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  1. Believing is said of groups in many ways (and so it should be said of them in none).Richard Pettigrew -
    In the first half of this paper, I argue that group belief ascriptions are highly ambiguous. What's more, in many cases, neither the available contextual factors nor known pragmatic considerations are sufficient to allow the audience to identify which of the many possible meanings is intended. In the second half, I argue that this ambiguity often has bad consequences when a group belief ascription is heard and taken as testimony. And indeed it has these consequences even when the ascription is (...)
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  2. A generalized patchwork approach to scientific concepts.Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Polysemous concepts with multiple related meanings pervade natural languages, yet some philosophers argue that we should eliminate them to avoid miscommunication and pointless debates in scientific discourse. This paper defends the legitimacy of polysemous concepts in science against this eliminativist challenge. My approach analyses such concepts as patchworks with multiple scale-dependent, technique-involving, domain-specific and property-targeting uses (patches). I demonstrate the generality of my approach by applying it to "hardness" in materials science, "homology" in evolutionary biology, "gold" in chemistry and "cortical (...)
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  3. On the nature of the lexicon: the status of rich lexical meanings.Lotte Hogeweg & Agustin Vicente - forthcoming - Journal of Linguistics.
    The main goal of this paper is to show that there are many phenomena that pertain to the construction of truth-conditional compounds that follow characteristic patterns, and whose explanation requires appealing to knowledge structures organized in specific ways. We review a number of phenomena, ranging from non-homogenous modification and privative modification to polysemy and co-predication that indicate that knowledge structures do play a role in obtaining truth-conditions. After that, we show that several extant accounts that invoke rich lexical meanings to (...)
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  4. People and places.John Horden & Dan López de Sa - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Several authors have argued that socially significant places such as countries, cities and establishments are immaterial objects, despite their being spatially located. In contrast, we aim to defend a reductive materialist view of such entities, which identifies them with their physical territories or premises. Accordingly, these are all material objects; typically, aggregates of land and infrastructure. Admittedly, our terms for these entities may also sometimes be used to denote their associated groups of people. But as long as countries, cities and (...)
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  5. The Normativity of Gender Discourse: A Pragmatic Approach.Viktoria Knoll - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Many disputes about gender are normatively charged. To account for this, some suggest building normativity into the semantics of gender terms. I propose an alternative, pragmatic account. When speakers utter gender-attributing sentences of the form ‘Person A is of gender G’, they often pragmatically convey normative content about whether A should be categorized as G. After critically discussing the semantic approach, I motivate and discuss in detail this novel pragmatic view and elaborate on its compatibility with a number of semantic (...)
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  6. Ambiguity Tests, Polysemy, and Copredication.David Liebesman & Ofra Magidor - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    A family of familiar linguistic tests purport to help identify when a term is ambiguous. These tests are philosophically important: a familiar philosophical strategy is to claim that some phenomenon is disunified and its accompanying term is ambiguous. The tests have been used to evaluate disunification proposals about causation, pain, and knowledge, among others. -/- These ambiguity tests, however, have come under fire. It has been alleged that the tests fail for polysemy, a common type of ambiguity, and one that (...)
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  7. Emotion Descriptions and Musical Expressiveness.Michelle Liu - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Emotion terms such as “sad”, “happy” and “joyful” apply to a wide range of entities. We use them to refer to mental states of sentient beings, and also to describe features of non-mental things such as comportment, nature, events, artworks and so on. Drawing on the literature on polysemy, this paper provides an in-depth analysis of emotion descriptions. It argues that emotion terms are polysemous and distinguishes seven related senses. In addition, the paper applies the analysis to shed light on (...)
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  8. How to Think about Zeugmatic Oddness.Michelle Liu - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-24.
    Zeugmatic oddness is a linguistic intuition of oddness with respect to an instance of zeugma, i.e. a sentence containing an instance of a homonymous or polysemous word being used in different meanings or senses simultaneously. Zeugmatic oddness is important for philosophical debates as philosophers often use it to argue that a particular philosophically interesting expression is ambiguous and that the phenomenon referred to by the expression is disunified. This paper takes a closer look at zeugmatic oddness. Focusing on relevant psycholinguistic (...)
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  9. Good people are not like good knives.Poppy Mankowitz - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Is anything good simpliciter? And can things count as ‘good’ independent of the context in which ‘good’ is used? Traditionally, a number of meta-ethicists have given positive answers. But more recently, some philosophers have used observations based on natural language to argue that things can only count as ‘good’ relative to ends and contextual thresholds. I will use work from contemporary linguistics to argue that ‘good’ is ambiguous, and that it has a moral disambiguation that attributes a fixed degree of (...)
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  10. Polysemy and Co-predication.Marina Ortega AndrÉs & Agustin Vicente - forthcoming - Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics.
    Many word forms in natural language are polysemous, but only some of them allow for co-predication, that is, they allow for simultaneous predications selecting for two different meanings or senses of a nominal in a sentence. In this paper, we try to explain (i) why some groups of senses allow co-predication and others do not, and (ii) how we interpret co-predicative sentences. The paper focuses on those groups of senses that allow co-predication in an especially robust and stable way. We (...)
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  11. The Normativity of Gender Discourse: A Pragmatic Approach.Viktoria Knoll - 2024 - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Many disputes about gender are normatively charged. To account for this, some suggest building normativity into the semantics of gender terms. I propose an alternative, pragmatic account. When speakers utter gender-attributing sentences of the form ‘Person A is of gender G’, they often pragmatically convey normative content about whether A should be categorized as G. After critically discussing the semantic approach, I motivate and discuss in detail this novel pragmatic view and elaborate on its compatibility with a number of semantic (...)
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  12. Mental simulation and language comprehension: The case of copredication.Michelle Liu - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (1):2-21.
    Empirical evidence suggests that perceptual‐motor simulations are often constitutively involved in language comprehension. Call this “the simulation view of language comprehension”. This article applies the simulation view to illuminate the much‐discussed phenomenon of copredication, where a noun permits multiple predications which seem to select different senses of the noun simultaneously. On the proposed account, the (in)felicitousness of a copredicational sentence is closely associated with the perceptual simulations that the language user deploys in comprehending the sentence.
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  13. Katz got your tongue? The metaphysics of words.Keith Begley - 2023 - Synthese 202 (4):1-29.
    In the recent literature on the ontology and metaphysics of words, Jerrold J. Katz’ type-realist or ‘Platonist’ view is often mentioned but never spelt out in detail. This is perhaps understandable in light of the fact that his most developed statements on this matter are effectively offshoots of his main discourse in Realistic Rationalism (Katz, 1998a). His direct statements about the metaphysics of words are few and far between and are scattered across the text. This situation has often led to (...)
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  14. Gottlob Frege and Gongsun Long in Dialogue.Nevia Dolcini & Carlo Penco - 2023 - Asian Studies 11 (1):267-295.
    This work addresses the critical discussion featured in the contemporary literature about two well-known paradoxes belonging to different philosophical traditions, namely Frege’s puzzling claim that “the concept horse is not a concept” and Gongsun Long’s “white horse is not horse”. We first present the source of Frege’s paradox and its different interpretations, which span from plain rejection to critical analysis, to conclude with a more general view of the role of philosophy as a fight against the misunderstandings that come from (...)
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  15. The Inclusion of Polysemes in Non-native English Textbooks: A Corpus-based Study.Hicham Lahlou & Hajar Abdul Rahim - 2023 - Arab World English Journal 14 (2):19-29.
    Despite the large number of studies conducted on polysemy, they mostly compare the different methods and techniques to learn a language and establish the extent to which particular sense relations facilitate the learning of second language vocabulary. To our best knowledge, no research has been conducted to determine whether or not polysemy is emphasized in non-native English textbooks. The objective of the present research was to determine the degree to which polysemy is incorporated in English textbooks. Thus, the research question (...)
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  16. “Philosophers care about the truth”: Descriptive/normative generics.Olivier Lemeire - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (3):772-786.
    Some generic generalizations have both a descriptive and a normative reading. The generic sentence “Philosophers care about the truth”, for instance, can be read as describing what philosophers in fact care about, but can also be read as prescribing philosophers to care about the truth. On Leslie’s account, this generic sentence has two readings due to the polysemy of the kind term “philosopher”. In this paper, I first argue against this polysemy account of descriptive/normative generics. In response, a contextualist semantic (...)
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  17. Cross-Domain Descriptions: The Sensory and the Psychological.Michelle Liu - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):950-964.
    Cross-domain descriptions are descriptions of features pertaining to one domain in terms of vocabulary primarily associated with another domain. Notably, we routinely describe psychological features in terms of the sensory domain and vice versa. Sorrow is said to be ‘bitter’ and fear ‘cold’. Music can be described as ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘mournful’, and so on. Such descriptions are rife in both everyday discourse and literary writings. What is it about psychological features that invites descriptions in sensory terms and what is it (...)
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  18. Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity.Tristan Grotvedt Haze - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This book is about the idea that some true statements would have been true no matter how the world had turned out, while others could have been false. It develops and defends a version of the idea that we tell the difference between these two types of truths in part by reflecting on the meanings of words. It has often been thought that modal issues—issues about possibility and necessity—are related to issues about meaning. In this book, the author defends the (...)
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  19. Al-Farabi on acquiring a philosophical concept.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2022 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-21.
    This paper focuses on a discussion in Abu Nasr al-Farabi’s Book of Letters (Kitāb al-Ḥurūf), which has to do with the importation of philosophical (including scientific) discourse from one language or nation (ummah) to another. The question of importing philosophical discourse from one language or nation to another touches on Farabi’s views on a number of important philosophical questions. It reveals something about his views on the nature of philosophical and scientific concepts and their relation to concepts in non-philosophical or (...)
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  20. Atomism, Concepts, and Polysemy.Kamil Lemanek - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (3):1243-1264.
    The aim of this paper is to examine the theoretical architecture of semantic atomism and its consequences with respect to natural language. In particular, it looks to explore the notion of possible concepts using the fundamental distinction between simple and complex concepts and expressions in Jerry Fodor’s atomism. The distinction is exploited to produce an unusual type of concept referred to as a correlate, which effectively mirrors complex concepts while maintaining a distinct underlying structure. Though harmless in and of themselves, (...)
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  21. Mental Imagery and Polysemy Processing.Michelle Liu - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 29 (5-6):176-189.
    Recent research in psycholinguistics suggests that language processing frequently involves mental imagery. This paper focuses on visual imagery and discusses two issues regarding the processing of polysemous words (i.e. words with multiple related meanings or senses) – co-predication and sense-relatedness. It aims to show how mental imagery can illuminate these two issues.
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  22. I Think; Therefore, I am a Fiction.T. Parent - 2022 - In Tamás Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. New York & London: Routledge.
    The Cartesian thinking self may seem indisputably real. But if it is real, then so thinking, which would undercut mental fictionalism. Thus, in defense of mental fictionalism, this paper argues for fictionalism about the thinking self. In short form, the argument is: (1) If I exist outside of fiction, then I am identical to (some part of/) this biomass [= my body]. (2) If I die at t, I cease to exist at t. (3) If I die at t, no (...)
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  23. Copredication, polysemy and context-sensitivity.Emanuel Viebahn - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (8):1066-1082.
    ABSTRACT Copredication, as exhibited by sentences such as ‘That book is heavy but informative,’ is commonly seen as a phenomenon that is tied to sentences featuring polysemous expressions. David Liebesman and Ofra Magidor have recently attacked this view by arguing that ‘book’ has a single context-sensitive sense. The first aim of the present paper is to show that Liebesman and Magidor are wrong to claim that ‘book’ is univocal, but that they may nonetheless be right to question that copredication requires (...)
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  24. A rich-lexicon theory of slurs and their uses.Dan Zeman - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):942-966.
    ABSTRACT In this paper, I present data involving the use of the Romanian slur ‘țigan’, consideration of which leads to the postulation of a sui-generis, irreducible type of use of slurs. This type of use is potentially problematic for extant theories of slurs. In addition, together with other well-established uses, it shows that there is more variation in the use of slurs than previously acknowledged. I explain this variation by construing slurs as polysemous. To implement this idea, I appeal to (...)
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  25. Pain, paradox and polysemy.Michelle Liu - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):461-470.
    The paradox of pain refers to the idea that the folk concept of pain is paradoxical, treating pains as simultaneously mental states and bodily states. By taking a close look at our pain terms, this paper argues that there is no paradox of pain. The air of paradox dissolves once we recognize that pain terms are polysemous and that there are two separate but related concepts of pain rather than one.
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  26. Descriptions and Tests for Polysemy.Andrei Moldovan - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):229-249.
    Viebahn (2018) has recently argued that several tests for ambiguity, such as the conjunction-reduction test, are not reliable as tests for polysemy, but only as tests for homonymy. I look at the more fine-grained distinction between regular and irregular polysemy and I argue for a more nuanced conclusion: the tests under discussion provide systematic evidence for homonymy and irregular polysemy but need to be used with more care to test for regular polysemy. I put this conclusion at work in the (...)
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  27. Every Word is a Name: Autonymy and Quotation in Augustine.Tamer Nawar - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):595-616.
    Augustine famously claims every word is a name. Some readers take Augustine to thereby maintain a purely referentialist semantic account according to which every word is a referential expression whose meaning is its extension. Other readers think that Augustine is no referentialist and is merely claiming that every word has some meaning. In this paper, I clarify Augustine’s arguments to the effect that every word is a name and argue that ‘every word is a name’ amounts to the claim that (...)
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  28. Frege and saving substitution.Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2687-2697.
    Goodman and Lederman (2020) argue that the traditional Fregean strategy for preserving the validity of Leibniz’s Law of substitution fails when confronted with apparent counterexamples involving proper names embedded under propositional attitude verbs. We argue, on the contrary, that the Fregean strategy succeeds and that Goodman and Lederman’s argument misfires.
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  29. Polysemy and thought: Toward a generative theory of concepts.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (1):158-185.
    Most theories of concepts take concepts to be structured bodies of information used in categorization and inference. This paper argues for a version of atomism, on which concepts are unstructured symbols. However, traditional Fodorian atomism is falsified by polysemy and fails to provide an account of how concepts figure in cognition. This paper argues that concepts are generative pointers, that is, unstructured symbols that point to memory locations where cognitively useful bodies of information are stored and can be deployed to (...)
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  30. Just Words: Intentions, Tolerance and Lexical Selection.Una Stojnić - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):3-17.
    We all make mistakes in pronunciation and spelling, but a common view is that there are limits beyond which a mistaken pronunciation or spelling becomes too dramatic to be recognized as of a particular word at all. These considerations have bolstered a family of accounts that invoke speaker intentions and standards for tolerance as determinants of which word, if any, an utterance tokens. I argue this is a mistake. Neither intentions nor standards of tolerance are necessary or sufficient (individually or (...)
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  31. No Safe Haven for Truth Pluralists.Teemu Tauriainen - 2021 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 97:183-205.
    Truth pluralism offers the latest extension in the tradition of substantive theorizing about truth. While various forms of this thesis are available, most frameworks commit to domain reliance. According to domain reliance, various ways of being true, such as coherence and correspondence, are tied to discourse domains rather than individual sentences. From this follows that the truth of different types of sentences is accounted for by their domain membership. For example, sentences addressing ethical matters are true if they cohere and (...)
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  32. Statutory Interpretation: Pragmatics and Argumentation.Douglas Walton, Fabrizio Macagno & Giovanni Sartor - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Statutory interpretation involves the reconstruction of the meaning of a legal statement when it cannot be considered as accepted or granted. This phenomenon needs to be considered not only from the legal and linguistic perspective, but also from the argumentative one - which focuses on the strategies for defending a controversial or doubtful viewpoint. This book draws upon linguistics, legal theory, computing, and dialectics to present an argumentation-based approach to statutory interpretation. By translating and summarizing the existing legal interpretative canons (...)
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  33. Natural Langage Processing.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  34. Conceptual control: On the feasibility of conceptual engineering.Eugen Fischer - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-29.
    This paper empirically raises and examines the question of ‘conceptual control’: To what extent are competent thinkers able to reason properly with new senses of words? This question is crucial for conceptual engineering. This prominently discussed philosophical project seeks to improve our representational devices to help us reason better. It frequently involves giving new senses to familiar words, through normative explanations. Such efforts enhance, rather than reduce, our ability to reason properly, only if competent language users are able to abide (...)
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  35. Standpoint Semantics for Polysemy in Spatial Prepositions.Edilson J. Rodrigues, Paulo E. Santos, Marcos Lopes, Brandon Bennett & Paul Edward Oppenheimer - 2020 - Journal of Logic and Computation 30 (2):635-661.
    In this paper, we present a formalism for handling polysemy in spatial expressions based on supervaluation semantics called standpoint semantics for polysemy (SSP). The goal of this formalism is, given a prepositional phrase, to define its possible spatial interpretations. For this, we propose to characterize spatial prepositions by means of a triplet ⟨ image schema, semantic feature, spatial axis⟩⁠. The core of SSP is predicate grounding theories, which are formulas of a first-order language that define a spatial preposition through the (...)
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  36. Ways of Using Words: On Semantic Intentions.Emanuel Viebahn - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):93-117.
    Intentionalism is the view that demonstratives, gradable adjectives, quantifiers, modals and other context‐sensitive expressions are intention‐sensitive: their semantic value on a given use is fixed by speaker intentions. The first aim of this paper is to defend Intentionalism against three recent objections, according to which speakers at least sometimes do not have suitable intentions when using supposedly intention‐sensitive expressions. Its second aim is to thereby shed light on the so far little‐explored question of which kinds of intentions can be semantically (...)
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  37. Acts and Alternative Analyses.Arvid Båve - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (4):181–205.
    I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [being loved by Mary] (...)
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  38. Chomskyan Arguments Against Truth-Conditional Semantics Based on Variability and Co-predication.Agustín Vicente - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):919-940.
    In this paper I try to show that semantics can explain word-to-world relations and that sentences can have meanings that determine truth-conditions. Critics like Chomsky typically maintain that only speakers denote, i.e., only speakers, by using words in one way or another, represent entities or events in the world. However, according to their view, individual acts of denotations are not explained just by virtue of speakers’ semantic knowledge. Against this view, I will hold that, in the typical cases considered, semantic (...)
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  39. Moderate Holism: Answering to Criticism and Explaining Linguistic Phenomena.Kênio Estrela - 2018 - Fragmentos de Cultura 28 (n.2):258-270.
    In this paper I present a version of meaning holism proposed by Henry Jackman (1999a, 1999b, 2005 and 2015) entitled "moderate holism". I will argue that this moderate version of holism, in addition to responding to much of the criticism attributed to traditional semantic holism (such as translation, disagreement, change of mind and communication), is also extremely useful to explain the occurrence of several, such as vagueness and polysemy.
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  40. Types of dialogue and pragmatic ambiguity.Fabrizio Macagno & Sarah Bigi - 2018 - In Sarah Bigi & Fabrizio Macagno (eds.), Argumentation and Language — Linguistic, Cognitive and Discursive Explorations. Cham: Springer Verlag. pp. 191-218.
    The purpose of this chapter is twofold. On the one hand, our goal is theoretical, as we aim at providing an instrument for detecting, analyzing, and solving ambiguities based on the reasoning mechanism underlying interpretation. To this purpose, combining the insights from pragmatics and argumentation theory, we represent the background assumptions driving an interpretation as presumptions. Presumptions are then investigated as the backbone of the argumentative reasoning that is used to assess and solve ambiguities and drive (theoretically) interpretive mechanisms. On (...)
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  41. A unified analysis of the future as epistemic modality.Anastasia Giannakidou and Alda Mari - 2018 - Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 36:85-129.
    We offer an analysis of future morphemes as epistemic operators. The main empirical motivation comes from the fact that future morphemes have systematic purely epistemic readings—not only in Greek and Italian, but also in Dutch, German, and English will. The existence of epistemic readings suggests that the future expressions quantify over epistemic, not metaphysical alternatives. We provide a unified analysis for epistemic and predictive readings as epistemic necessity, and the shift between the two is determined compositionally by the lower tense. (...)
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  42. Polysemy and word meaning: an account of lexical meaning for different kinds of content words.Agustin Vicente - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):947-968.
    There is an ongoing debate about the meaning of lexical words, i.e., words that contribute with content to the meaning of sentences. This debate has coincided with a renewal in the study of polysemy, which has taken place in the psycholinguistics camp mainly. There is already a fruitful interbreeding between two lines of research: the theoretical study of lexical word meaning, on the one hand, and the models of polysemy psycholinguists present, on the other. In this paper I aim at (...)
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  43. Ambiguity and Zeugma.Emanuel Viebahn - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):749-762.
    In arguing against a supposed ambiguity, philosophers often rely on the zeugma test. In an application of the zeugma test, a supposedly ambiguous expression is placed in a sentence in which several of its supposed meanings are forced together. If the resulting sentence sounds zeugmatic, that is taken as evidence for ambiguity; if it does not sound zeugmatic, that is taken as evidence against ambiguity. The aim of this article is to show that arguments based on the second direction of (...)
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  44. Ontic Explanation Is either Ontic or Explanatory, but Not Both.Cory Wright & Dingmar van Eck - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:997–1029.
    What features will something have if it counts as an explanation? And will something count as an explanation if it has those features? In the second half of the 20th century, philosophers of science set for themselves the task of answering such questions, just as a priori conceptual analysis was generally falling out of favor. And as it did, most philosophers of science just moved on to more manageable questions about the varieties of explanation and discipline-specific scientific explanation. Often, such (...)
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  45. Copredication and Property Inheritance.David Liebesman & Ofra Magidor - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):131-166.
  46. Interpreting Straw Man Argumentation.Fabrizio Macagno & Douglas Walton - 2017 - Amsterdam: Springer.
    This book shows how research in linguistic pragmatics, philosophy of language, and rhetoric can be connected through argumentation to analyze a recognizably common strategy used in political and everyday conversation, namely the distortion of another’s words in an argumentative exchange. Straw man argumentation refers to the modification of a position by misquoting, misreporting or wrenching the original speaker’s statements from their context in order to attack them more easily or more effectively. Through 63 examples taken from different contexts (including political (...)
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  47. The causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation.Jonathan L. Shaheen - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):553-578.
    This paper argues that the semantic facts about ‘because’ are best explained via a metaphorical treatment of metaphysical explanation that treats causal explanation as explanation par excellence. Along the way, it defends a commitment to a unified causal sense of ‘because’ and offers a proprietary explanation of grounding skepticism. With the causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation on the table, an extended discussion of the relationship between conceptual structure and metaphysics ends with a suggestion that the semantic facts about ‘because’ (...)
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  48. A Gricean Theory of Malaprops.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (4):446-462.
    Gricean intentionalists hold that what a speaker says and means by a linguistic utterance is determined by the speaker's communicative intention. On this view, one cannot really say anything without meaning it as well. Conventionalists argue, however, that malapropisms provide powerful counterexamples to this claim. I present two arguments against the conventionalist and sketch a new Gricean theory of speech errors, called the misarticulation theory. On this view, malapropisms are understood as a special case of mispronunciation. I argue that the (...)
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  49. What words mean and express: semantics and pragmatics of kind terms and verbs.Agustin Vicente - 2017 - Journal of Pragmatics 117:231-244.
    For many years, it has been common-ground in semantics and in philosophy of language that semantics is in the business of providing a full explanation about how propositional meanings are obtained. This orthodox picture seems to be in trouble these days, as an increasing number of authors now hold that semantics does not deal with thought-contents. Some of these authors have embraced a “thin meanings” view, according to which lexical meanings are too schematic to enter propositional contents. I will suggest (...)
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  50. How many meanings for ‘may’? The case for modal polysemy.Barbara Vetter & Emanuel Viebahn - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    The standard Kratzerian analysis of modal auxiliaries, such as ‘may’ and ‘can’, takes them to be univocal and context-sensitive. Our first aim is to argue for an alternative view, on which such expressions are polysemous. Our second aim is to thereby shed light on the distinction between semantic context-sensitivity and polysemy. To achieve these aims, we examine the mechanisms of polysemy and context-sensitivity and provide criteria with which they can be held apart. We apply the criteria to modal auxiliaries and (...)
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