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Robert J. Stainton [111]Robert Stainton [28]Robert James Harold Stainton [1]
  1.  54
    Words and Thoughts: Subsentences, Ellipsis, and the Philosophy of Language.Robert Stainton - 2006 - Published in the United States by Oxford University Press.
    It is a near truism of philosophy of language that sentences are prior to words--that they are the only things that fundamentally have meaning. Robert's Stainton's study interrogates this idea, drawing on a wide body of evidence to argue that speakers can and do use mere words, not sentences, to communicate complex thoughts.
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  2. Slurs and Register: A Case Study in Meaning Pluralism.Justina Diaz-Legaspe, Robert Stainton & Chang Liu - 2019 - Mind and Language 34.
    Most theories of slurs fall into one of two families: those which understand slurring terms to involve special descriptive/informational content (however conveyed), and those which understand them to encode special emotive/expressive content. Our view is that both offer essential insights, but that part of what sets slurs apart is use-theoretic content. In particular, we urge that slurring words belong at the intersection of a number of categories in a sociolinguistic register taxonomy, one that usually includes [+slang] and [+vulgar] and always (...)
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  3.  22
    Full‐On Stating.Robert J. Stainton - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):395-413.
    What distinguishes full-on stating a proposition from merely communicating it? For instance, what distinguishes claiming/asserting/saying that one has never smoked crack cocaine from merely implying/conveying/hinting this? The enormous literature on ‘assertion’ provides many approaches to distinguishing stating from, say, asking and commanding: only the former aims at truth; only the former expresses one's belief; etc. But this leaves my question unanswered, since in merely communicating a proposition one also aims at truth, expresses a belief, etc. My aim is not to (...)
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  4.  99
    Contextualism in Epistemology and the Context-Sensitivity of 'Knows'.Robert Stainton - 2010 - In Campbell, O'Rourke & Silverstein (eds.), Knowledge and Skepticism.
    The central issue of this essay is whether contextualism in epistemology is genuinely in conflict with recent claims that ‘know’ is not in fact a contextsensitive word. To address this question, I will first rehearse three key aims of contextualists and the broad strategy they adopt for achieving them. I then introduce two linguistic arguments to the effect that the lexical item ‘know’ is not context sensitive, one from Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore, one from Jason Stanley. I find these (...)
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  5. Unshadowed Thought: Representations in Thought and Language.Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (3):470-473.
    This is a very poorly written book. It is highly repetitive and verbose. Moreover, despite the repetition, it is fundamentally unclear—both because of unhelpful and unexplained terminology, and because of its distinctively tangled prose. Here is one example of the latter.
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  6.  90
    The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy.Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.) - 2013 - Broadview Press.
    The boundary between semantics and pragmatics has been important since the early twentieth century, but in the last twenty-five years it has become the central issue in the philosophy of language. This anthology collects classic philosophical papers on the topic, along with recent key contributions. It stresses not only the nature of the boundary, but also its importance for philosophy generally.
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  7.  58
    Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorder : A Case Study in Philosophy and the Empirical.Robert Stainton - 2007 - In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell. pp. 292-317.
    This article has two aims. The first is to introduce some novel data that highlight rather surprising pragmatic abilities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The second is to consider a possible implication of these data for an emerging empirical methodology in philosophy of language and mind.
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  8. Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study in Philosophy and the Empirical.Jessica de Villiers, Robert J. Stainton & And Peter Szatmari - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):292–317.
    This article has two aims. The first is to introduce some novel data that highlight rather surprising pragmatic abilities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The second is to consider a possible implication of these data for an emerging empirical methodology in philosophy of language and mind. In pursuing the first aim, we expect our main audience to be clinicians and linguists interested in pragmatics. It is when we turn to methodological issues that we hope to pique the interest of philosophers. (...)
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  9.  44
    Meaning and Reference: Some Chomskian Themes.Robert J. Stainton - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 913--940.
    This article introduces three arguments that share a single conclusion: that a comprehensive science of language cannot describe relations of semantic reference, i.e. word–world relations. Spelling this out, if there is to be a genuine science of linguistic meaning, then a theory of meaning cannot involve assigning external, real-world, objects to names, nor sets of external objects to predicates, nor truth values to sentences. Most of the article tries to explain and defend this broad conclusion. The article also presents, in (...)
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  10.  9
    An Anscombean Reference for ‘I’?Andrew Botterell & Robert J. Stainton - 2018 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 18 (3):343-361.
    A standard reading of Anscombe’s “The First Person” takes her to argue, via reductio, that ‘I’ must be radically non-referring. Allegedly, she analogizes ‘I’ to the expletive ‘it’ in ‘It is raining’. Hence nothing need be said about Anscombe’s understanding of “the referential functioning of ‘I’”, there being no such thing. We think that this radical reading is incorrect. Given this, a pressing question arises: How does ‘I’ refer for Anscombe, and what sort of thing do users of ‘I’ refer (...)
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  11.  42
    Non-Sentential Assertions and Semantic Ellipsis.Robert J. Stainton - 1995 - Linguistics and Philosophy 18 (3):281 - 296.
    The restricted semantic ellipsis hypothesis, we have argued, is committed to an enormous number of multiply ambiguous expressions, the introduction of which gains us no extra explanatory power. We should, therefore, reject it. We should also spurn the original version since: (a) it entails the restricted version and (b) it incorrectly declares that, whenever a speaker makes an assertion by uttering an unembedded word or phrase, the expression uttered has illocutionary force.Once rejected, the semantic ellipsis hypothesis cannot account for the (...)
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  12.  38
    Revenge.Robert J. Stainton - 2006 - Critica 38 (112):3-20.
    This paper discusses, in a preliminary manner, what revenge is. In particular, it proposes four elements of revenge --an agent, a recipient, a harm intended by the former, and a harm done by the latter which provokes the revenge. Based on these four elements, it highlights both agent-internal conditions for getting revenge, and agent-external ones. Along the way, the paper contrasts revenge with related phenomena like merely getting even, and retribution. /// Este trabajo discute de manera preliminar lo que es (...)
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  13.  5
    Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study in Philosophy and the Empirical.Jessica de Villiers, Robert J. Stainton & Peter Szatmari - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):292-317.
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  14.  55
    In Defense of Non-Sentential Assertions.Robert J. Stainton - 2005 - In Zoltan Gendler Szabo (ed.), Semantics Versus Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 383--458.
    In what follows, I introduce a pragmatics-oriented approach to non-sentential speech, and defend it against two recent attacks. Among other things, I will rehearse and elaborate a defense against the idea that much, or even all, of such speech is actually syntactically elliptical—and hence should be treated semantically, rather than pragmatically. The chapter is structured as follows. In Section 1 I introduce the phenomenon, contrast semantic versus pragmatic approaches to it, and explain some of what hinges on which approach is (...)
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  15.  29
    A Deranged Argument Against Public Languages.Robert J. Stainton - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):6-32.
    Are there really such things as public languages? Are things like English and Urdu mere myths? I urge that, despite an intriguing line of thought which may be extracted from Davidson’s ‘A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs’, philosophers are right to countenance such things in their final ontology. The argument rebutted, which I concede may not have been one which Davidson himself ultimately embraced, is that knowledge of a public language is neither necessary nor sufficient for successful conversational interaction, so that (...)
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  16. Logical Form and the Vernacular.Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton - 2001 - Mind and Language 16 (4):393–424.
    Vernacularism is the view that logical forms are fundamentally assigned to natural language expressions, and are only derivatively assigned to anything else, e.g., propositions, mental representations, expressions of symbolic logic, etc. In this paper, we argue that Vernacularism is not as plausible as it first appears because of non-sentential speech. More specifically, there are argument-premises, meant by speakers of non-sentences, for which no natural language paraphrase is readily available in the language used by the speaker and the hearer. The speaker (...)
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  17.  31
    Quantifier Phrases, Meaningfulness “in Isolation”, and Ellipsis.Robert J. Stainton - 1998 - Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (3):311 - 340.
  18. Differential Pragmatic Abilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Case of Pragmatic Determinants of Literal Content.Jessica de Villiers & Robert J. Stainton - unknown
    It has become something of a truism that people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have difficulties with pragmatics. Granting this, however, it is important to keep in mind that there are numerous kinds of pragmatic ability. One very important divide lies between those pragmatic competences which pertain to non-literal contents – as in, for instance, metaphor, irony and Gricean conversational implicatures – and those which pertain to the literal contents of speech acts. It is against this backdrop that our question (...)
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  19. Shorthand, Syntactic Ellipsis, and the Pragmatic Determinants of What is Said.Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (4):442–471.
    Our first aim in this paper is to respond to four novel objections in Jason Stanley's 'Context and Logical Form'. Taken together, those objections attempt to debunk our prior claims that one can perform a genuine speech act by using a subsentential expression—where by 'subsentential expression' we mean an ordinary word or phrase, not embedded in any larger syntactic structure. Our second aim is to make it plausible that, pace Stanley, there really are pragmatic determinants of the literal truthconditional content (...)
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  20.  17
    Interrogatives and Sets of Answers.Robert J. Stainton - 1999 - Critica 31 (91):75-90.
  21.  57
    Using Non-Sentences: An Application of Relevance Theory.Robert J. Stainton - 1994 - Pragmatics and Cognition 2 (2):269-284.
    Michael Dummett has nicely expressed a rather widespread doctrine about the primacy of sentences. He writes: "you cannot DO anything with a word — cannot effect any conventional act by uttering it — save by uttering some sentence containing that word ...". In this paper we argue that this doctrine is mistaken: it is not only sentences, but also ordinary words and phrases which can be used in isolation. The argument involves two steps. First: we show — using Sperber and (...)
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  22.  18
    Revisiting Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorders.Jessica de Villiers, Brooke Myers & Robert J. Stainton - 2013 - Pragmatics and Cognition 21 (2):253-269.
    In a 2007 paper, we argued that speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorders exhibit pragmatic abilities which are surprising given the usual understanding of communication in that group. That is, it is commonly reported that people diagnosed with an ASD have trouble with metaphor, irony, conversational implicature and other non-literal language. This is not a matter of trouble with knowledge and application of rules of grammar. The difficulties lie, rather, in successful communicative interaction. Though we did find pragmatic errors within literal (...)
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  23.  16
    Revisiting Pragmatic Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Follow-Up Study with Controls.Jessica de Villiers, Brooke Myers & Robert J. Stainton - 2013 - Pragmatics and Cognition 21 (2):253-269.
    In a 2007 paper, we argued that speakers with Autism Spectrum Disorders exhibit pragmatic abilities which are surprising given the usual understanding of communication in that group. That is, it is commonly reported that people diagnosed with an ASD have trouble with metaphor, irony, conversational implicature and other non-literal language. This is not a matter of trouble with knowledge and application of rules of grammar. The difficulties lie, rather, in successful communicative interaction. Though we did find pragmatic errors within literal (...)
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  24.  27
    Speaker Meaning and Davidson on Metaphor: A Reply to McGuire.Robert J. Stainton - 2003 - Dialogue 42 (2):345-354.
    John Michael McGuire presents a dilemma for Donald Davidson’s denial of metaphorical content in the latter’s “What Metaphors Mean”. Probably, says McGuire, Davidson has simply overlooked the possibility that speakers mean propositions when they speak metaphorically. If so, all Davidson is saying is that expressions do not have additional metaphorical meanings. This is so obvious as to make Davidson’s paper “insignificant”. Besides which, McGuire continues, if Davidson intended to deny that speakers mean propositions in speaking metaphorically, his view is “obviously (...)
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  25. Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science.Robert J. Stainton (ed.) - 2006 - Malden MA: Blackwell.
  26.  57
    Utterance Meaning and Syntactic Ellipsis.Robert J. Stainton - 1997 - Pragmatics and Cognition 5 (1):51-78.
    Speakers often use ordinary words and phrases, unembedded in any sentence, to perform speech acts—or so it appears. In some cases appearances are deceptive: The seemingly lexical/phrasal utterance may really be an utterance of a syntactically eplliptical sentence. I argue however that, at least sometimes, plain old words and phrases are used on their own. The use of both words/phrases and elliptical sentences leads to two consequences: 1. Context must contribute more to utterance meaning than is often supposed. Here's why: (...)
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  27.  21
    Objects and Senses and Substitutions: A Reply to Dwyer.Robert J. Stainton - 2000 - Dialogue 39 (3):593-600.
    In this brief note I clarify two points made in my 1996 book Philosophical Perspectives on Language. The clarifications are prompted by some criticisms in a recent Dialogue review of that book.
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  28.  22
    Null Complements: Licensed by Syntax or by Semantics-Pragmatics?Corinne Iten, Marie-Odile Junker, Aryn Pyke, Robert Stainton & Catherine Wearing - unknown
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  29.  5
    Using Non-Sentences: An Application of Relevance Theory.Robert J. Stainton - 1994 - Pragmatics and Cognition 2 (2):269-284.
    Michael Dummett has nicely expressed a rather widespread doctrine about the primacy of sentences. He writes: "you cannot DO anything with a word — cannot effect any conventional act by uttering it — save by uttering some sentence containing that word...". In this paper we argue that this doctrine is mistaken: it is not only sentences, but also ordinary words and phrases which can be used in isolation. The argument involves two steps. First: we show — using Sperber and Wilson's (...)
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  30.  39
    Remarks on the Syntax and Semantic of Mixed Quotation.Robert J. Stainton - unknown
    Cappelen and Lepore's "Uarieties of Quotation" builds on Davidson (1968, 1979) to give an account of mixed quotation. The result is a hach paper, which introduces interesting data and raises many thought-provoking questions. Given this, I can't possibly discuss the paper in its entirety. Instead, I intend simply to paraphrase their position, develop it a little, and then raise a few concerns.
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  31.  22
    The Achilles of Rationalist Psychology.Thomas M. Lennon & Robert J. Stainton - unknown
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  32.  37
    What Assertion is Not.Robert J. Stainton - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 85 (1):57-73.
  33. Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science.Robert J. Stainton (ed.) - 2006 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This volume introduces central issues in cognitive science by means of debates on key questions. The debates are written by renowned experts in the field. The debates cover the middle ground as well as the extremes Addresses topics such as the amount of innate knowledge, bounded rationality and the role of perception in action. Provides valuable overview of the field in a clear and easily comprehensible form.
     
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  34.  91
    In Defense of Public Languages.Robert J. Stainton - 2011 - Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (5):479-488.
    My modest aim in this note is to sketch three interrelated critiques of public languages, and to respond to them. All are broadly Chomskyan, and all support the same conclusion: that, insofar as they even exist, the study of public languages is not a viable scientific project. (Related critiques of semantics, understood as involving word–world relations, will be touched on as well).
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  35.  47
    Quotation: Compositionality and Innocence Without Demonstration.Andrew Botterell & Robert J. Stainton - 2005 - Critica 37 (110):3-33.
    We discuss two kinds of quotation, namely indirect quotation and pure quotation. With respect to each, we have both a negative and a positive plaint. The negative plaint is that the strict Davidsonian treatment of indirect and pure quotation cannot be correct. The positive plaint is an alternative account of how quotation of these two sorts works. /// Discutimos dos tipos de citas, a saber, citas indirectas y citas puras. Hacemos dos planteamientos, uno positivo y otro negativo, con respecto a (...)
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  36.  16
    The Deflation of Belief States.Robert J. Stainton - 1997 - Critica 29 (85):95-119.
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  37.  38
    Knowledge and Mind: A Philosophical Introduction.Andrew Brook & Robert J. Stainton - 2000 - Bradford.
    This is the only contemporary text to cover both epistemology and philosophy of mind at an introductory level. It also serves as a general introduction to philosophy: it discusses the nature and methods of philosophy as well as basic logical tools of the trade. The book is divided into three parts. The first focuses on knowledge, in particular, skepticism and knowledge of the external world, and knowledge of language. The second focuses on mind, including the metaphysics of mind and freedom (...)
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  38.  55
    Neither Fragments nor Ellipsis.Robert Stainton - manuscript
    Jason Merchant (2004, and Chap. 3, this volume) proposes to account for all speech acts performed with “fragments,” whether in discourse-initial position or otherwise, by appealing to syntactic ellipsis. Though his proposal is insightful, I offer empirical and methodological considerations against it. Empirical problems include: (a) His alleged “elliptical sentences” do not embed the way they should; (b) in some cases where Merchant requires fronting to take place, it is blocked – either by an island (e.g., in English) or because (...)
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  39. The Semantics and Syntax of Null Complements.Marie-Odile Junker & Robert Stainton - unknown
    Consider sentences like (1): 1. Null Complement Containing Sentences a. Aryn followed b. Marie-Odile promised c. Corinne left d. Samir found out at midnight e. I applied f. They already know g. He volunteered h. Abdiwahid insisted i. I suppose j. Paul gave to Amnesty International These illustrate the phenomenon of null complements -- also called ‘pragmatically controlled zero anaphora’, ‘understood arguments’, and ‘linguistically unrealized arguments’. In each case, a complement is (phonologically) omitted, yet (a) the sentence is well-formed and (...)
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  40.  54
    The Meaning of 'Sentences'.Robert J. Stainton - 2000 - Noûs 34 (3):441–454.
    It seems to me that the argument has a certain initial plausibility, especially when ‘sentence’, ‘used in isolation’ and ‘meaning in isolation’ are explicated in a certain way. ~For instance, one must take sentences to include elliptical sentences; and one must take ‘use in isolation’ to entail use in the performance of a genuine speech act.! It also seems to me that the argument is important. For one thing, the Conclusion can be recruited in reasoning to the effect that, because..
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  41.  64
    Philosophy and Linguistics.Kumiko Murasugi & Robert Stainton (eds.) - 1998 - Westview Press.
    This edited volume offers ten new essays on semantics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of linguistics by top scholars in the field. Covering a wide range of topics, the collection is sure to be of interest to scholars in those areas as well as some philosophers of mind. Because of the diversity of topics and perspectives inherent in the collection, readers will find both exposition and debate among the contributors.
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  42.  23
    Re-Reading Anscombe on ‘I’.Robert J. Stainton - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):70-93.
    ABSTRACTAccording to a ‘Straight’ reading of Elizabeth Anscombe’s ‘The First Person’, she holds a radically non-referring view of ‘I’. Specifically, ‘I’ is analogous to the expletive ‘it’ in ‘It’s raining’. I argue that this is not her conclusion. Her substantive view, rather is that if what you mean by ‘reference’ is a certain rich and recherché notion tracing to Frege, then ‘I’ is not a referring term. Her methodological point is that one shouldn’t be ‘bewitched by language’ into thinking that (...)
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  43.  14
    The Deflation of Belief Contents.Robert J. Stainton - 1996 - Critica 28 (84):63-82.
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  44.  38
    Grasping Objects and Contents.Reinaldo Elugardo & Robert J. Stainton - 2003 - In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 257-302.
  45.  47
    Philosophical Perspectives on Language: A Concise Anthology.Robert J. Stainton - 1996 - Broadview Press.
    Philosophical theorizing about language now involves an increasing emphasis on empirical work and a renewed convergence with philosophy of mind, formal semantics and logic. This new text reflects this evolution. -/- Philosophical Perspectives on Language is distinguished in several important respects from other introductions to the topic. Rather than looking at philosophy of language as a collection of (at best) loosely related topics—speech acts, demonstratives, sense and reference, truth and meaning, etc.—this book is organized around a unifying theme: language as (...)
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  46. Philosophical Perspectives on Language: A Concise Anthology.Robert J. Stainton - 1996 - Broadview Press.
    Philosophical theorizing about language now involves an increasing emphasis on empirical work and a renewed convergence with philosophy of mind, formal semantics and logic. This new text reflects this evolution. _Philosophical Perspectives on Language_ is distinguished in several important respects from other introductions to the topic. Rather than looking at philosophy of language as a collection of loosely related topics—speech acts, demonstratives, sense and reference, truth and meaning, etc.—this book is organized around a unifying theme: language as a system of (...)
     
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  47.  46
    The Contribution of Domain Specificity in the Highly Modular Mind.Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia, Ángeles Eraña & Robert Stainton - 2010 - Minds and Machines 20 (1):19-27.
    Is there a notion of domain specificity which affords genuine insight in the context of the highly modular mind, i.e. a mind which has not only input modules, but also central ‘conceptual’ modules? Our answer to this question is no. The main argument is simple enough: we lay out some constraints that a theoretically useful notion of domain specificity, in the context of the highly modular mind, would need to meet. We then survey a host of accounts of what domain (...)
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  48.  68
    Perry, Wittgenstein's Builders, and Metasemantics.Robert J. Stainton - 2009 - Radical Philosophy Review of Books 17 (2):203-221.
    The paper discusses in detail John Perry's important article “Davidson's Sentences and Wittgenstein's Builders“. Perry argues, on the basis of Wittgenstein's famous block/slab language, that words make direct metasemantic contact with the world. The present paper urges that, while Perry's conclusions are correct and important, the arguments provided for them, in his 1994 article, ignore essential features of genuine words in natural language. A more empirically-oriented alternative tactic for supporting the same philosophical conclusions is then provided, and its advantages and (...)
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  49.  12
    Indeterminacy, Opacity and the Identity Theory.Robert J. Stainton - 1995 - Critica 27 (80):49-56.
  50.  27
    On Restricting the Evidence Base for Linguistics.C. Iten, Robert J. Stainton & C. Wearing - unknown
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