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Necessitarian propositions

Synthese 189 (1):119-162 (2012)

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  1. No Longer True.Luca Barlassina & Fabio Del Prete - manuscript
    There are sentences that express the same temporally fully specified proposition at all contexts--call them 'context-insensitive, temporally specific sentences.' Sentence (1) 'Obama was born in 1961' is a case in point: at all contexts, it expresses the proposition ascribing to the year 1961 the property of being a time in which Obama was born. Suppose that someone uttered (1) in a context located on Christmas 2000 in our world. In this context, (1) is a true sentence about the past. Moreover, (...)
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  • Advanced Temporalising.Daniel Deasy - forthcoming - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford, UK:
    There is a widespread assumption that B-theorists (according to whom there is nothing metaphysically special about the present moment in virtue of which it is present) should interpret the standard tense operators (‘it was the case that’, ‘it will be the case that’) as implicit quantifier-restrictors – so that, for example, an utterance at instant t of the sentence ‘It was the case that there are dinosaurs’ is true just in case there are dinosaurs located at some instant t* earlier (...)
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  • The Problem of Cross-World Predication.Alexander Kocurek - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (6):697-742.
    While standard first-order modal logic is quite powerful, it cannot express even very simple sentences like “I could have been taller than I actually am” or “Everyone could have been smarter than they actually are”. These are examples of cross-world predication, whereby objects in one world are related to objects in another world. Extending first-order modal logic to allow for cross-world predication in a motivated way has proven to be notoriously difficult. In this paper, I argue that the standard accounts (...)
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  • Minimal Disagreement.Dan Zeman - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-22.
    In the recent debate about the semantics of perspectival expressions (predicates of taste, aesthetic adjectives, moral terms, epistemic modals, epistemic terms etc.), disagreement has played a crucial role. In a nutshell, what I call “the challenge from disagreement” is the objection that certain views on the market (i.e., contextualism) cannot account for the intuition of disagreement present in ordinary exchanges involving perspectival expressions like “Licorice is tasty./No, it's not.” Various contextualist answers to this challenge have been proposed, and this has (...)
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  • Semàntica I Pragmàtica, Contingut I Context.Joan Gimeno-Simó - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (2):91.
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  • Quaderns de Filosofia VI, 2.Quad Fia - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (2).
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  • Relativism 1: Representational Content.Max Kölbel - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):38-51.
    In the pair of articles of which this is the first, I shall present a set of problems and philosophical proposals that have in recent years been associated with the term “relativism”. All these problems and proposals concern the question of how we should represent thought and speech about certain topics. The main issue here is whether we should model such mental states or linguistic acts as involving representational contents that are absolutely correct or incorrect, or whether, alternatively, their correctness (...)
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  • Relativism 2: Semantic Content.Max Kölbel - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):52–67.
    In the pair of articles of which this is the second, I present a set of problems and philosophical proposals that have in recent years been associated with the term “relativism”. These problems are related to the question of how we should represent thought and speech about certain topics. The main issue is whether we should model such mental states or linguistic acts as involving representational contents that are absolutely correct or incorrect, or whether, alternatively, their correctness should be thought (...)
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  • Against the Identification of Assertoric Content with Compositional Value.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):75-96.
    This essay investigates whether or not we should think that the things we say are identical to the things our sentences mean. It is argued that these theoretical notions should be distinguished, since assertoric content does not respect the compositionality principle. As a paradigmatic example, Kaplan's formal language LD is shown to exemplify a failure of compositionality. It is demonstrated that by respecting the theoretical distinction between the objects of assertion and compositional values certain conflicts between compositionality and contextualism are (...)
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  • Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? Can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts, even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and show that grounding (...)
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  • About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication.Manuel García-Carpintero & Stephan Torre (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    Inspired by Castañeda (1966, 1968), Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979) showed that a specific variety of singular thoughts, thoughts about oneself “as oneself” – de se thoughts, as Lewis called them – raise special issues, and they advanced rival accounts. Their suggestive examples raise the problem of de se thought – to wit, how to characterize it so as to give an accurate account of the data, tracing its relations to singular thoughts in general. After rehearsing the main tenets of (...)
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  • Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications.John MacFarlane - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    John MacFarlane explores how we might make sense of the idea that truth is relative. He provides new, satisfying accounts of parts of our thought and talk that have resisted traditional methods of analysis, including what we mean when we talk about what is tasty, what we know, what will happen, what might be the case, and what we ought to do.
  • Diamonds Are Forever.Cian Dorr & Jeremy Goodman - forthcoming - Noûs.
    We defend the thesis that every necessarily true proposition is always true. Since not every proposition that is always true is necessarily true, our thesis is at odds with theories of modality and time, such as those of Kit Fine and David Kaplan, which posit a fundamental symmetry between modal and tense operators. According to such theories, just as it is a contingent matter what is true at a given time, it is likewise a temporary matter what is true at (...)
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  • Contrastive Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):327-358.
    Causation is widely assumed to be a binary relation: c causes e. I will argue that causation is a quaternary, contrastive relation: c rather than C* causes e rather than E*, where C* and E* are nonempty sets of contrast events. Or at least, I will argue that treating causation as contrastive helps resolve some paradoxes.
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  • Being at the Centre: Self-Location in Thought and Language.Clas Weber - forthcoming - In M. Garcia-Carpintero & S. Torre (eds.), About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication. Oxford University Press.
    Self-locating attitudes and assertions provide a challenge to the received view of mental and linguistic intentionality. In this paper I try to show that the best way to meet this challenge is to adopt relativistic, centred possible worlds accounts for both belief and communication. First, I argue that self-locating beliefs support a centred account of belief. Second, I argue that self-locating utterances support a complementary centred account of communication. Together, these two claims motivate a unified centred conception of belief and (...)
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  • Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):775-798.
    There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent propositions are (...)
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  • Confessions of a Schmentencite: Towards an Explicit Semantics.Jonathan Schaffer - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-31.
    ABSTRACTNatural language semantics is heir to two formalisms. There is the extensional machinery of explicit variables traditionally used to model reference to individuals, and the intensional mach...
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  • Causal Contextualisms.Jonathan Schaffer - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge.
    Causal claims are context sensitive. According to the old orthodoxy (Mackie 1974, Lewis 1986, inter alia), the context sensitivity of causal claims is all due to conversational pragmatics. According to the new contextualists (Hitchcock 1996, Woodward 2003, Maslen 2004, Menzies 2004, Schaffer 2005, and Hall ms), at least some of the context sensitivity of causal claims is semantic in nature. I want to discuss the prospects for causal contextualism, by asking why causal claims are context sensitive, what they are sensitive (...)
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  • Propositional Anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):1055-1075.
    Propositions are posited to perform a variety of explanatory roles. One important role is being what is designated by a dedicated linguistic expression like a "that"-clause. In this paper, the case that propositions are needed for such a role is bolstered by defending that there are other expressions dedicated to designating propositions. In particular, it is shown that natural language has anaphors for propositions. Complement "so" and the response markers "yes" and "no" are argued to be such expressions.
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  • Embedded Taste Predicates.Julia Zakkou - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):718-739.
    ABSTRACTWide-ranging semantic flexibility is often considered a magic cure for contextualism to account for all kinds of troubling data. In particular, it seems to offer a way to account for our intuitions regarding embedded perspectival sentences. As has been pointed out by Lasersohn [2009. “Relative Truth, Speaker Commitment, and Control of Implicit Arguments.” Synthese 166 : 359â374], however, the semantic flexibility does not present a remedy for all kinds of embeddings. In particular, it seems ineffective when it comes to embeddings (...)
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  • Vagueness and Context.Stewart Shapiro & Eric Snyder - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):343-381.
    A number of recent accounts for vague terms postulate a kind of context-sensitivity, one that kicks in after the usual ‘external’ contextual factors like comparison class are established and held fixed. In a recent paper, ‘Vagueness without Context Change’: 275–92), Rosanna Keefe criticizes all such accounts. The arguments are variations on considerations that have been brought against context-sensitive accounts of knowledge, predicates of personal taste, epistemic modals, and the like. The issues are well known and there are variety of options (...)
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  • Binding, Genericity, and Predicates of Personal Taste.Eric Snyder - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):278-306.
    I argue for two major claims in this paper. First, I argue that the linguistic evidence best supports a certain form of contextualism about predicates of personal taste (PPTs) like ?fun? and ?tasty?. In particular, I argue that these adjectives are both individual-level predicates (ILPs) and anaphoric implicit argument taking predicates (IATPs). As ILPs, these naturally form generics. As anaphoric IATPs, PPTs show the same dependencies on context and distributional behavior as more familiar anaphoric IATPs, for example, ?local? and ?apply?. (...)
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  • Eternalism and Propositional Multitasking: In Defence of the Operator Argument.Clas Weber - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):199-219.
    It is a widely held view in philosophy that propositions perform a plethora of different theoretical roles. Amongst other things, they are believed to be the semantic values of sentences in contexts, the objects of attitudes, the contents of illocutionary acts, and the referents of that-clauses. This assumption is often combined with the claim that propositions have their truth-values eternally. In this paper I aim to show that these two assumptions are incompatible: propositions cannot both fulfill the mentioned roles and (...)
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  • An Argument for Temporalism and Contingentism.Caleb Perl - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1387-1417.
    Aristotle and Aquinas may have held that the things we believe and assert can have different truth-values at different times. Stoic logicians did; they held that there were “vacillating assertibles”—assertibles that are sometimes true and sometimes false. Frege and Russell endorsed the now widely accepted alternative, where the propositions believed and asserted are always specific with respect to time. This paper brings a new perspective to this question. We want to figure out what sorts of propositions speakers believe. Some philosophers (...)
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  • Propositions and Multiple Indexing.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):116-124.
    It is argued that propositions cannot be the compositional semantic values of sentences (in context) simply due to issues stemming from the compositional semantics of modal operators (or modal quantifiers). In particular, the fact that the arguments for double indexing generalize to multiple indexing exposes a fundamental tension in the default philosophical conception of semantic theory. This provides further motivation for making a distinction between two sentential semantic contents—what (Dummett 1973) called “ingredient sense” and “assertoric content”.
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  • Monsters and the Theoretical Role of Context.Brian Rabern & Derek Ball - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):392-416.
    Kaplan (1989) famously claimed that monsters--operators that shift the context--do not exist in English and "could not be added to it". Several recent theorists have pointed out a range of data that seem to refute Kaplan's claim, but others (most explicitly Stalnaker 2014) have offered a principled argument that monsters are impossible. This paper interprets and resolves the dispute. Contra appearances, this is no dry, technical matter: it cuts to the heart of a deep disagreement about the fundamental structure of (...)
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  • Are Quantifiers Intensional Operators?Kai F. Wehmeier - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper, I ask whether quantifiers are intensional operators, with variable assignments playing the role of indices. Certain formulations of extensional type theory suggest an affirma...
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  • Change We Can Believe In (and Assert).Meghan Sullivan - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):474-495.
  • Vagueness in Context.Stewart Shapiro - 2006 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Stewart Shapiro's aim in Vagueness in Context is to develop both a philosophical and a formal, model-theoretic account of the meaning, function, and logic of vague terms in an idealized version of a natural language like English. It is a commonplace that the extensions of vague terms vary with such contextual factors as the comparison class and paradigm cases. A person can be tall with respect to male accountants and not tall with respect to professional basketball players. The main feature (...)
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