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Ryan M. Nefdt [7]Ryan Mark Nefdt [3]
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Ryan Mark Nefdt
University of Cape Town
  1.  23
    Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account.Ryan M. Nefdt - forthcoming - Journal of Logic, Language and Information:1-33.
    In this paper, I utilise the growing literature on scientific modelling to investigate the nature of formal semantics from the perspective of the philosophy of science. Specifically, I incorporate the inferential framework proposed by Bueno and Colyvan : 345–374, 2011) in the philosophy of applied mathematics to offer an account of how formal semantics explains and models its data. This view produces a picture of formal semantic models as involving an embedded process of inference and representation applying indirectly to linguistic (...)
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  2.  31
    Infinity and the Foundations of Linguistics.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1671-1711.
    The concept of linguistic infinity has had a central role to play in foundational debates within theoretical linguistics since its more formal inception in the mid-twentieth century. The conceptualist tradition, marshalled in by Chomsky and others, holds that infinity is a core explanandum and a link to the formal sciences. Realism/Platonism takes this further to argue that linguistics is in fact a formal science with an abstract ontology. In this paper, I argue that a central misconstrual of formal apparatus of (...)
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  3.  36
    The Ontology of Words: A Structural Approach.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (8):877-911.
    ABSTRACTWords form a fundamental basis for our understanding of linguistic practice. However, the precise ontology of words has eluded many philosophers and linguists. A persistent difficulty for most accounts of words is the type-token distinction [Bromberger, S. 1989. “Types and Tokens in Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, edited by A. George, 58–90. Basil Blackwell; Kaplan, D. 1990. “Words.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXIV: 93–119]. In this paper, I present a novel account of words which differs from the atomistic and platonistic (...)
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  4.  26
    Scientific Modelling in Generative Grammar and the Dynamic Turn in Syntax.Ryan Mark Nefdt - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (5):357-394.
    In this paper, I address the issue of scientific modelling in contemporary linguistics, focusing on the generative tradition. In so doing, I identify two common varieties of linguistic idealisation, which I call determination and isolation respectively. I argue that these distinct types of idealisation can both be described within the remit of Weisberg’s :639–659, 2007) minimalist idealisation strategy in the sciences. Following a line set by Blutner :27–35, 2011), I propose this minimalist idealisation analysis for a broad construal of the (...)
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  5.  4
    The Social Evolution of Human Nature: From Biology to Language. [REVIEW]Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277):874-877.
    The Social Evolution of Human Nature: From Biology to Language. By Smit Harry.
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  6.  3
    The Philosophy of Linguistics: Scientific Underpinnings and Methodological Disputes.Ryan M. Nefdt - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
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  7.  37
    Why Philosophers Should Do Semantics : A Reply to Cappelen.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):243-256.
    In this paper, I address a series of arguments recently put forward by Cappelen Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8: 743–762 to the effect that philosophers should not do formal semantics or be concerned with the “minutiae of natural language semantics”. He offers two paths for accessing his ideas. I argue that his arguments fail in favour of the first and cast some doubt on the second in so doing. I then proffer an alternative conception of why exactly philosophers should (...)
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  8.  11
    Recursion: A Computational Investigation Into the Representation and Processing of Language. [REVIEW]Ryan M. Nefdt - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):206-209.
    Recursion: A Computational Investigation into the Representation and Processing of Language. By Lobina David.
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  9.  13
    Inferentialism and Structuralism: A Tale of Two Theories.Ryan Mark Nefdt - 2018 - Logique Et Analyse 61 (244):489-512.
    This paper aims to unite two seemingly disparate themes in the philosophy of mathematics and language respectively, namely ante rem structuralism and inferentialism. My analysis begins with describing both frameworks in accordance with their genesis in the work of Hilbert. I then draw comparisons between these philosophical views in terms of their similar motivations and similar objections to the referential orthodoxy. I specifically home in on two points of comparison, namely the role of norms and the relation of ontological dependence (...)
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  10.  18
    The Foundations of Linguistics : Mathematics, Models, and Structures.Ryan Mark Nefdt - unknown
    The philosophy of linguistics is a rich philosophical domain which encompasses various disciplines. One of the aims of this thesis is to unite theoretical linguistics, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of science and the ontology of language. Each part of the research presented here targets separate but related goals with the unified aim of bringing greater clarity to the foundations of linguistics from a philosophical perspective. Part I is devoted to the methodology of linguistics in terms of scientific modelling. (...)
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