•  539
    The semantics of racial slurs has recently become a locus of debate amongst philosophers. While everyone agrees that slurs are offensive, there is disagreement about the linguistic mechanism responsible for this offensiveness. This paper places the debate about racial slurs into the context of a larger issue concerning the interface between semantics and pragmatics, and argues that even on minimalist assumptions, the offensiveness of slur words is more plausibly due to their semantic content rat…Read more
  •  935
    False belief tasks have enjoyed a monopoly in the research on children?s development of a theory of mind. They have been granted this status because they promise to deliver an unambiguous assessment of children?s understanding of the representational nature of mental states. Their poor cousins, true belief tasks, have been relegated to occasional service as control tasks. That this is their only role has been due to the universal assumption that correct answers on true belief tasks are inherentl…Read more
  •  1083
    In this paper I adopt Kaplan’s framework for distinguishing between descriptive and expressive content. Racial slurs are an especially difficult challenge for truth-conditional semantics because of their projection behaviors. That is to say, the offensive content of slurs “scopes out” of logical operators. I argue that racial slurs express contempt and lack descriptive content, so that many sentences containing slurs are not truth apt. My theory accounts for the intuition of the ordinary speaker…Read more
  •  18
    Perceptual access reasoning: developmental stage or system 1 heuristic?
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (2): 207-226. 2016.
    In contrast with the two dominant views in Theory of Mind development, the Perceptual Access Reasoning hypothesis of Fabricius and colleagues is that children don’t understand the mental state of belief until around 6 years of age. Evidence for this includes data that many children ages 4 and 5, who pass the standard 2-location false belief task, nonetheless fail the true belief task, and often fail a 3-location false belief task by choosing the irrelevant option. These findings can be explained…Read more