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  1. Bernhard Nickel, Processes in the Interpretation of Generics and CP-Laws.
    Ceteris Paribus (cp-)laws may be said to hold only ``other things equal,'' signaling that their truth is compatible with a range of exceptions. Several theorists have taken this feature to introduce the presumption that cp-laws are trivial, one that needs to be countered if we are to appeal to cp-laws in the course of scientific investigation or our philosophical theorizing about it. I argue that the triviality worry is misplaced by pointing out that cp-laws are just a subset of uncontroversially (...)
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  2. Bernhard Nickel, The Ways of Normality.
    I contrast two approaches to the interpretation of generics such as `ravens are black:' majority-based views, on which they are about what is the case most of the time, and inquiry-based views, on which they are about a feature we focus on in inquiry---an inductive target. I argue that while majority-based views are preferable based on the most basic data about generics, only inquiry-based views can account for a systematic class of sentences: generics with logically complex predicates, such as `cats (...)
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  3. Bernhard Nickel (2013). Dynamics, Brandom-Style. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):333-354.
    Abstract This paper discusses the semantic theory presented in Robert Brandom’s Making It Explicit . I argue that it is best understood as a special version of dynamic semantics, so that these semantics by themselves offer an interesting theoretical alternative to more standard truth-conditional theories. This reorientation also has implications for more foundational issues. I argue that it gives us the resources for a renewed argument for the normativity of meaning. The paper ends by critically assessing the view in both (...)
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  4. Bernhard Nickel (2012). Bernhard Nickel. In Gillian Russell Delia Graff Fara (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. Routledge. 392.
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  5. Bernhard Nickel (2010). Ceteris Paribus Laws: Generics and Natural Kinds. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (06).
    Ceteris Paribus (cp-)laws may be said to hold only “other things equal,” signaling that their truth is compatible with a range of exceptions. This paper provides a new semantic account for some of the sentences used to state cp-laws. Its core approach is to relate these laws to natural language on the one hand — by arguing that cp-laws are most naturally expressed with generics — and to natural kinds on the other — by arguing that the semantics of generics (...)
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  6. Bernhard Nickel (2010). Generically Free Choice. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (6):479-512.
    This paper discusses free-choice like effects in generics. Just as Jane may drink coffee or tea can be used to convey Jane may drink coffee and Jane may drink tea (she is free to choose ), some generics with disjunctive predicates can be used to convey conjunctions of simpler generics: elephants live in Africa or Asia can be used to convey elephants live in Africa and elephants live in Asia. Investigating these logically slightly more complex generics and especially the free-choice (...)
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  7. Bernhard Nickel (2010). How General Do Theories of Explanation Need To Be? Noûs 44 (2):305 - 328.
    Theories of explanation seek to tell us what distinctively explanatory information is. The most ambitious ones, such as the DN-account, seek to tell us what an explanation is, tout court. Less ambitious ones, such as causal theories, restrict themselves to a particular domain of inquiry. The least ambitious theories constitute outright skepticism, holding that there is no reasonably unified phenomenon to give an account of. On these views, it is impossible to give any theories of explanation at all. I argue (...)
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  8. Bernhard Nickel (2006). Against Intentionalism. Philosophical Studies 136 (3):279 - 304.
    Intentionalism is the claim that the phenomenological properties of a perceptual experience supervene on its intentional properties. The paper presents a counterexample to this claim, one that concerns visual grouping phenomenology. I argue that this example is superior to super?cially similar examples involving grouping phenomenology offered by Peacocke (1983), because the standard intentionalist responses to Peacocke.
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