•  1
    Two central tenets of externalist theories of word individuation are: the claim that some terms derive their meaning from causal connections to the world , and the claim that some terms derive them from intentional connections to the linguistic community . A normative conception of language underlies the latter claim . It is this conception which motivates the reliance on a principle of literal interpretation in interpreting ascriptions of intentional content. ;The new theory of grammar initiate…Read more
  •  55
    Mercier's Reply to Lee
    The Monist 91 (3-4): 439-441. 2008.
  •  48
    Meaning and Necessity: Can Semantics Stop Same-Sex Marriage?
    Essays in Philosophy 8 (1): 14. 2007.
    Think of this paper as an exercise in applied philosophy of language. It has both semantic and deontic concerns. More than about the meaning of ‘marriage,’ it is about how one goes about determining the meaning of social kind terms like ‘marriage’. But it is equally about the place of philosophy of language in the legislative sphere, and inter alia, about the roles and responsibilities of philosophers in public life
  •  81
    Normativism and the mental: A problem of language individuation
    Philosophical Studies 72 (1): 71-88. 1993.
    My aim in this paper is two?fold. I start by contrasting three versions of externalist arguments based on etiological considerations, whose differences are not often appreciated. My purpose in doing so is to isolate one of these versions of externalism as most supportive of current anti?individualist attitudes toward the mental. My second aim is to show that this version, which I call (for reasons soon to be clear) Dialectal Etiology , is marred to a greater extent than the other two by an impor…Read more
  •  29
    I present several arguments which provide what I consider to be a definitive argument against certain forms of masculine language in their so-called sexually neutral usage. In the first part, I concentrate on the use of the word and I defend the idea that it embodies a perverse contingent a priori. In the second part, I examine how this pernicious a prioriinfects the pronominal system of French. I conclude with an undoubtedly surprising linguistic and feminist criticism of a recent decision by t…Read more
  •  43
    Are Language Conventions Philosophically Explanatory?
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (2): 111-124. 2003.
    Conventional behavior is behavior engaged in because of, or due to, convention. There are two senses of “due to”: the convention explains my behavior by actually causing it; or the convention explains my behavior by providing reasons I have for engaging in this behavior. Either way, behaviors cannot be explained by conventions unless the conventions exist; and conventions cannot provide me with (conscious) reasons for engaging in my behavior unless I know what they are. I argue that, far from ca…Read more