David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Philosophy 97 (12):655-662 (2000)
How can a speaker can explain that P without explaining the fact that P, or explain the fact that P without explaining that P, even when it is true (and so a fact) that P? Or in formal mode: what is the semantic contribution of 'explain' such that 'She explained that P' can be true, while 'She explained the fact that P' is false (or vice versa), even when 'P' is true? The proposed answer is that 'explained' is a semantically monadic predicate, satisfied by events of explaining. But 'the fact that P' (a determiner phrase) and 'that P' (a complementizer phrase) get associated with different thematic roles, corresponding to the distinction between a thing explained and the content of a speech act.
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Guy Longworth (2008). Linguistic Understanding and Knowledge. Noûs 42 (1):50–79.
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