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Types and tokens: on abstract objects

Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press (2009)

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  1. Plural Slot Theory.T. Scott Dixon - 2018 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 11. Oxford University Press. pp. 193-223.
    Kit Fine (2000) breaks with tradition, arguing that, pace Russell (e.g., 1903: 228), relations have neither directions nor converses. He considers two ways to conceive of these new "neutral" relations, positionalism and anti-positionalism, and argues that the latter should be preferred to the former. Cody Gilmore (2013) argues for a generalization of positionalism, slot theory, the view that a property or relation is n-adic if and only if there are exactly n slots in it, and (very roughly) that each slot (...)
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  • The Audibility Problem and Indirect Listening.Wouter A. Cohen - 2024 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):147-158.
    There is a strong intuition that we can listen to works of music, yet musical ontologies on which works of music are abstract objects, perhaps most notably, type theories of music, seem to imply that this is impossible. This problem has received relatively little attention in the literature. I here explore and develop a solution suggested by Julian Dodd and argue that it has at least two problematic consequences, namely (i) that some works of music cannot be listened to unless (...)
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  • 'Explicating ways of consensus-making: Distinguishing the academic, the interface and the meta-consensus.Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2014 - In Martini Carlo (ed.), Experts and Consensus in Social Science. Springer. pp. 71-92.
  • Natural Language Ontology (SEP entry).Moltmann Friederike - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Object.Henry Laycock - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In The Principles of Mathematics, Russell writes: Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition, or can be counted as one, I call a term. This, then, is the widest word in the philosophical vocabulary. I shall use as synonymous with it the words unit, individual and entity. The first two emphasize the fact that every term is one, while the third is derived from the fact that every term has being, i.e. (...)
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  • Causal powers and isomeric chemical kinds.Andrew McFarland - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1441-1457.
    Some philosophers have claimed that kinds can be construed as mereologically complex structural properties. This essay examines several strategies aimed at construing a certain class of natural kinds, namely isomeric chemical kinds, in accordance with this view. In particular, the essay examines views which posit structural proper parts in addition to micro-constitutive parts to individuate isomeric chemical kinds. It then goes on to argue that the phenomenon of chirality in stereochemistry gives the proponent of kinds-as-complex-properties evidence for positing the existence (...)
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  • Consciousness and the Philosophy of Signs: How Peircean Semiotics Combines Phenomenal Qualia and Practical Effects.Marc Champagne - 2018 - Cham: Springer.
    It is often thought that consciousness has a qualitative dimension that cannot be tracked by science. Recently, however, some philosophers have argued that this worry stems not from an elusive feature of the mind, but from the special nature of the concepts used to describe conscious states. Marc Champagne draws on the neglected branch of philosophy of signs or semiotics to develop a new take on this strategy. The term “semiotics” was introduced by John Locke in the modern period – (...)
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  • The case for eliminativism about words.Nick Tasker - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-23.
    Words are ubiquitous and familiar, and the concept of a word features both in common-sense ways of understanding the world, and in more theoretical discourse. Nonetheless, it has been repeatedly argued that there is no such thing as words. In this paper, I will set out a range of arguments for eliminativism about words, and indicate the most promising responses. I begin by considering an eliminativist argument based on the alleged mind-dependency of words, before turning to two challenges arising from (...)
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  • Words on Kripke’s Puzzle.Maciej Tarnowski & Maciej Głowacki - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-21.
    In this paper we present a solution to Saul Kripke’s Puzzle About Belief Meaning and use, Dordrecht, 1979) based on Kaplan’s metaphysical picture of words. Although it is widely accepted that providing such a solution was one of the main incentives for the development of Kaplan’s theory, it was never presented by Kaplan in a systematic manner and was regarded by many as unsatisfactory. We agree with these critiques, and develop an extension of Kaplan’s theory by introducing the notion of (...)
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  • How to minimize ontological commitments: a grounding-reductive approach.Reuben Sass - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-22.
    Some revisionary ontologies are highly parsimonious: they posit far fewer entities than what we quantify over in ordinary discourse. The most radical examples are minimal ontologies, on which physical simples are the only things that exist. Highly parsimonious ontologies, and especially minimal ones, face the challenge of either accounting for the truth of our ordinary quantificational discourse, or paraphrasing such discourse away. Common strategies for addressing this challenge include classical reduction, paraphrase nihilism, and a distinction between ontological and existence commitments. (...)
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  • An ontology of weak entity realism for HPC kinds.Reuben Sass - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11861-11880.
    This paper defends an ontology of weak entity realism for homeostatic property cluster (HPC) theories of natural kinds, adapted from Bird’s (Synthese 195(4):1397–1426, 2018) taxonomy of such theories. Weak entity realism about HPC kinds accepts the existence of natural kinds. Weak entity realism denies two theses: that (1) HPC kinds have mind-independent essences, and that (2) HPC kinds reduce to entities, such as complex universals, posited only by metaphysical theories. Strong entity realism accepts (1) and (2), whereas moderate entity realism (...)
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  • Using a two-dimensional model from social ontology to explain the puzzling metaphysical features of words.Jared S. Oliphint - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-10.
    I argue that a two-dimensional model of social objects is uniquely positioned to deliver explanations for some of the puzzling metaphysical features of words. I consider how a type-token model offers explanations for the metaphysical features of words, but I give reasons to find the model wanting. In its place, I employ an alternative model from social ontology to explain the puzzling data and questions that are generated from the metaphysical features of words. In the end I chart a new (...)
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  • The ontology of words: a structural approach.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8):877-911.
    Words form a fundamental basis for our understanding of linguistic practice. However, the precise ontology of words has eluded many philosophers and linguists. A persistent difficulty for most accounts of words is the type-token distinction [Bromberger, S. 1989. “Types and Tokens in Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, edited by A. George, 58–90. Basil Blackwell; Kaplan, D. 1990. “Words.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXIV: 93–119]. In this paper, I present a novel account of words which differs from the atomistic and platonistic (...)
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  • What it takes to make a word.Wade Munroe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-30.
    Consider the following object, where, depending on how you are viewing this paper, the object may be a series of ink markings, a portion of a matrix of pixels through or from which light is emitted, etc.,augeLet’s call the object ‘Shape’. Is Shape a word token? If so, what word type is it a token of? Given how words are traditionally individuated, the Spanish, “auge”—meaning, apogee or peak—the French, “auge”—meaning, basin or bowl—and the German, “auge”—meaning, eye, are different words. So, (...)
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  • Predication as Ascription.David Liebesman - 2015 - Mind 124 (494):517-569.
    I articulate and defend a necessary and sufficient condition for predication. The condition is that a term or term-occurrence stands in the relation of ascription to its designatum, ascription being a fundamental semantic relation that differs from reference. This view has dramatically different semantic consequences from its alternatives. After outlining the alternatives, I draw out these consequences and show how they favour the ascription view. I then develop the view and elicit a number of its virtues.
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  • A Uniform, Concretist Metaphysics for Linguistic Types.Giorgio Lando - 2019 - Metaphysica 20 (2):195-221.
    I argue that it is not acceptable to restrict the claim that linguistic types are concrete entities (type-concretism) to some categories of linguistic types (such as words or proper names), while at the same time conceding that other categories of linguistic types (such as sentence types) are abstract entities. Moreover, I suggest a way in which type-concretism can be extended to every linguistic type, thereby responding to the so-called productivity objection to type-concretism, according to which, whenever tokens of a type (...)
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  • The Vagueness Argument Against Abstract Artifacts.Daniel Z. Korman - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):57-71.
    Words, languages, symphonies, fictional characters, games, and recipes are plausibly abstract artifacts— entities that have no spatial location and that are deliberately brought into existence as a result of creative acts. Many accept that composition is unrestricted: for every plurality of material objects, there is a material object that is the sum of those objects. These two views may seem entirely unrelated. I will argue that the most influential argument against restricted composition—the vagueness argument—doubles as an argument that there can (...)
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  • VI—Nominalistic Adequacy.Jeffrey Ketland - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (2pt2):201-217.
    Instrumentalist nominalism responds to the indispensability arguments by rejecting the demand that successful mathematicized scientific theories be nominalized, and instead claiming merely that such theories are nominalistically adequate: the concreta behave ‘as if’ the theory is true. This article examines some definitions of the concept of nominalistic adequacy and concludes with some considerations against instrumentalist nominalism.
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  • Abstract Objects, Causal Efficacy, and Causal Exclusion.Tim Juvshik - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (4):805-827.
    objects are standardly taken to be causally inert, but this claim is rarely explicitly argued for. In the context of his platonism about musical works, in order for musical works to be audible, Julian Dodd argues that abstracta are causally efficacious in virtue of their concrete tokens participating in events. I attempt to provide a principled argument for the causal inertness of abstracta by first rejecting Dodd’s arguments from events, and then extending and generalizing the causal exclusion argument to the (...)
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  • Good ‘Cat’, Bad ‘Act’.Tim Juvshik - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (3):1007-1019.
    A widespread intuition is that words, musical works, and flags are intentionally produced and that they’re abstract types that can have incorrect tokens. But some philosophers, notably Julian Dodd and Nicholas Wolterstorff, think intention-dependence isn’t necessary; tokens just need to have certain relevant intrinsic features to be tokens of a given type. I show how there’s an unappreciated puzzle that arises from these two views: if tokens aren’t intention-dependent and types can admit of correct and incorrect tokens, then some driftwood (...)
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  • Natural Name Theory and Linguistic Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (9):494-508.
    The natural name theory, recently discussed by Johnson (2018), is proposed as an explanation of pure quotation where the quoted term(s) refers to a linguistic object such as in the sentence ‘In the above, ‘bank’ is ambiguous’. After outlining the theory, I raise a problem for the natural name theory. I argue that positing a resemblance relation between the name and the linguistic object it names does not allow us to rule out cases where the natural name fails to resemble (...)
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  • An Ontology of Words.Nurbay Irmak - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1139-1158.
    Words are indispensable linguistic tools for beings like us. However, there is not much philosophical work done about what words really are. In this paper, I develop a new ontology for words. I argue that words are abstract artifacts that are created to fulfill various kinds of purposes, and words are abstract in the sense that they are not located in space but they have a beginning and may have an end in time given that certain conditions are met. What (...)
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  • Idempotent Variations on the Theme of Exclusive Disjunction.L. Humberstone - 2021 - Studia Logica 110 (1):121-163.
    An exclusive disjunction is true when exactly one of the disjuncts is true. In the case of the familiar binary exclusive disjunction, we have a formula occurring as the first disjunct and a formula occurring as the second disjunct, so, if what we have is two formula-tokens of the same formula-type—one formula occurring twice over, that is—the question arises as to whether, when that formula is true, to count the case as one in which exactly one of the disjuncts is (...)
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  • Phonetic Segments and the Organization of Speech.Luca Gasparri - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (2):304-324.
    According to mainstream linguistic phonetics, speech can be modeled as a string of discrete sound segments or “phones” drawn from a universal phonetic inventory. Recent work has argued that a mature phonetics should refrain from theorizing about speech and speech processing using sound segments, and that the phone concept should be eliminated from linguistic theory. The paper lays out the tenets of the phone methodology and evaluates its prospects in light of the eliminativist arguments. I claim that the eliminativist arguments (...)
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  • Mental Files and the Lexicon.Luca Gasparri - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):463-472.
    This paper presents the hypothesis that the representational repertoire underpinning our ability to process the lexical items of a natural language can be modeled as a system of mental files. To start, I clarify the basic phenomena that an account of lexical knowledge should be able to elucidate. Then, I propose to evaluate whether the mental files theory can be brought to bear on an account of the representational format of lexical knowledge by modeling mental words as recognitional files.
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  • A pluralistic theory of wordhood.Luca Gasparri - 2020 - Mind and Language 36 (4):592-609.
    What are words and how should we individuate them? There are two main answers on the philosophical market. For some, words are bundles of structural-functional features defining a unique performance profile. For others, words are non-eternal continuants individuated by their causal-historical ancestry. These conceptions offer competing views of the nature of words, and it seems natural to assume that at most one of them can capture the essence of wordhood. This paper makes a case for pluralism about wordhood: the view (...)
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  • But language too is material!Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (1):169-183.
    Language is infused with materiality and should therefore not be considered as an abstract system that is isolated from socio-material reality. Expressions materialise language in social practices, thus providing the necessary basis for languaging activities. For this reason, it makes sense to challenge proponents of orthodox linguistics and others who hold that language can be studied in isolation from its concrete manifestations. By exploring the relation between materiality and linguistic activity, the article extends Malafouris’ Material Engagement Theory while clarifying the (...)
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  • On the Varieties of Abstract Objects.James E. Davies - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):809-823.
    I reconcile the spatiotemporal location of repeatable artworks and impure sets with the non-location of natural numbers despite all three being varieties of abstract objects. This is possible because, while the identity conditions for all three can be given by abstraction principles, in the former two cases spatiotemporal location is a congruence for the equivalence relation featuring in the relevant principle, whereas in the latter it is not. I then generalize this to other ‘physical’ properties like shape, mass, and causal (...)
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  • On Occurrences of Types in Types.Wayne A. Davis - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):349-363.
    The different occurrences of a word in a sentence cannot be identified with the one word type, nor with its many tokens. What then are occurrences of a word? How can one type occur more than once in another type? Is the conception of ‘structural universals’ that leads to these questions incoherent, as Lewis maintained? I argue against the answer Wetzel suggested, which identifies sentences with functions from numbers to expressions, and propose instead that occurrences of one type in another (...)
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  • Syntactic structures and pragmatic meanings.Robyn Carston - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-28.
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  • Interactive virtue and vice in systems of arguments: a logocratic analysis. [REVIEW]Scott Brewer - 2020 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 28 (1):151-179.
    The Logocratic Method, and the Logocratic theory that underwrites it, provide a philosophical explanation of three purposes or goals that arguers have for their arguments: to make arguments that are internally strong, or that are dialectically strong, or that are rhetorically strong. This article presents the basic terms and methods of Logocratic analysis and then uses a case study to illustrate the Logocratic explanation of arguments. Highlights of this explanation are: the use of a virtue framework to explicate the three (...)
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  • The Ontology of Photography A Reassessment.Mohamadreza Abolghassemi - 2018 - Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 11 (2):49-61.
    This paper explores some issues concerning the ontology of photography. It would appear that photography’s ontology bears some significant specificities comparing with other art forms. First, the study of negative film and printed photograph relations shows us that photography has a multi-layered ontology, since although the latter is ontologically dependent upon the former, it stands autonomously as work of art. Second, I will consider the problem of forgery in photography. It seems that photographs are autographic and allographic, fakeable and unfakeable. (...)
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  • The Bit (and Three Other Abstractions) Define the Borderline Between Hardware and Software.Russ Abbott - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):239-285.
    Modern computing is generally taken to consist primarily of symbol manipulation. But symbols are abstract, and computers are physical. How can a physical device manipulate abstract symbols? Neither Church nor Turing considered this question. My answer is that the bit, as a hardware-implemented abstract data type, serves as a bridge between materiality and abstraction. Computing also relies on three other primitive—but more straightforward—abstractions: Sequentiality, State, and Transition. These physically-implemented abstractions define the borderline between hardware and software and between physicality and (...)
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  • Deductivism in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Alexander Paseau & Fabian Pregel - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2023.
    Deductivism says that a mathematical sentence s should be understood as expressing the claim that s deductively follows from appropriate axioms. For instance, deductivists might construe “2+2=4” as “the sentence ‘2+2=4’ deductively follows from the axioms of arithmetic”. Deductivism promises a number of benefits. It captures the fairly common idea that mathematics is about “what can be deduced from the axioms”; it avoids an ontology of abstract mathematical objects; and it maintains that our access to mathematical truths requires nothing beyond (...)
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  • The Semiotic Mind: A Fundamental Theory of Consciousness.Marc Champagne - 2014 - Dissertation, York Universiy
    One of the leading concerns animating current philosophy of mind is that, no matter how good a scientific account is, it will leave out what its like to be conscious. The challenge has thus been to study or at least explain away that qualitative dimension. Pursuant with that aim, I investigate how philosophy of signs in the Peircean tradition can positively reshape ongoing debates. Specifically, I think the account of iconic or similarity-based reference we find in semiotic theory offers a (...)
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  • Type Realism Reconsidered.Nurbay Irmak - forthcoming - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism:1-11.
    Realism about types is the view that types are abstract and repeatable objects. Although type realists seem to agree that types, unlike properties, are objects in their own right, they argue that there is a metaphysically intimate tie between the existence conditions of types and properties. In particular, most type realists believe that types are, in a certain sense, determined by the properties that underlie them. I argue that this is a mistake, especially for those type realists who believe that (...)
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  • Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social ontology is the study of the nature and properties of the social world. It is concerned with analyzing the various entities in the world that arise from social interaction. -/- A prominent topic in social ontology is the analysis of social groups. Do social groups exist at all? If so, what sorts of entities are they, and how are they created? Is a social group distinct from the collection of people who are its members, and if so, how is (...)
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  • Properties.Francesco Orilia & Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Abstract objects.Gideon Rosen - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Object.Bradley Rettler & Andrew M. Bailey - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1.
    One might well wonder—is there a category under which every thing falls? Offering an informative account of such a category is no easy task. For nothing would distinguish things that fall under it from those that don’t—there being, after all, none of the latter. It seems hard, then, to say much about any fully general category; and it would appear to do no carving or categorizing or dividing at all. Nonetheless there are candidates for such a fully general office, including (...)
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  • History of the Ontology of Art.Paisley Nathan Livingston - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    First critical survey devoted to the history of philosophical contributions to this topic. Brings to light neglected contributions prior to the second half of the 20th century including works in Danish, German, and French. Provides a division of issues and clarifies key ambiguities related to modality.
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  • Explanation in Science.James A. Overton - unknown
    Scientific explanation is an important goal of scientific practise. Philosophers have proposed a striking diversity of seemingly incompatible accounts of explanation, from deductive-nomological to statistical relevance, unification, pragmatic, causal-mechanical, mechanistic, causal intervention, asymptotic, and model-based accounts. In this dissertation I apply two novel methods to reexamine our evidence about scientific explanation in practise and thereby address the fragmentation of philosophical accounts. I start by collecting a data set of 781 articles from one year of the journal Science. Using automated text (...)
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  • In What Sense is Frege's (Statement of the) Puzzle 'Problematic'?Ludovic Soutif - 2014 - Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Costa Rica 53 (136):51-57.
    I take issue with Glezakos’s explanation of why Frege’s puzzle is un-puzzling. On her view, Frege’s statement – how can sentences of the form a=a and a=b, if true, differ in cognitive value if they express the same semantic content/are made true by the same object’s self-identity? – should not be considered any puzzling either because it is on the whole circular, or because, neutrally stated, it cannot even be set up. I argue against this that if, as she takes (...)
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  • Davida Kaplana metafizyka słów.Maciej Głowacki - 2022 - Filozofia Nauki 29 (116):103-129.
    This paper presents the fundamental problems of metaphysics of words and reconstructs David Kaplan’s intentional metaphysics of words. I critically analyze Kaplan’s proposal and present the most important objections. I also propose some possible answers to the objections.
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  • How theories of meaning resemble attributed situations: methodological suggestions for representing how people conceive the contents of theories of meaning, extracting signifiers’ identity conditions, and measuring domains for allowed influences.Sami Rissanen - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Reading
    This thesis develops methods for representing how the contents of theories of meaning become conceived by their users. These contents are treated as the range of systematically elicited conceptions afforded by a designated corpus of key texts. The approach being taken involves first detailing a formal scheme for the components of situations attributed to various entities. This scheme is then applied as a framing device to form a template which accounts for the shared structure between the mental spaces which embody (...)
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  • The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
    According to one large family of views, scientific explanations explain a phenomenon (such as an event or a regularity) by subsuming it under a general representation, model, prototype, or schema (see Bechtel, W., & Abrahamsen, A. (2005). Explanation: A mechanist alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 36(2), 421–441; Churchland, P. M. (1989). A neurocomputational perspective: The nature of mind and the structure of science. Cambridge: MIT Press; Darden (2006); Hempel, C. G. (1965). Aspects of scientific (...)
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  • Theories of Properties and Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay in Metaontology.Christopher Gibilisco - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation argues that we have no good reason to accept any one theory of properties as correct. To show this, I present three possible bases for theory-choice in the properties debate: coherence, explanatory adequacy, and explanatory value. Then I argue that none of these bases resolve the underdetermination of our choice between theories of properties. First, I argue considerations about coherence cannot resolve the underdetermination, because no traditional theory of properties is obviously incoherent. Second, I argue considerations of explanatory (...)
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