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Externalism, logical form, and linguistic intentions

In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 399--414 (2003)

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  1. The Problem of Empty Names and Russellian Plenitude.Joshua Spencer - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):1-18.
    ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express different propositions, even though neither ‘Ahab’ nor ‘Holmes’ has a referent. This seems to constitute a theoretical puzzle for the Russellian view of propositions. In this paper, I develop a variant of the Russellian view, Plenitudinous Russellianism. I claim that ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express distinct gappy propositions. I discuss key metaphysical and semantic differences between Plenitudinous Russellianism and Traditional Russellianism and respond to objections that (...)
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  • Meta-Externalism Vs Meta-Internalism in the Study of Reference.Daniel Cohnitz & Jussi Haukioja - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):475-500.
    We distinguish and discuss two different accounts of the subject matter of theories of reference, meta-externalism and meta-internalism. We argue that a form of the meta- internalist view, “moderate meta-internalism”, is the most plausible account of the subject matter of theories of reference. In the second part of the paper we explain how this account also helps to answer the questions of what kind of concept reference is, and what role intuitions have in the study of the reference relation.
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  • Computers.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.
    I offer an explication of the notion of computer, grounded in the practices of computability theorists and computer scientists. I begin by explaining what distinguishes computers from calculators. Then, I offer a systematic taxonomy of kinds of computer, including hard-wired versus programmable, general-purpose versus special-purpose, analog versus digital, and serial versus parallel, giving explicit criteria for each kind. My account is mechanistic: which class a system belongs in, and which functions are computable by which system, depends on the system's mechanistic (...)
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  • Externalism and a Posteriori Semantics.Sören Häggqvist & Åsa Wikforss - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):373 - 386.
    It is widely held that the meaning of certain types of terms, such as natural kind terms, is individuated externalistically, in terms of the individual's external environment. Recently a more radical thesis has emerged, a thesis we dub 'a posteriori semantics.' The suggestion is that not only does a term's meaning depend on the external environment, but so does its semantics. One motivation for this is the aim to account for cases where a putative natural kind term fails to pick (...)
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  • Empty Natural Kind Terms and Dry-Earth.Corine Besson - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):403-425.
    This paper considers the problem of assigning meanings to empty natural kind terms. It does so in the context of the Twin-Earth externalist-internalist debate about whether the meanings of natural kind terms are individuated by the external physical environment of the speakers using these terms. The paper clarifies and outlines the different ways in which meanings could be assigned to empty natural kind terms. And it argues that externalists do not have the semantic resources to assign them meanings. The paper (...)
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  • Semantic Externalism and Psychological Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):158-181.
    Externalism is widely endorsed within contemporary philosophy of mind and language. Despite this, it is far from clear how the externalist thesis should be construed and, indeed, why we should accept it. In this entry I distinguish and examine three central types of externalism: what I call foundational externalism, externalist semantics, and psychological externalism. I suggest that the most plausible version of externalism is not in fact a very radical thesis and does not have any terribly interesting implications for philosophy (...)
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  • Reference Failure, Illusion of Thought and Self‐Knowledge.Mahmoud Morvarid - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (3):303-323.
    One of the main issues concerning different versions of content externalism is whether or not they are compatible with the privileged access thesis. According to the so-called ‘illusion version’ of externalism, in reference failure cases (such as cases in which an empty proper name is involved) the subject suffers an illusion of entertaining a thought. In this paper, I shall concentrate on a recent argument offered by Jessica Brown, which she calls the “illusion argument”, to the effect that the illusion (...)
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  • Unicorn Atheism.Roy Sorensen - 2018 - Noûs 52 (2):373-388.
    Kripshe treats ‘god’ as an empty natural kind term such as ‘unicorn’. She applies Saul Kripke's fresh views about empty natural kinds to ‘god’. Metaphysically, says Kripshe, there are no possible worlds in which there are gods. Gods could not have existed, given that they do not actually exist and never did. Epistemologically, godlessness is an a posteriori discovery. Kripshe dismisses the gods in the same breath that she dismisses mermaids. Semantically, the perspective Kripshe finds most perspicacious, no counterfactual situation (...)
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  • Computational Modeling Vs. Computational Explanation: Is Everything a Turing Machine, and Does It Matter to the Philosophy of Mind?Gualtiero Piccinini - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):93 – 115.
    According to pancomputationalism, everything is a computing system. In this paper, I distinguish between different varieties of pancomputationalism. I find that although some varieties are more plausible than others, only the strongest variety is relevant to the philosophy of mind, but only the most trivial varieties are true. As a side effect of this exercise, I offer a clarified distinction between computational modelling and computational explanation.<br><br>.
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  • Russellians Can Solve the Problem of Empty Names with Nonsingular Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Synthese:1-23.
    Views that treat the contents of sentences as structured, Russellian propositions face a problem with empty names. It seems that those sorts of things cannot be the contents of sentences containing such names. I motivate and defend a solution to the problem according to which a sentence may have a singular proposition as its content at one time, and a nonsingular one at another. When the name is empty the content is a nonsingular Russellian structured proposition; when the name is (...)
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  • Self‐Knowledge and Externalism About Empty Concepts.Ted Parent - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (2):158-168.
    Several authors have argued that, assuming we have apriori knowledge of our own thought-contents, semantic externalism implies that we can know apriori contingent facts about the empirical world. After presenting the argument, I shall respond by resisting the premise that an externalist can know apriori: If s/he has the concept water, then water exists. In particular, Boghossian's Dry Earth example suggests that such thought-experiments do not provide such apriori knowledge. Boghossian himself rejects the Dry Earth experiment, however, since it would (...)
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