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Kent Bach
San Francisco State University
  1. Linguistic Communication and Speech Acts.Kent Bach & Robert M. Harnish - 1979 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
    Psychological peculiarities of the training of teachers and lectures for the development of spiritual values and potential of youth -/- Definition of concepts "spiritual potential" and "spiritual values" is offered. It is noted that spiritual values have an individual-social basis. They affect the actions of people in various fields of life helping them to exercise moral choices of behavior in significant situations. Psychological peculiarities of the training of pedagogues to the development of spiritual values and the potential of student youth (...)
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  2. Thought and Reference.Kent Bach - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
    Presenting a novel account of singular thought, a systematic application of recent work in the theory of speech acts, and a partial revival of Russell's analysis of singular terms, this book takes an original approach to the perennial problems of reference and singular terms by separating the underlying issues into different levels of analysis.
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  3. Conversational Impliciture.Kent Bach - 1994 - Mind and Language 9 (2):124-162.
    Confusion in terms inspires confusion in concepts. When a relevant distinction is not clearly marked or not marked at all, it is apt to be blurred or even missed altogether in our thinking. This is true in any area of inquiry, pragmatics in particular. No one disputes that there are various ways in which what is communicated in an utterance can go beyond sentence meaning. The problem is to catalog the ways. It is generally recognized that linguistic meaning underdetermines speaker (...)
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  4.  37
    Literal Meaning.Kent Bach - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):487-492.
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  5.  38
    Spreading the Word.Kent Bach & Simon Blackburn - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (1):120.
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  6. The Myth of Conventional Implicature.Kent Bach - 1999 - Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (4):327-366.
    Grice’s distinction between what is said and what is implicated has greatly clarified our understanding of the boundary between semantics and pragmatics. Although border disputes still arise and there are certain difficulties with the distinction itself (see the end of §1), it is generally understood that what is said falls on the semantic side and what is implicated on the pragmatic side. But this applies only to what is..
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  7.  96
    Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism.Kent Bach - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (3):477-478.
  8.  28
    Linguistic Communication and Speech Acts.Warren Ingber, Kent Bach & Robert M. Harnish - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (1):134.
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  9. Applying Pragmatics to Epistemology.Kent Bach - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):68-88.
    This paper offers a smattering of applications of pragmatics to epistemology. In most cases they concern recent epistemological claims that depend for their plausibility on mistaking something pragmatic for something semantic. After giving my formulation of the semantic/pragmatic distinction and explaining how seemingly semantic intuitions can be responsive to pragmatic factors, I take up the following topics: 1. Classic Examples of Confusing Meaning and Use 2. Pragmatic Implications of Hedging or Intensifying an Assertion 3. Belief Attributions 4. Knowledge-wh 5. The (...)
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  10. Do Belief Reports Report Beliefs?Kent Bach - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):215-241.
    The traditional puzzles about belief reports puzzles rest on a certain seemingly innocuous assumption, that 'that'-clauses specify belief contents. The main theories of belief reports also rest on this "Specification Assumption", that for a belief report of the form 'A believes that p' to be true,' the proposition that p must be among the things A believes. I use Kripke's Paderewski case to call the Specification Assumption into question. Giving up that assumption offers prospects for an intuitively more plausible approach (...)
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  11.  74
    Conversational Impliciture.Kent Bach - 1994 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 284.
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  12. You Don't Say?Kent Bach - 2001 - Synthese 128 (1):15-44.
    This paper defends a purely semantic notion of what is said against various recent objections. The objections each cite some sort of linguistic, psychological, or epistemological fact that is supposed to show that on any viable notion of what a speaker says in uttering a sentence, there is pragmatic intrusion into what is said. Relying on a modified version of Grice's notion, on which what is said must be a projection of the syntax of the uttered sentence, I argue that (...)
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  13. An Analysis of Self-Deception.Kent Bach - 1981 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 41 (March):351-370.
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  14. The Emperor's New 'Knows'.Kent Bach - 2005 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning, and Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 51--89.
    When I examine contextualism there is much that I can doubt. I can doubt whether it is a cogent theory that I examining, and not a cleverly stated piece of whacks. I can doubt whether there is any real theory there at all. Perhaps what I took to be a theory was really some reflections; perhaps I am even the victim of some cognitive hallucination. One thing however I cannot doubt: that there exists a widely read pitch of a round (...)
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  15. The Semantics Pragmatics Distinction: What It is and Why It Matters.Kent Bach - 1997 - In K. Turner (ed.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Interface From Different Points of View. Elsevier. pp. 65--84.
    The distinction between semantics and pragmatics is easier to apply than to explain. Explaining it is complicated by the fact that many conflicting formulations have been proposed over the past sixty years. This might suggest that there is no one way of drawing the distinction and that how to draw it is merely a terminological question, a matter of arbitrary stipulation. In my view, though, these diverse formulations, despite their conflicts, all shed light on the distinction as it is commonly (...)
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  16. Context Ex Machina.Kent Bach - 2005 - In Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 15--44.
    Once upon a time it was assumed that speaking literally and directly is the norm and that speaking nonliterally or indirectly is the exception. The assumption was that normally what a speaker means can be read off of the meaning of the sentence he utters, and that departures from this, if not uncommon, are at least easily distinguished from normal utterances and explainable along Gricean lines. The departures were thought to be limited to obvious cases like figurative speech and conversational (...)
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  17. Default Reasoning: Jumping to Conclusions and Knowing When to Think Twice.Kent Bach - 1984 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 65 (1):37.
    Look before you leap. - Proverb. He who hesitates is lost. - Another proverb.
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  18.  52
    Picoeconomics: The Strategic Interaction of Successive Motivational States Within the Person.Kent Bach - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (4):981-983.
    There is a simple view of motivation on which desires are like pain-killers; they come in different strengths, and their strength determines their efficacy. That is, the stronger a desire the greater its motivational force and, when two desires conflict, the stronger one “wins out” over the weaker. This view makes it puzzling how anyone could ever exhibit “strength of will” and act on the weaker desire, even when it is a desire for something more highly valued than what is (...)
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  19. A Rationale for Reliabilism.Kent Bach - 1985 - The Monist 68 (2):246-263.
    What bothers people about reliabilism as a theory of justified belief? It has yet to be formulated adequately, but most philosophical theories have that problem. People seem to be bothered by the very idea of reliabilism, with its apparent disregard for believers’ rationality and responsibility. Yet its supporters can’t seem to understand its opponents complaints. I believe that the conflict can be clarified, if not resolved, by drawing certain important distinctions.
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  20. Giorgione Was so-Called Because of His Name.Kent Bach - 2002 - Philosophical Perspectives 16:73-103.
    Proper names seem simple on the surface. Indeed, anyone unfamiliar with philosophical debates about them might wonder what the fuss could possibly be about. It seems obvious why we need them and what we do with them, and that is to talk about particular persons, places, and things. You don't have to be as smart as Mill to think that proper names are simply tags attached to individuals. But sometimes appearances are deceiving.
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  21. Quantification, Qualification and Context a Reply to Stanley and Szabó.Kent Bach - 2000 - Mind and Language 15 (2-3):262–283.
    We hardly ever mean exactly what we say. I don’t mean that we generally speak figuratively or that we’re generally insincere. Rather, I mean that we generally speak loosely, omitting words that could have made what we meant more explicit and letting our audience fill in the gaps. Language works far more efficiently when we do that. Literalism can have its virtues, as when we’re drawing up a contract, programming a computer, or writing a philosophy paper, but we generally opt (...)
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  22. Intentions and Demonstrations.Kent Bach - 1992 - Analysis 52 (3):140--146.
    MARGA REIMER has forcefully challenged David Kaplan's recent claim ([3], pp. 582-4) that demonstrative gestures, in connnection with uses of demonstrative expressions, are without semantic significance and function merely as 'aids to communication', and that speaker intentions are what determine the demonstratum. Against this Reimer argues that demonstrations can and do play an essential semantic role and that the role of intentions is marginal at best. That is, together with the linguistic meaning of the demonstrative phrase being used, an act (...)
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  23.  91
    Part of What a Picture Is.Kent Bach - 1970 - British Journal of Aesthetics 10 (2):119-137.
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  24. Descriptions: Points of Reference.Kent Bach - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press. pp. 189-229.
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  25. Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong.Kent Bach - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (4):627.
    As the dust jacket proclaims, “this is surely Fodor’s most irritating book in years …. It should exasperate philosophers, linguists, cognitive psychologists, and cognitive neuroscientists alike.” Yes, Fodor is an equal-opportunity annoyer. He sees no job for conceptual analysts, no hope for lexical semanticists, and no need for prototype theorists. When it comes to shedding light on concepts, these luminaries have delivered nothing but moonshine. Fodor aims to remedy things, and not just with snake oil. He serves up plenty of (...)
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  26. Semantic Slack: What is Said and More.Kent Bach - 1994 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), Foundations of Speech Act Theory: Philosophical and Linguistic Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 267--291.
     
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  27. Getting a Thing Into a Thought.Kent Bach - 2010 - In Robin Jeshion (ed.), New Essays on Singular Thought. Oxford University Press. pp. 39.
  28. The Excluded Middle: Semantic Minimalism Without Minimal Propositions. [REVIEW]Kent Bach - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):435–442.
    Insensitive Semantics is mainly a protracted assault on semantic Contextualism, both moderate and radical. Cappelen and Lepore argue that Moderate Contextualism leads inevitably, like marijuana to heroin or masturbation to blindness, to Radical Contextualism and in turn that Radical Contextualism is misguided. Assuming that the only alternative to Contextualism is their Semantic Minimalism, they think they’ve given an indirect argument for it. But they overlook a third view, one that splits the difference between the other two. Like Contextualism it rejects (...)
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  29. Seemingly Semantic Intuitions.Kent Bach - 2002 - In Joseph K. Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth: Investigations in Philosophical Semantics. Seven Bridges Press. pp. 21--33.
    From ethics to epistemology to metaphysics, it is common for philosophers to appeal to “intuitions” about cases to identify counterexamples to one view and to find support for another. It would be interesting to examine the evidential status of such intuitions, snap judgments, gut reactions, or whatever you want to call them, but in this paper I will not be talking about moral, epistemological, or metaphysical intuitions. I’ll be focusing on semantic ones. In fact, I’ll be focusing on semantic intuitions (...)
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  30. Searle Against the World : How Can Experiences Find Their Objects?Kent Bach - 2007 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning, and Mind. Cambridge University Press.
    Here's an old question in the philosophy of perception: here I am, looking at this pen [I hold up a pen in my hand]. Presumably I really am seeing this pen. Even so, I could be having an experience just like the one I am having without anything being there. So how can the experience I am having really involve direct awareness of the pen? It seems as though the presence of the pen is inessential to the way the experience (...)
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  31. Knowledge in and Out of Context.Kent Bach - 2007 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O.’Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism. MIT Press. pp. 105--36.
    In this chapter, the author offers another explanation of the variation in contents, which is explained by contextualism as being related to a variation in standards. The author’s explanation posits that the contents of knowledge attributions are invariant. The variation lies in what knowledge attributions we are willing to make or accept. Although not easy to acknowledge, what contextualism counts as knowledge varies with the context in which it is attributed. A new rival to contextualism, known as Subject-Sensitive Invariantism, goes (...)
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  32. What's in a Name.Kent Bach - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):371 – 386.
  33. Perspectives on Possibilities: Contextualism, Relativism, or What?Kent Bach - 2009 - In Andy Egan & B. Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic possibilities are relative to bodies of information, or perspectives. To claim that something is epistemically possible is typically to claim that it is possible relative one’s own current perspective. We generally do this by using bare, unqualified epistemic possibility (EP) sentences, ones that don’t mention our perspective. The fact that epistemic possibilities are relative to perspectives suggests that these bare EP sentences fall short of fully expressing propositions, contrary to what both contextualists and relativists take for granted. Although they (...)
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  34. Actions Are Not Events.Kent Bach - 1980 - Mind 89 (353):114-120.
  35.  62
    A Representational Theory of Action.Kent Bach - 1978 - Philosophical Studies 34 (4):361 - 379.
  36. Loaded Words: On the Semantics and Pragmatics of Slurs.Kent Bach - unknown
    There are many mean and nasty things to say about mean and nasty talk, but I don't plan on saying any of them. There's a specific problem about slurring words that I want to address. This is a semantic problem. It's not very important compared to the real-world problems presented by bigotry, racism, discrimination, and worse. It's important only to linguistics and the philosophy of language.
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  37. Performatives Are Statements Too.Kent Bach - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 28 (4):229 - 236.
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  38. The Top 10 Minconceptions About Implicature.Kent Bach - 2005 - In Festchrift for Larry Horn. John Benjamins.
    I’ve known about conversational implicature a lot longer than I’ve known Larry. In 1967 I read Grice’s “Logical and Conversation” in mimeograph, shortly after his William James lectures, and I read its precursor “(Implication),” section III of “The Causal Theory of Perception”, well before that. And I’ve thought, read, and written about implicature off and on ever since. Nevertheless, I know a lot less about it than Larry does, and that’s not even taking into account everything he has uncovered about (...)
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  39. How Performatives Really Work: A Reply to Searle. [REVIEW]Kent Bach & Robert M. Harnish - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (1):93 - 110.
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  40. Referentially Used Descriptions: A Reply to Devitt.Kent Bach - 2007 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2):33-48.
    This paper continues an ongoing debate between Michael Devitt and me on referential uses of definite descriptions. He has argued that definite descriptions have referential meanings, and I have argued that they do not. Having previously rebutted the view that referential uses are akin to particularized conversational implicatures, he now he rebuts the view that they are akin to generalized conversational implicatures. I agree that the GCI is not the best model, but I maintain that in exploiting the quantificational meaning (...)
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  41.  95
    Speaking Loosely: Sentence Nonliterality.Kent Bach - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):249–263.
  42. Paving the Road to Reference.Kent Bach - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 67 (3):295--300.
  43. Referential/Attributive.Kent Bach - 1981 - Synthese 49 (2):219 - 244.
  44.  86
    The Predicate View of Proper Names.Kent Bach - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (11):772-784.
    The Millian view that the meaning of a proper name is simply its referent has long been popular among philosophers of language. It might even be deemed the orthodox view, despite its well-known difficulties. Fregean and Russellian alternatives, though widely discussed, are much less popular. The Predicate View has not even been taken seriously, at least until fairly recently, but finally, it is receiving the attention it deserves. It says that a name expresses the property of bearing that name. Despite (...)
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  45.  92
    Standardization Vs. Conventionalization.Kent Bach - 1995 - Linguistics and Philosophy 18 (6):677 - 686.
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  46. Saying, Meaning, and Implicating.Kent Bach - 2012 - In Keith Allan & Kasia Jaszczolt (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.
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  47.  4
    Meaning and the Moral Sciences.Kent Bach - 1979 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 40 (1):137-139.
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  48. On Referring and Not Referring.Kent Bach - unknown
    Even though it’s based on a bad argument, there’s something to Strawson’s dictum. He might have likened ‘referring expression’ to phrases like ‘eating utensil’ and ‘dining room’: just as utensils don’t eat and dining rooms don’t dine, so, he might have argued, expressions don’t refer. Actually, that wasn’t his argument, though it does make you wonder. Rather, Strawson exploited the fact that almost any referring expression, whether an indexical, demonstrative, proper name, or definite description, can be used to refer to (...)
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  49.  85
    Refraining, Omitting, and Negative Acts.Kent Bach - unknown
    The basic question of action theory, what it is to do something, invites the complementary question of what it is to fail to do something (and not merely not do it). At every moment there are zillions of things that you’re not doing but few if any that you’re failing to do. There seem to be four (partly overlapping) ways of failing to do something.
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  50. "De Re" Belief and Methodological Solipsism.Kent Bach - 1982 - In Andrew Woodfield (ed.), Thought And Object: Essays On Intentionality. Clarendon Press.