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Reference and Reflexivity

Center for the Study of Language and Inf (2001)

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  1. Fictional Reports A Study on the Semantics of Fictional Names.Fiora Salis - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (2):175-185.
    Against standard descriptivist and referentialist semantics for fictional reports, I will defend a view according to which fictional names do not refer yet they can be distinguished from one another in virtue of their different name-using practices. The logical structures of sentences containing fictional names inherit these distinctions. Different interpretations follow.
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  • Indexicals in Remote Utterances.Adrian Briciu - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):39-55.
    Recording devices are generally taken to present problems for the standard Kaplanian semantics for indexicals. In this paper, I argue that the remote utterance view offers the best way for the Kaplanian semantics to handle the recalcitrant data that comes from the use of recording devices. Following Sidelle I argue that recording devices allow agents to perform utterances at a distance. Using the essential, but widely ignored, distinction between tokens and utterances, I develop the view beyond the initial sketch given (...)
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  • Indexical Relativism?Eduardo Pérez-Navarro - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (3):1365-1389.
    The particular behavior exhibited by sentences featuring predicates of personal taste such as “tasty” may drive us to claim that their truth depends on the context of assessment, as MacFarlane does. MacFarlane considers two ways in which the truth of a sentence can depend on the context of assessment. On the one hand, we can say that the sentence expresses a proposition whose truth-value depends on the context of assessment. This is MacFarlane’s position, which he calls “truth relativism” and, following (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • On Being in an Undiscoverable Position.Wesley H. Holliday - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):33-40.
    The Paradox of the Surprise Examination has been a testing ground for a variety of frameworks in formal epistemology, from epistemic logic to probability theory to game theory and more. In this paper, I treat a related paradox, the Paradox of the Undiscoverable Position, as a test case for the possible-worlds style representation of epistemic states. I argue that the paradox can be solved in this framework, further illustrating the power of possible-worlds style modeling. The solution also illustrates an important (...)
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  • Accommodation and Negotiation with Context‐Sensitive Expressions.Alex Silk - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):115-123.
    Contextualists and relativists about predicates of personal taste, epistemic modals, and so on (“CR-expressions”) agree that the interpretation of these expressions depends, in some sense, on context. Relativists claim that the sort of context-sensitivity exhibited by CR-expressions is importantly different from that exhibited by paradigm context-sensitive expressions. This bifurcation is often motivated by the claim that the two classes of expressions behave differently in patterns of agreement and disagreement. I provide cases illustrating that the same sorts of discourse phenomena that (...)
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  • A Description Theory of Singular Reference.Francesco Orilia - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (1):7–40.
    According to the received view, descriptivism is a dead end in an attempt to account for singular reference by proper names, indexicals and possibly even incomplete descriptions, for they require referentialism. In contrast to this, I argue for an application of the former to all kinds of singular terms, indexicals in particular, by relying on a view of incomplete descriptions as elliptical in a pragmatic sense. I thus provide a general analysis of singular reference. The proposed approach is in line (...)
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  • Names and Illusions.Paolo Leonardi - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (2):165–176.
    Here, I defend the view that fictional narratives are illusionary and that fictional names are to be accounted metalinguistically, a blend of Walton’s and Donnellan’s theories. Besides, I offer a remedial semantic for sentences external to the story which connects those uses back to the text of the story and to the neighborhood of its retellings.
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  • Shifty Characters.Eliot Michaelson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):519-540.
    In “Demonstratives”, David Kaplan introduced a simple and remarkably robust semantics for indexicals. Unfortunately, Kaplan’s semantics is open to a number of apparent counterexamples, many of which involve recording devices. The classic case is the sentence “I am not here now” as recorded and played back on an answering machine. In this essay, I argue that the best way to accommodate these data is to conceive of recording technologies as introducing special, non-basic sorts of contexts, accompanied by non-basic conventions governing (...)
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  • Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications.John MacFarlane - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    John MacFarlane explores how we might make sense of the idea that truth is relative. He provides new, satisfying accounts of parts of our thought and talk that have resisted traditional methods of analysis, including what we mean when we talk about what is tasty, what we know, what will happen, what might be the case, and what we ought to do.
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  • Being at the Centre: Self-Location in Thought and Language.Clas Weber - 2016 - In M. Garcia-Carpintero & S. Torre (eds.), About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 246-271.
    Self-locating attitudes and assertions provide a challenge to the received view of mental and linguistic intentionality. In this paper I try to show that the best way to meet this challenge is to adopt relativistic, centred possible worlds accounts for both belief and communication. First, I argue that self-locating beliefs support a centred account of belief. Second, I argue that self-locating utterances support a complementary centred account of communication. Together, these two claims motivate a unified centred conception of belief and (...)
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  • De Re And De Dicto: Against The Conventional Wisdom.Ken Taylor - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s16):225-265.
    Conventional wisdom has it that there is a class of attitude ascriptions such that in making an ascription of that sort, the ascriber undertakes a commitment to specify the contents of the ascribee’s head in what might be called a notionally sensitive, ascribee-centered way. In making such an ascription, the ascriber is supposed to undertake a commitment to specify the modes of presentation, concepts or notions under which the ascribee cognizes the objects (and properties) that her beliefs are about. Consequently, (...)
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  • Testimony, Pragmatics, and Plausible Deniability.Andrew Peet - 2015 - Episteme 12 (1):29-51.
    I outline what I call the ‘deniability problem’, explain why it is problematic, and identify the range of utterances to which it applies (using religious discourse as an example). The problem is as follows: To assign content to many utterances audiences must rely on their contextual knowledge. This generates a lot of scope for error. Thus, speakers are able to make assertions and deny responsibility for the proposition asserted, claiming that the audience made a mistake. I outline the problem (a (...)
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  • Self-Consciousness.Joel Smith - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    -/- Human beings are conscious not only of the world around them but also of themselves: their activities, their bodies, and their mental lives. They are, that is, self-conscious (or, equivalently, self-aware). Self-consciousness can be understood as an awareness of oneself. But a self-conscious subject is not just aware of something that merely happens to be themselves, as one is if one sees an old photograph without realising that it is of oneself. Rather a self-conscious subject is aware of themselves (...)
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  • Propositional Attitude Reports.Thomas McKay - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Pragmatics.Kepa Korta & John Perry - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    These lines — also attributed to H. L. Mencken and Carl Jung — although perhaps politically incorrect, are surely correct in reminding us that more is involved in what one communicates than what one literally says; more is involved in what one means than the standard, conventional meaning of the words one uses. The words ‘yes,’ ‘perhaps,’ and ‘no’ each has a perfectly identifiable meaning, known by every speaker of English (including not very competent ones). However, as those lines illustrate, (...)
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  • Singular Propositions.Greg Fitch - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Reassessing Truth-Evaluability in the Minimalism-Contextualism Debate.Sarah A. Fisher - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):1-18.
    The debate between Semantic Minimalism and Radical Contextualism is standardly characterized as concerning truth-evaluability—specifically, whether or not sentences require rich contextualization in order to express complete, truth-evaluable contents. In this paper, I examine the notion of truth-evaluability, considering which kinds of mappings it might require from worldly states of affairs to truth-values. At one end of the spectrum, an exhaustive notion would require truth-evaluable contents to map all possible states of affairs to truth-values. At the other end, a liberal notion (...)
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  • The Importance of Being Ernesto: Reference, Truth and Logical Form.A. Bianchi, V. Morato & G. Spolaore (eds.) - 2016 - Padova: Padova University Press.
  • Files for Fiction.Eleonora Orlando - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (1):55-71.
    In this essay, I appeal to the mental file approach in order to give an anti-realist semantic analysis of statements containing fictional names. I claim that fictive and parafictive uses of them express conceptual, though not general, propositions constituted by mental files, anchored in the conceptual world of the corresponding fictional story. Moreover, by positing a referential shift determined by the presence of a simulative referential intention characteristic of those uses, it is possible to take them to be true with (...)
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  • Mental Files: Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):207-242.
    My responses to seven critical reviews of my book *Mental Files* published in a special issue of the journal Disputatio, edited by F. Salis. The reviewers are: Keith Hall, David Papineau, Annalisa Coliva and Delia Belleri, Peter Pagin, Thea Goodsell, Krista Lawlor and Manuel Garcia-Carpintero.
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  • Quine on Logic, Propositional Attitudes, and the Unity of Knowledge.André Leclerc - 2003 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 7 (1-2):131-145.
    I shall examine Quine’s conception of logic, of propositional attitudes, and of the unity of knowledge in order to show that there are some tensions in Quine’s system. I first propose a conception of the use or application of logic, stating that logic strictly speaking applies to intentional phenomena or to things that presuppose the existence of intentional phenomena. Then, I consider briefly Quine’s philosophy of logic and discuss some issues. In Quine’s philosophy, logic stays at the very center of (...)
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  • Niezdaniowe akty mowy: między elipsą a niewzbogaconą usytuowaną illokucją.Joanna Odrowąż-Sypniewska - 2018 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (2):107-127.
    Niezdaniowe akty mowy to przynajmniej pozornie niezdaniowe wypowiedzi, za których pomocą mówiący dokonują pewnych aktów illokucyjnych: stwierdzają, pytają, proszą itp. Wśród teoretyków zajmujących się takimi wypowiedziami można wskazać zwolenników podejścia, które głosi, że większość takich wypowiedzi tojednak — wbrew pozorom — wypowiedzi zdaniowe, oraz zwolenników stanowiska, zgodnie z którym treść takich wypowiedzi musi być bezpośrednio wzbogacona z kontekstu za pomocą procesów pragmatycznych niekontrolowanych semantycznie. W pierwszej części tej pracy przyglądam się bliżej stanowisku traktującemu wypowiedzi niezdaniowe jako elipsy i zastanowiam się, (...)
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  • David, Some Davids, and All Davids: Reference, Category Change, and Bearerhood of Real-Life Names.Laura Delgado - 2018 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    This essay is devoted to the study of proper names. Although the view that sees proper names as referential singular terms is widely considered orthodoxy, there is a growing popularity to the view that proper names are predicates. This is partly because the orthodoxy faces two anomalies that Predicativism can solve: on the one hand, proper names can have multiple bearers. But multiple bearerhood is prima facie a problem to the idea that proper names have just one individual as referent. (...)
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  • Frege’s Puzzle is About Identity After All.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):628-643.
    Many philosophers have argued or taken for granted that Frege's puzzle has little or nothing to do with identity statements. I show that this is wrong, arguing that the puzzle can only be motivated relative to a thinker's beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the relevant object. The result is important, as it suggests that the puzzle can be solved, not by a semantic theory of names or referring expressions as such, but simply by a theory of identity statements. (...)
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  • Fictional Discourse: A Reply to von Solodkoff’s ‘Demoting Fictional Names’.Stefano Predelli - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (2):231-240.
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  • Semantics Without Semantic Content.Daniel W. Harris - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (3):304-328.
    I argue that semantics is the study of the proprietary database of a centrally inaccessible and informationally encapsulated input–output system. This system’s role is to encode and decode partial and defeasible evidence of what speakers are saying. Since information about nonlinguistic context is therefore outside the purview of semantic processing, a sentence’s semantic value is not its content but a partial and defeasible constraint on what it can be used to say. I show how to translate this thesis into a (...)
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  • What in the World Is Semantic Indeterminacy?David E. Taylor & Alexis Burgess - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):298-317.
    Discussions of “indeterminacy” customarily distinguish two putative types: semantic indeterminacy (SI)—indeterminacy that’s somehow the product of the semantics of our words/concepts—and metaphysical indeterminacy (MI)—indeterminacy that exists as a mind/language-independent feature of reality itself. A popular and influential thought among philosophers is that all indeterminacy must be SI. In this paper we challenge this thought. Our challenge is guided by the question: What, exactly, does it take for a case of indeterminacy to count as SI? We argue that the only satisfactory (...)
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  • Belief Ascription and Context Dependence.David Hunter - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (12):902-911.
    This article considers the question whether belief ascriptions exhibit context dependence. I first distinguish two potential forms of context dependence in belief ascription. Propositional context dependence concerns what the subject believes, whereas attitudinal context dependence concerns what it is to believe a proposition. I then discuss three potential sources of PCD and two potential sources of ACD. Given the nature of this article, my discussion will provide only an overview of these various forms and sources of context dependence. Along the (...)
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  • Temporal Metaphysics in Z-Land.Simon Prosser - 2006 - Synthese 149 (1):77 - 96.
    John Perry has argued that language, thought and experience often contain unarticulated constituents. I argue that this idea holds the key to explaining away the intuitive appeal of the A-theory of time and the endurance theory of persistence. The A-theory has seemed intuitively appealing because the nature of temporal experience makes it natural for us to use one-place predicates like past to deal with what are really two-place relations, one of whose constituents is unarticulated. The endurance view can be treated (...)
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  • Understanding the Intentions Behind the Referential/Attributive Distinction.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):351-362.
    In his recently published John Locke Lectures, Saul Kripke attempts to capture Keith Donnellan’s referential/attributive distinction for definite descriptions using a distinction between general and specific intentions. I argue that although Kripke’s own way of capturing the referential/attributive distinction is inadequate, we can use general and specific intentions to successfully capture the distinction if we also distinguish between primary and secondary intentions. An attributive use is characterized by the fact that the general intention is either the primary or only designative (...)
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  • Pragmatics of No Reference.Seyed N. Mousavian - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (1):95-116.
    According to Millianism, the semantic content of a proper name is its semantic referent. Many names, however, lack semantic referent; hence, so-called ‘empty’ names. Empty names raise various problems for Millianism. T.C. Ryckman, Fred Adams, Garry Fuller, Robert Stecker, Kenneth Taylor, and Nicole Wyatt, among others, have defended Millianism against these problems by appeal to pragmatics . I introduce Millianism and the problems raised by empty names for the view, then examine Pragmatic Millianism , its strength, its varieties, and why (...)
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  • First-Person Propositions.Peter W. Hanks - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):155-182.
    A first-person proposition is a proposition that only a single subject can assert or believe. When I assert ‘I am on fire’ I assert a first-person proposition that only I have access to, in the sense that no one else can assert or believe this proposition. This is in contrast to third-person propositions, which can be asserted or believed by anyone.
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  • Varieties of Coreference.Krista Lawlor - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):485-495.
  • Contextualist Resolutions of Philosophical Debates.Martin Montminy - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):571-590.
    Abstract: Despite all the critical scrutiny they have received recently, contextualist views in philosophy are still not well understood. Neither contextualists nor their opponents have been entirely clear about what contextualist theses amount to and what they are based on. In this article I show that there are actually two kinds of contextualist view that rest on two very different semantic phenomena, namely, semantic incompleteness and semantic indeterminacy . I explain how contextualist approaches can be used to dissolve certain debates (...)
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  • Fictional Names and the Problem of Intersubjective Identification.Fiora Salis - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (3):283-301.
    The problem of intersubjective identification arises from the difficulties of explaining how our thoughts and discourse about fictional characters can be directed towards the same (or different) characters given the assumption that there are no fictional entities. In this paper I aim to offer a solution in terms of participation in a practice of thinking and talking about the same thing, which is inspired by Sainsbury's name-using practices. I will critically discuss a similar idea that was put forward by Friend (...)
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  • Frege's Puzzle for Perception.Boyd Millar - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):368-392.
    According to an influential variety of the representational view of perceptual experience—the singular content view—the contents of perceptual experiences include singular propositions partly composed of the particular physical object a given experience is about or of. The singular content view faces well-known difficulties accommodating hallucinations; I maintain that there is also an analogue of Frege's puzzle that poses a significant problem for this view. In fact, I believe that this puzzle presents difficulties for the theory that are unique to perception (...)
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  • Minimal Fregeanism.Aidan Gray - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):429-458.
    Among the virtues of relationist approaches to Frege’s puzzle is that they put us in a position to outline structural features of the puzzle that were only implicit in earlier work. In particular, they allow us to frame questions about the relation between the explanatory roles of sense and sameness of sense. In this paper, I distinguish a number of positions about that relation which have not been clearly distinguished. This has a few pay-offs. It allows us to shed light (...)
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  • Co-filing and De Jure Co-referential Thought in the Mental Files Framework.Poong Shil Lee - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):309-345.
    In the mental files framework, mental files contain pieces of information. Then, how can we explain the fact that multiple pieces of information are stored in a single mental file? This fact can be called ‘co-filing’. Recanati recommends an account of co-filing as a way to avoid the circularity that can occur when one attempts to explain co-filing in terms of the fact that pieces of information are taken to be about the same object. I argue that his account is (...)
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  • Objectivity and Perspectival Content.Max Kölbel - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):137-159.
    What is objectivity? What would it take to have objective representations and do we have what it takes? This paper aims to contribute to answering these questions. To this end, it isolates one relevant sense of objectivity and proposes a generalization of standard frameworks of representational content in order to engage with the question in a way that is rhetorically fair. Armed with a general conception of perspectival content, taken from the literature on centred or de se content, the paper (...)
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  • Are Concepts Creatures of Darkness?Laura Schroeter - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (2):277-292.
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  • Constructivism in Practical Philosophy.Eric Campbell - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (3):374-377.
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  • Critical Pragmatics. [REVIEW]Peter Pagin - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (3):371-374.
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  • Turning Aboutness About.Alexander Sandgren - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (1):136-155.
    There are two families of influential and stubborn puzzles that many theories of aboutness (intentionality) face: underdetermination puzzles and puzzles concerning representations that appear to be about things that do not exist. I propose an approach that elegantly avoids both kinds of puzzle. The central idea is to explain aboutness (the relation supposed to stand between thoughts and terms and their objects) in terms of relations of co-aboutness (the relation of being about the same thing that stands between the thoughts (...)
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  • Singular Thought: Object‐Files, Person‐Files, and the Sortal PERSON.Michael Murez & Joulia Smortchkova - 2014 - Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (4):632-646.
    In philosophy, “singular thought” refers to our capacity to represent entities as individuals, rather than as possessors of properties. Philosophers who defend singularism argue that perception allows us to mentally latch onto objects and persons directly, without conceptualizing them as being of a certain sort. Singularists assume that singular thought forms a unified psychological kind, regardless of the nature of the individuals represented. Empirical findings on the special psychological role of persons as opposed to inanimates threaten singularism. They raise the (...)
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  • Critical Study Velleman: Self to Self.John Perry - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):740-758.
  • Self‐Location and Other‐Location.Dilip Ninan - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):301-331.
    According to one tradition in the philosophy of language and mind, the content of a psychological attitude can be characterized by a set of possibilities. On the classic version of this account, advocated by Hintikka (1962) and Stalnaker (1984) among others, the possibilities in question are possible worlds, ways the universe might be. Lewis (1979, 1983a) proposed an alternative to this account, according to which the possibilities in question are possible individuals or centered worlds, ways an individual might be. The (...)
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  • Recovering What Is Said With Empty Names.Gualtiero Piccinini & Sam Scott - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):239-273.
    As our data will show, negative existential sentences containing socalled empty names evoke the same strong semantic intuitions in ordinary speakers and philosophers alike.Santa Claus does not exist.Superman does not exist.Clark Kent does not exist.Uttering the sentences in (1) seems to say something truth-evaluable, to say something true, and to say something different for each sentence. A semantic theory ought to explain these semantic intuitions.The intuitions elicited by (1) are in apparent conflict with the Millian view of proper names. According (...)
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  • Unenriched Subsentential Illocutions.Eros Corazza - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):560-582.
    In this paper I challenge the common wisdom (see Dummett and Davidson) that sentences are the minimal units with which one can perform a speech act or make a move in the language game. I thus sit with Perry and Stainton in arguing that subsentences can be used to perform full-fledged speech acts. In my discussion I assume the traditional framework which distinguishes between the proposition expressed and the thought or mental state (possibly a sentence in Mentalese) one comes to (...)
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  • Are There Mental Indexicals and Demonstratives?Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):217-234.