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  1. John-Michael Kuczynski (forthcoming). Non-Declarative Sentences. Principia.
    If S is any well-formed and significant question or command having the form "...the phi...", Russell's Theory of Descriptions entails (i) that S is syntactically ambiguous, and (ii) that there is at least one disambiguation of S that is syntactically ill-formed. Given that each of (i) and (ii) is false, so is the Theory of Descriptions.
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  2. John-Michael Kuczynski (2014). What is Literal Meaning? Communication and Cognition 46 (1-4).
    The meaning of morpheme (a minimal unit of linguistic significance) cannot, ultimately, diverge from what it is taken to mean. But the meaning of a complex expression can diverge without limit from what it is taken to mean, given that the meaning of such an expression is a logical consequence of the meanings of its parts, coupled with the fact that people are not infallible ratiocinators. Nonetheless, given Chomsky’s distinction between competence (ability) and performance (ability to deploy ability), what a (...)
     
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  3. John-Michael Kuczynski (2013). Some Non-Revisionist Solutions to Some Semantic Antinomies. Philosophical Inquiry 37 (3-4):51-61.
    It is shown that Russell's Paradox can be solved without advocating the Theory of Types, and also that the Liar's Paradox can be solved in much the same way. Neither solution requires that any of our commonsense-based beliefs be revised, let alone jettisoned. It is also shown that the Theory of Types is false.
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  4. John-Michael Kuczynski (2012). Empiricism and the Foundations of Psychology. John Benjamins Pub. Co.
    Intended for philosophically minded psychologists and psychologically minded philosophers, this book identifies the ways that psychology has hobbled itself by adhering too strictly to empiricism, this being the doctrine that all knowledge is observation-based. In the first part of this two-part work, it is shown that empiricism is false. In the second part, the psychology-relevant consequences of this fact are identified. Five of these are of special importance. First, whereas some psychopathologies (e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder) corrupt the activity mediated by one’s (...)
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  5. John-Michael Kuczynski (2010). Boguslawski's Analysis of Quantification in Natural Language. Journal of Pragmatics 42 (10):2836-2844.
    The semantic rules governing natural language quantifiers (e.g. "all," "some," "most") neither coincide with nor resemble the semantic rules governing the analogues of those expressions that occur in the artificial languages used by semanticists. Some semanticists, e.g. Peter Strawson, have put forth data-consistent hypotheses as to the identities of the semantic rules governing some natural-language quantifiers. But, despite their obvious merits, those hypotheses have been universally rejected. In this paper, it is shown that those hypotheses are indeed correct. Moreover, data-consistent (...)
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  6. John-Michael Kuczynski (2010). Intensionality, Modality, Rationality: Some Presemantic Considerations. Journal of Pragmatics 42 (8):2314-2346.
    On the basis of arguments put forth by (Kripke, 1977a) and (Kripke, 1980), it is widely held that one can sometimes rationally accept propositions of the form "P and not-P" and also that there are necessary a posteriori truths. We will find that Kripke's arguments for these views appear probative only so long as one fails to distinguish between semantics and presemantics—between the literal meanings of sentences, on the one hand, and the information on the basis of which one identifies (...)
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  7. John-Michael Kuczynski (2010). Morality, Politics, and Law. Kendall Hunt Publishing.
    It is argued (a) that laws are assurances of protections of rights and (b) that governments are protectors of rights. Lest those assurances be empty and thus not really be assurances at all, laws must be enforced and governments must therefore have the power to coerce. For this reason, the government of a given region tends to have, as Max Weber put it, a "monopoly on power" in that region. And because governments are power-monopolizers, it is tempting to think that (...)
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  8. John-Michael Kuczynski (2009). Analytic Philosophy. Kendall Hunt Pub. Co.
    Philosophy is the science of the science; it is the analysis of the assumptions underlying empirical inquiry. Given that these assumptions cannot possibly be examined or even identified on the basis of empirical data, it follows that philosophy is a non-empirical discipline. And given that our linguistic and cultural practices cannot possibly be examined or even identified except on the basis of empirical data, it follows that philosophical questions are not linguistic questions and do not otherwise concern our conventions or (...)
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  9. John-Michael Kuczynski (2007). Conceptual Atomism and the Computational Theory of Mind: A Defense of Content-Internalism and Semantic Externalism. John Benjamins & Co.
    Contemporary philosophy and theoretical psychology are dominated by an acceptance of content-externalism: the view that the contents of one's mental states are constitutively, as opposed to causally, dependent on facts about the external world. In the present work, it is shown that content-externalism involves a failure to distinguish between semantics and pre-semantics---between, on the one hand, the literal meanings of expressions and, on the other hand, the information that one must exploit in order to ascertain their literal meanings. It is (...)
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  10. John-Michael Kuczynski (2007). Does Possible World Semantics Turn All Propositions Into Necessary Ones? Journal of Pragmatics 39 (5):972-916.
    "Jim would still be alive if he hadn't jumped" means that Jim's death was a consequence of his jumping. "x wouldn't be a triangle if it didn't have three sides" means that x's having a three sides is a consequence its being a triangle. Lewis takes the first sentence to mean that Jim is still alive in some alternative universe where he didn't jump, and he takes the second to mean that x is a non-triangle in every alternative universe where (...)
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  11. John-Michael Kuczynski (2006). Implicit Comparatives and the Sorites. History and Philosophy of Logic 27 (1):1-8.
    A person with one dollar is poor. If a person with n dollars is poor, then so is a person with n + 1 dollars. Therefore, a person with a billion dollars is poor. True premises, valid reasoning, a false a conclusion. This is an instance of the Sorites-paradox. (There are infinitely many such paradoxes. A man with an IQ of 1 is unintelligent. If a man with an IQ of n is unintelligent, so is a man with an IQ (...)
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  12. John-Michael Kuczynski (2006). Marga Reimer and Anne Bezuidenhout (Eds), Descriptions and Beyond. [REVIEW] Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (1):196-204.
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  13. John-Michael Kuczynski (2006). Review of "Descriptions and Beyond&Quot;. Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (1):196-204.
    In order to understand a sentence, one must know the relevant semantic rules. Those rules are not learned in a vacuum; they are given to one through one's senses. (One sees Smith; one is told that his name is "Smith.") As a result, knowledge of semantic rules sometimes comes bundled with semantically irrelevant, but cognitively non-innocuous, knowledge of the circumstances in which those rules were learned. Thus, one must work through non-semantic information in order to know what is literally meant (...)
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  14. John-Michael Kuczynski (2006). THE ANALOGUE-DIGITAL DISTINCTION AND THE COGENCY OF KANT'S TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENTS. Existentia: An International Journal of Philosophy:279-320.
    Hume's attempt to show that deduction is the only legitimate form of inference presupposes that enumerative induction is the only non-deductive form of inference. In actuality, enumerative induction is not even a form of inference: all supposed cases of enumerative induction are disguised cases of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE), so far as they aren't simply cases of mentation of a purely associative kind and, consequently, of a kind that is non-inductive and otherwise non-inferential. The justification for IBE lies (...)
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  15. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2006). Formal Operations and Simulated Thought. Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):221-234.
    A series of representations must be semantics-driven if the members of that series are to combine into a single thought. Where semantics is not operative, there is at most a series of disjoint representations that add up to nothing true or false, and therefore do not constitute a thought at all. There is necessarily a gulf between simulating thought, on the one hand, and actually thinking, on the other. A related point is that a popular doctrine - the so-called 'computational (...)
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  16. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2006). Two Concepts of "Form" and the so-Called Computational Theory of Mind. Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):795-821.
    According to the computational theory of mind (CTM), to think is to compute. But what is meant by the word 'compute'? The generally given answer is this: Every case of computing is a case of manipulating symbols, but not vice versa - a manipulation of symbols must be driven exclusively by the formal properties of those symbols if it is qualify as a computation. In this paper, I will present the following argument. Words like 'form' and 'formal' are ambiguous, as (...)
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  17. John-Michael Kuczynski (2005). Counterfactuals: The Epistemic Analysis. Philosophia Scientiae 9 (1):83-126.
    Ordinarily counterfactuals are seen as making statements about states of affairs, albeit ones that hold in merely possible or alternative worlds. Thus analyzed, nearly all counterfactuals turn out to be incoherent. Any counterfactual, thus analyzed, requires that there be a metaphysically (not just epistemically) possible world w where the laws are the same as here, and where almost all of the facts are the same as here. (The factual differences relate to the antecedent and consequent of the counter-factual.) But, as (...)
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  18. John-Michael Kuczynski (2005). Outlining a Non-Possible-Worlds-Based Conception of Modality. Metaphysica 6 (1):41-68.
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  19. John-Michael Kuczynski (2005). On the Concept of a Symbol and the Vacuousness of the Symbolic Conception of Thought. Semiotica 154 (4):243-264.
    Linguistic expressions must be decrypted if they are to transmit information. Thoughts need not be decrypted if they are to transmit information. Therefore thought-processes do not consist of linguistic expressions: thought is not linguistic. A consequence is that thought is not computational, given that a computation is the operationalization of a function that assigns one expression to some other expression (or sequence of expressions).
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  20. John-Michael Kuczynski (2005). Why Definite Descriptions Really Are Referring Terms. Grazer Philosophische Studien 68 (1):45-79.
    According to Russell, '... the phi ...' means: 'exactly one object has phi and ... that object ...'. Strawson pointed out that, if somebody asked how many kings of France there were, it would be deeply inappropriate to respond by saying '... the king of France ...': the respondent appears to be presupposing the very thing that, under the circumstances, he ought to be asserting. But it would seem that if Russell's theory were correct, the respondent would be asserting exactly (...)
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  21. John-Michael Kuczynski (2004). A Non-Russellian Analysis of the Referential-Attributive Distinction. Pragmatics and Cognition 12 (2):253-294.
    Kripke made a good case that “…the phi…” is not semantically ambiguous between referential and attributive meanings, and many semanticists agree with Kripke. Russell says that “…the phi…” is always to be analyzed attributively. Agreeing with Kripke that “…the phi…” is not ambiguous, many semanticists have tried to give a Russellian analysis of the referential-attributive distinction: the gross deviations between what is communicated by “…the phi..”, on the one hand, and what Russell’s theory says it literally means, on the other, (...)
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  22. John-Michael Kuczynski (2004). Non-Declarative Sentences and the Theory of Descriptions. Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 8 (1).
    A consequence of Russell's Theory of Descriptions is that non-indicative sentences (questions and imperatives) either have meanings that are obviously distinct from their actual meanings, even after all pragmatic and contextual variables are allowed for, or are categorically non-sensical. Therefore, the Theory of Descriptions is false.
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  23. John-Michael Kuczynski (2004). Two Arguments Against the Cognitivist Theory of Emotions. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 11 (2):65-72.
    According to one point of view, emotions are recognitions of truths of a certain kind -- most probably valuative truths (truths to the effect that something is good or bad). After giving the standard arguments for this view, and also providing a new argument of my own for it, I set forth two arguments against it. First, this position makes all emotions be epistemically right or wrong. But this view is hard to sustain where certain emotions (especially desire) are concerned. (...)
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  24. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2004). Another Argument Against the Thesis That There is a Language of Thought. Communication and Cognition 37 (2):83-103.
    One cannot have the concept of a red object without having the concept of an extended object. But the word "red" doesn't contain the word "extended." In general, our concepts are interconnected in ways in which the corresponding words are not interconnected. This is not an accidental fact about the English language or about any other language: it is inherent in what a language is that the cognitive abilities corresponding to a person's abilities to use words cannot possibly be reflected (...)
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  25. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2004). A Quasi-Materialist, Quasi-Dualist Solution to the Mind-Body Problem. Kriterion 45 (109):81-135.
  26. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2004). Some Arguments Against Intentionalism. Acta Analytica 19 (32):107-141.
    According to a popular doctrine known as "intentionalism," two experiences must have different representational contents if they have different phenomenological contents, in other words, what they represent must differ if what they feel like differs. Were this position correct, the representational significance of a given affect (or 'quale'---plural 'qualia'--to use the preferred term), e.g. a tickle, would be fixed: what it represented would not be a function of the subject's beliefs, past experiences, or other facts about his past or present (...)
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  27. John-Michael Kuczynski (2003). Is There Non-Epistemic Vagueness? Indian Philosophical Quarterly 30 (2):153-176.
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  28. John-Michael Kuczynski (2002). Department of Philosophy. University of California Santa Barbara. California, Usa What is a Proposition? Existentia 12:265.
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  29. John-Michael Kuczynski (2002). Does the Idea of a "Language of Thought" Make Sense? Communication and Cognition 35 (4):173-192.
    Sense-perceptions do not have to be deciphered if their contents are to be uploaded, the reason being that they are presentations, not representations. Linguistic expressions do have to be deciphered if their contents are to be uploaded, the reason being that they are representations, not presentations. It is viciously regressive to suppose that information-bearing mental entities are categorically in the nature of representations, as opposed to presentations, and it is therefore incoherent to suppose that thought is mediated by expressions or, (...)
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  30. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2002). Elements of Virtualism: A Study in the Philosophy of Perception. Dartford: Traude Junghans Cuxhaven Verlag.
     
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  31. John-Michael Kuczynski (2001). Are Any of Our Beliefs About Ourselves Non-Inferential or Infallible? Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 21 (1):20-45.
    We are aware of truths (e.g. the truth that the shoes I'm now wearing are uncomfortably tight) and also of states of affairs (e.g. the uncomfortable tightness of said shoes). My awareness of the tightness of my shoes---not, be it emphasized, of the corresponding truth, but of the shoe-related mass-energy-distribution underlying that truth---is an instance, not of truth-awareness, but of fact-awareness or, as I prefer to put, object-awareness. The aforementioned truth-awareness corresponding to that object-awareness is the result of my conceptualizing (...)
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  32. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2001). Materialism, Causation, and the Mind-Body Problem. Prima Philosophia 14 (1):69-90.
     
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  33. John-Michael Kuczynski (2000). Two Objections to Materialism. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 20 (2):122-139.
    This paper puts forth two reasons to hold that at least some mental entities are not physical entities. First argument: Some mental entities (namely, pains and other qualia) cannot possibly differ from how they seem to be, and since this cannot possibly be true of any non-mental entity, it follows that some mental entities are not physical. Second argument: It is necessarily on theoretical grounds, as opposed to strictly experiential grounds, that mental entities are identified with physical entities. Water is (...)
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  34. John-Michael Kuczynski (1999). Is Mind an Emergent Property? Cogito 13 (2):117-119.
    It is often said that (M) "mind is an emergent property of matter." M is ambiguous, the reason being that, for all x and y, "x is an emergent property of y" has two distinct and mutually opposed meanings, namely: (i) x is a product of y (in the sense in which a chair is the product of the activity of a furniture-maker); and (ii) y is either identical or constitutive of x, but, relative to the information available at a (...)
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  35. John-Michael Kuczynski (1998). A Solution to the Paradox of Analysis. Metaphilosophy 29 (4):313-330.
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  36. John-Michael Kuczynski (1998). A Solution to the Paradox of Inquiry. Southwest Philosophy Review 14 (2):125-138.
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  37. John-Michael M. Kuczynski (1998). A Proof of the Partial Anomalousness of the Mental. Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):491-504.
    Ontologically, brains are more basic than mental representations. Epistemologically, mental representations are more basic than brains and, indeed, all other non-mental entities: it is, and must be, on the basis of mental representations that we know anything about non-mental entities. Since, consequently, mental representations are epistemically more fundamental than brains, the former cannot possibly be explained in terms of the latter, notwithstanding that the latter are ontologically more fundamental than the former. There is thus an explanatory gap, notwithstanding the presumptive (...)
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