a contextualist metasemantics, and that such a contextualist metasemantics in turn resolves one of the best known problems externalist theories purportedly have with self-knowledge, namely the problem of how the possibility of various sorts of ‘switching’ cases can appear to undermine the ‘transparency’ of our thoughts (in particular, our (...)
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  4. Intuitions and Semantic Theory.Henry Jackman - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (3):363-380.
    While engaged in the analysis of topics such as the nature of knowledge, meaning, or justice, analytic philosophers have traditionally relied extensively on their own intuitions about when the relevant terms can, and can't, be correctly applied. Consequently, if intuitions about possible cases turned out not to be a reliable tool for the proper analysis of philosophically central concepts, then a radical reworking of philosophy's (or at least analytic philosophy's) methodology would seem to be in order. It is thus not (...)
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  5.  10
    Interpretivism and "Canonical" Ascriptions.Henry Jackman - 2015 - Studia Philosophica Estonica:1-10.
    This paper investigates the crucial notion of a "canonical ascription statement" in Bruno Mölder's /Mind Ascribed/, and argues that the reasons given for preferring the book's approach of canonicallity to a more common understanding of canonicallity in terms of the ascriptions we would "ideally" make are not only unpersuasive, but also leave the interpretivist position more open to skeptical worries than it should be. The paper further argues that the resources for a more compelling justification of Mölder's conception of canonicality (...)
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  6.  61
    We Live Forwards but Understand Backwards: Linguistic Practices and Future Behavior.Henry Jackman - 1999 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (2):157-177.
    Ascriptions of content are sensitive not only to our physical and social environment, but also to unforeseeable developments in the subsequent usage of our terms. This paper argues that the problems that may seem to come from endorsing such 'temporally sensitive' ascriptions either already follow from accepting the socially and historically sensitive ascriptions Burge and Kripke appeal to, or disappear when the view is developed in detail. If one accepts that one's society's past and current usage contributes to what one's (...)
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  7. Temporal Externalism and Epistemic Theories of Vagueness.Henry Jackman - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (1-2):79-94.
    'Epistemic' theories of vagueness notoriously claim that (despite the appearances to the contrary) all of our vague terms have sharp boundaries, it's just that we can't know what they are. Epistemic theories are typically criticized for failing to explain (1) the source of the ignorance postulated, and (2) how our terms could come to have such precise boundaries. Both of these objections will, however, be shown to rest on certain 'presentist' assumptions about the relation between use and meaning, and if (...)
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  8.  74
    Charity, Self-Interpretation, and Belief.Henry Jackman - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28:143-168.
    The purpose of this paper is to motivate and defend a recognizable version of N. L. Wilson's "Principle of Charity" Doing so will involve: (1) distinguishing it fromthe significantly different versions of the Principle familiar through the work of Quine and Davidson; (2) showing that it is compatible with, among other things, both semantic externalism and "simulation" accounts of interpretation; and (3) explaining how it follows from plausible constraints relating to the connection between interpretation and self-interpretation. Finally, it will be (...)
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  9. Temporal Externalism and Our Ordinary Linguistic Practices.Henry Jackman - 2005 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (3):365-380.
    Temporal externalists argue that ascriptions of thought and utterance content can legitimately reflect contingent conceptual developments that are only settled after the time of utterance. While the view has been criticized for failing to accord with our “ordinary linguistic practices”, such criticisms (1) conflate our ordinary ascriptional practices with our more general beliefs about meaning, and (2) fail to distinguish epistemically from pragmatically motivated linguistic changes. Temporal externalism relates only to the former sort of changes, and the future usage relevant (...)
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  10. Semantic Norms and Temporal Externalism.Henry Jackman - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    There has frequently been taken to be a tension, if not an incompatibility, between "externalist" theories of content (which allow the make-up of one's physical environment and the linguistic usage of one's community to contribute to the contents of one's thoughts and utterances) and the "methodologically individualist" intuition that whatever contributes to the content of one's thoughts and utterances must ultimately be grounded in facts about one's own attitudes and behavior. In this dissertation I argue that one can underwrite such (...)
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  11. Foundationalism, Coherentism, and Rule-Following Skepticism.Henry Jackman - 2003 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 11 (1):25-41.
    Semantic holists view what one's terms mean as function of all of one's usage. Holists will thus be coherentists about semantic justification: showing that one's usage of a term is semantically justified involves showing how it coheres with the rest of one's usage. Semantic atomists, by contrast, understand semantic justification in a foundationalist fashion. Saul Kripke has, on Wittgenstein's behalf, famously argued for a type of skepticism about meaning and semantic justification. However, Kripke's argument has bite only if one understands (...)
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  12. Ordinary Language, Conventionalism and a Priori Knowledge.Henry Jackman - 2001 - Dialectica 55 (4):315–325.
    This paper examines popular 'conventionalist' explanations of why philosophers need not back up their claims about how 'we' use our words with empirical studies of actual usage. It argues that such explanations are incompatible with a number of currently popular and plausible assumptions about language's 'social' character. Alternate explanations of the philosopher's purported entitlement to make a priori claims about 'our' usage are then suggested. While these alternate explanations would, unlike the conventionalist ones, be compatible with the more social picture (...)
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  13.  91
    Moderate Holism and the Instability Thesis.Henry Jackman - 1999 - American Philosophical Quarterly 36 (4):361-69.
    This paper argues that popular criticisms of semantic holism (such as that it leaves the ideas of translation, disagreement and change of mind problematic) are more properly directed at an "instability assumption" which, while often associated with holism, can be separated from it. The versions of holism that follow from 'interpretational' account of meaning are not committed to the instability assumption and can thus avoid many of the problems traditionally associated with holism.
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  14.  93
    Convention and Language.Henry Jackman - 1998 - Synthese 117 (3):295-312.
    This paper has three objectives. The first is to show how David Lewis' influential account of how a population is related to its language requires that speakers be 'conceptually autonomous' in a way that is incompatible with content ascriptions following from the assumption that its speakers share a language. The second objective is to sketch an alternate account of the psychological and sociological facts that relate a population to its language. The third is to suggest a modification of Lewis' account (...)
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  15. Expression, Thought, and Language.Henry Jackman - 2003 - Philosophia 31 (1-2):33-54.
    This paper discusses an "expressive constraint" on accounts of thought and language which requires that when a speaker expresses a belief by sincerely uttering a sentence, the utterance and the belief have the same content. It will be argued that this constraint should be viewed as expressing a conceptual connection between thought and language rather than a mere empirical generalization about the two. However, the most obvious accounts of the relation between thought and language compatible with the constraint (giving an (...)
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  16.  50
    Prudential Arguments, Naturalized Epistemology, and the Will to Believe.Henry Jackman - 1999 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 35 (1):1 - 37.
    This paper argues that treating James' "The Will to Believe" as a defense of prudential reasoning about belief seriously misrepresents it. Rather than being a precursor to current defenses of prudential arguments, James paper has, if anything, more affinities to certain prominent strains in contemporary naturalized epistemology.
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  17. Semantic Pragmatism and a Priori Knowledge: (Or 'Yes We Could All Be Brains in a Vat').Henry Jackman - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):455-480.
    Hillary Putnam has famously argued that we can know that we are not brains in a vat because the hypothesis that we are is self-refuting. While Putnam's argument has generated interest primarily as a novel response to skepticism, his original use of the brain in a vat scenario was meant to illustrate a point about the "mind/world relationship." In particular, he intended it to be part of an argument against the coherence of metaphysical realism, and thus to be part of (...)
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  18.  47
    Temporal Externalism, Normativity and Use.Henry Jackman - manuscript
    Our ascriptions of content to utterances in the past attribute to them a level of determinacy that extends beyond what could supervene upon the usage up to the time of those utterances. If one accepts the truth of such ascriptions, one can either (1) argue that subsequent use must be added to the supervenience base that determines the meaning of a term at a time, or (2) argue that such cases show that meaning does not supervene upon use at all. (...)
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  19.  79
    Temporal Externalism, Constitutive Norms, and Theories of Vagueness.Henry Jackman - 2006 - In Tomas Marvan (ed.), What Determines Content? The Internalism/Externalism Dispute. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Another paper exploring the relation between Temporal externalism and Epistemicism about Vagueness, but with slightly more emphasis on the role of constitutive norms relating to our concept of truth.
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  20. James' Pragmatic Account of Intentionality and Truth.Henry Jackman - 1998 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 34 (1):155-181.
    William James presents a preference-sensitive and future-directed notion of truth that has struck many as wildly revisionary. This paper argues that such a reaction usually results from failing to see how his accounts of truth and intentionality are intertwined. James' forward-looking account of intentionality (or "knowing") compares favorably the 'causal' and 'resemblance-driven' accounts that have been popular since his day, and it is only when his remarks about truth are placed in the context of his account of intentionality that they (...)
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  21.  76
    Radical Interpretation and the Permutation Principle.Henry Jackman - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (3):317-326.
    Davidson has claimed that to conclude that reference is inscrutable, one must assume that "If some theory of truth... is satisfactory in the light of all relevant evidence... then any theory that is generated from the first theory by a permutation will also be satisfactory in the light of all relevant evidence." However, given that theories of truth are not directly read off the world, but rather serve as parts of larger theories of behavior, this assumption is far from self-evident. (...)
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  22.  62
    Belief, Rationality, and Psychophysical Laws.Henry Jackman - 2000 - In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. Philosophy Documentation Center. pp. 47-54.
    This paper argues that Davidson's claim that the connection between belief and the "constitutive ideal of rationality" precludes the possibility of any type-type identities between mental and physical events relies on blurring the distinction between two ways of understanding this "constitutive ideal", and that no consistent understanding the constitutive ideal allows it to play the dialectical role Davidson intends for it.
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  23.  55
    James's Empirical Assumptions.Henry Jackman - 2004 - Streams of William James 6 (1):23-27.
    Those sympathetic to the naturalistic side of James hope that his critique of ‘philosophical materialism’ can be separated from those elements of his thinking that are essential to his pragmatism. Such a separation is possible once we see that James’s critique of materialism grows out of his views about its incompatibility with the existence of objective values. Objective values (as James understands them) are incompatible, however, not with materialism in its most general form, but rather with materialism that understood the (...)
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  24.  62
    William James's Naturalistic Account of Concepts and His 'Rejection of Logic'.Henry Jackman - 2018 - In Philosophy of Mind in the Nineteenth Century: The History of the Philosophy of Mind, Volume 5. New York: Routledge. pp. 133-146.
    William James was one of the most controversial philosophers of the early part of the 20 century, and his apparent skepticism about logic and any robust conception of truth was often simply attributed to his endorsing mysticism and irrationality out of an overwhelming desire to make room for religion in his world-view. However, it will be argued here that James’s pessimism about logic and even truth (or at least ‘absolute’ truth), while most prominent in his later views, stem from the (...)
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  25.  37
    William James.Henry Jackman - 2008 - In C. J. Misak (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of American Philosophy. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 60-86.
    A brief (10,000 word) introduction to James's philosophy with particular focus on the relation between James's naturalism and his account of various normative notions like rationality, goodness and truth.
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  26.  37
    Jamesian Pluralism and Moral Conflict.Henry Jackman - 2005 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 41 (1):123 - 128.
    While most pragmatists view themselves as pluralists of one sort or another, Talisse and Aikin argue thatthe two views are, in fact, "not compatible". However, while their charge may be true of the types of pluralism that they consider, these pluralisms all presuppose a type of realism about value that the pragmatic pluralist need not accept. In what follows, I'll argue that the 'non-realist' account of value that one finds in James underwrites a type of pluralism that is both substantial (...)
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  27.  33
    Descriptive Atomism and Foundational Holism: Semantics Between the Old Testament and the New.Henry Jackman - 2005 - ProtoSociology 21:5-19.
    While holism and atomism are often treated as mutually exclusive approaches to semantic theory, the apparent tension between the two usually results from running together distinct levels of semantic explanation. In particular, there is no reason why one can’t combine an atomistic conception of what the semantic values of our words are (one’s “descriptive semantics”), with a holistic explanation of why they have those values (one’s “foundational semantics”). Most objections to holism can be shown to apply only to holistic version (...)
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