Donald Davidson notoriously rejected ‘metaphorical meaning’ and denied the existence of linguistic mechanisms by which metaphorical significance is conveyed. He contended that the meanings metaphorical sentences have are just their literal meanings, though metaphorical utterances may brute-causally have important cognitive effects. Contrastingly, John Searle offers a Gricean account of metaphor as an elaborated kind of implicature, and defends metaphorical meaning as speaker-meaning. Each of those positions is subject to very telling objections from the other's point of view. This paper proposes (...) a synthesis that combines the respective virtues of Davidson's and Searle's accounts and avoids all the objections to each. (shrink)
Here are some things that are widely believed about free will and determinism. Free will is prima facie incompatible with determinism. The incompatibility is logical or at least conceptual or a priori. A compatibilist needs to explain how free will can co-exist with determinism, paradigmatically by offering an analysis of ‘free’ action that is demonstrably compatible with determinism. Free will is not impugned by quantum in determinism, at least not in the same decisive way that it is impugned by determinism. (...) To reconcile free will with quantum indeterminism takes work, but the work comes under the heading of metaphysical business-as-usual; to reconcile free will with determinism requires a conceptual breakthrough. And listen to Laura Waddell Ekstrom on the burden of proof. (shrink)
_Philosophy of Language_ introduces the student to the main issues and theories in twentieth-century philosophy of language. Topics are structured in three parts in the book. Part I, Reference and Referring Expressions, includes topics such as Russell's Theory of Desciptions, Donnellan's distinction, problems of anaphora, the description theory of proper names, Searle's cluster theory, and the causal-historical theory. Part II, Theories of Meaning, surveys the competing theories of linguistic meaning and compares their various advantages and liabilities. Part III, Pragmatics and (...) Speech Acts, introduces the basic concepts of linguistic pragmatics, includes a detailed discussion of the problem of indirect force and surveys approaches to metaphor. Unique features of the text: * chapter overviews and summaries * clear supportive examples * study questions * annotated further reading * glossary. (shrink)
Despite the current resurgence of modest forms of mind?body dualism, traditional Cartesian immaterial-substance dualism has few, if any, defenders. This paper argues that no convincing case has been made against substance dualism, and that standard objections to it can be credibly answered.
Locke put forward the theory of consciousness as "internal Sense" or "reflection"; Kant made it inner sense, by means of which the mind intuits itself or its inner state." On that theory, consciousness is a perception-like second-order representing of our own psychological states events. The term "consciousness," of course, has many distinct uses.
It is widely thought that mind–body substance dualism is implausible at best, though mere “property” dualism is defensible and even flourishing. This paper argues that substance dualism is no less plausible than property dualism and even has two advantages over it.
The idea of representation has been central in discussions of intentionality for many years. But only more recently has it begun playing a wider role in the philosophy of mind, particularly in theories of consciousness. Indeed, there are now multiple representational theories of consciousness, corresponding to different uses of the term "conscious," each attempting to explain the corresponding phenomenon in terms of representation. More cautiously, each theory attempts to explain its target phenomenon in terms of _intentionality_, and assumes that intentionality (...) is representation. (shrink)
An explanatory coherence theory of justification is sketched and then defended against a number of recent objections: conservatism and relativism; wild and crazy beliefs; reliability; warranted necessary falsehoods; basing; distant, unknown coherences; Sosa's “self- and present-abstracts”; and Bayesian impossibility results.
Second, there is a form of ampliative inference that has come to be called ‘inference to the best explanation,’ or more briefly ‘explanatory inference.’ Roughly: From the fact that a certain hypothesis would explain the data at hand better than any other available hypothesis, we infer with some degree of confidence that that leading hypothesis is correct. There is no question but that this inference is often performed. Arguably, every human being performs it many times in a day, perhaps without (...) letup. (shrink)
Lycan (1985, 1988) defended a “Principle of Credulity”: “Accept at the outset each of those things that seem to be true” (1988, p. 165). Though that takes the form of a rule rather than a thesis, it does not seem very different from Huemer’s (2001, 2006, 2007) doctrine of phenomenal conservatism (PC): “If it seems to S that p , then, in the absence of defeaters, S thereby has at least some degree of justification for believing that p ” (2007, (...) p. 30). My Principle was differently motivated and put to uses different from Huemer’s. In this paper I shall explore some of the differences. (shrink)
In 19651 Richard Rorty defended a theory of mind which has since come to be called' eliminative materialism'. The theory has attained some status as a distinct, autonomous brand of materialism; and it has been criticized at length in the literature, ... \n.
As a clinical geneticist I have been amazed at the speed of discovery over the past 20 years. The specific genetic causes of thousands of rare genetic conditions have been defined due to improvements in genomic sequencing, computing power and international collaborations to phenotype individuals with similar clinical features. This knowledge has resulted in an increased ability to make accurate molecular diagnoses which informs optimal treatment and clinical care, can remove the need for unnecessary investigations and informs reproductive decision-making. However (...) for any given individual, this genetic testing can often take weeks or months before the initial genetic diagnosis is made within a family. Occasionally genetic information is required more quickly to define a clinical action. For years point of care testing has been a mainstay of clinical care, for example, in confirming pregnancy or monitoring blood glucose. I had been keen to explore scenarios where a genetic POCT could be employed in clinical practice. To me, an obvious example appeared to be neonatal testing to avoid gentamicin-induced hearing loss. Here was a situation where we had known about the genetic …. (shrink)
Grice's cryptic notion of “conventional implicature” has been developed in a number of different ways. This paper deploys the simplest version, Lycan's (1984) notion of “lexical presumption,” and argues that slurs and other pejorative expressions have normal truth-conditional content plus the most obvious extra implicatures. The paper then addresses and rebuts objections to “conventional implicature” accounts that have been made in the literature, particularly those which focus on non-offensive uses of slurs.