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Francois Recanati
Institut Jean Nicod
  1.  87
    Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    According to the dominant position among philosophers of language today, we can legitimately ascribe determinate contents to natural language sentences, independently of what the speaker actually means. This view contrasts with that held by ordinary language philosophers fifty years ago: according to them, speech acts, not sentences, are the primary bearers of content. François Recanati argues for the relevance of this controversy to the current debate about semantics and pragmatics. Is 'what is said' determined by linguistic conventions, or is it (...)
  2. Direct Reference: From Language to Thought.François Recanati - 1993 - Blackwell.
    This volume puts forward a distinct new theory of direct reference, blending insights from both the Fregean and the Russellian traditions, and fitting the general theory of language understanding used by those working on the pragmatics of natural language.
  3. Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Over the past fifty years the philosophy of language and mind has been dominated by a nondescriptivist approach to content and reference. This book attempts to recast and systematize that approach by offering an indexical model in terms of mental files. According to Recanati, we refer through mental files, the function of which is to store information derived through certain types of contextual relation the subject bears to objects in his or her environment. The reference of a file is determined (...)
  4.  10
    Literal Meaning.François Recanati - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):487-492.
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  5.  79
    Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.Francois Recanati - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    This book argues against the traditional understanding of the semantics/pragmatics divide and puts forward a radical alternative. Through half a dozen case studies, it shows that what an utterance says cannot be neatly separated from what the speaker means. In particular, the speaker's meaning endows words with senses that are tailored to the situation of utterance and depart from the conventional meanings carried by the words in isolation. This phenomenon of ‘pragmatic modulation’ must be taken into account in theorizing about (...)
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  6.  46
    Replies to the Papers in the Issue "Recanati on Mental Files".François Recanati - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (4):408-437.
  7. Unarticulated Constituents.François Recanati - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (3):299-345.
    In a recent paper (Linguistics and Philosophy 23, 4, June 2000), Jason Stanley argues that there are no `unarticulated constituents', contrary to what advocates of Truth-conditional pragmatics (TCP) have claimed. All truth-conditional effects of context can be traced to logical form, he says. In this paper I maintain that there are unarticulated constituents, and I defend TCP. Stanley's argument exploits the fact that the alleged unarticulated constituents can be `bound', that is, they can be made to vary with the values (...)
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  8. The Pragmatics of What is Said.François Recanati - 1989 - Mind and Language 4 (4):295-329.
  9. Perspectival Thought: A Plea for Moderate Relativism.François Recanati - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Our thought and talk are situated. They do not take place in a vacuum but always in a context, and they always concern an external situation relative to which they are to be evaluated. Since that is so, François Recanati argues, our linguistic and mental representations alike must be assigned two layers of content: the explicit content, or lekton, is relative and perspectival, while the complete content, which is absolute, involves contextual factors in addition to what is explicitly represented. Far (...)
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  10.  15
    Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta: An Essay on Metarepresentation.François Recanati - 2000 - MIT Press.
    Among the entities that can be mentally or linguistically represented are mental and linguistic representations themselves. That is, we can think and talk about speech and thought. This phenomenon is known as metarepresentation. An example is "Authors believe that people read books." -/- In this book François Recanati discusses the structure of metarepresentation from a variety of perspectives. According to him, metarepresentations have a dual structure: their content includes the content of the object-representation (people reading books) as well as the (...)
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  11. On Defining Communicative Intentions.François Recanati - 1986 - Mind and Language 1 (3):213-41.
  12.  21
    Perspectival Thought: A Plea for Relativism.François Recanati - 2010 - Critica 42 (124):77-100.
    MY NEW BOOK, TO BE PUBLISHED BY OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS IN THE FALL.
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  13. Mental Files: Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):207-242.
    My responses to seven critical reviews of my book *Mental Files* (OUP 2012) published in a special issue of the journal Disputatio, edited by F. Salis. The reviewers are: Keith Hall, David Papineau, Annalisa Coliva and Delia Belleri, Peter Pagin, Thea Goodsell, Krista Lawlor and Manuel Garcia-Carpintero.
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  14.  60
    Singular Thought: In Defense of Acquaintance.François Recanati - 2009 - In Robin Jeshion (ed.), New Essays on Singular Thought. Oxford University Press. pp. 141.
    This paper is about the Descriptivism/Singularism debate, which has loomed large in 20-century philosophy of language and mind. My aim is to defend Singularism by showing, first, that it is a better and more promising view than even the most sophisticated versions of Descriptivism, and second, that the recent objections to Singularism (based on a dismissal of the acquaintance constraint on singular thought) miss their target.
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  15.  53
    Force Cancellation.François Recanati - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Peter Hanks and Scott Soames both defend pragmatic solutions to the problem of the unity of the proposition. According to them, what ties together Tim and baldness in the singular proposition expressed by ‘Tim is bald’ is an act of the speaker : the act of predicating baldness of Tim. But Soames construes that act as force neutral and noncommittal while, for Hanks, it is inherently assertive and committal. Hanks answers the Frege–Geach challenge by arguing that, in complex sentences, the (...)
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  16.  41
    II—Fictional, Metafictional, Parafictional.François Recanati - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (1):25-54.
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  17. What is Said.François Recanati - 2001 - Synthese 128 (1-2):75--91.
  18. Embedded Implicatures.François Recanati - 2003 - Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):299–332.
    Conversational implicatures do not normally fall within the scope of operators because they arise at the speech act level, not at the level of sub-locutionary constituents. Yet in some cases they do, or so it seems. My aim in this paper is to compare different approaches to the problem raised by what I call 'embedded implicatures': seeming implicatures that arise locally, at a sub-locutionary level, without resulting from an inference in the narrow sense.
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  19. Does Linguistic Communication Rest on Inference?François Recanati - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (1-2):105–126.
    It is often claimed that, because of semantic underdetermination, one can determine the content of an utterance only by appealing to pragmatic considerations concerning what the speaker means, what his intentions are. This supports ‘inferentialism' : the view that, in contrast to perceptual content, communicational content is accessed indirectly, via an inference. As against this view, I argue that primary pragmatic processes (the pragmatic processes that are involved in the determination of truth-conditional content) need not involve an inference from premisses (...)
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  20.  65
    Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: What It is and Where It Comes From.François Recanati - 2012 - In Simon Prosser & Francois Recanati (eds.), Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: New Essays. Cambridge University Press. pp. 180--201.
    I argue that immunity to error through misidentification primarily characterizes thoughts that are 'implicitly' de se, as opposed to thoughts that involve an explicit self-identification. Thoughts that are implicitly de se involve no reference to the self at the level of content: what makes them de se is simply the fact that the content of the thought is evaluated with respect to the thinking subject. Or, to put it in familiar terms : the content of the thought is a property (...)
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  21.  73
    Mental Files: An Introduction.Michael Murez & François Recanati - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):265-281.
  22.  93
    Open Quotation.François Recanati - 2001 - Mind 110 (439):637-687.
    The issues addressed in philosophical papers on quotation generally concern only a particular type of quotation, which I call ‘closed quotation’. The other main type, ‘open quotation’, is ignored, and this neglect leads to bad theorizing. Not only is a general theory of quotation out of reach: the specific phenomenon of closed quotation itself cannot be properly understood if it is not appropriately situated within the kind to which it belongs. Once the distinction between open and closed quotation has been (...)
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  23.  28
    Singular Thought: In Defence of Acquaintance.François Recanati - unknown
    This paper is about the Descriptivism/Singularism debate, which has loomed large in 20-century philosophy of language and mind. My aim is to defend Singularism by showing, first, that it is a better and more promising view than even the most sophisticated versions of Descriptivism, and second, that the recent objections to Singularism miss their target.
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  24. It is Raining (Somewhere).François Recanati - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):123-146.
    The received view about meteorological predicates like ‘rain’ is that they carry an argument slot for a location which can be filled explicitly or implicitly. The view assumes that ‘rain’, in the absence of an explicit location, demands that the context provide a specific location. In an earlier article in this journal, I provided a counter-example, viz. a context in which ‘it is raining’ receives a location-indefinite interpretation. On the basis of that example, I argued that when there is tacit (...)
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  25. De Re and De Se.François Recanati - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):249-269.
    For Perry and many authors, de se thoughts are a species of de re thought. In this paper, I argue that de se thoughts come in two varieties: explicit and implicit. While explicit de se thoughts can be construed as a variety of de re thought, implicit de se thoughts cannot: their content is thetic, while the content of de re thoughts is categoric. The notion of an implicit de se thought is claimed to play a central role in accounting (...)
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  26.  23
    From Meaning to Content.Francois Recanati - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    According to a widespread picture due to Kaplan, there are two levels of semantic value: character and content. Character is determined by the grammar, and it determines content with respect to context. In this chapter Recanati criticizes that picture on several grounds. He shows that we need more than two levels, and rejects the determination thesis: that linguistic meaning as determined by grammar determines content. Grammatical meaning does not determine assertoric content, he argues, but merely constrains it — speaker’s meaning (...)
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  27.  16
    Immunity to Error Through Misidentification : What It Is and Where It Comes From.François Recanati - unknown
    I argue that immunity to error through misidentification primarily characterizes thoughts that are 'implicitly' de se, as opposed to thoughts that involve an explicit self-identification. Thoughts that are implicitly de se involve no reference to the self at the level of content: what makes them de se is simply the fact that the content of the thought is evaluated with respect to the thinking subject. Or, to put it in familiar terms : the content of the thought is a property (...)
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  28. Meaning and Force: The Pragmatics of Performative Utterances.François Récanati - 1987 - Cambridge University Press.
    Professor Recanati's book is a major new contribution to the philosophy of language. Its point of departure is a refutation of two views central to the work of speech-act theorists such as Austin & Searle: that speech acts are essentially conventional, & that the force of an utterance can be made fully explicit at the level of sentence-meaning & is in principle a matter of linguistic decoding. The author argues that no utterance can be fully understood simply in terms of (...)
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  29.  71
    Compositionality, Flexibility, and Context-Dependence.François Recanati - 2012 - In Wolfram Hinzen, Edouard Machery & Markus Werning (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 175-191.
    It has often been observed that the meaning of a word may be affected by the other words which occur in the same sentence. How are we to account for this phenomenon of 'semantic flexibility'? It is argued that semantic flexibility reduces to context-sensitivity and does not raise unsurmountable problems for standard compositional accounts. On the other hand, it would be a mistake to assume too simple a view of context-sensitivity. Two basic forms of context-sensitivity are distinguished in the paper. (...)
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  30.  66
    Immunity to Error Through Misidentification.Simon Prosser & Francois Recanati (eds.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this collection of newly commissioned essays, the contributors present a variety of approaches to it, engaging with historical and empirical aspects of the subject as well as contemporary philosophical work.
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  31. Domains of Discourse.François Recanati - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (5):445 - 475.
    In the first part of this paper I present a defence of the Austinian semantic approach to incomplete quantifiers and similar phenomena (section 2-4). It is part of my defence of Austinian semantics that it incorporates a cognitive dimension (section 4). This cognitive dimension makes it possible to connect Austinian semantics to various cognitive theories of discourse interpretation. In the second part of the paper (sections 5-7), I establish connections between Austinian semantics and four particular theories: • the theory of (...)
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  32. Literal/Nonliteral.François Recanati - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):264–274.
  33.  35
    Mental Files : Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - unknown
    My responses to seven critical reviews of my book *Mental Files* published in a special issue of the journal Disputatio, edited by F. Salis. The reviewers are: Keith Hall, David Papineau, Annalisa Coliva and Delia Belleri, Peter Pagin, Thea Goodsell, Krista Lawlor and Manuel Garcia-Carpintero.
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  34. Referential/Attributive: A Contextualist Proposal.Francois Recanati - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (3):217 - 249.
  35. Perceptual Concepts: In Defence of the Indexical Model.François Recanati - 2013 - Synthese 190 (10):1841-1855.
    Francois Recanati presents the basic features of the *indexical model* of mental files, and defends it against several interrelated objections. According to this model, mental files refer to objects in a way that is analogous to that of indexicals in language: a file refers to an object in virtue of a contextual relation between them. For instance, perception and attention provide the basis for demonstrative files. Several objections, some of them from David Papineau, concern the possibility of files to preserve (...)
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  36.  37
    The Alleged Priority of Literal Interpretation.François Recanati - 1995 - Cognitive Science 19 (2):207-232.
    In this paper I argue against a widely accepted model of utterance interpretation, namely the LS model, according to which the literal interpretation of an utterance (the proposition literally expressed by that utterance) must be computed before non-literal interpretations can be entertained. Alleged arguments in favor of this model are shown to be fallacious, counterexamples are provided, and alternative models are sketched.
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  37. Crazy Minimalism.François Recanati - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (1):21–30.
  38. Can We Believe What We Do Not Understand?François Recanati - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (1):84-100.
    In a series of papers, Sperber provides the following analysis of the phenomenon of ill-understood belief (or 'quasi-belief', as I call it): (i) the quasi-believer has a validating meta-belief, to the effect that a certain representation is true; yet (ii) that representation does not give rise to a plain belief, because it is 'semi-propositional'. In this paper I discuss several aspects of this treatment. In particular, I deny that the representation accepted by the quasi-believer is semantically indeterminate, and I reject (...)
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  39. Content, Mood, and Force.François Recanati - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (7):622-632.
    In this survey paper, I start from two classical theses of speech act theory: that speech act content is uniformly propositional and that sentence mood encodes illocutionary force. These theses have been questioned in recent work, both in philosophy and linguistics. The force/content distinction itself – a cornerstone of 20‐century philosophy of language – has come to be rejected by some theorists, unmoved by the famous ‘Frege–Geach’ argument. The paper reviews some of these debates.
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  40. The Fodorian Fallacy.François Recanati - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):285-89.
    In recent years Fodor has repeatedly argued that nothing epistemic can be essential to, or constitutive of, any concept. This holds in virtue of a constraint which Fodor dubs the Compositionality Constraint. I show that Fodor's argument is fallacious because it rests on an ambiguity.
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  41. ‘That’-Clauses as Existential Quantifiers.François Recanati - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):229–235.
    Following Panaccio, 'John believes that p' is analysed as 'For some x such that x is true if and only if p, John believes x'. On this view the complement clause 'that p' acts as a restricted existential quantifier ('For some x such that x is true if and only if p') and it contributes a higher-order property.
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  42. Direct Reference, Meaning, and Thought.Francois Recanati - 1990 - Noûs 24 (5):697-722.
  43.  53
    Deixis and Anaphora.François Recanati - 2002 - In Zoltán Gendler Szabó (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 286--316.
    A defence of the 'pragmatic' theory of anaphora (which stresses the analogy between anaphora and deixis) against an argument put forward by Gareth Evans.
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  44. Contextualism: Some Varieties.François Recanati - 2012 - In Keith Allan & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 135--149.
    A number of distinct (though related) issues are raised in the debate over Contextualism in the philosophy of language. My aim in this chapter for the Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics is to disentangle them, so as to get a clearer view of the positions available (where a 'position' consists of a particular take on each of the relevant issues simultaneously).
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  45.  19
    Are 'Here' and 'Now' Indexicals?Francois Recanati - 2001 - Texte 27:115-127.
    It is argued there is nothing special or deviant about the use of 'now' to refer to a time in the past (or about the use of 'here' to refer to a distant place) — no need to appeal to pragmatic mechanisms such as context-shifting to account for such uses. Such uses are puzzling only if one (mistakenly) maintains that 'here' and 'now' are pure indexicals. In the paper it is claimed that they are more similar to demonstratives than to (...)
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  46. Talk About Fiction.Francois Recanati - 1998 - Lingua E Stile 33 (3):547-558.
  47. Indexicality and Context-Shift.François Recanati - unknown
    I distinguish, and discuss the relations between, five types of context-shift involving indexicals. For 'intentional' indexicals - indexicals whose value depends upon the speaker's intention - we can shift the context more or less 'at will', by manifesting one's intention to do so. For other indexicals we can shift the context through pretense. Following a number of authors, I distinguish two types of context-shifting pretense, corresponding to two sets of linguistic phenomena. The fourth type of case is that of expressions (...)
     
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  48.  16
    De reandDe Se.François Recanati - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):249-269.
    For Perry and many authors, de se thoughts are a species of de re thought ; for Lewis, it is the other way round. To a large extent, the conflict between the two positions is merely apparent: it is due to insufficient appreciation of the crucial distinction between two types of de se thought. In view of this distinction, we can maintain both that de se thought is a special case of de re thought, and that de re thought is (...)
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  49. Descriptions and Situations.François Recanati - 2002 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press. pp. 15-40.
  50. Literalism and Contextualism : Some Varieties.François Recanati - 2003 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 171--196.
    Both Literalism and Contextualism come in many varieties. There are radical, and less radical, versions of both Literalism and Contextualism. Some intermediate positions are mixtures of Literalism and Contextualism. In this paper I describe several literalist positions, several contextualist positions, and a couple of intermediate positions. My aim is to convince the reader that the Literalism/Contextualism controversy is far from being settled. In the first section, I look at the historical development of Literalism. This development reveals a gradual weakening. The (...)
     
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