• Content and Psychological Explanation
    Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. 1987.
    Thought experiments show that people who are physically identical but have different environments can have mental states with different contents. But many philosophers think that physically identical people must also be psychologically identical. They therefore believe these thought experiments show that differences in mental state content do not necessarily mark genuine psychological differences, but are instead merely fallible signs of psychological differences. They conclude that content attr…Read more
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    Propositions are the referents of the ‘that’-clauses that appear in the direct object positions of typical ascriptions of assertion, belief, and other binary cognitive relations. In that sense, propositions are the objects of those cognitive relations. Propositions are also the semantic contents (meanings, in one sense ) of declarative sentences, with respect to contexts. They are what sentences semantically express, with respect to contexts. Propositions also bear truth-values. The truth-value …Read more
  •  18
    Katz on Names Without Bearers
    Philosophical Review 104 (4): 553-576. 1995.
    Millian theories of proper names say that the meaning of a proper name is just its referent. These theories have an appealing kind of simplicity to them, but they also have an apparently serious problem with names that fail to refer. Consider, for example, sentence.
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  •  12
    The Reality of Meaning and the Meaning of Reality (review)
    Philosophical Review 103 (1): 148-150. 1994.
  •  1
    Review of Austin (1990) and Yourgrau (1990) (review)
    Minds and Machines 7 297-302. 1997.
  •  164
    Russellianism and psychological generalizations
    Noûs 34 (2): 203-236. 2000.
    (1) Harry believes that Twain is a writer. (2) Harry believes that Clemens is a writer. I say that this is Russellianism's most notorious consequence because it is so often used to argue against the view: many philosophers think that it is obvious that (1) and (2) can differ in truth value, and so they conclude that Russellianism is false. Let's call this the Substitution Objection to Russellianism.
  •  19
    Consciousness and Cognition (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (2): 484-491. 2004.
    Michael Thau’s book challenges much of current orthodox theory about consciousness and cognition. It is an enormously stimulating tour de force. I highly recommend it.
  •  246
    We use names to talk about objects. We use predicates to talk about properties and relations. We use sentences to attribute properties and relations to objects. We say things when we utter sentences, often things we believe
  •  29
    Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2): 489-492. 2000.
    Review of Michael Devitt's "Coming to Our Senses"
  •  91
    Katz on names without bearers
    Philosophical Review 104 (4): 553-576. 1995.
    Millian theories of proper names say that the meaning of a proper name is just its referent. These theories have an appealing kind of simplicity to them, but they also have an apparently serious problem with names that fail to refer. Consider, for example, sentence.
  •  113
    Scott Soames. 2002. Beyond rigidity: The unfinished semantic agenda of naming and necessity (review)
    Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (3): 367-379. 2002.
    This excellent book is aptly titled, for in it Scott Soames systematically discusses and greatly extends the semantic views that Saul Kripke presented in Naming and Necessity . As Soames does this, he touches on a wide variety of semantic topics, all of which he treats with his characteristically high degree of clarity, depth, and precision. Anyone who is interested in the semantic issues raised by..
  •  136
    Causally relevant properties
    Philosophical Perspectives 9 (AI, Connectionism and Philosophi): 447-75. 1995.
    In this paper I present an analysis of causal relevance for properties. I believe that most of us are already familiar with the notion of a causally relevant property. But some of us may not recognize it "under that description." So I begin below with some intuitive explanations and some illustrative examples.
  •  181
    Names and natural kind terms
    In Ernie Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language, Oxford University Press. pp. 490--515. 2005.
    Names and natural kind terms have long been a major focus of debates about meaning and reference. This article discusses some of the theories and arguments that have appeared in those debates. It is remarkably difficult to say what names are without making controversial theoretical assumptions. This article does not attempt to do so here. It instead relies on paradigm examples that nearly all theorists would agree are proper names, for instance, ‘Aristotle’, ‘Mark Twain’, ‘London’, ‘Venus’, and …Read more
  •  173
    What is character?
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 24 (3): 241--273. 1995.
    David Kaplan distinguishes between character and content in his theory of demonstratives and indexicals. This paper argues that David Kaplan's theory of demonstratives contains two different, incompatible, descriptions of what character is. It argues that one of them is superior. It argues that, ultimately, a theory of indexicals needs a theory of structured characters.
  •  261
    Complex demonstratives and their singular contents
    Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1): 57-99. 2008.
    This paper presents a semantic and pragmatic theory of complex demonstratives. According to this theory, the semantic content of a complex demonstrative, in a context, is simply an object, and the semantic content of a sentence that contains a complex demonstrative, in a context, is a singular proposition. This theory is defended from various objections to direct reference theories of complex demonstratives, including King's objection from quantification into complex demonstratives.
  •  194
    Now you know who Hong oak yun is
    Philosophical Issues 16 (1): 24-42. 2006.
    Hong Oak Yun is a person who is over three inches tall. And now you know who Hong Oak Yun is. For if someone were to ask you ‘Who is Hong Oak Yun?’, you could answer that Hong Oak Yun is a person who is over three inches tall, and you would know what you were saying. So you know an answer to the question ‘Who is Hong Oak Yun?’, and that is sufficient for knowing who Hong Oak Yun is. Getting to know who a person is may be easier than you think.
  •  109
    Simple Sentences, Substitutions, and Mistaken Evaluations
    Philosophical Studies 111 (1). 2002.
    Many competent speakers initially judge that (i) is true and (ii) isfalse, though they know that (iii) is true. (i) Superman leaps more tallbuildings than Clark Kent. (ii) Superman leaps more tall buildings thanSuperman. (iii) Superman is identical with Clark Kent. Semanticexplanations of these intuitions say that (i) and (ii) really can differin truth-value. Pragmatic explanations deny this, and say that theintuitions are due to misleading implicatures. This paper argues thatboth explanations a…Read more
  •  121
    Content, causation, and cognitive science
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (4): 375-89. 1991.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  211
    Demonstratives and their linguistic meanings
    Noûs 30 (2): 145-173. 1996.
    In this paper, I present a new semantics for demonstratives. Now some may think that David Kaplan (1989a,b) has already given a more than satisfactory semantics for demonstratives, and that there is no need for a new one. But I argue below that Kaplan's theory fails to describe the linguistic meanings of 'that' and other true demonstratives. My argument for this conclusion has nothing to do with cognitive value, belief sentences, or other such contentious matters in semantics and the philosophy …Read more
  •  180
    Russellianism and Explanation
    Noûs 35 (s15): 253-289. 2001.
    Many philosophers think that the Substitution Objection decisively refutes Russellianism. This objection claims that sentences (1) and (2) can differ in truth value. Therefore, it says, the sentences express different propositions, and so Russellianism is false.
  •  172
    The Objects of Belief and Credence
    Mind 125 (498): 469-497. 2016.
    David Chalmers uses Bayesian theories of credence to argue against referentialism about belief. This paper argues that Chalmers’s Bayesian objections to referentialism are similar to older, more familiar objections to referentialism. There are familiar responses to the old objections, and there is a predictable way to modify those old responses to meet Chalmers’s Bayesian objections. The new responses to the new objections are no less plausible than the old responses to the old objections. Chalm…Read more
  •  119
    Implicating Questions
    Mind and Language 26 (5): 574-595. 2011.
    I modify Grice's theory of conversational implicature so as to accommodate acts of implicating propositions by asking questions, acts of implicating questions by asserting propositions, and acts of implicating questions by asking questions. I describe the relations between a declarative sentence's semantic content (the proposition it semantically expresses), on the one hand, and the propositions that a speaker locutes, asserts, and implicates by uttering that sentence, on the other. I discuss an…Read more
  •  200
    Desiring, desires, and desire ascriptions
    Philosophical Studies 172 (1): 141-162. 2015.
    Delia Graff Fara maintains that many desire ascriptions underspecify the content of the relevant agent’s desire. She argues that this is inconsistent with certain initially plausible claims about desiring, desires, and desire ascriptions. This paper defends those initially plausible claims. Part of the defense hinges on metaphysical claims about the relations among desiring, desires, and contents
  •  104
    Contextualism about 'might' and says-that ascriptions
    Philosophical Studies 164 (2): 485-511. 2013.
    Contextualism about ‘might’ says that the property that ‘might’ expresses varies from context to context. I argue against contextualism. I focus on problems that contextualism apparently has with attitude ascriptions in which ‘might’ appears in an embedded ‘that’-clause. I argue that contextualists can deal rather easily with many of these problems, but I also argue that serious difficulties remain with collective and quantified says-that ascriptions. Herman Cappelen and John Hawthorne atempt to…Read more
  •  45
    Extension, Intension, Character, and beyond
    In Gillian Russell Delia Graff Fara (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language, Routledge. pp. 9. 2012.
    This article explains some of the technical terms used in semantic theory and philosophy of language.