I present a view of activity, taking it that an agent is engaged in activity so long as an action of hers is occurring. I suggest that this view (a) helps in understanding what goes wrong in an argument in Thompson (2008) known sometimes as the ‘initial segment argument’, and (b) enables us to see that there could be an intelligible conception of what is basic when agents' knowledge is allowed into an account of that.
Designed for readers new to the subject, Reading Philosophy of Language presents key texts in the philosophy of language together with helpful editorial guidance. A concise collection of key texts in the philosophy of language Ideal for readers new to the subject. Features seminal texts by leading figures in the field, such as Austin, Chomsky, Davidson, Dummett and Searle. Presents three texts on each of five key topics: speech and performance; meaning and truth; knowledge of language; meaning and compositionality; and (...) non-literal meaning. A volume introduction from the editors outlines the subject’s principal concerns. Introductions to each chapter locate the pieces in context and explain relevant terminology and theories. Interactive commentaries help readers to engage with the texts. (shrink)
[Jennifer Hornsby] The central claim is that the semantic knowledge exercised by people when they speak is practical knowledge. The relevant idea of practical knowledge is explicated, applied to the case of speaking, and connected with an idea of agents' knowledge. Some defence of the claim is provided. /// [Jason Stanley] The central claim is that Hornsby's argument that semantic knowledge is practical knowledge is based upon a false premise. I argue, contra Hornsby, that speakers do not voice their thoughts (...) directly. Rather, our actions of voicing our thoughts are justified by decisions we make (albeit rapidly) about what words to use. Along the way, I raise doubts about other aspects of the thesis that semantic knowledge is practical knowledge. (shrink)
The central claim is that the semantic knowledge exercised by people when they speak is practical knowledge. The relevant idea of practical knowledge is explicated, applied to the case of speaking, and connected with an idea of agents’ knowledge. Some defence of the claim is provided.
It is argued that the standard story of human action, as it is standardly naturalistically understood, should be rejected. Rather than seeking an agent amidst the workings of the mind (as in Velleman's "What Happens When Someone Acts"), we need to recognize an agent’s place in the world she inhabits. And in order to do so we have to resist the naturalistic assumptions of the standard causal story.
Since 1969, when Dennett introduced a distinction between personal and sub-personal levels of explanation, many philosophers have used 'sub-personal' very loosely, and Dennett himself has abandoned a view of the personal level as genuinely autonomous. I recommend a position in which Dennett's original distinction is crucial, by arguing that the phenomenon called mental causation is on view only at the properly personal level. If one retains the commit-' ments incurred by Dennett's early distinction, then one has a satisfactory anti-physicalistic, anti-dualist (...) philosophy of mind. It neither interferes with the projects of sub-personal psychology, nor encourages ; instrumentalism at the personal level. (shrink)
We defend the view of some feminist writers that the notion of silencing has to be taken seriously in discussions of free speech. We assume that what ought to be meant by ‘speech’, in the context ‘free speech’, is whatever it is that a correct justification of the right to free speech justifies one in protecting. And we argue that what one ought to mean includes illocution, in the sense of J.L. Austin.
I. There are two points of view: ___ From the personal point of view, an action is a person's doing something for a reason, and her doing it is found intelligible when we know the reason that led her to it. ___ From the impersonal point of view, an action would be a link in a causal chain that could be viewed without paying any attention to people, the links being understood by reference to the world's causal workings.