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  1. Epistemic Contextualism, Semantic Blindness and Content Unawareness.André J. Abath - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):593 - 597.
    It is held by many philosophers that it is a consequence of epistemic contextualism that speakers are typically semantically blind, that is, typically unaware of the propositions semantically expressed by knowledge attributions. In his ?Contextualism, Invariantism and Semantic Blindness? (this journal, 2009), Martin Montminy argues that semantic blindness is widespread in language, and not restricted to knowledge attributions, so it should not be considered problematic. I will argue that Montminy might be right about this, but that contextualists still face a (...)
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  2. Indexicals and Reference‐Shifting: Towards a Pragmatic Approach.Jonas Åkerman - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):117-152.
    I propose a pragmatic approach to the kind of reference-shifting occurring in indexicals as used in e.g. written notes and answering machine messages. I proceed in two steps. First, I prepare the ground by showing that the arguments against such a pragmatic approach raised in the recent literature fail. Second, I take a first few steps towards implementing this approach, by sketching a pragmatic theory of reference-shifting, and showing how it can handle cases of the relevant kind. While the immediate (...)
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  3. The Communication Desideratum and Theories of Indexical Reference.Jonas Åkerman - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (4):474–499.
    According to the communication desideratum (CD), a notion of semantic content must be adequately related to communication. In the recent debate on indexical reference, (CD) has been invoked in arguments against the view that intentions determine the semantic content of indexicals and demonstratives (intentionalism). In this paper, I argue that the interpretations of (CD) that these arguments rely on are questionable, and suggest an alternative interpretation, which is compatible with (strong) intentionalism. Moreover, I suggest an approach that combines elements of (...)
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  4. Hold the Context Fixed, Vagueness Still Remains.Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough - 2010 - In Sebastiano Moruzzi & Richard Dietz (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Oxford University Press. pp. 275--88.
    Contextualism about vagueness (hereafter ‘Contextualism’) is the view that vagueness consists in a particular species of context-sensitivity and that properly accommodating this fact into our semantic theory will yield a plausible solution to the sorites paradox.[1],[2] But Contextualism, as many commentators have noted, faces the following immediate objection: if we hold the context fixed, vagueness still remains, therefore vagueness is not a species of context-sensitivity. Call this ‘the simple objection’.[3] Absent a convincing reply to the simple objection, Contextualism is in (...)
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  5. Vagueness and Non-Indexical Contextualism.Jonas Åkerman & Patrick Greenough - 2009 - In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Contextualism concerning vagueness (hereafter ‘CV’) is a popular response to the puzzle of vagueness.[1] The goal in this paper is to uncover in what ways vagueness may be a particular species of context-sensitivity. The most promising form of CV turns out to be a version of socalled ‘Non-Indexical Contextualism’.[2] In §2, we sketch a generic form of CV (hereafter ‘GCV’). In §3, we distinguish between Truth CV and Content CV. A non-indexical form of CV is a form of Truth CV, (...)
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  6. Focus and Uninformativity in Yucatec Maya Questions.Scott AnderBois - 2012 - Natural Language Semantics 20 (4):349-390.
    Crosslinguistically, questions frequently make crucial use of morphosyntactic elements which also occur outside of questions. Chief among these are focus, disjunctions, and wh-words with indefinite semantics. This paper provides a compositional account of the semantics of wh-, alternative, and polar questions in Yucatec Maya (YM), which are composed primarily of these elements. Key to the account is a theory of disjunctions and indefinites (extending work by others) which recognizes the inherently inquisitive nature of these elements. While disjunctions and indefinites are (...)
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  7. Eléments Pour Une Approche Pragmatique de la Pertinence.Françoise Armengaud - 1982 - Philosophica 29.
  8. Philosophy Without Ambiguity: A Logico-Linguistic Essay.Jay David Atlas - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    This book expounds and defends a new conception of the relation between truth and meaning. Atlas argues that the sense of a sense-general sentence radically underdetermines its truth-conditional content. He applies this linguistic analysis to illuminate old and new philosophical problems of meaning, truth, falsity, negation, existence, presupposition, and implicature. In particular, he demonstrates how the concept of ambiguity has been misused and confused with other concepts of meaning, and how the interface between semantics and pragmatics has been misunderstood. The (...)
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  9. What is (Semantic) Contextualism?Kent Bach - unknown
    Sentences whose semantic contents seem to differ in different contexts, in virtue of containing expressions of such sorts as the following (there may be others).
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  10. Quantification, Qualification and Context a Reply to Stanley and Szabó.Kent Bach - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (2&3):262–283.
    We hardly ever mean exactly what we say. I don’t mean that we generally speak figuratively or that we’re generally insincere. Rather, I mean that we generally speak loosely, omitting words that could have made what we meant more explicit and letting our audience fill in the gaps. Language works far more efficiently when we do that. Literalism can have its virtues, as when we’re drawing up a contract, programming a computer, or writing a philosophy paper, but we generally opt (...)
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  11. Indexical Expressions.Yehoshua Bar-Hillel - 1954 - Mind 63 (251):359-379.
  12. The Coherence of Contextualism.Anne Bezuidenhout - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (1):1–10.
    Cappelen and Lepore (2005) begin their critique of contextualism with an anecdote about an exercise they do with their undergraduate students (who I take it are meant to be naïve subjects whose linguistic intuitions have not been contaminated by mistaken philosophical theories). The test is to ask students to categorize types of expressions. Students quickly get the hang of the idea that referring expressions (like indexicals and pronouns) belong to a single category. They’re then asked whether they think that common (...)
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  13. How to Do Things with (Recorded) Words.Claudia Bianchi - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):485-495.
    The aim of this paper is to evaluate which context determines the illocutionary force of written or recorded utterances—those involved in written texts, films and images, conceived as recordings that can be seen or heard in different occasions. More precisely, my paper deals with the “metaphysical” or constitutive role of context—as opposed to its epistemic or evidential role: my goal is to determine which context is semantically relevant in order to fix the illocutionary force of a speech act, as distinct (...)
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  14. 'Nobody Loves Me': Quantification and Context.Claudia Bianchi - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 130 (2):377 - 397.
    In my paper, I present two competing perspectives on the foundational problem (as opposed to the descriptive problem) of quantifier domain restriction: the objective perspective on context (OPC) and the intentional perspective on context (IPC). According to OPC, the relevant domain for a quantified sentence is determined by objective facts of the context of utterance. In contrast, according to IPC, we must consider certain features of the speaker’s intention in order to determine the proposition expressed. My goal is to offer (...)
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  15. Brogaard's Moral Contextualism.Lars Binderup - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):410–415.
    Brogaard's non-indexical version of moral contextualism has two related problems. It is unable to account for the function of truth-governed assertoric moral discourse, since it leaves two (semantically clearheaded) disputants without any incentive to resolve seemingly contradictory moral claims. The moral contextualist could explain why people do feel such an incentive by ascribing false beliefs about the semantic workings of their own language. But, secondly, this leaves Brogaard's moral contextualism looking weaker than a Mackie-style invariantist error theory about morals. The (...)
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  16. NASSLLI 2016 Dynamic Semantics (2): Anaphora.Maria Bittner - unknown
    Featured course on "Dynamic Semantics" at NASSLLI 2016. Day 2: Anaphora. Abstract: Cross-linguistic evidence shows that anaphora crucially involves context change. The logical representation system must be able to represent rank-based anaphora, because in every language the favorite anaphors -- e.g. Mandarin zeros, Kalaallisut inflections, English pronouns -- are restricted to refer to top-ranked antecedents (top-level anaphors, like Mandarin zeros or Kalaallisut inflections) or top- or 2nd-ranked antecedents (shallow anaphors, like English pronouns).
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  17. Towards a Radically Pragmatic Theory of If-Conditionals.Gunnar Björnsson - 2011 - In K. P. Turner (ed.), Making Semantics Pragmatic (CRiSPI, Vol. 24). Emerald.
    It is generally agreed that constructions of the form “if P, Q” are capable of conveying a number of different relations between antecedent and consequent, with pragmatics playing a central role in determining these relations. Controversy concerns what the conventional contribution of the if-clause is, how it constrains the pragmatic processes, and what those processes are. In this essay, I begin to argue that the conventional contribution of if-clauses to semantics is exhausted by the fact that these clauses introduce a (...)
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  18. Contextualism, Assessor Relativism, and Insensitive Assessments.Gunnar Björnsson & Alexander Almér - 2009 - Logique Et Analyse 52 (208):363-372.
    Recently, contextualism about epistemic modals and predicates of taste have come under fire from advocates of assessment relativistic analyses. Contextualism, they have argued, fails to account for what we call "felicitous insensitive assessments". In this paper, we provide one hitherto overlooked way in which contextualists can embrace the phenomenon by slightly modifying an assumption that has remained in the background in most of the debate over contextualism and relativism. Finally, we briefly argue that the resulting contextualist account is at least (...)
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  19. Metaethical Contextualism Defended.Gunnar Björnsson & Stephen Finlay - 2010 - Ethics 121 (1):7-36.
    We defend a contextualist account of deontic judgments as relativized both to (i) information and to (ii) standards or ends, against recent objections that turn on practices of moral disagreement. Kolodny & MacFarlane argue that information-relative contextualism cannot accommodate the connection between deliberation and advice; we suggest in response that they misidentify the basic concerns of deliberating agents. For pragmatic reasons, semantic assessments of normative claims sometimes are evaluations of propositions other than those asserted. Weatherson, Schroeder and others have raised (...)
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  20. Contrastivism in Philosophy.Martijn Blaauw (ed.) - 2012 - Routledge.
    This volume brings together state-of-the-art research on the contrastive treatment of philosophical concepts and questions, including knowledge, belief, free will, moral luck, Bayesian confirmation theory, causation, and explanation.
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  21. Saying Nothing : In Defence of Syntactic and Semantic Underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2016 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    According to the Encoding Model, speakers communicate by encoding the propositions they want to communicate into sentences, in accordance with the conventions of a language L. By uttering a sentence that encodes p, the speaker says that p. Communication is successful only if the audience identifies the proposition that the speaker intends to communicate, which is achieved by decoding the uttered sentence in accordance with the conventions of L. A consequence of the Encoding Model has been the proliferation of underdetermination (...)
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  22. Wittgenstein Vs. Semantic Contextualism.Jason Bridges - manuscript
    Semantic contextualism is a view about the meanings of utterances. The relevant notion of meaning is that of what is said by an utterance, as it is sometimes put, of the content of the utterance. Semantic contextualism (which I will henceforth simply label “contextualism”) holds that the content of an utterance is shaped in far-reaching and unobvious ways by the circumstances, the context, in which it is uttered. Two utterances of the same sentence might vary in content as a result (...)
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  23. Wittgenstein Vs Contextualism.Jason Bridges - 2010 - In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
    A critique of attempts by Charles Travis and others to read contextualism back into Philosophical Investigations. The central interpretive claim is that this reading is not only unsupported; it gets Wittgenstein's intent, in the parts of the text at issue, precisely backwards. The focus of the chapter is on Wittgenstein's treatment of explanation, understanding, proper names, and family-resemblance concepts.
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  24. Definite Descriptions and Context-Dependence.Alan Brinton - 1977 - Noûs 11 (4):397-407.
  25. Moral Contextualism and Moral Relativism.Berit Brogaard - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):385 - 409.
    Moral relativism provides a compelling explanation of linguistic data involving ordinary moral expressions like 'right' and 'wrong'. But it is a very radical view. Because relativism relativizes sentence truth to contexts of assessment it forces us to revise standard linguistic theory. If, however, no competing theory explains all of the evidence, perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift. However, I argue that a version of moral contextualism can account for the same data as relativism without relativizing sentence truth to (...)
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  26. Contextualism, Metaphor, and What is Said.Elisabeth Camp - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):280–309.
    On a familiar and prima facie plausible view of metaphor, speakers who speak metaphorically say one thing in order to mean another. A variety of theorists have recently challenged this view; they offer criteria for distinguishing what is said from what is merely meant, and argue that these support classifying metaphor within 'what is said'. I consider four such criteria, and argue that when properly understood, they support the traditional classification instead. I conclude by sketching how we might extract a (...)
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  27. Review: Josef Stern, Metaphor in Context. [REVIEW]Elisabeth Camp - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):715-731.
    Metaphor is a crucially context-dependent linguistic phenomenon. This fact was not clearly recognized until some time in the 1970’s. Until then, most theorists assumed that a sentence must have a fixed set of metaphorical meanings, if it had any at all. Often, they also assumed that metaphoricity was the product of grammatical deviance, in the form of a category mistake. To compensate for this deviance, they thought, at least one of the sentence’s constituent terms underwent a meaning-changing ‘metaphorical twist’, which (...)
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  28. The Creative Interpreter: Content Relativism and Assertion.Herman Cappelen - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):23 - 46.
    Philosophers of language and linguists tend to think of the interpreter as an essentially non-creative participant in the communicative process. There’s no room, in traditional theories, for the view that correctness of interpretation depends in some essential way on the interpreter. As a result, there’s no room for the possibility that while P is the correct interpretation of an utterance, u, for one interpreter, P* is the correct interpretation of that utterance for another interpreter. Recently, a number of theorists have, (...)
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  29. Content Relativism and Semantic Blindness.Herman Cappelen - 2008 - In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Max Koelbel (eds.), Relative Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 265-86.
    For some relativists some of the time the evidence for their view is a puzzling data pattern: On the one hand, there's evidence that the terms in question exhibit some kind of content stability across contexts. On the other hand, there's evidence that their contents vary from one context of use to another. The challenge is to reconcile these two sets of data. Truth relativists claim that their theory can do so better than contextualism and invariantism. Truth relativists, in effect, (...)
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  30. The Inessential Indexical: On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Cappelen and Dever present a forceful challenge to the standard view that perspective, and in particular the perspective of the first person, is a philosophically deep aspect of the world. Their goal is not to show that we need to explain indexical and other perspectival phenomena in different ways, but to show that the entire topic is an illusion.
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  31. Reply to Ken Taylor.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - manuscript
    In Insensitive Semantics (INS) and several earlier articles (see C&L 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004) we appeal to a range of procedures for testing whether an expression is semantically context sensitive. We argue that claims to the effect that an expression, e, is semantically context sensitivity should be made only after checking whether e passes these tests. We use these tests to criticize those we classify as Radical and Moderate Contextualist (Taylor is one of our targets in the latter category.).
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  32. Quantification and Conversation.Chad Carmichael - 2012 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Reference and Referring: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy. MIT Press. pp. 305-323.
    Relative to an ordinary context, an utterance of the sentence ‘Everything is in the car’ communicates a proposition about a restricted domain. But how does this work? One possibility is that quantifier expressions like 'everything' are context sensitive and range over different domains in different contexts. Another possibility is that quantifier expressions are not context sensitive, but have a fixed, absolutely general meaning, and ordinary utterances communicate a restricted content via Gricean mechanisms. I argue that, contrary to received opinion, the (...)
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  33. Relative Truth.G. Carpintero & M. Koelbel (eds.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
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  34. Intensionality and Context Change.Gennaro Chierchia - 1994 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 3 (2):141-168.
    It is arguably desirable to have a theory of meaning that (i) does not identify propositions with sets of worlds, (ii) enables to capture the dynamic character of semantic interpretation and (iii) provides the basis for a semantic program that incorporates and extends the achievements of Montague semantics. A theory of properties and propositions that meets these desiderata is developed and several applications to the semantic analysis of natural languages are explored.
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  35. A Note on Belief Reports and Context Dependence.Tadeusz Ciecierski - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-18.
    The aim of this paper is to pose a problem for theories that claim that belief reports are context dependent. Firstly, I argue that the claim is committed to verbalism, a theory that derives the context sensitivity of belief reports from the context sensitivity of the psychological verbs used in such reports. Secondly, I argue that verbalism is not an attractive theoretical option because it is in conflict with the non-proto-rigidity of verbs like ‘believe’. Finally, I describe various consequences that (...)
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  36. Three Challenges for Indexicalism.Lenny Clapp - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (4):435-465.
    Indexicalism is a strategy for defending truth-conditional semantics from under-determination arguments. According to indexicalism the class of indexical expressions includes not only the obvious indexicals, e.g. demonstratives and personal pronouns, but also unobvious indexical expressions, expressions which allegedly have been discovered to be indexicals. This paper argues that indexicalism faces significant obstacles that have yet to be overcome. The issue that divides indexicalism and truth-conditional pragmatics is first clarified. And then three general problems for indexicalism are presented, and some potential (...)
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  37. Binding Arguments and Hidden Variables.Jonathan Cohen & S. C. Rickless - 2007 - Analysis 67 (1):65-71.
    o (2000), 243). In particular, the idea is that binding interactions between the relevant expressions and natural lan- guage quantifiers are best explained by the hypothesis that those expressions harbor hidden but bindable variables. Recently, however, Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore have rejected such binding arguments for the presence of hid- den variables on the grounds that they overgeneralize — that, if sound, such arguments would establish the presence of hidden variables in all sorts of ex- pressions where it is (...)
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  38. Pragmatist Pragmatics: The Functional Context of Utterances.John Collier - 2005 - Philosophica 75.
    Formal pragmatics plays an important, though secondary, role in modern analytical philosophy of language: its aim is to explain how context can affect the meaning of certain special kinds of utterances. During recent years, the adequacy of formal tools has come under attack, often leading to one or another form of relativism or antirealism.1 Our aim will be to extend the critique to formal pragmatics while showing that sceptical conclusions can be avoided by developing a different approach to the issues. (...)
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  39. Gerald Vision and Indexicals.Julia Colterjohn & Duncan MacIntosh - 1986 - Analysis 47 (1):58-60.
    The indexical thesis says that the indexical terms, “I”, “here” and “now” necessarily refer to the person, place and time of utterance, respectively, with the result that the sentence, “I am here now” cannot express a false proposition. Gerald Vision offers supposed counter-examples: he says, “I am here now”, while pointing to the wrong place on a map; or he says it in a note he puts in the kitchen for his wife so she’ll know he’s home even though he’s (...)
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  40. Contextualism, Minimalism, and Situationalism.Eros Corazza - 2007 - Pragmatics and Cognition 15 (1):115-137.
    After discussing some difficulties that contextualism and minimalism face, this paper presents a new account of the linguistic exploitation of context, situationalism. Unlike the former accounts, situationalism captures the idea that the main intuitions underlying the debate concern not the identity of propositions expressed but rather how truth-values are situation-dependent. The truth-value of an utterance depends on the situation in which the proposition expressed is evaluated. Hence, like in minimalism, the proposition expressed can be truthevaluable without being enriched or expanded. (...)
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  41. Perspective and Context in the Meaning-Situation.Gustavus Watts Cunningham - 1935 - University of California Press.
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  42. Testimony, Recovery and Plausible Deniability: A Response to Peet.Alex Davies - forthcoming - Episteme.
    According to telling based views of testimony (TBVs), B has reason to believe that p when A tells B that p because A thereby takes public responsibility for B's subsequent belief that p. Andrew Peet presents a new argument against TBVs. He argues that insofar as A uses context-sensitive expressions to express p, A doesn't take public responsibility for B's belief that p. Since context-sensitivity is widespread, the kind of reason TBVs say we have to believe what we're told, is (...)
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  43. How to Silence Content with Porn, Context and Loaded Questions.Alex Davies - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2).
    Catharine MacKinnon claimed that pornography silence's women's speech where this speech is protected by free speech legislation. MacKinnon's claim was attacked as confused because, so it seemed, pornography is not the kind of thing that can silence speech. Using ideas drawn from John Austin's account of speech acts, Rae Langton defended MacKinnon's claim against this attack by showing how speech can, in principle, be silenced by pornography. However, Langton's defence requires us to deviate from a widely held understanding of what (...)
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  44. Off-Target Responses to Occasion-Sensitivity.Alex Davies - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):499-523.
    In the literature on linguistic context-sensitivity, a recurrent move has been made with the intention of attacking Charles Travis's occasion-sensitivity. The move is to provide a semantic analysis of the meaning of an expression which makes the content of that expression context sensitive but without providing any reason to think that the meaning of the expression is a character. I argue that this move is off-target. Such proposals are entirely consistent with occasion-sensitivity and so don't constitute an attack on it.
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  45. Context-Sensitivity.Tom Donaldson & Ernie Lepore - unknown
    (1) I’m Spartacus! [Said by Spartacus] (2) I’m Spartacus! [Said by Antoninus] What Spartacus said was true, and what Antoninus said was not. Yet the two slaves uttered the exact same sentence, so how can this be? Admittedly, the puzzle is not very hard, and its solution is uncontroversial. The first person pronoun “I” is – to use a technical term – context sensitive. When Spartacus uses it, it refers to Spartacus; when Antoninus uses it, it refers to Antoninus. So (...)
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  46. Billboards, Bombs and Shotgun Weddings.Andy Egan - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):251-279.
    It's a presupposition of a very common way of thinking about contextsensitivity in language that the semantic contribution made by a bit of context-sensitive vocabulary is sensitive only to features of the speaker's situation at the time of utterance. I argue that this is false, and that we need a theory of context-dependence that allows for content to depend not just on the features of the utterance's origin, but also on features of its destination. There are cases in which a (...)
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  47. One Ought Too Many.Stephen Finlay & Justin Snedegar - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):102-124.
    Some philosophers hold that „ought‟ is ambiguous between a sense expressing a propositional operator and a sense expressing a relation between an agent and an action. We defend the opposing view that „ought‟ always expresses a propositional operator against Mark Schroeder‟s recent objections that it cannot adequately accommodate an ambiguity in „ought‟ sentences between evaluative and deliberative readings, predicting readings of sentences that are not actually available. We show how adopting an independently well-motivated contrastivist semantics for „ought‟, according to which (...)
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  48. Dynamic Context Generation for Natural Language Understanding: A Multifaceted Knowledge Approach.James Franklin & S. W. K. Chan - 2003 - IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part A 33:23-41.
    We describe a comprehensive framework for text un- derstanding, based on the representation of context. It is designed..
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  49. Expressivism, Relativism, and the Analytic Equivalence Test.María José Frápolli & Neftalí Villanueva - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    The purpose of this paper is to show that, pace (Field, 2009), MacFarlane’s assessment relativism and expressivism should be sharply distinguished. We do so by arguing that relativism and expressivism exemplify two very different approaches to context-dependence. Relativism, on the one hand, shares with other contemporary approaches a bottom–up, building block, model, while expressivism is part of a different tradition, one that might include Lewis’ epistemic contextualism and Frege’s content individuation, with which it shares an organic model to deal with (...)
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  50. Presuppositions as Anaphoric Duality Enablers.Christopher Gauker - 2016 - Topoi 35:133-144.
    The key to an adequate account of presupposition projection is to accommodate the fact that the presuppositions of a sentence cannot always be read off the sentence but can often be identified only on the basis of prior utterances in the conversation in which the sentence is uttered. In addition, an account of presupposition requires a three-valued semantics of assertibility and deniability in a context. Presuppositions can be explicated as sentences that belong to the conversation and the assertibility of which (...)
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