Peter Ludlow shows how word meanings are much more dynamic than we might have supposed, and explores how they are modulated even during everyday conversation. The resulting view is radical, and has far-reaching consequences for our political and legal discourse, and for enduring puzzles in the foundations of semantics, epistemology, and logic.
One of the most provocative projects in recent analytic philosophy has been the development of the doctrine of externalism, or, as it is often called, anti-individualism. While there is no agreement as to whether externalism is true or not, a number of recent investigations have begun to explore the question of what follows if it is true. One of the most interesting of these investigations thus far has been the question of whether externalism has consequences for the doctrine that we (...) have authoritative, a priori self-knowledge of our mental states. The selected works presented in this volume, some previously published, some new, are representative of this debate and open up new questions and issues for philosophical investigation, including the connection between externalism, self-knowledge, epistemic warrant, and memory. (shrink)
David Chalmers argues that virtual objects exist in the form of data structures that have causal powers. I argue that there is a large class of virtual objects that are social objects and that do not depend upon data structures for their existence. I also argue that data structures are themselves fundamentally social objects. Thus, virtual objects are fundamentally social objects.
The author argues that the standard view about language, seen as fairly stable abstract system of communication, is a myth. Standard view is badly mistaken and the alternative picture is offered in which there is a core part of our linguistic competence that is fixed by biology and this provides a basic skeleton which is fleshed out in different ways on a conversion-by-conversation basis. Why certain people communicate with each other? The answer to this question is not because they speak (...) the same language. We cannot see how communication can emerge from the standard picture of language if we do not start investigating the nature of our linguistic coordination strategies, since there is not a thing there -- a language -- that helps us to communicate. (shrink)
One of the most gripping intuitions that people have about time is that it, in some sense “flows.” This sense of flow has been articulated in a number of ways, ranging from us moving into the future or the future rushing towards us, and there has been no shortage of metaphors and descriptions to characterize this sense of passage. Despite the many forms of the metaphor and its widespread occurrence, it has been argued that there is a deep conceptual problem (...) in any assumption that time “passes” or “flows.” The idea expressed by the metaphor is supposed to be incoherent. But is the idea expressed by this metaphor really incoherent? In this essay I will argue that, on one understanding of the metaphor, it is not. I’ll argue that the metaphor can be unpacked as representing three features of temporal experience, and while these features together appear to lead to paradox, I will argue that correctly handled they do not. (shrink)
_The Philosophy of Mind_ remains the only sourcebook of primary readings offering in-depth coverage of both historical works and contemporary controversies in philosophy of mind. This second edition provides expanded treatment of classical as well as current topics, with many additional readings and a new section on mental content. The writers included range from Aristotle, Descartes, and William James to such leading contemporary thinkers as Noam Chomsky, Paul and Patricia Churchland, and Jaegwon Kim. The 83 selections provide a thorough survey (...) of five areas of enduring controversy: the mind-body problem, mental causation, mental content, innatism and modularity, and associationism and connectionism. Each section includes an introductory overview of the topic by the editors as well as suggestions for further reading. The selections added for the second edition serve both to enhance historical coverage and to update contemporary issues, especially in areas of current empirical research such as connectionism and innatism. Changes to historical coverage include a wider array of readings on classic positions as well as neglected precursors to views often considered recent innovations. The section on the mind-body problem in particular has been greatly expanded, including numerous selections on consciousness and phenomenal qualities. The book is ideal for both undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy and the history of psychology and will be useful both as a reference for researchers and a self-contained survey for the general reader. (shrink)
While most approaches to the semantics of tense have attempted to regiment tense away in a tenseless metalanguage, a good case can be made that this is not without cost. On the other hand, it is pretty clear that attempts to treat tense in a tensed metalanguage introduce serious complications. It is probably not so important which of these positions is correct at this point, as it is that we understand the costs of the respective positions. Perhaps, by having a (...) firm enough grasp on both approaches we afford ourselves a deeper insight into the nature of tense itself. (shrink)
In this paper I examine cases in which we attach different meanings to words and in which we litigate or argue about the best way of defining the term in dispute. I reject the idea that this is just a matter of imposing our will on our interlocutors – I think that the process of litigation is normative. To some extent recent work in the theory of argumentation has shed considerable light on this process, but we will need to retrofit (...) that work for the kinds of considerations we are engaged with here. I’ll begin in Section 1, with some important terminological preliminaries. Then in Section 2, I will offer a general description of how we come to notice that there are disputes about meaning and how we engage the meaning variance once it is recognized. In section 3 I’ll then take up a case that is relatively less controversial – the definition of ‘planet’ – and use it to construct a model for our meaning litigation works. Finally, in section 4 I’ll then turn to more contentious and substantial issues – the definition of ‘rape’ and the definition of ‘person’ and begin exploring how disputes about the meanings of those terms can be normative and fail to be normative. (shrink)
According to a number of authors it is possible to give tenseless truth conditions for tensed sentences by utilizing token indexicals in something like the following fashion. An utterance u of 'Past S' is true iff at some time earlier than u, S is true An utterance u of 'Pres S' is true iff at some time overlapping u, S is true This strategy has been challenged on the grounds that it will break down in cases like. There was no (...) spoken language A number of strategies have been attempted to circumvent this difficult, including the introduction of possible utterances, etc. In this paper I argue that such moves are unnecessary — that the problem turns on scope interactions with hidden modals in the theorems of the T-theory. (shrink)
This latest volume of _The Philosopher's Annual_ presents the ten best articles published in the field during 2001. No limitations are placed on the articles' sources, subject matter or mode of treatment, providing for a diverse collection of engaging, high-caliber work that stands as a valuable sample of contemporary philosophy. This year's volume includes papers by Robert Bernasconi, Hans Halvorson, Christopher Hitchcock, Ignacio Jane, Brian Leiter, Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel, Joel Pust, Alison Simmons, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson, and (...) Crispin Wright. (shrink)
Each year, _The Philosopher's Annual_ presents the ten best articles published in the field of philosophy during the previous twelve months—with the absence of limits on the articles' sources, subject matter, or modes of treatment making for a very diverse collection of engaging, high-caliber work. This year's volume includes papers by Katalin Balog, Tyler Burge, Cheshire Calhoun, Sally Haslanger, Thomas Hofweber, Philip Kitcher, Charles G. Morgan, Thomas W. Pogge, James Pryor, and Elliott Sober.