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  1. A Comprehensive Theory of Induction and Abstraction, Part II.Cael Hasse - manuscript
    This is part II in a series of papers outlining Abstraction Theory, a theory that I propose provides a solution to the characterisation or epistemological problem of induction. Logic is built from first principles severed from language such that there is one universal logic independent of specific logical languages. A theory of (non-linguistic) meaning is developed which provides the basis for the dissolution of the `grue' problem and problems of the non-uniqueness of probabilities in inductive logics. The problem of counterfactual (...)
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  2. Is There Such a Thing as “Semantic Content”?Sergeiy Sandler - manuscript
    The distinction between the semantic content of a sentence or utterance and its use is widely employed in formal semantics. Semantic minimalism in particular understands this distinction as a sharp dichotomy. I argue that if we accept such a dichotomy, there would be no reason to posit the existence of semantic contents at all. I examine and reject several arguments raised in the literature that might provide a rationale for assuming semantic contents, in this sense, exist, and conclude that Ockham’s (...)
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  3. Is Semantics Formal?Mark Schroeder - manuscript
    In this paper I will be concerned with the question of the extent to which semantics can be thought of as a purely formal exercise, which we can engage in in a way that is neutral with respect to how our formal system is to be interpreted. I will be arguing, to the contrary, that the features of the formal systems which we use to do semantics are closely linked, in several different ways, to the interpretation that we give to (...)
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  4. Semantics Without Semantic Content.Daniel W. Harris - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    I argue that semantics is the study of the proprietary database of a centrally inaccessible and informationally encapsulated input–output system. This system’s role is to encode and decode partial and defeasible evidence of what speakers are saying. Since information about nonlinguistic context is therefore outside the purview of semantic processing, a sentence’s semantic value is not its content but a partial and defeasible constraint on what it can be used to say. I show how to translate this thesis into a (...)
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  5. Brandom on Communication.Kevin Scharp - forthcoming - In Jason Hannon & Robert Rutland (eds.), Philosophical Profiles in the Theory of Communication. McGill-Queen's University Press.
    This chapter covers some of Robert Brandom’s contributions to our understanding of communication. Topics discussed include his theory of discursive practice, his inferential semantics, his scorekeeping pragmatics, his views on the “transmission” model of communication, and his semantic perspectivism. I compare his scorekeeping pragmatic theory to other kinds of pragmatic theories, and I argue that his semantic perspectivism can be understood as a global indexical relativism.
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  6. Editors’ Introduction: The Challenge From Non-Derogatory Uses of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro & Dan Zeman - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):1-10.
    The Introduction to "Non-Derogatory Uses of Slurs", special issue of Grazer Philosophische Studien.
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  7. Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2020 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2):221-253.
    In this paper, I utilise the growing literature on scientific modelling to investigate the nature of formal semantics from the perspective of the philosophy of science. Specifically, I incorporate the inferential framework proposed by Bueno and Colyvan : 345–374, 2011) in the philosophy of applied mathematics to offer an account of how formal semantics explains and models its data. This view produces a picture of formal semantic models as involving an embedded process of inference and representation applying indirectly to linguistic (...)
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  8. Invariantist, Contextualist, and Relativist Accounts of Gender Terms.Dan Zeman - 2020 - EurAmerica 4 (50):739-781.
    In this paper, I explore a range of existent and possible ameliorative semantic theories of gender terms: invariantism, according to which gender terms are not context-sensitive, contextualism, according to which the meaning of gender terms is established in the context of use, and relativism, according to which the meaning of gender terms is established in the context of assessment. I show that none of these views is adequate with respect to the plight of trans people to use their term of (...)
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  9. Subject-Contextualism and the Meaning of Gender Terms.Dan Zeman - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (1):69-83.
    In this paper, I engage with a recent contextualist account of gender terms proposed by Díaz-León, E. 2016. “Woman as a Politically Significant Term: A Solution to the Puzzle.” Hypatia 31 : 245–58. Díaz-León’s main aim is to improve both on previous contextualist and non-contextualist views and solve a certain puzzle for feminists. Central to this task is putting forward a view that allows trans women who did not undergo gender-affirming medical procedures to use the gender terms of their choice (...)
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  10. Modality and Expressibility.Matthew Mandelkern - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (4):768-805.
    When embedding data are used to argue against semantic theory A and in favor of semantic theory B, it is important to ask whether A could make sense of those data. It is possible to ask that question on a case-by-case basis. But suppose we could show that A can make sense of all the embedding data which B can possibly make sense of. This would, on the one hand, undermine arguments in favor of B over A on the basis (...)
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  11. Fictional Content.Elisa Paganini - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (54):255-269.
    It is usually taken for granted that a necessary condition for knowing that P is the truth of P. It may therefore be claimed that if we assume that we gain some kind of knowledge through fiction of P*, then P* should be true—in at least a certain sense. My hypothesis is that this assumption grounds the different ways adopted by philosophers for attributing truth-conditions to fictional sentences. My claim in this work is that fictional sentences do not have truth-values (...)
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  12. Compositionality and the Prospect of a Pluralistic Semantic Theory.Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):325-339.
    A semantic theory is committed to semantic monism just in case every particular semantic property posited by the theory is a member of the same kind. The commitment to semantic monism appears to draw some support from the need to provide a compositional semantics, since taking a single kind of semantic property as key to a semantic theory affords a uniform pattern on the basis of which the meaning of any given sentence can be compositionally determined. This line of support (...)
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  13. Logic Through a Leibnizian Lens.Craig Warmke - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    Leibniz's conceptual containment theory says that singular propositions of the form a is F are true when the complete concept of being a contains the concept of being F. In this paper, I provide a new semantics for first-order logic built around this idea. The semantics resolves longstanding problems for Leibniz's theory and can represent, without possible worlds, both hyperintensional distinctions among properties and a certain kind of presumably impossible situation that standard approaches cannot represent. The semantics also captures the (...)
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  14. Multiple Indexing Relativism About Predicates of Taste.Dan Zeman - 2019 - Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 51 (151):5-34.
    Focusing on predicates of taste, this paper puts forward a novel version of relativism, motivated by a recently discussed phenomenon: perspectival plurality. After showing that the phenomenon is problematic for at least some versions of relativism and discussing several possible answers on behalf of the relativist, I put forward my own version. The main feature of the proposal is the introduction in the index not of a single parameter for perspectives, but of a (possibly infinite) sequence of such parameters. In (...)
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  15. Visualizar, ler e compreender o dicionário Priberam: divisões políticas da língua no limiar do linguístico e do visual.Guilherme Adorno - 2018 - Línguas E Instrumentos Linguísticos 42:98-138.
    Resumo: Esse estudo exploratório do Dicionário Priberam de Língua Portuguesa (DPLP), na sua formulação digital, parte da questão: como tal dicionário afeta a divisão política da língua a partir de sua digitalização e circulação na Internet? Trata-se de um material propício para mostrar a atualização do processo de gramatização do português no início do século XXI e para observar as singularidades do trabalho lexicográfico no espaço digital e a produção de saberes sobre a língua nesse momento histórico. O corpus é (...)
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  16. Conditional Heresies.Fabrizio Cariani & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):251-282.
  17. Wittgenstein and Husserl: Context Meaning Theory.Sanjit Chakraborty - 2018 - Philosophy Pathways 224 (1).
    The present article concentrates on understanding the limits of language from the realm of meaning theory as portrayed by Wittgenstein. In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein’s picture theory provides a glimpse of reality by indicating that a picture could be true or false from the perspective of reality. He talks about an internal limitation of language rather than an external limitation of language. In Wittgenstein’s later works like Philosophical Investigations, the concept of picture theory has faded away, and he deeply becomes more (...)
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  18. Axiomatization in the Meaning Sciences.Wesley H. Holliday & Thomas Icard - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 73-97.
    While much of semantic theorizing is based on intuitions about logical phenomena associated with linguistic constructions—phenomena such as consistency and entailment—it is rare to see axiomatic treatments of linguistic fragments. Given a fragment interpreted in some class of formally specified models, it is often possible to ask for a characterization of the reasoning patterns validated by the class of models. Axiomatizations provide such a characterization, often in a perspicuous and efficient manner. In this paper, we highlight some of the benefits (...)
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  19. Free Choice and Distribution Over Disjunction.Rick Nouwen - 2018 - Semantics and Pragmatics 11:1-11.
  20. Static and Dynamic Vector Semantics for Lambda Calculus Models of Natural Language.Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh & Reinhard Muskens - 2018 - Journal of Language Modelling 6 (2):319-351.
    Vector models of language are based on the contextual aspects of language, the distributions of words and how they co-occur in text. Truth conditional models focus on the logical aspects of language, compositional properties of words and how they compose to form sentences. In the truth conditional approach, the denotation of a sentence determines its truth conditions, which can be taken to be a truth value, a set of possible worlds, a context change potential, or similar. In the vector models, (...)
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  21. Semantic Blindness and Error Theorizing for the Ambiguity Theory of ‘Knows’.Mark Satta - 2018 - Analysis 78 (2):275-284.
    The ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ is the view that ‘knows’ and its cognates have more than one propositional sense – i.e. more than one sense that can properly be used in ‘knows that’ etc. constructions. Given that most of us are ‘intuitive invariantists’ – i.e. most of us initially have the intuition that ‘knows’ is univocal – defenders of the ambiguity theory need to offer an explanation for the semantic blindness present if ‘knows’ is in fact ambiguous. This paper is (...)
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  22. Semantic Possibility.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 361-380.
    This paper starts out from the idea that semantics is a “special science” whose aim, like that of chemistry or ecology, is to identify systematic, high-level patterns in a fundamentally physical world. I defend an approach to this task on which sentences are associated with with sets of possible worlds (of some kind). These sets of worlds, however, are not postulated for the compositional treatment of intensional contexts; they are not meant to capture what is intuitively asserted or communicated by (...)
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  23. Reply to Fine on Aboutness.Stephen Yablo - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1495-1512.
    A reply to Fine’s critique of Aboutness. Fine contrasts two notions of truthmaker, and more generally two notions of “state.” One is algebraic; states are sui generis entities grasped primarily through the conditions they satisfy. The other uses set theory; states are sets of worlds, or, perhaps, collections of such sets. I try to defend the second notion and question some seeming advantages of the first.
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  24. Indexicals and Reference‐Shifting: Towards a Pragmatic Approach.Jonas Åkerman - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):117-152.
    I propose a pragmatic approach to the kind of reference-shifting occurring in indexicals as used in e.g. written notes and answering machine messages. I proceed in two steps. First, I prepare the ground by showing that the arguments against such a pragmatic approach raised in the recent literature fail. Second, I take a first few steps towards implementing this approach, by sketching a pragmatic theory of reference-shifting, and showing how it can handle cases of the relevant kind. While the immediate (...)
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  25. ‘Quine’s Meaning Nihilism: Revisiting Naturalism and Confirmation Method,’.Dr Sanjit Chakraborty - 2017 - Philosophical Readings (3):222-229.
    The paper concentrates on an appreciation of W.V. Quine’s thought on meaning and how it escalates beyond the meaning holism and confirmation holism, thereby paving the way for a ‘meaning nihilism’ and ‘confirmation rejectionism’. My effort would be to see that how could the acceptance of radical naturalism in Quine’s theory of meaning escorts him to the indeterminacy thesis of meaning. There is an interesting shift from epistemology to language as Quine considers that a person who is aware of linguistic (...)
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  26. Talking with Vultures.Filippo Ferrari & Crispin Wright - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):911-936.
  27. Relativism About Predicates of Personal Taste and Perspectival Plurality.Markus Kneer, Agustin Vicente & Dan Zeman - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (1):37-60.
    In this paper we discuss a phenomenon we call perspectival plurality, which has gone largely unnoticed in the current debate between relativism and contextualism about predicates of personal taste. According to perspectival plurality, the truth value of a sentence containing more than one PPT may depend on more than one perspective. Prima facie, the phenomenon engenders a problem for relativism and can be shaped into an argument in favor of contextualism. We explore the consequences of perspectival plurality in depth and (...)
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  28. Additive Presuppositions Are Derived Through Activating Focus Alternatives.Anna Szabolcsi - 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 Amsterdam Colloquium.
    The additive presupposition of particles like "too"/"even" is uncontested, but usually stipulated. This paper proposes to derive it based on two properties. (i) "too"/"even" is cross-linguistically focus-sensitive, and (ii) in many languages, "too"/"even" builds negative polarity items and free-choice items as well, often in concert with other particles. (i) is the source of its existential presupposition, and (ii) offers clues regarding how additivity comes about. (i)-(ii) together demand a sparse semantics for "too/even," one that can work with different kinds of (...)
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  29. The Use of the Binding Argument in the Debate About Location.Dan Zeman - 2017 - In Sarah-Jane Conrad & Klaus Petrus (eds.), Meaning, Context and Methodology. Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 191-212.
    In this paper I inquire into the methodological status of one of the arguments that have figured prominently in contemporary debates about the semantics of a variety of expressions, the so-called “Binding Argument”. My inquiry is limited to the case of meteorological sentences like “It is raining”, but my conclusion can be extended to other types of sentences as well. Following Jason Stanley, I distinguish between three interpretations of the argument. My focus is on the third, weakest interpretation, according to (...)
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  30. Actuality Entailments: When the Modality is in the Presupposition.Alda Mari - 2016 - In M. Amblard, P. de Groote, S. Pogodalla & C. Retoré (eds.), Logical Aspects of Computational Linguistics. Celebrating 20 Years of LACL (1996–2016). Springer. pp. 191-210.
    We show that actuality entailments arise with goal-oriented modality only and endorse Belnap’s view of that goal-oriented modals use historical accessibility with a fixed past and an open future. This modal-theoretic assumption allows us to spell out the precise modal-temporal configuration in which the actuality entailment arises and our predictions are borne out by the data, cross-linguistically. We also show that, when any assumption about the identity of worlds at branching point is leveled - which appears to be the case (...)
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  31. Introduction for Inquiry Symposium on Imagination and Convention.E. Michaelson & J. Armstrong - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (2):139-144.
  32. Quantifier Domain Restriction, Hidden Variables and Variadic Functions.Andrei Moldovan - 2016 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 3 (23):384-404.
    In this paper I discuss two objections raised against von Fintel’s (1994) and Stanley and Szabó’s (2000a) hidden variable approach to quantifier domain restriction (QDR). One of them concerns utterances of sentences involving quantifiers for which no contextual domain restriction is needed, and the other concerns multiple quantified contexts. I look at various ways in which the approaches could be amended to avoid these problems, and I argue that they fail. I conclude that we need a more flexible account of (...)
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  33. Single-Peakedness and Semantic Dimensions of Preferences.Daniele Porello - 2016 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (4).
    Among the possible solutions to the paradoxes of collective preferences, single-peakedness is significant because it has been associated to a suggestive conceptual interpretation: a single-peaked preference profile entails that, although individuals may disagree on which option is the best, they conceptualize the choice along a shared unique dimension, i.e. they agree on the rationale of the collective decision. In this article, we discuss the relationship between the structural property of singlepeakedness and its suggested interpretation as uni-dimensionality of a social choice. (...)
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  34. Pratiche discorsive razionali. Studi sull'inferenzialismo di Robert Brandom.Pietro Salis - 2016 - Milano-Udine: Mimesis Edizioni.
    Cosa vuol dire “fare uso di concetti”? Che relazione sussiste tra l’uso di un sistema concettuale e l’uso di un linguaggio naturale? Esiste un’influenza delle pratiche sociali in cui sono coinvolti gli esseri umani sui significati delle loro espressioni linguistiche? Che rapporto lega il ragionamento con l’uso di concetti? Queste sono alcune delle domande centrali per il lavoro del filosofo statunitense Robert Brandom. Sulla scorta di simili interrogativi, e mediante un confronto articolato con autori quali Kant, Hegel, Frege, Wittgenstein, Sellars (...)
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  35. Contextualism and Disagreement About Taste.Dan Zeman - 2016 - In Cécile Meier & Janneke van Wijnbergen-Huitink (eds.), Subjective Meaning: Alternatives to Relativism. de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 91-104.
    In this paper I investigate a certain contextualist answer to the problem raised for the view by the phenomenon of faultless disagreement: namely, that it cannot account for disagreement in ordinary exchanges involving predicates of personal taste. I argue that the answer investigated either misses the target, ignoring the relevant cases which the relativist challenge is based or that it has to appeal to semantic blindness, a move that has certain costs. In addition, I argue that the same holds for (...)
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  36. The Many Uses of Predicates of Taste and the Challenge From Disagreement.Dan Zeman - 2016 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 46 (1):79-101.
    In the debate between contextualism and relativism about predicates of taste, the challenge from disagreement (the objection that contextualism cannot account for disagreement in ordinary exchanges involving such predicates) has played a central role. This paper investigates one way of answering the challenge consisting on appeal to certain, less focused on, uses of predicates of taste. It argues that the said thread is unsatisfactory, in that it downplays certain exchanges that constitute the core disagreement data. Additionally, several arguments to the (...)
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  37. 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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  38. The Structure of Semantic Competence: Compositionality as an Innate Constraint of The Faculty of Language.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (4):375–413.
    This paper defends the view that the Faculty of Language is compositional, i.e., that it computes the meaning of complex expressions from the meanings of their immediate constituents and their structure. I fargue that compositionality and other competing constraints on the way in which the Faculty of Language computes the meanings of complex expressions should be understood as hypotheses about innate constraints of the Faculty of Language. I then argue that, unlike compositionality, most of the currently available non-compositional constraints predict (...)
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  39. Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics, by Paul Elbourne. [REVIEW]Daniel Harris - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):908-911.
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  40. Relativism 1: Representational Content.Max Kölbel - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):38-51.
    In the pair of articles of which this is the first, I shall present a set of problems and philosophical proposals that have in recent years been associated with the term “relativism”. All these problems and proposals concern the question of how we should represent thought and speech about certain topics. The main issue here is whether we should model such mental states or linguistic acts as involving representational contents that are absolutely correct or incorrect, or whether, alternatively, their correctness (...)
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  41. Giving Up on “the Rest of the Language".Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):293-304.
    In this essay, the tension that Benacerraf identifies for theories of mathematical truth is used as the vehicle for arguing against a particular desideratum for semantic theories. More specifically, I place in question the desideratum that a semantic theory, provided for some area of discourse, should run in parallel with the semantic theory holding for the rest of the language. The importance of this desideratum is also made clear by means of tracing out the subtle implications of its rejection.
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  42. Chomsky, London and Lewis.D. Stoljar - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):16-22.
    This article suggests that Chomsky’s notorious ‘London’ argument against semantics looks much more plausible that it is usually interpreted as being when seen in the light of something apparently remote from its concerns, viz., David Lewis’s distinction between natural and non-natural properties.
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  43. Can Questions Be Directly Disjoined? (2015).Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - CLS Invited Talk.
    Observe that complement questions can be either directly or indirectly conjoined, but they can only be indirectly disjoined. • What theories of questions and coordination predict this difference? • Look at Partition theory (Groenendijk & Stokhof 1984) and Inquisitive Semantics (Groenendijk & Roelofsen 2009, Ciardelli et al. 2012).
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  44. Unruly Words: A Study of Vague Language. [REVIEW]Jonas Åkerman - 2014 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201403.
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  45. A Plea for the Metaphysics of Meaning.Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press.
  46. Do We Need Dynamic Semantics?Karen S. Lewis - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 231-258.
    I suspect the answer to the question in the title of this paper is no. But the scope of my paper will be considerably more limited: I will be concerned with whether certain types of considerations that are commonly cited in favor of dynamic semantics do in fact push us towards a dynamic semantics. Ultimately, I will argue that the evidence points to a dynamics of discourse that is best treated pragmatically, rather than as part of the semantics.
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  47. Diagnostic : différends ? Ciel !Jean-Jacques Pinto - 2014 - Ouvertures 2 (octobre 2014):05-40.
    (English then french abstract) -/- This article, which can be read by non-psychoanalysts, intends to browse in four stages through the issue offered to our thinking : two (odd-numbered) stages analyzing the argument that provides its context, and two (even-numbered) of propositions presenting our views on what could be the content of the analytic discourse in the coming years. After this introduction, a first reading will point by point but informally review the argument of J.-P. Journet by showing that each (...)
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  48. Addendum to “Self-Reference and the Divorce Between Meaning and Truth”.Savas L. Tsohatzidis - 2014 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 23 (1):109-110.
    This paper is an addendum to [Tsohatzidis, 2013].
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  49. Formulating Deflationism.Arvid Båve - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3287-3305.
    I here argue for a particular formulation of truth-deflationism, namely, the propositionally quantified formula, (Q) “For all p, <p> is true iff p”. The main argument consists of an enumeration of the other (five) possible formulations and criticisms thereof. Notably, Horwich’s Minimal Theory is found objectionable in that it cannot be accepted by finite beings. Other formulations err in not providing non-questionbegging, sufficiently direct derivations of the T-schema instances. I end by defending (Q) against various objections. In particular, I argue (...)
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  50. Review of Paul Elbourne, Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics. [REVIEW]Nat Hansen - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (1):31-33.
1 — 50 / 119