•  94
    Vendler’s puzzle about imagination
    Synthese 1-22. forthcoming.
    Vendler’s [1979] puzzle about imagination is that the sentences ‘Imagine swimming in that water’ and ‘Imagine yourself swimming in that water’ seem at once semantically different and semantically the same. They seem semantically different, since the first requires you to imagine ’from the inside’, while the second allows you to imagine ’from the outside.’ They seem semantically the same, since despite superficial dissimilarity, there is good reason to think that they are syntactically and lexica…Read more
  •  204
    Prior's Puzzle Generalized
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    Prior’s puzzle is standardly taken to be the puzzle of why, given the assumption that that-clauses denote propositions, substitution of “the proposition that P” for “that P” within the complements of many propositional attitude verbs is invalid. I show that Prior’s puzzle is much more general than is ordinarily supposed. There are two variants on the substitutional form of the puzzle—a quantificational variant and a pronominal variant—and all three forms of the puzzle arise in a wide range of gr…Read more
  •  201
    Two Notions of Resemblance and the Semantics of 'What it's Like'
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    According to the resemblance account of 'what it's like' and similar constructions, a sentence such as 'there is something it’s like to have a toothache' means 'there is something having a toothache resembles'. This account has proved controversial in the literature; some writers endorse it, many reject it. We show that this conflict is illusory. Drawing on the semantics of intensional transitive verbs, we show that there are two versions of the resemblance account, depending on whether 're…Read more
  •  285
    Ramsification is a well-known method of defining theoretical terms that figures centrally in a wide range of debates in metaphysics. Prior's puzzle is the puzzle of why, given the assumption that that-clauses denote propositions, substitution of "the proposition that P" for "that P" within the complements of many propositional attitude verbs sometimes fails to preserve truth, and other times fails to preserve grammaticality. On the surface, Ramsification and Prior's puzzle appear to have little …Read more
  •  124
    This paper shows that direct-object perceptual verbs, such as "hear", "smell", "taste", "feel", and "see", share a collection of distinctive semantic behaviors with depictive verbs, among which are "draw'', "paint", "sketch", and "sculpt". What explains these behaviors in the case of depictives is that they are causative verbs, and have lexical decompositions that involve the creation of concrete artistic artifacts, such as pictures, paintings, and sculptures. For instance, "draw a dog" means "d…Read more
  •  250
    In this paper I present an empirical solution to the puzzle of Macbeth's dagger. The puzzle of Macbeth's dagger is the question of whether, in having his fatal vision of a dagger, Macbeth sees a dagger. I answer this question by addressing a more general one: the question of whether perceptual verbs are intensional transitive verbs (ITVs). I present seven experiments, each of which tests a collection of perceptual verbs for one of the three features characteristic of ITVs. One of these features …Read more
  •  307
    The many-property problem is your problem, too
    Philosophical Studies 178 (3): 811-832. 2021.
    The many-property problem has traditionally been taken to show that the adverbial theory of perception is untenable. This paper first shows that several widely accepted views concerning the nature of perception---including both representational and non-representational views---likewise face the many-property problem. It then presents a solution to the many-property problem for these views, but goes on to show how this solution can be adapted to provide a novel, fully compositional solution to th…Read more
  •  246
    Non-Relational Intentionality
    Dissertation, Yale University. 2017.
    This dissertation lays the foundation for a new theory of non-relational intentionality. The thesis is divided into an introduction and three main chapters, each of which serves as an essential part of an overarching argument. The argument yields, as its conclusion, a new account of how language and thought can exhibit intentionality intrinsically, so that representation can occur in the absence of some thing that is represented. The overarching argument has two components: first, that intention…Read more
  •  514
    A New Perceptual Adverbialism
    Journal of Philosophy 116 (8): 413-446. 2019.
    In this paper, I develop and defend a new adverbial theory of perception. I first present a semantics for direct-object perceptual reports that treats their object positions as supplying adverbial modifiers, and I show how this semantics definitively solves the many-property problem for adverbialism. My solution is distinctive in that it articulates adverbialism from within a well-established formal semantic framework and ties adverbialism to a plausible semantics for perceptual reports in Engli…Read more
  •  307
    Semantic Verbs Are Intensional Transitives
    Mind 128 (509): 213-248. 2019.
    In this paper I show that we have strong empirical and theoretical reasons to treat the verbs we use in our semantic theorizing—particularly ‘refers to ’, ‘applies to ’, and ‘is true of ’—as intensional transitive verbs. Stating our semantic theories with intensional vocabulary allows us to partially reconcile two competing approaches to the nature and subject-matter of semantics: the Chomskian approach, on which semantics is non-relational, internalistic, and concerns the psychology of language…Read more