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Profile: Mark McCullagh (University of Guelph)
  1. Mark Mccullagh (2011). Critical Notice of Language Turned on Itself, by Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore. Analytic Philosophy 52 (4):349-367.
    This is a lively, provocative book and many of its arguments are convincing. In this critical study I summarize the book, then discuss some of the authors’ claims, dwelling on three issues: their objections to the view of François Recanati on “pre-semantic” effects; the relation between their theory of quotation and the Tarskian “Proper Name Theory,” which they reject; and their treatment of mixed quotation, which rests on the claim that quotation expressions are “syntactic chameleons.” I argue that the objections (...)
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  2. Mark McCullagh (2011). How to Use a Concept You Reject. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):293-319.
    Inferentialist accounts of concept possession are often supported by examples in which rejection of some inference seems to amount to rejection of some concept, with the apparently implausible consequence that anyone who rejects the inference cannot so much as understand those who use the concept. This consequence can be avoided by distinguishing conditions necessary for direct uses of a concept (to describe the non-cognitive world) from conditions necessary for content-specifying uses (to specify what someone thinks or says). I consider how (...)
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  3. Mark McCullagh (2007). Understanding Mixed Quotation. Mind 116 (464):927-946.
    It has proved challenging to account for the dual role that a directly quoted part of a 'that'-clause plays in so-called mixed quotation. The Davidsonian account, elaborated by Cappelen and Lepore, handles many cases well; but it fails to accommodate a crucial feature of mixed quotation: that the part enclosed in quotation marks is used to specify not what the quoter says when she utters it, but what the quoted speaker says when she utters it. Here I show how the (...)
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  4. Mark McCullagh (2005). Inferentialism and Singular Reference. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):183-220.
    Basic to Robert Brandom’s project in Making It Explicit is the demarcation of singular terms according to the structure of their inferential roles---rather than, as is usual, according to the kinds of things they purport to denote. But the demarcational effort founders on the need to distinguish extensional and nonextensional occurrences of expressions in terms of inferential roles; the closest that an inferentialist can come to drawing that distinction is to discern degrees of extensionality, and that is not close enough. (...)
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  5. Mark McCullagh (2005). Motivating Inferentialism. Southwest Philosophy Review 21 (1):77-84.
  6. Mark McCullagh (2003). Do Inferential Roles Compose? Dialectica 57 (4):431-38.
    Jerry Fodor and Ernie Lepore have argued that inferential roles are not compositional. It is unclear, however, whether the theories at which they aim their objection are obliged to meet the strong compositionality requirement they have in mind. But even if that requirement is accepted, the data they adduce can in fact be derived from an inferential-role theory that meets it. Technically this is trivial, but it raises some interesting objections turning on the issue of the generality of inferential roles. (...)
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  7. Mark McCullagh (2002). Self-Knowledge Failures and First Person Authority. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):365-380.
  8. Mark McCullagh (2002). Wittgenstein on Rules and Practices. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:83-100.
    Some readers of Wittgenstein---I discuss Robert Brandom---think that his writings contain a regress argument showing that the notion of participating in a practice is more basic than the notion of following a rule, in explanations of linguistic correctness. But the regress argument bears equally on both these notions: if there is an explanatory regress of rules, then there is an explanatory regress of practices as well. Why then does Wittgenstein invoke the notion of a practice, apparently by way of diagnosing (...)
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  9. Mark McCullagh (2000). Functionalism and Self-Consciousness. Mind and Language 15 (5):481-499.
    I offer a philosophically well-motivated solution to a problem that George Bealer has identified, which he claims is fatal to functionalism. The problem is that there seems to be no way to generate a satisfactory Ramsey sentence of a psychological theory in which mental-state predicates occur within the scopes of mental-state predicates. My central claim is that the functional roles in terms of which a creature capable of self-consciousness identifies her own mental states must be roles that items could play (...)
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  10. Mark McCullagh (2000). Solitary and Embedded Knowledge. Southwest Philosophy Review 16 (1):161-169.
    I argue for the usefulness of the distinction between knowledge that is, and knowledge that is not, acquired in such a way as necessarily to be acquired along with other knowledge so acquired. Knowledge gained in the latter ways—e.g. by testimony, by linguistic stipulation—has proved philosophically puzzling. But this is because philosophers have used traditional epistemological vocabulary to try to describe what’s distinctive about it. Using the solitary/embedded distinction, we can frame descriptions that are both true, and not stipulative-seeming, of (...)
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  11. Mark McCullagh (1992). Mediality and Rationality in Aristotle's Account of Excellence of Character. Apeiron 25 (4):155 - 174.
    I offer a reading of Aristotle’s “doctrine of the mean” that avoids two pitfalls: taking it as truistic, and taking it as involving the bizarre thesis that whenever one acts as reason directs, one’s action is mid-way between some extremes. The crucial point is that while Aristotle denies the existence of useful general ethical truths, he himself offers truths about the likelihoods with which rationality will require actions of certain types; and it is with such truths that the statistical idea (...)
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