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Emanuel Viebahn
Humboldt-University, Berlin
  1. 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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  2.  18
    To lie or to mislead?Felix Timmermann & Emanuel Viebahn - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    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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  3.  73
    Lying with Presuppositions.Emanuel Viebahn - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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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  4.  59
    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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  5.  30
    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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  6.  67
    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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  7. 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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  8.  17
    Review of E. Michaelson and A. Stokke (Eds.): Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, and Politics. [REVIEW]Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 10.
  9.  66
    Presentism, Eternalism and Where Things Are Located.Emanuel Viebahn - forthcoming - 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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  10.  10
    Précis Zu: Semantic Pluralism.Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (4):570-574.
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  11.  20
    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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    Repliken.Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (4):587-591.
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  13. Ambiguity and Zeugma.Emanuel Viebahn - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    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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  14. Semantic Pluralism.Emanuel Viebahn - 2019 - 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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