The Grice Club

Welcome

The Grice Club

The club for all those whose members have no (other) club.

Is Grice the greatest philosopher that ever lived?

Search This Blog

Friday, October 12, 2018

Disimplicature

Speranza


alerts

Oct 11th 2018 GMT
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Assertions of Clarity & Raising Awareness.Phil Crone - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.

  4. Empty-Set Effects in Quantifier Interpretation.Oliver BottFabian Schlotterbeck & Udo Klein - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.

Oct 10th 2018 GMT
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. Assessing Relevance.Fabrizio Macagno - 2018 - Lingua210:42-64.

Oct 5th 2018 GMT
  1. Linguistic Bodies. The Continuity Between Life and Language.Ezequiel Di PaoloElena 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
  1. 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).
  2. We Belong Together? A Plea for Modesty in Modal Plural Logic.Simon Hewitt - manuscript

  3. 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.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Disimplicature

Speranza

alerts

Oct 4th 2018 GMT
  1. 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).
  2. We Belong Together? A Plea for Modesty in Modal Plural Logic.Simon Hewitt - manuscript

  3. Silencing and Assertion.Alessandra Tanesini - forthcoming - 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.
Oct 3rd 2018 GMT
  1. Common Nouns as Variables: Evidence From Conservativity and the Temperature Paradox.Peter Nathan Lasersohn - 2018 - In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21. pp. 731-746.
    Common nouns and noun phrases have usually been analyzed semantically as predicates. In quantified sentences, these predicates take variables as arguments. This paper develops and defends an analysis in which common nouns and noun phrases themselves are treated as variables, rather than as predicates taking variables as arguments. Several apparent challenges for this view will be addressed, including the modal non-rigidity of common nouns. Two major advantages to treating common nouns as variables will be presented: Such an analysis predicts that all nominal quantification is conservative, rather than requiring conservativity to be stipulated as a constraint on determiner denotations; and it makes possible some improvements to the analysis of the temperature paradox, allowing for quantificational examples without adding a spurious layer of modal variability. 
Sep 30th 2018 GMT
  1. Sticky Situations: 'Force' and Quantifier Domains.Matthew Mandelkern & Jonathan Phillipsforthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 28.
    When do we judge that someone was forced to do what they did? One relatively well-established finding is that subjects tend to judge that agents were not forced to do actions when those actions violate norms. A surprising discovery of Young & Phillips 2011 is that this effect seems to disappear when we frame the relevant ‘force’-claim in the active rather than passive voice ('X forced Y to φ ' vs. 'Y was forced to φ by X'). Young and Phillips found a similar contrast when the scenario itself shifts attention from Y (the forcee) to X (the forcer). We propose that these effects can be (at least partly) explained by way of the role of attention in the setting of quantifier domains which in turn play a role in the evaluation of ‘force’- claims. We argue for this hypothesis by way of an experiment which shows that sequences of active vs. passive ‘force’-claims display the characteristic “stickiness” of quantifier domain expansion, using a paradigm which we argue provides a useful general paradigm for testing quantifier domain hypotheses. Finally, we sketch a semantics for ‘force’ which we argue is suitable for capturing these effects.
Sep 28th 2018 GMT
  1. Why We Need Corpus Linguistics in Intuition-Based Semantics.Leonid Tarasov - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95.
    The following method is popular in some areas of philosophy and linguistics when trying to describe the semantics of a given sentence Φ. Present ordinary speakers with scenarios that involve an utterance of Φ, ask them whether these utterances are felicitous or infelicitous and then construct a semantics that assigns the truth-value True to felicitous utterances of Φ and the truth-value False to infelicitous utterances of Φ. The author makes five observations about this intuition-based approach to semantics; their upshot is that it should be revised in favour of a more nuanced method. The author suggests that this method should be based on corpus linguistics and makes some tentative remarks about what it might look like and which questions we need to address in order to develop it.
  2. Embedded Attitudes.Kyle H. Blumberg & Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: (i) a constraint that ties the content of restrictions to the “dynamic effects” of sentential connectives and (ii) a constraint that limits the availability of restriction effects to present tense verbs with first-person subjects. However, we also present some cases that make trouble for these conditions, and outline some possible ways of modifying the view to account for the recalcitrant data. We conclude with a brief discussion of some of the connections between our semantics for attitude verbs and issues concerning epistemic modals and theories of knowledge.
Sep 27th 2018 GMT
  1. What 'Must' Adds.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously use a ‘must’- claim like (1-a) and those in which one can use the corresponding claim without the ‘must’, as in (1-b):(1) a. It must be raining out. b. It is raining out.
    It is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is difficult to account for this difference, since assertions of 'Must p' and assertions of p alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, communicating that p is true. In this paper I give a new account of the conversational role of ‘must’. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for the proposition it embeds. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I propose a pragmatic derivation of Support as a manner implicature.

Disimplicature

Speranza

GMT
  1. 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).
  2. We Belong Together? A Plea for Modesty in Modal Plural Logic.Simon Hewitt - manuscript

  3. Silencing and Assertion.Alessandra Tanesini - forthcoming - 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.
Oct 3rd 2018 GMT
  1. Common Nouns as Variables: Evidence From Conservativity and the Temperature Paradox.Peter Nathan Lasersohn - 2018 - In Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21. pp. 731-746.
    Common nouns and noun phrases have usually been analyzed semantically as predicates. In quantified sentences, these predicates take variables as arguments. This paper develops and defends an analysis in which common nouns and noun phrases themselves are treated as variables, rather than as predicates taking variables as arguments. Several apparent challenges for this view will be addressed, including the modal non-rigidity of common nouns. Two major advantages to treating common nouns as variables will be presented: Such an analysis predicts that all nominal quantification is conservative, rather than requiring conservativity to be stipulated as a constraint on determiner denotations; and it makes possible some improvements to the analysis of the temperature paradox, allowing for quantificational examples without adding a spurious layer of modal variability. 
Sep 30th 2018 GMT
  1. Sticky Situations: 'Force' and Quantifier Domains.Matthew Mandelkern & Jonathan Phillipsforthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 28.
    When do we judge that someone was forced to do what they did? One relatively well-established finding is that subjects tend to judge that agents were not forced to do actions when those actions violate norms. A surprising discovery of Young & Phillips 2011 is that this effect seems to disappear when we frame the relevant ‘force’-claim in the active rather than passive voice ('X forced Y to φ ' vs. 'Y was forced to φ by X'). Young and Phillips found a similar contrast when the scenario itself shifts attention from Y (the forcee) to X (the forcer). We propose that these effects can be (at least partly) explained by way of the role of attention in the setting of quantifier domains which in turn play a role in the evaluation of ‘force’- claims. We argue for this hypothesis by way of an experiment which shows that sequences of active vs. passive ‘force’-claims display the characteristic “stickiness” of quantifier domain expansion, using a paradigm which we argue provides a useful general paradigm for testing quantifier domain hypotheses. Finally, we sketch a semantics for ‘force’ which we argue is suitable for capturing these effects.
Sep 28th 2018 GMT
  1. Why We Need Corpus Linguistics in Intuition-Based Semantics.Leonid Tarasov - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95.
    The following method is popular in some areas of philosophy and linguistics when trying to describe the semantics of a given sentence Φ. Present ordinary speakers with scenarios that involve an utterance of Φ, ask them whether these utterances are felicitous or infelicitous and then construct a semantics that assigns the truth-value True to felicitous utterances of Φ and the truth-value False to infelicitous utterances of Φ. The author makes five observations about this intuition-based approach to semantics; their upshot is that it should be revised in favour of a more nuanced method. The author suggests that this method should be based on corpus linguistics and makes some tentative remarks about what it might look like and which questions we need to address in order to develop it.
  2. Embedded Attitudes.Kyle H. Blumberg & Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: (i) a constraint that ties the content of restrictions to the “dynamic effects” of sentential connectives and (ii) a constraint that limits the availability of restriction effects to present tense verbs with first-person subjects. However, we also present some cases that make trouble for these conditions, and outline some possible ways of modifying the view to account for the recalcitrant data. We conclude with a brief discussion of some of the connections between our semantics for attitude verbs and issues concerning epistemic modals and theories of knowledge.
Sep 27th 2018 GMT
  1. What 'Must' Adds.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously use a ‘must’- claim like (1-a) and those in which one can use the corresponding claim without the ‘must’, as in (1-b):(1) a. It must be raining out. b. It is raining out.
    It is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is difficult to account for this difference, since assertions of 'Must p' and assertions of p alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, communicating that p is true. In this paper I give a new account of the conversational role of ‘must’. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for the proposition it embeds. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I propose a pragmatic derivation of Support as a manner implicature.

Disimplicature

Speranza

GMT
  1. What 'Must' Adds.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously use a ‘must’- claim like (1-a) and those in which one can use the corresponding claim without the ‘must’, as in (1-b):(1) a. It must be raining out. b. It is raining out.
    It is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is difficult to account for this difference, since assertions of 'Must p' and assertions of p alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, communicating that p is true. In this paper I give a new account of the conversational role of ‘must’. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for the proposition it embeds. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I propose a pragmatic derivation of Support as a manner implicature.
  2. Embedded Attitudes.Kyle H. Blumberg & Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: (i) a constraint that ties the content of restrictions to the “dynamic effects” of sentential connectives and (ii) a constraint that limits the availability of restriction effects to present tense verbs with first-person subjects. However, we also present some cases that make trouble for these conditions, and outline some possible ways of modifying the view to account for the recalcitrant data. We conclude with a brief discussion of some of the connections between our semantics for attitude verbs and issues concerning epistemic modals and theories of knowledge.
Sep 26th 2018 GMT
  1. A Category Semantics.Paul Symington - 2018 - In Paul Hackett (ed.), Mereologies, Ontologies, and Facets. New York: Lexington Books. pp. 65-85.
    In this paper, I present a categorial theory of meaning which asserts that the meaning of a sentence is the function from the actualization of some potentiality or the potentiality of some actuality to the truth of the sentence. I argue that it builds on the virtues of David Lewis’s Possible World Semantics but advances beyond problems that Lewis’s theory faces with its distinctly Aristotelian turn toward actuality and potentiality.
Sep 25th 2018 GMT
  1. Building Complex Events: The Case of Sicilian Doubly Inflected Construction.Fabio Del Prete & Giuseppina Todaro - forthcoming - Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.
    We examine the Doubly Inflected Construction of Sicilian (DIC; Cardinaletti and Giusti 2001, 2003, Cruschina 2013), in which a motion verb V1 from a restricted set is followed by an event verb V2 and both verbs are inflected for the same person and tense features. The interpretation of DIC involves a complex event which behaves as a single, integrated event by linguistic tests. Based on data drawn from different sources, we argue that DIC is an asymmetrical serial verb construction (Aikhenvald 2006). We propose an analysis of DIC in which V1 and V2 enter the semantic composition as lexical verbs, with V1 contributing a motion event and projecting a theme and a goal argument which are identified, respectively, with an agent and a location argument projected by V2. A morphosyntactic mechanism of feature-spread requires that the person and tense features be realized both on V1 and on V2, while, semantically, these features are interpreted only once, in a position from which they take scope over the complex predicate resulting from the combination of V1 and V2. The semantic analysis is based on an operation of event concatenation, defined over spatio-temporally contiguous events which share specific participants, and is implemented in a neo-Davidsonian framework (Parsons 1990).
Sep 24th 2018 GMT
  1. Knowledge-Yielding Communication.Andrew Peet - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    A satisfactory theory of linguistic communication must explain how it is that, through the interpersonal exchange of auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli, the communicative preconditions for the acquisition of testimonial knowledge regularly come to be satisfied. Without an account of knowledge-yielding communication this success condition for linguistic theorizing is left opaque, and we are left with an incomplete understanding of testimony, and communication more generally, as a source of knowledge. This paper argues that knowledge-yielding communication should be modelled on knowledge itself. It is argued that knowledge-yielding communication occurs iff interlocutors coordinate on truth values in a non-lucky and non-deviant way. This account is able to do significant explanatory work: it sheds light on the nature of referential communication, and it allows us to capture, in an informative way, the sense in which interlocutors must entertain similar propositions in order to communicate successfully.
  2. Gricean Communication, Language Development, and Animal Minds.Richard Moore - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    Humans alone acquire language. According to one influen- tial school of thought, we do this because we possess a uniquely human ability to act with and attribute “Gricean” communicative intentions. A challenge for this view is that attributing communicative intent seems to require cognitive abilities that infant language learners lack. After considering a range of responses to this challenge, I argue that infant language development can be explained, because Gricean communication is cognitively less demanding than many suppose. However, a consequence of this is that abilities for Gricean communication are unlikely to be uniquely human.
Sep 23rd 2018 GMT
  1. The Importance of Being Erroneous.Nils Kürbis - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (3).
    This is a commentary on MM McCabe's "First Chop your logos... Socrates and the sophists on language, logic, and development". In her paper MM analyses Plato's Euthydemos, in which Plato tackles the problem of falsity in a way that takes into account the speaker and complements the Sophist's discussion of what is said. The dialogue looks as if it is merely a demonstration of the silly consequences of eristic combat. And so it is. But a main point of MM's paper is that there is serious philosophy in the Euthydemos, too. MM argues that to counter the sophist brothers Euthydemos and Dionysodoros, Socrates points out that that there are different aspects to the verb 'to say' that run in parallel to the different aspects of the very 'to learn'. So just as there is continuity rather than ambiguity between 'to learn' and 'to understand', so there is continuity between the different aspects of saying. Thus Socrates puts forward a teleological account of both learning and meaning. Following up on some of MM's thoughts, I argue that the sophists subscribe, despite appearance, to a theory of meaning that respects serious and widely accepted philosophical theses on meaning. Forthcoming in the Australasian Philosophical Review. The curator of the volume is Fiona Leigh, and the committee also has Hugh Benson and Tim Clarke. You can find MM's paper as well as the commentaries by Nicholas Denyer and Russell E. Jones and Ravi Sharma (and myself) by registering.
Sep 22nd 2018 GMT
  1. Cross-World Comparatives for Modal Realists.Robert Michels - 2018 - Organon F 25 (3):368-391.
    Divers (2014) argues that a Lewisian theory of modality which includes both counterpart theory and modal realism cannot account for the truth of certain intuitively true modal sentences involving cross-world comparatives. The main purpose of this paper is to defend the Lewisian theory against Divers’s challenge by developing a response strategy based on a degree-theoretic treatment of comparatives and by showing that this treatment is compatible with the theory.
Sep 21st 2018 GMT
  1. Might Do Better: Flexible Relativism and the QUD.Bob Beddor & Andy Egan - 2018 - Semantics and Pragmatics 11.
    The past decade has seen a protracted debate over the semantics of epistemic modals. According to contextualists, epistemic modals quantify over the possibilities compatible with some contextually determined group’s information. Relativists often object that contextualism fails to do justice to the way we assess utterances containing epistemic modals for truth or falsity. However, recent empirical work seems to cast doubt on the relativist’s claim, suggesting that ordinary speakers’ judgments about epistemic modals are more closely in line with contextualism than relativism (Knobe & Yalcin 2014; Khoo 2015). This paper furthers the debate by reporting new empirical research revealing a previously overlooked dimension of speakers’ truth-value judgments concerning epistemic modals. Our results show that these judgments vary systematically with the question under discussion in the conversational context in which the utterance is being assessed. We argue that this ‘QUD effect’ is difficult to explain if contextualism is true, but is readily explained by a suitably flexible form of relativism.
  2. Semantic Variance.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2018 - Dissertation, New York University
    This dissertation argues for Semantic Variance, the thesis that nearly every utterance is such that there is no proposition that more than one languge user takes to be that utterance's truth-conditional content. I argue that Semantic Variance is problematic for standard theories concerning the nature of communication, the epistemic significance of ordinary disputes, the semantics of speech reports, and the nature of linguistic competence. In response to the problems arising from the truth of Semantic Variance, I develop new accounts of the transmission of relevant information, ordinary disputes, and the semantics of speech reports. Towards the end of the dissertation I outline a pluralistic account about the nature of communication and linguistic competence.
  3. The Adverbial Theory of Numbers: Some Clarifications.Joongol Kim - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    In a forthcoming paper in this journal, entitled “Bad company objection to Joongol Kim’s adverbial theory of numbers”, Namjoong Kim presents an ingenious Russell-style paradox based on an analogue of Kim’s definition of the number 1, and argues that Kim’s theory needs to provide a criterion of demarcation between acceptable and unacceptable definitions of adverbial entities. This paper addresses this ‘bad company’ objection and some other related issues concerning Kim’s adverbial theory by clarifying the purposes and uses of the formal framework of the theory.
  4. Easy Ontology Without Deflationary Metaontology.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This is a contribution to a symposium on Amie Thomasson’s Ontology Made Easy (2015). Thomasson defends two deflationary theses: that philosophical questions about the existence of numbers, tables, properties, and other disputed entities can all easily be answered, and that there is something wrong with prolonged debates about whether such objects exist. I argue that the first thesis (properly understood) does not by itself entail the second. Rather, the case for deflationary metaontology rests largely on a controversial doctrine about the possible meanings of ‘object’. I challenge Thomasson's argument for that doctrine, and I make a positive case for the availability of the contested, unrestricted use of ‘object’.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Disimplicature

Speranza

  1. What 'Must' Adds.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    There is a difference between the conditions in which one can felicitously use a ‘must’- claim like (1-a) and those in which one can use the corresponding claim without the ‘must’, as in (1-b):(1) a. It must be raining out. b. It is raining out.
    It is difficult to pin down just what this difference amounts to. And it is difficult to account for this difference, since assertions of 'Must p' and assertions of p alone seem to have the same basic goal: namely, communicating that p is true. In this paper I give a new account of the conversational role of ‘must’. I begin by arguing that a ‘must’-claim is felicitous only if there is a shared argument for the proposition it embeds. I then argue that this generalization, which I call Support, can explain the more familiar generalization that ‘must’-claims are felicitous only if the speaker’s evidence for them is in some sense indirect. Finally, I propose a pragmatic derivation of Support as a manner implicature.
  2. Embedded Attitudes.Kyle H. Blumberg & Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitude reports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: (i) a constraint that ties the content of restrictions to the “dynamic effects” of sentential connectives and (ii) a constraint that limits the availability of restriction effects to present tense verbs with first-person subjects. However, we also present some cases that make trouble for these conditions, and outline some possible ways of modifying the view to account for the recalcitrant data. We conclude with a brief discussion of some of the connections between our semantics for attitude verbs and issues concerning epistemic modals and theories of knowledge.
Sep 26th 2018 GMT
  1. A Category Semantics.Paul Symington - 2018 - In Paul Hackett (ed.), Mereologies, Ontologies, and Facets. New York: Lexington Books. pp. 65-85.
    In this paper, I present a categorial theory of meaning which asserts that the meaning of a sentence is the function from the actualization of some potentiality or the potentiality of some actuality to the truth of the sentence. I argue that it builds on the virtues of David Lewis’s Possible World Semantics but advances beyond problems that Lewis’s theory faces with its distinctly Aristotelian turn toward actuality and potentiality.
Sep 25th 2018 GMT
  1. Building Complex Events: The Case of Sicilian Doubly Inflected Construction.Fabio Del Prete & Giuseppina Todaro - forthcoming - Natural Language and Linguistic Theory.
    We examine the Doubly Inflected Construction of Sicilian (DIC; Cardinaletti and Giusti 2001, 2003, Cruschina 2013), in which a motion verb V1 from a restricted set is followed by an event verb V2 and both verbs are inflected for the same person and tense features. The interpretation of DIC involves a complex event which behaves as a single, integrated event by linguistic tests. Based on data drawn from different sources, we argue that DIC is an asymmetrical serial verb construction (Aikhenvald 2006). We propose an analysis of DIC in which V1 and V2 enter the semantic composition as lexical verbs, with V1 contributing a motion event and projecting a theme and a goal argument which are identified, respectively, with an agent and a location argument projected by V2. A morphosyntactic mechanism of feature-spread requires that the person and tense features be realized both on V1 and on V2, while, semantically, these features are interpreted only once, in a position from which they take scope over the complex predicate resulting from the combination of V1 and V2. The semantic analysis is based on an operation of event concatenation, defined over spatio-temporally contiguous events which share specific participants, and is implemented in a neo-Davidsonian framework (Parsons 1990).
Sep 24th 2018 GMT
  1. Knowledge-Yielding Communication.Andrew Peet - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    A satisfactory theory of linguistic communication must explain how it is that, through the interpersonal exchange of auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli, the communicative preconditions for the acquisition of testimonial knowledge regularly come to be satisfied. Without an account of knowledge-yielding communication this success condition for linguistic theorizing is left opaque, and we are left with an incomplete understanding of testimony, and communication more generally, as a source of knowledge. This paper argues that knowledge-yielding communication should be modelled on knowledge itself. It is argued that knowledge-yielding communication occurs iff interlocutors coordinate on truth values in a non-lucky and non-deviant way. This account is able to do significant explanatory work: it sheds light on the nature of referential communication, and it allows us to capture, in an informative way, the sense in which interlocutors must entertain similar propositions in order to communicate successfully.
  2. Gricean Communication, Language Development, and Animal Minds.Richard Moore - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    Humans alone acquire language. According to one influen- tial school of thought, we do this because we possess a uniquely human ability to act with and attribute “Gricean” communicative intentions. A challenge for this view is that attributing communicative intent seems to require cognitive abilities that infant language learners lack. After considering a range of responses to this challenge, I argue that infant language development can be explained, because Gricean communication is cognitively less demanding than many suppose. However, a consequence of this is that abilities for Gricean communication are unlikely to be uniquely human.
Sep 23rd 2018 GMT
  1. The Importance of Being Erroneous.Nils Kürbis - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (3).
    This is a commentary on MM McCabe's "First Chop your logos... Socrates and the sophists on language, logic, and development". In her paper MM analyses Plato's Euthydemos, in which Plato tackles the problem of falsity in a way that takes into account the speaker and complements the Sophist's discussion of what is said. The dialogue looks as if it is merely a demonstration of the silly consequences of eristic combat. And so it is. But a main point of MM's paper is that there is serious philosophy in the Euthydemos, too. MM argues that to counter the sophist brothers Euthydemos and Dionysodoros, Socrates points out that that there are different aspects to the verb 'to say' that run in parallel to the different aspects of the very 'to learn'. So just as there is continuity rather than ambiguity between 'to learn' and 'to understand', so there is continuity between the different aspects of saying. Thus Socrates puts forward a teleological account of both learning and meaning. Following up on some of MM's thoughts, I argue that the sophists subscribe, despite appearance, to a theory of meaning that respects serious and widely accepted philosophical theses on meaning. Forthcoming in the Australasian Philosophical Review. The curator of the volume is Fiona Leigh, and the committee also has Hugh Benson and Tim Clarke. You can find MM's paper as well as the commentaries by Nicholas Denyer and Russell E. Jones and Ravi Sharma (and myself) by registering.
Sep 22nd 2018 GMT
  1. Cross-World Comparatives for Modal Realists.Robert Michels - 2018 - Organon F 25 (3):368-391.
    Divers (2014) argues that a Lewisian theory of modality which includes both counterpart theory and modal realism cannot account for the truth of certain intuitively true modal sentences involving cross-world comparatives. The main purpose of this paper is to defend the Lewisian theory against Divers’s challenge by developing a response strategy based on a degree-theoretic treatment of comparatives and by showing that this treatment is compatible with the theory.
Sep 21st 2018 GMT
  1. Might Do Better: Flexible Relativism and the QUD.Bob Beddor & Andy Egan - 2018 - Semantics and Pragmatics 11.
    The past decade has seen a protracted debate over the semantics of epistemic modals. According to contextualists, epistemic modals quantify over the possibilities compatible with some contextually determined group’s information. Relativists often object that contextualism fails to do justice to the way we assess utterances containing epistemic modals for truth or falsity. However, recent empirical work seems to cast doubt on the relativist’s claim, suggesting that ordinary speakers’ judgments about epistemic modals are more closely in line with contextualism than relativism (Knobe & Yalcin 2014; Khoo 2015). This paper furthers the debate by reporting new empirical research revealing a previously overlooked dimension of speakers’ truth-value judgments concerning epistemic modals. Our results show that these judgments vary systematically with the question under discussion in the conversational context in which the utterance is being assessed. We argue that this ‘QUD effect’ is difficult to explain if contextualism is true, but is readily explained by a suitably flexible form of relativism.
  2. Semantic Variance.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2018 - Dissertation, New York University
    This dissertation argues for Semantic Variance, the thesis that nearly every utterance is such that there is no proposition that more than one languge user takes to be that utterance's truth-conditional content. I argue that Semantic Variance is problematic for standard theories concerning the nature of communication, the epistemic significance of ordinary disputes, the semantics of speech reports, and the nature of linguistic competence. In response to the problems arising from the truth of Semantic Variance, I develop new accounts of the transmission of relevant information, ordinary disputes, and the semantics of speech reports. Towards the end of the dissertation I outline a pluralistic account about the nature of communication and linguistic competence.
  3. The Adverbial Theory of Numbers: Some Clarifications.Joongol Kim - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    In a forthcoming paper in this journal, entitled “Bad company objection to Joongol Kim’s adverbial theory of numbers”, Namjoong Kim presents an ingenious Russell-style paradox based on an analogue of Kim’s definition of the number 1, and argues that Kim’s theory needs to provide a criterion of demarcation between acceptable and unacceptable definitions of adverbial entities. This paper addresses this ‘bad company’ objection and some other related issues concerning Kim’s adverbial theory by clarifying the purposes and uses of the formal framework of the theory.
  4. Easy Ontology Without Deflationary Metaontology.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This is a contribution to a symposium on Amie Thomasson’s Ontology Made Easy (2015). Thomasson defends two deflationary theses: that philosophical questions about the existence of numbers, tables, properties, and other disputed entities can all easily be answered, and that there is something wrong with prolonged debates about whether such objects exist. I argue that the first thesis (properly understood) does not by itself entail the second. Rather, the case for deflationary metaontology rests largely on a controversial doctrine about the possible meanings of ‘object’. I challenge Thomasson's argument for that doctrine, and I make a positive case for the availability of the contested, unrestricted use of ‘object’.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Disimplicature

Speranza

GMT
  1. How to Unify.Nicholas K. Jones - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper evaluates the argument for the contradictoriness of unity, that be- gins Priest’s recent book One. The argument is seen to fail because it does not adequately differentiate between different forms of unity. This diagnosis of the argument’s failure is used as a basis for two consistent accounts of unity. The paper concludes by arguing that reality contains two absolutely fundamental and unanalysable forms of unity, which are in principle presupposed by any theory of anything. These fundamental forms of unity are closely related to the unity of propositions and facts.
  2. Abilities.Romy Jaster - forthcoming - Berlin, New York: deGruyter.

  3. An Acquittal for Epistemicism.Hesam Mohamadi - forthcoming - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique.
    Scott Soames argues that consideration of the practice of legal judgement gives us good reason to favor the partial-definition/context-sensitive theory of vagueness against epistemicism. Despite the fact that the value of power-delegation through vagueness is evidenced in practice, Soames says, epistemicism cannot account for it theoretically, while the partial-definition/context-sensitive theory is capable of it. In this paper, I examine the two possible arguments against epistemicism that can be extracted from Soames’s account: (i) an argument based on unknown obligations, and (ii) an argument based on power-delegation through vagueness. The first argument tries to convince us that, as based on epistemicism, the law has already decided the borderline cases, so that judges have obligatory decisions even in such cases: therefore epistemicism is inconsistent with the discretion of judges in borderline cases. I show that even if we sympathize with Soames’s intuitions concerning the legal practice, the argument he offers is not conclusive since it is either invalid, unsound, or paradoxical. The second argument holds that only the gaps which the partial-definition/context-sensitive theory predicts give judges the possibility of lawmaking in borderline cases. However, by categorizing the vague laws as imperfect laws, the judges can claim the right of lawmaking without any need to refer to gaps in the law. By neutralizing these arguments, I argue that epistemicism is able to explain the phenomena just as well as the partial-definition/context-sensitive theory.
Sep 18th 2018 GMT
  1. Truth, Predication and a Family of Contingent Paradoxes.Francesco Orilia & Gregory Landini - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-24.
    In truth theory one aims at general formal laws governing the attribution of truth to statements. Gupta’s and Belnap’s revision-theoretic approach provides various well-motivated theories of truth, in particular T* and T#, which tame the Liar and related paradoxes without a Tarskian hierarchy of languages. In property theory, one similarly aims at general formal laws governing the predication of properties. To avoid Russell’s paradox in this area a recourse to type theory is still popular, as testified by recent work in formal metaphysics by Williamson and Hale. There is a contingent Liar that has been taken to be a problem for type theory. But this is because this Liar has been presented without an explicit recourse to a truth predicate. Thus, type theory could avoid this paradox by incorporating such a predicate and accepting an appropriate theory of truth. There is however a contingent paradox of predication that more clearly undermines the viability of type theory. It is then suggested that a type-free property theory is a better option. One can pursue it, by generalizing the revision-theoretic approach to predication, as it has been done by Orilia with his system P*, based on T*. Although Gupta and Belnap do not explicitly declare a preference for T# over T*, they show that the latter has some advantages, such as the recovery of intuitively acceptable principles concerning truth and a better reconstruction of informal arguments involving this notion. A type-free system based on T# rather than T* extends these advantages to predication and thus fares better than P* in the intended applications of property theory.
  2. Conditionals.Anthony Gillies - 2017 - In Bob Hale, Crispin Wright & Alexander Miller (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Language.
    This is a handbook article about conditionals.
  3. Propositions Supernaturalized.Lorraine Juliano Keller - 2018 - In Jerry L. Walls & Trent Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 11-28.
    The Theistic Argument from Intentionality (TAI) is a venerable argument for the existence of God from the existence of eternal truths. The argument relies, inter alia, on the premises that (i) truth requires representation, and that (ii) non-derivative representation is a function of, and only of, minds. If propositions are the fundamental bearers of truth and falsity, then these premises entail that propositions (or at least their representational properties) depend on minds. Although it is widely thought that psychologism—the view that the fundamental truth-bearers are mind-dependent—was refuted by Frege, a psychologistic view of propositions has been undergoing a revival. However, this new psychologism suffers from a problem of scarcity—finite minds cannot generate enough thoughts to play the role of fundamental truth-bearers. This objection paves the way for a revised version of the TAI: only an infinite mind can furnish enough thoughts to play the role of propositions.
  4. Negation on the Australian Plan.Franz Berto & Greg Restall - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    We present and defend the Australian Plan semantics for negation. This is a comprehensive account, suitable for a variety of different logics. It is based on two ideas. The first is that negation is an exclusion-expressing device: we utter negations to express incompatibilities. The second is that, because incompatibility is modal, negation is a modal operator as well. It can, then, be modelled as a quantifier over points in frames, restricted by accessibility relations representing compatibilities and incompatibilities between such points. We defuse a number of objections to this Plan, raised by supporters of the American Plan for negation, in which negation is handled via a many-valued semantics. We show that the Australian Plan has substantial advantages over the American Plan.
Sep 16th 2018 GMT
  1. Probability for the Revision Theory of Truth.Catrin Campbell-MooreLeon Horsten & Hannes Leitgeb - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-26.
    We investigate how to assign probabilities to sentences that contain a type-free truth predicate. These probability values track how often a sentence is satisfied in transfinite revision sequences, following Gupta and Belnap’s revision theory of truth. This answers an open problem by Leitgeb which asks how one might describe transfinite stages of the revision sequence using such probability functions. We offer a general construction, and explore additional constraints that lead to desirable properties of the resulting probability function. One such property is Leitgeb’s Probabilistic Convention T, which says that the probability of φ equals the probability that φ is true.
  2. Rethinking Revision.P. D. Welch - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-18.
    We sketch a broadening of the Gupta-Belnap notion of a circular or revision theoretic definition into that of a more generalized form incorporating ideas of Kleene’s generalized or higher type recursion. This thereby connects the philosophically motivated, and derived, notion of a circular definition with an older form of definition by recursion using functionals, that is functions of functions, as oracles. We note that Gupta and Belnap’s notion of ‘categorical in L’ can be formulated in at least one of these schemes.
Sep 15th 2018 GMT
  1. Thinking in and About Time: A Dual Systems Perspective on Temporal Cognition.Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    We outline a dual systems approach to temporal cognition, which distinguishes between two cognitive systems for dealing with how things unfold over time – a temporal updating system and a temporal reasoning system – of which the former is both phylogenetically and ontogenetically more primitive than the latter, and which are at work alongside each other in adult human cognition. We describe the main features of each of the two systems, the types of behavior the more primitive temporal updating system can support, and the respects in which it is more limited than the temporal reasoning system. We then use the distinction between the two systems to interpret findings in comparative and developmental psychology, arguing that animals operate only with a temporal updating system and that children start out doing so too, before gradually becoming capable of thinking and reasoning about time. After this, we turn to adult human cognition and suggest that our account can also shed light on a specific feature of our everyday thinking about time that has been the subject of debate in the philosophy of time, which consists in a tendency to think about the nature of time itself in a way that appears ultimately self-contradictory. We conclude by considering the topic of intertemporal choice, and argue that drawing the distinction between temporal updating and temporal reasoning is also useful in the context of characterising two distinct mechanisms for delaying gratification.
Sep 14th 2018 GMT
  1. Understanding Evans.Rick Grush - manuscript
    This paper is largely exegetical/interpretive. My goal is to demonstrate that some criticisms that have been leveled against the program Gareth Evans constructs in The Varieties of Reference (Evans 1980, henceforth VR) misfire because they are based on misunderstandings of Evans’ position. First I will be discussing three criticisms raised by Tyler Burge (Burge, 2010). The first has to do with Evans’ arguments to the effect that a causal connection between a belief and an object is insufficient for that belief to be about that object. A key part of Evans’ argument is to carefully distinguish considerations relevant to the semantics of language from considerations relevant to the semantics (so to speak) of thought or belief (to make the subsequent discussion easier, I will henceforth use ‘thought’ as a blanket term for the relevant mental states, including belief). I will argue that Burge’s criticisms depend on largely not taking account of Evans’ distinctions. Second, Burge criticizes Evans’ account of ‘informational content’ taking it to be inconsistent. I will show that the inconsistency Burge finds depends entirely on a misreading of the doctrine. Finally, Burge takes Evans to task for a perceived over-intellectualization in a key aspect of his doctrine. Burge incorrectly reads Evans as requiring that the subject holding a belief be engaged in certain overly intellectual endeavors, when in fact Evans is only attributing these endeavors to theorists of such a subject. Next, I turn to two criticisms leveled by John Campbell (Campbell, 1999). I will argue that Campbell’s criticisms are based on misunderstandings – though they do hit at deeper elements of Evans’ doctrine. First, Campbell reads Evans’ account of demonstrative thought as requiring that the subject’s information link to an object allows her to directly locate that object in space. Campbell constructs a case in which one tomato (a) is, because of an angled mirror, incorrectly seen as being at a location that happens to be occupied by an identical tomato (b). Campbell claims that Evans’ doctrines require us to conclude that the subject cannot have a demonstrative thought about the seen tomato (a), though it seems intuitively that such a subject would be able to have a demonstrative thought about that tomato, despite its location is inaccurately seen. I show that Evans’ position in fact allows that the subject can have a demonstrative thought about the causal-source tomato in this case because his account does not require that the location of demonstratively identified objects be immediately accurately assessed. What is crucial is that the subject have the ability to accurately discover the location. Second, Campbell criticizes Evans’ notion of a fundamental level of thought. I show that this criticism hinges on view of the nature and role of the fundamental level of thought that mischaracterizes Evans’ treatment of the notion. 
Sep 13th 2018 GMT
  1. Open Questions and Epistemic Necessity.Brett Sherman - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Why can I not appropriately utter 'It must be raining' while standing outside in the rain, even though every world consistent with my knowledge is one in which it is raining? The common response to this problem is to hold that epistemic 'must', in addition to quantifying over epistemic possibilities, carries some additional evidential information concerning the source of one's evidence. I argue that this is a mistake: epistemic modals are mere quantifiers over epistemic possibilities. My central claim is that the seeming anomaly of the data above arises from a mistaken conception of what a possibility is. Instead of conceiving of possibilities as possible worlds, I argue that we should conceive of possibilities as answers to open questions.
  2. Wird Schon Stimmen! A Degree Operator Analysis of Schon.Malte Zimmermann - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.

  3. Against the Speaker-Intention Theory of Demonstratives.Christopher Gauker - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-21.
    It is commonly supposed that an utterance of a demonstrative, such as “that”, refers to a given object only if the speaker intends it to refer to that object. This paper poses three challenges to this theory. First, the theory threatens to beg the question by defining the content of the speaker’s intention in terms of reference. Second, the theory makes psychologically implausible demands on the speaker. Third, the theory entails that there can be no demonstratives in thought.