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Is meaning normative?

Mind and Language 21 (2):220-240 (2006)

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  1. On Being Bound to Linguistic Norms. Reply to Reinikainen and Kaluziński.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (4):1-14.
    The question whether a constitutive linguistic norm can be prescriptive is central to the debate on the normativity of meaning. Recently, the author has attempted to defend an affirmative answer, pointing to how speakers sporadically invoke constitutive linguistic norms in the service of linguistic calibration. Such invocations are clearly prescriptive. However, they are only appropriate if the invoked norms are applicable to the addressed speaker. But that can only be the case if the speaker herself generally accepts them. This qualification (...)
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  • Meaning Still Not Normative: On Assessment and Guidance.Jaakko Reinikainen - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (4):510-526.
    ABSTRACT Is meaning essentially normative, and what does claiming that amount to? One popular interpretation is that in virtue of their nature meanings are capable of guiding subjects in their applications of concepts, for meaning is constituted by norms. However, the guidance view has been met with criticism to the effect that if semantic norms constitute facts about meaning, then they cannot simultaneously guide subjects in their applications. In response, some normativist authors have proposed that the key sense of ‘normative’ (...)
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  • The Normativity of Meaning: Guidance and Justification.Matthew Jones - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):425-443.
    The thesis that meaning is normative has come under much scrutiny of late. However, there are aspects of the view that have received comparatively little critical attention which centre on meaning’s capacity to guide and justify linguistic action. Call such a view ‘justification normativity’. I outline Zalabardo’s account of JN and his corresponding argument against reductive-naturalistic meaning-factualism and argue that the argument presents a genuine challenge to account for the guiding role of meaning in linguistic action. I then present a (...)
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  • Anti-Normativism Evaluated.Ulf Hlobil - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):376-395.
    I argue that recent attempts to show that meaning and content are not normative fail. The two most important arguments anti-normativists have presented are what I call the ‘argument from constitution’ and the ‘argument from guidance’. Both of these arguments suffer from the same basic problem: they overlook the possibility of focusing on assessability by norms, rather than compliance with norms or guidance by norms. Moreover, I argue that the anti-normativists arguments fail even if we ignore this basic problem. Thus, (...)
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  • Towards a New Kind of Semantic Normativity.Claudine Verheggen - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):410-424.
    Hannah Ginsborg has recently offered a new account of normativity, according to which normative attitudes are essential to the meaningful use of language. The kind of normativity she has in mind –– not semantic but ‘primitive’ — is supposed to help us to avoid the pitfalls of both non-reductionist and reductive dispositionalist theories of meaning. For, according to her, it enables us both to account for meaning in non-semantic terms, which non-reductionism cannot do, and to make room for the normativity (...)
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  • Dynamics, Brandom-Style.Bernhard Nickel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):333-354.
    Abstract This paper discusses the semantic theory presented in Robert Brandom’s Making It Explicit . I argue that it is best understood as a special version of dynamic semantics, so that these semantics by themselves offer an interesting theoretical alternative to more standard truth-conditional theories. This reorientation also has implications for more foundational issues. I argue that it gives us the resources for a renewed argument for the normativity of meaning. The paper ends by critically assessing the view in both (...)
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  • Norms of Intentionality: Norms That Don’T Guide.Benjamin Jarvis - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):1-25.
    More than ever, it is in vogue to argue that no norms either play a role in or directly follow from the theory of mental content. In this paper, I present an intuitive theory of intentionality (including a theory of mental content) on which norms are constitutive of the intentional properties of attitude and content in order to show that this trend is misguided. Although this theory of intentionality—the teleological theory of intentional representation—does involve a commitment to representational norms, these (...)
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  • Meaning is Normative: A Response to Hattiangadi. [REVIEW]James Connelly - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (1):55-71.
    Against a broad consensus within contemporary analytic philosophy, Hattiangadi (Mind and Language 21(2):220–240, 2006 , 2007 ) has recently argued that linguistic meaning is not normative, at least not in the sense of being prescriptive. She maintains, more specifically, that standard claims to the effect that meaning is normative are usually ambiguous between two readings: one, which she calls Prescriptivity , and another, which she calls Correctness . According to Hattiangadi, though meaning is normative in the uncontroversial sense specified in (...)
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  • Don't Ask, Look! Linguistic Corpora as a Tool for Conceptual Analysis.Roland Bluhm - 2013 - In Migue Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico. pp. 7-15.
    Ordinary Language Philosophy has largely fallen out of favour, and with it the belief in the primary importance of analyses of ordinary language for philosophical purposes. Still, in their various endeavours, philosophers not only from analytic but also from other backgrounds refer to the use and meaning of terms of interest in ordinary parlance. In doing so, they most commonly appeal to their own linguistic intuitions. Often, the appeal to individual intuitions is supplemented by reference to dictionaries. In recent times, (...)
     
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  • John Cook Wilson.Mathieu Marion - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    John Cook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism in perception, (...)
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  • Killing Kripkenstein's Monster.Jared Warren - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):257-289.
    Here I defend dispositionalism about meaning and rule-following from Kripkenstein's infamous anti-dispositionalist arguments. The problems of finitude, error, and normativity are all addressed. The general lesson I draw is that Kripkenstein's arguments trade on an overly simplistic version of dispositionalism.
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  • Is Truth a Normative Concept?Paul Horwich - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):1127-1138.
    My answer will be ‘no’. And I’ll defend it by: distinguishing a concept’s having normative import from its being functionally normative; sketching a method for telling whether or not a concept is of the latter sort; responding to the antideflationist, Dummettian argument in favor of the conclusion that truth is functionally normative; proceeding to address a less familiar route to that conclusion—one that’s consistent with deflationism about truth, but that depends on the further assumption that meaning is intrinsically normative; and (...)
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  • Rule-Following, Ideal Conditions and Finkish Dispositions.Andrea Guardo - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (2):195-209.
    This paper employs some outcomes (for the most part due to David Lewis) of the contemporary debate on the metaphysics of dispositions to evaluate those dispositional analyses of meaning that make use of the concept of a disposition in ideal conditions. The first section of the paper explains why one may find appealing the notion of an ideal-condition dispositional analysis of meaning and argues that Saul Kripke’s well-known argument against such analyses is wanting. The second section focuses on Lewis’ work (...)
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  • Inferentialism and the Normativity of Meaning.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (1):75-97.
    There may be various reasons for claiming that meaning is normative, and additionally, very different senses attached to the claim. However, all such claims have faced fierce resistance from those philosophers who insist that meaning is not normative in any nontrivial sense of the word. In this paper I sketch one particular approach to meaning claiming its normativity and defend it against the anti-normativist critique: namely the approach of Brandomian inferentialism. However, my defense is not restricted to inferentialism in any (...)
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  • Between Primitivism and Naturalism: Brandom’s Theory of Meaning.Daniel Whiting - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (3):3-22.
    Many philosophers accept that a naturalistic reduction of meaning is in principle impossible, since behavioural regularities or dispositions are consistent with any number of semantic descriptions. One response is to view meaning as primitive. In this paper, I explore Brandom’s alternative, which is to specify behaviour in non-semantic but normative terms. Against Brandom, I argue that a norm specified in non-semantic terms might correspond to any number of semantic norms. Thus, his theory of meaning suffers from the very same kind (...)
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  • Normativity and Correctness: A Reply to Hattiangadi. [REVIEW]Andrei Buleandra - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (2):177-186.
    In this paper I will present and evaluate Anandi Hattiangadi’s arguments for the conclusion that meaning is not intrinsically normative or prescriptive. I will argue that she misconstrues the way the thesis that meaning is normative is presented in the literature and that there is an important class of semantic rules that she fails to consider and rule out. According to Hattiangadi, defenders of meaning prescriptivity argue that speaking truthfully is a necessary condition for speaking meaningfully. I will maintain that (...)
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  • Representing as Adapting.Benjamin Jarvis - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (1):17-39.
    In this paper, I recommend a creature-level theory of representing. On this theory, a creature represents some entity just in case the creature adapts its behavior to that entity. Adapting is analyzed in terms of establishing new patterns of behavior. The theory of representing as adapting is contrasted with traditional causal and informational theories of mental representation. Moreover, I examine the theory in light of Putnam-Burge style externalism; I show that Putnam-Burge style externalism follows from and is explained by it. (...)
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  • Disbelieving the Normativity of Content.Víctor M. Verdejo - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (4):441-456.
    Adherents as well as detractors of the normativity of mental content agree that its assessment crucially depends on the assessment of a principle for believing what is true. In this paper, I present an alternative principle, which is based on possession conditions for pure thinking or mere entertaining. I argue that the alternative approach has not been sufficiently emphasised in the literature and has two important merits. First, it yields a direct analysis of the normativity of mental content, which is, (...)
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  • The Normativity of Meaning: From Constitutive Norms to Prescriptions.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (4):427-440.
    This paper defends the normativity of meaning thesis by clearing up a misunderstanding about what the thesis amounts to. The misunderstanding is that according to it, failing to use an expression in accordance with the norms which constitute its meaning amounts to changing the expression’s meaning. If this was what the thesis claimed, then it would indeed be easy to show that meaning norms do not yield prescriptions and cannot be followed. However, there is another reading: what is constitutive of (...)
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  • Towards and Analytic Pragmatism.Cristina Amoretti, Carlo Penco & Federico Pitto (eds.) - 2009 - CEUR WS.
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  • The Problem with Descriptive Correctness.Jeffrey Kaplan - 2020 - Ratio 33 (2):79-86.
    In the 1980s and early 1990s, the normativity of meaning was thought to be more-or-less 'incontestable.' But in the last 25 years, many philosophers of mind and language have contested it in several seemingly different ways. This, however, is somewhat illusory. There is an unappreciated commonality among most anti-normativist arguments, and this commonality, I argue, poses a problem for anti-normativism. The result, however, is not a wholesale rejection of anti-normativism. Rather, an insight from the anti-normativist position can be harnessed to (...)
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  • Two Pillars of Institutions: Constitutive Rules and Participation.Wolfgang Huemer - 2021 - In Leo Townsend, Preston Stovall & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), The Social Institution of Discursive Norms. Historical, Naturalistic, and Pragmatic Perspectives. Routledge.
    The creation of new institutions and the initiation of new forms of behaviour cannot be explained only on the basis of constitutive rules – they also require a broader commitment of individuals who participate in social practices and, thus, to become members of a community. In this paper, I argue that the received conception of constitutive rules shows a problematic intellectualistic bias that becomes particularly manifest in three assumptions: (i) constitutive rules have a logical form, (ii) constitutive rules have no (...)
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  • Two Epistemological Arguments Against Two Semantic Dispositionalisms.Andrea Guardo - 2020 - Journal for the Philosophy of Language, Mind and the Arts 1 (1):13-25.
    Even though he is not very explicit about it, in “Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language” Kripke discusses two different, albeit related, skeptical theses ‒ the first one in the philosophy of mind, the second one in the metaphysics of language. Usually, what Kripke says about one thesis can be easily applied to the other one, too; however, things are not always that simple. In this paper, I discuss the case of the so-called “Normativity Argument” against semantic dispositionalism (which I (...)
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  • The Metaphysical Commitments of Logic.Thomas Brouwer - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This thesis is about the metaphysics of logic. I argue against a view I refer to as ‘logical realism’. This is the view that the logical constants represent a particular kind of metaphysical structure, which I dub ‘logico-metaphysical structure’. I argue instead for a more metaphysically lightweight view of logic which I dub ‘logical expressivism’. -/- In the first part of this thesis (Chapters I and II) I argue against a number of arguments that Theodore Sider has given for logical (...)
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  • Minimalism, Psychological Reality, Meaning and Use.Henry Jackman - 2007 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
    A growing number of philosophers and linguists have argued that many, if not most, terms in our language should be understood as semantically context sensitive. In opposition to this trend, Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore defend a view they call "Semantic Minimalism", which holds that there are virtually no semantically context sensitive expressions in English once you get past the standard list of indexicals and demonstratives such as "I", "you", "this", and "that". While minimalism strikes many as obviously false, it (...)
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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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  • A Verisimilitudinarian Analysis of the Linda Paradox.Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa - 2012 - VII Conference of the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosphy of Science.
    The Linda paradox is a key topic in current debates on the rationality of human reasoning and its limitations. We present a novel analysis of this paradox, based on the notion of verisimilitude as studied in the philosophy of science. The comparison with an alternative analysis based on probabilistic confirmation suggests how to overcome some problems of our account by introducing an adequately defined notion of verisimilitudinarian confirmation.
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  • The Epistemological Significance of Practices.Alan Millar - 2011 - ProtoSociology 28:213-230.
    There are countless occasions when we find people’s thought or action intelligible, or anticipate what they will think or do, or are at least unsurprised by what they think or do, despite our having little if any information about their attitudes other than what we can gather from their situation and non-verbal behaviour. This article explores the role of practices, conceived as essentially rule-governed activities, is making this possible. Consideration is given to practicies for the use of words.
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  • The Austerity Framework and Semantic Normativity.Mark Pinder - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):123-141.
    According to Herman Cappelen’s Austerity Framework, conceptual engineering doesn’t involve concepts, and barely involves engineering. I begin by raising two objections to the Austerity Framework as it stands: the framework cannot account for important normative aspects of conceptual engineering; and it doesn’t give us an adequate response to Strawson-style objections that conceptual engineering serves only to change the subject. I then supplement the Austerity Framework with an account of semantic normativity, which builds on the speaker/semantic meaning distinction, and show that (...)
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  • Do Epistemic Reasons Bear on the Ought Simpliciter?Susanne Mantel - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):214-227.
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  • Bootstrapping Conceptual Normativity?Tim Thornton - 2021 - Philosophical Investigations 44 (2):189-205.
    Both anti-reductionist and reductionist accounts of linguistic meaning and mental content face challenges accounting for acquiring concepts as part of learning a first language. Anti-reductionists cannot account for a transition from the pre-conceptual to conceptual without threatening to reduce the latter to the former. Reductionists of a representationalist variety face the challenge of Fodor’s argument that language learning is impossible. This paper examines whether Ginsborg’s account of ‘primitive normativity’ might provide some resources for addressing these issues. I argue that primitive (...)
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  • Going on as One Ought: Kripke and Wittgenstein on the Normativity of Meaning.Hannah Ginsborg - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Against Crude Semantic Realism.Florian Demont - 2009 - ILLC Technical Notes (X) Series.
  • Speaking About the Normativity of Meaning.Lo Presti Patrizio - 2017 - SATS 18 (1):55-77.
    Name der Zeitschrift: SATS Jahrgang: 18 Heft: 1 Seiten: 55-77.
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  • Unfollowed Rules and the Normativity of Content.Eric V. Tracy - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (4):323-344.
    Foundational theories of mental content seek to identify the conditions under which a mental representation expresses, in the mind of a particular thinker, a particular content. Normativists endorse the following general sort of foundational theory of mental content: A mental representation r expresses concept C for agent S just in case S ought to use r in conformity with some particular pattern of use associated with C. In response to Normativist theories of content, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin and Åsa Wikforss propose a (...)
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  • The Value of Thinking and the Normativity of Logic.Manish Oza - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (25):1-23.
    (1) This paper is about how to build an account of the normativity of logic around the claim that logic is constitutive of thinking. I take the claim that logic is constitutive of thinking to mean that representational activity must tend to conform to logic to count as thinking. (2) I develop a natural line of thought about how to develop the constitutive position into an account of logical normativity by drawing on constitutivism in metaethics. (3) I argue that, while (...)
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  • Semantic Deflationism, Public Language Meaning, and Contextual Standards of Correctness.Krzysztof Posłajko - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne 31 (1):45-66.
    The paper aims at providing an argument for a deflationary treatment of the notion of public language meaning. The argument is based on the notion of standards of correctness; I will try to show that as correctness assessments are context-involving, the notion of public language meaning cannot be treated as an explanatory one. An elaboration of the argument, using the notion of ground is provided. Finally, I will consider some limitations of the reasoning presented.
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  • Intuitions About Disagreement Do Not Support the Normativity of Meaning.Derek Baker - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (1):65-84.
    Allan Gibbard () argues that the term ‘meaning’ expresses a normative concept, primarily on the basis of arguments that parallel Moore's famous Open Question Argument. In this paper I argue that Gibbard's evidence for normativity rests on idiosyncrasies of the Open Question Argument, and that when we use related thought experiments designed to bring out unusual semantic intuitions associated with normative terms we fail to find such evidence. These thought experiments, moreover, strongly suggest there are basic requirements for a theory (...)
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  • Verheggen on Davidson and Kripke on Rule-Following and Meaning.Alexander Miller - 2020 - Dialogue 59 (2):207-217.
    ABSTRACTThis paper discusses Claudine Verheggen's account of what she takes to be Donald Davidson's response to the sceptical paradox about rule-following and meaning developed in Saul Kripke's interpretation of Wittgenstein's ‘rule-following considerations.’ It focusses on questions about the normativity of meaning, the social character of meaning, and the role of triangulation in Davidson's account of the determination of meaning, and invites Verheggen to compare the non-reductionism she finds in Davidson with that developed in Crispin Wright's judgement-dependent account of meaning.RÉSUMÉCet article (...)
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  • The Rules of Thought By Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa and Benjamin W. Jarvis Oxford University Press, 2013.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2016 - Analysis 76 (3):393-397.
    The Rules of Thought, by Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa and Benjamin Jarvis, is a dense and ambitious book whose principal aim is to defend the view that philosophical inquiry is a priori inquiry into essential natures. The book covers a broad range of philosophical issues spanning the philosophy of mind and language, the epistemology of metaphysical modality and the philosophy of philosophy. It will be of considerable interest to many, since there is something in it for just about everyone. That said, (...)
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  • The Normativity of Content and 'the Frege Point'.Jeff Speaks - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):405-415.
    In "Assertion," Geach identified failure to attend to the distinction between meaning and speech act as a source of philosophical errors. I argue that failure to attend to this distinction, along with the parallel distinction between attitude and content, has been behind the idea that meaning and content are, in some sense, normative. By an argument parallel to Geach's argument against performative analyses of "good" we can show that the phenomena identified by theorists of the normativity of content are properties (...)
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  • Semantic Deflationism, Public Language Meaning, and Contextual Standards of Correctness.Krzysztof Posłajko - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne—English Supplement 29:159-179.
    The paper aims at providing an argument for a deflationary treatment of the notion of public language meaning. The argument is based on the notion of standards of correctness; I will try to show that as correctness assessments are context-involving, the notion of public language meaning cannot be treated as an explanatory one. An elaboration of the argument, using the notion of ground is provided. Finally, I will consider some limitations of the reasoning presented.
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  • Shrieking in the Face of Vengeance.Kevin Scharp - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):454-463.
    Paraconsistent dialetheism is the view that some contradictions are true and that the inference rule ex falso quod libet is invalid. A long-standing problem for paraconsistent dialetheism is that it has difficulty making sense of situations where people use locutions like ‘just true’ and ‘just false’. Jc Beall recently advocated a general strategy, which he terms shrieking, for solving this problem and thereby strengthening the case for paraconsistent dialetheism. However, Beall’s strategy fails, and seeing why it fails brings into greater (...)
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  • Thoughts and Oughts.Mason Cash - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (2):93 – 119.
    Many now accept the thesis that norms are somehow constitutively involved in people's contentful intentional states. I distinguish three versions of this normative thesis that disagree about the type of norms constitutively involved. Are they objective norms of correctness, subjective norms of rationality, or intersubjective norms of social practices? I show the advantages of the third version, arguing that it improves upon the other two versions, as well as incorporating their principal insights. I then defend it against two serious challenges: (...)
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  • A Sellarsian Transcendental Argument Against External World Skepticism.Marin Geier - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-31.
    This paper investigates the relation between what James Conant has called Kantian and Cartesian varieties of skepticism. It is argued that a solution to the most prominent example of a Kantian variety of skepticism, i.e. Kripkensteinian skepticism about rule-following and meaning, can be found in the works of Wilfrid Sellars. It is then argued that, on the basis of that very same solution to the Kantian problematic of rule-following and meaning, a novel argument against external world skepticism can be formulated. (...)
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  • Free Will and the Necessity of the Present.Roberto Loss - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):63-69.
    Joseph Keim Campbell has recently criticized Peter van Inwagen's Third Argument against compatibilism for its reliance on the existence of a remote past. In response, Anthony Brueckner has offered a new version of the Third Argument showing that determinism and free will are incompatible for all times t relative to which there is a past . In this paper I argue that although Brueckner's retooled argument fails to prove anything in favour of incompatibilism, its conclusion can be exploited to provide (...)
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  • Truth as an Evaluative, Semantic Property: A Defence of the Linguistic Priority Thesis.Jacob Berkson - unknown
    Thinking and using a language are two different but similar activities. Thinking about thinking and thinking about language use have been two major strands in the history of philosophy. One of the principal similarities is that they are both rational activities. As a result, the ability to think and the ability to use a language require being able to recognise and respond to reasons. However, there is a further feature of these activities: we humans are able to have explicit knowledge (...)
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  • Intentional Normativism Meets Normative Supervenience and the Because Constraint.Daniel Laurier - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (2):315-331.
    ABSTRACT: I explain and rebut four objections to the claim that attributions of intentional attitudes are normative judgments, all stemming, directly or indirectly, from the widespread assumption that the normative supervenes on the non-normative.
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  • Heidegger's Logico-Semantic Strikeback.Alberto Voltolini - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22:19-38.
    In (1959), Carnap famously attacked Heidegger for having constructed an insane metaphysics based on a misconception of both the logical form and the semantics of ordinary language. In what follows, it will be argued that, once one appropriately (i.e., in a Russellian fashion) reads Heidegger’s famous sentence that should paradigmatically exemplify such a misconception, i.e., “the nothing nothings”, there is nothing either logically or semantically wrong with it. The real controversy as to how that sentence has to be evaluated—not as (...)
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  • Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds.Marcel Weber - 2014 - In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does not (...)
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