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The normativity of meaning and content

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009)

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  1. Semantic Normativity and Semantic Causality.Lei Zhong - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):626-645.
    Semantic normativism, which is the view that semantic properties/concepts are some kind of normative properties/concepts, has become increasingly influential in contemporary meta-semantics. In this paper, I aim to argue that semantic normativism has difficulty accommodating the causal efficacy of semantic properties. In specific, I raise an exclusion problem for semantic normativism, inspired by the exclusion problem in the philosophy of mind. Moreover, I attempt to show that the exclusion problem for semantic normativism is peculiarly troublesome: while we can solve mental-physical (...)
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  • Does Semantics Need Normativity? Comments on Allan Gibbard, Meaning and Normativity.Åsa Wikforss - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):755-766.
    In the book Gibbard proposes, first, that statements about meaning are normative statements and, second, that they can be given an expressivist treatment, along the lines of Gibbard’s preferred metaethics. In my paper, I examine the first step: The claim that meaning statements are to be construed as being normative, as involving ‘oughts’. Gibbard distinguishes two versions of the normativity of meaning thesis – a weak version, according to which every means implies an ought, and a strong version, according to (...)
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  • What is the Normativity of Meaning?Daniel Whiting - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):219-238.
    There has been much debate over whether to accept the claim that meaning is normative. One obstacle to making progress in that debate is that it is not always clear what the claim amounts to. In this paper, I try to resolve a dispute between those who advance the claim concerning how it should be understood. More specifically, I critically examine two competing conceptions of the normativity of meaning, rejecting one and defending the other. Though the paper aims to settle (...)
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  • Towards a New Kind of Semantic Normativity.Claudine Verheggen - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):410-424.
    Hannah Ginsborg has recently offered a new account of normativity, according to which normative attitudes are essential to the meaningful use of language. The kind of normativity she has in mind –– not semantic but ‘primitive’ — is supposed to help us to avoid the pitfalls of both non-reductionist and reductive dispositionalist theories of meaning. For, according to her, it enables us both to account for meaning in non-semantic terms, which non-reductionism cannot do, and to make room for the normativity (...)
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  • Specification.Raymond Turner - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (2):135-152.
    The specification and implementation of computational artefacts occurs throughout the discipline of computer science. Consequently, unpacking its nature should constitute one of the core areas of the philosophy of computer science. This paper presents a conceptual analysis of the central role of specification in the discipline.
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  • Normative Generics and Norm Breaching – A Questionnaire-Based Study of Parent-Child Interactions in English.Marcin Trojszczak & Daniel Karczewski - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 61 (1):49-68.
    The present paper focuses on the phenomenon of normativity and genericity in language and cognition. More specifically, it investigates the use of normative generics, which are generalizations that state an ideal norm for a given category, in the context of norm breaching in parent-child interactions in English. This issue is researched by means of a specially designed questionnaire including 8 norm breaching parent-child interactions, which has been completed online by ca. 70 English-speaking female respondents. The paper uses qualitative and quantitative (...)
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  • Unfollowed Rules and the Normativity of Content.Eric V. Tracy - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (4):323-344.
    Foundational theories of mental content seek to identify the conditions under which a mental representation expresses, in the mind of a particular thinker, a particular content. Normativists endorse the following general sort of foundational theory of mental content: A mental representation r expresses concept C for agent S just in case S ought to use r in conformity with some particular pattern of use associated with C. In response to Normativist theories of content, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin and Åsa Wikforss propose a (...)
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  • Rationality, Autonomy, and Obedience to Linguistic Norms.Preston Stovall - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8955-8980.
    Many philosophers working today on the normativity of language have concluded that linguistic activity is not a matter of rule following. These conversations have been framed by a conception of linguistic normativity with roots in Wittgenstein and Kripke. In this paper I use conceptual resources developed by the classical American pragmatists and their descendants to argue that punctate linguistic acts are governed by rules in a sense that has been neglected in the recent literature on the normativity of language. In (...)
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  • Vagueness and Zombies: Why ‘Phenomenally Conscious’ has No Borderline Cases.Jonathan A. Simon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):2105-2123.
    I argue that there can be no such thing as a borderline case of the predicate ‘phenomenally conscious’: for any given creature at any given time, it cannot be vague whether that creature is phenomenally conscious at that time. I first defend the Positive Characterization Thesis, which says that for any borderline case of any predicate there is a positive characterization of that case that can show any sufficiently competent speaker what makes it a borderline case. I then appeal to (...)
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  • Expressivism Without Mentalism in Meta-Ontology.Mirco Sambrotta & Pedro Antonio García Jorge - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (5):781-800.
    ABSTRACTCarnap famously argued that there are two kinds of questions and claims concerning the existence or reality of entities: internal and external ones. We focus on Carnapian external ontological claims of the form: ‘Xs really exist’, where ‘X’ stands for some traditional metaphysical category, such as ‘substance’, ‘fact’ or ‘structure’. While Carnap considered them as meaningless, we consider them as faultlessly meaningful. However, in line with an expressivist guise, we do not claim that they have the meaning they have in (...)
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  • Linguistic Mistakes.Indrek Reiland - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    Ever since the publication of Kripke’s Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, there’s been a raging debate in philosophy of language over whether meaning and thought are, in some sense, normative. Most participants in the normativity wars seem to agree that some uses of meaningful expressions are semantically correct while disagreeing over whether this entails anything normative. But what is it to say that a use of an expression is semantically correct? On the so-called orthodox construal, it is to say (...)
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  • Revision, Endorsement and the Analysis of Meaning.Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky & Kai Tanter - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):693-704.
    Recently there has been much philosophical interest in the analysis of concepts to determine whether they should be removed, revised, or replaced. Enquiry of this kind is referred to as conceptual engineering or conceptual ethics. We will call it revisionary conceptual analysis. It standardly involves describing the meaning of a concept, evaluating whether it serves its purposes, and prescribing what it should mean. However, this stands in tension with prescriptivism, a metasemantic view which holds that all meaning claims are prescriptions. (...)
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  • Problems with Norms of Assertion.Peter Pagin - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):178-207.
    In this paper I draw attention to a number of problems that afflict norm accounts of assertion, i.e. accounts that explain what assertion is, and typically how speakers understand what assertion is, by appeal to a norm of assertion. I argue that the disagreements in the literature over norm selection undermines such an account of understanding. I also argue that the treatment of intuitions as evidence in the literature undermines much of the connection to empirical evidence. I further argue that (...)
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  • Dynamics, Brandom-Style.Bernhard Nickel - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):333-354.
    Abstract This paper discusses the semantic theory presented in Robert Brandom’s Making It Explicit . I argue that it is best understood as a special version of dynamic semantics, so that these semantics by themselves offer an interesting theoretical alternative to more standard truth-conditional theories. This reorientation also has implications for more foundational issues. I argue that it gives us the resources for a renewed argument for the normativity of meaning. The paper ends by critically assessing the view in both (...)
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  • Lost for Words: Anxiety, Well-Being, and the Costs of Conceptual Deprivation.Ditte Marie Munch-Jurisic - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13583-13600.
    A range of contemporary voices argue that negative affective states like distress and anxiety can be morally productive, broaden our epistemic horizons and, under certain conditions, even contribute to social progress. But the potential benefits of stress depend on an agent’s capacity to constructively interpret their affective states. An inability to do so may be detrimental to an agent’s wellbeing and mental health. The broader political, cultural, and socio-economic context shapes the kinds of stressors agents are exposed to, but it (...)
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  • The Epistemological Significance of Practices.Alan Millar - 2011 - ProtoSociology 28:213-230.
    There are countless occasions when we find people’s thought or action intelligible, or anticipate what they will think or do, or are at least unsurprised by what they think or do, despite our having little if any information about their attitudes other than what we can gather from their situation and non-verbal behaviour. This article explores the role of practices, conceived as essentially rule-governed activities, is making this possible. Consideration is given to practicies for the use of words.
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  • Engineering What? On Concepts in Conceptual Engineering.Steffen Koch - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1955-1975.
    Conceptual engineers aim to revise rather than describe our concepts. But what are concepts? And how does one engineer them? Answering these questions is of central importance for implementing and theorizing about conceptual engineering. This paper discusses and criticizes two influential views of this issue: semanticism, according to which conceptual engineers aim to change linguistic meanings, and psychologism, according to which conceptual engineers aim to change psychological structures. I argue that neither of these accounts can give us the full story. (...)
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  • Ought, Agents and Ambiguity That Matters.Joanna Klimczyk - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne 31 (2):113-138.
    According to a well-homed view in linguistic semantics, deontic logic and logic of agency, some ‘ought’ sentences, like ‘Kate ought to write the report’, are ambiguous between the socalled agentive sense as when Kate is the agent of writing the report, and the non-agentive, or evaluative sense as when, in the light of some norm or things being ideal, the proposition that Kate writes the report would come out true. Within this approach to the semantics of ‘ought’, the ambiguity in (...)
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  • The Normativity of Meaning: Guidance and Justification.Matthew Jones - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):425-443.
    The thesis that meaning is normative has come under much scrutiny of late. However, there are aspects of the view that have received comparatively little critical attention which centre on meaning’s capacity to guide and justify linguistic action. Call such a view ‘justification normativity’. I outline Zalabardo’s account of JN and his corresponding argument against reductive-naturalistic meaning-factualism and argue that the argument presents a genuine challenge to account for the guiding role of meaning in linguistic action. I then present a (...)
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  • Justification Magnets.C. S. I. Jenkins - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):93-111.
    David Lewis is associated with the controversial thesis that some properties are more eligible than others to be the referents of our predicates solely in virtue of those properties’ being more natural; independently, that is, of anything to do with our patterns of usage of the relevant predicates. On such a view, the natural properties act as ‘reference magnets’. In this paper I explore (though I do not endorse) a related thesis in epistemology: that some propositions are ‘justification magnets’. According (...)
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  • Temporal Externalism, Conceptual Continuity, Meaning, and Use.Henry Jackman - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):959-973.
    ABSTRACT Our ascriptions of content to past utterances assign to them a level of conceptual continuity and determinacy that extends beyond what could be grounded in the usage up to their time of utterance. If one accepts such ascriptions, one can argue either that future use must be added to the grounding base, or that such cases show that meaning is not, ultimately, grounded in use. The following will defend the first option as the more promising of the two, though (...)
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  • Self-Supervision, Normativity and the Free Energy Principle.Jakob Hohwy - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):29-53.
    The free energy principle says that any self-organising system that is at nonequilibrium steady-state with its environment must minimize its free energy. It is proposed as a grand unifying principle for cognitive science and biology. The principle can appear cryptic, esoteric, too ambitious, and unfalsifiable—suggesting it would be best to suspend any belief in the principle, and instead focus on individual, more concrete and falsifiable ‘process theories’ for particular biological processes and phenomena like perception, decision and action. Here, I explain (...)
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  • Anti-Normativism Evaluated.Ulf Hlobil - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):376-395.
    I argue that recent attempts to show that meaning and content are not normative fail. The two most important arguments anti-normativists have presented are what I call the ‘argument from constitution’ and the ‘argument from guidance’. Both of these arguments suffer from the same basic problem: they overlook the possibility of focusing on assessability by norms, rather than compliance with norms or guidance by norms. Moreover, I argue that the anti-normativists arguments fail even if we ignore this basic problem. Thus, (...)
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  • Teleosemantics: Etiological Foundations.Sören Häggqvist - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):73-83.
    Teleosemantics is a naturalistic research programme in the philosophy of mind and language. Its ambition is to achieve a reduction, first, of mental content to teleological function; second, of teleological function to non‐teleological notions. This article explores the second step, particularly as envisaged by Millikan’s etiological theory of function.
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  • The Normativity of Meaning and the Hard Problem of Intentionality.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):742-754.
    This note addresses two of Gibbard's central contentions in Meaning and Normativity: first, that the concept of meaning is normative, and second, that an expressivist account of semantic concepts and statements can shed light on the hard problem of intentionality, the problem of explaining intentionality in naturalistic terms.
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  • Interlocking Content and Attitude: A Reply to the Anti-Normativist.Javier González de Prado & Víctor M. Verdejo - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (10):1051-1072.
    ABSTRACT Anti-normativists have advanced the view that the involvement of content in norms is not an essential feature of content, but a contingent feature or side effect of the normativity governing attitudes. In this paper, we argue that, in its original formulation, this view puts too much weight on the idea that belief is the fundamental, and perhaps the only, source of content-involving normativity. In its more refined formulation, however, the view does not make justice to a neutral and encompassing (...)
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  • Disagreement About Taste and Alethic Suberogation.Filippo Ferrari - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):516-535.
    I present a novel strategy to account for two thoughts concerning disagreements about taste: (i) that they need not involve any substantive fault (faultlessness); (ii) that the faultlessness of a contrary opinion can be coherently appreciated from within a committed perspective (parity). Under the assumption that judgments of taste are truth-apt and governed by the truth-norm, I argue that understanding how exactly truth is normative offers a strategy for accounting for both thoughts. I distinguish between different ways in which truth (...)
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  • I Wrote This Paper for the Lulz: The Ethics of Internet Trolling.Ralph DiFranco - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (5):931-945.
    Over the last decade, research on derogatory communication has focused on ordinary speech contexts and the use of conventional pejoratives, like slurs. However, the use of social media has given rise to a new type of derogatory behavior that theorists have yet to address: internet trolling. Trolls make online utterances aiming to frustrate and offend other internet users. Their ultimate goal is amusement derived from observing a good faith interlocutor engage with their provocative posts. The basis for condemning a pejorative (...)
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  • Being and Holding Responsible: Reconciling the Disputants Through a Meaning-Based Strawsonian Account.Benjamin De Mesel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1893-1913.
    A fundamental question in responsibility theory concerns the relation between being responsible and our practices of holding responsible. ‘Strawsonians’ often claim that being responsible is somehow a function of our practices of holding responsible, while others think that holding responsible depends on being responsible, and still others think of being and holding responsible as interdependent. Based on a Wittgensteinian reading of Strawson, I develop an account of the relation between being and holding responsible which respects major concerns of all parties (...)
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  • Scientific Controversies and the Ethics of Arguing and Belief in the Face of Rational Disagreement.Xavier de Donato Rodríguez & Jesús Zamora Bonilla - 2014 - Argumentation 28 (1):39-65.
    Our main aim is to discuss the topic of scientific controversies in the context of a recent issue that has been the centre of attention of many epistemologists though not of argumentation theorists or philosophers of science, namely the ethics of belief in face of rational disagreement. We think that the consideration of scientific examples may be of help in the epistemological debate on rational disagreement, making clear some of the deficiencies of the discussion as it has been produced until (...)
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  • Natural Sources of Normativity.Wayne Christensen - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):104-112.
  • Imaginative Immersion, Regulation, and Doxastic Mediation.Alon Chasid - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4): 1-43.
    This paper puts forward an account of imaginative immersion. Elaborating on Kendall Walton’s thesis that imagining aims at the fictional truth, it first argues that imaginings are inherently rule- or norm-governed: they are ‘regulated’ by that which is presented as fictionally true. It then shows that an imaginer can follow the rule or norm mandating her to imagine the propositions presented as fictional truths either by acquiring explicit beliefs about how the rule (norm) is to be followed, or directly, without (...)
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  • Semantic Dispositionalism Without Exceptions.Arvid Båve - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1751-1771.
    Semantic dispositionalism is roughly the view that meaning a certain thing by a word, or possessing a certain concept, consists in being disposed to do something, e.g., infer a certain way. Its main problem is that it seems to have so many and disparate exceptions. People can fail to infer as required due to lack of logical acumen, intoxication, confusion, deviant theories, neural malfunctioning, and so on. I present a theory stating possession conditions of concepts that are counterfactuals, rather than (...)
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  • Understanding Social Norms and Constitutive Rules: Perspectives From Developmental Psychology and Philosophy.Ingar Brinck - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):699-718.
    An experimental paradigm that purports to test young children’s understanding of social norms is examined. The paradigm models norms on Searle’s notion of a constitutive rule. The experiments and the reasons provided for their design are discussed. It is argued that the experiments do not provide direct evidence about the development of social norms and that the concepts of a social norm and constitutive rule are distinct. The experimental data are re-interpreted, and suggestions for how to deal with the present (...)
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  • Should Employers Pay a Living Wage?Jason Brennan - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 157 (1):15-26.
    This paper critiques many of the leading popular and philosophical arguments purporting to show employers have a duty to pay a living wage. Some of these arguments fail on their own terms. Some are not really about a living wage. The best of them fail to show employers per se owe a living wage; at best, they should that governments should supplement market incomes though a negative income tax or some other redistributive device.
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  • Semantic Non-Factualism in Kripke’s Wittgenstein.Daniel Boyd - 2017 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (9).
    Kripke’s Wittgenstein is standardly understood as a non-factualist about meaning ascription. Non-factualism about meaning ascription is the idea that sentences like “Joe means addition by ‘plus’” are not used to state facts about the world. Byrne and Kusch have argued that Kripke’s Wittgenstein is not a non-factualist about meaning ascription. They are aware that their interpretation is non-standard, but cite arguments from Boghossian and Wright to support their view. Boghossian argues that non-factualism about meaning ascription is incompatible with a deflationary (...)
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  • Logical Pluralism Without the Normativity.Christopher Blake-Turner & Gillian Russell - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 20):1-19.
    Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one logic. Logical normativism is the view that logic is normative. These positions have often been assumed to go hand-in-hand, but we show that one can be a logical pluralist without being a logical normativist. We begin by arguing directly against logical normativism. Then we reformulate one popular version of pluralism—due to Beall and Restall—to avoid a normativist commitment. We give three non-normativist pluralist views, the most promising of which depends (...)
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  • Where Objective Facts and Norms Meet.Stefano Bertea - forthcoming - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique:1-26.
    In this essay, I will engage with the controversy that has sprung up between the proponents of the sharp separation thesis and those of the entanglement thesis. What I will be defending is a variant of the entanglement thesis. By drawing on contemporary action theory and on epistemic conceptualism, I will argue that, while objective facts and practical norms are indeed distinct categories of thought, that distinction does not amount to a conceptual gap—a dichotomy or unbridgeable divide. Their relation, in (...)
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  • Intuitions About Disagreement Do Not Support the Normativity of Meaning.Derek Baker - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (1):65-84.
    Allan Gibbard () argues that the term ‘meaning’ expresses a normative concept, primarily on the basis of arguments that parallel Moore's famous Open Question Argument. In this paper I argue that Gibbard's evidence for normativity rests on idiosyncrasies of the Open Question Argument, and that when we use related thought experiments designed to bring out unusual semantic intuitions associated with normative terms we fail to find such evidence. These thought experiments, moreover, strongly suggest there are basic requirements for a theory (...)
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  • Content and Meaning Constitutive Inferences.Mª Dolores García-Arnaldos - 2019 - Studia Semiotyczne 33 (1):29–47.
    A priori theories of justification of logic based on meaning often lead to trouble, in particular to issues concerning circularity. First, I present Boghossian’s a prioriview. Boghossian maintains the rule-circular justifications from a conceptual role semantics. However, rule-circular justifications are problematic. Recently, Boghossian (Boghossian, 2015) has claimed that rules should be thought of as contents and contents as abstract objects. In this paper, I discuss Boghossian’s view. My argumentation consists of three main parts. First, I analyse several arguments to show (...)
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  • John Cook Wilson.Mathieu Marion - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    John Cook Wilson (1849–1915) was Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College, Oxford and the founder of ‘Oxford Realism’, a philosophical movement that flourished at Oxford during the first decades of the 20th century. Although trained as a classicist and a mathematician, his most important contribution was to the theory of knowledge, where he argued that knowledge is factive and not definable in terms of belief, and he criticized ‘hybrid’ and ‘externalist’ accounts. He also argued for direct realism in perception, (...)
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  • Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Lowenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
    What does it mean to know how to do something? This book develops a comprehensive account of know-how, a crucial epistemic goal for all who care about getting things right, not only with respect to the facts, but also with respect to practice. It proposes a novel interpretation of the seminal work of Gilbert Ryle, according to which know-how is a competence, a complex ability to do well in an activity in virtue of guidance by an understanding of what it (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Computer Science.Raymond Turner - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • How Meaning Might Be Normative.Alan Millar - unknown
    The aim is (i) to outline an account what it is to grasp the meaning of a predicative term, and (ii) to draw on that account in an attempt to shed light on what the normativity of meaning might amount to. Central to the account is that grasping the meaning of a predicative term is a practical matter—it is knowing how to use it correctly in a way that implicates having an ability to use it correctly. This calls for an (...)
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  • Varieties of Normativity: Reasons, Expectations, Wide-Scope Oughts, and Ought-to-Be's.Arto Laitinen - 2020 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez, Rachael Mellin & Raimo Tuomela (eds.), Social Ontology, Normativity and Law. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 133-158.
    This chapter distinguishes between several senses of “normativity”. For example, that we ought to abstain from causing unnecessary suffering is a normative, not descriptive, claim. And so is the claim that we have good reason, and ought to drive on the right, or left, side of the road because the law requires us to do that. Reasons and oughts are normative, by definition. Indeed, it may be that “[t]he normativity of all that is normative consists in the way it is, (...)
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  • Being and Time, §15: Around-for References and the Content of Mundane Concern.Howard Damian Kelly - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Manchester
    This thesis articulates a novel interpretation of Heidegger’s explication of the being (Seins) of gear (Zeugs) in §15 of his masterwork Being and Time (1927/2006) and develops and applies the position attributed to Heidegger to explain three phenomena of unreflective action discussed in recent literature and articulate a partial Heideggerian ecological metaphysics. Since §15 of BT explicates the being of gear, Part 1 expounds Heidegger’s concept of the ‘being’ (Seins) of beings (Seienden) and two issues raised in the ‘preliminary methodological (...)
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  • Heidegger's Logico-Semantic Strikeback.Alberto Voltolini - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22:19-38.
    In (1959), Carnap famously attacked Heidegger for having constructed an insane metaphysics based on a misconception of both the logical form and the semantics of ordinary language. In what follows, it will be argued that, once one appropriately (i.e., in a Russellian fashion) reads Heidegger’s famous sentence that should paradigmatically exemplify such a misconception, i.e., “the nothing nothings”, there is nothing either logically or semantically wrong with it. The real controversy as to how that sentence has to be evaluated—not as (...)
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  • Foundational Semantics II: Normative Accounts.Manuel Garcı´A.-Carpintero - unknown
    Descriptive semantic theories purport to characterize the meanings of the expressions of languages in whatever complexity they might have. Foundational semantics purports to identify the kind of considerations relevant to establish that a given descriptive semantics accurately characterizes the language used by a given individual or community. Foundational Semantics I presents three contrasting approaches to the foundational matters, and the main considerations relevant to appraise their merits. These approaches contend that we should look at the contents of speakers’ intuitions; at (...)
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  • Inferentialism Without Normativity.Krzysztof Poslajko & Pawel Grabarczyk - 2018 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 25 (2):174-195.
    In this paper we argue that inferentialist approach to meaning does not, by itself, show that meaning is normative in a prescriptive sense, and that the constitutive rules argument is especially troubling for this position. To show that, we present the proto-inferentialist theory developed by Ajdukiewicz and claim that despite the differences between his theory and contemporary inferentialism rules of language in both theories function more like classificatory devices than prescriptions. Inferentialists can respond by claiming that in their theory meaning (...)
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