1. 51504.614837
    Pretense is often characterized as a form of imagination, more specifically as a sort of enactive imagination. But for the most part, pretending and imagining interact with one’s evaluative / affective systems differently. One tends to respond to imagined content with emotions similar to (albeit more attenuated than) those one would feel if that content was real. When pretending, however, one’s affective responses are often much more generalized, and insensitive to the content of the pretense. We suggest that this is because one’s attentional focus in pretense is on the actions themselves, and their correspondence with the scripts or roles being used to generate the pretense. Moreover, because pretense is intrinsically motivated, pretending is generally fun, irrespective of what, in particular, is being pretended.
    Found 14 hours, 18 minutes ago on Peter Carruthers's site
  2. 212834.614977
    The Free Choice e↵ect—whereby ⌃(p or q) seems to entail both ⌃p and ⌃q—has traditionally been characterized as a phenomenon a↵ecting the deontic modal ‘may’. This paper presents an extension of the semantic account of free choice defended in Fusco (2015) to the agentive modal ‘can’, the ‘can’ which, intuitively, describes an agent’s powers. On this account, free choice is a nonspecific de re phenomenon (Fodor, 1970; Bauerle, 1983) that—unlike typical cases— a↵ects disjunction. I begin by sketching a model of inexact ability, which grounds a modal approach to agency (Belnap and Perlo↵, 1998; Belnap et al., 2001) in a Williamson ( , 2014)-style margin of error. A classical propositional semantics combined with this framework can reflect the intuitions highlighted by Kenny (1976)’s dartboard cases, as well as the counterexamples to simple conditional views recently discussed by Mandelkern et al. (2017). In §3, I turn to an independently motivated actual-world-sensitive account of disjunction, and show how it extends free choice inferences into an object language for propositional modal logic.
    Found 2 days, 11 hours ago on PhilPapers
  3. 218676.614999
    This article is about the ontological dispute between finitists, who claim that only finitely many numbers exist, and infinitists, who claim that infinitely many numbers exist. Van Bendegem set out to solve the ‘general problem’ for finitism: how can one recast finite fragments of classical mathematics in finitist terms? To solve this problem Van Bendegem comes up with a new brand of finitism, namely so-called ‘apophatic finitism’. In this article it will be argued that apophatic finitism is unable to represent the negative ontological commitments of infinitism or, in other words, that which does not exist according to infinitism. However, there is a brand of infinitism, so-called ‘apophatic infinitism’, that is able to represent both the positive and the negative ontological commitments of apophatic finitism.
    Found 2 days, 12 hours ago on PhilSci Archive
  4. 502101.615014
    The consequences of Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment epitomized in his treatment of the term ‘Pegasus’ in “On What There Is” are evaluated in terms of Quine’s own work, in particular in “The Variable” and “Variables Explained Away”. There is a cost to maintaining this criterion with regard to the empirical consequences of some non-existent objects, given considerations prompted by Quine’s holism. This cost can be reduced by adopting a noneist position according to which non-existent objects can be values of bound variables as well.
    Found 5 days, 19 hours ago on PhilPapers
  5. 733973.615029
    This paper argues that the theory of structured propositions is not undermined by the Russell-Myhill paradox. I develop a theory of structured propositions in which the Russell- Myhill paradox doesn’t arise: the theory does not involve ramification or compromises to the underlying logic, but rather rejects common assumptions, encoded in the notation of the λ-calculus, about what properties and relations can be built out of others. I argue that the structuralist had independent reasons to reject these underlying assumptions. The theory is given both a diagrammatic representation, and a logical representation in a special purpose language.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  6. 755750.615042
    Both SIs and ignorance implicatures have been argued to be derivable from the idea that speakers adhere to a so-called maxim of quantity, according to which they are expected to convey all the relevant information they have evidence for. Grice (1975, 1989) made this proposal while constructing a beautiful general paradigm on how core/logical interpretation comes to be pragmatically enriched. Whereas linguists generally agree that Grice's program is fundamental to understanding many forms of pragmatic enrichment, there has been considerable debate over whether SIs and other QBIs do not instead require substantially more than spelling out Grice's program, and are not in fact rooted in grammar. What is at stake is whether SIs can be viewed as stemming from general principles of rational action (the pragmatic approach) or whether they are, instead, tied to language-specific computational processes (the grammatical approach). In this article, I review the key arguments in this debate, and explore why some linguists have reached conclusions regarding SIs similar to those that Groenendijk & Stokhof (1984, pp. 368–69) reached in connection with the exhaustive interpretations of answers: We are inclined to prefer a pragmatic strategy over the semantic one explored in this paper. Why then didn't we take this grand route over the summits of Gricean reasoning, where the air is thin, but the view so much clearer? The reason is that we don't see a pass that leads into this promised land. The informal Gricean reasoning sounds quite appealing. The problem is to make it work….
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Gennaro Chierchia's site
  7. 813416.615059
    “Signals” are a conceptual apparatus in many scientific disciplines. Biologists inquire about the evolution of signals, economists talk about the signaling function of purchases and prices, and philosophers discuss the conditions under which signals acquire meaning. However, little attention has been paid to what is a signal. This paper is an attempt to fill this gap with a definition of signal that avoids reference to form or purpose. Along the way we introduce novel notions of “information revealing” and “information concealing” moves in games. In the end, our account offers an alternative to teleological accounts of communication.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Simon M. Huttegger's site
  8. 849699.615074
    The goal of the Gricean theory of conversational implicatures (Grice 1975, 1989), and of several of its contemporary descendants, is to explain how utterances of sentences can be intended to convey, and can be understood as conveying, information lying beyond what they are semantically equipped to convey. The purpose of this essay is to show that the Gricean explanation of two prominent types of putative conversational implicatures faces a so far unnoticed problem when confronted with utterances that simultaneously carry implicatures of both of these prominent types. The problem, in a nutshell, is that, since the Gricean theory requires implicatures of these two types to be calculated under mutually incompatible inferential regimes, it cannot without inconsistency derive implicatures of either type when a single utterance carries both of them. After explaining how this problem— which I will call “the problem of composite implicatures”—arises, the essay briefly indicates why it would fail to arise if certain distinctively anti-Gricean, but independently supported, assumptions about utterance interpretation were adopted.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  9. 907540.615088
    A sentence’s meaning may depend on the state of motion of the speaker. I argue that context-sensitivity blocks the inference from special relativity to four-dimensionalism. It’s no surprise that the meaning of a sentence can depend on the context of utterance — e.g. the person who asserts the sentence, the location, place, time, etc. For example, whether “I am hungry” is true depends on who is speaking, and whether “it’s sixty five degrees Fahrenheit” is true depends on where and when it is asserted. The point of this note is to argue that the context of utterance should include — at least in applications in physics — the speaker’s momentum. There are many reasons for recognizing momentum-relativity, not the least of which is that it shows that Einstein’s theory of relativity does not entail four-dimensionalism. In particular, each observer can consistently maintain that “exists” is synonymous with “exists now.” The fact that context of utterance includes the speaker’s momentum might seem obvious to anyone who is aware that momentum attributions are context sensitive. For example, whether the statement (S) The boat is moving at four meters per second.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  10. 945851.615102
    Anselm’s Proslogion II presents the original and classic version of the Ontological Argument, which has inspired many others yet still remains the most intriguing and ingenious. It forms the first part of an extended meditation based on Anselm’s understanding of God as ‘that than which nothing greater can be thought’, and the role of this first part is to prove that God – so understood – truly exists. Proslogion III then builds on this by arguing that God – again as understood by Anselm’s formula – cannot even be thought not to exist, and this has been taken by some philosophers (starting with Charles Hartshorne and Norman Malcolm) as inspiration for modal forms of Ontological Argument whose logic is quite different. Here, however, I shall focus only on the argument of Proslogion II, though what I say about Anselm’s formula and its troublesome ambiguities would potentially have negative implications for his later arguments also. Space precludes discussion of all the relevant interpretative issues even in respect of this initial argument, and my emphasis will be primarily philosophical: exploring how far it can provide a basis for a successful Ontological Argument, whether or not the version that results is entirely faithful to Anselm’s own thought.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Peter Millican's site
  11. 1012041.615115
    There is increasing consensus on the idea that certain sentences perceived as “ungrammatical” owe their status not to being syntactically ill-formed, but to their being L(ogically)-determinate and hence informationally trivial. Clearly, however, not every L-determinate sentence is perceived as ungrammatical, which raises the question of whether there is a principled way of sifting among the L- determinate sentences those that give rise to ungrammaticality from those that do not. Several interesting attempts have been made in this connection (Gajewski, Del Pinal), which, however, we argue fall short of the task. We propose a modification and generalization of such proposals based on the notion of ‘modulation’ of what are termed ‘the referential points’ of sentences (i.e. their non logical vocabulary and their variables). This approach has far reaching consequences for our understanding of the divide between logical and non logical vocabulary and for the very notion of semantic competence.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Gennaro Chierchia's site
  12. 1013932.61513
    Epistemic Counterparts 2: Acquaintance, files, and suitable roles Posted on Tuesday, 19 May 2020 This is part 2 of a series on epistemic counterpart semantics. Part 1 is here. I want to defend what I called the "Quine-Kaplan model" of de re belief ascriptions. …
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on wo's weblog
  13. 1184140.615144
    Conventional wisdom has it that truth is always evaluated using our actual linguistic conventions, even when considering counterfactual scenarios in which different conventions are adopted. This principle has been invoked in a number of philosophical arguments, including Kripke’s defense of the necessity of identity and Lewy’s objection to modal conventionalism. But it is false. It fails in the presence of what Einheuser (2006) calls c-monsters, or convention-shifting expressions (on analogy with Kaplan’s monsters, or context-shifting expressions). We show that c-monsters naturally arise in contexts, such as metalinguistic negotiations, where speakers entertain alternative conventions. We develop an expressivist theory—inspired by Barker (2002) and MacFarlane (2016) on vague predi-cations and Einheuser (2006) on counterconventionals—to model these shifts in convention. Using this framework, we reassess the philosophical arguments that invoked the conventional wisdom.
    Found 1 week, 6 days ago on Alexander W. Kocurek's site
  14. 1254212.615158
    This paper analyses the communicative and epistemic value of retweeting (and more generally of reposting content on social media). Against a naïve view, it argues that retweets are not acts of endorsement, motivating this diagnosis with linguistic data. Retweeting is instead modelled as a peculiar form of quotation, in which the reported content is indicated rather than reproduced. A relevance-theoretic account of the communicative import of retweeting is then developed, to spell out the complex mechanisms by which retweets achieve their communicative goals. The last section outlines the epistemic threats posed by the increasing prevalence of retweeting on social media, linking them to the low reputational, cognitive and practical costs linked to this emerging form of communication.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  15. 1258915.615174
    This paper trials new experimental methods for the analysis of natural language reasoning and the (re)development of critical ordinary language philosophy in the wake of J.L. Austin. Philosophical arguments and thought experiments are strongly shaped by default pragmatic inferences, including stereotypical inferences. Austin suggested that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences are at the root of some philosophical paradoxes and problems, and that these can be resolved by exposing those verbal fallacies. This paper builds on recent efforts to empirically document inappropriate stereotypical inferences that may drive philosophical arguments. We demonstrate that previously employed questionnaire-based output measures do not suffice to exclude relevant confounds. We then report an experiment that combines reading time measurements with plausibility ratings. The study seeks to provide evidence of inappropriate stereotypical inferences from appearance verbs that have been suggested to lie at the root of the influential ‘argument from illusion’. Our findings support a diagnostic reconstruction of this argument. They provide the missing component for proof of concept for an experimental implementation of critical ordinary language philosophy that is in line with the ambitions of current ‘evidential’ experimental philosophy.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilSci Archive
  16. 1426500.615237
    We present a new frame semantics for positive relevant and substructural propositional logics. This frame semantics is both a generalization of Routley–Meyer ternary frames and a simplification of them. The key innovation of this semantics is the use of a single accessibility relation to relate collections of points to points.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Greg Restall's site
  17. 1427983.615265
    A common objection to both contextualism and relativism about knowledge ascriptions is that they threaten knowledge norms of assertion and action. Consequently, if there is good reason to accept knowledge norms of assertion or action, there is good reason to reject both contextualism and relativism. In this paper we argue that neither contextualism nor relativism threaten knowledge norms of assertion or action.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1484584.615279
    If a conditional is to be relevant—if A → B is to be true only when there is a genuine connection between the antecedent A and the consequent B—any ‘worlds’ semantics for that conditional must look rather unlike the well-known modal semantics for strict conditionals, counterfactuals and other non-classical conditional connectives. If I wish to evaluate the conditional A → B at some ‘world’ x, it will never suffice to find some class of worlds, related to x (whether that choice depends on A, or on B, or on anything else) and then check of those worlds where A is true, whether B is true at those selected worlds, too. For then, the identity conditional A → A (in which the consequent is identical to the antecedent) is guaranteed to be true at absolutely any world whatsoever.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Greg Restall's site
  19. 1560307.615293
    Epistemic counterpart semantics Posted on Wednesday, 13 May 2020 I have decided to write a series of posts on epistemic applications of counterpart semantics, mostly to organise my own thoughts. Let's start with a motivating example, from Sæbø 2015. …
    Found 2 weeks, 4 days ago on wo's weblog
  20. 1695735.615316
    Linguistics research is filled with observations such as the following: ‘There are three green books on the table’ is an acceptable sentence, but ‘There are green three books on the table’ is not. Such judgments—as well as judgments about co-reference, ambiguity, pronounceability, and more—form a significant part of the evidence base for linguistics. This is in large measure due to Chomsky, whose work has exemplified the fruitfulness of such evidence and whose Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (Chomsky 1965, chapter 1) is a locus classicus for theorizing about their status. The prominence of judgment data in contemporary linguistics is crucially tied to Chomsky’s mentalist reconception of the field. Judgment data were not completely absent prior to Chomsky’s work. For example, field linguists did not always prescind from asking informants whether such-and-such was something they would say, and Chomsky’s teacher Zelig Harris emphasized the importance for phonology of speakers’ judgments concerning sound differences (Harris 1951). But the positivist, behaviorist, and structuralist positions that dominated American linguistics in the first half of the 20th century tended to view the use of judgment data with suspicion and focused rather on produced sentences.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on Steven Gross's site
  21. 1716993.615373
    The pain-in-mouth argument, due to Block (1983), presents a puzzle about pain. Consider the following inference: There is a pain in my fingertip. The fingertip is in my mouth. Therefore, there is a pain in my mouth. Intuitively, the argument is invalid, but philosophers disagree over what precisely explains the intuitive invalidity at issue, and furthermore, they often take their proposals to support different philosophical theories of pain.
    Found 2 weeks, 5 days ago on PhilPapers
  22. 1763488.615395
    Italian and English factives differ from each other in interesting and puzzling ways. English emotive factives (regret, sorry) license Negative Polarity Items (NPIs), while their Italian counterparts don’t. Moreover, when factives of all kinds (emotive or cognitive) occur in the scope of negation in Italian an intervention effect emerges that interferes with NPI licensing way more robustly than in English. In this paper, I explore the idea that this contrast between Italian and English may be due to a difference in the Complementizer (C) -system of the two languages that parallels a difference that has been noted in the literature between the singular and the plural definite determiner the with respect to NPI licensing. Understanding how factives differ across language with respect to polarity phenomena is not only interesting in its own right, but also because it sheds further light on how logical contradictions may affect grammaticality judgments.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Gennaro Chierchia's site
  23. 1777236.615409
    It is known from the work of Specker [3] that Quine’s NF is consistent iff the theory TZZT of Typed Set Theory with types indexed by Z remains consistent when we add the scheme of biconditionals φ ←→ φ , where φ is the result of raising all type indices in φ by 1. Since evidently TZZT |= φ iff TZZT |= φ+ it looks as if there should be realizers for the corresponding biconditionals φ ←→ φ and thereby a proof of consistency for INF (the constructive fragment of NF) that is not at the same time a reason to believe in the consistency of the full classical theory. There seems to be a connection here with Visser’s Logic BPC in [4].
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Thomas Forster's site
  24. 2046141.615423
    The motivating insight of speech-act theory is that we do many things by speaking, but one can’t normally tell what someone is doing just from the expressions that they utter. In the terminology introduced by Austin (), the locutionary act of uttering a given sentence with a given meaning does not determine the illocutionary act that one thereby performs. Someone who utters () might be describing the local bylaws or issuing a command. For that matter, they may be joking around, speaking sarcastically, or acting in a play.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Daniel W. Harris's site
  25. 2162353.61544
    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 the consequences of the proposal for the adequacy of Williamson’s account of assertion.
    Found 3 weeks, 4 days ago on Manuel Garcia-Carpintero's site
  26. 2178209.615455
    This paper argues for a moderate form of essentialism about indexical thought (also known as de se, first-person, or egocentric thought). According to this moderate essentialism, there is a significant category of intentional action that necessarily involves indexical thought. This category of action is navigation, that is, intentionally moving from one location to another by using public information about the world such as a map or a set of directions. It is shown that anti-essentialists face a challenge in accounting for this kind of action without accepting the involvement of indexical thought or something equivalent. The conclusion that navigation necessarily requires indexical thought is neutral on the strong essentialist claim that there is a special class of indexical propositional attitudes that mandate rejecting standard theories of propositional attitudes. The conclusion is also neutral on the strong essentialist claim that any kind of intentional action necessarily requires indexical thought.
    Found 3 weeks, 4 days ago on Andreas Stokke's site
  27. 2349561.615469
    One alternative to Tarski’s hierarchy of metalanguages is to consider paraconsistent logics for theories of truth, to deal with paradoxical sentences. In the face of the possibility of inconsistency, critics and proponents of paraconsistency alike have then sought ‘consistency operators’, to characterize non-paradoxical sentences. For strong forms of paraconsistency—dialetheism—this is called the ‘just true’ problem. In this paper we consider various options for treatments of the issue, and follow the ‘just true’ problem to a stark divide. If a paraconsistentist uses a classical metatheory, then they can have a ‘just true’ operator, but only by accepting a paracomplete logic, and in fact ruling out any truth value gluts. If a paraconsistentist uses a paraconsistent metatheory, then the ‘just true’ problem is easily resolved, albeit not in a way that would be satisfying to a non-paraconsistentist.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Hitoshi Omori's site
  28. 2537567.615486
    Rae Langton and Caroline West have argued that pornography silences women by presupposing misogynistic attitudes, such as that women enjoy being raped. More precisely, they claim that a somewhat infamous pictorial, “Dirty Pool”, makes such presuppositions. I argue for four claims. (1) Langton and West’s account of how pornography silences women is empirically dubious. (2) There is no evidence that very much pornography makes the sorts of presuppositions they require. (3) Even “Dirty Pool”, for all its other problems, does not make the presuppositions that Langton and West claim it does. (4) Langton and West misread “Dirty Pool” because they do not take proper account of the fact that pornography traffics in sexual fantasy.
    Found 4 weeks, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  29. 2653422.6155
    Plausibly, the stakes in a practical task at hand can affect how generously or stringently people ascribe knowledge. I propose a new psychological account of the effect. My hypothesis is motivated by empirical research on how people’s judgements are sensitive to their social context. Specifically, people’s evaluations are sensitive to their ‘psychological distance’ from the scenarios they are considering. When using ‘fixed-evidence probes’, experimental philosophy has found that what’s at stake for a fictional character in a fictional scenario has little or no effect on how participants ascribe knowledge to them. My hypothesis predicts this finding. (This illustrates a widespread problem with X-phi vignette studies: if people might judge differently in other social contexts, we can’t generalize from the results of these experiments.) The hypothesis also predicts that people do not ascribe knowledge in a way deemed correct by any of the standard philosophical views, namely classical invariantism, interest-relative invariantism, and contextualism. Our knowledge ascriptions shift around in the way that’s most useful for social beings like us, and this pattern in our judgements can only be endorsed by a genuinely relativist metaphysics for knowledge.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  30. 2756167.615513
    What is the best way of classifying different types of conditionals? According to what has become the traditional view, there is a substantive semantic difference between indicative conditionals and counterfactuals. Against this, it has been objected, primarily on grammatical grounds, that counterfactuals are merely past tense forms of indicative conditionals, expressing at a later time what the corresponding indicative conditional expressed at an earlier time. In this paper, I argue that closer inspection of the linguistic evidence shows that the case for the past tense view founders. The traditional view has it right after all.
    Found 1 month ago on Ergo