Mario Gómez-Torrente (2006) says that whilst theoretical identifications (e.g. 'All lightning is electrical discharge') do not entail their own necessitations, they do entail the necessitation of a weaker statement. And he claims that this weaker entailment serves Kripke's purposes as well as the stronger one would have. I argue that this is false. Section 1 says what the weaker entailment is; section 2 says why it matters. Section 3 argues that the entailment identified at section 1 does not (...) meet the purpose identified at section 2. Section 4 rejects two possible objections. The aim is to illustrate (not establish) the general claim that those 'modal facts' that are not entirely speculative are quite useless. (shrink)
How is it that words come to stand for the things they stand for? Is the thing that a word stands for - its reference - fully identified or described by conventions known to the users of the word? Or is there a more roundabout relation between the reference of a word and the conventions that determine or fix it? Do words like 'water', 'three', and 'red' refer to appropriate things, just as the word 'Aristotle' refers to Aristotle? If so, (...) which things are these, and how do they come to be referred to by those words? -/- In Roads to Reference, Mario Gómez-Torrente provides novel answers to these and other questions that have been of traditional interest in the theory of reference. The book introduces a number of cases of apparent indeterminacy of reference for proper names, demonstratives, and natural kind terms, which suggest that reference-fixing conventions for them adopt the form of lists of merely sufficient conditions for reference and reference failure. He then provides arguments for a new anti-descriptivist picture of those kinds of words, according to which the reference-fixing conventions for them do not describe their reference. This book also defends realist and objectivist accounts of the reference of ordinary natural kind nouns, numerals, and adjectives for sensible qualities. According to these accounts these words refer, respectively, to 'ordinary kinds', cardinality properties, and properties of membership in intervals of sensible dimensions, and these things are fixed in subtle ways by associated reference-fixing conventions. (shrink)
This paper examines potential predictors of ethical decisions regarding insider trading. An interactionist perspective is taken, in which person variables, situational variables, and the interaction of these two sets of variables are viewed as influencing ethical decisions. The results of our study support such a perspective. Ethical decisions regarding insider trading appear to be a function of a complex set of interacting variables related to both the person and the situation. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Kelsen's monistic theory of international law was shaped during his exile in Geneva, but its deep roots are to be found in his Pure Theory of Law, centred on the neo-Kantian notion of “system.” According to this conception, a legal system can only descend from a single principle. Consequently, Kelsen constructed a monistic theory of law, i.e., a legal system incorporating all norms into a pyramidal structure culminating in a single principle: the fundamental norm. This Kelsenian pyramid must also include (...) international law, considering that if international law were a legal system different from national law, the theoretical construction would need two fundamental norms. This dualism is as incompatible with Kelsen's monistic vision as Schmitt's theory of “Great Spaces,” creating a hierarchical system of international relations. In the Kelsenian pyramid, international law occupies a position superior to national law: The consequences of this assumption are discussed in some documents recently published in German and French. (shrink)
This paper examines from a historical perspective Tarski's 1936 essay, "On the concept of logical consequence." I focus on two main aims. The primary aim is to show how Tarski's definition of logical consequence satisfies two desiderata he himself sets forth for it: (1) it must declare logically correct certain formalizations of the -rule and (2) it must allow for variation of the individual domain in the test for logical consequence. My arguments provide a refutation of some interpreters of Tarski, (...) and notably John Etchemendy, who have claimed that his definition does not satisfy those desiderata. A secondary aim of the paper is to offer some basic elements for an understanding of Tarski's definition in the historical logico-philosophical context in which it was proposed. Such historical understanding provides useful insights on Tarski's informal ideas on logical consequence and their internal cohesion. (shrink)
There have been several different and even opposed conceptions of the problem of logical constants, i.e. of the requirements that a good theory of logical constants ought to satisfy. This paper is in the first place a survey of these conceptions and a critique of the theories they have given rise to. A second aim of the paper is to sketch some ideas about what a good theory would look like. A third aim is to draw from these ideas and (...) from the preceding survey the conclusion that most conceptions of the problem of logical constants involve requirements of a philosophically demanding nature which are probably not satisfiable by any minimally adequate theory. (shrink)
I offer a new objectivist theory of the contents of color language and color experience, intended especially as an account of what normal intersubjective variation in color perception and classification shows about those contents. First I explain an abstract account of the contents of color and other gradable adjectives; on the account, these contents are certain objective properties constituted in part by contextually intended standards of application, which are in turn values in the dimensions of variation associated with the adjectives. (...) Then I propose an explanation of normal variations in linguistic color classification; these are postulated to be effects of differences in intended standards for the color adjectives appearing in the classifying predicates. Next, I consider a potential objection to this explanation, based on the suggestion that contextual content should be more accessible than the explanation predicts. In reply, I point out that contextual content is occasionally opaque to unsophisticated reflection. Finally, I present a companion account of the contents of color experiences on which these represent an object as lying on certain salient intervals in the chromatic dimensions, and I show how the account accommodates intersubjective variation in color perception. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to examine some passages of Tarski?s paper ?On the concept of logical consequence? and to show that some recent readings of those passages are wrong. John Etchemendy has claimed that in those passages Tarski gave an argument purporting to show that the notion of logical consequence defined by him (as opposed to some pretheoretic notion of logical consequence) possesses certain modal properties. Etchemendy further claims that the argument he attributes to Tarski is fallacious. Some (...) of Etchemendy?s critics have granted him that Tarski did give an argument purporting to show that the defined notion possesses certain modal properties ; but they have claimed that Tarski?s argument was not a fallacious one. I will show that both Etchemendy and his critics are wrong; in the relevant passages, Tarski did not offer (nor did he intend to offer) an argument that the defined notion of logical consequence possesses any modal properties. (shrink)
This is a summary of the contents of my book Roads to Reference, with emphasis on its proposal that the conventions governing reference fixing for demonstratives, proper names, and ordinary natural kind terms adopt the form of lists of roughly sufficient conditions for reference or reference failure; and its defense of anti-eliminativist views of the referents of ordinary natural kind terms, numerals, and terms for sensible qualities traditionally considered as “seconday”.
Melisa Vivanco objects to my theory of the Arabic numerals in Roads to Reference that the reference fixing procedure that I postulate doesn’t exploit the morphological structure of the Arabic numerals, but it should. Against Vivanco, I argue that the procedure in question does exploit the morphological structure of the numerals in an essential way.
Matheus Valente presents a number of examples designed to show that my theory of reference fixing for demonstratives violates the desideratum that demonstrative thoughts should be transparent to speakers. In this note I argue that the alleged desideratum is not really such and defend my theory against other criticisms made by Valente.
According to Ricardo Mena, a demonstrative refers to all the objects that the utterer has an intention for it to refer to, which may be more than one in cases where her referential intentions conflict. In this note I argue that Mena’s proposal has several serious problems.
Thainá Demartini has criticized my view that ordinary natural kind terms refer to vague non-scientific kinds and defended the more traditional view that they refer to precise kinds discovered by science. In this note I reject Demartini’s worries as based on inadequate ontological scruples.
Filipe Martone argues that reference-fixing intentions where the intended object is represented by means of a description can never fix the reference of a demonstrative, and that a speaker, as a matter of empirical fact, never has simultaneous perceptual and non-perceptual reference-fixing intentions that she can intend as fixing the reference of a demonstrative. In this note I reject Martone’s arguments for these claims.
Eleonora Orlando argues that one must understand some descriptivist theories of names that I criticize in my book Roads to Reference as ceteris paribus generalizations, and that on this understanding they survive my criticisms; she also introduces some doubts about my views on the knowledge speakers have of the reference-fixing conventions I postulate for proper names. In this note I argue against Orlando’s suggestion about ceteris paribus provisos and explain my view of the epistemology of reference-fixing conventions.
My proposed mechanism of reference fixing for ordinary natural kind terms in the book Roads to Reference appeals to the ordinary notion of substance. In this note I reply to an objection by Martín Abreu Zavaleta that that notion is too vague to allow for a sufficiently constrained property to become the referent of a given ordinary substance term. I argue that the notion of substance is far less vague than Abreu Zavaleta claims.
This paper examines the question of the extensional correctness of Tarskian definitions of logical truth and logical consequence. I identify a few different informal properties which are necessary for a sentence to be an informal logical truth and look at whether they are necessary properties of Tarskian logical truths. I examine arguments by John Etchemendy and Vann McGee to the effect that some of those properties are not necessary properties of some Tarskian logical truths, and find them unconvincing. I stress (...) the point that since the hypothesis that Tarski's definitions are extensionally correct is deeply entrenched, the burden of proof is still on the shoulders of Tarski's critics, who have not lifted the burden. (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is to point out that Davidsonian and Fregean theories of quotation do not accommodate certain facts about disquotation. A second aim is to dispel some errors of interpretation in a common Davidsonian reading of Tarski's claims about quotation. This allows a correct exegesis of Tarski's view, which is then seen not to be affected by the arguments usually adduced against the view wrongly attributed to Tarski. Finally, a Tarskian view is proposed of some problems (...) about quotation not addressed by Tarski. (shrink)
Nat Hansen builds a new argument for subjectivism about the semantics of color language, based on a potential kind of intersubjective disagreements about comparative color statements. In reply, I note that the disagreements of this kind are merely hypothetical, probably few if actual, and not evidently relevant as test cases for a semantic theory. Furthermore, even if they turned out to be actual and semantically relevant, they would be intuitively unusable by the subjectivist.
I argue that recent defenses of the view that in 1936 Tarski required all interpretations of a language to share one same domain of quantification are based on misinterpretations of Tarski’s texts. In particular, I rebut some criticisms of my earlier attack on the fixed-domain exegesis and I offer a more detailed report of the textual evidence on the issue than in my earlier work. I also offer new considerations on subsisting issues of interpretation concerning Tarski’s views on the logical (...) correctness of certain omega-arguments, on the Tarskian proof that Etchemendy took to be modal and fallacious, and on Tarski’s appeals to the “common concept of consequence”. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson’s potentially most important contribution to epistemicism about vagueness lies in his arguments for the basic epistemicist claim that the alleged cut-off points of vague predicates are not knowable. His arguments for this are based on so-called ‘margin for error principles’. This paper argues that these principles fail to provide a good argument for the basic claim. Williamson has offered at least two kinds of margin for error principles applicable to vague predicates. A certain fallacy of equivocation seems to (...) underlie his justification for both kinds of principles. Besides, the margin for error principles of the first kind can be used in the derivation of unacceptable consequences, while the margin for error principles of the second kind can be shown to be compatible with the falsity of epistemicism, under a number of assumptions acceptable to the epistemicist. (shrink)
This paper presents some difficulties for Timothy Williamson's epistemicist view of vagueness and for an argument he gives in its defense. First, I claim that the argument, which uses the notion of an "omniscient speaker", is question-begging. Next, I argue that some presumably true scientific hypotheses, which postulate certain relations between everyday vague predicates and scientific predicates, make the central theses of epistemicism highly implausible. Finally, I show that the "margin for error principles" used by Williamson to explain away the (...) kind of ignorance conjectured by epistemicism lead to new sorites-like arguments with unacceptable conclusions. (shrink)
Desde que su mentor, Norberto Bobbio, le encargara la traducción de la segunda edición de la Teoría pura del derecho, la carrera de Mario G. Losano ha sido tan larga como polifacética. En esta entrevista, conversamos sobre su formación y sobre el contexto cultural que envolvió el inicio de su carrera académica en Italia. Posteriormente, nos centramos en dos de los principales temas de su producción académica. Por un lado, profundizamos en sus estudios kelsenianos, destacando el enfoque histórico que (...) caracteriza su aproximación a los problemas iusfilosóficos. Y, por otro lado, abordamos el asunto de los orígenes y el desarrollo de la informática jurídica, de la cual el profesor Losano ha sido un destacado precursor. (shrink)
Logic is formal in the sense that all arguments of the same form as logically valid arguments are also logically valid and hence truth-preserving. However, it is not known whether all arguments that are valid in the usual model-theoretic sense are truthpreserving. Tarski claimed that it could be proved that all arguments that are valid (in the sense of validity he contemplated in his 1936 paper on logical consequence) are truthpreserving. But he did not offer the proof. The question arises (...) whether the usual modeltheoretic sense of validity and Tarski's 1936 sense are the same. I argue in this paper that they probably are not, and that the proof Tarski had in mind, although unusable to prove that model-theoretically valid arguments are truth-preserving, can be used to prove that arguments valid in Tarski's 1936 sense are truth-preserving. (shrink)
I defend a semantic theory of quotation marks, according to which these are ambiguous, as they have several different acceptations involving corresponding different conventional indications. In particular, in allusion (“mixed”) uses, the corresponding conventional indication is one with an adverbial or prepositional content, roughly equivalent to “using the quoted expression or an appropriate version of it”. And in “scare” uses, the corresponding conventional indication is that the enclosed expression should be used not plainly but in some broadly speaking distanced way, (...) or that it is being so used by the utterer. I also defend this view against some alternative views on which allusion and distance indications are to be seen as pragmatically conveyed. In particular, I consider several views that attempt to explain especially allusion and distance indications as pragmatic suggestions generated from a meager conventional basis, and I argue that they cannot accommodate a number of linguistic phenomena and reflectively supported theses about the use of quotation marks. I lay special emphasis on the fact that the main pragmatic theories fail to pass an extremely plausible test for challenges to polysemic accounts of an expression. (shrink)
Taking as premises some reasonable principles about the essences of natural numbers, pluralities and sets, the paper offers two types of argument for the conclusions that the natural numbers could not be the Zermelo numbers, the von Neumann numbers, the “Kripke numbers”, or the positions in the ω-structure, among other things. These conclusions are thus Benacerrafian in form, but it is emphasized that the two kinds of argument offered in the paper are anti-Benacerrafian in substance, as they are perfectly compatible (...) and in fact congenial with some views on which the numbers could be things of certain other kinds. (shrink)
Contrary to what often seems to be the implicit belief, Tarski's 1933 version of the theorem on the indefinability of truth did not mention semantic notions, either defined or intuitive. I state this version in a somewhat modernized form and explain briefly the self-imposed mathematico-philosophical constraints that led Tarski to formulate it as he did. I also point out that close attention to its content suggests a refined view of the exact contrast between Tarski's achievement and Gödel's achievement in his (...) earlier discovery of another version of the result. (shrink)
Quotation marks are ambiguous, although the conventional rules that govern their different uses are similar in that they contain quantifications over quotable expressions. Pure uses are governed by a simple rule: by enclosing any expression within quotation marks one gets a singular term, the quotation, that stands for the enclosed expression. Impure uses are far less simple. In a series of uses the quotation marks conventionally indicate that (part of) the enclosed expression is a contextually appropriate version of expressions uttered (...) by some relevant agent. When the quotation marks have this meaning, it is tempting to think of them as contributing that indication to the truth-conditional content of the utterance. I adopt a cautious attitude towards this hypothesis, for the evidence in its favor is inconclusive. In other uses the quotation marks conventionally indicate that the enclosed expression should be used not “plainly” but in some broadly speaking “distanced” way, or that it is being so used by the utterer, and typically context makes clear the exact nature of the “distance” at stake. In these cases the quotation marks do not even appear to contribute that indication to the truth-conditional content of the utterance. (shrink)
The pretheoretical notions of logical consequence and of a logical expression are linked in vague and complex ways to modal and pragmatic intuitions. I offer an introduction to the difficulties that these intuitions create when one attempts to give precise characterizations of those notions. Special attention is given to Tarski’s theories of logical consequence and logical constancy. I note that the Tarskian theory of logical consequence has fared better in the face of the difficulties than the Tarskian theory of logical (...) constancy. Other theories of these notions are explained and criticized. (shrink)
I postulate that the extension of a degree adjective is fixed by implicitly accepted non-analytic reference-fixing principles (“preconceptions”) that combine appeals to paradigmatic cases with generic principles designed to expand the extension of the adjective beyond the paradigmatic range. In regular occasions of use, the paradigm and generic preconceptions are jointly satisfied and determine the existence of an extension/anti-extension pair dividing the adjective’s comparison class into two mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive subclasses. Sorites paradoxical occasions of use are irregular occasions (...) of use in which the paradigm and generic preconceptions are not jointly satisfied. In them, the relevant degree adjective lacks an extension, and utterances of sentences containing it appearing in sorites arguments do not have truth conditions. I also postulate a probable psychology of paradigm intuitions, used in a psychological explanation of the preference for solutions of the sorites paradox on which paradigm preconceptions retain their intuitive truth-values. (shrink)