• Most theories of concepts take concepts to be structured bodies of information used in categorization and inference. This paper argues for a version of atomism, on which concepts are unstructured symbols. However, traditional Fodorian atomism is falsified by polysemy and fails to provide an account of how concepts figure in cognition. This paper argues that concepts are generative pointers, that is, unstructured symbols that point to memory locations where cognitively useful bodies of informatio…Read more
  • The Social Life of Slurs
    In Daniel Fogal, Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts, Oxford University Press. 2018.
    The words we call slurs are just plain vanilla descriptions like ‘cowboy’ and ‘coat hanger’. They don't semantically convey any disparagement of their referents, whether as content, conventional implicature, presupposition, “coloring” or mode of presentation. What distinguishes 'kraut' and 'German' is metadata rather than meaning: the former is the conventional description for Germans among Germanophobes when they are speaking in that capacity, in the same way 'mad' is the conventional expressio…Read more
  • Two kinds of intentions: a new defense of the Simple View
    Philosophical Studies 175 (7): 1767-1786. 2018.
    This paper defends a version of the Simple View, the claim that someone intentionally φs only if the person intends to φ. To do this, I raise a problem for Bratman’s classic argument (1984, 1987) against it. The problem brings into focus an evaluative dimension behind the View, whose recognition allows for an improved version of it. With this improved version, I then go on to answer other criticisms that have been raised to it.