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Profile: James Woodbridge (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
  1. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (forthcoming). Pretense and Pathology: Philosophical Fictionalism and its Applications. Cambridge University Press.
    This book offers new insights into fictionalism as an approach in philosophy and explains how applying a particular fictionalist strategy both dissolves the semantic pathology that appears to plague the traditional semantic notions (e.g., the worries about truth that the Liar Paradox and the Truthteller generate) and promises to resolve further puzzles and problems that arise from ordinary existence-talk and identity-talk. In addition, after raising concerns for realism about propositions, the book also provides a fictionalist account of talk that seems (...)
     
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  2. Bradley Armour‐Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2014). From Mathematical Fictionalism to Truth‐Theoretic Fictionalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):93-118.
    We argue that if Stephen Yablo (2005) is right that philosophers of mathematics ought to endorse a fictionalist view of number-talk, then there is a compelling reason for deflationists about truth to endorse a fictionalist view of truth-talk. More specifically, our claim will be that, for deflationists about truth, Yablo’s argument for mathematical fictionalism can be employed and mounted as an argument for truth-theoretic fictionalism.
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  3. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2013). Semantic Defectiveness and the Liar. Philosophical Studies 164 (3):845-863.
    In this paper, we do two things. First, we provide some support for adopting a version of the meaningless strategy with respect to the liar paradox, and, second, we extend that strategy, by providing, albeit tentatively, a solution to that paradox—one that is semantic, rather than logical.
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  4. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2012). Liars, Truthtellers and Naysayers: A Broader View of Semantic Pathology I. Language and Communication 32 (4):293-311.
    Semantic pathology is most widely recognized in the liar paradox, where an apparent inconsistency arises in ‘‘liar sentences’’ and their ilk. But the phenomenon of semantic pathology also manifests a sibling symptom—an apparent indeterminacy—which, while not largely discussed (save for the occasional nod to ‘‘truthteller sentences’’), is just as pervasive as, and exactly parallels, the symptom of inconsistency. Moreover, certain ‘‘dual symptom’’ cases, which we call naysayers, exhibit both inconsistency and indeterminacy and also manifest a higher-order indeterminacy between them. In (...)
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  5. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2012). Sellars and Pretense on "Truth & 'Correspondence'" (with a Detour Through Meaning Attribution). Discusiones Filosóficas 13 (21):33-63.
    In this paper, we show how an internal tension in Wilfrid Sellars’s understanding of truth, as well as an external tension in his account of meaning attribution, can be resolved while adhering to a Sellarsian spirit, by appealing to the particular fictionalist accounts of truth-talk and proposition-talk (including meaning-attribution) that we have developed elsewhere.
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  6. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2012). The Story About Propositions. Noûs 46 (4):635-674.
    It is our contention that an ontological commitment to propositions faces a number of problems; so many, in fact, that an attitude of realism towards propositions—understood the usual “platonistic” way, as a kind of mind- and language-independent abstract entity—is ultimately untenable. The particular worries about propositions that marshal parallel problems that Paul Benacerraf has raised for mathematical platonists. At the same time, the utility of “proposition-talk”—indeed, the apparent linguistic commitment evident in our use of 'that'-clauses (in offering explanations and making (...)
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  7. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2010). Truthmakers, Paradox and Plausibility. Analysis 70 (1):11-23.
    In a series of articles, Dan Lopez De Sa and Elia Zardini argue that several theorists have recently employed instances of paradoxical reasoning, while failing to see its problematic nature because it does not immediately (or obviously) yield inconsistency. In contrast, Lopez De Sa and Zardini claim that resultant inconsistency is not a necessary condition for paradoxicality. It is our contention that, even given their broader understanding of paradox, their arguments fail to undermine the instances of reasoning they attack, either (...)
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  8. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2010). Why Deflationists Should Be Pretense Theorists (and Perhaps Already Are). In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In this paper, we do two things. First, we clarify the notion of deflationism, with special attention to deflationary accounts of truth. Seocnd, we argue that one who endorses a deflationary account of truth (or of semantic notions, generally) should be, or perhaps already is, a pretense theorist regarding truth-talk. In §1 we discuss mathematical fictionalism, where we focus on Yablo’s pretense account of mathematical discourse. §2 briefly introduces the key elements of deflationism and explains deflationism about truth in particular. (...)
     
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  9. James A. Woodbridge & Bradley Armour-Garb (2009). Linguistic Puzzles and Semantic Pretence. In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave Macmillan.
    In this paper, we set out what we see as a novel, and very promising, approach to resolving a number of the familiar linguistic puzzles that provide philosophy of language with much of its subject matter. The approach we promote postulates semantic pretense at work where these puzzles arise. We begin by briefly cataloging the relevant dilemmas. Then, after introducing the pretense approach, we indicate how it promises to handle these putatively intractable problems. We then consider a number of objections (...)
     
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  10. James A. Woodbridge & Bradley Armour-Garb (2008). The Pathology of Validity. Synthese 160 (1):63 - 74.
    Stephen Read has presented an argument for the inconsistency of the concept of validity. We extend Read’s results and show that this inconsistency is but one half of a larger problem. Like the concept of truth, validity is infected with what we call semantic pathology, a condition that actually gives rise to two symptoms: inconsistency and indeterminacy. After sketching the basic ideas behind semantic pathology and explaining how it manifests both symptoms in the concept of truth, we present cases that (...)
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  11. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2006). Dialetheism, Semantic Pathology, and the Open Pair. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (3):395 – 416.
    Over the past 25 years, Graham Priest has ably presented and defended dialetheism, the view that certain sentences are properly characterized as true with true negations. Our goal here is neither to quibble with the tenability of true, assertable contradictions nor, really, with the arguments for dialetheism. Rather, we wish to address the dialetheist's treatment of cases of semantic pathology and to pose a worry for dialetheism that has not been adequately considered. The problem that we present seems to have (...)
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  12. James A. Woodbridge (2006). Propositions as Semantic Pretense. Language and Communication 26 (3-4):343-355.
    Our linguistic and inferential practices are said to implicate a kind of abstract object playing various roles traditionally attributed to propositions, and our predictive and explanatory success with this ‘‘proposition-talk’’ is held to underwrite a realistic interpretation of it. However, these very same practices pull us in different directions regarding the nature of propositions, frustrating the development of an adequate unified theory of them. I explain how one could retain proposition-talk, and the advantages of interpreting it as being purportedly about (...)
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  13. James A. Woodbridge (2005). Truth as a Pretense. In Mark Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 134.
    Truth-talk exhibits certain features that render it philosophically suspect and motivate a deflationary account. I offer a new formulation of deflationism that explains truth-talk in terms of semantic pretense. This amounts to a fictionalist account of truth-talk but avoids an error-theoretic interpretation and its resulting incoherence. The pretense analysis fits especially well with deflationism’s central commitment, and it handles truth-talk’s unusual features effectively. In particular, this approach suggests an interesting strategy for dealing with the Liar paradox. This version of deflationism (...)
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  14. James A. Woodbridge & Bradley Armour-Garb (2005). Semantic Pathology and the Open Pair. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):695–703.
    In Vagueness and Contradiction (2001), Roy Sorensen defends and extends his epistemic account of vagueness. In the process, he appeals to connections between vagueness and semantic paradox. These appeals come mainly in Chapter 11, where Sorensen offers a solution to what he calls the no-no paradox—a “neglected cousin” of the more famous liar—and attempts to use this solution as a precedent for an epistemic account of the sorites paradox. This strategy is problematic for Sorensen’s project, however, since, as we establish, (...)
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  15. Bradley Armour-Garb & James A. Woodbridge (2003). Curried Katz with Epimenidean Dilemma. Philosophical Forum 34 (3-4):351-366.