Questions

Edited by Moritz Cordes (Center for Advanced Internet Studies Bochum)
About this topic
Summary Questions are usually identified with interrogative sentences or with what such sentences typically express. The exact definition of 'question' depends on the context in which they are the subject of study. Various phenomena are frequently associated with questions or even taken as characteristical for questions: question mark, interrogative pronoun/interrogative particle, rising intonation, inquisitive attitude, awareness of own ignorance, a goal to gain information. None of this is unanimously seen as characteristic of questions. The main issues of the works in this category concern (i) the nature of questions, (ii) the classification of questions, (iii) the role of questions in various walks of life (in philosophy, in anamnesis, in science, in criminal interrogation, etc.), and (iv) the relation of questions to knowledge and cognition.
Introductions While Brożek 2011 proposes her own take on questions, the work touches on almost all topics relevant to questions. Each chapter has a number of historical notes which serves as a collection of references to alternative approaches.
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536 found
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1 — 50 / 536
  1. The puzzle of defective and permissible inquiry.Michele Palmira - manuscript
    I present a puzzle about inquiry and discuss two potential solutions. The puzzle stems from two equally compelling sets of data suggesting that, on the one hand, there’s something epistemically defective with inquiring into questions that don’t have true answers. On the other hand, however, there can be scenarios in which we are epistemically permitted to inquire into questions that don’t have true answers. How is it that inquiries into questions that don’t have true answers can both be defective and (...)
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  2. On concealed questions.Maribel Romero - manuscript
    To appear in Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory XVI. Ithaca, NY: CLC.
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  3. A question of strength: On NPIs in interrogative clauses.Elena Yael Sharvit with Guerzoni - manuscript
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  4. Experimenting with (Conditional) Perfection.Fabrizio Cariani & Lance J. Rips - forthcoming - In Stefan Kaufmann, David Over & Ghanshyam Sharma (eds.), Conditionals: Logic, Semantics, Psychology.
    Conditional perfection is the phenomenon in which conditionals are strengthened to biconditionals. In some contexts, “If A, B” is understood as if it meant “A if and only if B.” We present and discuss a series of experiments designed to test one of the most promising pragmatic accounts of conditional perfection. This is the idea that conditional perfection is a form of exhaustification—that is a strengthening to an exhaustive reading, triggered by a question that the conditional answers. If a speaker (...)
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  5. Dejustifying Scientific Progress.Finnur Dellsén & James Norton - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Stegenga (forthcoming) formulates and defends a novel account of scientific progress, according to which science makes progress just in case there is a change in scientific justification. Here we present several problems for Stegenga’s account, concerning respectively (i) obtaining misleading evidence, (ii) losses or destruction of evidence, (iii) oscillations in scientific justification, and (iv) the possibility of scientific regress. We conclude by sketching a substantially different justification-based account of scientific progress that avoids these problems.
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  6. The Zetetic.Arianna Falbo - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Ernest Sosa, Jonathan Dancy & Matthias Steup (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley Blackwell.
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  7. Minimal Rationality and the Web of Questions.Daniel Hoek - forthcoming - In Dirk Kindermann, Peter van Elswyk, Andy Egan & Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini (eds.), Unstructured Content. Oxford University Press.
    This paper proposes a new account of bounded or minimal doxastic rationality (in the sense of Cherniak 1986), based on the notion that beliefs are answers to questions (à la Yalcin 2018). The core idea is that minimally rational beliefs are linked through thematic connections, rather than entailment relations. Consequently, such beliefs are not deductively closed, but they are closed under parthood (where a part is an entailment that answers a smaller question). And instead of avoiding all inconsistency, minimally rational (...)
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  8. Review of Reason and Inquiry: The Erotetic Theory, by Philipp Koralus. [REVIEW]Daniel Hoek - forthcoming - Mind:fzad062.
    Philipp Koralus' "Reason and Inquiry" presents a questioning or erotetic theory of reasoning. This review connects ideas from the book to the broader philosophical literature on inquiry and questions, as well as providing a simplified overview of the theory.
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  9. Million Dollar Questions: Why Deliberation is More Than Information Pooling.Daniel Hoek & Richard Bradley - forthcoming - Social Choice and Welfare.
    Models of collective deliberation often assume that the chief aim of a deliberative exchange is the sharing of information. In this paper, we argue that an equally important role of deliberation is to draw participants’ attention to pertinent questions, which can aid the assembly and processing of distributed information by drawing deliberators’ attention to new issues. The assumption of logical omniscience renders classical models of agents’ informational states unsuitable for modelling this role of deliberation. Building on recent insights from psychology, (...)
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  10. Accepting and resisting inquiry.Ahmad Jabbar & Pravaal Yadav - forthcoming - In Ahmad Jabbar & Pravaal Yadav (eds.), Proceedings of the 59th annual meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS 59).
    Recent scoreboard models of conversation, in addition to modeling update effects of assertions and questions, also make sense of how one may react to such discourse moves. An account of acceptance and rejection is captured by Farkas & Bruce (2010), while Bledin & Rawlins (2020) have recently made sense of how one may resist an assertion too. For rejection and resistance of assertions, truth comes out to be a crucial notion. Between X and Y, if Y doesn't believe p to (...)
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  11. Exhaustivity in Questions with Non-Factives.Nathan Klinedinst & Daniel Rothschild - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
  12. An Explanation of the Veridical Uniformity Universal.Shane Steinert-Threlkeld - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    A semantic universal, which we here dub the Veridical Uniformity Universal, has recently been argued to hold of responsive verbs (those that take both declarative and interrogative complements). This paper offers a preliminary explanation of this universal: verbs satisfying it are easier to learn than those that do not. This claim is supported by a computational experiment using artificial neural networks, mirroring a recent proposal for explaining semantic universals of quantifiers. This preliminary study opens up many avenues for future work (...)
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  13. Bullshit Questions.Dennis Whitcomb - forthcoming - Analysis.
    This paper argues that questions can be bullshit. First it explores some shallowly interrogative ways in which that can happen. Then it shows how questions can also be bullshit in a way that’s more deeply interrogative.
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  14. Inquiring Attitudes and Erotetic Logic: Norms of Restriction and Expansion.Dennis Whitcomb & Jared Millson - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-23.
    A fascinating recent turn in epistemology focuses on inquiring attitudes like wondering and being curious. Many have argued that these attitudes are governed by norms similar to those that govern our doxastic attitudes. Yet, to date, this work has only considered norms that might *prohibit* having certain inquiring attitudes (``norms of restriction''), while ignoring those that might *require* having them (``norms of expansion''). We aim to address that omission by offering a framework that generates norms of expansion for inquiring attitudes. (...)
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  15. Knowing What to Do.Ethan Jerzak & Alexander W. Kocurek - 2024 - Noûs.
    Much has been written on whether practical knowledge (knowledge-how) reduces to propositional knowledge (knowledge-that). Less attention has been paid to what we call deliberative knowledge (knowledge-to), i.e., knowledge ascriptions embedding other infinitival questions, like _where to meet_, _when to leave_, and _what to bring_. We offer an analysis of knowledge-to and argue on its basis that, regardless of whether knowledge-how reduces to knowledge-that, no such reduction of knowledge-to is forthcoming. Knowledge-to, unlike knowledge-that and knowledge-how, requires the agent to have formed (...)
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  16. Idle Questions.Jens Kipper, Alexander W. Kocurek & Zeynep Soysal - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy.
    In light of the problem of logical omniscience, some scholars have argued that belief is question-sensitive: agents don't simply believe propositions but rather believe answers to questions. Hoek (2022) has recently developed a version of this approach on which a belief state is a "web" of questions and answers. Here, we present several challenges to Hoek's question-sensitive account of belief. First, Hoek's account is prone to very similar logical omniscience problems as those he claims to address. Second, the link between (...)
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  17. Rules for the Inquiring Mind: A Unified Framework of Norms of Inquiry.Luis Rosa - 2024 - Routledge.
    This book concerns the nature and the norms of inquiry. It tackles not only philosophical issues regarding what inquiry is, but also issues regarding how it should and should not be executed. Roughly put, inquiry is the activity of searching for the true answers to questions of our interest. But what is the difference between empirical and armchair inquiry? And what are the right and the wrong ways to inquire? Under what conditions should one start inquiring? Which questions are such (...)
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  18. Imagination, Fiction, and Perspectival Displacement.Justin D'Ambrosio & Daniel Stoljar - 2023 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 3.
    The verb 'imagine' admits of perspectival modification: we can imagine things from above, from a distant point of view, or from the point of view of a Russian. But in such cases, there need be no person, either real or imagined, who is above or distant from what is imagined, or who has the point of view of a Russian. We call this the puzzle of perspectival displacement. This paper sets out the puzzle, shows how it does not just concern (...)
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  19. From contrastivism back to contextualism.Da Fan - 2023 - Synthese 201 (1):1-23.
    Contrastivism is the view that knowledge is a ternary relation between an agent, a content proposition, and a contrast, and it explains that a binary knowledge ascription sentence appears to be context-sensitive because different contexts can implicitly fill the contrast with different values. This view is purportedly supported by certain linguistic evidence. An objective of this paper is to argue that contrastivism is not empirically adequate, as there are examples that favor its contextualist cousin. Thereafter, I shall develop a contextualist (...)
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  20. Games and Cardinalities in Inquisitive First-Order Logic.Gianluca Grilletti & Ivano Ciardelli - 2023 - Review of Symbolic Logic 16 (1):241-267.
    Inquisitive first-order logic, InqBQ, is a system which extends classical first-order logic with formulas expressing questions. From a mathematical point of view, formulas in this logic express properties of sets of relational structures. This paper makes two contributions to the study of this logic. First, we describe an Ehrenfeucht–Fraïssé game for InqBQ and show that it characterizes the distinguishing power of the logic. Second, we use the game to study cardinality quantifiers in the inquisitive setting. That is, we study what (...)
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  21. Questioning and addressee knowledge.Eliran Haziza - 2023 - Synthese 201 (4):1-23.
    There are norms for asking questions. Inquirers should not ask questions to which they know the answer. The literature on the norms of asking has focused on such speaker-centered norms. But, as I argue, there are addressee-centered norms as well: inquirers should not ask addressees who fall short of a certain epistemic status. That epistemic status, I argue here, is knowledge.
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  22. The idea of a pseudo-problem in Mach, Hertz, and Boltzmann.John Preston - 2023 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 54 (1):55-77.
    Identifications, diagnoses, and treatments of pseudo-problems form a family of classic methodologies in later nineteenth century philosophy and at least partly, as I shall argue, in the philosophy of science. They were devised, not by academic philosophers, but by three of the greatest of the philosopher-scientists. (Later, the idea was taken up by academic philosophers, of course. But I will not discuss that development). Here I show how Ernst Mach, Heinrich Hertz and Ludwig Boltzmann each deployed methods of this general (...)
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  23. What’s your Opinion? Negation and ‘Weak’ Attitude Verbs.Henry Ian Schiller - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):1141-1161.
    Attitude verbs like ‘believe’ and ‘want’ exhibit neg-raising: an ascription of the form a doesn’t believe that p tends to convey that a disbelieves—i.e., believes the negation of—p. In ‘Belief is Weak’, Hawthore et al. observe that neg-raising does not occur with verbs like ‘know’ or ‘need’. According to them, an ascription of the form a believes that p is true just in case a is in a belief state that makes p more likely than not, and so—excepting cases of (...)
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  24. Interval-based Dynamics of Loose Talk.Charlie Siu - 2023 - Synthese 202 (10):1-23.
    Carter (Noûs 55(1):171–198, 2021) argued that while most simple positive numerical sentences are literally false, they can communicate true contents because relevance has a weakening effect on their literal contents. This paper presents a challenge for his account by considering entailments between the imprecise contents of numerical sentences and the imprecise contents of comparatives. I argue that while Carter's weakening mechanism can generate the imprecise contents of plain comparatives such as `A is taller than B', it cannot generate the imprecise (...)
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  25. The Knowledge Norm for Inquiry.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (11):615-640.
    A growing number of epistemologists have endorsed the Ignorance Norm for Inquiry. Roughly, this norm says that one should not inquire into a question unless one is ignorant of its answer. I argue that, in addition to ignorance, proper inquiry requires a certain kind of knowledge. Roughly, one should not inquire into a question unless one knows it has a true answer. I call this the Knowledge Norm for Inquiry. Proper inquiry walks a fine line, holding knowledge that there is (...)
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  26. A Question-Sensitive Theory of Intention.Bob Beddor & Simon Goldstein - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):346-378.
    This paper develops a question-sensitive theory of intention. We show that this theory explains some puzzling closure properties of intention. In particular, it can be used to explain why one is rationally required to intend the means to one’s ends, even though one is not rationally required to intend all the foreseen consequences of one’s intended actions. It also explains why rational intention is not always closed under logical implication, and why one can only intend outcomes that one believes to (...)
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  27. Necessity Modals, Disjunctions, and Collectivity.Richard Jefferson Booth - 2022 - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 26:187-205.
    Upward monotonic semantics for necessity modals give rise to Ross’s Puzzle: they predict that □φ entails □(φ ∨ ψ), but common intuitions about arguments of this form suggest they are invalid. It is widely assumed that the intuitive judgments involved in Ross’s Puzzle can be explained in terms of the licensing of ‘Diversity’ inferences: from □(φ ∨ ψ), interpreters infer that the truth of each disjunct (φ, ψ) is compatible with the relevant set of worlds. I introduce two pieces of (...)
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  28. Ineliminable underdetermination and context-shifting arguments.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (2):215-236.
    ABSTRACT The truth-conditions of utterances are often underdetermined by the meaning of the sentence uttered, as suggested by the observation that the same sentence has different intuitive truth-values in different contexts. The intuitive difference is usually explained by assigning different truth-conditions to different utterances. This paper poses a problem for explanations of this kind: These truth-conditions, if they exist, are epistemically inaccessible. I suggest instead that truth-conditional underdetermination is ineliminable and these utterances have no truth-conditions. Intuitive truth-values are explained by (...)
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  29. Propositions and Questions.David Braun - 2022 - In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
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  30. Group Inquiry.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1099-1123.
    Group agents can act, and they can have knowledge. How should we understand the species of collective action which aims at knowledge? In this paper, I present an account of group inquiry. This account faces two challenges: to make sense of how large-scale distributed activities might be a kind of group action, and to make sense of the kind of division of labour involved in collective inquiry. In the first part of the paper, I argue that existing accounts of group (...)
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  31. Knowing more (about questions).Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    How should we measure knowledge? According to the Counting Approach, we can measure knowledge by counting pieces of knowledge. Versions of the Counting Approach that try to measure knowledge by counting true beliefs with suitable support or by counting propositions known run into problems, stemming from infinite numbers of propositions and beliefs, difficulties in individuating propositions and beliefs, and cases in which knowing the same number of propositions contributes differently to knowledge. In this paper I develop a novel question-relative and (...)
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  32. Can a good philosophical contribution be made just by asking a question?Joshua Habgood-Coote, Lani Watson & Dennis Whitcomb - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 54 (1):54-54.
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  33. Questions in Action.Daniel Hoek - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (3):113-143.
    Choices confront us with questions. How we act depends on our answers to those questions. So the way our beliefs guide our choices is not just a function of their informational content, but also depends systematically on the questions those beliefs address. This paper gives a precise account of the interplay between choices, questions and beliefs, and harnesses this account to obtain a principled approach to the problem of deduction. The result is a novel theory of belief-guided action that explains (...)
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  34. Questions in Two-Dimensional Logic.Thom van Gessel - 2022 - Review of Symbolic Logic 15 (4):859-879.
    Since Kripke, philosophers have distinguished a priori true statements from necessarily true ones. A statement is a priori true if its truth can be established before experience, and necessarily true if it could not have been false according to logical or metaphysical laws. This distinction can be captured formally using two-dimensional semantics. There is a natural way to extend the notions of apriority and necessity so they can also apply to questions. Questions either can or cannot be resolved before experience, (...)
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  35. The "Who Am I?" Question.Cosmin Visan - 2022 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 13 (3):334-342.
    Before even getting to do science, basic principles need to be established, such as what is it that we want to achieve by science. In this paper, I will argue how the ultimate question of science is the “Who Am I?” question, which also acts as an ontological principle of creation, bringing into existence all the possible experiences that consciousness can have.
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  36. An Abductive Question-Answer System for the Minimal Logic of Formal Inconsistency $$\mathsf {mbC}$$ mbC.Szymon Chlebowski, Andrzej Gajda & Mariusz Urbański - 2021 - Studia Logica 110 (2):479-509.
    The aim in this paper is to define an Abductive Question-Answer System for the minimal logic of formal inconsistency \. As a proof-theoretical basis we employ the Socratic proofs method. The system produces abductive hypotheses; these are answers to abductive questions concerning derivability of formulas from sets of formulas. We integrated the generation of and the evaluation of hypotheses via constraints of consistency and significance being imposed on the system rules.
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  37. Why We Need a Question Semantics.Ivano Ciardelli - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 15–47.
    In this paper I discuss the role that question contents should play in an overall account of language, thought, and communication. Based on these considerations, I argue against the Fregean view that analyzes questions as distinguished only at the level of force. Questions, I argue, are associated with specific semantic objects, which play a distinctive role in thought and in compositional semantics, stand in logical relations to one another, and can act as contents of multiple speech acts. In the second (...)
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  38. Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods.Moritz Cordes (ed.) - 2021 - Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto.
    Questions are everywhere and the ubiquitous activities of asking and answering, as most human activities, are susceptible to failure – at least from time to time. This volume offers several current approaches to the systematic study of questions and the surrounding activities and works toward supporting and improving these activities. The contributors formulate general problems for a formal treatment of questions, investigate specific kinds of questions, compare different frameworks with regard to how they regulate the activities of asking and answering (...)
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  39. Preface and Introduction.Moritz Cordes - 2021 - In Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 7–13.
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  40. Calculizing classical inferential erotetic logic.Moritz Cordes - 2021 - Review of Symbolic Logic 14 (4):1066-1087.
    This paper contributes to the calculization of evocation and erotetic implication as defined by Inferential Erotetic Logic (IEL). There is a straightforward approach to calculizing (propositional) erotetic implication which cannot be applied to evocation. First-order evocation is proven to be uncalculizable, i.e. there is no proof system, say FOE, such that for all X, Q: X evokes Q iff there is an FOE-proof for the evocation of Q by X. These results suggest a critique of the represented approaches to calculizing (...)
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  41. Partialism in Krifka’s Approach to Interpreting Polar Questions.Moritz Cordes - 2021 - In Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 96–103.
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  42. How to Arrive at Questions.Moritz Cordes - 2021 - In Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 165–175.
    The question of how to arrive at questions is ambiguous. I will concentrate on two readings: (i) How should one set up a formal syntax that accomodates questions? (ii) How does one, while working in a suitable formal language, arrive at a situation where one is allowed to or even must ask a certain question? In other words: How is the asking of questions regulated within a given formal language? I will propose an answer to question (i) and consider the (...)
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  43. Vendler’s puzzle about imagination.Justin D’Ambrosio & Daniel Stoljar - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12923-12944.
    Vendler’s :161–173, 1979) puzzle about imagination is that the sentences ‘Imagine swimming in that water’ and ‘Imagine yourself swimming in that water’ seem at once semantically different and semantically the same. They seem semantically different, since the first requires you to imagine ’from the inside’, while the second allows you to imagine ’from the outside.’ They seem semantically the same, since despite superficial dissimilarity, there is good reason to think that they are syntactically and lexically identical. This paper sets out (...)
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  44. Inquiry and Confirmation.Arianna Falbo - 2021 - Analysis 81 (4):622–631.
    A puzzle arises when combining two individually plausible, yet jointly incompatible, norms of inquiry. On the one hand, it seems that one shouldn’t inquire into a question while believing an answer to that question. But, on the other hand, it seems rational to inquire into a question while believing its answer, if one is seeking confirmation. Millson (2021), who has recently identified this puzzle, suggests a possible solution, though he notes that it comes with significant costs. I offer an alternative (...)
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  45. Comments on Jared Millson’s Accepting & Rejecting Questions.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 233–239.
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  46. Comments on Floris Roelofsen’s Questions and Indeterminate Reference.David Hitchcock - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 253–258.
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  47. Justifying Questions: What Kinds, How, and Why.David Hitchcock - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 139–155.
    The authors of 200 arguments for questions posed 19 types of questions, justified them in 62 different ways, offered a justification of the question for 50 different types of purposes, and posed the question for 49 different types of purposes. Further consolidation of the categories used in the analysis is desirable and possible. Of the six most commonly posed types of questions, only three (yes-no questions, select questions, and either-or questions) are at first glance capable of formal representation in an (...)
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  48. Relativist 'know': 'wh'-complements and intermediate exhaustivity.Ahmad Jabbar - 2021 - Proceedings of ESSLLI.
    We consider a puzzle in the question semantics literature. The puzzle concerns data when 'know' embeds interrogative complements. For the exhaustive strength in the literature known as intermediately exhaustive, first person ascriptions don't seem to exist, but third person do. By arguing against the only solution in the literature, we suggest that the puzzle is more interesting than previously thought. We provide a compositional semantics for 'know' where the interpretation of 'know' is relativized to an information state. The proposed semantics, (...)
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  49. In Defense of Question Diversity: Comments on Ciardelli.Manfred Krifka - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 55–62.
  50. Modelling Questions in Commitment Spaces.Manfred Krifka - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 63–95.
    The paper outlines the analysis of certain question types in the Commitment Space framework, as presented in Krifka (2015). The two basic ideas are: Assertions and most questions involve commitments of speaker and addressee to the truth of a proposition, and questions consist in restricting the continuation of the conversation to answers to the question. The main focus is on breadth, not depth and the detailed comparison with alternative approaches, and on semantic modelling, not on the syntactic and prosodic realizations. (...)
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