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Philosophy of Language

Edited by Berit Brogaard (University of Missouri St. Louis)
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  1. added 2014-10-29
    Jamin Asay (forthcoming). Epistemicism and the Liar. Synthese.
    One well known approach to the soritical paradoxes is epistemicism, the view that propositions involving vague notions have definite truth values, though it is impossible in principle to know what they are. Recently, Paul Horwich has extended this approach to the liar paradox, arguing that the liar proposition has a truth value, though it is impossible to know which one it is. The main virtue of the epistemicist approach is that it need not reject classical logic, and in particular the (...)
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  2. added 2014-10-28
    Sweeney Paula (forthcoming). The Utility of Content-Relativism. Dialectica.
    Content-relativism is a semantic theory that states that the content of an uttered sentence can vary according to some feature of an assessment context. This paper has two objectives. The first is to determine which features a motivational case for content-relativism would display—what would a good case for content-relativism look like? The second is to consider cases which appear to have the required features and evaluate their prospects as motivational cases. I identify two varieties of motivational case for content-relativism: content (...)
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  3. added 2014-10-28
    Gabriel Furmuzachi (2007). Language, Identity and Multiculturalism. Logos.
    With Augustine and especially with Wittgenstein, we see that when we use language we negotiate a meaning since language is something we acquire in a community. On the other hand, Chomsky argues that language is something that happens to us, rather than something we learn. We attempt to bring these two positions in a balance by following Davidson's ideas on meaning and radical interpretation, which gives us a way to keep meaning (what someone thinks) and belief (what someone holds true (...)
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  4. added 2014-10-28
    Gabriel Furmuzachi (2003). On Words and Things. Vox Philosophiae 1.
    In this essay, I will critically examine Collin Turbayne and Philip Wheelwright's approaches to the theory of metaphor. Through criticism of their views I will arrive at Paul Ricoeur's theory which I consider is the most comprehensive one. Ricoeur retains what is fruitful from the above mentioned theories and tries to make them part of a very ambitious project which is represented by his monumental work The Rule of Metaphor (1977). He manages to open a new dimension in the analysis (...)
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  5. added 2014-10-28
    Gabriel Furmuzachi (2001). Emotions, Metaphors and Reality. Lakehead University.
    In their work The Faces of Reason: An Essay on Philosophy and Culture in English Canada 1850-1 950, Leslie Armour and Elizabeth Trott consider that the Canadian way of doing philosophy uses reason in an accommodationist manner. I propose in this thesis that William Lyall's Intellect, the Emotions and the Moral Nature represents a splendid example of the accomodationist use of reason. The Maritimes philosopher advances the idea that emotions have a cognitive value, a claim which I support by trying (...)
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  6. added 2014-10-26
    Sarah Moss (forthcoming). On the Semantics and Pragmatics of Epistemic Vocabulary. Semantics and Pragmatics.
    This paper motivates and develops a novel semantics for several epistemic expressions, including possibility modals and indicative conditionals. The semantics I defend constitutes an alternative to standard truth conditional theories, as it assigns sets of probability spaces as sentential semantic values. I argue that what my theory lacks in conservatism is made up for by its strength. In particular, my semantics accounts for the distinctive behavior of nested epistemic modals, indicative conditionals embedded under probability operators, and instances of constructive dilemma (...)
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  7. added 2014-10-22
    John Corcoran (forthcoming). Tarski’s Convention T: Condition Beta. SOUTH AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LOGIC 1 (1).
    Tarski’s Convention T—presenting his notion of adequate definition of truth (sic)—contains two conditions: alpha and beta. Alpha requires that all instances of a certain T Schema be provable. Beta requires in effect the provability of ‘every truth is a sentence’. Beta formally recognizes the fact, repeatedly emphasized by Tarski, that sentences (devoid of free variable occurrences)—as opposed to pre-sentences (having free occurrences of variables)—exhaust the range of significance of is true. In Tarski’s preferred usage, it is part of the meaning (...)
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  8. added 2014-10-22
    Christopher McCammon (2014). Representing Yourself as Knowing. American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (2):133-144.
    Lots of folks nowadays think there is an intimate connection between what we assert and what we know. Talk of this connection is largely oriented around Timothy Williamson’s claim that you shouldn’t assert p unless you know p. Hereafter, I will treat this claim as follows: -/- (KNA) Don’t assert that p unless so asserting expresses your knowledge that p. -/- (KNA) is for “Knowledge Norm of Assertion”. -/- A primary aim here is to defend the KNA. However, getting in (...)
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  9. added 2014-10-20
    Hilla Jacobson-Horowitz (2009). From Causality to Rigidity. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 8:75-93.
    Kripke has argued that names are rigid designators, and that a name's reference is determined by a causal chain of a certain kind that connects an object with the name's use, thus making the name this object's name. He has not shown that there is a logical connection between these two theses of him. The purpose of the paper is to establish such a connection. It argues that on the assumption that names refer to objects in possible worlds other than (...)
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  10. added 2014-10-20
    Hilla Jacobson-Horowitz (2005). Brandom on Kripke's Puzzle. Logique Et Analyse 189:159-168.
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  11. added 2014-10-17
    Lionel Shapiro (forthcoming). Sellars on the Function of Semantic Vocabulary. British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-20.
    This paper examines two explanations Sellars gives, at successive stages of his career, of how semantic vocabulary (paradigmatically ‘means that ... ’ and ‘is true if and only if ... ’) lets us relate linguistic expressions to extra-linguistic reality. Despite their differences, both explanations reveal a distinctive pragmatist approach. According to Sellars, we do not use semantic vocabulary to describe language- world relations. Rather, our taking language to relate to the world is implicit in the moves (inferential or non-inferential) licensed (...)
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  12. added 2014-10-17
    Lajos L. Brons (2014). Language Death and Diversity: Philosophical and Linguistic Implications. The Science of Mind 52:243-260.
    This paper presents a simple model to estimate the number of languages that existed throughout history, and considers philosophical and linguistic implications of the findings. The estimated number is 150,000 plus or minus 50,000.
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  13. added 2014-10-16
    David Ellerman, Four Ways From Universal to Particular: How Chomsky's Language-Acquisition Faculty is Not Selectionist.
    Following the development of the selectionist theory of the immune system, there was an attempt to characterize many biological mechanisms as being "selectionist" as juxtaposed to "instructionist." But this broad definition would group Darwinian evolution, the immune system, embryonic development, and Chomsky's language-acquisition mechanism as all being "selectionist." Yet Chomsky's mechanism (and embryonic development) are significantly different from the selectionist mechanisms of biological evolution or the immune system. Surprisingly, there is a very abstract way using two dual mathematical logics to (...)
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  14. added 2014-10-16
    Daniel Cohnitz & Jussi Haukioja (forthcoming). Intuitions in Philosophical Semantics. Erkenntnis:1-25.
    We argue that the term “intuition”, as it is used in metaphilosophy, is ambiguous between at least four different senses. In philosophy of language, the relevant “intuitions” are either the outputs of our competence to interpret and produce linguistic expressions, or the speakers’ or hearers’ own reports of these outputs. The semantic facts that philosophers of language are interested in are determined by the outputs of our competence. Hence, philosophers of language should be interested in investigating these, and they do (...)
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  15. added 2014-10-16
    Cian Dorr (forthcoming). Quantifier Variance and the Collapse Theorems. The Monist.
  16. added 2014-10-14
    Simon Fitzpatrick (forthcoming). Nativism, Empiricism, and Ockham’s Razor. Erkenntnis:1-28.
    This paper discusses the role that appeals to theoretical simplicity (or parsimony) have played in the debate between nativists and empiricists in cognitive science. Both sides have been keen to make use of such appeals in defence of their respective positions about the structure and ontogeny of the human mind. Focusing on the standard simplicity argument employed by empiricist-minded philosophers and cognitive scientists—what I call “the argument for minimal innateness”—I identify various problems with such arguments—in particular, the apparent arbitrariness of (...)
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  17. added 2014-10-11
    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (forthcoming). World Navels. Cartouche of the Canadian Cartographic Association.
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  18. added 2014-10-09
    Thorsten Sander (forthcoming). Freges Kriterien der Sinngleichheit. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    Frege's mature writings apparently contain two different criteria of sense identity. While in "Über Sinn und Bedeutung" (1892) and in "Kurze Übersicht meiner logischen Lehren" (1906?) he seems to advocate a psychological criterion, his letter to Husserl of December 12, 1906 offers a thoroughly logical criterion of sense identity. It is argued that the latter proposal is not a "momentary aberration", but rather Frege's official criterion; his psychological criteria only serve as a way of illustrating questions of sense identity by (...)
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  19. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi & Claudio Calosi (forthcoming). De li accidiosi che son avversi al possibile. Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior.
    This is a supplement to our book "Le tribolazioni del filosofare. Comedia metaphysica ne la quale si tratta de li errori & de le pene de l’Infero". It features an entirely new canto of the poem (originally thought to be lost) along with an extensive commentary. The canto covers the first ring of the circle of the Sullen, which hosts the Adverse to the Possible, and deals with several philosophical questions concerning the metaphysics of modality.
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  20. added 2014-10-09
    Matthew A. Benton (2014). Knowledge Norms. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:0-00.
    Encyclopedia entry covering the growing literature on the Knowledge Norm of Assertion (and its rivals), the Knowledge Norm of Action (and pragmatic encroachment), the Knowledge Norm of Belief, and the Knowledge Norm of Disagreement.
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  21. added 2014-10-06
    Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (forthcoming). Pretense and Pathology: Philosophical Fictionalism and its Applications. Cambridge University Press.
    This book offers new insights into fictionalism as an approach in philosophy and explains how applying a particular fictionalist strategy both dissolves the semantic pathology that appears to plague the traditional semantic notions (e.g., the worries about truth that the Liar Paradox and the Truthteller generate) and promises to resolve further puzzles and problems that arise from ordinary existence-talk and identity-talk. In addition, after raising concerns for realism about propositions, the book also provides a fictionalist account of talk that seems (...)
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  22. added 2014-10-03
    Mehmet Karabela (2013). The Dialectical Discourse in Classical Ottoman Literature: The Beloved Between Lover and Rival in the Game of Love. Journal of Turkish Literature 10 (1):7-19.
  23. added 2014-09-29
    Maciej Witek (2015). An Interactional Account of Illocutionary Practice. Language Sciences 47:43-55.
    The paper aims to develop an interactional account of illocutionary practice, which results from integrating elements of Millikan's biological model of language within the framework of Austin's theory of speech acts. The proposed account rests on the assumption that the force of an act depends on what counts as its interactional effect or, in other words, on the response that it conventionally invites or attempts to elicit. The discussion is divided into two parts. The first one reconsiders Austin's and Millikan's (...)
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  24. added 2014-09-28
    Lucas P. Halpin, Beautiful Truths and Beautiful Theories.
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  25. added 2014-09-27
    David Liebesman (forthcoming). We Do Not Count by Identity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    It is widely assumed in psychology, philosophy, and linguistics that we count by identity. For example, to count the dogs by identity, we correlate each dog that isn't identical to the rest with a natural number, starting with one and assigning each successive dog the successive natural number. When we run out of distinct dogs, we've yielded a correct count. I argue that this model of counting is incorrect. We do not count by identity.
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  26. added 2014-09-27
    David Liebesman (forthcoming). Predication as Ascription. Mind.
    I articulate and defend a necessary and sufficient condition for predication. The condition is that a term or term-occurrence stands in the relation of ascription to its designatum, ascription being a fundamental semantic relation that differs from reference. This view has dramatically different semantic consequences from its alternatives. After outlining the alternatives, I draw out these consequences and show how they favor the ascription view. I then develop the view and elicit a number of its virtues.
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  27. added 2014-09-27
    Ben Blumson (2014). Symbol Systems. In Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers. 85-98.
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  28. added 2014-09-27
    Ben Blumson (2014). Depiction and Intention. In Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers. 51-66.
  29. added 2014-09-27
    Ben Blumson (2014). Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers.
    It’s a platitude – which only a philosopher would dream of denying – that whereas words are connected to what they represent merely by arbitrary conventions, pictures are connected to what they represent by resemblance. The most important difference between my portrait and my name, for example, is that whereas my portrait and I are connected by my portrait’s resemblance to me, my name and I are connected merely by an arbitrary convention. The first aim of this book is to (...)
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  30. added 2014-09-23
    Heidi Savage, Naming and Referring.
    In this book, I survey three different puzzles with respect to proper names, two of which are historically well-known, another of which is more contemporary, and perhaps more controversial. I argue that accounting for these puzzles requires a semantic account of proper names alternative to those already offered. I propose and develop my own view of proper names, and devoting a full chapter to each of the three puzzles, demonstrate its explanatory power by showing how it elegantly solves each puzzle. (...)
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  31. added 2014-09-20
    Alexander auf der Straße (213). Truths Are Valuable, Truth Isn't. Abstracta 7 (2):3-17.
    This paper deals with the relationship that is sometimes said to hold between true beliefs and success. It argues for deflationism about truth. In particular, a position will be defended according to which the instrumental value of true beliefs can be accounted for within a deflationary framework. The paper denies that truth has any non-instrumental value in the sense that truth is pursued for its own sake. Moreover, the instrumental value of true beliefs will be explained in terms of psychological (...)
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  32. added 2014-09-20
    Moritz Cordes & Friedrich Reinmuth, Ein Redehandlungskalkül: Folgern in einer Sprache. XXII. Deutscher Kongress für Philosophie.
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  33. added 2014-09-19
    Vasilis Tsompanidis (2013). The Structure of Propositions and Cross-Linguistic Syntactic Variability. Croatian Journal of Philosophy (39):399-419.
    In Jeffrey King’s theory of structured propositions, propositional structure mirrors the syntactic structure of natural language sentences that express it. I provide cases where this claim individuates propositions too finely across languages. Crucially, King’s paradigmatic proposition-fact ^that Dara swims^ cannot be believed by a monolingual Greek speaker, due to Greek syntax requiring an obligatory article in front of proper names. King’s two possible replies are: (i) to try to streamline the syntax of Greek and English; or (ii) to insist that (...)
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  34. added 2014-09-19
    Vasilis Tsompanidis (2011). Tensed Belief. Dissertation, University of California Santa Barbara
    Human beings seem to capture time and the temporal properties of events and things in thought by having beliefs usually expressed with statements using tense, or notions such as ‘now’, ‘past’ or ‘future’. Tensed beliefs like these seem indispensable for correct reasoning and timely action. For instance, my belief that my root canal is over seems inexpressible with a statement that does not use tense or a temporal indexical. However, the dominant view on the nature of time is that it (...)
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  35. added 2014-09-19
    Jamin Asay (2007). Truth in Constructive Empiricism. Dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Constructive empiricism, the scientific anti-realism championed by Bas van Fraassen, claims to offer an adequate reconstruction of the aim and practice of scientific inquiry without adopting the inflationary metaphysical excesses of scientific realism. In articulating the positions of the realist and the empiricist, van Fraassen freely makes use of the concept of truth. Theories of truth come in a variety of flavors, some more metaphysically stark than others. Deflationary theories of truth, for instance, boast of the ability to offer a (...)
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  36. added 2014-09-18
    Friedrich Reinmuth (2014). Logische Rekonstruktion. Ein hermeneutischer Traktat. Dissertation, University of Greifswald
    The thesis aims at a methodological reflection of logical reconstruction and tries to develop this method in detail, especially with regard to the reconstruction of natural language arguments. First, the groundwork for the thesis is laid by presenting and, where necessary, adapting its foundations with regard to the philosophy of language and the theory of argument. Subsequently, logical reconstruction, especially the logical reconstruction of arguments, is presented as a hermeneutic method and as a tool for the application of (formal) logic (...)
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  37. added 2014-09-15
    Gunnar Björnsson (forthcoming). Disagreement, Correctness, and the Evidence for Metaethical Absolutism. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford.
    Metaethical absolutism is the view that moral concepts have non-relative satisfaction conditions that are constant across judges and their particular beliefs, attitudes, and cultural embedding. If it is correct, there is an important sense in which parties of moral disputes are concerned to get the same things right, such that their disputes can be settled by the facts. If it is not correct, as various forms of relativism and non-cognitivism imply, such coordination of concerns will be limited. The most influential (...)
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  38. added 2014-09-15
    Alberto Voltolini (2014). Fiction and Indexinames. Journal of Literary Theory 8:293–322.
    In this paper, I will first of all claim that once one takes proper names as indexicals of a particular sort, indexinames for short, one may account for some tensions that affect our desiderata regarding the use of such names in sentences directly or indirectly involving fiction. According to my proposal, a proper name “N.N.” is an indexical whose character is roughly expressed by the description “the individual called ‘N.N.’ (in context)”, where this description means “the individual one’s interlocutor’s attention (...)
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  39. added 2014-09-13
    Shriniwas Hemade (2012). Woman : An Etymological Study - Part One. Aajcha Sudharak - Marathi Publication Devoted to Rationalism (12):508-519.
    This article is about an etymological study of the concept "Woman" and leads towards Feminism. Written in Marathi for the first time ever. Published in a Rationalist Journal from Maharashtra. This is first part of the three parts.
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  40. added 2014-09-12
    Kenneth Boyd (forthcoming). Assertion, Practical Reasoning, and Epistemic Separabilism. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    I argue here for a view I call epistemic separabilism (ES), which states that there are two different ways we can be evaluated epistemically when we assert a proposition or treat a proposition as a reason for acting: one in terms of whether we have adhered to or violated the relevant epistemic norm, and another in terms of how epistemically well-positioned we are towards the fact that we have either adhered to or violated said norm. ES has been appealed to (...)
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  41. added 2014-09-10
    Timothy Lane & Owen Flanagan (forthcoming). Neuroexistentialism, Eudaimonics, and Positive Illusions. In Byron Kaldis (ed.), Mind and Society: Cognitive Science Meets the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. SYNTHESE Philosophy Library Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, & Philosophy of Science. Springer Science+Business.
    There is a distinctive form of existential anxiety, neuroexistential anxiety, which derives from the way in which contemporary neuroscience provides copious amounts of evidence to underscore the Darwinian message—we are animals, nothing more. One response to this 21st century existentialism is to promote Eudaimonics, a version of ethical naturalism that is committed to promoting fruitful interaction between ethical inquiry and science, most notably psychology and neuroscience. We argue that philosophical reflection on human nature and social life reveals that while working (...)
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  42. added 2014-09-09
    Nate Charlow (forthcoming). Decision Theory: Yes! Truth Conditions: No! In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modals. Oxford University Press.
    This essay makes the case for, in the phrase of Angelika Kratzer, packing the fruits of the study of rational decision-making into our semantics for deontic modals—specifically, for parametrizing the truth-condition of a deontic modal to things like decision problems and decision theories (and ultimately also things like moral and epistemological views). Then it knocks it down. While the fundamental relation of the semantic theory must relate deontic modals to things like decision problems and theories, this semantic relation cannot be (...)
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  43. added 2014-09-04
    Richard Moore, Bettina Mueller, Juliane Kaminski & Michael Tomasello (forthcoming). Two-Year-Olds but Not Domestic Dogs (Canis Familiaris) Understand Communicative Intentions Without Language, Gestures, or Gaze. Developmental Science.
    Infants can see someone pointing to one of two buckets and infer that the toy they are seeking is hidden inside. Great apes do not succeed in this task, but, surprisingly, domestic dogs do. However, whether children and dogs understand these communicative acts in the same way is not yet known. To test this possibility, an experimenter did not point, look, or extend any part of her body towards either bucket, but instead lifted and shook one via a centrally pulled (...)
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  44. added 2014-09-04
    John Horden (forthcoming). Devious Stipulations. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
    Recent attempts to answer ontological questions through conceptual analysis have been controversial. Nonetheless, contemporary metaphysicians mostly agree that if the existence of certain things analytically follows from sentences we already accept, then there is no further ontological commitment involved in affirming the existence of those things. More generally, it is plausible that whenever a sentence analytically entails another, the conjunction of those sentences requires nothing more of the world for its truth than the former sentence alone. In his ‘Analyticity and (...)
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  45. added 2014-09-04
    Laureano Luna (forthcoming). Minds Vs. Machines. On Saka's Basic Blindspot Theorem. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence.
    Under the name of ‘Basic Blindspot Theorem’, Paul Saka has proposed in the special issue on mind and paradox of this journal a Gödelian argument to the effect that no cognitive system can be complete and correct. We show that while the argument is successful as regards mechanical and formal systems, it may fail with respect to minds, so contributing to draw a boundary between the former and the latter. The existence of such a boundary may lend support to Saka’s (...)
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  46. added 2014-09-04
    Richard Moore (2014). Ape Gestures: Interpreting Chimpanzee and Bonobo Minds. Current Biology 24 (12): R645-R647.
  47. added 2014-09-04
    Richard Moore (2014). Ontogenetic Constraints on Paul Grice's Theory of Communication. In Danielle Matthews (ed.), Pragmatic Development in First Language Acquisition. 87-104.
  48. added 2014-09-02
    Jerrold M. Sadock (1978). On Testing for Conversational Implicature. In Cole Peter (ed.), Syntax and Semantics: Pragmatics. Academic Press. 281–297.
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  49. added 2014-08-31
    Salvatore Florio & David Nicolas (2014). Plural Logic and Sensitivity to Order. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-21.
    Sentences that exhibit sensitivity to order (e.g. 'John and Mary arrived at school in that order' and 'Mary and John arrived at school in that order') present a challenge for the standard formulation of plural logic. In response, some authors have advocated new versions of plural logic based on fine-grained notions of plural reference, such as serial reference (Hewitt 2012) and articulated reference (Ben-Yami 2013). The aim of this article is to show that sensitivity to order should be accounted for (...)
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  50. added 2014-08-27
    Brent Strickland, Matthew Fisher, Frank Keil & Joshua Knobe (2014). Syntax and Intentionality: An Automatic Link Between Language and Theory-of-Mind. Cognition 133 (1):249–261.
    Three studies provided evidence that syntax influences intentionality judgments. In Experiment 1, participants made either speeded or unspeeded intentionality judgments about ambiguously intentional subjects or objects. Participants were more likely to judge grammatical subjects as acting intentionally in the speeded relative to the reflective condition (thus showing an intentionality bias), but grammatical objects revealed the opposite pattern of results (thus showing an unintentionality bias). In Experiment 2, participants made an intentionality judgment about one of the two actors in a partially (...)
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