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Profile: Paul Saka (University of Texas, Pan Am)
  1. Paul Saka (2014). Reasons as Defaults By John F. Horty. Analysis 74 (2):358-360.
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  2. Paul Saka (2013). Mind and Paradox. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 25 (3):377-87.
    Paradoxes are mind-dependent in a number of ways. First, by definition, paradoxes offer surprises or apparent contradictions. Since surprise and appearance rely on subjective psychological reactions, paradoxes rely on psychological events. Second, propositional versions of the liar paradox must eventually appeal to sentences if they are to achieve traction, yet sentential versions of the liar paradox rely on language and hence on mentality. Third, belief paradoxes such as B, "No one believes B", transparently hinge on the existence of mental states. (...)
     
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  3. Paul Saka (2013). Quotation. Philosophy Compass 8 (10):935-949.
    Understanding quotation is fundamental to understanding the nature of truth and meaning. Quotation, however, is a remarkably complicated phenomenon, and a vigorous literature on the topic has been growing at an increasing rate.§1 To give you a sense of this work, §1 enlarges upon the significance of studying quotation; §2 presents a rudimentary taxonomy of quotation; and §3 critically surveys theories of how quotation works.
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  4. Paul Saka (2011). Quotation and Conceptions of Language. Dialectica 65 (2):205-220.
    This paper discusses empty quotation (‘’ is an empty string) and lexical quotation (his praise was, quote, fulsome, unquote), it challenges the minimal theory of quotation (‘ “x” ’ quotes ‘x’) and it defends the identity theory of quotation. In the process it illuminates disciplinary differences between the science of language and the philosophy of language. First, most philosophers assume, without argument, that language includes writing, whereas linguists have reason to identify language with speech (plus sign language). Second, philosophers tend (...)
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  5. Paul Saka (2011). The Act of Quotation. In Elke Brendel (ed.), Understanding Quotation. De Gruyter Mouton.
    I focus on one approach to understanding quotation, the identity theory; I delineate varieties thereof; and I cite some considerations for favoring a speech-act version. Along the way we shall see how the study of quotation can illuminate the general conflict between speech-act semantics and formal semantics, and we shall see fresh arguments for insisting that the mechanism of quotation is referentially indeterminate.
     
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  6. Paul Saka (2010). Rarely Pure and Never Simple: Tensions in the Theory of Truth. Topoi 29 (2):125-135.
    Section 1 discerns ambiguity in the word “truth”, observing that the term is used most naturally in reference to truth-bearers rather than truth-makers. Focusing on truths-as-truth-bearers, then, it would appear that alethic realism conflicts with metaphysical realism as naturalistically construed. Section 2 discerns ambiguity in the purporting of truth (as in assertion), conjecturing that all expressions, not just those found in traditionally recognized opaque contexts, can be read intensionally (as well, perhaps, as extensionally). For instance, we would not generally want (...)
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  7. Paul Saka (2008). Ignorance of Language - by Michael Devitt. Philosophical Books 49 (2):161-163.
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  8. Paul Saka (2008). John Bishop: Believing by Faith: An Essay in the Epistemology and Ethics of Religious Belief. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 64 (2):107-109.
  9. P. Saka (2007). Review: Renewing Meaning. [REVIEW] Mind 116 (461):145-148.
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  10. Paul Saka (2007). Jeff Jordan Pascal's Wager: Pragmatic Arguments and Belief in God. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006). Pp. X+227. $65.00; £35.00 (Hbk). ISBN 978 0199291328. [REVIEW] Religious Studies 43 (4):492-496.
  11. Paul Saka (2007). Pascal's Wager, for Jordan, is Sometimes an Extended Family That Includes the Jamesian Wager, but Sometimes, More Narrowly, It is Distinct From the Jamesian Wager. Theseone or Two Points Aside, However, Jordan's Exposition is Admirably. Religious Studies 43.
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  12. Paul Saka (2007). Spurning Charity. Axiomathes 17 (2):197-208.
    The principle of charity (“Charity”), in one form or other, is held by many and for various reasons. After cataloging discernible kinds of Charity, I focus on the most familiar versions as found in Davidson, Dennett, Devitt, Lewis, Putnam, Quine, Stich, and others. To begin with, I argue that such versions of Charity are untenable because beliefs cannot be counted, and even if they could be counted there is reason to believe that true beliefs need not outnumber false beliefs. Next (...)
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  13. Paul Saka (2007). The Argument From Ignorance Against Truth-Conditional Semantics. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (2):157 - 169.
    According to orthodox semantics, to know the meaning of a sentence is to know its truth-conditions. Against this view I observe that we typically do not know the truth-conditions of the sentences we understand. We do not know the truth-conditions, for instance, of empty definite descriptions, non-declaratives, subjunctive conditionals, causal ascriptions, belief ascriptions, probability statements, figurative language, category mistakes, normative judgments, or vague statements. Appealing to tacit knowledge does not help, for the problem goes beyond our inability to articulate complete (...)
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  14. Paul Saka (2006). The Demonstrative and Identity Theories of Quotation. Journal of Philosophy 103 (9):452-471.
    The Demonstrative Theory holds that quoted matter is logically external to the quoting sentence, that quotation marks are (demonstratively) referential, and that quotation marks are grammatically required for autonomous mentioning. In contrast, the Identity Theory holds that quoted matter is integral to its quoting sentence, that quotation marks serve merely as disambiguating punctuation, and that mentionings need not be quotation-marked. I support the Identity Theory by pointing out fallacies in the arguments for demonstrative theories and by considering empty quotation, ordinary (...)
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  15. Paul Saka (2005). Quotational Constructions. In Philippe de Brabanter (ed.), Hybrid Quotations. John Benjamins.
    The utterance of any expression x ostends or makes manifest the customary referent of x, x itself, and related matter. If x appears in quotation marks then the presumed intention behind the utterance is to pick out something other than the customary referent (either instead of it or in addition to it). The consequences of these ideas, taken from my 1998 work, are here drawn out in application to a variety of quotations: metalinguistic citation, reported speech, scare-quoting, echo-quoting, loan words, (...)
     
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  16. Paul Saka (2003). Quotational Constructions. Belgian Journal of Linguistics 17:187-212.
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  17. Paul Saka, Pascal's Wager. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  18. Paul Saka (2001). Pascal's Wager and the Many Gods Objection. Religious Studies 37 (3):321-341.
    Pascal's Wager is finding ever more defenders who aim to undermine the old Many Gods Objection. It is my thesis that they are mistaken. After describing the Wager and the objection, I report on Jeff Jordan's repeated attempt to limit legitimate religious hypotheses to those that are traditional. In separate sections I criticize Jordan, first coming from epistemology and second from anthropology. Then I describe George Schlesinger's repeated appeal to the ‘simplest’ religious hypothesis, and argue that it fails for similar (...)
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  19. Paul Saka (2000). Ought Does Not Imply Can. American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (2):93 - 105.
    Moral philosophers widely believe that it is a part of the MEANING of 'ought' statements that they imply 'can' statements. To this thesis I offer three challenges, and then I conclude on a broader methodological note. (1) Epistemological Modal Argument: for all we know, determinism is true; determinism contradicts “ought implies can”; therefore we don’t know that 'ought' implies 'can'. (2) Metaphysical Modal Argument: determinism is conceptually possible; determinism contradicts “ought implies can”; therefore “ought implies can” is not an analytic (...)
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  20. P. Saka (1999). Quotation: A Reply to Cappelen and Lepore. Mind 108 (432):751-754.
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  21. Paul Saka (1998). Quotation and the Use-Mention Distinction. Mind 107 (425):113-135.
    Quote marks, I claim, serve to select from the multiple ostensions that are produced whenever any expression is uttered; they act to constrain pragmatic ambiguity or indeterminacy. My argument proceeds by showing that the proffered account fares better than its rivals-the Name, Description, Demonstrative, and Identity Theories. Along the way I shall need to explain and emphasize that quoting is not simply the same thing as mentioning. Quoting, but not mentioning, relies on the use of conventional devices.
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