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Robert May [37]Robert C. May [3]Robert M. May [1]
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Profile: Robert May (University of California, Davis)
  1. Robert Fiengo & Robert May, Interpreted Logical Forms: A Critique.
    Interpreted Logical Forms (ILFs) are objects composed of a syntactic structure annotated with the semantic values (objectual content) of each node of the structure. We criticize the view that ILFs are the objects of propositional attitude verbs such as believe, as this is developed by Larson and Ludlow (1993). Our critique arises from a tension in the way that sen-.
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  2. Robert May, Bad Words Remarks on Mark Richard “Epithets and Attitudes”.
    “Choose your words wisely,” my mother used to say, “because you never know who’s listening.” Oddly, this is something about which my dear mother and Mark Richard apparently would agree. They both seem to think that the words you use say something about who you are, and if you use bad words, then you are a bad person. About this, I have no doubt that they are right - those who use slurs, at least in the context of many assertive (...)
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  3. Robert May, Logical Form in Linguistics.
    The LOGICAL FORM of a sentence (or utterance) is a formal representation of its logical structure; that is, of the structure which is relevant to specifying its logical role and properties. There are a number of (interrelated) reasons for giving a rendering of a sentence's logical form. Among them is to obtain proper inferences (which otherwise would not follow; cf. Russell's theory of descriptions), to give the proper form for the determination of truth-conditions (e.g. Tarski's method of truth and satisfaction (...)
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  4. Robert May, Comments on Lepore and Ludwig “Conceptions of Logical Form”.
    Over the years, I’ve been asked many times what “logical form” is, as applied to natural language. This is a natural enough question to address to me; after all, I’ve written a book titled Logical Form, and I’ve been asked to write any number of papers on the topic. This question, it seems to me, is certainly a “big” question, and big questions deserve big answers. I must admit, however, to being somewhat baffled as to how to do this satisfactorily, (...)
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  5. Robert May, Comments on Nathan Salmon “Are General Terms Rigid”.
    1. Nathan Salmon paper is entitled with a question: are general terms rigid? He asks this question in way of engaging the issue of the extension of the notion of rigidity beyond the domain of singular terms. While singular terms has been the province of most of the discussion of this rigidity since Naming and Necessity, it is well known that Kripke saw the notion extending to at least certain general terms such as terms for natural kinds. Scott Soames has (...)
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  6. Robert May, Frege's New Science.
    In this paper, we explore Fregean metatheory, what Frege called the New Science. The New Science arises in the context of Frege’s debate with Hilbert over independence proofs in geometry and we begin by considering their dispute. We propose that Frege’s critique rests on his view that language is a set of propositions, each immutably equipped with a truth value (as determined by the thought it expresses), so to Frege it was inconceivable that axioms could even be considered to be (...)
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  7. Robert May, Frege on Identity Statements.
    *I am very pleased to be able to contribute this paper to a festschrift for Andrea Bonomi. This is not however, the paper I really wanted to write; I would have much rather have contributed a paper comparing the pianistic styles of Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans, which I think Andrea would have found much more fascinating than an essay devoted to an understanding of Frege’s thinking. But I do not totally despair. Andrea’s first paper published in English was (...)
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  8. Robert May, Inverse Linking.
    In this paper, we will consider a phenomenon known as inverse linking, a term coined by May (1977) to describe the most salient readings of sentences such as “Someone from every city despises it.”.
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  9. Robert May, Introduction to Syntax.
    Syntax, in its most general sense, is the study of the structure of sentences in natural language. In this course, we will approach syntax from the perspective of generative transformational grammar, as pioneered through the work of Noam Chomsky, and developed over the past four decades. Our goals are three-fold. First, to understand the nature of language as viewed from the structural perspective, and to understand the sort of insight about language this perspective affords. Second, to understand the nature and (...)
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  10. Robert May, LPS 215 Topics in Analytic Philosophy Spring 2006 R. May.
    The topic of this seminar will be the notion of language as it is employed in the philosophy of language. The seminar will be divided into two parts, of somewhat unequal length. The first part will be devoted to the change in the conception of language that marked the transition from structural linguistics to generative linguistics (the so-called "Chomskian revolution"). We will approach this not only as a chapter in the philosophy of language, but also as an important chapter in (...)
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  11. Robert May, Notes on Frege on Rules of Inference.
    1. There is only one rule of inference, modus ponens. This is true both in the presentations of Begriffsschrift and Grundgesetze. (But cf. note regarding the latter.) There are other ways of making transitions between propositions in proofs, but these are never labeled by Frege “rules of inference.” These pertain to scope of quantification, parsing of formulas (bracketing), introduction of definitions, conventions for the use and replacement of the various letters(variables), and certain structural reorganizations, (e.g. amalgamation of horizontals, and (...)
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  12. Richard Heck & Robert May (forthcoming). Truth in Frege. In M. Glanzberg (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford University Press.
    A general survey of Frege's views on truth, the paper explores the problems in response to which Frege's distinctive view that sentences refer to truth-values develops. It also discusses his view that truth-values are objects and the so-called regress argument for the indefinability of truth. Finally, we consider, very briefly, the question whether Frege was a deflationist.
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  13. Richard Heck & Robert May (2013). The Function is Unsaturated. In Michael Beaney (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    An investigation of what Frege means by his doctrine that functions (and so concepts) are 'unsaturated'. We argue that this doctrine is far less peculiar than it is usually taken to be. What makes it hard to understand, oddly enough, is the fact that it is so deeply embedded in our contemporary understanding of logic and language. To see this, we look at how it emerges out of Frege's confrontation with the Booleans and how it expresses a fundamental difference between (...)
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  14. Christopher Hom & Robert May (2013). Moral and Semantic Innocence. Analytic Philosophy 54 (3):293-313.
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  15. Robert May (2012). What Frege's Theory of Identity is Not. Thought 1 (1):41-48.
    The analysis of identity as coreference is strongly associated with Frege; it is the view in Begriffsschrift, and, some have argued, henceforth throughout his work. This thesis is incorrect: Frege never held that identity is coreference. The case is made not by interpretation of “proof-quotes”, but rather by exploring how Frege actually deploys the concept. Two cases are considered. The first, from Grundgesetze, are the definitions of the core concepts, zero and truth; the second, from Begriffsschrift, is the validity of (...)
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  16. Robert May & Charles D. Parsons (2012). Foreward. Journal of Philosophy 109 (1-2):5-8.
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  17. Robert May & Charles D. Parsons (2012). Foreword to the Special Issue on Frege and Contemporary Philosophy. Journal of Philosophy 109 (1):5-8.
    As the history of analytic philosophy is written, Gottlob Frege sits among the pantheon, one of the core creators of a novel way of philosophical thinking. It is a way of thinking that is notably infused with logical and semantic insights that are original to Frege. The source of these insights is well known. They arise in the context of logicism, Frege’s mathematical project that unfolded in a body of thought punctuated by three seminal works, Begriffsschrift of 1879, Die Grundlagen (...)
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  18. Richard Heck & Robert May (2011). The Composition of Thoughts. Noûs 45 (1):126-166.
    Are Fregean thoughts compositionally complex and composed of senses? We argue that, in Begriffsschrift, Frege took 'conceptual contents' to be unstructured, but that he quickly moved away from this position, holding just two years later that conceptual contents divide of themselves into 'function' and 'argument'. This second position is shown to be unstable, however, by Frege's famous substitution puzzle. For Frege, the crucial question the puzzle raises is why "The Morning Star is a planet" and "The Evening Star is a (...)
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  19. Richard G. Heck Jr & Robert May (2011). The Composition of Thoughts. Noûs 45 (1):126 - 166.
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  20. Robert M. May (2007). Shakai No Naka No Kagaku: Hikari to Kage. Monbu Kagakushō Kagaku Gijutsu Seisaku Kenkyūjo Dai 2 Chōsa Kenkyū Gurūpu.
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  21. Robert Fiengo & Robert May (2006). De Lingua Belief. Cambridge MA: Bradford Book/MIT Press.
    It is beliefs of this sort--de linguabeliefs--that Robert Fiengo and Robert May explore in this book.
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  22. Richard Heck & Robert May (2006). Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
    An investigation of Frege's various contributions to the study of language, focusing on three of his most famous doctrines: that concepts are unsaturated, that sentences refer to truth-values, and that sense must be distinguished from reference.
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  23. Richard Heck & Robert May (2006). Frege's Contribution to Philosophy of Language. In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. 3--39.
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  24. Robert May (2006). Frege on Indexicals. Philosophical Review 115 (4):487-516.
    It is a characteristically Fregean thesis that the sense expressed by an expression is the linguistic meaning of that expression. Sense can play this role for Frege since it meets fundamental desiderata for meaning, that it be universal and invariantly expressed and objectively the same for everyone who knows the language. It has been argued,1 however, that, as a general thesis about natural languages, the identi cation of sense and meaning cannot be sustained since it is in con ict with (...)
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  25. Robert May (2006). The Invariance of Sense. Journal of Philosophy 103 (3):111-144.
    How many senses can a given name have, with its reference held fixed? One, more than one? One answer that most would agree to is that sense is unique for each utterance of a name, that is, that a name can have no more than one sense on any given occasion. But is sense unique in any stronger sense than this? The answer that is typically attributed to Frege is that there is not, that, as Tyler Burge puts it, 1 (...)
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  26. G. Aldo Antonelli & Robert C. May (2005). Frege's Other Program. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 46 (1):1-17.
    Frege’s logicist program requires that arithmetic be reduced to logic. Such a program has recently been revamped by the “neo-logicist” approach of Hale & Wright. Less attention has been given to Frege’s extensionalist program, according to which arithmetic is to be reconstructed in terms of a theory of extensions of concepts. This paper deals just with such a theory. We present a system of second-order logic augmented with a predicate representing the fact that an object x is the extension of (...)
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  27. Robert May (2005). Frege's Other Program. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 46 (1):1-17.
    Frege’s logicist program requires that arithmetic be reduced to logic. Such a program has recently been revamped by the “neologicist” approach of Hale & Wright. Less attention has been given to Frege’s extensionalist program, according to which arithmetic is to be reconstructed in terms of a theory of extensions of concepts. This paper deals just with such a theory. We present a system of second-order logic augmented with a predicate representing the fact that an object x is the extension of (...)
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  28. Robert Fiengo & Robert May (2002). Identity Statements. In Gerhard Preyer Georg Peter (ed.), Logical Form and Language. Clarendon Press. 169--203.
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  29. Robert C. May (2002). Ellipsis. In Lynn Nadel (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Macmillan.
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  30. Aldo Antonelli & Robert May (2000). Frege's New Science. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 41 (3):242-270.
    In this paper, we explore Fregean metatheory, what Frege called the New Science. The New Science arises in the context of Frege's debate with Hilbert over independence proofs in geometry and we begin by considering their dispute. We propose that Frege's critique rests on his view that language is a set of propositions, each immutably equipped with a truth value (as determined by the thought it expresses), so to Frege it was inconceivable that axioms could even be considered to be (...)
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  31. G. Aldo Antonelli & Robert C. May (2000). Frege's New Science. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 41 (3):242-270.
    In this paper, we explore Fregean metatheory, what Frege called the New Science. The New Science arises in the context of Frege’s debate with Hilbert over independence proofs in geometry and we begin by considering their dispute. We propose that Frege’s critique rests on his view that language is a set of propositions, each immutably equipped with a truth value (as determined by the thought it expresses), so to Frege it was inconceivable that axioms could even be considered to be (...)
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  32. Robert Fiengo & Robert May (1998). Names and Expressions. Journal of Philosophy 95 (8):377-409.
  33. Robert May (1998). Names and Expressions. Journal of Philosophy 95 (8):377 - 409.
  34. Robert Fiengo & Robert May (1996). Anaphora and Identity. In Shalom Lappin (ed.), The Handbook of Contemporary Semantic Theory. Blackwell. 117--144.
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  35. Robert May (1989). Interpreting Logical Form. Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (4):387 - 435.
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  36. Robert May (1989). Preface. Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (4):383-385.
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  37. Robert May (1987). Logical Form as a Level of Linguistic Representation. In Ernest LePore (ed.), New Directions in Semantics. Academic Press.
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  38. Robert May (1985). Logical Form: Its Structure and Derivation. MIT Press.
    Chapter. 1. Logical. Form. as. a. Level. of. Linguistic. Representation. What is the relation of a sentence's syntactic form to its logical form? This issue has been of central concern in modern inquiry into the semantic properties of natural ...
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  39. Robert May (1983). Word Processor or Video Game? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6 (3):412.
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  40. Higginbotham, James & Robert May (1981). Questions, Quantifiers and Crossing. Linguistic Review 1:41--80.
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  41. Robert May (1977). The Grammar of Quantification. Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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