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Herman Cappelen
University of Oslo
  1. Insensitive Semantics: A Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2005 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    _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 (...)
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  2. Relativism and Monadic Truth.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
    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.
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  3. Philosophy Without Intuitions.Herman Cappelen - 2012 - 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.
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  4. A Guided Tour Of Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.David Plunkett & Herman Cappelen - forthcoming - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  5. Davidson: Sobre El-decir-lo-mismo: Separando el contenido del acto de habla del contenido semántico.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2004 - Ideas Y Valores 53:7-21.
    In this article, we present three basic elements of a neoDavidsonian semantics. The first element is the denial that semantic content is identical to the content conveyed by an utterance; second, the adoption of a minimal semantics as the most natural way to develop a semantic theory for natural language, and third, speech act pluralism, understood as the best way to account for when two utterances say the same thing. These elements taken together give an account of one of the (...)
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  6.  89
    Conceptual Engineering: The Master Argument.Herman Cappelen - forthcoming - In Herman Cappelen, David Plunkett & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  7.  10
    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. Assertion: New Philosophical Essays.Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.) - 2011 - 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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  9.  43
    Assertion: A Defective Theoretical Category.Herman Cappelen - forthcoming - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  10.  28
    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.
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  12. 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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  13.  34
    Language Turned on Itself: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metalinguistic Discourse.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2007 - 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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  14. X-Phi Without Intuitions?Herman Cappelen - 2014 - In Anthony Robert Booth & Darrell P. Rowbottom (eds.), Intuitions.
    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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  15.  91
    The Inessential Indexical: On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    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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  16.  55
    Relative Truth.Herman Cappelen & Torfinn Huvenes - forthcoming - In Michael Glanzberg (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Truth. Oxford University Press.
    An introduction to relativism about truth.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. Against Assertion.Herman Cappelen - 2011 - In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. 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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  20. 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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  21. Indexicality, Binding, Anaphora and A Priori Truth.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):271-81.
    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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  22.  74
    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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  23. Reply to Lasersohn, MacFarlane, and Richard. [REVIEW]Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):417-419.
    Reply to Lasersohn, MacFarlane, and Richard.
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  24.  67
    Action Without The First Person Perspective.Herman Cappelen & Joshua Dever - manuscript
    In our book The Inessential Indexical we argue that the various theses of essential indexicality all fail. Indexicals are not essential, we conclude. One essentiality thesis we target in the third chapter is the claim that indexical attitudes are essential for action. Our strategy is to give examples of what we call impersonal action rationalizations , which explain actions without citing indexical attitudes. To defeat the claim that indexical attitudes are essential for action, it suffices that there could be even (...)
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  25.  88
    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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  26. 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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  27.  82
    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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  28. Content Relativism and Semantic Blindness.Herman Cappelen - 2008 - In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Max 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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  29. 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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  30.  22
    The Crisis of Method in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy. [REVIEW]Herman Cappelen & Max Emil Deutsch - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 1 (05).
    Review of Avner Baz's book on the methodology of philosophy.
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  31.  16
    Assertion: An Introduction and Overview.Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen - 2011 - In Jessica Brown & Herman Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays. 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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  32.  70
    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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  33.  3
    Reply to Lasersohn, MacFarlane, and Richard.Herman Cappelen & John Hawthorne - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (3):449-466.
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  34.  68
    Replies. [REVIEW]Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):469–492.
    Symposium on Insensitive Semantics. Replies to Kent Bach, John Hawthorne, Kepa Korta and John Perry, and Robert J. Stainton.
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  35.  34
    Semantics and Pragmatics: Some Central Issues.Herman Cappelen - 2007 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 3--24.
    Introduction to Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics, 2007, Oxford University Press, (eds. Preyer and Peter).
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  36.  96
    Response.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (1):50–73.
    Reading these excellent commentaries we already wish we had written another book—a more comprehensive, clearer, and better defended one than what we have. We are, however, quite fond of the book we ended up with, and so we’ve decided that, rather than to yield, we’ll clarify. These contributions have helped us do that, and for that we are grateful to our critics. We’re lucky in that many (so far about twenty)1 extremely able philosophers have read and commented on our work (...)
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  37.  76
    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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  38. The Myth of Unarticulated Constituents.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2007 - 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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  39. Relevance Theory and Shared Content.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2007 - In Noel Burton-Roberts (ed.), Pragmatics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 115--135.
    Speakers share content when they make the same assertion (claim, conjecture, proposal, etc). They also share content when they propose (entertain, discuss, etc.) the same hypothesis, theory, and thought. And again when they evaluate whether what each says (thinks, claims, suggests, etc.) is true, false, interesting, obscene, original or offensive. Content sharing, so understood, is the very foundation of communication. Relevance Theory (RT), however, implies that content sharing is impossible; or at least, we will argue as much in what follows.
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  40. Using, Mentioning and Quoting: A Reply to Saka.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 1999 - Mind 108 (432):741-750.
    Paul Saka, in a recent paper, declares that we can use, mention, or quote an expression. Whether a speaker is using or mentioning an expression, on a given occasion, depends on his intentions. An exhibited expression is used, if the exhibiter intends to direct his audience’s attention to the expression’s extension. It is mentioned, if he intends to draw his audience’s attention to something associated with the exhibited token other than its extension. This includes, but is not limited to, an (...)
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  41. A Tall Tale: In Defense of Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2005 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 197-220.
    In Insensitive Semantics (2004), we argue for two theses – Semantic Minimalism and Speech Act Pluralism. In this paper, we outline our defense against two objections often raised against Semantic Minimalism. To get to that defense, we first need some stage setting. To that end, we begin with five stage setting sections. These lead to the first objection, viz., that it might follow from our view that comparative adjectives are context insensitive. We defend our view against that objection (not, as (...)
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  42.  56
    Précis of Philosophy Without Intuitions.Herman Cappelen - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):513-515.
    Philosophy without intuitions is in many ways a simple book. It has a simple guiding question:Guiding Question . Is it characteristic of philosophers that they rely on intuitions as evidence?The central thesis of the book is also simple: the answer to GQ is ‘No’. A corollary is that all the work that assumes a positive answer, e.g. experimental philosophy and what I call ‘methodological rationalism’, is based on a false assumption.For those familiar with the last 30 years of metaphilosophical debates, (...)
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  43. Radical and Moderate Pragmatics: Does Meaning Determine Truth Conditions?Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2005 - In Zoltán Gendler Szabó (ed.), Semantics versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press.
    But the sort of context sensitivity exhibited in such sentences does not compromise the claim that meaning determines truth conditions, since recourse to context here is directed and restricted by conventional meaning alone. Anyone who understands sentence (2) knows that its utterances are true just in case whatever object is demonstrated in the context of utterance is nice; and he also knows that any utterance of (2) says of, or expresses about, whichever object is demonstrated that it’s nice. (Similarly, anyone (...)
     
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  44. Précis of Insensitive Semantics. [REVIEW]Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):425–434.
    Insensitive Semantics (I) has three components: It defends a positive theory; it presents a methodology for how to distinguish semantic context sensitivity from other kinds of context sensitivity; and finally, it includes chapters critical of other contributors on these issues. In this Précis, we outline each component, but before doing so a few brief ‘big picture’ remarks about the positions defended in IS are in order.
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  45. Believing in Words.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2001 - Synthese 127 (3):279 - 301.
    The semantic puzzles posed by propositional attitude contexts have, since Frege, been understood primarily in terms of certain substitution puzzles. We will take as paradigmatic of such substitution puzzles cases in which two coreferential proper names cannot be intersubstituted salva veritate in the context of an attitude verb. Thus, for example, the following sentences differ in truth value: (1) Lois Lane believes Superman can fly. (2) Lois Lane believes Clark Kent can fly. despite the fact that "Superman" and "Clark Kent" (...)
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  46.  67
    Shared Content.Herman Cappelen & Ernest Lepore - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Language. 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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  47.  89
    Reply to Tsohatzidis.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 1998 - Mind 107 (427):665-666.
    We reply to Savis Tsohatzidis's comments on our paper The Varieties of Quotation.
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  48.  64
    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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  49.  15
    Intuitions.Herman Cappelen & Douglas G. Winblad - 1999 - Facta Philosophica: Internazionale Zeitschrift für Gegenwartsphilosophie 1 (1):197-216.
    This paper examines two attempts to justify the way in which intuitions about specific cases are used as evidence for and against philosophical theories. According to the concept model, intuitions about cases are trustworthy applications of one’s typically tacit grasp of certain concepts. We argue that regardless of whether externalist or internalist accounts of conceptual content are correct, the concept model flounders. The second justification rests on the less familiar belief model, which has it that intuitions in philosophy derive from (...)
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  50. Indexicality, Binding, Anaphora and a Priori Truth.Herman Cappelen & Ernie Lepore - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):271-281.
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