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Rachel Katharine Sterken
University of Hong Kong
  1. Linguistic Interventions and Transformative Communicative Disruption.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 417-434.
    What words we use, and what meanings they have, is important. We shouldn't use slurs; we should use 'rape' to include spousal rape (for centuries we didn’t); we should have a word which picks out the sexual harassment suffered by people in the workplace and elsewhere (for centuries we didn’t). Sometimes we need to change the word-meaning pairs in circulation, either by getting rid of the pair completely (slurs), changing the meaning (as we did with 'rape'), or adding brand new (...)
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    Generics and Metalinguistic Negotiation.David Plunkett, Rachel Katharine Sterken & Timothy Sundell - 2023 - Synthese 201 (50):1-46.
    In this paper, we consider how the notion of metalinguistic negotiation interacts with various theories of generics. The notion of metalinguistic negotiation we discuss stems from previous work from two of us (Plunkett and Sundell). Metalinguistic negotiations are disputes in which speakers disagree about normative issues concerning language, such as issues about what a given word should mean in the relevant context, or which of a range of related concepts a word should express. In a metalinguistic negotiation, speakers argue about (...)
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  3. Leslie on Generics.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2493-2512.
    This paper offers three objections to Leslie’s recent and already influential theory of generics :375–403, 2007a, Philos Rev 117:1–47, 2008): her proposed metaphysical truth-conditions are subject to systematic counter-examples, the proposed disquotational semantics fails, and there is evidence that generics do not express cognitively primitive generalisations.
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  4. The Meaning of Generics.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12431.
    This article discusses recent theories of the meaning of generics. The discussion is centred on how the theories differ in their approach to addressing the primary difficulty in providing a theory of generic meaning: The notoriously complex ways in which the truth conditions of generics seem to vary. In addition, the article summarizes considerations for and against each theory.
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  5. Generics and the Metaphysics of Kinds.David Liebesman & Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2021 - Philosophy Compass (7):1-14.
    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the semantics of generics. And a relatively mainstream view in this work is that the semantics of generics must appeal to kinds. But what are kinds? Can we learn anything about their nature by looking at how semantic theories of generics appeal to them? In this article, we overview recent work on the semantics of generics and consider their consequences for our understanding of the metaphysics of kinds.
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    Generics, Covert Structure and Logical Form.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):503-529.
    The standard view amongst philosophers of language and linguists is that the logical form of generics is quantificational and contains a covert, unpronounced quantifier expression Gen. Recently, some theorists have begun to question the standard view and rekindle the competing proposal, that generics are a species of kind-predication. These theorists offer some forceful objections to the standard view, and new strategies for dealing with the abundance of linguistic evidence in favour of the standard view. I respond to these objections and (...)
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  7. Generics, Content and Cognitive Bias.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (1):75-93.
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    The Structures of Social Structural Explanation: Comments on Haslanger’s What is (Social) Structural Explanation?.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (50):173-199.
    In a recent paper (Haslanger 2016), Sally Haslanger argues for the importance of structural explanation. Roughly, a structural explana- tion of the behaviour of a given object appeals to features of the struc- tures—physical, social, or otherwise—the object is embedded in. It is opposed to individualistic explanations, where what is appealed to is just the object and its properties. For example, an individualistic explanation of why someone got the grade they did might appeal to features of the essay they wrote—its (...)
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    Between Logic and the World: An Integrated Theory of Generics. [REVIEW]Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 16.
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