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Mind 59 (235):320-344 (1950)

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  1. Presupposition, assertion, and definite descriptions.Paul Elbourne - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (6):1215-1253.
    In recent work on the semantics of definite descriptions, some theorists :496–533, 2013) have advocated broadly Fregean accounts, whereby a definite description ‘the F’ introduces a presupposition to the effect that there is exactly one F and refers to it if there is, while other theorists Reference: Interdisciplinary perspectives, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 61–72, 2008; Hawthorne and Manley in The reference book, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012) have advocated accounts whereby ‘the F’ introduces a presupposition to the effect that (...)
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  • Groundwork for a Pragmatics for Formalized Languages.David Kashtan - 2021 - Semiotica 2021 (240):211-239.
    The use-mention distinction is elaborated into a four-way distinction between use, formal mention, material mention and pragmatic mention. The notion of pragmatic mention is motivated through the problem of monsters in Kaplanian indexical semantics. It is then formalized and applied in an account of schemata in formalized languages.
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  • Calling God “Father”: A Theolinguistic Analysis.Donald D. Hook & Alvin F. Kimel Jr - 1995 - Faith and Philosophy 12 (2):207-222.
    This essay explores the significance and implications of the causal theory of reference for the current debate on the necessity and exchangeability of the divine title ‘Father’ in the discourse of the Church. Identifying ‘Father’ as a vocative term historically grounded in the speech of Jesus and his Apostles, the authors assert that it successfully refers to God, functioning very much like a proper name. They also identify linguistic barriers to its replacement by other terms.
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  • In Search of an Integrated Logic of Conviction and Intention.Prof em Dr Hans-Ulrich Hoche - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations.
    According to a two-level criterion for combination tests in the field of ordinary language, moral 'ought'-sentences may be taken to imply 'I intend'-sentences partly semantically and partly pragmatically. If so, a trenchant linguistic analysis of the concept of moral obligation cannot do without a non-classical logic which allows to model these important kinds of ordinary-language implications by means of purely syntactical derivations. For this purpose, an integrated logic of conviction and intention has been tentatively devised by way of a doxastically, (...)
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  • Acts of Desire.Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (9):955-972.
    ABSTRACT Act-based theories of content hold that propositions are identical to acts of predication that we perform in thought and talk. To undergo an occurrent thought with a particular content is just to perform the act of predication that individuates that content. But identifying the content of a thought with the performance of an act of predication makes it difficult to explain the intentionality of bouletic mental activity, like wanting and desiring. In this paper, I argue that this difficulty is (...)
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  • Rules of Use.Indrek Reiland - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    In the middle of the 20th century, it was a common Wittgenstein-inspired idea in philosophy that for a linguistic expression to have a meaning is for it to be governed by a rule of use. In other words, it was widely believed that meanings are to be identified with use-conditions. However, as things stand, this idea is widely taken to be vague and mysterious, inconsistent with “truth-conditional semantics”, and subject to the Frege-Geach problem. In this paper I reinvigorate the ideas (...)
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  • Logical Predictivism.Ben Martin & Ole Hjortland - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (2):285-318.
    Motivated by weaknesses with traditional accounts of logical epistemology, considerable attention has been paid recently to the view, known as anti-exceptionalism about logic, that the subject matter and epistemology of logic may not be so different from that of the recognised sciences. One of the most prevalent claims made by advocates of AEL is that theory choice within logic is significantly similar to that within the sciences. This connection with scientific methodology highlights a considerable challenge for the anti-exceptionalist, as two (...)
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  • The Bang Was Not as Loud as I Had Expected.Ori Simchen - 2021 - Philosophical Investigations.
    In §442 of Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein criticizes the application of Russell’s theory of descriptions to the sentence in the title without mentioning Russell or his theory. Wittgenstein is making a general point of wider interest. I have two aims. The first is to situate Wittgenstein’s critique within the larger theoretical setting of Russell’s theory of descriptions and Frege’s theory of indirect reference in light of the familiar problem of quantifying into attitude contexts. The second is to draw broader methodological implications (...)
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  • CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning.Steven James Bartlett - 2021 - Salem, USA: Studies in Theory and Behavior.
    PLEASE NOTE: This is the corrected 2nd eBook edition, 2021.¶¶ _Critique of Impure Reason_ has now also been published in a printed edition. To reduce the otherwise high price of this scholarly, technical book of nearly 900 pages and make it more widely available beyond university libraries to individual readers, the non-profit publisher and the author have agreed to issue the printed edition at cost.¶¶ The printed edition was released on September 1, 2021 and is now available through all booksellers, (...)
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  • A Puzzle about Logical Analysis.Stefan Rinner - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-8.
    In this paper, I will present a puzzle for logical analyses, such as Russell’s analysis of definite descriptions and Recanati’s analysis of ‘that’-clauses. I will argue that together with Kripke’s disquotational principles connecting sincere assent and belief such non-trivial logical analyses lead to contradictions. Following this, I will compare the puzzle about logical analysis with Frege’s puzzle about belief ascriptions. We will see that although the two puzzles do have similarities, the solutions to Frege’s puzzle cannot be applied mutatis mutandis (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions and the Gettier Example.Christoph Schmidt-Petri & London School of Economics and Political Science - 2002 - CPNSS Discussion Papers.
    This paper challenges the first Gettier counterexample to the tripartite account of knowledge. Noting that 'the man who will get the job' is a description and invoking Donnellan's distinction between their 'referential' and 'attributive' uses, I argue that Smith does not actually believe that the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket. Smith's ignorance about who will get the job shows that the belief cannot be understood referentially, his ignorance of the coins in his pocket (...)
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  • Blindness, Short-Sightedness, and Hirschberg’s Contextually Ordered Alternatives: A Reply to Schlenker (2012).Giorgio Magri - forthcoming - In Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Approaches on Implicatures and Presuppositions. Palgrave.
  • What is Identical?Marta Vlasáková - 2021 - Logica Universalis 15 (2):153-170.
    Numerical identity is standardly considered to be a relation between things. This means that two things are identical if they are only one thing. It is not only Wittgenstein who finds this claim rather odd. Another possibility is to understand identity as a relation between names which denote the same thing; or as a relation between the senses of those names which are modes of presentation of the same thing. Or identity statements can be considered as expressions of the fact (...)
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  • Fostering Liars.Paul M. Pietroski - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):5-25.
    Davidson conjectured that suitably formulated Tarski-style theories of truth can “do duty” as theories of meaning for the spoken languages that humans naturally acquire. But this conjecture faces a pair of old objections that are, in my view, fatal when combined. Foster noted that given any theory of the sort Davidson envisioned, for a language L, there will be many equally true theories whose theorems pair endlessly many sentences of L with very different specifications of whether or not those sentences (...)
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  • Requiem for logical nihilism, or: Logical nihilism annihilated.Bogdan Dicher - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7073-7096.
    Logical nihilism is the view that the relation of logical consequence is empty: there are counterexamples to any putative logical law. In this paper, I argue that the nihilist threat is illusory. The nihilistic arguments do not work. Moreover, the entire project is based on a misguided interpretation of the generality of logic.
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  • Saying a Bundle: Meaning, Intention, and Underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4229-4252.
    People often speak loosely, uttering sentences that are plainly false on their most strict interpretation. In understanding such speakers, we face a problem of underdetermination: there is often no unique interpretation that captures what they meant. Focusing on the case of incomplete definite descriptions, this paper suggests that speakers often mean bundles of propositions. When a speaker means a bundle, their audience can know what they mean by deriving any one of its members. Rather than posing a problem for the (...)
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  • In Defense of Donnellan on Proper Names.Antonio Capuano - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1289-1312.
    Kripke’s picture of how people use names to refer to things has been the dominant view in contemporary philosophy of language. When it is mentioned at all, Donnellan’s view of proper names is considered the same as Kripke’s. It is certainly true that both Donnellan and Kripke rejected descriptivism about proper names and appealed to historical facts to determine whom a speaker is referring to by using a proper name. However, the relevant historical facts Kripke and Donnellan appeal to are (...)
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  • Are Descriptions Really Descriptive? An Experimental Study on Misdescription and Reference.Wojciech Rostworowski & Natalia Pietrulewicz - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (3):609-630.
    This paper presents an experimental study on definite descriptions. According to the classical views, a definite description, i.e., a phrase of the form “the F”, has – roughly speaking - purely descriptive semantics, that is, it designates the object which uniquely satisfies the description. However, as several philosophers including Keith Donnellan have argued, there are uses of definite descriptions on which these expressions do not seem to designate objects which satisfy the descriptions. Namely, a description may refer in some circumstances (...)
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  • Causal Theories of Reference for Proper Names.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Presentation and comparison of the main causal theories of reference for proper names, and a proposal of a new approach based on the analogy of the causal chain of reference with the block chain from blockchain technology and Paul Ricœur's narrative theory. After a brief Introduction in which the types of sentences from the concept of possible worlds are reviewed, and an overview of the theory in the Causal Theory of Reference, I present the causal theory of the reference proposed (...)
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  • Either / Or.Alex Byrne & Heather Logue - 2008 - In Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 314-19.
    This essay surveys the varieties of disjunctivism about perceptual experience. Disjunctivism comes in two main flavours, metaphysical and epistemological.
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  • Desires.Kris McDaniel & Ben Bradley - 2008 - Mind 117 (466):267-302.
    We argue that desire is an attitude that relates a person not to one proposition but rather to two, the first of which we call the object of the desire and the second of which we call the condition of the desire. This view of desire is initially motivated by puzzles about conditional desires. It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional (...)
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  • Millian Externalism.Arthur Sullivan - 2010 - In Robin Jeshion (ed.), New Essays on Singular Thought. Oxford University Press.
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  • The Argument From Convention Revisited.Francesco Pupa - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2175-2204.
    The argument from convention contends that the regular use of definite descriptions as referential devices strongly implies that a referential semantic convention underlies such usage. On the presumption that definite descriptions also participate in a quantificational semantic convention, the argument from convention has served as an argument for the thesis that the English definite article is ambiguous. Here, I revisit this relatively new argument. First, I address two recurring criticisms of the argument from convention: its alleged tendency to overgenerate and (...)
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  • The Authority of Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis.Justin C. Fisher - unknown
    This paper defends Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis , a proposed empirical methodology for explicating philosophical concepts. This methodology attributes to our shared concepts whatever application conditions they would need to have in order best to continue delivering benefits in the ways they have regularly delivered benefits in the past. In the first stage of my argument I argue that Pragmatic Conceptual Analysis has what I call normative authority : we have practical and epistemic reason to adopt the explications that it delivers (...)
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  • Move and Accommodate: A Solution to Haddock's Puzzle.Lucas Champollion - unknown
    What licenses the use of a definite description? The formal and philosophical literature has approached this question in two ways. The uniqueness approach (Frege, 1892; Russell, 1905; Strawson, 1950) holds that we may use a definite determiner only if the property denoted by its complement holds of exactly one individual in some domain: Sentence (1) and (2) can only be true if there is exactly one king of France, and exactly one American governor, respectively. Since this is not the case (...)
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  • Counterfactual Antecedent Falsity and the Epistemic Sensitivity of Counterfactuals.Brian Leahy - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):45-69.
    Why do utterances of counterfactual conditionals typically, but not universally, convey the message that their antecedents are false? I demonstrate that two common theoretical commitments–commitment to the existence of scalar implicature and of informative presupposition—can be supplemented with an independently motivated theory of the presuppositions of competing conditional alternatives to jointly predict this information when and only when it appears. The view works best if indicative and counterfactual conditionals have a closely related semantics, so I conclude by undermining two familiar (...)
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  • Dispositions, Conditionals and Auspicious Circumstances.Justin C. Fisher - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):443-464.
    A number of authors have suggested that a conditional analysis of dispositions must take roughly the following form: Thing X is disposed to produce response R to stimulus S just in case, if X were exposed to S and surrounding circumstances were auspicious, then X would produce R. The great challenge is cashing out the relevant notion of ‘auspicious circumstances’. I give a general argument which entails that all existing conditional analyses fail, and that there is no satisfactory way to (...)
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  • Generalized Quantifiers, and Beyond.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2009 - Logique Et Analyse (208):309-326.
    I show that the contemporary dominant analysis of natural language quantifiers that are one-place determiners by means of binary generalized quantifiers has failed to explain why they are, according to it, conservative. I then present an alternative, Geachean analysis, according to which common nouns in the grammatical subject position are plural logical subject-terms, and show how it does explain that fact and other features of natural language quantification.
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  • Pragmatic Experimental Philosophy.Justin C. Fisher - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (3):412-433.
    This paper considers three package deals combining views in philosophy of mind, meta-philosophy, and experimental philosophy. The most familiar of these packages gives center-stage to pumping intuitions about fanciful cases, but that package involves problematic commitments both to a controversial descriptivist theory of reference and to intuitions that “negative” experimental philosophers have shown to be suspiciously variable and context-sensitive. In light of these difficulties, it would be good for future-minded experimental philosophers to align themselves with a different package deal. This (...)
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  • Definiteness and Determinacy.Elizabeth Coppock & David Beaver - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (5):377-435.
    This paper distinguishes between definiteness and determinacy. Definiteness is seen as a morphological category which, in English, marks a uniqueness presupposition, while determinacy consists in denoting an individual. Definite descriptions are argued to be fundamentally predicative, presupposing uniqueness but not existence, and to acquire existential import through general type-shifting operations that apply not only to definites, but also indefinites and possessives. Through these shifts, argumental definite descriptions may become either determinate or indeterminate. The latter option is observed in examples like (...)
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  • Presuppositions as Anaphoric Duality Enablers.Christopher Gauker - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):133-144.
    The key to an adequate account of presupposition projection is to accommodate the fact that the presuppositions of a sentence cannot always be read off the sentence but can often be identified only on the basis of prior utterances in the conversation in which the sentence is uttered. In addition, an account of presupposition requires a three-valued semantics of assertibility and deniability in a context. Presuppositions can be explicated as sentences that belong to the conversation and the assertibility of which (...)
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  • Russell and His Sources for Non-Classical Logics.Irving H. Anellis - 2009 - Logica Universalis 3 (2):153-218.
    My purpose here is purely historical. It is not an attempt to resolve the question as to whether Russell did or did not countenance nonclassical logics, and if so, which nonclassical logics, and still less to demonstrate whether he himself contributed, in any manner, to the development of nonclassical logic. Rather, I want merely to explore and insofar as possible document, whether, and to what extent, if any, Russell interacted with the various, either the various candidates or their, ideas that (...)
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  • Presupposition.David I. Beaver - 1997 - In Johan van Bentham & Alice ter Meulen (eds.), Handbook of Logic and Language. MIT Press.
    We discuss presupposition, the phenomenon whereby speakers mark linguistically the information that is presupposed or taken for granted, rather than being part of the main propositional content of a speech act. Expressions and constructions carrying presuppositions are called “presupposition triggers”, forming a large class including definites and factive verbs. The article first introduces the range of triggers, the basic properties of presuppositions such as projection and cancellability, and the diagnostic tests used to identify them. The reader is then introducedto major (...)
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  • Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.Paul Elbourne - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (4):409-466.
    Using a version of situation semantics, this article argues that bare and complex demonstratives are interpreted as individual concepts.
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  • Epistemic Determiners.J. Jayez - 2006 - Journal of Semantics 23 (3):217-250.
    The present paper offers a contrastive examination of French items that require some knowledge of the speaker and items that require some ignorance. We relate this difference in a systematic way to the well–known problem of ‘identifiability’ in epistemic logic. In addition to providing a more precise analysis, this identification-based investigation leads us to two findings. First, non-identification (‘ignorance’) is actually a particular manifestation of the more general phenomenon of free-choiceness, which has received much attention lately. Studying non-identification helps us (...)
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  • Necessity in Reference.Ori Simchen - 2012 - In William P. Kabasenche Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Reference and Referring: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Volume 10. MIT Press.
    I take up a question raised by David Kaplan at the very end of his 1990 paper "Words": Is it possible for a name that in fact names a given individual to have named a different individual? I argue for a negative answer to Kaplan's question via the essentialist claims that, first, it is of the nature of a referring token of a name to be produced by a particular referential intention, and, second, that it is of the nature of (...)
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  • What Refers? How?Alexander Barber - 2011 - In Ken Turner (ed.), Making semantics pragmatic. Brill. pp. 49–80.
    “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” This National Rifle Association slogan has a popular analogue in the philosophy of language: words don’t refer to things, people refer to things. This paper looks at how the question of what refers intersects with the phenomenon of opacity. The discussion is used to motivate an important revision to standard intention-based accounts of speaker reference, one that takes due account of the fact that distinct words can have the same referent.
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  • Causal Slingshots.Michael Baumgartner - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):111-133.
    Causal slingshots are formal arguments advanced by proponents of an event ontology of token-level causation which, in the end, are intended to show two things: (i) The logical form of statements expressing causal dependencies on token level features a binary predicate ‘‘... causes ...’’ and (ii) that predicate takes events as arguments. Even though formalisms are only revealing with respect to the logical form of natural language statements, if the latter are shown to be adequately captured within a corresponding formalism, (...)
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  • Ought-Implies-Can: Erasmus Luther and R.M. Hare.Charles R. Pigden - 1990 - Sophia 29 (1):2-30.
    l. There is an antinomy in Hare's thought between Ought-Implies-Can and No-Indicatives-from-Imperatives. It cannot be resolved by drawing a distinction between implication and entailment. 2. Luther resolved this antinomy in the l6th century, but to understand his solution, we need to understand his problem. He thought the necessity of Divine foreknowledge removed contingency from human acts, thus making it impossible for sinners to do otherwise than sin. 3. Erasmus objected (on behalf of Free Will) that this violates Ought-Implies-Can which he (...)
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  • A Defense of the Knowledge Argument.John Martin DePoe - unknown
    Defenders of the Knowledge Argument contend that physicalism is false because knowing all the physical truths is not sufficient to know all the truths about the world. In particular, proponents of the Knowledge Argument claim that physicalism is false because the truths about the character of conscious experience are not knowable from the complete set of physical truths. This dissertation is a defense of the Knowledge Argument. Chapter one characterizes what physicalism is and provides support for the claim that if (...)
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  • The Individuality of Meaning.Jasper Doomen - 2006 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 5:121.
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  • The Double Life of 'The Mayor of Oakland'.Michael Rieppel - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (5):417-446.
    The Fregean analysis of definite descriptions as referring expressions predicts that copular sentences with definite descriptions in postcopular position are invariably interpreted as identity statements. But as numerous diagnostics show, such sentences are frequently capable of receiving a predicational reading. A uniform Fregean analysis therefore won’t do. Things aren’t that simple, however. I show that descriptions which exhibit the structure [the + N + of + Proper Name] fall into two semantically distinct classes, and that the members of one of (...)
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  • On the Linguistic Complexity of Proper Names.Ora Matushansky - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (5):573-627.
    While proper names in argument positions have received a lot of attention, this cannot be said about proper names in the naming construction, as in “Call me Al”. I argue that in a number of more or less familiar languages the syntax of naming constructions is such that proper names there have to be analyzed as predicates, whose content mentions the name itself (cf. “quotation theories”). If proper names can enter syntax as predicates, then in argument positions they should have (...)
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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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  • A Consistent Way with Paradox.Laurence Goldstein - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (3):377 - 389.
    Consideration of a paradox originally discovered by John Buridan provides a springboard for a general solution to paradoxes within the Liar family. The solution rests on a philosophical defence of truth-value-gaps and is consistent (non-dialetheist), avoids ‘revenge’ problems, imports no ad hoc assumptions, is not applicable to only a proper subset of the semantic paradoxes and implies no restriction of the expressive capacities of language.
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  • Descriptions and Uniqueness.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 101 (1):29-57.
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  • The Indexical Character of Names.M. Pelczar & J. Rainsbury - 1998 - Synthese 114 (2):293-317.
    Indexicals are unique among expressions in that they depend for their literal content upon extra-semantic features of the contexts in which they are uttered. Taking this peculiarity of indexicals into account yields solutions to variants of Frege's Puzzle involving objects of attitude-bearing of an indexical nature. If names are indexicals, then the classical versions of Frege's Puzzle can be solved in the same way. Taking names to be indexicals also yields solutions to tougher, more recently-discovered puzzles such as Kripke's well-known (...)
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  • Russellianism and Referential Uses of Descriptions.Neil Feit - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (2):99 - 122.
    A number of philosophers continue to argue, inthe spirit of Keith Donnellans classic paperReference and Definite Descriptions, thatthere is more to the semantics of definitedescriptions than Russells theory predicts. If their arguments are correct, then a completesemantic theory for sentences that containdefinite descriptions will have to provide morethan one set of truth conditions. A unitaryRussellian analysis of sentences of the form`the F is G would not suffice. In this paper,I examine a recent line of argument for thisanti-Russellian conclusion.Unlike earlier Donnellan-style (...)
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  • The Logic and Mathematics of Occasion Sentences.Pieter A. M. Seuren, Venanizo Capretta & Herman Geuvers - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (5):531-595.
    The prime purpose of this paper is, first, to restore to discourse-bound occasion sentences their rightful central place in semantics and secondly, taking these as the basic propositional elements in the logical analysis of language, to contribute to the development of an adequate logic of occasion sentences and a mathematical foundation for such a logic, thus preparing the ground for more adequate semantic, logical and mathematical foundations of the study of natural language. Some of the insights elaborated in this paper (...)
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  • Children, Robots And... The Parental Role.Colin T. A. Schmidt - 2007 - Minds and Machines 17 (3):273-286.
    The raison d’être of this article is that many a spry-eyed analyst of the works in intelligent computing and robotics fail to see the essential concerning applications development, that of expressing their ultimate goal. Alternatively, they fail to state it suitably for the lesser-informed public eye. The author does not claim to be able to remedy this. Instead, the visionary investigation offered couples learning and computing with other related fields as part of a larger spectre to fully simulate people in (...)
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