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Emanuel Viebahn [22]Emanuel Https://Orcidorg Viebahn [1]
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Emanuel Viebahn
Freie Universität Berlin
  1. The Lying-Misleading Distinction: A Commitment-Based Approach.Emanuel Viebahn - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (6):289-319.
    The distinction between lying and mere misleading is commonly tied to the distinction between saying and conversationally implicating. Many definitions of lying are based on the idea that liars say something they believe to be false, while misleaders put forward a believed-false conversational implicature. The aim of this paper is to motivate, spell out, and defend an alternative approach, on which lying and misleading differ in terms of commitment: liars, but not misleaders, commit themselves to something they believe to be (...)
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  2. Lying with Presuppositions.Emanuel Viebahn - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):731-751.
    It is widely held that all lies are assertions: the traditional definition of lying entails that, in order to lie, speakers have to assert something they believe to be false. It is also widely held that assertion contrasts with presupposition and, in particular, that one cannot assert something by presupposing it. Together, these views imply that speakers cannot lie with presuppositions—a view that Andreas Stokke has recently explicitly defended. The aim of this paper is to argue that speakers can lie (...)
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  3.  91
    Non-literal Lies.Emanuel Viebahn - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1367-1380.
    Many recent definitions of lying are based on the notion of what is said. This paper argues that says-based definitions of lying cannot account for lies involving non-literal speech, such as metaphor, hyperbole, loose use or irony. It proposes that lies should instead be defined in terms of assertion, where what is asserted need not coincide with what is said. And it points to possible implications this outcome might have for the ethics of lying.
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  4. How many meanings for ‘may’? The case for modal polysemy.Barbara Vetter & Emanuel Viebahn - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    The standard Kratzerian analysis of modal auxiliaries, such as ‘may’ and ‘can’, takes them to be univocal and context-sensitive. Our first aim is to argue for an alternative view, on which such expressions are polysemous. Our second aim is to thereby shed light on the distinction between semantic context-sensitivity and polysemy. To achieve these aims, we examine the mechanisms of polysemy and context-sensitivity and provide criteria with which they can be held apart. We apply the criteria to modal auxiliaries and (...)
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  5. Lying, Misleading, and Fairness.Emanuel Viebahn - 2022 - Ethics 132 (3):736-751.
    Sam Berstler defends a general moral advantage for misleading over lying by arguing that liars, but not misleaders, act unfairly toward the other members of their linguistic community. This article spells out three difficulties for Berstler’s account. First, though Berstler aims to avoid an error theory, it is dubitable that her account fits with intuitions on the matter. Second, there are some lies that do not exhibit the unfairness Berstler identifies. Third, fairness is not the only morally relevant difference between (...)
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  6.  32
    Ambiguity and Zeugma.Emanuel Viebahn - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):749-762.
    In arguing against a supposed ambiguity, philosophers often rely on the zeugma test. In an application of the zeugma test, a supposedly ambiguous expression is placed in a sentence in which several of its supposed meanings are forced together. If the resulting sentence sounds zeugmatic, that is taken as evidence for ambiguity; if it does not sound zeugmatic, that is taken as evidence against ambiguity. The aim of this article is to show that arguments based on the second direction of (...)
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  7. Ways of Using Words: On Semantic Intentions.Emanuel Viebahn - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):93-117.
    Intentionalism is the view that demonstratives, gradable adjectives, quantifiers, modals and other context‐sensitive expressions are intention‐sensitive: their semantic value on a given use is fixed by speaker intentions. The first aim of this paper is to defend Intentionalism against three recent objections, according to which speakers at least sometimes do not have suitable intentions when using supposedly intention‐sensitive expressions. Its second aim is to thereby shed light on the so far little‐explored question of which kinds of intentions can be semantically (...)
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  8.  76
    Lying with Pictures.Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (3):243-257.
    Pictures are notably absent from the current debate about how to define lying. Theorists in this debate tend to focus on linguistic means of communication and do not consider the possibility of lying with photographs, drawings and other kinds of pictures. The aim of this paper is to show that such a narrow focus is misguided: there is a strong case to be made for the possibility of lying with pictures and this possibility allows for insights concerning the question of (...)
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  9.  87
    To lie or to mislead?Felix Https://Orcidorg Timmermann & Emanuel Https://Orcidorg Viebahn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1481-1501.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that lying differs from mere misleading in a way that can be morally relevant: liars commit themselves to something they believe to be false, while misleaders avoid such commitment, and this difference can make a moral difference. Even holding all else fixed, a lie can therefore be morally worse than a corresponding misleading utterance. But, we argue, there are also cases in which the difference in commitment makes lying morally better than misleading, (...)
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  10.  38
    True lies and Moorean redundancy.Alex Wiegmann & Emanuel Viebahn - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13053-13066.
    According to the subjective view of lying, speakers can lie by asserting a true proposition, as long as they believe this proposition to be false. This view contrasts with the objective view, according to which lying requires the actual falsity of the proposition asserted. The aim of this paper is to draw attention to pairs of assertions that differ only in intuitively redundant content and to show that such pairs of assertions are a reason to favour the subjective view of (...)
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  11. Counting Stages.Emanuel Viebahn - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):311-324.
    This paper defends stage theory against the argument from diachronic counting. It argues that stage theorists can appeal to quantifier domain restriction in order to accommodate intuitions about diachronic counting sentences. Two approaches involving domain restriction are discussed. According to the first, domains of counting are usually restricted to stages at the time of utterance. This approach explains intuitions in many cases, but is theoretically costly and delivers wrong counts if diachronic counting is combined with fission or fusion. On the (...)
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  12.  47
    Copredication, polysemy and context-sensitivity.Emanuel Viebahn - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (8):1066-1082.
    ABSTRACT Copredication, as exhibited by sentences such as ‘That book is heavy but informative,’ is commonly seen as a phenomenon that is tied to sentences featuring polysemous expressions. David Liebesman and Ofra Magidor have recently attacked this view by arguing that ‘book’ has a single context-sensitive sense. The first aim of the present paper is to show that Liebesman and Magidor are wrong to claim that ‘book’ is univocal, but that they may nonetheless be right to question that copredication requires (...)
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  13.  34
    Truth and directness in pictorial assertion.Lukas Lewerentz & Emanuel Viebahn - 2023 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1:1-25.
    This paper develops an account of accuracy and truth in pictorial assertion. It argues that there are two ways in which pictorial assertions can be indirect: with respect to their content and with respect to their target. This twofold indirectness explains how accurate, unedited pictures can be used to make false pictorial assertions. It captures the fishiness of true pictorial assertions involving target-indirectness, such as true pictorial assertions involving outdated pictures. And it raises the question whether target-indirectness may also arise (...)
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  14.  20
    Semantic Pluralism.Emanuel Viebahn - 2018 - Frankfurt, Germany: Klostermann.
    What is the content of a sentence in context? A proposition, says the standard propositional view accepted in much of semantics. A set of propositions, says the hitherto little-explored view of Semantic Pluralism. The aim of this book is to motivate, develop and defend Semantic Pluralism. To achieve this aim, the book puts forward two arguments against Contextualism, the most popular propositional theory. It spells out two versions of Semantic Pluralism: Flexible Pluralism, which takes many expressions to be context-sensitive, and (...)
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  15. Presentism, eternalism and where things are located.Emanuel Viebahn - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2963-2974.
    In several recent papers, Daniel Deasy has argued that the presentism–eternalism debate is unclear and should be abandoned. According to Deasy, there is no way of spelling out the predicate ‘is present’ that leads to a satisfactory definition of presentism: on some interpretations, presentism turns out to be compatible with eternalism, on others, it is clearly false or unacceptable for other reasons. The aim of this paper is to show that this line of argument should be resisted: if the predicate (...)
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  16.  31
    AI Assertion.Patrick Butlin & Emanuel Viebahn - manuscript
    Modern AI systems have shown the capacity to produce remarkably fluent language, prompting debates both about their semantic understanding and, less prominently, about whether they can perform speech acts. This paper addresses the latter question, focusing on assertion. We argue that to be capable of assertion, an entity must meet two requirements: it must produce outputs with descriptive functions, and it must be capable of being sanctioned by agents with which it interacts. The second requirement arises from the nature of (...)
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  17.  36
    Review of E. Michaelson and A. Stokke (eds.): Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, and Politics. [REVIEW]Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 10.
  18.  17
    An empirical perspective on pictorial lies.Emanuel Viebahn & Alex Wiegmann - manuscript
    Theorists in the debate on how to define lying disagree whether it is possible to lie with pictures. At the same time, they agree that definitions of lying should be consistent with how laypersons use the term ‘lie’. This calls for an empirical perspective on whether ordinary usage allows for pictorial lies. The present paper provides some initial data on this question by reporting an experiment with 623 participants investigating layperson judgements about cases of insincere linguistic and pictorial communication. The (...)
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  19. Lob der Vermutung (In praise of conjectures).Emanuel Viebahn - forthcoming - In Romy Jaster & Geert Keil (eds.), Nachdenken über Corona. Stuttgart, Germany:
    Krisen, heißt es manchmal, erfordern klare Ansagen: Bei Behauptungen wissen wir, woran wir sind. Vermutungen hingegen sind unklar und stehen der Übernahme von Ver­ant­wor­tung entgegen. In diesem Essay wird mit den Mitteln der Sprachphilosophie ge­zeigt, dass vermutende Sprechakte für die Krisenkommunikation in der Corona-Pandemie richtig und wichtig sind. Weder sind Vermutungen anfälliger für Unklarheit als andere Sprechakte noch sind sie besser dazu geeignet, Verantwortung abzuweisen. Im Gegen­teil: In einer Situation, die durch Unsicherheit geprägt ist, sind Vermutungen besonders wertvoll für das (...)
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  20.  32
    Against Context-Sensitivity Tests.Emanuel Viebahn - 2013 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 88 (1):189-209.
    The aim of this paper is to show that tests for semantic context-sensitivity are of no help in the debate between semantic contextualists and minimalists. Two kinds of context-sensitivity tests are discussed: Cappelen & Lepore's says-that tests and Cappelen & Hawthorne's agreement-based tests. It is shown that Cappelen & Lepore's tests are unreliable because they are based on unstable data. Then it is argued that although the data of Cappelen & Hawthorne's tests is more reliable, contextualists and minimalists alike can (...)
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  21.  24
    Précis zu: Semantic Pluralism.Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (4):570-574.
  22. Can a question be a lie? An empirical investigation.Emanuel Viebahn, Alex Wiegmann, Neele Engelmann & Pascale Willemsen - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (7).
    In several recent papers and a monograph, Andreas Stokke argues that questions can be misleading, but that they cannot be lies. The aim of this paper is to show that ordinary speakers disagree. We show that ordinary speakers judge certain kinds of insincere questions to be lies, namely questions carrying a believed-false presupposition the speaker intends to convey. These judgements are robust and remain so when the participants are given the possibility of classifying the utterances as misleading or as deceiving. (...)
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  23.  14
    Repliken.Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (4):587-591.