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Reference and Reflexivity

Critica 41 (123):147-162 (2009)

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  1. Recent Developments in Monster-Oriented Semantics意味論的モンスターをめぐる近年の展開について.Yoshiyuki Yokoro & Ryohei Takaya - 2020 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 52 (2):61-83.
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  • Delusions, dreams, and the nature of identification.Sam Wilkinson - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):203-226.
    Delusional misidentification is commonly understood as the product of an inference on the basis of evidence present in the subject's experience. For example, in the Capgras delusion, the patient sees someone who looks like a loved one, but who feels unfamiliar, so they infer that they must not be the loved one. I question this by presenting a distinction between “recognition” and “identification.” Identification does not always require recognition for its epistemic justification, nor does it need recognition for its psychological (...)
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  • Relationism and the Problem of Publicity.Matheus Valente & Víctor M. Verdejo - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (3):645-669.
    According to a recently developed family of relational views, whether two concepts C1 and C2 are the same is a matter of an external relation in which their tokens stand. In this paper, we highlight the chief contributions of Relationism in the elucidation of concept sameness, present a set of arguments to the effect that relational accounts of concept sameness fail to accommodate a substantive notion of concept publicity, and offer a diagnosis of this result. We conclude that the strengths (...)
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  • Complex Demonstratives, Articulation, and Overarticulation.Richard Vallée - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (1):97-122.
    RésuméLes démonstratifs complexes soulèvent des problèmes sémantiques majeurs qui incitent à l'examen de principes sous-jacents à la nouvelle théorie de la référence. Je présente ces problèmes de même que les principes qu'ils semblent remettre en question, expose les deux principales approches des demonstratifs et, finalement, suggère une théorie inspirée des travaux de John Perry sur les expressions référentielles sensibles aux contexts d'énonciation. Ma façon d'aborder les démonstratifs complexes est un prolongement de l'approche réfléxive référentielle et fait appel à de multiples (...)
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  • Confusion is Corruptive Belief in False Identity.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):204-227.
    Speakers are confused about identity if they mistake one thing for two or two things for one. I present two plausible models of confusion, the Frege model and the Millikan model. I show how a prominent objection to Fregean models fails and argue that confusion consists in having false implicit beliefs involving the identity relation. Further, I argue that confused identity has characteristic corruptive effects on singular cognition and on the proper function of singular terms in linguistic communication.
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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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  • The edenic theory of reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):276-308.
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Second, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents (...)
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  • A Gricean Theory of Malaprops.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (4):446-462.
    Gricean intentionalists hold that what a speaker says and means by a linguistic utterance is determined by the speaker's communicative intention. On this view, one cannot really say anything without meaning it as well. Conventionalists argue, however, that malapropisms provide powerful counterexamples to this claim. I present two arguments against the conventionalist and sketch a new Gricean theory of speech errors, called the misarticulation theory. On this view, malapropisms are understood as a special case of mispronunciation. I argue that the (...)
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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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  • Multiple propositions, contextual variability, and the semantics/pragmatics interface.Arthur Sullivan - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2773-2800.
    A ‘multiple-proposition phenomenon’ is a putative counterexample to the widespread implicit assumption that a simple indicative sentence semantically expresses at most one proposition. Several philosophers and linguists have recently developed hypotheses concerning this notion. The guiding questions motivating this research are: Is there an interesting and homogenous semantic category of MP phenomena? If so, what is the import? Do MP theories have any relevance to important current questions in the study of language? I motivate an affirmative answer to, and then (...)
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  • Against structured referring expressions.Arthur Sullivan - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (1):49 - 74.
    Following Neale, I call the notion that there can be no such thing as a structured referring expression ‘structure skepticism’. The specific aim of this paper is to defuse some putative counterexamples to structure skepticism. The general aim is to bolster the case in favor of the thesis that lack of structure—in a sense to be made precise—is essential to reference.
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  • What is Said, Linguistic Meaning, and Directly Referential Expressions.Isidora Stojanovic - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (4):373-397.
    Philosophers of language distinguish among the lexical or linguistic meaning of the sentence uttered, what is said by an utterance of the sentence, and speaker's meaning, or what is conveyed by the speaker to her audience. In most views, what is said is the semantic or truth-conditional content of the utterance, and is irreducible either to the linguistic meaning or to the speaker's meaning. I will show that those views account badly for people's intuitions on what is said. I will (...)
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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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  • The semantics/pragmatics distinction.Isidora Stojanovic - 2008 - Synthese 165 (3):317 - 319.
  • Toward a sharp semantics/pragmatics distinction.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):185–208.
    The semantics/pragmatics distinction was once considered central to the philosophy of language, but recently the distinction’s viability and importance have been challenged. In opposition to the growing movement away from the distinction, I argue that we really do need it, and that we can draw the distinction sharply if we draw it in terms of the distinction between non-mental and mental phenomena. On my view, semantic facts arise from context-independent meaning, compositional rules, and non-mental elements of context, whereas pragmatic facts (...)
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  • Intention-sensitive semantics.A. Stokke - 2010 - Synthese 175 (3):383-404.
    A number of authors have argued that the fact that certain indexicals depend for their reference-determination on the speaker’s referential intentions demonstrates the inadequacy of associating such expressions with functions from contexts to referents (characters). By distinguishing between different uses to which the notion of context is put in these argument, I show that this line of argument fails. In the course of doing so, I develop a way of incorporating the role played by intentions into a character-based semantics for (...)
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  • Abductive two-dimensionalism: a new route to the a priori identification of necessary truths.Biggs Stephen & Wilson Jessica - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):59-93.
    Epistemic two-dimensional semantics, advocated by Chalmers and Jackson, among others, aims to restore the link between necessity and a priority seemingly broken by Kripke, by showing how armchair access to semantic intensions provides a basis for knowledge of necessary a posteriori truths. The most compelling objections to E2D are that, for one or other reason, the requisite intensions are not accessible from the armchair. As we substantiate here, existing versions of E2D are indeed subject to such access-based objections. But, we (...)
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  • Critical notice of Words and Contents, by Richard Vallée.Robert J. Stainton & Arthur Sullivan - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):143-157.
    Section I gives an overview of the contents of “Words and Contents”, and lays out the plan for this Critical Notice. Section II expounds Vallée’s Perry-inspired Pluri-Propositional semantic framework, and Section III is an in-depth case study, focused on complex demonstratives. In Sections IV-V we develop some criticisms, and in Section VI we suggest a solution to these difficulties, which builds on Vallée’s innovative work.
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  • I—A More Radical Solution to the Race Problem.Quayshawn Spencer - 2019 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 93 (1):25-48.
    One debate that metaphysicians of race have been consumed with since the 1990s is what we can call the US race debate, which is the debate about what the nature and reality of race is according to the dominant ways that ‘race’ and race terms are used to classify people in contemporary American English. In 2014, I contributed a defence of biological racial realism in the US race debate that utilized new results about human genetic clustering from population genetics. In (...)
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  • A racial classification for medical genetics.Quayshawn Spencer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1013-1037.
    In the early 2000s, Esteban Burchard and his colleagues defended a controversial route to the view that there’s a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine. The route, which I call ‘Burchard’s route,’ is arguing that there’s a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine because, roughly, there’s a racial classification with medically relevant genetic differentiation :1170–1175, 2003). While almost all scholars engaged in this debate agree that there’s a racial classification of people that’s useful in medicine in (...)
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  • The First-Person Plural and Immunity to Error.Joel Smith - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (49):141-167.
    I argue for the view that some we-thoughts are immune to error through misidentification (IEM) relative to the first-person plural pronoun. To prepare the ground for this argument I defend an account of the semantics of ‘we’ and note the variety of different uses of that term. I go on to defend the IEM of a certain range of we-thoughts against a number of objections.
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  • Perceptual modes of presentation as object files.Gabriel Siegel - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    Some have defended a Fregean view of perceptual content. On this view, the constituents of perceptual contents are Fregean modes of presentation (MOPs). In this paper, I propose that perceptual MOPs are best understood in terms of object files. Object files are episodic representations that store perceptual information about objects. This information is updated when sensory conditions change. On the proposed view, when a subject perceptually represents some object a under two distinct MOPs, then the subject initiates two object files (...)
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  • Scrutability and Epistemic Updating: Comments on Chalmers's Constructing the World.Laura Schroeter - 2014 - Analysis 74 (4):638-651.
    In Constructing the World, Chalmers seeks to articulate and defend an important epistemic accessibility thesis, the Scrutability of Truth, which is crucial to Chalmers’ rationalist approach to meaning and modality. Chapters 3 and 4 of the book are devoted to persuading us that the move from weaker to stronger forms of Scrutability is intuitively plausible. In these comments, I want to question this move. The plausibility of strong forms of Scrutability hinges on controversial views about epistemic norms for answering ‘what (...)
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  • Bootstrapping our way to samesaying.Laura Schroeter - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):177-197.
    This paper articulates two constraints on an acceptable account of meaning: (i) accessibility: sameness of meaning affords an immediate appearance of de jure co-reference, (ii) flexibility: sameness of meaning tolerates open-ended variation in speakers' substantive understanding of the reference. Traditional accounts of meaning have trouble simultaneously satisfying both constraints. I suggest that relationally individuated meanings provide a promising way of avoiding this tension. On relational accounts, we bootstrap our way to de jure co-reference: the subjective appearance of de jure co-reference (...)
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  • Beyond Concepts.Laura Schroeter - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):363-377.
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  • A new interpretivist metasemantics for fundamental legal disagreements.François Schroeter, Laura Schroeter & Kevin Toh - 2020 - Legal Theory 26 (1):62-99.
    ABSTRACTWhat does it take for lawyers and others to think or talk about the same legal topic—e.g., defamation, culpability? We argue that people are able to think or talk about the same topic not when they possess a matching substantive understanding of the topic, as traditional metasemantics says, but instead when their thoughts or utterances are related to each other in certain ways. And what determines the content of thoughts and utterances is what would best serve the core purposes of (...)
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  • Lessons from Descriptive Indexicals.Kjell Johan Sæbø - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1111-1161.
    Two main methods for analysing de re readings of definite descriptions in intensional contexts coexist: that of evaluating the description in the actual world, whether by means of scope, actuality operators, or non-local world binding, and that of substituting another description, usually one expressing a salient or ‘vivid’ acquaintance relation to an attitude holder, prior to evaluation. Recent work on so-called descriptive indexicals suggests that contrary to common assumptions, both methods are needed, for different ends. This paper aims to show (...)
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  • The Ambiguity Theory of “Knows”.Mark Satta - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (1):69-83.
    The ambiguity theory of “knows” is the view that knows and its cognates have more than one propositional sense—i.e., more than one sense that can properly be used in “knows that” etc. constructions. The ambiguity theory of “know” has received relatively little attention as an account of the truth-conditions for knowledge ascriptions and denials—especially compared to views like classical, moderate invariantism and epistemic contextualism. In this paper, it is argued that the ambiguity theory of knows has an advantage over both (...)
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  • A linguistic grounding for a polysemy theory of ‘knows’.Mark Satta - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1163-1182.
    In his book Knowledge and Practical Interests Jason Stanley offers an argument for the conclusion that it is quite unlikely that an ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ can be “linguistically grounded”. His argument rests on two important assumptions: that linguistic grounding of ambiguity requires evidence of the purported different senses of a word being represented by different words in other languages and that such evidence is lacking in the case of ‘knows’. In this paper, I challenge the conclusion that there isn’t (...)
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  • Contextualism and the ambiguity theory of ‘knows’.Mark Satta - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):209-229.
    The ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ is the view that ‘knows’ and its cognates have more than one sense, and that which sense of ‘knows’ is used in a knowledge ascription or denial determines, in part, the meaning (and as a result the truth conditions) of that knowledge ascription or denial. In this paper, I argue that the ambiguity theory of ‘knows’ ought to be taken seriously by those drawn to epistemic contextualism. In doing so I first argue that the ambiguity (...)
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  • Which witch is which? Exotic objects and intentional identity.Alexander Sandgren - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):721-739.
    This paper is about intentional identity, the phenomenon of intentional attitudes having a common focus. I present an argument against an approach to explaining intentional identity, defended by Nathan Salmon, Terence Parsons and others, that involves positing exotic objects. For example, those who adopt this sort of view say that when two astronomers had beliefs about Vulcan, their attitudes had a common focus because there is an exotic object that both of their beliefs were about. I argue that countenancing these (...)
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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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  • A metarepresentational theory of intentional identity.Alexander Sandgren - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3677-3695.
    Geach points out that some pairs of beliefs have a common focus despite there being, apparently, no object at that focus. For example, two or more beliefs can be directed at Vulcan even though there is no such planet. Geach introduced the label ‘intentional identity’ to pick out the relation that holds between attitudes in these cases; Geach says that ’[w]e have intentional identity when a number of people, or one person on different occasions, have attitudes with a common focus, (...)
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  • Introduction.Fiora Salis - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):i-vi.
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  • 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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  • What we can do.Katherine Ritchie - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):865-882.
    Plural first-person pronouns have often been ignored in the literature on indexicals and pronouns. The assumption seems to be that we is just the plural of I. So, we can focus on theorizing about singular indexicals and about non-indexical plurals then combine the results to yield a theory of plural indexicals. Here I argue that the “divide and conquer” strategy fails. By considering data involving plurals, generics, and complex demonstratives, I argue for a referential semantics on which we can refer (...)
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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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  • On contextual domain restriction in categorial grammar.Erich H. Rast - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2085-2115.
    Abstract -/- Quantifier domain restriction (QDR) and two versions of nominal restriction (NR) are implemented as restrictions that depend on a previously introduced interpreter and interpretation time in a two-dimensional semantic framework on the basis of simple type theory and categorial grammar. Against Stanley (2002) it is argued that a suitable version of QDR can deal with superlatives like tallest. However, it is shown that NR is needed to account for utterances when the speaker intends to convey different restrictions for (...)
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  • Against the Quotational Theory of Meaning Ascriptions.Andrea Raimondi - 2020 - Studia Semiotyczne 34 (2):81-103.
    According to the quotational theory of meaning ascriptions, sentences like “‘Bruder means brother” are abbreviated synonymy claims, such as “‘Bruder means the same as ‘brother’”. After discussing a problem with Harman’s version of the quotational theory, I present an amended version defended by Field. Then, I address Field’s responses to two arguments against the theory that revolve around translation and the understanding of foreign expressions. Afterwards, I formulate two original arguments against both Harman’s and Field’s versions of the theory. One (...)
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  • The logic of indexicals.Alexandru Radulescu - 2015 - Synthese 192 (6):1839-1860.
    Since Kaplan : 81–98, 1979) first provided a logic for context-sensitive expressions, it has been thought that the only way to construct a logic for indexicals is to restrict it to arguments which take place in a single context— that is, instantaneous arguments, uttered by a single speaker, in a single place, etc. In this paper, I propose a logic which does away with these restrictions, and thus places arguments where they belong, in real world conversations. The central innovation is (...)
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  • Token-Reflexivity and Repetition.Alexandru Radulescu - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:745-763.
    The classical rule of Repetition says that if you take any sentence as a premise, and repeat it as a conclusion, you have a valid argument. It's a very basic rule of logic, and many other rules depend on the guarantee that repeating a sentence, or really, any expression, guarantees sameness of referent, or semantic value. However, Repetition fails for token-reflexive expressions. In this paper, I offer three ways that one might replace Repetition, and still keep an interesting notion of (...)
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  • The difference between indexicals and demonstratives.Alexandru Radulescu - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3173-3196.
    In this paper, I propose a new way to distinguish between indexicals, like “I” and “today”, and demonstratives, like “she” and “this”. The main test case is the second person singular pronoun “you”. The tradition would generally count it as a demonstrative, because the speaker’s intentions play a role in providing it with a semantic value. I present cross-linguistic data and explanations offered of the data in typology and semantics to show that “you” belongs on the indexical side, and argue (...)
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  • Synonymy between Token-Reflexive Expressions.Alexandru Radulescu - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):381–399.
    Synonymy, at its most basic, is sameness of meaning. A token-reflexive expression is an expression whose meaning assigns a referent to its tokens by relating each particular token of that particular expression to its referent. In doing so, the formulation of its meaning mentions the particular expression whose meaning it is. This seems to entail that no two token-reflexive expressions are synonymous, which would constitute a strong objection against token-reflexive semantics. In this paper, I propose and defend a notion of (...)
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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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  • Cognitive dynamics and indexicals.Simon Prosser - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (4):369–391.
    Frege held that indexical thoughts could be retained through changes of context that required a change of indexical term. I argue that Frege was partially right in that a singular mode of presentation can be retained through changes of indexical. There must, however, be a further mode of presentation that changes when the indexical term changes. This suggests that indexicals should be regarded as complex demonstratives; a change of indexical term is like a change between 'that φ' and 'that ψ', (...)
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  • Affordances and Phenomenal Character in Spatial Perception.Simon Prosser - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (4):475-513.
    Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of a conscious experience is wholly determined by, or even reducible to, its representational content. In this essay I put forward a version of intentionalism that allows (though does not require) the reduction of phenomenal character to representational content. Unlike other reductionist theories, however, it does not require the acceptance of phenomenal externalism (the view that phenomenal character does not supervene on the internal state of the subject). According the view offered here, (...)
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  • Who’s afraid of the predicate theory of names?Stefano Predelli - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (4):363-376.
    This essay is devoted to an analysis of the semantic significance of a fashionable view of proper names, the Predicate Theory of names, typically developed in the direction of the Metalinguistic Theory of names. According to MT, ‘syntactic evidence supports the conclusion that a name such as ‘Kennedy’ is analyzable in terms of the predicate ‘individual named ‘Kennedy’’. This analysis is in turn alleged to support a descriptivist treatment of proper names in designative position, presumably in contrast with theories of (...)
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  • Sub-sentential speech and the traditional view.Stefano Predelli - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (6):571-588.
    This essay argues that cases of apparently sub-sentential speech, such as Charles’ utterance of ‘a world famous topologist’ in the presence of a suitably salient woman, are unproblematic from the viewpoint of the Traditional View of meaning and truth-conditions. My argument is grounded on the distinction between different senses of ‘truth-conditions’ in double-index semantics, and on an understanding of semantic inputs as constraints on logical forms. Given these conceptual resources, I argue that an utterly traditional understanding of the relationships between (...)
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  • Russell-Names: An Introduction to Millian Descriptivism.Stefano Predelli - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):603-622.
    This essay studies the semantic properties of what I call Russell-names. Russell-names bear intimate semantic relations with descriptive conditions, in consonance with the main tenets of descriptivism. Yet, they are endowed with the semantic properties attributed to ordinary proper names by Millianism: they are rigid and non-indexical devices of direct reference. This is not an essay in natural language semantics, and remains deliberately neutral with respect to the question whether any among the expressions we ordinarily classify as proper names behave (...)
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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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