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Josh Dever [26]J. Dever [2]Joseph Dever [1]
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Profile: Joshua Dever (University of Texas at Austin)
  1. Josh Dever, Continuities Classical, Constructivist, and Vague.
    Vague predicates are subject to forced-march sorites reasoning. Given a vague predicate Π, it is thus at least possible that there be a sequence of objects each of which is potentially predicable with Π meeting the following two conditions.
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  2. Josh Dever, Living the Life Aquatic.
    • The Static Conception of Semantics (Preliminary Version): A semantic theory should assign a proposition, conceived of as some carrier of meaning that can play the role of truth condition determination, to each (or at least each declarative) sentence.
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  3. Josh Dever, Review of Problems of Compositionality. [REVIEW]
    Problems of Compositionality is a revised version of Zolt´an Szab´o’s 1995 doctoral dissertation. Of its five chapters, three have appeared (in heavily modified form) in print independently1, so I will concentrate most of my remarks on the second and third chapters, which remain unpublished outside the book. As it happens, I find these two chapters to be the most philosophically rewarding of the book. The principle of compositionality is a general constraint on the shape of a theory of meaning. Szab´o (...)
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  4. Josh Dever, Semantic Value.
    A total theory of linguistic understanding is often taken to require three subtheories: a syntactic theory, a semantic theory, and a pragmatic theory. The semantic theory occupies an intermediary role – it takes as input structures generated by the syntax, assigns to those structures meanings, and then passes those meanings on to the pragmatics, which characterizes the conversational 1 impact of those meanings. Semantic theories thus seek to explain phenomena such as truth conditions of and inferential relations among sentences/utterances, anaphoric (...)
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  5. Josh Dever, The Disunity of Truth.
    §§3-4 of the Begriffsschrift present Frege’s objections to a dominant if murky nineteenth-century semantic picture. I sketch a minimalist variant of the pre-Fregean picture which escapes Frege’s criticisms by positing a thin notion of semantic content which then interacts with a multiplicity of kinds of truth to account for phenomena such as modality. After exploring several ways in which we can understand the existence of multiple truth properties, I discuss the roles of pointwise and setwise truth properties in modal logic. (...)
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  6. Josh Dever, Three Modes of, and Five Morals Regarding, Displaced Semantic Processing, with Special Attention to the Role of Variables (and a Final Plug for Dynamic Semantics).
    There is a puzzle regarding the semantics of quantification that is well-known among linguists and formal semanticists, but which has received relatively little attention from philosophers. The puzzle emerges most naturally if our semantic theory is categorical, satisfying two mutually supporting requirements.
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  7. Josh Dever, David Sosa & Daniel Bonevac, Unconditionals.
    Conditionality is a modal feature (in only the trivial sense, in the case of the material conditional). For φ to be conditioned on ψ is for the appearance of φ and ψ to be connected in some way over some region of modal space.
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  8. Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever (2013). The Inessential Indexical: On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person. Oxford University Press.
    Cappelen and Dever present a forceful challenge to the standard view that perspective, and in particular the perspective of the first person, is a philosophically deep aspect of the world. Their goal is not to show that we need to explain indexical and other perspectival phenomena in different ways, but to show that the entire topic is an illusion.
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  9. Josh Dever (2013). The Revenge of the Semantics‐Pragmatics Distinction. Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):104-144.
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  10. D. Bonevac, J. Dever & D. Sosa (2012). The Counterexample Fallacy. Mind 120 (480):1143-1158.
    Manley and Wasserman (2008) join the chorus of opposition to the possibility of conditional analysis of dispositions. But that score cannot be settled without more careful attention to the implicit philosophical methodology. Some of the opposition to such an analysis badly overestimates the effect of counterexamples, as if the Gettier example were sufficient to refute the possibility of conjunctive analysis of knowledge. A general objection to a form of analysis must satisfy a number of constraints, and Manley and Wasserman join (...)
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  11. Josh Dever (2012). Formal Semantics. In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum International Pub..
     
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  12. Nicholas Asher, Josh Dever & Chris Pappas (2009). Supervaluations Debugged. Mind 118 (472):901-933.
    Supervaluational accounts of vagueness have come under assault from Timothy Williamson for failing to provide either a sufficiently classical logic or a disquotational notion of truth, and from Crispin Wright and others for incorporating a notion of higher-order vagueness, via the determinacy operator, which leads to contradiction when combined with intuitively appealing ‘gap principles’. We argue that these criticisms of supervaluation theory depend on giving supertruth an unnecessarily central role in that theory as the sole notion of truth, rather than (...)
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  13. Eric Schwitzgebel & Josh Dever (2008). The Two Envelope Paradox and Using Variables Within the Expectation Formula. Sorites.
    You are presented with a choice between two envelopes. You know one envelope contains twice as much money as the other, but you don't know which contains more. You arbitrarily choose one envelope -- call it Envelope A -- but don't open it. Call the amount of money in that envelope X. Since your choice was arbitrary, the other envelope (Envelope B) is 50% likely to be the envelope with more and 50% likely to be the envelope with less. But, (...)
     
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  14. Josh Dever (2007). Low-Grade Two-Dimensionalism. Philosophical Books 48 (1):1-16.
    As tends to be the way with philosophical positions, there are at least as many two-dimensionalisms as there are two-dimensionalists. But painting with a broad brush, there are core epistemological and metaphysical commitments which underlie the two-dimensionalist project, commitments for which I have no sympathies. A sketch of three signi?cant points of disagreement.
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  15. Daniel Bonevac, Josh Dever & and David Sosa (2006). The Conditional Fallacy. Philosophical Review 115 (3):273-316.
    To say that this lump of sugar is soluble is to say that it would dissolve, if submerged anywhere, at any time and in any parcel of water. To say that this sleeper knows French, is to say that if, for example, he is ever addressed in French, or shown any French newspaper, he responds pertinently in French, acts appropriately or translates correctly into his own tongue.
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  16. Daniel Bonevac, Josh Dever & David Sosa (2006). The Conditional Fallacy. Philosophical Review 115 (3):273 - 316.
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  17. Josh Dever (2006). Compositionality. In Ernest Lepore & Barry Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. 633--666.
    Nevertheless, any competent speaker will know what it means. What explains our ability to understand sentences we have never before encountered? One natural hypothesis is that those novel sentences are built up out of familiar parts, put together in familiar ways. This hypothesis requires the backing hypothesis that English has a compositional semantic theory.
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  18. Josh Dever (2004). Binding Into Character. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (Supplement):29-80.
    Since Kaplan’s "Demonstratives", it has become a common-place to distinguish between the character and content of an expression, where the content of an expression is what it contributes to "what is said" by sentences containing that expression, and the character gives a rule for determining, in a context, the content of an expression. A tacit assumption of theories of character has been that character is autonomous from content – that semantic evaluation starts with character, adds context, and then derives content. (...)
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  19. J. Dever (2003). Problems of Compositionality. Philosophical Review 112 (2):254-258.
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  20. Josh Dever (2003). Modal Fictionalism and Compositionality. Philosophical Studies 114 (3):223 - 251.
    Modal fictionalists propose to defuse the unwanted ontological commitments of modal realism by treating modal realism as a fictional story, and modal assertions as assertions, prefixed by a fictionalist operator, that something is true in that story. However, consideration of conditionals with modal antecedents raises the problem ofembedding, which shows that the simple prefixing strategy cannotsucceed. A compositional version of the fictionalist strategy isdeveloped and critiqued, and some general semantic morals aredrawn from the failures of both strategies.
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  21. Greg Carlson, Lisa Cheng, Gennaro Chierchia, Östen Dahl, Mary Dalrymple, Veneeta Dayal, Paul Dekker, Josh Dever, Markus Egg & Martina Faller (2002). 802 ACKNOWLEDGMENT Aaron Broadwell Miriam Butt Alex Byrne. Linguistics and Philosophy 25:801-802.
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  22. Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever (2001). Believing in Words. Synthese 127 (3):279 - 301.
    The semantic puzzles posed by propositional attitude contexts have, since Frege, been understood primarily in terms of certain substitution puzzles. We will take as paradigmatic of such substitution puzzles cases in which two coreferential proper names cannot be intersubstituted salva veritate in the context of an attitude verb. Thus, for example, the following sentences differ in truth value: (1) Lois Lane believes Superman can fly. (2) Lois Lane believes Clark Kent can fly. despite the fact that "Superman" and "Clark Kent" (...)
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  23. Josh Dever (2001). Complex Demonstratives. Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (3):271-330.
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  24. Oesten Dahl, Mary Dalrymple, Paul Dekker, Josh Dever, Walter Edelberg, Kai von Fintel, Gilles Fauconnier, Nissim Francez, Peter Gärdenfors & Bart Geurts (1999). 680 ACKNOWLEDGMENT Fiona Cowie Max Cresswell Mark Crimmins. Linguistics and Philosophy 22:679-680.
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  25. Josh Dever (1999). Compositionality as Methodology. Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (3):311-326.
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  26. Stephen Neale & Josh Dever (1997). Slingshots and Boomerangs. Mind 106 (421):143-168.
    A “slingshot” proof suggested by Kurt Gödel (1944) has been recast by Stephen Neale (1995) as a deductive argument showing that no non-truthfunctional sentence connective can permit the combined use, within its scope, of two truth-functionally valid inference principles involving defi- nite descriptions. According to Neale, this result provides indirect support for Russell’s Theory of Descriptions and has broader philosophical repercussions because descriptions occur in non-truth-functional constructions used to motivate talk about (e.g.) necessity, time, probability, causation, obligation, facts, states of (...)
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  27. Joseph Dever (1949). The Common Chord. By Frank O'Connor. Renascence 1 (2):73-75.
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  28. Josh Dever, Must or Might.
    Sententialism: An adequate semantic theory for a language assigns semantic values to complex expressions (typically on the basis of the semantic values of the syntactic parts of those complex expressions), with the assignment process culminating in the assignment of appropriate semantic values (typically propositions or truth conditions) to entire sentences. Sententialism is so-called because it takes the task of semantic theory proper to be exhausted once semantic values have been assigned to full sentences. Beyond the sentence may lay further linguistic (...)
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  29. Josh Dever, Worlds Apart: On the Possibility of an Actual Infinity.
    Cosmological arguments attempt to prove the existence of God by appeal to the necessity of a first cause. Schematically, a cosmological argument will thus appear as: (1) All contingent beings have a cause of existence. (2) There can be no infinite causal chains. (3) Therefore, there must be some non-contingent First Cause. Cosmological arguments come in two species, depending on their justification of the second premiss. Non-temporal cosmological arguments, such as those of Aristotle and Aquinas, view causation as requiring explanatory (...)
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