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Profile: Michael Glanzberg (Northwestern University)
  1. Michael Glanzberg, Descriptions, Negation, and Focus.
    One of the mainstays of the theory of definite descriptions since Russell (1905) has been their interaction with negation. In particular, Russellians, who advocate the view that definite descriptions are a kind of quantifier, point to these interactions as evidence in favor of the their view. The argument runs roughly as follows.
     
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  2. Michael Glanzberg, Not All Contextual Parameters Are Alike.
    A great deal of discussion in recent philosophy of language has centered on the idea that there might be hidden contextual parameters in our sentences. But relatively little attention has been paid to what those parameters themselves are like, beyond the assumption that they behave more or less like variables do in logic. My goal in this paper is to show this has been a mistake. I shall argue there are at least two very different sorts of contextual parameters. One (...)
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  3. Michael Glanzberg, The Liar Paradox for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The story goes that Epimenides, a Cretan, used to claim that all Cretans are always liars. Whether he knew it or not, this claim is odd. It is easy to see it is odd by asking if it is true or false. If it is true, then all Cretans, including Epimenides, are always liars, in which case what he said must be false. Thus, if what he says is true, it is false. Conversely, suppose what Epimenides said is false. Then (...)
     
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  4. Michael Glanzberg, Papers in Progress.
    A great deal of discussion in recent philosophy of language has centered on the idea that there might be hidden contextual parameters in our sentences. But relatively little attention has been paid to what those parameters themselves are like, beyond the assumption that they behave more or less like variables do in logic. My goal in this paper is to show this has been a mistake. I argue there are at least two very different sorts of contextual parameters. One is (...)
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  5. Michael Glanzberg (2011). Meaning, Concepts, and the Lexicon. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):1-29.
    This paper explores how words relate to concepts. It argues that in many cases, words get their meanings in part by associating with concepts, but only in conjunction with substantial input from language. Language packages concepts in grammatically determined ways. This structures the meanings of words, and determines which sorts of concepts map to words. The results are linguistically modulated meanings, and the extralinguistic concepts associated with words are often not what intuitively would be expected. The paper concludes by discussing (...)
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  6. Michael Glanzberg (2011). More on Operators and Tense. [REVIEW] Analysis 71 (1):112 - 123.
    Cappelen and Hawthorne’s Relativism and Monadic Truth (2009) offers an extended defense of a thesis they call simplicity, which, in brief, holds that propositions are true or false simpliciter. Propositions are cast in their traditional roles as the contents of assertions, and as the semantic values of declarative sentences in contexts. Simplicity stands in sharp contrast to forms of relativism including, for instance, a form that hold that our claims are true or false only relative to a judge. This applies (...)
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  7. Michael Glanzberg, Barbara H. Partee & Jurģis Šķilters (2011). Editors' Introduction. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1).
    The papers published in this volume were presented at the 6th International Symposium of Cognition, Logic and Communication, entitled ‘Formal Semantics and Pragmatics: Discourse, Context, and Models’, taking place at the University of Latvia, Riga, initially scheduled for April 2010.
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  8. JC Beall & Michael Glanzberg (2010). The Liar Paradox. In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Csli.
    The first sentence in this essay is a lie. There is something odd about saying so, as has been known since ancient times. To see why, remember that all lies are untrue. Is the first sentence true? If it is, then it is a lie, and so it is not true. Conversely, suppose that it is not true. As we (viz., the authors) have said it, presumably with the intention of you believing it when it is not true, it is (...)
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  9. Michael Glanzberg (2009). Semantics and Truth Relative to a World. Synthese 166 (2):281 - 307.
    This paper argues that relativity of truth to a world plays no significant role in empirical semantic theory, even as it is done in the model-theoretic tradition relying on intensional type theory. Some philosophical views of content provide an important notion of truth at a world, but they do not constrain the empirical domain of semantic theory in a way that makes this notion empirically significant. As an application of this conclusion, this paper shows that a potential motivation for relativism (...)
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  10. Jc Beall & Michael Glanzberg (2008). Where the Paths Meet: Remarks on Truth and Paradox. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):169-198.
    The study of truth is often seen as running on two separate paths: the nature path and the logic path. The former concerns metaphysical questions about the ‘nature’, if any, of truth. The latter concerns itself largely with logic, particularly logical issues arising from the truth-theoretic paradoxes. Where, if at all, do these two paths meet? It may seem, and it is all too often assumed, that they do not meet, or at best touch in only incidental ways. It is (...)
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  11. Michael Glanzberg (2008). Quantification and Contributing Objects to Thoughts. Noûs 42 (1):207 - 231.
    In this paper, I shall explore a determiner in natural language which is ambivalent as to whether it should be classified as quantificational or objectdenoting: the determiner both. Both in many ways appears to be a paradigmatic quantifier; and yet, I shall argue, it can be interpreted as having an individual—an object—as semantic value. To show the significance of this, I shall discuss two ways of thinking about quantifiers. We often think about quantifiers via intuitions about kinds of thoughts. Certain (...)
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  12. Michael Glanzberg, Truth. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Truth is one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest. Truth has been a topic of discussion in its own right for thousands of years. Moreover, a huge variety of issues in philosophy relate to truth, either by relying on theses about truth, or implying theses about truth.
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  13. Michael Glanzberg (2008). Where the Paths Meet: Remarks on Truth and Paradox. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):169-198.
    The study of truth is often seen as running on two separate paths: the nature path and the logic path. The former concerns metaphysical questions about the ‘nature’, if any, of truth. The latter concerns itself largely with logic, particularly logical issues arising from the truth-theoretic paradoxes.
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  14. Michael Glanzberg (2007). Context, Content, and Relativism. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):1--29.
    This paper argues against relativism, focusing on relativism based on the semantics of predicates of personal taste. It presents and defends a contextualist semantics for these predicates, derived from current work on gradable adjectives. It then considers metasemantic questions about the kinds of contextual parameters this semantics requires. It argues they are not metasemantically different from those in other gradable adjectives, and that contextual parameters of this sort are widespread in natural language. Furthermore, this paper shows that if such parameters (...)
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  15. Michael Glanzberg (2007). Definite Descriptions and Quantifier Scope: Some Mates Cases Reconsidered. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2):133-158.
  16. Michael Glanzberg (2007). Metaphor and Lexical Semantics. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 3 (1):1-47.
  17. Michael Glanzberg (ed.) (2006). . Oxford University Press.
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  18. Michael Glanzberg (2006). Context and Unrestricted Quantification. In A. Rayo & G. Uzquiano (eds.), Absolute Generality. Oxford University Press. 45--74.
    Quantification is haunted by the specter of paradoxes. Since Russell, it has been a persistent idea that the paradoxes show what might have appeared to be absolutely unrestricted quantification to be somehow restricted. In the contemporary literature, this theme is taken up by Dummett (1973, 1993) and Parsons (1974a,b). Parsons, in particular, argues that both the Liar and Russell’s paradoxes are to be resolved by construing apparently absolutely unrestricted quantifiers as appropriately restricted.
     
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  19. Michael Glanzberg (2006). Quantifiers. In Ernest Lepore & Barry Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. 794--821.
     
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  20. Michael Glanzberg & Susanna Siegel (2006). Presupposition and Policing in Complex Demonstratives. Noûs 40 (1):1–42.
    In this paper, we offer a theory of the role of the nominal in complex demonstrative expressions, such as 'this dog' or 'that glove with a hole in it'.
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  21. Michael Glanzberg (2005). Focus: A Case Study on the Semantics–Pragmatics Boundary. In Zoltan Szabo (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. 72--110.
  22. Michael Glanzberg (2005). Minimalism, Deflationism, and Paradoxes. In J. C. Beall & Bradley Armour-Garb (eds.), Deflationism and Paradox. Clarendon Press.
  23. Michael Glanzberg (2005). Presuppositions, Truth Values, and Expressing Propositions. In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. 349--396.
    Philosophers like to talk about propositions. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps the most common is that philosophers are sometimes more interested in the content of a thought or utterance than in the particular sentence or utterance that might express it on some occasion. Propositions are offered as these contents.
     
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  24. Michael Glanzberg (2005). Truth, Reflection, and Hierarchies. Synthese 142 (3):289 - 315.
    A common objection to hierarchical approaches to truth is that they fragment the concept of truth. This paper defends hierarchical approaches in general against the objection of fragmentation. It argues that the fragmentation required is familiar and unprob-lematic, via a comparison with mathematical proof. Furthermore, it offers an explanation of the source and nature of the fragmentation of truth. Fragmentation arises because the concept exhibits a kind of failure of closure under reflection. This paper offers a more precise characterization of (...)
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  25. Michael Glanzberg (2004). A Contextual-Hierarchical Approach to Truth and the Liar Paradox. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (1):27-88.
    This paper presents an approach to truth and the Liar paradox which combines elements of context dependence and hierarchy. This approach is developed formally, using the techniques of model theory in admissible sets. Special attention is paid to showing how starting with some ideas about context drawn from linguistics and philosophy of language, we can see the Liar sentence to be context dependent. Once this context dependence is properly understood, it is argued, a hierarchical structure emerges which is neither ad (...)
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  26. Michael Glanzberg (2004). Discussion – Truth, Disquotation, and Expression: On McGinn's Theory of Truth. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 118 (3):413-423.
    In Logical Properties, Colin McGinn offers a new theory of truth, which he describes as “thick disquotationalism.” In keeping with wider theme of the book, truth emerges as conceptually primitive. Echoing Moore, it is simple and unanalyzable. Though truth cannot be analyzed, in the sense of giving a conceptual decomposition, McGinn argues that truth can be defined. A non-circular statement of its application conditions can be given. This makes truth a singularly remarkable property. Indeed, by McGinn’s lights, it is the (...)
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  27. Michael Glanzberg (2004). Quantification and Realism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):541–572.
    This paper argues for the thesis that, roughly put, it is impossible to talk about absolutely everything. To put the thesis more precisely, there is a particular sense in which, as a matter of semantics, quantifiers always range over domains that are in principle extensible, and so cannot count as really being ‘absolutely everything’. The paper presents an argument for this thesis, and considers some important objections to the argument and to the formulation of the thesis. The paper also offers (...)
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  28. Michael Glanzberg (2003). Against Truth-Value Gaps. In J. C. Beall (ed.), Liars and Heaps. Oxford University Press. 151--94.
    ∗Thanks to J. C. Beall, Alex Byrne, Jason Decker, Tyler Doggett, Paul Elbourne, Adam Elga, Warren Goldfarb, Delia Graff, Richard Heck, Charles Parsons, Mark Richard, Susanna Siegel, Jason Stanley, Judith Thomson, Carol Voeller, Brian Weatherson, Ralph Wedgwood, Steve Yablo, Cheryl Zoll, and an anonymous referee for valuable comments and discussions. Versions of this material were presented in my seminar at MIT in the Fall of 2000, and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Parts of this paper also derive from (...)
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  29. Michael Glanzberg (2003). Minimalism and Paradoxes. Synthese 135 (1):13 - 36.
    This paper argues against minimalism about truth. It does so by way of acomparison of the theory of truth with the theory of sets, and considerationof where paradoxes may arise in each. The paper proceeds by asking twoseemingly unrelated questions. First, what is the theory of truth about?Answering this question shows that minimalism bears important similaritiesto naive set theory. Second, why is there no strengthened version ofRussell's paradox, as there is a strengthened Liar paradox? Answering thisquestion shows that like naive (...)
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  30. Michael Glanzberg (2002). Context and Discourse. Mind and Language 17 (4):333–375.
    Current theories of context see context as composed of information that is localizable to individual utterances. Current theories of discourse grant that discourses have important global properties that are not so localizable. In this paper, I argue that context, even narrowly construed as whatever combines with a sentence to determine truth conditions, must have a discourse-global component. I identify a context-dependence phenomenon related to the linguistic concepts of topic and focus, isolate the pertinent feature of context, and show (...)
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  31. Michael Glanzberg (2001). Supervenience and Infinitary Logic. Noûs 35 (3):419-439.
    The discussion of supervenience is replete with the use of in?nitary logical operations. For instance, one may often ?nd a supervenient property that corresponds to an in?nite collection of supervenience-base properties, and then ask about the in?nite disjunction of all those base properties. This is crucial to a well-known argument of Kim (1984) that supervenience comes nearer to reduction than many non-reductive physicalists suppose. It also appears in recent discussions such as Jackson (1998).
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  32. Michael Glanzberg (2001). The Liar in Context. Philosophical Studies 103 (3):217 - 251.
    About twenty-five years ago, Charles Parsons published a paper that began by asking why we still discuss the Liar Paradox. Today, the question seems all the more apt. In the ensuing years we have seen not only Parsons’ work (1974), but seminal work of Saul Kripke (1975), and a huge number of other important papers. Too many to list. Surely, one of them must have solved it! In a way, most of them have. Most papers on the Liar Paradox offer (...)
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  33. Michael Glanzberg, Quantifiers.
    Quantified terms are terms of generality. They are also provide some of our prime examples of the phenomenon of scope. The distinction between singular and general terms, as well as the ways that general terms enter into scope relations, are certainly fundamental to our understanding of language. Yet when we turn to natural language, we encounter a huge and apparently messy collection of general terms; not just every and some, but most, few, between five and ten, and many others. Natural-language (...)
     
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