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Profile: Adam Sennet (University of California, Davis)
Profile: Adam Sennet
  1. Adam Sennet & David Copp (forthcoming). What Kind of a Mistake is It to Use a Slur? Philosophical Studies:1-26.
    What accounts for the offensive character of pejoratives and slurs, words like ‘kike’ and ‘nigger’? Is it due to a semantic feature of the words or to a pragmatic feature of their use? Is it due to a violation of a group’s desires to not be called by certain terms? Is it due to a violation of etiquette? According to one kind of view, pejoratives and the non-pejorative terms with which they are related—the ‘neutral counterpart’ terms—have different meanings or senses, (...)
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  2. Adam Sennet (2012). Ambiguity. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  3. Adam Sennet (2012). Context, Compositionality and Amity: A Response to Rett. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (1):29-41.
    In an insightful and provocative paper, Jessica Rett (2006) claims that attempts to locate the (non-indexical, non-demonstrative) semantic contributions of context in syntax run into problems respecting compositionality. This is an especially biting problem for hidden indexical theorists such as Stanley (2000, 2002) who deploy hidden variables to provide a compositional theory of semantic interpretation. Fortunately for the hidden indexical theorists, her attack fails, albeit in interesting and subtle ways. The following paper is divided into four sections. Section I presents (...)
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  4. Adam Sennet (2012). Semantic Plasticity and Epistemicism. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):273-285.
    This paper considers the connections between semantic shiftiness (plasticity), epistemic safety and an epistemic theory of vagueness as presented and defended by Williamson (1996a, b, 1997a, b). Williamson explains ignorance of the precise intension of vague words as rooted in insensitivity to semantic shifts: one’s inability to detect small shifts in intension for a vague word results in a lack of knowledge of the word’s intension. Williamson’s explanation, however, falls short of accounting for ignorance of intension.
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  5. Adam Sennet & Jonathan Weisberg (2012). Embedding "If and Only If". Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):449 - 460.
    Some left-nested indicative conditionals are hard to interpret while others seem fine. Some proponents of the view that indicative conditionals have No Truth Values (NTV) use their view to explain why some left-nestings are hard to interpret: the embedded conditional does not express the truth conditions needed by the embedding conditional. Left-nestings that seem fine are then explained away as cases of ad hoc, pragmatic interpretation. We challenge this explanation. The standard reasons for NTV about indicative conditionals (triviality results, Gibbardian (...)
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  6. Adam Sennet (2011). Unarticulated Constituents and Propositional Structure. Mind and Language 26 (4):412-435.
    Attempts to characterize unarticulated constituents (henceforth: UCs) by means of quantification over the parts of a sentence and the constituents of the proposition it expresses come to grief in more complicated cases than are commonly considered. In particular, UC definitions are inadequate when we consider cases in which the same constituent appears more than once in a proposition that only has one word with the constituent as its semantic value. This article explores some consequences of trying to repair the formal (...)
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  7. Adam Sennet & Ernest Lepore (2010). Saying and Agreeing. Mind and Language 25 (5):583-601.
  8. Adam Sennet (2008). Hidden Indexicals and Pronouns. Protosociology 25:9.
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  9. Adam Sennet (2008). The Binding Argument and Pragmatic Enrichment, or, Why Philosophers Care Even More Than Weathermen About 'Raining'. Philosophy Compass 3 (1):135-157.
    What is the proper way to draw the semantics-pragmatics distinction, and is what is said by a speaker ever enriched by pragmatics? An influential but controversial answer to the latter question is that the inputs to semantic interpretation contains representations of every contribution from context that is relevant to determining what is said, and that pragmatics never enriches the output of semantic interpretation. The proposal is bolstered by a controversial argument from syntactic binding designed to detect hidden syntactic structure. The (...)
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  10. Adam Sennet (2007). Review of H. Laycock, Words Without Objects: Semantics, Ontology, and Logic for Non-Singularity. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (3).
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  11. Adam Sennet (2006). Water and Ice. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):629 - 634.
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  12. Adam Sennet (2002). An Ambiguity Test for Definite Descriptions. Philosophical Studies 111 (1):81 - 95.
    Donnellan (1966) makes a convincing case for two distinct uses ofdefinite descriptions. But does the difference between the usesreflects an ambiguity in the semantics of descriptions? This paperapplies a linguistic test for ambiguity to argue that the differencebetween the uses is not semantically significant.
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