David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
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 which the content of a complex expression depends on the context of its utterance only insofar as the contents of its constituents do. If the context thesis is false, the content of some complex expression is not compositionally determined. In section 2, using an example due to Charles Travis, I construct an objection to the context thesis based on the behavior of the adjective ‘green’. In section 3 and 4, I look at some of the difficulties surrounding the semantics of ‘good’, which provide the motivation for the thesis that most adjectives are contextually incomplete one-place predicates. In section 5, I discuss how ‘green’ and other color adjectives can be treated within such a semantic theory. Since this theory is compatible with the context thesis, the objection against the compositionality of content looses its force.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nat Hansen (2011). Color Adjectives and Radical Contextualism. Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):201-221.
Christopher Kennedy & Louise McNally (2010). Color, Context, and Compositionality. Synthese 174 (1):79--98.
Zoltan Szabo (2010). The Determination of Content. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):253 - 272.
Zoltán Szabó (2010). The Determination of Content. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):253 - 272.
Christopher Kennedy (2007). Vagueness and Grammar: The Semantics of Relative and Absolute Gradable Adjectives. [REVIEW] Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):1 - 45.
Ernie Lepore (2004). Out of Context. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78 (2):77 - 94.
John Hawthorne (2007). Context-Dependency and Comparative Adjectives. Analysis 67 (295):195–204.
Ernest Lepore (2004). A Tall Tale. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):3-28.
Michael Glanzberg (2007). Context, Content, and Relativism. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):1--29.
David Braun (2008). Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents. Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.
Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore (2013). A Tall Tale: In Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. 412-28.
Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore (2005). A Tall Tale: In Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. 197-220.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads19 ( #95,919 of 1,139,956 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #165,020 of 1,139,956 )
How can I increase my downloads?