Oct 11th 2018 GMT
- Moore's Paradox and Assertion.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford University Press.If I were to say, “Agnes does not know that it is raining, but it is,” this seems like a perfectly coherent way of describing Agnes’s epistemic position. If I were to add, “And I don’t know if it is, either,” this seems quite strange. In this chapter, we shall look at some statements that seem, in some sense, contradictory, even though it seems that these statements can express propositions that are contingently true or false. Moore thought it was paradoxical that statements that can express true propositions or contingently false propositions should nevertheless seem absurd like this. If we can account for the absurdity, we shall solve Moore’s Paradox. In this chapter, we shall look at Moore’s proposals and more recent discussions of Moorean absurd thought and speech.
- Abominable KK Failures.Kevin Dorst - forthcoming - Mind.KK is the thesis that if you can know p, you can know that you can know p. Though it’s unpopular, a flurry of considerations have recently emerged in its favor. Here we add fuel to the fire: standard resources allow us to show that any failure of KK will lead to the knowability and assertability of abominable indicative conditionals of the form, ‘If I don’t know it, p.’ Such conditionals are manifestly not assertable—a fact that KK defenders can easily explain. I survey a variety of KK-denying responses and find them wanting. Those who object to the knowability of such conditionals must either (i) deny the possibility of harmony between knowledge and belief, or (ii) deny well-supported connections between conditional and unconditional attitudes. Meanwhile, those who grant knowability owe us an explanation of such conditionals’ unassertability—yet no successful explanations are on offer. Upshot: we have new evidence for KK.
- Assertions of Clarity & Raising Awareness.Phil Crone - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
- Empty-Set Effects in Quantifier Interpretation.Oliver Bott, Fabian Schlotterbeck & Udo Klein - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
Oct 10th 2018 GMT
- Shared Modes of Presentation.Simon Prosser - forthcoming - Mind and Language.What is it for two people to think of an object, natural kind or other entity under the same mode of presentation (MOP)? This has seemed a particularly difficult question for advocates of the Mental Files approach, the Language of Thought, or other ‘atomistic’ theories. In this paper I propose a simple answer. I first argue that, by parallel with the synchronic intrapersonal case, the sharing of a MOP should involve a certain kind of epistemic transparency between the token thoughts of the two thinkers. I then explain how shared words help bring about this transparency. Finally, I show how this account can be extended for thoughts expressed using demonstratives or indexicals.
- Subjunctive Conditionals’ Local Contexts.John Mackay - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-15.Philippe Schlenker gives a method of deriving local contexts from an expression’s classical semantics. In this paper I show that this method, when applied to the traditional variably strict semantics for subjunctive conditionals of Robert Stalnaker, David Lewis, and Angelika Kratzer, delivers an empirically incorrect prediction. The prediction is that the antecedent of a conditional should have the whole domain of possible worlds as its local context and therefore should be allowed to have only necessary presuppositions. In the later part of the paper, I suggest the outlines of a solution to the problem. The solution involves adding a shifting contextual restriction on the domain of possible worlds.
Oct 9th 2018 GMT
- The Hierarchy of Fregean Senses.Ori Simchen - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.The question whether Frege’s theory of indirect reference enforces an infinite hierarchy of senses has been hotly debated in the secondary literature. Perhaps the most influential treatment of the issue is that of Burge (1979), who offers an argument for the hierarchy from rather minimal Fregean assumptions. I argue that this argument, endorsed by many, does not itself enforce an infinite hierarchy of senses. I conclude that whether or not the theory of indirect reference can avail itself of only finitely many senses is pending further theoretical development.
- Proof and Falsity: A Logical Investigation.Nils Kürbis - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.This book argues that the meaning of negation, perhaps the most important logical constant, cannot be defined within the framework of the most comprehensive theory of proof-theoretic semantics, as formulated in the influential work of Michael Dummett and Dag Prawitz. Nils Kürbis examines three approaches that have attempted to solve the problem – defining negation in terms of metaphysical incompatibility; treating negation as an undefinable primitive; and defining negation in terms of a speech act of denial – and concludes that they cannot adequately do so. He argues that whereas proof-theoretic semantics usually only appeals to a notion of truth, it also needs to appeal to a notion of falsity, and proposes a system of natural deduction in which both are incorporated. Offering new perspectives on negation, denial and falsity, his book will be important for readers working on logic, metaphysics and the philosophy of language.
Oct 8th 2018 GMT
- The First-Person Plural and Immunity to Error.Joel Smith - forthcoming - Disputatio.I argue for the view that some we-thoughts are immune to error through misidentification (IEM) relative to the first-person plural pronoun. To prepare the ground for this argument I defend an account of the semantics of ‘we’ and note the variety of different uses of that term. I go on to defend the IEM of a certain range of we-thoughts against a number of objections.
Oct 7th 2018 GMT
- Russellians Can Solve the Problem of Empty Names with Nonsingular Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.Views that treat the contents of sentences as structured, Russellian propositions face a problem with empty names. It seems that those sorts of things cannot be the contents of sentences containing such names. I motivate and defend a solution to the problem according to which a sentence may have a singular proposition as its content at one time, and a nonsingular one at another. When the name is empty the content is a nonsingular Russellian structured proposition; when the name is not empty the content is a singular Russellian structured proposition.
Oct 6th 2018 GMT
- Assessing Relevance.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Lingua210:42-64.
Oct 5th 2018 GMT
- Linguistic Bodies. The Continuity Between Life and Language.Ezequiel Di Paolo, Elena Clare Cuffari & Hanne De Jaegher - forthcoming - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.A novel theoretical framework for an embodied, non-representational approach to language that extends and deepens enactive theory, bridging the gap between sensorimotor skills and language.Linguistic Bodies offers a fully embodied and fully social treatment of human language without positing mental representations. The authors present the first coherent, overarching theory that connects dynamical explanations of action and perception with language. Arguing from the assumption of a deep continuity between life and mind, they show that this continuity extends to language. Expanding and deepening enactive theory, they offer a constitutive account of language and the co-emergent phenomena of personhood, reflexivity, social normativity, and ideality. Language, they argue, is not something we add to a range of existing cognitive capacities but a new way of being embodied. Each of us is a linguistic body in a community of other linguistic bodies. The book describes three distinct yet entangled kinds of human embodiment, organic, sensorimotor, and intersubjective; it traces the emergence of linguistic sensitivities and introduces the novel concept of linguistic bodies; and it explores the implications of living as linguistic bodies in perpetual becoming, applying the concept of linguistic bodies to questions of language acquisition, parenting, autism, grammar, symbol, narrative, and gesture, and to such ethical concerns as microaggression, institutional speech, and pedagogy.
Oct 4th 2018 GMT
- Demonstratives, Definite Descriptions and Non-Redundancy.Kyle H. Blumberg - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.In some sentences, demonstratives can be substituted with definite descriptions without any change in meaning. In light of this, many have maintained that demonstratives are just a type of definite description. However, several theorists have drawn attention to a range of cases where definite descriptions are acceptable, but their demonstrative counterparts are not. Some have tried to account for this data by appealing to presupposition. I argue that such presuppositional approaches are problematic, and present a pragmatic account of the target contrasts. On this approach, demonstratives take two arguments and generally require that the first, covert argument is non-redundant with respect to the second, overt argument. I derive this condition through an economy principle discussed by Schlenker (2005).
- We Belong Together? A Plea for Modesty in Modal Plural Logic.Simon Hewitt - manuscript
- Silencing and Assertion.Alessandra Tanesini - 2019 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press.Theories of assertion must explain how silencing is possible. This chapter defends an account of assertion in terms of normative commitments on the grounds that it provides the most plausible analysis of how individuals might be silenced when attempting to make assertions. The chapter first offers an account of the nature of silencing and defends the view that it can occur even in contexts where speakers’ communicative intentions are understood by their audience. Second, it outlines some of the normative commitments characteristic of assertion when used in the speech act of telling;. This commitment view of assertion is then used to explain silencing as a matter of being deprived of the ability to make some of the commitments one is trying to acquire. Finally, the main rivals of the commitment view of assertion endorsed here are shown to be unable to account for silencing, at least when they are considered in their purest form.