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  1. added 2018-12-27
    Contexts in Philosophy: Pragmatic Competence as Filter.Carlo Penco - 2018 - Modeling and Using Context 2 (1):1-19.
    This programmatic paper is an attempt to connect some worries in the philosophy of language with some traditional views in artificial intelligence. After a short introduction to the notion of context in philosophy (§1), starting from the inventor of mathematical logic, Gottlob Frege, I list three debates in the philosophy of language where the solution is strongly undecided: §2 treats the debate between holism and molecularism; §3 describes the debate on the boundaries between semantics and pragmatics; §4 hints at a (...)
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  2. added 2018-10-31
    Content in a Dynamic Context.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Noûs.
    The standing tradition in theorizing about meaning, since at least Frege, identifies meaning with propositions, which are, or determine, the truth-conditions of a sentence in a context. But a recent trend has advocated a departure from this tradition: in particular, it has been argued that modal claims do not express standard propositional contents. This non-propositionalism has received different implementations in expressivist semantics and certain kinds of dynamic semantics. They maintain that the key aspect of interpretation of modal claims is the (...)
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  3. added 2018-07-03
    A Pragmatic View of Proper Name Reference.Peter Ridley - 2016 - Dissertation, King's College London
    I argue, in this thesis, that proper name reference is a wholly pragmatic phenomenon. The reference of a proper name is neither constitutive of, nor determined by, the semantic content of that name, but is determined, on an occasion of use, by pragmatic factors. The majority of views in the literature on proper name reference claim that reference is in some way determined by the semantics of the name, either because their reference simply constitutes their semantics (which generally requires a (...)
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  4. added 2018-06-28
    What Properly Belongs to Grammar? A Response to Lepore and Stone.Anne Bezuidenhout - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (2):175-194.
    Lepore and Stone devote Part I of their book to setting out a number of views that act as foils for their own positive ‘disambiguation’ view of interpretation developed in Part II. They divide their opposition into three camps: The Gricean rationalists, the neo-Gricean lexicalists, and the empirical psychologists. I try to show why a ‘disambiguation’ view of such phenomena is unappealing and why Relevance Theory provides a better account of these phenomena. I end with some brief remarks about what (...)
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  5. added 2018-05-18
    Meaning for Radical Contextualists: Travis and Gadamer on Why Words Matter.Greg Lynch - 2018 - Philosophical Investigations 41 (1):22-41.
    Charles Travis and Hans-Georg Gadamer both affirm radical contextualism, the view that natural language is ineliminably context-sensitive. However, they offer different accounts of the role linguistic meaning plays in determining the contents of utterances. I discuss the differences between Travis's and Gadamer's views of meaning and offer an argument in favour of the latter. I argue that Travis's view assumes a principled distinction between literal and figurative speech that is at odds with his wider contextualist commitments. By contrast, Gadamer's view, (...)
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  6. added 2018-03-10
    Quasi Indexicals.Justin Khoo - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    I argue that not all context dependent expressions are alike. Pure (or ordinary) indexicals behave more or less as Kaplan thought. But quasi indexicals behave in some ways like indexicals and in other ways not like indexicals. A quasi indexical sentence φ allows for cases in which one party utters φ and the other its negation, and neither party’s claim has to be false. In this sense, quasi indexicals are like pure indexicals (think: “I am a doctor”/“I am not a (...)
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  7. added 2018-02-17
    Nonindexical Context-Dependence and the Interpretation as Abduction Approach.Erich Rast - 2011 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 7 (2):259-279.
    Nonindexical Context-Dependence and the Interpretation as Abduction Approach Inclusive nonindexical context-dependence occurs when the preferred interpretation of an utterance implies its lexically-derived meaning. It is argued that the corresponding processes of free or lexically mandated enrichment can be modeled as abductive inference. A form of abduction is implemented in Simple Type Theory on the basis of a notion of plausibility, which is in turn regarded a preference relation over possible worlds. Since a preordering of doxastic alternatives taken for itself only (...)
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  8. added 2018-02-16
    Pragmatics.Francois Recanati - 1998 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum International. pp. 620-633.
    An abridged and slightly updated version of "Pragmatics", in Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge 620-633 (1998).
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  9. added 2018-02-09
    What is Said?Anders J. Schoubye & Andreas Stokke - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):759-793.
    It is sometimes argued that certain sentences of natural language fail to express truth conditional contents. Standard examples include e.g. Tipper is ready and Steel is strong enough. In this paper, we provide a novel analysis of truth conditional meaning using the notion of a question under discussion. This account explains why these types of sentences are not, in fact, semantically underdetermined, provides a principled analysis of the process by which natural language sentences can come to have enriched meanings in (...)
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  10. added 2017-10-11
    Contextualism, Relativism and the Liar.Gil Sagi - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):913-928.
    Contextualist theories of truth appeal to context to solve the liar paradox: different stages of reasoning occur in different contexts, and so the contradiction is dispelled. The word ‘true’ is relativized by the contextualists to contexts of use. This paper shows that contextualist approaches to the liar are committed to a form of semantic relativism: that the truth value of some sentences depends on the context of assessment, as well as the context of use. In particular, it is shown how (...)
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  11. added 2017-09-08
    If-Clauses as Postsemantic Context-Shifters.Benj Hellie - manuscript
    A mainstay assumption in natural-language semantics is that \emph{if}-clauses bind indexical argument-places in \emph{then}-clauses. Unfortunately, recent work (compare \citealt{santorio12}) suggests that \emph{if}-clauses can somehow act to `shift the context'. On the framework of Kaplan's `Demonstratives' \citep{kaplan77}, that would be `monstrous' and somehow impossible `in English'. The superseding framework of Lewis's `Index, context, and content' \citep{lewis80icc} instead maintains that an indexical argument-place is just one that is bindable (compare~\citealt[ch.~1]{stalnaker14}), but maintains that these are rare---whereas the lesson of recent work is that (...)
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  12. added 2017-08-23
    Challenges to Bach’s Pragmatics.Esther Romero & Belén Soria - 2013 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 13 (2):135-160.
    In this paper, we will revise Bach’s classification of contents in what is directly meant. That catalogue was introduced to reach an exhaustive characterization of the contents that may appear in what the speaker means; something that cannot be done just with Grice’s division between what is said and what is implied. However, Bach’s distinction among different types of direct inexplicit contents presents some theoretical problems which we think can be avoided if at least the following is considered. First, within (...)
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  13. added 2017-06-12
    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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  14. added 2017-04-06
    Evaluative Disagreements.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2016 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (1):67-87.
    A recent quarrel over faultless disagreements assumes that disputes over evaluative sentences should be understood as regular, factual disagreements. Instead, I propose that evaluative disagreements should be understood in Lewisian terms. Language use works like a rule-governed game. In it, the assertion of an evaluative sentence is an attempt to establish one value as default in the conversation; its rejection, in turn, is in most cases the refusal to accept this move.
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  15. added 2017-04-01
    A Note on Belief Reports and Context Dependence.Tadeusz Ciecierski - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):447-464.
    The aim of this paper is to pose a problem for theories that claim that belief reports are context dependent. Firstly, I argue that the claim is committed to verbalism, a theory that derives the context sensitivity of belief reports from the context sensitivity of the psychological verbs used in such reports. Secondly, I argue that verbalism is not an attractive theoretical option because it is in conflict with the non-proto-rigidity of verbs like ‘believe’. Finally, I describe various consequences that (...)
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  16. added 2017-03-21
    Testimony, Recovery and Plausible Deniability: A Response to Peet.Alex Davies - forthcoming - Episteme.
    According to telling based views of testimony (TBVs), B has reason to believe that p when A tells B that p because A thereby takes public responsibility for B's subsequent belief that p. Andrew Peet presents a new argument against TBVs. He argues that insofar as A uses context-sensitive expressions to express p, A doesn't take public responsibility for B's belief that p. Since context-sensitivity is widespread, the kind of reason TBVs say we have to believe what we're told, is (...)
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  17. added 2017-02-06
    Context and Communication by Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever (Review). [REVIEW]Alex Davies - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
  18. added 2017-01-03
    A Here-Now Theory of Indexicality.Gilbert Plumer - 1993 - Journal of Philosophical Research 18:193-211.
    This paper attempts to define indexicality so as to semantically distinguish indexicals from proper names and definite descriptions. The widely-accepted approach that says that indexical reference is distinctive in being dependent on context of use is criticized. A reductive approach is proposed and defended that takes an indexical to be (roughly) an expression that either is or is equivalent to ‘here’ or ‘now’, or is such that a tokening of it refers by relating something to the place and/or time that (...)
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  19. added 2016-12-12
    What Does It Take to Enter Into the Circumstance?Dan López De Sa - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (1):147 - 153.
    In the recent literature on contextualism and relativism, one often finds disputes as to which kind of consideration would be relevant for positing a feature of a context as a parameter in the ‘‘circumstance of evaluation’: via the presence of an operator in the language which shifts that feature (Stanley) or by being a feature of a context with respect to which the truth of ‘‘propositions’’ expressed in the context is relative (McFarlane). This kind of dispute arises from two different (...)
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  20. added 2016-11-25
    Go Figure: Understanding Figurative Talk.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):1-12.
    We think and speak in figures. This is key to our creativity. We re-imagine one thing as another, pretend ourself to be another, do one thing in order to achieve another, or say one thing to mean another. This comes easily because of our abilities both to work out meaning in context and re-purpose words. Figures of speech are tools for this re-purposing. Whether we use metaphor, simile, irony, hyperbole, and litotes individually, or as compound figures, the uses are all (...)
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  21. added 2016-10-08
    The Semantic Error Problem for Epistemic Contextualism.Patrick Michael Greenough & Dirk Kindermann - 2017 - In Jonathan Ichikawa (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. Routledge. pp. 305--320.
    Epistemic Contextualism is the view that “knows that” is semantically context-sensitive and that properly accommodating this fact into our philosophical theory promises to solve various puzzles concerning knowledge. Yet Epistemic Contextualism faces a big—some would say fatal—problem: The Semantic Error Problem. In its prominent form, this runs thus: speakers just don’t seem to recognise that “knows that” is context-sensitive; so, if “knows that” really is context-sensitive then such speakers are systematically in error about what is said by, or how to (...)
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  22. added 2016-08-26
    A Plea for Radical Contextualism.Minyao Huang - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):963-988.
    Extant contextualist theories have relied on the mechanism of pragmatically driven modulation to explain the way non-indexical expressions take on different interpretations in different contexts. In this paper I argue that a modulation-based contextualist semantics is untenable with respect to non-ambiguous expressions whose invariant meaning fails to determine a unique literal interpretation, such as ‘lawyer’ ‘musician’ ‘book’ and ‘game’. The invariant meaning of such an expression corresponds to a range of closely related and equally basic interpretations, none of which can (...)
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  23. added 2016-06-15
    Occasion-Sensitivity: Selected Essays, by Charles Travis. [REVIEW]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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  24. added 2016-06-12
    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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  25. added 2016-06-12
    Elaboration and Intuitions of Disagreement.Alex Davies - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):861-875.
    Mark Richard argues for truth-relativism about claims made using gradable adjectives. He argues that truth-relativism is the best explanation of two kinds of linguistic data, which I call: true cross-contextual reports and infelicitous denials of conflict. Richard claims that such data are generated by an example that he discusses at length. However, the consensus is that these linguistic data are illusory because they vanish when elaborations are added to examples of the same kind as Richard’s original. In this paper I (...)
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  26. added 2016-06-12
    Entailments Are Cancellable.Alex Davies - 2017 - Ratio 30 (3):288-304.
    Several philosophers have recently claimed that if a proposition is cancellable from an uttered sentence then that proposition is not entailed by that uttered sentence. The claim should be a familiar one. It has become a standard device in the philosopher's tool-kit. I argue that this claim is false. There is a kind of entailment—which I call “modal entailment”—that is context-sensitive and, because of this, cancellable. So cancellability does not show that a proposition is not entailed by an uttered sentence. (...)
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  27. added 2016-06-08
    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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  28. added 2016-05-11
    What is Said.François Recanati - 2001 - Synthese 128 (1-2):75--91.
  29. added 2016-05-11
    Déstabiliser le sens.François Recanati - 2001 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 2 (217):197-208.
    Contribution au numéro spécial de la Revue Internationale de Philosophie sur John Searle.
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  30. added 2016-05-11
    Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.Francois Recanati - 1998 - In Asa Kasher (ed.), Pragmatics: Critical Concepts. pp. 509-511.
  31. added 2016-05-11
    La Polysémie Contre le Fixisme.Francois Recanati - 1997 - Langue Française 113:107-123.
  32. added 2016-05-11
    Contextualism and Anti-Contextualism in the Philosophy of Language.François Recanati - 1994 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), Foundations of Speech Act Theory: Philosophical and Linguistic Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 156-166.
  33. added 2016-02-18
    Literalism and Contextualism : Some Varieties.François Recanati - 2003 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 171--196.
    Both Literalism and Contextualism come in many varieties. There are radical, and less radical, versions of both Literalism and Contextualism. Some intermediate positions are mixtures of Literalism and Contextualism. In this paper I describe several literalist positions, several contextualist positions, and a couple of intermediate positions. My aim is to convince the reader that the Literalism/Contextualism controversy is far from being settled. In the first section, I look at the historical development of Literalism. This development reveals a gradual weakening. The (...)
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  34. added 2016-02-18
    The Limits of Expressibility.Francois Recanati - 2002 - In Barry Smith (ed.), John Searle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 189-213.
  35. added 2016-02-16
    Compositionality, Flexibility, and Context-Dependence.François Recanati - 2012 - In Wolfram Hinzen, Edouard Machery & Markus Werning (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 175-191.
    It has often been observed that the meaning of a word may be affected by the other words which occur in the same sentence. How are we to account for this phenomenon of 'semantic flexibility'? It is argued that semantic flexibility reduces to context-sensitivity and does not raise unsurmountable problems for standard compositional accounts. On the other hand, it would be a mistake to assume too simple a view of context-sensitivity. Two basic forms of context-sensitivity are distinguished in the paper. (...)
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  36. added 2016-01-26
    Prepragmatics: Widening the Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary.Isidora Stojanovic - 2013 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 311-326.
    One of the most important and, at the same time, most controversial issues in metasemantics is the question of what semantics is, and what distinguishes semantic elements (features, properties, phenomena, mechanisms, processes, or whatever) from the rest. The issue is tightly linked with the debate over the semantics-pragmatics distinction, which has been vibrant for a decade or two, but seems to be reaching an impasse. I suggest that this impasse may be due to the failure to recognize a distinct realm (...)
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  37. added 2016-01-08
    Pragmatic Enrichment.Francois Recanati - 2010 - In Delia Fara & Gillian Russell (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. Routledge. pp. 67-78.
    It is commonly held that all truth-conditional effects of context result from a pragmatic process of value-assignment that is triggered (and made obligatory) by something in the sentence itself, namely a lexically context-sensitive expression (e.g. an indexical) or a free variable in logical form. Such a process has been dubbed ‘saturation'. It stands in contrast to so called ‘free' pragmatic processes, which are supposed to take place for purely pragmatic reasons — in order to make sense of what the speaker (...)
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  38. added 2016-01-05
    Shared Content.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 1020--1055.
    A general and fundamental tension surrounds our concept of what is said. On the one hand, what is said (asserted, claimed, stated, etc.) by utterances of a significant range of sentences is highly context sensitive. More specifically, (Observation 1 (O1)), what these sentences can be used to say depends on their contexts of utterance. On the other hand, speakers face no difficulty whatsoever in using many of these sentences to say (or make) the exact same claim, assertion, etc., across a (...)
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  39. added 2015-09-23
    The Utility of Content-Relativism.Paula Sweeney - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):563-579.
    Content- relativism is a semantic theory that states that the content of an uttered sentence can vary according to some feature of an assessment context. This paper has two objectives. The first is to determine which features a motivational case for content- relativism would display – what would a good case for content- relativism look like? The second is to consider cases that appear to have the required features and evaluate their prospects as motivational cases. I identify two varieties of (...)
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  40. added 2015-09-19
    The Conversational Role of Centered Contents.Max Kölbel - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):97-121.
    Some philosophers, for example David Lewis, have argued for the need to introduce de se contents or centered contents, i.e. contents of thought and speech the correctness of believing which depends not only on the possible world one inhabits, but also on the location one occupies. Independently, philosophers like Robert Stalnaker (and also David Lewis) have developed the conversational score model of linguistic communication. This conversational model usually relies on a more standard conception of content according to which the correctness (...)
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  41. added 2015-07-18
    Semantics and Context-Dependence: Towards a Strawsonian Account.Richard Heck - 2014 - In Brett Sherman & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 327-364.
    This paper considers a now familiar argument that the ubiquity of context -dependence threatens the project of natural language semantics, at least as that project has usually been conceived: as concerning itself with `what is said' by an utterance of a given sentence. I argue in response that the `anti-semantic' argument equivocates at a crucial point and, therefore, that we need not choose between semantic minimalism, truth-conditional pragmatism, and the like. Rather, we must abandon the idea, familiar from Kaplan and (...)
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  42. added 2015-05-28
    Unarticulated Constituents of Semantic Content and Syntactic Ellipsis.Marian Zouhar - 2011 - Filozofia 66 (8):725-745.
    The paper addresses the problem which consists in that the semantic content of an utterance is often much richer than the content fixed by the semantic conventions and compositionality. The semantic content of an utterance is, therefore, supposed to involve so-called unarticulated constituents, over and above those articulated at the linguistic level. It is often claimed that this problem undermines traditional conceptions of semantics. The paper shows that every unarticulated constituent has to be determined at the syntactic level. Consequently, there (...)
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  43. added 2015-05-28
    Meaning and Context.Erich Rast & Luiz Carlos Baptista (eds.) - 2010 - Peter Lang.
  44. added 2015-05-28
    Lexical Concepts: From Contextualism to Concept Decompositionalism.Agustin Vicente & Fernando Martínez-Manrique - 2010 - In Erich Rast & Luiz Carlos Baptista (eds.), Meaning and Context. Peter Lang.
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  45. added 2015-05-28
    Review: Literal Meaning. [REVIEW]E. Borg - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):461-465.
  46. added 2015-05-28
    Using Words: Pragmatic Implicatures and Semantic Contents.Michael Don Jeshion-Nelson - 2002 - Dissertation, Princeton University
    Sometimes what a sentence says varies from context to context, in the sense that different utterances of that sentence semantically encode different information. Such sentences are context-sensitive. Sometimes, however, different utterances of the same sentence convey different pieces of information even though both utterances semantically encode the same information. In such cases the speaker means more with her utterance than, or something all together different from, what the sentence she utters says. It is uncontroversial, even if sometimes controverted, that these (...)
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  47. added 2015-05-28
    Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson, Relevance: Communication and Cognition.F. Murphy - 1997 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5:144-144.
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  48. added 2015-05-15
    Modal Disagreements.Justin Khoo - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (5):511-534.
    It is often assumed that when one party felicitously rejects an assertion made by an- other party, the first party thinks that the proposition asserted by the second is false. This assumption underlies various disagreement arguments used to challenge contex- tualism about some class of expressions. As such, many contextualists have resisted these arguments on the grounds that the disagreements in question may not be over the proposition literally asserted. The result appears to be a dialectical stalemate, with no independent (...)
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  49. added 2015-01-08
    Emotional Disagreement: The Role of Semantic Content in the Expression of, and Disagreement Over, Emotional Values.Isidora Stojanovic - 2012 - Dialogue 51 (1):99-117.
  50. added 2014-04-02
    Just What Is It That Makes Travis's Examples So Different, So Appealing?Nat Hansen - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: 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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