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Mario Gomez-Torrente
National Autonomous University of Mexico
  1.  42
    Roads to Reference. An Essay on Reference Fixing in Natural Language.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2019 - Oxford, Reino Unido: Oxford University Press.
    How is it that words come to stand for the things they stand for? Is the thing that a word stands for - its reference - fully identified or described by conventions known to the users of the word? Or is there a more roundabout relation between the reference of a word and the conventions that determine or fix it? Do words like 'water', 'three', and 'red' refer to appropriate things, just as the word 'Aristotle' refers to Aristotle? If so, (...)
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  2. Perceptual Variation, Color Language, and Reference Fixing. An Objectivist Account.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):3-40.
    I offer a new objectivist theory of the contents of color language and color experience, intended especially as an account of what normal intersubjective variation in color perception and classification shows about those contents. First I explain an abstract account of the contents of color and other gradable adjectives; on the account, these contents are certain objective properties constituted in part by contextually intended standards of application, which are in turn values in the dimensions of variation associated with the adjectives. (...)
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  3. The Problem of Logical Constants.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2002 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 8 (1):1-37.
    There have been several different and even opposed conceptions of the problem of logical constants, i.e. of the requirements that a good theory of logical constants ought to satisfy. This paper is in the first place a survey of these conceptions and a critique of the theories they have given rise to. A second aim of the paper is to sketch some ideas about what a good theory would look like. A third aim is to draw from these ideas and (...)
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  4.  63
    Tarski on Logical Consequence.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 1996 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 37 (1):125-151.
    This paper examines from a historical perspective Tarski's 1936 essay, "On the concept of logical consequence." I focus on two main aims. The primary aim is to show how Tarski's definition of logical consequence satisfies two desiderata he himself sets forth for it: (1) it must declare logically correct certain formalizations of the -rule and (2) it must allow for variation of the individual domain in the test for logical consequence. My arguments provide a refutation of some interpreters of Tarski, (...)
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  5.  66
    Objectivism About Color and Comparative Color Statements. Reply to Hansen.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):429-435.
    Nat Hansen builds a new argument for subjectivism about the semantics of color language, based on a potential kind of intersubjective disagreements about comparative color statements. In reply, I note that the disagreements of this kind are merely hypothetical, probably few if actual, and not evidently relevant as test cases for a semantic theory. Furthermore, even if they turned out to be actual and semantically relevant, they would be intuitively unusable by the subjectivist.
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  6. Logical Truth and Tarskian Logical Truth.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 1998 - Synthese 117 (3):375-408.
    This paper examines the question of the extensional correctness of Tarskian definitions of logical truth and logical consequence. I identify a few different informal properties which are necessary for a sentence to be an informal logical truth and look at whether they are necessary properties of Tarskian logical truths. I examine arguments by John Etchemendy and Vann McGee to the effect that some of those properties are not necessary properties of some Tarskian logical truths, and find them unconvincing. I stress (...)
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  7.  77
    Logical Truth.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  8.  49
    Quotation Revisited.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 102 (2):123-153.
    The main aim of this paper is to point out that Davidsonian and Fregean theories of quotation do not accommodate certain facts about disquotation. A second aim is to dispel some errors of interpretation in a common Davidsonian reading of Tarski's claims about quotation. This allows a correct exegesis of Tarski's view, which is then seen not to be affected by the arguments usually adduced against the view wrongly attributed to Tarski. Finally, a Tarskian view is proposed of some problems (...)
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  9. Vagueness and Margin for Error Principles.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):107-125.
    Timothy Williamson’s potentially most important contribution to epistemicism about vagueness lies in his arguments for the basic epistemicist claim that the alleged cut-off points of vague predicates are not knowable. His arguments for this are based on so-called ‘margin for error principles’. This paper argues that these principles fail to provide a good argument for the basic claim. Williamson has offered at least two kinds of margin for error principles applicable to vague predicates. A certain fallacy of equivocation seems to (...)
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  10. Rereading Tarski on Logical Consequence.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2009 - Review of Symbolic Logic 2 (2):249-297.
    I argue that recent defenses of the view that in 1936 Tarski required all interpretations of a language to share one same domain of quantification are based on misinterpretations of Tarski’s texts. In particular, I rebut some criticisms of my earlier attack on the fixed-domain exegesis and I offer a more detailed report of the textual evidence on the issue than in my earlier work. I also offer new considerations on subsisting issues of interpretation concerning Tarski’s views on the logical (...)
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  11. Two Problems for an Epistemicist View of Vagueness.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 1997 - Philosophical Issues 8:237-245.
    This paper presents some difficulties for Timothy Williamson's epistemicist view of vagueness and for an argument he gives in its defense. First, I claim that the argument, which uses the notion of an "omniscient speaker", is question-begging. Next, I argue that some presumably true scientific hypotheses, which postulate certain relations between everyday vague predicates and scientific predicates, make the central theses of epistemicism highly implausible. Finally, I show that the "margin for error principles" used by Williamson to explain away the (...)
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  12.  73
    On the Essence and Identity of Numbers.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (3):317-329.
    Taking as premises some reasonable principles about the essences of natural numbers, pluralities and sets, the paper offers two types of argument for the conclusions that the natural numbers could not be the Zermelo numbers, the von Neumann numbers, the “Kripke numbers”, or the positions in the ω-structure, among other things. These conclusions are thus Benacerrafian in form, but it is emphasized that the two kinds of argument offered in the paper are anti-Benacerrafian in substance, as they are perfectly compatible (...)
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  13.  68
    A Note on Formality and Logical Consequence.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2000 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 29 (5):529-539.
    Logic is formal in the sense that all arguments of the same form as logically valid arguments are also logically valid and hence truth-preserving. However, it is not known whether all arguments that are valid in the usual model-theoretic sense are truthpreserving. Tarski claimed that it could be proved that all arguments that are valid (in the sense of validity he contemplated in his 1936 paper on logical consequence) are truthpreserving. But he did not offer the proof. The question arises (...)
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  14.  36
    Remarks on Impure Quotation.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2005 - In Philippe De Brabanter (ed.), Hybrid Quotations. John Benjamins. pp. 129-151.
    Quotation marks are ambiguous, although the conventional rules that govern their different uses are similar in that they contain quantifications over quotable expressions. Pure uses are governed by a simple rule: by enclosing any expression within quotation marks one gets a singular term, the quotation, that stands for the enclosed expression. Impure uses are far less simple. In a series of uses the quotation marks conventionally indicate that (part of) the enclosed expression is a contextually appropriate version of expressions uttered (...)
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  15.  9
    Semantics Vs. Pragmatics in Impure Quotation.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2017 - In Paul Saka & Michael Johnson (eds.), The Semantics and Pragmatics of Quotation. Cham: Springer. pp. 135-167.
    I defend a semantic theory of quotation marks, according to which these are ambiguous, as they have several different acceptations involving corresponding different conventional indications. In particular, in allusion (“mixed”) uses, the corresponding conventional indication is one with an adverbial or prepositional content, roughly equivalent to “using the quoted expression or an appropriate version of it”. And in “scare” uses, the corresponding conventional indication is that the enclosed expression should be used not plainly but in some broadly speaking distanced way, (...)
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  16.  38
    On a Fallacy Attributed to Tarski.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 1998 - History and Philosophy of Logic 19 (4):227-234.
    The purpose of this paper is to examine some passages of Tarski?s paper ?On the concept of logical consequence? and to show that some recent readings of those passages are wrong. John Etchemendy has claimed that in those passages Tarski gave an argument purporting to show that the notion of logical consequence defined by him (as opposed to some pretheoretic notion of logical consequence) possesses certain modal properties. Etchemendy further claims that the argument he attributes to Tarski is fallacious. Some (...)
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  17.  20
    The Sorites, Linguistic Preconceptions, and the Dual Picture of Vagueness.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds. Vagueness, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 228-253.
    I postulate that the extension of a degree adjective is fixed by implicitly accepted non-analytic reference-fixing principles (“preconceptions”) that combine appeals to paradigmatic cases with generic principles designed to expand the extension of the adjective beyond the paradigmatic range. In regular occasions of use, the paradigm and generic preconceptions are jointly satisfied and determine the existence of an extension/anti-extension pair dividing the adjective’s comparison class into two mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive subclasses. Sorites paradoxical occasions of use are irregular occasions (...)
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  18. Logical Consequence and Logical Expressions.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2003 - Theoria 18 (2):131-144.
    The pretheoretical notions of logical consequence and of a logical expression are linked in vague and complex ways to modal and pragmatic intuitions. I offer an introduction to the difficulties that these intuitions create when one attempts to give precise characterizations of those notions. Special attention is given to Tarski’s theories of logical consequence and logical constancy. I note that the Tarskian theory of logical consequence has fared better in the face of the difficulties than the Tarskian theory of logical (...)
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  19.  38
    The Indefinability of Truth in the “Wahrheitsbegriff”.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2004 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 126 (1-3):27-37.
    Contrary to what often seems to be the implicit belief, Tarski's 1933 version of the theorem on the indefinability of truth did not mention semantic notions, either defined or intuitive. I state this version in a somewhat modernized form and explain briefly the self-imposed mathematico-philosophical constraints that led Tarski to formulate it as he did. I also point out that close attention to its content suggests a refined view of the exact contrast between Tarski's achievement and Gödel's achievement in his (...)
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  20.  31
    Quantifiers and Referential Use.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2015 - In Alessandro Torza (ed.), Quantifiers, Quantifiers, and Quantifiers: Themes in Logic, Metaphysics, and Language. Springer. pp. 97-124.
    Referential uses of quantified determiner phrases other than descriptions have not been extensively considered. In this paper they are considered in some detail, and related to referential uses of descriptions. The first aim is to develop the observation that, contrary to the currently received view that it is only for descriptions that referential uses are frequent and standard, arising in run-of-the-mill contextual scenarios, this is in fact the case for all usual kinds of quantifier phrases. A second aim is to (...)
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  21.  11
    Are There Model-Theoretic Logical Truths That Are Not Logically True?Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2008 - In Douglas Patterson (ed.), New Essays on Tarski and Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 340-368.
    Tarski implicitly postulated that a certain pre-theoretical concept of logical consequence and his technical concept of logical consequence are co-extensional. This chapter makes explicit a few theses about logical consequence or logical truth that sound Tarskian somehow, including one that most deserves the name ‘Tarski's Thesis’. Some of these theses are probably true or close to true but weaker than Tarski's. Some are false but stronger than Tarski's. Tarski's Thesis plausibly postulated that a sentence of a classical language possibly extended (...)
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  22.  36
    Beyond Rigidity? Essentialist Predication and the Rigidity of General Terms.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2004 - Critica 36 (108):37-54.
    I offer a brief formal exploration of a certain natural extension of the notion of rigidity to predicates, the notion of an essentialist predicate. I show that, under reasonable assumptions, true "identification sentences" involving essentialist predicates are necessary, and hence that the notion of essentiality is formally analogous in this respect to the notion of singular term rigidity. /// El artículo hace una breve exploración formal de una extensión natural de la noción de rigidez a los predicados, la noción de (...)
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  23.  39
    Kripke on Color Words and the Primary-Secondary Quality Distinction.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2011 - In Alan Berger (ed.), Saul Kripke. Cambridge University Press. pp. 290-323.
    An exposition of Kripke's unpublished critique of dispositionalism about color, followed by a review of some recent defenses of dispositionalism and a sketch of some objections that could be made to these defenses from a broadly Kripkean perspective.
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  24.  55
    Kripke. Names, Necessity, and Identity. [REVIEW]Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):219-222.
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  25.  56
    On Quoting the Empty Expression.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (3):439 - 443.
    Roy Sorensen has argued that a certain technical use of quotation marks to name the empty string supports a revised version of Davidson’s theory of quotation. I point out that Sorensen’s considerations provide no support for Davidson’s original theory, and I show that at best they support the revised Davidsonian theory only to the same extent that they support a simpler revised version of a Tarskian theory.
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  26.  62
    How Quotations Refer.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (7):353-390.
    The article proposes a theory on which quotations are unstructured, context-insensitive devices that get their referents fixed by a conventional wholesale reference-fixing rule. First, it criticizes recent theories for postulating eccentric or anomalous facts concerning the contribution of noun phrases to truth conditions, the semantics of demonstratives or general syntax. Second, it notes that the proposed theory is not subject to some familiar objections to classical theories, nor to eccentricity or anomalousness complaints. Third, it shows that recent arguments that quotations (...)
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  27.  25
    What Quotations Refer To.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2011 - In Elke Brendel (ed.), Understanding Quotation. De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 139--160.
    When quotations are used with a purely referential purpose, they are mostly used with the purpose of referring to expressions, in the sense of rather abstract expression types. However, in many cases purely referential quotations are used with the purpose of referring to things other than very abstract expression types, such as boldface types, sounds, particular tokens, etc. The paper deals with the question of what mechanism underlies the possibility of successfully referring to different things and kinds of things with (...)
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  28. The 'Must' and the 'Heptahedron': Remarks on Remarks.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2003 - Theoria 18 (2):199-206.
    I offer some brief remarks in reply to comments and criticisms of my earlier work on logical consequence and logical constants. I concentrate on criticisms, especially García-Carpintero’s charge that myviews make no room for modal intuitions about logical consequence, and Sher’s attempted rebuttal of my critique of her theory of logical constants. I show that García-Carpintero’s charge is based on misunderstandings, and that Sher’s attempted rebuttal actually reveals new problems for her theory.
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  29.  32
    Alfred Tarski.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  30.  8
    Forma y Modalidad. Una Introducción al Concepto de Consecuencia Lógica.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2000 - Buenos Aires, CABA, Argentina: Eudeba.
  31. El Wittgenstein de Kripke y la analogía entre reglas y fundamentos.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2005 - Dianoia 50 (55):55-94.
    I explore an argument for epistemic non-factualism, the thesis that epistemic attributions do not describe facts. The argument is analogous to but independent of Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s argument for nonfactualism about rule-following. Some objections to the two arguments are considered and rejected, in particular accusations of incoherence and “reductivism”. The epistemic argument and a “skeptical solution” to it are argued to be part of Wittgenstein’s conception in On Certainty.
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  32.  6
    Letters to the Editor.Massimo Germano, James Evans & Mario Gomez-Torrente - 1999 - Isis 90:95-97.
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  33.  3
    Demonstrative Contents and Opaque Thoughts. Reply to Valente.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):130-141.
    Matheus Valente presents a number of examples designed to show that my theory of reference fixing for demonstratives violates the desideratum that demonstrative thoughts should be transparent to speakers. In this note I argue that the alleged desideratum is not really such and defend my theory against other criticisms made by Valente.
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  34.  2
    Do Conflicting Intentions Give Rise to Multiple Demonstrative Reference? Reply to Mena.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):189-198.
    According to Ricardo Mena, a demonstrative refers to all the objects that the utterer has an intention for it to refer to, which may be more than one in cases where her referential intentions conflict. In this note I argue that Mena’s proposal has several serious problems.
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  35.  17
    Forma y modalidad. Una introducción al concepto de consecuencia lógica.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2004 - Critica 36 (107):87-107.
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  36.  3
    Logical Form, Truth Conditions, and Adequate Formalization.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2020 - Disputatio 12 (58):209-222.
    I discuss Andrea Iacona’s idea that logical form mirrors truth conditions, and that logical form, and thus truth conditions, are in turn represented by means of adequate formalization. I criticize this idea, noting that the notion of adequate formalization is highly indefinite, while the pre-theoretic idea of logical form is often much more definite. I also criticize Iacona’s claim that certain distinct sentences, with the same truth conditions and differing only by co-referential names, must be formalized by the same formula. (...)
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  37.  2
    Numerals, Positionality, and Reference Fixing. Reply to Vivanco.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):165-176.
    Melisa Vivanco objects to my theory of the Arabic numerals in Roads to Reference that the reference fixing procedure that I postulate doesn’t exploit the morphological structure of the Arabic numerals, but it should. Against Vivanco, I argue that the procedure in question does exploit the morphological structure of the numerals in an essential way.
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  38.  3
    Ordinary Kinds and Ontological Angst. Reply to Demartini.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):215-220.
    Thainá Demartini has criticized my view that ordinary natural kind terms refer to vague non-scientific kinds and defended the more traditional view that they refer to precise kinds discovered by science. In this note I reject Demartini’s worries as based on inadequate ontological scruples.
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  39.  1
    On the Ordinary Notion of Substance. Reply to Abreu Zavaleta.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):108-115.
    My proposed mechanism of reference fixing for ordinary natural kind terms in the book Roads to Reference appeals to the ordinary notion of substance. In this note I reply to an objection by Martín Abreu Zavaleta that that notion is too vague to allow for a sufficiently constrained property to become the referent of a given ordinary substance term. I argue that the notion of substance is far less vague than Abreu Zavaleta claims.
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  40. Review. [REVIEW]Mario Gómez-Torrente - 1997 - Critica 29 (87):117-138.
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  41.  36
    Report of an Unsuccessful Search for Nonconceptual Content.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 1998 - Philosophical Issues 9:369-379.
    In his “What Might Nonconceptual Content Be?”, Robert Stalnaker finds no good argument for the claim that certain intuitive differences between perception and belief must be explained by a distinction between the kinds of content of perception states (which would have nonconceptual content) and belief states (which would have conceptual content). I object to Stalnaker that he does not examine arguments for this claim actually produced by its defenders. But I reach a conclusion of the same kind as Stalnaker’s after (...)
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  42.  37
    Soames on the Logical Empiricists on Truth, Meaning, Convention, and Logical Truth.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1357-1365.
    In the first part of this paper, I express doubts that Tarski and Carnap were guilty of some confusions about the relations between truth and meaning, attributed to them by Soames. In the second part, I consider Quine's Carrollian argument against conventionalism about logical truth, discussed only briefly and approvingly by Soames, and I explore the question whether some not obviously incorrect forms of conventionalism about logical truth, such as what I call "finitary conventionalism", are immune to Quine's argument.
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  43.  5
    Are Conflicting Reference-Fixing Intentions Possible? Reply to Martone.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):59-73.
    Filipe Martone argues that reference-fixing intentions where the intended object is represented by means of a description can never fix the reference of a demonstrative, and that a speaker, as a matter of empirical fact, never has simultaneous perceptual and non-perceptual reference-fixing intentions that she can intend as fixing the reference of a demonstrative. In this note I reject Martone’s arguments for these claims.
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  44.  2
    Ceteris Paribus Provisos, Knowledge of Reference-Fixing Conventions, and Proper Names. Reply to Orlando.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):35-48.
    Eleonora Orlando argues that one must understand some descriptivist theories of names that I criticize in my book Roads to Reference as ceteris paribus generalizations, and that on this understanding they survive my criticisms; she also introduces some doubts about my views on the knowledge speakers have of the reference-fixing conventions I postulate for proper names. In this note I argue against Orlando’s suggestion about ceteris paribus provisos and explain my view of the epistemology of reference-fixing conventions.
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  45.  5
    Context-Sensitive Reference Fixing and Objectivity. Reply to Barceló.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):13-21.
    Axel Barceló has extended the objectivist apparatus for handling color terms that I develop in my book Roads to Reference, so that the extension covers also some aesthetic predicates. In this note I argue that Barceló’s extension probably attempts to go too far.
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  46.  7
    Logical Dilemmas: The Life and Work of Kurt Godel by John W. Dawson, Jr. [REVIEW]Mario Gomez-Torrente - 1998 - Isis 89:356-357.
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  47.  2
    On Descriptivism and Natural Kind Terms. Reply to Fernández Moreno.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (4):86-96.
    Luis Fernández Moreno has given a number of arguments that descriptive knowledge or stipulations have a greater role in the fixing of the reference of natural kind terms than I allow in my book Roads to Reference. In this note I criticize Fernández Moreno’s arguments.
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  48.  36
    Sumario Analitico/Summary.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2003 - Theoria 18 (2):47-189.
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  49.  26
    Tarski on Variable Domains.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 13:47-52.
    In earlier work I claimed that when Tarski wrote his seminal 1936 paper on logical consequence, he had in mind a now nonstandard convention, that he also used in his 1937 logic manual, requiring the domain of quantification of the different interpretations of a first-order mathematical language to covary with changes in the interpretation of a non-logical “domain predicate”. Recently Paolo Mancosu has rejected this claim, holding that it can be established on the basis of a passage from Tarski’s manual (...)
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  50.  40
    The Private Language Argument and the Analogy Between Rules and Grounds.Mario Gomez-Torrente - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:49-54.
    I identify one neglected source of support for a Kripkean reading of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: the analogy between rules and epistemic grounds and the existence of a Kripkean anti-privacy argument about epistemic grounds in On Certainty. This latter argument supports Kripke’s claims that the basic anti-privacy argument in the Investigations (a) poses a question about the distinguishability of certain first-person attributions with identical assertability conditions, (b) concludes that distinguishability is provided by third-person evaluability, and (c) is a general argument, not (...)
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