Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):pqaa091 (2021)

Laurenz Casser
University of Texas at Austin
Henry Ian Schiller
Washington University in St. Louis
The following argument is widely assumed to be invalid: there is a pain in my finger; my finger is in my mouth; therefore, there is a pain in my mouth. The apparent invalidity of this argument has recently been used to motivate the conclusion that pains are not spatial entities. We argue that this is a mistake. We do so by drawing attention to the metaphysics of pains and holes and provide a framework for their location which both vindicates the argument's validity and explains why it appears invalid. To this end, we show that previously proposed explanations for the apparent invalidity of the argument fail. Moreover, we show that our account accommodates and explains seemingly opposing linguistic data. We conclude that the ‘pain-in-mouth argument’ does not undermine the view that pains are spatial entities.
Keywords pain  holes  pain-in-mouth argument  location  implicature  polysemy
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqaa091
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Logic and Conversation.H. Paul Grice - 1975 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 47.

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