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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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  • Thought Experiments, Semantic Intuitions and the Overlooked Interpretative Procedure.Krzysztof Sękowski - forthcoming - Episteme:1-18.
    In the paper I introduce and discuss the interpretative procedure; a stage of thought experiments’ investigation in which it is determined which states of affairs are genuine realizations of the described story. I show how incorporating the interpretative procedure to the reconstruction a certain kind of thought experiments, i.e. the method of cases, provides a solution to the so-called problem of deviant realizations. According to this problem it is hard to formulate the logical structure of the method of cases that (...)
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  • Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
  • 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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  • Genericity is Easy? Formal and Experimental Perspectives.Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Napoleon Katsos & Linnaea Stockall - 2015 - Ratio 28 (4):470-494.
    In this paper, we compare the formal semantics approach to genericity, within which genericity is viewed as a species of quantification, and a growing body of experimental and developmental work on the topic, mainly by psychologists rather than linguists, proposing that genericity is categorically different from quantification. We argue that this generics-as-default hypothesis is much less well supported by evidence than its supporters contend, and that a research program combining theoretical and experimental research methods and considerations in the same studies (...)
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  • We Do Not Count by Identity.David Liebesman - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):21-42.
    It is widely assumed in psychology, philosophy, and linguistics that we count by identity. For example, to count the dogs by identity, we correlate each dog that isn't identical to the rest with a natural number, starting with one and assigning each successive dog the successive natural number. When we run out of distinct dogs, we've yielded a correct count. I argue that this model of counting is incorrect. We do not count by identity.
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  • Meaning Transfer Revisited.David Liebesman & Ofra Magidor - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):254-297.
  • Context-Sensitivity.Tom Donaldson & Ernie Lepore - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 116 - 131.
    This article is a survey of the literature on context sensitivity in the philosophy of language.
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  • Sharvy's Theory of Definite Descriptions Revisited.Berit Brogaard - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):160–180.
    The paper revisits Sharvy's theory of plural definite descriptions. An alternative account of plural definite descriptions building on the ideas of plural quantification and non-distributive plural predication is developed. Finally, the alternative is extrapolated to account for generic uses of definite descriptions.
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  • Quantification in the Ontology Room.Bradley Rettler - 2019 - Wiley: Dialectica 73 (4):563-585.
    There is a growing movement towards construing some classic debates in ontology as meaningless, either because the answers seem obvious or the debates seem intractable. In this paper, I respond to this movement. The response has three components: First, the members of the two sides of the ontological debates that dismissivists have targeted are using different quantifiers. Second, the austere ontologist is using a more fundamental quantifier than her opponent. Third, the austere ontologist’s more fundamental quantifier is a restriction of (...)
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  • Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language.Andrea Iacona - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    Logical form has always been a prime concern for philosophers belonging to the analytic tradition. For at least one century, the study of logical form has been widely adopted as a method of investigation, relying on its capacity to reveal the structure of thoughts or the constitution of facts. This book focuses on the very idea of logical form, which is directly relevant to any principled reflection on that method. Its central thesis is that there is no such thing as (...)
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  • Do We Need an Account of Prayer to Address the Problem for Praying Without Ceasing?Michael Hatcher - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-19.
    1 Th. 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing. Many have worried that praying without ceasing seems impossible. Most address the problem by giving an account of the true nature of prayer. Unexplored are strategies for dealing with the problem that are neutral on the nature of prayer, strategies consistent, for example, with the view that only petition is prayer. In this article, after clarifying the nature of the problem for praying without ceasing, I identify and explore the prospects of (...)
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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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  • Copredication and Property Inheritance.David Liebesman & Ofra Magidor - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):131-166.
  • No Context, No Content, No Problem.Ethan Nowak - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (2):189-220.
    Recently, philosophers have offered compelling reasons to think that demonstratives are best represented as variables, sensitive not to the context of utterance, but to a variable assignment. Variablists typically explain familiar intuitions about demonstratives—intuitions that suggest that what is said by way of a demonstrative sentence varies systematically over contexts—by claiming that contexts initialize a particular assignment of values to variables. I argue that we do not need to link context and the assignment parameter in this way, and that we (...)
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  • Expansionism and Mereological Universalism.Giorgio Lando - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):187-219.
    Mereological universalists, according to whom every plurality of entities has a fusion, usually claim that most quantifications are restricted to ordinary entities. However, there is no evidence that our usual quantifications over ordinary objects are restricted. In this article I explore an alternative way of reconciling Mereological Universalism with our usual quantifications. I resort to a modest form of ontological expansionism and to the so-called interpretational modalities. Quantifications over ordinary objects are the initial stages of the expansion. From these initial (...)
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  • Against Predicativism About Names.Jeonggyu Lee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):243-261.
    According to predicativism about names, names which occur in argument positions have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. In this paper, I shall argue that these bare singular names do not have the same type of semantic contents as predicates. I will present three objections to predicativism—the modal, the epistemic, and the translation objections—and show that they succeed even against the more sophisticated versions of predicativism defended by Fara and Bach.
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  • Domain restriction: the problem of the variable location revisited.Diego Feinmann - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-30.
    Two theories of implicit domain restriction have gained considerable prominence over the last two decades. According to von Fintel, quantifiers come with covert restrictors and, as a result of this, induce domain restriction; according to Stanley [in Gerhard and Peter Logical form and language, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2002; Stanley and Szabó :2192–2161, 2000)], by contrast, nouns, as opposed to quantifiers, come with covert restrictors. In this article, I do three things. First, I assess the arguments that have been given for (...)
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  • Referentialism and Predicativism About Proper Names.Robin Jeshion - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):363-404.
    Overview The debate over the semantics of proper names has, of late, heated up, focusing on the relative merits of referentialism and predicativism. Referentialists maintain that the semantic function of proper names is to designate individuals. They hold that a proper name, as it occurs in a sentence in a context of use, refers to a specific individual that is its referent and has just that individual as its semantic content, its contribution to the proposition expressed by the sentence. Furthermore, (...)
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  • Hermeneutic Fictionalism.Jason Stanley - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):36–71.
    Fictionalist approaches to ontology have been an accepted part of philosophical methodology for some time now. On a fictionalist view, engaging in discourse that involves apparent reference to a realm of problematic entities is best viewed as engaging in a pretense. Although in reality, the problematic entities do not exist, according to the pretense we engage in when using the discourse, they do exist. In the vocabulary of Burgess and Rosen (1997, p. 6), a nominalist construal of a given discourse (...)
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  • Thought, Language, and the Argument From Explicitness.Agustín Vicente & Fernando Martínez-Manrique - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (3):381–401.
    This article deals with the relationship between language and thought, focusing on the question of whether language can be a vehicle of thought, as, for example, Peter Carruthers has claimed. We develop and examine a powerful argument—the "argument from explicitness"—against this cognitive role of language. The premises of the argument are just two: (1) the vehicle of thought has to be explicit, and (2) natural languages are not explicit. We explain what these simple premises mean and why we should believe (...)
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  • Truth Vs. Pretense in Discourse About Motion (or, Why the Sun Really Does Rise).Brendan Jackson - 2007 - Noûs 41 (2):298–317.
    These days it is widely agreed that there is no such thing as absolute motion and rest; the motion of an object can only be characterized with respect to some chosen frame of reference.1 This is a fact of which many of us are well-aware, and yet a cursory consideration of the ways we ascribe motion to objects gives the impression that it is a fact we persistently ignore. We insist to the police officer that we came to a full (...)
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  • Weakness of Will as Intention-Violation.Dylan Dodd - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):45-59.
    According to the traditional view of weakness of will, a weak-willed agent acts in a way inconsistent with what she judges to be best.1 Richard Holton has argued against this view, claiming that ‘the central cases of weakness of will are best characterized not as cases in which people act against their better judgment, but as cases in which they fail to act on their intentions’ (1999: 241). But Holton doesn’t think all failures to act on one’s prior intentions, or (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Context.Berit Brogaard & Joe Salerno - 2008 - Analysis 68 (1):39–46.
    It is widely agreed that contraposition, strengthening the antecedent and hypothetical syllogism fail for subjunctive conditionals. The following putative counter-examples are frequently cited, respectively.
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  • A Solution for Russellians to a Puzzle About Belief.Sean Crawford - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):223-29.
    According to Russellianism (or Millianism), the two sentences ‘Ralph believes George Eliot is a novelist’ and ‘Ralph believes Mary Ann Evans is a novelist’ cannot diverge in truth-value, since they express the same proposition. The problem for the Russellian (or Millian) is that a puzzle of Kaplan’s seems to show that they can diverge in truth-value and that therefore, since the Russellian holds that they express the same proposition, the Russellian view is contradictory. I argue that the standard Russellian appeal (...)
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  • Recent Defenses of Descriptivism.Anthony Everett - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (1):103-139.
    : David Sosa, Michael Nelson, and Jason Stanley have recently offered a series of interesting and provocative challenges to Kripke's modal arguments against Descriptivism. In this paper I explore these challenges and some of the issues to which they give rise. I argue that, in the end, all three challenges fail.
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  • Lying and Misleading in Discourse.Andreas Stokke - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (1):83-134.
    This essay argues that the distinction between lying and misleading while not lying is sensitive to discourse structure. It shows that whether an utterance is a lie or is merely misleading sometimes depends on the topic of conversation, represented by so-called questions under discussion. It argues that to mislead is to disrupt the pursuit of the goal of inquiry—that is, to discover how things are. Lying is seen as a special case requiring assertion of disbelieved information, where assertion is characterized (...)
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  • Term Limits Revisited.Stephen Neale - 2008 - Philosophical Perspectives 22 (1):375-442.
  • Sarcasm, Pretense, and The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction.Elisabeth Camp - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):587 - 634.
    Traditional theories of sarcasm treat it as a case of a speaker's meaning the opposite of what she says. Recently, 'expressivists' have argued that sarcasm is not a type of speaker meaning at all, but merely the expression of a dissociative attitude toward an evoked thought or perspective. I argue that we should analyze sarcasm in terms of meaning inversion, as the traditional theory does; but that we need to construe 'meaning' more broadly, to include illocutionary force and evaluative attitudes (...)
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  • Communication and Indifference.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (1):81-107.
    The propositional view of communication states that every literal assertoric utterance of an indicative sentence expresses a proposition, and the audience understands those utterances only if she entertains the proposition(s) the speaker expressed. According to an important objection due to Ray Buchanan, the propositional view is ill‐equipped to handle meaning underdeterminacy. Using resources from situation semantics and MacFarlane's nonindexical contextualism, this article develops a view of literal communication close to the propositional view which overcomes Buchanan's underdeterminacy considerations while accounting for (...)
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  • Property Inheritance, Deferred Reference and Copredication.Matthew Gotham - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (1):87-116.
    There are sentences that are coherent and possibly true, but in which there is at the very least the appearance of a conflict between the requirements of two predicates that are applied to the same argument. This phenomenon, known as copredication, raises various issues for linguistic theory. In this paper I defend and develop an approach to the issues of counting and individuation in copredication put forward in previous work, in dialogue with criticisms made by Liebesman & Magidor and their (...)
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  • Descriptions as Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59--117.
    One reason to think that names have a predicate-type semantic value is that they naturally occur in count-noun positions: ‘The Michaels in my building both lost their keys’; ‘I know one incredibly sharp Cecil and one that's incredibly dull’. Predicativism is the view that names uniformly occur as predicates. Predicativism flies in the face of the widely accepted view that names in argument position are referential, whether that be Millian Referentialism, direct-reference theories, or even Fregean Descriptivism. But names are predicates (...)
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  • Essentially Practical Questions.Brendan Balcerak Jackson - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (1):1-26.
    Questions are known to play a crucial role in helping to structure linguistic communication. I argue that paying attention to questions is also necessary for understanding disagreement, and in particular for distinguishing between genuine and merely verbal disagreements. I argue, moreover, that some of the questions that play this role are essentially practical questions, questions about what to do. Such questions can remain open even after questions about what is the case have been settled. Essentially practical questions help structure discourse (...)
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  • Free Enrichment or Hidden Indexicals?Alison Hall - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (4):426-456.
    Abstract: A current debate in semantics and pragmatics is whether all contextual effects on truth-conditional content can be traced to logical form, or 'unarticulated constituents' can be supplied by the pragmatic process of free enrichment. In this paper, I defend the latter position. The main objection to this view is that free enrichment appears to overgenerate, not predicting where context cannot affect truth conditions, so that a systematic account is unlikely (Stanley, 2002a). I first examine the semantic alternative proposed by (...)
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  • Syntax and Interpretation.Francesco Pupa & Erika Troseth - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (2):185-209.
    In his book Language in Context, Jason Stanley provides a novel solution to certain interpretational puzzles (Stanley, 2007). The aphonic approach, as we call it, hangs upon a substantial syntactic thesis. Here, we provide theoretical and empirical arguments against this particular syntactic thesis. Moreover, we demonstrate that the interpretational puzzles under question admit of a better solution under the explicit approach.
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  • Dispositions and Habituals.Michael Fara - 2005 - Noûs 39 (1):43–82.
    Objects have dispositions. As Nelson Goodman put it, “a thing is full of threats and promises”. But sometimes those threats go unfulfilled, and the promises unkept. Sometimes the dispositions of objects fail to manifest themselves, even when their conditions of manifestation obtain. Pieces of wood, disposed to burn when heated, do not burn when heated in a vacuum chamber. And pastries, disposed to go bad when left lying around too long, won’t do so if coated with lacquer and put on (...)
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  • Bare Quantifiers.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (2):247-283.
    We design new languages, by and large, in order to bypass complexities and limitations within the languages we already have. But when we are concerned with language itself we should guard against projecting the simple and powerful syntax and semantics we have concocted back into the sentences we encounter. For some of the features of English, French, or Ancient Greek we routinely abstract away from in the process of formalization might be linguistic universals – the very features that set human (...)
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  • Semanticism and Ontological Commitment.Eli Pitcovski - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    It is widely assumed that if ontological disputes turn out to be verbal they ought to be dismissed. I dissociate the semantic question concerning the verbalness of ontological disputes from the pragmatic question on whether they ought to be dismissed. I argue that in the context of ontological disputes ontologists ought to be taken to communicate views with conflicting ontological commitments even if it turns out that on the correct view of semantics they fail to literally-express their disagreement. I argue, (...)
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  • Do All Eagles Fly High? The Generic Overgeneralization Effect: The Impact of Fillers in Truth Value Judgment Tasks.Daniel Karczewski & Edyta Wajda - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 61 (1):147-162.
    The generic overgeneralization effect is an attested tendency to accept false universal generalizations such as “all eagles fly” or “all snakes lay eggs” as true. In this paper, we discuss the generic overgeneralization effect demonstrated by Polish adult speakers. We asked 313 native speakers of Polish to evaluate universal quantified generalizations such as “all eagles fly” or “all snakes lay eggs” as true or false. The control group of 107 respondents provided data on the acceptance rates of the corresponding generic (...)
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  • Weather Predicates, Binding, and Radical Contextualism.Paul Elbourne - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (1):56-72.
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  • Existence as a Property of Individuals.Dolf Rami - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):1-21.
    In this paper I aim to defend a version of the view that ‘exist’ expresses primarily a property of individual objects, a property that each of them has. In the first section, I will distinguish the three main types of rival conceptions concerning the semantic status of ‘exist’ that will define the subsequent discussion. In the second section it will be shown that the best explanation of our overall use of ‘exist’ in natural language requires the treatment of ‘exist’ as (...)
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  • How General Do Theories of Explanation Need To Be?Bernhard Nickel - 2010 - Noûs 44 (2):305-328.
    Theories of explanation seek to tell us what distinctively explanatory information is. The most ambitious ones, such as the DN-account, seek to tell us what an explanation is, tout court. Less ambitious ones, such as causal theories, restrict themselves to a particular domain of inquiry. The least ambitious theories constitute outright skepticism, holding that there is no reasonably unified phenomenon to give an account of. On these views, it is impossible to give any theories of explanation at all. I argue (...)
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  • Unrestricted Quantification.Salvatore Florio - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (7):441-454.
    Semantic interpretations of both natural and formal languages are usually taken to involve the specification of a domain of entities with respect to which the sentences of the language are to be evaluated. A question that has received much attention of late is whether there is unrestricted quantification, quantification over a domain comprising absolutely everything there is. Is there a discourse or inquiry that has absolute generality? After framing the debate, this article provides an overview of the main arguments for (...)
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  • Consulting The Reference Book.Kent Bach - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (4):455-474.
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  • Beyond Accuracy: Epistemic Flaws with Statistical Generalizations.Jessie Munton - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):228-240.
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  • Underdetermination, Domain Restriction, and Theory Choice.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):205-220.
    It is often possible to know what a speaker intends to communicate without knowing what they intend to say. In such cases, speakers need not intend to say anything at all. Stanley and Szabó's influential survey of possible analysis of quantifier domain restriction is, therefore, incomplete and the arguments made by Clapp and Buchanan against Truth Conditional Compositionality and propositional speaker-meaning are flawed. Two theories should not always be viewed as incompatible when they associate the same utterance with different propositions, (...)
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  • Pirahã Exceptionality: A Reassessment.David Pesetsky, Andrew Nevins & Cilene Rodrigues - manuscript
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  • Inheritance: Professor Procrastinate and the Logic of Obligation.Kyle Blumberg & John Hawthorne - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Inheritance is the principle that deontic `ought' is closed under entailment. This paper is about a tension that arises in connection with Inheritance. More specifically, it is about two observations that pull in opposite directions. One of them raises questions about the validity of Inheritance, while the other appears to provide strong support for it. We argue that existing approaches to deontic modals fail to provide us with an adequate resolution of this tension. In response, we develop a positive analysis, (...)
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  • Unarticulated Constituents and Propositional Structure.Adam Sennet - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (4):412-435.
    Attempts to characterize unarticulated constituents (henceforth: UCs) by means of quantification over the parts of a sentence and the constituents of the proposition it expresses come to grief in more complicated cases than are commonly considered. In particular, UC definitions are inadequate when we consider cases in which the same constituent appears more than once in a proposition that only has one word with the constituent as its semantic value. This article explores some consequences of trying to repair the formal (...)
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