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  1. Kent Johnson, Externalist Thoughts and the Scope of Linguistics.
    A common assumption in metaphysics and the philosophy of language is that the general structure of language displays the general metaphysical structure of the things we talk about. But expressions can easily be imperfect representations of what they are about. After clarifying this general point, I make a case study of a recent attempt to semantically analyze the nature of knowledge-how. This attempt fails because there appears to be no plausible bridge from the linguistic structure of knowledge-how reports to knowledge-how (...)
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  2. Kent Johnson, Keith Donnellan.
    Keith Donnellan (1931 – ) began his studies at the University of Maryland, and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He stayed on at Cornell, earning a Master’s and a PhD in 1961. He also taught at there for several years before moving to UCLA in 1970, where he is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy. Donnellan’s work is mainly in the philosophy of language, with an emphasis on the connections between semantics and pragmatics. His most influential work was his (...)
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  3. Kent Johnson & Wayne Wright, Reply to Philipona and O'Regan.
    This paper responds to Philipona & O’Regan (2006), which attempts to account for certain color phenomena by appeal to singularities in the space of “accessible information” in the light striking the retina. Three points are discussed. First, it is unclear what the empirical significance/import is of the mathematical analysis of the data regarding the accessible information in the light. Second, the singularity index employed in the study is both mathematically and empirically faulty. Third, the connection drawn between their findings and (...)
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  4. Wayne Wright & Kent Johnson, Reply to Philipona and O'Regan.
    This paper responds to Philipona & O’Regan (2006), which attempts to account for certain color phenomena by appeal to singularities in the space of “accessible information” in the light striking the retina. Three points are discussed. First, it is unclear what the empirical significance/import is of the mathematical analysis of the data regarding the accessible information in the light. Second, the singularity index employed in the study is both mathematically and empirically faulty. Third, the connection drawn between their findings and (...)
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  5. Kent Johnson (forthcoming). Maps, Languages, and Manguages: Rival Cognitive Architectures? Philosophical Psychology:1-22.
    Maps, languages, and manguages: Rival cognitive architectures?. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2014.893814.
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  6. Kent Johnson (2014). Realism and Uncertainty of Unobservable Common Causes in Factor Analysis. Noûs 48 (4):n/a-n/a.
    Famously, scientific theories are underdetermined by their evidence. This occurs in the factor analytic model , which is often used to connect concrete data to hypothetical notions . After introducing FA, three general topics are addressed. Underdetermination: the precise reasons why FA is underdetermined illuminates various claims about underdetermination, abduction, and theoretical terms. Uncertainties: FA helps distinguish at least four kinds of uncertainties. The prevailing practice, often encoded in statistical software, is to ignore the most difficult kinds, which are essential (...)
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  7. Kent Johnson (2011). A Lot of Data. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):788-799.
    This paper motivates using explicit methods in linguistics by attempting to estimate the size of a linguistic data set. Such estimations are difficult because redundant data can easily pad the data set. To address this, I offer some explicit operationalizations of the data and their features. But for linguistic data, negative associations don’t indicate true redundancy, and yet for many measures they can be mathematically impossible to ignore. It is proven that this troublesome phenomenon has positive Lebesgue measure, is monotonically (...)
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  8. Kent Johnson (2011). Quantitative Realizations of Philosophy of Science: William Whewell and Statistical Methods. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (3):399-409.
    In this paper, I examine William Whewell’s (1794–1866) ‘Discoverer’s Induction’, and argue that it 21 supplies a strikingly accurate characterization of the logic behind many statistical methods, exploratory 22 data analysis (EDA) in particular. Such methods are additionally well-suited as a point of evaluation of 23 Whewell’s philosophy since the central techniques of EDA were not invented until after Whewell’s death, 24 and so couldn’t have influenced his views. The fact that the quantitative details of some very general 25 methods (...)
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  9. Kent Johnson (2007). An Overview of Lexical Semantics. Philosophy Compass 3 (1):119-134.
    This article reviews some linguistic and philosophical work in lexical semantics. In Section 1, the general methods of lexical semantics are explored, with particular attention to how semantic features of verbs are associated with grammatical patterns. In Section 2, philosophical consequences and issues arising from this sort of research is reviewed.
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  10. Kent Johnson (2007). Tacit and Accessible Understanding of Language. Synthese 156 (2):253 - 279.
    The empirical nature of our understanding of language is explored. I first show that there are several important and different distinctions between tacit and accessible awareness. I then present empirical evidence concerning our understanding of language. The data suggests that our awareness of sentence-meanings is sometimes merely tacit according to one of these distinctions, but is accessible according to another. I present and defend an interpretation of this mixed view. The present project is shown to impact on several diverse areas, (...)
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  11. Kent Johnson (2007). The Legacy of Methodological Dualism. Mind and Language 22 (4):366–401.
    Methodological dualism in linguistics occurs when its theories are subjected to standards that are inappropriate for them qua scientific theories. Despite much opposition, methodological dualism abounds in contemporary thinking. In this paper, I treat linguistics as a scientific activity and explore some instances of dualism. By extracting some ubiquitous aspects of scientific methodology from its typically quantitative expression, I show that two recent instances of methodologically dualistic critiques of linguistics are ill-founded. I then show that there are nonetheless some divergences (...)
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  12. Kent Johnson (2006). On the Nature of Reverse Compositionality. Erkenntnis 64 (1):37 - 60.
    Reverse Compositionality (RC) is the thesis that one understands a complex expression only if one understands its parts. I argue that this thesis is false for natural languages. I then argue that the phenomenon that motivates the thesis is more likely to be a fact about human sentence-processing than linguistic understanding per se. Finally, I argue that RC is not useful in the debates about prototype-style theories of concepts in which it figures heavily.
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  13. Kent Johnson & Wayne Wright (2006). Colors as Properties of the Special Sciences. Erkenntnis 64 (2):139 - 168.
    We examine the pros and cons of color realism, exposing some desiderata on a theory of color: the theory should render colors as scientifically legitimate and correctly individuated, and it should explain how we have veridical color experiences. We then show that these desiderata can by met by treating colors as properties of the special sciences. According to our view, some of the major as properties of the special sciences. According to our view, some of the major disputes in the (...)
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  14. Kent Johnson (2005). Review of Paul Pietroski, Events and Semantic Architecture. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (8).
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  15. Kent Johnson (2004). From Impossible Words to Conceptual Structure: The Role of Structure and Processes in the Lexicon. Mind and Language 19 (3):334-358.
    The structure of words is often thought to provide important evidence regarding the structure of concepts. At the same time, most contemporary linguists posit a great deal of structure in words. Such a trend makes some atomists about concepts uncomfortable. The details of linguistic methodology undermine several strategies for avoiding positing structure in words. I conclude by arguing that there is insufficient evidence to hold that word-structure bears any interesting relation to the structure of concepts.
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  16. Kent Johnson (2004). Gold's Theorem and Cognitive Science. Philosophy of Science 70 (4):571-592.
    A variety of inaccurate claims about Gold's Theorem have appeared in the cognitive science literature. I begin by characterizing the logic of this theorem and its proof. I then examine several claims about Gold's Theorem, and I show why they are false. Finally, I assess the significance of Gold's Theorem for cognitive science.
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  17. Kent Johnson (2004). On the Systematicity of the Language of Thought. Journal of Philosophy 101 (3):111-139.
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  18. Kent Johnson (2004). Tacit Belief, Semantics and Grammar. Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (1):57-91.
    This paper explores speakers'' epistemic access to the semanticand syntactic features of sentences of their language. I argue that there is evidence that ceteris paribus, the actual semantic features of sentences of a language are accessible as such by typical speakers of that language.I then explore various linguistic, cognitive, and epistemic consequences of this position.
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  19. Kent Johnson & Ernie Lepore (2004). Knowledge and Semantic Competence. In M. Sintonen, J. Wolenski & I. Niiniluoto (eds.), Handbook of Epistemology. Kluwer. 707--731.
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  20. Kent Johnson (2003). Are There Semantic Natural Kinds of Words? Mind and Language 18 (2):175–193.
    Gareth Evans proposes that there are semantic natural kinds of words. In his development of this theory,he argues for two constraints on the identification of these kinds. I argue that neither of these constraints are justified. Furthermore,my argument against Evans' second constraint constitutes a direct argument for the existence of semantic natural kinds,something Evans himself never offers. I conclude by sketching some positive details of a more plausible theory of semantic natural kinds.
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  21. Kent Johnson (2002). David Cockburn, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 22 (2):104-106.
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  22. Kent Johnson & Ernie Lepore (2002). Does Syntax Reveal Semantics? A Case Study of Complex Demonstratives. Noûs 36 (s16):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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  23. Kent Johnson (1997). Luck and Good Fortune in the Eudemian Ethics. Ancient Philosophy 17 (1):85-102.
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  24. Ellen E. Berry, Kent Johnson & Anesa Miller-Pogacar (1993). Postcommunist Postmodernism–An Interview with Mikhail Epstein. Common Knowledge 2 (3):103-18.
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