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  1. Linguistic Luck beyond Loar Cases.Axel Barceló - manuscript
  2. Not Communication.Marc Burock - manuscript
    Informational ontologies more and more envelop the natural sciences. The growth of communication technologies and social networking characterize our age. Instead of seeing our world solely as matter in motion, as did Democritus, we now imagine living in a world composed of flowing information. Bits of information have since replaced atoms of matter, and the space-time movement of bits is now called communication. This work is partly a criticism of the materialism and idealism that gave birth to today’s worldview, and (...)
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  3. The Possibility of Dialogic Semantics.Sergeiy Sandler - manuscript
    This paper outlines and demonstrates the viability of a consistent dialogic approach to the semantics of utterances in natural language. Based on the philosophical picture of language as dialogue, adumbrated by Mikhail Bakhtin and incorporating work in conversation analysis and cognitive-functional linguistics, I develop a method for analyzing both the function and the content of human utterances within a unified philosophical framework. I demonstrate the viability of this method of analysis by applying it to a brief conversational exchange (in Hebrew), (...)
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  4. Lexical pragmatics and the geometry of opposition: The mystery of *nall and *nand revisited.Larry Horn - manuscript
    To appear in Jean-Yves Béziau (ed.) Proc. First World Congress on the Square of Opposition.
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  5. Truth and Imprecision.Josh Armstrong - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Our ordinary assertions are often imprecise, insofar as the way we represent things as being only approximates how things are in the actual world. The phenomenon of assertoric imprecision raises a challenge to standard accounts of both the norm of assertion and the connection between semantics and the objects of assertion. After clarifying these problems in detail, I develop a framework for resolving them. Specifically, I argue that the phenomenon of assertoric imprecision motivates a rejection of the widely held belief (...)
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  6. Conversation's Seedy Underbelly. [REVIEW]Sam Berstler - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    I provide an opinionated discussion of two recent volumes on the structure, ethics, and politics of bad conversations. In Just Words (2019), Mary Kate McGowan argues that despite our best intentions, we sometimes inadvertently bring oppressive norms to bear on our interactions. In Grandstanding (2020), Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke argue that the human desire to cut a good moral figure before others systematically distorts moral discourse. Though their authors have different political outlooks, both books converge on a similar theme: (...)
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  7. Underspecification and Communication.Ray Buchanan - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    It has recently been argued that our use of vague language poses an intractable problem for any account of content and communication on which (i) the things we assert are propositions and (ii) understanding an assertion requires recognizing which proposition the speaker asserted. John MacFarlane has argued that this problem concerning vague language is itself a species of an even more general problem for such traditional accounts – the problem posed by “felicitous” underspecification. Repurposing certain ideas from Allan Gibbard, MacFarlane (...)
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  8. Conversation.William Cowper - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  9. Verbal Disagreement and Semantic Plans.Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-34.
    I develop an expressivist account of verbal disagreements as practical disagreements over how to use words rather than factual disagreements over what words actually mean. This account enjoys several advantages over others in the literature: it can be implemented in a neo-Stalnakerian possible worlds framework; it accounts for cases where speakers are undecided on how exactly to interpret an expression; it avoids appeals to fraught notions like subject matter, charitable interpretation, and joint-carving; and it naturally extends to an analysis of (...)
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  10. On Subtweeting.Eleonore Neufeld & Elise Woodard - forthcoming - In Patrick Connolly, Sanford C. Goldberg & Jennifer Saul (eds.), Conversations Online. Oxford University Press.
    In paradigmatic cases of subtweeting, one Twitter user critically or mockingly tweets about another person without mentioning their username or their name. In this chapter, we give an account of the strategic aims of subtweeting and the mechanics through which it achieves them. We thereby hope to shed light on the distinctive communicative and moral texture of subtweeting while filling in a gap in the philosophical literature on strategic speech in social media. We first specify what subtweets are and identify (...)
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  11. Defective Contexts.Andrew Peet - forthcoming - In Rachel Katharine Sterken & Justin Khoo (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Social and Political Philosophy of Language. Routledge.
    In this chapter I hope to persuade you that defective contexts are more ubiquitous than we typically assume. In doing, so I will draw attention to a number of pressing social and theoretical issues which arise once we start to consider defective contexts. I will proceed by pointing to a number of ways in which defective contexts can emerge without self-correcting in the manner envisioned by Stalnaker. First I will consider situations in which some, but not all interlocutors recognise that (...)
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  12. The Puzzle of Plausible Deniability.Andrew Peet - forthcoming - Synthese.
    How is it that a speaker S can at once make it obvious to an audience A that she intends to communicate some proposition p, and yet at the same time retain plausible deniability with respect to this intention? The answer is that S can bring it about that A has a high justified credence that ‘S intended p’ without putting A in a position to know that ‘S intended p’. In order to achieve this S has to exploit a (...)
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  13. Frege on the Tolerability of Sense Variation: A Reply to Michaelson and Textor.Bryan Pickel & J. Adam Carter - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    In several passages, Frege suggests that successful communication requires that speaker and audience understand the uttered words and sentences to have the same sense. On the other hand, Frege concedes that, in many ordinary cases, variation in sense is tolerable. In a recent article in this journal, Michaelson and Textor (2023) offer a new interpretation of Frege on the tolerability of sense variation according to which variation in sense is tolerable when the conversation aims at joint action, but not when (...)
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  14. Directing Thought.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue that directing is a more fundamental kind of speech act than asserting, in the sense that the conditions under which an act counts as an assertion are sufficient for that act to count as a directive. I show how this follows from a particular way of conceiving intentionalism about speech acts, on which acts of assertion are attempts at changing a common body of information – or conversational common ground – maintained by conversational participants’ practical attitude of acceptance. (...)
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  15. Game Theory and Demonstratives.J. P. Smit - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    This paper argues, based on Lewis’ claim that communication is a coordination game (Lewis in Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, pp 3–35, 1975), that we can account for the communicative function of demonstratives without assuming that they semantically refer. The appeal of such a game theoretical version of the case for non-referentialism is that the communicative role of demonstratives can be accounted for without entering thecul de sacof trying to construct conventions of ever-increasing (...)
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  16. Conversational maxims as social norms.Megan Henricks Stotts - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue that although Paul Grice’s picture of conversational maxims and conversational implicature is an immensely useful theoretical tool, his view about the nature of the maxims is misguided. Grice portrays conversational maxims as tenets of rationality, but I will contend that they are best seen as social norms. I develop this proposal in connection to Philip Pettit’s account of social norms, with the result that conversational maxims are seen as grounded in practices of social approval and disapproval within a (...)
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  17. Talking About: A Response to Bowker, Keiser, Michaelson.Elmar Unnsteinsson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    I respond to comments from Mark Bowker, Jessica Keiser, and Eliot Michaelson on my book, Talking About. The response clarifies my stance on the nature of reference, conflicting intentions, and the sense in which language may have proper functions.
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  18. Naturalizing Natural Salience.Jacob VanDrunen & Daniel Herrmann - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Grice, Lewis, and Skyrms proposed similar distinctions between kinds of meaning. The meaning of terms in human language, as Lewis and Skyrms had it, is ‘conventional’. Skyrms presented models showing how it is possible for conventional meaning to evolve in a population without reliance on pre-existing meaning. But one might think of conventionality as coming in degrees, based on whether the evolutionary process begins with ‘natural saliences’. We propose a theory of natural salience and several extensions of Skyrms’s models to (...)
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  19. Underdeterminacy without ostension: A blind spot in the prevailing models of communication.Constant Bonard - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (2):142-161.
    Together, the code and inferential models of communication are often thought to range over all cases of communication. However, their prevailing versions seem unable to fully explain what I call underdeterminacy without ostension. The latter is constituted by communication where stimuli that are not (nor appear to be) produced with communicative or informative intentions nevertheless communicate information underdetermined by the relevant codes. Though the prevailing accounts of communication cannot fully explain how communication works in such cases, I suggest that some (...)
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  20. Metacontexts and Cross-Contextual Communication: Stabilizing the Content of Documents Across Contexts.Alex Davies - 2024 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (2):482-503.
    Context-sensitive expressions appear ill suited to the purpose of sharing content across contexts. Yet we regularly use them to that end (in regulations, textbooks, memos, guidelines, laws, minutes, etc.). This paper describes the utility of the concept of a metacontext for understanding cross-contextual content-sharing with context-sensitive expressions. A metacontext is the context of a group of contexts: an infrastructure that can channel non-linguistic incentives on content ascription so as to homogenize the content ascribed to context-sensitive expressions in each context in (...)
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  21. Absolute gradable adjectives and loose talk.Alexander Dinges - 2024 - Linguistics and Philosophy 47 (2):341-360.
    Kennedy (Linguist Philos 30:1–45, 2007) forcefully proposes what is now a widely assumed semantics for absolute gradable adjectives. On this semantics, maximum standard adjectives like “straight” and “dry” ascribe a maximal degree of the underlying quantity. Meanwhile, minimum standard adjectives like “bent” and “wet” merely ascribe a non-zero, non-minimal degree of the underlying quantity. This theory clashes with the ordinary intuition that sentences like “The stick is straight” are frequently true while sentences like “The stick is bent” are frequently informative, (...)
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  22. Do Not Diagonalize.Cameron Kirk-Giannini - 2024 - In Ernie Lepore & Una Stojnic (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.
    Speakers assert in order to communicate information. It is natural, therefore, to hold that the content of an assertion is whatever information it communicates to its audience. In cases involving uncertainty about the semantic values of context-sensitive lexical items, moreover, it is natural to hold that the information an assertion communicates to its audience is whatever information audience members are in a position to recover from it by assuming that the proposition it semantically determines is true. This sort of picture (...)
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  23. Partial understanding.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2023 - Synthese 202 (2):1-32.
    Say that an audience understands a given utterance perfectly only if she correctly identifies which proposition (or propositions) that utterance expresses. In ideal circumstances, the participants in a conversation will understand each other’s utterances perfectly; however, even if they do not, they may still understand each other’s utterances at least in part. Although it is plausible to think that the phenomenon of partial understanding is very common, there is currently no philosophical account of it. This paper offers such an account. (...)
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  24. On Deniability.Alexander Dinges & Julia Zakkou - 2023 - Mind 132 (526):372-401.
    Communication can be risky. Like other kinds of actions, it comes with potential costs. For instance, an utterance can be embarrassing, offensive, or downright illegal. In the face of such risks, speakers tend to act strategically and seek ‘plausible deniability’. In this paper, we propose an account of the notion of deniability at issue. On our account, deniability is an epistemic phenomenon. A speaker has deniability if she can make it epistemically irrational for her audience to reason in certain ways. (...)
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  25. Luck and the Value of Communication.Megan Hyska - 2023 - Synthese 201 (96):1-19.
    Those in the Gricean tradition take it that successful human communication features an audience who not only arrives at the intended content of the signal, but also recognizes the speaker’s intention that they do so. Some in this tradition have also argued that there are yet further conditions on communicative success, which rule out the possibility of communicating by luck. Supposing that both intention-recognition and some sort of anti-luck condition are correctly included in an analysis of human communication, this article (...)
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  26. Overhearing uninterpreted sound: challenges in Davidsonian interpretation.Vladimir Lazurca - 2023 - In Ana Maria Haddad Baptista, Ciprian Vălcan & Márcia Fusaro (eds.), Education and Research Topics. Tesseractum. pp. 312-326.
    This paper develops a counterexample to Davidson’s elaborate model of conventionless communication, first articulated in his (1986) and defended in his (1994a). The first part contains an analysis of the model and its assumptions. Then, in a second part, I present a case focused around the concept of overhearing. It subtracts active interaction from the model and reveals that, under these novel conditions, communication makes further demands on it, namely conformity of the prior interpretive theory of all but one of (...)
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  27. Emojis as Pictures.Emar Maier - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10.
    I argue that emojis are essentially little pictures, rather than words, gestures, expressives, or diagrams. ???? means that the world looks like that, from some viewpoint. I flesh out a pictorial semantics in terms of geometric projection with abstraction and stylization. Since such a semantics delivers only very minimal contents I add an account of pragmatic enrichment, driven by coherence and nonliteral interpretation. The apparent semantic distinction between emojis depicting entities (like ????) and those depicting facial expressions (like ????) I (...)
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  28. Towards a Unified Theory of Illocutionary Normativity.Neri Marsili - 2023 - In Laura Caponetto & Paolo Labinaz (eds.), Sbisà on Speech as Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 2147483647-2147483647.
    Speech acts are governed by a variety of illocutionary norms. Building on Sbisà’s (2019) work, this chapter attempts to develop a common framework to study them. Four families of illocutionary rules are identified: (i) Validity rules set conditions for (actual) performance; (ii) Cooperative rules set conditions for cooperative performance; (iii) Illocutionary goals set conditions for successful performance; (iv) Illocutionary obligations set conditions for compliance. Illocutionary rules are often taken to play a constitutive role: speech acts are said to be constituted (...)
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  29. On Media Reports, Politicians, Indirection, and Duplicity.Mary Kate McGowan - 2023 - Topoi 42 (2):407-417.
    We often say one thing and mean another. This kind of indirection (concerning the content conveyed) is both ubiquitous and widely recognized. Other forms of indirection, however, are less common and less discussed. For example, we can sometimes address one person with the primary intention of being overheard by someone else. And, sometimes speakers say something simply in order to make it possible for someone else to say that they said it. Politicians generating sounds bites for the media are an (...)
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  30. Collective Communicative Intentions in Context.Andrew Peet - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10:211-236.
    What are the objects of speaker meaning? The traditional answer is: propositions. The traditional answer faces an important challenge: if propositions are the objects of speaker meaning then there must be specific propositions that speakers intend their audiences to recover. Yet, speakers typically exhibit a degree of indifference regarding how they are interpreted, and cannot rationally intend for their audiences to recover specific propositions. Therefore, propositions are not the objects of speaker meaning (Buchanan 2010; MacFarlane 2020a; 2020b; and Abreu Zavaleta (...)
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  31. Understanding, Luck, and Communicative Value.Andrew Peet - 2023 - In Abrol Fairweather & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Linguistic Luck: Safeguards and Threats to Linguistic Communication. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Does utterance understanding require reliable (i.e. non-lucky) recovery of the speaker’s intended proposition? There are good reasons to answer in the affirmative: the role of understanding in supporting testimonial knowledge seemingly requires such reliability. Moreover, there seem to be communicative analogues of Gettier cases in which luck precludes the audience’s understanding an utterance despite recovering the intended proposition. Yet, there are some major problems with the view that understanding requires such reliability. Firstly, there are a number of cases in which (...)
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  32. Testimonial knowledge and content preservation.Joey Pollock - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (10):3073-3097.
    Most work in the epistemology of testimony is built upon a simple model of communication according to which, when the speaker asserts that p, the hearer must recover this very content, p. In this paper, I argue that this ‘Content Preservation Model’ of communication cannot bear the weight placed on it by contemporary work on testimony. It is popularly thought that testimonial exchanges are often successful such that we gain a great deal of knowledge through testimony. In addition, the testimonial (...)
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  33. A Simple Theory of Overt and Covert Dogwhistles.Luca Alberto Rappuoli - 2023 - Manuscrito 46 (3):1-38.
    Politicians select their words meticulously, never losing sight of their ultimate communicative goal. Sometimes, their objective may be that of not being fully understood by a large portion of the audience. They can achieve this by means of dogwhistles; linguistic expressions that, in addition to their literal meaning, convey a concealed message to a specific sub-group of the audience. This paper focuses on the distinction between overt and covert dogwhistles introduced by J. Saul (2018). I argue that, even if the (...)
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  34. Structuring unleashed expression: Developmental foundations of human communication.Wiktor Rorot, Katarzyna Skowrońska, Ewa Nagórska, Konrad Zieliński, Julian Zubek & Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e13.
    The target article highlights the sources of open-endedness of human communication. However, the authors' perspective does not account for the structure of particular communication systems. To this end, we extend the authors' perspective, in the spirit of evolutionary extended synthesis, with a detailed account of the sources of constraints imposed upon expression in the course of child development.
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  35. Endogenous ambiguity and rational miscommunication.Toru Suzuki - 2023 - Journal of Economic Theory 211 (July).
    This paper studies a sender-receiver game in which both players want the receiver to choose the state-optimal action. Before observing the state, the sender observes a “contextual signal,” a payoff-irrelevant signal that correlates with states and is imperfectly shared with the receiver. Once the sender observes the state, the sender sends a message to the receiver, incurring a small messaging cost. It is shown that there is no miscommunication in any efficient equilibrium if the messaging cost is uniform or contextual (...)
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  36. Philosophy of Communication.Giacomo Turbanti - 2023 - London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    By comprehensively exploring the theoretical questions raised by professional communication, this book provides an introduction to the philosophy of communication. Key Features: Arranged in three parts encompassing the theory of communication, conflict transformation and the role communication plays within organizations. Examines how agreement is reached through communication, how such agreement is negotiated between different perspectives and how such negotiation produces our organizations. Includes a full range of pedagogical features, including study questions, essay questions. chapter summaries, focus points and suggestions for (...)
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  37. The Social Epistemology of Introspection.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (3):925-942.
    I argue that introspection recruits the same mental mechanism as that which is required for the production of ordinary speech acts. In introspection, in effect, we intentionally tell ourselves that we are in some mental state, aiming thereby to produce belief about that state in ourselves. On one popular view of speech acts, however, this is precisely what speakers do when speaking to others. On this basis, I argue that every bias discovered by social epistemology applies to introspection and other (...)
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  38. 'Theorizing "Linguistic" Hermeneutical Injustice as a Distinctive Kind of "Intercultural" Epistemic Injustice'.Alicia García Álvarez - 2022 - In Noelia Bueno Gómez & Salvador Beato Bergua (eds.), Intercultural Approaches to Space and Identity. Nova Science.
    Literature on epistemic injustice has grown tremendously as an increasingly rich and diverse body of work in recent years. From the point of view of intercultural and anticolonial discussions, contemporary contributions have also helped to illuminate how epistemic injustice and other forms of cultural domination might be related to essential processes within the structures of colonial and racial supremacy. -/- This proposal aims to contribute to such relevant and illuminating discussions by focusing on the role that language and culture might (...)
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  39. Samethinking.Romain Bourdoncle - 2022 - Dissertation, École Normale Supérieure
    This thesis investigates the nature of the relation between mental representations in successful verbal communication, thought attribution, agreement, and disagreement — a relation which I call “samethinking”. The nature of samethinking raises several foundational questions about the nature of (non-natural) meaning, and the cognitive underpinnings of the emergence of culture. It bears on long-lasting puzzles in the philosophy of mind and language (such as Frege’s puzzle and Kripke’s puzzle about belief). Samethinking does not amount to sharing a reference (with “sharing" (...)
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  40. Ineliminable underdetermination and context-shifting arguments.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (2):215-236.
    ABSTRACT The truth-conditions of utterances are often underdetermined by the meaning of the sentence uttered, as suggested by the observation that the same sentence has different intuitive truth-values in different contexts. The intuitive difference is usually explained by assigning different truth-conditions to different utterances. This paper poses a problem for explanations of this kind: These truth-conditions, if they exist, are epistemically inaccessible. I suggest instead that truth-conditional underdetermination is ineliminable and these utterances have no truth-conditions. Intuitive truth-values are explained by (...)
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  41. What Is Wrong with ‘All Lives Matter’? What and How ‘Black Lives Matter’ Means.Lenny Clapp - 2022 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 39 (2):346-358.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  42. Stupefying.Michael Deigan - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (1).
    Assertions are often accepted without being understood, a phenomenon I call stupefying. I argue that stupefying can be a means for conversational manipulation that works through at-issue content, in contrast with the not-at-issue and back-door speech act routes identified by others. This shows that we should reject a widely assumed connection between attention and at-issue content. In exploring why stupefying happens, it also emerges that stupefying has important cooperative uses, in addition to its manipulative ones, and so should not be (...)
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  43. Bullshit as a practical strategy for self‐deceptive narrators.Leslie A. Howe - 2022 - Philosophical Forum 53 (3):195–206.
    This paper argues that bullshit is a practical resource for self-deceiving individuals, or those who merely prefer to avoid self-examination, insofar as it is able to provide a mask for poor doxastic hygiene. While self-deception and bullshit are distinct phenomena, and bullshit does not cause self-deception, bullshit disrupts the capacity to interrogate the motivational biasses that fuel deception. The communicative misdirection engaged in by ordinary social bullshitters is applied reflexively by the self-deceiver to distort, evade, and obfuscate the self-deceiver's self-accounting. (...)
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  44. Modelling Speech and Speakers: Gadamer and Davidson on dialogue, agreement, and intelligible difference.Vladimir Lazurca - 2022 - Labyrinth: An International Journal for Philosophy, Value Theory and Sociocultural Hermeneutics 24 (1):67-95.
    This paper examines Gadamer's and Davidson's dialogical models of interpretation. It shows them to be comparable, but importantly dissimilar with respect to the kind of agreement they require for communication to be possible. It is argued that this difference entails different concepts of alterity: they model not only how we talk, but implicitly who we can intelligibly talk to. Another important contribution of this paper is to uncover a distinction in Gadamer between two kinds of agreement missed so far by (...)
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  45. Exhaustiveness, normativity, and communicative responsibilities.Miklós Márton & Tibor Bárány - 2022 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk & Martin Hinton (ed.), Philosophical Approaches to Language and Communication Vol. 2. Peter Lang. pp. 291-312.
    In this paper we analyze and discuss Jennifer Saul’s account of the famous Gricean notions of ‘what is said’ and ‘what is implicated’ and the alleged conflict between them and the so- called Speaker- Meaning Exhaustiveness Thesis (SMET), which is standardly attributed to Grice in the literature. SMET declares that speaker- meaning divides exhaustively into what is said and what is (conventionally or nonconventionally) implicated by the speaker. After a detailed interpretation of Saul’s position, we argue that her analysis partly (...)
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  46. Dog whistles, covertly coded speech, and the practices that enable them.Anne Quaranto - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-34.
    Dog whistling—speech that seems ordinary but sends a hidden, often derogatory message to a subset of the audience—is troubling not just for our political ideals, but also for our theories of communication. On the one hand, it seems possible to dog whistle unintentionally, merely by uttering certain expressions. On the other hand, the intention is typically assumed or even inferred from the act, and perhaps for good reason, for dog whistles seem misleading by design, not just by chance. In this (...)
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  47. Lying, Misleading, and Fairness.Emanuel Viebahn - 2022 - Ethics 132 (3):736-751.
    Sam Berstler defends a general moral advantage for misleading over lying by arguing that liars, but not misleaders, act unfairly toward the other members of their linguistic community. This article spells out three difficulties for Berstler’s account. First, though Berstler aims to avoid an error theory, it is dubitable that her account fits with intuitions on the matter. Second, there are some lies that do not exhibit the unfairness Berstler identifies. Third, fairness is not the only morally relevant difference between (...)
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  48. Irony as a speech action.Maciej Witek - 2022 - Journal of Pragmatics 190:76-90.
    The paper develops a speech act-based model of verbal irony. It argues, first, that ironic utterances are speech actions performed as conforming to a socially accepted procedure and, second, that they are best understood as so-called etiolated uses of language. The paper is organized into four parts. The first one elaborates on Austin's doctrine of the etiolations of language and distinguishes between the normal or serious mode of communication and its etiolated mode. The second part discusses the dominant approaches to (...)
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  49. Communication before communicative intentions.Josh Armstrong - 2021 - Noûs 57 (1):26-50.
    This paper explores the significance of intelligent social behavior among non-human animals for philosophical theories of communication. Using the alarm call system of vervet monkeys as a case study, I argue that interpersonal communication (or what I call “minded communication”) can and does take place in the absence of the production and recognition of communicative intentions. More generally, I argue that evolutionary theory provides good reasons for maintaining that minded communication is both temporally and explanatorily prior to the use of (...)
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  50. How to do things with nonwords: pragmatics, biosemantics, and origins of language in animal communication.Dorit Bar-On - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-25.
    Recent discussions of animal communication and the evolution of language have advocated adopting a ‘pragmatics-first’ approach, according to which “a more productive framework” for primate communication research should be “pragmatics, the field of linguistics that examines the role of context in shaping the meaning of linguistic utterances”. After distinguishing two different conceptions of pragmatics that advocates of the pragmatics-first approach have implicitly relied on, I argue that neither conception adequately serves the purposes of pragmatics-first approaches to the origins of human (...)
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