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Gabe Dupre
University of California, Davis
  1.  80
    What would it mean for natural language to be the language of thought?Gabe Dupre - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (4):773-812.
    Traditional arguments against the identification of the language of thought with natural language assume a picture of natural language which is largely inconsistent with that suggested by contemporary linguistic theory. This has led certain philosophers and linguists to suggest that this identification is not as implausible as it once seemed. In this paper, I discuss the prospects for such an identification in light of these developments in linguistic theory. I raise a new challenge against the identification thesis: the existence of (...)
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  2.  31
    (What) Can Deep Learning Contribute to Theoretical Linguistics?Gabe Dupre - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (4):617-635.
    Deep learning techniques have revolutionised artificial systems’ performance on myriad tasks, from playing Go to medical diagnosis. Recent developments have extended such successes to natural language processing, an area once deemed beyond such systems’ reach. Despite their different goals, these successes have suggested that such systems may be pertinent to theoretical linguistics. The competence/performance distinction presents a fundamental barrier to such inferences. While DL systems are trained on linguistic performance, linguistic theories are aimed at competence. Such a barrier has traditionally (...)
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  3. Linguistics and the explanatory economy.Gabe Dupre - 2019 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 1):177-219.
    I present a novel, collaborative, methodology for linguistics: what I call the ‘explanatory economy’. According to this picture, multiple models/theories are evaluated based on the extent to which they complement one another with respect to data coverage. I show how this model can resolve a long-standing worry about the methodology of generative linguistics: that by creating too much distance between data and theory, the empirical credentials of this research program are tarnished. I provide justifications of such methodologically central distinctions as (...)
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  4.  18
    Idealisation in semantics: truth-conditional semantics for radical contextualists.Gabe Dupre - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (5):917-946.
    In this paper, I shall provide a novel response to the argument from context-sensitivity against truth-conditional semantics. It is often argued that the contextual influences on truth-conditions outstrip the resources of standard truth-conditional accounts, and so truth-conditional semantics rests on a mistake. The argument assumes that truth-conditional semantics is legitimate if and only if natural language sentences have truth-conditions. I shall argue that this assumption is mistaken. Truth-conditional analyses should be viewed as idealised approximations of the complexities of natural language (...)
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  5.  10
    Empiricism, syntax, and ontogeny.Gabe Dupre - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (7):1011-1046.
    Generative grammarians typically advocate for a rationalist understanding of language acquisition, according to which the structure of a developed language faculty reflects innate guidance rather than environmental influence. This proposal is developed in developmental linguistics by triggering models of language acquisition. Opposing this tradition, various theorists have advocated for empiricist views of language acquisition, according to which the structure of a developed linguistic competence reflects the linguistic environment in which this competence developed. On this picture, linguistic development is accounted for (...)
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  6.  51
    Public language, private language, and subsymbolic theories of mind.Gabe Dupre - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (2):394-412.
    Language has long been a problem‐case for subsymbolic theories of mind. The reason for this is obvious: Language seems essentially symbolic. However, recent work has developed a potential solution to this problem, arguing that linguistic symbols are public objects which augment a fundamentally subsymbolic mind, rather than components of cognitive symbol‐processing. I shall argue that this strategy cannot work, on the grounds that human language acquisition consists in projecting linguistic structure onto environmental entities, rather than extracting this structure from them.
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  7.  8
    Linguistic structure and the languages-of-thought.Gabe Dupre - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e274.
    Quilty-Dunn et al. adopt a methodology for psychology connecting behavioral capacities to the format of the mental systems underlying them. This methodology opens up avenues connecting linguistic theory to comparative psychology. On the assumption that language structures thought, identifying the formal structure of human language can generate hypotheses connecting distinctively human cognitive traits to the distinctive structures of human language.
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  8.  43
    Reference and morphology.Gabe Dupre - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (3):655-676.
    The dominant tradition in analytic philosophy of language views reference as paradigmatically enabled by the acquisition of words from other speakers. Via chains of transmission, these words connect the referrer to the referent. Such a picture assumes the notion of a word as a stable mapping between sound and meaning. Utterances are constructed out of such stable mappings. While this picture of language is both intuitive and historically distinguished, various trends and programs that have developed over the last few decades (...)
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  9. Idealisation in Natural Language Semantics: Truth-Conditions for Radical Contextualists.Gabe Dupre - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I shall provide a novel response to the argument from context-sensitivity against truth-conditional semantics. It is often argued that the contextual influences on truth-conditions outstrip the resources of standard truth-conditional accounts, and so truth-conditional semantics rests on a mistake. The argument assumes that truth-conditional semantics is legitimate if and only if natural language sentences have truth-conditions. I shall argue that this assumption is mistaken. Truth-conditional analyses should be viewed as idealised approximations of the complexities of natural language (...)
     
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  10.  18
    Realism and Observation: The View from Generative Grammar.Gabe Dupre - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):565-584.
    Standard proposals of scientific anti-realism assume that the methodology of a scientific research program can be endorsed without accepting its metaphysical commitments. I argue that the distinction between competence, the rules governing one’s language faculty, and performance, or linguistic behavior, precludes this. Linguistic theories aim to describe competence, not performance, and so must be able to distinguish observations reflective of the former from those reflective of the latter. This classification of data makes sense only against the background of a psychologically (...)
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  11.  7
    Correction to: (What) Can Deep Learning Contribute to Theoretical Linguistics?Gabe Dupre - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (1):11-11.
  12.  17
    Modeling modeling: Stephen M. Downes: Models and modeling in the sciences: A philosophical introduction. New York and London: Routledge, 2020, 114 pp, £34.99 PB.Gabe Dupre - 2020 - Metascience 30 (1):95-98.
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  13.  7
    Representation in Cognitive Science by Nicholas Shea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).Gabe Dupre - 2021 - Philosophy 96 (1):147-153.
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