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Profile: Asa Maria Wikforss (Stockholm University)
  1. Against Content Normativity.Kathrin Glüer & Åsa Wikforss - 2009 - Mind 118 (469):31-70.
    As meaning's claim to normativity has grown increasingly suspect the normativity thesis has shifted to mental content. In this paper, we distinguish two versions of content normativism: 'CE normativism', according to which it is essential to content that certain 'oughts' can be derived from it, and 'CD normativism', according to which content is determined by norms in the first place. We argue that neither type of normativism withstands scrutiny. CE normativism appeals to the fact that there is an essential connection (...)
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  2. Semantic Normativity.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 102 (2):203-26.
    My paper examines the popular idea, defended by Kripke, that meaning is an essentially normative notion. I consider four common versions of this idea and suggest that none of them can be supported, either because the alleged normativity has nothing to do with normativity or because it cannot plausibly be said that meaning is normative in the sense suggested. I argue that contrary to received opinion, we don’t need normativity to secure the possibility of meaning. I conclude by considering the (...)
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  3. The Normativity of Meaning and Content.Kathrin Glüer & Asa Wikforss - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    There is a long tradition of thinking of language as conventional in its nature, dating back at least to Aristotle De Interpretatione ). By appealing to the role of conventions, it is thought, we can distinguish linguistic signs, the meaningful use of words, from mere natural ‘signs’. During the last century the thesis that language is essentially conventional has played a central role within philosophy of language, and has even been called a platitude (Lewis 1969). More recently, the focus has (...)
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  4.  51
    Are There Understanding-Assent Links?Åsa Wikforss - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1):12.
    It is commonly held that there are internal links between understanding and assent such that being semantically competent with an expression requires accepting certain sentences as true. The paper discusses a recent challenge to this conception of semantic competence, posed by Timothy Williamson. According to Williamson there are no understanding-assent links of the suggested sort, no internal connection between semantic competence and belief. I suggest that Williamson is quite right to question the claim that being semantically competent with an expression (...)
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  5. Social Externalism and Conceptual Errors.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):217-31.
    Ever since Putnam and Burge launched their respective attacks on individualist accounts of meaning the individualist has felt squeezed for space.1 Very little maneuvering room, it seems, is left for the philosopher who wants to deny that meaning and mental content depend on the speaker's social environment. One option, popular amongst individualists, is to grant that reference is socially determined but argue that there is nevertheless a notion of meaning or content that can be understood individualistically. That is, the individualist (...)
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  6. Is Understanding Epistemic in Nature?Gurpreet Rattan & Åsa Wikforss - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2).
    Is understanding epistemic in nature? Does a correct account of what constitutes understanding of a concept mention epistemological notions such as knowledge, justification or epistemic rationality? We defend the view that understanding is epistemic in nature – we defend epistemological conceptions of understanding. We focus our discussion with a critical evaluation of Tim Williamson's challenges to epistemological conceptions of understanding in The Philosophy of Philosophy. Against Williamson, we distinguish three kinds of epistemological conceptions and argue that Williamson's arguments succeed against (...)
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  7. Externalism and a Posteriori Semantics.Sören Häggqvist & Åsa Wikforss - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):373 - 386.
    It is widely held that the meaning of certain types of terms, such as natural kind terms, is individuated externalistically, in terms of the individual's external environment. Recently a more radical thesis has emerged, a thesis we dub 'a posteriori semantics.' The suggestion is that not only does a term's meaning depend on the external environment, but so does its semantics. One motivation for this is the aim to account for cases where a putative natural kind term fails to pick (...)
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  8. Naming Natural Kinds.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2005 - Synthese 145 (1):65-87.
    This paper discusses whether it can be known a priori that a particular term, such as water, is a natural kind term, and how this problem relates to Putnams claim that natural kind terms require an externalist semantics. Two conceptions of natural kind terms are contrasted: The first holds that whether water is a natural kind term depends on its a priori knowable semantic features. The second.
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  9.  32
    Are There Understanding-Assent Links?Åsa Wikforss - 2009 - Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1).
    Abstract: It is commonly held that there are internal links between understanding and assent such that being semantically competent with an expression requires accepting certain sentences as true. The paper discusses a recent challenge to this conception of semantic competence, posed by Timothy Williamson (2007). According to Williamson there are no understanding-assent links of the suggested sort, no internal connection between semantic competence and belief. I suggest that Williamson is quite right to question the claim that being semantically competent with (...)
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  10. Self-Knowledge and Knowledge of Content.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (3):399-424.
    The question of whether content externalism poses a threat to the traditional view of self-knowledge has been much debated. Compatibilists have tried to diffuse the threat by appealing to the self-verifying character of reflexive judgments about our own thoughts, while incompatibilists have strenuously objected that this does not suffice. In my paper I argue that this debate is fundamentally misconceived since it is based, on both sides, on the problematic notion of ‘knowledge of content’. What this shows, I argue, is (...)
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  11. Content Externalism and Fregean Sense.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2006 - In P. Marvan (ed.), What Determines Content? The Internalism/Externalism Dispute. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Can externalist concepts really capture an individual.
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  12.  18
    Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms: Myth and Reality.Sören Häggqvist & Åsa Wikforss - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw041.
    The article examines the role of natural kinds in semantic theorizing, which has largely been conducted in isolation from relevant work in science, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. We argue that the Kripke–Putnam account of natural kind terms, despite recent claims to the contrary, depends on a certain metaphysics of natural kinds; that the metaphysics usually assumed—micro-essentialism—is untenable even in a ‘placeholder’ version; and that the currently popular homeostatic property cluster theory of natural kinds is correct only to an extent (...)
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  13.  44
    Aiming at Truth: On The Role of Belief.Kathrin Glüer & Åsa Wikforss - 2013 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):137-162.
    We explore the possibility of characterizing belief wholly in terms of its first-order functional role, its input (evidence) and output (further beliefs and actions), by addressing some common challenges to the view. One challenge concerns the fact that not all belief is evidence-sensitive. In response to this, normativists and teleo-functionalists have concluded that something over and above functional role is needed, a norm or a telos. We argue that both allow for implausibly much divergence between belief and evidence. Others have (...)
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  14. Semantic Externalism and Psychological Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):158-181.
    Externalism is widely endorsed within contemporary philosophy of mind and language. Despite this, it is far from clear how the externalist thesis should be construed and, indeed, why we should accept it. In this entry I distinguish and examine three central types of externalism: what I call foundational externalism, externalist semantics, and psychological externalism. I suggest that the most plausible version of externalism is not in fact a very radical thesis and does not have any terribly interesting implications for philosophy (...)
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  15.  20
    Are Natural Kind Terms Special?Åsa Wikforss - 2010 - In Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds. Routledge.
    It is commonly assumed that natural kind terms constitute a distinct semantic category. This idea emerged during the 1970's following Kripke's and Putnam's well-known remarks on natural kind terms. The idea has stayed with us, although it is now recognized that the issues are considerably more complex than initially thought. Thus, it has become clear that much of Kripke's and Putnam's discussions were based on rather simplified views of natural kinds. It also turns out that the semantic issues are less (...)
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  16.  99
    Against Belief Normativity.Kathrin Glüer & Åsa Wikforss - 2013 - In Timothy Chan (ed.), The Aim of Belief. Oxford University Press.
    We have argued against the thesis that content is essentially normative (Glüer & Wikforss 2009). In the course of doing so, we also presented some considerations against the thesis that belief is essentially normative. In this paper we clarify and develop these considerations, thereby paving the road for a fully non-normative account of the nature of belief.
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  17.  73
    Bachelors, Energy, Cats and Water: Putnam on Kinds and Kind Terms.Åsa Wikforss - 2013 - Theoria 79 (3):242-261.
    Since Hilary Putnam and Saul Kripke's first attacks on traditional, descriptivist theories of natural kind terms, it has become customary to speak of the ‘Putnam-Kripke’ view of meaning and reference. This article argues that this is a mistake, and that Putnam's account of natural kind terms is importantly different from that of Kripke. In particular, Putnam has from the very start been sceptical of Kripke's modal claims, and in later papers he explicitly rejects the proposal that theoretical identity statements are (...)
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  18. Direct Knowledge and Other Minds.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2004 - Theoria 70 (2-3):271-293.
  19. To the Editor of Theoria.Gustaf Arrhenius, Ingar Brinck, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin, Lena Halldenius, Anna-Sofia Maurin, Folke Tersman & Åsa Wikforss - 2011 - Theoria 77 (3):198-198.
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  20.  80
    Externalism and Incomplete Understanding.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (215):287-294.
    Sarah Sawyer has challenged my claim that social externalism depends on the assumption that individuals have an incomplete grasp of their own concepts. Sawyer denies that Burge's later sofa thought-experiment relies on this assumption: the unifying principle behind the thought-experiments supporting social externalism, she argues, is just that referents play a role in the individuation of concepts. I argue that Sawyer fails to show that social externalism need not rely on the assumption of incomplete understanding. To establish the content externalist (...)
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  21.  61
    Extended Belief and Extended Knowledge.Åsa Wikforss - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):460-481.
    The paper discusses the thesis of extended belief and its implications for the possibility of extending ordinary, personal level knowledge. A common worry is that knowledge will overextend, that there will be ‘cognitive bloat’. If the subject’s standing beliefs can be realized in devices such as notebooks and smart phones, what is there to prevent the conclusion that she knows everything stored on such devices? One response to this worry is to block the move from belief to knowledge, and argue (...)
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  22.  20
    Es Braucht Die Regel Nicht: Wittgenstein on Rules and Meaning.Kathrin Glüer & Åsa Wikforss - 2010 - In Daniel Whiting (ed.), The Later Wittgenstein on Language. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    According to the received view the later Wittgenstein subscribed to the thesis that speaking a language requires being guided by rules (thesis RG). In this paper we question the received view. On its most intuitive reading, we argue, (RG) is very much at odds with central tenets of the later Wittgenstein. Giving up on this reading, however, threatens to deprive the notion of rule-following of any real substance. Consequently, the rule-following considerations cannot charitably be read as a deep and subtle (...)
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  23.  37
    Are There Understanding-Assent Links?Åsa Wikforss - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5.
    Abstract: It is commonly held that there are internal links between understanding and assent such that being semantically competent with an expression requires accepting certain sentences as true. The paper discusses a recent challenge to this conception of semantic competence, posed by Timothy Williamson (2007). According to Williamson there are no understanding-assent links of the suggested sort, no internal connection between semantic competence and belief. I suggest that Williamson is quite right to question the claim that being semantically competent with (...)
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  24.  49
    Still No Guidance: Reply to Steglich‐Petersen.Kathrin Glüer & Åsa Wikforss - 2015 - Theoria 81 (3):272-279.
    In a recent article in this journal, Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen criticizes an argument we have called the “no-guidance argument”. He claims that our argument fails because it “presupposes a much too narrow understanding of what it takes for a norm to influence behaviour” and “betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the point of the truth norm”. If these claims could be substantiated, the no-guidance argument would lose all interest. But Steglich-Petersen's attempt at substantiating them fails. The suggested sense in which the truth (...)
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  25.  78
    An a Posteriori Conception of Analyticity?Åsa Maria Wikforss - 2003 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 66 (1):119-139.
    At the time that Quine wrote "Two Dogmas" an attack on analyticity was considered a simultaneous attack on the very idea of necessary truth. This all changed with Kripke's revival of a non-epistemic, non-linguistic notion of necessity. My paper discusses the question whether we can take Kripke one step further and free analyticity from its epistemic ties, thereby reinstating a notion of analyticity that is immune to Quine's attack, and compatible with his epistemic holism. I discuss this question by examining (...)
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  26.  57
    Color Terms and Semantic Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):399-420.
    The paper discusses whether the color terms should be given an externalist semantics. In the literature on the semantics of color terms externalism is standardly taken for granted, and Twin Earth style arguments play a central role. This is notable given that few people would claim that semantic externalism applies across the board, to all types of terms. Why, then, should the color terms belong with this group of terms? I argue that the standard externalist strategies, introduced by Tyler Burge (...)
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  27.  9
    Review of'Truth in Virtue of Meaning: A Defence of the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction', by Gillian Russell. [REVIEW]Åsa Wikforss - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 12 (10).
  28.  18
    On Self-Knowledge and Grasping the Content of One's Own Thoughts.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2001 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (2):229-260.
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  29.  58
    Review of Jessica Brown, Anti-Individualism and Knowledge[REVIEW]Asa Wikforss - 2005 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13:525-541.
    During the last decade Jessica Brown has been one of the main participants in the on-going debate over the compatibility of anti-individualism and self-knowledge. It is therefore of great interest that she is now publishing a book examining the various epistemological consequences of anti-individualism. The book is divided into three sections. The first discusses the question of whether a subject can have privileged access to her own thoughts, even if the content of her thoughts is construed anti-individualistically. This section contains (...)
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  30.  21
    Our Own Minds. Socio‐Cultural Grounds for Self‐Consciousness.Åsa Wikforss - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):814-816.
    © 2013 The Editors of The Philosophical QuarterlyOpening this book the philosopher might expect a treatise on self‐knowledge. However, despite its title, this is not a book on knowledge of our own minds, or even on self‐consciousness in the usual sense of being conscious of oneself. Rather, it is a book on developmental psychology, spelling out the fascinating details of the development of the human mind with a particular focus on the emergence of human consciousness. The question Radu J. Bogdan (...)
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  31.  1
    The Truth Norm and Guidance: A Reply to Steglich-Petersen: Discussions.Kathrin Glüer & åsa Wikforss - 2010 - Mind 119 (475):757-761.
    We have claimed that truth norms cannot provide genuine guidance for belief formation. Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen argues that our ‘no guidance argument’ fails because it conflates certain psychological states an agent must have in order to apply the truth norm with the condition under which the norm prescribes forming certain beliefs. We spell out the no guidance argument in more detail and show that there is no such conflation.
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  32. Linguistic Freedom: An Essay on Meaning and Rules.Asa Maria Wikforss - 1996 - Dissertation, Columbia University
    The thesis examines a central and controversial question in the philosophy of mind and language: Is meaning normative? Are there rules we must follow for our words to have meaning? ;Philosophers are sharply divided over this question. One side, often associated with Wittgenstein and more recently Kripke, sees meaning as essentially normative. If a sign is to be meaningful, then surely, it is argued, there must be a distinction between the correct and incorrect use of that sign. The other side (...)
     
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  33. Om termer för naturliga sorter.Åsa Wikforss - 2009 - Filosofisk Tidskrift 1.
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  34. Social Externalism and Conceptual Errors.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):217-231.
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  35. Social Externalism and Conceptual Errors.Asa Maria Wikforss - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):217-231.
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