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  1. Enduring Senses.Graeme A. Forbes & Nathan Wildman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (291):1-21.
    The meanings of words seem to change over time. But while there is a growing body of literature in linguistics and philosophy about meaning change, there has been little discussion about the metaphysical underpinnings of meaning change. The central aim of this paper is to push this discussion forward by surveying the terrain and advocating for a particular metaphysical picture. In so doing, we hope to clarify various aspects of the nature of meaning change, as well as prompt future philosophical (...)
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  • The Pragmatics of Empty Names.Nicole Wyatt - 2007 - Dialogue 46 (4):663-681.
    ABSTRACTFred Adams and collaborators advocate a view on which empty-name sentences semantically encode incomplete propositions, but which can be used to conversationally implicate descriptive propositions. This account has come under criticism recently from Marga Reimer and Anthony Everett. Reimer correctly observes that their account does not pass a natural test for conversational implicatures, namely, that an explanation of our intuitions in terms of implicature should be such that we upon hearing it recognize it to be roughly correct. Everett argues that (...)
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  • The Inference Objection to Evidence Cases.Julie Wulfemeyer - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):361-368.
    Chastain and Sawyer, among others, claim that direct cognitive relations can be initiated in evidence cases. Direct cognitive relations will here include Chastain’s knowledge-of and Sawyer’s trace-based acquaintance, as well as related notions such as having-in-mind and singular thought. Against this controversial claim, it is often objected that such cases are better understood as cases of inference rather than cases of direct thought. When one detects something by its footprint, the objection goes, one merely infers that it exists rather than (...)
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  • Egocentric and Encyclopedic Doxastic States in Delusions of Misidentification.Sam Wilkinson - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):219-234.
    A recent debate in the literature on delusions centers on the question of whether delusions are beliefs or not. In this paper, an overlooked distinction between egocentric and encyclopedic doxastic states is introduced and brought to bear on this debate, in particular with regard to delusions of misidentification. The result is that a more accurate characterization of the delusional subject’s doxastic point of view is made available. The patient has a genuine egocentric belief (“This man is not my father”), but (...)
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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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  • Compound Nominals, Context, and Compositionality.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2007 - Synthese 156 (1):161-204.
    There are good reasons to think natural languages are compositional. But compound nominals (CNs) are largely productive constructions that have proven highly recalcitrant to compositional semantic analysis. I evaluate existing proposals to treat CNs compositionally and argue that they are unsuccessful. I then articulate an alternative proposal according to which CNs contain covert indexicals. Features of the context allow a variety of relations to be expressed using CNs, but this variety is not expressed in the lexicon or the semantic rules (...)
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  • Atomism, pluralism, and conceptual content.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):131-163.
    Conceptual atomists argue that most of our concepts are primitive. I take up three arguments that have been thought to support atomism and show that they are inconclusive. The evidence that allegedly backs atomism is equally compatible with a localist position on which concepts are structured representations with complex semantic content. I lay out such a localist position and argue that the appropriate position for a non-atomist to adopt is a pluralist view of conceptual structure. I show several ways in (...)
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  • Is It Merely Loose Talk?⋆.Alberto Voltolini - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (1):51-72.
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  • To think is to have something in one’s thought.Alberto Voltolini & Elisabetta Sacchi - 2012 - Quaestio 12:395-422.
    Along with a well-honoured tradition, we will accept that intentionality is at least a property a thought holds necessarily, i.e., in all possible worlds that contain it; more specifically, a necessary relation, namely the relation of existential dependence of the thought on its intentional object. Yet we will first of all try to show that intentionality is more than that. For we will claim that intentionality is an essential property of the thought, namely a property whose predication to the thought (...)
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  • How demonstrative pictorial reference grounds contextualism.Alberto Voltolini - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3):402-418.
    In a very recent paper (2010), Dominic McIver Lopes has claimed that pictures perceptually ground demonstrative reference to depicted objects. If as I think Lopes is right, this has important consequences for the debate on the semantics/pragmatics divide. For one can exploit Lopes' claim in order to provide one more argument in favour of the well-known contextualist thesis that wide context has not only both a pre- and a post-semantic role, but also a semantic role – to put it in (...)
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  • Referential/Attributive: The Explanatory Gap of the Contextualist Theory.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):621-633.
    I argue that the contextualist account of the referential/attributive interpretation of definite descriptions, presented by Recanati and Bezuidehnout and based on the idea that definite descriptions are semantically underdetermined and in need of completion through optional top-down pragmatic processes, suffers from an explanatory gap. I defend the contextualist view but hold that the determination of the content of definite descriptions is a mandatory, linguistically driven process based on saturation rather than on optional pragmatic processes.
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  • Saving Uniqueness.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1177-1198.
    The purpose of this paper is to present a theory of referential uses of definite descriptions that is alternative to Neale’s theory of Gödelian completions but nonetheless assumes two tenets of Neale’s view: the Russellian analysis of definite descriptions is basically correct, i.e. definite descriptions are quantified NPs and referential uses are not to be explained in terms of the Gricean distinction between what is said and what is meant. The proposition said is the intuitive content of an assertion as (...)
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  • How I Really Say What You Think.José Manuel Viejo - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):251-277.
    The apparently obviously true doctrine of opacity has been thought to be inconsistent with two others, to which many philosophers of language are also attracted: the referentialist account of the semantics of proper names and indexicals, on the one hand, and the principle of semantic innocence, on the other. I discuss here one of the most popular strategies for resolving the apparent inconsistency, namely Mark Richard’s theory of belief ascriptions, and raise three problems for it. Finally, I propose an alternative (...)
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  • How I Really Say What You Think.José Manuel Viejo - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):251-277.
    The apparently obviously true doctrine of opacity has been thought to be inconsistent with two others, to which many philosophers of language are also attracted: the referentialist account of the semantics of proper names and indexicals, on the one hand, and the principle of semantic innocence, on the other. I discuss here one of the most popular strategies for resolving the apparent inconsistency, namely Mark Richard’s theory of belief ascriptions, and raise three problems for it. Finally, I propose an alternative (...)
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  • Complex demonstratives, singular thought, and belief attributions.José Manuel Viejo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-27.
    Jeffrey King has famously argued that there are several prima facie problems with the direct reference theory of the semantics of complex demonstratives, three of which apparently resist solution. King concludes by observing that, if these outstanding problems cannot be solved, then the prospects for a direct reference semantics for complex demonstratives will be poor. I shall focus on just one of these outstanding problems—the objection from belief attributions—and suggest that it, at least, can be answered.
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  • ‘Neptune’ between ‘Hesperus’ and ‘Vulcan’: On descriptive names and non-existence. [REVIEW]Agustin Arrieta Urtizberea - 2005 - Acta Analytica 20 (3):48-58.
    This work will focus on some aspects of descriptive names. The New Theory of Reference, in line with Kripke, takes descriptive names to be proper names. I will argue in this paper that descriptive names and certain theory in reference to them, even when it disagrees with the New Theory of Reference, can shed light on our understanding of (some) non-existence statements. I define the concept of descriptive name for hypothesised object (DNHO). My thesis being that DNHOs are, as I (...)
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  • Proper Names and their Fictional Uses.Heidi Tiedke - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):707 - 726.
    Fictional names present unique challenges for semantic theories of proper names, challenges strong enough to warrant an account of names different from the standard treatment. The theory developed in this paper is motivated by a puzzle that depends on four assumptions: our intuitive assessment of the truth values of certain sentences, the most straightforward treatment of their syntactic structure, semantic compositionality, and metaphysical scruples strong enough to rule out fictional entities, at least. It is shown that these four assumptions, taken (...)
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  • Recanati on Communication of First‐person Thoughts.Sajed Tayebi - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):210-218.
    In this paper, I will provide a counterexample to Recanati's account of first-person communication (1995, 2010, 2012). In particular, I will show that Recanati's constraints are not sufficient for the success of first-person communication. My argument against Recanati's account is parallel to Recanati's argument against neo-Russellian accounts, and shows that the same problem resurfaces even in the presence of linguistically encoded mode of presentation in a neo-Fregean framework of mental files.
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  • Names as Devices of Explicit Co-reference.Kenneth A. Taylor - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):235-262.
    This essay examines the syntax of names. It argues that names are a syntactically and not just semantically distinctive class of expressions. Its central claim is that names are a distinguished type of anaphoric device—devices of explicit co-reference. Finally it argues that appreciating the true syntactic distinctiveness of names is the key to resolving certain long-standing philosophical puzzles that have long been thought to be of a semantic nature.
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  • The contingent a priori and implicit knowledge.Jonathan Supon - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):251–277.
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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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  • Saying too Little and Saying too Much. Critical notice of ‘Lying, Misleading and What is Said’, by Jennifer Saul.Andreas Stokke - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (35):81-91.
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  • Mental Files, Blown Up by Indexed Files.Isidora Stojanovic & Neftalí Villanueva Fernández - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (4):393-407.
    Our paper discusses Recanati’s application of the mental files apparatus to reports of beliefs and other attitudes. While mental files appear early on in Recanati’s work on belief-reports, his latest book introduces the concept of indexed files (a.k.a. vicarious files) and puts it to work to explain how we can report other people’s attitudes and to account for opacity phenomena. Our goal is twofold: we show that the approach in Recanati’s Mental Files (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) departs significantly from (...)
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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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  • Fiction and importation.Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):65-89.
    Importation in fictional discourse is the phenomenon by which audiences include information in the story over and above what is explicitly stated by the narrator. This paper argues that importation is distinct from generation, the phenomenon by which truth in fiction may outstrip what is made explicit, and draws a distinction between fictional truth and fictional records. The latter comprises the audience’s picture of what is true according to the narrator. The paper argues that importation into fictional records operates according (...)
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  • Meaningfulness and Contingent Analyticity.Ori Simchen - 2003 - Noûs 37 (2):278–302.
    That expressions should have their contents can seem paradigmatically contingent. But it can also seem a priori that expressions in one's own language should have their contents to the extent that instances of disquotation, such as "Socrates" refers to Socrates' and "cat" refers to cats', are trivially true. I attempt to reconcile these conflicting intuitions about meaningfulness by examining semantic and metasemantic details of linguistic reflexivity. I argue that instances of disquotation are contingent analytic in Kaplan's sense, and bring this (...)
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  • Local pragmatics in a Gricean framework.Mandy Simons - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (5):466-492.
    The pragmatic framework developed by H.P. Grice in “Logic and Conversation” explains how a speaker can mean something more than, or different from, the conventional meaning of the sentence she utters. But it has been argued that the framework cannot give a similar explanation for cases where these pragmatic effects impact the understood content of an embedded clause, such as the antecedent of a conditional, a clausal disjunct, or the clausal complement of a verb. In this paper, I show that (...)
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  • Local pragmatics in a Gricean framework, revisited: response to three commentaries.Mandy Simons - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (5):539-568.
    There are two central themes that occupy the commentaries, and hence this response. The first is the character and role of what is said, both in my account, and in pragmatic theory in general. In response, I lay out in more detail the proposal from my original paper that the starting point for Gricean reasoning should be not what is said, but the pragmatically uncommitted what is expressed. As part of this argument, I restate and provide further arguments for my (...)
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  • Pure Russellianism.Sean Crawford - 2004 - Philosophical Papers 33 (2):171-202.
    Abstract According to Russellianism, the content of a Russellian thought, in which a person ascribes a monadic property to an object, can be represented as an ordered couple of the object and the property. A consequence of this is that it is not possible for a person to believe that a is F and not to believe b is F, when a=b. Many critics of Russellianism suppose that this is possible and thus that Russellianism is false. Several arguments for this (...)
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  • Why be an anti-individualist?Laura Schroeter - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):105-141.
    Anti-individualists claim that concepts are individuated with an eye to purely external facts about a subject's environment about which she may be ignorant or mistaken. This paper offers a novel reason for thinking that anti-individualistic concepts are an ineliminable part of commonsense psychology. Our commitment to anti-individualism, I argue, is ultimately grounded in a rational epistemic agent's commitment to refining her own representational practices in the light of new and surprising information about her environment. Since anti-individualism is an implicit part (...)
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  • The particularity and phenomenology of perceptual experience.Susanna Schellenberg - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (1):19-48.
    I argue that any account of perceptual experience should satisfy the following two desiderata. First, it should account for the particularity of perceptual experience, that is, it should account for the mind-independent object of an experience making a difference to individuating the experience. Second, it should explain the possibility that perceptual relations to distinct environments could yield subjectively indistinguishable experiences. Relational views of perceptual experience can easily satisfy the first but not the second desideratum. Representational views can easily satisfy the (...)
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  • Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  • Perceptual Particularity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):25-54.
    Perception grounds demonstrative reference, yields singular thoughts, and fixes the reference of singular terms. Moreover, perception provides us with knowledge of particulars in our environment and justifies singular thoughts about particulars. How does perception play these cognitive and epistemic roles in our lives? I address this question by exploring the fundamental nature of perceptual experience. I argue that perceptual states are constituted by particulars and discuss epistemic, ontological, psychologistic, and semantic approaches to account for perceptual particularity.
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  • Perceptual Content Defended.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):714 - 750.
    Recently, the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids their objections. I will argue that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. As it will show that most objections to the thesis that experience has content apply only to (...)
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  • Ontological Minimalism about Phenomenology.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):1-40.
    I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense-data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind-independent objects or property-instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. (...)
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  • Illusion of transparency.Laura Schroeter - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):597 – 618.
    It's generally agreed that, for a certain a class of cases, a rational subject cannot be wrong in treating two elements of thought as co-referential. Even anti-individualists like Tyler Burge agree that empirical error is impossible in such cases. I argue that this immunity to empirical error is illusory and sketch a new anti-individualist approach to concepts that doesn't require such immunity.
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  • Acquaintance and first-person attitude reports.Henry Ian Schiller - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):251-259.
    It is often assumed that singular thought requires that an agent be epistemically acquainted with the object the thought is about. However, it can sometimes truthfully be said of someone that they have a belief about an object, despite not being interestingly epistemically acquainted with that object. In defense of an epistemic acquaintance constraint on singular thought, it is thus often claimed that belief ascriptions are context sensitive and do not always track the contents of an agent’s mental states. This (...)
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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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  • Cognitivism: A New Theory of Singular Thought?Sarah Sawyer - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (3):264-283.
    In a series of recent articles, Robin Jeshion has developed a theory of singular thought which she calls ‘cognitivism’. According to Jeshion, cognitivism offers a middle path between acquaintance theories—which she takes to impose too strong a requirement on singular thought, and semantic instrumentalism—which she takes to impose too weak a requirement. In this article, I raise a series of concerns about Jeshion's theory, and suggest that the relevant data can be accommodated by a version of acquaintance theory that distinguishes (...)
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  • Introduction.Fiora Salis - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):i-vi.
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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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  • Speaking of knowing.Patrick Rysiew - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):627–662.
  • Beyond words: Communication, truthfulness, and understanding.Patrick Rysiew - 2007 - Episteme 4 (3):285-304.
    Testimony is an indispensable source of information. Yet, contrary to ‘literalism’, speakers rarely mean just what they say; and even when they do, that itself is something the hearer needs to realize. So, understanding instances of testimony requires more than merely reading others' messages off of the words they utter. Further, a very familiar and theoretically well-entrenched approach to how we arrive at such understanding serves to emphasize, not merely how deeply committed we are to testimony as a reliable source (...)
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  • Speaker’s Intentions, Ambiguous Demonstrations, and Relativist Semantics for Demonstratives.Jakub Rudnicki - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (4):2085-2111.
    In this paper, I do four things. First, I argue that Recanati’s recent argument for intentionalist semantics for demonstratives is erroneous. I do this partly by suggesting that demonstrations should be treated as features of Kaplanian context. Second, I explain why the classic ambiguity objection against conventionalist positions regarding demonstratives is not in any way less problematic for intentionalism. Third, I propose a novel semantic framework for demonstratives that is able to simultaneously explain the appeal of some prominent conventionalist and (...)
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  • Concept Cartesianism, Concept Pragmatism, and Frege Cases.Bradley Rives - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (2):211-238.
    This paper concerns the dialectal role of Frege Cases in the debate between Concept Cartesians and Concept Pragmatists. I take as a starting point Christopher Peacocke’s argument that, unlike Cartesianism, his ‘Fregean’ Pragmatism can account for facts about the rationality and epistemic status of certain judgments. I argue that since this argument presupposes that the rationality of thoughts turn on their content, it is thus question-begging against Cartesians, who claim that issues about rationality turn on the form, not the content, (...)
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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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  • Could demonstratives be descriptions?Steven Rieber - 1998 - Philosophia 26 (1-2):65-77.
  • Performative utterances: A reply to Bach and Harnish. [REVIEW]Marga Reimer - 1995 - Linguistics and Philosophy 18 (6):655 - 675.
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  • What is said.François Recanati - 2001 - Synthese 128 (1-2):75--91.