Results for 'Meaning'

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  1. American Philosophers' Ideas of Ultimate Reality and Meaning.Andrew J. Reck & Institute for Encyclopedia of Human Ideas on Ultimate Reality and Meaning - 1994
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  2. The No-Self View and the Meaning of Life.Baptiste Le Bihan - forthcoming - Philosophy East and West 69 (2).
    Several philosophers, both in Buddhist and Western philosophy, claim that the self does not exist. The no-self view may, at first glance, appear to be a reason to believe that life is meaningless. In the present article, I argue indirectly in favor of the no-self view by showing that it does not entail that life is meaningless. I then examine Buddhism and argue, further, that the no-self view may even be construed as partially grounding an account of the meaning (...)
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  3.  75
    The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason.Mark L. Johnson - 1987 - University of Chicago Press.
    "There are books—few and far between—which carefully, delightfully, and genuinely turn your head inside out. This is one of them. It ranges over some central issues in Western philosophy and begins the long overdue job of giving us a radically new account of meaning, rationality, and objectivity."—Yaakov Garb, _San Francisco Chronicle_.
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  4.  86
    Animal Agency, Captivity, and Meaning.Nicolas Delon - forthcoming - The Harvard Review of Philosophy.
    Can animals be agents? Do they want to be free? Can they have meaningful lives? If so, should we change the way we treat them? This paper offers an account of animal agency and of two continuums: between human and nonhuman agency, and between wildness and captivity. It describes how a wide range of human activities impede on animals’ freedom and argues that, in doing so, we deprive a wide range of animals of opportunities to exercise their agency in ways (...)
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  5. Hard-Incompatibilist Existentialism: Neuroscience, Punishment, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom & Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
    As philosophical and scientific arguments for free will skepticism continue to gain traction, we are likely to see a fundamental shift in the way people think about free will and moral responsibility. Such shifts raise important practical and existential concerns: What if we came to disbelieve in free will? What would this mean for our interpersonal relationships, society, morality, meaning, and the law? What would it do to our standing as human beings? Would it cause nihilism and despair as (...)
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  6.  47
    Aristotle on the Meaning of Life.Monte Johnson - 2018 - In Stephen Leach & James Tartaglia (eds.), The Meaning of Life and the Great Philosophers. London: Routledge. pp. 56-64.
    Aristotle is the first philosopher on record to subject the meaning of life to systematic philosophical examination: he approaches the issue from logical, psychological, biological, and anthropological perspectives in some of the central passages in the Corpus Aristotelicum and, it turns out, in some fragments from his (lost) early popular work the Protrepticus (Exhortation to Philosophy). From an Aristotelian perspective, in asking about life’s “meaning”, we may be asking either a theoretical question about the definition of the term (...)
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  7. Varieties of Meaning: The 2002 Jean Nicod Lectures.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2004 - MIT Press.
    How the various things that are said to have meaning—purpose, natural signs, linguistic signs, perceptions, and thoughts—are related to one another.
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  8.  68
    Meaning.Paul Horwich - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    In this new book, the author of the classic Truth presents an original theory of meaning, demonstrates its richness, and defends it against all contenders. He surveys the diversity of twentieth-century philosophical insights into meaning and shows that his theory can reconcile these with a common-sense view of meaning as derived from use. Meaning and its companion volume Truth (now published in a revised edition) together demystify two central issues in philosophy and offer a controversial but (...)
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  9.  22
    From Meaning to Content.Francois Recanati - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    According to a widespread picture due to Kaplan, there are two levels of semantic value: character and content. Character is determined by the grammar, and it determines content with respect to context. In this chapter Recanati criticizes that picture on several grounds. He shows that we need more than two levels, and rejects the determination thesis: that linguistic meaning as determined by grammar determines content. Grammatical meaning does not determine assertoric content, he argues, but merely constrains it — (...)
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  10. Will Life Be Worth Living in a World Without Work? Technological Unemployment and the Meaning of Life.John Danaher - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (1):41-64.
    Suppose we are about to enter an era of increasing technological unemployment. What implications does this have for society? Two distinct ethical/social issues would seem to arise. The first is one of distributive justice: how will the efficiency gains from automated labour be distributed through society? The second is one of personal fulfillment and meaning: if people no longer have to work, what will they do with their lives? In this article, I set aside the first issue and focus (...)
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  11. God, the Meaning of Life, and a New Argument for Atheism.Jason Megill & Dan Linford - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (1):31-47.
    We raise various puzzles about the relationship between God and the meaning of life. These difficulties suggest that, even if we assume that God exists, and even if God’s existence would entail that our lives have meaning, God is not and could not be the source of the meaning of life. We conclude by discussing implications of our arguments: these claims can be used in a novel argument for atheism; these claims undermine an extant argument for God’s (...)
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  12. Why We Should Create Artificial Offspring: Meaning and the Collective Afterlife.John Danaher - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (4):1097-1118.
    This article argues that the creation of artificial offspring could make our lives more meaningful. By ‘artificial offspring’ I mean beings that we construct, with a mix of human and non-human-like qualities. Robotic artificial intelligences are paradigmatic examples of the form. There are two reasons for thinking that the creation of such beings could make our lives more meaningful and valuable. The first is that the existence of a collective afterlife—i.e. a set of human-like lives that continue after we die—is (...)
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  13. Meaning.Stephen Schiffer - 1972 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.
    What is it for marks or sounds to have meaning, and what is it for someone to mean something in producing them? Answering these and related questions, Schiffer explores communication, speech acts, convention, and the meaning of linguistic items in this reissue of a seminal work on the foundations of meaning. A new introduction takes account of recent developments and places his theory in a broader context.
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  14. Truth and Meaning.Robert C. Cummins - 2002 - In Joseph Keim-Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth: Investigations in Philosophical Semantics. Seven Bridges Press. pp. 175-197.
    D O N A L D D AV I D S O N’S “ Meaning and Truth,” re vo l u t i o n i zed our conception of how truth and meaning are related (Davidson    ). In that famous art i c l e , Davidson put forw a rd the bold conjecture that meanings are satisfaction conditions, and that a Tarskian theory of truth for a language is a theory of meaning (...)
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  15. Swampman, Response-Dependence, and Meaning.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2012 - In Gerhard Preyer (ed.), Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental. Oxford University Press.
    Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig correctly observe that Donald Davidson’s account of radical interpretation is in tension with his Swampman thought experiment. Nonetheless, I argue, they fail to see the extent of Davidson’s tension—and so do not handle it adequately—because they fail to appreciate that the thought experiment pits two incompatible response-dependent accounts of meaning against one another. I take an account of meaning to be response-dependent just in case it links the meaning of terms in an (...)
     
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  16. Meaning, Truth and Interpretation.Kirk Ludwig - 1999 - In Ursula Zeglen (ed.), Discussions with Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning and Knowledge. pp. 27-46.
    This paper distinguishes two projects in Davidson's theory of meaning, an initial project of providing a compositional meaning theory for a natural language for which a Tarski-style truth theory is pressed into service and an extended project that aims to illuminate the basis of meaning in its relation to the neutrally described behavioral evidence in terms of which an interpretive truth theory for a language can ultimately be confirmed, and then argues that having distinguished the two projects (...)
     
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  17.  26
    Mind and Meaning.Brian Loar - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
    Is linguistic meaning to be accounted for independently of the states of mind of language users, or can it only be explained in terms of them? If the latter, what account of the mental states in question avoids circularity? In this book Brian Loar offers a subtle and comprehensive theory which both preserves the natural priority of the mind in explanations of meaning, and gives an independent characterisation of its features. It is a commonplace that in making decisions (...)
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  18.  96
    Reflections on Meaning.Paul Horwich - 2005 - Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
    Paul Horwich's main aim in Reflections on Meaning is to explain how mere noises, marks, gestures, and mental symbols are able to capture the world--that is, how words and sentences (in whatever medium) come to mean what they do, to stand for certain things, to be true or false of reality. His answer is a groundbreaking development of Wittgenstein's idea that the meaning of a term is nothing more than its use. While the chapters here have appeared as (...)
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  19.  67
    Propositions, Meaning, and Names.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (3):335-362.
    The object of this paper is to sketch an approach to propositions, meaning and names. The key ingredients are a Twin-Earth-inspired distinction between internal and external meaning, and a middle-Wittgenstein-inspired conception of internal meaning as role in language system. The focus here is not on working out all the details, but on outlining the approach and showing how it offers a promising solution to the problem of the meaning of proper names. This is a plea for (...)
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  20. Meaning and Mental Representation.Robert C. Cummins - 1989 - MIT Press.
  21.  95
    Meaning in the Lives of Humans and Other Animals.Duncan Purves & Nicolas Delon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):317-338.
    This paper argues that contemporary philosophical literature on meaning in life has important implications for the debate about our obligations to non-human animals. If animal lives can be meaningful, then practices including factory farming and animal research might be morally worse than ethicists have thought. We argue for two theses about meaning in life: that the best account of meaningful lives must take intentional action to be necessary for meaning—an individual’s life has meaning if and only (...)
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  22. The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding.Mark Johnson - 2007 - University of Chicago Press.
    In _The Meaning of the Body_, Mark Johnson continues his pioneering work on the exciting connections between cognitive science, language, and meaning first begun in the classic _Metaphors We Live By_. Johnson uses recent research into infant psychology to show how the body generates meaning even before self-consciousness has fully developed. From there he turns to cognitive neuroscience to further explore the bodily origins of meaning, thought, and language and examines the many dimensions of meaning—including (...)
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  23.  25
    Meaning.Michael Polanyi - 1975 - University of Chicago Press.
    Published very shortly before his death in February 1976, Meaning is the culmination of Michael Polanyi's philosophic endeavors.
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  24.  26
    The Measurement of Meaning.Charles Egerton Osgood - 1957 - London: Urbana, University of Illinois Press.
    THE LOGIC OF SEMANTIC DIFFERENTIATION Apart from the studies to be reported here, there have been few, if any, systematic attempts to subject meaning to..
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  25. Polysemy and Word Meaning: An Account of Lexical Meaning for Different Kinds of Content Words.Agustin Vicente - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):947-968.
    There is an ongoing debate about the meaning of lexical words, i.e., words that contribute with content to the meaning of sentences. This debate has coincided with a renewal in the study of polysemy, which has taken place in the psycholinguistics camp mainly. There is already a fruitful interbreeding between two lines of research: the theoretical study of lexical word meaning, on the one hand, and the models of polysemy psycholinguists present, on the other. In this paper (...)
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  26.  85
    Reasoning, Meaning, and Mind.Gilbert Harman - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
    In this important new collection, Gilbert Harman presents a selection of fifteen interconnected essays on fundamental issues at the center of analytic philosophy. The book opens with a group of four essays discussing basic principles of reasoning and rationality. The next three essays argue against the once popular idea that certain claims are true and knowable by virtue of meaning. In the third group of essays Harman presents his own view of meaning and the possibility of thinking in (...)
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  27. The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
    I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible (...)
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  28. The Sense of Natural Meaning in Conscious Inference.Anders Nes - 2016 - In T. Breyer & C. Gutland (eds.), Phenomenology of Thinking. Routledge. pp. 97-115.
    The paper addresses the phenomenology of inference. It proposes that the conscious character of conscious inferences is partly constituted by a sense of meaning; specifically, a sense of what Grice called ‘natural meaning’. In consciously drawing the (outright, categorical) conclusion that Q from a presumed fact that P, one senses the presumed fact that P as meaning that Q, where ‘meaning that’ expresses natural meaning. This sense of natural meaning is phenomenologically analogous, I suggest, (...)
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  29.  15
    Millikan, Meaning and Minimalism.Emma Borg - 2018 - Theoria 84 (3):242-258.
    Across a series of seminal works, Ruth Millikan has produced a compelling and comprehensive naturalised account of content. With respect to linguistic meaning, her ground breaking approach has been to analyse the meaning of a linguistic term via the function it performs which has been responsible for securing the term’s survival. This way of looking at things has significant repercussions for a number of recent debates in philosophy of language. This paper explores these repercussions through the lens of (...)
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  30. A Theory of Practical Meaning.Carlotta Pavese - 2017 - Philosophical Topics 45 (2):65-96.
    This essay is divided into two parts. In the first part (§2), I introduce the idea of practical meaning by looking at a certain kind of procedural systems — the motor system — that play a central role in computational explanations of motor behavior. I argue that in order to give a satisfactory account of the content of the representations computed by motor systems (motor commands), we need to appeal to a distinctively practical kind of meaning. Defending the (...)
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  31. Consequentialism About Meaning in Life.Ben Bramble - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (4):445-459.
    What is it for a life to be meaningful? In this article, I defend what I call Consequentialism about Meaning in Life, the view that one's life is meaningful at time t just in case one's surviving at t would be good in some way, and one's life was meaningful considered as a whole just in case the world was made better in some way for one's having existed.
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  32. Philosophic Communities of Inquiry: The Search for and Finding of Meaning as the Basis for Developing a Sense of Responsibility.Arie Kizel - 2017 - Childhood and Philosophy 13 (26):87 - 103.
    The attempt to define meaning arouses numerous questions, such as whether life can be meaningful without actions devoted to a central purpose or whether the latter guarantee a meaningful life. Communities of inquiry are relevant in this context because they create relationships within and between people and the environment. The more they address relations—social, cognitive, emotional, etc.—that tie-in with the children’s world even if not in a concrete fashion, the more they enable young people to search for and find (...)
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  33. What is the Normativity of Meaning?Daniel Whiting - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):219-238.
    There has been much debate over whether to accept the claim that meaning is normative. One obstacle to making progress in that debate is that it is not always clear what the claim amounts to. In this paper, I try to resolve a dispute between those who advance the claim concerning how it should be understood. More specifically, I critically examine two competing conceptions of the normativity of meaning, rejecting one and defending the other. Though the paper aims (...)
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  34. Meaning and Normativity.Allan Gibbard - 1994 - Philosophical Issues 5:95-115.
    The concepts of meaning and mental content resist naturalistic analysis. This is because they are normative: they depend on ideas of how things ought to be.
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  35.  58
    Nondescriptive Meaning and Reference: An Ideational Semantics.Wayne A. Davis - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    Wayne Davis presents a highly original approach to the foundations of semantics, showing how the so-called "expression" theory of meaning can handle names and other problematic cases of nondescriptive meaning. The fact that thoughts have parts ("ideas" or "concepts") is fundamental: Davis argues that like other unstructured words, names mean what they do because they are conventionally used to express atomic or basic ideas. In the process he shows that many pillars of contemporary philosophical semantics, from twin earth (...)
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  36. Truth and Meaning: Essays in Semantics.Gareth Evans & John McDowell (eds.) - 1976 - Clarendon Press.
    Truth and Meaning is a classic collection of original essays on fundamental questions in the philosophy of language.
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  37. Brandom's Inferentialist Theory and the Meaning Entitlement Connection.Alessia Marabini - 2018 - In Hamdi Mlika (ed.), Lectures de Robert Brandom. Edilivre. pp. 51-90.
    According to Brandom’s conceptual role semantics, to grasp a concept involves a commitment to drawing certain inferences. This is a consequence of the inferentialist thesis that the meaning of a term is given by its justification through assertibility conditions. Inferential commitments come out from a material notion of inference which underwrites human rational discourse and activity. In this paper I discuss a problem of Brandom’s semantics allegedly exposed in an argument by Paul Boghossian against Dummett’s and Brandom’s substantive conception (...)
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  38.  36
    Truth in Virtue of Meaning.Gillian Kay Russell - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
    The analytic/synthetic distinction looks simple. It is a distinction between two different kinds of sentence. Synthetic sentences are true in part because of the way the world is, and in part because of what they mean. Analytic sentences - like all bachelors are unmarried and triangles have three sides - are different. They are true in virtue of meaning, so no matter what the world is like, as long as the sentence means what it does, it will be true. (...)
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  39. Merleau-Ponty, Gibson and the Materiality of Meaning.John T. Sanders - 1993 - Man and World 26 (3):287-302.
    While there are numerous differences between the approaches taken by Maurice Merleau-Ponty and James J. Gibson, the basic motivation of the two thinkers, as well as the internal logic of their respective views, is extraordinarily close. Both were guided throughout their lives by an attempt to overcome the dualism of subject and object, and both devoted considerable attention to their "Gestaltist" predecessors. There can be no doubt but that it is largely because of this common cause that the subsequent development (...)
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  40. Is Meaning in Life Comparable?: From the Viewpoint of ‘The Heart of Meaning in Life’.Masahiro Morioka - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 5 (3):50-65.
    The aim of this paper is to propose a new approach to the question of meaning in life by criticizing Thaddeus Metz’s objectivist theory in his book Meaning in Life: An Analytic Study. I propose the concept of “the heart of meaning in life,” which alone can answer the question, “Alas, does my life like this have any meaning at all?” and I demonstrate that “the heart of meaning in life” cannot be compared, in principle, (...)
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  41.  64
    Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Meaning.Nathan U. Salmon - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysics, Mathematics, and Meaning brings together Nathan Salmon's influential papers on topics in the metaphysics of existence, non-existence, and fiction; modality and its logic; strict identity, including personal identity; numbers and numerical quantifiers; the philosophical significance of Godel's Incompleteness theorems; and semantic content and designation. Including a previously unpublished essay and a helpful new introduction to orient the reader, the volume offers rich and varied sustenance for philosophers and logicians.
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  42. Playing God in Frankenstein's Footsteps: Synthetic Biology and the Meaning of Life. [REVIEW]Henk van den Belt - 2009 - NanoEthics 3 (3):257-268.
    The emergent new science of synthetic biology is challenging entrenched distinctions between, amongst others, life and non-life, the natural and the artificial, the evolved and the designed, and even the material and the informational. Whenever such culturally sanctioned boundaries are breached, researchers are inevitably accused of playing God or treading in Frankenstein’s footsteps. Bioethicists, theologians and editors of scientific journals feel obliged to provide an authoritative answer to the ambiguous question of the ‘meaning’ of life, both as a scientific (...)
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  43. Meaning in Life and the Metaphysics of Value.Daan Evers - 2017 - De Ethica 4 (3):27-44.
    According to subjectivist views about a meaningful life, one's life is meaningful in virtue of desire satisfaction or feelings of fulfilment. Standard counterexamples consist of satisfaction found through trivial or immoral tasks. In response to such examples, many philosophers require that the tasks one is devoted to are objectively valuable, or have objectively valuable consequences. I argue that the counterexamples to subjectivism do not require objective value for meaning in life. I also consider other reasons for thinking that (...) in life requires objective value and raise doubts about their strength. Finally, I argue that beauty is not plausibly objective, but that it seems important for meaning. This puts pressure on the objectivist to explain why objectivity matters in the case of other values. (shrink)
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  44.  13
    Wittgenstein: Meaning and Judgement.Michael Luntley - 2003 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    In this important study, Michael Luntley offers a compelling reading of Wittgenstein’s account of meaning and intentionality, based upon a unifying theme in the early and later philosophies. A compelling reading of Wittgenstein’s account of meaning and intentionality. Offers an important and original reading of Wittgenstein’s key texts. Based upon a unifying theme in Wittgenstein’s early and later philosophies.
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  45.  57
    Belief and Meaning: The Unity and Locality of Mental Content.Akeel Bilgrami - 1992 - Blackwell.
    Belief and Meaning is a philosophical treatment of intentionality. It offers an original, logical and convincing account of intentional content which is local and contextual and which takes issues with standard theories of meaning.
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  46. Intuitions About Disagreement Do Not Support the Normativity of Meaning.Derek Baker - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (1):65-84.
    Allan Gibbard () argues that the term ‘meaning’ expresses a normative concept, primarily on the basis of arguments that parallel Moore's famous Open Question Argument. In this paper I argue that Gibbard's evidence for normativity rests on idiosyncrasies of the Open Question Argument, and that when we use related thought experiments designed to bring out unusual semantic intuitions associated with normative terms we fail to find such evidence. These thought experiments, moreover, strongly suggest there are basic requirements for a (...)
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  47. Jackson’s Classical Model of Meaning.Laura Schroeter & John Bigelow - 2009 - In Ian Ravenscroft (ed.), Minds, Ethics, and Conditionals: Themes from the Philosophy of Frank Jackson. Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson often writes as if his descriptivist account of public language meanings were just plain common sense. How else are we to explain how different speakers manage to communicate using a public language? And how else can we explain how individuals arrive at confident judgments about the reference of their words in hypothetical scenarios? Our aim in this paper is to show just how controversial the psychological assumptions behind in Jackson’s semantic theory really are. First, we explain how Jackson’s (...)
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  48. Against Metaphorical Meaning.Ernest Lepore & Matthew Stone - 2010 - Topoi 29 (2):165-180.
    The commonplace view about metaphorical interpretation is that it can be characterized in traditional semantic and pragmatic terms, thereby assimilating metaphor to other familiar uses of language. We will reject this view, and propose in its place the view that, though metaphors can issue in distinctive cognitive and discourse effects, they do so without issuing in metaphorical meaning and truth, and so, without metaphorical communication. Our inspiration derives from Donald Davidson’s critical arguments against metaphorical meaning and Richard Rorty’s (...)
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  49. Tensed Meaning.Heather Dyke - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Research 28:65-81.
    If, as the new B-theory of time maintains, tensed sentences have tenseless truth conditions, it follows that it is possible for two sentence-tokens to have the sametruth conditions but different meanings. This conclusion forces a rethink of the traditional identification of truth conditions with meaning. There is an aspect of the meanings of tensed sentences that is not captured by their truth conditions, and that has so far eluded explanation. In this paper I intend to locate, examine, and explain (...)
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  50.  58
    Feeling, Meaning, and Intentionality—a Critique of the Neuroaesthetics of Beauty.Peer F. Bundgaard - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):781-801.
    This article addresses the phenomenology of aesthetic experience. It first, critically, considers one of the most influential approaches to the psychophysics of aesthetic perception, viz. neuroaesthetics. Hereafter, it outlines constitutive tenets of aesthetic perception in terms of a particular intentional relation to the object. The argument comes in three steps. First, I show the inadequacies of the neuroaesthetics of beauty in general and Semir Zeki’s and V.J. Ramachandran’s versions of it in particular. The neuroaesthetics of beauty falls short, because it (...)
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