Results for 'Metasemantics'

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  1. The Metasemantics of Contextual Sensitivity.Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - In Brett Sherman & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 97-118.
    Some contextually sensitive expressions are such that their context independent conventional meanings need to be in some way supplemented in context for the expressions to secure semantic values in those contexts. As we’ll see, it is not clear that there is a paradigm here, but ‘he’ used demonstratively is a clear example of such an expression. Call expressions of this sort supplementives in order to highlight the fact that their context independent meanings need to be supplemented in context for them (...)
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  2. Metasemantics for the Relaxed.Christine Tiefensee - 2021 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 16. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 108-133.
    In this paper, I develop a metasemantics for relaxed moral realism. More precisely, I argue that relaxed realists should be inferentialists about meaning and explain that the role of evaluative moral vocabulary is to organise and structure language exit transitions, much as the role of theoretical vocabulary is to organise and structure language entry transitions.
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  3. Meta-Metasemantics, or the Quest for the One True Metasemantics.Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):135-154.
    What determines the meaning of a context-sensitive expression in a context? It is standardly assumed that, for a given expression type, there will be a unitary answer to this question; most of the literature on the subject involves arguments designed to show that one particular metasemantic proposal is superior to a specific set of alternatives. The task of the present essay will be to explore whether this is a warranted assumption, or whether the quest for the one true metasemantics (...)
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  4. Relativism, metasemantics, and the future.Derek Ball - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):1036-1086.
    ABSTRACT Contemporary relativists often see their view as contributing to a semantic/post-semantic account of linguistic data about disagreement and retraction. I offer an independently motivated metasemantic account of the same data, that also handles a number of cases and empirical results that are problematic for the relativist. The key idea is that the content of assertions and beliefs is determined in part by facts about other times, including times after the assertion is made or the belief is formed. On this (...)
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  5. Metasemantics and Metaethics.Laura Schroeter & Francois Schroeter - 2017 - In Tristram Colin McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 519-535.
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  6. Metasemantic ethics.Derek Ball - 2020 - Ratio 33 (4):206-219.
    The idea that experts (especially scientific experts) play a privileged role in determining the meanings of our words and the contents of our concepts has become commonplace since the work of Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge, and others in the 1970s. But if experts have the power to determine what our words mean, they can do so responsibly or irresponsibly, from good motivations or bad, justly or unjustly, with good or bad effects. This paper distinguishes three families of metasemantic views based (...)
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  7. Metasemantics, moderate inflationism, and correspondence truth.Graham Seth Moore - 2023 - Dissertation, University of British Columbia
    An object-based correspondence theory of truth holds that a truth-bearer is true whenever its truth conditions are met by objects and their properties. In order to develop such a view, the principal task is to explain how truth-bearers become endowed with their truth conditions. Modern versions of the correspondence theory see this project as the synthesis of two theoretical endeavours: basic metasemantics and compositional semantics. Basic metasemantics is the theory of how simple, meaningful items (e.g. names and concepts) (...)
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  8. Metasemantic Quandaries.Nate Charlow - 2021 - In Billy Dunaway & David Plunkett (eds.), Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes From the Work of Allan Gibbard. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Maize Books. pp. 171-202.
    This paper advocates a generalized form of Expressivism, as a strategy for resolving certain metasemantic puzzles about identifying the semantic value of a context-sensitive expression in context. According to this form of Expressivism, speakers express properties of semantic parameters, and they do so in order to proffer those properties for cognitive adoption (acceptance) by their addressees. Puzzles arising from the pressure to say what a putatively context-sensitive expression refers to or denotes in contexts that do not seem to specify a (...)
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  9. Metasemantics, Moral Realism and Moral Doctrines.Christine Tiefensee - 2022 - In Visa A. J. Kurki & Mark Mcbride (eds.), Without Trimmings: The Legal, Moral, and Political Philosophy of Matthew Kramer. Oxford, Vereinigtes Königreich: Oxford University Press. pp. 189-204.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Matthew Kramer’s moral realism as a moral doctrine and expressivism, understood as a distinctly non-representationalist metasemantic theory of moral vocabulary. More precisely, I will argue that Kramer is right in stating that moral realism as a moral doctrine does not stand in conflict with expressivism. But I will also go further, by submitting that advocates of moral realism as a moral doctrine must adopt theories such as expressivism in some shape or form. (...)
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  10. Against Metasemantics-First Moral Epistemology.Jesse Hambly & Shang Long Yeo - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-21.
    Moral metasemantic theories explain how our moral thought and talk are about certain properties. Given the connection between what our moral terms are about and which moral claims are true, it might be thought that metasemantic theorising can justify first-order ethical conclusions, thus providing a novel way of doing moral epistemology. In this paper, we spell out one kind of argument from metasemantic theories to normative ethical conclusions, and argue that it fails to transmit justification from premises to conclusion. We (...)
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  11. 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 (...)
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  12. A Metasemantic Analysis of Gödel's Slingshot Argument.Hans-Peter Leeb - manuscript
    Gödel’s slingshot-argument proceeds from a referential theory of definite descriptions and from the principle of compositionality for reference. It outlines a metasemantic proof of Frege’s thesis that all true sentences refer to the same object—as well as all false ones. Whereas Frege drew from this the conclusion that sentences refer to truth-values, Gödel rejected a referential theory of definite descriptions. By formalising Gödel’s argument, it is possible to reconstruct all premises that are needed for the derivation of Frege’s thesis. For (...)
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  13. The Euthyphro Challenge in Metasemantics.Bar Luzon - 2024 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (1):217-237.
    This paper argues that functionalist metasemantic views, such as Conceptual Role Semantics and Interpretivism, face a Euthyphro challenge. The challenge, put roughly, is this: functionalist metasemantic views reverse the order of explanation. According to such views, representational mental states have the contents that they do partly because they play certain roles in our mental lives. According to an intuitive picture of the roles that representational mental states play in our mental lives, however, these states play the roles they do partly (...)
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  14. Assertoric content, responsibility, and metasemantics.Andrew Peet - 2021 - Mind and Language 37 (5):914-932.
    I argue that assertoric content functions as a means for us to track the responsibilities undertaken by communicators, and that distinctively assertoric commitments are distinguished by being generated directly in virtue of the words the speaker uses. This raises two questions: (a) Why are speakers responsible for the content thus generated? (b) Why is it important for us to distinguish between commitments in terms of their manner of generation? I answer the first question by developing a novel responsibility based (...). I answer the second by reference to the conflicting pressures governing the resources we have available for appraising speech. (shrink)
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  15. What the metasemantics of "know" is not.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (1):69-82.
    Epistemic contextualism in the style of Lewis (1996) maintains that ascriptions of knowledge to a subject vary in truth with the alternatives that can be eliminated by the subject’s evidence in a context. Schaffer (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2015), Schaffer and Knobe (2012), and Schaffer and Szabo ́ (2014) hold that the question under discussion or QUD always determines these alternatives in a context. This paper shows that the QUD does not perform such a role for "know" and uses this (...)
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  16. A new interpretivist metasemantics for fundamental legal disagreements.François Schroeter, Laura Schroeter & Kevin Toh - 2020 - Legal Theory 26 (1):62-99.
    ABSTRACTWhat does it take for lawyers and others to think or talk about the same legal topic—e.g., defamation, culpability? We argue that people are able to think or talk about the same topic not when they possess a matching substantive understanding of the topic, as traditional metasemantics says, but instead when their thoughts or utterances are related to each other in certain ways. And what determines the content of thoughts and utterances is what would best serve the core purposes (...)
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  17. Conceptual Engineering, Topics, Metasemantics, and Lack of Control.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):594-605.
    Conceptual engineering is now a central topic in contemporary philosophy. Just 4-5 years ago it wasn’t. People were then engaged in the engineering of various philosophical concepts (in various sub-disciplines), but typically not self-consciously so. Qua philosophical method, conceptual engineering was under-explored, often ignored, and poorly understood. In my lifetime, I have never seen interest in a philosophical topic grow with such explosive intensity. The sociology behind this is fascinating and no doubt immensely complex (and an excellent case study for (...)
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  18. Getting a Moral Thing Into a Thought: Metasemantics for Non-Naturalists.Preston J. Werner - 2020 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 140-169.
    Non-naturalism is the view that normative properties are response-independent, irreducible to natural properties, and causally inefficacious. An underexplored question for non-naturalism concerns the metasemantics of normative terms. Ideally, the non-naturalist could remain ecumenical, but it appears they cannot. Call this challenge the metasemantic challenge. This chapter suggests that non-naturalists endorse an epistemic account of reference determination of the sort recently defended by Imogen Dickie, with some modifications. An important implication of this account is that, if correct, a fully fleshed (...)
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  19. Zebras, Intransigence & Semantic Apocalypse: Problems for Dispositional Metasemantics.James Andow - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):53-62.
    Complete information dispositional metasemantics says that our expressions get their meaning in virtue of what our dispositions to apply those terms would be given complete information. The view has recently been advanced and argued to have a number of attractive features. I argue that that it threatens to make the meanings of our words indeterminate and doesn’t do what it was that made a dispositional view attractive in the first place.
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  20. The informational profile of valence: The metasemantic argument for imperativism.Manolo Martínez & Luca Barlassina - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Some mental states have valence—they are pleasant or unpleasant. According to imperativism, valence depends on imperative content, while evaluativism tells us that it depends on evaluative content. We argue that if one considers valence’s informational profile, it becomes evident that imperativism is superior to evaluativism. More precisely, we show that if one applies the best available metasemantics to the role played by (un)pleasant mental states in our cognitive economy, then these states turn out to have imperative rather than evaluative (...)
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    Are We Playing a Moral Lottery? Moral Disagreement from a Metasemantic Perspective.Sinan Dogramaci - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):523-550.
    If someone disagrees with my moral views, or more generally if I’m in a group of n people who all disagree with each other, but I don’t have any special evidence or basis for my epistemic superiority, then it’s at best a 1-in-n chance that my views are correct. The skeptical threat from disagreement is thus a kind of moral lottery, to adapt a similar metaphor from Sharon Street. Her own genealogical debunking argument, as I discuss, relies on a premise (...)
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  22. AI with Alien Content and Alien Metasemantics.Herman Cappelen & Joshua Dever - 2023 - In Ernest Lepore & Luvell Anderson (eds.), Oxford handbook of applied philosophy of language. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
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  23. Perception, Attention and Demonstrative Thought: In Defense of a Hybrid Metasemantic Mechanism.Felipe Nogueira de Carvalho - 2020 - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 43 (2):16-53.
    Demonstrative thoughts are distinguished by the fact that their contents are determined relationally, via perception, rather than descriptively. Therefore, a fundamental task of a theory of demonstrative thought is to elucidate how facts about visual perception can explain how these thoughts come to have the contents that they do. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how cognitive psychology may help us solve this metasemantic question, through empirical models of visual processing. Although there is a dispute between attentional and (...)
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  24. Rigidity, natural kind terms and metasemantics.Corine Besson - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge. pp. 25--44.
    A paradigmatic case of rigidity for singular terms is that of proper names. And it would seem that a paradigmatic case of rigidity for general terms is that of natural kind terms. However, many philosophers think that rigidity cannot be extended from singular terms to general terms. The reason for this is that rigidity appears to become trivial when such terms are considered: natural kind terms come out as rigid, but so do all other general terms, and in particular all (...)
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  25. Meaning without content: on the metasemantics of register.Thorsten Sander - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    What, exactly, is the difference between words such as ‘dead’ and ‘deceased’? In this paper, I argue that such differences in register, or style, ought to be construed as genuine differences in non-truth-conditional meaning. I also show that register cannot plausibly accounted for in terms of either presupposition or conventional implicature. Register is, rather, an instance of what I call pure use-conditional meaning. In the case of register, a difference in meaning does not correspond to a difference in the contents (...)
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  26. Yet another victim of Kripkenstein’s monster: dispositions, meaning, and privilege.Andrea Guardo - 2022 - Ergo 8 (55):857-882.
    In metasemantics, semantic dispositionalism is the view that what makes it the case that, given the value of the relevant parameters, a certain linguistic expression refers to what it does are the speakers’ dispositions. In the literature, there is something like a consensus that the fate of dispositionalism hinges on the status of three arguments, first put forward by Saul Kripke ‒ or at least usually ascribed to him. This paper discusses a different, and strangely neglected, anti-dispositionalist argument, which (...)
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  27. Words by convention.Gail Leckie & Robert Williams - 2019 - In David Sosa & Ernie Lepore (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language Volume 1. Oxford, UK: OUP.
    Existing metasemantic projects presuppose that word- (or sentence-) types are part of the non-semantic base. We propose a new strategy: an endogenous account of word types, that is, one where word types are fixed as part of the metasemantics. On this view, it is the conventions of truthfulness and trust that ground not only the meaning of the words (meaning by convention) but also what the word type is of each particular token utterance (words by convention). The same treatment (...)
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  28. Rules and Meaning in Quantum Mechanics.Iulian D. Toader - manuscript
    This book concerns the metasemantics of quantum mechanics (QM). Roughly, it pursues an investigation at an intersection of the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of semantics, and it offers a critical analysis of rival explanations of the semantic facts of standard QM. Two problems for such explanations are discussed: categoricity and permanence of rules. New results include 1) a reconstruction of Einstein's incompleteness argument, which concludes that a local, separable, and categorical QM cannot exist, 2) a reinterpretation of (...)
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  29. Practical Commitment in Normative Discourse.Pekka Vayrynen - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (2).
    Many normative judgments play a practical role in our thought. This paper concerns how their practical role is reflected in language. It is natural to wonder whether the phenomenon is semantic or pragmatic. The standard assumption in moral philosophy is that at least terms which can be used to express “thin” normative concepts – such as 'good', 'right', and 'ought' – are associated with certain practical roles somehow as a matter of meaning. But this view is rarely given explicit defense (...)
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  30. Non-Naturalism and Reference.Jussi Suikkanen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaethical realists disagree about the nature of normative properties. Naturalists think that they are ordinary natural properties: causally efficacious, a posteriori knowable, and usable in the best explanations of natural and social sciences. Non-naturalist realists, in contrast, argue that they are sui generis: causally inert, a priori knowable and not a part of the subject matter of sciences. It has been assumed so far that naturalists can explain causally how the normative predicates manage to refer to normative properties, whereas non-naturalists (...)
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  31. AI and Alien Languages.Matti Eklund - manuscript
    In this paper, I focus on AIs as very different, or at least potentially very different, kinds of language users from what humans are. Is the metasemantics for AI language use different, in the way Cappelen and Dever argue? Is it reasonable to think that AIs will come to use languages importantly different from human languages, what I call alien languages?
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  32. A Simple Escape from Moral Twin Earth.Pekka Väyrynen - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):109-118.
    This paper offers a simple response to the Moral Twin Earth (MTE) objection to Naturalist Moral Realism (NMR). NMR typically relies on an externalist metasemantics such as a causal theory of reference. The MTE objection is that such a theory predicts that terms like ‘good’ and ‘right’ have a different reference in certain twin communities where it’s intuitively clear that the twins are talking about the same thing when using ‘good’. I argue that Boyd’s causal regulation theory, the original (...)
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  33. Deciding What We Mean.Andrew Peet - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Stipulation gives us a degree of control over meaning. By stipulating how I will use a term I am able to determine the meaning it will receive on future occasions of use. My stipulation will affect the truth conditional content of my future utterances. But the mechanisms of stipulation are mysterious. As Cappelen (2018) argues, meaning is typically determined in an inscrutable way by a myriad of external factors beyond our control. How does stipulation override these factors? And the powers (...)
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  34. Coordination, Content, and Conflation.Kyle Landrum - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (3):638-652.
    Coordination is the presumption that distinct representations have the same referential content. Philosophers have discussed ways in which the presence of coordination might bear on the metasemantic determination of content. One test case for exploring the relationship between coordination and content is the phenomenon of conflation — the situation in which representations are about distinct things but are nevertheless coordinated. In this paper, I use observations about conflation to develop an anaphoric metasemantics for some representations in which coordination plays (...)
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  35. Speaker's reference, semantic reference, sneaky reference.Eliot Michaelson - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (5):856-875.
    According to what is perhaps the dominant picture of reference, what a referential term refers to in a context is determined by what the speaker intends for her audience to identify as the referent. I argue that this sort of broadly Gricean view entails, counterintuitively, that it is impossible to knowingly use referential terms in ways that one expects or intends to be misunderstood. Then I sketch an alternative which can better account for such opaque uses of language, or what (...)
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  36. Inferentialist Truth Pluralism.Herman Veluwenkamp - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):107-121.
    Metasemantic inferentialismhas gained popularity in the last few decades. Traditionally, inferentialism is combined with a deflationary attitude towards semantic terms such as truth and reference, i.e., many inferentialists hold that when we use these semantic terms we do not purport to refer to substantive properties. This combination makes inferentialism attractive for philosophers who see themselves as antirealists. Although the attractions of combining inferentialism and deflationism are easy to see, deflationism is also a controversial position. For one, deflationists maintain that truth (...)
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  37. Meaning in time: on temporal externalism and Kripkenstein’s skeptical challenge.Jaakko Reinikainen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (288):1-27.
    The main question of metasemantics, or foundational semantics, is why an expression token has the meaning (semantic value) that it in fact has. In his reading of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s later work, Saul Kripke presented a skeptical challenge that threatened to make the foundational question unanswerable. My first contention in this paper is that the skeptical challenge indeed poses an insoluble paradox, but only for a certain kind of metasemantic theory, against which the challenge effectively works as a reductio ad (...)
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  38. Foundational Semantics I: Descriptive Accounts.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (6):397–409.
    Descriptive semantic theories purport to characterize the meanings of the expressions of languages in whatever complexity they might have. Foundational semantics purports to identify the kind of considerations relevant to establish that a given descriptive semantics accurately characterizes the language used by a given individual or community. Foundational Semantics I presents three contrasting approaches to the foundational matters, and the main considerations relevant to appraise their merits. These approaches contend that we should look at the contents of speakers’ intuitions; at (...)
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  39. Who’s Your Ideal Listener?Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):257-270.
    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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  40. Semantic Externalism and Psychological Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):158-181.
    Externalism is widely endorsed within contemporary philosophy of mind and language. Despite this, it is far from clear how the externalist thesis should be construed and, indeed, why we should accept it. In this entry I distinguish and examine three central types of externalism: what I call foundational externalism, externalist semantics, and psychological externalism. I suggest that the most plausible version of externalism is not in fact a very radical thesis and does not have any terribly interesting implications for philosophy (...)
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  41. Epistemic Modality and Hyperintensionality in Mathematics.Timothy Bowen - 2017 - Dissertation, Arché, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality and hyperintensionality and their applications to the philosophy of mathematics. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality and hyperintensionality relate to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality and hyperintensionality; the types of mathematical modality and hyperintensionality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, (...)
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  42. Ardent realism without referential normativity.Tristram McPherson - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):489-508.
    ABSTRACT This paper addresses a central positive claim in Matti Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts: that a certain kind of metaphysically ambitious realist about normativity – the ardent realist – is committed to the metasemantic idea that the distinctive inferential role of normative concepts suffices to fix the extension of those concepts. I argue first that commitment to this sort of inferential role metasemantic view does nothing to secure ardent realism. I then show how the ardent realist can address Eklund’s leading (...)
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  43. Ardent realism without referential normativity.Tristram McPherson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-20.
    This paper addresses a central positive claim in Matti Eklund’s Choosing Normative Concepts: that a certain kind of metaphysically ambitious realist about normativity – the ardent realist – is committed to the metasemantic idea that the distinctive inferential role of normative concepts suffices to fix the extension of those concepts. I argue first that commitment to this sort of inferential role metasemantic view does nothing to secure ardent realism. I then show how the ardent realist can address Eklund’s leading challenge (...)
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  44. Quantifier Variance.Eli Hirsch & Jared Warren - 2019 - In Martin Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. Routledge. pp. 349-357.
    Quantifier variance is a well-known view in contemporary metaontology, but it remains very widely misunderstood by critics. Here we briefly and clearly explain the metasemantics of quantifier variance and distinguish between modest and strong forms of variance (Section I), explain some key applications (Section II), clear up some misunderstandings and address objections (Section III), and point the way toward future directions of quantifier-variance-related research (Section IV).
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  45. Mental filing.Rachel Goodman & Aidan Gray - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):204-226.
    We offer an interpretation of the mental files framework that eliminates the metaphor of files, information being contained in files, etc. The guiding question is whether, once we move beyond the metaphors, there is any theoretical role for files. We claim not. We replace the file-metaphor with two theses: the semantic thesis that there are irreducibly relational representational facts (viz. facts about the coordination of representations); and the metasemantic thesis that processes tied to information-relations ground those facts. In its canonical (...)
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  46. A Language for Ontological Nihilism.Catharine Diehl - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:971-996.
    According to ontological nihilism there are, fundamentally, no individuals. Both natural languages and standard predicate logic, however, appear to be committed to a picture of the world as containing individual objects. This leads to what I call the \emph{expressibility challenge} for ontological nihilism: what language can the ontological nihilist use to express her account of how matters fundamentally stand? One promising suggestion is for the nihilist to use a form of \emph{predicate functorese}, a language developed by Quine. This proposal faces (...)
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  47. Eligibility and inscrutability.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):361-399.
    Inscrutability arguments threaten to reduce interpretationist metasemantic theories to absurdity. Can we find some way to block the arguments? A highly influential proposal in this regard is David Lewis’ ‘ eligibility ’ response: some theories are better than others, not because they fit the data better, but because they are framed in terms of more natural properties. The purposes of this paper are to outline the nature of the eligibility proposal, making the case that it is not ad hoc, but (...)
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  48. Lexical innovation and the periphery of language.Luca Gasparri - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):39-63.
    Lexical innovations (e.g., zero-derivations coined on the fly by a speaker) seem to bear semantic content. Yet, such expressions cannot bear semantic content as a function of the conventions of meaning in force in the language, since they are not part of its lexicon. This is in tension with the commonplace view that the semantic content of lexical expressions is constituted by linguistic conventions. The conventionalist has two immediate ways out of the tension. The first is to preserve the conventionalist (...)
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  49. 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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  50. The Role of Concepts in Fixing Language.Sarah Sawyer - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):555-565.
    This is a contribution to the symposium on Herman Cappelen’s book Fixing Language. Cappelen proposes a metasemantic framework—the “Austerity Framework”—within which to understand the general phenomenon of conceptual engineering. The proposed framework is austere in the sense that it makes no reference to concepts. Conceptual engineering is then given a “worldly” construal according to which conceptual engineering is a process that operates on the world. I argue, contra Cappelen, that an adequate theory of conceptual engineering must make reference to concepts. (...)
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