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Herman Cappelen [100]Hermann Cappelen [1]
  1. Fixing Language: An Essay on Conceptual Engineering.Herman Cappelen - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Herman Cappelen investigates how language and other representational devices can go wrong, and how to fix them. We use language to understand and talk about the world, but what if our language has deficiencies that prevent it from playing that role? How can we revise our concepts, and what are the limits on revision?
  2. Philosophy Without Intuitions.Herman Cappelen - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
    The standard view of philosophical methodology is that philosophers rely on intuitions as evidence. Herman Cappelen argues that this claim is false: it is not true that philosophers rely extensively on intuitions as evidence. At worst, analytic philosophers are guilty of engaging in somewhat irresponsible use of 'intuition'-vocabulary. While this irresponsibility has had little effect on first order philosophy, it has fundamentally misled meta-philosophers: it has encouraged meta-philosophical pseudo-problems and misleading pictures of what philosophy is.
  3. Relativism and Monadic Truth.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2009 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by John Hawthorne.
    Cappelen and Hawthorne present a powerful critique of fashionable relativist accounts of truth, and the foundational ideas in semantics on which the new relativism draws. They argue compellingly that the contents of thought and talk are propositions that instantiate the fundamental monadic properties of truth and falsity.
  4. Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2005 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by Ernest LePore.
    _Insensitive Semantics_ is an overview of and contribution to the debates about how to accommodate context sensitivity within a theory of human communication, investigating the effects of context on communicative interaction and, as a corollary, what a context of utterance is and what it is to be in one. Provides detailed and wide-ranging overviews of the central positions and arguments surrounding contextualism Addresses broad and varied aspects of the distinction between the semantic and non-semantic content of language Defends a distinctive (...)
  5.  40
    Relativism and Monadic Truth.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2009 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Hawthorne.
    Cappelen and Hawthorne present a powerful critique of fashionable relativist accounts of truth, and the foundational ideas in semantics on which the new relativism draws. They argue compellingly that the contents of thought and talk are propositions that instantiate the fundamental monadic properties of truth and falsity.
  6. Conceptual Engineering: The Master Argument.Herman Cappelen - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    I call the activity of assessing and developing improvements of our representational devices ‘conceptual engineering’.¹ The aim of this chapter is to present an argument for why conceptual engineering is important for all parts of philosophy (and, more generally, all inquiry). Section I of the chapter provides some background and defines key terms. Section II presents the argument. Section III responds to seven objections. The replies also serve to develop the argument and clarify what conceptual engineering is.
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  7. Relativism and Monadic Truth.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):109-111.
    The beginning of the twenty-first century saw something of a comeback for relativism within analytical philosophy. Relativism and Monadic Truth has three main goals. First, we wished to clarify what we take to be the key moving parts in the intellectual machinations of self-described relativists. Secondly, we aimed to expose fundamental flaws in those argumentative strategies that drive the pro-relativist movement and precursors from which they draw inspiration. Thirdly, we hoped that our polemic would serve as an indirect defence of (...)
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  8.  28
    The Inessential Indexical: On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2013 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. Edited by Josh Dever.
    Cappelen and Dever present a forceful challenge to the standard view that perspective, and in particular the perspective of the first person, is a philosophically deep aspect of the world. Their goal is not to show that we need to explain indexical and other perspectival phenomena in different ways, but to show that the entire topic is an illusion.
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  9. Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.) - 2019 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics are branches of philosophy concerned with questions about how to assess and ameliorate our representational devices (such as concepts and words). It's a part of philosophy concerned with questions about which concepts we should use (and why), how concepts can be improved, when concepts should be abandoned, and how proposals for amelioration can be implemented. Central parts of the history of philosophy have engaged with these issues, but the focus of this volume is on applications (...)
  10.  19
    Insensitive Semantics.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):443-450.
    We give a precis of our book Insensitive Semantics.
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  11. Insensitive Semantics. A Defence of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2008 - Critica 40 (120):148-152.
  12.  68
    Bad Language.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2019 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Edited by Josh Dever.
    Bad Language is the first textbook on an emerging area in the study of language: non-idealized language use, the linguistic behaviour of people who exploit language for malign purposes. This lively, accessible introduction offers theoretical frameworks for thinking about such topics as lies and bullshit, slurs and insults, coercion and silencing.
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  13. A Guided Tour Of Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-26.
    In this Introduction, we aim to introduce the reader to the basic topic of this book. As part of this, we explain why we are using two different expressions (‘conceptual engineering’ and ‘conceptual ethics’) to describe the topics in the book. We then turn to some of the central foundational issues that arise for conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics, and finally we outline various views one might have about their role in philosophy and inquiry more generally.
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  14. Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (1):1-26.
     
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  15.  23
    Assertion: New Philosophical Essays.Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Assertion is a fundamental feature of language. This volume will be the place to look for anyone interested in current work on the topic.
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  16.  20
    Against Assertion.Herman Cappelen - 2011 - In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    The view defended in this paper - I call it the No-Assertion view - rejects the assumption that it is theoretically useful to single out a subset of sayings as assertions: (v) Sayings are governed by variable norms, come with variable commitments and have variable causes and effects. What philosophers have tried to capture by the term 'assertion' is largely a philosophers' invention. It fails to pick out an act-type that we engage in and it is not a category we (...)
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  17.  21
    Language Turned on Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    This is the first book devoted to the question of how language can be used to talk about language. Cappelen and Lepore examine the semantics, the pragmatics, and the syntax of linguistic devices that can be used in this way, and present a new account of our use of quotation in a variety of different contexts.
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  18.  31
    The concept of democracy: an essay on conceptual amelioration and abandonment.Herman Cappelen - 2023 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read on Oxford Academic and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. If we don't know what the words 'democracy' and 'democratic' mean, then we don't know what democracy is. This book defends a radical view: these words mean nothing and should be abandoned. The argument for Abolitionism is simple: those terms are defective (...)
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  19. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted to essays about the interconnections between philosophy (...)
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  20. Making AI Intelligible: Philosophical Foundations.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2021 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Can humans and artificial intelligences share concepts and communicate? Making AI Intelligible shows that philosophical work on the metaphysics of meaning can help answer these questions. Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever use the externalist tradition in philosophy to create models of how AIs and humans can understand each other. In doing so, they illustrate ways in which that philosophical tradition can be improved. The questions addressed in the book are not only theoretically interesting, but the answers have pressing practical implications. (...)
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  21.  27
    Varieties of Quotation.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 1997 - Mind 106 (423):429-450.
    There are at least four varieties of quotation, including pure, direct, indirect and mixed. A theory of quotation, we argue, should give a unified account of these varieties of quotation. Mixed quotes such as 'Alice said that life is 'difficult to understand'', in which an utterance is directly and indirectly quoted concurrently, is an often overlooked variety of quotation. We show that the leading theories of pure, direct, and indirect quotation are unable to account for mixed quotation and therefore unable (...)
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  22.  29
    On an Alleged Connection Between Indirect Speech and the Theory of Meaning.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (3-4):278–296.
    A semantic theory T for a language L should assign content to utterances of sentences of L. One common assumption is that T will assign p to some S of L just in case in uttering S a speaker A says that p. We will argue that this assumption is mistaken.
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  23.  23
    Language Turned on Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
    Language Turned on Itself examines what happens when language becomes self-reflexive; when language is used to talk about language. Those who think, talk, and write about language are habitual users of various metalinguistic devices, but reliance on these devices begins early: kids are told, 'That's called a "rabbit"'. It's not implausible that a primitive capacity for the meta-linguistic kicks in at the beginning stages of language acquisition. But no matter when or how frequently these devices are invoked, one thing is (...)
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  24.  36
    Nonsense and illusions of thought.Herman Cappelen - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):22-50.
    This paper addresses four issues: 1. What is nonsense? 2. Is nonsense possible? 3. Is nonsense actual? 4. Why do the answers to (1)–(3) matter, if at all? These are my answers: 1. A sentence (or an utterance of one) is nonsense if it fails to have or express content (more on ‘express’, ‘have’, and ‘content’ below). This is a version of a view that can be found in Carnap (1959), Ayer (1936), and, maybe, the early Wittgenstein (1922). The notion (...)
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  25.  59
    Puzzles Of Reference.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by Josh Dever.
    It is a fundamental feature of language that words refer to things. Much attention has been devoted to the nature of reference, both in philosophy and in linguistics. Puzzles of Reference is the first book to give a comprehensive accessible survey of the fascinating work on this topic from the 1970s to the present day. -/- Written by two eminent philosophers of language, Puzzles of Reference offers an up-to-date introduction to reference in philosophy and linguistics, summarizing ideas such as Kripke's (...)
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  26. Assertion: A Defective Theoretical Category.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - In Goldberg Sanford (ed.), Oxford Handbook on Assertion. Oxford University Press.
  27.  24
    X-Phi Without Intuitions?Herman Cappelen - 2014 - In Anthony Robert Booth & Darrell P. Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions. Oxford University Press.
    One central purpose of Experimental Philosophy (hereafter, x-phi) is to criticize the alleged reliance on intuitions in contemporary philosophy. In my book Philosophy without Intuitions (hereafter, PWI), I argue that philosophers don’t rely on intuitions. If those arguments are good, experimental philosophy has been engaged in an attack on a strawman. The goal of this paper is to bolster the criticism of x-phi in the light of responses.
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  28. In defense of ordinary language philosophy.Herman Cappelen & Matthew McKeever - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (2-3):221-237.
    Metaphilosophy, Volume 53, Issue 2-3, Page 221-237, April 2022.
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  29.  25
    Content Relativism and Semantic Blindness.Herman Cappelen - 2008 - In G. Carpintero & M. Koelbel (eds.), Relative Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 265-86.
    For some relativists some of the time the evidence for their view is a puzzling data pattern: On the one hand, there's evidence that the terms in question exhibit some kind of content stability across contexts. On the other hand, there's evidence that their contents vary from one context of use to another. The challenge is to reconcile these two sets of data. Truth relativists claim that their theory can do so better than contextualism and invariantism. Truth relativists, in effect, (...)
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  30. Experimental philosophy without intuitions: an illustration of why it fails.Herman Cappelen - 2022 - Philosophical Studies (1):309-317.
    Machery’s book is an effort to show how experimental philosophy can be valuable without the perephenelia of intuitions. I argue that the effort fails.
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  31.  25
    Intentions in words.Herman Cappelen - 1999 - Noûs 33 (1):92-102.
    Philosophers take a great deal of interest in the study of meaning, reference, truth and other semantic properties, but remarkably little attention has been paid to the entities that have semantic properties. The view that’s typically taken for granted has two closely related components.
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  32.  18
    Replies to Weatherson, Chalmers, Weinberg, and Bengson.Herman Cappelen - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):577-600.
    Reply to criticsThe replies in this symposium are some of the most insightful contributions to contemporary metaphilosophy I have read. I wish I had seen them before I wrote Philosophy without Intuitions . It would have made it a better book. I also wish I had space to explore all the important issues raised, but unfortunately, the focus here will have to be on points of disagreement. The replies build on each other—I draw on material from the earlier replies in (...)
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  33.  13
    Assertion: An introduction and overview.Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen - 2011 - In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-17.
    We introduce the concept of assertion, survey existing views about it, and detail the contents of the remainder of the book.
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  34.  19
    The Creative Interpreter: Content Relativism and Assertion.Herman Cappelen - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):23 - 46.
    Philosophers of language and linguists tend to think of the interpreter as an essentially non-creative participant in the communicative process. There’s no room, in traditional theories, for the view that correctness of interpretation depends in some essential way on the interpreter. As a result, there’s no room for the possibility that while P is the correct interpretation of an utterance, u, for one interpreter, P* is the correct interpretation of that utterance for another interpreter. Recently, a number of theorists have, (...)
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  35.  19
    Context shifting arguments.Ernie Lepore & Herman Cappelen - 2003 - Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):25–50.
    Context Shifting Arguments (CSA) ask us to consider two utterances of an unambiguous, non-vague, non-elliptic sentence S. If the consensus intuition is that what’s said, or expressed or the truth-conditions, and so possibly the truthvalues, of these utterances differ, then CSA concludes S is context sensitive. Consider, for example, simultaneous utterances of ‘I am wearing a hat’, one by Stephen, one by Jason. Intuitively, these utterances can vary in truth-value contingent upon who is speaking the sentence, while holding hat-wearing constant, (...)
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  36.  31
    Demokrati og uvitenhet.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 55 (2-3):185-198.
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  37. Conceptual Engineering, Topics, Metasemantics, and Lack of Control.Herman Cappelen - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (5):594-605.
    Conceptual engineering is now a central topic in contemporary philosophy. Just 4-5 years ago it wasn’t. People were then engaged in the engineering of various philosophical concepts (in various sub-disciplines), but typically not self-consciously so. Qua philosophical method, conceptual engineering was under-explored, often ignored, and poorly understood. In my lifetime, I have never seen interest in a philosophical topic grow with such explosive intensity. The sociology behind this is fascinating and no doubt immensely complex (and an excellent case study for (...)
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  38. Indexicality, binding, anaphora and a priori truth.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):271-281.
    Indexicals are linguistic expressions whose meaning remain stable while their reference shifts from utterance to utterance. Paradigmatic cases in English are ‘I’, ‘here’, and ‘now’. Recently, a number of authors have argued that various constructions in our language harbor hidden indexicals. We say 'hidden' because these indexicals are unpronounced, even though they are alleged to be real linguistic components. Constructions taken by some authors to be associated, or to ‘co-habit’, with hidden indexicals include: definite descriptions and quantifiers more generally (hidden (...)
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  39.  27
    Relative Truth.Herman Cappelen & Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes - 2018 - In Michael Glanzberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    An introduction to relativism about truth.
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  40.  95
    AI Safety: A Climb To Armageddon?Herman Cappelen, Dever Josh & Hawthorne John - manuscript
    This paper presents an argument that certain AI safety measures, rather than mitigating existential risk, may instead exacerbate it. Under certain key assumptions - the inevitability of AI failure, the expected correlation between an AI system's power at the point of failure and the severity of the resulting harm, and the tendency of safety measures to enable AI systems to become more powerful before failing - safety efforts have negative expected utility. The paper examines three response strategies: Optimism, Mitigation, and (...)
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  41. Disagreement in Philosophy: An Optimistic Perspective.Herman Cappelen - 2017 - In Guiseppina D'Oro & Soren Overgaard (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Philosophical Methodology. Cambridge University Press.
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  42. Empathy and transformative experience without the first person point of view.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):315-336.
    In her very interesting ‘First-personal modes of presentation and the problem of empathy’, L. A. Paul argues that the phenomenon of empathy gives us reason to care about the first person point of view: that as theorists we can only understand, and as humans only evince, empathy by appealing to that point of view. We are skeptics about the importance of the first person point of view, although not about empathy. The goal of this paper is to see if we (...)
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  43.  18
    Quotation.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Starting with Frege, the semantics (and pragmatics) of quotation has received a steady flow of attention over the last one hundred years. It has not, however, been subject to the same kind of intense debate and scrutiny as, for example, both the semantics of definite descriptions and propositional attitude verbs. Many philosophers probably share Davidson's experience: ‘When I was initiated into the mysteries of logic and semantics, quotation was usually introduced as a somewhat shady device, and the introduction was accompanied (...)
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  44. Why Philosophers Shouldn’t Do Semantics.Herman Cappelen - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4):743-762.
    The linguistic turn provided philosophers with a range of reasons for engaging in careful investigation into the nature and structure of language. However, the linguistic turn is dead. The arguments for it have been abandoned. This raises the question: why should philosophers take an interest in the minutiae of natural language semantics? I’ll argue that there isn’t much of a reason - philosophy of language has lost its way. Then I provide a suggestion for how it can find its way (...)
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  45. Locations and binding.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2007 - Analysis 67 (2):95-105.
    It is natural to think that the relationship between ‘rain’ and the location of rain is different from the relationship between ‘dance’ and the location of dancing. Utterances of (1) are typically interpreted as, in some sense, being about a location in which it rains. (2) is, typically, not interpreted as being about a location in which the dancing takes place.
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  46.  29
    Reply to Lasersohn, MacFarlane, and Richard.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):449-466.
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  47.  13
    Shared Content.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2006 - In Ernest LePore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 1020--1055.
    A general and fundamental tension surrounds our concept of what is said. On the one hand, what is said (asserted, claimed, stated, etc.) by utterances of a significant range of sentences is highly context sensitive. More specifically, (Observation 1 (O1)), what these sentences can be used to say depends on their contexts of utterance. On the other hand, speakers face no difficulty whatsoever in using many of these sentences to say (or make) the exact same claim, assertion, etc., across a (...)
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  48. The Myth of Unarticulated Constituents.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2005 - In Michael O'Rourke & Corey Washington (eds.), Situating Semantics: Essays on the Philosophy of John Perry. MIT Press. pp. 199-214.
    This paper evaluates arguments presented by John Perry (and Ken Taylor) in favor of the presence of an unarticulated constituent in the proposition expressed by utterance of, for example, (1):1 1. It's raining (at t). We contend that these arguments are, at best, inconclusive. That's the critical part of our paper. On the positive side, we argue that (1) has as its semantic content the proposition that it is raining (at t) and that this is a location-neutral proposition. According to (...)
     
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  49. Varieties of Quotation Revisited.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2003 - Belgian Journal of Linguistics (17):51-75.
    This paper develops the view presented in our 1997 paper "Varieties of Quotation". In the first part of the paper we show how phenomena such as scare-quotes, echoing and mimicry can be treated as what we call Speech Act Heuristics. We then defend a semantic account of mixed quotation. Along the way we discuss the role of indexicals in mixed quotation and the noncancelability of reference to words in mixed quotation. We also respond to some objections raised by Recanati, Saka, (...)
     
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  50. Shared Content.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2005 - In Ernie Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
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