Results for 'semantic presuppositions'

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  1. Is the Notion of Semantic Presupposition Empty?Wang Xinli - 1999 - Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 34 (73):61-93.
    This paper is an attempt to clarify the notion of semantic presupposition and to refute Böer and Lycan's critique of that notion. The author presents a feasible and coherent formal definition of semantic presupposition after examining several popular definitions of the notion. In terms of this definition, two central arguments against semantic presupposition presented by Böer and Lycan are analyzed and responded to with care. It is concluded that the notion of semantic presupposition is not empty (...)
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  2. 语义预设概念空泛无物吗?(Is the Notion of Semantic Presupposition Empty?).Xinli Wang(王新力) - 2002 - In Contemporary Inquiries Into the Foundational Issues of Philosophy. the Commercial Press, China.
    This paper is an attempt to clarify the notion of semantic presupposition and to refute Böer and Lycan's critique of that notion. The author presents a feasible and coherent formal definition of semantic presupposition after examining several popular definitions of the notion. In terms of this definition, two central arguments against semantic presupposition presented by Böer and Lycan are analyzed and responded to with care. It is concluded that the notion of semantic presupposition is not empty (...)
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  3. 语言预设概念空泛无物吗?(A Defense of the Notion of Semantic Presupposition).Xinli Wang & 王 新力 - 2002 - In Bo Mou & 博 牟 (eds.), 留美哲学博士文选:当代基础理论研究 (Contemporary Inquiries into the Foundational Issues of Philosophy). 商务印书馆 (the Commercial Press, China). pp. 190-224.
    斯特劳逊 (Strawson)的语义预设概念在语义学和语言哲学研究上颇有建树。尽管如此,语义预设概念一直遭受来自各方面的批判。概要说来,对语义预设概念之批判主要来自两个方面:其一,试图抽去语义预设概念的逻辑基础 ,即非真值概念 (the notion of truthvaluelessness),从而达到间接地拒斥语义预设概念之目的。其二,直接批判语义预设概念本身。他们或者论证此概念在理论上不自恰或微不足道,或者断定即使此概念本身在理论上自恰,但实为一空 洞无物之概念。因为我们根本找任何一个语义预设的具体例证。所以,语义预设概念不具任何真正的哲学意义。它只是一个当代神话,理应拒斥。 -/- 玻尔(S. Ber)和莱肯(W. Lycan)对语义预设概念的批判集中代表了以上两个方面。据我所知,迄今不曾有人对他们的批判予以全面和公正的反驳,以致于许多人人云亦云,使得他们的论点至今颇有影响。给予玻尔和莱恩的批判以全面反驳乃本文初 衷。于此相关,我以为很有必要澄清对语义预设概念的诸多误解,从而确立一个理论上自恰,实际上可行,和确有实质性内容的语义预设概念。基于以上考虑,我对语义预设概念批判之反驳包括正 反两个方面。在第二节,我试图建立一个自恰,完备,非庸俗的语义预设概念。基于这一概念,第三节对玻尔和莱恩反对语义预设的两个核心批判予以全面反驳。第四节着重辩护非真值概念。本文的最后结论是:各种批判并未损 伤斯特劳逊的语义预设概念的精髓。语 义预设概念非但不是一个当代神话,而且具有重大哲学意义。 .
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  4. The Semantic Uniformity of Morality: On a Presupposition in Contemporary Metaethics.Benjamin De Mesel - 2016 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 78 (1):121-153.
    Michael Gill has argued that contemporary metaethics proceeds on the assumption that morality is uniform. I apply Gill’s diagnosis to the debate between cognitivism and non-cognitivism. I argue, on the basis of examples, that there is good reason to question the assumption that morality is semantically uniform. I describe the assumption as a symptom of what Wittgenstein has called the philosopher’s “craving for generality‘. I discuss several recent metaethical positions in which the question “Cognitivism or non-cognitivism?‘ appears as a false (...)
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  5. Presupposition and the a Priori.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):509-526.
    This paper argues for and explores the implications of the following epistemological principle for knowability a priori (with 'Ka' abbreviating 'it is knowable a priori that'). -/- (AK) For all ϕ, ψ such that ϕ semantically presupposes ψ: if Ka(ϕ), Ka(ψ). -/- Well-known arguments for the contingent a priori and a priori knowledge of logical truth founder when the semantic presuppositions of the putative items of knowledge are made explicit. Likewise, certain kinds of analytic truth turn out to (...)
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  6. Factive Presupposition and the Truth Condition on Knowledge.Allan Hazlett - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (4):461-478.
    In “The Myth of Factive Verbs” (Hazlett 2010), I had four closely related goals. The first (pp. 497-99, p. 522) was to criticize appeals to ordinary language in epistemology. The second (p. 499) was to criticize the argument that truth is a necessary condition on knowledge because “knows” is factive. The third (pp. 507-19) – which was the intended means of achieving the first two – was to defend a semantics for “knows” on which <S knows p> can be true (...)
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  7. Accommodating Presuppositions.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):37-44.
    In this paper I elaborate on previous criticisms of the influential Stalnakerian account of presuppositions, pointing out that the well-known practice of informative presupposition puts heavy strain on Stalnaker’s pragmatic characterization of the phenomenon of presupposition, in particular of the triggering of presuppositions. Stalnaker has replied to previous criticisms by relying on the well-taken point that we should take into account the time at which presupposition-requirements are to be computed. In defense of a different, ‘semantic’ account of (...)
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  8. Presuppositional Exhaustification.Itai Bassi, Guillermo Del Pinal & Uli Sauerland - 2021 - Semantics and Pragmatics 14:1-42.
    Grammatical theories of Scalar Implicatures make use of an exhaustivity operator exh, which asserts the conjunction of the prejacent with the negation of excludable alternatives. We present a new Grammatical theory of Scalar Implicatures according to which exh is replaced with pex, an operator that contributes its prejacent as asserted content, but the negation of scalar alternatives at a non-at-issue level of meaning. We show that by treating this non-at-issue level as a presupposition, this theory resolves a number of empirical (...)
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  9. Additive Presuppositions Are Derived Through Activating Focus Alternatives.Anna Szabolcsi - 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 Amsterdam Colloquium.
    The additive presupposition of particles like "too"/"even" is uncontested, but usually stipulated. This paper proposes to derive it based on two properties. (i) "too"/"even" is cross-linguistically focus-sensitive, and (ii) in many languages, "too"/"even" builds negative polarity items and free-choice items as well, often in concert with other particles. (i) is the source of its existential presupposition, and (ii) offers clues regarding how additivity comes about. (i)-(ii) together demand a sparse semantics for "too/even," one that can work with different kinds of (...)
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  10. Non-Catastrophic Presupposition Failure.Stephen Yablo - 2006 - In Judith Jarvis Thomson & Alex Byrne (eds.), Content and Modality: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker. Oxford University Press.
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  11. Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism and the Problem of Known Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. pp. 104-119.
    In this chapter, I produce counterexamples to Presuppositional Epistemic Contextualism (PEC), a view about the semantics of ‘knowledge’-ascriptions that I have argued for elsewhere. According to PEC, the semantic content of the predicate ‘know’ at a context C is partly determined by the speakers’ pragmatic presuppositions at C. The problem for the view that I shall be concerned with here arises from the fact that pragmatic presuppositions are sometimes known to be true by the speakers who make (...)
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  12.  66
    Presuppositions as Conversational Phenomena.Alessandro Capone - 2017 - Intercultural Pragmatics 198 (198):22-37.
    In this paper, I distinguish between linguistic and non-linguistic presuppositions. I also propose that we should be interested in conversational presuppositions, which could also be called speaker-meant presuppositions or speaker's presuppositions. I also distinguish between potential and actual presuppositions. I propose that, in some cases, presuppositions can be conversationally implicated and cancellation is possible. I specify what the hard cases are and I try to explain them through ontological considerations. I try to reduce the (...)
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  13. Presuppositions and Antipresuppositions in Conditionals.Brian Leahy - 2011 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory:257-274.
    Abstract Utterances of counterfactual conditionals are typically attended by the information that their antecedents are false. But there is as yet no account of the source of this information that is both detailed and complete. This paper describes the problem of counterfactual antecedent falsity and argues that the problem can be addressed by appeal to an adequate account of the presuppositions of various competing conditional constructions. It argues that indicative conditionals presuppose that their antecedents are epistemically possible, while subjunctive (...)
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  14. In Defense of a Presuppositional Account of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:36-45.
    Abstract In the last fifteen years philosophers and linguists have turned their attention to slurs: derogatory expressions that target certain groups on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and so on. This interest is due to the fact that, on the one hand, slurs possess puzzling linguistic properties; on the other hand, the questions they pose are related to other crucial issues, such as the descriptivism/expressivism divide, the semantics/pragmatics divide and, generally speaking, the theory of meaning. Despite these (...)
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  15. Presuppositional Anaphora Is The Sobel Truth.Daniel Dohrn - 2017 - In Salvatore Pistoia-Reda & Filippo Domaneschi (eds.), Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Approaches on Implicatures and Presuppositions. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 199-238.
    Sobel sequences have had a huge impact on the discussion of counterfactuals. They can be composed of conditionals and mere descriptions. What is especially puzzling about them is that they are often felicitously uttered when their reversal is not. Up to now, there is no unified explanation. I examine two strategies. We might begin with conditionals and proceed to descriptions. Or we might begin with descriptions and proceed to conditionals. I argue for the latter variant and outline a universal theory (...)
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  16. Presuppositional TOO, Postsuppositional TOO.Adrian Brasoveanu & Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - The Dynamic, Inquisitive, and Visionary Life of Φ, ?Φ, and ◊Φ Subtitle: A Festschrift for Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman.
    One of the insights of dynamic semantics in its various guises (Kamp 1981, Heim 1982, Groenendijk & Stokhof 1991, Kamp & Reyle 1993 among many others) is that interpretation is sensitive to left-to-right order. Is order sensitivity, particularly the default left-to-right order of evaluation, a property of particular meanings of certain lexical items (e.g., dynamically interpreted conjunction) or is it a more general feature of meaning composition? If it is a more general feature of meaning composition, is it a processing (...)
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  17. Parsing and Presupposition in the Calculation of Local Contexts.Matthew Mandelkern & Jacopo Romoli - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    In this paper, we use antecedent-final conditionals to formulate two problems for parsing-based theories of presupposition projection and triviality of the kind given in Schlenker 2009. We show that, when it comes to antecedent-final conditionals, parsing-based theories predict filtering of presuppositions where there is in fact projection, and triviality judgments for sentences which are in fact felicitous. More concretely, these theories predict that presuppositions triggered in the antecedent of antecedent-final conditionals will be filtered (i.e. will not project) if (...)
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  18.  45
    Presupposition Triggers and Presumptive Interpretation.Fabrizio Macagno - 2019 - In Alessandro Capone, Marco Carapezza & Franco Lo Piparo (eds.), FuFurther Advances in Pragmatics and Philosophy: Part 2 Theories and Applications. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 155-179.
    Pragmatic presuppositions are analyzed considering their relation with the notion of commitment, namely the dialogical acceptance of a proposition by an interlocutor. The attribution of commitments carried out by means of pragmatic presupposition is shown to depend on the reasonableness of the underlying presumptive reasoning, ultimately grounded on hierarchies of presumptions. On this perspective, the ordinary interpretation of pragmatic presuppositions as the “taking for granted” of propositions signaled by semantic or syntactic triggers becomes only the presumptive, prototypical (...)
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  19. Presuppositional Languages and the Failure of Cross-Language Understanding.Xinli Wang - 2003 - Dialogue 42 (1):53-77.
    Why is mutual understanding between two substantially different comprehensive language communities often problematic and even unattainable? To answer this question, the author first introduces a notion of presuppositional languages. Based on the semantic structure of a presuppositional language, the author identifies a significant condition necessary for effective understanding of a language: the interpreter is able to effectively understand a language only if he/she is able to recognize and comprehend its metaphysical presuppositions. The essential role of the knowledge of (...)
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  20. Presuppositions, Logic, and Dynamics of Belief.Slavko Brkic - 2004 - Prolegomena 3 (2):151-177.
    In researching presuppositions dealing with logic and dynamic of belief we distinguish two related parts. The first part refers to presuppositions and logic, which is not necessarily involved with intentional operators. We are primarily concerned with classical, free and presuppositonal logic. Here, we practice a well known Strawson’s approach to the problem of presupposition in relation to classical logic. Further on in this work, free logic is used, especially Van Fraassen’s research of the role of presupposition in supervaluations (...)
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  21. A Note on the Architecture of Presupposition.Matthew Mandelkern - 2016 - Semantics and Pragmatics 9 (13).
    The Proviso Problem is the discrepancy between the predictions of nearly every major theory of semantic presupposition about what is semantically presupposed by conditionals, disjunctions, and conjunctions, versus observations about what speakers of certain sentences are felt to be presupposing. I argue that the Proviso Problem is a more serious problem than has been widely recognized. After briefly describing the problem and two standard responses to it, I give a number of examples which, I argue, show that those responses (...)
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  22. Asymmetry in Presupposition Projection: The Case of Conjunction.Matthew Mandelkern, Jeremy Zehr, Jacopo Romoli & Florian Schwarz - forthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 27.
    Is the basic mechanism behind presupposition projection fundamentally asymmetric or symmetric? This is a basic question for the theory of presupposition, which also bears on broader issues concerning the source of asymmetries observed in natural language: are these simply rooted in superficial asymmetries of language use— language use unfolds in time, which we experience as fundamentally asymmetric— or can they be, at least in part, directly referenced in linguistic knowledge and representations? In this paper we aim to make progress on (...)
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  23. Modality, Presupposition and Discourse.Patrícia Amaral & Fabio Del Prete - forthcoming - In Ruth Lopes, Juanito Ornelas de Avelar & Sonia Cyrino (eds.), Romance Languages and Linguistic Theory. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
    This paper provides a semantic analysis of the particles afinal (European Portuguese) and alla fine (Italian) in terms of the notion of truth unpersistence, which can be situated at the intersection of epistemic modality and discourse structure. In the analysis proposed, the particles are propositional operators and require that the truth of a proposition p* fail to persist through a temporal succession of epistemic states, this proposition being incompatible with the prejacent, and that the interlocutors share knowledge of a (...)
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  24. Fictional Names in Psychologistic Semantics.Emar Maier - 2017 - Theoretical Linguistics 43 (1-2):1-46.
    Fictional names pose a difficult puzzle for semantics. We can truthfully maintain that Frodo is a hobbit, while at the same time admitting that Frodo does not exist. To reconcile this paradox I propose a way to formalize the interpretation of fiction as ‘prescriptions to imagine’ (Walton 1990) within an asymmetric semantic framework in the style of Kamp (1990). In my proposal, fictional statements are analyzed as dynamic updates on an imagination component of the interpreter’s mental state, while plain (...)
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  25. A Unified Non Monstrous Semantics for Third Person Pronouns.Fabio Del Prete & Sandro Zucchi - 2017 - Semantics and Pragmatics 10.
    It is common practice in formal semantics to assume that the context specifies an assignment of values to variables and that the same variables that receive contextually salient values when they occur free may also be bound by quantifiers and λs. These assumptions are at work to provide a unified account of free and bound uses of third person pronouns, namely one by which the same lexical item is involved in both uses. One way to pursue this account is to (...)
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  26. Complex Demonstratives, Hidden Arguments, and Presupposition.Ethan Nowak - 2019 - Synthese (4):1-36.
    Standard semantic theories predict that non-deictic readings for complex demonstratives should be much more widely available than they in fact are. If such readings are the result of a lexical ambiguity, as Kaplan (1977) and others suggest, we should expect them to be available wherever a definite description can be used. The same prediction follows from ‘hidden argument’ theories like the ones described by King (2001) and Elbourne (2005). Wolter (2006), however, has shown that complex demonstratives admit non-deictic interpretations (...)
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  27. Gradational Accuracy and Nonclassical Semantics.J. Robert G. Williams - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (4):513-537.
    Joyce (1998) gives an argument for probabilism: the doctrine that rational credences should conform to the axioms of probability. In doing so, he provides a distinctive take on how the normative force of probabilism relates to the injunction to believe what is true. But Joyce presupposes that the truth values of the propositions over which credences are defined are classical. I generalize the core of Joyce’s argument to remove this presupposition. On the same assumptions as Joyce uses, the credences of (...)
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  28. Moral Realism and Semantic Accounts of Moral Vagueness.Ali Abasnezhad - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-13.
    Miriam Schoenfield argues that moral realism and moral vagueness imply ontic vagueness. In particular, she argues that neither shifty nor rigid semantic accounts of vagueness can provide a satisfactory explanation of moral vagueness for moral realists. This paper constitutes a response. I argue that Schoenfield's argument against the shifty semantic account presupposes that moral indeterminacies can, in fact, be resolved determinately by crunching through linguistic data. I provide different reasons for rejecting this assumption. Furthermore, I argue that Schoenfield's (...)
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  29. Definite Descriptions and Semantic Pluralism.Brendan Murday - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):255-284.
    We pose two arguments for the view that sentences containing definite descriptions semantically express multiple propositions: a general proposition as Russell suggested, and a singular proposition featuring the individual who uniquely satisfies the description at the world-time of utterance. One argument mirrors David Kaplan's arguments that indexicals express singular propositions through a context-sensitive character. The second argument mirrors Kent Bach's and Stephen Neale's arguments for pluralist views about terms putatively triggering conventional implicatures, appositive, and nonrestrictive relative clauses. After presenting these (...)
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  30. Dissatisfaction Theory.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 26:391-416.
    I propose a new theory of semantic presupposition, which I call dissatisfaction theory. I first briefly review a cluster of problems − known collectively as the proviso problem − for most extant theories of presupposition, arguing that the main pragmatic response to them faces a serious challenge. I avoid these problems by adopting two changes in perspective on presupposition. First, I propose a theory of projection according to which presuppositions project unless they are locally entailed. Second, I reject (...)
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  31. Why the Debate Between Originalists and Evolutionists Rests on a Semantic Mistake.John M. Collins - 2011 - Law and Philosophy 30 (6):645-684.
    I argue that the dispute between two leading theories of interpretation of legal texts, textual originalism and textual evolutionism, depends on the false presupposition that changes in the way a word is used necessarily require a change in the word’s meaning. Semantic externalism goes a long way towards reconciling these views by showing how a word’s semantic properties can be stable over time, even through vicissitudes of usage. I argue that temporal externalism can account for even more (...) stability, however. Temporal externalism is the theory that the content of an utterance at time t may be determined by developments in linguistic usage subsequent to t. If this semantic theory is correct, then the originalist and evolutionist positions effectively collapse. Originalism is correct in that the original meaning of the text is the meaning that is binding on jurists, but evolutionism is vindicated, as it is the current practices and standards that determine the meaning the text now has, and has always had. Objections to temporal externalism, and to its application to the interpretation of legal texts, are considered and addressed. (shrink)
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  32. Incommensurability and Cross-Language Communication.Xinli Wang - 2007 - Ashgate Publishing Ltd, England.
    Against the received translation-failure interpretation, this book presents a presuppositional interpretation of incommensurability, that is, the thesis of incommensurability as cross-language communication breakdown due to the incompatible metaphysical presuppositions underlying two competing presuppositional languages, such as scientific languages. This semantically sound, epistemologically well-established, and metaphysically profound interpretation not only affirms the tenability of the notion of incommensurability and confirms the reality of the phenomenon of incommensurability, but also makes some significant contributions to the discussion of many related issues, such (...)
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  33. Cancellation, Negation, and Rejection.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen, Peter Collins, Karolina Krzyżanowska, Ulrike Hahn & Karl Christoph Klauer - 2019 - Cognitive Psychology 108:42-71.
    In this paper, new evidence is presented for the assumption that the reason-relation reading of indicative conditionals ('if A, then C') reflects a conventional implicature. In four experiments, it is investigated whether relevance effects found for the probability assessment of indicative conditionals (Skovgaard-Olsen, Singmann, and Klauer, 2016a) can be classified as being produced by a) a conversational implicature, b) a (probabilistic) presupposition failure, or c) a conventional implicature. After considering several alternative hypotheses and the accumulating evidence from other studies as (...)
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  34. Truth-Value Gaps, Ontological Commitments, and Incommensurability (Doctoral Dissertation).Xinli Wang - 1998 - Dissertation, The University of Connecticut
    According to the accepted translation-failure interpretation, the problem of incommensurability involves the nature of the meaning-referential relation between scientific languages. The incommensurability thesis is that some competing scientific languages are mutually untranslatable due to the radical variance of meaning or/and reference of the terms they employ. I argue that this interpretation faces many difficulties and cannot give us a tenable, coherent, and integrated notion of incommensurability. It has to be rejected. ;On the basis of two case studies, I find that (...)
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  35.  26
    Attitude Verbs' Local Context.Kyle H. Blumberg & Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    Schlenker 2009, 2010a,b provides an algorithm for deriving the presupposition projection properties of an expression from that expression’s classical semantics. In this paper, we consider the predictions of Schlenker’s algorithm as applied to attitude verbs. More specifically, we compare Schlenker’s theory with a prominent view which maintains that attitudes exhibit belief projection, so that presupposition triggers in their scope imply that the attitude holder believes the presupposition (Kartunnen, 1974; Heim, 1992; Sudo, 2014). We show that Schlenker’s theory does not predict (...)
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  36. 语言分类系统、真值间隔和不可通约性 — 对库恩关于不可通约性的分类学解释之重建.Xinli Wang & 王 新力 - 2004 - World Philosophy 世界哲学 2004 (5).
    摘要:通常所接受对库恩有关不可通约性的分类学解释的理解建立在不可译性概念之上,因而是相当不完善的。为了弥补此不足,本文在分类之逻辑语义理论 (a logical-semantic theory of taxonomy)、真值语义理论 (a semantic theory of truth-value),以及跨语言交流的真值条件理论 (a truth-value conditional theory of cross-language communication) 之基础上,对库恩有关不可通约性的分类学解释进行了重建。根据这种重建,如果两个科学语言具有不相匹配的分类结构,则当一科学语言的核心语句在其所属语境中具有真值、而在另一科学语言之语境中考虑缺乏真值时,这两 种科学语言乃不可通约。通过这种重建,库恩对于不可通约性的成熟解释并非基于保真 (truth-preserving) 可译性或不可译性的概念,而是基于保留真值状态 (truth-value-preserving) 的跨语言交流概念之上。这种重建使得库恩有关不可通约性的解释更具坚实的理论基础、也在概念上更加完整。.
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  37. Parasitic Attitudes.Emar Maier - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (3):205-236.
    Karttunen observes that a presupposition triggered inside an attitude ascription, can be filtered out by a seemingly inaccessible antecedent under the scope of a preceding belief ascription. This poses a major challenge for presupposition theory and the semantics of attitude ascriptions. I solve the problem by enriching the semantics of attitude ascriptions with some independently argued assumptions on the structure and interpretation of mental states. In particular, I propose a DRT-based representation of mental states with a global belief-layer and a (...)
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  38. The Externalist Challenge to Conceptual Engineering.Steffen Koch - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):327–348.
    Unlike conceptual analysis, conceptual engineering does not aim to identify the content that our current concepts do have, but the content which these concepts should have. For this method to show the results that its practitioners typically aim for, being able to change meanings seems to be a crucial presupposition. However, certain branches of semantic externalism raise doubts about whether this presupposition can be met. To the extent that meanings are determined by external factors such as causal histories or (...)
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  39. The Social Life of Slurs.Geoffrey Nunberg - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal, Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford University Press.
    The words we call slurs are just plain vanilla descriptions like ‘cowboy’ and ‘coat hanger’. They don't semantically convey any disparagement of their referents, whether as content, conventional implicature, presupposition, “coloring” or mode of presentation. What distinguishes 'kraut' and 'German' is metadata rather than meaning: the former is the conventional description for Germans among Germanophobes when they are speaking in that capacity, in the same way 'mad' is the conventional expression that some teenagers use as an intensifier when they’re emphasizing (...)
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  40. Color Adjectives, Standards, and Thresholds: An Experimental Investigation.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (3):1--40.
    Are color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.) relative adjectives or absolute adjectives? Existing theories of the meaning of color adjectives attempt to answer that question using informal ("armchair") judgments. The informal judgments of theorists conflict: it has been proposed that color adjectives are absolute with standards anchored at the minimum degree on the scale, that they are absolute but have near-midpoint standards, and that they are relative. In this paper we report two experiments, one based on entailment patterns and one based (...)
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  41. Disagreeing in Context.Teresa Marques - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:1-12.
    This paper argues for contextualism about predicates of personal taste and evaluative predicates in general, and offers a proposal of how apparently resilient disagreements are to be explained. The present proposal is complementary to others that have been made in the recent literature. Several authors, for instance (López de Sa, 2008; Sundell, 2011; Huvenes, 2012; Marques and García-Carpintero, 2014; Marques, 2014a), have recently defended semantic contextualism for those kinds of predicates from the accusation that it faces the problem of (...)
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  42. Coreference and Meaning.N. Ángel Pinillos - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):301 - 324.
    Sometimes two expressions in a discourse can be about the same thing in a way that makes that very fact evident to the participants. Consider, for example, 'he' and 'John' in 'John went to the store and he bought some milk'. Let us call this 'de jure' coreference. Other times, coreference is 'de facto' as with 'Mark Twain' and 'Samuel Clemens' in a sincere use of 'Mark Twain is not Samuel Clemens'. Here, agents can understand the speech without knowing that (...)
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  43. Subclausal Local Contexts.Kyle H. Blumberg & Amir Anvari - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    One of the central topics in semantic theory over the last few decades concerns the nature of local contexts. Recently, theorists have tried to develop general, non-stipulative accounts of local contexts (Schlenker, 2009; Ingason, 2016; Mandelkern & Romoli, 2017a). In this paper, we contribute to this literature by drawing attention to the local contexts of subclausal expressions. More specifically, we focus on the local contexts of quantificational determiners, e.g. `all', `both', etc. Our central tool for probing the local contexts (...)
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  44. Oddness, Modularity, and Exhaustification.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):115-158.
    According to the `grammatical account', scalar implicatures are triggered by a covert exhaustification operator present in logical form. This account covers considerable empirical ground, but there is a peculiar pattern that resists treatment given its usual implementation. The pattern centers on odd assertions like #"Most lions are mammals" and #"Some Italians come from a beautiful country", which seem to trigger implicatures in contexts where the enriched readings conflict with information in the common ground. Magri (2009, 2011) argues that, to account (...)
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  45. Free Choice Permission and the Counterfactuals of Pragmatics.Melissa Fusco - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (4):275-290.
    This paper addresses a little puzzle with a surprisingly long pedigree and a surprisingly large wake: the puzzle of Free Choice Permission. I begin by presenting a popular sketch of a pragmatic solution to the puzzle, due to Kratzer and Shimoyama, which has received a good deal of discussion, endorsement and elaboration in recent work :535–590, 2006; Fox, in: Sauerland and Stateva Presupposition and implicature in compositional semantics, 2007; Geurts, Mind Lang 24:51–79, 2009; von Fintel, Central APA session on Deontic (...)
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  46. And and And*.Andreas Stokke - 2013 - In Laurence Goldstein (ed.), Brevity. Oxford, UK:
    This paper discusses a recent opposition between the influential dynamic semantic account of presupposition projection and a recent Gricean-pragmatic theory. The Gricean-pragmatic theory is partly motivated by an influential ob- jection to dynamic semantics based on the compatibility of dynamic systems with connectives and operators exhibiting deviant projection behaviors. By identifying key features of the role of prediction and explanation in semantics, it is argued that the objection is based on a mistaken conception of the involve- ment of empirical (...)
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  47. Objectionable Thick Concepts in Denials.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):439-469.
    So-called "thick" moral concepts are distinctive in that they somehow "hold together" evaluation and description. But how? This paper argues against the standard view that the evaluations which thick concepts may be used to convey belong to sense or semantic content. That view cannot explain linguistic data concerning how thick concepts behave in a distinctive type of disagreements and denials which arise when one speaker regards another's thick concept as "objectionable" in a certain sense. The paper also briefly considers (...)
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  48. The Importance of Fictional Properties.Sarah Sawyer - 2015 - In Stuart Brock & Anthony Everett (eds.), Fictional Objects. Oxford, UK: pp. 208-229.
    Semantic theories of fictional names generally presuppose, either explicitly or implicitly, that fictional predicates are guaranteed a referent. I argue that this presupposition is inconsistent with anti-realist theories of fictional characters and that it cannot be taken for granted by realist theories of fictional characters. The question of whether a fictional name refers to a fictional character cannot be addressed independently of the much-neglected question of whether a fictional predicate refers to a fictional property.
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  49. What Can Neuroscience Tell Us About Reference?Berit Brogaard - 2019 - In Barbara Abbott & Jeanette Gundel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Reference. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 365-383.
    In traditional formal semantics the notions of reference, truth and satisfaction are basic and that of representation is derivative and dispensable. If a level of representation is included in the formal presentation of the theory, it is included as a heuristic. Semantics in the traditional sense has no bearing on any form of mental processing. When reference is understood within this framework, cognitive neuroscience cannot possibly provide any insights into the nature of reference. Traditional semantics, however, has numerous shortcomings that (...)
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  50. On Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals".Fabrizio Cariani - forthcoming - In Louise McNally & Zoltan Szabo (eds.), Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, Vol 100. Springer.
    This paper is a guide to the main ideas and innovations in Robert Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals". The paper is for a volume of essays on twenty-one classics of formal semantics edited by Louise McNally and Zoltàn Gendler Szabò.
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