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Samuel John Cumming
Rutgers University - New Brunswick (PhD)
Sam Cumming
University of California, Los Angeles
  1. Variabilism.Samuel Cumming - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):525-554.
    Variabilism is the view that proper names (like pronouns) are semantically represented as variables. Referential names, like referential pronouns, are assigned their referents by a contextual variable assignment (Kaplan 1989). The reference parameter (like the world of evaluation) may also be shifted by operators in the representation language. Indeed verbs that create hyperintensional contexts, like ‘think’, are treated as operators that simultaneously shift the world and assignment parameters. By contrast, metaphysical modal operators shift the world of assessment only. Names, being (...)
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  2. Conventions of Viewpoint Coherence in Film.Samuel Cumming, Gabriel Greenberg & Rory Kelly - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
    This paper examines the interplay of semantics and pragmatics within the domain of film. Films are made up of individual shots strung together in sequences over time. Though each shot is disconnected from the next, combinations of shots still convey coherent stories that take place in continuous space and time. How is this possible? The semantic view of film holds that film coherence is achieved in part through a kind of film language, a set of conventions which govern the relationships (...)
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    From Coordination to Content.Samuel Cumming - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    Frege's picture of attitude states and attitude reports requires a notion of content that is shareable between agents, yet more fine-grained than reference. Kripke challenged this picture by giving a case on which the expressions that resist substitution in an attitude report share a candidate notion of fine-grained content. A consensus view developed which accepted Kripke's general moral and replaced the Fregean picture with an account of attitude reporting on which states are distinguished in conversation by their (private) representational properties. (...)
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  4. Indefinites and Intentional Identity.Samuel Cumming - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):371-395.
    This paper investigates the truth conditions of sentences containing indefinite noun phrases, focusing on occurrences in attitude reports, and, in particular, a puzzle case due to Walter Edelberg. It is argued that indefinites semantically contribute the (thought-)object they denote, in a manner analogous to attributive definite descriptions. While there is an existential reading of attitude reports containing indefinites, it is argued that the existential quantifier is contributed by the de re interpretation of the indefinite (as the de re reading adds (...)
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    Proper Nouns.Samuel Cumming - unknown
    This dissertation is an experiment: what happens if we treat proper names as anaphoric expressions on a par with pronouns? The first thing to notice is that a name's `antecedent' can occur in a discourse prior to the one containing the name. An individual may be introduced and tagged with a name in one context, and then retrieved using the name in a later context. To allow for discourse-crossing anaphora, in addition to the usual cross-sentential anaphora, a revision of discourse (...)
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    Context, by Robert Stalnaker.Samuel Cumming - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):260-264.
  7.  13
    Semantics for Nominalists.Samuel Cumming - 2014 - ProtoSociology 31:38-42.
    Nominalists should give up on one of Frege’s semantic tenets, and adopt an account on which the truth-value of a sentence depends on the senses, rather than the referents, of its syntactic constituents. That way, sentences like ‘2+2=4’ and ‘Hamlet did not exist’ might be true, without components like ‘2’ and ‘Hamlet’ having a referent.
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