• This book investigates the phenomenon of semantic under-determinacy by seeking an answer to the questions of how it can be explained, and how communication is possible despite it.
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    Downplaying the change of subject objection to conceptual engineering
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    Conceptual engineering projects have been criticized for creating discontinuities of subject-matter and, as a result, discontinuities in inquiries: call this the Change of Subject objection. In this paper, I explore a way of dealing with the objection that clarifies its scope and eventually downplays it. First, two strategies aimed at saving subject-continuity are examined and found wanting: Herman Cappelen’s appeal to topics, and the account in terms of concept function. Second, the idea is int…Read more
  •  9
    Slurs: Departures from Genuine Uses and Derogation
    Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 62 (1): 9-24. 2020.
    Some non-appropriated uses of slurs seem to be non–derogatory. In this paper, I argue that in a range of cases, the lack of derogation is owed to the term not being genuinely used. I first examine so–called pedagogical uses and show that they can be assimilated to what I call “distancing uses.” I then turn to a range of other apparently non–derogatory, non–appropriated uses of slurs – such as non–weapon uses, comedic uses – and argue that they can depart from standard, genuine usage in relevant …Read more
  •  54
    Philosophy Compass, EarlyView.
  •  62
    Two Species of Merely Verbal Disputes
    Metaphilosophy 49 (5): 691-710. 2018.
  •  47
    It has been argued by many authors that sentences fail to express full-blown propositions: a phenomenon known as semantic underdeterminacy. In some cases, this thesis is accompanied by a conception of thought as fully propositional. This implies that sentences fail to fully express our thoughts. Against this, I argue that many thoughts can be fully expressed by sentences, where by ‘fully expressed’ I mean encoded by a sentence plus minimal contextual information. These are thoughts that may be c…Read more
  •  58
  •  167
    Verbalism and metalinguistic negotiation in ontological disputes
    Philosophical Studies 174 (9): 2211-2226. 2017.
    The aim of this paper is to explore the view that some ontological disputes are “metalinguistic negotiations”, and to make sense of the significance of these controversies in a way that is still compatible with a broadly deflationist approach. I start by considering the view advocated by Eli Hirsch to the effect that some ontological disputes are verbal. I take the Endurantism–Perdurantusm dispute as a case-study and argue that, while it can be conceded that the dispute is verbal at the object-l…Read more
  •  117
    Disagreement and Dispute
    Philosophia 42 (2): 289-307. 2014.
    In this paper, I will trace a distinction between two different ways of thinking about doxastic conflicts. The first way emphasises what is going on at the level of semantics, when two subjects disagree by uttering certain sentences or accepting certain contents. The second way emphasises some aspects that are epistemic in kind, which concern what subjects are rationally required to do whenever they disagree with someone. The semantics-oriented and epistemically-oriented notions will serve for t…Read more
  •  215
    Why Semantic Unspecificity is not Indexicality
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (1): 56-69. 2014.
    In this paper, I address the idea that certain sentences suffer from what is generally called semantic unspecificity: their meaning is determinate, but their truth conditions are not. While there tends to be agreement on the idea that semantic unspecificity differs from phenomena such as ambiguity and vagueness, some theorists have defended an account which traces it to indexicality, broadly construed. Some authors have tried to vindicate the distinction between unspecificity and indexicality an…Read more
  •  73
    On What is Effable
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4): 341-349. 2013.
    The Effability thesis has it that all propositions can be encoded by a sentence. By contrast, the Ineffability thesis has it that no proposition can be encoded by a sentence. In this article, I undermine an important motivation for the Ineffability thesis and advance a proposal concerning what is effable and what is not. My strategy will be as follows: First, I'll note that the Ineffability thesis assumes that propositions/thoughts are determinate. I'll point out that propositions/thoughts qua t…Read more
  •  50
    The thesis of Ineffability has it that no proposition can be fully expressed by a sentence, this meaning that no sentence-type, or even sentence-token whose indexicality and ambiguities have been resolved, can fully encode a proposition. The thesis of the propositionality of thoughts has it that thoughts are propositional. An implication of the joint endorsement of these two theses is that thoughts are ineffable. The aim of this paper is to argue that this is not the case: there are effable thou…Read more