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  1. The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics.Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    By creating certain marks on paper, or by making certain sounds-breathing past a moving tongue-or by articulation of hands and bodies, language users can give expression to their mental lives. With language we command, assert, query, emote, insult, and inspire. Language has meaning. This fact can be quite mystifying, yet a science of linguistic meaning-semantics-has emerged at the intersection of a variety of disciplines: philosophy, linguistics, computer science, and psychology. Semantics is the study of meaning. But what exactly is "meaning"? (...)
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  2. Under Carnap’s Lamp: Flat Pre-Semantics.Nuel Belnap - 2005 - Studia Logica 80 (1):1-28.
    "Flat pre-semantics" lets each parameter of truth be considered separately and equally, and without worrying about grammatical complications. This allows one to become a little clearer on a variety of philosophical-logical points, such as the usefulness of Carnapian tolerance and the deep relativity of truth. A more definite result of thinking in terms of flat pre-semantics lies in the articulation of some instructive ways of categorizing operations on meanings in purely logical terms in relation to various parameters of truth ; (...)
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  3. Counterfactual Attitudes and the Relational Analysis.Kyle Blumberg - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):521-546.
    In this paper, I raise a problem for standard precisifications of the Relational Analysis of attitude reports. The problem I raise involves counterfactual attitude verbs. such as ‘wish’. In short, the trouble is this: there are true attitude reports ‘ S wishes that P ’ but there is no suitable referent for the term ‘that P ’. The problematic reports illustrate that the content of a subject’s wish is intimately related to the content of their beliefs. I capture this fact (...)
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  4. Open Transcendentalism and the Normative Character of Methodology.H. G. Callaway - 1993 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 43 (July):1-24.
    This paper examines normative elements in Henri Lauener’s “open transcendentalism,” with an eye to evaluate distinctive theses. After setting out some of Lauener’s basic positions in this area, in comparison with related views in Quine’s work, I argue that the views surveyed converge on a normative and contextualist cognitivism in Lauener’s methodological and epistemological perspective. Though he resists similar conclusion in the name of anti-naturalism, I argue that his “open transcendentalism” is plausibly construed as a non reductive naturalism.
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  5. Propositional Skeletons and Disquotational Reports.Herman Cappelen - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2):207-227.
    One of the three central issues in Lloyd Humberstone's ‘Sufficiency and Excess’ is what he calls ‘the Complete Thought Issue’ (CTI, for short). This is the question of whether some declarative sentences have proposition radicals, rather than full-blown propositions, as their semantic values. My focus in this reply is exclusively on Humberstone's comments about CTI and on CTI more generally. The goal of Humberstone's discussion of CTI is to defend ‘[Kent] Bach's claim against Cappelen and Lepore's attacks’ (Humberstone, 2006, p. (...)
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  6. Prototypes as Compositional Components of Concepts.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2899–2927.
    The aim of this paper is to reconcile two claims that have long been thought to be incompatible: that we compositionally determine the meaning of complex expressions from the meaning of their parts, and that prototypes are components of the meaning of lexical terms such as fish, red, and gun. Hypotheses and are independently plausible, but most researchers think that reconciling them is a difficult, if not hopeless task. In particular, most linguists and philosophers agree that is not negotiable; so (...)
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  7. Must or Might.Josh Dever - unknown
    Sententialism: An adequate semantic theory for a language assigns semantic values to complex expressions (typically on the basis of the semantic values of the syntactic parts of those complex expressions), with the assignment process culminating in the assignment of appropriate semantic values (typically propositions or truth conditions) to entire sentences. Sententialism is so-called because it takes the task of semantic theory proper to be exhausted once semantic values have been assigned to full sentences. Beyond the sentence may lay further linguistic (...)
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  8. Truth-Assessment Methodology and the Case Against the Relativist Case Against Contextualism About Deontic Modals.J. L. Dowell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (3):325-357.
    Recent challenges to Kratzer’s canonical contextualist semantics for modal expressions are united by a shared methodological practice: Each requires the assessment of the truth or warrant of a sentence in a scenario. The default evidential status accorded these judgments is a constraining one: It is assumed that, to be plausible, a semantic hypothesis must vindicate the reported judgments. Fully assessing the extent to which these cases do generate data that puts pressure on the canonical semantics, then, requires an understanding of (...)
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  9. Fregean Connection: Bedeutung, Value and Truth-Value.Gottfried Gabriel - 1984 - Philosophical Quarterly 34 (136):372-376.
    It is shown how frege's problematic connection between truth-Value and "bedeutung" (of a sentence) becomes more plausible when set against the background of german language and philosophy, Especially by comparing frege's position with the value-Theoretical school of neo-Kantianism (w windelband).
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  10. Frege's Contribution to Philosophy of Language.Richard Heck & Robert May - 2006 - In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 3--39.
    An investigation of Frege’s various contributions to the study of language, focusing on three of his most famous doctrines: that concepts are unsaturated, that sentences refer to truth-values, and that sense must be distinguished from reference.
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  11. Obligation and Aspect.Benj Hellie - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):398-449.
    ‘Fred must open the door’ concerns Fred’s obligations. This obligative meaning is turned off by adding aspect: ‘Fred must have opened/be opening/have been opening the door’ are one and all epistemic. Why? In a nutshell: obligative ’must’ operates on procedural contents of imperative sentences, epistemic ‘must’ on propositional contents of declarative sentences; and adding aspect converts procedural into propositional content.
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  12. Two Ways to Want.Ethan Jerzak - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    I present unexplored and unaccounted for uses of 'wants'. I call them advisory uses, on which information inaccessible to the desirer herself helps determine what she wants. I show that extant theories by Stalnaker, Heim, and Levinson fail to predict these uses. They also fail to predict true indicative conditionals with 'wants' in the consequent. These problems are related: intuitively valid reasoning with modus ponens on the basis of the conditionals in question results in unembedded advisory uses. I consider two (...)
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  13. Conditionals, Indeterminacy, and Triviality.Justin Khoo - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):260-287.
    This paper discusses and relates two puzzles for indicative conditionals: a puzzle about indeterminacy and a puzzle about triviality. Both puzzles arise because of Ramsey's Observation, which states that the probability of a conditional is equal to the conditional probability of its consequent given its antecedent. The puzzle of indeterminacy is the problem of reconciling this fact about conditionals with the fact that they seem to lack truth values at worlds where their antecedents are false. The puzzle of triviality is (...)
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  14. Extensionality, Indirect Contexts and Frege's Hierarchy.Nicholas Koziolek - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):431-462.
    It is well known that Frege was an extensionalist, in the following sense: he held that the truth-value of a sentence is always a function only of the references of its parts. One consequence of this view is that expressions occurring in certain linguistic contexts – for example, the that-clauses of propositional attitude ascriptions – do not have their usual references, but refer instead to what are usually their senses. But although a number of philosophers have objected to this result, (...)
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  15. The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language.Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and up-to-date survey of original research in a particular subject area. Specially commissioned essays from leading figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. -/- Ernie Lepore and Barry Smith present the definitive reference work (...)
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  16. Impossibility and Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - forthcoming - In Otavio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. New York, USA: Routledge Press.
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  17. Content and Composition. An Essay on Tense, Content and Semantic Value.Sara Packalén - 2016 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    A remarkable thing about natural language is that we can use it to share our beliefs and thoughts about the world with other speakers of our language. In cases of successful communication, beliefs seem to be transferred from speakers to hearers by means of the hearer recovering the contents of the speaker’s utterances. This is so natural to us that we take it for granted in our everyday life, and rarely stop to think about how it's is possible. Nevertheless, it's (...)
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  18. The Antinomy of the Variable: A Tarskian Resolution.Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (3):137-170.
    Kit Fine has reawakened a puzzle about variables with a long history in analytic philosophy, labeling it “the antinomy of the variable”. Fine suggests that the antinomy demands a reconceptualization of the role of variables in mathematics, natural language semantics, and first-order logic. The difficulty arises because: (i) the variables ‘x’ and ‘y’ cannot be synonymous, since they make different contributions when they jointly occur within a sentence, but (ii) there is a strong temptation to say that distinct variables ‘x’ (...)
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  19. Reviving the Parameter Revolution in Semantics.Bryan Pickel, Brian Rabern & Josh Dever - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-171.
    Montague and Kaplan began a revolution in semantics, which promised to explain how a univocal expression could make distinct truth-conditional contributions in its various occurrences. The idea was to treat context as a parameter at which a sentence is semantically evaluated. But the revolution has stalled. One salient problem comes from recurring demonstratives: "He is tall and he is not tall". For the sentence to be true at a context, each occurrence of the demonstrative must make a different truth-conditional contribution. (...)
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  20. On What There Is.W. V. Quine - 1961 - In From a Logical Point of View. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. pp. 1-19.
  21. Index, Context, and the Content of Knowledge.Brian Rabern - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge. pp. 465-479.
    The verb 'knows' is often taken to be context-sensitive in an interesting way. What 'knows' means seems to be sensitive to the epistemic features of the context, e.g. the epistemic standard in play, the set of relevant alternatives, etc. There are standard model-theoretic semantic frameworks which deal with both intensional operators and context-sensitive expressions. In this chapter, we provide a brief overview of the various moving parts of these frameworks, the roles of context and index, the need for double indexing, (...)
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  22. The History of the Use of ⟦.⟧-Notation in Natural Language Semantics.Brian Rabern - 2016 - Semantics and Pragmatics 9 (12).
    In contemporary natural languages semantics one will often see the use of special brackets to enclose a linguistic expression, e.g. ⟦carrot⟧. These brackets---so-called denotation brackets or semantic evaluation brackets---stand for a function that maps a linguistic expression to its "denotation" or semantic value (perhaps relative to a model or other parameters). Even though this notation has been used in one form or another since the early development of natural language semantics in the 1960s and 1970s, Montague himself didn't make use (...)
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  23. Monsters and Communication: The Semantics of Contextual Shifting and Sensitivity.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    This thesis argues for two main points concerning the philosophy of natural language semantics. Firstly, that the objects of assertion are distinct from the entities appealed to in the compositional rules of natural language semantics. Secondly, natural languages contain context-shifting operators known as "monsters". In fact, it will be shown that these theses are simply two sides of the same coin.
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  24. Propositions and Multiple Indexing.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):116-124.
    It is argued that propositions cannot be the compositional semantic values of sentences (in context) simply due to issues stemming from the compositional semantics of modal operators (or modal quantifiers). In particular, the fact that the arguments for double indexing generalize to multiple indexing exposes a fundamental tension in the default philosophical conception of semantic theory. This provides further motivation for making a distinction between two sentential semantic contents—what (Dummett 1973) called “ingredient sense” and “assertoric content”.
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  25. Monsters and the Theoretical Role of Context.Brian Rabern & Derek Ball - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Kaplan (1989) famously claimed that monsters--operators that shift the context--do not exist in English and "could not be added to it". Several recent theorists have pointed out a range of data that seem to refute Kaplan's claim, but others (most explicitly Stalnaker 2014) have offered a principled argument that monsters are impossible. This paper interprets and resolves the dispute. Contra appearances, this is no dry, technical matter: it cuts to the heart of a deep disagreement about the fundamental structure of (...)
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  26. Sentences, Names and Semantic Values.Ian Rumfitt - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):66-72.
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  27. Disagreement and Attitudinal Relativism.Jack Spencer - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):511-539.
    Jacob Ross and Mark Schroeder argue that invariantist accounts of disagreement are incompatible with the phenomenon of reversibility. In this essay I develop a non-standard theory of propositional attitudes, which I call attitudinal relativism. Using the resources of attitudinal relativism, I articulate an invariantist account of disagreement that is compatible with reversibility.
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  28. Quantifier Particles and Compositionality.Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - Proceedings of the 19th Amsterdam Colloquium.
    In many languages, the same particles build quantifier words and serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, existential verbs, and so on. Do the roles of each particle form a natural class with a stable semantics? Are the particles aided by additional elements, overt or covert, in fulfilling their varied roles? I propose a unified analysis, according to which the particles impose partial ordering requirements (glb and lub) on the interpretations of their hosts and the immediate larger contexts, (...)
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  29. The Green Leaves and the Expert: Polysemy and Truth-Conditional Variability.Agustin Vicente - 2015 - Lingua 157:54-65.
    Polysemy seems to be a relatively neglected phenomenon within philosophy of language as well as in many quarters in linguistic semantics. Not all variations in a word’s contribution to truth-conditional contents are to be thought as expressions of the phenomenon of polysemy, but it can be argued that many are. Polysemous terms are said to contribute senses or aspects to truth-conditional contents. In this paper, I will make use of the notion of aspect to argue that some apparently wild variations (...)
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  30. A Closer Look at Manifest Consequence.Max Weiss - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):471-498.
    Fine (2007) argues that Frege’s puzzle and its relatives demonstrate a need for a basic reorientation of the field of semantics. According to this reorientation, the domain of semantic facts would be closed not under the classical consequence relation but only under a stronger relation Fine calls “manifest consequence.” I examine Fine’s informally sketched analyses of manifest consequence, showing that each can be amended to determine a class of strong consequence relations. A best candidate relation emerges from each of the (...)
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  31. A Constructive Type-Theoretical Formalism for the Interpretation of Subatomically Sensitive Natural Language Constructions.Bartosz Więckowski - 2012 - Studia Logica 100 (4):815-853.
    The analysis of atomic sentences and their subatomic components poses a special problem for proof-theoretic approaches to natural language semantics, as it is far from clear how their semantics could be explained by means of proofs rather than denotations. The paper develops a proof-theoretic semantics for a fragment of English within a type-theoretical formalism that combines subatomic systems for natural deduction [20] with constructive (or Martin-Löf) type theory [8, 9] by stating rules for the formation, introduction, elimination and equality of (...)
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  32. Operator Arguments Revisited.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri, John Hawthorne & Peter Fritz - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Certain passages in Kaplan’s ‘Demonstratives’ are often read as constituting an argument for the conclusion that the presence of a non-vacuous sentential operator associated with a certain parameter of sentential truth in a language requires the assertoric contents-cum-compositional semantic values of sentences in that language to vary in truth value with that parameter. Thus, for example, the non-vacuity of a temporal sentential operator ‘always’ would require some of its operands to have assertoric contents that have different truth values at different (...)
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  33. Relativism and Bound Predicates of Personal Taste: An Answer to Schaffer's Argument From Binding.Dan Zeman - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (2):155-183.
    In this paper I put forward and substantiate a possible defensive move on behalf of the relativist about predicates of personal taste that can be used to block a recent contextualist argument raised against the view: the ‘argument from binding’ proposed in Schaffer (). The move consists in adopting Recanati's “variadic functions” apparatus and applying it to predicates of personal taste like ‘tasty’ and experiencer phrases like ‘for John’. I substantiate the account in a basic relativistic framework and reply to (...)
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  34. Expereincer Phrases, Predicates of Personal Taste and Relativism: On Cappelen and Hawthorne's Critique of the Operator Argument.Dan Zeman - 2013 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (39):375-398.
    In the debate between relativism and contextualism about various expressions, the Operator Argument, initially proposed by Kaplan , has been taken to support relativism. However, one widespread reaction against the argument has taken the form of arguing against one assumption made by Kaplan: namely, that certain natural language expressions are best treated as sentential operators. Focusing on the only extant version of the Operator Argument proposed in connection to predicates of personal taste such as “tasty” and experiencer phrases such as (...)
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