A phenomenon called perspectival disagreement is laid out and modelled on the basis of modifications to known consensus measures for qualitative representations of preferences and transitive values by binary relations. Cases of perspectival disagreement are of general philosophical interest, because they allow for the possibility that two or more agents judge the value positions of other agents differently even when their assessments are based on the same evidence. Various examples of perspectival disagreement are given, generalizations are discussed, and it is (...) argued that any representation by cardinal utilities also gives rise to some form of perspectivity. Although the examples strongly suggest that this phenomenon occurs in real life, it is concluded in the end that it does not pose any fundamental threat to representations of preferences and values as binary relations. Instead, position‐sensitive measures of disagreement ought to be taken as a modelling option for cases in which the relative importance of preference changes matters to an agent. (shrink)
Reference and indexicality are two central topics in the Philosophy of Language that are closely tied together. In the first part of this book, a description theory of reference is developed and contrasted with the prevailing direct reference view with the goal of laying out their advantages and disadvantages. The author defends his version of indirect reference against well-known objections raised by Kripke in Naming and Necessity and his successors, and also addresses linguistic aspects like compositionality. In the second part, (...) a detailed survey on indexical expressions is given based on a variety of typological data. Topics addressed are, among others: Kaplan's logic of demonstratives, conversational versus utterance context, context-shifting indexicals, the deictic center, token-reflexivity, vagueness of spatial and temporal indexicals, reference rules, and the epistemic and cognitive role of indexicals. From a descriptivist perspective on reference, various examples of simple and complex indexicals are analyzed in first-order predicate logic with reified contexts. A critical discussion of essential indexicality, de se readings of attitudes and accompanying puzzles rounds up the investigation. (shrink)
Abstract -/- Quantifier domain restriction (QDR) and two versions of nominal restriction (NR) are implemented as restrictions that depend on a previously introduced interpreter and interpretation time in a two-dimensional semantic framework on the basis of simple type theory and categorial grammar. Against Stanley (2002) it is argued that a suitable version of QDR can deal with superlatives like tallest. However, it is shown that NR is needed to account for utterances when the speaker intends to convey different restrictions for (...) multiple uses of the same quantifying determiner. We argue that NR generally fares better with such examples but also observe that examples like Every sailor waves at every sailor might be pragmatically anomalous. An account of contextual domain restriction is proposed that (i) excludes these anomalous readings (but it is shown how they could be included), (ii) makes it possible to express different contextual domain restrictions as long-range dependencies on an interpreter and an interpretation time, and (iii) additionally models restrictions based on locative constructions as general mereological constraints introduced by shifting the index. (shrink)
According to the mixed lexicographic/additive account of ‘better than’ and similar aggregative value comparatives like ‘healthier than’, values are multidimensional and different aspects of a value are aggregated into an overall assessment in a lexicographic way, based on an ordering of value aspects. It is argued that this theory can account for an acceptable definition of Chang’s notion of parity and that it also offers a solution to Temkin’s and Rachels’s Spectrum Cases without giving up the transitivity of overall betterness. (...) Formal details and proofs are provided in an “Appendix”. (shrink)
The contextual contributions to meaning are at the core of the debate about the semantics/pragmatics distinction, one of the liveliest topics in current philosophy of language and linguistics. The controversy between semantic minimalists and contextualists regarding context and semantic content is a conspicuous example of the debate's relevance. This collection of essays, written by leading philosophers as well as talented young researchers, offers new approaches to the ongoing discussion about the status of lexical meaning and the role of context dependence (...) in linguistic theorizing. It covers a broad range of issues in semantics and pragmatics such as presuppositions, reference, lexical meaning, discourse relations and information structure, negation, and metaphors. The book is an essential reading for philosophers, linguists, and graduate students of philosophy of language and linguistics. (shrink)
This book explores the theory of value structure, or axiology, in metaethics and defends the thesis that aspects of “better than” comparisons may outrank each other and that value cannot always be summed up neatly.