About this topic
Summary There is some debate among philosophers and linguists over the role of context in fixing the satisfaction conditions or extension of predicates. The central questions concern the extent to which context plays a role, and how, if at all, such context-sensitivity can be accommodated within truth conditional semantic theories.
Key works Perhaps the most radical position is that of Charles Travis, who presents various examples designed to show that the truth of what one says in using a predicate to describe an object is not fixed by the meaning of the predicate, even as a function of specifiable parameters of the occasion of use. See the papers collected in Travis 2008. Responses to the sorts of examples Travis describes vary. One option is to argue that the examples do not involve any variation in truth-value across contexts (see Cappelen & Lepore 2005); another is to argue that, while there is variation in truth-value, it can be understood as a form of indexicality (see Szabó 2009 and Rothschild & Segal 2009). (Sainsbury 2001 argues for a mixture of these two approaches.) A different strategy is to concede that there is variation, but that it is a form of nonindexical context-dependence, which can nevertheless be accommodated within traditional truth conditional semantics (see Predelli 2004Predelli 2005, MacFarlane 2007, and MacFarlane 2009).
Introductions Travis 1997 Recanati 2002
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83 found
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  1. Non-indexical contextualism, relativism and retraction.Alexander Dinges - forthcoming - In Jeremy Wyatt, Dan Zeman & Julia Zakkou (eds.), Perspectives on Taste. London: Routledge.
    It is commonly held that retraction data, if they exist, show that assessment relativism is preferable to non-indexical contextualism. I argue that this is not the case. Whether retraction data have the suggested probative force depends on substantive questions about the proper treatment of tense and location. One’s preferred account in these domains should determine whether one accepts assessment relativism or non-indexical contextualism.
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  2. Assessment Relativism.Filippo Ferrari - forthcoming - In Martin Kusch (ed.), Routledge Handbook to Relativism.
    Assessment relativism, as developed by John MacFarlane, is the view that the truth of our claims involving a variety of English expressions—‘tasty’, ‘knows’, ‘tomorrow’, ‘might’, and ‘ought’—is relative not only to aspects of the context of their production but also to aspects of the context in which they are assessed. Assessment relativism is thus a form of truth relativism which is offered as a new way of understanding perspectival thought and talk. In this article, I present the main theses of (...)
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  3. Generics, Race, and Social Perspectives.Patrick O’Donnell - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-38.
    The project of this paper is to deliver a semantics for a broad subset of bare plural generics about racial kinds, a class which I will dub 'Type C generics.' Examples include 'Blacks are criminal' and 'Muslims are terrorists.' Type C generics have two interesting features. First, they link racial kinds with ​ socially perspectival predicates ​ (SPPs). SPPs lead interpreters to treat the relationship between kinds and predicates in generic constructions as nomic or non-accidental. Moreover, in computing their content, (...)
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  4. Clause-internal coherence as presupposition resolution.Kelsey Sasaki & Daniel Altshuler - forthcoming - Proceedings of Amsterdam Colloquium 2022.
    Hobbs (2010) introduced ‘clause-internal coherence’ (CIC) to describe inferences in, e.g., ‘A jogger was hit by a car,’ where the jogging is understood to have led to the car-hitting. Cohen & Kehler (2021) argue that well-known pragmatic tools cannot account for CIC, motivating an enrichment account familiar from discourse coherence research. An outstanding question is how to compositionally derive CIC from coherence relations. This paper takes strides in answering this question. It first provides experimental support for the existence of CIC (...)
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  5. Gottlob Frege and Gongsun Long in Dialogue: An Exploration of Two Classical Paradoxes from the East and West.Nevia Dolcini & Carlo Penco - 2023 - Journal of Asian Studies (XXVII):267-295.
    This work addresses the critical discussion featured in the contemporary literature about two well-known paradoxes belonging to different philosophical traditions, namely Frege’s puzzling claim that “the concept horse is not a concept” and Gongsun Long’s “white horse is not horse”. We first present the source of Frege’s paradox and its different interpretations, which span from plain rejection to critical analysis, to conclude with a more general view of the role of philosophy as a fight against the misunderstandings that come from (...)
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  6. Practical Commitment in Normative Discourse.Pekka Vayrynen - 2022 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 21 (2).
    Many normative judgments play a practical role in our thought. This paper concerns how their practical role is reflected in language. It is natural to wonder whether the phenomenon is semantic or pragmatic. The standard assumption in moral philosophy is that at least terms which can be used to express “thin” normative concepts – such as 'good', 'right', and 'ought' – are associated with certain practical roles somehow as a matter of meaning. But this view is rarely given explicit defense (...)
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  7. Perspectives on Taste: Aesthetics, Language, Metaphysics, and Experimental Philosophy.Jeremy Wyatt, Julia Zakkou & Dan Zeman (eds.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    This book offers a sustained, interdisciplinary examination of taste. It addresses a range of topics that have been at the heart of lively debates in philosophy of language, linguistics, metaphysics, aesthetics, and experimental philosophy. Our everyday lives are suffused with discussions about taste. We are quick to offer familiar platitudes about taste, but we struggle when facing the questions that matter--what taste is, how it is related to subjectivity, what distinguishes good from bad taste, why it is valuable to make (...)
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  8. Faultless Disagreement Contextualism.Alex Davies - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 28 (3):557-580.
    It is widely assumed that the possibility of faultless disagreement is to be explained by the peculiar semantics and/or pragmatics of special kinds of linguistic construction. For instance, if A asserts “o is F” and B asserts this sentence’s denial, A and B can disagree faultlessly only if they employ the right kind of predicate as their “F”. In this paper, I present an argument against this assumption. Focusing on the special case when the expression of interest is a predicate, (...)
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  9. Predicates of personal taste: Empirical data.Markus Kneer - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6455-6471..
    According to contextualism, the extension of claims of personal taste is dependent on the context of utterance. According to truth relativism, their extension depends on the context of assessment. On this view, when the tastes of a speaker change, so does the truth value of a previously uttered taste claim, and if it is false, the speaker is required to retract it. Both views make strong empirical assumptions, which are here put to the test for the first time in three (...)
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  10. Evaluational adjectives.Alex Silk - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (1):1-35.
    This paper demarcates a theoretically interesting class of "evaluational adjectives." This class includes predicates expressing various kinds of normative and epistemic evaluation, such as predicates of personal taste, aesthetic adjectives, moral adjectives, and epistemic adjectives, among others. Evaluational adjectives are distinguished, empirically, in exhibiting phenomena such as discourse-oriented use, felicitous embedding under the attitude verb `find', and sorites-susceptibility in the comparative form. A unified degree-based semantics is developed: What distinguishes evaluational adjectives, semantically, is that they denote context-dependent measure functions ("evaluational (...)
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  11. Relativism, metasemantics, and the future.Derek Ball - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):1036-1086.
    ABSTRACT Contemporary relativists often see their view as contributing to a semantic/post-semantic account of linguistic data about disagreement and retraction. I offer an independently motivated metasemantic account of the same data, that also handles a number of cases and empirical results that are problematic for the relativist. The key idea is that the content of assertions and beliefs is determined in part by facts about other times, including times after the assertion is made or the belief is formed. On this (...)
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  12. Quasi Indexicals.Justin Khoo - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):26-53.
    I argue that not all context dependent expressions are alike. Pure (or ordinary) indexicals behave more or less as Kaplan thought. But quasi indexicals behave in some ways like indexicals and in other ways not like indexicals. A quasi indexical sentence φ allows for cases in which one party utters φ and the other its negation, and neither party’s claim has to be false. In this sense, quasi indexicals are like pure indexicals (think: “I am a doctor”/“I am not a (...)
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  13. ¿Existe algo así como pragmático? -- Revisión de la Enciclopedia Concisa de la Prágmatica 2a ed. (2009) (revisión revisada 2019).Michael Richard Starks - 2020 - In Comprender las Conexiones entre Ciencia, Filosofía, Psicología, Religión, Política, Economía, Historia y Literatura Artículos y reseñas 2006-2019. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 181-212.
    Claramente ni yo ni nadie leeremos nunca ninguna parte sustancial de este enorme tome, así que discutiré el único artículo que más me interese y que creo que proporciona el marco necesario para la comprensión de todos los demás. Me refiero a la de Ludwig Wittgenstein (W). Incluso si yo tratara de discutir otros, no pasaría la primera página, ya que todos los problemas aquí surgen inmediatamente en cualquier discusión de comportamiento. La diferenciación de la pragmática y la semántica no (...)
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  14. Subjective Disagreement.Beddor Bob - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):819-851.
  15. Communicating by doing something else.Alex Davies - 2018 - In Tamara Dobler & John Collins (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 135-154.
    It's sometimes thought that context-invariant linguistic meaning must be a character (a function from context types to contents) i.e. that linguistic meaning must determine how the content of an expression is fixed in context. This is thought because if context-invariant linguistic meaning were not a character then communication would not be possible. In this paper, I explain how communication could proceed even if context-invariant linguistic meaning were not a character.
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  16. Just What Is It That Makes Travis's Examples So Different, So Appealing?Nat Hansen - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford University Press.
    Odd and memorable examples are a distinctive feature of Charles Travis's work: cases involving squash balls, soot-covered kettles, walls that emit poison gas, faces turning puce, ties made of freshly cooked linguine, and people grunting when punched in the solar plexus all figure in his arguments. One of Travis's examples, involving a pair of situations in which the leaves of a Japanese maple tree are painted green, has even spawned its own literature consisting of attempts to explain the context sensitivity (...)
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  17. Using "not tasty" at the dinner table.Alex Davies - 2017 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 24 (3).
    John MacFarlane argues against objectivism about “tasty”/”not tasty” in the following way. If objectivism were true then, given that speakers use “tasty”/”not tasty” in accordance with a rule, TP, speakers would be using an evidently unreliable method to form judgements and make claims about what is tasty. Since this is implausible, objectivism must be false. In this paper, I describe a context in which speakers deviate from TP. I argue that MacFarlane's argument against objectivism fails when applied to uses of (...)
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  18. Elaboration and intuitions of disagreement.Alex Davies - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):861-875.
    Mark Richard argues for truth-relativism about claims made using gradable adjectives. He argues that truth-relativism is the best explanation of two kinds of linguistic data, which I call: true cross-contextual reports and infelicitous denials of conflict. Richard claims that such data are generated by an example that he discusses at length. However, the consensus is that these linguistic data are illusory because they vanish when elaborations are added to examples of the same kind as Richard’s original. In this paper I (...)
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  19. Oraciones normativas y sensibilidad a la evaluación.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2017 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 43 (1):29-47.
    Nuestro lenguaje no solo describe el mundo que nos rodea: muchas expresiones que usamos habitualmente (desde predicados de gusto a expresiones como “interesante” o “divertido”) tienen por función valorar los objetos que constituyen nuestro entorno. Las oraciones que las contienen son sensibles a la evaluación: su valor de verdad depende del estándar evaluativo saliente en contexto y su emisión puede dar lugar a desacuerdos duros. El presente trabajo examina la ex- tensión de esta categoría a oraciones con predicados y verbos (...)
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  20. Objectivism about Color and Comparative Color Statements. Reply to Hansen.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):429-435.
    Nat Hansen builds a new argument for subjectivism about the semantics of color language, based on a potential kind of intersubjective disagreements about comparative color statements. In reply, I note that the disagreements of this kind are merely hypothetical, probably few if actual, and not evidently relevant as test cases for a semantic theory. Furthermore, even if they turned out to be actual and semantically relevant, they would be intuitively unusable by the subjectivist.
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  21. A New Argument from Interpersonal Variation to Subjectivism about Color: A Response to Gómez‐Torrente.Nat Hansen - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):421-428.
    I describe a new, comparative, version of the argument from interpersonal variation to subjectivism about color. The comparative version undermines a recent objectivist response to standard versions of that argument.
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  22. Color Adjectives, Standards, and Thresholds: An Experimental Investigation.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (3):1--40.
    Are color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.) relative adjectives or absolute adjectives? Existing theories of the meaning of color adjectives attempt to answer that question using informal ("armchair") judgments. The informal judgments of theorists conflict: it has been proposed that color adjectives are absolute with standards anchored at the minimum degree on the scale, that they are absolute but have near-midpoint standards, and that they are relative. In this paper we report two experiments, one based on entailment patterns and one based (...)
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  23. Relativism about predicates of personal taste and perspectival plurality.Markus Kneer, Agustin Vicente & Dan Zeman - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (1):37-60.
    In this paper we discuss a phenomenon we call perspectival plurality, which has gone largely unnoticed in the current debate between relativism and contextualism about predicates of personal taste. According to perspectival plurality, the truth value of a sentence containing more than one PPT may depend on more than one perspective. Prima facie, the phenomenon engenders a problem for relativism and can be shaped into an argument in favor of contextualism. We explore the consequences of perspectival plurality in depth and (...)
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  24. Aesthetic Adjectives: Experimental Semantics and Context-Sensitivity.Shen-yi Liao & Aaron Meskin - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):371–398.
    One aim of this essay is to contribute to understanding aesthetic communication—the process by which agents aim to convey thoughts and transmit knowledge about aesthetic matters to others. Our focus will be on the use of aesthetic adjectives in aesthetic communication. Although theorists working on the semantics of adjectives have developed sophisticated theories about gradable adjectives, they have tended to avoid studying aesthetic adjectives—the class of adjectives that play a central role in expressing aesthetic evaluations. And despite the wealth of (...)
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  25. Evaluative Disagreements.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2016 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (1):67-87.
    A recent quarrel over faultless disagreements assumes that disputes over evaluative sentences should be understood as regular, factual disagreements. Instead, I propose that evaluative disagreements should be understood in Lewisian terms. Language use works like a rule-governed game. In it, the assertion of an evaluative sentence is an attempt to establish one value as default in the conversation; its rejection, in turn, is in most cases the refusal to accept this move.
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  26. Moving parts: a new indexical treatment of context-shifting predication.Daniel Giberman - 2016 - Synthese 193 (1):95-124.
    A context-shifting example involves a putatively non-ambiguous, non-elliptical, non-indexical declarative sentence, some distinct utterances of which differ in truth value despite sameness of place, time, surrounding objects, and other physical factors. Charles Travis has spawned a large literature by arguing that such examples undermine compositional truth-conditional semantics. After explaining how prior responses to Travis’s examples fail in the metaphysical details, the present essay develops a new approach that treats a wide range of subject terms as disguised indexicals sensitive to mereological (...)
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  27. Perceptual Variation, Color Language, and Reference Fixing. An Objectivist Account.Mario Gómez-Torrente - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):3-40.
    I offer a new objectivist theory of the contents of color language and color experience, intended especially as an account of what normal intersubjective variation in color perception and classification shows about those contents. First I explain an abstract account of the contents of color and other gradable adjectives; on the account, these contents are certain objective properties constituted in part by contextually intended standards of application, which are in turn values in the dimensions of variation associated with the adjectives. (...)
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  28. Oraciones evaluativas y los compromisos de la aserción.Diaz Legaspe Justina - 2016 - Análisis Filosófico 36 (2):199-224.
    Las oraciones con predicados evaluativos son sensibles a la valoración realizada según un parámetro evaluativo contextual. Dos teorías han proporcionado explicaciones para este tipo de sensibilidad: el contextualismo y el relativismo de apreciación. En este trabajo presentaré una tercera opción que logra lo mismo que estas de una manera más sencilla. La teoría se centrará en dos pilares: una reconsideración del contenido expresado por las oraciones con predicados de gusto que parte de la articulación del parámetro evaluativo como una función (...)
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  29. Subjectivity and Perspective in Truth-Theoretic Semantics.Peter Lasersohn - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book explores linguistic and philosophical issues presented by sentences expressing personal taste, such as Roller coasters are fun, or Licorice is tasty. Standard semantic theories explain the meanings of sentences by specifying the conditions under which they are true; here, Peter Lasersohn asks how we can account for sentences that are concerned with matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. He argues that a truth-theoretic semantic theory is appropriate even for sentences like these, but that for such sentences, (...)
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  30. Aesthetic Adjectives Lack Uniform Behavior.Shen-yi Liao, Louise McNally & Aaron Meskin - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (6):618-631.
    The goal of this short paper is to show that esthetic adjectives—exemplified by “beautiful” and “elegant”—do not pattern stably on a range of linguistic diagnostics that have been used to taxonomize the gradability properties of adjectives. We argue that a plausible explanation for this puzzling data involves distinguishing two properties of gradable adjectives that have been frequently conflated: whether an adjective’s applicability is sensitive to a comparison class, and whether an adjective’s applicability is context-dependent.
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  31. Aesthetic Predicates: A Hybrid Dispositional Account.Teresa Marques - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (6):723-751, doi:10.1080/0020174X.20.
    This paper explores the possibility of developing a hybrid version of dispositional theories of aesthetic values. On such a theory, uses of aesthetic predicates express relational second-order dispositional properties. If the theory is not absolutist, it allows for the relativity of aesthetic values. But it may be objected to on the grounds that it fails to explain disagreement among subjects who are not disposed alike. This paper explores the possibility of adapting recent proposals of hybrid expressivist theories for moral predicates (...)
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  32. Discourse Contextualism: A Framework for Contextualist Semantics and Pragmatics.Alex Silk - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book investigates context-sensitivity in natural language by examining the meaning and use of a target class of theoretically recalcitrant expressions. These expressions-including epistemic vocabulary, normative and evaluative vocabulary, and vague language -exhibit systematic differences from paradigm context-sensitive expressions in their discourse dynamics and embedding properties. Many researchers have responded by rethinking the nature of linguistic meaning and communication. Drawing on general insights about the role of context in interpretation and collaborative action, Silk develops an improved contextualist theory of CR-expressions (...)
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  33. The Many Uses of Predicates of Taste and the Challenge from Disagreement.Dan Zeman - 2016 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 46 (1):79-101.
    In the debate between contextualism and relativism about predicates of taste, the challenge from disagreement (the objection that contextualism cannot account for disagreement in ordinary exchanges involving such predicates) has played a central role. This paper investigates one way of answering the challenge consisting on appeal to certain, less focused on, uses of predicates of taste. It argues that the said thread is unsatisfactory, in that it downplays certain exchanges that constitute the core disagreement data. Additionally, several arguments to the (...)
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  34. Contextualism and Disagreement about Taste.Dan Zeman - 2016 - In Cécile Meier & Janneke van Wijnbergen-Huitink (eds.), Subjective Meaning: Alternatives to Relativism. de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 91-104.
    In this paper I investigate a certain contextualist answer to the problem raised for the view by the phenomenon of faultless disagreement: namely, that it cannot account for disagreement in ordinary exchanges involving predicates of personal taste. I argue that the answer investigated either misses the target, ignoring the relevant cases which the relativist challenge is based or that it has to appeal to semantic blindness, a move that has certain costs. In addition, I argue that the same holds for (...)
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  35. Disagreeing over evaluatives: Preference, normative and moral discourse.Justina Diaz Legaspe - 2015 - Manuscrito 38 (2):39-63.
    Why would we argue about taste, norms or morality when we know that these topics are relative to taste preferences, systems of norms or values to which we are committed? Yet, disagreements over these topics are common in our evaluative discourses. I will claim that the motives to discuss rely on our attitudes towards the standard held by the speakers in each domain of discourse, relating different attitudes to different motives –mainly, conviction and correction. These notions of attitudes and motives (...)
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  36. The Semantic Significance of Faultless Disagreement.Michele Palmira - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):349-371.
    The article investigates the significance of the so-called phenomenon of apparent faultless disagreement for debates about the semantics of taste discourse. Two kinds of description of the phenomenon are proposed. The first ensures that faultless disagreement raises a distinctive philosophical challenge; yet, it is argued that Contextualist, Realist and Relativist semantic theories do not account for this description. The second, by contrast, makes the phenomenon irrelevant for the problem of what the right semantics of taste discourse should be. Lastly, the (...)
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  37. The green leaves and the expert: polysemy and truth-conditional variability.Agustin Vicente - 2015 - Lingua 157:54-65.
    Polysemy seems to be a relatively neglected phenomenon within philosophy of language as well as in many quarters in linguistic semantics. Not all variations in a word’s contribution to truth-conditional contents are to be thought as expressions of the phenomenon of polysemy, but it can be argued that many are. Polysemous terms are said to contribute senses or aspects to truth-conditional contents. In this paper, I will make use of the notion of aspect to argue that some apparently wild variations (...)
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  38. The semantics of slurs: A refutation of pure expressivism.Adam M. Croom - 2014 - Language Sciences 41:227-242.
    In several recent contributions to the growing literature on slurs, Hedger draws upon Kaplan’s distinction between descriptive and expressive content to argue that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content. The distinction between descriptive and expressive content and the view that slurs are expressions with purely expressive content has been widely acknowledged in prior work, and Hedger aims to contribute to this tradition of scholarship by offering novel arguments in support of his ‘‘pure expressivist’’ account of slurs. But the account (...)
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  39. Off-target responses to occasion-sensitivity.Alex Davies - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):499-523.
    In the literature on linguistic context-sensitivity, a recurrent move has been made with the intention of attacking Charles Travis's occasion-sensitivity. The move is to provide a semantic analysis of the meaning of an expression which makes the content of that expression context sensitive but without providing any reason to think that the meaning of the expression is a character. I argue that this move is off-target. Such proposals are entirely consistent with occasion-sensitivity and so don't constitute an attack on it.
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  40. Aesthetic Adjectives.Louise McNally & Isidora Stojanovic - 2014 - In James Young (ed.), The Semantics of Aesthetic Judgment. Oxford University Press.
    Among semanticists and philosophers of language, there has been a recent outburst of interest in predicates such as delicious, called predicates of personal taste (PPTs, e.g. Lasersohn 2005). Somewhat surprisingly, the question of whether or how we can distinguish aesthetic predicates from PPTs has hardly been addressed at all in this recent work. It is precisely this question that we address. We investigate linguistic criteria that we argue can be used to delineate the class of specifically aesthetic adjectives. We show (...)
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  41. Green Leaves Again! An Assessment of Kennedy and McNally’s Solution to Travis’ Challenge.Ernesto Perini-Santos - 2014 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Semantics and Beyond: Philosophical and Linguistic Inquiries. De Gruyter. pp. 185-206.
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  42. Racial Epithets, Characterizations, and Slurs.Adam M. Croom - 2013 - Analysis and Metaphysics 12:11-24.
    Since at least 2008 linguists and philosophers of language have started paying more serious attention to issues concerning the meaning or use of racial epithets and slurs. In an influential article published in The Journal of Philosophy, for instance, Christopher Hom (2008) offered a semantic account of racial epithets called Combinatorial Externalism (CE) that advanced a novel argument for the exclusion of certain epithets from freedom of speech protection under the First Amendment (p. 435). Also in more recent work, “The (...)
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  43. Tolerance effect in categorisation with vague predicates.Minyao Huang - 2013 - Pragmatics and Cognition 21 (2):340-358.
    Vagueness is understood as the problem of associating imprecise application criteria with ordinary predicates such as ‘bald’ or ‘blue’. It is often construed as due to one’s tolerance to a minute difference in forming a verdict on the application of a vague predicate. This paper reports an experiment conducted to test the effect of tolerance, using as paradigm categorisation tasks performed with respect to transitional series, e.g., a series of tomatoes from red to orange. The findings suggest a negative effect (...)
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  44. The relativity of evaluative sentences: disagreeing over disagreement.Justina Díaz Legaspe - 2013 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 54 (127):211-226.
    Evaluative sentences (moral judgments, expressions of taste, epistemic modals) are relative to the speaker's standards. Lately, a phenomenon has challenged the traditional explanation of this relativity: whenever two speakers disagree over them they contradict each other without being at fault. Hence, it is thought that the correction of the assertions involved must be relative to an unprivileged standard not necessarily the speaker's. I will claim instead that so far, neither this nor any other proposal has provided an explanation of the (...)
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  45. Thick Concepts and Underdetermination.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Thick Concepts. Oxford University Press. pp. 136-160.
    Thick terms and concepts in ethics somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. The non-evaluative aspects of thick terms and concepts underdetermine their extensions. Many writers argue that this underdetermination point is best explained by supposing that thick terms and concepts are semantically evaluative in some way such that evaluation plays a role in determining their extensions. This paper argues that the extensions of thick terms and concepts are underdetermined by their meanings in toto, irrespective of whether their extensions are partly (...)
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  46. Experiencer Phrases, Predicates of Personal Taste and Relativism: On Cappelen and Hawthorne’s Critique of the Operator Argument.Dan Zeman - 2013 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 13 (3):375-398.
    In the debate between relativism and contextualism about various expressions, the Operator Argument, initially proposed by Kaplan , has been taken to support relativism. However, one widespread reaction against the argument has taken the form of arguing against one assumption made by Kaplan: namely, that certain natural language expressions are best treated as sentential operators. Focusing on the only extant version of the Operator Argument proposed in connection to predicates of personal taste such as “tasty” and experiencer phrases such as (...)
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  47. Predicates in perspective.Anthony Corsentino - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):519-545.
    A familiar strategy of argument to the effect that natural-language predicates are semantically context dependent rests on constructing what I term Travis cases: different contexts for the use of a predicate are imagined in which its semantic (typically, truth-conditional) properties are claimed to differ. I propose an account of the semantic properties of predicates that give rise to Travis cases; I then argue that the account underwrites a genuine alternative to the standard explanations of Travis cases to be found in (...)
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  48. What Tipper is Ready for: A Semantics for Incomplete Predicates.Christopher Gauker - 2012 - Noûs 46 (1):61-85.
    This paper presents a precise semantics for incomplete predicates such as “ready”. Incomplete predicates have distinctive logical properties that a semantic theory needs to accommodate. For instance, “Tipper is ready” logically implies “Tipper is ready for something”, but “Tipper is ready for something” does not imply “Tipper is ready”. It is shown that several approaches to the semantics of incomplete predicates fail to accommodate these logical properties. The account offered here defines contexts as structures containing an element called a proposition (...)
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  49. Compositionality, Flexibility, and Context-Dependence.François Recanati - 2012 - In Wolfram Hinzen, Edouard Machery & Markus Werning (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford University Press. pp. 175-191.
    It has often been observed that the meaning of a word may be affected by the other words which occur in the same sentence. How are we to account for this phenomenon of 'semantic flexibility'? It is argued that semantic flexibility reduces to context-sensitivity and does not raise unsurmountable problems for standard compositional accounts. On the other hand, it would be a mistake to assume too simple a view of context-sensitivity. Two basic forms of context-sensitivity are distinguished in the paper. (...)
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  50. Color Terms and Semantic Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):399-420.
    The paper discusses whether the color terms should be given an externalist semantics. In the literature on the semantics of color terms externalism is standardly taken for granted, and Twin Earth style arguments play a central role. This is notable given that few people would claim that semantic externalism applies across the board, to all types of terms. Why, then, should the color terms belong with this group of terms? I argue that the standard externalist strategies, introduced by Tyler Burge (...)
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