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Philosophy of Language

Edited by Berit Brogaard (University of Missouri, St. Louis)
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  1. added 2015-07-01
    Caleb Dewey & Garri Hovhannisyan, Inductive Theories Are Cognitive Metaphors.
    For decades, metaphors have been known to be very important within science. Recently, Brown (2008) strengthened their importance so far as to argue that all scientific models are metaphors (in the cognitive sense). We stretch their importance even further to say that all scientific theories are cognitive metaphors as long as those theories are yielded by a coherent account of induction. Since standard induction is incoherent, as per Hume and Duhem, we primarily concern ourselves with defining a coherent account of (...)
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  2. added 2015-07-01
    Christoph C. Pfisterer (2008). Moores Paradox, Behaupten, Urteilen. Conceptus: Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie 37 (91):41-62.
    Moore was first to notice that it is absurd to assert sentences of the form “p, but I don’t believe it.” As it looks even more absurd to believe what such a sentence states, explanations of Moore’s paradox have primarily focused on the beliefs thus asserted. Shoemaker, for example, analyzes these beliefs in terms of conflicting higher order beliefs. Kriegel, in return, provides an explanation in terms of logical contradictions. I shall argue that both accounts rest on the mistaken assumption (...)
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  3. added 2015-06-30
    Christopher G. Lucas & Charles Kemp (forthcoming). An Improved Probabilistic Account of Counterfactual Reasoning. Psychological Review.
    When people want to identify the causes of an event, assign credit or blame, or learn from their mistakes, they often reflect on how things could have gone differently. In this kind of reasoning, one considers a counterfactual world in which some events are different from their real-world counterparts and considers what else would have changed. Researchers have recently proposed several probabilistic models that aim to capture how people do (or should) reason about counterfactuals. We present a new model and (...)
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  4. added 2015-06-29
    Ulf Hlobil (forthcoming). Anti-Normativism Evaluated. International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    I argue that recent attempts to show that meaning and content are not normative fail. The two most important arguments anti-normativists have presented are what I call the ‘argument from constitution’ and the ‘argument from guidance’. Both of these arguments suffer from the same basic problem: they overlook the possibility of focusing on assessability by norms, rather than compliance with norms or guidance by norms. Moreover, I argue that the anti-normativists arguments fail even if we ignore this basic problem. Thus, (...)
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  5. added 2015-06-26
    Luka Crnič, Emmanuel Chemla & Danny Fox (forthcoming). Scalar Implicatures of Embedded Disjunction. Natural Language Semantics:1-35.
    Sentences with disjunction in the scope of a universal quantifier, Every A is P or Q, tend to give rise to distributive inferences that each of the disjuncts holds of at least one individual in the domain of the quantifier, Some A is P & Some A is Q. These inferences are standardly derived as an entailment of the meaning of the sentence together with the scalar implicature that it is not the case that either disjunct holds of every individual (...)
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  6. added 2015-06-26
    Daniel Cohnitz (2015). Moral Realism and Faultless Disagreement. Ratio 28 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Is moral realism compatible with the existence of moral disagreements? Since moral realism requires that if two persons are in disagreement over some moral question at least one must be objectively mistaken, it seems difficult to uphold that there can be moral disagreements without fault. Alison Hills argued that moral realism can accommodate such disagreements. Her strategy is to argue that moral reasoners can be faultless in making an objectively false moral judgement if they followed the relevant epistemic norm, i.e. (...)
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  7. added 2015-06-24
    Clas Weber (forthcoming). Being at the Centre: Self-Location in Thought and Language. In M. Garcia-Carpintero & S. Torre (eds.), About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication. Oxford University Press.
    Self-locating attitudes and assertions provide a challenge to the received view of mental and linguistic intentionality. In this paper I try to show that the best way to meet this challenge is to adopt relativistic, centred possible worlds accounts for both belief and communication. First, I argue that self-locating beliefs support a centred account of belief. Second, I argue that self-locating utterances support a complementary centred account of communication. Together, these two claims motivate a unified centred conception of belief and (...)
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  8. added 2015-06-21
    Chien-Hsing Ho (forthcoming). Resolving the Ineffability Paradox. Bloomsbury Academic.
    A number of contemporary philosophers think that the unqualified statement “X is unspeakable” faces the danger of self-referential absurdity: if this statement is true, it must simultaneously be false, given that X is speakable by the predicate word “unspeakable.” This predicament is in this chapter formulated as an argument that I term the “ineffability paradox.” After examining the Buddhist semantic theory of apoha (exclusion) and an apoha solution to the issue, I resort to a few Chinese Buddhist and Hindu philosophical (...)
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  9. added 2015-06-18
    Casey Rebecca Johnson (forthcoming). Testimony and the Constitutive Norm of Assertion. International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    I can, given the right conditions, transmit my knowledge to you by telling you some information. If I know the time, and if all goes well, I can bring it about that you know it too. If conditions are right, all I have to do is assert to you what time it is. Paradigmatically, speakers use assertions to transmit what they know to their hearers. Clearly, assertion and testimony are tightly connected. The nature of this connection, however, is not so (...)
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  10. added 2015-06-18
    Susanne Bobzien (2015). I—Columnar Higher‐Order Vagueness, or Vagueness is Higher‐Order Vagueness. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):61-87.
    Most descriptions of higher-order vagueness in terms of traditional modal logic generate so-called higher-order vagueness paradoxes. The one that doesn't is problematic otherwise. Consequently, the present trend is toward more complex, non-standard theories. However, there is no need for this. In this paper I introduce a theory of higher-order vagueness that is paradox-free and can be expressed in the first-order extension of a normal modal system that is complete with respect to single-domain Kripke-frame semantics. This is the system QS4M+BF+FIN. It (...)
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  11. added 2015-06-17
    Jake Chandler (forthcoming). Preservation, Commutativity and Modus Ponens: Two Recent Triviality Results. Mind.
    In a recent pair of publications, Richard Bradley has offered two novel no-go theorems involving the principle of ‘Preservation’ for conditionals, which guarantees that one’s prior conditional beliefs will exhibit a certain degree of inertia in the face of a change in one’s non-conditional beliefs. -/- We first note that Bradley’s original discussions of these results—in which he finds motivation for rejecting Preservation, first in a principle of ‘Commutativity’, then in a doxastic analogue of the rule of Modus Ponens—are problematic (...)
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  12. added 2015-06-17
    Harry Smit (2014). The Social Evolution of Human Nature: From Biology to Language. Cambridge University Press.
    This book sheds new light on the problem of how the human mind evolved. Harry Smit argues that current studies of this problem misguidedly try to solve it by using variants of the Cartesian conception of the mind, and shows that combining the Aristotelian conception with Darwin's theory provides us with far more interesting answers. He discusses the core problem of how we can understand language evolution in terms of inclusive fitness theory, and investigates how scientific and conceptual insights can (...)
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  13. added 2015-06-14
    Santiago Echeverri (forthcoming). Object Files, Properties, and Perceptual Content. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-25.
    Object files are mental representations that enable perceptual systems to keep track of objects as numerically the same. How is their reference fixed? A prominent approach, championed by Zenon Pylyshyn and John Campbell, makes room for a non-satisfactional use of properties to fix reference. This maneuver has enabled them to reconcile a singularist view of reference with the intuition that properties must play a role in reference fixing. This paper examines Campbell’s influential defense of this strategy. After criticizing it, a (...)
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  14. added 2015-06-13
    Alexander Jackson (forthcoming). From Relative Truth to Finean Non-Factualism. Synthese:1-19.
    This paper compares two ‘relativist’ theories about deliciousness: truth-relativism, and Kit Fine’s non-factualism about a subject-matter. Contemporary truth-relativism is presented as a linguistic thesis; its metaphysical underpinning is often neglected. I distinguish three views about the obtaining of worldly states of affairs concerning deliciousness, and argue that none yields a satisfactory version of truth-relativism. Finean non-factualism about deliciousness is not subject to the problems with truth-relativism. I conclude that Finean non-factualism is the better relativist theory. As I explain, non-facualism about (...)
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  15. added 2015-06-13
    Tue Trinh & Andreas Haida (forthcoming). Constraining the Derivation of Alternatives. Natural Language Semantics:1-22.
    Inferences that result from exhaustification of a sentence S depend on the set of alternatives to S. In this paper, we present some inference patterns that are problematic for previous theories of alternatives and propose some structural constraints on the derivation of formal alternatives which derive the observations.
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  16. added 2015-06-13
    Jeffrey C. King (2014). The Metasemantics of Contextual Sensitivity. In Alexi Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. 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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  17. added 2015-06-12
    Tim Klaassen, Wittgenstein as a Kantian Philosopher.
    After giving a short outline and interpretation of the Tractatus, I give reasons why we should view the Wittgenstein of the Tracatus as a kind of Kantian philosopher.
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  18. added 2015-06-11
    Heidi Savage, Why Names Are Almost Never Predicates.
    There are at least three kinds of cases offered as evidence that proper names ought to be treated as predicates: attribution cases, quantifier cases, and disambiguation cases. None of these cases conclusively shows that names are predicates. In attribution cases, for example, in saying that Frank is a real Napoleon, we are not attributing the property of being Napoleon to Frank. Instead, what we are doing is comparing the properties Frank has to the properties Napoleon has, and we can easily (...)
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  19. added 2015-06-11
    Daniel Hardt & Line Mikkelsen (forthcoming). Same but Different. Linguistics and Philosophy:1-26.
    In this paper, we argue that same is fundamentally different from different, in that same imposes a discourse condition on eventualities, while different compares individuals. This difference has not been noted in previous literature. Furthermore, in the literature on same, there has been a persistent puzzle about the contribution of the definite article with which same must co-occur. We show that this puzzle is resolved once the contribution of same is adjusted to apply to eventualities: then the definite article can (...)
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  20. added 2015-06-09
    Craig Warmke (forthcoming). Modal Intensionalism. Journal of Philosophy.
    I offer an alternative semantics for modal propositional logic without possible worlds, an accessibility relation, or formally similar stand-ins for either.
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  21. added 2015-06-09
    Sean Walsh (forthcoming). Predicativity, the Russell-Myhill Paradox, and Church’s Intensional Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-50.
    This paper sets out a predicative response to the Russell-Myhill paradox of propositions within the framework of Church's intensional logic. A predicative response places restrictions on the full comprehension schema, which asserts that every formula determines a higher-order entity. In addition to motivating the restriction on the comprehension schema from intuitions about the stability of reference, this paper contains a consistency proof for the predicative response to the Russell-Myhill paradox. The models used to establish this consistency also model other axioms (...)
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  22. added 2015-06-08
    José Gusmão Rodrigues (2013). O Relativismo Acerca da Verdade Refuta-se a Si Mesmo? Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 69 (03).
    Nas secções que se seguem, primeiro explorarei várias questões conceptuais e de enquadramento teórico, como o que se entende por relativismo e como o relativismo acerca da verdade se distingue de outros tipos de relativismo, uma elucidação da ideia de verdade relativa e, finalmente, em que sentidos se pode dizer que uma dada tese é auto-refutante e como se classificam os vários argumentos designados para provar que o relativismo se refuta a si mesmo nesses tipos de auto-refutação. Nas últimas, e (...)
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  23. added 2015-06-08
    Christoph Jäger (1999). Selbstreferenz und Selbstbewusstsein (Self-Reference and Self-Knowledge). mentis.
  24. added 2015-06-03
    Neil Feit (2013). Belief Reports and the Property Theory of Content. In Neil Feit & Alessandro Capone (eds.), Attitudes De Se: Linguistics, Epistemology, Metaphysics. CSLI Publications. 105-31.
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  25. added 2015-06-02
    Tristan Haze (forthcoming). A Problem for Hofweber's Ontological Project. Philosophia 43:1-4.
    Thomas Hofweber's well-known ontological project crucially involves inferring negative existential statements from statements of non-reference, i.e. statements that say that some term or terms do not refer. Here, after explaining the context of this move, I aim to show that it is fallacious, and that this vitiates Hofweber's ontological project.
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  26. added 2015-05-31
    David Nicolas (2014). Review of Oliver & Smiley, Plural Logic, 2013. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2.
  27. added 2015-05-29
    Elmar Geir Unnsteinsson (2015). Wittgenstein as a Gricean Intentionalist. British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-18.
    According to the dominant view, the later Wittgenstein identified the meaning of an expression with its use in the language and vehemently rejected any kind of mentalism or intentionalism about linguistic meaning. I argue that the dominant view is wrong. The textual evidence, which has either been misunderstood or overlooked, indicates that at least since the Blue Book Wittgenstein thought speaker’s intentions determine the contents of linguistic utterances. His remarks on use are only intended to emphasize the heterogeneity of natural (...)
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  28. added 2015-05-28
    David Nicolas, Conversions of Count Nouns Into Mass Nouns in French.
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  29. added 2015-05-28
    Andrew Peet (forthcoming). Testimony and the Epistemic Uncertainty of Interpretation. Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    In the epistemology of testimony it is often assumed that audiences are able to reliably recover asserted contents. In the philosophy of language this claim is contentious. This paper outlines one problem concerning the recovery of asserted contents , and argues that it prevents audiences from gaining testimonial knowledge in a range of cases . The recovery problem, in essence, is simply that due to the collective epistemic limitations of the speaker and audience speakers will, in certain cases, be insensitive (...)
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  30. added 2015-05-28
    David Nicolas, The Logic of Mass Expressions. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  31. added 2015-05-28
    David Nicolas (2011). Review of J.Pelletier (Ed.), Kinds, Things, and Stuff, 2010. [REVIEW] Language 87.
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  32. added 2015-05-28
    David Nicolas (2007). Mass Nouns and Plural Logic (Extended Abstract). In Proceedings of the 16th Amsterdam Colloquium. Palteam.
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  33. added 2015-05-28
    Philippe de Brabanter, David Nicolas, Isidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva Fernandez (2007). Les usages déférentiels. In L'épistémologie sociale. Editions de l'EHESS.
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  34. added 2015-05-28
    David Nicolas (2002). La distinction entre noms massifs et noms comptables. Editions Peeters.
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  35. added 2015-05-28
    David Nicolas (2002). Do Mass Nouns Constitute a Semantically Uniform Class? Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics 26.
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  36. added 2015-05-28
    David Nicolas (2002). La Catégorisation des Noms Communs: Massifs Et Comptables. In Catégorisation et langage. Hermès.
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  37. added 2015-05-25
    Robert Briscoe (forthcoming). Color Categorization. In Derek Brown & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Colour. Routledge.
  38. added 2015-05-19
    Arvid Båve, Conceptual Role Semantics. Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    Contents: 1. Introduction , 2. Overviews , 3.History and major works, 3.1 Gerhard Gentzen and proof-theory, 3.2 Wilfrid Sellars, 3.3 Gilbert Harman, 3.4 Christopher Peacocke, 3.5 Robert Brandom , 3.6 Paul Horwich, 3.7 Major works by other authors, 4. Mental content first vs. linguistic meaning first, 4.1 Content-first views, 4.2 Meaning-first views, 5. Wide vs. narrow CRS, 5.1 Overviews and major works about externalism/internalism, 5.2 Discussions about externalism within CRS, 6. Descriptive vs. normative CRS, 6.1 Overviews and major works about (...)
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  39. added 2015-05-19
    Viatcheslav Vetrov (2015). Instrument Metapher: Das Guanzhuibian Im Licht der Manuskriptforschung (English Summary). LIT.
  40. added 2015-05-19
    Marco Mazzone (2015). Constructing the Context Through Goals and Schemata: Top-Down Processes in Comprehension and Beyond. Frontiers in Psychology 1 (13).
    My main purpose here is to provide an account of context selection in utterance understanding in terms of the role played by schemata and goals in top-down processing. The general idea is that information is organized hierarchically, with items iteratively organized in chunks—here called “schemata”—at multiple levels, so that the activation of any items spreads to schemata that are the most accessible due to previous experience. The activation of a schema, in turn, activates its other components, so as to predict (...)
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  41. added 2015-05-19
    Jonathan Ochs (2013). The Natural Definition of Reality. Aporia 23 (2):13-23.
    The problem with ontological commitment is that when we symbolize the statements that we make about what 'exists' or what is 'real', they do not always translate to exactly that which we intend to express. In this essay, I explore the relation between 'Reality' and how we describe reality. I evaluate the accounts of three prominent philosophers on the topic, address their shortcomings, and introduce my own account; which I call "The Natural Definition of Reality".
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  42. added 2015-05-19
    Naomi Osorio-Kupferblum (2013). Hearing It Rain - Millikan on Language Learning. Beiträge der Österreichischen Ludwig Wittgenstein Gesellschaft 21.
    In her ‘Spracherwerb’(2012) Ruth Millikan gives a compelling account of language acquisition based on our ability to track objects. I argue that, and how, it is undermined by her insistence on equating understanding language utterances and sense perception, point to idealist hazards, and plead against propositionality and for imagism in order to safeguard the account’s important potential for giving a comprehensive explication of meaning.
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  43. added 2015-05-19
    Viatcheslav Vetrov (2012). Zur Dekonstruktion des Un/Gesunden in philologischen Taxonomien: westlich-chinesischer Renaissance-Diskurs. Oriens Extremus 51:231-268.
  44. added 2015-05-18
    Maciej Witek (2015). Mechanisms of Illocutionary Games. Language and Communication 42:11-22.
    The paper develops a score-keeping model of illocutionary games and uses it to account for mechanisms responsible for creating institutional facts construed as rights and commitments of participants in a dialogue. After introducing the idea of Austinian games—understood as abstract entities representing different levels of the functioning of discourse—the paper defines the main categories of the proposed model: interactional negotiation, illocutionary score, appropriateness rules and kinematics rules. Finally, it discusses the phenomenon of accommodation as it occurs in illocutionary games and (...)
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  45. added 2015-05-17
    Simone Aurora (2012). Deleuze, Guattari e le macchine semiotiche. Janus. Quaderni Del Circolo Glossematico 10:141-157.
  46. added 2015-05-16
    Jeff Kochan (2015). Objective Styles in Northern Field Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:1-12.
    Social studies of science have often treated natural field sites as extensions of the laboratory. But this overlooks the unique specificities of field sites. While lab sites are usually private spaces with carefully controlled borders, field sites are more typically public spaces with fluid boundaries and diverse inhabitants. Field scientists must therefore often adapt their work to the demands and interests of local agents. I propose to address the difference between lab and field in sociological terms, as a difference in (...)
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  47. added 2015-05-15
    Nat Hansen, Experimental Philosophy of Language. Oxford Handbooks Online.
    Experimental philosophy of language uses experimental methods developed in the cognitive sciences to investigate topics of interest to philosophers of language. This article describes the methodological background for the development of experimental approaches to topics in philosophy of language, distinguishes negative and positive projects in experimental philosophy of language, and evaluates experimental work on the reference of proper names and natural kind terms. The reliability of expert judgments vs. the judgments of ordinary speakers, the role that ambiguity plays in influencing (...)
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  48. added 2015-05-15
    David Mark Kovacs (forthcoming). Self-Made People. Mind.
    The Problem of Overlappers is a puzzle about what makes it the case, and how we can know, that we have the parts we intuitively think we have. In this paper, I develop and motivate an overlooked solution to this puzzle. According to what I call the self-making view it is within certain constraints in our power to decide what we refer to with the personal pronoun ‘I’, so the truth of most of our beliefs about our parts is ensured (...)
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  49. added 2015-05-15
    Justin Khoo (2015). Modal Disagreements. Inquiry (5):1-24.
    It is often assumed that when one party felicitously rejects an assertion made by an- other party, the first party thinks that the proposition asserted by the second is false. This assumption underlies various disagreement arguments used to challenge contex- tualism about some class of expressions. As such, many contextualists have resisted these arguments on the grounds that the disagreements in question may not be over the proposition literally asserted. The result appears to be a dialectical stalemate, with no independent (...)
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  50. added 2015-05-14
    Neil Mehta (forthcoming). Knowledge and Other Norms for Assertion, Action, and Belief. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Here I advance a unified account of the structure of the epistemic normativity of assertion, action, and belief. According to my Teleological Account, all of these are epistemically successful just in case they fulfill the primary aim of knowledgeability, an aim which in turn generates a host of secondary epistemic norms. The central features of the Teleological Account are these: it is compact in its reliance on a single central explanatory posit, knowledge-centered in its insistence that knowledge sets the fundamental (...)
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