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Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Meaning: Philosophical Papers, Volume I

Oxford, England: Oxford University Press (2005)

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  1. Impossible Worlds.Franz Berto & Mark Jago - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    We need to understand the impossible. Francesco Berto and Mark Jago start by considering what the concepts of meaning, information, knowledge, belief, fiction, conditionality, and counterfactual supposition have in common. They are all concepts which divide the world up more finely than logic does. Logically equivalent sentences may carry different meanings and information and may differ in how they're believed. Fictions can be inconsistent yet meaningful. We can suppose impossible things without collapsing into total incoherence. Yet for the leading philosophical (...)
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  • A Modulation Account of Negative Existentials.David Spewak - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (1):227-245.
    Fictional characters present a problem for semantic theorists. One approach to this problem has been to maintain realism regarding fictional characters, that is to claim that fictional characters exist. In this way names originating from fiction have designata. On this approach the problem of negative existentials is more pressing than it might otherwise be since an explanation must be given as to why we judge them true when the names occurring within them designate existing objects. So, realists must explain the (...)
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  • Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.David Braun - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.
    This paper presents a semantic and pragmatic theory of complex demonstratives. According to this theory, the semantic content of a complex demonstrative, in a context, is simply an object, and the semantic content of a sentence that contains a complex demonstrative, in a context, is a singular proposition. This theory is defended from various objections to direct reference theories of complex demonstratives, including King's objection from quantification into complex demonstratives.
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  • Salmon on Hob and Nob.David Friedell - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):213-220.
    Nathan Salmon appeals to his theory of mythical objects as part of an attempt to solve Geach’s Hob–Nob puzzle. In this paper I argue that, even if Salmon’s theory of mythical objects is correct, his attempt to solve the puzzle is unsuccessful. I also refute an original variant of his proposal. The discussion indicates that it is difficult (if not impossible) to devise a genuine solution to the puzzle that relies on mythical objects.
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  • Pragmatics of No Reference.Seyed N. Mousavian - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (1):95-116.
    According to Millianism, the semantic content of a proper name is its semantic referent. Many names, however, lack semantic referent; hence, so-called ‘empty’ names. Empty names raise various problems for Millianism. T.C. Ryckman, Fred Adams, Garry Fuller, Robert Stecker, Kenneth Taylor, and Nicole Wyatt, among others, have defended Millianism against these problems by appeal to pragmatics . I introduce Millianism and the problems raised by empty names for the view, then examine Pragmatic Millianism , its strength, its varieties, and why (...)
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  • Identity Criteria and Ground.Kit Fine - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):1-19.
    I propose formulating identity criteria as generic statements of ground, thereby avoiding objections that have been made to the more usual formulations.
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  • Neo-Meinongian neo-Russellians.Seyed N. Mousavian - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (2):229-259.
    Neo-Russellianism, which incorporates both Millianism (with regard to proper names) and the thesis of singular Russellian propositions, has widely been defended after the publication of Kripke's Naming and Necessity. The view, however, encounters various problems regarding empty names, names that do not have semantic referents. Nathan Salmon and Scott Soames have defended neo-Russellianism against such problems in a novel way; to account for various intuitions of competent and rational speakers regarding utterances of sentences containing empty names, Salmon and Soames appeal (...)
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  • Existence and Number.Kris McDaniel - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (2):209-228.
    The Frege-Russell view is that existence is a second-order property rather than a property of individuals. One of the most compelling arguments for this view is based on the premise that there is an especially close connection between existence and number. The most promising version of this argument is by C.J.F Williams (1981, 1992). In what follows, I argue that this argument fails. I then defend an account according to which both predications of number and existence attribute properties to individuals.
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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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  • Descartes Defended.Christopher Peacocke - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):109-125.
    Drawing upon a conception of the metaphysics of conscious states and of first-person content, we can argue that Descartes's transition ‘Cogito ergo sum’ is both sound and one he is entitled to make. We can nevertheless formulate a version of Lichtenberg's objection that can still be raised after Bernard Williams's discussion. I argue that this form of Lichtenberg's revenge can also be undermined. In doing so it helps to compare the metaphysics of subjects, worlds and times. The arguments also apply (...)
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  • Identity in Fiction.Richard Woodward - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):646-671.
    Anthony Everett () argues that those who embrace the reality of fictional entities run into trouble when it comes to specifying criteria of character identity. More specifically, he argues that realists must reject natural principles governing the identity and distinctness of fictional characters due to the existence of fictions which leave it indeterminate whether certain characters are identical and the existence of fictions which say inconsistent things about the identities of their characters. Everett's critique has deservedly drawn much attention and (...)
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  • Hyperintensional Propositions.Mark Jago - 2015 - Synthese 192 (3):585-601.
    Propositions play a central role in contemporary semantics. On the Russellian account, propositions are structured entities containing particulars, properties and relations. This contrasts sharply with the sets-of-possible-worlds view of propositions. I’ll discuss how to extend the sets-of-worlds view to accommodate fine-grained hyperintensional contents. When this is done in a satisfactory way, I’ll argue, it makes heavy use of entities very much like Russellian tuples. The two notions of proposition become inter-definable and inter-substitutable: they are not genuinely distinct accounts of how (...)
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  • Descriptivism, Scope, and Apparently Empty Names.Andrew Cullison & Ben Caplan - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):283-288.
    Some descriptivists reply to the modal argument by appealing to scope ambiguities. In this paper, we argue that those replies don’t work in the case of apparently empty names like ‘Sherlock Holmes’.
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