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Nat Hansen [26]Nathaniel Hansen [2]
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Nat Hansen
University of Reading
Nathan Hansen
University of St. Thomas, Minnesota
  1. Review of Avner Baz, The Crisis of Method in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy. [REVIEW]Nat Hansen - forthcoming - Mind:fzy064.
    This is the second book by Baz that aims to show that a big chunk of contemporary philosophy is fundamentally misguided. His first book, When Words Are Called For: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy (2012) adopted a therapeutic approach (in the Wittgensteinian style) to problems in contemporary epistemology, arguing that when properly thought through, the way philosophers talk about ‘knowing’ that something is the case ultimately does not make sense. Baz’s goal in his second book is less therapeutic and (...)
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  2. “Nobody Would Really Talk That Way!”: The Critical Project in Contemporary Ordinary Language Philosophy.Nat Hansen - 2018 - Synthese:1-32.
    This paper defends a challenge, inspired by arguments drawn from contemporary ordinary language philosophy and grounded in experimental data, to certain forms of standard philosophical practice. There has been a resurgence of philosophers who describe themselves as practicing "ordinary language philosophy". The resurgence can be divided into constructive and critical approaches. The critical approach to neo-ordinary language philosophy has been forcefully developed by Baz (2012a,b, 2014, 2015, 2016, forthcoming), who attempts to show that a substantial chunk of contemporary philosophy is (...)
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  3. Must We Measure What We Mean?Nat Hansen - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):785-815.
    This paper excavates a debate concerning the claims of ordinary language philosophers that took place during the middle of the last century. The debate centers on the status of statements about ‘what we say’. On one side of the debate, critics of ordinary language philosophy argued that statements about ‘what we say’ should be evaluated as empirical observations about how people do in fact speak, on a par with claims made in the language sciences. By that standard, ordinary language philosophers (...)
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  4. Third‐Person Knowledge Ascriptions: A Crucial Experiment for Contextualism.Jumbly Grindrod, James Andow & Nat Hansen - 2018 - Mind and Language:1-25.
    In the past few years there has been a turn towards evaluating the empirical foundation of epistemic contextualism using formal (rather than armchair) experimental methods. By-and-large, the results of these experiments have not supported the original motivation for epistemic contextualism. That is partly because experiments have only uncovered effects of changing context on knowledge ascriptions in limited experimental circumstances (when contrast is present, for example), and partly because existing experiments have not been designed to distinguish between contextualism and one of (...)
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  5. Experimenting on Contextualism.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (3):286-321.
    This paper concerns the central method of generating evidence in support of contextualist theories, what we call context shifting experiments. We begin by explaining the standard design of context shifting experiments, which are used in both quantitative surveys and more traditional thought experiments to show how context affects the content of natural language expressions. We discuss some recent experimental studies that have tried and failed to find evidence that confirms contextualist predictions about the results of context shifting experiments, and consider (...)
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  6. Color Adjectives and Radical Contextualism.Nat Hansen - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):201-221.
    Radical contextualists have observed that the content of what is said by the utterance of a sentence is shaped in far-reaching ways by the context of utterance. And they have argued that the ways in which the content of what is said is shaped by context cannot be explained by semantic theory. A striking number of the examples that radical contextualists use to support their view involve sentences containing color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.). In this paper, I show how the (...)
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  7. Contrasting Cases.Nat Hansen - 2014 - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 71-95.
    This paper concerns the philosophical significance of a choice about how to design the context shifting experiments used by contextualists and anti-intellectualists: Should contexts be judged jointly, with contrast, or separately, without contrast? Findings in experimental psychology suggest (1) that certain contextual features are more difficult to evaluate when considered separately, and there are reasons to think that one feature--stakes or importance--that interests contextualists and anti-intellectualists is such a difficult to evaluate attribute, and (2) that joint evaluation of contexts can (...)
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  8.  53
    A New Argument From Interpersonal Variation to Subjectivism About Color: A Response to Gómez-Torrente.Nat Hansen - unknown
    I describe a new, comparative, version of the argument from interpersonal variation to subjectivism about color. The comparative version undermines a recent objectivist response to standard versions of that argument.
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  9. A Slugfest of Intuitions: Contextualism and Experimental Design.Nat Hansen - 2013 - Synthese 190 (10):1771-1792.
    This paper considers ways that experimental design can affect judgments about informally presented context shifting experiments. Reasons are given to think that judgments about informal context shifting experiments are affected by an exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments and by experimenter bias. Exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments may produce experimental artifacts by obscuring important differences of degree between the phenomena being investigated. Experimenter bias is an effect generated when, for example, experimenters disclose (even unconsciously) their own beliefs (...)
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  10. A New Argument From Interpersonal Variation to Subjectivism About Color: A Response to Gómez‐Torrente.Nat Hansen - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):421-428.
    I describe a new, comparative, version of the argument from interpersonal variation to subjectivism about color. The comparative version undermines a recent objectivist response to standard versions of that argument.
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  11. On an Alleged Truth/Falsity Asymmetry in Context Shifting Experiments.Nat Hansen - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (248):530-545.
    Keith DeRose has argued that context shifting experiments should be designed in a specific way in order to accommodate what he calls a ‘truth/falsity asymmetry’. I explain and critique DeRose's reasons for proposing this modification to contextualist methodology, drawing on recent experimental studies of DeRose's bank cases as well as experimental findings about the verification of affirmative and negative statements. While DeRose's arguments for his particular modification to contextualist methodology fail, the lesson of his proposal is that there is good (...)
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  12. Contemporary Ordinary Language Philosophy.Nat Hansen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (8):556-569.
    There is a widespread assumption that ordinary language philosophy was killed off sometime in the 1960s or 70s by a combination of Gricean pragmatics and the rapid development of systematic semantic theory. Contrary to that widespread assumption, however, contemporary versions of ordinary language philosophy are alive and flourishing but going by various aliases – in particular (some versions of) ‘contextualism’ and (some versions of) ‘experimental philosophy’. And a growing group of contemporary philosophers are explicitly embracing the title as well as (...)
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  13. Color Adjectives, Standards, and Thresholds: An Experimental Investigation.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (3):1--40.
    Are color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.) relative adjectives or absolute adjectives? Existing theories of the meaning of color adjectives attempt to answer that question using informal ("armchair") judgments. The informal judgments of theorists conflict: it has been proposed that color adjectives are absolute with standards anchored at the minimum degree on the scale, that they are absolute but have near-midpoint standards, and that they are relative. In this paper we report two experiments, one based on entailment patterns and one based (...)
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  14.  25
    Color Adjectives and Radical Contextualism.Nathaniel Hansen - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3):201 - 221.
    Radical contextualists have observed that the content of what is said by the utterance of a sentence is shaped in far-reaching ways by the context of utterance. And they have argued that the ways in which the content of what is said is shaped by context cannot be explained by semantic theory. A striking number of the examples that radical contextualists use to support their view involve sentences containing color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.). In this paper, I show how the (...)
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  15.  85
    Linguistic Experiments and Ordinary Language Philosophy.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - 2015 - Ratio 28 (4):422-445.
    J.L. Austin is regarded as having an especially acute ear for fine distinctions of meaning overlooked by other philosophers. Austin employs an informal experimental approach to gathering evidence in support of these fine distinctions in meaning, an approach that has become a standard technique for investigating meaning in both philosophy and linguistics. In this paper, we subject Austin's methods to formal experimental investigation. His methods produce mixed results: We find support for his most famous distinction, drawn on the basis of (...)
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  16. J. L. Austin and Literal Meaning.Nat Hansen - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):617-632.
    Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...)
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  17. Experimental Philosophy of Language.Nathaniel Hansen - 2015 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    Experimental philosophy of language uses experimental methods developed in the cognitive sciences to investigate topics of interest to philosophers of language. This article describes the methodological background for the development of experimental approaches to topics in philosophy of language, distinguishes negative and positive projects in experimental philosophy of language, and evaluates experimental work on the reference of proper names and natural kind terms. The reliability of expert judgments vs. the judgments of ordinary speakers, the role that ambiguity plays in influencing (...)
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  18.  93
    Linguistic Experiments and Ordinary Language Philosophy.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - unknown
    J.L. Austin is regarded as having an especially acute ear for fine distinctions of meaning overlooked by other philosophers. Austin employs an informal experimental approach to gathering evidence in support of these fine distinctions in meaning, an approach that has become a standard technique for investigating meaning in both philosophy and linguistics. In this paper, we subject Austin's methods to formal experimental investigation. His methods produce mixed results: We find support for his most famous distinction, drawn on the basis of (...)
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  19. Review of Paul Elbourne, Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics. [REVIEW]Nat Hansen - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (1):31-33.
  20.  49
    Color Comparisons and Interpersonal Variation.Nat Hansen - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4):809-826.
    An important challenge to color objectivists, who hold that statements concerning color are made true or false by objective facts, is the argument from interpersonal variation in where normal observers locate the unique hues. Recently, an attractive objectivist response to the argument has been proposed that draws on the semantics of gradable adjectives and which does not require defending the idea that there is a single correct location for each of the unique hues Noûs 50: 3–40),. In ), I argued (...)
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  21.  57
    Experimental Philosophy of Language.Nat Hansen - unknown
    Experimental philosophy of language uses experimental methods developed in the cognitive sciences to investigate topics of interest to philosophers of language. This article describes the methodological background for the development of experimental approaches to topics in philosophy of language, distinguishes negative and positive projects in experimental philosophy of language, and evaluates experimental work on the reference of proper names and natural kind terms. The reliability of expert judgments vs. the judgments of ordinary speakers, the role that ambiguity plays in influencing (...)
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  22.  68
    Just What Is It That Makes Travis's Examples So Different, So Appealing?Nat Hansen - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford University Press.
    Odd and memorable examples are a distinctive feature of Charles Travis's work: cases involving squash balls, soot-covered kettles, walls that emit poison gas, faces turning puce, ties made of freshly cooked linguine, and people grunting when punched in the solar plexus all figure in his arguments. One of Travis's examples, involving a pair of situations in which the leaves of a Japanese maple tree are painted green, has even spawned its own literature consisting of attempts to explain the context sensitivity (...)
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  23.  58
    Review of When Words Are Called For: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy. [REVIEW]Nat Hansen - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):179-181.
  24.  19
    Contemporary Ordinary Language Philosophy.Nat Hansen - unknown
    There is a widespread assumption that ordinary language philosophy was killed off sometime in the 1960s or 70s by a combination of Gricean pragmatics and the rapid development of systematic semantic theory. Contrary to that widespread assumption, however, contemporary versions of ordinary language philosophy are alive and flourishing, but going by various aliases—in particular "contextualism" and "experimental philosophy". And a growing group of contemporary philosophers are explicitly embracing the methods as well as the title of ordinary language philosophy and arguing (...)
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  25.  21
    Assurance: An Austinian View of Knowledge and Knowledge Claims, by Krista Lawlor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 231 Pp. ISBN 10/13: 978–0199657896 Hb £36.00. [REVIEW]Nat Hansen - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):298-302.
  26.  35
    Paul Elbourne, Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics. Reviewed By.Nat Hansen - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (1):31-33.
  27.  15
    A New Argument From Interpersonal Variation to Subjectivism About Color: A Response to Gómez‐Torrente.Nat Hansen - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4).
    I describe a new, comparative, version of the argument from interpersonal variation to subjectivism about color. The comparative version undermines a recent objectivist response to standard versions of that argument.
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  28.  7
    J. L. Austin and Literal Meaning.Nat Hansen - unknown
    Alice Crary has recently developed a radical reading of J. L. Austin's philosophy of language. The central contention of Crary's reading is that Austin gives convincing reasons to reject the idea that sentences have context-invariant literal meaning. While I am in sympathy with Crary about the continuing importance of Austin's work, and I think Crary's reading is deep and interesting, I do not think literal sentence meaning is one of Austin's targets, and the arguments that Crary attributes to Austin or (...)
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