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Emma Borg [60]Emma Gabriel Nelson Borg [2]
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Emma Borg
University of Reading
  1. Minimal Semantics.Emma Borg - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    Minimal Semantics asks what a theory of literal linguistic meaning is for - if you were to be given a working theory of meaning for a language right now, what would you be able to do with it? Emma Borg sets out to defend a formal approach to semantic theorising from a relatively new type of opponent - advocates of what she call 'dual pragmatics'. According to dual pragmatists, rich pragmatic processes play two distinct roles in linguistic comprehension: as well (...)
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  2.  43
    Pursuing Meaning.Emma Borg - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Emma Borg examines the relation between semantics and pragmatics, and assesses recent answers to fundamental questions of how and where to draw the divide between the two. She argues for a minimal account of the interrelation between them--a 'minimal semantics'--which holds that only rule-governed appeals to context can influence semantic content.
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  3.  94
    Is the Folk Concept of Pain Polyeidic?Emma Borg, Richard Harrison, James Stazicker & Tim Salomons - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):29-47.
    Philosophers often assume that folk hold pain to be a mental state – to be in pain is to have a certain kind of feeling – and they think this state exhibits the classic Cartesian characteristics of privacy, subjectivity, and incorrigibility. However folk also assign pains bodily locations: unlike most other mental states, pains are held to exist in arms, feet, etc. This has led some to talk of the ‘paradox of pain’, whereby the folk notion of pain is inherently (...)
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  4.  96
    Explanatory Roles for Minimal Content.Emma Borg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):513-539.
    A standard objection to so-called ‘minimal semantics’ is that minimal contents are explanatorily redundant as they play no role in an adequate account of linguistic communication. This paper argues that this standard objection is mistaken. Furthermore, I argue that seeing why the objection is mistaken sheds light both on how we should draw the classic Gricean distinction between saying and implicating, and how we should think about the key philosophical notion of assertion. Specifically, it reveals that these ideas are best (...)
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  5. If Mirror Neurons Are the Answer, What Was the Question?Emma Borg - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (8):5-19.
    Mirror neurons are neurons which fire in two distinct conditions: (i) when an agent performs a specific action, like a precision grasp of an object using fingers, and (ii) when an agent observes that action performed by another. Some theorists have suggested that the existence of such neurons may lend support to the simulation approach to mindreading (e.g. Gallese and Goldman, 1998, 'Mirror neurons and the simulation theory of mind reading'). In this note I critically examine this suggestion, in both (...)
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  6. Minimalism Versus Contextualism in Semantics.Emma Borg - 2007 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
  7. Exploding Explicatures.Emma Borg - unknown
    ‘Pragmaticist’ positions posit a three-way division within utterance content between: the standing meaning of the sentence, a somewhat pragmatically enhanced meaning which captures what the speaker explicitly conveys, and further indirectly conveyed propositions which the speaker merely implies. Here I re-examine the notion of an explicature, asking how it is defined and what work explicatures are supposed to do. I argue that explicatures get defined in three different ways and that these distinct definitions can and do pull apart. Thus the (...)
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  8. Complex Demonstratives.Emma Borg - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 97 (2):229-249.
    Some demonstrative expressions, those we might term ‘bare demonstratives’, appear without any appended descriptive content (e.g. occurrences of ‘this’ or ‘that’ simpliciter). However, it seems that the majority of demonstrative occurrences do not follow this model. ‘Complex demonstratives’ is the collective term I shall use for phrases formed by adjoining one or more common nouns to a demonstrative expression (e.g. ‘that cat’, ‘this happy man’) and I will call the combination of predicates immediately concatenated with the demonstrative in such phrases (...)
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  9. Questions Under Discussion and the Semantics/Pragmatics Divide.Jumbly Grindrod & Emma Borg - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):418-426.
    The ‘question under discussion’ framework is a pragmatic framework that draws on work in the semantics of questions to provide an appealing account of a range of pragmatic phenomena, including the use of prosodic focus in English and restrictions on acceptable discourse moves. More recently, however, a number of proposals have attempted to use the framework to help to settle issues at the semantics/pragmatics boundary, fixing the truth-conditions of what is said by a speaker. In this discussion piece, we suggest (...)
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  10.  38
    Epistemic Virtues Versus Ethical Values in the Financial Services Sector.Emma Borg & Bradford Hooker - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 155 (1):17-27.
    In his important recent book, Ethics and the Global Financial Crisis: Why Incompetence is Worse than Greed, Boudewijn de Bruin argues that a key element of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 was a failure of epistemic virtue. To improve matters, then, de Bruin argues we need to focus on the acquisition and exercise of epistemic virtues, rather than to focus on a more ethical culture for banking per se. Whilst this is an interesting suggestion and it is indeed very (...)
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  11. The Meaning of Pain Expressions and Pain Communication.Emma Borg, Tim Salomons & Nat Hansen - 2019 - In Simon van Rysewyk (ed.), Meanings of Pain. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 261-282.
    Both patients and clinicians frequently report problems around communicating and assessing pain. Patients express dissatisfaction with their doctors and doctors often find exchanges with chronic pain patients difficult and frustrating. This chapter thus asks how we could improve pain communication and thereby enhance outcomes for chronic pain patients. We argue that improving matters will require a better appreciation of the complex meaning of pain terms and of the variability and flexibility in how individuals think about pain. We start by examining (...)
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  12.  75
    Is Pain “All in Your Mind”? Examining the General Public’s View of Pain.Tim V. Salomons, Richard Harrison, Nat Hansen, James Stazicker, Astrid Grith Sorensen, Paula Thomas & Emma Borg - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-16.
    By definition, pain is a sensory and emotional experience that is felt in a particular part of the body. The precise relationship between somatic events at the site where pain is experienced, and central processing giving rise to the mental experience of pain remains the subject of debate, but there is little disagreement in scholarly circles that both aspects of pain are critical to its experience. Recent experimental work, however, suggests a public view that is at odds with this conceptualisation. (...)
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  13. Saying What You Mean: Unarticulated Constituents and Communication.Emma Gabriel Nelson Borg - 2005 - In Ellipsis and non-sentential speech. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 237-262.
    In this paper I want to explore the arguments for so-called ‘unarticulated constituents’ (UCs). Unarticulated constituents are supposed to be propositional elements, not presented in the surface form of a sentence, nor explicitly represented at the level of its logical form, yet which must be interpreted in order to grasp the (proper) meaning of that sentence or expression. Thus, for example, we might think that a sentence like ‘It is raining’ must contain a UC picking out the place at which (...)
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  14.  30
    Semantic Content and Utterance Context: A Spectrum of Approaches.Emma Borg & Sarah A. Fisher - 2021 - In P. Stalmaszczyk (ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the philosophy of language. Cambridge.
    It is common in philosophy of language to recognise two different kinds of linguistic meaning: literal or conventional meaning, on the one hand, versus communicated or conveyed meaning, on the other. However, once we recognise these two types of meaning, crucial questions immediately emerge; for instance, exactly which meanings should we treat as the literal ones, and exactly which appeals to a context of utterance yield communicated, as opposed to semantic, content? It is these questions and, specifically, how we should (...)
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  15. Pointing at Jack, Talking About Jill: Understanding Deferred Uses of Demonstratives and Pronouns.Emma Borg - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (5):489–512.
    The aim of this paper is to explore the proper content of a formal semantic theory in two respects: first, clarifying which uses of expressions a formal theory should seek to accommodate, and, second, how much information the theory should contain. I explore these two questions with respect to occurrences of demonstratives and pronouns – the so- called ‘deferred’ uses – which are often classified as non-standard or figurative. I argue that, contrary to initial impressions, they must be treated as (...)
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  16. Local Vs. Global Pragmatics.Emma Borg - unknown
    In 'Local pragmatics in a Gricean framework', Mandy Simons argues that, contrary to the received view, it is possible to accommodate local pragmatic effects utilising just the mechanisms for pragmatic reasoning provided by Grice. Although I agree with this overarching claim, this paper argues that we need to be careful in our understanding of 'what is said', and the nature of communicated content in general, when deciding between local and global accounts of pragmatic effects.
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  17.  50
    Minimalism and the Content of the Lexicon.Emma Borg - 2010 - In Erich Rast & Luiz Carlos Baptista (eds.), Meaning and Context. Peter Lang. pp. 51--77.
  18.  8
    The Thesis of “Doux Commerce” and the Social Licence to Operate Framework.Emma Borg - 2020 - Wiley-Online-Library: Business Ethics: A European Review 30 (3):412-422.
    Business Ethics: A European Review, EarlyView.
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  19.  31
    On Deflationary Accounts of Human Action Understanding.Emma Borg - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):503-522.
    A common deflationary tendency has emerged recently in both philosophical accounts and comparative animal studies concerned with how subjects understand the actions of others. The suggestion emerging from both arenas is that the default mechanism for understanding action involves only a sensitivity to the observable, behavioural features of a situation. This kind of ‘smart behaviour reading’ thus suggests that, typically, predicting or explaining the behaviour of conspecifics does not require seeing the other through the lens of mental state attribution. This (...)
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  20. Exploring Linguistic Liability.Emma Borg & Patrick Joseph Connolly - 2022 - In Ernest Lepore & David Sosa (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language Volume 2. Oxford University Press.
    There is a well-established social practice whereby we hold one another responsible for the things that we say. Speakers are held liable for the truth of the contents they express and they can be sanctioned and/or held to be unreliable or devious if it turns out what they say is false. In this paper chapter we argue that a better understanding of this fundamental socio-linguistic practice – of ascribing what we will term (following Borg (2019)) ‘linguistic liability’ – helps to (...)
     
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  21. Semantics and the Place of Psychological Evidence.Emma Borg - 2009 - In Sarah Sawyer (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Language. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Minimal semantics is sometimes characterised as a ‘neo-Gricean’ approach to meaning. This label seems reasonable since a key claim of minimal semantics is that the minimal contents possessed by sentences (akin to Grice’s technical notion of ‘what is said by a sentence’) need not be (and usually are not) what is communicated by a speaker who utters those sentences. However, given an affinity between the two approaches, we might expect that a well-known challenge for the Gricean – namely that their (...)
     
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  22.  93
    Meaning and Context: A Survey of a Contemporary Debate.Emma Borg - 2009 - In Daniel Whiting (ed.), The Later Wittgenstein on Language. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    relevant to the differences between the two speakings, Odile’s words in the first case said what was false, while in the second case they said what was true. Both spoke of the same state of the world, or the same refrigerator in the same condition. So, in the first case, the words said what is false of a refrigerator with but a milk puddle; in the second case they said what is true of such a refrigerator.
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  23.  59
    On Three Theories of Implicature: Default Theory, Relevance and Minimalism.Emma Borg - unknown
    Grice's distinction between what is said by a sentence and what is implicated by an utterance of it is both extremely familiar and almost universally accepted. However, in recent literature, the precise account he offered of implicature recovery has been questioned and alternative accounts have emerged. In this paper, I examine three such alternative accounts. My main aim is to show that the two most popular accounts in the current literature still face signifi cant problems. I will then conclude by (...)
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  24. Must a Semantic Minimalist Be a Semantic Internalist?Emma Borg - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):31-51.
    I aim to show that a semantic minimalist need not also be a semantic internalist. §I introduces minimalism and internalism and argues that there is a prima facie case for a minimalist being an internalist. §II sketches some positive arguments for internalism which, if successful, show that a minimalist must be an internalist. §III goes on to reject these arguments and contends that the prima facie case for uniting minimalism and internalism is also not compelling. §IV returns to an objection (...)
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  25.  38
    More Questions for Mirror Neurons.Emma Borg - unknown
    The mirror neuron system is widely held to provide direct access to the motor goals of others. This paper critically investigates this idea, focusing on the so-called ‘intentional worry’. I explore two answers to the intentional worry: first that the worry is premised on too limited an understanding of mirror neuron behaviour, second that the appeal made to mirror neurons can be refined in such a way as to avoid the worry. I argue that the first response requires an account (...)
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  26.  39
    Semantics Without Pragmatics.Emma Borg - 2012 - In Keith Allan & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 513--528.
  27.  10
    Correction to: Pain priors, polyeidism, and predictive power: a preliminary investigation into individual differences in ordinary thought about pain.Emma Borg, Sarah A. Fisher, Nat Hansen, Richard Harrison, Deepak Ravindran, Tim V. Salomons & Harriet Wilkinson - forthcoming - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics:1-2.
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  28. Intention-Based Semantics.Emma Borg - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 250--266.
    There is a sense in which it is trivial to say that one accepts intention- (or convention-) based semantics.[2] For if what is meant by this claim is simply that there is an important respect in which words and sentences have meaning (either at all or the particular meanings that they have in any given natural language) due to the fact that they are used, in the way they are, by intentional agents (i.e. speakers), then it seems no one should (...)
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  29.  52
    Mirroring, Mindreading and Smart Behaviour-Reading.Emma Borg - unknown
    This paper examines the claim that mirror neuron activity is the mechanism by which we come to know about the action-related intentions of others, i.e. that they are a mechanism for ‘mindreading’. I agree with recent authors who reject this view but nevertheless I argue that mirror neurons may still have a role to play in the ways in which we understand one another. If we adopt a certain kind of pluralism about social cognition then the mirror neuron system could (...)
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  30.  29
    An Expedition Abroad: Metaphor, Thought, and Reporting.Emma Borg - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):227–248.
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  31.  3
    On Three Theories of Implicature: Default Theory, Relevance and Minimalism.Emma Borg - 2010 - In K. Petrus (ed.), Meaning and analysis: new essays on Grice. Palgrave studies in pragmatics, language and cognition. pp. 268-287.
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  32.  78
    Meaning. [REVIEW]Emma Borg - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (1):101-104.
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  33.  24
    Meaning and Communication.Emma Borg, Antonio Scarafone & Marat Shardimgaliev - 2021 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Communication is crucial for us as human beings – much of what we know or believe, we learn through hearing or seeing what others say or express, and arguably part of what makes us human is our desire to communicate our thoughts and feelings to others. A core part of our communicative activity concerns linguistic communication, where we use the words and sentences of natural languages to communicate our ideas. But what exactly is going on in linguistic communication and what (...)
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  34.  24
    Minimal Semantics and the Nature of Psychological Evidence.Emma Borg - unknown
  35.  13
    Must a Semantic Minimalist Be a Semantic Internalist?Emma Borg - unknown
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  36.  17
    Reshaping Relations Between the State and the Private Sector Post-COVID-19? Exploring the Social Licence Framework.Emma Borg & Charlotte Unruh - 2021 - Journal of the British Academy 9.
    During the COVID-19 pandemic governments across the globe have provided unparalleled support to private sector firms. As a result, new oversight mechanisms are urgently needed, to enable society to assess and, if necessary, redress, moves by firms which have taken government aid. Many jurisdictions have seen the introduction of ‘piecemeal’ conditionality on different pots of aid. This paper argues that a better response would be to adopt a more unified approach. In particular, the paper explores the social licence framework as (...)
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  37.  21
    Pain Priors, Polyeidism, and Predictive Power: A Preliminary Investigation Into Individual Differences in Ordinary Thought About Pain.Emma Borg, Sarah Fisher, Nat Hansen, Rich Harrison, Tim Salomons, Deepak Ravindran & Harriet Wilkinson - 2021 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 42 (3):113-135.
    According to standard philosophical and clinical understandings, pain is an essentially mental phenomenon. In a challenge to this standard conception, a recent burst of empirical work in experimental philosophy, such as that by Justin Sytsma and Kevin Reuter, purports to show that people ordinarily conceive of pain as an essentially bodily phenomenon—specifically, a quality of bodily disturbance. In response to this bodily view, other recent experimental studies have provided evidence that the ordinary concept of pain is more complex than previously (...)
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  38. Deferred Demonstratives.Emma Borg - 2002 - In Joseph K. Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth: Investigations in Philosophical Semantics. Seven Bridges Press. pp. 214--230.
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  39.  88
    From Ape Empathy to Human Morality?Emma Borg - unknown
    The idea that empathy provides an important developmental precursor to moral decision making possesses significant conceptual appeal. However, the idea of a necessary, diachronic relation between empathy and morality has been rejected recently. This paper reassesses the strength of the claim that empathy is developmentally necessary for morality and argues that the position remains a live possibility.
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  40. Gary Ostertag, Ed., Definite Descriptions: A Reader. [REVIEW]Emma Borg - 1999 - Philosophy in Review 19 (4):272-274.
  41. Formal Semantics and Intentional States.Emma Gabriel Nelson Borg - unknown
    My aim in this note is to address the question of how a context of utterance can figure within a formal, specifically truth-conditional, semantic theory. In particular, I want to explore whether a formal semantic theory could, or should, take the intentional states of a speaker to be relevant in determining the literal meaning of an uttered sentence. The answer I’m going to suggest, contrary to the position of many contemporary formal theorists, is negative. The structure of this note is (...)
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  42. Terms and Truth: Reference Direct and Anaphoric.Emma Borg - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):737-740.
  43.  69
    Applied Philosophy of Language.Emma Borg - unknown
    This chapter explores the extent to which philosophy of language can be considered an applied discipline. I consider, first, ways in which sub-sections of philosophy of language may be considered as applied in terms of their subject matter and/or the kinds of questions being addressed. Then, in the second part of the chapter, I turn to consider a more general conception of philosophy of language as applied, which arises from the methodology adopted and the relationship of the discipline to empirical (...)
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  44. The Body Politics of Julia Kristeva.Emma Borg - forthcoming - Hypatia.
  45. Language: A Biological Model.Emma Borg - manuscript
    Ruth Garrett Millikan is one of the most important thinkers in philosophy of mind and language of the current generation. Across a number of seminal books, and in the company of theorists such as Jerry Fodor and Fred Dretske, she has championed a wholly naturalistic, scientific understanding of content, whether of thought or words. Many think that naturalism about meaning has found its most defensible form in her distinctively “teleological” approach, and in Language: A Biological Model she continues the expansion (...)
     
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  46.  34
    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 what is (...)
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  47.  10
    Language and Context.Emma Borg - forthcoming - In S. Finn, D. Edmonds & N. Warburton (eds.), Women of Ideas.
    Emma Borg discusses the relationship between linguistic meaning and context, and talks about her own view, called 'Semantic Minimalism', in this Philosophy Bites interview, conducted by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton.
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  48. Referential Intentions, Minimal Semantics and Epistemic Behaviourism.Emma Borg - manuscript
     
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  49.  60
    The Name Game.Emma Borg - 2001 - The Philosophers' Magazine 15 (15):46-47.
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  50.  66
    The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Singular Terms.Emma Borg - 2001 - Philosophical Papers 30 (1):1-30.
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