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Themes From Kaplan

Oxford University Press (1989)

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  1. Indexical Relativism Versus Genuine Relativism.Max Kölbel - 2004 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (3):297 – 313.
    The main purpose of this paper is to characterize and compare two forms any relativist thesis can take: indexical relativism and genuine relativism. Indexical relativists claim that the implicit indexicality of certain sentences is the only source of relativity. Genuine relativists, by contrast, claim that there is relativity not just at the level of sentences, but also at propositional level. After characterizing each of the two forms and discussing their difficulties, I argue that the difference between the two is significant.
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  • The Utility of Content-Relativism.Paula Sweeney - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):563-579.
    Content- relativism is a semantic theory that states that the content of an uttered sentence can vary according to some feature of an assessment context. This paper has two objectives. The first is to determine which features a motivational case for content- relativism would display – what would a good case for content- relativism look like? The second is to consider cases that appear to have the required features and evaluate their prospects as motivational cases. I identify two varieties of (...)
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  • The Nature of Truth.M. J. Frapolli - 2013 - Springer.
    The book offers a proposal on how to define truth in all its complexity, without reductionism, showing at the same time which questions a theory of truth has to answer and which questions, although related to truth, do not belong within the scope of such a theory. Just like any other theory, a theory of truth has its structure and limits. The semantic core of the position is that truth-ascriptions are pro-forms, i.e. natural language propositional variables. The book also offers (...)
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  • Counterconventional Conditionals.Iris Einheuser - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (3):459-482.
    Some philosophical positions maintain that some aspect of reality depends on human practices, cognitive attitudes or sentiments. This paper presents a framework for understanding such positions in a way that renders them immune to a number of natural but allegedly devastating objections.
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  • The Evidence for Relativism.Max Kölbel - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):375-395.
    The aim of this paper is to examine the kind of evidence that might be adduced in support of relativist semantics of a kind that have recently been proposed for predicates of personal taste, for epistemic modals, for knowledge attributions and for other cases. I shall concentrate on the case of taste predicates, but what I have to say is easily transposed to the other cases just mentioned. I shall begin by considering in general the question of what kind of (...)
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  • Propositions and Compositionality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):526-563.
  • The Conversational Role of Centered Contents.Max Kölbel - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):97-121.
    Some philosophers, for example David Lewis, have argued for the need to introduce de se contents or centered contents, i.e. contents of thought and speech the correctness of believing which depends not only on the possible world one inhabits, but also on the location one occupies. Independently, philosophers like Robert Stalnaker (and also David Lewis) have developed the conversational score model of linguistic communication. This conversational model usually relies on a more standard conception of content according to which the correctness (...)
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  • Propositions and Multiple Indexing.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):116-124.
    It is argued that propositions cannot be the compositional semantic values of sentences (in context) simply due to issues stemming from the compositional semantics of modal operators (or modal quantifiers). In particular, the fact that the arguments for double indexing generalize to multiple indexing exposes a fundamental tension in the default philosophical conception of semantic theory. This provides further motivation for making a distinction between two sentential semantic contents—what (Dummett 1973) called “ingredient sense” and “assertoric content”.
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  • Branching Time, Actuality and the Puzzle of Retrospective Determinacy.Roberto Loss - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):16-25.
    The supervaluationist approach to branching time (‘SBT-theory’) appears to be threatened by the puzzle of retrospective determinacy: if yesterday I uttered the sentence ‘It will be sunny tomorrow’ and only in some worlds overlapping at the context of utterance it is sunny the next day, my utterance is to be assessed as neither true nor false even if today is indeed a sunny day. John MacFarlane (“Truth in the Garden of Forking Paths” 81) has recently criticized a promising solution to (...)
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  • A Note on Essential Indexicals of Direction.Rogério Passos Severo - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):10-15.
    Some authors claim that ‘I’ and ‘now’ are essential indexicals, in the sense that they cannot be eliminated in favor of other indexicals or nonindexical expressions. This article argues that three indexicals of direction—one for each spatial dimension (e.g., ‘up’, ‘front’, and ‘left’)—must also be regarded essential, insofar as they are used as pure indexicals and not as demonstratives.
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  • Empty Names, Fictional Names, Mythical Names.David Braun - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):596–631.
    John Stuart Mill (1843) thought that proper names denote individuals and do not connote attributes. Contemporary Millians agree, in spirit. We hold that the semantic content of a proper name is simply its referent. We also think that the semantic content of a declarative sentence is a Russellian structured proposition whose constituents are the semantic contents of the sentence’s constituents. This proposition is what the sentence semantically expresses. Therefore, we think that sentences containing proper names semantically express singular propositions, which (...)
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  • Rationality and Puzzling Beliefs.Neil Feit - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):29 - 55.
    The author presents and defends a general view about belief. and certain attributions of belief, with the intention of providing a solution to Saul Kripke’s puzzle about belief. According to the position developed in the paper, there are two senses in which one could be said to have contradictory beliefs. Just one of these senses threatens the rationality of the believer; but Kripke’s puzzle concerns only the other one. The general solution is then extended to certain variants of Kripke’s original (...)
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  • Crossing the Symbolic Threshold: A Critical Review of Terrence Deacon's the Symbolic Species. [REVIEW]David Lumsden - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (2):155 – 171.
    Terrence Deacon's views about the origin of language are based on a particular notion of a symbol. While the notion is derived from Peirce's semiotics, it diverges from that source and needs to be investigated on its own terms in order to evaluate the idea that the human species has crossed the symbolic threshold. Deacon's view is defended from the view that symbols in the animal world are widespread and from the extreme connectionist view that they are not even to (...)
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  • Is There a Fact of the Matter Between Direct Reference Theory and (Neo-)Fregeanism?Mark Balaguer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):53-78.
    It is argued here that there is no fact of the matter between direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism. To get a more precise idea of the central thesis of this paper, consider the following two claims: (i) While direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism can be developed in numerous ways, they can be developed in essentially parallel ways; that is, for any (plausible) way of developing direct reference theory, there is an essentially parallel way of developing neo-Fregeanism, and vice versa. And (...)
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  • Dworkin's Interpretivism and the Pragmatics of Legal Disputes.David Plunkett & Timothy Sundell - 2013 - Legal Theory 19 (3):242-281.
    One of Ronald Dworkin's most distinctive claims in legal philosophy is that law is an interpretative concept, a special kind of concept whose correct application depends neither on fixed criteria nor on an instance-identifying decision procedure but rather on the normative or evaluative facts that best justify the total set of practices in which that concept is used. The main argument that Dworkin gives for interpretivism about some conceptis a disagreement-based argument. We argue here that Dworkin's disagreement-based argument relies on (...)
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  • Mass Nouns and Plural Logic.David Nicolas - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2):211-244.
    A dilemma put forward by Schein (1993) and Rayo (2002) suggests that, in order to characterize the semantics of plurals, we should not use predicate logic, but non-singular logic, a formal language whose terms may refer to several things at once. We show that a similar dilemma applies to mass nouns. If we use predicate logic and sets, we arrive at a Russellian paradox when characterizing the semantics of mass nouns. Likewise, a semantics of mass nouns based upon predicate logic (...)
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  • Indexicals and Reference‐Shifting: Towards a Pragmatic Approach.Jonas Åkerman - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):117-152.
    I propose a pragmatic approach to the kind of reference-shifting occurring in indexicals as used in e.g. written notes and answering machine messages. I proceed in two steps. First, I prepare the ground by showing that the arguments against such a pragmatic approach raised in the recent literature fail. Second, I take a first few steps towards implementing this approach, by sketching a pragmatic theory of reference-shifting, and showing how it can handle cases of the relevant kind. While the immediate (...)
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  • Close Enough to Reference.David B. Martens - 1993 - Synthese 95 (3):357 - 377.
    This paper proposes a response to the duplication objection to the descriptive theory of singular mental reference. This objection involves hypothetical cases in each of which there are a pair of qualitatively indistinguishable objects and a thought that apparently refers to only one of the pair, despite the descriptive indistinguishability of the two objects. I identify a concept of reference-likeness or closeness to reference, which is related to the concept of genuine singular reference as the concept of truthlikeness or closeness (...)
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  • The Inadequacy of Paraphrase is the Dogma of Metaphor.Mark Phelan - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):481-506.
    Philosophers have alleged that paraphrases of metaphors are inadequate. They have presented this inadequacy as a datum predicted by, and thus a reason to accept, particular accounts of ‘metaphorical meanings.’ But to what, specifically, does this inadequacy claim amount? I argue that, if this assumption is to have any bearing on the metaphor debate, it must be construed as the comparative claim that paraphrases of metaphors are inadequate compared to paraphrases of literal utterances. But the evidence philosophers have offered does (...)
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  • Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.David Braun - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.
    This paper presents a semantic and pragmatic theory of complex demonstratives. According to this theory, the semantic content of a complex demonstrative, in a context, is simply an object, and the semantic content of a sentence that contains a complex demonstrative, in a context, is a singular proposition. This theory is defended from various objections to direct reference theories of complex demonstratives, including King's objection from quantification into complex demonstratives.
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  • Implicating Questions.David Braun - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (5):574-595.
    I modify Grice's theory of conversational implicature so as to accommodate acts of implicating propositions by asking questions, acts of implicating questions by asserting propositions, and acts of implicating questions by asking questions. I describe the relations between a declarative sentence's semantic content (the proposition it semantically expresses), on the one hand, and the propositions that a speaker locutes, asserts, and implicates by uttering that sentence, on the other. I discuss analogous relations between an interrogative sentence's semantic content (the question (...)
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  • Self-Made People.David Mark Kovacs - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1071-1099.
    The Problem of Overlappers is a puzzle about what makes it the case, and how we can know, that we have the parts we intuitively think we have. In this paper, I develop and motivate an overlooked solution to this puzzle. According to what I call the self-making view it is within our power to decide what we refer to with the personal pronoun ‘I’, so the truth of most of our beliefs about our parts is ensured by the very (...)
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  • Problems for a Quantificational Theory of Complex Demonstratives.David Braun - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):335 - 358.
    This paper presents a number of objections to Jeffrey King's quantificational theory of complex demonstratives. Some of these objections have to do with modality, whereas others concern attitude ascriptions. Various possible replies are considered. The debate between quantificational theorists and direct reference theorists over complex demonstratives is compared with recent debates concerning definite descriptions.
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  • Structured Characters and Complex Demonstratives.David Braun - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (2):193--219.
    A structured character is a semantic value of a certain sort. Like the more familiar Kaplanian characters, structured characters determine the contents of expressions in contexts. But unlike Kaplanian characters, structured characters also have constituent structures. The semantic theories with which most of us are acquainted do not mention structured characters. But I argue in this paper that these familiar semantic theories fail to make obvious distinctions in meaning---distinctions that can be made by a theory that uses structured characters. Thus (...)
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  • Quotation, Demonstration, and Iconicity.Kathryn Davidson - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (6):477-520.
    Sometimes form-meaning mappings in language are not arbitrary, but iconic: they depict what they represent. Incorporating iconic elements of language into a compositional semantics faces a number of challenges in formal frameworks as evidenced by the lengthy literature in linguistics and philosophy on quotation/direct speech, which iconically portrays the words of another in the form that they were used. This paper compares the well-studied type of iconicity found with verbs of quotation with another form of iconicity common in sign languages: (...)
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  • First-Person Belief and Empirical Certainty.David B. Martens - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):118-136.
    This is a critical exposition and limited defence of a theory of first- person belief transiently held by Roderick Chisholm after giving up the early haecceity theory of Person and Object and before adopting the late self-attribution theory of The First Person. I reconstruct that 'middle' theory as involving what I call a 'hard-core' approach to de re belief and I rebut objections concerning epistemic supervenience and abnormal consciousness. In my rebuttals, I sketch a variant of the middle theory according (...)
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  • Contextualism About 'Might' and Says-That Ascriptions.David Braun - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):485-511.
    Contextualism about ‘might’ says that the property that ‘might’ expresses varies from context to context. I argue against contextualism. I focus on problems that contextualism apparently has with attitude ascriptions in which ‘might’ appears in an embedded ‘that’-clause. I argue that contextualists can deal rather easily with many of these problems, but I also argue that serious difficulties remain with collective and quantified says-that ascriptions. Herman Cappelen and John Hawthorne atempt to deal with these remaining problems, but I argue that (...)
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  • Conceptual Analysis and X-Phi.Mark Balaguer - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
    This paper does two things. First, it argues for a metaphilosophical view of conceptual analysis questions; in particular, it argues that the facts that settle conceptual-analysis questions are facts about the linguistic intentions of ordinary folk. The second thing this paper does is argue that if this metaphilosophical view is correct, then experimental philosophy is a legitimate methodology to use in trying to answer conceptual-analysis questions.
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  • Mental Representation.David Pitt - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The notion of a "mental representation" is, arguably, in the first instance a theoretical construct of cognitive science. As such, it is a basic concept of the Computational Theory of Mind, according to which cognitive states and processes are constituted by the occurrence, transformation and storage (in the mind/brain) of information-bearing structures (representations) of one kind or another.
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  • The Use Theory of Meaning and Semantic Stipulation.Mark Textor - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (1):29 - 45.
    According to Horwich’s use theory of meaning, the meaning of a word W is engendered by the underived acceptance of certain sentences containing W. Horwich applies this theory to provide an account of semantic stipulation: Semantic stipulation proceeds by deciding to accept sentences containing an as yet meaningless word W. Thereby one brings it about that W gets an underived acceptance property. Since a word’s meaning is constituted by its (basic) underived acceptance property, this decision endows the word with a (...)
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  • Critical Notice of Language Turned on Itself, by Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore. [REVIEW]Mark Mccullagh - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (4):349-367.
    This is a lively, provocative book and many of its arguments are convincing. In this critical study I summarize the book, then discuss some of the authors’ claims, dwelling on three issues: their objections to the view of François Recanati on “pre-semantic” effects; the relation between their theory of quotation and the Tarskian “Proper Name Theory,” which they reject; and their treatment of mixed quotation, which rests on the claim that quotation expressions are “syntactic chameleons.” I argue that the objections (...)
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  • Kripke’s Revenge.Theodore Sider & David Braun - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (3):669-682.
    Kripke's objections to descriptivism may be modified to apply to Scott Soames's pragmatic account from his book Beyond Rigidity. Further, intuitions about argument-validity threaten any theory in the vicinity of Soames's.
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  • A Theory of Sentience.Austen Clark (ed.) - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Drawing on the findings of neuroscience, this text proposes and defends the hypothesis that the various modalities of sensation share a generic form that the author, Austen Clark, calls feature-placing.
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  • An Observation About Truth.David Kashtan - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Jerusalem
    Tarski's analysis of the concept of truth gives rise to a hierarchy of languages. Does this fragment the concept all the way to philosophical unacceptability? I argue it doesn't, drawing on a modification of Kaplan's theory of indexicals.
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  • Presuppositions and Quantifier Domains.Friederike Moltmann - 2006 - Synthese 149 (1):179-224.
    In this paper, I will argue for a new account of presuppositions which is based on double indexing as well as minimal representational contexts providing antecedent material for anaphoric presuppositions, rather than notions of context defined in terms of the interlocutors’ pragmatic presuppositions or the information accumulated from the preceding discourse. This account applies in particular to new phenomena concerning the presupposition of quantifier domains. But it is also intended to be an account of presuppositions in general. The account differs (...)
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  • Proper Names, Cognitive Contents, and Beliefs.David M. Braun - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 62 (3):289 - 305.
  • Relativism 1: Representational Content.Max Kölbel - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (1):38-51.
    In the pair of articles of which this is the first, I shall present a set of problems and philosophical proposals that have in recent years been associated with the term “relativism”. All these problems and proposals concern the question of how we should represent thought and speech about certain topics. The main issue here is whether we should model such mental states or linguistic acts as involving representational contents that are absolutely correct or incorrect, or whether, alternatively, their correctness (...)
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  • Natural Kinds of Substance.Stephen Law - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):283-300.
    This paper presents an extension of Putnam's account of how substance terms such as ‘water’ and ‘gold’ function and of how a posteriori necessary truths concerning the underlying microstructures of such kinds may be derived. The paper has three aims. I aim to refute a familiar criticism of Putnam's account: that it presupposes what Salmon calls an ‘irredeemably metaphysical, and philosophically controversial, theory of essentialism’. I show how all of the details of Putnam's account—including those that Salmon believes smuggle in (...)
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  • The Spatial Content of Experience.Brad Thompson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):146-184.
    To what extent is the external world the way that it appears to us in perceptual experience? This perennial question in philosophy is no doubt ambiguous in many ways. For example, it might be taken as equivalent to the question of whether or not the external world is the way that it appears to be? This is a question about the epistemology of perception: Are our perceptual experiences by and large veridical representations of the external world? Alternatively, the question might (...)
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  • First-Person Propositions.Peter W. Hanks - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):155-182.
    A first-person proposition is a proposition that only a single subject can assert or believe. When I assert ‘I am on fire’ I assert a first-person proposition that only I have access to, in the sense that no one else can assert or believe this proposition. This is in contrast to third-person propositions, which can be asserted or believed by anyone.
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  • Essentialist arguments against descriptivism.Michael McGlone - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):443-462.
    This paper considers Kripke's (1972, 1980) modal arguments against descriptivism about proper names, the descriptivist reply that the meaning of a name is given by a description involving the modifier ‘actually’, and Kit Fine's (1994) distinction between necessary and essential attributes. It explains how Kripke's modal arguments can be recast in essentialist terms by appealing to Fine's distinction, and it argues that the resulting essentialist arguments are immune to the abovementioned descriptivist reply to the original modal arguments.
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  • Relativized Propositions and the Fregean Orthodoxy.Iris Einheuser - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):590-603.
    This paper answer the question how propositions whose truth is relativized to times, places, asserters or assessers can, despite their relativity, be used to represent the world.
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  • Malapropisms and the Simple Picture of Communication.Stefano Predelli - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (3):329-345.
    This essay defends an analysis of malapropisms consistent with the Simple Picture of communication, namely the view that speakers communicate that P by employing expressions associated with P by the regularities appropriate for the linguistic community to which they belong. My analysis, grounded on the distinction between traces, shapes, and forms, is consistent with an intuitive assessment of the contents conveyed by instances of malapropisms, and with a standard, ‘fully articulated’ approach to semantic interpretation.
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  • Pure Quotation.Emar Maier - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (9):615-630.
    Pure quotation, as in ‘cat’ has three letters, is a linguistic device designed for referring to linguistic expressions. I present a uniform recon struction of the four classic philosophical accounts of the phenomenon: the proper name theory, the description theory, the demonstrative theory, and the disquotational theory. I evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal with respect to fundamental semantic properties like compositionality, productivity, and recursivity.
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  • Reference, Binding, and Presupposition: Three Perspectives on the Semantics of Proper Names.Emar Maier - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):313-333.
    Linguistics and philosophy have provided distinct views on the nature of reference to individuals in language. In philosophy, in particular in the tradition of direct reference, the distinction is between reference and description. In linguistics, in particular in the tradition of generative grammar, the distinction is between pronouns and R-expressions. I argue for a third conception, grounded in dynamic semantics, in which the main watershed is between definites, which trigger presuppositions that want to be bound, and indefinites, which set up (...)
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  • Truth in Semantics.Max Kölbel - 2008 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):242-257.
    Semantic theories for natural languages purport to describe a central aspect of the meaning of natural language sentences. In doing so, they usually employ some notion of truth. Most semanticists, even those who have no objections to invoking propositions, will define a truth-predicate that applies to sentences. Some will also employ a notion of propositional truth. Both types of semanticist face the question whether and how the semantic notion(s) of truth they are employing is (are)related to the ordinary, pre-theoretic notion(s) (...)
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  • The Meaning of 'Actually'.Yannis Stephanou - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):153-185.
    The paper is an investigation into the concept of actuality from the standpoint of the philosophy of language. It is argued that expressions such as 'actually' and 'in fact' are not indexicals like 'here' and 'now'; when e.g. 'Snow is actually white' is uttered in a world, what proposition is conveyed does not depend on the world. Nor are such expressions ambiguous. The paper makes a suggestion about the role that 'actually' and its cognates do play. It is also argued (...)
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  • Sense, Communication, and Rational Engagement.Imogen Dickie & Gurpreet Rattan - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (2):131-151.
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  • Truth in Virtue of Meaning. By Gillian Russell.Francesco Pupa - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (3):443-450.
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  • ‘That’ Response Doesn't Work: Against a Demonstrative Defense of Conceptualism.Adina L. Roskies - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):112-134.