David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ratio 14 (4):386–406 (2001)
In the early part of the paper, I attempt to explain a dispute between two parties who endorse the compositionality of language but disagree about its implications: Paul Horwich, and Jerry Fodor and Ernest Lepore. In the remainder of the paper, I challenge the thesis on which they are agreed, that compositionality can be taken for granted. I suggest that it is not clear what compositionality involves nor whether it obtains. I consider some kinds of apparent counterexamples, and compositionalist responses to them in terms of covert indexicality and unspecific meanings. I argue that the last option is the best for most of the cases I consider. I conclude by stressing, as against Horwich and Fodor and Lepore, that the appropriate question concerns the extent to which compositionality obtains in a natural language, rather than whether it obtains or not, so that the answer is essentially messy, requiring detailed consideration of a wide range of examples.
|Keywords||philpapers: predicates and context-dependence|
|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
Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla (2013). Experimenting on Contextualism. Mind and Language 28 (3):286-321.
Nat Hansen (2012). J. L. Austin and Literal Meaning. European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):n/a-n/a.
Mark Textor (2009). A Repair of Frege's Theory of Thoughts. Synthese 167 (1):105 - 123.
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.
Similar books and articles
Charles Travis (1997). Pragmatics. In Bob Hale & Crispin Wright (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Blackwell. 87--107.
Peter Pagin (2005). Compositionality and Context. In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. 303-348.
Daniel Rothschild & Gabriel Segal (2009). Indexical Predicates. Mind and Language 24 (4):467--493.
Ernie Lepore (2004). Out of Context. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 78 (2):77 - 94.
Nic Damnjanovic (2004). The Compositionality Papers. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):366 – 367.
Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2010). Adjectives in Context. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge. 119--146.
John Hawthorne (2006). Testing for Context-Dependence. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):443–450.
Peter Pagin (2010). Compositionality I: Definitions and Variants. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):250-264.
Jerry A. Fodor & Ernest Lepore (2002). The Compositionality Papers. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads92 ( #13,458 of 1,103,008 )
Recent downloads (6 months)17 ( #10,351 of 1,103,008 )
How can I increase my downloads?