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Profile: Alberto Voltolini (Università degli Studi di Torino)
  1. Alberto Voltolini, Internalism and Externalism. Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind.
  2. Stefano di Bella, Mauro Mariani, Giuseppe Varnier & Alberto Voltolini (unknown). Medieval Arabic Philosophy and the West. Topos 19 (1).
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  3. Alberto Voltolini, Asymmetrical Dependence Between Causal Laws Does Not Account for Meaning.
    In (1990), Jerry Fodor has defended a naturalized conception of meaning for Mentalese expressions which relies on the notion of asymmetric dependence. According to this conception, any naturalized theory of meaning must be able to account for the fact that meaning is robust, namely that any token of a certain Mentalese expression “x” retains the expression’s meaning, X, for any Y (≠ X) which happens to cause it. Now, this robustness of “x”‘s meaning can precisely be explained in terms of (...)
     
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  4. Alberto Voltolini, Are (Possible) Guises Internally Characterizable?
    In H-N. Castañeda's ontology, a fundamental Fregean distinction is drawn between unsaturated and saturated entities, the former corresponding to predicative aspects of reality, the latter to individuals, that is, to items which can be referred to by means of singular terms1. Within saturated entities, Castañeda attempts to distinguish between abstract and concrete individuals. Sets and Platonic Forms of the F-ness-type are the typical examples of the former category2. As to the latter category instead, concrete individual guises represent both the bottom (...)
     
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  5. Alberto Voltolini, A Syncretistic Ontology of Fictional Beings.
    In the camp of the believers in fictional entities, two main paradigms nowadays face each other: the neo-Meinongian and the artifactualist.1 Both parties agree on the idea that ficta are abstract entities, i.e. things that exist (at least in the actual world) even though in a non-spatiotemporal way. Yet according to the former paradigm, ficta are entities of a Platonic sort: either sets of properties (or at least ‘one-one’ correlates of such sets) or generic objects. According to the latter paradigm (...)
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  6. Alberto Voltolini, Contingent and Necessary Identities.
    A new theory of identity statements is put forward which appeals to a basic distinction between two notions of identity, i.e. strict and loose identity. The former is the traditional necessary relation of an object with the object itself, whereas the latter is a contingent relation of reduction of some (at least two) possible unactual objects to a possible actual object. By appealing to strict identity, one can maintain that some tokenings of identity sentences express a semantic content which is (...)
     
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  7. Alberto Voltolini, Cognitively Contentless Significance as Semantic Content.
    Some years ago, Howard Wettstein provided an original defense of the New Theory of Reference (NTR), the doctrine that singular terms such as names and indexicals are directly referential terms (DRTs), contributing only their reference to the truth-conditions of the tokened sentence they occur in. Wettstein maintained that in order to be semantically adequate, NTR does not have to account for what he calls Frege’s data on cognitive significance, those puzzling facts about language that prompt one to think that meaning (...)
     
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  8. Alberto Voltolini, Can Negative Existentials Be Referentially Vindicated?
    In The Theory of Objects, Alexius Meinong used true negative existentials to argue in favour of non-existent objects: in order to assert veridically that an object O does not exist, one has to refer to O itself1. From Bertrand Russell's "On Denoting" onwards, it has become a commonplace to say that this argument does not work. For every sentence apparently concerning non-existents one can provide a paraphrase which eliminates the singular term contained in it and therefore dispels the illusion of (...)
     
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  9. Alberto Voltolini, Critical Notice Of: François Recanati, Direct Reference (Oxford:Blackwell, 1993).
    Everything you wanted to know about direct reference and always dared to ask is contained in Recanati's new book, which is not only a comprehensive survey on the received doctrine but also an original attempt to find a new way out of the many puzzles which surround the "new theory of reference" (in H. Wettstein's words) since its origins. Principles and conceptions are indeed acutely specified and Recanati's own theses are argued for in a very subtle and rigorous way. One (...)
     
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  10. Alberto Voltolini, Compositional Supervenience Without Compositional Meaning?
    An attempt is first made to clarify why Stephen Schiffer may legitimately claim that his noncompositional account of meaning differs from other non-compositional semantic doctrines such as the hidden-indexical theory of propositional attitudes. Subsequently, however, doubt is cast upon Schiffer's main contention that, as far as language of thought is concerned, a compositional supervenience theory can adequately satisfy all the desiderata a compositional meaning theory is traditionally called upon for. This doubt basically depends on the fact that, once a physical (...)
     
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  11. Alberto Voltolini, From Hegel to Kaplan.
    Da Hegel fino a Bradley, l'attacco idealista ad una concezione pluralistica della realtà come una credenza non suffragata dalla verità delle cose si è valso dell'argomento semantico secondo il quale le espressioni indicali, su cui da ultimo riposerebbe tutta la valenza referenziale del linguaggio, non si riferiscono a segmenti discreti del reale ma si limitano ad esprimere universali. Dal versante ontologico opposto, Russell ha guidato la reazione all'idealismo assoluto (inaugurando così uno dei filoni di riflessione della filosofia analitica) facendo perno (...)
     
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  12. Alberto Voltolini, Holistic Narrow Content?
    1. In the course of his philosophical development, Jerry Fodor has indicated two sorts of non-broad (i.e., non-truthconditional) content of mental representations, namely content of mental state types opaquely taxonomized (de dicto content: DDC) and narrow content (NC) qua mapping function from contexts (of thought) to broad contents. According to the former conceptualization, mental state tokens which are truth-conditionally identical may be such that they cannot both truthfully ascribed to one and the same subject at the same time, for they (...)
     
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  13. Alberto Voltolini, How to Allow for Intentionalia in the Jungle.
    In this paper I will Wrst contend that semantically based arguments in favour of or against problematic entitiesz—zlike those provided, respectively, in a realist Meinongian and in an antirealist Russellian campz—zare ultimately inconclusive. Indeed, only genuinely ontological arguments, speciWcally addressed to prove (or to reject) the existence of entities of a deWnite kind, suit the purpose. Thus, I will sketch an argument intended to show that there really are entities of an apparently speciWc kind, i.e. intentionalia, broadly conceived as things (...)
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  14. Alberto Voltolini, Indexinames.
    Insofar as the so-called new theory of reference has come to be acknowleged as the leading theoretical paradigm in semantic research, it has been widely accepted that proper names directly refer to their designation. In advancing some of the most convincing arguments in favour of this view of names, S. Kripke has however left somehow undecided what the role of context is in determining which is the direct referent for a name. According to one interpretation of his thought, context has (...)
     
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  15. Alberto Voltolini, Possible Objects and Possible States of Affairs in Wittgenstein's Tractatus.
    In one of its latest papers Timothy Williamson has drawn a distinction between two readings of the phrase "possible F", where "F" is a predicate variable: the predicative and the attributive. In what follows, on the one hand I will hold that the first reading naturally applies to the phrase "possible object", thereby supporting a moderata conception of possibilia as entities that possibly exist. Moreover, I will maintain that one such conception provides the best possible account of Tractarian objects. On (...)
     
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  16. Alberto Voltolini, Reference Intentionality is an Internal Relation.
    In this paper, I will focus on the basic form of intentionality, reference intentionality (from now on, RI), the property an intentional state has of being ‘directed upon’ a certain object, its intentional object. I will try to prove that (as Husserl, Wittgenstein and others originally envisaged) RI is not only a state - intentional object relation, but it also is an internal, i.e., a necessary, relation between that state and that object, at least in the sense that the state (...)
     
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  17. Alberto Voltolini, The Nameability of Possible Objects.
    Within the general framework of the theory of direct reference, there is no agreement as to whether unactualised possible objects (from now on, possibilia) can be referred to by means of directly referential singular terms (from now on, DR terms). While some have maintained that such a direct reference can be established e.g. via some fixing-reference description (Kaplan, Salmon, and perhaps Kripke himself), others have denied any such possibility. In what follows, I will scrutinise such denials by attempting at the (...)
     
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  18. Alberto Voltolini, Why It is Hard to Naturalize Attitude Aboutness.
    Over the last twenty years, many attempts have been made to discard the intentionality possessed by prima facie contentful mental states (intentional acts; atttudes, in Russell’s terms), where this is understood as the special, mental-orsemantic, quality of being ‘directed’ upon something.1 This has also involved dispensing with special ‘aboutness’-properties like being about O, which stand to intentionality as species to genus. These naturalistic strategies have been oriented in two ontologically different ways, conservative or revolutionary. The first has been pursued either (...)
     
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  19. Alberto Voltolini, Wittgensteinian Watered-Down Qualia.
    In this paper I want to hold that Wittgenstein’s later position on qualitative states, which sees them as triplets made out of three necessary components - stimulus, qualitative element and manifestability - allows for supervenience of such states over physical ones. Insofar as this is the case, such a position is more akin to naturalism that the one that has been recently defended by Kim, who allows for merely partial supervenience of qualia over physical states. Moreover, Wittgenstein’s conception stems out (...)
     
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  20. Alberto Voltolini (2013). Defiction? In C. Barbero, M. Ferraris & A. Voltolini (eds.), From Fictionalism to Realism. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    On various occasions, Kendall Walton has put forward a theory of depiction based on the notion of make-believe: P depicts something only if in virtue of having a perception of P, one makes believe that that very experience is the perception of P’s subject. As a consequence, if an individual is not able to make believe, whatever they face in their perception does not count as a depiction for her. Yet there are many evidences from developmental psychology that show that (...)
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  21. Alberto Voltolini (2013). Probably the Charterhouse of Parma Does Not Exist, Possibly Not Even That Parma. Humana.Mente 25:235-261.
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  22. Alberto Voltolini (2013). There Are Intentionalia of Which It Is True That Such Objects Do Not Exist. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (3):394-414.
    According to Crane’s schematicity thesis (ST) about intentional objects, intentionalia have no particular metaphysical nature qua thought-of entities; moreover, the real metaphysical nature of intentionalia is various, insofar as it is settled independently of the fact that intentionalia are targets of one’s thought. As I will point out, ST has the ontological consequence that the intentionalia that really belong to the general inventory of what there is, the overall domain, are those that fall under a good metaphysical kind, i.e., a (...)
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  23. Alberto Voltolini (2013). The Content of a Seeing-As Experience. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 6 (1):215-237.
    In this paper I will claim that the different phenomenology of seeing-as experiences of ambiguous figures matches a difference in their intentional content. Such a content is non-conceptual when the relevant seeing-as experience is just an experience of organizational seeing-as. It is partially conceptual when the relevant seeing-as experience is an overall experience of seeing something as a picture that is identical with Wollheim’s seeing-in experience and is constituted by an experience of organizational seeing-as (its configurational fold) and by an (...)
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  24. Alberto Voltolini (2013). The Mark of the Mental. Phenomenology and Mind 4:124-136.
    In this paper, I want to show that the so-called intentionalist programme, according to which the qualitative aspects of the mental have to be brought back to its intentional features, is doomed to fail. For, pace Brentano, the property that constitutes the main part of such intentional features, i.e., intentionality, is not the mark of the mental, neither in the proper Brentanian sense, according to which intentionality is the both necessary and sufficient condition of the mental, nor in its ‘watered (...)
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  25. Alberto Voltolini (2013). Why, as Responsible for Figurativity, Seeing-in Can Only Be Inflected Seeing-In. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-17.
    In this paper, I want to argue for two main and related points. First, I want to defend Richard Wollheim’s well-known thesis that the twofold mental state of seeing-in is the distinctive pictorial experience that marks figurativity. Figurativity is what makes a representation pictorial, a depiction of its subject. Moreover, I want to show that insofar as it is a mark of figurativity, all seeing-in is inflected. That is to say, every mental state of seeing-in is such that the characterisation (...)
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  26. Alberto Voltolini (2012). All the Existences That There Are. Disputatio 32 (32):361-383.
    In this paper, I will defend the claim that there are three existence properties: the second-order property of being instantiated, a substantive first-order property (or better a group of such properties) and a formal, hence universal, first-order property. I will first try to show what these properties are and why we need all of them for ontological purposes. Moreover, I will try to show why a Meinong-like option that positively endorses both the former and the latter first-order property is the (...)
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  27. Alberto Voltolini (2012). Che Cosa Socialmente C'e. Rivista di Estetica 52 (50):377-389.
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  28. Alberto Voltolini (2012). Crossworks ‘Identity’ and Intrawork* Identity of a Fictional Character. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 66:561-576.
    In this paper I want to show that the idea supporters of traditional creationism (TC) defend, that success of a fictional character across different works has to be accounted for in terms of the persistence of (numerically) one and the same fictional entity, is incorrect. For the supposedly commonsensical data on which those supporters claim their ideas rely are rather controversial. Once they are properly interpreted, they can rather be accommodated by moderate creationism (MC), according to which fictional characters arise (...)
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  29. Alberto Voltolini (2012). Towards a Syncretistic Theory of Depiction. In C. Calabi (ed.), Perceptual Illusions. Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Palgrave.
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  30. Alberto Voltolini (2012). 2.2. Il Nulla Nulleggia Ancora. Rivista di Estetica 49 (1):99-113.
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  31. Alberto Voltolini (2012). Nothing yet Nulleggia Again. Rivista di Estetica 52 (1):99-113.
     
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  32. Alberto Voltolini (2012). Puns for Contextualists. Humana.Mente 23:113-140.
    In this paper, I will first try to provide a new argument in favour of the contextualist position on the semantics/pragmatics divide. I will argue that many puns, notably multi-stable ones, cannot be dealt with in the non-contextualist way, i.e., as displaying a phenomenon that effectively involves wide context, the concrete situation of discourse, yet only in a pre-, or at least inter-, semantic sense. For, insofar as they involve ambiguous utterances rather than ambiguous sentences, these puns show that the (...)
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  33. Alberto Voltolini (2011). A che titolo titoliamo immagini? Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 4 (2).
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  34. Alberto Voltolini (2011). How Creationism Supports for Kripke’s Vichianism on Fiction. In F. Lihoreau (ed.), Truth in Fiction. Ontos Verlag. 38--93.
    In this paper, I want to show that a reasonable thesis on truth in fiction, Fictional Vichianism (FV)—according to which fictional truths are true because they are stipulated to be true—can be positively endorsed if one grounds Kripke’s justification for (FV), that traces back to the idea that names used in fiction never refer to concrete real individuals, into a creationist position on fictional entities that allows for a distinction between the pretending and the characterizing use of fiction-involving sentences. Thus, (...)
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  35. Carola Barbero, Mario De Caro & Alberto Voltolini (2010). È naturale essere naturalisti? Rivista di Estetica 50 (44):3-6.
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  36. Mario de Caro & Alberto Voltolini (2010). Is Liberal Naturalism Possible? In Mario de Caro & David Macarthur (eds.), Naturalism and Normativity. Columbia University Press.
     
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  37. Mario De Caro & Alberto Voltolini (2010). Il migliore dei naturalismi possibili. Rivista di Estetica 50 (44):157-169.
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  38. Mario De Caro & Alberto Voltolini (2010). The Best of Possible Naturalism. Rivista di Estetica 50 (2):157-169.
     
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  39. Pasquale Frascolla, Diego Marconi & Alberto Voltolini (eds.) (2010). Wittgenstein: Mind, Meaning and Metaphilosophy. Palgrave Macmillan.
  40. Cristina Meini & Alberto Voltolini (2010). How Pretence Can Really Be Metarepresentational. Mind and Society 9 (1):31-58.
    Our lives are commonly involved with fictionality, an activity that adults share with children. After providing a brief reconstruction of the most important cognitive theories on pretence, we will argue that pretence has to do with metarepresentations, albeit in a rather weakened sense. In our view, pretending entails being aware that a certain representation does not fit in the very same representational model as another representation. This is a minimal metarepresentationalism, for normally metarepresentationalism on pretense claims that pretending is or (...)
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  41. Alberto Voltolini (2010). Against Against Fictional Realism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):47-63.
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  42. Alberto Voltolini (2010). Finzioni: Il Far Finta E I Suoi Oggetti. Laterza.
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  43. Alberto Voltolini (2010). Is Wittgenstein a Contextualist? Essays in Philosophy 11 (2):3.
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  44. Alberto Voltolini (2009). Consequences of Schematism. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (1):135-150.
    In his (2001a) and in some related papers, Tim Crane has maintained that intentional objects are schematic entities, in the sense that, insofar as being an intentional object is not a genuine metaphysical category, qua objects of thought intentional objects have no particular nature. This approach to intentionalia is the metaphysical counterpart of the later Husserl's ontological approach to the same entities, according to which qua objects of thought intentionalia are indifferent to existence. But to buy a metaphysically deflationary approach (...)
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  45. Alberto Voltolini (2009). How Demonstrative Pictorial Reference Grounds Contextualism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):402-418.
    In a very recent paper (forthcoming), Dominic McIver Lopes has claimed that pictures perceptually ground demonstrative reference to depicted objects. If as I think Lopes is right, this has important consequences for the debate on the semantics/pragmatics divide. For one can exploit Lopes' claim in order to provide one more argument in favour of the well-known contextualist thesis that wide context has not only both a pre- and a post-semantic role, but also a semantic role – to put it in (...)
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  46. Alberto Voltolini (2009). How Ficta Follow Fiction: Replies to Commentators. Dialectica 63 (1):75-84.
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  47. Alberto Voltolini (2009). In che cosa consiste far finta. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 2 (2).
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  48. Alberto Voltolini (2009). Précis of How Ficta Follow Fiction. Dialectica 63 (1):51-55.
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  49. Alberto Voltolini (2009). Raffigurazioni senza finzioni. Rivista di Estetica 49 (40):71-83.
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  50. Alberto Voltolini (2008). Towards Non-Being. The Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality – by G. Priest. Dialectica 62 (4):557-561.
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