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  1. The Communication Desideratum and Theories of Indexical Reference.Jonas Åkerman - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (4):474–499.
    According to the communication desideratum (CD), a notion of semantic content must be adequately related to communication. In the recent debate on indexical reference, (CD) has been invoked in arguments against the view that intentions determine the semantic content of indexicals and demonstratives (intentionalism). In this paper, I argue that the interpretations of (CD) that these arguments rely on are questionable, and suggest an alternative interpretation, which is compatible with (strong) intentionalism. Moreover, I suggest an approach that combines elements of (...)
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  2. Context in Artificial Intelligence: A Fleeting Overview.Varol Akman - manuscript
    The notion of context arises in assorted areas of artificial intelligence (AI), including knowledge representation, natural language processing, intelligent information retrieval, etc. Although the term ‘context’ is frequently employed in descriptions, explanations, and analyses of computer programs in these areas, its meaning is frequently left to the reader’s understanding. In other words, it is used in an intuitive manner. In an influential paper, Clark and Carlson (1981) state that context has become a favourite word. They then complain that the denotation (...)
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  3. Contexts of Social Action: Guest Editors' Introduction.Varol Akman - manuscript
    In traditional linguistic accounts of context, one thinks of the immediate features of a speech situation, that is, a situation in which an expression is uttered. Thus, features such as time, location, speaker, hearer and preceding discourse are all parts of context. But context is a wider and more transcendental notion than what these accounts imply. For one thing, context is a relational concept relating social actions and their surroundings, relating social actions, relating individual actors and their surroundings, and relating (...)
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  4. The Complexity of Context: Guest Editors' Introduction.Varol Akman - manuscript
    In our routine communicative activities, context is exploited both in production and in comprehension, and is strictly related to another problematic notion, viz. meaning. Thus Bateson (1979: 15): ‘‘Without context, words and actions have no meaning at all. This is true not only of human communication in words but also of all communication whatsoever, of all mental process, of all mind, including that which tells the sea anemone how to grow and the amoeba what he should do next.’’.
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  5. On Strawsonian Contexts.Varol Akman - 2005 - Pragmatics and Cognition 13 (2):363-382.
    P.F. Strawson proposed in the early seventies a threefold distinction regarding how context bears on the meaning of ¿what is said¿ when a sentence is uttered. The proposal was somewhat tentative and, being aware of this aspect, Strawson himself raised various questions to make it more adequate. In this paper, we review Strawson¿s scheme, note his concerns, and add some of our own. We also defend its essence and recommend it as an insightful entry point re the interplay of intended (...)
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  6. Context as a Social Construct.Varol Akman - unknown
    This position paper argues that in addition to the familiar approach using formal contexts, there is now a need in AI to study contexts as social constructs. As a successful example of the latter approach, I draw attention to `interpretation' (in the sense of literary theory), viz. the reconstruction of intended meaning of a literary text that takes into account the context in which the author assumed the reader would place the text. An important contribution here comes from Harris (1988), (...)
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  7. Strawson on Intended Meaning and Context.Varol Akman & Ferda N. Alpaslan - unknown
    Strawson proposed in the early seventies an attractive threefold distinction regarding how context bears on the meaning of `what is said' when a sentence is uttered. The proposed scheme is somewhat crude and, being aware of this aspect, Strawson himself raised various points to make it more adequate. In this paper, we review the scheme of Strawson, note his concerns, and add some of our own. However, our main point is to defend the essence of Strawson's approach and to recommend (...)
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  8. The Use of Situation Theory in Context Modeling.Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav - 1997 - Philosophical Explorations.
    At the heart of natural language processing is the understanding of context dependent meanings. This paper presents a preliminary model of formal contexts based on situation theory. It also gives a worked-out example to show the use of contexts in lifting, i.e., how propositions holding in a particular context transform when they are moved to another context. This is useful in NLP applications where preserving meaning is a desideratum.
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  9. Steps Toward Formalizing Context.Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav - 1996 - Philosophical Explorations.
    The importance of contextual reasoning is emphasized by various researchers in AI. (A partial list includes John McCarthy and his group, R. V. Guha, Yoav Shoham, Giuseppe Attardi and Maria Simi, and Fausto Giunchiglia and his group.) Here, we survey the problem of formalizing context and explore what is needed for an acceptable account of this abstract notion.
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  10. Contexts, Oracles, and Relevance.Varol Akman & Mehmet Surav - unknown
    We focus on how we should define the relevance of information to a context for information processing agents, such as oracles. We build our formalization of relevance upon works in pragmatics which refer to contextual information without giving any explicit representation of context. We use a formalization of context (due to us) in Situation Theory, and demonstrate its power in this task. We also discuss some computational aspects of this formalization.
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  11. A Very Different Context.Eric Alliez - 2008 - Radical Philosophy 149:18-21.
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  12. Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
    This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
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  13. Eléments Pour Une Approche Pragmatique de la Pertinence.Françoise Armengaud - 1982 - Philosophica 29.
  14. Context'.Knowledge Assertion - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111:167-203.
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  15. Why Speaker Intentions Aren't Part of Context.Kent Bach - unknown
    It is widely though not universally accepted what speakers refer to in using demonstratives or “discretionary” (as opposed to “automatic”) indexicals depends on their intentions. Even so, people tend not to appreciate the consequences of this claim for the view that demonstratives and most indexicals refer as a function of context: these expressions suffer from a “character deficiency.” No wonder I am asked from time to time why I resist the temptation to include speaker intentions as a parameter of context. (...)
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  16. The Significance of Context in Comprehension: The `We Case'. [REVIEW]Carla Bazzanella - 2002 - Foundations of Science 7 (3):239-254.
    This paper deals with some of the issues raised about the use of context in language, that is,the pragmatic side of the problem; morespecifically it aims to stress the significanceand complexity of context. In real life context is exploited both in production and in comprehension.I will deal here mainly with comprehension:after briefly referring to cognitive contextsand their interaction with knowledge andcomprehension, and touching on the relationbetween language and context, I will analyzethe uses of an indexical pronoun, we,which may both include (...)
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  17. 'Nobody Loves Me': Quantification and Context.Claudia Bianchi - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 130 (2):377 - 397.
    In my paper, I present two competing perspectives on the foundational problem (as opposed to the descriptive problem) of quantifier domain restriction: the objective perspective on context (OPC) and the intentional perspective on context (IPC). According to OPC, the relevant domain for a quantified sentence is determined by objective facts of the context of utterance. In contrast, according to IPC, we must consider certain features of the speaker’s intention in order to determine the proposition expressed. My goal is to offer (...)
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  18. Context of Utterance and Intended Context.Claudia Bianchi - 2001 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science 2116:73-86.
    In this paper I expose and criticise the distinction between pure indexicals and demonstratives, held by David Kaplan and John Perry. I oppose the context of material production of the utterance to the “intended context” (the context of interpretation, i.e. the context the speaker indicates as semantically relevant): this opposition introduces an intentional feature into the interpretation of pure indexicals. As far as the indexical I is concerned, I maintain that we must distinguish between the material producer of the utterance (...)
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  19. Individuals and Possibilities (3): Notes on Issues Raised by Stone & Hardt (1997).Maria Bittner - manuscript
    This is the last of three lectures on anaphoric parallels between individuals and possibilities across languages (IMS, Stuttgart, 2000).
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  20. Perspectival Discourse Referents for Indexicals.Maria Bittner - 2014 - In Hannah Greene (ed.), SULA 7: Proceedings of the Seventh Meeting on the Semantics of Under-represented Languages in the Americas (Cornell University, May 4–6, 2012). Createspace. pp. 1–22.
    This paper argues that indexical reference is a species of discourse reference, just like anaphora. Both varieties of discourse reference involve not only context dependence, but also context change. The act of speaking up focuses attention and thereby makes this very speech event available for discourse reference by indexicals. Mentioning something likewise focuses attention, making the mentioned entity available for subsequent discourse reference by anaphors. Empirical evidence is presented from grammatical centering in Kalaallisut and "shifty indexicals" in Slave attitude reports.
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  21. Context Modeling: Context as a Dressing of a Focus.Juliette Brézillon & Patrick Brézillon - 2007 - In D. C. Richardson B. Kokinov (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. Springer. pp. 136--149.
  22. Context and Content: Pragmatics in Two-Dimensional Semantics.Berit Brogaard - 2012 - In Keith Allan & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.
    Context figures in the interpretation of utterances in many different ways. In the tradition of possible-worlds semantics, the seminal account of context-sensitive expressions such as indexicals and demonstratives is that of Kaplan's two-dimensional semantics (the content- character distinction), further pursued in various directions by Stalnaker, Chalmers, and others. This chapter introduces and assesses the notion of context-sensitivity presented in this group of approaches, with a special focus on how it relates to the notion of cognitive significance and whether it includes (...)
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  23. Context Creation in Discourse Understanding.Gillian Brown - 1998 - In Kirsten Malmkjær & John Williams (eds.), Context in Language Learning and Language Understanding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 171--192.
  24. Context in Context.Peter Burke - 2002 - Common Knowledge 8 (1):152-177.
  25. Barack Obama’s South Carolina Speech.Alessandro Capone - 2010 - Journal of Pragmatics 42:2964–2977.
    Analysis of Barack Obama's rhetorical strategies.
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  26. Belief Reports and Pragmatic Intrusion: The Case of Null Appositives.Alessandro Capone - 2008 - Journal of Pragmatics 40:2019-2040.
    In this paper, I explore Bach’s idea (Bach, 2000) that null appositives, intended as expanded qua-clauses, can resolve the puzzles of belief reports. These puzzles are crucial in understanding the semantics and pragmatics of belief reports and are presented in a section. I propose that Bach’s strategy is not only a way of dealing with puzzles, but also an ideal way of dealing with belief reports. I argue that even simple unproblematic cases of belief reports are cases of pragmatic intrusion, (...)
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  27. Pragmatist Pragmatics: The Functional Context of Utterances.John Collier - 2005 - Philosophica 75.
    Formal pragmatics plays an important, though secondary, role in modern analytical philosophy of language: its aim is to explain how context can affect the meaning of certain special kinds of utterances. During recent years, the adequacy of formal tools has come under attack, often leading to one or another form of relativism or antirealism.1 Our aim will be to extend the critique to formal pragmatics while showing that sceptical conclusions can be avoided by developing a different approach to the issues. (...)
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  28. Communicating by Doing Something Else.Alex Davies - forthcoming - In Tamara Dobler, John Collins & Alun Davies (eds.), Themes from Charles Travis: On Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford University Press.
    It's sometimes thought that context-invariant linguistic meaning must be a character (a function from context types to contents) i.e. that linguistic meaning must determine how the content of an expression is fixed in context. This is thought because if context-invariant linguistic meaning were not a character then communication would not be possible. In this paper, I explain how communication could proceed even if context-invariant linguistic meaning were not a character.
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  29. Occasion-Sensitivity: Selected Essays, by Charles Travis.Alex Davies - 2011 - Disputatio 4 (31):309-315.
    This is not a critical review of Travis' book. It's an attempt to summarize the key thesis (occasion-sensitivity) in a way that makes the book accessible and distinguishes it from similar looking theses (such as relevance theory and truth-conditional pragmatics).
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  30. How to Use (Ordinary) Language Offensively.Alex Stewart Davies - 2012 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 1 (1):55-80.
    One can attack a philosophical claim by identifying a misuse of the language used to state it. I distinguish between two varieties of this strategy: one belonging to Norman Malcolm and the other to Ludwig Wittgenstein. The former is flawed and easily dismissible as misled linguistic conservatism. It muddies the name of ordinary language philosophy. I argue that the latter avoids this flaw. To make perspicuous the kind of criticism of philosophical claims that the second variety makes available, I draw (...)
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  31. 'Context', Hereafter AKC.K. DeRose & Knowledge Assertion - 2002 - Philosophical Review 3:167-203.
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  32. From Linguistic Contextualism to Situated Cognition: The Case of Ad Hoc Concepts.Jérôme Dokic - 2006 - Philosophical Psychology 19 (3):309 – 328.
    Our utterances are typically if not always "situated," in the sense that they are true or false relative to unarticulated parameters of the extra-linguistic context. The problem is to explain how these parameters are determined, given that nothing in the uttered sentences indicates them. It is tempting to claim that they must be determined at the level of thought or intention. However, as many philosophers have observed, thoughts themselves are no less situated than utterances. Unarticulated parameters need not be mentally (...)
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  33. Editorial: Context in Context. [REVIEW]Bruce Edmonds & Varol Akman - 2002 - Foundations of Science 7 (3):233-238.
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  34. 2 Deixis and Context.Charles J. Fillmore - 1998 - In Kirsten Malmkjær & John Williams (eds.), Context in Language Learning and Language Understanding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 27.
  35. Context-Dependent Abduction and Relevance.Dov Gabbay, Rolf Nossum & John Woods - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 35 (1):65-81.
    Based on the premise that what is relevant, consistent, or true may change from context to context, a formal framework of relevance and context is proposed in which • contexts are mathematical entities • each context has its own language with relevant implication • the languages of distinct contexts are connected by embeddings • inter-context deduction is supported by bridge rules • databases are sets of formulae tagged with deductive histories and the contexts they belong to • abduction and revision (...)
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  36. Contexts as Shared Commitments.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Contemporary semantics assumes two influential notions of context: one coming from Kaplan (1989), on which contexts are sets of predetermined parameters, and another originating in Stalnaker (1978), on which contexts are sets of propositions that are “common ground”. The latter is deservedly more popular, given its flexibility in accounting for context-dependent aspects of language beyond manifest indexicals, such as epistemic modals, predicates of taste, and so on and so forth; in fact, properly dealing with demonstratives (perhaps ultimately all indexicals) requires (...)
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  37. 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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  38. Logical Nihilism in Contemporary French Philosophy.Christopher Gauker - 2013 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):65-79.
    Recanati takes for granted the conveyance conception of linguistic communica- tion, although it is not very clear exactly where he lies on the spectrum of possible variations. Even if we disavow all such conceptions of linguistic communication, there will be a place for semantic theory in articulating normative concepts such as logical consistency and logical validity. An approach to semantics focused on such normative concepts is illustrated using the example of ““It’’s raining””. It is argued that Recanati’’s conception of semantics (...)
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  39. Semantics and Pragmatics.Christopher Gauker - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    Semantics deals with the literal meaning of sentences. Pragmatics deals with what speakers mean by their utterances of sentences over and above what those sentences literally mean. However, it is not always clear where to draw the line. Natural languages contain many expressions that may be thought of both as contributing to literal meaning and as devices by which speakers signal what they mean. After characterizing the aims of semantics and pragmatics, this chapter will set out the issues concerning such (...)
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  40. What Tipper is Ready For: A Semantics for Incomplete Predicates.Christopher Gauker - 2012 - Noûs 46 (1):61-85.
    This paper presents a precise semantics for incomplete predicates such as “ready”. Incomplete predicates have distinctive logical properties that a semantic theory needs to accommodate. For instance, “Tipper is ready” logically implies “Tipper is ready for something”, but “Tipper is ready for something” does not imply “Tipper is ready”. It is shown that several approaches to the semantics of incomplete predicates fail to accommodate these logical properties. The account offered here defines contexts as structures containing an element called a proposition (...)
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  41. Indirect Discourse, Relativism, and Contexts That Point to Other Contexts.Christopher Gauker - 2010 - In François Recanati, Isidora Stojanovic & Neftali Villanueva (eds.), Context-dependence, Perspective and Relativity in Language and Thought. Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 6--283.
    Some expressions, such as “all” and “might”, must be interpreted differently, relative to a single context, when embedded under “says that” than when unembedded. Egan, Hawthorne and Weatherson have appealed to that fact to argue that utterance-truth is relative to point of evaluation. This paper shows that the phenomena do not warrant this relativistic response. Instead, contexts may be defined as entities that assign other contexts to contextually relevant people, and context-relative truth conditions for indirect discourse sentences can be satisfactorily (...)
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  42. Contexts in Formal Semantics.Christopher Gauker - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):568-578.
    Recent philosophical literature has debated the question of how much context-relativity needs to be countenanced in precise semantic theories for natural languages and has displayed different conceptions of the way in which it might be accommodated. This article presents reasons to think that context-relativity is a phenomenon that semantic theory must accommodate and identifies some of the issues concerning how it ought to be accommodated.
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  43. Global Domains Versus Hidden Indexicals.Christopher Gauker - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (2):243-270.
    Jason Stanley has argued that in order to obtain the desired readings of certain sentences, such as “In most of John’s classes, he fails exactly three Frenchmen”, we must suppose that each common noun is associated with a hidden indexical that may be either bound by a higher quantifier phrase or interpreted by the context. This paper shows that the desired readings can be obtained as well by interpreting nouns as expressing relations and without supposing that nouns are associated with (...)
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  44. What is a Context of Utterance?Christopher Gauker - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 91 (2):149-172.
    For many purposes in pragmatics one needs to appeal to a context of utterance conceived as a set of sentences or propositions. The context of utterance in this sense is often defined as the set of assumptions that the speaker supposes he or she shares with the hearer. I argue by stages that this is a mistake. First, if contexts must be defined in terms of shared assumptions, then it would be preferable to define the context as the set of (...)
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  45. Domain of Discourse.Christopher Gauker - 1997 - Mind 106 (421):1-32.
    The proposition expressed by an utterance of a quantified sentence depends on a domain of discourse somehow determined by the context. How does the context of utterance determine the content of the domain of discourse? Many philosophers would approach this question from the point of view of an expressive theory of linguistic communication, according to which the primary function of language is to enable speakers to convey the propositional contents of their thoughts to hearers. This paper argues that from this (...)
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  46. Not All Contextual Parameters Are Alike.Michael Glanzberg - manuscript
    A great deal of discussion in recent philosophy of language has centered on the idea that there might be hidden contextual parameters in our sentences. But relatively little attention has been paid to what those parameters themselves are like, beyond the assumption that they behave more or less like variables do in logic. My goal in this paper is to show this has been a mistake. I shall argue there are at least two very different sorts of contextual parameters. One (...)
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  47. Context, Content, and Relativism.Michael Glanzberg - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (1):1--29.
    This paper argues against relativism, focusing on relativism based on the semantics of predicates of personal taste. It presents and defends a contextualist semantics for these predicates, derived from current work on gradable adjectives. It then considers metasemantic questions about the kinds of contextual parameters this semantics requires. It argues they are not metasemantically different from those in other gradable adjectives, and that contextual parameters of this sort are widespread in natural language. Furthermore, this paper shows that if such parameters (...)
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  48. Context and Discourse.Michael Glanzberg - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (4):333–375.
    Current theories of context see context as composed of information that is localizable to individual utterances. Current theories of discourse grant that discourses have important global properties that are not so localizable. In this paper, I argue that context, even narrowly construed as whatever combines with a sentence to determine truth conditions, must have a discourse -global component. I identify a context-dependence phenomenon related to the linguistic concepts of topic and focus, isolate the pertinent feature of context, and show that (...)
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  49. Just What Is It That Makes Travis's Examples So Different, So Appealing?Nat Hansen - forthcoming - In J. Collins A. Davies & T. Dobler (eds.), Themes from Charles Travis: On Language,Thought and Perception. Oxford University Press.
    Odd and memorable examples are a distinctive feature of Charles Travis's work: cases involving squash balls, soot-covered kettles, walls that emit poison gas, faces turning puce, ties made of freshly cooked linguine, and people grunting when punched in the solar plexus all figure in his arguments. One of Travis's examples, involving a pair of situations in which the leaves of a Japanese maple tree are painted green, has even spawned its own literature consisting of attempts to explain the context sensitivity (...)
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  50. Maximising, Satisficing and Context.C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan - 2010 - Noûs 44 (3):451-468.
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