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Profile: Emma Borg (University of Reading)
  1.  43
    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.  44
    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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  3.  20
    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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  4. 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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  5.  18
    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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  6. 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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  7.  63
    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.
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  8.  14
    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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  9.  13
    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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  10.  87
    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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  11.  38
    Exploding Explicatures.Emma Borg - 2015 - Mind and Language 31 (3):335-355.
    ‘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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  12.  16
    Mirroring, Mindreading and 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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  13.  15
    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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  14.  61
    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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  15.  16
    More Questions for Mirror Neurons.Emma Borg - 2013 - Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3):1122-1131.
    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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  16.  22
    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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  17.  30
    Local Vs. Global Pragmatics.Emma Borg - forthcoming - Inquiry:1-8.
    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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  18.  21
    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.
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  19.  21
    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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  20. Saying What You Mean: Unarticulated Constituents and Communication.Emma Borg - manuscript
    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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  21. Review: Terms and Truth: Reference Direct and Anaphoric. [REVIEW]Emma Borg - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):737-740.
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  22. Formal Semantics and Intentional States.Emma Borg - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):215–223.
    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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  23.  81
    Semantic Category and Surface Form.Emma Borg - 1998 - Analysis 58 (3):232–238.
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  24.  15
    An Expedition Abroad: Metaphor, Thought, and Reporting.Emma Borg - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):227–248.
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  25.  96
    Intention-Based Semantics.Emma Borg - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of 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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  26.  3
    More Questions for Mirror Neurons.Borg Emma - 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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  27. The Semantic Significance of What is Said.Emma Borg - 2002 - ProtoSociology 17:7-25.
    It is often held that a correct semantic theory should assign a semantic content, p, to a given sentence, s, just in case a speaker who utters s says that p – thus ‘what is said’ is taken to be a semantically significant notion. This paper explores what exactly such a claim amounts to and offers five versions of the relationship between a semantic theory and judgements of what is said. The first three of these versions embody the central claim (...)
     
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  28.  8
    On Three Theories of Implicature: Default Theory, Relevance and Minimalism.Emma Borg - 2009 - The International Review of Pragmatics 1 (1):63-83.
    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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  29. The Body Politics of Julia Kristeva.Emma Borg - forthcoming - Hypatia.
  30.  46
    The Name Game.Emma Borg - 2001 - The Philosophers' Magazine 15 (15):46-47.
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  31.  12
    Reviews. [REVIEW]Paul Noordhof & Emma Borg - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (5):538–551.
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  32.  45
    The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Singular Terms.Emma Borg - 2001 - Philosophical Papers 30 (1):1-30.
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  33. Referential Intentions, Minimal Semantics and Epistemic Behaviourism.Emma Borg - manuscript
     
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  34. 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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  35.  48
    Reference Without Referents – R. M. Sainsbury.Emma Borg - 2006 - Ratio 19 (3):370–375.
  36.  1
    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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  37.  1
    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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  38. 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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  39.  1
    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. Author:.Emma Borg - unknown
    Semantic minimalism is an attempt to answer two questions: ‘what counts as semantic content?’ and ‘what work does semantic content do?’. The answer the theory gives to both these questions is minimal (hence the name): first, semantic content is exhausted by the contributions made by the syntactic constituents of a sentence together with their mode of composition. Second the role played by this kind of content is much more constrained than is often supposed. With respect to the first question, semantic (...)
     
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  41.  18
    The Place of Referential Intentions in Linguistic Content.Emma Borg - 2009 - Manuscrito 32 (1):85-122.
    This paper examines the role of speaker intentions in issues of reference determination for context-sensitive expressions, focusing on demonstratives. Intuitively, the referent of a token utterance of ‘that’ is fixed by the speaker’s intentions. However, if this is right it causes a potential problem for so-called formal theories of meaning. I begin by setting out the nature of this problem and proceed to explore three putative solutions. First, the assumption that speaker intentions fix reference in these cases may be rejected; (...)
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  42.  3
    Minimal Semantics and the Nature of Psychological Evidence.Emma Borg - unknown
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  43.  3
    Pragmatic Determinants of What is Said.Emma Borg - unknown
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  44. Terms and Truth: Reference Direct and Anaphoric, by A. Berger.Emma Borg - manuscript
    Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002. Pp. xi + 234. H/b £?.??, $?.??, P/b £?.??, $?.??. If asked for an example of a rigid designator it is likely that one would suggest a name, like ‘Aristotle’ or ‘Tony Blair’, or a demonstrative, like ‘that book’ said whilst pointing at a certain text. Intuitively, what these expressions have in common is the central role they accord to perception of an object: you can see the book you want to talk about, there are (...)
     
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  45.  1
    Must a Semantic Minimalist Be a Semantic Internalist?Borg Emma - unknown
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  46. Gary Ostertag, Ed., Definite Descriptions: A Reader Reviewed By.Emma Borg - 1999 - Philosophy in Review 19 (4):272-274.
     
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  47. rMichael Devitt and Richard Hanley, Eds. The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Language Reviewed By.Emma Borg - 2010 - Philosophy in Review 27 (1):18-20.
     
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  48.  3
    I—M Ust a S Emantic M Inimalist Be a S Emantic I Nternalist&Quest.Emma Borg - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):31-51.
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  49. 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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  50. 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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