Philosophy of Language

Edited by Berit Brogaard (University of Miami)
Assistant editor: Jiangtian Li (University of Western Ontario)
260 found
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  1. added 2022-05-23
    An Alternative to Charitable Interpretation, with H.L.A. Hart.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    Philosophers, and students of philosophy, are often advised to interpret other philosophers charitably. In this paper, I present an alternative to interpreting charitably. I call it “the simple-model technique” and use H.L.A. Hart responding to John Rawls to illustrate it.
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  2. added 2022-05-22
    What is the Difference Between Conceptual and Moral Relativism? Rejecting the Nature-Value Contrast, with Help From Joseph Raz.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    I aim to undermine an account of the difference between conceptual and moral relativism according to which conceptual relativism focuses on the description of nature and moral relativism on values. I do so with some help from Joseph Raz.
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  3. added 2022-05-22
    What the Metaverse has to Do with Physics.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    Why the metaverse is taking over technology. And, physics. (And, therefore, philosophy.) It’s all about the meme.
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  4. added 2022-05-22
    Circular Thinking.Ilexa Yardley - 2020 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Circular Thinking is essential (required) in order to understand ‘reality’ (Nature in general)… including the relationship between mind and matter (abstraction and representation).
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  5. added 2022-05-21
    Two Accounts of Assertion.Martin Smith - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In this paper I will compare two competing accounts of assertion: the knowledge account and the justified belief account. When it comes to the evidence that is typically used to assess accounts of assertion – including the evidence form lottery propositions, the evidence from Moore’s paradoxical propositions and the evidence from conversational patterns – I will argue that the justified belief account has at least as much explanatory power as its rival. I will argue, finally, that a close look at (...)
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  6. added 2022-05-21
    Finding the force: How children discern possibility and necessity modals.Anouk Dieuleveut, Annemarie van Dooren, Ailís Cournane & Valentine Hacquard - forthcoming - Natural Language Semantics:1-42.
    This paper investigates when and how children figure out the force of modals: that possibility modals express possibility, and necessity modals express necessity. Modals raise a classic subset problem: given that necessity entails possibility, what prevents learners from hypothesizing possibility meanings for necessity modals? Three solutions to such subset problems can be found in the literature: the first is for learners to rely on downward-entailing environments :185–215, 2009); the second is a bias for strong meanings; the third is for learners (...)
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  7. added 2022-05-21
    Palabras como golpes: en torno a la concepción causal de la metáfora de Donald Davidson.Federico Burdman - 2016 - Boletín de Estética 34 (XII):45-71.
    En este trabajo analizo el entramado conceptual de la concepción causal de la metáfora (Davidson 1978). Para ello me enfocaré en primer lugar en su discusión con las concepciones semánticas, lo que nos llevará a discutir el tratamiento davidsoniano de la noción de significado y su distinción entre significado de la oración y significado del hablante. Luego plantearé un problema interno a este enfoque, en términos de cómo entender esta última distinción dentro del marco nominalista del pragmatismo davidsoniano. Finalmente, analizaré (...)
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  8. added 2022-05-20
    Propositions as Made of Words.Gary Kemp - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    I argue that the principal roles standardly envisaged for abstract propositions can be discharged to the sentences themselves. I discuss: Cognitive Value: Hesperus-Phosphorus; Indirect Sense and Propositional Attitudes; the Paradox of Analysis; the Picture Theory of the Tractatus; Syntactical Diagrams and Meaning; Quantifying-in. Patterns of Use. I end with comparisons with related views of the territory.
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  9. added 2022-05-19
    Faultless disagreement without contradiction: expressive-relativism and predicates of personal taste.Justina Berškytė & Graham Stevens - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-34.
    In this paper we motivate and develop a new approach to predicates of personal taste within the framework of semantic relativism. Our primary goal is to explain faultless disagreement—the phenomenon where two parties disagree, yet both have uttered something true—which is often thought to arise from the use of predicates of personal taste. We combine semantic relativism with an expressivist semantics to yield a novel hybrid theory which we call Expressive-Relativism. We motivate the theory by rehearsing a famous objection to (...)
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  10. added 2022-05-19
    Does Everything Resemble Everything Else to the Same Degree?Ben Blumson - 2022 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1).
    According to Satosi Watanabe’s “theorem of the ugly duckling”, the number of predicates satisfied by any two different particulars is a constant, which does not depend on the choice of the two particulars. If the number of predicates satisfied by two particulars is their number of properties in common, and the degree of resemblance between two particulars is a function of their number of properties in common, then it follows that the degree of resemblance between any two different particulars is (...)
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  11. added 2022-05-18
    Quine's Challenge and Logical Pluralism.Antonio Negro - 2010 - Dissertation,
  12. added 2022-05-16
    Genericity and Inductive Inference.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    We are often justified in acting on the basis of evidential confirmation. I argue that such evidence supports belief in non-quantificational generic generalizations, rather than universally quantified generalizations. I show how this account supports, rather than undermines, a Bayesian account of confirmation. Induction from confirming instances of a generalization to belief in the corresponding generic is part of a reasoning instinct that is typically (but not always) correct, and allows us to approximate the predictions that formal epistemology would make.
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  13. added 2022-05-16
    Which Method(s) for Conceptual Engineering?Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Belleri Delia, Brun Georg, Decock Lieven, Koch Steffen, Pollock Joey & Reuter Kevin - forthcoming - In Hanne Andersen, Benedikt Löwe, Hasok Chang & Tomas Marvan (eds.), Proceedings of the Congress for Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science and Technology 2019. London: College Publications.
  14. added 2022-05-16
    Towards a Unified Theory of Illocutionary Normativity.Marsili Neri - forthcoming - In Laura Caponetto & Paolo Labinaz (eds.), Sbisà on Speech as Action. Palgrave Macmillan.
  15. added 2022-05-16
    Interpretative Modesty.Mark McCullagh - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Philosophers have wanted to work with conceptions of word-competence, or concept-possession, on which being a competent practitioner with a word amounts to being a competent judge of its uses by others. I argue that our implicit conception of competence with a word does not have this presupposition built into it. One implication of this is what I call "modesty" in interpretation: we allow for others, uses of words that we would not allow for ourselves. I develop this point by looking (...)
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  16. added 2022-05-16
    Thinking About Thought.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    A thought is not possible without the conservation of a circle. Thus, the representation of a thought is, also, not possible without (the conservation of) a circle.
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  17. added 2022-05-16
    How to Study Worlds: Or Why One Should (Not) Care About Methodology.Poul F. Kjaer - 2022 - In Marija Bartl & Jessica C. Lawrence (eds.), The Politics of European Legal Research: Behind the Method. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. pp. 208 - 2022.
    This chapter advances a twofold analytical strategy. Firstly, an extrapolation of the legal method, i.e. the application of general rules to particular cases, into a general tool for both description and problem solving. Secondly, through the integration of the legal method with a phenomenological approach for the study of social worlds. This provides the basis for an integrated approach potentially deployable in relation to all social phenomena at the micro, meso and macro levels. This makes it an alternative to the (...)
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  18. added 2022-05-15
    Familiarity inferences, subjective attitudes and counterstance contingency: towards a pragmatic theory of subjective meaning.Christopher Kennedy & Malte Willer - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-51.
    Subjective predicates have two interpretive and distributional characteristics that have resisted a comprehensive analysis. First, the use of a subjective predicate to describe an object is in general felicitous only when the speaker has a particular kind of familiarity with relevant features of the object; characterizing an object as tasty, for example, implies that the speaker has experience of its taste. Second, subjective predicates differ from objective predicates in their distribution under certain types of propositional attitude verbs. The goal of (...)
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  19. added 2022-05-15
    Indirectly direct: An account of demonstratives and pointing.Dorothy Ahn - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-49.
    There has been a long debate on whether demonstratives are directly referential as Kaplan originally argued, or indirectly referential like a definite description. I propose a new analysis of demonstratives that combines intuitions from both direct and indirect approaches. The demonstrative is analyzed as an indirectly referential expression with a binary maximality operator that takes two arguments, where the second argument can be a deictic pointing, an anaphoric index, or a relative clause. Direct reference is encoded not in the meaning (...)
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  20. added 2022-05-14
    Astronomy, Geometry, and Logic, Rev. 1c: An Ontological Proof of the Natural Principles That Enable and Sustain Reality and Mathematics.Michael Lucas Monterey & Michael Lucas-Monterey - manuscript
    The latest draft (posted 05/14/22) of this short, concise work of proof, theory, and metatheory provides summary meta-proofs and verification of the work and results presented in the Theory and Metatheory of Atemporal Primacy and Riemann, Metatheory, and Proof. In this version, several new and revised definitions of terms were added to subsection SS.1; and many corrected equations, theorems, metatheorems, proofs, and explanations are included in the main text. The body of the text is approximately 18 pages, with 3 sections; (...)
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  21. added 2022-05-14
    Metaphors We Lie By: Our ‘War’ Against COVID-19.Margherita Benzi & Marco Novarese - 2022 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 44 (2):1-22.
    In this paper we discuss the influence of war as a metaphor in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. After an introduction on the traditional analysis of the war metaphor, we address the social consequences of using this metaphor, a topic that has been widely debated with regard to public communication in the context of COVID-19. We pay particular attention to a theory that many intellectuals have raised: the possibility that the use of the metaphor in this context is harmful (...)
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  22. added 2022-05-14
    Analyticity.Tom Donaldson - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York, USA: pp. 288-299.
    I consider the claim that analytic statements are "true in virtue meaning", giving the claim a ground-theoretic interpretation.
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  23. added 2022-05-11
    There Are No Uninstantiated Words.James Miller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Kaplan (1990; 2011) argues that there are no unspoken words. Hawthorne and Lepore (2011) put forward examples that purport to show that there can be such words. Here, I argue that Kaplan is correct, if we grant him a minor variation. While Hawthorne and Lepore might be right that there can be unspoken words, I will argue that they fail to show that there can be uninstantiated words.
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  24. added 2022-05-11
    Homophonic Reports and Gradual Communication.Claudia Picazo - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Pragmatic modulation makes contextual information necessary for interpretation. This poses a problem for homophonic reports and inter-contextual communication in general: of co-situated interlocutors, we can expect some common ground, but non-co-situated interpreters lack access to the context of utterance. Here I argue that we can nonetheless share modulated contents via homophonic reports. First, occasion-unspecific information is often sufficient for the recovery of modulated content. Second, interpreters can recover what is said with different degrees of accuracy. Homophonic reports and inter-contextual communication (...)
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  25. added 2022-05-11
    Are Utterance Truth-Conditions Systematically Determined?Claudia Picazo - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Truth-conditions are systematically determined when they are the output of an algorithmic procedure that takes as input a set of semantic and (optionally) contextual features. Truth-conditional sceptics have cast doubts on the thesis that truth-conditions are systematic in this sense. Against this form of scepticism, Schoubye and Stokke ([2016]. “What is said?” Noûs 50 (4): 759–793) and Dobler ([2019]. “Occasion-sensitive semantics for objective predicates.” Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (5): 451–474.) have provided systematic analyses of utterance truth-conditions. My aim is to (...)
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  26. added 2022-05-11
    Not All Speakers Are Equal: Harm and Conversational Standing.Claudia Picazo - 2021 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 1 (84).
    McGowan has provided a linguistic mechanism that explains how speech can constitute harm. Her idea is that utterances routinely enact s-norms about what is permissible in a given context. My aim is to argue that these s-norms are sensitive to the conversational standing of the speaker. In particular, I claim that the strength of the norm enacted depends on the standing of the speaker. In some cases, the speaker might even lack the standing required to enact new s-norms.
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  27. added 2022-05-11
    A Homeless Patriot: Fritz Mauthner’s Search for a Homeland in Language.Thomas Hainscho - 2021 - Azimuth 9 (2):31–45.
    This paper investigates the political dimension of Fritz Mauthner’s writings in respect to his language critique and his ambivalent relationship to Judaism. Its aim is to oppose the common understanding of Mauthner as a German-nationalist. For doing so, Mauthner’s relation to Judaism is contextualised within his philosophical views on patriotism, mother-tongue, and the formation of social communities. By suggesting an anti-nationalist interpretation of his philosophy, it is argued that participation in a certain linguistic practice can explain what it means to (...)
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  28. added 2022-05-11
    CETERIS PARIBUS PROVISOS, KNOWLEDGE OF REFERENCE-FIXING CONVENTIONS, AND PROPER NAMES. REPLY TO ORLANDO.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):35-48.
    Eleonora Orlando argues that one must understand some descriptivist theories of names that I criticize in my book Roads to Reference as ceteris paribus generalizations, and that on this understanding they survive my criticisms; she also introduces some doubts about my views on the knowledge speakers have of the reference-fixing conventions I postulate for proper names. In this note I argue against Orlando’s suggestion about ceteris paribus provisos and explain my view of the epistemology of reference-fixing conventions.
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  29. added 2022-05-11
    ARE CONFLICTING REFERENCE-FIXING INTENTIONS POSSIBLE? REPLY TO MARTONE.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):59-73.
    Filipe Martone argues that reference-fixing intentions where the intended object is represented by means of a description can never fix the reference of a demonstrative, and that a speaker, as a matter of empirical fact, never has simultaneous perceptual and non-perceptual reference-fixing intentions that she can intend as fixing the reference of a demonstrative. In this note I reject Martone’s arguments for these claims.
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  30. added 2022-05-11
    Donald Davidson's Truth-Theoretic Semantics.Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig - 2007 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book is an examination of the foundations and applications of the program of truth-theoretic semantics for natural languages introduced in 1967 by Donald Davidson in his classic paper “Truth and Meaning.” This is the second of two books on Donald Davidson’s central philosophical project. The first, Donald Davidson: Meaning, Truth, Language and Reality (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), dealt with the basic framework of Davidson’s truth-theoretic approach to providing a meaning theory for a natural language, and then with his (...)
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  31. added 2022-05-10
    Partialhood.David Liebesman - forthcoming - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
    My bedroom window is a part of my house, but it is not a partial house. A half-built house is a partial house, but there is no house it is a part of. Being a part of something—parthood—is a familiar topic of philosophical inquiry. Being a partial something—partialhood—is not. The neglect of partialhood is a shame because it is intrinsically interesting as well as metaphysically and semantically important. After using fractions and counting constructions to identify partialhood in §1, I give (...)
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  32. added 2022-05-10
    Group Speakers.Grace Paterson - 2020 - Language & Communication 70:59-66.
    This paper examines group speech acts to argue against the view, here called speaker intentionalism, that one is a speaker behind a speech act in virtue of having the relevant communicative illocutionary intention. An alternative view is presented called speaker responsibilism according to which one is a speaker in virtue of having certain responsibilities. Complexities are considered which arise from the kinds of responsibilities the speaker has and the specific ways in which they are acquired.
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  33. added 2022-05-09
    Conditionals: Logic, Linguistics, and Psychology.Stefan Kaufmann, Over David & Ghanshyam Sharma (eds.) - forthcoming - Palgrave.
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  34. added 2022-05-09
    A Defense of Meaning Eliminativism: A Connectionist Approach.Tolgahan Toy - 2022 - Dissertation, Middle East Technical University
    The standard approach to model how human beings understand natural languages is the symbolic, compositional approach according to which the meaning of a complex expression is a function of the meanings of its constituents. In other words, meaning plays a fundamental role in the model. In this work, because of the polysemous, flexible, dynamic, and contextual structure of natural languages, this approach is rejected. Instead, a connectionist model which eliminates the concept of meaning is proposed.
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  35. added 2022-05-08
    A Two-Dimensionalist Solution to the Access Problem.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    I argue that the two-dimensional intensions of epistemic two-dimensional semantics provide a compelling solution to the access problem.
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  36. added 2022-05-08
    Acceptance and Certainty, Doxastic Modals, and Indicative Conditionals.Kurt Norlin - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-21.
    I give a semantics for a logic with two pairs of doxastic modals and an indicative conditional connective that all nest without restriction. Sentences are evaluated as accepted, rejected, or neither. Certainty is the necessity-like modality of acceptance. Inferences may proceed from premises that are certain, or merely accepted, or a mix of both. This semantic setup yields some striking results. Notably, the existence of inferences that preserve certainty but not acceptance very directly implies both failure of modus ponens for (...)
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  37. added 2022-05-08
    Rethinking the Acceptability and Probability of Indicative Conditionals.Michał Sikorski - forthcoming - In Stefan Kaufmann, Over David & Ghanshyam Sharma (eds.), Conditionals: Logic, linguistics, and psychology. Palgrave.
    The chapter is devoted to the probability and acceptability of indicative conditionals. Focusing on three influential theses, the Equation, Adams’ thesis, and the qualitative version of Adams’ thesis, Sikorski argues that none of them is well supported by the available empirical evidence. In the most controversial case of the Equation, the results of many studies which support it are, at least to some degree, undermined by some recent experimental findings. Sikorski discusses the Ramsey Test, and Lewis’s triviality proof, with special (...)
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  38. added 2022-05-08
    Introduction.Diego Gabriel Krivochen - 2021 - Evolutionary Linguistic Theory 3 (2):123-128.
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  39. added 2022-05-08
    Mixed Computation.Diego Gabriel Krivochen - 2021 - Evolutionary Linguistic Theory 3 (2):215-244.
    Proof-theoretic models of grammar are based on the view that an explicit characterization of a language comes in the form of the recursive enumeration of strings in that language. That recursive enumeration is carried out by a procedure which strongly generates a set of structural descriptions Σ and weakly generates a set of strings S; a grammar is thus a function that pairs an element of Σ with elements of S. Structural descriptions are obtained by means of Context-Free phrase structure (...)
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  40. added 2022-05-08
    Deontic Logic Based on Inquisitive Semantics.Karl Nygren - 2021 - In Fenrong Liu, Alessandra Marra, Paul Portner & Frederik Van De Putte (eds.), Deontic Logic and Normative Systems: 15th International Conference, DEON 2020/2021. London: College Publications. pp. 339-357.
    This paper introduces deontic logic based on inquisitive semantics. A semantics for action formulas is introduced where each action formula is associated with a set of alternatives. Deontic operators are then interpreted as quantifying over all alternatives associated with the action formulas within their scope. It is shown how this construction provides solutions to problems related to free choice permissions and obligations, including issues concerning Hurford disjunctions. The main technical result is a complete axiomatization of the logic.
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  41. added 2022-05-08
    Conditionals, Causal Claims and Objectivity.Michał Sikorski - 2020 - Dissertation, Università di Torino
    In my thesis, I develop two distinct themes. The first part of my thesis is devoted to indicative conditionals and approaching them from an empirically informed perspective. In the second part, I am developing classical topics of philosophy of science, specifically, scientific objectivity and the role of values in science, in connection to recent methodological developments, revolving around the Replication Crisis.
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  42. added 2022-05-08
    Time and Tense.Berit Brogaard - 2019 - In Bob Hale, Alex Miller & Crispin Wright (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 765-786.
    Two of the main debates in philosophy of language concerning time and tense are the debate about the semantics of the tenses in the English language and the debate over whether propositions can be transiently true or false as opposed to always being eternally true or false. The latter quarrel is also known as the "temporalism–eternalism debate." Given standard semantics, the two debates are not logically independent, as we will see. Those who believe propositions are eternally true or false needn’t (...)
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  43. added 2022-05-07
    Sen and Prejudice: A Defence of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis?Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    The 2004-5 essay competition set by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis asks, “Why are some countries rich and some countries poor?” It has information which strangely does not feature the name Amartya Sen. But I have conceived of a defence against the charge that this is bad practice, which resembles appealing to the descriptivist theory of names.
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  44. added 2022-05-07
    Towards a theory of abduction based on conditionals.Rolf Pfister - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-30.
    Abduction is considered the most powerful, but also the most controversially discussed type of inference. Based on an analysis of Peirce’s retroduction, Lipton’s Inference to the Best Explanation and other theories, a new theory of abduction is proposed. It considers abduction not as intrinsically explanatory but as intrinsically conditional: for a given fact, abduction allows one to infer a fact that implies it. There are three types of abduction: Selective abduction selects an already known conditional whose consequent is the given (...)
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  45. added 2022-05-06
    Ramsey’s Conditionals.Caterina Sisti & Mario Günther - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    In this paper, we propose a unified account of conditionals inspired by Frank Ramsey. Most contemporary philosophers agree that Ramsey’s account applies to indicative conditionals only. We observe against this orthodoxy that his account covers subjunctive conditionals as well—including counterfactuals. In light of this observation, we argue that Ramsey’s account of conditionals resembles Robert Stalnaker’s possible worlds semantics supplemented by a model of belief. The resemblance suggests to reinterpret the notion of conditional degree of belief in order to overcome a (...)
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  46. added 2022-05-05
    Natural Language Ontology (SEP Entry).Moltmann Friederike - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is my entry on natural language ontology that is forthcoming in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  47. added 2022-05-05
    Lateralism – The Globalization of US Hegemony after World War II.Yang Immanuel Pachankis - 2020 - Dissertation, Communication University of China
    This is a preliminary search and research of world order and global politics. It is history-based and examines the concept of globalization as a result of causes. The prevailing hegemonic power of United States is constituted of physical presence of troops, financial power, and most importantly, predominance in lateralized power in governance bodies around the world. Time is never linear per se in concept or in discoveries, sovereignty as so. The preeminence of space entities and discoveries of planet management is (...)
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  48. added 2022-05-04
    Trivalence and Anaphora.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - In Paul Egré & Lorenzo Rossi (eds.), Handbook of Three-Valued Logics. Cambridge: MIT Press.
    I survey the role of trivalence in theories of anaphora.
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  49. added 2022-05-04
    Projects and Methods of Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer & Justin Sytsma - forthcoming - In Alexander Max Bauer & Stephan Kornmesser (eds.), The Compact Compendium of Experimental Philosophy. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    How does experimental philosophy address philosophical questions and problems? That is: What projects does experimental philosophy pursue? What is their philosophical relevance? And what empirical methods do they employ? Answers to these questions will reveal how experimental philosophy can contribute to the longstanding ambition of placing philosophy on the ‘secure path of a science’, as Kant put it. We argue that experimental philosophy has introduced a new methodological perspective – a ‘meta-philosophical naturalism’ that addresses philosophical questions about a phenomenon by (...)
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  50. added 2022-05-04
    Dialetheism and Modus Tollens.Ben Blumson & Theresa Helke - 2021 - The Reasoner 15 (4):30.
    Suppose that some contradictions are true – for example, that as I walk through the door, I’m inside and I’m not inside. Then we argue 'if I'm walking through the door, I'm inside; I'm not inside; therefore, I'm not walking through the door' is an invalid instance of modus tollens.
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