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  1. Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2021 - 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 undecidable propositions and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational propositional intuition; and to the (...)
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  • The structure of communicative acts.Sarah E. Murray & William B. Starr - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):425-474.
    Utterances of natural language sentences can be used to communicate not just contents, but also forces. This paper examines this topic from a cross-linguistic perspective on sentential mood. Recent work in this area focuses on conversational dynamics: the three sentence types can be associated with distinctive kinds of conversational effects called sentential forces, modeled as three kinds of updates to the discourse context. This paper has two main goals. First, it provides two arguments, on empirical and methodological grounds, for treating (...)
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  • Oddness, Modularity, and Exhaustification.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):115-158.
    According to the `grammatical account', scalar implicatures are triggered by a covert exhaustification operator present in logical form. This account covers considerable empirical ground, but there is a peculiar pattern that resists treatment given its usual implementation. The pattern centers on odd assertions like #"Most lions are mammals" and #"Some Italians come from a beautiful country", which seem to trigger implicatures in contexts where the enriched readings conflict with information in the common ground. Magri (2009, 2011) argues that, to account (...)
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  • Cognitivism About Epistemic Modality.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper aims to vindicate the thesis that cognitive computational properties are abstract objects implemented in physical systems. I avail of the equivalence relations countenanced in Homotopy Type Theory, in order to specify an abstraction principle for intensional, computational properties. The homotopic abstraction principle for epistemic intensions provides an epistemic conduit into our knowledge of intensions as abstract objects. I examine, then, how intensional functions in Epistemic Modal Algebra are deployed as core models in the philosophy of mind, Bayesian perceptual (...)
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  • Logical and Epistemic Modality.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper examines the interaction between the philosophy and psychology of concepts and the modal characterization of the deductive concept of logical validity. The concept of logical consequence on which I focus is model-theoretic, where the concept records the property of necessary truth-preservation from the premise of an argument to its conclusion, as well as the condition that, in the class of all possible worlds in which a premise is true, a consequent formula or succedent class of formulas is true, (...)
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  • What Does Decision Theory Have to Do with Wanting?Milo Phillips-Brown - forthcoming - Mind.
    Decision theory and folk psychology both purport to represent the same phenomena: our belief-like and desire- and preference-like states. They also purport to do the same work with these representations: explain and predict our actions. But they do so with different sets of concepts. There's much at stake in whether one of these two sets of concepts can be accounted for with the other. Without such an account, we'd have two competing representations and systems of prediction and explanation, a dubious (...)
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  • Getting what you want.Lyndal Grant & Milo Phillips-Brown - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1791-1810.
    It is commonly accepted that if an agent wants p, then she has a desire that is satisfied in exactly the worlds where p is true. Call this the ‘Satisfaction-is-Truth Principle’. We argue that this principle is false: an agent may want p without having a desire that is satisfied when p obtains in any old way. For example, Millie wants to drink milk but does not have a desire that is satisfied when she drinks spoiled milk. Millie has a (...)
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  • Presuppositions, Implicatures, and Contextual Equivalence.Paul Marty & Jacopo Romoli - forthcoming - Natural Language Semantics:1-52.
    Maximize Presupposition!, as originally proposed in Heim and developed in subsequent works, offers an account of the otherwise mysterious unassertability of a variety of sentences. At the core of MP is the idea that speakers are urged to use a sentence ψ over a sentence ϕ if ψ contributes the same new information as ϕ, yet carries a stronger presupposition. While MP has been refined in many ways throughout the years, most of its formulations have retained this characterisation of the (...)
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  • On the presuppositional strength of interrogative clauses.Maayan Abenina-Adar & Yael Sharvit - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):47-90.
    A central question in the study of presuppositions is how a presupposition trigger contributes to the meaning of a complex expression containing it. Two competing answers are found in the literature on quantificational expressions. According to the first, a quantificational expression presupposes that every member of its domain satisfies the presuppositions triggered in its scope, and according to the second, a quantificational expression presupposes that at least one member of its domain satisfies the presuppositions triggered in its scope. The former (...)
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  • Presuppositions and Implicatures in Counterfactuals.Michela Ippolito - 2003 - Natural Language Semantics 11 (2):145-186.
    In this article, I propose a semantic account of temporally mismatched past subjunctive counterfactuals. The proposal consists of the following parts. First, I show that in cases of temporal mismatch, [past] cannot be interpreted inside the proposition where it occurs at surface structure. Instead, it must be interpreted as constraining the time argument of the accessibility relation. This has the effect of shifting the time of the evaluation of the conditional to some contextually salient past time. Second, I will propose (...)
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  • Descriptions.Peter Ludlow - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Scope of Even.Karina Wilkinson - 1996 - Natural Language Semantics 4 (3):193-215.
    This paper is about even in downward entailing contexts. Karttunen and Peters (1979) have shown that there are two different sets of implicatures of even in such contexts. They argue that the two sets of implicatures are derived by allowing even to take scope either higher or lower than a negative polarity licenser. Rooth (1985) argues that even is lexically ambiguous, that is, there is a negative polarity even. I argue against Rooth's ambiguity theory and show that within Rooth's theory (...)
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  • Licensing Strong NPIs.Jon R. Gajewski - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (2):109-148.
    This paper proposes that both weak and strong NPIs in English are sensitive to the downward entailingness of their licensers. It is also proposed, however, that these two types of NPIs pay attention to different aspects of the meaning of their environment. As observed by von Fintel and Chierchia, weak NPIs do not attend to the scalar implicatures of presuppositions of their licensers. Strong NPIs see both the truth-conditional and non-truth-conditional (scalar implications, presuppositions) meaning of their licensers. This theory accounts (...)
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  • Varieties of Sobel sequences.Michela Ippolito - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (6):633-671.
    In this paper I provide a unified analysis of a number of pragmatic anomalies that have been discussed in the literature. The paper’s main goal is to account for Sobel sequences of conditionals and sequences of disjunctive sentences, but I will also propose that this analysis can be extended to sequences of sentences with superlatives. The starting point is the observation that, while all these sequences are felicitous in one order, they are infelicitous when the order is reversed. Previous proposals (...)
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  • Negative existentials as corrections: a partial solution to the problem of negative existentials in segmented discourse representation theory.Lenny Clapp - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-35.
    Paradigmatic uses of negative existentials such as ‘Vulcan does not exist’ are problematic because they present the interpreter with a pragmatic paradox: a speaker who uses such a sentence seems to be asserting something that is incompatible with what she presupposes. An adequate solution must therefore explain why we interpret paradigmatic uses of negative existentials as saying something true, even though such uses present us with a pragmatic paradox. I provide such an explanation by analyzing paradigmatic uses of negative existentials (...)
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  • Knowing the Answer to a Loaded Question.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2015 - Theoria 81 (2):97-125.
    Many epistemologists have been attracted to the view that knowledge-wh can be reduced to knowledge-that. An important challenge to this, presented by Jonathan Schaffer, is the problem of “convergent knowledge”: reductive accounts imply that any two knowledge-wh ascriptions with identical true answers to the questions embedded in their wh-clauses are materially equivalent, but according to Schaffer, there are counterexamples to this equivalence. Parallel to this, Schaffer has presented a very similar argument against binary accounts of knowledge, and thereby in favour (...)
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  • Presupposition and Accommodation: Understanding the Stalnakerian Picture.Mandy Simons - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 112 (3):251 - 278.
    This paper offers a critical analysis of Stalnaker''s work on presupposition (Stalnaker1973, 1974, 1979, 1999, 2002). The paper examines two definitions of speaker presupposition offered by Stalnaker – the familiar common ground view, and the earlier,less familiar, dispositional account – and how Stalnaker relates this notion to the linguistic phenomenon of presupposition. Special attention is paid to Stalnaker's view of accommodation. I argue that given Stalnaker's views, accommodation is not rightly seen as driven by the presuppositional requirements of utterances, but (...)
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  • Truthmaker Semantics for Natural Language: Attitude Verbs, Modals, and Intensional Transitive Verbs.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - Theoretical Linguistics 3:159-200.
    This paper gives an outline of truthmaker semantics for natural language against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics. It develops a truthmaker semantics for attitude reports and deontic modals based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of such objects. It also présents new motivations for 'object-based truthmaker semantics' from intensional transitive verbs such as ‘need’, ‘look for’, ‘own’, and ‘buy’ and gives an outline of their semantics. This paper is (...)
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  • Unbound Anaphoric Pronouns: E-Type, Dynamic, and Structured-Propositions Approaches.Friederike Moltmann - 2006 - Synthese 153 (2):199-260.
    Unbound anaphoric pronouns or ‘E-type pronouns’ have presented notorious problems for semantic theory, leading to the development of dynamic semantics, where the primary function of a sentence is not considered that of expressing a proposition that may act as the object of propositional attitudes, but rather that of changing the current information state. The older, ‘E-type’ account of unbound anaphora leaves the traditional notion of proposition intact and takes the unbound anaphor to be replaced by a full NP whose semantics (...)
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  • Descriptions.P. Elbourne - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Evaluational Adjectives.Alex Silk - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (1):1-35.
    This paper demarcates a theoretically interesting class of "evaluational adjectives." This class includes predicates expressing various kinds of normative and epistemic evaluation, such as predicates of personal taste, aesthetic adjectives, moral adjectives, and epistemic adjectives, among others. Evaluational adjectives are distinguished, empirically, in exhibiting phenomena such as discourse-oriented use, felicitous embedding under the attitude verb `find', and sorites-susceptibility in the comparative form. A unified degree-based semantics is developed: What distinguishes evaluational adjectives, semantically, is that they denote context-dependent measure functions ("evaluational (...)
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  • We talk to people, not contexts.Daniel W. Harris - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2713-2733.
    According to a popular family of theories, assertions and other communicative acts should be understood as attempts to change the context of a conversation. Contexts, on this view, are publicly shared bodies of information that evolve over the course of a conversation and that play a range of semantic and pragmatic roles. I argue that this view is mistaken: performing a communicative act requires aiming to change the mind of one’s addressee, but not necessarily the context. Although changing the context (...)
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  • Clauses as Semantic Predicates: Difficulties for Possible-Worlds Semantics.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer.
    The standard view of clauses embedded under attitude verbs or modal predicates is that they act as terms standing for propositions, a view that faces a range of philosophical and linguistic difficulties. Recently an alternative has been explored according to which embedded clauses act semantically as predicates of content-bearing objects. This paper argues that this approach faces serious problems when it is based on possible worlds-semantics. It outlines a development of the approach in terms of truthmaker theory instead.
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  • The Attitudes We Can Have.Daniel Drucker - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (4):591-642.
    I investigate when we can (rationally) have attitudes, and when we cannot. I argue that a comprehensive theory must explain three phenomena. First, being related by descriptions or names to a proposition one has strong reason to believe is true does not guarantee that one can rationally believe that proposition. Second, such descriptions, etc. do enable individuals to rationally have various non-doxastic attitudes, such as hope and admiration. And third, even for non-doxastic attitudes like that, not just any description will (...)
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  • The Pragmatics of Pronominal Clitics and Propositional Attitudes.Alessandro Capone - 2013 - Intercultural Pragmatics 10 (3):459-485.
    pronominal clitics, pragmatics and propositional attitudes.
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  • Presupposition.David I. Beaver - 1997 - In Johan van Bentham & Alice ter Meulen (eds.), Handbook of Logic and Language. MIT Press.
    We discuss presupposition, the phenomenon whereby speakers mark linguistically the information that is presupposed or taken for granted, rather than being part of the main propositional content of a speech act. Expressions and constructions carrying presuppositions are called “presupposition triggers”, forming a large class including definites and factive verbs. The article first introduces the range of triggers, the basic properties of presuppositions such as projection and cancellability, and the diagnostic tests used to identify them. The reader is then introducedto major (...)
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  • Certain Verbs Are Syntactically Explicit Quantifiers.Anna Szabolcsi - 2011 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6:5.
    Quantification over individuals, times, and worlds can in principle be made explicit in the syntax of the object language, or left to the semantics and spelled out in the meta-language. The traditional view is that quantification over individuals is syntactically explicit, whereas quantification over times and worlds is not. But a growing body of literature proposes a uniform treatment. This paper examines the scopal interaction of aspectual raising verbs (begin), modals (can), and intensional raising verbs (threaten) with quantificational subjects in (...)
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  • Only: A Case Study In Projective Meaning.Craige Roberts - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1):14.
    I offer an integrated theory of the meaning of only in which the prejacent, while not presupposed, is both entailed and backgrounded, hence tends to project . Moreover, I argue, contra Beaver & Brady , that only is not conventionally associated with focus, the focus effects arising instead pragmatically. But I do adopt aspects of their semantics for only, including the presupposition of a pre-order over the elements of its domain.
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  • Desire, Belief, and Semantic Composition: Variation in Mood Selection with Desire Predicates.Paul Portner & Aynat Rubinstein - 2020 - Natural Language Semantics 28 (4):343-393.
    Mood selection properties of desire verbs provide a rich source of evidence regarding the semantics of propositional attitudes. This paper approaches the topic by providing an analysis of crosslinguistic variation in the selection patterns of the desire verbs ‘want’ and ‘hope’, focusing on Spanish and French. There is no evidence that the meanings of ‘hope’ and ‘want’ differ between these languages, and yet in Spanish esperar ‘hope’ and querer ‘want’ both take subjunctive, while in French only vouloir ‘want’ selects subjunctive (...)
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  • Conditional Heresies.Fabrizio Cariani & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):251-282.
  • Selecting Presuppositions in Conditional Clauses. Results From a Psycholinguistic Experiment.Filippo Domaneschi, Elena Carrea, Carlo Penco & Alberto Greco - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
  • Accommodating Presuppositions Is Inappropriate in Implausible Contexts.Raj Singh, Evelina Fedorenko, Kyle Mahowald & Edward Gibson - 2016 - Cognitive Science 40 (3):607-634.
    According to one view of linguistic information, a speaker can convey contextually new information in one of two ways: by asserting the content as new information; or by presupposing the content as given information which would then have to be accommodated. This distinction predicts that it is conversationally more appropriate to assert implausible information rather than presuppose it. A second view rejects the assumption that presuppositions are accommodated; instead, presuppositions are assimilated into asserted content and both are correspondingly open to (...)
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  • Semantic Information and the Syntax of Propositional Attitude Verbs.Aaron S. White, Valentine Hacquard & Jeffrey Lidz - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (2):416-456.
    Propositional attitude verbs, such as think and want, have long held interest for both theoretical linguists and language acquisitionists because their syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic properties display complex interactions that have proven difficult to fully capture from either perspective. This paper explores the granularity with which these verbs’ semantic and pragmatic properties are recoverable from their syntactic distributions, using three behavioral experiments aimed at explicitly quantifying the relationship between these two sets of properties. Experiment 1 gathers a measure of 30 (...)
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  • In Defense of a Presuppositional Account of Slurs.Bianca Cepollaro - 2015 - Language Sciences 52:36-45.
    Abstract In the last fifteen years philosophers and linguists have turned their attention to slurs: derogatory expressions that target certain groups on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and so on. This interest is due to the fact that, on the one hand, slurs possess puzzling linguistic properties; on the other hand, the questions they pose are related to other crucial issues, such as the descriptivism/expressivism divide, the semantics/pragmatics divide and, generally speaking, the theory of meaning. Despite these (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • The counterfactual direct argument.Simon Goldstein - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (2):193-232.
    Many have accepted that ordinary counterfactuals and might counterfactuals are duals. In this paper, I show that this thesis leads to paradoxical results when combined with a few different unorthodox yet increasingly popular theses, including the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Given Duality and several other theses, we can quickly infer the validity of another paradoxical principle, ‘The Counterfactual Direct Argument’, which says that ‘A> ’ entails ‘A> ’. First, I provide a collapse theorem for the ‘counterfactual direct argument’. (...)
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  • How to Embed an Epistemic Modal: Attitude Problems and Other Defects of Character.Alex Silk - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1773-1799.
    This paper develops a contextualist account of certain recalcitrant embedding phenomena with epistemic modals. I focus on three prominent objections to contextualism from embedding: first, that contextualism mischaracterizes subjects’ states of mind; second, that contextualism fails to predict how epistemic modals are obligatorily linked to the subject in attitude ascriptions; and third, that contextualism fails to explain the persisting anomalousness of so-called “epistemic contradictions” in suppositional contexts. Contextualists have inadequately appreciated the force of these objections. Drawing on a more general (...)
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  • A Unified Non Monstrous Semantics for Third Person Pronouns.Fabio Del Prete & Sandro Zucchi - 2017 - Semantics and Pragmatics 10.
    It is common practice in formal semantics to assume that the context specifies an assignment of values to variables and that the same variables that receive contextually salient values when they occur free may also be bound by quantifiers and λs. These assumptions are at work to provide a unified account of free and bound uses of third person pronouns, namely one by which the same lexical item is involved in both uses. One way to pursue this account is to (...)
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  • Lying and Misleading in Discourse.Andreas Stokke - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (1):83-134.
    This essay argues that the distinction between lying and misleading while not lying is sensitive to discourse structure. It shows that whether an utterance is a lie or is merely misleading sometimes depends on the topic of conversation, represented by so-called questions under discussion. It argues that to mislead is to disrupt the pursuit of the goal of inquiry—that is, to discover how things are. Lying is seen as a special case requiring assertion of disbelieved information, where assertion is characterized (...)
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  • Dynamic Semantics.Karen S. Lewis - 2017 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    This article focuses on foundational issues in dynamic and static semantics, specifically on what is conceptually at stake between the dynamic framework and the truth-conditional framework, and consequently what kinds of evidence support each framework. The article examines two questions. First, it explores the consequences of taking the proposition as central semantic notion as characteristic of static semantics, and argues that this is not as limiting in accounting for discourse dynamics as many think. Specifically, it explores what it means for (...)
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  • The Elusive Scope of Descriptions.Daniel Rothschild - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):910–927.
    (1) Every miner went to a meeting. It seems that (1) can mean either that there was one meeting that every miner went to, or that every miner went to at least one meeting with no guarantee that they all went to the same meeting. In the language of first-order logic we can represent these two readings as a matter of the universal and existential quantifiers having different scope with respect to each other.
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  • On Content Uniformity for Beliefs and Desires.Daniel Skibra - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-31.
    The view that dominates the literature on intentional attitudes holds that beliefs and desires both have propositional content. A commitment to what I call “content uniformity” underlies this view. According to content uniformity, beliefs and desires are but different psychological modes having a uniform kind of content. Prima facie, the modes don’t place any constraint on the kinds of content the attitude can have. I challenge this consensus by pointing out an asymmetry between belief contents and desire contents which shows (...)
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  • Pluralities of Questions.S. Beck - 2002 - Journal of Semantics 19 (2):105-157.
    This paper proposes a novel semantic analysis of the quantificational variability data discovered by Berman (1991). We suggest that the adverb of quantification in those data quantifies over semantic questions. Its domain is a division of the original question into subquestions, where a legitimate division into subquestions is one in which each member contributes towards the answer to the original question, and together the answers to all subquestions provide the complete answer to the original question. Thus the question itself is (...)
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  • Presuppositions, Attitudes, and Why They Matter.Caleb Perl - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):363-381.
    This paper introduces and defends a high-level generalization about the way that presupposition triggers interact with attitude verbs. This generalization tells us a great deal about what an adequa...
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  • Presuppositions and Appropriateness of Assertions.Filippo Domaneschi - 2011 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 7 (2):205-222.
    Presuppositions and Appropriateness of Assertions In this paper I aim to compare and evaluate two theoretic approaches to pragmatic presuppositions: the Common Ground account and Propositional Context account. According to the Common Ground account proposed by Stalnaker, it is appropriate to assert a sentence p that requires a presupposition q only if q is mutually believed as accepted as true and taken for granted by the interlocutors. Otherwise, Gauker claims that the ground of propositions taken for granted coincides with what (...)
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  • Interactions with Context.Eric Swanson - 2006 - Dissertation, MIT
    My dissertation asks how we affect conversational context and how it affects us when we participate in any conversation—including philosophical conversations. Chapter 1 argues that speakers make pragmatic presuppositions when they use proper names. I appeal to these presuppositions in giving a treatment of Frege’s puzzle that is consistent with the claim that coreferential proper names have the same semantic value. I outline an explanation of the way presupposition carrying expressions in general behave in belief ascriptions, and suggest that substitutivity (...)
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  • Counterfactual Scorekeeping.Anthony S. Gillies - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (3):329 - 360.
    Counterfactuals are typically thought--given the force of Sobel sequences--to be variably strict conditionals. I go the other way. Sobel sequences and (what I call) Hegel sequences push us to a strict conditional analysis of counterfactuals: counterfactuals amount to some necessity modal scoped over a plain material conditional, just which modal being a function of context. To make this worth saying I need to say just how counterfactuals and context interact. No easy feat, but I have something to say on the (...)
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  • Embedded Attitudes.Kyle Blumberg & Ben Holguín - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (3):377-406.
    This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: a constraint that ties the content of restrictions (...)
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  • Epistemic Comparativism: A Contextualist Semantics for Knowledge Ascriptions.Jonathan Schaffer & Zoltan Gendler Szabo - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):491-543.
    Knowledge ascriptions seem context sensitive. Yet it is widely thought that epistemic contextualism does not have a plausible semantic implementation. We aim to overcome this concern by articulating and defending an explicit contextualist semantics for ‘know,’ which integrates a fairly orthodox contextualist conception of knowledge as the elimination of the relevant alternatives, with a fairly orthodox “Amherst” semantics for A-quantification over a contextually variable domain of situations. Whatever problems epistemic contextualism might face, lack of an orthodox semantic implementation is not (...)
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  • Two Ways to Want?Ethan Jerzak - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (2):65-98.
    I present unexplored and unaccounted for uses of 'wants'. I call them advisory uses, on which information inaccessible to the desirer herself helps determine what she wants. I show that extant theories by Stalnaker, Heim, and Levinson fail to predict these uses. They also fail to predict true indicative conditionals with 'wants' in the consequent. These problems are related: intuitively valid reasoning with modus ponens on the basis of the conditionals in question results in unembedded advisory uses. I consider two (...)
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