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Metasemantics and Singular Reference

Noûs 51 (2):175-195 (2017)

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  1. Against Magnetism.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):17-36.
    Magnetism in meta-semantics is the view that the meaning of our words is determined in part by their use and in part by the objective naturalness of candidate meanings. This hypothesis is commonly attributed to David Lewis, and has been put to philosophical work by Brian Weatherson, Ted Sider and others. I argue that there is no evidence that Lewis ever endorsed the view, and that his actual account of language reveals good reasons against it.
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  • New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
  • Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. One must also use the right concepts - including the right logical concepts. One must use concepts that "carve at the joints", that give the world's "structure". There is an objectively correct way to "write the book of the world". Much of metaphysics, as traditionally conceived, is about the fundamental nature of reality; in the present terms, this is about the world's structure. Metametaphysics - inquiry into (...)
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  • Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
    Definite descriptions, I shall argue, have two possible functions. 1] They are used to refer to what a speaker wishes to talk about, but they are also used quite differently. Moreover, a definite description occurring in one and the same sentence may, on different occasions of its use, function in either way. The failure to deal with this duality of function obscures the genuine referring use of definite descriptions. The best known theories of definite descriptions, those of Russell and Strawson, (...)
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  • Reason, Truth and History.Michael Devitt - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (2):274.
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  • The Role of Naturalness in Lewis's Theory of Meaning.Brian Weatherson - 2013 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (10).
    Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...)
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  • Ontological Relativity.W. V. Quine - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):185-212.
  • Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein, G. C. M. Colombo & Bertrand Russell - 1922 - Fratelli Bocca.
    In this 1921 opus, Wittgenstein defined the object of philosophy as the logical clarification of thoughts and proposed the solution to most philosophic problems by means of a critical method of linguistic analysis. Beginning with the principles of symbolism, the author applies his theories to traditional philosophy, examines the logical structure of propositions and the nature of logical inference, and much more. Definitive translation. Introduction by Bertrand Russell.
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  • Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
    Hilary Putnam deals in this book with some of the most fundamental persistent problems in philosophy: the nature of truth, knowledge and rationality. His aim is to break down the fixed categories of thought which have always appeared to define and constrain the permissible solutions to these problems.
  • Belief and the Basis of Meaning.Donald Davidson - 1974 - Synthese 27 (July-August):309-323.
    A theory of radical interpretation gives the meanings of all sentences of a language, and can be verified by evidence available to someone who does not understand the language. Such evidence cannot include detailed information concerning the beliefs and intentions of speakers, and therefore the theory must simultaneously interpret the utterances of speakers and specify (some of) his beliefs. Analogies and connections with decision theory suggest the kind of theory that will serve for radical interpretation, and how permissible evidence can (...)
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  • Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
  • Eligibility and Inscrutability.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):361-399.
    Inscrutability arguments threaten to reduce interpretationist metasemantic theories to absurdity. Can we find some way to block the arguments? A highly influential proposal in this regard is David Lewis’ ‘ eligibility ’ response: some theories are better than others, not because they fit the data better, but because they are framed in terms of more natural properties. The purposes of this paper are to outline the nature of the eligibility proposal, making the case that it is not ad hoc, but (...)
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  • Biosemantics.Ruth G. Millikan - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (July):281-97.
  • Putnam’s Paradox.David K. Lewis - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):221 – 236.
  • Necessary Intentionality: A Study in the Metaphysics of Aboutness.Ori Simchen - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    This book argues that words and thoughts are typically about whatever they are about necessarily rather than contingently. The argument proceeds by articulating a requisite modal background and then bringing this background to bear on cognitive matters, notably the intentionality of cognitive episodes and states. The modal picture that emerges from the first two chapters is a strongly particularist one whereby possibilities reduce to possibilities for particular things (or pluralities thereof) where the latter are determined by the natures of the (...)
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  • Token-Reflexivity.Ori Simchen - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (4):173-193.
    Token-reflexivity is commonly understood as reference of a token to a token of which it is a part, proper or not. It may be compared with its familiar formal kin – Gödelian reflexivity. In this paper the possibility of the latter type of construction in a formal setting provides a stark point of contrast with token-reflexivity understood as token self-reference, a purported species of natural phenomena, with the token-reflexives themselves understood as the bearers of self-reference. I argue that there is (...)
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  • Compare and Contrast Dretske, Fodor, and Millikan on Teleosemantics.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1990 - Philosophical Topics 18 (2):151-61.
  • Realism with a Human Face.Hilary PUTNAM - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
    Putnam's goal is to embed philosophy in social life. The first part of this book is dedicated to metaphysical questions.
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  • Tractatus logico-philosophicus.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1922 - Filosoficky Casopis 52:336-341.
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  • Semantics and Context-Dependence: Towards a Strawsonian Account.Richard Heck - 2014 - In Brett Sherman & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 327-364.
    This paper considers a now familiar argument that the ubiquity of context -dependence threatens the project of natural language semantics, at least as that project has usually been conceived: as concerning itself with `what is said' by an utterance of a given sentence. I argue in response that the `anti-semantic' argument equivocates at a crucial point and, therefore, that we need not choose between semantic minimalism, truth-conditional pragmatism, and the like. Rather, we must abandon the idea, familiar from Kaplan and (...)
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  • Reality Without Reference.Donald Davidson - 1977 - Dialectica 31 (1):247--53.
    SummaryA dilemma concerning reference is posed: on the one hand it seems essential, if we are to give an account of truth, to first give an account of reference. On the other hand, reference is more remote than truth from the evidence in behavior on which a radical theory of language must depend, since words refer only in the context of sentences, and it is sentences which are needed to promote human purposes. The solution which is proposed is to treat (...)
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  • Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1980 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
    _Naming and Necessity_ has had a great and increasing influence. It redirected philosophical attention to neglected questions of natural and metaphysical necessity and to the connections between these and theories of naming, and of identity. This seminal work, to which today's thriving essentialist metaphysics largely owes its impetus, is here reissued in a newly corrected form with a new preface by the author. If there is such a thing as essential reading in metaphysics, or in philosophy of language, this is (...)
     
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  • Biosemantics.Ruth Millikan - 1989 - In Brian P. McLaughlin & Ansgar Beckerman (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 281--297.
    " Biosemantics " was the title of a paper on mental representation originally printed in The Journal of Philosophy in 1989. It contained a much abbreviated version of the work on mental representation in Language Thought and Other Biological Categories. There I had presented a naturalist theory of intentional signs generally, including linguistic representations, graphs, charts and diagrams, road sign symbols, animal communications, the "chemical signals" that regulate the function of glands, and so forth. But the term " biosemantics " (...)
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  • Craziness and Metasemantics.John Hawthorne - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):427-440.
  • Is Water Necessarily H2O.Hilary Putnam - 1990 - In James Conant (ed.), Realism with a Human Face. Harvard University Press. pp. 54--79.
     
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  • Realism and the Renegade Putnam: A Critical Study of Meaning and the Moral Sciences.Michael Devitt - 1983 - Noûs 17 (2):291-301.
  • Speaker Intentions in Context.Jeffrey C. King - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):219-237.
  • The Model-Theoretic Argument Against Realism.G. H. Merrill - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (1):69-81.
    In "Realism and Reason" Hilary Putnam has offered an apparently strong argument that the position of metaphysical realism provides an incoherent model of the relation of a correct scientific theory to the world. However, although Putnam's attack upon the notion of the "intended" interpretation of a scientific theory is sound, it is shown here that realism may be formulated in such a way that the realist need make no appeal to any "intended" interpretation of such a theory. Consequently, it can (...)
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  • Variables Explained Away.W. V. Quine - 1967 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 32 (1):112-112.
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  • Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
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  • Craziness and Metasemantics.John Hawthorne - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):427-440.
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  • Afterthoughts.David Kaplan - 1989 - In J. Almog, J. Perry & H. Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 565-614.
  • Metasemantics and Legal Interpretation.Ori Simchen - 2015 - In George Pavlakos & Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco (eds.), Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Agency. Cambridge University Press. pp. 72-92.
    There is a familiar disagreement between Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court and Ronald Dworkin over whether the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution could be plausibly interpreted so as to prohibit capital punishment. The dispute reflects a deep divergence in approach to statutory interpretation. I explore this divergence by paying particularly close attention to its metasemantic background. I then argue that the metasemantic orientation clearly vindicates the Dworkinian side.
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  • Reality Without Reference.Donald Davidson - 1977 - Dialectica 31 (3-4):247-258.
    SummaryA dilemma concerning reference is posed: on the one hand it seems essential, if we are to give an account of truth, to first give an account of reference. On the other hand, reference is more remote than truth from the evidence in behavior on which a radical theory of language must depend, since words refer only in the context of sentences, and it is sentences which are needed to promote human purposes. The solution which is proposed is to treat (...)
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  • A Companion to the Philosophy of Language.Bob Hale & Crispin Wright - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (196):405-409.
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  • A Companion to the Philosophy of Language.R. Hole & C. J. G. Wright (eds.) - 1997 - Blackwell.
  • Ontological Relativity: The Dewey Lectures 1969.Willard V. Quine - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):185-212.