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  1. Rational Polarization.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    Predictable polarization is everywhere: we can often predict how people’s opinions—including our own—will shift over time. Extant theories either neglect the fact that we can predict our own polarization, or explain it through irrational mechanisms. They needn’t. Empirical studies suggest that polarization is predictable when evidence is ambiguous, i.e. when the rational response is not obvious. I show how Bayesians should model such ambiguity, and then prove that—assuming rational updates are those which obey the value of evidence (Blackwell 1953; Good (...)
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  • Oddness, modularity, and exhaustification.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2021 - Natural Language Semantics 29 (1):115-158.
    According to the `grammatical account', scalar implicatures are triggered by a covert exhaustification operator present in logical form. This account covers considerable empirical ground, but there is a peculiar pattern that resists treatment given its usual implementation. The pattern centers on odd assertions like #"Most lions are mammals" and #"Some Italians come from a beautiful country", which seem to trigger implicatures in contexts where the enriched readings conflict with information in the common ground. Magri (2009, 2011) argues that, to account (...)
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  • A Question-Sensitive Theory of Intention.Bob Beddor & Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:1-39.
    This paper develops a question-sensitive theory of intention. We show that this theory explains some puzzling closure properties of intention. In particular, it can be used to explain why one is rationally required to intend the means to one’s ends, even though one is not rationally required to intend all the foreseen consequences of one’s intended actions. It also explains why rational intention is not always closed under logical implication, and why one can only intend outcomes that one believes to (...)
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  • Knowing more (about questions).Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    How should we measure knowledge? According to the Counting Approach, we can measure knowledge by counting pieces of knowledge. Versions of the Counting Approach that try to measure knowledge by counting true beliefs with suitable support or by counting propositions known run into problems, stemming from infinite numbers of propositions and beliefs, difficulties in individuating propositions and beliefs, and cases in which knowing the same number of propositions contributes differently to knowledge. In this paper I develop a novel question-relative and (...)
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  • Descriptive As Ifs.Justin Bledin & Sadhwi Srinivas - 2023 - Linguistics and Philosophy 46 (1):87-134.
    This is the first part of a larger project that aims to develop a cross-categorical semantic account of a broad range of _as if_ constructions in English. In this paper, we focus on descriptive uses of _as if_ with regular truth-conditional content. The core proposal is that _as if_-phrases contribute hypothetical (_if_-like) and comparative (_as_-like) properties of situations, which are instantiated by an event, state, or larger situation when it resembles in some relevant respect its counterparts in selected stereotypical worlds (...)
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  • Domain restriction: the problem of the variable location revisited.Diego Feinmann - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (5):1197-1226.
    Two theories of implicit domain restriction have gained considerable prominence over the last two decades. According to von Fintel (Restrictions on quantifier domaines, Ph.D. thesis, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1994), quantifiers come with covert restrictors and, as a result of this, induce domain restriction; according to Stanley [in Gerhard and Peter (eds) Logical form and language, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2002; Stanley and Szabó (Mind Lang 15(2–3):2192–2161, 2000)], by contrast, nouns, as opposed to quantifiers, come with covert restrictors. In this (...)
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  • Counterfactuals, hyperintensionality and Hurford disjunctions.Hüseyin Güngör - 2023 - Linguistics and Philosophy 46 (1):169-195.
    This paper investigates propositional hyperintensionality in counterfactuals. It starts with a scenario describing two children playing on a seesaw and studies the truth-value predictions for counterfactuals by four different semantic theories. The theories in question are Kit Fine’s truthmaker semantics, Luis Alonso-Ovalle’s alternative semantics, inquisitive semantics and Paolo Santorio’s syntactic truthmaker semantics. These predictions suggest that the theories that distinguish more of a given set of intensionally equivalent sentences (Fine and Alonso-Ovalle’s) fare better than those that do not (inquisitive semantics (...)
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  • Semantica e pragmatica linguistica. Tracce di normalità nelle implicature scalari.Salvatore Pistoia-Reda - 2014 - Carocci.
    In this book an introduction to the grammatical view of the scalar implicature phenomenon is presented. A detailed overview is offered concerning the embeddability of the exhaustivity operator, and the contextual dependance of the alternatives generation process. The theoretical implications of the grammatical view with respect to the abductive character of the scalar implicature are also discussed. A pragmatic account of the assertive content is proposed in correlation with a blindness-based account of the semantic content carried by scalar sentences, in (...)
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  • On deniability.Alexander Dinges & Julia Zakkou - forthcoming - Mind.
    Communication can be risky. Like other kinds of actions, it comes with potential costs. For instance, an utterance can be embarrassing, offensive, or downright illegal. In the face of such risks, speakers tend to act strategically and seek `plausible deniability'. In this paper, we propose an account of the notion of deniability at issue. On our account, deniability is an epistemic phenomenon. A speaker has deniability if she can make it epistemically irrational for her audience to reason in certain ways. (...)
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  • Valuable Ignorance: Delayed Epistemic Gratification.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (1):363–84.
    A long line of epistemologists including Sosa (2021), Feldman (2002), and Chisholm (1977) have argued that, at least for a certain class of questions that we take up, we should (or should aim to) close inquiry iff by closing inquiry we would meet a unique epistemic standard. I argue that no epistemic norm of this general form is true: there is not a single epistemic standard that demarcates the boundary between inquiries we are forbidden and obligated to close. In short, (...)
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  • The Worst and the Best of Propaganda.Bianca Cepollaro & Giuliano Torrengo - 2018 - Disputatio 1 (51):289-303.
    In this paper we discuss two issues addressed by Stanley in How Propaganda Works: the status of slurs (Section 1) and the notion of positive propaganda (Section 2). In particular, in Section 1 we argue contra Stanley that code words like ‘welfare’ are crucially different from slurs in that the association between the lexical item and an additional social meaning is not as systematic as it is for slurs. In this sense, slurs bring about a special kind of propagandistic effect, (...)
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  • Provincialism in Pragmatics.Josh Armstrong - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):5-40.
    The central claim of my paper is that pragmatics has a wider scope of application than has been generally appreciated. In particular, I will argue that many discussions of pragmatics are guilty of a problematic form of provincialism. The provincialism at issue restricts the class of target systems of study to those involving groups of developmentally typical humans (or slightly idealized versions thereof), either explicitly as a matter of principle or implicitly as consequence of how it construes the underlying pragmatic (...)
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  • From contrastivism back to contextualism.Da Fan - 2023 - Synthese 201 (1):1-23.
    Contrastivism is the view that knowledge is a ternary relation between an agent, a content proposition, and a contrast, and it explains that a binary knowledge ascription sentence appears to be context-sensitive because different contexts can implicitly fill the contrast with different values. This view is purportedly supported by certain linguistic evidence. An objective of this paper is to argue that contrastivism is not empirically adequate, as there are examples that favor its contextualist cousin. Thereafter, I shall develop a contextualist (...)
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  • Indicatives, Subjunctives, and the Falsity of the Antecedent.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen & Peter Collins - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (11):e13058.
    It is widely held that there are important differences between indicative conditionals (e.g. “If the authors are linguists, they have written a linguistics paper”) and subjunctive conditionals (e.g. “If the authors had been linguists, they would have written a linguistics paper”). A central difference is that indicatives and subjunctives convey different stances towards the truth of their antecedents. Indicatives (often) convey neutrality: for example, about whether the authors in question are linguists. Subjunctives (often) convey the falsity of the antecedent: for (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
     
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  • Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • Knowledge by constraint.Ben Holguín - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):1-28.
    This paper considers some puzzling knowledge ascriptions and argues that they present prima facie counterexamples to credence, belief, and justification conditions on knowledge, as well as to many of the standard meta-semantic assumptions about the context-sensitivity of ‘know’. It argues that these ascriptions provide new evidence in favor of contextualist theories of knowledge—in particular those that take the interpretation of ‘know’ to be sensitive to the mechanisms of constraint.
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  • Indicative Conditionals: Probabilities and Relevance.Franz Berto & Aybüke Özgün - 2021 - Philosophical Studies.
    We propose a new account of indicative conditionals, giving acceptability and logical closure conditions for them. We start from Adams’ Thesis: the claim that the acceptability of a simple indicative equals the corresponding conditional probability. The Thesis is widely endorsed, but arguably false and refuted by empirical research. To fix it, we submit, we need a relevance constraint: we accept a simple conditional 'If φ, then ψ' to the extent that (i) the conditional probability p(ψ|φ) is high, provided that (ii) (...)
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  • Contextology.Simon Goldstein & Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (11):3187-3209.
    Contextology is the science of the dynamics of the conversational context. Contextology formulates laws governing how the shared information states of interlocutors evolve in response to assertion. More precisely, the contextologist attempts to construct a function which, when provided with just a conversation’s pre-update context and the content of an assertion, delivers that conversation’s post-update context. Most contextologists have assumed that the function governing the evolution of the context is simple: the post-update context is just the pre-update context intersected with (...)
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  • Answering machines: how to (epistemically) evaluate a search engine.Jessie Munton - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    We commonly evaluate search engines and the results they return, but what grounds those evaluations? One straightforward way of evaluating search engines appeals to their ability to satisfy the goals of the user. Are there, in addition, user-independent norms, that allow us to evaluate search engines in ways that may come apart from their ability to satisfy the individuals who use them? One way of grounding such norms appeals to moral or political considerations. I argue that in addition to those (...)
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  • Bending as Counterspeech.Laura Caponetto & Bianca Cepollaro - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    In this paper, we identify and examine an overlooked strategy to counter bigoted speech on the spot. Such a strategy we call ‘bending’. To ‘bend’, in our sense, is to deliberately give a distorted response to a speaker’s harmful move – precisely, an ameliorative response, which may turn that move into a different, less harmful, contribution. To substantiate our proposal, we distinguish two ideas of uptake – interpretation and response – and argue for the general claim that a distorted response (...)
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  • Context as knowledge.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes & Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (4):543-563.
    It has been argued that common ground information is unsuited to the role that contexts play in the theory of indexical and demonstrative reference. This paper explores an alternative view that identifies shared information with what is common knowledge among the participants. We argue this view of shared information avoids the problems for the common ground approach concerning reference while preserving its advantages in accounting for communication.
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  • Might Moral Epistemologists Be Asking The Wrong Questions?Caleb Perl - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):556-585.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Priming Effects of Focus in Mandarin Chinese.Mengzhu Yan & Sasha Calhoun - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    Psycholinguistic research has long established that focus-marked words have a processing advantage over other words in an utterance, e.g. they are recognised more quickly and remembered better. More recently, studies have shown that listeners infer contextual alternatives to a focused word in a spoken utterance, when marked with a contrastive accent, even when the alternatives are not explicitly mentioned in the discourse. This has been shown by strengthened priming of contextual alternatives to the word, but not other noncontrastive semantic associates, (...)
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  • Lying and What is Said.Massimiliano Vignolo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-30.
    Says-based definitions of lying require a notion of what is said. I argue that a conventions-based notion of utterance content inspired by Korta and Perry’s (in: Tsohatzidis (ed), John Searle's philosophy of language: Force, meaning, and thought, Cambridge University Press, 2007a) _locutionary content_ and Devitt’s (Overlooking conventions. The trouble with linguistic pragmatism, Springer, 2021) _what is said_ meets the desiderata for that theoretical role. In Sect. 1 I recall two received says-based definitions of lying and the notions of what is (...)
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  • Thinking Together: Advising as Collaborative Deliberation.Joshua Habgood-Coote - manuscript
    We spend a good deal of time thinking about advising, but philosophical discussions of advising have been scattered and somewhat disconnected. The most focused discussion has come from philosophers of language interested in whether advising is a kind of assertive or directive speech act. This paper argues that the ordinary category of advising is much more heterogenous than has been appreciated: it is possible to advising by asserting relevant facts, by issuing directives, and by asking questions and other kinds of (...)
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  • Assertion is weak.Matthew Mandelkern & Kevin Dorst - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22.
    Recent work has argued that belief is weak: the level of rational credence required for belief is relatively low. That literature has contrasted belief with assertion, arguing that the latter requires an epistemic state much stronger than (weak) belief---perhaps knowledge or even certainty. We argue that this is wrong: assertion is just as weak as belief. We first present a variety of new arguments for this, and then show that the standard arguments for stronger norms are not convincing. Finally, we (...)
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  • Belief as Question‐Sensitive.Seth Yalcin - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):23-47.
  • Open knowledge and changing the subject.Stephen Yablo - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):1047-1071.
    Knowledge is closed under implication, according to standard theories. Orthodoxy can allow, though, that apparent counterexamples to closure exist, much as Kripkeans recognize the existence of illusions of possibility which they seek to explain away. Should not everyone, orthodox or not, want to make sense of “intimations of openness”? This paper compares two styles of explanation: evidence that boosts P’s probability need not boost that of its consequence Q; evidence bearing on P’s subject matter may not bear on the subject (...)
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  • Ways to Knowledge-First Believe.Simon Wimmer - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    On a widely suggested knowledge-first account of belief, to believe p is to phi as if one knew p. I challenge this view by arguing against various regimentations of it. I conclude by generalizing my argument to alternative knowledge-first views suggested by Williamson and Wimmer.
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  • Mindreading in conversation.Evan Westra & Jennifer Nagel - 2021 - Cognition 210 (C):104618.
    How is human social intelligence engaged in the course of ordinary conversation? Standard models of conversation hold that language production and comprehension are guided by constant, rapid inferences about what other agents have in mind. However, the idea that mindreading is a pervasive feature of conversation is challenged by a large body of evidence suggesting that mental state attribution is slow and taxing, at least when it deals with propositional attitudes such as beliefs. Belief attributions involve contents that are decoupled (...)
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  • Minimal contents, lying, and conventions of language.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    One recurrent objection against minimalism is that minimal contents have no theoretical role. It has recently been argued that minimal contents serve to draw the distinction between lying and misleading. In Sect. 1 and Sect. 2 I summarise the main argument in support of that claim and contend that it is inconclusive. In Sect. 3 I discuss some cases of lying and some of misleading that raise difficulties for minimalism. In Sect. 4 I make a diagnosis of the failure of (...)
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  • Lying with Presuppositions.Emanuel Viebahn - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):731-751.
    It is widely held that all lies are assertions: the traditional definition of lying entails that, in order to lie, speakers have to assert something they believe to be false. It is also widely held that assertion contrasts with presupposition and, in particular, that one cannot assert something by presupposing it. Together, these views imply that speakers cannot lie with presuppositions—a view that Andreas Stokke has recently explicitly defended. The aim of this paper is to argue that speakers can lie (...)
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  • What the metasemantics of "know" is not.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (1):69-82.
    Epistemic contextualism in the style of Lewis (1996) maintains that ascriptions of knowledge to a subject vary in truth with the alternatives that can be eliminated by the subject’s evidence in a context. Schaffer (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2015), Schaffer and Knobe (2012), and Schaffer and Szabo ́ (2014) hold that the question under discussion or QUD always determines these alternatives in a context. This paper shows that the QUD does not perform such a role for "know" and uses this (...)
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  • Deceiving without answering.Peter Van Elswyk - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1157-1173.
    Lying is standardly distinguished from misleading according to how a disbelieved proposition is conveyed. To lie, a speaker uses a sentence to say a proposition she does not believe. A speaker merely misleads by using a sentence to somehow convey but not say a disbelieved proposition. Front-and-center to the lying/misleading distinction is a conception of what-is-said by a sentence in a context. Stokke (2016, 2018) has recently argued that the standard account of lying/misleading is explanatorily inadequate unless paired with a (...)
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  • Nominal tense and temporal implicatures: evidence from Mbyá.Guillaume Thomas - 2014 - Natural Language Semantics 22 (4):357-412.
    In this paper, I discuss the distribution and the interpretation of the temporal suffix -kue in Mbyá, a Guaraní language that is closely related to Paraguayan Guaraní. This suffix is attested both inside noun phrases and inside clauses. Interestingly, its nominal uses give rise to inferences that are unattested in its clausal uses. These inferences were first identified in Paraguayan Guaraní by Tonhauser, who called them the existence property and the change of state property. Tonhauser further argued that these properties (...)
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  • Denn as a highlighting-sensitive particle.Nadine Theiler - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):323-362.
    This paper develops an account of the German discourse particle denn that captures the meaning contribution of this particle in polar questions, wh-questions, and certain conditional antecedents in a unified way. It is shown that the behavior of denn exhibits an asymmetry between polar and wh-interrogatives, which can be captured by treating the particle as sensitive to the property highlighted by its containing clause, in the sense of Roelofsen and Farkas :359–414, 2015). In addition, the paper argues that highlighting-sensitivity should (...)
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  • What do quantifier particles do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.
    In many languages, the same particles that form quantifier words also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, roots of existential verbs, and so on. Do these have a unified semantics, or do they merely bear a family resemblance? Are they aided by silent operators in their varied roles―if yes, what operators? I dub the particles “quantifier particles” and refer to them generically with capitalized versions of the Japanese morphemes. I argue that both MO and KA can be (...)
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  • The Goal of Conversation.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):57-86.
    Dickie presents an argument against the traditional, broadly Gricean view of conversation. She argues that speakers must sometimes be more specific than required for sharing knowledge on a topic of common concern. Her proposed solution is to claim that the goal of conversation is not just sharing knowledge but also sharing cognitive focus. In response, I argue that her proposal faces both conceptual and empirical difficulties, and that the traditional view can handle the problem of non-specificity by acknowledging that in (...)
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  • Probabilistic Approaches to Vagueness and Semantic Competency.Peter R. Sutton - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (4):711-740.
    Wright holds that the following two theses are jointly incoherent: Rules determine correct language use. These rules are discoverable via internal reflection on language use. I argue that incoherence is derivable from alone and examine two types of probabilistic accounts that model a modification of, one in terms of inexact knowledge, the other in terms of viewing semantic rules as reasons for linguistic actions. Both accommodate tolerance by breaking the link between justified assertion and truth, but incoherence threatens their conception (...)
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  • Meaning and Demonstration.Matthew Stone & Una Stojnic - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (1):69-97.
    In demonstration, speakers use real-world activity both for its practical effects and to help make their points. The demonstrations of origami mathematics, for example, reconfigure pieces of paper by folding, while simultaneously allowing their author to signal geometric inferences. Demonstration challenges us to explain how practical actions can get such precise significance and how this meaning compares with that of other representations. In this paper, we propose an explanation inspired by David Lewis’s characterizations of coordination and scorekeeping in conversation. In (...)
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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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  • Negative Reason Existentials.Justin Snedegar - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):108-116.
    (Schroeder 2007) presents a puzzle about negative reason existentials—claims like ‘There's no reason to cry over spilled milk’. Some of these claims are intuitively true, but we also seem to be committed to the existence of the very reasons that are said not to exist. I argue that Schroeder's own pragmatic solution to this puzzle is unsatisfactory, and propose my own based on a contrastive account of reasons, according to which reasons are fundamentally reasons for one thing rather than another, (...)
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  • Contrastivism About Reasons and Ought.Justin Snedegar - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (6):379-388.
    Contrastivism about some concept says that the concept is relativized to sets of alternatives. Relative to some alternatives, the concept may apply, but relative to others, it may not. This article explores contrastivism about the central normative concepts of reasons and ought. Contrastivism about reasons says that a consideration may be a reason for an action A rather than one alternative, B, but may not be a reason for A rather than some other alternative, C. Likewise, contrastivism about ought says (...)
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  • Deliberation, Reasons, and Alternatives.Justin Snedegar - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):682-702.
    A plausible constraint on normative reasons to act is that it must make sense to use them as premises in deliberation. I argue that a central sort of deliberation – what Bratman calls partial planning – is question-directed: it is over, and aims to resolve, deliberative questions. Whether it makes sense to use some consideration as a premise in deliberation in a case of partial planning can vary with the deliberative question at issue. I argue that the best explanation for (...)
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  • Children’s derivation of scalar implicatures: Alternatives and relevance.Dimitrios Skordos & Anna Papafragou - 2016 - Cognition 153 (C):6-18.
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  • Tipper is ready but he is not strong enough: minimal proposition, question under discussion, and what is said.Charlie Siu - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2577-2584.
    A standard objection to Cappelen and Lepore’s Semantic Minimalism is that minimal propositions are explanatorily idle. But Schoubye and Stokke recently proposed that minimal proposition and the question under discussion of a conversation jointly determine what is said in a systematic and explanatory way. This note argues that their account both overgenerates and undergenerates.
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  • Children interpret disjunction as conjunction: Consequences for theories of implicature and child development.Raj Singh, Ken Wexler, Andrea Astle-Rahim, Deepthi Kamawar & Danny Fox - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (4):305-352.
    We present evidence that preschool children oftentimes understand disjunctive sentences as if they were conjunctive. The result holds for matrix disjunctions as well as disjunctions embedded under every. At the same time, there is evidence in the literature that children understand or as inclusive disjunction in downward-entailing contexts. We propose to explain this seemingly conflicting pattern of results by assuming that the child knows the inclusive disjunction semantics of or, and that the conjunctive inference is a scalar implicature. We make (...)
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  • Disjunction and alternativeness.Mandy Simons - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (5):597-619.