12 found
Karen S. Lewis [12]Karen Shelley Lewis [1]
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Karen S. Lewis
Barnard College
  1. Elusive Counterfactuals.Karen S. Lewis - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):286-313.
    I offer a novel solution to the problem of counterfactual skepticism: the worry that all contingent counterfactuals without explicit probabilities in the consequent are false. I argue that a specific kind of contextualist semantics and pragmatics for would- and might-counterfactuals can block both central routes to counterfactual skepticism. One, it can explain the clash between would- and might-counterfactuals as in: If you had dropped that vase, it would have broken. and If you had dropped that vase, it might have safely (...)
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  2. Counterfactual Discourse in Context.Karen S. Lewis - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):481-507.
    The classic Lewis-Stalnaker semantics for counterfactuals captures that Sobel sequences are consistent sequences, for example: a.If Sophie had gone to the parade, she would have seen Pedro dance. b.But if Sophie had gone to the parade and been stuck behind someone tall, she would not have seen Pedro dance. But reverse a sequence like this one and it no longer sounds so good, which is surprising on the classic semantics. This observation motivated Kai von Fintel and Thony Gillies to propose (...)
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  3.  71
    Anaphora and negation.Karen S. Lewis - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (5):1403-1440.
    One of the central questions of discourse dynamics is when an anaphoric pronoun is licensed. This paper addresses this question as it pertains to the complex data involving anaphora and negation. It is commonly held that negation blocks anaphoric potential, for example, we cannot say “Bill doesn’t have a car. It is black”. However, there are many exceptions to this generalization. This paper examines a variety of types of discourses in which anaphora on indefinites under the scope of negation is (...)
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  4.  82
    Anaphora.Jeffrey C. King & Karen S. Lewis - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  5. Do we need dynamic semantics?Karen S. Lewis - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 231-258.
    I suspect the answer to the question in the title of this paper is no. But the scope of my paper will be considerably more limited: I will be concerned with whether certain types of considerations that are commonly cited in favor of dynamic semantics do in fact push us towards a dynamic semantics. Ultimately, I will argue that the evidence points to a dynamics of discourse that is best treated pragmatically, rather than as part of the semantics.
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  6.  35
    Descriptions, pronouns, and uniqueness.Karen S. Lewis - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (3):559-617.
    Both definite descriptions and pronouns are often anaphoric; that is, part of their interpretation in context depends on prior linguistic material in the discourse. For example: A student walked in. The student sat down. A student walked in. She sat down. One popular view of anaphoric pronouns, the d-type view, is that pronouns like ‘she’ go proxy for definite descriptions like ‘the student who walked in’, which are in turn treated in a classical Russellian or Fregean fashion. I argue for (...)
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  7.  92
    The Speaker Authority Problem for Context-Sensitivity.Karen S. Lewis - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1527-1555.
    Context-sensitivity raises a metasemantic question: what determines the value of a context-sensitive expression in context? Taking gradable adjectives as a case study, this paper argues against various forms of intentionalist metasemantics, i.e. that speaker intentions determine values for context-sensitive expressions in context, including the coordination account recently defended by King :219–237, 2014a; in: Burgess, Sherman Metasemantics: New essays on the foundations of meaning, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 97–118, 2014b). The paper argues that all intentionalist accounts face the speaker authority (...)
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  8. Discourse dynamics, pragmatics, and indefinites.Karen S. Lewis - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):313-342.
    Discourse dynamics, pragmatics, and indefinites Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-30 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9882-y Authors Karen S. Lewis, Department of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  9.  23
    Metasemantics without semantic intentions.Karen S. Lewis - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (8):991-1019.
    ABSTRACT The most common answers to metasemantic questions regarding context-sensitive expressions appeal primarily to speakers' intentions. Having rejected intentionalism in Lewis [.” Erkenntnis 85: 1527–1555.], this paper takes a non-intentionalist perspective in answering the metasemantic question: how does a context determine the value of context-sensitive expressions? It focuses on the case of gradable adjectives, i.e. expressions like ‘tall’, ‘expensive’, and ‘rich’, which require a contextually determined standard in the unmarked positive form, as in ‘Pia is tall’. I argue that this (...)
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  10. Dynamic Semantics.Karen S. Lewis - 2017 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    This article focuses on foundational issues in dynamic and static semantics, specifically on what is conceptually at stake between the dynamic framework and the truth-conditional framework, and consequently what kinds of evidence support each framework. The article examines two questions. First, it explores the consequences of taking the proposition as central semantic notion as characteristic of static semantics, and argues that this is not as limiting in accounting for discourse dynamics as many think. Specifically, it explores what it means for (...)
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  11. Counterfactuals and Knowledge.Karen S. Lewis - 2017 - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism. pp. 411-424.
  12. Speaker's reference and anaphoric pronouns.Karen S. Lewis - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):404-437.