Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (3):755-778 (2022)
AbstractSince Machery et al. _Cognition_ 92, B1-B12 ( 2004 ) attacked Kripke’s refutation of classical descriptivism, their experiment has been repeated several times, in its original version or in some revised ones, by theorists with contrasting intents. Some repeated the experiment for confirming its results, others for proving them unreliable. One striking characteristic of those surveys is that they mostly replicated the data collected in Machery et al.’s _Cognition_ 92, B1-B12, 2004 experiment: less than 60% of Westerners showed preference for the causal-historical response. We side with the critics of Machery et al.’s experiment. In this paper, we present the results of a survey that tests some hypotheses for explaining that percentage of Westerners’ preferences without taking it as evidence that more than 40% of Westerners have descriptivist intuitions on semantic reference. The aim of our paper is not merely to question the reliability of Machery et al.’s experiment. In sections 4 and 5 we assess the impact of our survey on the current debate in experimental semantics. We provide a novel account of the nature of the epistemic ambiguity that affects experiments in theory of reference and explain the consequences that our account of the epistemic ambiguity has for subsequent works trying to avoid ambiguities.
Similar books and articles
A New Perspective Concerning Experiments on Semantic Intuitions.Justin Sytsma & Jonathan Livengood - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (2):315-332.
The Reference of Proper Names, Semantic Intuitions, and Experimental Philosophy.Adrian Ziółkowski - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne - English Supplement 29:201-247.
Referential intuitions are still problematic.Massimiliano Vignolo & Filippo Domaneschi - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):472-483.
The Reference of Proper Names, Semantic Intuitions, and Experimental Philosophy.Adrian Ziółkowki - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne—English Supplement 29:201-247.
Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style.Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2004 - O Gnition 92:B1--B12.
Semantics, cross-cultural style.Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2004 - Cognition 92 (3):1-12.
Experimental Semantics.Michael Devitt - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):418 - 435.
Counteractuals, Counterfactuals and Semantic Intuitions.Jesper Kallestrup - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):35-54.
Theories of Reference, Experimental Philosophy, and the Calibration of Intuitions.Manuel Pérez Otero - 2017 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 32 (1).
Are cantonese speakers really descriptivists? Revisiting cross-cultural semantics.Barry Lam - 2010 - Cognition 115 (2):320–32.
Reference in the Land of the Rising Sun: A Cross-cultural Study on the Reference of Proper Names.Justin Sytsma, Jonathan Livengood, Ryoji Sato & Mineki Oguchi - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):213-230.
Individual and Cross-Cultural Differences in Semantic Intuitions: New Experimental Findings.James R. Beebe & Ryan Undercoffer - 2016 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 16 (3-4):322-357.
Teorías de la referencia, filosofía experimental y calibración de intuiciones.Manuel Pérez Otero - 2017 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 32 (1):41-62.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
No citations found.
References found in this work
Reference and definite descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.