This paper in revised form appears in Facta Philosophica 5:1 (2003) 4975. It addresses some problems about intensional transitives raised by Moltmann and Zimmerman, corrects some oversights in my paper in The Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (S.V. for 2002), and adds new material on binary vs. tripartite construals of “relational/notional”, bridge inferences, weakening inferences, and the relevance problem. Its other sections are, like the PASS paper, concerned with the conjunctive force of disjunctive NP complements of intensional transitive verbs: “Smith (...) needs a good lawyer or a friendly judge” on its normal reading implies both “a good lawyer could help him” AND “a friendly judge could help him”. The reading on which “Smith needs a good lawyer or a friendly judge” is implied just by “Smith needs a good lawyer” (and so doesn’t imply a friendly judge could help him) is much less preferred, except when the disjunction is followed by a coda such as “and he doesn’t care which”. (shrink)
Prior’s puzzle is standardly taken to be the puzzle of why, given the assumption that that-clauses denote propositions, substitution of “the proposition that P” for “that P” within the complements of many propositional attitude verbs is invalid. I show that Prior’s puzzle is much more general than is ordinarily supposed. There are two variants on the substitutional form of the puzzle—a quantificational variant and a pronominal variant—and all three forms of the puzzle arise in a wide range of grammatical positions, (...) rather than merely in the complements of propositional attitude verbs. The generalized puzzle shows that a range of proposed solutions to the original puzzle fail, or are radically incomplete, and also reveals the connections between Prior’s puzzle and debates over the nature of semantic types and higher-order quantification. I go on to develop a novel, higher-order solution to the generalized form of the puzzle, and I argue that this higher-approach is superior to its first-order alternatives. (shrink)
There is good reason to think that, in every case of perceptual consciousness, there is something of which we are conscious; but there is also good reason to think that, in some cases of perceptual consciousness—for instance, hallucinations—there is nothing of which we are conscious. This paper resolves this inconsistency—which we call the presentation problem—by (a) arguing that ‘conscious of’ and related expressions function as intensional transitive verbs and (b) defending a particular semantic approach to such verbs, on which they (...) have readings that lack direct objects or themes. The paper further argues that this approach serves not only as a linguistic proposal about the semantics of ‘conscious of’, but also as a proposal about the metaphysics of conscious states. (shrink)
In this paper I present an empirical solution to the puzzle of Macbeth's dagger. The puzzle of Macbeth's dagger is the question of whether, in having his fatal vision of a dagger, Macbeth sees a dagger. I answer this question by addressing a more general one: the question of whether perceptual verbs are intensional transitive verbs (ITVs). I present seven experiments, each of which tests a collection of perceptual verbs for one of the three features characteristic of ITVs. One of (...) these features is Nonexistence: the failure of sentences involving transitive verbs to entail the existence of their direct objects. The experiments reveal that with respect to all three of these features, "see" behaves much more like a paradigmatically extensional verb than an intensional one. But surprisingly, unlike "see", "perceive" behaves much more like a paradigmatically intensional verb. This shows that the category of perceptual verbs is not uniform with respect to the features of intensionality; while Macbeth does not see a dagger, he may still perceive one. (shrink)
Ramsification is a well-known method of defining theoretical terms that figures centrally in a wide range of debates in metaphysics. Prior's puzzle is the puzzle of why, given the assumption that that-clauses denote propositions, substitution of "the proposition that P" for "that P" within the complements of many propositional attitude verbs sometimes fails to preserve truth, and other times fails to preserve grammaticality. On the surface, Ramsification and Prior's puzzle appear to have little to do with each other. But Prior's (...) puzzle is much more general than is ordinarily appreciated, and Ramsification requires a solution to the generalized form of Prior's puzzle. Without such a solution, a wide range of theories will either fail to imply their Ramsey sentences, or have Ramsey sentences that are ill-formed. As a consequence, definitions of theoretical terms given using the Ramsey sentence will be either incorrect or nonsensical. I present a partial solution to the puzzle that requires making use of a neo-Davidsonian language for scientific theorizing, but the would-be Ramsifier still faces serious challenges. (shrink)
The many-property problem has traditionally been taken to show that the adverbial theory of perception is untenable. This paper first shows that several widely accepted views concerning the nature of perception---including both representational and non-representational views---likewise face the many-property problem. It then presents a solution to the many-property problem for these views, but goes on to show how this solution can be adapted to provide a novel, fully compositional solution to the many-property problem for adverbialism. Thus, with respect to the (...) many-property problem, adverbialism and several widely accepted views in the philosophy of perception are on a par, and the problem is solved. (shrink)
This paper will focus on a philosophically significant construction whose semantics brings together two important notions in Kit Fine’s philosophy, the notion of truthmaking and the notion of a variable embodiment, or its extension, namely what I call a ‘variable object’. This is the construction of definite NPs like 'the number of people that can fit into the bus', 'the book John needs to write', and 'the gifted mathematician John claims to be'. Such NPs are analysed as standing for variable (...) objects, which are part of the 'shallow', construction-driven ontology of natural language, yet are real. (shrink)
This paper aims to shed new light on certain philosophical theories of perceptual experience by examining the semantics of perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees an apple.” I start with the assumption, recently defended elsewhere, that perceptual ascriptions lend themselves to intensional readings. In the first part of the paper, I defend three theses regarding such readings: I) intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions ascribe phenomenal properties, II) perceptual verbs are not ambiguous between intensional and extensional readings, and III) intensional perceptual (...) ascriptions have a relational form. The second part of the paper describes the implications of I-III for theories of perceptual experience. I argue that I-III support and reconcile the three main views of perceptual experience, relationalism, disjunctivism, and representationalism. However, I-III leave open at least one important point of contention: particularism, the view that we experience external objects. I conclude by exploring the implications of accepting or denying particularism given I-III. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop and defend a new adverbial theory of perception. I first present a semantics for direct-object perceptual reports that treats their object positions as supplying adverbial modifiers, and I show how this semantics definitively solves the many-property problem for adverbialism. My solution is distinctive in that it articulates adverbialism from within a well-established formal semantic framework and ties adverbialism to a plausible semantics for perceptual reports in English. I then go on to present adverbialism as a (...) theory of the metaphysics of perception. The metaphysics I develop treats adverbial perception as a directed activity: it is an activity with success conditions. When perception is successful, the agent bears a relation to a concrete particular, but perception need not be successful; this allows perception to be fundamentally non-relational. The result is a novel formulation of adverbialism that eliminates the need for representational contents, but also treats successful and unsuccessful perceptual events as having a fundamental common factor. (shrink)
In this paper I show that we have strong empirical and theoretical reasons to treat the verbs we use in our semantic theorizing—particularly ‘refers to ’, ‘applies to ’, and ‘is true of ’—as intensional transitive verbs. Stating our semantic theories with intensional vocabulary allows us to partially reconcile two competing approaches to the nature and subject-matter of semantics: the Chomskian approach, on which semantics is non-relational, internalistic, and concerns the psychology of language users, and the Lewisian approach, on which (...) semantics is fully relational, specifies truth-conditions, and has metaphysical implications. ITVs have two readings: an intensional, de dicto reading, and a relational, de re reading. A semantic theory stated with the de dicto readings of our semantic verbs captures the core insights of the Chomskian approach to semantics, in part because it allows us to assign extremely fine-grained semantic values to expressions, even when those expressions are empty. On the other hand, the de re reading yields a theory that is fully relational, and issues in truth-conditions. The resulting theories are related—and compatible—in that they are expressed by two different readings of the very same semantic vocabulary, and plausibly, the distinction between these two readings is one of scope. (shrink)
Mark Sainsbury presents an original account of how language works when describing mental states, based on a new theory of what is involved in attributing attitudes like thinking, hoping, and wanting. He offers solutions to longstanding puzzles about how we can direct our thought to such a diversity of things, including things that do not exist.
This paper defends the view that perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees a cat” are sometimes intensional. I offer a range of examples of intensional perceptual ascriptions, respond to objections to intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions, and show how widely accepted semantic accounts of intensionality can explain the key features of intensional perceptual ascriptions.
This dissertation lays the foundation for a new theory of non-relational intentionality. The thesis is divided into an introduction and three main chapters, each of which serves as an essential part of an overarching argument. The argument yields, as its conclusion, a new account of how language and thought can exhibit intentionality intrinsically, so that representation can occur in the absence of some thing that is represented. The overarching argument has two components: first, that intentionality can be profi tably studied (...) through examination of the semantics of intensional transitive verbs (ITVs), and second, that providing intensional transitive verbs with a nonrelational semantics will serve to provide us with (at least the beginnings of) a non-relational theory of intentionality. This approach is a generalization of Anscombe's views on perception. Anscombe held that perceptual verbs such as "see" and "perceive" were ITVs, and that understanding the semantics of their object positions could help us to solve the problems of hallucination and illusion, and provide a theory of perception more generally. I propose to apply this strategy to intentional states and the puzzles of intentionality more generally, and so Anscombe's influence will be felt all through the dissertation. -/- In the first chapter, titled "Semantic Verbs are Intensional Transitives", I argue that semantic verbs such as "refers to", "applies to", and "is true of" have all of the features of intensional transitive verbs, and discuss the consequences of this claim for semantic theory and the philosophy of language. One theoretically enriching consequence of this view is that it allows us to perspicuously express, and partially reconcile two opposing views on the nature and subject-matter of semantics: the Chomskian view, on which semantics is an internalistic enterprise concerning speakers' psychologies, and the Lewisian view, on which semantics is a fully externalistic enterprise issuing in theorems about how the world must look for our natural language sentences to be true. Intensional Transitive Verbs have two readings: a de dicto reading and a de re reading; the de dicto reading of ITVs is plausibly a nonrelational reading, and the intensional features peculiar to this reading make it suitable for expressing a Chomskian, internalist semantic program. On the other hand, the de re reading is fully relational, and make it suitable for expressing the kinds of word-world relations essential to the Lewisian conception of semantics. And since the de dicto and de re readings are plausibly related as two distinct scopal readings of the very same semantic postulates, we can see these two conceptions of semantics as related by two scopal readings of the very same semantic postulates. -/- In chapter two, titled "Hallucination and the New Problem of Empty Names", I argue that the problem of hallucination and the problem of empty names are, at bottom, the same problem. I argue for this by reconstructing the problem of empty names in way that is novel, but implicit in much of the discussion on empty names. I then show how, once recast in this light, the two problems are structurally identical down to an extremely fine level of granularity, and also substantially overlap in terms of their content. If the problems are identical in the way I propose, then we should expect that their spaces of solutions are also identical, and there is signi cant support for this conclusion. However, there are some proposed solutions to the problem of hallucination that have been overlooked as potential solutions to the problem of empty names, and this realization opens new non-relational approaches to the problem of empty names, and to the nature of meaning more generally. -/- In chapter three, titled "Intensionality is Additional Phrasal Unity", I argue for a novel approach to the semantics of intensional contexts. At the heart of my proposal is the Quinean view that intensional contexts should, from the perspective of the semantics, be treated as units, with the material in them contributing to the formation of a single predicate. However, this proposal is subject to a number of objections, including the criticism that taken at face value, this would render intensional contexts, which seem to be fully productive, non-compositional. I begin by discussing the concept of the unity of the phrase, and pointing to various ways that phrases can gain additional unity. I then proposes that the intensionality of intensional transitive verbs is best construed as a form of semantic incorporation; ITVs, on their intensional readings, meet all of the criteria for qualifying as incorporating the nominals in their object positions. I then give a semantics for ITVs that builds on existing views of the semantics of incorporation structures, and gesture at how this can be extended to intensional clausal verbs, including the so-called propositional attitude verbs. (shrink)
Stereotypes shape inferences in philosophical thought, political discourse, and everyday life. These inferences are routinely made when thinkers engage in language comprehension or production: We make them whenever we hear, read, or formulate stories, reports, philosophical case-descriptions, or premises of arguments – on virtually any topic. These inferences are largely automatic: largely unconscious, non-intentional, and effortless. Accordingly, they shape our thought in ways we can properly understand only by complementing traditional forms of philosophical analysis with experimental methods from psycholinguistics. This (...) paper seeks, first, to bring out the wider philosophical relevance of stereotypical inference, well beyond familiar topics like gender and race. Second, we wish to provide philosophers with a toolkit to experimentally study these ubiquitous inferences and what intuitions they may generate. This paper explains what stereotypes are, and why they matter to current and traditional concerns in philosophy – experimental, analytic, and applied. It then assembles a psycholinguistic toolkit and demonstrates through two studies how potentially questionnaire-based measures can be combined with process measures to garner evidence for specific stereotypical inferences and study when they ‘go through’ and influence our thinking. (shrink)
Propositionalists hold that, fundamentally, all attitudes are propositional attitudes. A number of philosophers have recently called the propositionalist thesis into question. It has been argued, successfully I believe, that there are attitudes that are of or about things but which do not have a propositional content concerning those things. If correct, our theories of mind will include non-propositional attitudes as well as propositional attitudes. In light of this, Sinhababu’s recent attack on anti-propositionalists is noteworthy. The present paper aims to sharpen (...) his worries and show that they fail for a range of reasons. Besides merely offering a reply, considering his challenges provides an opportunity to add clarity to this emerging area of research and it allows one to strengthen the case against propositionalism more generally. (shrink)
The question whether natural language permits quantification over intentional objects as the ‘nonexistent’ objects of thought is the topic of a major philosophical controversy, as is the status of intentional objects as such. This paper will argue that natural language does reflect a particular notion of intentional object and in particular that certain types of natural language constructions (generally disregarded in the philosophical literature) cannot be analysed without positing intentional objects. At the same time, those intentional objects do not come (...) for free; rather they are strictly dependent on intentional acts that generally need to have a presence, in one way or another, in the semantic structure of the sentence. (shrink)
I start out by reviewing the semantics of ‘seem’. As ‘seem’ is a subject-raising verb, ‘it seems’ can be treated as a sentential operator. I look at the semantic and logical properties of ‘it seems’. I argue that ‘it seems’ is a hyperintensional and contextually flexible operator. The operator distributes over conjunction but not over disjunction, conditionals or semantic entailments. I further argue that ‘it seems’ does not commute with negation and does not agglomerate with conjunction. I then show that (...) the mental states expressed by perceptual uses of ‘seem’ have non-conceptual, yet perspectival contents. In the final part of the paper I argue that while the content of the mental states expressed by perceptual uses of ‘seem’ are non-conceptual, having a mental state of this type requires possessing conceptual abilities corresponding to what the mental state represents. (shrink)
This chapter gives a truthmaker-based account of the semantics of 'reifying' quantifiers like 'something' when they act as complements of intensional transitive verbs ('need', 'look for'). It argues that such quantifiers range over 'variable satisfiers' of the attitudinal object described by the verb (e.g. the need or the search).
Most contemporary philosophical discussions of intentionality start and end with a treatment of the propositional attitudes. In fact, many theorists hold that all attitudes are propositional attitudes. Our folk-psychological ascriptions suggest, however, that there are non-propositional attitudes: I like Sally, my brother fears snakes, everyone loves my grandmother, and Rush Limbaugh hates Obama. I argue that things are as they appear: there are non-propositional attitudes. More specifically, I argue that there are attitudes that relate individuals to non-propositional objects and do (...) so not in virtue of relating them to propositions. I reach this conclusion by not only showing that attempted analyses of apparently non-propositional attitudes in terms of the propositional fail, but that some non-propositional attitudes don’t even supervene on propositional attitudes. If this is correct, then the common discussions of intentionality that address only propositional attitudes are incomplete and those who hold that all intentional states are propositional are mistaken. (shrink)
In Attitude Problems, I gave an account of opacity in the complement of intensional transitive verbs that combined neo-Davidsonian event-semantics with a hidden-indexical account of substitution failure. In this paper, I extend the account to clausal verbs.
A verb is transitive iff it usually occurs with a direct object, and in such occurrences it is said to occur transitively . Thus ‘ate’ occurs transitively in ‘I ate the meat and left the vegetables’, but not in ‘I ate then left’ (perhaps it is not the same verb ‘left’ in these two examples, but it seems to be the same ‘ate’). A verb is intensional if the verb phrase (VP) it forms with its complement is anomalous in at (...) least one of three ways: (i) interchanging expressions in the complement referring to the same entity can change the truth-value of the sentence embedding the VP; (ii) the VP admits of a special “unspecific” reading if it contains a quantifier, or a certain type of quantifier; and (iii) the normal existential commitments of names and existential quantifiers in the complement are suspended even when the embedding sentence is negation-free. (shrink)
The complement of intensional transitive verbs, like any nonreferential complement, can be replaced by a ‘special quantifier’ or ‘special pronoun’ such as 'something', 'the same thing', or 'what'. In this paper, I will defend the ‘Nominalization Theory’ of special quantifiers against a range of apparent counterexamples involving intensional transitive verbs.
My commentators point to respects in which the picture provided in Reference without Referents is incomplete. The picture provided no account of how sentences constructed from intensional verbs can be true when one of the referring expressions fails to refer. And it gave an incomplete, and possibly misleading, account of how to understand certain serious uses of fictional names, as in "Anna Karenina is more intelligent than Emma Bovary" and "Anna Karenina does not exist". In the present response, I indicate (...) how I would now wish to make good these deficiencies. The truth of sentences constructed from intensional verbs can be explained in terms of the truth of sentences that are unproblematic for RWR, for example, sentences dominated by operators expressing propositional attitudes. Reflection on the way in which we can temporarily accept commitments we do not in fact share leads to a more nuanced account of serious uses of fictional names, some of which manifest precisely such a temporary acceptance. /// Mis comentadores señalan aspectos en los que la propuesta de Reference without Referents es incompleta: no ofrecía una explicación de cómo oraciones construidas con verbos intensionales pueden ser verdaderas cuando una de las expresiones referenciales no refiere; y dio una explicación incompleta, y quizás engañosa, de cómo entender ciertos usos serios de nombres de ficción como en "Anna Karenina es más inteligente que Emma Bovary" y "Anna Karenina no existe". En esta respuesta indico cómo quiero ahora subsanar estas deficiencias. La verdad de las oraciones construidas con verbos intensionales puede explicarse en términos de la verdad de oraciones que no son problemáticas para la explicación de Reference without Referents, por ejemplo, oraciones dominadas por operadores que expresan actitudes proposicionales. Una reflexión sobre cómo podemos aceptar temporalmente compromisos que de hecho no compartimos conduce a una explicación más matizada de los usos serios de los nombres de ficción, algunos de los cuales manifiestan precisamente esa aceptación temporal. (shrink)
Ascriptions of mental states to oneself and others give rise to many interesting logical and semantic problems. Attitude Problems presents an original account of mental state ascriptions that are made using intensional transitive verbs such as 'want', 'seek', 'imagine', and 'worship'. Forbes offers a theory of how such verbs work that draws on ideas from natural language semantics, philosophy of language, and aesthetics.
The paper is about the interpretation of opaque verbs like “seek”, “owe”, and “resemble” which allow for unspecific readings of their (indefinite) objects. It is shown that the following two observations create a problem for semantic analysis: (a) The opaque position is upward monotone: “John seeks a unicorn” implies “John seeks an animal”, given that “unicorn” is more specific than “animal”. (b) Indefinite objects of opaque verbs allow for higher-order, or “underspecific”, readings: “Jones is looking for something Smith is looking (...) for” can express that there is something unspecific that both Jones and Smith are looking for. Given (a) and (b), it would seem that the following inference is hard to escape, if the premisses are construed unspecifically and the conclusion is taken on its under- specific reading: Jones is looking for a sweater. Smith is looking for a pen. Smith is looking for something Jones is looking for. (shrink)
Sententialism is the view that intensional positions in natural languages occur within clausal complements only. According to proponents of this view, intensional transitive verbs such as 'want', 'seek' or 'resemble' are actually propositional attitude verbs in disguise. I argue that 'conceive' cannot fit this mould: conceiving-of is not reducible to conceiving-that. I offer a new diagnosis of where Berkeley's 'master argument' goes astray, analysing what is odd about saying that Hylas conceives a tree which is not conceived. A sententialist semantics (...) cannot account for the absurdity in attitude ascriptions of this type: we need to acknowledge irreducibly non-propositional conceiving. (shrink)
In this paper I propose and defend a semantically based account of the distribution of DPs in existential there-sentences in English in opposition to the pragmatic account proposed in Zucchi (1995). The two analyses share many features, making it possible to study variation along the semantics/pragmatics dimension while holding the rest constant.
[Graeme Forbes] In I, I summarize the semantics for the relational/notional distinction for intensional transitives developed in Forbes (2000b). In II-V I pursue issues about logical consequence which were either unsatisfactorily dealt with in that paper or, more often, not raised at all. I argue that weakening inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a gorgon', are valid, but that disjunction inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon or an (...) immortal gorgon', are invalid. Since 'a gorgon' and 'a mortal gorgon or an immortal gorgon' are extensionally and intensionally the same quantifier, it is not completely trivial to arrange the semantics of intensional transitives so that this classification of the inferences is obtained. (This paper is an abridged version of Forbes (2001a); the latter will be incorporated into a forthcoming monograph, Attitude Problems.) /// [Jennifer Saul] This paper discusses the question of which verbs are intensional transitives. In particular, I ask which verbs Forbes should take to be intensional transitives. I argue that it is very difficult to arrive at a clear and plausible understanding of what an intensional transitive is-making it difficult to answer these questions. I end by briefly raising some questions about the usefulness of the category of intensional transitives. (shrink)
[Graeme Forbes] In I, I summarize the semantics for the relational/notional distinction for intensional transitives developed in Forbes. In II-V I pursue issues about logical consequence which were either unsatisfactorily dealt with in that paper or, more often, not raised at all. I argue that weakening inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a gorgon', are valid, but that disjunction inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon or an immortal (...) gorgon', are invalid. Since 'a gorgon' and 'a mortal gorgon or an immortal gorgon' are extensionally and intensionally the same quantifier, it is not completely trivial to arrange the semantics of intensional transitives so that this classification of the inferences is obtained. ; the latter will be incorporated into a forthcoming monograph, Attitude Problems.) /// [Jennifer Saul] This paper discusses the question of which verbs are intensional transitives. In particular, I ask which verbs Forbes should take to be intensional transitives. I argue that it is very difficult to arrive at a clear and plausible understanding of what an intensional transitive is-making it difficult to answer these questions. I end by briefly raising some questions about the usefulness of the category of intensional transitives. (shrink)
[Graeme Forbes] In I, I summarize the semantics for the relational/notional distinction for intensional transitives developed in Forbes. In II-V I pursue issues about logical consequence which were either unsatisfactorily dealt with in that paper or, more often, not raised at all. I argue that weakening inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a gorgon', are valid, but that disjunction inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon or an immortal (...) gorgon', are invalid. Since 'a gorgon' and 'a mortal gorgon or an immortal gorgon' are extensionally and intensionally the same quantifier, it is not completely trivial to arrange the semantics of intensional transitives so that this classification of the inferences is obtained. ; the latter will be incorporated into a forthcoming monograph, Attitude Problems.) /// [Jennifer Saul ] This paper discusses the question of which verbs are intensional transitives. In particular, I ask which verbs Forbes should take to be intensional transitives. I argue that it is very difficult to arrive at a clear and plausible understanding of what an intensional transitive is-making it difficult to answer these questions. I end by briefly raising some questions about the usefulness of the category of intensional transitives. (shrink)
Approximately thirty years ago, Barbara H. Partee tried to think of counterexamples to David Lewis’s observation that no intransitive verbs appeared to have intensional subject positions. She came up with such verbs as ‘rise,’ ‘change,’ and ‘increase.’ Lewis agreed that they were indeed counterexamples to his observation. He mentioned it to Richard Montague, who incorporated these verbs into his now famous grammatical theory for English.
Propositional and notional attitudes are construed as relations (-in-intension) between individuals and constructions (rather than propositrions etc,). The apparatus of transparent intensional logic (Tichy) is applied to derive two rules that make it possible to export existential quantifiers without conceiving attitudes as relations to expressions (sententialism).
This paper discusses the semantics of intensional transitive verbs such as 'need', 'want','recognize', 'find', and 'hire'. It proposes new linguistic criteria for intensionality and defends two semantic analyses for two different classes of intensional verbs. The paper also includes a systematic classification of intensional verbs according to the type of lexical meaning they involve.
In the semantic literature, there is a class of examples involving anaphora in intensional contexts, i.e. under the scope of modal operators or propositional attitude predicates, which display anaphoric relations that appear at first glance to violate otherwise well-supported generalizations about operator scope and anaphoric potential. In Section 1,I will illustrate this phenomenon, which, for reasons that should become clear below, I call modal subordination; I will develop a general schema for its identification, and show how it poses problems for (...) most theories of scope and anaphoric relations. In Section 2, I will review the main approaches which have been considered in attempting to account for modal subordination and argue that only an approach involving accommodation can account for the full range of examples. The notion of accommodation is due to Lewis, who defines it as follows: If at time t something is said that requires presupposition P to be acceptable, and if P is not presupposed just before t, then - ceteris paribus and within certain limits - presupposition P comes into existence at t.(Lewis 1979: 340) The interesting question, of course, is what the limits on accommodation might be. I believe that the proper account of modal subordination has something to say about this. I will argue this briefly in section 3, where I draw some conclusions and also sketch some ... (shrink)
This paper is about the semantic analysis of referentially opaque verbs like seek and owe that give rise to nonspecific readings. It is argued that Montague's categorization (based on earlier work by Quine) of opaque verbs as properties of quantifiers runs into two serious difficulties: the first problem is that it does not work with opaque verbs like resemble that resist any lexical decomposition of the seek ap try to find kind; the second one is that it wrongly predicts de (...) dicto (i.e. narrow scope) readings due to quantified noun phrases in the object positions of such verbs. It is shown that both difficulties can be overcome by an analysis of opaque verbs as operating on properties. This is a strongly modified version of a paper entitled lsquoDo We Bear Attitudes towards Quantifiers?rsquo that I have presented at conferences in Gosen (Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft), Ithaca (SALT I), and Konstanz (Lexikon). I owe a special debt to Hans Kamp and Arnim von Stechow for shaping my views on the subject of this paper during the past ten years or so. Comments from and discussions with the following friends and colleagues have also led to considerable improvements: Heinrich Beck, Steve Berman, David Dowty, Veerle van Geenhoven, Fritz Hamm, Irene Heim, Wolfgang Klein, Angelika Kratzer, Michael Morreau, Barbara Partee, Mats Rooth, Roger Schwarzschild, Wolfgang Sternefeld, Emil Weydert, Henk Zeevat, and three referees. (shrink)
The author examines the differences between the general intensional logic defined in his recent book and Montague's intensional logic. Whereas Montague assigned extensions and intensions to expressions (and employed set theory to construct these values as certain sets), the author assigns denotations to terms and relies upon an axiomatic theory of intensional entities that covers properties, relations, propositions, worlds, and other abstract objects. It is then shown that the puzzles for Montague's analyses of modality and descriptions, propositional attitudes, and directedness (...) towards nonexistents can be solved using the author's logic. (shrink)
My chief aim has been to convey the thought that the application of model theoretic techniques to natural languages needn't force a distortion of intentional phenomena. I hope that at least I have succeeded in accomplishing this.