In a recent paper (Linguistics and Philosophy 23, 4, June 2000), Jason Stanley argues that there are no `unarticulatedconstituents', contrary to what advocates of Truth-conditional pragmatics (TCP) have claimed. All truth-conditional effects of context can be traced to logical form, he says. In this paper I maintain that there are unarticulatedconstituents, and I defend TCP. Stanley's argument exploits the fact that the alleged unarticulatedconstituents can be `bound', that is, they can be (...) made to vary with the values introduced by operators in the sentence. I show that Stanley's argument rests on a fallacy, and I provide alternative analyses of the data. (shrink)
In this paper I want to explore the arguments for so-called ‘unarticulatedconstituents’ (UCs). Unarticulatedconstituents are supposed to be propositional elements, not presented in the surface form of a sentence, nor explicitly represented at the level of its logical form, yet which must be interpreted in order to grasp the (proper) meaning of that sentence or expression. Thus, for example, we might think that a sentence like ‘It is raining’ must contain a UC picking out (...) the place at which the speaker of the sentence asserts it to be raining. In §1 I will explore the nature of UCs a little further, and, in §2, suggest that we can recognise two different forms of argument for them.. (shrink)
Philosophers and logicians use the term “indexical” for words such as “I”, “you” and “tomorrow”. Demonstratives such as “this” and “that” and demonstratives phrases such as “this man” and “that computer” are usually reckoned as a subcategory of indexicals. (Following [Kaplan, 1989a].) The “context-dependence” of indexicals is often taken as a defining feature: what an indexical designates shifts from context to context. But there are many kinds of shiftiness, with corresponding conceptions of context. Until we clarify what we mean by (...) “context”, this defining feature remains unclear. In sections 1–3, which are largely drawn from [Perry, forthcoming(a)], I try to clarify the sense in which indexicals are context-dependent and make some distinctions among the ways indexicals depend on context. In sections 3–6, I contrast indexicality with another phenomenon that I call “unarticulatedconstituents.”. (shrink)
An important debate in the current literature is whether “all truth-conditional effects of extra-linguistic context can be traced to [a variable at; LM] logical form” (Stanley, ‘Context and Logical Form’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 23 (2000) 391). That is, according to Stanley, the only truth-conditional effects that extra-linguistic context has are localizable in (potentially silent) variable-denoting pronouns or pronoun-like items, which are represented in the syntax/at logical form (pure indexicals like I or today are put aside in this discussion). According to (...) Recanati (‘UnarticulatedConstituents’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 25 (2002) 299), extra-linguistic context can have additional truth-conditional effects, in the form of optional pragmatic processes like ‘free enrichment’. This paper shows that Recanati’s position is not warranted, since there is an alternative line of analysis that obviates the need to assume free enrichment. In the alternative analysis, we need Stanley’s variables, but we need to give them the freedom to be or not to be generated in the syntax/present at logical form, a kind of optionality that has nothing to do with the pragmatics-related optionality of free enrichment. (shrink)
Attempts to characterize unarticulatedconstituents (henceforth: UCs) by means of quantification over the parts of a sentence and the constituents of the proposition it expresses come to grief in more complicated cases than are commonly considered. In particular, UC definitions are inadequate when we consider cases in which the same constituent appears more than once in a proposition that only has one word with the constituent as its semantic value. This article explores some consequences of trying to (...) repair the formal definitions. (shrink)
An important debate in the current literature is whether "all truth-conditional effects of extra-linguistic context can be traced to [a variable at; LM] logical form" (Stanley, 'Context and Logical Form', Linguistics and Philosophy, 23 (2000) 391). That is, according to Stanley, the only truth-conditional effects that extra-linguistic context has are localizable in (potentially silent) variable-denoting pronouns or pronoun-like items, which are represented in the syntax/at logical form (pure indexicals like I or today are put aside in this discussion). According to (...) Recanati ('UnarticulatedConstituents', Linguistics and Philosophy, 25 (2002) 299), extra-linguistic context can have additional truth-conditional effects, in the form of optional pragmatic processes like 'free enrichment'. This paper shows that Recanati's position is not warranted, since there is an alternative line of analysis that obviates the need to assume free enrichment. In the alternative analysis, we need Stanley's variables, but we need to give them the freedom to be or not to be generated in the syntax/present at logical form, a kind of optionality that has nothing to do with the pragmatics-related optionality of free enrichment. (shrink)
This paper evaluates arguments presented by John Perry (and Ken Taylor) in favor of the presence of an unarticulated constituent in the proposition expressed by utterance of, for example, (1):1 1. It's raining (at t). We contend that these arguments are, at best, inconclusive. That's the critical part of our paper. On the positive side, we argue that (1) has as its semantic content the proposition that it is raining (at t) and that this is a location-neutral proposition. According (...) to the view we propose, an audience typically looks for a location when they hear utterances of (1) because their interests in rain are location- focused: it is the location of rain that determines whether we get wet, carrots grow, and roads become slippery. These are, however, contingent facts about rain, wetness, people, carrots, and roads – they are not built into the semantics for the verb 'rain'. (shrink)
This paper discusses several case studies that illustrate the relationship between the philosophy of language and three branches of linguistics: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Among other things, I identify binding arguments in the linguistics literature preceding (Stanley 2000), and I invent binding arguments to evaluate various semantic and pragmatic theories of belief ascriptions.
Self-consciousness can be defined as the ability to think 'I'-thoughts. Recently, it has been suggested that self-consciousness in this sense can (and should) be accounted for in terms of nonconceptual forms of self-representation. Here, I will argue that while theories of nonconceptual self-consciousness do provide us with important insights regarding the essential genetic and epistemic features of self-conscious thought, they can only deliver part of the full story that is required to understand the phenomenon of self-consciousness. I will provide two (...) arguments to this effect, drawing on insights from the philosophy of language and on structural differences between conceptual and nonconceptual forms of representation. Both arguments rest on the intuition that while self-consciousness requires explicit self-representation, nonconceptual content can at best provide implicit self-related information. I will conclude that in order to explain the emergence of self-conscious thought out of more basic forms of representations one has to explain the transition between implicit self-related information and explicit self-representation. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend the thesis that alleffects of extra-linguistic context on thetruth-conditions of an assertion are traceable toelements in the actual syntactic structure of thesentence uttered. In the first section, I develop thethesis in detail, and discuss its implications for therelation between semantics and pragmatics. The nexttwo sections are devoted to apparent counterexamples.In the second section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of true non-sentential assertions.In the third section, I argue that there are noconvincing examples of what (...) John Perry has called`unarticulatedconstituents''. I conclude by drawingsome consequences of my arguments for appeals tocontext-dependence in the resolution of problems inepistemology and philosophical logic. (shrink)
Moderate relativism -- The framework -- The distribution of content -- Radical vs. moderate relativism -- Two levels of content -- Branch points for moderate relativism -- The debate over temporalism (1) : do we need temporal propositions? -- Modal vs. extensional treatments of tense -- What is at stake? -- Modal and temporal innocence -- Temporal operators and temporal propositions in an extensional framework -- The debate over temporalism (2) : can we believe temporal propositions? -- An epistemic argument (...) against temporalism -- Rebutting Richard's argument -- Relativistic disagreement -- Relativization and indexicality -- Index, context, and content -- The two-stage picture : Lewis vs. Kaplan and Stalnaker -- Rescuing the two-stage picture -- Content, character, and cognitive significance -- Experience and subjectivity -- Content and mode -- Duality and the fallacy of misplaced information -- The content of perceptual judgements -- Episodic memory -- Immunity to error through misidentification -- Implicit self-reference -- Weak and strong immunity -- Quasi-perception and quasi-memory -- Reflexive states -- Relativization and reflexivity -- The (alleged) reflexivity of de se thoughts -- Reflexivity : internal or external? -- What is wrong with reflexivism -- The first person point of view -- De se thoughts and subjectivity -- Memory and the imagination -- Imagination and the self-- Imagination, empathy, and the quasi-de se -- Egocentricity and beyond -- Unarticulatedconstituents in the lekton? -- The context-dependence of the lekton : how far can we go? -- Unarticulatedness and the 'concerning' relation -- Three (alleged) arguments for the externality principle -- Invariance -- Self-relative thoughts -- The problem of the essential indexical -- Perry against relativized propositions -- Context-relativity -- Implicit and explicit de se thoughts -- Shiftability -- The generalized reflexive constraint -- Parametric invariance and m-shiftability -- Free shiftability -- The anaphoric mode : a Bühlerian perspective. (shrink)
Abstract: A current debate in semantics and pragmatics is whether all contextual effects on truth-conditional content can be traced to logical form, or 'unarticulatedconstituents' can be supplied by the pragmatic process of free enrichment. In this paper, I defend the latter position. The main objection to this view is that free enrichment appears to overgenerate, not predicting where context cannot affect truth conditions, so that a systematic account is unlikely (Stanley, 2002a). I first examine the semantic alternative (...) proposed by Stanley and others, which assumes extensive hidden structure acting as a linguistic trigger for pragmatic processes, so that all truth-conditional effects of context turn out to be instances of saturation. I show that there are cases of optional pragmatic contributions to the proposition expressed that cannot plausibly be accounted for in this way, and that advocates of this approach will therefore also have to appeal to free enrichment. The final section starts to address the question of how free enrichment is constrained: I argue that it involves only local development or adjustment of parts of logical form, any global developments being excluded by the requirement for the proposition expressed to provide an inferential warrant for the intended implications of the utterance. (shrink)
This paper contains a discussion of how the concept of compositionality is to be extended from context invariant to context dependent meaning, and of how the compositionality of natural language might conflict with context dependence. Several new distinctions are needed, including a distinction between a weaker (e-) and a stronger (ec-) concept of compositionality for context dependent meaning. The relations between the various notions are investigated. A claim by Jerry Fodor that there is a general conflict between context dependence and (...) compositionality is considered. There is in fact a possible conflict betwee ec-compositionality and context dependence, but not of the kind Fodor suggests. It turns on the presence of so-called unarticulatedconstituents, in John Perry’s sense. Because of this phenomenon, on some semantic accounts there might be a variation in the meaning of a complex expression between contexts without any corresponding variation in any of the syntactic parts of that complex. The conflict can be resolved in several ways. One way is to make the unarticulated context dependence explicit only in the meta-language, which makes it into an unarticulated constituent account. A recent argument by Jason Stanley against such accounts is discussed. According to Stanley, certain readings of English sentences involving binding of contextual variables, are unavailable in these theories. After considering a reply to Stanley by François Recanati, I present an outline of a fully compositional theory, of the unarticulated constituent variety, which does deliver these readings. Concluding remarks on, inter alia, the semantics/pragmatics distinction. (shrink)
Epistemic modal predicate logic raises conceptual problems not faced in the case of alethic modal predicate logic: Frege’s “Hesperus-Phosphorus” problem—how to make sense of ascribing to agents ignorance of necessarily true identity statements—and the related “Hintikka-Kripke” problem—how to set up a logical system combining epistemic and alethic modalities, as well as others problems, such as Quine’s “Double Vision” problem and problems of self-knowledge. In this paper, we lay out a philosophical approach to epistemic predicate logic, implemented formally in Melvin Fitting’s (...) First-Order Intensional Logic, that we argue solves these and other conceptual problems. Topics covered include: Quine on the “collapse” of modal distinctions; the rigidity of names; belief reports and unarticulatedconstituents; epistemic roles; counterfactual attitudes; representational vs. interpretational semantics; ignorance of co-reference vs. ignorance of identity; two-dimensional epistemic models; quantification into epistemic contexts; and an approach to multi-agent epistemic logic based on centered worlds and hybrid logic. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction; 2. A short history of reference; 3. Acts, roles and singular reference; 4. Elements of reference; 5. Demonstratives; 6. Context sensitivity and indexicals; 7. Names; 8. Definite descriptions; 9. Implicit reference and unarticulatedconstituents; 10. Locutionary content and speech acts; 11. Reference and implicature; 12. Semantics, pragmatics and critical pragmatics; 13. Harnessing information; 14. Examples.
John Perry has argued that language, thought and experience often contain unarticulatedconstituents. I argue that this idea holds the key to explaining away the intuitive appeal of the A-theory of time and the endurance theory of persistence. The A-theory has seemed intuitively appealing because the nature of temporal experience makes it natural for us to use one-place predicates like past to deal with what are really two-place relations, one of whose constituents is unarticulated. The endurance (...) view can be treated in a similar way; the temporal boundaries of temporal parts of objects are unarticulated in experience and this makes it seem that the very same entity exists at different times. (shrink)
In this paper, we discuss contextualism, a philosophical position that some pragmatists have endorsed as a result of the philosophical reflection on pragmatics as a science. In particular, we challenge, from the results on phrasal pragmatics, the contextualist approach on incomplete definite descriptions and referential metonymy according to which optional pragmatic processes of interpretation are required (an optional pragmatic process of recovering unarticulatedconstituents for incompleteness and an optional pragmatic process of transfer for metonymy). By contrast, we argue (...) from the standpoint of phrasal pragmatics that what is descriptively referred to depends, in both cases, on truth-conditionally mandatory pragmatic processes of recovery of unarticulatedconstituents. (shrink)
We will look at recent work on some topics at the intersection of semantics and pragmatics. First, we’ll begin surveying some foundational work in semantics and pragmatics. After this we’ll spend a few weeks each on: presupposition, scalar implicature, and unarticulatedconstituents. Two additional possible topics (if time permits) are: wide-scope indefinites and donkey anaphora. Anyone with particular interests in related areas are welcome to suggest topics or readings which can be substituted for existing topics.
Preface to the second edition -- Preface to the first edition -- Introduction -- Contents and propositions -- Utterance and context -- Context and cognitive paths -- Meanings and contents -- Names and the co-reference problem -- Names, networks, and notions -- The no-reference problem -- Pragmatics -- Unarticulatedconstituents -- Contents and attitudes -- Conclusion.
Our thought and talk are situated. They do not take place in a vacuum but always in a context, and they always concern an external situation relative to which they are to be evaluated. Since that is so, François Recanati argues, our linguistic and mental representations alike must be assigned two layers of content: the explicit content, or lekton, is relative and perspectival, while the complete content, which is absolute, involves contextual factors in addition to what is explicitly represented. Far (...) from reducing to the context-independent meaning of the sentence-type or, in the psychological realm, to the 'narrow' content of mental representations, the lekton is a level intermediate between context-invariant meaning and full propositional content. Recognition of that intermediate level is the key to a proper understanding of context-dependence in language and thought. Going beyond the usual discussions of indexicality and unarticulatedconstituents in the philosophy of language, Recanati turns to the philosophy of mind for decisive arguments in favour of his approach. He shows, first, that the lekton is the notion of content we need if we are to properly understand the relations between perception, memory, and the imagination, and second, that the psychological 'mode' is what determines the situation the lekton is relative to. In this framework he provides a detailed account of de se thought and the first person point of view. In the last part of the book, Recanati discusses the special freedom we have, in discourse and thought, to shift the situation of evaluation. He traces that freedom to a special mode - the anaphoric mode - which enables us to go beyond the egocentric stage of pre-human thought. (shrink)
In this article I examine an as yet unexplored aspect of J.P. Moreland’s defense of so-called bare particularism — the ontological theory according to which ordinary concrete particulars (e.g., Socrates) contain bare particulars as individuating constituents and property ‘hubs.’ I begin with the observation that if there is a constituency relation obtaining between Socrates and his bare particular, it must be an internal relation, in which case the natures of the relata will necessitate the relation. I then distinguish various (...) ways in which a bare particular might be thought to have a nature and show that on none of these is it possible for a bare particular to be a constituent of a complex particular. Thus, Moreland’s attempt to resurrect bare particulars as ontologically indispensable entities is not wholly without difficulties. (shrink)
It is a common experience of mental life that we come to articulate meanings which we had initially grasped in only a sketchy way. In this paper, I consider how this idea of an initially unarticulated meaning may fit in a general theory of mental representation. I propose to identify unarticulated meanings with what I callspecific concepts, which are quite similar to Rosch's categories of basic objects and are distinct both from images and generic concepts (which come to (...) articulate meanings). I argue that unarticulated meaning is non-representational in an important respect, a claim which relies on a distinction amonglevels of representation. (shrink)
Propositional content is often incomplete but comprehenders appear to adjust meaning and add unarticulated meaning constituents effortlessly. This happens at the propositional level (The baby drank the bottle) but also at the phrasal level (the wooden turtle). In two ERP experiments, combinatorial processing was investigated in container/content alternations and adjective-noun combination transforming an animate entity into a physical object. Experiment 1 revealed that container-for-content alternations (The baby drank the bottle) engendered a Late Positivity on the critical expression and (...) on the subsequent segment, while content-for-container alternations (Chris put the beer on the table) did not exert extra costs. In Experiment 2, adjective-noun combinations (the wooden turtle) also evoked a Late Positivity on the critical noun. First, the Late Positivities are taken to reflect discourse updating demands resulting from reference shift from the original denotation to the contextually appropriate interpretation (e.g., the reconceptualization form animal to physical object). This shift is supported by the linguistic unavailability of the original meaning, exemplified by copredication tests. Second, the data reveal that meaning alternations differ qualitatively. Some alternations involve (cost-free) meaning selection, while others engender processing demands associated with reconceptualization. This dissociation thus calls for a new typology of metonymic shifts that centers around the status of the involved discourse referents. (shrink)
This article presents a trope bundle theory of simple substances, the Strong Nuclear Theory[SNT] building on the schematic basis offered by Simons's (1994) Nuclear Theory[NT]. The SNT adopts Ellis's (2001) dispositional essentialist conception of simple substances as powerful particulars: all of their monadic properties are dispositional. Moreover, simple substances necessarily belong to some natural kind with a real essence formed by monadic properties. The SNT develops further the construction of substances the NT proposes to obtain an adequate trope bundle theory (...) of powerful particulars. The SNT allows for co-located powerful particulars. However, every powerful particular is necessarily co-located with its constituent tropes, which determine its causal powers. Every constituent trope of substance i is part of a trope aggregate (the n-bundle or c-bundle) that forms an individual figuring in the basic spatio-temporal relations. The location of these individuals determines the location of individual tropes. Since they are necessarily co-located with substance i when they exist, every trope t of i is necessarily co-located with i when it exits. Every simple substance has nuclear tropes necessary to it. It belongs to certain primary natural kind K because its nuclear tropes belong to certain distinct determinate kinds. (shrink)
ABSTRACT. In this paper I propose a defense of a posteriori materialism. Prob- lems with a posteriori identity materialism are identi?ed, and a materialism based on composition, not identity, is proposed. The main task for such a proposal is to account for the relation between physical and phenomenal properties. Compos- ition does not seem to be ?t as a relation between properties, but I offer a peculiar way to understand property-composition, based on some recent ideas in the literature on ontology. (...) Finally, I propose a materialist model for the mind-body relation that is able to resist the attack from conceivability arguments. (shrink)
Do Russellian propositions have their constituents as parts? One reason for thinking not is that if they did, they would generate apparent counterexamples to plausible mereological principles. As Frege noted, they would be in tension with the transitivity of parthood. A certain small rock is a part of Etna but not of the proposition that Etna is higher than Vesuvius. So, if Etna were a part of the given proposition, parthood would fail to be transitive. As William Bynoe has (...) noted (speaking of facts rather than propositions), they would seem to violate certain supplementation principles. Consider the singular proposition, concerning identity, that it is identical with itself. Given the relevant form of Russellianism, this proposition would have identity as a proper part, but it would not have any parts disjoint from identity, and indeed it would not have even a single pair of disjoint parts, in violation of various supplementation principles. This chapter offers a unified solution to the problems about transitivity and supplementation. One key ingredient in the solution is the view that parthood is a four-place relation expressed by ‘x at y is a part of z at w’. Another key ingredient is the view that the semantic contents of predicates and sentential connectives have ‘slots’ or ‘argument positions’ in them. (Both ingredients are independently motivated elsewhere.) Four-place analogues of the transitivity and supplementation principles are set out, and it is argued that these are not threatened by the examples from Frege and Bynoe. (shrink)
. Recently renewed interest in non transformational approaches to syntax  suggests that it might be well to take another look at categorial grammars, since they seem to have been neglected largely because they had been shown to be equivalent to context free phrase structure grammars in weak generative capacity and it was believed that such grammars were incapable of describing natural languages in a natural way. It is my purpose here to sketch a theory of grammar which represents a (...) generalization of categorial grammars of the sort invented by Ajdukiewicz (1935) and further elaborated especially by Bar Hillel (1953) and Lambek (1961). (shrink)
A quantitative interpretation is given of the (in)coherence that moral agents experience as a tension between their ordered moral judgments over n physically incompatible actions, and the competitive ordering of motivating intensities (or, desires). Then a model describing one’s tendency to reduce the experienced in-coherence is constructed. In this model, moral sensitivity (S) and desire attachment (e) function as primitives that motivate from opposing perspectives the reduction of incoherence. Two distinct sub-processes of this reduction are therefore initiated by (S) and (...) (e) co-ordinated (more or less efficiently) by the agent’s degree of rationality (R) characteristic of her capacity to handle such internal tensions. This process ends when a new equilibrium between what motivates and what resists (further) reduction has been reached. A macro-equilibrium is described involving (R) constrained by weakness-of-will (W w ). A reinterpretation of the Aristotelian characters (enkratês, akratês, etc.) and an exegesis of Hume’s ‘Calm Passions’ follow as applications. (shrink)
We have attempted to delineate various components of the researcher's participation in the reflection phase of descriptive psychology. The characteristic attitude or posture, operations for the comprehension of a particular event, and activities which achieve general knowledge have been touched upon. This presentation is a preliminary attempt to bring into view the complex process of analysis in descriptive research and is intended as an invitation to more faithful and detailed accounts of the process in the future.
The author resolves a conflict between Frege's view that the cognitive significance of coreferential names may be distinct and Kaplan's view that since coreferential names have the same "character", they have the same cognitive significance. A distinction is drawn between an expression's "character" and its "cognitive character". The former yields the denotation of an expression relative to a context (and individual); the latter yields the abstract sense of an expression relative to a context (and individual). Though coreferential names have the (...) same character, they may have distinct cognitive characters. Propositions involving these abstract senses play an important role in explaining de dicto belief contexts. (shrink)