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Richard Heck [45]Richard Kimberly Heck [8]
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Richard Kimberly Heck
Brown University
  1. Does Pornography Presuppose Rape Myths?Richard Kimberly Heck - manuscript
    Rae Langton and Caroline West have argued that pornography silences women by presupposing misogynistic attitudes, such as that women enjoy being raped. More precisely, they claim that a somewhat infamous pictorial, “Dirty Pool”, makes such presuppositions. I argue for four claims. (i) Langton and West's account of how pornography silences women is empirically dubious. (ii) There is no evidence that very much pornography makes the sorts of presuppositions they require. (iii) Even "Dirty Pool", for all its other problems, does not (...)
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  2. Nonconceptual Content and the "Space of Reasons".Richard Heck - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (4):483-523.
    In Mind and World, John McDowell argues against the view that perceptual representation is non-conceptual. The central worry is that this view cannot offer any reasonable account of how perception bears rationally upon belief. I argue that this worry, though sensible, can be met, if we are clear that perceptual representation is, though non-conceptual, still in some sense 'assertoric': Perception, like belief, represents things as being thus and so.
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  3.  47
    How Not To Watch Feminist Pornography.Richard Kimberly Heck - manuscript
    This paper has three goals. The first is to defend Tristan Taromino and Erika Lust (or some of their films) from criticisms that Rebecca Whisnant and Hans Maes make of them. Toward that end, I will be arguing against the narrow conceptions that Whisnant and Maes have of what `feminist' pornography must be like. More generally, I hope to show by example why it is important to take pornographic films seriously as films if we're to understand their potential to shape, (...)
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  4.  47
    The Birth of Semantics.Richard Kimberly Heck & Robert C. May - 2020 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 8 (6):1-31.
    We attempt here to trace the evolution of Frege’s thought about truth. What most frames the way we approach the problem is a recognition that hardly any of Frege’s most familiar claims about truth appear in his earliest work. We argue that Frege’s mature views about truth emerge from a fundamental re-thinking of the nature of logic instigated, in large part, by a sustained engagement with the work of George Boole and his followers, after the publication of Begriffsschrift and the (...)
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  5. Are There Different Kinds of Content?Richard Heck - 2007 - In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 117-138.
    In an earlier paper, "Non-conceptual Content and the 'Space of Reasons'", I distinguished two forms of the view that perceptual content is non-conceptual, which I called the 'state view' and the 'content view'. On the latter, but not the former, perceptual states have a different kind of content than do cognitive states. Many have found it puzzling why anyone would want to make this claim and, indeed, what it might mean. This paper attempts to address these questions.
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  6. Frege's Contribution to Philosophy of Language.Richard Heck & Robert May - 2006 - In Barry C. Smith & Ernest Lepore (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 3-39.
    An investigation of Frege’s various contributions to the study of language, focusing on three of his most famous doctrines: that concepts are unsaturated, that sentences refer to truth-values, and that sense must be distinguished from reference.
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  7.  41
    Pornography and Accommodation.Richard Kimberly Heck - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In 'Scorekeeping in a Pornographic Language Game', Rae Langton and Caroline West borrow ideas from David Lewis to attempt to explain how pornography might subordinate and silence women. Pornography is supposed to express certain misogynistic claims implicitly, through presupposition, and to convey them indirectly, through accommodation. I argue that the appeal to accommodation cannot do the sort of work Langton and West want it to do: Their case rests upon an overly simpified model of that phenomenon. I argue further that, (...)
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  8.  17
    Formal Arithmetic Before Grundgesetze.Richard Kimberly Heck - 2019 - In Philip A. Ebert & Marcus Rossberg (eds.), Essays on Frege's Basic Laws of Arithmetic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 497-537.
    A speculative investigation of how Frege's logical views change between Begriffsschrift and Grundgesetze and how this might have affected the formal development of logicism.
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  9. Solving Frege's Puzzle.Richard Heck - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (1-2):132-174.
    So-called 'Frege cases' pose a challenge for anyone who would hope to treat the contents of beliefs (and similar mental states) as Russellian propositions: It is then impossible to explain people's behavior in Frege cases without invoking non-intentional features of their mental states, and doing that seems to undermine the intentionality of psychological explanation. In the present paper, I develop this sort of objection in what seems to me to be its strongest form, but then offer a response to it. (...)
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  10. Do Demonstratives Have Senses?Richard Heck - 2002 - Philosophers' Imprint 2:1-33.
    Frege held that referring expressions in general, and demonstratives and indexicals in particular, contribute more than just their reference to what is expressed by utterances of sentences containing them. Heck first attempts to get clear about what the essence of the Fregean view is, arguing that it rests upon a certain conception of linguistic communication that is ultimately indefensible. On the other hand, however, he argues that understanding a demonstrative (or indexical) utterance requires one to think of the object denoted (...)
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  11.  24
    Disquotationalism and the Compositional Principles.Richard Kimberly Heck - forthcoming - In Carlo Nicolai (ed.), Modes of Truth: The Unified Approach to Modality, Truth, and Paradox.
    What Bar-On and Simmons call 'Conceptual Deflationism' is the thesis that truth is a 'thin' concept in the sense that it is not suited to play any explanatory role in our scientific theorizing. One obvious place it might play such a role is in semantics, so disquotationalists have been widely concerned to argued that 'compositional principles', such as -/- (C) A conjunction is true iff its conjuncts are true -/- are ultimately quite trivial and, more generally, that semantic theorists have (...)
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  12.  21
    Logicism, Ontology, and the Epistemology of Second-Order Logic.Richard Kimberly Heck - 2018 - In Ivette Fred-Rivera & Jessica Leach (eds.), Being Necessary: Themes of Ontology and Modality from the Work of Bob Hale. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 140-169.
    In two recent papers, Bob Hale has attempted to free second-order logic of the 'staggering existential assumptions' with which Quine famously attempted to saddle it. I argue, first, that the ontological issue is at best secondary: the crucial issue about second-order logic, at least for a neo-logicist, is epistemological. I then argue that neither Crispin Wright's attempt to characterize a `neutralist' conception of quantification that is wholly independent of existential commitment, nor Hale's attempt to characterize the second-order domain in terms (...)
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  13. The Sense of Communication.Richard Heck - 1995 - Mind 104 (413):79 - 106.
    Many philosophers nowadays believe Frege was right about belief, but wrong about language: The contents of beliefs need to be individuated more finely than in terms of Russellian propositions, but the contents of utterances do not. I argue that this 'hybrid view' cannot offer no reasonable account of how communication transfers knowledge from one speaker to another and that, to do so, we must insist that understanding depends upon more than just getting the references of terms right.
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  14. Idiolects.Richard Heck - 2006 - In Judith Jarvis Thomson & Alex Byrne (eds.), Content and Modality: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker. Oxford University Press.
    Defends the view that the study of language should concern itself, primarily, with idiolects. The main objections considered are forms of the normativity objection.
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  15. The Composition of Thoughts.Richard Heck & Robert May - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):126-166.
    Are Fregean thoughts compositionally complex and composed of senses? We argue that, in Begriffsschrift, Frege took 'conceptual contents' to be unstructured, but that he quickly moved away from this position, holding just two years later that conceptual contents divide of themselves into 'function' and 'argument'. This second position is shown to be unstable, however, by Frege's famous substitution puzzle. For Frege, the crucial question the puzzle raises is why "The Morning Star is a planet" and "The Evening Star is a (...)
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  16. Meaning and Truth-Conditions.Richard Heck - 2007 - In D. Greimann & G. Siegwart (eds.), Truth and Speech Acts: Studies in the Philosophy of Language. Routledge. pp. 349--76.
    Defends the view that understanding can be identified with knowledge of T-sentences against the classical criticisms of Foster and Soames.
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  17. That There Might Be Vague Objects (So Far as Concerns Logic).Richard Heck - 1998 - The Monist 81 (1):277-99.
    Gareth Evans has argued that the existence of vague objects is logically precluded: The assumption that it is indeterminate whether some object a is identical to some object b leads to contradiction. I argue in reply that, although this is true—I thus defend Evans's argument, as he presents it—the existence of vague objects is not thereby precluded. An 'Indefinitist' need only hold that it is not logically required that every identity statement must have a determinate truth-value, not that some such (...)
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  18. The Consistency of Predicative Fragments of Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik.Richard Heck - 1996 - History and Philosophy of Logic 17 (1):209-220.
    As is well-known, the formal system in which Frege works in his Grundgesetze der Arithmetik is formally inconsistent, Russell?s Paradox being derivable in it.This system is, except for minor differences, full second-order logic, augmented by a single non-logical axiom, Frege?s Axiom V. It has been known for some time now that the first-order fragment of the theory is consistent. The present paper establishes that both the simple and the ramified predicative second-order fragments are consistent, and that Robinson arithmetic, Q, is (...)
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  19. Reason and Language.Richard Heck - 2006 - In C. Macdonald & G. Macdonald (eds.), McDowell and His Critics. Blackwell. pp. 22--45.
    John McDowell has often emphasized the fact that the use of langauge is a rational enterprise. In this paper, I explore the sense in which this is so, arguing that our use of language depends upon our consciously knowing what our words mean. I call this a 'cognitive conception of semantic competence'. The paper also contains a close analysis of the phenomenon of implicature and some suggestions about how it should and should not be understood.
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  20. The Julius Caesar Objection.Richard Heck - 1997 - In Richard G. Heck (ed.), Language, Thought, and Logic: Essays in Honour of Michael Dummett. Oxford University Press. pp. 273--308.
    This paper argues that that Caesar problem had a technical aspect, namely, that it threatened to make it impossible to prove, in the way Frege wanted, that there are infinitely many numbers. It then offers a solution to the problem, one that shows Frege did not really need the claim that "numbers are objects", not if that claim is intended in a form that forces the Caesar problem upon us.
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  21. Truth and Disquotation.Richard Heck - 2005 - Synthese 142 (3):317--352.
    Hartry Field has suggested that we should adopt at least a methodological deflationism: [W]e should assume full-fledged deflationism as a working hypothesis. That way, if full-fledged deflationism should turn out to be inadequate, we will at least have a clearer sense than we now have of just where it is that inflationist assumptions ... are needed. I argue here that we do not need to be methodological deflationists. More pre-cisely, I argue that we have no need for a disquotational truth-predicate; (...)
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  22. Frege and Semantics.Richard Heck - 2007 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 75 (1):27-63.
    In recent work on Frege, one of the most salient issues has been whether he was prepared to make serious use of semantical notions such as reference and truth. I argue here Frege did make very serious use of semantical concepts. I argue, first, that Frege had reason to be interested in the question how the axioms and rules of his formal theory might be justified and, second, that he explicitly commits himself to offering a justification that appeals to the (...)
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  23. Self-Reference and the Languages of Arithmetic.Richard Heck - 2007 - Philosophia Mathematica 15 (1):1-29.
    I here investigate the sense in which diagonalization allows one to construct sentences that are self-referential. Truly self-referential sentences cannot be constructed in the standard language of arithmetic: There is a simple theory of truth that is intuitively inconsistent but is consistent with Peano arithmetic, as standardly formulated. True self-reference is possible only if we expand the language to include function-symbols for all primitive recursive functions. This language is therefore the natural setting for investigations of self-reference.
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  24.  11
    The Basic Laws of Cardinal Number.Richard Kimberly Heck - 2019 - In Philip A. Ebert & Marcus Rossberg (eds.), Essays on Frege's Basic Laws of Arithmetic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-30.
    An overview of what Frege accomplishes in Part II of Grundgesetze, which contains proofs of axioms for arithmetic and several additional results concerning the finite, the infinite, and the relationship between these notions. One might think of this paper as an extremely compressed form of Part II of my book Reading Frege's Grundgesetze.
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  25. The Existence (and Non-Existence) of Abstract Objects.Richard Heck - 2011 - In Frege's Theorem. Oxford University Press.
    This paper is concerned with neo-Fregean accounts of reference to abstract objects. It develops an objection to the most familiar such accounts, due to Bob Hale and Crispin Wright, based upon what I call the 'proliferation problem': Hale and Wright's account makes reference to abstract objects seem too easy, as is shown by the fact that any equivalence relation seems as good as any other. The paper then develops a response to this objection, and offers an account of what it (...)
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  26. A Logic for Frege's Theorem.Richard Heck - 2011 - In Frege’s Theorem: An Introduction. Oxford University Press.
    It has been known for a few years that no more than Pi-1-1 comprehension is needed for the proof of "Frege's Theorem". One can at least imagine a view that would regard Pi-1-1 comprehension axioms as logical truths but deny that status to any that are more complex—a view that would, in particular, deny that full second-order logic deserves the name. Such a view would serve the purposes of neo-logicists. It is, in fact, no part of my view that, say, (...)
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  27. Truth in Frege.Richard Heck & Robert May - forthcoming - In M. Glanzberg (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford University Press.
    A general survey of Frege's views on truth, the paper explores the problems in response to which Frege's distinctive view that sentences refer to truth-values develops. It also discusses his view that truth-values are objects and the so-called regress argument for the indefinability of truth. Finally, we consider, very briefly, the question whether Frege was a deflationist.
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  28. A Liar Paradox.Richard Heck - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):36-40.
    The purpose of this note is to present a strong form of the liar paradox. It is strong because the logical resources needed to generate the paradox are weak, in each of two senses. First, few expressive resources required: conjunction, negation, and identity. In particular, this form of the liar does not need to make any use of the conditional. Second, few inferential resources are required. These are: (i) conjunction introduction; (ii) substitution of identicals; and (iii) the inference: From ¬(p (...)
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  29. Semantics and Context-Dependence: Towards a Strawsonian Account.Richard Heck - 2014 - In Brett Sherman & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 327-364.
    This paper considers a now familiar argument that the ubiquity of context -dependence threatens the project of natural language semantics, at least as that project has usually been conceived: as concerning itself with `what is said' by an utterance of a given sentence. I argue in response that the `anti-semantic' argument equivocates at a crucial point and, therefore, that we need not choose between semantic minimalism, truth-conditional pragmatism, and the like. Rather, we must abandon the idea, familiar from Kaplan and (...)
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  30. Definition by Induction in Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik.Richard Heck - 1995 - In W. Demopoulos (ed.), Frege's Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper discusses Frege's account of definition by induction in Grundgesetze and the two key theorems Frege proves using it.
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  31. Ramified Frege Arithmetic.Richard Heck - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (6):715-735.
    Øystein Linnebo has recently shown that the existence of successors cannot be proven in predicative Frege arithmetic, using Frege’s definitions of arithmetical notions. By contrast, it is shown here that the existence of successor can be proven in ramified predicative Frege arithmetic.
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  32. The Function is Unsaturated.Richard Heck & Robert May - 2013 - In Michael Beaney (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    An investigation of what Frege means by his doctrine that functions (and so concepts) are 'unsaturated'. We argue that this doctrine is far less peculiar than it is usually taken to be. What makes it hard to understand, oddly enough, is the fact that it is so deeply embedded in our contemporary understanding of logic and language. To see this, we look at how it emerges out of Frege's confrontation with the Booleans and how it expresses a fundamental difference between (...)
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  33. The Finite and the Infinite in Frege's Grundgesetze der Arithmetik.Richard Heck - 1998 - In Matthias Schirn (ed.), Philosophy of Mathematics Today. Oxford University Press.
    Discusses Frege's formal definitions and characterizations of infinite and finite sets. Speculates that Frege might have discovered the "oddity" in Dedekind's famous proof that all infinite sets are Dedekind infinite and, in doing so, stumbled across an axiom of countable choice.
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  34.  81
    Speaker’s Reference, Semantic Reference, and Intuition.Richard Heck - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):251-269.
    Some years ago, Machery, Mallon, Nichols, and Stich reported the results of experiments that reveal, they claim, cross-cultural differences in speaker’s ‘intuitions’ about Kripke’s famous Gödel–Schmidt case. Several authors have suggested, however, that the question they asked their subjects is ambiguous between speaker’s reference and semantic reference. Machery and colleagues have since made a number of replies. It is argued here that these are ineffective. The larger lesson, however, concerns the role that first-order philosophy should, and more importantly should not, (...)
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  35. Predicative Frege Arithmetic and ‘Everyday’ Mathematics.Richard Heck - 2014 - Philosophia Mathematica 22 (3):279-307.
    The primary purpose of this note is to demonstrate that predicative Frege arithmetic naturally interprets certain weak but non-trivial arithmetical theories. It will take almost as long to explain what this means and why it matters as it will to prove the results.
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  36. What Is a Singular Term?Richard Heck - manuscript
    This paper discusses the question whether it is possible to explain the notion of a singular term without invoking the notion of an object or other ontological notions. The framework here is that of Michael Dummett's discussion in Frege: Philosophy of Language. I offer an emended version of Dummett's conditions, accepting but modifying some suggestions made by Bob Hale, and defend the emended conditions against some objections due to Crispin Wright. This paper dates from about 1989. It originally formed part (...)
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  37.  46
    The Logical Strength of Compositional Principles.Richard Heck - 2018 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 59 (1):1-33.
    This paper investigates a set of issues connected with the so-called conservativeness argument against deflationism. Although I do not defend that argument, I think the discussion of it has raised some interesting questions about whether what I call “compositional principles,” such as “a conjunction is true iff its conjuncts are true,” have substantial content or are in some sense logically trivial. The paper presents a series of results that purport to show that the compositional principles for a first-order language, taken (...)
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  38.  68
    Consistency and the Theory of Truth.Richard Heck - 2015 - Review of Symbolic Logic 8 (3):424-466.
    This paper attempts to address the question what logical strength theories of truth have by considering such questions as: If you take a theory T and add a theory of truth to it, how strong is the resulting theory, as compared to T? Once the question has been properly formulated, the answer turns out to be about as elegant as one could want: Adding a theory of truth to a finitely axiomatized theory T is more or less equivalent to a (...)
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  39. Is Indeterminate Identity Incoherent?Richard Heck - manuscript
    In "Counting and Indeterminate Identity", N. Ángel Pinillos develops an argument that there can be no cases of `Split Indeterminate Identity'. Such a case would be one in which it was indeterminate whether a=b and indeterminate whether a=c, but determinately true that b≠c. The interest of the argument lies, in part, in the fact that it appears to appeal to none of the controversial claims to which similar arguments due to Gareth Evans and Nathan Salmon appeal. I argue for two (...)
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  40. MacFarlane on Relative Truth.Richard Heck - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):88–100.
    John MacFarlane has made relativism popular again. Focusing just on his original discussion, I argue that the data he uses to motivate the position do not, in fact, motivatie it at all. Many of the points made here have since been made, independently, by Hermann Cappelen and John Hawthorne, in their book Relativism and Monadic Truth.
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  41. Use and Meaning.Richard Heck - 2007 - In R. E. Auxier & L. E. Hahn (eds.), The Philosophy of Michael Dummett. Open Court. pp. 531--57.
    Many philosophers have been attracted to the idea that meaning is, in some way or other, determined by use—chief among them, perhaps, Michael Dummett. But John McDowell has argued that Dummett, and anyone else who would seek to draw serious philosophical conclusions from this claim, must face a dilemma: Either the use of a sentence is characterized in terms of what it can be used to say, in which case profound philosophical consequences can hardly follow, or it will be impossible (...)
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  42. The Strength of Truth-Theories.Richard Heck - manuscript
    This paper attempts to address the question what logical strength theories of truth have by considering such questions as: If you take a theory T and add a theory of truth to it, how strong is the resulting theory, as compared to T? It turns out that, in a wide range of cases, we can get some nice answers to this question, but only if we work in a framework that is somewhat different from those usually employed in discussions of (...)
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  43. In Defense of Formal Relationism.Richard Heck - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):243-250.
    In his paper “Flaws of Formal Relationism”, Mahrad Almotahari argues against the sort of response to Frege's Puzzle I have defended elsewhere, which he dubs ‘Formal Relationism’. Almotahari argues that, because of its specifically formal character, this view is vulnerable to objections that cannot be raised against the otherwise similar Semantic Relationism due to Kit Fine. I argue in response that Formal Relationism has neither of the flaws Almotahari claims to identify.
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  44. Intuition and the Substitution Argument.Richard Heck - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):1-30.
    The 'substitution argument' purports to demonstrate the falsity of Russellian accounts of belief-ascription by observing that, e.g., these two sentences: (LC) Lois believes that Clark can fly. (LS) Lois believes that Superman can fly. could have different truth-values. But what is the basis for that claim? It seems widely to be supposed, especially by Russellians, that it is simply an 'intuition', one that could then be 'explained away'. And this supposition plays an especially important role in Jennifer Saul's defense of (...)
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  45.  31
    Frege on Identity and Identity-Statements: A Reply to Thau and Caplan.Richard Heck - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):83-102.
    In ‘What’s Puzzling Gottlob Frege?’ Michael Thau and Ben Caplan argue that, contrary to the common wisdom, Frege never abandoned his early view that, as he puts it in Begriffsschrift, a statement of identity ‘expresses the circumstance that two names have the same content’ and thus asserts the existence of a relation between names rather than a relation between objects. The arguments at the beginning of ‘On Sense and Reference’ do, they agree, raise a problem for that view, but, they (...)
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  46. More on 'A Liar Paradox'.Richard Heck - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (4):270-280.
    A reply to two responses to an earlier paper, "A Liar Paradox".
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  47. Is Compositionality a Trivial Principle?Richard Heck - 2013 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 8 (1):140-55.
    Primarily a response to Paul Horwich's "Composition of Meanings", the paper attempts to refute his claim that compositionality—roughly, the idea that the meaning of a sentence is determined by the meanings of its parts and how they are there combined—imposes no substantial constraints on semantic theory or on our conception of the meanings of words or sentences. Show Abstract.
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  48.  29
    Cognitive Hunger: Remarks on Imogen Dickie's Fixing Reference.Richard Heck - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):738-744.
    The main focus of my comments is the role played in Dickie's view by the idea that "the mind has a need to represent things outside itself". But there are also some remarks about her (very interesting) suggestion that descriptive names can sometimes fail to refer to the object that satisfies the associated description.
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  49.  41
    Is Frege's Definition of the Ancestral Adequate.Richard Heck - 2016 - Philosophia Mathematica 24 (1):91-116.
    Why should one think Frege's definition of the ancestral correct? It can be proven to be extensionally correct, but the argument uses arithmetical induction, and that seems to undermine Frege's claim to have justified induction in purely logical terms. I discuss such circularity objections and then offer a new definition of the ancestral intended to be intensionally correct; its extensional correctness then follows without proof. This new definition can be proven equivalent to Frege's without any use of arithmetical induction. This (...)
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  50.  60
    The Frontloading Argument.Richard Heck - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2583-2608.
    Maybe the most important argument in David Chalmers’s monumental book Constructing the World is the one he calls the ‘Frontloading Argument’, which is used in Chapter 4 to argue for the book’s central thesis, A Priori Scrutability. And, at first blush, the Frontloading Argument looks very strong. I argue here, however, that it is incapable of securing the conclusion it is meant to establish.
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