Delia Graff Fara Princeton University
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About me
I'm a philosophy professor at Princeton, with a PhD from MIT, and a former member of the excellent Cornell philosophy department (F01--S05). I love Emacs and LaTeX, my husband and my daughter and my cats, New York, and the piano (and grammatically defying old-fashioned grammar prescriptions).
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  1. Delia Graff Fara, Generalizing From the Instances.
    ABSTRACT: If an event of one kind does not always lead to an event of a second given kind, it does not follow (of course) that the occurrence of an event of the first kind can never explain the occurrence of an event of the second kind. I’m concerned here with cases of belief. In the service of defending a plausible “boundary-shifting” solution to the sorites paradox, I argue that a certain paradoxical belief(in the universally-generalized premise of the sorites paradox) (...)
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  2. Delia Graff Fara (forthcoming). Names Are Predicates. Philosophical Review.
    Tyler Burge convinced us that names are predicates in at least some of their occurrences: -/- There are relatively few Alfreds in Princeton. -/- Names, when predicates, satisfy the being-called condition: schematically, a name "N" is true of a thing just in case that thing is called N. This paper defends the unified view that names are predicates in all of their occurrences. I follow Clarence Sloat, Paul Elbourne, and Ora Matushansky in saying that when a name seems to occur (...)
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  3. Delia Graff Fara (2013). Specifying Desires. Noûs 47 (2):250-272.
    A report of a person's desire can be true even if its embedded clause underspecifies the content of the desire that makes the report true. It is true that Fiona wants to catch a fish even if she has no desire that is satisfied if she catches a poisoned minnow. Her desire is satisfied only if she catches an edible, meal-sized fish. The content of her desire is more specific than the propositional content of the embedded clause in our true (...)
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  4. Delia Graff Fara (2012). Possibility Relative to a Sortal. In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 7. Oxford University Press.
    This paper is an informal presentation of the ideas presented formally in (”Relative-Sameness Counterpart Theory”. Relative-sameness relations -- such as being the same person as -- are like David Lewis’s “counterpart” relations in the following respects: (i) they may hold over time or across worlds between objects that aren’t cross-time or cross-world identical (I propose), and (ii) there are a multiplicity of them, different ones of which may be variously invoked in different contexts. They differ from his counterpart relations, however, (...)
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  5. Delia Graff Fara (2012). 1. Possibility Relative to a Sortal. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:1.
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  6. Gillian Russell & Delia Fara (eds.) (2012). Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
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  7. Delia Graff Fara (2011). Socratizing. American Philosophical Quarterlly 48 (3):229-238.
    In this paper I trace Quine's early development of his treatment of names, first as abbreviations for definite descriptions with "Frege-Rusell" style substantive content, then as abbreviations for definite descriptions containing simple predicative content, through to a treatment of names themselves as predicates rather than as abbreviations for this or that type of more complex expression. Along the way, I explain why—despite ubiquitous claims and suggestions to the contrary—Quine never actually uses the verbized name "Socratizes".
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  8. Delia Graff Fara (2011). Truth in a Region. In Paul Egre & Nathan Klinedinst (eds.), Vagueness and Language Use. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In this paper I criticize a version of supervaluation semantics. This version is called "Region-Valuation" semantics. It's developed by Pablo Cobreros. I argue that all supervaluationists, regionalists in particular, and truth-value gap theorists of vagueness more generally, are commited to the validity of D-intro, the principle that every sentence entails its definitization (the truth of "Paul is tall" guarantees the truth of "Paul is definitely tall"). The principle embroils one in a paradox that's distinct from, but related to, the sorites (...)
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  9. Delia Graff Fara (2011). You Can Call Me 'Stupid', ... Just Don't Call Me Stupid. Analysis 71 (3):492-501.
    In this paper I argue that names are predicates when they occur in the appellation position of 'called'-predications. This includes not only proper names, but all names -- including quote-names of proper names and quote-names of other words or phrases. Thus in "You can call me Al", the proper name 'Al' is a predicate. And in "You can call me 'Al'," the quote-name of 'Al' -- namely ' 'Al' ' -- is also a predicate.
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  10. Delia Graff Fara & Gillian Russell (eds.) (2011). The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    This volume provides a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the field, charting key ideas and movements, and addressing contemporary research.
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  11. Delia Graff Fara (2010). Scope Confusions and Unsatisfiable Disjuncts: Two Problems for Supervaluationism. In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), (2010) ‘Scope Confusions and Unsatisfiable Disjuncts: Two Problems for Supervaluation- ism’, in eds., Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, Its Nature, and Its Logic,. Oxford University Press.
  12. Delia Graff Fara (2009). Dear Haecceitism. Erkenntnis 70 (3):285–297.
    If a counterpart theorist’s understanding of the counterpart relation precludes haecceitist differences between possible worlds, as David Lewis’s does, how can he admit haecceitist possibilities, as Lewis wants to? Lewis (Philosophical Review 3–32, 1983; On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986) devised what he called a ‘cheap substitute for haecceitism,’ which would allow for haecceitist possibilities while preserving the counterpart relation as a purely qualitative one. The solution involved lifting an earlier (Journal of Philosophy 65(5):113–126, 1968; 68(7):203–211, 1971) ban on there (...)
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  13. Delia Graff Fara (2008). Profiling Interest Relativity. Analysis 68 (300):326-335.
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  14. Delia Graff Fara (2008). Relative-Sameness Counterpart Theory. Review of Symbolic Logic 1 (2):167-189.
  15. Delia Graff Fara (2006). Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification. Philosophical Issues 16 (1):65–87.
    In “Descriptions as Predicates” (Fara 2001) I argued that definite and indefinite descriptions should be given a uniform semantic treatment as predicates rather than as quantifier phrases. The aim of the current paper is to clarify and elaborate one of the arguments for the descriptions-aspredicates view, one that concerns the interaction of descriptions with adverbs of quantification.
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  16. Delia Graff (2006). Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification. Philosophical Issues 16 16:65–87.
    In “Descriptions as Predicates” (Graff 2001) I argued that definite and indefinite descriptions should be given a uniform semantic treatment as predicates rather than as quantifier phrases. The aim of the current paper is to clarify and elaborate one of the arguments for the descriptions-as-predicates view, one that concerns the interaction of descriptions with adverbs of quantification.
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  17. Delia Graff (2004). Gap Principles, Penumbral Consequence, and Infinitely Higher-Order Vagueness. In J. C. Beall (ed.), Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox. Clarendon Press.
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  18. Delia Graff Fara (2002). An Anti-Epistemicist Consequence of Margin for Error Semantics for Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64:127--142.
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  19. Delia Graff (2002). An Anti-Epistemicist Consequence of Margin for Error Semantics for Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):127–142.
  20. Delia Graff & Timothy Williamson (eds.) (2002). Vagueness. Ashgate.
    If you’ve read the first five hundred pages of this book, you’ve read most of it (we assume that ‘most’ requires more than ‘more than half’). The set of natural numbers n such that the first n pages are most of this book is nonempty. Therefore, by the least number principle, it has a least member k. What is k? We do not know. We have no idea how to find out. The obstacle is something about the term ‘most’. It (...)
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  21. Delia Graff Fara (2001). Phenomenal Continua and the Sorites. Mind 110 (440):905-935.
    I argue that, contrary to widespread philosophical opinion, phenomenal indiscriminability is transitive. For if it were not transitive, we would be precluded from accepting the truisms that if two things look the same then the way they look is the same and that if two things look the same then if one looks red, so does the other. Nevertheless, it has seemed obvious to many philosophers (e.g. Goodman, Armstrong and Dummett) that phenomenal indiscriminability is not transitive; and, moreover, that this (...)
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  22. Delia Graff (2001). Descriptions As Predicates. Philosophical Studies 102 (1):1-42.
    Although Strawson’s main aim in “On Referring” was to argue that definite descriptions can be used referentially – that is, “to mention or refer to some individual person or single object . . . , in the course of doing what we should normally describe as making a statement about that person [or] object” (1950, p. 320) – he denied that definite descriptions are always used referentially. The description in ‘Napoleon was the greatest French soldier’ is not used referentially, says (...)
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  23. Delia Graff Fara (2000). Shifting Sands: An Interest Relative Theory of Vagueness. Philosophical Topics 28 (1):45--81.
    I propose that the meanings of vague expressions render the truth conditions of utterances of sentences containing them sensitive to our interests. For example, 'expensive' is analyzed as meaning 'costs a lot', which in turn is analyzed as meaning 'costs significantly greater than the norm'. Whether a difference is a significant difference depends on what our interests are. Appeal to the proposal is shown to provide an attractive resolution of the sorites paradox that is compatible with classical logic and semantics.
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  24. Delia Graff (1999). Review: Gary Ostertag, Definite Descriptions, A Reader. [REVIEW] Journal of Symbolic Logic 64 (3):1371-1374.
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  25. Delia Graff Fara, 'Literal' Uses of Proper Names.
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  26. Delia Graff Fara, Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification.
    In “Descriptions as Predicates” (Fara 2001) I argued that definite and indefinite descriptions should be given a uniform semantic treatment as predicates rather than as quantifier phrases. The aim of the current paper is to clarify and elaborate one of the arguments for the descriptions-aspredicates view, one that concerns the interaction of descriptions with adverbs of quantification.
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