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  1. Language From the Ground Up: A Study of Homesign Communication.Endre Begby - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):693-714.
    Philosophers are often beholden to a picture of language as a largely static, well-defined structure which is handed over from generation to generation by an arduous process of learning: language, on this view, is something that we are given, and that we can make use of, but which we play no significant role in creating ourselves. This picture is often maintained in conjunction with the idea that several distinctively human cognitive capacities could only develop via the language acquisition process, as (...)
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  • Lexical Norms, Language Comprehension, and the Epistemology of Testimony.Endre Begby - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (3-4):324-342.
    It has recently been argued that public linguistic norms are implicated in the epistemology of testimony by way of underwriting the reliability of language comprehension. This paper argues that linguistic normativity, as such, makes no explanatory contribution to the epistemology of testimony, but instead emerges naturally out of a collective effort to maintain language as a reliable medium for the dissemination of knowledge. Consequently, the epistemologies of testimony and language comprehension are deeply intertwined from the start, and there is no (...)
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  • Conventions’ Revenge: Davidson, Derangement, and Dormativity.Elisabeth Camp - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):113-138.
    Davidson advocates a radical and powerful form of anti-conventionalism, on which the scope of a semantic theory is restricted to the most local of contexts: a particular utterance by a particular speaker. I argue that this hyper-localism undercuts the explanatory grounds for his assumption that semantic meaning is systematic, which is central, among other things, to his holism. More importantly, it threatens to undercut the distinction between word meaning and speaker’s meaning, which he takes to be essential to semantics. I (...)
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  • Deranging the Mental Lexicon.Endre Begby - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):33-55.
    This paper offers a defense of Davidson’s conclusion in ‘A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs’, focusing on the psychology and epistemology of language. Drawing on empirical studies in language acquisition and sociolinguistics, I problematize the traditional idealizing assumption that a person’s mental lexicon consists of two distinct parts—a dictionary, comprising her knowledge of word meanings proper, and an encyclopedia, comprising her wider knowledge of worldly affairs. I argue that the breakdown of the dictionary–encyclopedia distinction can be given a cognitive and functional (...)
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