David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Cognition 92 (3):1-12 (2004)
Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (Weinberg et al. 2001). In light of these findings on cultural differences, two experiments were conducted which explored intuitions about reference in Westerners and East Asians. Both experiments indicate that, for certain central cases, Westerners are more likely than East Asians to report intuitions that are consistent with the causal-historical view. These results constitute prima facie evidence that semantic intuitions vary from culture to culture, and the paper argues that this fact raises questions about the nature of the philosophical enterprise of developing a theory of reference
|Keywords||Semantics Cognitive Psychology Cultural Differences Intuition Epistemology|
|Categories||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
Jonathan M. Weinberg, Chad Gonnerman, Cameron Buckner & Joshua Alexander (2010). Are Philosophers Expert Intuiters? Philosophical Psychology 23 (3):331-355.
Joshua Knobe (2007). Experimental Philosophy. Philosophy Compass 2 (1):81–92.
Simon Cullen (2010). Survey-Driven Romanticism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):275-296.
Kirk Ludwig (2007). The Epistemology of Thought Experiments : First Person Versus Third Person Approaches. In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Midwest Studies in Philosophy. Blackwell Pub. Inc. 128-159.
Antti Kauppinen (2007). The Rise and Fall of Experimental Philosophy. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):95 – 118.
Similar books and articles
Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich (2013). If Folk Intuitions Vary, Then What? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):618-635.
Henry Jackman (2009). Semantic Intuitions, Conceptual Analysis, and Cross-Cultural Variation. Philosophical Studies 146 (2):159 - 177.
Barry Lam (2010). Are Cantonese Speakers Really Descriptivists? Revisiting Cross-Cultural Semantics. Cognition 115 (2):320–32.
Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich (2009). Against Arguments From Reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
Michael Devitt (2011). Experimental Semantics. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):418 - 435.
Justin Sytsma & Jonathan Livengood (2011). A New Perspective Concerning Experiments on Semantic Intuitions. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):315-332.
James Genone & Tania Lombrozo (2012). Concept Possession, Experimental Semantics, and Hybrid Theories of Reference. Philosophical Psychology 25 (5):1-26.
Edouard Machery, Christopher Y. Olivola & Molly De Blanc (2009). Linguistic and Metalinguistic Intuitions in the Philosophy of Language. Analysis 69 (4):689-694.
Ishani Maitra, Brian Weatherson & Jonathan Ichikawa (2012). In Defense of a Kripkean Dogma. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):56-68.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads361 ( #4,056 of 1,790,126 )
Recent downloads (6 months)94 ( #5,792 of 1,790,126 )
How can I increase my downloads?