About this topic
Summary It seems obvious that the connection between, on one hand, the sounds, shapes, movements and the like that underwrite language use and, on the other hand, core linguistic properties, like grammatical properties and meanings, is fairly arbitrary. The same sounds, shapes, movements, etc., that are used in English to say that the cat is on the mat could easily have been used to say that the ship is sinking. And other sounds, shapes, movements, etc., could easily have been used to say that the cat is on the mat. The general question that accounts of linguistic convention aim to answer is, how are the connections here instituted? Sometimes 'conventional' is used to indicate the type of connection in question here, in which case it is assumed that the relevant connections are conventional, and the difficulty is to explain in detail the nature of the relevant conventions. Other times, specific accounts are given of what conventions are, and the difficulty is to demonstrate, or explain, whether, and if so how, those accounts apply to the institution of connections in the sphere of language. Taking the latter route, some philosophers have provided detailed accounts of convention on which participation in a convention seems to require mutual knowledge that others are so participating. Other philosophers have argued that such accounts are too demanding, and that less is required to participate in, for example, the use of a language.
Key works Lewis 1969 Important general account of convention including an attempt to apply the account to language. Lewis 1975 Another attempt to explain how the relation between speakers and languages is conventional. Schiffer 1972 Another important attempt to account for language use by appeal to speakers' intentions and forms of convention. Burge 1975 Presents important objections to the above accounts. Davidson 1984 Argues that appeal to convention is not required in accounting for speakers' relations to languages. Gilbert 1983 Useful discussion of the nature of convention and its role in accounting for language. Schiffer 1993 Engages critically with the above accounts of the relation between speakers and their languages (the actual-language relation) and argues for a more minimal account. Davis 1998 Useful book length treatment of issues about linguistic convention and intention.
Introductions Avramides 1997 Rescorla 2008
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248 found
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  1. Notes on David K. Lewis’s Book, Convention: A Philosophical Study.William Boardman - manuscript
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  2. Lexical Innovation and the Periphery of Language.Luca Gasparri - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-25.
    Lexical innovations (e.g., zero-derivations coined on the fly by a speaker) seem to bear semantic content. Yet, such expressions cannot bear semantic content as a function of the conventions of meaning in force in the language, since they are not part of its lexicon. This is in tension with the commonplace view that the semantic content of lexical expressions is constituted by linguistic conventions. The conventionalist has two immediate ways out of the tension. The first is to preserve the conventionalist (...)
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  3. Against Epistemic Absolutism.Changsheng Lai - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Epistemic absolutism is an orthodox view that propositional knowledge is an ungradable concept. Absolutism is primarily grounded in our ungradable uses of “knows” in ordinary language. This paper advances a thorough objection to the linguistic argument for absolutism. My objection consists of two parts. Firstly, arguments for absolutism provided by Jason Stanley and Julien Dutant will be refuted respectively. After that, two more general refutation-strategies will be proposed: counterevidence against absolutism can be found in both English and non-English languages; the (...)
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  4. An Attempt at Interreligious Theologising.Subhasis Chattopadhyay - 2021 - Indian Catholic Matters.
    This blog post begins by showing the pejorative connotations inherent in the term 'Hindu' and goes on to lay bare the differences between Hinduism and other religions including Jainism and the Abrahamic religions. So that this necessary project of dialogues is not hijacked by celibates of various traditions; the post ends with these reflections: "The Hare Krishna movement, and all other prominent movements within the Sanatana Dharma including the various well known cults of hero-worship are all structured around centralised superstructures (...)
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  5. Behavioral Foundations for Expression Meaning.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):27-42.
    According to a well-established tradition in the philosophy of language, we can understand what makes an arbitrary sound, gesture, or marking into a meaningful linguistic expression only by appealing to mental states, such as beliefs and intentions. In this paper, I explore the contrasting possibility of understanding the meaningfulness of linguistic expressions just in terms of observable linguistic behavior. Specifically, I explore the view that a type of sound becomes a meaningful linguistic expression within a group in virtue of the (...)
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  6. Philosophical Implications of Morris’ Semiotic Theory.Milos Bogdanovic - 2020 - Filozofija I Društvo 31 (1):108-125.
    The subject of this paper is Charles Morris’ semiotic theory that has as one of its major projects the unification of all sciences of signs. However, since the above project has proven to be unsuccessful, we will try to examine here the reasons that led to this. Accordingly, we will argue that to transcend the particularities of individual disciplines that he wanted to unify, Morris had to make certain ontological assumptions, instead of theoretical and methodological ones, that they could share. (...)
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  7. Contested Slurs.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):11-30.
    Sometimes speakers within a linguistic community use a term that they do not conceptualize as a slur, but which other members of that community do. Sometimes these speakers are ignorant or naïve, but not always. This article explores a puzzle raised when some speakers stubbornly maintain that a contested term t is not derogatory. Because the semantic content of a term depends on the language, to say that their use of t is semantically derogatory despite their claims and intentions, we (...)
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  8. Against Conventional Wisdom.Alexander W. Kocurek, Ethan Jerzak & Rachel Etta Rudolph - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (22):1-27.
    Conventional wisdom has it that truth is always evaluated using our actual linguistic conventions, even when considering counterfactual scenarios in which different conventions are adopted. This principle has been invoked in a number of philosophical arguments, including Kripke’s defense of the necessity of identity and Lewy’s objection to modal conventionalism. But it is false. It fails in the presence of what Einheuser (2006) calls c-monsters, or convention-shifting expressions (on analogy with Kaplan’s monsters, or context-shifting expressions). We show that c-monsters naturally (...)
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  9. Comparing Conventions.Rachel Etta Rudolph & Alexander W. Kocurek - 2020 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 30:294-313.
    We offer a novel account of metalinguistic comparatives, such as 'Al is more wise than clever'. On our view, metalinguistic comparatives express comparative commitments to conventions. Thus, 'Al is more wise than clever' expresses that the speaker has a stronger commitment to a convention on which Al is wise than to a convention on which she is clever. This view avoids problems facing previous approaches to metalinguistic comparatives. It also fits within a broader framework—independently motivated by metalinguistic negotiations and convention-shiftingexpressions— (...)
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  10. Shadows of Syntax: Revitalizing Logical and Mathematical Conventionalism.Jared Warren - 2020 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    What is the source of logical and mathematical truth? This book revitalizes conventionalism as an answer to this question. Conventionalism takes logical and mathematical truth to have their source in linguistic conventions. This was an extremely popular view in the early 20th century, but it was never worked out in detail and is now almost universally rejected in mainstream philosophical circles. Shadows of Syntax is the first book-length treatment and defense of a combined conventionalist theory of logic and mathematics. It (...)
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  11. Yet Another Skeptical Solution.Andrea Guardo - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):117-129.
    The paper puts forward a new skeptical solution to Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s rule-following paradox, a solution which revolves around the idea that human communication does not require meaning facts - at least as defined by Kripke. After a brief discussion of the paradox, I explain why I think that Kripkenstein’s solution needs revision and argue that the main goal of a skeptical solution to the rule-following paradox should be that of showing that communication does not require meaning. After that, I offer (...)
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  12. Natural Conventions and Indirect Speech Arts.Mandy Simons & Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    In this paper, we develop the notion of a natural convention, and illustrate its usefulness in a detailed examination of indirect requests in English. Our treatment of convention is grounded in Lewis’s seminal account; we do not here redefine convention, but rather explore the space of possibilities within Lewis’s definition, highlighting certain types of variation that Lewis de-emphasized. Applied to the case of indirect requests, which we view through a Searlean lens, the notion of natural convention allows us to give (...)
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  13. Linguistic Convention and Worldly Fact: Prospects for a Naturalist Theory of the a Priori.Brett Topey - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1725-1752.
    Truth by convention, once thought to be the foundation of a uniquely promising approach to explaining our access to the truth in nonempirical domains, is nowadays widely considered an absurdity. Its fall from grace has been due largely to the influence of an argument that can be sketched as follows: our linguistic conventions have the power to make it the case that a sentence expresses a particular proposition, but they can’t by themselves generate truth; whether a given proposition is true—and (...)
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  14. Seguire una regola.Andrea Guardo - 2018 - Milano-Udine: Mimesis.
    Nelle "Ricerche filosofiche" e in altre opere Wittgenstein discute un argomento per la conclusione che non esiste qualcosa come il seguire una regola. Questa conclusione, a sua volta, sembrerebbe implicare che le parole del linguaggio non hanno un significato. E quest’ultima conclusione, infine, sembrerebbe implicare che la comunicazione è impossibile. Questa linea di pensiero è, ovviamente, paradossale: il comunicare è un fenomeno non solo possibile, ma assolutamente comune. La serie di argomenti in questione deve quindi, da qualche parte, nascondere un (...)
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  15. Przynależność kulturowa i język. O metodologicznych problemach filozofii eksperymentalnej.Krzysztof Sękowski - 2018 - Filozofia Nauki 26 (1):49-66.
    The aim of this paper is to analyze methodological problems of cross-cultural research in experimental philosophy. By studying five research projects, representing two distinct approaches to the examination of cross-cultural differences in philosophical intuitions, I point out the difficulties related to the content validity that appear in the choice of some cultural affiliation indicators. I criticize various indicators of cultural affiliation that are used in experimental philosophy (selfidentification, language) and suggest which indicators, and how, should be chosen in that kind (...)
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  16. The Pragmatics of Slurs.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):439-462.
    I argue that the offense generation pattern of slurring terms parallels that of impoliteness behaviors, and is best explained by appeal to similar purely pragmatic mechanisms. In choosing to use a slurring term rather than its neutral counterpart, the speaker signals that she endorses the term. Such an endorsement warrants offense, and consequently slurs generate offense whenever a speaker's use demonstrates a contrastive preference for the slurring term. Since this explanation comes at low theoretical cost and imposes few constraints on (...)
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  17. How Can We Explain Pre-Conventions?Sebastián Figueroa Rubio - 2017 - Revus.
    In this comment to Celano’s “Pre-Conventions. A Fragment of the Background”, the author introduces the following question: What kind of explanation fits better with behaviours that could be categorised as pre-conventions? Some possible answers to the question are explored, as well as some possible implications for Celano’s proposal.
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  18. The Contingency Problem for Neo-Conventionalism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):653-671.
    Traditional conventionalism about modality claims that a proposition is necessarily true iff it is true by convention. In the wake of the widespread repudiation of truth-byconvention, traditional conventionalism has fallen out of favour. However, a family of theories of modality have arisen that, whilst abandoning truth-by-convention, retain the spirit of traditional conventionalism. These ‘neo-conventionalist’ theories surpass their forebears and don’t fall victim to the criticisms inherited through truth-by-convention. However, not all criticisms levelled at traditional conventionalism target truth-by-convention. Any conventional theory (...)
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  19. Walking the Tightrope: Unrecognized Conventions and Arbitrariness.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):867-887.
    Unrecognized conventions—practices that are conventional even though their participants do not recognize them as such—play central roles in shaping our lives. They range from the indispensable (e.g. unrecognized linguistic conventions) to the insidious (e.g. some of our gender conventions). Unrecognized conventions pose a challenge for accounts of conventions because it is difficult to incorporate the distinctive arbitrariness of conventions—the fact that conventions always have alternatives—without accidentally excluding many unrecognized conventions. I develop an Accessibility Requirement that allows us to account for (...)
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  20. Embodied Conventions.Federico José Arena - 2016 - Revus 30:59-67.
    In these brief comments on Bruno Celano’s “Pre-conventions. A Fragment of the Background”, I propose further thoughts on what, following Celano’s analysis, I call embodied conventions. I begin with a number of remarks on Celano’s philosophical method. Then I claim, first, that the social dimension of conventionality remains obscure in his account of embodied conventions, and, second, that his account of pre-conventions is still imprecise due to the ambiguity of the notion of the Background.
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  21. The Problem of Lexical Innovation.Josh Armstrong - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (2):87-118.
    In a series of papers, Donald Davidson :3–17, 1984, The philosophical grounds of rationality, 1986, Midwest Stud Philos 16:1–12, 1991) developed a powerful argument against the claim that linguistic conventions provide any explanatory purchase on an account of linguistic meaning and communication. This argument, as I shall develop it, turns on cases of what I call lexical innovation: cases in which a speaker uses a sentence containing a novel expression-meaning pair, but nevertheless successfully communicates her intended meaning to her audience. (...)
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  22. Coordination, Triangulation, and Language Use.Josh Armstrong - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):80-112.
    In this paper, I explore two contrasting conceptions of the social character of language. The first takes language to be grounded in social convention. The second, famously developed by Donald Davidson, takes language to be grounded in a social relation called triangulation. I aim both to clarify and to evaluate these two conceptions of language. First, I propose that Davidson’s triangulation-based story can be understood as the result of relaxing core features of conventionalism pertaining to both common-interest and diachronic stability—specifically, (...)
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  23. Linguistic Conventions and the Role of Pragmatics.Robyn Carston - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):612-624.
  24. Pre-Conventions.Bruno Celano - 2016 - Revus 30:9-32.
    In this paper I argue that there exist conventions of a peculiar sort which are neither norms nor regularities of behaviour, partaking of both. I proceed as follows. After a brief analysis of the meaning of ‘convention’, I give some examples of the kind of phenomena I have in mind: bodily skills, know-how, taste and style, habitus, “disciplines”. Then I group some arguments supporting my claim: considerations about the identity conditions of precedents and about the projectibility of predicates in inductive (...)
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  25. Do Jurists Need Pre-Conventions?Pierluigi Chiassoni - 2016 - Revus.
    The paper offers a comparison between the legal theory of normative facts on the one hand, and Bruno Celano’s theory of pre-conventions on the other, suggesting two ways that the latter may be of use to well-meaning jurists.
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  26. Putting Syntax First: On Convention and Implicature in Imagination and Convention.John Collins - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):635-645.
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  27. Celano: Ontological Commitment and Normative Bite.José Juan Moreso - 2016 - Revus 30:77-80.
    In his article on pre-conventions, Celano presents, what the author calls, the Ontological Commitment Thesis and the Normative Bite Thesis. In this short comment, the author argues that the two theses are together both incompatible with the idea that pre-conventions are facts which have causal powers in human behaviour; also, if the ontological thesis is abandoned, normative determination could not be obtained. In other terms, the author argues that either pre-conventions are part of our causal explanation of human behaviour or (...)
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  28. What Laws Are Experienced As. A Comment on Celano’s Pre-Conventions.Marco Segatti - 2016 - Revus.
    The aim of this comment is to discuss tentatively one way of understanding, for the study of legal phenomena, some of the implications of recognising the existence of peculiar entities which Celano calls pre-conventions. This comment speculates that, if Celano is right, then so-called paradigm cases of law lose some of their philosophical centrality. To study pre-conventions, one needs to collect accounts of situations in which relevant agents use criteria for identifying legal phenomena that only approximate valid sources of law. (...)
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  29. A New Type of Convention?Dale Smith - 2016 - Revus 30:69-76.
    In “Pre-conventions: A fragment of the Background”, Bruno Celano argues for the existence and philosophical significance of what he calls “pre-conventions” – a type of convention distinct from those hitherto discussed in the literature, and which transcends a number of orthodox philosophical distinctions. In these comments, I suggest that Celano may have shown that there is a distinct type of convention governing judgments of style or taste. If so, we may learn some important lessons by examining this new type of (...)
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  30. Quotation, Demonstration, and Iconicity.Kathryn Davidson - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (6):477-520.
    Sometimes form-meaning mappings in language are not arbitrary, but iconic: they depict what they represent. Incorporating iconic elements of language into a compositional semantics faces a number of challenges in formal frameworks as evidenced by the lengthy literature in linguistics and philosophy on quotation/direct speech, which iconically portrays the words of another in the form that they were used. This paper compares the well-studied type of iconicity found with verbs of quotation with another form of iconicity common in sign languages: (...)
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  31. Arbitrariness, Iconicity, and Systematicity in Language.Mark Dingemanse, Damián E. Blasi, Gary Lupyan, Morten H. Christiansen & Padraic Monaghan - 2015 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 19 (10):603-615.
    The notion that the form of a word bears an arbitrary relation to its meaning accounts only partly for the attested relations between form and meaning in the languages of the world. Recent research suggests a more textured view of vocabulary structure, in which arbitrariness is complemented by iconicity (aspects of form resemble aspects of meaning) and systematicity (statistical regularities in forms predict function). Experimental evidence suggests these form-to-meaning correspondences serve different functions in language processing, development, and communication: systematicity facilitates (...)
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  32. Incongruity and Seriousness.Chris A. Kramer - 2015 - Florida Philosophical Review 15 (1):1-18.
    In the first part of this paper, I will briefly introduce the concept of incongruity and its relation to humor and seriousness, connecting the ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer and the contemporary work of John Morreall. I will reveal some of the relations between Schopenhauer's notion of "seriousness" and the existentialists such as Jean Paul Sartre, Simone Be Beauvoir, and Lewis Gordon. In section II, I will consider the relationship between playfulness and incongruity, noting the role that enjoyment of incongruity plays (...)
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  33. The Natural Origins of Convention.Ian Ravenscroft - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):731-739.
    Neo-pragmatists propose that content is determined by social convention. A convention is a coordination problem in which each agent prefers any solution to none, yet has no preference amongst the alternative solutions. This paper argues that the best known theory of convention, David Lewis’, cannot yield a theory of content because it appeals to beliefs and other states that themselves have content. The question then arises whether a theory of convention that does not appeal to states with content can be (...)
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  34. Vision Verbs Dominate in Conversation Across Cultures, but the Ranking of Non-Visual Verbs Varies.Lila San Roque, Kobin H. Kendrick, Elisabeth Norcliffe, Penelope Brown, Rebecca Defina, Mark Dingemanse, Tyko Dirksmeyer, N. J. Enfield, Simeon Floyd, Jeremy Hammond, Giovanni Rossi, Sylvia Tufvesson, Saskia van Putten & Asifa Majid - 2015 - Cognitive Linguistics 26 (1):31-60.
    To what extent does perceptual language reflect universals of experience and cognition, and to what extent is it shaped by particular cultural preoccupations? This paper investigates the universality~relativity of perceptual language by examining the use of basic perception terms in spontaneous conversation across 13 diverse languages and cultures. We analyze the frequency of perception words to test two universalist hypotheses: that sight is always a dominant sense, and that the relative ranking of the senses will be the same across different (...)
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  35. Conventions.James Turner - 2015 - In Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities. Princeton University Press.
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  36. Abbreviations and Conventions.IsaiahHG Berlin - 2014 - In Political Ideas in the Romantic Age: Their Rise and Influence on Modern Thought. Princeton University Press.
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  37. Making New Ideophones in Siwu: Creative Depiction in Conversation.Mark Dingemanse - 2014 - Pragmatics and Society 5 (3):384-405.
    Ideophones are found in many of the world’s languages. Though they are a major word class on a par with nouns and verbs, their origins are ill-understood, and the question of ideophone creation has been a source of controversy. This paper studies ideophone creation in naturally occurring speech. New, unconventionalised ideophones are identified using native speaker judgements, and are studied in context to understand the rules and regularities underlying their production and interpretation. People produce and interpret new ideophones with the (...)
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  38. How Much Rationality Do We Need to Explain Conventions?Simon M. Huttegger - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (1):11-21.
    This article surveys the main philosophical and formal ideas revolving around language as being conventional from the perspective of game theory. For very basic situations, this leads to a coherent view of conventions that offers interesting insights. Although there exist many open problems, this article will argue by outlining partial solution attempts that there is no principled reason for not applying methods from game theory to them.
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  39. Imagination and Convention: Distinguishing Grammar and Inference in Language.Ernie Lepore & Matthew Stone - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    How do hearers manage to understand speakers? And how do speakers manage to shape hearers' understanding? Lepore and Stone show that standard views about the workings of semantics and pragmatics are unsatisfactory. They advance an alternative view which better captures what is going on in linguistic communication.
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  40. Antirealist Essentialism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This project is an investigation into the prospects for an antirealist theory of essence. Essentialism is the claim that at least some things have some of their properties essentially. Essentialist discourse includes claims such as “Socrates is essentially human”, and “Socrates is accidentally bearded”. Historically, there are two ways of interpreting essentialist discourse. I call these positions ‘modal essentialism’ and ‘neo-Aristotelian essentialism’. According to modal essentialism, for Socrates to be essentially human is for it to be necessary that he be (...)
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  41. Can Groups Have Concepts? Semantics for Collective Intentions.Cathal O'Madagain - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):347-363.
    A substantial literature supports the attribution of intentional states such as beliefs and desires to groups. But within this literature, there is no substantial account of group concepts. Since on many views, one cannot have an intentional state without having concepts, such a gap undermines the cogency of accounts of group intentionality. In this paper I aim to provide an account of group concepts. First I argue that to fix the semantics of the sentences groups use to make their decisions (...)
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  42. Knowing Linguistic Conventions.Carin Robinson - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):167-176.
    A linguistic convention is a principle or norm that has been adopted by a person or linguistic community about how to use, and therefore what the meaning is of, a specific term. Examples of such norms or principles are those expressed by propositions that express the laws of logic or those that express implicit definitions. Arguments about the epistemic status of linguistic conventions, very broadly, fall into two camps: the one holds that the basis of linguistic conventions is objective and (...)
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  43. Social Conventions: From Language to Law.Bruno Verbeek - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (2):247-250.
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  44. Conventions and Their Role in Language.M. J. Cain - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):137-158.
    Two of the most fundamental questions about language are these: what are languages?; and, what is it to know a given language? Many philosophers who have reflected on these questions have presented answers that attribute a central role to conventions. In one of its boldest forms such a view runs as follows. Languages are either social entities constituted by networks of social conventions or abstract objects where when a particular community speaks a given language they do so in virtue of (...)
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  45. The Normativity of Lewis Conventions.Francesco Guala - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3107-3122.
    David Lewis famously proposed to model conventions as solutions to coordination games, where equilibrium selection is driven by precedence, or the history of play. A characteristic feature of Lewis Conventions is that they are intrinsically non-normative. Some philosophers have argued that for this reason they miss a crucial aspect of our folk notion of convention. It is doubtful however that Lewis was merely analysing a folk concept. I illustrate how his theory can (and must) be assessed using empirical data, and (...)
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  46. Jezik in javno: reorganizacija trivija v Lockovem Eseju in v Portroyalski logiki.Gregor Kroupa - 2013 - Filozofski Vestnik 34 (3):57-74.
    "Language and its Public Features: Reorganizing the Trivium in Locke's Essay and Port-Royal Logic" The new theory of language in the 17th century coincides with the end the traditional order of disciplines in the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric), which in the mediaeval times provided a comprehensive view of the problems of discourse. The article focuses on some key passages in Port-Royal Logic and Locke's Essay that provide us with a typical early modern scheme of linguistic representation, characterised by heavily (...)
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  47. Imitation and Conventional Communication.Richard Moore - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):481-500.
    To the extent that language is conventional, non-verbal individuals, including human infants, must participate in conventions in order to learn to use even simple utterances of words. This raises the question of which varieties of learning could make this possible. In this paper I defend Tomasello’s (The cultural origins of human cognition. Harvard UP, Cambridge, 1999, Origins of human communication. MIT, Cambridge, 2008) claim that knowledge of linguistic conventions could be learned through imitation. This is possible because Lewisian accounts of (...)
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  48. Inherent Emotional Quality of Human Speech Sounds.Blake Myers-Schulz, Maia Pujara, Richard C. Wolf & Michael Koenigs - 2013 - Cognition and Emotion 27 (6):1105-1113.
    During much of the past century, it was widely believed that phonemes--the human speech sounds that constitute words--have no inherent semantic meaning, and that the relationship between a combination of phonemes (a word) and its referent is simply arbitrary. Although recent work has challenged this picture by revealing psychological associations between certain phonemes and particular semantic contents, the precise mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated. Here we provide novel evidence that certain phonemes have an inherent, non-arbitrary emotional (...)
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  49. Meaning and Linguistic Sound: Why Are Sounds Imposed on Our Minds?Abolfazl Sabramiz - 2013 - Dialogue: Journal of Phi Sigma Tau 56 (1):14-23.
    An interesting fact about the meaning of words is the compulsion to perceive them; when we encounter a symbol, we perceive its meaning without the least mental effort. In this paper, I answer the questions, "How does the meaning of a word impose itself on us?" and "How does a symbol become meaningful and what is the meaning of a symbol?" By emphasizing the time when we understand a word, I introduce the reality of words versus the language convention. By (...)
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  50. A Convention or (Tacit) Agreement Betwixt Us: On Reliance and its Normative Consequences.Luca Tummolini, Giulia Andrighetto, Cristiano Castelfranchi & Rosaria Conte - 2013 - Synthese 190 (4):585-618.
    The aim of this paper is to clarify what kind of normativity characterizes a convention. First, we argue that conventions have normative consequences because they always involve a form of trust and reliance. We contend that it is by reference to a moral principle impinging on these aspects (i.e. the principle of Reliability) that interpersonal obligations and rights originate from conventional regularities. Second, we argue that the system of mutual expectations presupposed by conventions is a source of agreements. Agreements stemming (...)
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