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Reference and Contingency

The Monist 62 (2):161-189 (1979)

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  1. Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity.Tristan Grotvedt Haze - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This book is about the idea that some true statements would have been true no matter how the world had turned out, while others could have been false. It develops and defends a version of the idea that we tell the difference between these two types of truths in part by reflecting on the meanings of words. It has often been thought that modal issues—issues about possibility and necessity—are related to issues about meaning. In this book, the author defends the (...)
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  • Manuel García-Carpintero and Josep Macia, Eds., Two-Dimensional Semantics. [REVIEW]Peter Sutton - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):637-639.
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  • Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account.Jason Stanley - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):605-609.
    Complex demonstrative phrases, in English, are phrases such as ‘that woman in the department’ and ‘that car on the corner’. They are of particular interest to philosophers for two related reasons. The first involves the problem of intentionality. If there are phrases that are candidates for “latching directly onto the world,” they are such phrases, and their “simple” counterparts, as in the occurrences of ‘that’ in ‘that is nice’. As a result, philosophers interested in intentionality, from the sense-data theorists to (...)
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  • Real Conditionals. [REVIEW]Brian Weatherson - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):609-611.
    Over the last two decades, William Lycan’s work on the semantics of conditionals has been distinguished by his careful attention to the connection between syntax and semantics, and more generally by his impeccable methodology. Lycan takes compositionality seriously, so he requires that the meaning of compound expressions like ‘even if’ be a combination of the constituent expressions, here ‘even’ and ‘if’. After reading his work, it’s hard to take seriously work that does not share this methodology.
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  • Shadows of Syntax: Revitalizing Logical and Mathematical Conventionalism.Jared Warren - 2020 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    What is the source of logical and mathematical truth? This book revitalizes conventionalism as an answer to this question. Conventionalism takes logical and mathematical truth to have their source in linguistic conventions. This was an extremely popular view in the early 20th century, but it was never worked out in detail and is now almost universally rejected in mainstream philosophical circles. Shadows of Syntax is the first book-length treatment and defense of a combined conventionalist theory of logic and mathematics. It (...)
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  • Topic-Sensitive Two-Dimensional Truthmaker Semantics.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper endeavors to establish foundations for the interaction between hyperintensional semantics and two-dimensional indexing. I examine the significance of the semantics, by developing three, novel interpretations of the framework. The first interpretation provides a characterization of the distinction between fundamental and derivative truths. The second interpretation demonstrates how the elements of decision theory are definable within the semantics, and provides a novel account of the interaction between probability measures and hyperintensional grounds. The third interpretation concerns the contents of the (...)
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  • Epistemic Modality and Hyperintensionality in Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2017 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted to essays about the interconnections between philosophy (...)
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  • Two-Dimensional Tableaux.David Gilbert - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Logic 13 (7).
    We present two-dimensional tableau systems for the actuality, fixedly, and up-arrow operators. All systems are proved sound and complete with respect to a two-dimensional semantics. In addition, a decision procedure for the actuality logics is discussed.
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  • Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.Stephen Yablo - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 441-492.
  • The Components of Content.David Chalmers - 2002 - In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press.
    [[This paper appears in my anthology _Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings_ (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 608-633. It is a heavily revised version of a paper first written in 1994 and revised in 1995. Sections 1, 7, 8, and 10 are similar to the old version, but the other sections are quite different. Because the old version has been widely cited, I have made it available (in its 1995 version) at http://consc.net/papers/content95.html.
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  • Two-Dimensional Semantics and the Nesting Problem.David J. Chalmers & Brian Rabern - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):210-224.
    Graeme Forbes (2011) raises some problems for two-dimensional semantic theories. The problems concern nested environments: linguistic environments where sentences are nested under both modal and epistemic operators. Closely related problems involving nested environments have been raised by Scott Soames (2005) and Josh Dever (2007). Soames goes so far as to say that nested environments pose the “chief technical problem” for strong two-dimensionalism. We call the problem of handling nested environments within two-dimensional semantics “the nesting problem”. We show that the two-dimensional (...)
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  • Monsters and the Theoretical Role of Context.Brian Rabern & Derek Ball - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):392-416.
    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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  • Analysis in Mind.Andrew Botterell - 1998 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    From the time of Descartes to about the 1960s, a certain epistemological idea dominated the philosophy of mind, namely the idea that theses about the relation between mind and body are, if true, a priori truths. Much of recent philosophy of mind is devoted to the question whether that idea is right. My research is largely an attempt to argue that some recent defenses of it are unsuccessful. ;For example, Physicalism is the metaphysical thesis that every actual psychological event, property, (...)
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  • A Defense of Russellian Descriptivism.Brandt H. van der Gaast - unknown
    In this dissertation, I defend a Russellian form of descriptivism. The main supporting argument invokes a relation between meaning and thought. I argue that the meanings of sentences are the thoughts people use them to express. This is part of a Gricean outlook on meaning according to which psychological intentionality is prior to, and determinative of, linguistic intentionality. The right approach to thought, I argue in Chapter 1, is a type of functionalism on which thoughts have narrow contents. On this (...)
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  • Scepticism, Rationalism, and Externalism.Brian Weatherson - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 1:311-331.
    This paper is about three of the most prominent debates in modern epistemology. The conclusion is that three prima facie appealing positions in these debates cannot be held simultaneously. The first debate is scepticism vs anti-scepticism. My conclusions apply to most kinds of debates between sceptics and their opponents, but I will focus on the inductive sceptic, who claims we cannot come to know what will happen in the future by induction. This is a fairly weak kind of scepticism, and (...)
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  • Actuality, Necessity, and Logical Truth.William H. Hanson - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (3):437-459.
    The traditional view that all logical truths are metaphysically necessary has come under attack in recent years. The contrary claim is prominent in David Kaplan’s work on demonstratives, and Edward Zalta has argued that logical truths that are not necessary appear in modal languages supplemented only with some device for making reference to the actual world (and thus independently of whether demonstratives like ‘I’, ‘here’, and ‘now’ are present). If this latter claim can be sustained, it strikes close to the (...)
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  • Regularity Reformulated.Weng Hong Tang - 2012 - Episteme 9 (4):329-343.
    This paper focuses on the view that rationality requires that our credences be regular. I go through different formulations of the requirement, and show that they face several problems. I then formulate a version of the requirement that solves most of, if not all, these problems. I conclude by showing that an argument thought to support the requirement as traditionally formulated actually does not; if anything, the argument, slightly modified, supports my version of the requirement.Send article to KindleTo send this (...)
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  • Basic‐Know And Super‐Know.Anna Mahtani - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):375-391.
    Sometimes a proposition is ‘opaque’ to an agent: he doesn't know it, but he does know something about how coming to know it should affect his or her credence function. It is tempting to assume that a rational agent's credence function coheres in a certain way with his or her knowledge of these opaque propositions, and I call this the ‘Opaque Proposition Principle’. The principle is compelling but demonstrably false. I explain this incongruity by showing that the principle is ambiguous: (...)
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  • Reference and Response.Louis deRosset - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):19-36.
    A standard view of reference holds that a speaker's use of a name refers to a certain thing in virtue of the speaker's associating a condition with that use that singles the referent out. This view has been criticized by Saul Kripke as empirically inadequate. Recently, however, it has been argued that a version of the standard view, a /response-based theory of reference/, survives the charge of empirical inadequacy by allowing that associated conditions may be largely or even entirely implicit. (...)
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  • Puzzles About Descriptive Names.Edward Kanterian - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4):409-428.
    This article explores Gareth Evans’s idea that there are such things as descriptive names, i.e. referring expressions introduced by a definite description which have, unlike ordinary names, a descriptive content. Several ignored semantic and modal aspects of this idea are spelled out, including a hitherto little explored notion of rigidity, super-rigidity. The claim that descriptive names are (rigidified) descriptions, or abbreviations thereof, is rejected. It is then shown that Evans’s theory leads to certain puzzles concerning the referential status of descriptive (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.David John Chalmers (ed.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press USA.
    What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world? Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the (...)
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  • Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and the Epistemic Argument.Jeff Speaks - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):59 – 78.
    One of Kripke's fundamental objections to descriptivism was that the theory misclassifies certain _a posteriori_ propositions expressed by sentences involving names as _a priori_. Though nowadays very few philosophers would endorse a descriptivism of the sort that Kripke criticized, many find two-dimensional semantics attractive as a kind of successor theory. Because two-dimensionalism needn't be a form of descriptivism, it is not open to the epistemic argument as formulated by Kripke; but the most promising versions of two-dimensionalism are open to a (...)
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  • Two-Dimensional Semantics.Laura Schroeter - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Two-dimensional (2D) semantics is a formal framework that is used to characterize the meaning of certain linguistic expressions and the entailment relations among sentences containing them. 2D semantics has also been applied to thought contents. In contrast with standard possible worlds semantics, 2D semantics assigns extensions and truth-values to expressions relative to two possible world parameters, rather than just one. So a 2D semantic framework provides finer-grained semantic values than those available within standard possible world semantics, while using the same (...)
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  • Names.Sam Cumming - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Salmon on the Contingent a Priori and the Necessary a Posteriori.Graham Oppy - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 73 (1):5 - 33.
    This paper is an examination of the contingent a priori and the necessary a posteriori. In particular, it considers -- and assesses -- the criticisms that Nathan Salmon makes of the views of Saul Kripke.
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  • Thisness and Vagueness.Graeme Forbes - 1983 - Synthese 54 (2):235-259.
    This paper is about two puzzles, or two versions of a single puzzle, which deserve to be called paradoxes, and develops some apparatus in terms of which the apparently conflicting principles which generate the puzzles can be rendered consistent. However, the apparatus itself is somewhat controversial: the puzzles are modal ones, and the resolution to be advocated requires the adoption of a counterpart theoretic semantics of essentially the kind proposed by David Lewis, which in turn requires qualified rejection of certain (...)
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  • Two Notions of Necessity.Martin Davies & Lloyd Humberstone - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 38 (1):1-31.
  • Operator Arguments Revisited.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri, John Hawthorne & Peter Fritz - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2933-2959.
    Certain passages in Kaplan’s ‘Demonstratives’ are often taken to show that non-vacuous sentential operators associated with a certain parameter of sentential truth require a corresponding relativism concerning assertoric contents: namely, their truth values also must vary with that parameter. Thus, for example, the non-vacuity of a temporal sentential operator ‘always’ would require some of its operands to have contents that have different truth values at different times. While making no claims about Kaplan’s intentions, we provide several reconstructions of how such (...)
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  • Physicalism, Conceivability and Strong Necessities.Jesper Kallestrup - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):273-295.
    David Chalmers' conceivability argument against physicalism relies on the entailment from a priori conceivability to metaphysical possibility. The a posteriori physicalist rejects this premise, but is consequently committed to psychophysical strong necessities. These don't fit into the Kripkean model of the necessary a posteriori, and they are therefore, according to Chalmers, problematic. But given semantic assumptions that are essential to the conceivability argument, there is reason to believe in microphysical strong necessities. This means that some of Chalmers' criticism is unwarranted, (...)
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  • Chalmers and Semantics.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - Theoria 87 (5):1193-1221.
    David Chalmers’ two-dimensionalism is an ambitious philosophical program that aims to “ground” or “construct” Fregean meanings and restore “the golden triangle” of apriority, necessity, and meaning that Kripke seemingly broke. This paper aims to examine critically what Chalmers’ theory can in reality achieve. It is argued that the theory faces severe challenges. There are some gaps in the overall arguments, and the reasoning is in some places somewhat circular. Chalmers’ theory is effectively founded on certain strong philosophical assumptions. It is (...)
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  • Why We Need A - Intensions.Frank Jackson - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):257-277.
    I think recent discussions of content and reference have not paid enough attention to the role of language as a convention-governed system of communication. With this as a background theme, I explain the role of A-intensions in elucidating one important notion of content and correlative notions of reference.
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  • Epistemic Two Dimensional Semantics.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):153-226.
  • Consciousness and its Place in Nature.David J. Chalmers - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 102--142.
    Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of consciousness, or revise our conception of nature. In twentieth-century philosophy, this dilemma is (...)
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  • Masters of Our Meanings.David Braddon-Mitchell - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):133-52.
    The two-dimensional framework in semantics has the most power and plausibility when combined with a kind of global semantic neo-descriptivism. If neo-descriptivism can be defended on the toughest terrain - the semantics of ordinary proper names - then the other skirmishes should be easier. This paper defends neo-descriptivism against two important objections: that the descriptions may be inaccessibly locked up in sub-personal modules, and thus not accessible a priori, and that in any case all such modules bottom out in purely (...)
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  • Two-Dimensional Semantics.David J. Chalmers - 2006 - In E. Lepore & B. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
    Two-dimensional approaches to semantics, broadly understood, recognize two "dimensions" of the meaning or content of linguistic items. On these approaches, expressions and their utterances are associated with two different sorts of semantic values, which play different explanatory roles. Typically, one semantic value is associated with reference and ordinary truth-conditions, while the other is associated with the way that reference and truth-conditions depend on the external world. The second sort of semantic value is often held to play a distinctive role in (...)
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  • Scott Soames' Two-Dimensionalism.David J. Chalmers - 2006
    Scott Soames’ Reference and Description contains arguments against a number of different versions of two-dimensional semantics. After early chapters on descriptivism and on Kripke’s anti-descriptivist arguments, a chapter each is devoted to the roots of twodimensionalism in “slips, errors, or misleading suggestions” by Kripke and Kaplan, and to the two-dimensional approaches developed by Stalnaker (1978) and by Davies and Humberstone (1981). The bulk of the book (about 200 pages) is devoted to “ambitious twodimensionalism”, attributed to Frank Jackson, David Lewis, and (...)
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  • Kripke Was Right Even If He Was Wrong: Sherlock Holmes and the Unicorns.Harold Noonan - 2021 - Disputatio 13 (60):51-69.
    In the Addenda to Naming and Necessity, Kripke famously argues that it is false that there could have been unicorns, or more properly, that “no counterfactual situation is properly describable as one in which there would have been unicorns.” He adds that he holds similarly that ‘one cannot say of any possible person that he would have been Sherlock Holmes, had he existed.” He notes the “cryptic brevity” of these remarks and refers to a forthcoming work for elaborations—the work being, (...)
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  • The Meaning of 'Actually'.Yannis Stephanou - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):153-185.
    The paper is an investigation into the concept of actuality from the standpoint of the philosophy of language. It is argued that expressions such as 'actually' and 'in fact' are not indexicals like 'here' and 'now'; when e.g. 'Snow is actually white' is uttered in a world, what proposition is conveyed does not depend on the world. Nor are such expressions ambiguous. The paper makes a suggestion about the role that 'actually' and its cognates do play. It is also argued (...)
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  • The Semantics of Belief Ascriptions.Michael McKinsey - 1999 - Noûs 33 (4):519-557.
    nated discussion of the semantics of such verbs. I will call this view.
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  • On Shaky Ground? Exploring the Contingent Fundamentality Thesis.Nathan Wildman - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
    The past decade and a half has seen an absolute explosion of literature discussing the structure of reality. One particular focus here has been on the fundamental. However, while there has been extensive discussion, numerous fundamental questions about fundamentality have not been touched upon. In this chapter, I focus on one such lacuna about the modal strength of fundamentality. More specifically, I am interested in exploring the contingent fundamentality thesis - that is, the idea that the fundamentalia are only contingently (...)
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  • Merely Superficially Contingent a Priori Knowledge and the McKinsey Paradox.Joshua Rowan Thorpe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-15.
    The conclusion of the McKinsey paradox is that certain contingent claims about the external world are knowable a priori. Almost all of the literature on the paradox assumes that this conclusion is unacceptable, and focuses on finding a way of avoiding it. However, there is no consensus that any of these responses work. In this paper I take a different approach, arguing that the conclusion is acceptable. First, I develop our understanding of what Evans calls merely superficially contingent a priori (...)
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  • Wittgenstein on the Arbitrariness of Grammar. [REVIEW]Cyrus Panjvani - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):623-626.
    WITTGENSTEIN ON THE ARBITRARINESS OF GRAMMAR Michael N. Forster What is the nature of a conceptual scheme? Are there alternative conceptual schemes?
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  • Intricate Ethics.Elinor Mason - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):621-623.
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  • Imagining as a Guide to Possibility.Peter Kung - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):620-663.
    I lay out the framework for my theory of sensory imagination in “Imagining as a guide to possibility.” Sensory imagining involves mental imagery , and crucially, in describing the content of imagining, I distinguish between qualitative content and assigned content. Qualitative content derives from the mental image itself; for visual imaginings, it is what is “pictured.” For example, visually imagine the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their first Super Bowl. You picture the greenness of the field and (...)
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  • Reference and Monstrosity.Paolo Santorio - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (3):359-406.
    According to the orthodox account developed by Kaplan, indexicals like I, you, and now invariably refer to elements of the context of speech. This essay argues that the orthodoxy is wrong. I, you, and the like are shifted by certain modal operators and hence can fail to refer to elements of the context, for example, I can fail to refer to the speaker. More precisely, indexicals are syntactically akin to logical variables. They can be free, in which case they work, (...)
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  • The Logic of Sequence Frames.Fabio Lampert - 2022 - Review of Symbolic Logic 15 (1):101-132.
    This paper investigates and develops generalizations of two-dimensional modal logics to any finite dimension. These logics are natural extensions of multidimensional systems known from the literature on logics for a priori knowledge. We prove a completeness theorem for propositional n-dimensional modal logics and show them to be decidable by means of a systematic tableau construction.
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  • Evidentialist Reliabilism.Juan Comesaña - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):571-600.
    I argue for a theory that combines elements of reliabilism and evidentialism.
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  • Functionalism and The Independence Problems.Darren Bradley - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):545-557.
    The independence problems for functionalism stem from the worry that if functional properties are defined in terms of their causes and effects then such functional properties seem to be too intimately connected to these purported causes and effects. I distinguish three different ways the independence problems can be filled out – in terms of necessary connections, analytic connections and vacuous explanations. I argue that none of these present serious problems. Instead, they bring out some important and over-looked features of functionalism.
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  • Proper Names and Relational Modality.Peter Pagin & Kathrin Gluer - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (5):507 - 535.
    Saul Kripke's thesis that ordinary proper names are rigid designators is supported by widely shared intuitions about the occurrence of names in ordinary modal contexts. By those intuitions names are scopeless with respect to the modal expressions. That is, sentences in a pair like (a) Aristotle might have been fond of dogs, (b) Concerning Aristotle, it is true that he might have been fond of dogs will have the same truth value. The same does not in general hold for definite (...)
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