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Robert J. Stainton [93]Robert Stainton [22]
  1. Robert J. Stainton & Christopher Viger, Essays in Honour of Ernie Lepore.
    I met Ernie in 1965 on the wrestling mats of our high school in North Bergen, New Jersey, a township on top of the plateau overlooking Hoboken and across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Hoboken then was still the Hoboken of Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront” (1954).1 Even though the Hudson was less than a mile across at that point, it was a wide spiritual divide. We were Jersey boys, not New Yorkers. Ernie was as ambitious as I was about (...)
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  2. Jessica de Villiers & Robert J. Stainton, Differential Pragmatic Abilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Case of Pragmatic Determinants of Literal Content.
    It has become something of a truism that people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have difficulties with pragmatics. Granting this, however, it is important to keep in mind that there are numerous kinds of pragmatic ability. One very important divide lies between those pragmatic competences which pertain to non-literal contents – as in, for instance, metaphor, irony and Gricean conversational implicatures – and those which pertain to the literal contents of speech acts. It is against this backdrop that our question (...)
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  3. Marie-Odile Junker & Robert Stainton, The Semantics and Syntax of Null Complements.
    Consider sentences like (1): 1. Null Complement Containing Sentences a. Aryn followed b. Marie-Odile promised c. Corinne left d. Samir found out at midnight e. I applied f. They already know g. He volunteered h. Abdiwahid insisted i. I suppose j. Paul gave to Amnesty International These illustrate the phenomenon of null complements -- also called ‘pragmatically controlled zero anaphora’, ‘understood arguments’, and ‘linguistically unrealized arguments’. In each case, a complement is (phonologically) omitted, yet (a) the sentence is well-formed and (...)
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  4. Robert Stainton, Identity Through Change and Substitutivity Salva Veritate.
    This paper has three modest aims: to present a puzzle, to show why some obvious solutions aren’t really “easy outs”, and to introduce our own solution. The puzzle is this. When it was small and had waterlogged streets, Toronto carried the moniker ‘Muddy York’. Later, the streets were drained, it grew, and Muddy York officially changed its name to ‘Toronto’. Given this, each premise in the following argument seems true. Yet the conclusion is a contraction.
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  5. Robert Stainton, Neither Fragments nor Ellipsis.
    Jason Merchant (2004, and Chap. 3, this volume) proposes to account for all speech acts performed with “fragments,” whether in discourse-initial position or otherwise, by appealing to syntactic ellipsis. Though his proposal is insightful, I offer empirical and methodological considerations against it. Empirical problems include: (a) His alleged “elliptical sentences” do not embed the way they should; (b) in some cases where Merchant requires fronting to take place, it is blocked – either by an island (e.g., in English) or because (...)
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  6. Robert Stainton, Provided for Non-Commercial Research and Educational Use Only. Not for Reproduction or Distribution or Commercial Use.
    This article was originally published in the Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics, Second Edition, published by Elsevier, and the attached copy is provided by Elsevier for the author's benefit and for the benefit of the author's institution, for noncommercial research and educational use including without limitation use in instruction at your institution, sending it to specific colleagues who you know, and providing a copy to your institution’s administrator.
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  7. Robert Stainton, Philosophy of Language.
    Philosophy of language is an extraordinarily rich field. It has a history stretching back, in the Western tradition, to the pre-Socratics. And, in the last century or so, it has been of central concern in both the Anglo-American and Continental traditions. Obviously, a brief survey cannot hope to cover such intellectual abundance. What’s more, as this encyclopedia itself attests to, pragmatics is an equally rich academic endeavour. Any mere overview of their intersection must, then, narrow its focus. As a (...)
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  8. Robert Stainton, Review Essay.
    For such a short book (165 pages of text, plus a three page Preface), Jerry Fodor’s Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong covers a lot of ground. There are very many trees, or maybe better, multiple woods, to keep track of: theses, preliminaries, assumptions, caveats, appendices, etc. We’ll start off, then, by sketching the central flow of argument, as background. We will then critically discuss two novel aspects of the book.
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  9. Robert Stainton, Really Intriguing, That Pred Np!
    In these examples, the initial XP (smart woman in (1a)) is a predicate and the second XP (your mother in (1a)) is a DP that is interpreted as the subject of this predicate. For ease of reference, we will refer to the two parts as the predicate and the subject, and we will call this class of examples Pred NP (following Shopen 1972). Pred NP utterances have not received much attention in the literature, aside from some initial observations in Shopen (...)
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  10. Robert J. Stainton, The Role of Psychology in the Philosophy of Language.
    Does scientific psychology have a legitimate role to play in the philosophy of language? For example, is it methodologically permissible for philosophers of language to rely upon evidence from neurological development, experiments about processing, brain scans, clinical case histories, longitudinal studies, questionnaires, etc.? If so, why? These two questions are the focus of this survey. I address them in two stages. It may seem obvious that the science of psychology is relevant. I thus begin by introducing arguments against relevance, to (...)
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  11. Jessica de Villiers, Brooke Myers & Robert J. Stainton (2013). Revisiting Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Follow-Up Study with Controls. Pragmatics and Cognition 21 (2):253-269.
    In a 2007 paper, we argued that speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) exhibit pragmatic abilities which are surprising given the usual understanding of communication in that group. That is, it is commonly reported that people diagnosed with an ASD have trouble with metaphor, irony, conversational implicature and other non-literal language. This is not a matter of trouble with knowledge and application of rules of grammar. The difficulties lie, rather, in successful communicative interaction. Though we did find pragmatic errors within (...)
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  12. Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.) (2013). The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press.
    The boundary between semantics and pragmatics has been important since the early twentieth century, but in the last twenty-five years it has become the central issue in the philosophy of language. This anthology collects classic philosophical papers on the topic, along with recent key contributions. It stresses not only the nature of the boundary, but also its importance for philosophy generally.
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  13. Robert J. Stainton (2011). In Defense of Public Languages. Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (5):479-488.
    My modest aim in this note is to sketch three interrelated critiques of public languages, and to respond to them. All are broadly Chomskyan, and all support the same conclusion: that, insofar as they even exist, the study of public languages is not a viable scientific project. (Related critiques of semantics, understood as involving word–world relations, will be touched on as well).
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  14. Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia, Ángeles Eraña & Robert Stainton (2010). The Contribution of Domain Specificity in the Highly Modular Mind. Minds and Machines 20 (1):19-27.
    Is there a notion of domain specificity which affords genuine insight in the context of the highly modular mind, i.e. a mind which has not only input modules, but also central ‘conceptual’ modules? Our answer to this question is no. The main argument is simple enough: we lay out some constraints that a theoretically useful notion of domain specificity, in the context of the highly modular mind, would need to meet. We then survey a host of accounts of what domain (...)
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  15. Alex Barber & Robert Stainton, Concise Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Language and Linguistics.
  16. Axel Barceló Aspeitia, Ángeles Eraña & Robert Stainton (2010). The Contribution of Domain Specificity in the Highly Modular Mind. Minds and Machines 20 (1):19-27.
    Is there a notion of domain specificity which affords genuine insight in the context of the highly modular mind, i.e. a mind which has not only input modules, but also central ‘conceptual’ modules? Our answer to this question is no. The main argument is simple enough: we lay out some constraints that a theoretically useful notion of domain specificity, in the context of the highly modular mind, would need to meet. We then survey a host of accounts of what domain (...)
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  17. Robert Stainton (2010). Contextualism in Epistemology and the Context-Sensitivity of 'Knows'. In Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism.
    The central issue of this essay is whether contextualism in epistemology is genuinely in conflict with recent claims that ‘know’ is not in fact a contextsensitive word. To address this question, I will first rehearse three key aims of contextualists and the broad strategy they adopt for achieving them. I then introduce two linguistic arguments to the effect that the lexical item ‘know’ is not context sensitive, one from Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore, one from Jason Stanley. I find these (...)
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  18. Robert Stainton (2010). On 'the Denial of Bivalence is Absurd'. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (3):369-382.
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  19. Robert J. Stainton (2010). François Cusset, French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze and Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life Ofthe United States Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 28 (6):400-402.
  20. Ileana Paul & Robert J. Stainton, An Essay on Names and Truth, by Wolfram Hinzen.
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  21. Robert J. Stainton (2009). Jim Vernon, Hegel's Philosophy of Language. Philosophy in Review 29 (3):226.
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  22. Robert J. Stainton (2009). Perry, Wittgenstein's Builders, and Metasemantics. Pragmatics and Cognition 17 (2):203-221.
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  23. Robert J. Stainton & Samantha Brennan (2009). Philosophy and Death: Introductory Readings. Broadview Press.
    Philosophical reflection on death dates back to ancient times, but death remains a most profound and puzzling topic. Samantha Brennan and Robert Stainton have assembled a compelling selection of core readings from the philosophical literature on death. The views of ancient writers such as Plato, Epicurus, and Lucretius are set alongside the work of contemporary figures such as Thomas Nagel, John Perry, and Judith Jarvis Thomson. -/- Brennan and Stainton divide the anthology into three parts. Part I considers questions about (...)
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  24. Robert J. Stainton & Jessica de Villiers, Michael Gregory's Proposals for a Communication Linguistics.
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  25. Thomas M. Lennon & Robert J. Stainton, Introduction.
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  26. Thomas M. Lennon & Robert J. Stainton, The Achilles of Rationalist Psychology.
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  27. Robert J. Stainton, Locke, Language and Early-Modern Philosophy, by Hannah Dawson.
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  28. Robert J. Stainton, French Theory, by François Cussett.
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  29. Robert J. Stainton (2008). Meaning and Reference. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oup Oxford.
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  30. Robert J. Stainton (ed.) (2008). New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind.
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  31. Jessica de Villiers, Robert J. Stainton & And Peter Szatmari (2007). Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study in Philosophy and the Empirical. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):292–317.
    This article has two aims. The first is to introduce some novel data that highlight rather surprising pragmatic abilities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The second is to consider a possible implication of these data for an emerging empirical methodology in philosophy of language and mind. In pursuing the first aim, we expect our main audience to be clinicians and linguists interested in pragmatics. It is when we turn to methodological issues that we hope to pique the interest of philosophers. (...)
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  32. Robert Stainton (2007). Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorder : A Case Study in Philosophy and the Empirical. In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell Pub. Inc.. 292-317.
    This article has two aims. The first is to introduce some novel data that highlight rather surprising pragmatic abilities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The second is to consider a possible implication of these data for an emerging empirical methodology in philosophy of language and mind.
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  33. Ileana Paul & Robert Stainton, Really Intriguing, That Pred NP!
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  34. Robert Stainton (2006). Words and Thoughts: Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language. Published in the United States by Oxford University Press.
    It is a near truism of philosophy of language that sentences are prior to words--that they are the only things that fundamentally have meaning. Robert's Stainton's study interrogates this idea, drawing on a wide body of evidence to argue that speakers can and do use mere words, not sentences, to communicate complex thoughts.
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  35. Robert J. Stainton (ed.) (2006). Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.
  36. Robert J. Stainton, The Things We Mean, by Stephen Schiffer.
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  37. Robert J. Stainton (2006). Meaning and Reference: Some Chomskian Themes. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. 913--940.
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  38. Robert J. Stainton (2006). Revenge (La Venganza). Critica 38 (112):3 - 20.
    This paper discusses, in a preliminary manner, what revenge is. (It does not address the rationality or moral standing of revenge.) In particular, it proposes four elements of revenge --an agent, a recipient, a harm intended by the former, and a harm done by the latter which provokes the revenge. Based on these four elements, it highlights both agent-internal conditions for getting revenge, and agent-external ones. Along the way, the paper contrasts revenge with related phenomena like merely getting even, and (...)
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  39. Robert J. Stainton (2006). Terminological Reflections of an Enlightened Contextualist. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):460–468.
    From the perspective of certain contextualists, the most worrisome theses of Cappelen & Lepore’s Insensitive Semantics would seem to be: T1: The only context sensitive items are the basic and obvious ones, i.e., pronouns, demonstratives, etc.; T2: Once referents are assigned to these basic and obvious items in a (declarative) sentence, that sentence has truth conditions; T3: This truth-conditional content is asserted when the sentence is used; T4: The content of the assertion made is not thereby fixed, however, because speech (...)
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  40. Robert J. Stainton, Marile-Odile Junker & Catherine Wearing, The Semantics and Syntax of Null Complements.
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  41. Robert J. Stainton & Catherine Wearing (2006). Review of Insensitive Semantics, by Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore. [REVIEW] Journal of Linguistics 42 (1):187-190.
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  42. Andrew Botterell & Robert J. Stainton (2005). Quotation: Compositionality and Innocence Without Demonstration. Critica 37 (110):3-33.
    We discuss two kinds of quotation, namely indirect quotation (e.g., 'Anita said that Mexico is beautiful') and pure quotation (e.g., 'Mexico' has six letters). With respect to each, we have both a negative and a positive plaint. The negative plaint is that the strict Davidsonian (1968, 1979a) treatment of indirect and pure quotation cannot be correct. The positive plaint is an alternative account of how quotation of these two sorts works.
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  43. Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton, Ellipsis and Nonsentential Speech.
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  44. Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton, Introduction.
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  45. Robert Stainton (2005). In Defense of Non-Sentential Assertions. In Zoltán Gendler Szabó (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. 383--458.
    In what follows, I introduce a pragmatics-oriented approach to non-sentential speech, and defend it against two recent attacks. Among other things, I will rehearse and elaborate a defense against the idea that much, or even all, of such speech is actually syntactically elliptical—and hence should be treated semantically, rather than pragmatically. The chapter is structured as follows. In Section 1 I introduce the phenomenon, contrast semantic versus pragmatic approaches to it, and explain some of what hinges on which approach is (...)
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  46. Robert J. Stainton, Cartwright, Richard L. (1925 -).
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  47. Robert J. Stainton, Grice, Herbert Paul (1913-88).
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  48. Robert J. Stainton (2005). Metaphysics, Substitution Salva Veritate and the Slingshot Argument. In Alex Barber (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. 73--82.
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  49. Robert J. Stainton, Objects, Properties, and Functions.
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  50. Robert J. Stainton, The Context Principle.
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