•  2
    Literal meaning, minimal propositions, and pragmatic processing
    with J. Cooper Cutting
    Journal of Pragmatics 34 (4): 433-456. 2002.
  •  58
    An Essay on Belief and Acceptance (review)
    Review of Metaphysics 50 (2): 392-394. 1996.
    As the title suggests, this book is centered around a distinction between belief and acceptance. A parallel distinction is drawn between desire and intention. Cohen argues that acceptance and intention are voluntary states, whereas belief and desire are involuntary dispositions. Acceptance is active, whereas belief is passive. Acceptance is subjectively closed under deducibility, whereas belief is not. Acceptance is an all-or-nothing affair, whereas belief comes in degrees, ranging from having a…Read more
  •  45
    Minimal semantics - by Emma Borg (review)
    Philosophical Books 49 (1): 59-63. 2008.
  •  18
    Holism: A Consumer Update
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 46 197-212. 1993.
    In Holism: A Shopper's Guide Fodor and LePore contend that there could be punctate minds; minds capable of being in only a single type of representational state. The Kantian idea that the construction of perceptual representations requires the synthesizing activity of the mind is invoked to argue against the possibility of punctate minds. Fodor's commitment to an inferential theory of perception is shown to share crucial assumptions with the Kantian view and hence to lead to the same conclusion.…Read more
  •  29
    Contemporary Materialism: A Reader (review)
    Teaching Philosophy 19 (4): 421-424. 1996.
  •  109
    Descriptions and Beyond (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2004.
    In 1905, Bertrand Russell published 'On Denoting' in which he proposed and defended a quantificational account of definite descriptions. Forty-five years later, in 'On Referring', Peter Strawson claimed that Russell was mistaken: definite descriptions do not function as quantifiers but (paradigmatically) as referring expressions. Ever since, scores of theorists have attempted to adjudicate this debate. Others have gone beyond the question of the proper analysis of definite descriptions, focusing…Read more
  • H7, l40, l45
    with A. Aliseda-Llera, J. L. Austin, R. Backofen, R. Blutner, H. Bum, R. Carston, T. Cornell, M. de Rijke, and D. Duchier
    In Jaroslav Peregrin (ed.), Meaning: The Dynamic Turn, Elsevier Science. pp. 271. 2003.
  •  266
  •  226
    Truth-Conditional Pragmatics
    Philosophical Perspectives 16 105-134. 2002.
    Introduction The mainstream view in philosophy of language is that sentence meaning determines truth-conditions. A corollary is that the truth or falsity of an utterance depends only on what words mean and how the world is arranged. Although several prominent philosophers (Searle, Travis, Recanati, Moravcsik) have challenged this view, it has proven hard to dislodge. The alternative view holds that meaning underdetermines truth-conditions. What is expressed by the utterance of a sentence in a co…Read more
  •  43
    Language as internal
    In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language, Oxford University Press. pp. 127--139. 2006.
    According to internalist conceptions of language, languages are properties of the mind/brains of individuals and supervene entirely on the internal states of these mind/brains. Hence, languages are primarily to be studied by the mind and/or brain sciences — psychology, neuroscience, and the cognitive sciences more generally. This is not to deny that other sciences may contribute to our understanding too. The internalist conception of language is most associated with Chomsky, who has argued for i…Read more
  •  130
    The Gricean distinction between saying and implicating suggests a clear division of labour between semantics and pragmatics. The standard view that a semantic theory delivers truth-conditions for every well-formed sentence of a language has been grafted onto a Gricean view of the semantics-pragmatics divide. Consequently, many believe that truth-conditions can be specified in a way that is essentially free from pragmatic considerations. This view has been challenged, by those who argue for pragm…Read more
  •  25
  •  109
    The Philosophy of P. F. Strawson
    with L. E. Hahn and P. F. Strawson
    Philosophical Review 110 (3): 460. 2001.
    This is the twenty-sixth volume in the Library of Living Philosophers, a series founded by Paul A. Schilpp in 1939 and edited by him until 1981, when the editorship was taken over by Lewis E. Hahn. This volume follows the design of previous volumes. As Schilpp conceived this series, every volume would have the following elements: an intellectual autobiography of the philosopher, a series of expository and critical articles written by exponents and opponents of the philosopher's thought, replies …Read more
  •  49
    Resisting the step toward naturalism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (4): 743-770. 1996.
  •  76
    Metaphorical Singular Reference. The Role of Enriched Composition in Reference Resolution
    The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 3. 2007.
    It is widely accepted that, in the course of interpreting a metaphorical utterance, both literal and metaphorical interpretations of the utterance are available to the interpreter, although there may be disagreement about the order in which these interpretations are accessed. I call this the dual availability assumption. I argue that it does not apply in cases of metaphorical singular reference. These are cases in which proper names, complex demonstratives or definite descriptions are used metap…Read more
  •  12
    Centering Theory (CT) as articulated by Grosz et al. (1995) is a theory intended to model some of the factors that influence local coherence in a discourse. The idea is that at any one time there are a number of entities that are at the center of attention. Each utterance n that makes up a discourse potentially has two sorts of discourse ‘centers’, an ordered set of forward-looking centers, Cf(uttn), that provide potential links to upcoming utterances, and a single backward-looking center, Cb(ut…Read more
  •  56
  •  51
    I distinguish between the classical Gricean approach to conversational implicatures , which I call the action-theoretic approach, and the approach to CIs taken in contemporary cognitive science. Once we free ourselves from the AT account, and see implicating as a form of what I call “conversational tailoring”, we can more easily see the many different ways that CIs arise in conversation. I will show that they arise not only on the basis of a speaker’s utterance of complete sentences but also on …Read more
  •  212
    According to one widely held view of metaphor, metaphors are cases in which the speaker (literally) says one thing but means something else instead. I wish to challenge this idea. I will argue that when one utters a sentence in some context intending it to be understood metaphorically, one directly expresses a proposition, which can potentially be evaluated as either true or false. This proposition is what is said by the utterance of the sentence in that context. We don’t convey metaphorical mea…Read more
  •  1
    Generalized Conversational Implicatures and Default Pragmatic Inferences
    In Joseph K. Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth: Investigations in Philosophical Semantics., Seven Bridges Press. pp. 257--283. 2002.
  •  24
    Contextualism and the role of contextual frames
    Manuscrito 32 (1): 59-84. 2009.
    Some part of the debate between minimalists and contextualists can be construed as merely terminological and can be resolved by agreeing to a certain division of labor. Minimalist claims are to be understood as claims about what is needed for adequate formal compositional semantic models of language understood in abstraction from real conversational contexts. Contextualist claims are ones about how language users produce and understand utterances by manipulating features of the psychological and…Read more
  •  39
    The debate between representationalists and anti-representationalists as I construe it in this chapter is a debate about whether truth-conditions are or should be assigned directly to natural language sentences (NLSs) – the anti-representationalist view – or whether they are or should be assigned instead to mental representations (MRs) that are related in some appropriate way to these NLSs. On the representationalist view, these MRs are related to NLSs in virtue of the fact that the MRs are the …Read more
  • The Cognitive Constraints on Singular Thought
    Dissertation, University of Michigan. 1990.
    An initial distinction is made between two ways of referring in thought to a particular object. One can think of an object in virtue of having a descriptive condition in mind which uniquely denotes that object. Alternatively, one can think about a particular in a more direct way. It is with the nature of this more direct sort of reference that the subsequent discussion is primarily concerned. ;It has been argued that the relation of direct reference is purely causal in nature. A number of diffic…Read more
  •  22
    Malapropisms and slips of tongue represent ways in which expression meaning can come apart from speaker meaning. Another way is when a speaker engages in some form of implicit communication, conveying a meaning other than the meaning of the words or sentences she utters. Such implicit meaning can be intended either in addition to or instead of the explicit meaning. Some regard utterance meaning as a species of speaker meaning; others regard it as a distinct level of meaning. According to the spe…Read more
  •  251
    Indexicals and perspectivals
    Facta Philosophica 7 (1): 3-18. 2005.
    (1) Jenny is coming to visit me tonight. (2) I’m going to visit Jenny tonight. In these examples, it is where I am (my home, let us suppose) that is the center of the coming and going. This may suggest that the perspective point is always the perspective of the speaker, and that comings are always towards the speaker and that goings are away from the location of the speaker. But this isn’t necessarily so. For example, suppose that a colleague from work calls me at home to find out why I’m late f…Read more
  •  50
    Children's use of contextual cues to resolve referential ambiguity: An application of Relevance Theory
    with Mary Sue Sroda
    Pragmatics and Cognition 6 (1-2): 265-299. 1998.
    Researchers interested in children's understanding of mind have claimed that the ability to ascribe beliefs and intentions is a late development, occurring well after children have learned to speak and comprehend the speech of others. On the other hand, there are convincing arguments to show that verbal communication requires the ability to attribute beliefs and intentions. Hence if one accepts the findings from research into children's understanding of mind, one should predict that young childr…Read more