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  1. Descriptions, pronouns, and uniqueness.Karen S. Lewis - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (3):559-617.
    Both definite descriptions and pronouns are often anaphoric; that is, part of their interpretation in context depends on prior linguistic material in the discourse. For example: A student walked in. The student sat down. A student walked in. She sat down. One popular view of anaphoric pronouns, the d-type view, is that pronouns like ‘she’ go proxy for definite descriptions like ‘the student who walked in’, which are in turn treated in a classical Russellian or Fregean fashion. I argue for (...)
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  • Reasoning and Presuppositions.Carlotta Pavese - 2021 - Philosophical Topics 49 (2):203-224.
    It is a platitude that when we reason, we often take things for granted, sometimes even justifiably so. The chemist might reason from the fact that a substance turns litmus paper red to that substance being an acid. In so doing, they take for granted, reasonably enough, that this test for acidity is valid. We ordinarily reason from things looking a certain way to their being that way. We take for granted, reasonably enough, that things are as they look Although (...)
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  • Johan van Benthem on Logic and Information Dynamics.Alexandru Baltag & Sonja Smets (eds.) - 2014 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
    This book illustrates the program of Logical-Informational Dynamics. Rational agents exploit the information available in the world in delicate ways, adopt a wide range of epistemic attitudes, and in that process, constantly change the world itself. Logical-Informational Dynamics is about logical systems putting such activities at center stage, focusing on the events by which we acquire information and change attitudes. Its contributions show many current logics of information and change at work, often in multi-agent settings where social behavior is essential, (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • Split-Scope Definites: Relative Superlatives and Haddock Descriptions.Dylan Bumford - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):549-593.
    This paper argues for a particular semantic decomposition of morphological definiteness. I propose that the meaning of ‘the’ comprises two distinct compositional operations. The first builds a set of witnesses that satisfy the restricting noun phrase. The second tests this set for uniqueness. The motivation for decomposing the denotation of the definite determiner in this way comes from split-scope intervention effects. The two components—the selection of witnesses on the one hand and the counting of witnesses on the other—may take effect (...)
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  • Presupposed Ignorance and Exhaustification: How Scalar Implicatures and Presuppositions Interact.Benjamin Spector & Yasutada Sudo - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):473-517.
    We investigate the interactions between scalar implicatures and presuppositions in sentences containing both a scalar item and presupposition trigger. We first critically discuss Gajewski and Sharvit’s previous approach. We then closely examine two ways of integrating an exhaustivity-based theory of scalar implicatures with a trivalent approach to presuppositions. The empirical side of our discussion focuses on two novel observations: the interactions between prosody and monotonicity, and what we call presupposed ignorance. In order to account for these observations, our final proposal (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions and Negative Existential Quantifiers.Paul Elbourne - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1597-1612.
    Previous theorists have claimed that Russell’s theory of definite descriptions gives the wrong truth conditions to sentences in which definite descriptions are embedded under certain other operators; but the other operators used, such as conditionals and propositional attitude verbs, have introduced intensional and hyperintensional complications that might be thought to obscure the point against Russell. This paper shows that the same kind of problem arises when the operator in question allows the context to be extensional. It is further argued that (...)
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  • Addendum to “Subjunctive Conditionals’ Local Contexts”.John Mackay - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (3):223-223.
    Philippe Schlenker gives a method of deriving local contexts from an expression’s classical semantics. In this paper I show that this method, when applied to the traditional variably strict semantics for subjunctive conditionals of Robert Stalnaker, David Lewis, and Angelika Kratzer, delivers an empirically incorrect prediction. The prediction is that the antecedent of a conditional should have the whole domain of possible worlds as its local context and therefore should be allowed to have only necessary presuppositions. In the later part (...)
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  • Simple Contextualism About Epistemic Modals Is Incorrect.Benjamin Lennertz - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):252-262.
    I argue against a simple contextualist account of epistemic modals. My argument, like the argument on which it is based , charges that simple contextualism cannot explain all of the conversational data about uses of epistemic modals. My argument improves on its predecessor by insulating itself from recent contextualist attempts by Janice Dowell and Igor Yanovich to get around that argument. In particular, I use linguistic data to show that an utterance of an epistemic modal sentence can be warranted, while (...)
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  • Foundational Issues in Presupposition.Mandy Simons - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (4):357–372.
    Unsurprisingly, the negation of sentence (1), shown in (3), does not share this entailment. Neither does the yes/no question formed from this sentence. Similarly, if we add a possibility modal to the sentence, or construct a conditional of which (1) is the antecedent, the resulting sentences do not share the entailment of the original, as we see from the examples below.
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  • Context Dependence, Disagreement, and Predicates of Personal Taste.Peter Lasersohn - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (6):643--686.
    This paper argues that truth values of sentences containing predicates of “personal taste” such as fun or tasty must be relativized to individuals. This relativization is of truth value only, and does not involve a relativization of semantic content: If you say roller coasters are fun, and I say they are not, I am negating the same content which you assert, and directly contradicting you. Nonetheless, both our utterances can be true (relative to their separate contexts). A formal semantic theory (...)
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  • Relational Semantics and Domain Semantics for Epistemic Modals.Dilip Ninan - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (1):1-16.
    The standard account of modal expressions in natural language analyzes them as quantifiers over a set of possible worlds determined by the evaluation world and an accessibility relation. A number of authors have recently argued for an alternative account according to which modals are analyzed as quantifying over a domain of possible worlds that is specified directly in the points of evaluation. But the new approach only handles the data motivating it if it is supplemented with a non-standard account of (...)
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  • Descriptions.Peter Ludlow - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Anaphora.Jeffrey C. King & Karen S. Lewis - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Disjunction.Ray Jennings - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Discourse Representation Theory.Bart Geurts - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Descriptions.P. Elbourne - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
     
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  • Critique of Impure Reason: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning.Steven James Bartlett - 2021 - Salem, USA: Studies in Theory and Behavior.
    This is a second Philpapers record for this book which links only to HAL's downloadable copies of the work. Please refer to the main Philpapers entry for this book which can be found by searching under the book's title. ●●●●● PLEASE NOTE: This is the corrected 2nd eBook edition, 2021. ●●●●● _Critique of Impure Reason_ has now also been published in a printed edition. To reduce the otherwise high price of this scholarly, technical book of nearly 900 pages and make (...)
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  • CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON: Horizons of Possibility and Meaning.Steven James Bartlett - 2021 - Salem, USA: Studies in Theory and Behavior.
    PLEASE NOTE: This is the corrected 2nd eBook edition, 2021. ●●●●● _Critique of Impure Reason_ has now also been published in a printed edition. To reduce the otherwise high price of this scholarly, technical book of nearly 900 pages and make it more widely available beyond university libraries to individual readers, the non-profit publisher and the author have agreed to issue the printed edition at cost. ●●●●● The printed edition was released on September 1, 2021 and is now available through (...)
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  • Semantics with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book combines insights from philosophy and linguistics to develop a novel framework for theorizing about linguistic meaning and the role of context in interpretation. A key innovation is to introduce explicit representations of context — assignment variables — in the syntax and semantics of natural language. The proposed theory systematizes a spectrum of “shifting” phenomena in which the context relevant for interpreting certain expressions depends on features of the linguistic environment. Central applications include local and nonlocal contextual dependencies with (...)
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  • Trivalence and Anaphora.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - In Paul Egré & Lorenzo Rossi (eds.), Handbook of Three-Valued Logics. Cambridge: MIT Press.
    I survey the role of trivalence in theories of anaphora.
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  • Advice for Noncognitivists.Malte Willer - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):174–207.
    Metaethical noncognitivists have trouble arriving at a respectable semantic theory for moral language. The goal of this article is to make substantial progress toward demonstrating that these problems may be overcome. Replacing the predominant expressivist semantic agenda in metaethics with a dynamic perspective on meaning and communication allows noncognitivists to provide a satisfying analysis of negation and other constructions that have been argued to be problematic for metaethical noncognitivism, including disjunctions. The resulting proposal preserves some of the key insights from (...)
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  • Formulating Moral Error Theory.Caleb Perl - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (5):279-288.
    This paper shows how to formulate moral error theories given a contextualist semantics like the one that Angelika Kratzer pioneered, answering the concerns that Christine Tiefensee developed.
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  • Conditional Collapse.Sam Carter - forthcoming - Mind.
    Indicative and subjunctive conditionals are in non-complimentary distribution: there are conversational contexts at which both are licensed (Stalnaker (1975), Karttunen & Peters (1979), von Fintel (1998)). This means we can ask an important, but under-explored, question: in contexts which license both, what relations hold between the two? -/- In this paper, I’ll argue for an initially surprising conclusion: when attention is restricted to the relevant contexts, indicatives and subjunctives are co-entailing. §1 introduces the indicative/subjunctive distinction, along with a discussion of (...)
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  • What Projects and Why.Mandy Simons, David Beaver, Judith Tonhauser & Craige Roberts - 2010 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 20:309-327.
    The empirical phenomenon at the center of this paper is projection, which we define (uncontroversially) as follows: (1) Definition of projection An implication projects if and only if it survives as an utterance implication when the expression that triggers the implication occurs under the syntactic scope of an entailment-cancelling operator. Projection is observed, for example, with utterances containing aspectual verbs like stop, as shown in (2) and (3) with examples from English and Paraguayan Guaraní (Paraguay, Tupí-Guaraní).1 The Guaraní example in (...)
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  • Reciprocals Are Definites.Sigrid Beck - 2001 - Natural Language Semantics 9 (1):69-138.
    This paper proposes that elementary reciprocal sentences have four semantic readings: a strongly reciprocal interpretation, a weakly reciprocal interpretation, a situation-based weakly reciprocal reading, and a collective reading. Interpretational possibilities of reciprocal sentences that have been discussed in the literature are identified as one of these four. A compositional semantic analysis of all of these readings is provided in which the reciprocal expression is uniformly represented as 'the other ones among them' (recasting Heim, Lasnik and May 1991a, b). A reciprocal (...)
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  • Always and Only: Why Not All Focus-Sensitive Operators Are Alike. [REVIEW]David Beaver & Brady Clark - 2003 - Natural Language Semantics 11 (4):323-362.
    We discuss focus sensitivity in English, the phenomenon whereby interpretation of some expressions is affected by placement of intonational focus. We concentrate in particular on the interpretation of always and only, both of which are interpreted as universal quantifiers, and both of which are focus sensitive. Using both naturally occurring and constructed data we explore the interaction of these operators with negative polarity items, with presupposition, with prosodically reduced elements, and with syntactic extraction. On the basis of this data we (...)
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  • A Partial Account of Presupposition Projection.David Beaver & Emiel Krahmer - 2001 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10 (2):147-182.
    In this paper it is shown how a partial semantics for presuppositions can be given which is empirically more satisfactory than its predecessors, and how this semantics can be integrated with a technically sound, compositional grammar in the Montagovian fashion. Additionally, it is argued that the classical objection to partial accounts of presupposition projection, namely that they lack “flexibility,” is based on a misconception. Partial logics can give rise to flexible predictions without postulating any ad hoc ambiguities. Finally, it is (...)
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  • Presupposition and Partiality: Back to the Future.David Beaver & Emiel Krahmer - 1998 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 10 (2):147-182.
    In this paper it is shown how a partial semantics for presuppositions can be given which is empirically more satisfactory than its predecessors, and how this semantics can be integrated with a technically sound, compositional grammar in the Montagovian fashion. Additionally, it is argued that the classical objection to partial accounts of presupposition projection, namely that they lack “flexibility,” is based on a misconception. Partial logics can give rise to flexible predictions without postulating any ad hoc ambiguities. Finally, it is (...)
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  • On the Nature of Presupposition: A Normative Speech Act Account.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):269-293.
    In this paper I provide a new account of linguistic presuppositions, on which they are ancillary speech acts defined by constitutive norms. After providing an initial intuitive characterization of the phenomenon, I present a normative speech act account of presupposition in parallel with Williamson’s analogous account of assertion. I explain how it deals well with the problem of informative presuppositions, and how it relates to accounts for the Triggering and Projection Problems for presuppositions. I conclude with a brief discussion of (...)
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  • Composing Local Contexts.Chris Barker - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):385-407.
    An expression’s presuppositions must be satisfied by its local context, that is, by the utterance context updated with the content of expressions that have already been evaluated. Traditional dynamic approaches track local context by remaking clause denotations into context update functions. This requires crafting for each semantic operator an update recipe that is not fully determined by its truth conditions, failing to capture how local contexts depend only on truth conditions and order of evaluation. In other theories, computing local contexts (...)
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  • Semantic Composition and Presupposition Projection in Subjunctive Conditionals.Michela Ippolito - 2006 - Linguistics and Philosophy 29 (6):631 - 672.
    The goal of this paper is to offer a compositional semantics for subjunctive and indicative will conditionals, and to derive the projection properties of the types of conditionals we consider and in particular those of counterfactual conditionals. It is argued that subjunctive conditionals are "bare" conditional embedded under temporal and aspectural operators, which constrain the interpretation of the modal operators in the embedded conditional. Furthermore, it is argued that a theory of presupposition projection à la Heim together with the present (...)
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  • Lewis Carroll’s regress and the presuppositional structure of arguments.Carlotta Pavese - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):1-38.
    This essay argues that the main lesson of Lewis Carroll's Regress is that arguments are constitutively presuppositional.
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  • The dynamics of negative concord.Jeremy Kuhn - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):153-198.
    Concord describes a natural language phenomenon in which a single logical meaning is expressed syntactically on multiple lexical items. The canonical example is negative concord, in which multiple negative expressions are used, but a single negation is interpreted. Formally similar phenomena have been observed for the redundant marking of distributivity and definiteness. Inspired by recent dynamic analyses of these latter two phenomena, we extend a similar dynamic analysis to negative concord. We propose that negative concord items introduce a discourse referent, (...)
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  • Update Rules and Semantic Universals.Luca Incurvati & Giorgio Sbardolini - manuscript
    We discuss a well-known puzzle about the lexicalization of logical operators in natural language, in particular connectives and quantifiers. Of the many logically possible functions of the relevant type, only few appear in the lexicon of natural languages: the connectives in English, for example, are only 'and', 'or', and perhaps 'nor' (expressing negated disjunction). The logically possible 'nand' (negated conjunction) is not expressed by a lexical entry of English, or of any natural language. The explanation we propose is based on (...)
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  • Foreword: Three-Valued Logics and Their Applications.Pablo Cobreros, Paul Égré, David Ripley & Robert van Rooij - 2014 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 24 (1-2):1-11.
  • A Force-Theoretic Framework for Event Structure.Bridget Copley & Heidi Harley - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):103-158.
    We propose an account of dynamic predicates which draws on the notion of force, eliminating reference to events in the linguistic semantics. We treat dynamic predicates as predicates of forces, represented as functions from an initial situation to a final situation that occurs ceteris paribus, that is, if nothing external intervenes. The possibility that opposing forces might intervene to prevent the transition to a given final situation leads us to a novel analysis of non-culminating accomplishment predicates in a variety of (...)
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  • Challenges for independence-driven and context-repair responses to the proviso problem.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Natural Language Semantics:1-15.
    This note presents challenge cases for prominent pragmatic responses to the proviso problem. I offer examples of uses of conditionals if \ that seem to commit the speaker unconditionally to the presupposition P of the consequent clause ϕ, even though the sentence’s predicted semantic presupposition ψ⊃P is antecedently satisfied, and independence between ψ and P isn’t antecedently assumed. The examples provided avoid problems with other examples from the literature used against pragmatic accounts. I leave the matter as an unresolved challenge (...)
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  • Why Indefinites Can Escape Scope Islands.Edgar Onea - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (3):237-267.
    One of the big questions about indefinites is why they can escape scope islands. In the recent approach of Brasoveanu and Farkas :1–55, 2011) scopal relations with syntactically dominating quantifiers are hard wired into the semantic definition of the existential quantifier, which immediately explains why the semantic scope of indefinites may exceed their syntactic scope. In this paper, I argue for the revival of an alternative approach which places the explanatory burden on the idea that indefinites are essentially referential expressions, (...)
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  • Contextology.Simon Goldstein & Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-31.
    'Contextology' is the science of the dynamics of the conversational context. Contextology formulates laws governing how the shared information states of interlocutors evolve in response to assertion. More precisely, the contextologist attempts to construct a function which, when provided with just a conversation’s pre-update context and the content of an assertion, delivers that conversation’s post-update context. Most contextologists have assumed that the function governing the evolution of the context is simple: the post-update context is just the pre-update context intersected with (...)
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  • Intention, Interpretation and the Computational Structure of Language.Matthew Stone - 2004 - Cognitive Science 28 (5):781-809.
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  • Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • Between Conciseness and Transparency: Presuppositions in Legislative Texts.Stefan Höfler - 2014 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 27 (4):627-644.
    Presupposition is the semantic-pragmatic phenomenon whereby a statement contains an implicit precondition that must be taken for granted for that statement to be felicitous. This article discusses the role of presupposition in legislative texts, using examples from Swiss constitutional and administrative law. It illustrates how presuppositions are triggered in these texts and what functions they come to serve, placing special emphasis on their constitutive power. It also demonstrates how legislative drafters can distinguish between “good” presuppositions and “bad” presuppositions by weighing (...)
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  • Updating as Communication.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):225-248.
    Traditional procedures for rational updating fail when it comes to self-locating opinions, such as your credences about where you are and what time it is. This paper develops an updating procedure for rational agents with self-locating beliefs. In short, I argue that rational updating can be factored into two steps. The first step uses information you recall from your previous self to form a hypothetical credence distribution, and the second step changes this hypothetical distribution to reflect information you have genuinely (...)
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  • Dynamics of Epistemic Modality.Malte Willer - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):45-92.
    A dynamic semantics for epistemically modalized sentences is an attractive alternative to the orthodox view that our best theory of meaning ascribes to such sentences truth-conditions relative to what is known. This essay demonstrates that a dynamic theory about might and must offers elegant explanations of a range of puzzling observations about epistemic modals. The first part of the story offers a unifying treatment of disputes about epistemic modality and disputes about matters of fact while at the same time avoiding (...)
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  • Epistemology Formalized.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (1):1-43.
    This paper argues that just as full beliefs can constitute knowledge, so can properties of your credence distribution. The resulting notion of probabilistic knowledge helps us give a natural account of knowledge ascriptions embedding language of subjective uncertainty, and a simple diagnosis of probabilistic analogs of Gettier cases. Just like propositional knowledge, probabilistic knowledge is factive, safe, and sensitive. And it helps us build knowledge-based norms of action without accepting implausible semantic assumptions or endorsing the claim that knowledge is interest-relative.
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  • Witnesses.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-27.
    The meaning of definite descriptions (like ‘the King of France’, ‘the girl’, etc.) has been a central topic in philosophy and linguistics for the past century. Indefinites (‘Something is on the floor’, ‘A child sat down’, etc.) have been relatively neglected in philosophy, under the Russellian assumption that they can be unproblematically treated as existential quantifiers. However, an important tradition, drawing from Stoic logic, has pointed to patterns which suggest that indefinites cannot be treated simply as existential quantifiers. The standard (...)
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  • Only: A Case Study In Projective Meaning.Craige Roberts - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 6 (1):14.
    I offer an integrated theory of the meaning of only in which the prejacent, while not presupposed, is both entailed and backgrounded, hence tends to project . Moreover, I argue, contra Beaver & Brady , that only is not conventionally associated with focus, the focus effects arising instead pragmatically. But I do adopt aspects of their semantics for only, including the presupposition of a pre-order over the elements of its domain.
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  • Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.
    This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...)
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