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Profile: Peter Pagin (Stockholm University)
  1. Peter Pagin, Att Förstå Vad Andra Menar.
    Tänk dig att du kommit som Robinson Crusoe till en nästan öde ö, dvs till en ö du trodde var öde till dess att du träffade Fredag. Fredag förefaller tala ett språk, men det är helt olikt varje språk du hittills stött på. Du bestämmer dig efter ett tag för att försöka lära dig det. Det förefaller gå bra. Av allt att döma får du god kontakt med Fredag. Ni delar med er av mat till varandra. Ni lyckas uppfatta en (...)
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  2. Peter Pagin, Andras Perspektiv.
    I sin uppsats "Satsens subjekt och textens"2 ger Staffan Hellberg en översikt över vad han kallat empatimarkörer (alternativt ‘perspektivmarkörer’, sid 2) i berättande prosa. Grundidén, så som jag förstått den, är att en empatimarkör visar på en viss typ av förändring av berättarperspektivet. Hellberg skriver: Det är vanligt, för att inte säga normalt, i modern berättarteknik, att händelseförloppet upplevs genom en deltagande persons sinnen eller på annat sätt behandlas ur dennes synvinkel.3 Utgångspunkten är att en berättelse återges på ett för (...)
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  3. Peter Pagin, Kvantifikator För En Dag.
    By means of ‘means that’ and propositional quantification, we can define a truth predicate. This also allows the construction of liar sentences, either by self-reference or by means of quantification. In order to avoid inconsistency, restrictions on expressive power must be imposed, and the question is how far such restrictions will limit our ability to say of what is intuitively described as ‘‘meaningful’’ that it is precisely meaningful.
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  4. Peter Pagin, Mening Hos Yttranden.
    När är det befogat att tillskriva mening (betydelse) till beteenden? I början av 2001 presenterade en av Stockholms gratistidningar en artikel om det så kallade kroppsspråket. Rubriken var "Kroppen ljuger inte". Ämnet för artikeln var egentligen den evidens som en persons gester och kroppshållning ger om hennes sinnestillstånd eller personlighet ("självsäker", "stressad", "osäker", "nervös", "ljuger", "arg", "manipulativ", "spänd" eller "misstänksam"). Enligt artikeln är dessa gester och kroppshållningar inte avsedda att ge andra information om ens inre tillstånd. De är alltså inte (...)
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  5. Peter Pagin, Moderna Meningsteorier.
    I denna artikel skall jag mycket kortfattat och översiktligt presentera ett antal olika uppfattningar, inom samtida analytisk filosofi, om språklig mening. Jag ska försöka framhäva de mest grundläggande idéerna och de viktigaste skillnaderna i synsätt. Framställningen är organiserad kring en rad fundamentala distinktioner och meningsmotsättningar. Utrymmet tillåter inte någon mer detaljerad framställning av enskilda teorier.
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  6. Peter Pagin, Against Normative Accounts of Assertion.
    According to the knowledge account of assertion, an assertion that p is correct just in case the speaker knows that p. This is so because of a norm that governs assertion and uniquely characterizes it. Recent opposition to the knowledge account accepts that assertion is governed by a norm, but proposes alternatives to the knowledge norm. In this paper I focus on some difficulties for normative accounts of assertion.
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  7. Peter Pagin, Assertion Not Possibly Social.
    In his paper ‘Why assertion may yet be social’ (Pegan 2009), Philip Pegan directs two main criticisms against my earlier paper ‘Is assertion social?’ (Pagin 2004). I argued that what I called “social theories”, are inadequate, and I suggested a method for generating counterexamples to them: types of utterance which are not assertions by intuitive standards, but which are assertion by the standards of those theories. Pegan’s first criticism is that I haven’t given an acceptable characterization of the class of (...)
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  8. Peter Pagin, Compositionality.
    Compositionality is the property that the meaning of any complex expression is determined by the meanings of its parts and the way they are put together. The language can be natural or formal, but it has to be interpreted. That is, meanings, or more generally, semantic values of some sort, must be assigned to linguistic expressions, and compositionality concerns the distribution of these values. Even though similar ideas were expressed both in antiquity and in the middle ages (e.g. by Abelard (...)
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  9. Peter Pagin, Chauvinism and Insensitive Invariantism.
    This paper is concerned with the resources available for insensitive invariantism in epistemology to handle the intuitions that have been appealed to, both for contextualism and for subject-sensitive invariantism. It is argued that proposals by Tim Williamson and Jessica Brown are not adequate, and that subject-sensitive inductive fails to account for some crucial intuitions. It is then argued that the chauvinistic nature of the psychology of insensitive invariantism provides adequate resources for such an account. A subject is chauvinistic simply by (...)
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  10. Peter Pagin, Central Gap Domain Restriction.
    Ordinary intuitions that vague predicates are tolerant, or cannot have sharp boundaries, can be formalized in first-order logic in at least two non-equivalent ways, a stronger and a weaker. The stronger turns out to be false in domains that have a significant central gap for the predicate in question, i.e. where a sufficiently large middle segment of the ordering relation (such as taller for ‘tall’) is uninstantiated. The weaker principle is true in such domains, but does not in those domains (...)
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  11. Peter Pagin, Is Assertion Social?
    In 1956 J. L. Austin presented his famous distinction between performative and constative.1 Roughly, whereas in a constative utterance you report an already obtaining state of affairs—you say something—in a performative utterance you create something new: you do something.2 Paradigm examples of performatives were utterances by means of which actions such as baptizing, congratulating and greeting are performed.
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  12. Peter Pagin, Point of View and Belief Attributions.
    As the expression itself indicates, ‘point of view’ is in the first place applied to spatial locations for visual observation. I can see a certain group of objects from different positions, or points of view. When seen from certain points, a particular object in the group is hidden behind others, from other points it isn’t. It is still the same group of objects, so in one sense I see the same thing. In another sense, I don’t see the same thing, (...)
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  13. Peter Pagin, Radical Interpretation and Compositional Structure.
    In this paper I shall be concerned with the relation between a particular account of linguistic meaning and the property of compositionality in natural language.1 The account, proposed by Donald Davidson, is that based on considerations about radical interpretation. I shall argue that there is a fundamental conflict between, on the one hand, the view that the meaning of expressions of natural languages is determined purely according to canons of radical interpretation, and, on the other hand, the view that natural (...)
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  14. Peter Pagin, Semantic Triangulation.
    Suppose you are stranded on an island and you want to get over to the nearby mainland. Your only option is to swim. But is the other shore close enough? If you embark and it isn’t, you drown. So you prefer to know before taking off. Happily, you are well equipped. You have not only a yardstick, but also a theodolite for measuring angles, and a good knowledge of trigonometry. You then determine the distance to the other shore by means (...)
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  15. Peter Pagin, Understanding, Proofs, and Compositionality.
    In Michael Dummett’s manifestability challenge to truth conditional semantics, it is argued that the meaning of sentence cannot be its truth conditions, for then a speaker’s knowledge of the meaning would not in all cases be manifestable. In those cases, the speaker would not know how to find out whether the truth conditions are satisfied or not. By contrast, knowledge of what counts as a proof of a sentence would pass the manifestability test, since a speaker is supposed always to (...)
     
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  16. Peter Pagin (forthcoming). Communication and the Complexity of Semantics. In W. Hinzen, E. Machery & Werning (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Compositionality.
    A celebrated argument for the claim that natural languages are compositional is the learnability argument. Briefly: for it to be possible to learn an entire natural language, which has infinitely many sentences, the language must have a compositional semantics. This argument has two main problems: One of them concerns the difference between compositionality and computability: if the argument is good at all, it only shows that the language must have a computable semantics, which allows speakers to compute the meanings of (...)
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  17. Peter Pagin (forthcoming). Review of Mark Jary: Assertion. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  18. Daniel Cohnitz, Peter Pagin & Marcus Rossberg (2014). Monism, Pluralism and Relativism: New Essays on the Status of Logic. Erkenntnis 79 (2):201-210.
  19. Peter Pagin (2014). Pragmatic Enrichment as Coherence Raising. Philosophical Studies 168 (1):59-100.
    This paper concerns the phenomenon of pragmatic enrichment, and has a proposal for predicting the occurrence of such enrichments. The idea is that an enrichment of an expressed content c occurs as a means of strengthening the coherence between c and a salient given content c’ of the context, whether c’ is given in discourse, as sentence parts, or through perception. After enrichment, a stronger coherence relation is instantiated than before enrichment. An idea of a strength scale of types of (...)
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  20. Sam Alxatib, Peter Pagin & Uli Sauerland (2013). Acceptable Contradictions: Pragmatics or Semantics? A Reply to Cobreros Et Al. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (4):619-634.
    Naive speakers find some logical contradictions acceptable, specifically borderline contradictions involving vague predicates such as Joe is and isn’t tall. In a recent paper, Cobreros et al. (J Philos Logic, 2012) suggest a pragmatic account of the acceptability of borderline contradictions. We show, however, that the pragmatic account predicts the wrong truth conditions for some examples with disjunction. As a remedy, we propose a semantic analysis instead. The analysis is close to a variant of fuzzy logic, but conjunction and disjunction (...)
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  21. Peter Pagin (2013). Introduction. Theoria 79 (3):190-191.
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  22. Peter Pagin (2013). Philosophy of Language, by Scott Soames. Mind 122 (486):fzt056.
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  23. Peter Pagin, Robert van Rooij & Jonas Akerman (2013). Philosophy of Language and Mind. Synthese 190 (10):1731-1733.
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  24. Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin (2012). General Terms and Relational Modality. Noûs 46 (1):159-199.
    Natural kind terms have exercised philosophical fancy ever since Kripke, in Naming and Necessity, claimed them to be rigid designators. He there drew attention to the peculiar, name-like behavior of a family of prima facie loosely related general terms of ordinary English: terms such as ‘water’, ‘tiger’, ‘heat’, and ‘red’. Just as for ordinary proper names, Kripke argued that such terms cannot be synonymous with any of the definite descriptions ordinary speakers associate with them. Rather, the name-like behavior of these (...)
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  25. Peter Pagin (2012). Assertion, Inference, and Consequence. Synthese 187 (3):869 - 885.
    In this paper the informativeness account of assertion (Pagin in Assertion. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011) is extended to account for inference. I characterize the conclusion of an inference as asserted conditionally on the assertion of the premises. This gives a notion of conditional assertion (distinct from the standard notion related to the affirmation of conditionals). Validity and logical validity of an inference is characterized in terms of the application of method that preserves informativeness, and contrasted with consequence and logical (...)
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  26. Peter Pagin (2012). A Note on the Phenomenal Sorites. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):519-524.
    Is observational indiscriminability non-transitive? This was once an accepted truth, and it was used by philosophers like Armstrong and Dummett to argue against the existence of appearances (sense data, sensory items). It was objected, however, early on by Jackson and Pinkerton, and more recently by vagueness contextualists like Raffman and Fara, that the case for non-transitivity is flawed. The reason is the context dependence of appearance. I argue here that if we take context dependence properly into account, we still have (...)
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  27. Peter Pagin (2012). Truth Theories, Competence, and Semantic Computation. In Gerhard Preyer (ed.), Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental. Oxford University Press. 49.
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  28. Peter Pagin (2011). 1 Accounts of Assertoric Force. In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. 97.
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  29. Peter Pagin (2011). Information and Assertoric Force. In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oup Oxford.
  30. Peter Pagin (2010). Compositionality II: Arguments and Problems. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):265-282.
    This is the second part of a two-part article on compositionality, i.e. the principle that the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its parts and the way they are put together. In the first, Pagin and Westerståhl (2010), we provide a general historical background, a formal framework, definitions, and a survey of variants of compositionality. It will be referred to as Part I. Here we discuss arguments for and against the claim that natural languages have (...)
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  31. Peter Pagin (2010). Compositionality I: Definitions and Variants. Philosophy Compass 5 (3):250-264.
    This is the first part of a two-part article on semantic compositionality, that is, the principle that the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its parts and the way they are put together. Here we provide a brief historical background, a formal framework for syntax and semantics, precise definitions, and a survey of variants of compositionality. Stronger and weaker forms are distinguished, as well as generalized forms that cover extra-linguistic context dependence as well as linguistic (...)
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  32. Peter Pagin (2010). Vagueness and Central Gaps. In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oup Oxford.
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  33. Peter Pagin & Dag Westerståhl (2010). Pure Quotation and General Compositionality. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (5):381-415.
    Starting from the familiar observation that no straightforward treatment of pure quotation can be compositional in the standard (homomorphism) sense, we introduce general compositionality, which can be described as compositionality that takes linguistic context into account. A formal notion of linguistic context type is developed, allowing the context type of a complex expression to be distinct from those of its constituents. We formulate natural conditions under which an ordinary meaning assignment can be non-trivially extended to one that is sensitive to (...)
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  34. Peter Pagin (2009). Compositionality, Understanding, and Proofs. Mind 118 (471):713 - 737.
    The principle of semantic compositionality, as Jerry Fodor and Ernie Lepore have emphasized, imposes constraints on theories of meaning that it is hard to meet with psychological or epistemic accounts. Here, I argue that this general tendency is exemplified in Michael Dummett's account of meaning. On that account, the so-called manifestability requirement has the effect that the speaker who understands a sentence s must be able to tell whether or not s satisfies central semantic conditions. This requirement is not met (...)
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  35. Kathrin Glüer & Peter Pagin (2008). Relational Modality. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (3):307-322.
    Saul Kripke’s thesis that ordinary proper names are rigid designators is supported by widely shared intuitions about the occurrence of names in ordinary modal contexts. By those intuitions names are scopeless with respect to the modal expressions. That is, sentences in a pair like (a) Aristotle might have been fond of dogs (b) Concerning Aristotle, it is true that he might have been fond of dogs will have the same truth value. The same does not in general hold for definite (...)
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  36. Peter Pagin, Assertion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An assertion is a speech act in which something is claimed to hold, e.g. that there are infinitely many prime numbers, or, with respect to some time t, that there is a traffic congestion on Brooklyn Bridge at t, or, of some person x with respect to some time t, that x has a tooth ache at t. The concept of assertion has often occupied a central place in the philosophy of language, since it is often thought that making assertions (...)
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  37. Peter Pagin (2008). Informativeness and Moore's Paradox. Analysis 68 (1):46 - 57.
    The first case is usually referred to as omissive and the second as commissive. What is traditionally perceived as paradoxical is that although such statements may well be true, asserting them is clearly absurd. An account of Moore’s Paradox is an explanation of the absurdity. In the last twenty years, there has also been a focus on the incoherence of judging or believing such propositions.
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  38. Peter Pagin (2008). Indeterminacy and the Analytic/Synthetic Distinctions: A Survey. Synthese 164 (1):1 - 18.
    It is often assumed that there is a close connection between Quine's criticism of the analytic/synthetic distinction, in 'Two dogmas of empiricism' and onwards, and his thesis of the indeterminacy of translation, in Word and Object and onwards. Often, the claim that the distinction is unsound (in some way or other) is taken to follow from the indeterminacy thesis, and sometimes the indeterminacy thesis is supported by such a claim. However, a careful scrutiny of the indeterminacy thesis as stated by (...)
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  39. Peter Pagin (2008). Intuitionism and the Anti-Justification of Bivalence. .
    forthcoming in S. Lindström, E. Palmgren, K. Segerberg, and V. Stoltenberg-Hansen (eds) Logicism, Intuitionism, and Formalism — What has Become of Them?, Synthese Library, Springer. Pdf file.
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  40. Peter Pagin (2008). Relational Modality. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 17 (3):307-322.
    Saul Kripke’s thesis that ordinary proper names are rigid designators is supported by widely shared intuitions about the occurrence of names in ordinary modal contexts. By those intuitions names are scopeless with respect to the modal expressions. That is, sentences in a pair like Aristotle might have been fond of dogsConcerning Aristotle, it is true that he might have been fond of dogs will have the same truth value. The same does not in general hold for definite descriptions. If we, (...)
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  41. Peter Pagin (2008). What is Communicative Success? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):pp. 85-115.
    Suppose we have an idea of what counts as communication, more precisely as a communicative event. Then we have the further task of dividing communicative events into successful and unsuccessful. Part of this task is to find a basis for this evaluation, i.e. appropriate properties of speaker and hearer. It is argued that success should be evaluated in terms of a relation between thought contents of speaker and hearer. This view is labelled ‘classical’, since it is justifiably attributable to both (...)
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  42. Scott Woodcock, Frederick Kroon, Thomas Bittner & Peter Pagin (2008). Vulnerabilities of Morality. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):pp. 141-159.
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  43. Peter Pagin & Kathrin Glüer, Analyticity, Modality and General Terms. Hommage à Wlodek. Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz.
    In his recent paper ‘Analyticity: An Unfinished Business in Possible-World Semantics’ (Rabinowicz 2006), Wlodek Rabinowicz takes on the task of providing a satisfactory definition of analyticity in the framework of possible-worlds semantics. As usual, what Wlodek proposes is technically well-motivated and very elegant. Moreover, his proposal does deliver an interesting analytic/synthetic distinction when applied to sentences with natural kind terms. However, the longer we thought and talked about it, the more questions we had, questions of both philosophical and technical nature. (...)
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  44. Peter Pagin & Kathrin Glüer-Pagin (2007). Analyticity, Modality and General Terms. In J. Josefsson D. Egonsson (ed.), Hommage à Wlodek. Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Wlodek Rabinowicz.
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  45. Peter Pagin & Francis Jeffry Pelletier (2007). Content, Context and Composition. In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Oup Oxford.
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  46. Kathrin Gluer & Peter Pagin (2006). Proper Names and Relational Modality. Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):507 - 535.
    Saul Kripke’s thesis that ordinary proper names are rigid designators is supported by widely shared intuitions about the occurrence of names in ordinary modal contexts. By those intuitions names are scopeless with respect to the modal expressions. That is, sentences in a pair like (a) Aristotle might have been fond of dogs, (b) Concerning Aristotle, it is true that he might have been fond of dogs will have the same truth value. The same does not in general hold for definite (...)
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  47. Peter Pagin (2006). Intersubjective Externalism. In T. Marvan (ed.), What Determines Content? The Internalism/Externalism Dispute. Cambridge Scholar Press.
    in T. Marvan (ed) What Determines Content? The Internalism/Externalism Dispute, Cambridge Scholar Press, Newcastle upon Tyne, 39-54, 2006.
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  48. Peter Pagin (2006). Meaning Holism. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oup Oxford.
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  49. Peter Pagin (2006). The Status of Charity II: Charity, Probability, and Simplicity. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (3):361 – 383.
    Treating the principle of charity as a non-empirical, foundational principle leads to insoluble problems of justification. I suggest instead treating semantic properties realistically, and semantic terms as theoretical terms. This allows us to apply ordinary scientific reasoning in meta-semantics. In particular, we can appeal to widespread verbal agreement as an empirical phenomenon, and we can make use of probabilistic reasoning as well as appeal to theoretical simplicity for reaching the conclusion that there is a high rate of agreement in belief (...)
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  50. Peter Pagin & Kathrin Glüer (2006). Proper Names and Relational Modality. Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):507 - 535.
    Saul Kripke's thesis that ordinary proper names are rigid designators is supported by widely shared intuitions about the occurrence of names in ordinary modal contexts. By those intuitions names are scopeless with respect to the modal expressions. That is, sentences in a pair like (a) Aristotle might have been fond of dogs, (b) Concerning Aristotle, it is true that he might have been fond of dogs will have the same truth value. The same does not in general hold for definite (...)
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