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  1. Varol Akman, Context in Artificial Intelligence: A Fleeting Overview.
    The notion of context arises in assorted areas of artificial intelligence (AI), including knowledge representation, natural language processing, intelligent information retrieval, etc. Although the term ‘context’ is frequently employed in descriptions, explanations, and analyses of computer programs in these areas, its meaning is frequently left to the reader’s understanding. In other words, it is used in an intuitive manner. In an influential paper, Clark and Carlson (1981) state that context has become a favourite word. They then complain that the denotation (...)
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  2. Varol Akman, Contexts of Social Action: Guest Editors' Introduction.
    In traditional linguistic accounts of context, one thinks of the immediate features of a speech situation, that is, a situation in which an expression is uttered. Thus, features such as time, location, speaker, hearer and preceding discourse are all parts of context. But context is a wider and more transcendental notion than what these accounts imply. For one thing, context is a relational concept relating social actions and their surroundings, relating social actions, relating individual actors and their surroundings, and relating (...)
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  3. Varol Akman, The Complexity of Context: Guest Editors' Introduction.
    In our routine communicative activities, context is exploited both in production and in comprehension, and is strictly related to another problematic notion, viz. meaning. Thus Bateson (1979: 15): ‘‘Without context, words and actions have no meaning at all. This is true not only of human communication in words but also of all communication whatsoever, of all mental process, of all mind, including that which tells the sea anemone how to grow and the amoeba what he should do next.’’.
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  4. Varol Akman (2005). On Strawsonian Contexts. Pragmatics and Cognition 13 (2):363-382.
    P.F. Strawson proposed in the early seventies a threefold distinction regarding how context bears on the meaning of ¿what is said¿ when a sentence is uttered. The proposal was somewhat tentative and, being aware of this aspect, Strawson himself raised various questions to make it more adequate. In this paper, we review Strawson¿s scheme, note his concerns, and add some of our own. We also defend its essence and recommend it as an insightful entry point re the interplay of intended (...)
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  5. Varol Akman, Context as a Social Construct.
    This position paper argues that in addition to the familiar approach using formal contexts, there is now a need in AI to study contexts as social constructs. As a successful example of the latter approach, I draw attention to `interpretation' (in the sense of literary theory), viz. the reconstruction of intended meaning of a literary text that takes into account the context in which the author assumed the reader would place the text. An important contribution here comes from Harris (1988), (...)
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  6. Varol Akman & Ferda N. Alpaslan, Strawson on Intended Meaning and Context.
    Strawson proposed in the early seventies an attractive threefold distinction regarding how context bears on the meaning of `what is said' when a sentence is uttered. The proposed scheme is somewhat crude and, being aware of this aspect, Strawson himself raised various points to make it more adequate. In this paper, we review the scheme of Strawson, note his concerns, and add some of our own. However, our main point is to defend the essence of Strawson's approach and to recommend (...)
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  7. Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav (1996). Steps Toward Formalizing Context. .
    The importance of contextual reasoning is emphasized by various researchers in AI. (A partial list includes John McCarthy and his group, R. V. Guha, Yoav Shoham, Giuseppe Attardi and Maria Simi, and Fausto Giunchiglia and his group.) Here, we survey the problem of formalizing context and explore what is needed for an acceptable account of this abstract notion.
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  8. Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav, Contexts, Oracles, and Relevance.
    We focus on how we should define the relevance of information to a context for information processing agents, such as oracles. We build our formalization of relevance upon works in pragmatics which refer to contextual information without giving any explicit representation of context. We use a formalization of context (due to us) in Situation Theory, and demonstrate its power in this task. We also discuss some computational aspects of this formalization.
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  9. Joseph Almog, John Perry, Howard K. Wettstein & David Kaplan (eds.) (1989). Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press, USA.
    This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
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  10. Françoise Armengaud (1982). Eléments Pour Une Approche Pragmatique de la Pertinence. Philosophica 29.
  11. Kent Bach, Why Speaker Intentions Aren't Part of Context.
    It is widely though not universally accepted what speakers refer to in using demonstratives or “discretionary” (as opposed to “automatic”) indexicals depends on their intentions. Even so, people tend not to appreciate the consequences of this claim for the view that demonstratives and most indexicals refer as a function of context: these expressions suffer from a “character deficiency.” No wonder I am asked from time to time why I resist the temptation to include speaker intentions as a parameter of context. (...)
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  12. Carla Bazzanella (2002). The Significance of Context in Comprehension: The `We Case'. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 7 (3):239-254.
    This paper deals with some of the issues raised about the use of context in language, that is,the pragmatic side of the problem; morespecifically it aims to stress the significanceand complexity of context. In real life context is exploited both in production and in comprehension.I will deal here mainly with comprehension:after briefly referring to cognitive contextsand their interaction with knowledge andcomprehension, and touching on the relationbetween language and context, I will analyzethe uses of an indexical pronoun, we,which may both include (...)
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  13. Claudia Bianchi (2006). 'Nobody Loves Me': Quantification and Context. Philosophical Studies 130 (2):377 - 397.
    In my paper, I present two competing perspectives on the foundational problem (as opposed to the descriptive problem) of quantifier domain restriction: the objective perspective on context (OPC) and the intentional perspective on context (IPC). According to OPC, the relevant domain for a quantified sentence is determined by objective facts of the context of utterance. In contrast, according to IPC, we must consider certain features of the speaker’s intention in order to determine the proposition expressed. My goal is to offer (...)
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  14. Claudia Bianchi (2001). Context of Utterance and Intended Context. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2116:73-86.
    In this paper I expose and criticise the distinction between pure indexicals and demonstratives, held by David Kaplan and John Perry. I oppose the context of material production of the utterance to the “intended context” (the context of interpretation, i.e. the context the speaker indicates as semantically relevant): this opposition introduces an intentional feature into the interpretation of pure indexicals. As far as the indexical I is concerned, I maintain that we must distinguish between the material producer of the utterance (...)
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  15. Maria Bittner, Individuals and Possibilities (3): Notes on Issues Raised by Stone & Hardt (1997).
    This is the last of three lectures on anaphoric parallels between individuals and possibilities across languages (IMS, Stuttgart, 2000).
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  16. Maria Bittner (2014). Perspectival Discourse Referents for Indexicals. In Hannah Greene (ed.), SULA 7: Proceedings of the Seventh Meeting on the Semantics of Under-represented Languages in the Americas (Cornell University, May 4–6, 2012). Createspace. 1–22.
    This paper argues that indexical reference is a species of discourse reference, just like anaphora. Both varieties of discourse reference involve not only context dependence, but also context change. The act of speaking up focuses attention and thereby makes this very speech event available for discourse reference by indexicals. Mentioning something likewise focuses attention, making the mentioned entity available for subsequent discourse reference by anaphors. Empirical evidence is presented from grammatical centering in Kalaallisut and "shifty indexicals" in Slave attitude reports.
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  17. Berit Brogaard (2012). Context and Content: Pragmatics in Two-Dimensional Semantics. In Keith Allan & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.
    Context figures in the interpretation of utterances in many different ways. In the tradition of possible-worlds semantics, the seminal account of context-sensitive expressions such as indexicals and demonstratives is that of Kaplan's two-dimensional semantics (the content- character distinction), further pursued in various directions by Stalnaker, Chalmers, and others. This chapter introduces and assesses the notion of context-sensitivity presented in this group of approaches, with a special focus on how it relates to the notion of cognitive significance and whether it includes (...)
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  18. Alessandro Capone (2010). Barack Obama’s South Carolina Speech. Journal of Pragmatics 42:2964–2977.
    Analysis of Barack Obama's rhetorical strategies.
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  19. Alessandro Capone (2008). Belief Reports and Pragmatic Intrusion: The Case of Null Appositives. Journal of Pragmatics 40:2019-2040.
  20. John Collier (2005). Pragmatist Pragmatics: The Functional Context of Utterances. Philosophica 75.
    Formal pragmatics plays an important, though secondary, role in modern analytical philosophy of language: its aim is to explain how context can affect the meaning of certain special kinds of utterances. During recent years, the adequacy of formal tools has come under attack, often leading to one or another form of relativism or antirealism.1 Our aim will be to extend the critique to formal pragmatics while showing that sceptical conclusions can be avoided by developing a different approach to the issues. (...)
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  21. Jérôme Dokic (2006). From Linguistic Contextualism to Situated Cognition: The Case of Ad Hoc Concepts. Philosophical Psychology 19 (3):309 – 328.
    Our utterances are typically if not always "situated," in the sense that they are true or false relative to unarticulated parameters of the extra-linguistic context. The problem is to explain how these parameters are determined, given that nothing in the uttered sentences indicates them. It is tempting to claim that they must be determined at the level of thought or intention. However, as many philosophers have observed, thoughts themselves are no less situated than utterances. Unarticulated parameters need not be mentally (...)
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  22. Bruce Edmonds & Varol Akman (2002). Editorial: Context in Context. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 7 (3):233-238.
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  23. Christopher Gauker (forthcoming). How Many Bare Demonstratives Are There in English? Linguistics and Philosophy.
    In order to capture our intuitions about the logical consistency of sentences and the logical validity of arguments, a semantics for a natural language has to allow for the fact that different occurrences of a single bare demonstrative, such as “this”, may refer to different objects. But it is not obvious how to formulate a semantic theory in order to achieve this result. This paper first criticizes several proposals: that we should formulate our semantics as a semantics for tokens, not (...)
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  24. Christopher Gauker (2013). Logical Nihilism in Contemporary French Philosophy. Teorema 32 (2):65-79.
    Recanati takes for granted the conveyance conception of linguistic communica- tion, although it is not very clear exactly where he lies on the spectrum of possible variations. Even if we disavow all such conceptions of linguistic communication, there will be a place for semantic theory in articulating normative concepts such as logical consistency and logical validity. An approach to semantics focused on such normative concepts is illustrated using the example of ““It’’s raining””. It is argued that Recanati’’s conception of semantics (...)
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  25. Christopher Gauker (2012). Semantics and Pragmatics. In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    Semantics deals with the literal meaning of sentences. Pragmatics deals with what speakers mean by their utterances of sentences over and above what those sentences literally mean. However, it is not always clear where to draw the line. Natural languages contain many expressions that may be thought of both as contributing to literal meaning and as devices by which speakers signal what they mean. After characterizing the aims of semantics and pragmatics, this chapter will set out the issues concerning such (...)
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  26. Christopher Gauker (2012). What Tipper is Ready For: A Semantics for Incomplete Predicates. Noûs 46 (1):61-85.
    This paper presents a precise semantics for incomplete predicates such as “ready”. Incomplete predicates have distinctive logical properties that a semantic theory needs to accommodate. For instance, “Tipper is ready” logically implies “Tipper is ready for something”, but “Tipper is ready for something” does not imply “Tipper is ready”. It is shown that several approaches to the semantics of incomplete predicates fail to accommodate these logical properties. The account offered here defines contexts as structures containing an element called a proposition (...)
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  27. Christopher Gauker (2010). Global Domains Versus Hidden Indexicals. Journal of Semantics 27 (2):243-270.
    Jason Stanley has argued that in order to obtain the desired readings of certain sentences, such as “In most of John’s classes, he fails exactly three Frenchmen”, we must suppose that each common noun is associated with a hidden indexical that may be either bound by a higher quantifier phrase or interpreted by the context. This paper shows that the desired readings can be obtained as well by interpreting nouns as expressing relations and without supposing that nouns are associated with (...)
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  28. Christopher Gauker (2010). Indirect Discourse, Relativism, and Contexts That Point to Other Contexts. In François Recanati, Isidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva (eds.), Context-dependence, Perspective and Relativity in Language and Thought. Mouton de Gruyter. 6--283.
    Some expressions, such as “all” and “might”, must be interpreted differently, relative to a single context, when embedded under “says that” than when unembedded. Egan, Hawthorne and Weatherson have appealed to that fact to argue that utterance-truth is relative to point of evaluation. This paper shows that the phenomena do not warrant this relativistic response. Instead, contexts may be defined as entities that assign other contexts to contextually relevant people, and context-relative truth conditions for indirect discourse sentences can be satisfactorily (...)
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  29. Christopher Gauker (2010). Contexts in Formal Semantics. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):568-578.
    Recent philosophical literature has debated the question of how much context-relativity needs to be countenanced in precise semantic theories for natural languages and has displayed different conceptions of the way in which it might be accommodated. This article presents reasons to think that context-relativity is a phenomenon that semantic theory must accommodate and identifies some of the issues concerning how it ought to be accommodated.
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  30. Christopher Gauker (1998). What is a Context of Utterance? Philosophical Studies 91 (2):149-172.
    For many purposes in pragmatics one needs to appeal to a context of utterance conceived as a set of sentences or propositions. The context of utterance in this sense is often defined as the set of assumptions that the speaker supposes he or she shares with the hearer. I argue by stages that this is a mistake. First, if contexts must be defined in terms of shared assumptions, then it would be preferable to define the context as the set of (...)
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  31. Christopher Gauker (1997). Domain of Discourse. Mind 106 (421):1-32.
    The proposition expressed by an utterance of a quantified sentence depends on a domain of discourse somehow determined by the context. How does the context of utterance determine the content of the domain of discourse? Many philosophers would approach this question from the point of view of an expressive theory of linguistic communication, according to which the primary function of language is to enable speakers to convey the propositional contents of their thoughts to hearers. This paper argues that (...)
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  32. Michael Glanzberg, Not All Contextual Parameters Are Alike.
    A great deal of discussion in recent philosophy of language has centered on the idea that there might be hidden contextual parameters in our sentences. But relatively little attention has been paid to what those parameters themselves are like, beyond the assumption that they behave more or less like variables do in logic. My goal in this paper is to show this has been a mistake. I shall argue there are at least two very different sorts of contextual parameters. One (...)
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  33. Michael Glanzberg (2007). Context, Content, and Relativism. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):1--29.
    This paper argues against relativism, focusing on relativism based on the semantics of predicates of personal taste. It presents and defends a contextualist semantics for these predicates, derived from current work on gradable adjectives. It then considers metasemantic questions about the kinds of contextual parameters this semantics requires. It argues they are not metasemantically different from those in other gradable adjectives, and that contextual parameters of this sort are widespread in natural language. Furthermore, this paper shows that if such parameters (...)
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  34. Michael Glanzberg (2002). Context and Discourse. Mind and Language 17 (4):333–375.
    Current theories of context see context as composed of information that is localizable to individual utterances. Current theories of discourse grant that discourses have important global properties that are not so localizable. In this paper, I argue that context, even narrowly construed as whatever combines with a sentence to determine truth conditions, must have a discourse-global component. I identify a context-dependence phenomenon related to the linguistic concepts of topic and focus, isolate the pertinent feature of context, and show (...)
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  35. Nat Hansen (forthcoming). Just What Is It That Makes Travis's Examples So Different, So Appealing? In J. Collins A. Davies & T. Dobler (eds.), Themes from Charles Travis: On Language,Thought and Perception. Oxford University Press.
    Odd and memorable examples are a distinctive feature of Charles Travis's work: cases involving squash balls, soot-covered kettles, walls that emit poison gas, faces turning puce, ties made of freshly cooked linguine, and people grunting when punched in the solar plexus all figure in his arguments. One of Travis's examples, involving a pair of situations in which the leaves of a Japanese maple tree are painted green, has even spawned its own literature consisting of attempts to explain the context sensitivity (...)
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  36. Benj Hellie (forthcoming). On Tests of Context. Inquiry.
    Assume a 'Stalnakean' conception of contexts as mental states. A /test of context/ is a context-dependent sentence with semantic values limited to the /trivial/ and /vacuous/ propositions: perhaps 'I believe that P' is trivial if I do believe that P, vacuous if I don't. Tests of context solve the 'Frege-Geach' problem for expressivism (see my 'There it is' and 'How we do'; also seminal work by Seth Yalcin and Nate Charlow): kind of a big deal. But Cian Dorr and Geoff (...)
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  37. David Kaplan (1989). Afterthoughts. In J. Almog, J. Perry & H. Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. 565-614.
  38. John McCarthy, A Logical Approach to Context.
    Logical AI develops computer programs that represent what they know about the world primarily by logical formulas and decide what to do primarily by logical reasoning--including nonmonotonic logical reasoning. It is convenient to use logical sentences and terms whose meaning depends on context. The reasons for this are similar to what causes human language to use context dependent meanings. This note gives elements of some of the formalisms to which we have been led. Fuller treatments are in [McC93], [Guh91] and (...)
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  39. Giovanni Mion (2013). Epistemic Disagreements: A Solution for Contextualists. Studia Philosophica Estonica 6 (1):15-23.
    My paper aims to account for the possibility of disagreements concerning what we know; for clearly, people disagree about what they know. More precisely, my goal is to explain how a contextualist theory of knowledge attributions can explain the existence of disagreement among speakers. My working hypothesis is that genuine epistemic disagreement is possible only under the assumption that the meaning of the word “knowledge” is governed by contexts that are objective, in the sense that that the content of the (...)
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  40. Giovanni Mion (2013). Skepticism and Objective Contexts: A Critique of DeRose. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (2):119-129.
    In the paper, I contrast my contextualist account of Cartesian skepticism with Keith DeRose’s account. I agree with DeRose that when the Cartesian skeptic and her opponent meet in the same context, their claims are truth-value-less. But I agree with him on the basis of different conception of context sensitivity. According to DeRose, the content of context sensitive expressions in general, and of knowledge in particular, is personally indicated. Instead, for me, the content of context sensitive expressions in general, and (...)
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  41. Geoffrey Nunberg (1993). Indexicality and Deixis. Linguistics and Philosophy 16 (1):1--43.
    Words like you, here, and tomorrow are different from other expressions in two ways. First, and by definition, they have different kinds of meanings, which are context-dependent in ways that the meanings of names and descriptions are not. Second, their meanings play a different kind of role in the interpretations of the utterances that contain them. For example, the meaning of you can be paraphrased by a description like "the addressee of the utterance." But an utterance of (1) doesn't say (...)
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  42. Carlo Penco (2010). Essentially Incomplete Descriptions. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2):47 - 66.
    In this paper I offer a defence of a Russellian analysis of the referential uses of incomplete (mis)descriptions, in a contextual setting. With regard to the debate between a unificationist and an ambiguity approach to the formal treatment of definite descriptions (introduction), I will support the former against the latter. In 1. I explain what I mean by "essentially" incomplete descriptions: incomplete descriptions are context dependent descriptions. In 2. I examine one of the best versions of the unificationist “explicit” approach (...)
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  43. Carlo Penco (2005). Converging Towards What: On Semantic and Pragmatic Competence. In L. Serafini & P. Bouquet (eds.), CEUR-Workshops.
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  44. Carlo Penco (2001). Local Holism. In P. Bouquet (ed.), Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence. Kluwer. 290--303.
    This paper is devoted to discuss a general tendency in contextualism which is known as "radical contextualism". In the first part I state the well known paradox of semantic holism, as discussed in philosophy of language: if meaning is holistic there is no possibility to share any meaning. In the second part I present the different answers to this paradox, from atomism to different forms of holism. In the third part I give a criticism of the traditional interpretation of Wittgenstein (...)
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  45. Carlo Penco (2000). Three Alternatives on Context. In Diego Marconi (ed.), Knowledge and Meaning. Mercurio.
    Context is a concept used by philosophers and scientists with many different definitions. Since Dummett we speak of "context principle" in Frege and Wittgenstein: "an expression has a meaning only in the context of a sentence". The context principle finds an extension in some of Wittgenstein's ideas, especially in his famous passage where he says that "to understand a sentence is to understand a language". Given that Wittgenstein believes that "the" language does not exist but only language games exist, we (...)
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  46. John Perry (1998). Indexicals, Contexts and Unarticulated Constituents. In Proceedings of the 1995 CSLI-Armsterdam Logic, Language and Computation Conference. CSLI Publications.
    Philosophers and logicians use the term “indexical” for words such as “I”, “you” and “tomorrow”. Demonstratives such as “this” and “that” and demonstratives phrases such as “this man” and “that computer” are usually reckoned as a subcategory of indexicals. (Following [Kaplan, 1989a].) The “context-dependence” of indexicals is often taken as a defining feature: what an indexical designates shifts from context to context. But there are many kinds of shiftiness, with corresponding conceptions of context. Until we clarify what we mean by (...)
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  47. Stefano Predelli (2006). The Problem with Token-Reflexivity. Synthese 148 (1):5 - 29.
    This essay presents an argument against the token-reflexive approach to the semantics for indexical languages. After some preliminary remarks in section one, sections two and three explain why some traditional arguments against token-reflexivity are ultimately ineffective. Section four puts forth a more persuasive argument, to the effect that token-reflexive views overgenerate with respect to results of analyticity. However, as section five explains, defenders of the alternative, type-oriented view have all too often wasted the advantage offered by their approach: the unmotivated, (...)
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  48. Stefano Predelli (1998). Utterance, Interpretation and the Logic of Indexicals. Mind and Language 13 (3):400–414.
  49. Erich Rast (2011). Nonindexical Context-Dependence and the Interpretation as Abduction Approach. Lodz Journal of Pragmatics 7 (2):259-279.
    Abstract -/- Inclusive nonindexical context-dependence occurs when the preferred interpretation of an utterance implies its lexically-derived meaning. It is argued that the corresponding processes of free or lexically mandated enrichment can be modeled as abductive inference. A form of abduction is implemented in Simple Type Theory on the basis of a notion of plausibility, which is in turn regarded a preference relation over possible worlds. Since a preordering of doxastic alternatives taken for itself only amounts to a relatively vacuous ad (...)
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  50. Erich Rast, Context as Assumptions. MSH Lorraine Preprints 2010 of the Proceedings of the Epiconfor Workshop on Epistemology, Nancy 2009.
    In the tradition of Stalnaker (1978,2002, context can be regarded as a set of assumptions that are mutually shared by a group of epistemic agents.An obvious generalization of this view is to explicitly represent each agent’s assumptions in a given situation and update them accordingly when new information is accepted. I lay out a number of philosophical and linguistic requirements for using such a model in order to describe communication of ideally-rational agents. In particular,the following questions are addressed: -/- 1. (...)
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