Zoltan Gendler Szabo Yale University
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  • Faculty, Yale University
  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1995.

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  1. Jonathan Schaffer & Zoltan Gendler Szabo (2013). Epistemic Comparativism: A Contextualist Semantics for Knowledge Ascriptions. Philosophical Studies (2):1-53.
    Knowledge ascriptions seem context sensitive. Yet it is widely thought that epistemic contextualism does not have a plausible semantic implementation. We aim to overcome this concern by articulating and defending an explicit contextualist semantics for ‘know,’ which integrates a fairly orthodox contextualist conception of knowledge as the elimination of the relevant alternatives, with a fairly orthodox “Amherst” semantics for A-quantification over a contextually variable domain of situations. Whatever problems epistemic contextualism might face, lack of an orthodox semantic implementation is not (...)
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  2. Zoltan Szabo & Jason Stanley, Domain of Quantification.
    When we utter sentences containing quantifiers, typically we are not to be taken to speak about absolutely everything there is. Suppose Mary has invited her friend John to a party to which she is going. If, upon entering the party, Mary turns to Jack and utters (1), it would be rather odd of Jack to object by pointing out that John in fact knows several people who are not present.
     
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  3. Zoltan Szabo, Critical Notice of Ficitionalism in Metaphysics.
    I present two challenges to fictionalism. According to the first, the reasons fictionalists offer for acceptance without belief often warrant a somewhat different attitude. According to the second, the possibility of fictionalist acceptnace rests on the poorly supported hypothesis that there is a clear distinction between philsophical and ordinary contexts. This is forthcoming in Noûs.
     
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  4. Zoltan Szabo, On Presupposition Accommodation.
    These are the comments I gave at Ohio State in October 2006 on Kai von Fintel’s paper on presupposition accommodation.
     
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  5.  11
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (forthcoming). Finding the Question. Philosophical Studies:1-8.
    Yablo gives us an account of subject-matter - a characterization of what declarative sentences are about. I argue that this account can be seen as a way of adjusting Frege’s theory of meaning, so as it no longer carries the implausible commitment that declarative sentences refer to their truth-values. I also point out that Yablo’s approach faces an unpleasant choice: give up a uniform compositional semantics for interrogative sentences or abandon the idea that ordinary characterizations of subject matter are literally (...)
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    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (forthcoming). Prospective Interpretation. Philosophical Studies:1-12.
    Semantic and pragmatic theories tend to deal with context-change in two radically opposing ways. Some view it as theoretically irrelevant, interpreting each sentence relative to the context as it happens to be at the moment of its utterance. Others view it as theoretically fundamental, proposing to view context-change as the very subject-matter of the theory of interpretation. Robert Stalnaker’s book Context steers a middle course between the extremes–to keep the semantics mostly static while letting the pragmatics go mostly dynamic. Within (...)
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  7.  3
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2016). In Defense of Indirect Communication. Inquiry 59 (2):163-174.
    In Imagination and Convention, Ernest Lepore and Matthew Stone claim that there are no conversational implicatures. They argue that the scope of the conventional is wider and the scope of communication narrower than followers of Grice tend to assume, and so, there is simply no room for the sort of indirect communication based on reasoning about intentions conversational implicatures are supposed to exemplify. This way they seek to rehabilitate the old Lockean model of linguistic communication. I argue that while the (...)
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  8.  39
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2015). Category Mistakes. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 124 (2):289-292.
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  9.  35
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2015). Major Parts of Speech. Erkenntnis 80 (1):3-29.
    According to the contemporary consensus, when reaching in the lexicon grammar looks for items like nouns, verbs, and prepositions while logic sees items like predicates, connectives, and quantifiers. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a single lexical category contemporary grammar and logic both make use of. I hope to show that while a perfect match between the lexical categories of grammar and logic is impossible there can be a substantial overlap. I propose semantic definitions for all the major parts (...)
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  10. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2015). Problems of Compositionality. Routledge.
    This book is a critical discussion of the principle of compositionality, the thesis that the meaning of a complex expression is fully determined by the meanings of its constituents and its structure. The aim of this book is to clarify what is meant by this principle, to show that its traditional justification is insufficient, and to discuss some of the problems that have to be addressed before a new attempt can be made to justify it.
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  11. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2014). Problems of Compositionality. Routledge.
    This book is a critical discussion of the principle of compositionality, the thesis that the meaning of a complex expression is fully determined by the meanings of its constituents and its structure. The aim of this book is to clarify what is meant by this principle, to show that its traditional justification is insufficient, and to discuss some of the problems that have to be addressed before a new attempt can be made to justify it.
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  12. Zoltán Gendler Szabó & Joshua Knobe (2013). Modals with a Taste of the Deontic. Semantics and Pragmatics 6 (1):1-42.
    The aim of this paper is to present an explanation for the impact of normative considerations on people’s assessment of certain seemingly purely descriptive matters. The explanation is based on two main claims. First, a large category of expressions are tacitly modal: they are contextually equivalent to modal proxies. Second, the interpretation of predominantly circumstantial or teleological modals is subject to certain constraints which make certain possibilities salient at the expense of others.
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  13.  40
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2012). Against Logical Form. In Gerhard Preyer (ed.), Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental. Oxford University Press
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  14. Z. G. Szabo (2011). Bare Quantifiers. Philosophical Review 120 (2):247-283.
    We design new languages, by and large, in order to bypass complexities and limitations within the languages we already have. But when we are concerned with language itself we should guard against projecting the simple and powerful syntax and semantics we have concocted back into the sentences we encounter. For some of the features of English, French, or Ancient Greek we routinely abstract away from in the process of formalization might be linguistic universals – the very features that set human (...)
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  15.  55
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2011). Critical Study of Mark Eli Kalderon (Ed.) Fictionalism in Mataphysics. Noûs 45 (2):375-385.
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  16.  36
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2011). Review of Scott Soames, Philosophy of Language. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (2).
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  17. Zoltan Szabo (2010). The Determination of Content. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):253 - 272.
    I identify a notion of compositionality at the intersection of the different notions philosophers, linguists, and psychologists are concerned with. The notion is compositionality of expression content: the idea that the content of a complex expression in a context of its utterance is determined by its syntactic structure and the contents of its constituents in the contexts of their respective utterances. Traditional arguments from productivity and systematicity cannot establish that the contents of linguistic expressions are compositionally determined in this sense. (...)
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  18. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2009). Adjectives in Context. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge 119--146.
  19.  60
    Z. G. Szabo (2008). Review: R. M. Sainsbury: Reference Without Referents. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (468):1123-1127.
  20.  36
    Zoltan Szabo (2008). Things in Progress. Noûs 42 (1):499-525.
    I argue that sentences like ‘ John is building a house’ entail the existence of some thing John is building, althoguh they do not entail that this thing is a house. It is a house in progress. On the way, I argue against intensional analyses of the progressive. This is a follow-up of my earlier paper ‘On the Progressive and the Perfective.’.
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  21.  45
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2008). Compositionality. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  22.  5
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2008). Review: RM Sainsbury: Reference Without Referents. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (468):1123-1127.
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  23.  10
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2008). Review: Structure and Conventions. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 137 (3):399 - 408.
    Wayne Davis's Meaning, Expression and Thought argues that linguistic meaning is conventional use to express ideas. An obvious problem with this proposal is that complex expressions that have never been used are nonetheless meaningful. In response to this concern, Davis associates conventions of use not only with linguistic expressions but also with the modes in which such expressions can combine into larger expressions. I argue that such constructive conventions are in conflict with the principle of compositionality (as it is usually (...)
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  24.  52
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2008). Structure and Conventions. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 137 (3):399 - 408.
    Wayne Davis’s Meaning, Expression and Thought argues that linguistic meaning is conventional use to express ideas. An obvious problem with this proposal is that complex expressions that have never been used are nonetheless meaningful. In response to this concern, Davis associates conventions of use not only with linguistic expressions but also with the modes in which such expressions can combine into larger expressions. I argue that such constructive conventions are in conflict with the principle of compositionality (as it is usually (...)
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  25.  52
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2008). Things in Progress. Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):499-525.
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  26.  30
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2006). Counting Across Times. Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):399–426.
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  27.  45
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2006). Review: Descriptions and Beyond. [REVIEW] Mind 115 (459):796-800.
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  28. Zoltan Gendler Szabo (2006). Semantics And. In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press
     
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  29.  40
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2006). Sensitivity Training. Mind and Language 21 (1):31–38.
  30.  2
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2006). The Distinction Between Semantics and Pragmatics. In Ernest Lepore & Barry Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press 361--389.
    Semantics is the study of linguistic meaning, or more precisely, the study of the relation between linguistic expressions and their meanings. This article gives a sketch of the distinction between semantics and pragmatics; it is the intention of the rest of this article to make it more precise. It starts by considering three alternative characterizations and explain what the article finds problematic about each of them. This leads to the discussion of utterance interpretation, which situates semantics and pragmatics in a (...)
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  31.  98
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (ed.) (2005). Semantics Vs. Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
    Leading scholars in the philosophy of language and theoretical linguistics present brand-new papers on a major topic at the intersection of the two fields, the distinction between semantics and pragmatics. Anyone engaged with this issue in either discipline will find much to reward their attention here. Contributors: Kent Bach, Herman Cappelen, Michael Glanzberg, Jeffrey C. King, Ernie Lepore, Stephen Neale, F. Recanati, Nathan Salmon, Mandy Simons, Scott Soames, Robert J. Stainton, Jason Stanley, Zoltan Gendler Szabo.
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  32. Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.) (2005). Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Clarendon Press.
    Leading scholars in the philosophy of language and theoretical linguistics present brand-new papers on a major topic at the intersection of the two fields, the distinction between semantics and pragmatics. Anyone engaged with this issue in either discipline will find much to reward their attention here. Contributors: Kent Bach, Herman Cappelen, Michael Glanzberg, Jeffrey C. King, Ernie Lepore, Stephen Neale, F. Recanati, Nathan Salmon, Mandy Simons, Scott Soames, Robert J. Stainton, Jason Stanley, Zoltan Gendler Szabo.
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  33.  27
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2005). The Loss of Uniqueness. Mind 114 (456):1185 - 1222.
    Philosophers and linguists alike tend to call a semantic theory ‘Russellian’ just in case it assigns to sentences in which definite descriptions occur the truth-conditions Russell did in ‘On Denoting’. This is unfortunate; not all aspects of those particular truth-conditions do explanatory work in Russell's writings. As far as the semantics of descriptions is concerned, the key insights of ‘On Denoting’ are that definite descriptions are not uniformly referring expressions, and that they are scope-bearing elements. Anyone who accepts these two (...)
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  34.  46
    Zoltan Gendler Szabo (2005). Sententialism and Berkeley's Master Argument. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (220):462 - 474.
    Sententialism is the view that intensional positions in natural languages occur within clausal complements only. According to proponents of this view, intensional transitive verbs such as 'want', 'seek' or 'resemble' are actually propositional attitude verbs in disguise. I argue that 'conceive' (and a few other verbs) cannot fit this mould: conceiving-of is not reducible to conceiving-that. I offer a new diagnosis of where Berkeley's 'master argument' goes astray, analysing what is odd about saying that Hylas conceives a tree which is (...)
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  35. Z. G. Szabo (2004). Review: The Compositionality Papers. [REVIEW] Mind 113 (450):340-344.
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  36.  68
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2004). On the Progressive and the Perfective. Noûs 38 (1):29–59.
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  37.  14
    Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.) (2004). Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Leading scholars in the philosophy of language and theoretical linguistics present brand-new papers on a major topic at the intersection of the two fields, the distinction between semantics and pragmatics. Anyone engaged with this issue in either discipline will find much to reward their attention here. Contributors: Kent Bach, Herman Cappelen, Michael Glanzberg, Jeffrey C. King, Ernie Lepore, Stephen Neale, F. Recanati, Nathan Salmon, Mandy Simons, Scott Soames, Robert J. Stainton, Jason Stanley, Zoltan Gendler Szabo.
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  38. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2004). The Compositionality Papers. Mind 113 (450):340-344.
     
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  39.  25
    Zoltán G. Szabó (2003). Definite Descriptions Without Uniqueness: A Reply to Abbott. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 114 (3):279 - 291.
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  40. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2003). Believing in Things. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):584–611.
    I argue against the standard view that ontological debates can be fully described as disagreements about what we should believe to exist. The central thesis of the paper is that believing in Fs in the ontologically relevant sense requires more than merely believing that Fs exist. Believing in Fs is not even a propositional attitude; it is rather an attitude one bears to the term expressed by 'Fs'. The representational correctness of such a belief requires not only that there be (...)
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  41. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2003). Nominalism. In Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press
    …entities? 2. How to be a nominalist 2.1. “Speak with the vulgar …” 2.2. “…think with the learned” 3. Arguments for nominalism 3.1. Intelligibility, physicalism, and economy 3.2. Causal..
     
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  42.  50
    Zoltan Gendler Szabo (2003). On Qualification. Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):385-414.
  43. Z. G. Szabo (2002). Eugen Fischer, Linguistic Creativity: Exercises inPhilosophical Therapy'. Philosophy in Review 22 (5):320-322.
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  44. Z. G. Szabo (2001). Andrew Brook and Robert Stainton, Knowledge and Mind: A Philosophical Introduction. Philosophy in Review 21 (4):239-241.
     
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  45. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2001). Adjectives in Context. In Robert M. Harrish & Istvan Kenesei (eds.), Perspectives on Semantics, Pragmatics, and Discourse. John Benjamins Publishing Company
    0. Abstract In this paper, I argue that although the behavior of adjectives in context poses a serious challenge to the principle of compositionality of content, in the end such considerations do not defeat the principle. The first two sections are devoted to the precise statement of the challenge; the rest of the paper presents a semantic analysis of a large class of adjectives that provides a satisfactory answer to it. In section 1, I formulate the context thesis, according to (...)
     
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  46.  38
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2001). Fictionalism and Moore's Paradox. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):293-307.
    A fictionalist attitude towards an area of discourse encourages us to assent to certain sentences of that discourse without believing that they are true. Prima facie, this amounts to a suggestion that we should also assent to sentences of the form 'S but I don't believe that S'. Traditional versions of fictionalism have an answer to this challenge, but I argue that the answer is unavailable for a currently popular type of fictionalism. This is bad news for fictionalism in general (...)
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  47. Jason Stanley & Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2000). On Quantifier Domain Restriction. Mind and Language 15 (2&3):219--61.
  48.  52
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2000). Compositionality as Supervenience. Linguistics and Philosophy 23 (5):475-505.
  49.  46
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2000). Descriptions and Uniqueness. Philosophical Studies 101 (1):29-57.
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  50. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2000). Problems of Compositionality. Garland Pub..
    This book is a critical discussion of the principle of compositionality, the thesis that the meaning of a complex expression is fully determined by the meanings of its constituents and its structure. The aim of this book is to clarify what is meant by this principle, to show that its traditional justification is insufficient, and to discuss some of the problems that have to be addressed before a new attempt can be made to justify it.
     
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  51.  5
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (1999). A Subject With No Object. Philosophical Review 108 (1):106-109.
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  52.  46
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (1999). Expressions and Their Representations. Philosophical Quarterly 49 (195):145–163.
    It is plausible to think that our knowledge of linguistic types can bejustified by what we know about the tokens of these types. But one then hasto explain what it is about the relation a type bears to its tokens that makespossible the move from knowledge of the concrete to knowledge of theabstract. I argue that the standard solution to this difficulty, that the relevant relation is instantiation and that the transition is inductive generalization, is inadequate. I propose an alternative, (...)
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  53.  1
    Zoltan Gendler Szabo, John P. Burgess & Gideon Rosen (1999). A Subject with No Object. Philosophical Review 108 (1):106.
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  54.  2
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (1998). Gauker Christopher. Universal Instantiation: A Study of the Role of Context in Logic. Erkenntnis, Vol. 46 , Pp. 185–214. [REVIEW] Journal of Symbolic Logic 63 (4):1610-1611.
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  55.  12
    Zoltán Gendler Szabó (1997). Knowledge of Meaning. Philosophical Review 106 (1):122-124.
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  56. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (1997). Review of Larson and Segal (1995). [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 106.
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  57. Zoltan Gendler Szabo, Richard Larson & Gabriel Segal (1997). Knowledge of Meaning: An Introduction to Semantic Theory. Philosophical Review 106 (1):122.
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  58. Jason Stanley & Zoltan Szabo, A Philosopher's Guide to Context Dependence.
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