•  102
    Problems for Russellian Act-Type Theories
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    I here discuss two problems facing Russellian act-type theories of propositions, and argue that Fregean act-type theories are better equipped to deal with them. The first relates to complex singular terms like '2+2', which turn out not to pose any special problem for Fregeans at all, whereas Soames' theory currently has no satisfactory way of dealing with them (particularly, with such "mixed" propositions as the proposition that 2+2 is greater than 3). Admittedly, one possibility stands out as t…Read more
  •  180
    Truth-Predicates Still Not like Pronouns: a Reply to Salis
    Philosophia 47 (5): 1421-1429. 2019.
    I here respond to Pietro Salis’s objections against my original critique of the Prosentential Theory of Truth. In addition, I clarify some points regarding the relationship between anaphoric relationships and “general semantic notions” like “equivalence”, “consequence”, and “sameness of content”, and make some further points about ’s ability gto explain pragmatic and expressive features of “true”.
  •  299
    Semantic dispositionalism without exceptions
    Philosophical Studies 177 (6): 1751-1771. 2020.
    Semantic dispositionalism is roughly the view that meaning a certain thing by a word, or possessing a certain concept, consists in being disposed to do something, e.g., infer a certain way. Its main problem is that it seems to have so many and disparate exceptions. People can fail to infer as required due to lack of logical acumen, intoxication, confusion, deviant theories, neural malfunctioning, and so on. I present a theory stating possession conditions of concepts that are counterfactuals, ra…Read more
  •  256
    Acts and Alternative Analyses
    Journal of Philosophy 116 (4). 2019.
    I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [bei…Read more
  •  213
    Concept Designation
    American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (4): 331-344. 2019.
    The paper proposes a way for adherents of Fregean, structured propositions to designate propositions and other complex senses/concepts using a special kind of functor. I consider some formulations from Peacocke's works and highlight certain problems that arise as we try to quantify over propositional constituents while referring to propositions using "that"-clauses. With the functor notation, by contrast, we can quantify over senses/concepts with objectual, first-order quantifiers and speak with…Read more
  •  129
    Trivial Languages
    Acta Analytica 33 (1): 1-17. 2018.
    I here present and defend what I call the Triviality Theory of Truth, to be understood in analogy with Matti Eklund’s Inconsistency Theory of Truth. A specific formulation of is defended and compared with alternatives found in the literature. A number of objections against the proposed notion of meaning-constitutivity are discussed and held inconclusive. The main focus, however, is on the problem, discussed at length by Gupta and Belnap, that speakers do not accept epistemically neutral conclusi…Read more
  •  387
    A Deflationist Error Theory of Properties
    Dialectica 69 (1): 23-59. 2015.
    I here defend a theory consisting of four claims about ‘property’ and properties, and argue that they form a coherent whole that can solve various serious problems. The claims are (1): ‘property’ is defined by the principles (PR): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property of x iff F’ and (PA): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property’; (2) the function of ‘property’ is to increase the expressive power of English, roughly by mimicking quantification into predicate position; (3) property talk should be underst…Read more
  •  371
    Compositional Semantics for Expressivists
    Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253): 633-659. 2013.
    I here propose a hitherto unnoticed possibility of solving embedding problems for noncognitivist expressivists in metaethics by appeal to Conceptual Role Semantics. I show that claims from the latter as to what constitutes various concepts can be used to define functions from states expressed by atomic sentences to states expressed by complex sentences, thereby allowing an expressivist semantics that satisfies a rather strict compositionality constraint. The proposal can be coupled with several …Read more
  •  186
    Conceptual Role Semantics
    Oxford Bibliographies Online. 2015.
    Contents: 1. Introduction
, 2. Overviews
, 3.History and major works, 3.1 Gerhard Gentzen and proof-theory, 3.2 Wilfrid Sellars, 3.3 
Gilbert Harman, 3.4 
Christopher Peacocke, 3.5 Robert Brandom
, 3.6 Paul Horwich, 3.7 
Major works by other authors, 4. Mental content first vs. linguistic meaning first, 4.1 Content-first views, 4.2 Meaning-first views, 5. Wide vs. narrow CRS, 5.1 Overviews and major works about externalism/internalism, 5.2 Discussions about externalism within CRS, 6. Descriptive…Read more
  •  407
    Self-Consciousness and Reductive Functionalism
    Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266): 1-21. 2017.
    It is argued that although George Bealer's influential ‘Self-Consciousness argument’ refutes standard versions of reductive functionalism (RF), it fails to generalize in the way Bealer supposes. To wit, he presupposes that any version of RF must take the content of ‘pain’ to be the property of being in pain (and so on), which is expressly rejected in independently motivated versions of conceptual role semantics (CRS). Accordingly, there are independently motivated versions of RF, incorporating C…Read more
  •  652
    A deflationary theory of reference
    Synthese 169 (1). 2009.
    The article first rehearses three deflationary theories of reference, (1) disquotationalism, (2) propositionalism (Horwich), and (3) the anaphoric theory (Brandom), and raises a number of objections against them. It turns out that each corresponds to a closely related theory of truth, and that these are subject to analogous criticisms to a surprisingly high extent. I then present a theory of my own, according to which the schema “That S(t) is about t” and the biconditional “S refers to x iff S s…Read more
  •  564
    Deflationism and the primary truth bearer
    Synthese 173 (3). 2010.
    The paper discusses what kind of truth bearer, or truth-ascription, a deflationist should take as primary. I first present number of arguments against a sententialist view. I then present a deflationary theory which takes propositions as primary, and try to show that it deals neatly with a wide range of linguistic data. Next, I consider both the view that there is no primary truth bearer, and the most common account of sentence truth given by deflationists who take propositions as primary, and a…Read more
  •  540
    Deflationism: A Use-Theoretic Analysis of the Truth-Predicate
    Dissertation, Stockholm University. 2006.
    I here develop a specific version of the deflationary theory of truth. I adopt a terminology on which deflationism holds that an exhaustive account of truth is given by the equivalence between truth-ascriptions and de-nominalised (or disquoted) sentences. An adequate truth-theory, it is argued, must be finite, non-circular, and give a unified account of all occurrences of “true”. I also argue that it must descriptively capture the ordinary meaning of “true”, which is plausibly taken to be unambi…Read more
  •  286
    Why is a truth-predicate like a pronoun?
    Philosophical Studies 145 (2). 2009.
    I begin with an exposition of the two main variants of the Prosentential Theory of Truth (PT), those of Dorothy Grover et al. and Robert Brandom. Three main types of criticisms are then put forward: (1) material criticisms to the effect that (PT) does not adequately explain the linguistic data, (2) an objection to the effect that no variant of (PT) gives a properly unified account of the various occurrences of "true" in English, and, most importantly, (3) a charge that the comparison with profor…Read more
  •  583
    A pragmatic defense of Millianism
    Philosophical Studies 138 (2). 2008.
    A new kind of defense of the Millian theory of names is given, which explains intuitive counter-examples as depending on pragmatic effects of the relevant sentences, by direct application of Grice’s and Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory and uncontroversial assumptions. I begin by arguing that synonyms are always intersubstitutable, despite Mates’ considerations, and then apply the method to names. Then, a fairly large sample of cases concerning names are dealt with in related ways. It is arg…Read more
  •  439
    Formulating deflationism
    Synthese 190 (15): 3287-3305. 2013.
    I here argue for a particular formulation of truth-deflationism, namely, the propositionally quantified formula, (Q) “For all p, <p> is true iff p”. The main argument consists of an enumeration of the other (five) possible formulations and criticisms thereof. Notably, Horwich’s Minimal Theory is found objectionable in that it cannot be accepted by finite beings. Other formulations err in not providing non-questionbegging, sufficiently direct derivations of the T-schema instances. I end by defend…Read more
  •  478
    How To Precisify Quantifiers
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (1): 103-111. 2011.
    I here argue that Ted Sider's indeterminacy argument against vagueness in quantifiers fails. Sider claims that vagueness entails precisifications, but holds that precisifications of quantifiers cannot be coherently described: they will either deliver the wrong logical form to quantified sentences, or involve a presupposition that contradicts the claim that the quantifier is vague. Assuming (as does Sider) that the “connectedness” of objects can be precisely defined, I present a counter-example t…Read more
  •  245
    Charity and Error‐Theoretic Nominalism
    Ratio 28 (3): 256-270. 2015.
    I here investigate whether there is any version of the principle of charity both strong enough to conflict with an error-theoretic version of nominalism (EN) about abstract objects, and supported by the considerations adduced in favour of interpretive charity in the literature. I argue that in order to be strong enough, the principle, which I call (Charity), would have to read, “For all expressions e, an acceptable interpretation must make true a sufficiently high ratio of accepted sentences con…Read more
  •  239
    On Using Inconsistent Expressions
    Erkenntnis 77 (1): 133-148. 2012.
    The paper discusses the Inconsistency Theory of Truth (IT), the view that “true” is inconsistent in the sense that its meaning-constitutive principles include all instances of the truth-schema (T). It argues that (IT) entails that anyone using “true” in its ordinary sense is committed to all the (T)-instances and that any theory in which “true” is used in that sense entails the (T)-instances (which, given classical logic, entail contradictions). More specifically, I argue that theorists are comm…Read more