Order:
See also
Alex Silk
University of Birmingham
  1.  54
    Nietzsche and Contemporary Metaethics.Alex Silk - 2018 - In Paul Katsafanas (ed.), Routledge Philosophical Minds: The Nietzschean Mind. Routledge.
    Recent decades have witnessed a flurry of interest in Nietzsche's metaethics — his views, if any, on metaphysical, epistemological, semantic, and psychological issues about normativity and normative language and judgment. Various authors have highlighted a tension between Nietzsche's metaethical views about value and his ardent endorsement of a particular evaluative perspective: Although Nietzsche makes apparently "antirealist" claims to the effect that there are no evaluative facts, he vehemently engages in evaluative discourse and enjoins the "free spirits" to create values. Nearly (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2.  30
    Theories of Vagueness and Theories of Law.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Legal Theory.
    It is common to think that what theory of linguistic vagueness is correct has implications for debates in philosophy of law. I disagree. I argue that the implications of particular theories of vagueness on substantive issues of legal theory and practice are less far-reaching than often thought. I focus on four putative implications discussed in the literature concerning (i) the value of vagueness in the law, (ii) the possibility and value of legal indeterminacy, (iii) the possibility of the rule of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Weak and Strong Necessity Modals: On Linguistic Means of Expressing "A Primitive Concept OUGHT".Alex Silk - forthcoming - In Meaning, Decision, and Norms: Themes from the Work of Allan Gibbard.
    This paper develops an account of the meaning of `ought', and the distinction between weak necessity modals (`ought', `should') and strong necessity modals (`must', `have to'). I argue that there is nothing specially ``strong'' about strong necessity modals per se: uses of `Must p' predicate the (deontic/epistemic/etc.) necessity of the prejacent p of the actual world (evaluation world). The apparent ``weakness'' of weak necessity modals derives from their bracketing whether the necessity of the prejacent is verified in the actual world. (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  4.  78
    Truth Conditions and the Meanings of Ethical Terms1.Alex Silk - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 8:195.
  5.  84
    How to Be an Ethical Expressivist.Alex Silk - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):47-81.
    Expressivism promises an illuminating account of the nature of normative judgment. But worries about the details of expressivist semantics have led many to doubt whether expressivism's putative advantages can be secured. Drawing on insights from linguistic semantics and decision theory, I develop a novel framework for implementing an expressivist semantics that I call ordering expressivism. I argue that by systematically interpreting the orderings that figure in analyses of normative terms in terms of the basic practical attitude of conditional weak preference, (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  6.  87
    Evidence Sensitivity in Weak Necessity Deontic Modals.Alex Silk - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):691-723.
    Kolodny and MacFarlane have made a pioneering contribution to our understanding of how the interpretation of deontic modals can be sensitive to evidence and information. But integrating the discussion of information-sensitivity into the standard Kratzerian framework for modals suggests ways of capturing the relevant data without treating deontic modals as “informational modals” in their sense. I show that though one such way of capturing the data within the standard semantics fails, an alternative does not. Nevertheless I argue that we have (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  7.  59
    Why 'Ought' Detaches: Or, Why You Ought to Get with My Friends (If You Want to Be My Lover).Alex Silk - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    This paper argues that a standard analysis of modals from formal semantics suggests a solution to the detaching problem — the problem of whether un-embedded 'ought'-claims can "detach" (be derived) from hypothetical imperatives and their antecedent conditions. On a broadly Kratzerian analysis, modals have a skeletal conventional meaning and receive a particular reading (e.g., deontic, epistemic, teleological) only relative to certain forms of contextual supplementation. I argue that 'ought'-claims can detach — subject to an important qualification — but only as (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  8.  7
    Modality, Weights and Inconsistent Premise Sets.Alex Silk - 2017 - Journal of Semantics 34 (4):683-707.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  9.  85
    Nietzschean Constructivism: Ethics and Metaethics for All and None.Alex Silk - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (3):244-280.
    This paper develops an interpretation of Nietzsche’s ethics and metaethics that reconciles his apparent antirealism with his engagement in normative discourse. Interpreting Nietzsche as a metaethical constructivist—as holding, to a first approximation, that evaluative facts are grounded purely in facts about the evaluative attitudes of the creatures to whom they apply—reconciles his vehement declarations that nothing is valuable in itself with his passionate expressions of a particular evaluative perspective and injunctions for the free spirits to create new values. Drawing on (...)
    Direct download (10 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  10.  14
    Expectation Biases and Context Management with Negative Polar Questions.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    This paper examines distinctive discourse properties of preposed negative 'yes/no' questions (NPQs), such as 'Isn't Jane coming too?'. Unlike with other polar questions, using an NPQ ~p? invariably conveys a bias toward a particular answer, where the polarity of the bias is opposite of the polarity of the question: using the negative question ~p? invariably expresses that the speaker previously expected the positive answer p to be correct. A prominent approach — what I call the 'context-management approach', developed most extensively (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11.  10
    Normativity in Language and Law.Alex Silk - forthcoming - In David Plunkett, Kevin Toh & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter develops an account of the meaning and use of various types of legal claims, and uses this account to inform debates about the nature and normativity of law. The account draws on a general framework for implementing a contextualist theory, called 'Discourse Contextualism' (Silk 2016). The aim of Discourse Contextualism is to derive the apparent normativity of claims of law from a particular contextualist interpretation of a standard semantics for modals, along with general principles of interpretation and conversation. (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12. Having It Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern Metaethics1.Alex Silk - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):197-211.
  13.  70
    Accommodation and Negotiation with Context‐Sensitive Expressions.Alex Silk - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):115-123.
    Contextualists and relativists about predicates of personal taste, epistemic modals, and so on (“CR-expressions”) agree that the interpretation of these expressions depends, in some sense, on context. Relativists claim that the sort of context-sensitivity exhibited by CR-expressions is importantly different from that exhibited by paradigm context-sensitive expressions. This bifurcation is often motivated by the claim that the two classes of expressions behave differently in patterns of agreement and disagreement. I provide cases illustrating that the same sorts of discourse phenomena that (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  14.  27
    How to Embed an Epistemic Modal: Attitude Problems and Other Defects of Character.Alex Silk - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1773-1799.
    This paper develops a contextualist account of certain recalcitrant embedding phenomena with epistemic modals. I focus on three prominent objections to contextualism from embedding: first, that contextualism mischaracterizes subjects’ states of mind; second, that contextualism fails to predict how epistemic modals are obligatorily linked to the subject in attitude ascriptions; and third, that contextualism fails to explain the persisting anomalousness of so-called “epistemic contradictions” in suppositional contexts. Contextualists have inadequately appreciated the force of these objections. Drawing on a more general (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15.  7
    Commitment and States of Mind with Mood and Modality.Alex Silk - 2018 - Natural Language Semantics 26 (2):125-166.
    This paper develops an account of mood selection with attitude predicates in French. I start by examining the “contextual commitment” account of mood developed by Portner and Rubinstein Proceedings of SALT 22, CLC Publications, Ithaca, NY, pp 461–487, 2012). A key innovation of Portner and Rubinstein’s account is to treat mood selection as fundamentally depending on a relation between individuals’ attitudes and the predicate’s modal backgrounds. I raise challenges for P&R’s qualitative analysis of contextual commitment and explanations of mood selection. (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16.  31
    Whither Anankastics?Billy Dunaway & Alex Silk - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):75-94.
  17.  51
    Review of Shafer-Landau, Russ, (Ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 6. [REVIEW]Alex Silk - 2012 - Ethics 122 (3):622-627.
  18.  46
    Discourse Contextualism: A Framework for Contextualist Semantics and Pragmatics.Alex Silk - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book investigates context-sensitivity in natural language by examining the meaning and use of a target class of theoretically recalcitrant expressions. These expressions-including epistemic vocabulary, normative and evaluative vocabulary, and vague language -exhibit systematic differences from paradigm context-sensitive expressions in their discourse dynamics and embedding properties. Many researchers have responded by rethinking the nature of linguistic meaning and communication. Drawing on general insights about the role of context in interpretation and collaborative action, Silk develops an improved contextualist theory of CR-expressions (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19. Metaethical Contextualism.Alex Silk - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 102-118.
    No categories
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20. Shafer-Landau, Russ, Ed. Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Vol. 6. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pp. 320. $99.00 ; $40.00. [REVIEW]Alex Silk - 2012 - Ethics 122 (3):622-627.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  21. Semantic with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - manuscript
    This manuscript develops a framework for compositional semantics and begins illustrating its fruitfulness by applying it to a spectrum of core linguistic data, such as with quantifiers, attitude ascriptions, relative clauses, conditionals, and questions. The key move is to introduce variables for assignment functions into the syntax; semantic values are treated systematically in terms of sets of assignments, theoretically interpreted as representing possibilities. The framework provides an alternative to traditional ``context-index''-style frameworks descending from Kamp/Kaplan/Lewis/Stalnaker. A principal feature of the account (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark