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Questions in Action

Journal of Philosophy 119 (3):113-143 (2022)

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  1. Good Guesses.Kevin Dorst & Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper is about guessing: how people respond to a question when they aren’t certain of the answer. Guesses show surprising and systematic patterns that the most obvious theories don’t explain. We argue that these patterns reveal that people aim to optimize a tradeoff between accuracy and informativity when forming their guess. After spelling out our theory, we use it to argue that guessing plays a central role in our cognitive lives. In particular, our account of guessing yields new theories (...)
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  • How to Arrive at Questions.Moritz Cordes - 2021 - In Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 165–175.
    The question of how to arrive at questions is ambiguous. I will concentrate on two readings: (i) How should one set up a formal syntax that accomodates questions? (ii) How does one, while working in a suitable formal language, arrive at a situation where one is allowed to or even must ask a certain question? In other words: How is the asking of questions regulated within a given formal language? I will propose an answer to question (i) and consider the (...)
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  • Why We Need a Question Semantics.Ivano Ciardelli - 2021 - In Moritz Cordes (ed.), Asking and Answering: Rivalling Approaches to Interrogative Methods. Tübingen: Narr Francke Attempto. pp. 15–47.
    In this paper I discuss the role that question contents should play in an overall account of language, thought, and communication. Based on these considerations, I argue against the Fregean view that analyzes questions as distinguished only at the level of force. Questions, I argue, are associated with specific semantic objects, which play a distinctive role in thought and in compositional semantics, stand in logical relations to one another, and can act as contents of multiple speech acts. In the second (...)
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