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  1. Hopes, Fears, and Other Grammatical Scarecrows.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):63-105.
    The standard view of "believes" and other propositional attitude verbs is that such verbs express relations between agents and propositions. A sentence of the form “S believes that p” is true just in case S stands in the belief-relation to the proposition that p; this proposition is the referent of the complement clause "that p." On this view, we would expect the clausal complements of propositional attitude verbs to be freely intersubstitutable with their corresponding proposition descriptions—e.g., "the proposition that p"—as (...)
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  • Coalescent theories and divergent paraphrases: definites, non-extensional contexts, and familiarity.Francesco Pupa - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    A recent challenge to Russell’s theory of definite description centers upon the divergent behavior of definites and their Russellian paraphrases in non-extensional contexts. Russellians can meet this challenge, I argue, by incorporating the familiarity theory of definiteness into Russell’s theory. The synthesis of these two seemingly incompatible theories produces a conceptually consistent and empirically powerful framework. As I show, the coalescence of Russellianism and the familiarity theory of definiteness stands as a legitimate alternative to both Traditional Russellianism and alternative semantic (...)
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  • The Argument From Convention Revisited.Francesco Pupa - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2175-2204.
    The argument from convention contends that the regular use of definite descriptions as referential devices strongly implies that a referential semantic convention underlies such usage. On the presumption that definite descriptions also participate in a quantificational semantic convention, the argument from convention has served as an argument for the thesis that the English definite article is ambiguous. Here, I revisit this relatively new argument. First, I address two recurring criticisms of the argument from convention: its alleged tendency to overgenerate and (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • Is There Room for Reference Borrowing in Donnellan’s Historical Explanation Theory?Andrea Bianchi & Alessandro Bonanini - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (3):175-203.
    Famously, both Saul Kripke and Keith Donnellan opposed description theories and insisted on the role of history in determining the reference of a proper name token. No wonder, then, that their views on proper names have often been assimilated. By focusing on reference borrowing—an alleged phenomenon that Kripke takes to be fundamental—we argue that they should not be. In particular, we claim that according to Donnellan a proper name token never borrows its reference from preceding tokens which it is historically (...)
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  • Explicatures Are NOT Cancellable.Alessandro Capone - 2013 - In Alessandro Capone, Franco Lo Piparo & Marco Carapezza (eds.), Perspectives on linguistic pragmatics. Springer. pp. 131-151.
    Explicatures are not cancellable. Theoretical considerations.
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  • Fictional Surrogates.Ioan-Radu Motoarca - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):1033-1053.
    It is usually taken for granted, in discussions about fiction, that real things or events can occur as referents of fictional names . In this paper, I take issue with this view, and provide several arguments to the effect that it is better to take the names in fiction to refer to fictional surrogates of real objects. Doing so allows us to solve a series of problems that arise on the reference-continuity view. I also show that the arguments philosophers usually (...)
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  • Against the Argument From Convention.Anders J. Schoubye - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (6):515-532.
    In recent years, a new argument in favor of Donnellan’s (Philos Rev 77: 281–304, 1966) semantic distinction between attributive and referential descriptions has been proposed by Michael Devitt and Marga Reimer. This argument is based on two empirical premises concerning regularity of use and processing ease. This paper is an attempt to demonstrate (a) that these empirical observations are dubious and fail to license the conclusion of the argument and (b) that if the argument were sound, it would severely overgenerate. (...)
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  • There is No General AI.Jobst Landgrebe & Barry Smith - 2020 - arXiv.
    The goal of creating Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) – or in other words of creating Turing machines (modern computers) that can behave in a way that mimics human intelligence – has occupied AI researchers ever since the idea of AI was first proposed. One common theme in these discussions is the thesis that the ability of a machine to conduct convincing dialogues with human beings can serve as at least a sufficient criterion of AGI. We argue that this very ability (...)
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  • Reference to ad hoc kinds.Jon Ander Mendia - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (6):589-631.
    Although there is no consensus about what kinds are, there is a common understanding that kinds can be regarded as collections of objects that share certain properties. What these properties exactly are is often left unspecified. This paper explores the semantics of ad hoc kind-referring terms, where the determination of the relevant set of shared properties does not rely on “natural” properties or world knowledge. Rather, information provided by a nominal modifier, typically a relative clause, is used to impute the (...)
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  • Logical Form, Truth Conditions, and Adequate Formalization.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2020 - Disputatio 12 (58):209-222.
    I discuss Andrea Iacona’s idea that logical form mirrors truth conditions, and that logical form, and thus truth conditions, are in turn represented by means of adequate formalization. I criticize this idea, noting that the notion of adequate formalization is highly indefinite, while the pre-theoretic idea of logical form is often much more definite. I also criticize Iacona’s claim that certain distinct sentences, with the same truth conditions and differing only by co-referential names, must be formalized by the same formula. (...)
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  • Support for Individual Concepts.Barbara Abbott - 2011 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 10:23-44.
  • Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Definite Descriptions: An Examination.Mostofa N. Mansur - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
    Despite its enormous popularity, Russell’s theory of definite descriptions has received various criticisms. Two of the most important objections against this theory are those arising from the Argument from Incompleteness and the Argument from Donnellan’s Distinction. According to the former although a speaker may say something true by assertively uttering a sentence containing an incomplete description , on the Russellian analysis such a sentence expresses a false proposition; so, Russell’s theory cannot adequately deal with such sentences. According to the latter (...)
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  • Acquiring the Meaning of Free Relative Clauses and Plural Definite Descriptions.I. Caponigro, L. Pearl, N. Brooks & D. Barner - 2012 - Journal of Semantics 29 (2):261-293.
    Plural definite descriptions (e.g. the things on the plate) and free relative clauses (e.g. what is on the plate) have been argued to share the same semantic properties, despite their syntactic differences. Specifically, both have been argued to be non-quantificational expressions referring to the maximal element of a given set (e.g. the set of things on the contextually salient plate). We provide experimental support for this semantic analysis with the first reported simultaneous investigation of children’s interpretation of both constructions, highlighting (...)
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  • Representation Without Thought: Confusion, Reference, and Communication.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2015 - Dissertation, CUNY Graduate Center
    I develop and argue for a novel theory of the mental state of identity confusion. I also argue that this mental state can corrupt the proper function of singular terms in linguistic communication. Finally, I propose a theory according to which identity confusion should be treated as a the source of a new sort of linguistic performance error, similar to malapropism, slips of the tongue, and so-called intentional obfuscation (inducing false belief by manipulating language in specific ways). -/- Going into (...)
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  • Names Are Not Predicates.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    There are many examples offered as evidence that proper names are predicates. Not all of these cases speak to a name’s semantic content, but many of them do. Some of these include attributive, quantifier, and ambiguity cases. We will explore those cases here, and we will see that none of them conclusively show that names are predicates. In fact, all of these constructions can be given alternative analyses that eliminate the predicative characteristics of names they feature. These analyses do not (...)
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  • Concept Types and Determination.S. Lobner - 2011 - Journal of Semantics 28 (3):279-333.
    The article offers a systematic account of four basic types of nouns, of four basic types of nominal determination and of the interaction of noun type and determination type. The four basic noun types are sortal, individual, relational and functional; they correspond to the four logical types 〈e,t〉, e, 〈e,〈e,t〉〉 and 〈e,e〉 on the one hand, and to four types of concepts on the other. The four basic types of nominal determination are singular definite, indefinite (a variety of determinations including (...)
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  • The Indefiniteness of Definiteness.Barbara Abbott - unknown
    This paper is about the difficulties involved in establishing criteria for definiteness. A number of possibilities are considered – traditional ones such as strength, uniqueness, and familiarity, as well as several which have been suggested in the wake of Montague’s analysis of NPs as generalized quantifiers. My tentative conclusion is that Russell’s uniqueness characteristic (suitably modified) holds up well against the others.
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