•  10
    Pledging my time
    In C. Sandis & G. Browning (eds.), Dylan at 80, . forthcoming.
    Prompted by Bob Dylan's song of this title: an essay on the philosophical issues raised by the idea of pledging one's time, and doing so in and by performing a song.
  •  20
    Naturalist Semantics and the Appeal to Structure
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (1): 57-74. 2006.
    We need not accommodate facts about meaning if Quine is right about the indeterminacy of subsentential expressions; there can be no such facts to accommodate. Evans argued that Quine’s approach overlooks the ways speakers use predication to endow their use of subsentential expressions with the necessary determinacy. This paper offers a critical assessment of the debate in relation to current arguments about naturalism and shows how Evans’s response depends on a basic claim that turns out to be f…Read more
  •  13
    Naturalist Semantics and the Appeal to Structure
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (1): 57-74. 2006.
    We need not accommodate facts about meaning if Quine is right about the indeterminacy of subsentential expressions; there can be no such facts to accommodate. Evans argued that Quine’s approach overlooks the ways speakers use predication to endow their use of subsentential expressions with the necessary determinacy. This paper offers a critical assessment of the debate in relation to current arguments about naturalism and shows how Evans’s response depends on a basic claim that turns out to be f…Read more
  •  2
    Object-dependence in language and thought
    Language and Communication 21 (2). 2001.
  •  1
    How wrong can one be?
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 96. 1996.
  • What is it for poetry to be serious and to be taken seriously? What is it to be open to poetry, exposed to its force, attuned to what it says and alive to what it does? These are important questions that call equally on poetry and philosophy. But poetry and philosophy, notoriously, have an ancient quarrel. Maximilian de Gaynesford sets out to understand and convert their mutual antipathy into something mutually enhancing, so that we can begin to answer these and other questions. The key to attun…Read more
  •  32
    Is I Guaranteed to Refer?
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (2): 109-126. 2003.
    One claim about I, regularly made and almost universally endorsed, is that uses of the term are logically guaranteed to refer successfully. The claim is only rarely formulated perspicuously or argued for. Such obscurity helps disguise the fact that those who profess to advance the claim actually turn out to support not a logical guarantee at all but merely high security through fortunate coincidence. This is not surprising. For we have no good reason to accept the claim – granted, any use of I i…Read more
  •  70
    What is at stake when J. L. Austin calls poetry ‘non‐serious’, and sidelines it in his speech act theory?. Standard explanations polarize sharply along party lines: poets and critics are incensed, while philosophers deny cause. Neither line is consistent with Austin's remarks, whose allusions to Plato, Aristotle and Frege are insufficiently noted. What Austin thinks is at stake is confusion, which he corrects apparently to the advantage of poets. But what is actually at stake is the possibility …Read more
  •  10
    Ordinarily, what we experience does not jump from one place or time to another—we have to pass through all the intermediate times and places. But in films, what we experience can jump in both dimensions, both separately and together. This phenomenon has been memorably described in film criticism by Rudolph Arnheim and it has been deployed philosophically by Suzanne Langer and Colin McGinn. But discussion of space-time discontinuity remains hampered by the lack of attunement between film critical…Read more
  •  17
    Philosophy and theology: the mind of Pope Francis
    Ampleforth Journal. forthcoming.
    I dispute the commonly held impression that Pope Francis is a compassionate shepherd and determined leader but that he lacks the intellectual depth of his recent predecessors.
  •  24
    This paper argues that Henry James’ treatment of balancing in The Golden Bowl—to which Putnam insightfully draws attention—calls for the attunement of philosophy and literary criticism. The process may undermine Putnam’s own reading of the novel, but it also finds new reasons to endorse what his reading was meant to deliver: the confidence that philosophy and thoughtful appreciation of literature have much to contribute to each other, and the conviction that morality can incorporate seriousness …Read more
  •  54
    Integrity Over Time
    The Harvard Review of Philosophy 18 (1): 50-72. 2012.
  •  14
    Ascent: Philosophy and Paradise Lost
    British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (4): 491-494. 2019.
    Ascent: Philosophy and Paradise LostZamirTzachioup. 2018. pp. 218. £36.49
  •  9
    The sonnets and attunement
    In Craig Bourne & Emily Caddick Bourne (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Philosophy, Routledge. 2018.
  •  13
    Uptake in action
    In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), Interpreting J. L. Austin: Critical Essays, Cambridge University Press. 2017.
  • I. The Meaning of the First-Person Term
    Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (1): 185-185. 2007.
  •  20
  •  7
    Spinning threads: On Peacocke's moderate rationalism
    Philosophical Books 47 (2): 111-119. 2006.
  •  94
    How Not To Do Things With Words: J. L. Austin on Poetry: Articles
    British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1): 31-49. 2011.
    If philosophy and poetry are to illuminate each other, we should first understand their tendencies to mutual antipathy. Examining mutual misapprehension is part of this task. J. L. Austin's remarks on poetry offer one such point of entry: they are often cited by poets and critics as an example of philosophy's blindness to poetry. These remarks are complex and their purpose obscure—more so than those who take exception to them usually allow or admit. But it is reasonable to think that, for all hi…Read more
  •  56
    Philosophy has tended to regard poetry primarily in terms of truth and falsity, assuming that its business is to state or describe states of affairs. Speech act theory transforms philosophical debate by regarding poetry in terms of action, showing that its business is primarily to do things. The proposal can sharpen our understanding of types of poetry; examples of the ‘Chaucer-Type’ and its variants demonstrate this. Objections to the proposal can be divided into those that relate to the agent …Read more
  •  106
    Utterance of a sentence in poetry can be performative, and explicitly so. The best-known of Geoffrey Hill’s critical essays denies this, but his own poetry demonstrates it. I clarify these claims and explain why they matter. What Hill denies illuminates anxieties about responsibility and commitment that poets and critics share with philosophers. What Hill demonstrates affords opportunities for mutual benefit between philosophy and criticism.
  •  32
    Wittgenstein on 'I' and the self
    In Hans-Johann Glock & John Hyman (eds.), A Companion to Wittgenstein, . 2017.
    Consensus identifies an underlying continuity to Wittgenstein's treatment of the self and 'I', despite certain obvious surface variations and revisions. Almost all Wittgenstein's arguments and observations concerning 'I' and the self in the Tractatus are arranged as attempts to explicate. The philosophical self is not the human being, not the human body, or the human soul, with which psychology deals, but rather the metaphysical subject, the limit of the world, not a part of it. The picture that…Read more