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The Reference Book

Oxford University Press (2012)

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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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  • Singular Reference Without Singular Thought.Filipe Martone - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (1):33-60.
    In this paper I challenge the widespread assumption that the conditions for singular reference are more or less the same as the conditions for singular thought. I claim that we refer singularly to things without thinking singularly about them more often than it is usually believed. I first argue that we should take the idea that singular thought is non-descriptive thought very seriously. If we do that, it seems that we cannot be so liberal about what counts as acquaintance; only (...)
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  • Narrow Content.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Can there be 'narrow' mental content, that is entirely determined by the goings-on inside the head of the thinker? This book argues not, and defends instead a thoroughgoing externalism: the entanglement of our minds with the external world runs so deep that no internal component of mentality can easily be cordoned off.
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  • The Demonstrative Model of First-Person Thought.Daniel Morgan - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1795-1811.
    What determines the reference of first-person thoughts—thoughts that one would express using the first-person pronoun? I defend a model on which our ways of gaining knowledge of ourselves do, in much the way that our ways of gaining knowledge of objects in the world determine the reference of perceptual demonstrative thoughts. This model—the Demonstrative Model of First-Person Thought—can be motivated by reference to independently plausible general principles about how reference is determined. But it faces a serious objection. There seems to (...)
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  • Fixing Reference.Imogen Dickie - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    Imogen Dickie develops an account of aboutness-fixing for thoughts about ordinary objects, and of reference-fixing for the singular terms we use to express them. Extant discussions of this topic tread a weary path through descriptivist proposals, causalist alternatives, and attempts to combine the most attractive elements of each. The account developed here is a new beginning. It starts with two basic principles, the first of which connects aboutness and truth, and the second of which connects truth and justification. These principles (...)
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  • Meaning in Linguistic Interaction: Semantics, Metasemantics, and Philosophy of Language.Kasia M. Jaszczolt - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This book offers a semantic and metasemantic inquiry into the representation of meaning in linguistic interaction. Kasia Jaszczolt offers a new contextualist take on the semantics/pragmatics boundary, and argues that this is the only promising stance on meaning. This approach allows the selection of the cognitively plausible object of enquiry - namely the intended, primary meaning - and its adoption as a unit of semantic analysis despite the varying provenance of the contributing information. The analysis transcends the said/implicated distinction and (...)
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  • The Phenomenal and the Representational.Jeff Speaks - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    There are two main ways in which things with minds, like us, differ from things without minds, like tables and chairs. First, we are conscious--there is something that it is like to be us. We instantiate phenomenal properties. Second, we represent, in various ways, our world as being certain ways. We instantiate representational properties. Jeff Speaks attempts to make progress on three questions: What are phenomenal properties? What are representational properties? How are the phenomenal and the representational related?
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  • Rethinking Language, Mind, and Meaning.Scott Soames - 2015 - Princeton University Press.
    In this book, Scott Soames argues that the revolution in the study of language and mind that has taken place since the late nineteenth century must be rethought. The central insight in the reigning tradition is that propositions are representational. To know the meaning of a sentence or the content of a belief requires knowing which things it represents as being which ways, and therefore knowing what the world must be like if it is to conform to how the sentence (...)
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  • Propositions.Trenton Merricks - 2015 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Trenton Merricks presents an original argument for the existence of propositions, and defends an account of their nature. He draws a variety of controversial conclusions, for instance about supervaluationism, the nature of possible worlds, truths about non-existent entities, and whether and how logical consequence depends on modal facts.
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  • Mental Files: Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):207-242.
    My responses to seven critical reviews of my book *Mental Files* published in a special issue of the journal Disputatio, edited by F. Salis. The reviewers are: Keith Hall, David Papineau, Annalisa Coliva and Delia Belleri, Peter Pagin, Thea Goodsell, Krista Lawlor and Manuel Garcia-Carpintero.
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  • Trading on Identity and Singular Thought.Rachel Goodman - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):296-312.
    On the traditional relationalist conception of singular thought, a thought has singular content when it is based on an ‘information relation’ to its object. Recent work rejects relationalism and suggests singular thoughts are distinguished from descriptive thoughts by their inferential role: only thoughts with singular content can be employed in ‘direct’ inferences, or inferences that ‘trade on identity’. Firstly this view is insufficiently clear, because it conflates two distinct ideas—one about a kind of inference, the other a kind of process (...)
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  • A Problem for Predicativism Solved by Predicativism.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):362-370.
    Consider the following sentences: In every race, the colt won; In every race, John won.John Hawthorne and David Manley say that the difference between these two sentences raises a problem for Predicativism about names. According to the currently more standard version of Predicativism, a bare singular name in argument position, like ‘John’ in , is embedded in a definite description with an unpronounced definite article. The problem is supposed to be that permits a covarying reading that allows for different races (...)
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  • What do propositions explain? Inflationary vs. deflationary perspectives and the case of singular propositions.Manuel García-Carpintero & Michele Palmira - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    In this paper we take up the question of the explanatory significance of the notion of propositional content. Our first goal is to disentangle two types of approach: According to what we call inflationism, propositions should be taken seriously enough to expect explanatory payoffs from them. The alternative deflationary approach rejects this claim. Our second goal is to explore the inflationism vs. deflationism contrast in depth by focusing on the distinction between singular and general propositions. We argue that inflationism fails (...)
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  • David, Some Davids, and All Davids: Reference, Category Change, and Bearerhood of Real-Life Names.Laura Delgado - 2018 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    This essay is devoted to the study of proper names. Although the view that sees proper names as referential singular terms is widely considered orthodoxy, there is a growing popularity to the view that proper names are predicates. This is partly because the orthodoxy faces two anomalies that Predicativism can solve: on the one hand, proper names can have multiple bearers. But multiple bearerhood is prima facie a problem to the idea that proper names have just one individual as referent. (...)
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  • Frege’s Puzzle is About Identity After All.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):628-643.
    Many philosophers have argued or taken for granted that Frege's puzzle has little or nothing to do with identity statements. I show that this is wrong, arguing that the puzzle can only be motivated relative to a thinker's beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the relevant object. The result is important, as it suggests that the puzzle can be solved, not by a semantic theory of names or referring expressions as such, but simply by a theory of identity statements. (...)
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  • New Thinking About Propositions.Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames & Jeff Speaks - 2014 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophy, science, and common sense all refer to propositions--things we believe and say, and things which are true or false. But there is no consensus on what sorts of things these entities are. Jeffrey C. King, Scott Soames, and Jeff Speaks argue that commitment to propositions is indispensable, and each defend their own views on the debate.
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  • Names in Strange Places.Aidan Gray - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (5):429-472.
    This paper is about how to interpret and evaluate purported evidence for predicativism about proper names. I aim to point out some underappreciated thorny issues and to offer both predicativists and non-predicativists some advice about how best to pursue their respective projects. I hope to establish three related claims: that non-predicativists have to posit relatively exotic, though not entirely implausible, polysemic mechanisms to capture the range of data that predicativists have introduced ; that neither referentialism nor extant versions of predicativism (...)
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  • Names Vs Nouns.Laura Delgado - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies (online):1-26.
    This paper takes issue with the predicativist’s identification of proper names and common count nouns. Although Predicativism emerges precisely to account for certain syntactic facts about proper names, namely, that they behave like common count nouns on occasions, it seems clear that proper names and common count nouns have different properties, and this undermines the thesis that proper names are in fact just common count nouns. The predicativist’s strategy to bridge these differences is to postulate an unpronounced determiner to go (...)
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  • Compêndio em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.João Branquinho & Ricardo Santos - 2013 - Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa.
    Compêndio em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica FCT Project PTDC/FIL-FIL/121209/2010 O objectivo do projecto é produzir um volume intitulado Compêndio de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica, escrito em língua portuguesa e a publicar e disponibilizar gratuitamente na internet. A edição em linha será dinâmica, podendo o material ser objecto de actualizações sucessivas. O volume consiste em ensaios especializados sobre questões pertencentes a áreas nucleares da Filosofia Analítica actual. A ênfase é colocada em áreas que tratam da natureza da linguagem, mente (...)
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  • Pursuing Meaning.Emma Borg - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Emma Borg examines the relation between semantics and pragmatics, and assesses recent answers to fundamental questions of how and where to draw the divide between the two. She argues for a minimal account of the interrelation between them--a 'minimal semantics'--which holds that only rule-governed appeals to context can influence semantic content.
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  • Definite Descriptions.Paul Elbourne - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Paul Elbourne defends the Fregean view that definite descriptions ('the table', 'the King of France') refer to individuals, and offers a new and radical account of the semantics of pronouns. He draws on a wide range of work, from Frege, Peano, and Russell to the latest findings in linguistics, philosophy of language, and psycholinguistics.
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  • The Objects of Thought.Tim Crane - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Tim Crane addresses the ancient question of how it is possible to think about what does not exist. He argues that the representation of the non-existent is a pervasive feature of our thought about the world, and that to understand thought's representational power ('intentionality') we need to understand the representation of the non-existent.
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  • Response.John Hawthorne & David Manley - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (4):499-510.
    We are very grateful to our critics for their kind words and thoughtful engagementwith The Reference Book (hereafter TRB), and also to the editors of Mind & Language for the opportunity to respond. We’ll start our reply by sketching the book’s positive thesis about specific noun phrases and names. In §2 we’ll relate the traditional semantic category we call ‘reference’ to semantic taxonomies given in terms of mechanisms of denotation. In §3, we’ll turn to acquaintance constraints on reference and singular (...)
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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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  • Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Over the past fifty years the philosophy of language and mind has been dominated by a nondescriptivist approach to content and reference. This book attempts to recast and systematize that approach by offering an indexical model in terms of mental files. According to Recanati, we refer through mental files, the function of which is to store information derived through certain types of contextual relation the subject bears to objects in his or her environment. The reference of a file is determined (...)
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  • The Unity of Perception: Content, Consciousness, Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Perception is our key to the world. It plays at least three different roles in our lives. It justifies beliefs and provides us with knowledge of our environment. It brings about conscious mental states. It converts informational input, such as light and sound waves, into representations of invariant features in our environment. Corresponding to these three roles, there are at least three fundamental questions that have motivated the study of perception. How does perception justify beliefs and yield knowledge of our (...)
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  • Groundwork for a Pragmatics for Formalized Languages.David Kashtan - 2021 - Semiotica 2021 (240):211-239.
    The use-mention distinction is elaborated into a four-way distinction between use, formal mention, material mention and pragmatic mention. The notion of pragmatic mention is motivated through the problem of monsters in Kaplanian indexical semantics. It is then formalized and applied in an account of schemata in formalized languages.
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  • Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence.Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    The contents of linguistic and mental representations may seem to be individuated by what they are about. But a problem arises with regard to representation of the non-existent - words and thoughts that are about things that don't exist. Fourteen new essays get to grips with this much-debated problem.
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  • A Companion to the Philosophy of Language.Bob Hale, Crispin Wright & Alexander Miller (eds.) - 1997 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    This volume provides a survey of contemporary philosophy of language. As well as providing a synoptic view of the key issues, figures, concepts and debates, each essay makes new and original contributions to ongoing debate.
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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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  • The irrelevance of intentions to refer: demonstratives and demonstrations.Michael Devitt - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):995-1004.
    According to Mario Gómez-Torrente in Roads to Reference, the reference of a demonstrative is fixed in an object by the speaker’s referential intentions. I argue that this is a mistake. First, I draw attention to a venerable alternative theory that Gómez-Torrente surprisingly overlooks: the reference is fixed in an object directly by a relation established in perceiving the object. Next I criticize IRH, arguing that it is implausible, redundant, and misleading. Finally, I present a theory of demonstrations that is like (...)
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  • Making AI Intelligible: Philosophical Foundations.Herman Cappelen & Joshua Dever - 2021 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Can humans and artificial intelligences share concepts and communicate? Making AI Intelligible shows that philosophical work on the metaphysics of meaning can help answer these questions. Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever use the externalist tradition in philosophy to create models of how AIs and humans can understand each other. In doing so, they illustrate ways in which that philosophical tradition can be improved. The questions addressed in the book are not only theoretically interesting, but the answers have pressing practical implications. (...)
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  • Comments on Lucy Allais, Manifest Reality. [REVIEW]Colin McLear - 2016 - Critique.
    Extended critical discussion of Lucy Allais, *Manifest Reality*.
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  • Como os Nomes Nomeiam: Um Passeio Filosófico Sobre a Referência.Sagid Salles - 2020 - Pelotas: UFPel.
    Uma das características mais interessantes da filosofia é sua capacidade de revelar problemas difíceis em lugares inesperados. É precisamente isto que ocorre com o caso dos nomes próprios. Usamos nomes cotidianamente para selecionar ou fazer referência a objetos particulares, e depois podermos dizer algo sobre eles. Talvez o leitor diga a um colega que gostaria de estar tomando um café em Paris, ao invés de gastar tempo lendo mais um livro de filosofia. Neste caso, estará usando o nome “Paris” para (...)
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  • Paths From the Philosophy of Art to Everyday Aesthetics.Oiva Kuisma, Sanna Lehtinen & Harri Mäcklin (eds.) - 2019 - Helsinki, Finland: Finnish Society for Aesthetics.
    During the past few decades, everyday aesthetics has established itself as a new branch of philosophical aesthetics alongside the more traditional philosophy of art. The Paths from Philosophy of Art to Everyday Aesthetics explores the intimate relations between these two branches of contemporary aesthetics. The essays collected in this volume discuss a wide range of topics from aesthetic intimacy to the nature of modernity and the essence of everydayness, which play important roles both in the philosophy of art and everyday (...)
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  • Interperspectival Content.Peter Ludlow - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    We often find ourselves communicating from radically different perspectives on the world. In this new book Ludlow explains how we successfully communicate across some radically diverse perspectival positions, including diverse temporal, spatial and personal positions, through our use of cognitive dynamics.
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  • Indirect Reports and Pragmatics: Interdisciplinary Studies.Alessandro Capone, Ferenc Kiefer & Franco Lo Piparo (eds.) - 2015 - Springer International Publishing.
    This volume offers the reader a singular overview of current thinking on indirect reports. The contributors are eminent researchers from the fields of philosophy of language, theoretical linguistics and communication theory, who answer questions on this important issue. This exciting area of controversy has until now mostly been treated from the viewpoint of philosophy. This volume adds the views from semantics, conversation analysis and sociolinguistics. Authors address matters such as the issue of semantic minimalism vs. radical contextualism, the attribution of (...)
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  • Indirect Reports and Pragmatics in the World Languages.Alessandro Capone, Manuel García-Carpintero & Alessandra Falzone (eds.) - 2018 - Springer.
    This volume addresses the intriguing issue of indirect reports from an interdisciplinary perspective. The contributors include philosophers, theoretical linguists, socio-pragmaticians, and cognitive scientists. The book is divided into four sections following the provenance of the authors. Combining the voices from leading and emerging authors in the field, it offers a detailed picture of indirect reports in the world’s languages and their significance for theoretical linguistics. Building on the previous book on indirect reports in this series, this volume adds an empirical (...)
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  • In Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy.Herman Cappelen & Matthew McKeever - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (2-3):221-237.
    Metaphilosophy, Volume 53, Issue 2-3, Page 221-237, April 2022.
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  • Indexical Sinn: Fregeanism Versus Millianism.João Branquinho - 2014 - Revista de Filosofia Aurora 26 (39):465-486.
    This paper discusses two notational variance views with respect to indexical singular reference and content: the view that certain forms of Millianism are at bottom notational variants of a Fregean theory of reference, the Fregean Notational Variance Claim; and the view that certain forms of Fregeanism are at bottom notational variants of a direct reference theory, the Millian Notational Variance Claim. While the former claim rests on the supposition that a direct reference theory could be easily turned into a particular (...)
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  • Types, Tokens, and Talk About Musical Works.Julian Dodd & Philip Letts - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):249-263.
    It has recently been suggested that the type/token theorist concerning musical works cannot come up with an adequate semantic theory of those sentences in which we purport to talk about such works. Specifically, it has been claimed that, since types are abstract entities, a type/token theorist can only account for the truth of sentences such as “The 1812 Overture is very loud” and “Bach's Two Part Invention in C has an F-sharp in its fourth measure” by adopting an untenable semantic (...)
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  • The Presentational Use of Descriptions.Michael R. Hicks - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (4):361-384.
    Discussing Keith Donnellan's distinction between attributive and referential uses of descriptions, Gareth Evans considered a speaker he found it natural to describe as having “given expression to” a singular thought, though he insisted she was not referring to the person she has in mind. On accounts otherwise similar to Evans's, to express a singular thought just is to refer. Thus, as he does not explain why this speaker might speak this way, it is tempting to ignore this as a slip. (...)
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  • Presupposition, assertion, and definite descriptions.Paul Elbourne - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (6):1215-1253.
    In recent work on the semantics of definite descriptions, some theorists :496–533, 2013) have advocated broadly Fregean accounts, whereby a definite description ‘the F’ introduces a presupposition to the effect that there is exactly one F and refers to it if there is, while other theorists Reference: Interdisciplinary perspectives, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 61–72, 2008; Hawthorne and Manley in The reference book, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012) have advocated accounts whereby ‘the F’ introduces a presupposition to the effect that (...)
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  • Sense, Reference and Contemporary Predicativism.Karen Green - 2022 - Semiotica 245 (245):99-123.
    Contributing to the debate between referentialist and predicativist accounts of the semantics of proper names, this paper partly endorses a recent trend to reject unitary accounts of their semantics. It does so by restoring a Fregean version of the variety of use account. It criticizes alternative variety of use accounts for not clearly distinguishing pragmatic, syntactic, and semantic issues and argues that, once these are distinguished, the necessity of accepting that names have a variety of uses, and are sometimes logical (...)
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  • Strong Contextual Felicity and Felicitous Underspecification.Jeffrey C. King - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):631-657.
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  • Ghosts, Murderers, and the Semantics of Descriptions.Anders Johan Schoubye - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):496-533.
    It is widely agreed that sentences containing a non-denoting description embedded in the scope of a propositional attitude verb have true de dicto interpretations, and Russell's (1905) analysis of definite descriptions is often praised for its simple analysis of such cases, cf. e.g. Neale (1990). However, several people, incl. Elbourne (2005, 2009), Heim (1991), and Kripke (2005), have contested this by arguing that Russell's analysis yields incorrect predictions in non-doxastic attitude contexts. Heim and Elbourne have subsequently argued that once certain (...)
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  • Quantifying In From a Fregean Perspective.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (2):207-253.
    As Quine observed, the following sentence has a reading which, if true, would be of special interest to the authorities: Ralph believes that someone is a spy. This is the reading where the quantifier is naturally understood as taking wide scope relative to the attitude verb and as binding a variable within the scope of the attitude verb. This essay is interested in addressing the question what the semantic analysis of this kind of reading should look like from a Fregean (...)
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  • Complex demonstratives, singular thought, and belief attributions.José Manuel Viejo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-27.
    Jeffrey King has famously argued that there are several prima facie problems with the direct reference theory of the semantics of complex demonstratives, three of which apparently resist solution. King concludes by observing that, if these outstanding problems cannot be solved, then the prospects for a direct reference semantics for complex demonstratives will be poor. I shall focus on just one of these outstanding problems—the objection from belief attributions—and suggest that it, at least, can be answered.
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  • Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant's Pragmatist Legacy. [REVIEW]Samantha Matherne - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):189-192.
  • Multi-Centered Worlds, Limited Accessibility and Ways of Believing.Hector Guzman-Orozco - 2022 - Philosophia 50 (1):75-96.
    Recent descendants of David Lewis, such as Stephen Torre, Dilip Ninan, and Dirk Kindermann have utilized multi-centered propositions, which are roughly sets of possible worlds centered on a sequence of individuals, to characterize the content of attitudes. In an attempt to explain counterfactual attitudes such as wishing and imagining, Ninan developed a more fine-grained characterization of multi-centered propositions than others in the multi-centered camp. While Ninan provides a systematic explanation of the nature of de se attitudes, the nature of other (...)
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