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  1. Ineffability: The Very Concept.Sebastian Gäb - 2020 - Philosophia 48:1-12.
    In this paper, I analyze the concept of ineffability: what does it mean to say that something cannot be said? I begin by distinguishing ineffability from paradox: if something cannot be said truly or without contradiction, this is not an instance of ineffability. Next, I distinguish two different meanings of ‘saying something’ which result from a fundamental ambiguity in the term ‘language’, viz. language as a system of symbols and language as a medium of communication. Accordingly, ‘ineffability’ is ambiguous, too, (...)
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  2. The Logicality of Language: A New Take on Triviality, `Ungrammaticality', and Logical Form.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):785-818.
    Recent work in formal semantics suggests that the language system includes not only a structure building device, as standardly assumed, but also a natural deductive system which can determine when expressions have trivial truth‐conditions (e.g., are logically true/false) and mark them as unacceptable. This hypothesis, called the ‘logicality of language’, accounts for many acceptability patterns, including systematic restrictions on the distribution of quantifiers. To deal with apparent counter‐examples consisting of acceptable tautologies and contradictions, the logicality of language is often paired (...)
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  3. Greek Ritual Norms: The Textuality of Ritual Norms ('Sacred Laws') in the Ancient Greek World.Jan M. Van der Molen - Oct 28, 2019 - University of Groningen.
    In this second of two essays on the topic of ancient Greek inscriptions, I will briefly explore and discuss the textuality of ritual norms or, 'sacred laws', by looking 1) at the reasons for these ritual norms to have been written down in the first place and 2) how these norms/laws/decrees were able to get their observers to adhere to them. Throughout the essay I have made use of J.L. Austin's Speech Act Theory to better contextualize the meaning of the (...)
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  4. The Logicality of Language: A New Take on Triviality, “Ungrammaticality”, and Logical Form.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):785-818.
    Recent work in formal semantics suggests that the language system includes not only a structure building device, as standardly assumed, but also a natural deductive system which can determine when expressions have trivial truth-conditions (e.g., are logically true/false) and mark them as unacceptable. This hypothesis, called the `logicality of language', accounts for many acceptability patterns, including systematic restrictions on the distribution of quantifiers. To deal with apparent counter-examples consisting of acceptable tautologies and contradictions, the logicality of language is often paired (...)
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  5. Structured Propositions, Unity, and the Sense-Nonsense Distinction.Octavian Ion - 2018 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):319-334.
    Back in the Good Old Days of Logical Positivism, theories of meaning were part of a normative project that sought not merely to describe the features of language and its use, but so to speak to separate the wheat from the chaff. In this paper, I side with Herman Cappelen in thinking that we need to rethink and reintroduce the important distinction between sense and nonsense that was ditched along with other normative aspirations during Logical Positivism’s spectacular demise. Despite this, (...)
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  6. Meaning, Modulation, and Context: A Multidimensional Semantics for Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (2):165-207.
    The meaning that expressions take on particular occasions often depends on the context in ways which seem to transcend its direct effect on context-sensitive parameters. ‘Truth-conditional pragmatics’ is the project of trying to model such semantic flexibility within a compositional truth-conditional framework. Most proposals proceed by radically ‘freeing up’ the compositional operations of language. I argue, however, that the resulting theories are too unconstrained, and predict flexibility in cases where it is not observed. These accounts fall into this position because (...)
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  7. New Essays on Frege: Between Science and Literature.Gisela Bengtsson, Simo Säätelä & Alois Pichler (eds.) - 2018 - Springer.
    This volume collects nine essays that investigate the work of Gottlob Frege. The contributors address Frege’s work in relation to literature and fiction (Dichtung), the humanities (Geisteswissenschaften), and science (Wissenschaft). Overall, the essays consider internal connections between different aspects of Frege’s work while acknowledging the importance of its philosophical context. There are also further common strands between the papers, such as the relation between Frege’s and Wittgenstein’s approaches to philosophical investigations, the relation between Frege and Kant, and the place of (...)
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  8. Domains of Discourse and the Semantics of Ambiguous Utterances: A Reply to Gauker.Kees Van Deemter - 1998 - Mind 107 (426):433-445.
  9. Is Semantic Information Meaningful Data?Luciano Floridi - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):351-370.
    There is no consensus yet on the definition of semantic information. This paper contributes to the current debate by criticising and revising the Standard Definition of semantic Information as meaningful data, in favour of the Dretske-Grice approach: meaningful and well-formed data constitute semantic information only if they also qualify as contingently truthful. After a brief introduction, SDI is criticised for providing necessary but insufficient conditions for the definition of semantic information. SDI is incorrect because truth-values do not supervene on semantic (...)
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  10. The First Person: Error Through Misidentification, the Split Between Speaker’s and Semantic Reference, and the Real Guarantee.Annalisa Coliva - 2003 - Journal of Philosophy 100 (8):416-431.
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  11. Speaker Meaning and Davidson on Metaphor: A Reply to McGuire.Robert J. Stainton - 2003 - Dialogue 42 (2):345-354.
    John Michael McGuire presents a dilemma for Donald Davidson’s denial of metaphorical content in the latter’s “What Metaphors Mean”. Probably, says McGuire, Davidson has simply overlooked the possibility that speakers mean propositions when they speak metaphorically. If so, all Davidson is saying is that expressions do not have additional metaphorical meanings. This is so obvious as to make Davidson’s paper “insignificant”. Besides which, McGuire continues, if Davidson intended to deny that speakers mean propositions in speaking metaphorically, his view is “obviously (...)
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  12. What is Said, Linguistic Meaning, and Directly Referential Expressions.Isidora Stojanovic - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (4):373-397.
    Philosophers of language distinguish among the lexical or linguistic meaning of the sentence uttered, what is said by an utterance of the sentence, and speaker's meaning, or what is conveyed by the speaker to her audience. In most views, what is said is the semantic or truth-conditional content of the utterance, and is irreducible either to the linguistic meaning or to the speaker's meaning. I will show that those views account badly for people's intuitions on what is said. I will (...)
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  13. The Language and Logic of Philosophy.Hubert G. Alexander - 1972 - Upa.
    This book focuses on two primary concerns, language and philosophical thinking. The first part of the book examines the ways that language, particularly the English language, shapes and channels our thoughts. The second part considers the three basic processes in concept formation: abstracting, imagining and generalizing. Lastly, the rational process itself is examined, looking at definition, rational inquiry and philosophical system building. First published in 1967, this edition is a reprint of the 1972 enlarged edition published by University of New (...)
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  14. Discussion—Soames on Empiricism.John P. Burgess - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (3):619-626.
    Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century by Scott Soames reminds me of nothing so much as Lectures on Literature by Vladimir Nabokov. Both are works that arose immediately out of the needs of undergraduate teaching, yet each manages to say much of significance to knowledgeable professionals. Each indirectly provides an outline of the history of its field, through a presentation of selected major works, taken in chronological order and including items that are generally recognized as marking decisive turning points. Yet (...)
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  15. Assertion, Context, and Epistemic Accessibility.John Hawthorne & Ofra Magidor - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):377-397.
    In his seminal paper 'Assertion', Robert Stalnaker distinguishes between the semantic content of a sentence on an occasion of use and the content asserted by an utterance of that sentence on that occasion. While in general the assertoric content of an utterance is simply its semantic content, the mechanisms of conversation sometimes force the two apart. Of special interest in this connection is one of the principles governing assertoric content in the framework, one according to which the asserted content ought (...)
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  16. Meaning, Use and Truth.Paul Horwich - 1995 - Mind 104 (414):355-368.
  17. You Don't Say?Kent Bach - 2001 - Synthese 128 (1):15-44.
    This paper defends a purely semantic notion of what is said against various recent objections. The objections each cite some sort of linguistic, psychological, or epistemological fact that is supposed to show that on any viable notion of what a speaker says in uttering a sentence, there is pragmatic intrusion into what is said. Relying on a modified version of Grice's notion, on which what is said must be a projection of the syntax of the uttered sentence, I argue that (...)
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  18. The Themes of Quine's Philosophy: Meaning, Reference, and Knowledge.Edward Becker - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    Willard Van Orman Quine's work revolutionized the fields of epistemology, semantics and ontology. At the heart of his philosophy are several interconnected doctrines: his rejection of conventionalism and of the linguistic doctrine of logical and mathematical truth, his rejection of the analytic/synthetic distinction, his thesis of the indeterminacy of translation and his thesis of the inscrutability of reference. In this book Edward Becker sets out to interpret and explain these doctrines. He offers detailed analyses of the relevant texts, discusses Quine's (...)
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  19. Experimental Investigations of Ambiguity: The Case of Most.Hadas Kotek, Yasutada Sudo & Martin Hackl - 2015 - Natural Language Semantics 23 (2):119-156.
    In the study of natural language quantification, much recent attention has been devoted to the investigation of verification procedures associated with the proportional quantifier most. The aim of these studies is to go beyond the traditional characterization of the semantics of most, which is confined to explicating its truth-functional and presuppositional content as well as its combinatorial properties, as these aspects underdetermine the correct analysis of most. The present paper contributes to this effort by presenting new experimental evidence in support (...)
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  20. A la Recherche du Sens.Raymond Tschumi - 1987 - Age D'Homme.
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  21. Speaker's Meaning. [REVIEW]M. R. C. - 1968 - Review of Metaphysics 21 (3):548-548.
    Barfield considers the light the studies of history, language, and literature shed upon each other. He focuses his attention on the development of a theory of the emergence of individual consciousness. Barfield disputes some prevalent ramifications of evolutionist theories which hold that in language, literature, and history, a period of "active subjectivity" preceded one of "passive subjectivity." This would mean, according to Barfield, that in language, literal meaning preceded figurative meaning, just as imagination was prior to inspiration in the creation (...)
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  22. Ontological Relativity in Quine and Davidson.J. E. Malpas - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 36 (1):157-178.
    According to Quine the inscrutability of reference leads to ontological relativity, or, as Donald Davidson calls it, relativity of reference. Davidson accepts both inscrutability and the indeterminacy of translation which it grounds, but rejects any explicit relativity of reference or ontology. The reasons behind this rejection are set out and explained. Explicit relativization is shown to be at odds with indeterminacy. Some notion of the relativity of reference (or, more generally, interpretation) is nevertheless shown to be both possible and necessary. (...)
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  23. The Relationship Between Schon/Already and Noch/Still.A. Miiwoch - 1993 - Natural Language Semantics 2 (1):71-82.
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  24. Variation, Distributivity, and the Illusion of Branching.Filippo Beghelli, Dorit Ben-Shalom & Anna Szabolcsi - 1997 - In Anna Szabolcsi (ed.), Ways of Scope Taking. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 29--69.
    We show in rather informal terms how witness sets can be useful in both explicating some basic intuitions about scope and understanding how particular denotational semantic differences between noun phrases affect their abilities to bear out certain scopal patterns. More generally we suggest that the usual notion of scope needs to be factored into variation distributivity and maximality. This part lays some groundwork for several of the subsequent chapters and is thus of interest to all readers. The second part shows (...)
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  25. Finding Meaning From Mutability: Making Sense and Deriving Meaning From Counterfactual Thinking.A. D. Galinsky, K. A. Liljenquist, L. J. Kray & N. R. Roese - 2005 - In David R. Mandel, Denis J. Hilton & Patrizia Catellani (eds.), The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking. Routledge.
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  26. Lionspeak: Communication, Expression, and Meaning.Dorit Bar-On & Mitchell Green - 2010 - In James R. O'Shea & Eric Rubenstein (eds.), Self, Language, and World: Problems From Kant, Sellars, and Rosenberg. Ridgeview Publishing Co.. pp. 89--106.
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  27. From Frege to Dynamic Theories of Meaning.Alice G. B. ter Meulen - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):691-692.
    In designing stratified models of human language, understanding notions of logical consequence and validity of inference require separating the aspects of meaning that vary between models from logical constants. Modelling meaning requires choices regarding the primitives, where the Fregean program is still offering us the fundamental insights on the role of truth, judgement, and grasping or sharing of thoughts.
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  28. The Negative Concord Puzzle Revisited.Elena Herburger - 2001 - Natural Language Semantics 9 (3):289-333.
    This paper investigates Negative Concord, arguing that it results from a systematic lexical ambiguity: the items that participate in Negative Concord ("n-words" in Laka's 1990 terminology) are ambiguous between negative polarity items and their genuinely negative counterparts. I try to show that on empirical grounds the proposed account compares favorably with other analyses that shy away from ambiguity. I furthermore suggest that the ambiguity is not implausible conceptually because it can be viewed as reflecting an intermediate stage of the Jespersen (...)
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  29. What is 'That?'.John Biro - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):651 - 653.
    Davidson's paratactic account of indirect speech exploits the fact that ‘that’ can be either a demonstrative pronoun or a subordinating conjunction. Davidson thinks that the fact that it is plausible to think that it inherited the latter function from the former lends support to his account. However, in other languages the two functions are performed by unrelated words, which makes the account impossible to apply to them. I argue that this shows that, rather than revealing the underlying form of indirect (...)
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  30. How Might a Davidsonian Rescue the Normativity of Meaning?Morteza Sedaghat Ahangari Hossein Zadeh - 2013 - Filozofia Nauki 21 (2).
    For meaning normativism to hold, meaning must have a constitutive part which is obligation-producing. I claim in this paper that linguistic communication is such a constitutive part. I try to show this by means of appeal to Davidson’s triangulation thesis. If I am successful, it may fairly be said that “a Davidsonian can rescue the normativity of meaning”.
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  31. Davidson's Interpretations: The Step Not Taken.Eli Dresner - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):698-712.
    In the first section of this paper I follow an important trajectory in the development of Davidson's notion of radical interpretation: From being interpretationally concerned only with language, like Quine's radical translation that precedes it, through involving the ascription of belief in increasingly complex ways, to finally incorporating desire and preference. In the second section of the paper I show that Davidson falls short of incorporating non-linguistic action in radical interpretation, I assess his motivations for doing so, and I criticize (...)
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  32. Semantic Holism and Language Learning.Martin Jönsson - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):725-759.
    Holistic theories of meaning have, at least since Dummett’s Frege: The Philosophy of language, been assumed to be problematic from the perspective of the incremental nature of natural language learning. In this essay I argue that the general relationship between holism and language learning is in fact the opposite of that claimed by Dummett. It is only given a particular form of language learning, and a particular form of holism, that there is a problem at all; in general, for all (...)
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  33. Incarnating Kripke’s Skepticism About Meaning.Eisuke Sakakibara - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-291.
    Although Kripke’s skepticism leads to the conclusion that meaning does not exist, his argument relies upon the supposition that more than one interpretation of words is consistent with linguistic evidence. Relying solely on metaphors, he assumes that there is a multiplicity of possible interpretations without providing any strict proof. In his book The Taming of the True, Neil Tennant pointed out that there are serious obstacles to this thesis and concluded that the skeptic’s nonstandard interpretations are “will o’ wisps.” In (...)
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  34. The Riddle of 'Gavagai'.Shao Ming - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:149-155.
    In 20th century, many philosophers were excited by new discoveries in natural science, and held some kind of thoughts of indeterminacy. The trend is opposite to the traditional pursuit of certainty with a dogmatic character. However, through analyzing Quine’s theory of indeterminacy of translation, as well as the ideas of indeterminacy what Rorty and Putnam have developed forward, the article will argue that: their conclusions of indeterminacy inferred from the observationsentences are questionable; indeterminacy perhaps is materialized so that they similarly (...)
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  35. Holism and Singularity Towards an Ontology of the Unfitting.Hilan Bensusan & Manuel de Pinedo - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 17:15-22.
    Holism about thought content – especially coupled with a measure of semantic externalism – can provide us with an attractive account of how thinking relates to the world. It can help us to tell a neat story that starts out with the inseparable entanglement of truth and intelligibility: in order to understand thought, to confront it to the world and to give verdicts about that confrontation, we need to grasp a considerable amount of truths. A variety of positions that emerge (...)
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  36. Davidson on Convention.Dunja Jutronić-Tihomirović - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 36 (1):121-132.
    Evaluating the usefulness of Davidson's semantics to computational understanding of language requires an examination of the role of a theory of truth in characterizing sentence meaning and logical form, and in particular of the connection between meaning and belief. The suggested conclusion is that the relevance of Davidson's semantics for computational semantics lies not so much in its methods and particular proposals of logical form as in its general orientation towards "desubstantializing" meaning.
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  37. What Davidson Should Have Said.Ernest LePore & Barry Loewer - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 36 (1):65-78.
    According to Davidson, a theory of meaning for a language L should specify information such that if someone had this information he would be in a position to understand L . He claims that a theory of truth for L fits this description. Many critics have argued that a truth theory is too weak to be a theory of meaning. We argue that these critics and Davidson's response to them have been misguided. Many critics have been misguided because they have (...)
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  38. From Purity to Reference.Ronald Scales - 1977 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 3 (1):107-124.
    Critical discussion of Quine's concepts of purely referential occurrence/position. It is argued from the perspective of a Russellian view of truth that existential generalization and substitutivity of identity are non-equivalent tests for referential occurrence/position, and that the former rather than the latter is the appropriate test.
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  39. The Meaning/Sense of the Word — the Meaning/Sense of Being.Janusz Kuczyński & Aleksandra Rodzińska - 1980 - Dialectics and Humanism 7 (1):167-181.
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  40. Use, Usage and Meaning.Gilbert Ryle & J. N. Findlay - 1961 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 35 (1):223--242.
  41. Wright and Casalegno on Meaning and Assertibility.Timothy Williamson - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (2):267-271.
    In Crispin Wright's ‘Meaning and Assertibility’, the main point of disagreement with Paolo Casalegno's critique of verificationist semantics in ‘The Problem of Non-conclusiveness’ concerns Wright's diagnosis of one of Casalegno's arguments as depending on an over-estimation of the proper explanatory task of a semantic theory. The present note argues that there is no such dependence.
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  42. Semantics of the Transitive Construction: Prototype Effects and Developmental Comparisons.Paul Ibbotson, Anna L. Theakston, Elena V. M. Lieven & Michael Tomasello - 2012 - Cognitive Science 36 (7):1268-1288.
    This paper investigates whether an abstract linguistic construction shows the kind of prototype effects characteristic of non-linguistic categories, in both adults and young children. Adapting the prototype-plus-distortion methodology of Franks and Bransford (1971), we found that whereas adults were lured toward false-positive recognition of sentences with prototypical transitive semantics, young children showed no such effect. We examined two main implications of the results. First, it adds a novel data point to a growing body of research in cognitive linguistics and construction (...)
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  43. Davidson's “Method of Truth” in Metaphysics.William G. Lycan - unknown
    Davidson made a strikingly distinctive and valuable contribution to the practice of ontology. It was a species of argument for the existence of things of one kind or another. It was inspired by Quine’s doctrine that “To be is to be the value of a bound variable,” but it combined that with Davidson’s own apparently antiQuinean views on semantics and logical form in natural language. Roughly: Suppose truth-conditional analysis of certain English sentences assigns them logical forms containing characteristic quantifiers, and (...)
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  44. Beyond Epistemology to Realms of Meaning.Walter B. Gulick - 1999 - Tradition and Discovery 26 (3):24-41.
    Ultimately Michael Polanyi moved from theorizing about reality in terms of three overlapping frameworks of analysis (personal knowing, evolution/ecology, and tacit knowing) to a yet more comprehensive framework of interpretation: meaning construction. An analysis of the dimensions of embodied, symbol drenched meaning construction suggests that the modernist tendency to tether reality to epistemological analysis be replaced by an exploration of three interpenetrating ontological regions: experiences of existential meaning, cultural forms of meaning, and external reality. In support of this view, I (...)
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  45. Expression and Meaning.B. J. - 1980 - Review of Metaphysics 33 (4):803-804.
  46. Semantic Analysis Without Reference to Abstract Entities.Rolf A. Eberle - 1978 - The Monist 61 (3):363-383.
    Alonzo Church has repeatedly argued that the semantic analysis of certain contexts requires reference to abstract entities of various kinds. The problem, arising from this argument for nominalists, will be examined first. Then we shall attempt to meet Church’s challenge by constructing and informally describing a semantics which was inspired by Nelson Goodman’s distinction between primary and secondary extensions. According to that semantics, no expression of the object language will make reference to any abstract or non-actual entity while the system (...)
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  47. “The Meaning of 'Meaning is Normative' ”.John Fennell - 2013 - Philosophical Investigations 36 (1):56-78.
    This paper defends the thesis that meaning is intrinsically normative. Recent anti‐normativist objectors have distinguished two versions of the thesis – correctness and prescriptivity – and have attacked both. In the first two sections, I defend the thesis against each of these attacks; in the third section, I address two further, closely related, anti‐normativist arguments against the normativity thesis and, in the process, clarify its sense by distinguishing a universalist and a contextualist reading of it. I argue that the anti‐normativist (...)
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  48. Logical Pluralism, Meaning-Variance, and VerbalDisputes.Ole Thomassen Hjortland - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):355-373.
    Logical pluralism has been in vogue since JC Beall and Greg Restall 2006 articulated and defended a new pluralist thesis. Recent criticisms such as Priest 2006a and Field 2009 have suggested that there is a relationship between their type of logical pluralism and the meaning-variance thesis for logic. This is the claim, often associated with Quine 1970, that a change of logic entails a change of meaning. Here we explore the connection between logical pluralism and meaning-variance, both in general and (...)
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  49. Malapropisms and Davidson's Theories of Literal Meaning.John Michael McGuire - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 6:93-97.
    In this paper I show that two conflicting theories of literal meaning can be found in Donald Davidson's philosophy of language. In his earlier writings, Davidson espoused the common sense idea that words have literal meanings independently of particular contexts of use. In his later writings, however, Davidson insisted that the literal meaning of a word is a function of the speaker's intentions in using it, from which it follows that words do not have literal meanings independently of particular contexts. (...)
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  50. The Lure of Linguistification.Kent Bach - unknown
    Think of linguistification by analogy with personification: attributing linguistic properties to nonlinguistic phenomena. For my purposes, it also includes attributing nonlinguistic properties to linguistic items, i.e., treating nonlinguistic properties as linguistic. Linguistification is widespread. It has reached epidemic proportions. It needs to be eradicated. That’s important because the process of communication is not simply a matter of one person putting a thought into words and another decoding them back into the same thought. Much of what a speaker means cannot be (...)
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