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Profile: Ray Buchanan (University of Texas at Austin)
  1. Ray Buchanan (forthcoming). Schiffer's Puzzle: A Kind of Fregean Response. In Gary Ostertag (ed.), Meaning and Other Things: Essays on Stephen Schiffer. Oxford University Press.
    In ‘What Reference Has to Tell Us about Meaning’, Stephen Schiffer argues that many of the objects of our beliefs, and the contents of our assertoric speech acts, have what he calls the relativity feature. A proposition has the relativity feature just in case it is an object-dependent proposition ‘the entertainment of which requires different people, or the same person at different times or places, to think of [the relevant object] in different ways’ (129). But as no Fregean or Russellian (...)
     
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  2. Ray Buchanan (2014). Conversational Implicature, Communicative Intentions, and Content. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):720-740.
    (2013). Conversational implicature, communicative intentions, and content. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 720-740.
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  3. Ray Buchanan (2014). Names, Descriptions, and Assertion. In Zsu-Wei Hung (ed.), Communicative Action. Springer. 03-15.
    According to Millian Descriptivism, while the semantic content of a linguistically simple proper name is just its referent, we often use sentences containing such expressions “to make assertions…that are, in part, descriptive” (Soames 2008). Against this view, I show, following Ted Sider and David Braun (2006), that simple sentences containing names are never used to assert descriptively enriched propositions. In addition, I offer a diagnosis as to where the argument for Millian Descriptivism goes wrong. Once we appreciate the distinctive way (...)
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  4. Ray Buchanan (2013). Reference, Understanding, and Communication. Australasian Journal of Philosophy (1):1-16.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that, even in the simplest of cases, such as an utterance of (1): ‘He is a stockbroker’, a speaker's audience might misunderstand her utterance even if they correctly identify the referent of the relevant singular term, and understand what is being predicated of it. Numerous theorists, including Bezuidenhout [1997], Heck [1995], Paul [1999], and Récanati [1993, 1995], have used Loar's observation to argue against direct reference accounts of assertoric content and communication, maintaining that, even in these (...)
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  5. Ray Buchanan (2012). Is Belief a Propositional Attitude? Philosophers' Imprint 12 (1).
    According to proponents of the face-value account, a beliefreport of the form ‘S believes that p’ is true just in case the agentbelieves a proposition referred to by the that-clause. As againstthis familiar view, I argue that there are cases of true beliefreports of the relevant form in which there is no proposition that thethat-clause, or the speaker using the that-clause, can plausibly betaken as referring to. Moreover, I argue that given the distinctiveway in which the face-value theory of belief-reports (...)
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  6. Ray Buchanan (2012). Meaning, Expression, and Evidence. Thought 1 (2):152-157.
    Grice's (1957) analysis of non-natural meaning generated a huge industry, where new analyses were put forward to respond to successively more complex counterexamples. Davis (2003) offers a novel and refreshingly simple analysis of meaning in terms of the expression of belief, where (roughly) an agent expresses the belief that p just in case she performs a publicly observable action with the intention that it be an indication that she occurrently believes that p. I argue that Davis's analysis fails to capture (...)
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  7. Ray Buchanan (2010). A Puzzle About Meaning and Communication. Noûs 44 (2):340-371.
  8. Ray Buchanan & Gary Ostertag (2005). Has the Problem of Incompleteness Rested on a Mistake? Mind 114 (456):889-913.
    A common objection to Russell's theory of descriptions concerns incomplete definite descriptions: uses of (for example) ‘the book is overdue’ in contexts where there is clearly more than one book. Many contemporary Russellians hold that such utterances will invariably convey a contextually determined complete proposition, for example, that the book in your briefcase is overdue. But according to the objection this gets things wrong: typically, when a speaker utters such a sentence, no facts about the context or the speaker's communicative (...)
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  9. Ray Buchanan (2003). Are Truth and Reference Quasi-Disquotational? Philosophical Studies 113 (1):43 - 75.
    In a number of influential papers, Hartry Field has advanced an account of truth and reference that we might dub quasi-disquotationalism. According to quasi-disquotationalism, truth and reference are to be explained in terms of disputation and facts about what constitute a good translation into our language. Field suggeststhat we might view quasi-disquotationalism as either (a) an analysis of our ordinary truth-theoretic concepts of reference and truth, or (b) an account of certain other concepts that improve upon our ordinary concepts. In (...)
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