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Profile: Heidi Savage (State University of New York at Geneseo)
  1. What Matters in Survival: The Fission Problem, Life Trajectories, and the Possibility of Virtual Immersion.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    One goal here is to motivate and illustrate the possibility that we can accept Parfitian arguments about the importance of personal identity, while rejecting fission as an instance of preserving what matters in survival. That is, singular existence over time is required for preserving what matters, even if identity is not. The second goal is to develop and motivate a theory of persons and what matters in their survival that can accommodate and explain this possibility. At least one way we (...)
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  2. The Meaning of Language (Final Draft).Robert M. Martin, Heidi Savage & Melissa Ebbers - manuscript
    This is for students with some philosophical background, but we presuppose none in philosophy of language. The philosophy of language aims to answer many questions about language and its nature, some of which are: (1) What is a language? (2) What kind of thing is meaning? (3) What are the most basic meaningful parts of language and how do they allow us to express more complex things? (4) How is linguistic meaning implicated in communication? (5) What is the source of (...)
     
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  3. Four Problems with Empty Names.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Empty names vary in their referential features. Some of them, as Kripke argues, are necessarily empty -- those that are used to create works of fiction. Others appear to be contingently empty -- those which fail to refer at this world, but which do uniquely identify particular objects in other possible worlds. I argue against Kripke's metaphysical and semantic reasons for thinking that either some or all empty names are necessarily non-referring, because these reasons are either not the right reasons (...)
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  4. (Public Address) No Means No: Feminist and Victim Understandings of Sexual Assault Awareness.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    While there are many different motivations for raising questions about the Sexual Assault Awareness Movement, at least one motivation comes from feminist controversies about what counts as consensual sex. Historically, this controversy arose between those known as "anti-pornography feminists", and "sex positive feminists" whose proponents had very different understandings of what counts as sexual autonomy for women. It is important to understand that questioning the current definitions of what counts as an instance of sexual assault does not entail an anti-feminist (...)
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  5. The Truth and Nothing but the Truth: Non-Literalism and The Habits of Sherlock Holmes.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Many philosophers deny that a sentence like ‘Sherlock Holmes smokes’ could be true. Yet, this conflicts with speakers’ assignments of the value true to such a sentence. Furthermore, that assignment seems in no way distinct from the process that leads speakers to assign true to other sentences, sentences like ‘Bertrand Russell smokes’. We will explore the idea that when speakers assign the value true to the first sentence, they are not mistaken, nor confused — that we ought to take such (...)
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  6. Being Called Names: Attributive Calling Accounts of Names.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Historically, debates about the nature of proper names have been about whether we should treat them as devices of reference or as disguised definite descriptions. More recently, however, the debate centers around treating them as devices of reference or as predicates. There are different views about the nature of name-predicates. At least one version of predicativism relies on analyzing name-predicates as involving the concept of being called by a name – calling accounts. Some have offered meta-linguistic calling accounts of the (...)
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  7. Descriptive Names and Shifty Characters: A Context-Sensitive Account.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Standard rigid designator accounts of a name’s meaning have trouble accommodating what I will call a descriptive name’s “shifty” character -- its tendency to shift its referent over time in response to a discovery that the conventional referent of that name does not satisfy the description with which that name was introduced. I offer a variant of Kripke’s historical semantic theory of how names function, a variant that can accommodate the character of descriptive names while maintaining rigidity for proper names. (...)
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  8.  94
    Names Are Not Predicates.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    There are many examples offered as evidence that proper names are predicates. Not all of these cases speak to a name’s semantic content, but many of them do. Some of these include attributive, quantifier, and ambiguity cases. We will explore those cases here, and we will see that none of them conclusively show that names are predicates. In fact, all of these constructions can be given alternative analyses that eliminate the predicative characteristics of names they feature. These analyses do not (...)
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  9. Kypris, Aphrodite, and Venus: Another Puzzle About Belief.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    My aim in this paper is to show that the existence of empty names raise problems for the Millian that go beyond the traditional problems of accounting for their meanings. Specifically, they have implications for Millian strategies for dealing with puzzles about belief. The standard move of positing a referent for a fictional name to avoid the problem of meaning, because of its distinctly Millian motivation, implies that solving puzzles about belief, when they involve empty names, do in fact hang (...)
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  10.  16
    Not Just Another Philosophy of Language Book. [REVIEW]Heidi Savage - 2017 - Metascience 26 (3):519-521.
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  11.  10
    Review of Brian Hedden's Reason Without Persons: Rationality, Identity, and Time. [REVIEW]Heidi Savage - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  12.  42
    On Diachronic, Synchronic, and Logical Necessity.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    According to EJ Lowe, diachronic necessity and synchronic necessity are logically independent. Diachronic possibility concerns what could happen to an object over time and therefore concerns future possibilities for that object given its past history. Synchronic possibility concerns what is possible for an object in the present or at a past present moment. These are logically independent, given certain assumptions. While it may true that because I am 38, it is impossible diachronically for me to be 30 (at least once (...)
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  13. Against False Pretences.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Any plausible account of the act of pretending, either by presupposition or constitution, involves an assumption that the facts are other than what they are. An examination of various accounts of pretence shows this to be the feature that distinguishes it from other actions such as imagining, fantasizing, creating, or hypothesizing. This discovery has implications for standard analyses of the nature of fiction. To wit, whatever is occurring when engaged in reading a work of fiction, it is not an act (...)
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  14. It's Easy Being Free: Notes on Frankfurt-Style Real Self Conceptions of Free Will.Heidi Savage & Noah Sider - manuscript
    On Frankfurt's view of free will, in its simplest form, an agent is free just in case her second-order volitions -- those second-order desires she wishes to be effective -- are in accord with her first-order volitions -- those first-order desires that one actually acts upon. That is, an agent has free will just in case she has the desires she wants to have and they are the desires she acts upon. But now consider an agent who lacks free will (...)
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  15. Naming and Referring.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    This book is about whether reference to an individual is the essential feature of a proper name -- a widely held view -- or whether referring to an individual is simply a contingent feature. Three questions need resolving, then. First, whether all names in particular contexts are themselves referring devices. Second, whether recognizing names types and the consequent issue of their ambiguity can be resolved simply by distinguishing between name types and tokens thereof. Last, whether names are ever referential in (...)
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  16. On Slurring Women.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Exploring the nature of slurs, and various treatments thereof, has consequences for feminist theory. In particular, if we adopt the idea that the word "woman" itself can count as a slur, and that slurs are composed, in part, of descriptive and evaluative content, then certain inferences about essentialism and the social construction of sex and/or gender categories warrant closer examination. Those who make claims about the social construction of these categories must attend to the semantics of slurs, since arguably such (...)
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  17. Performative Meta-Linguistic Actions.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    At least one of the issues surrounding proper names is how to understand the act of naming itself. Thus far, there has been little in the way of analysis of this phenomenon, save for using certain buzz words like "dubbing" or "christening" or "baptizing." The views that have been developed -- the causal theory, and the property attribution theory -- fail. Unlike the latter, I hold that an act of naming must in some way be meta-linguistic. And, unlike the former, (...)
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  18. The Contingencies of Ontological Commitment.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Some time ago, Quine once asserted that to be is to be value of a variable. This entails that if one wishes to accept any theory as true, we must be committed to the existence of those objects over which we existentially quantify. I suggest instead that we are committed to the existence only of those things that have at least some intrinsic contingent properties. Any discourse that involves existential quantification over entities whose instrinsic properties can change will, of necessity, (...)
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  19.  52
    The Context of Introduction Thesis (Naming and Referring Ch.3).Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Here give a detailed account of a bipartite view of proper names -- that they have two parts to their semantic value, only one of which contributes directly to their truth conditional content. The other part of a proper name's semantic value informs a speaker about its referential status, and therefore, how to evaluate a sentence containing it for truth with respect to particular rules of predication.
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  20. The Inevitability of Death: Going From an Is to an Ought.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Since Hume, many ethicists have assumed that inferring normative claims from descriptive claims is fallacious. Some classic examples that illustrate this fact are those in which everyone commits some act, but we do not therefore conclude that it is the right thing to do. Everyone may jump off a bridge, asserts your mother, but that does not entail that you should. However, not all such claims illustrate this. In fact, some of them illustrate precisely the opposite claim. For example, consider (...)
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  21. The Problem with Meta-Linguistic Analyses of the Meanings of Proper Names.Heidi Savage - manuscript
    Some time ago, Kripke argued that meta-linguistic analyses of proper names were utterly uninformative. I suggest here that his objection relies on conflating the language used to talk about a particular language L -- the meta-language -- with direct speech reports made within a language -- the object language. Making this distinction leads to an understanding of meta-linguistic analyses of proper names that are not simply tautologous, so long as we do not understand the meta-linguistic analysis of, say, the expression (...)
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