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The Role of Variables

Journal of Philosophy 100 (12):605-631 (2003)

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  1. 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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  • Coreference and Meaning.N. Ángel Pinillos - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):301 - 324.
    Sometimes two expressions in a discourse can be about the same thing in a way that makes that very fact evident to the participants. Consider, for example, 'he' and 'John' in 'John went to the store and he bought some milk'. Let us call this 'de jure' coreference. Other times, coreference is 'de facto' as with 'Mark Twain' and 'Samuel Clemens' in a sincere use of 'Mark Twain is not Samuel Clemens'. Here, agents can understand the speech without knowing that (...)
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  • The Tao of Metaphysics.Philipp Keller & Elena Cassetta - 2008 - Swiss Philosophical Preprints.
    We present a unified diagnosis of three well-known puzzles about proper names, based on a new view of the metaphysics of words and proper names in particular adumbrated by David Kaplan in “Words”. While our solution comes at some metaphysical price, we think it is worth being considered a serious contender and may illustrate the promise of taking more seriously the metaphysical foundations of our semantic theories.
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  • Quine's Monism and Modal Eliminativism in the Realm of Superveniences.Atilla Akalın - 2019 - International Journal of Social Humanities Sciences Research (JSHRS) 6 (34):795-800.
    This study asserts that W.V.O. Quine’s eliminative philosophical gaze into mereological composition affects inevitably his interpretations of composition theories of ontology. To investigate Quine’s property monism from the account of modal eliminativism, I applied to his solution for the paradoxes of de re modalities’ . Because of its vital role to figure out how dispositions are encountered by Quine, it was significantly noted that the realm of de re modalities doesn’t include contingent and impossible inferences about things. Therefore, for him, (...)
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  • Reviving the Parameter Revolution in Semantics.Bryan Pickel, Brian Rabern & Josh Dever - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 138-171.
    Montague and Kaplan began a revolution in semantics, which promised to explain how a univocal expression could make distinct truth-conditional contributions in its various occurrences. The idea was to treat context as a parameter at which a sentence is semantically evaluated. But the revolution has stalled. One salient problem comes from recurring demonstratives: "He is tall and he is not tall". For the sentence to be true at a context, each occurrence of the demonstrative must make a different truth-conditional contribution. (...)
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  • Does Semantic Relationism Solve Frege’s Puzzle?Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (1):97-118.
    In a series of recent works, Kit Fine, 605–631, 2003, 2007) has sketched a novel solution to Frege’s puzzle. Radically departing from previous solutions, Fine argues that Frege’s puzzle forces us to reject compositionality. In this paper we first provide an explicit formalization of the relational semantics for first-order logic suggested, but only briefly sketched, by Fine. We then show why the relational semantics alone is technically inadequate, forcing Fine to enrich the syntax with a coordination schema. Given this enrichment, (...)
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  • On Being Called Something.Geoff Georgi - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):595-619.
    Building on recent work by Delia Graff Fara and Ora Matushansky on appellative constructions like ‘Mirka called Roger handsome’, I argue that if Millianism about proper names is true, then the quantifier ‘something’ in ‘Mirka called Roger something’ is best understood as a kind of substitutional quantifier. Any adequate semantics for such quantifiers must explain both the logical behavior of ‘Mirka called Roger something’ and the acceptability of ‘so’-anaphora in ‘Mirka called Roger something, and everyone so called is handsome’. Millianism (...)
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  • ∈ : Formal Concepts in a Material World Truthmaking and Exemplification as Types of Determination.Philipp Keller - 2007 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
    In the first part, I consider different notions of determination, contrast and compare modal with non-modal accounts and then defend two a-modality theses concerning essence and supervenience. I argue, first, that essence is a a-modal notion, i.e. not usefully analysed in terms of metaphysical modality, and then, contra Kit Fine, that essential properties can be exemplified contingently. I argue, second, that supervenience is also an a-modal notion, and that it should be analysed in terms of constitution relations between properties. In (...)
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  • The Antinomy of the Variable.Aleksandar Kellenberg - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):225-236.
    There is a solution to the antinomy of the variable that does not call for semantic relationism. I argue that if we carefully distinguish between variable types and variable tokens or occurrences, and if we take the number of variable types involved properly into account, then coordination among variable tokens or occurrences is reducible to an intrinsic semantic feature of those tokens or occurrences. The fact that two tokens or occurrences of the same variable type contained in the same sentence (...)
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  • Logic for Languages Containing Referentially Promiscuous Expressions.Geoff Georgi - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (4):429-451.
    Some expressions of English, like the demonstratives ‘this’ and ‘that’, are referentially promiscuous: distinct free occurrences of them in the same sentence can differ in content relative to the same context. One lesson of referentially promiscuous expressions is that basic logical properties like validity and logical truth obtain or fail to obtain only relative to a context. This approach to logic can be developed in just as rigorous a manner as David Kaplan’s classic logic of demonstratives. The result is a (...)
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  • The Emergence of Syntactic Structure.Marcus Kracht - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):47 - 95.
    The present paper is the result of a long struggle to understand how the notion of compositionality can be used to motivate the structure of a sentence. While everyone seems to have intuitions about which proposals are compositional and which ones are not, these intuitions generally have no formal basis. What is needed to make such arguments work is a proper understanding of what meanings are and how they can be manipulated. In particular, we need a definition of meaning that (...)
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  • Term Limits Revisited.Stephen Neale - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):375-442.
  • The Proper Treatment of Variables in Predicate Logic.Kai Wehmeier - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (2):209-249.
    In §93 of The Principles of Mathematics, Bertrand Russell observes that “the variable is a very complicated logical entity, by no means easy to analyze correctly”. This assessment is borne out by the fact that even now we have no fully satisfactory understanding of the role of variables in a compositional semantics for first-order logic. In standard Tarskian semantics, variables are treated as meaning-bearing entities; moreover, they serve as the basic building blocks of all meanings, which are constructed out of (...)
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  • Possible Worlds for Modal Primitivists.Louis deRosset - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):109-131.
    Among the most remarkable developments in metaphysics since the 1950’s is the explosion of philosophical interest in possible worlds. This paper proposes an explanation of what possible worlds are, and argues that this proposal, the interpreted models conception, should be attractive to anyone who thinks that modal facts are primitive, and so not to be explained in terms of some non-modal notion of “possible world.” I articulate three constraints on any acceptable primitivist explanation of the nature of possible worlds, and (...)
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