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173 found
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  1. Indistinguishable Senses.Aidan Gray - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Fregeanism and Relationism are competing families of solutions to Frege’s Puzzle, and by extension, competing theories of propositional representation. My aim is to clarify what is at stake between them by characterizing and evaluating a Relationist argument. Relationists claim that it is cognitively possible for distinct token propositional attitudes to be, in a sense, qualitatively indistinguishable: to differ in no intrinsic representational features. The idea of an ‘intrinsic representational feature’ is not, however, made especially clear in the argument. I clarify (...)
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  2. How Artworks Modify Our Perception of the World.Alfredo Vernazzani - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-22.
    Many artists, art critics, and poets suggest that an aesthetic appreciation of artworks may modify our perception of the world, including quotidian things and scenes. I call this Art-to-World, AtW. Focusing on visual artworks, in this paper I articulate an empirically-informed account of AtW that is based on content related views of aesthetic experience, and on Goodman’s and Elgin’s concept of exemplification. An aesthetic encounter with artworks demands paying attention to its aesthetic, expressive, or design properties that realize its purpose. (...)
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  3. Singular Thought and Mental Files.Rachel Goodman, James Genone & Nick Kroll (eds.) - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    The notion of singular (or de re) thought has become central in philosophy of mind and language, yet there is still little consensus concerning the best way to think about the nature of singular thought. Coinciding with recognition of the need for more clarity about the notion, there has been a surge of interest in the concept of a mental file as a way to understand what is distinctive about singular thought. What isn't always clear, however, is what mental files (...)
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  4. Are Reference Rules Inessential to Meaning?Kirk Ludwig - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):92-102.
    This article responds to a case-based argument by Mark Richard that rule of reference is not essential to meaning. It objects that the argument requires shifting between understanding the relevant term in the case, ‘marriage,’ as a determinable, in order to support one premise, and a determinate, in order to support another. On no univocal interpretation can both premises be made true.
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  5. "That"-Clauses and Propositional Anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2861-2875.
    This paper argues that "that"-clauses do not reference propositions because they are not intersubstitutible with other expressions that do reference propositions. In particular, "that"-clauses are shown to not be intersubstitutible with propositional anaphors like "so." The substitution failures are further argued to support a semantics on which "that"-clauses are predicates.
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  6. The Presentational Use of Descriptions.Michael R. Hicks - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (4):361-384.
    Discussing Keith Donnellan's distinction between attributive and referential uses of descriptions, Gareth Evans considered a speaker he found it natural to describe as having “given expression to” a singular thought, though he insisted she was not referring to the person she has in mind. On accounts otherwise similar to Evans's, to express a singular thought just is to refer. Thus, as he does not explain why this speaker might speak this way, it is tempting to ignore this as a slip. (...)
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  7. Mathematical Descriptions.Bernard Linsky & Edward N. Zalta - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):473-481.
    In this paper, the authors briefly summarize how object theory uses definite descriptions to identify the denotations of the individual terms of theoretical mathematics and then further develop their object-theoretic philosophy of mathematics by showing how it has the resources to address some objections recently raised against the theory. Certain ‘canonical’ descriptions of object theory, which are guaranteed to denote, correctly identify mathematical objects for each mathematical theory T, independently of how well someone understands the descriptive condition. And to have (...)
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  8. The Problem of First-Person Aboutness.Jessica Pepp - 2019 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (57):521-541.
    The topic of this paper is the question of in virtue of what first-person thoughts are about what they are about. I focus on a dilemma arising from this question. On the one hand, approaches to answering this question that promise to be satisfying seem doomed to be inconsistent with the seeming truism that first-person thought is always about the thinker of the thought. But on the other hand, ensuring consistency with that truism seems doomed to make any answer to (...)
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  9. Pieces of Mind: The Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates.Carrie Figdor - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Carrie Figdor presents a critical assessment of how psychological terms are used to describe the non-human biological world. She argues against the anthropocentric attitude which takes human cognition as the standard against which non-human capacities are measured, and offers an alternative basis for naturalistic explanation of the mind.
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  10. Metasemantics, Intentions and Circularity.Lukas Lewerentz & Benjamin Marschall - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1667-1679.
    According to intentionalism, a demonstrative d refers to an object o only if the speaker intends d to refer to o. Intentionalism is a popular view in metasemantics, but Gauker has recently argued that it is circular. We defend intentionalism against this objection, by showing that Gauker’s argument rests on a misconstrual of the aim of metasemantics. We then introduce two related, but distinct circularity objections: the worry that intentionalism is uninformative, and the problem of intentional bootstrapping, according to which (...)
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  11. Gary Ostertag (Ed.), Meanings and Other Things: Themes From the Work of Stephen Schiffer. [REVIEW]Indrek Reiland - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 7.
  12. Descriptions and Non-Doxastic Attitude Ascriptions.Wojciech Rostworowski - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1311-1331.
    This paper addresses a certain objection to the quantificational theory of definite descriptions. According to this objection, the quantificational account cannot provide correct interpretations of definite descriptions embedded in the non-doxastic attitude ascriptions and therefore ought to be rejected. In brief, the objection says that the quantificational theory is committed to the view that a sentence of the form “The F is G” is equivalent to the claim that there is a unique F and it is G, while the ascription (...)
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  13. Speaker Reference and Cognitive Architecture.Daniel W. Harris - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):319-349.
    Philosophers of language inspired by Grice have long sought to show how facts about reference boil down to facts about speakers’ communicative intentions. I focus on a recent attempt by Stephen Neale, who argues that referring with an expression requires having a special kind of communicative intention—one that involves representing an occurrence of the expression as standing in some particular relation to its referent. Neale raises a problem for this account: because some referring expressions are unpronounced, most language users don’t (...)
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  14. Problems of Translation for Cross-Cultural Experimental Philosophy.Masashi Kasaki - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):481-500.
    In this paper, first, I briefly discuss various types of obstacles and difficulties for cross-cultural study and in particular failure of translational equivalence of linguistic stimuli and questions by referring to the literature in cultural psychology. Second, I summarize the extant cross-cultural studies of semantic judgments about reference and truth-value with regard to proper names, with a focus on Sytsma et al.’s (2015) study that examined the differences between English and Japanese. Lastly, I introduce and discuss the two recent studies (...)
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  15. Referential Intentions and Communicative Luck.Andrew Peet - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):379-384.
    Brian Loar [1976] observed that communicative success with singular terms requires more than correct referent assignment. For communicative success to be achieved, the audience must assign the right referent in the right way. Loar, and others since, took this to motivate Fregean accounts of the semantics of singular terms. Ray Buchanan [2014] has recently responded, maintaining that, although Loar is correct to claim that communicative success with singular terms requires more than correct referent assignment, this is compatible with direct reference (...)
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  16. Possible World Semantics and the Complex Mechanism of Reference Fixing.Alik Pelman - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):385-396.
    Possible world semantics considers not only what an expression actually refers to but also what it might have referred to in counterfactual circumstances. This has proven exceptionally useful both inside and outside philosophy. The way this is achieved is by using intensions. An intension of an expression is a function that assigns to each possible world the reference of the expression in that world. However, the specific intension of terms has been subject to frequent disputes. How is one to determine (...)
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  17. Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  18. Metasemantics and Singular Reference.Ori Simchen - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):175-195.
    I consider two competing approaches to metasemantics: productivism, whereby endowment with semantic significance emerges directly from conditions surrounding the production or employment of the items semantically endowed; and interpretationism, whereby endowment with semantic significance emerges directly from conditions surrounding the interpretive consumption of such items. Focusing on the version of interpretationism developed by Lewis and his followers, I present a novel argument to the conclusion that such an approach cannot secure determinacy for singular reference. I then draw a larger moral (...)
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  19. Intentionality and Reference: A Brentanian Distinction.Hamid Taieb - 2017 - The Monist 100 (1):120-132.
    Brentano distinguishes between intentionality and reference. According to Brentano, all mental acts are intentionally directed toward something. Some mental acts also refer to something, which is the case when their object exists in reality. For Brentano, such acts, besides their intentionality, have a peculiar relation of similarity to their object. However, there is no mention of Brentano’s distinction between intentionality and reference in the literature. Drawing on some lesser known texts, this paper aims both at showing that Brentano makes such (...)
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  20. Semantics Through Reference to the Unknown.Arslan Aran - 2016 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):381-392.
    In this paper, I dwell on a particular distinction introduced by Ilhan Inan—the distinction between ostensible and inostensible use of our language. The distinction applies to singular terms, such as proper names and definite descriptions, or to general terms like concepts and to the ways in which we refer to objects in the world by using such terms. Inan introduces the distinction primarily as an epistemic one but in his earlier writings (1997: 49) he leaves some room for it to (...)
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  21. Individual and Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions: New Experimental Findings.James R. Beebe & Ryan Undercoffer - 2016 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (3-4):322-357.
    In 2004 Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols and Stephen Stich published what has become one of the most widely discussed papers in experimental philosophy, in which they reported that East Asian and Western participants had different intuitions about the semantic reference of proper names. A flurry of criticisms of their work has emerged, and although various replications have been performed, many critics remain unconvinced. We review the current debate over Machery et al.’s (2004) results and take note of which (...)
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  22. Termos Singulares Indefinidos: Frege, Russell e a tradição matemática.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2016 - Saberes: Filosofia E Educação (Filosofia Lógica e Metafísica An):33-53.
    É bem conhecida a divergência entre as posições de Gottlob Frege e Bertrand Russell com relação ao tratamento semântico dado a sentenças contendo termos singulares indefinidos, ou seja, termos singulares sem referência ou com referência ambígua, tais como ‘Papai Noel’ ou ‘o atual rei da França’ ou ‘1/0 ’ ou ‘√4’ ou ‘o autor de Principia Mathematica’. Para Frege, as sentenças da linguagem natural que contêm termos indefinidos não formam declarações e portanto não são nem verdadeiras nem falsas. Já para (...)
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  23. Perceptual Particularity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):25-54.
    Perception grounds demonstrative reference, yields singular thoughts, and fixes the reference of singular terms. Moreover, perception provides us with knowledge of particulars in our environment and justifies singular thoughts about particulars. How does perception play these cognitive and epistemic roles in our lives? I address this question by exploring the fundamental nature of perceptual experience. I argue that perceptual states are constituted by particulars and discuss epistemic, ontological, psychologistic, and semantic approaches to account for perceptual particularity.
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  24. The Semantics of Slurs: A Refutation of Coreferentialism.Adam M. Croom - 2015 - Ampersand: An International Journal of General and Applied Linguistics 2:30-38.
    Coreferentialism refers to the common assumption in the literature that slurs and descriptors are coreferential expressions with precisely the same extension. For instance, Vallee recently writes that “If S is an ethnic slur in language L, then there is a non-derogatory expression G in L such that G and S have the same extension”. The non-derogatory expression G is commonly considered the nonpejorative correlate of the slur expression S and it is widely thought that every S has a coreferring G (...)
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  25. Science and Self.David Kolb - 2015 - Philosophy Today 59 (1):91-102.
    What are the ontological commitments in Hegel and Heidegger’s discussion of the self? In this essay I approach these continental thinkers with a question from analytic philosophy, to see how they might respond. In different ways Hegel and Heidegger try to locate the question within a prior discourse about the conditions of the possibility of any local ontological commitments. The priority they claim can be clarified by distinguishing conditions of possibility from conditions of actuality.
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  26. Reference and Existence: The John Locke Lectures. [REVIEW]Fred Kroon - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):861-865.
  27. Reference to and Via Properties: The View From Dutch.Louise McNally & Henriëtte Swart - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (4):315-362.
    Many languages offer a surprisingly complex range of options for referring to entities using expressions whose main descriptive content is contributed by an adjective, such as Dutch de blinde ‘the blind,’ het besprokene, ‘the discussed,’ or het ongewone van het niet roken ‘the strange about not smoking.’ In this paper, we present a case study of the syntax and compositional semantics of three such constructions in Dutch, one of which we argue has not previously been identified in the literature. The (...)
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  28. Which Symbol Grounding Problem Should We Try to Solve?Vincent C. Müller - 2015 - Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 27 (1):73-78.
    Floridi and Taddeo propose a condition of “zero semantic commitment” for solutions to the grounding problem, and a solution to it. I argue briefly that their condition cannot be fulfilled, not even by their own solution. After a look at Luc Steels' very different competing suggestion, I suggest that we need to re-think what the problem is and what role the ‘goals’ in a system play in formulating the problem. On the basis of a proper understanding of computing, I come (...)
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  29. A Unified Treatment of (Pro-) Nominals in Ordinary English.Jessica Pepp, Joseph Almog & Nichols Paul - 2015 - In Andrea Bianchi (ed.), On Reference. Oxford University Press.
  30. Comments on Saul Kripke’s Philosophical Troubles.Theodore Sider - 2015 - Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 4 (5):67--80.
    [ES] Esta es una discusión de algunos temas vagamente conectados en los artículos de Saul Kripke «The first person» y «Frege’s theory of sense and reference». [EN] This is a discussion of some loosely connected issues in Saul Kripke’s articles «The first person» and «Frege’s theory of sense and reference».
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  31. How Many Bare Demonstratives Are There in English?Christopher Gauker - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (4):291-314.
    In order to capture our intuitions about the logical consistency of sentences and the logical validity of arguments, a semantics for a natural language has to allow for the fact that different occurrences of a single bare demonstrative, such as “this”, may refer to different objects. But it is not obvious how to formulate a semantic theory in order to achieve this result. This paper first criticizes several proposals: that we should formulate our semantics as a semantics for tokens, not (...)
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  32. Moral Twin Earth, Intuitions, and Kind Terms.Heimir Geirsson - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):91-110.
    Horgan and Timmons, with their Moral Twin Earth arguments, argue that the new moral realism falls prey to either objectionable relativism or referential indeterminacy. The Moral Twin Earth thought experiment on which the arguments are based relies in crucial ways on the use of intuitions. First, it builds on Putnam’s well-known Twin Earth example and the conclusions drawn from that about the meaning of kind names. Further, it relies on the intuition that were Earthers and Twin Earthers to meet, they (...)
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  33. Nauseating Flux: Iris Murdoch on Sartre and Heraclitus.David Robjant - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):633-652.
    I observe Iris Murdoch's distinctive use of the word ‘flux’ in discussion of Sartre's Nausea and show that her usage is persuasive and revolutionary, first as Sartre exegesis, second as Heraclitus exegesis, and throughout as a contribution to the philosophy of language. Murdoch's usage of ‘flux’ frames a comparison of Sartre's Roquentin with other figures who have had similarly flowing experience but without nausea. Roquentin's plight is shown to be ‘a philosopher's plight’ precipitated by a defective theory of descriptive success. (...)
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  34. Metaphilosophy at Work – Kripke on Reference and Existence. [REVIEW]Adam Tamas Tuboly - 2014 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 17:221-226.
    Saul Kripke’s new book is the written version of his notorious John Locke Lectures from 1973, entitled Reference and Existence. The book contains the six lectures, the elaborate discussion and application of Kripke’s earlier conception – worked out in Naming and Necessity – to such problems as reference, existence, negative existential claims, ctional characters, semantical and speaker’s reference ‘in order to tie up some loose ends’.
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  35. Reference to Numbers in Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):499 - 536.
    A common view is that natural language treats numbers as abstract objects, with expressions like the number of planets, eight, as well as the number eight acting as referential terms referring to numbers. In this paper I will argue that this view about reference to numbers in natural language is fundamentally mistaken. A more thorough look at natural language reveals a very different view of the ontological status of natural numbers. On this view, numbers are not primarily treated abstract objects, (...)
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  36. Immunity to Error Through Misidentification * Edited by Simon Prosser and Francois Recanati. [REVIEW]J. Schwenkler - 2013 - Analysis 73 (1):180-182.
  37. Token-Reflexivity.Ori Simchen - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (4):173-193.
    Token-reflexivity is commonly understood as reference of a token to a token of which it is a part, proper or not. It may be compared with its familiar formal kin – Gödelian reflexivity. In this paper the possibility of the latter type of construction in a formal setting provides a stark point of contrast with token-reflexivity understood as token self-reference, a purported species of natural phenomena, with the token-reflexives themselves understood as the bearers of self-reference. I argue that there is (...)
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  38. From Having in Mind to Direct Reference.Antonio Capuano - 2012 - In Kabasenche - O'Rourke - Slater (ed.), Reference and Referring. MIT Press. pp. 189-208.
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  39. Expertise and Intuitions About Reference.Edouard Machery - 2012 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 27 (1):37-54.
    Many philosophers hold that experts’ semantic intuitions are more reliable and provide better evidence than lay people’s intuitions—a thesis commonly called “the Expertise Defense.” Focusing on the intuitions about the reference of proper names, this article critically assesses the Expertise Defense.
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  40. Visual Demonstratives.Mohan Matthen - 2012 - In Athanasios Raftopoulos & Peter Machamer (eds.), Perception, Realism and the Problem of Reference. Cambridge University Press.
    When I act on something, three kinds of idea (or representation) come into play. First, I have a non-visual representation of my goals. Second, I have a visual description of the kind of thing that I must act upon in order to satisfy my goals. Finally, I have an egocentric position locator that enables my body to interact with the object. It is argued here that these ideas are distinct. It is also argued that the egocentric position locator functions in (...)
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  41. Identity, Language, and Mind. An Introduction to the Philosophy of John Perry.Albert Newen & Raphael van Riel (eds.) - 2012 - CSLI.
  42. Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language.Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.) - 2012 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    Philosophy of language is the branch of philosophy that examines the nature of meaning, the relationship of language to reality, and the ways in which we use, learn, and understand language. _The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language _provides a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the field, charting its key ideas and movements, and addressing contemporary research and enduring questions in the philosophy of language. Unique to this _Companion _is clear coverage of research from the related disciplines of formal logic (...)
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  43. Against the Argument From Convention.Anders J. Schoubye - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (6):515-532.
    In recent years, a new argument in favor of Donnellan’s (Philos Rev 77: 281–304, 1966) semantic distinction between attributive and referential descriptions has been proposed by Michael Devitt and Marga Reimer. This argument is based on two empirical premises concerning regularity of use and processing ease. This paper is an attempt to demonstrate (a) that these empirical observations are dubious and fail to license the conclusion of the argument and (b) that if the argument were sound, it would severely overgenerate. (...)
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  44. Necessary Intentionality: A Study in the Metaphysics of Aboutness.Ori Simchen - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    This book argues that words and thoughts are typically about whatever they are about necessarily rather than contingently. The argument proceeds by articulating a requisite modal background and then bringing this background to bear on cognitive matters, notably the intentionality of cognitive episodes and states. The modal picture that emerges from the first two chapters is a strongly particularist one whereby possibilities reduce to possibilities for particular things (or pluralities thereof) where the latter are determined by the natures of the (...)
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  45. Necessity in Reference.Ori Simchen - 2012 - In William P. Kabasenche Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Reference and Referring. MIT Press.
    I take up a question raised by David Kaplan at the very end of his 1990 paper "Words": Is it possible for a name that in fact names a given individual to have named a different individual? I argue for a negative answer to Kaplan's question via the essentialist claims that, first, it is of the nature of a referring token of a name to be produced by a particular referential intention, and, second, that it is of the nature of (...)
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  46. Semantics for Blasphemy.Meghan Sullivan - 2012 - In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, Vol. IV. Oxford University Press.
    Use of divine names is strictly regulated in the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Unlike most ordinary names, “God,” “Jesus,” and “Allah,” have a particular moral significance for the faithful. Misuse of the names constitutes a form of blasphemy—a sin. Tomes have been written about the origin of holy names in these traditions and the role that they play in devotional practices. I have no such grand theological ambitions here. Instead, in this short essay I will raise a (...)
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  47. Toward a Computational Psycholinguistics of Reference Production.Kees van Deemter, Albert Gatt, Roger P. G. van Gompel & Emiel Krahmer - 2012 - Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (2):166-183.
    This article introduces the topic ‘‘Production of Referring Expressions: Bridging the Gap between Computational and Empirical Approaches to Reference’’ of the journal Topics in Cognitive Science. We argue that computational and psycholinguistic approaches to reference production can benefit from closer interaction, and that this is likely to result in the construction of algorithms that differ markedly from the ones currently known in the computational literature. We focus particularly on determinism, the feature of existing algorithms that is perhaps most clearly at (...)
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  48. Reference, Simplicity and Necessary Existence in the Tractatus.Jose L. Zalabardo - 2012 - In Wittgenstein's Early Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 119-150.
    Many interpreters of the Tractatus accept that the book endorses an argument for simples based on the reflection that, since complexes exist only contingently, if names referred to complexes the propositions in which they figure would lack sense if their referents went out of existence. More specifically, most interpreters read 2.0211-2.0212 as putting forward this argument. My main goal in this paper is to attack this reading and to put forward an alternative. I argue that there is no good reason (...)
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  49. ¿Descripciones definidas referenciales?Pierre Baumann - 2011 - Princípios 18 (29):285-298.
    This paper questions the claim that definite descriptions have a referential semantics. Two possible definitions of “referential meaning” are discussed, and it is argued that definite descriptions are not referential according to either one. Devitt’s (2004, 2007) recent account of descriptions’ referential meaning is also briefly examined, and some problems with it are pointed out. It is suggested (though not shown) that the troubles with specifying exactly in what sense definite descriptions are referential point to the incoherence of the very (...)
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  50. Descripciones definidas y su uso referencial: una propuesta contextualizada.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2011 - Cuadernos de Filosofía 56:135-138.
    Las descripciones definidas pueden ser interpretadas de acuerdo con las dos lecturas propuestas por Donnellan. El presente trabajo presenta una interpretación contextualista de la lectura referencial de estas expresiones.
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