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  1. Ernest Lepore, Interview with Donald Davidson.
    from Donald Davidson: Problems of Rationality, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 231-266.
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  2. Ernest Lepore, Memorial Eulogy for Donald Davidson.
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  3. Ernest Lepore, Una Stojnic & Matthew Stone, Situated Utterances and Discourse Relations.
    Utterances in situated activity are about the world. Theories and systems normally capture this by assuming references must be resolved to real-world entities in utterance understanding. We describe a number of puzzles and problems for this approach, and propose an alternative semantic representation using discourse relations that link utterances to the nonlinguistic context to capture the context-dependent interpretation of situated utterances. Our approach promises better empirical coverage and more straightforward system building. Substantiating these advantages is work in progress.
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  4. Ernest Lepore, Analyticity Again.
    It would be ever so nice if there were a viable analytic/synthetic distinction. Though nobody knows for sure, there would seem to be several major philosophical projects that having one would advance. For example: analytic sentences2 are supposed to have their truth values solely in virtue of the meanings (together with the syntactic arrangement) of their constituents; i.e., their truth values are supposed to supervene on their linguistic properties alone.3 So they are true in every possible world where they mean (...)
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  5. Ernest Lepore, Meaning and Ontology.
    Plato did it. Aristotle did it. All the great philosophers did it. You do it and we do it: we draw philosophical conclusions from linguistic data. Although we all do it, the degree, manner, and intensity to which it is done varies. Some have made piecemeal observations about language (e.g., “all these different things have the same term predicated of them”) to draw metaphysical conclusions (e.g., “there is some one existing thing that all these different entities share”). Others have made (...)
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  6. Ernest Lepore, Out of Context.
    It’s been, for some time now, a pet thesis of ours that compositionality is the key constraint on theories of linguistic content. On the one hand, we’re convinced by the usual arguments that the compositionality of natural languages1 explains how L-speakers can understand any of the indefinitely many expressions that belong to L.2 And, on the other hand, we claim that compositionality excludes all “pragmatist”3 accounts of content; hence, practically all of the theories of meaning that have been floated by (...)
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  7. Ernest Lepore, Response.
    We’re lucky in that many (so far about twenty)1 extremely able philosophers have read and commented on our work in print. A slightly discouraging fact is that all these commentators seem to think we are completely, utterly mistaken. On the positive side: Our critics seem to disagree about what we’re completely wrong about. On the one hand, radical contextualists (e.g. Travis) find our objections against them off the mark, but our objections to moderate contextualism dead-on. On the other hand, the (...)
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  8. Ernest Lepore, Reply: Impossible Words.
    It matters to a number of projects whether monomorphemic lexical items (‘boy’, ‘cat’, ‘give’, ‘break’, etc.) have internal linguistic structure. (Call the theory that they do the Decomposition Hypothesis (DC).) The cognitive science consensus is, overwhelmingly, that DC is true; for example, that there is a level of grammar at which ‘breaktr’ has the structure ‘cause to breakint’ and so forth. We find this consensus surprising since, as far as we can tell, there is practically no evidence to support it. (...)
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  9. Ernest Lepore, Truth Conditional Semantics and Meaning.
  10. Ernest Lepore, The Reality of Language.
    I conclude that there is no such thing as a language, not if a language is anything like what many philosophers and linguists have supposed. There is therefore no such thing to be learned, mastered or born with. (Davidson, 1986, p. 446).
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  11. Ernest Lepore, The Scope and Limits of Quotation.
    A standard view about the quotation is that ‘the result of enclosing any expression...in quotation marks is a constant singular term’ [Wallace 1972, p.237]. There is little sense in treating the entire complex of an expression flanked by a right and left quotation mark, a quotation term for short, as a ‘constant singular term’ of a language L if that complex is not, in some sense, itself a constituent of L. So, just as (1) contains twenty-seven tokened symbols (including twenty-three (...)
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  12. Ernest Lepore & Francis Jeffry Pelletier, Linguistics and Philosophy.
    Roger Gibson has achieved as much as anyone else, indeed, more, in presenting and defending Quine’s philosophy. It is no surprise that the great man W.V. Quine himself said that in reading Gibson he gained a welcome perspective on his own work. His twin books The Philosophy of W.V. Quine and Enlightened Empiricism have no rivals. We are all indebted to Roger. The essay that follows is intended not only to honor him but also to continue a theme that runs (...)
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  13. Gilbert Harman & Ernest Lepore (eds.) (2014). A Companion to W. V. O. Quine. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  14. Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (eds.) (2013). A Companion to Donald Davidson (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy). Wiley-Blackwell.
    A Companion to Donald Davidson presents newly commissioned essays by leading figures within contemporary philosophy. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive overview of Davidson’s work across its full range, and an assessment of his many contributions to philosophy.
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  15. Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore, Quotation. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Starting with Frege, the semantics (and pragmatics) of quotation has received a steady flow of attention over the last one hundred years. It has not, however, been subject to the same kind of intense debate and scrutiny as, for example, both the semantics of definite descriptions and propositional attitude verbs. Many philosophers probably share Davidson's experience: ‘When I was initiated into the mysteries of logic and semantics, quotation was usually introduced as a somewhat shady device, and the introduction was accompanied (...)
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  16. Joshua Armstrong & Ernest Lepore (2011). On Expression Identity: A Critical Notice of Robert Fiengo and Robert May, De Lingua Belief. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (4):569-579.
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  17. John Hawthorne & Ernest Lepore (2011). On Words. Journal of Philosophy 108 (9):447-485.
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  18. Ernest LePore (2011). Meaning, Mind, and Matter: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    Ernie Lepore and Barry Loewer present a series of papers in which they come to terms with three views that have loomed large in philosophy for several decades: ...
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  19. Ernest Lepore (2011). On Words. Journal of Philosophy 108 (9):447-485.
    (i) Under what conditions are two utterances utterances of the same word? (ii) What are words? That these questions have not received much attention is rather surprising: after all, philosophers and linguists frequently appeal to considerations about word and sentence identity in connection with a variety of puzzles and problems that are foundational to the very subject matter of philosophy of language and linguistics.1 Kaplan’s attention to words is thus to be applauded. And there is no doubt that his discussion (...)
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  20. Jerry A. Fodor & Ernest Lepore (2010). Why Meaning (Probably) Isn't Conceptual Role. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge. 15 - 35.
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  21. Peter A. French, Howard K. Wettstein & Ernest LePore (eds.) (2010). Philosophy and Poetry. Blackwell Pub..
    Philosophy and Poetry is the 33rd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, JohnAshbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.
     
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  22. Ernest Lepore & Matthew Stone (2010). Against Metaphorical Meaning. Topoi 29 (2):165-180.
    The commonplace view about metaphorical interpretation is that it can be characterized in traditional semantic and pragmatic terms, thereby assimilating metaphor to other familiar uses of language. We will reject this view, and propose in its place the view that, though metaphors can issue in distinctive cognitive and discourse effects, they do so without issuing in metaphorical meaning and truth, and so, without metaphorical communication. Our inspiration derives from Donald Davidson’s critical arguments against metaphorical meaning and Richard Rorty’s exploration of (...)
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  23. Adam Sennet & Ernest Lepore (2010). Saying and Agreeing. Mind and Language 25 (5):583-601.
  24. Ernest Lepore (2009). The Heresy of Paraphrase: When the Medium Really Is the Message. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 33 (1):177-197.
    Now I may not be an educated man . . . But it seems to me to go against common sense to ask what the poet is ‘trying to say’. The poem isn’t a code for something easily understood. The poem is what he is trying to say.
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  25. Ernest Lepore & K. Ludwig (2009). Davidson. In Christopher Belshaw & Gary Kemp (eds.), 12 Modern Philosophers. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Donald Davidson (1917 – 2003) was born in Springfield, Massachusetts , and raised, from 1924, in Staten Island, New York. He was educated both as an undergraduate and graduate at Harvard University. After a stint in the navy during the Second World War, which interrupted his graduate education, he returned to Harvard to complete a dissertation on Plato‟s Philebus in 1949. He became one the most important philosophers of second half of the 20 t h century.
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  26. Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.) (2008). The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. OUP Oxford.
    The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and up-to-date survey of original research in a particular subject area. Specially commissioned essays from leading figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. -/- Ernie Lepore and Barry Smith present the definitive reference work (...)
     
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  27. Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore (2007). Language Turned on Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse. OUP Oxford.
    Language Turned on Itself examines what happens when language becomes self-reflexive; when language is used to talk about language. Those who think, talk, and write about language are habitual users of various metalinguistic devices, but reliance on these devices begins early: kids are told, 'That's called a "rabbit"'. It's not implausible that a primitive capacity for the meta-linguistic kicks in at the beginning stages of language acquisition. But no matter when or how frequently these devices are invoked, one thing is (...)
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  28. Ernest LePore & Kirk Ludwig (2007). Donald Davidson's Truth-Theoretic Semantics. Clarendon Press.
    The work of Donald Davidson (1917-2003) transformed the study of meaning. Ernie Lepore and Kirk Ludwig, two of the world's leading authorities on Davidson's work, present the definitive study of his widely admired and influential program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages, giving an exposition and critical examination of its foundations and applications.
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  29. Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (2007). Radical Misinterpretation: Reply to Stoutland. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (4):557-585.
    This paper responds to a critical review of our 2005 book Donald Davidson: Meaning, Truth, Language and Reality, by Frederick Stoutland. It identifies a number of serious misreadings of both Davidson and the book.
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  30. Ernest LePore & Barry C. Smith (eds.) (2007). Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
  31. Anne Bezuidenhout, Steven Gross, Francois Recanati, Zoltan Gendler Szabo, Charles Travis, Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore (2006). Multiple Review of Insensitive Semantics. Authors' Reply. Mind and Language 21 (1):1-73.
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  32. Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore (2006). Response. Mind and Language 21 (1):50–73.
    Reading these excellent commentaries we already wish we had written another book—a more comprehensive, clearer, and better defended one than what we have. We are, however, quite fond of the book we ended up with, and so we’ve decided that, rather than to yield, we’ll clarify. These contributions have helped us do that, and for that we are grateful to our critics. We’re lucky in that many (so far about twenty)1 extremely able philosophers have read and commented on our work (...)
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  33. Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore (2006). Shared Content. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. 1020--1055.
    A general and fundamental tension surrounds our concept of what is said. On the one hand, what is said (asserted, claimed, stated, etc.) by utterances of a significant range of sentences is highly context sensitive. More specifically, (Observation 1 (O1)), what these sentences can be used to say depends on their contexts of utterance. On the other hand, speakers face no difficulty whatsoever in using many of these sentences to say (or make) the exact same claim, assertion, etc., across a (...)
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  34. Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (2006). Ontology in the Theory of Meaning. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):325 – 335.
    This paper advances a general argument, inspired by some remarks of Davidson, to show that appeal to meanings as entities in the theory of meaning is neither necessary nor sufficient for carrying out the tasks of the theory of meaning. The crucial point is that appeal to meaning as entities fails to provide us with an understanding of any expression of a language except insofar as we pick it out with an expression we understand which we tacitly recognize to be (...)
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  35. Ernest LePore & Barry C. Smith (eds.) (2006). The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
    Ernie Lepore and Barry Smith present the definitive reference work for this diverse and fertile field of philosophy. A superb international team contribute forty brand-new essays covering topics from the nature of language to meaning, truth, and reference, and the interfaces of philosophy of language with linguistics, psychology, logic, epistemology, and metaphysics. It will be an essential resource for anyone working in the central areas of philosophy, for linguists interested in syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, and for psychologists and cognitive scientists (...)
     
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  36. Ernest Lepore & Matthew Stone (2006). Logic and Semantic Analysis. In Dale Jacquette (ed.), Philosophy of Logic. North Holland. 173.
  37. Ernest Lepore & Herman Cappelen (2005). Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. Blackwell Pub..
    Insensitive Semantics is an overview of and contribution to the debates about how to accommodate context sensitivity within a theory of human communication, ...
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  38. Ernest LePore & Ludwig Kirk (2005). Donald Davidson: Meaning, Truth, Language, and Reality. Oxford University Press.
    Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig present the definitive critical exposition of the philosophical system of Donald Davidson (1917-2003). Davidson's ideas had a deep and broad influence in the central areas of philosophy; he presented them in brilliant essays over four decades, but never set out explicitly the overarching scheme in which they all have their place. Lepore's and Ludwig's book will therefore be the key work, besides Davidson's own, for understanding one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.
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  39. Raffaella De Rosa & Ernest Lepore (2004). Quine's Meaning Holisms. In Roger F. Gibson (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Quine. Cambridge University Press.
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  40. Ernest Lepore (2004). A Tall Tale. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):3-28.
    In Insensitive Semantics (2004), we argue for two theses – Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. In this paper, we outline our defense against two objections often raised against Semantic Minimalism. We begin with five stage-setting sections. These lead to the first objection, viz., that it might follow from our view that comparative adjectives are context insensitive. We defend our view against that objection (not, as you might expect, by denying that implication, but by endorsing it). Having done so, we (...)
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  41. Ernest Lepore (2004). The Making of a Modern Master. The Philosophers' Magazine 25 (25):15-16.
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  42. Ernest Lepore & Herman Cappelen (2004). Davidson: Sobre Decir-Lo-Mismo. Ideas Y Valores 125 (125):7-21.
    Three basic elements for a neodavidsonian semantics are presented in thisarticle. Firstly, a rejection of the thesis according to which the semanticcontent is identical with the speech act content. Secondly, the adoption ofsemantic minimalism as the proper domain where a truth-conditionalsemantics ..
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  43. Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (2004). Donald Davidson. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 28 (1):309–333.
    Davidson, Donald (Herbert) (b. 1917, d. 2003; American), Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor, University of California at Berkeley (1986–2003). Previously Instructor then Professor in Philosophy at: Queens College New York (1947–1950), Stanford University, California (1950–1967), Princeton University (1967–1969), Rockefeller University, New York City (1970–1976), University of Chicago (1976–1981), University of California at Berkeley (1981–2003). John Locke Lecturer, University of Oxford (1970).
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  44. Ernest Lepore, An Abuse of Context in Semantics: The Case of Incomplete Definite Descriptions.
    Critics and champions alike have fussed and fretted for well over fifty years about whether Russell’s treatment is compatible with certain alleged acceptable uses of incomplete definite descriptions,[2] where a description (the F( is incomplete just in case more than one object satisfies its nominal F, as in (1).
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  45. Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (2003). Outline for a Truth-Conditional Semantics for Tense. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Tense, Time and Reference. MIT. 49-105.
    Our aim in the present paper is to investigate, from the standpoint of truth-theoretic semantics, English tense, temporal designators and quantifiers, and other expressions we use to relate ourselves and other things to the temporal order. Truth-theoretic semantics provides a particularly illuminating standpoint from which to discuss issues about the semantics of tense, and their relation to thoughts at, and about, times. Tense, and temporal modifiers, contribute systematically to conditions under which sentences we utter are true or false. A Tarski-style (...)
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  46. Herman Cappelan & Ernest Lepore (2002). Insensitive Quantifiers. In Joseph K. Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth - Investigations in Philosophical Semantics. Seven Bridges Press. 197--213.
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  47. Jerry A. Fodor & Ernest Lepore (2002). The Compositionality Papers. Oxford University Press.
    Ernie Lepore and Jerry Fodor have published a series of original and controversial essays on issues relating to compositionality in language and mind; they have...
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  48. Ernest Lepore (2002). Does Syntax Reveal Semantics?: A Case Study of Complex Demonstratives. Philosophical Perspectives 16:17--41.
    Following Aristotle (who himself was following Parmenides), philosophers have appealed to the distributional reflexes of expressions in determining their semantic status, and ultimately, the nature of the extra-linguistic world. This methodology has been practiced throughout the history of philosophy; it was clarified and made popular by the likes of Zeno Vendler and J.L. Austin, and is realized today in the toolbox of linguistically minded philosophers. Studying the syntax of natural language was fueled by the belief that there is a conceptually (...)
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  49. Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig (2002). What is Logical Form? In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Logical Form and Language. Clarendon Press. 54--90.
    Bertrand Russell, in the second of his 1914 Lowell lectures, Our Knowledge of the External World, asserted famously that ‘every philosophical problem, when it is subjected to the necessary analysis and purification, is found either to be not really philosophical at all, or else to be, in the sense in which we are using the word, logical’ (Russell 1993, p. 42). He went on to characterize that portion of logic that concerned the study of forms of propositions, or, as he (...)
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