• In contrast to standard possible worlds semantics, possible worlds in a two-dimensional semantic framework play two kinds of roles, rather than just one. This allows the framework to assign two kinds of intensions to expressions, rather than just one. Its fruitful use in explicating modal operators and the meanings of referential expressions like indexicals has led to two-dimensional accounts that seek to revive the Fregean conception of meaning, or more specifically the descriptivist view of re…Read more
  •  103
    Reply to Kai-Yee Wong and Chris Fraser
    In Searle’s Philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement, Brill. pp. 334-336. 2008.
    I thought the paper by Kai-yee Wong and Chris Fraser was fascinating and insightful. Two things I especially appreciated are the clarity with which they summarize my views. I think they are quite fair and accurate. Second, I appreciate their suggestion that the way to deal with the practical problem of weakness of will has much to do with the role of the Background in shaping our actions. I think they are especially on the right track when they say that the improvement of Background skills may a…Read more
  •  102
    Trespassers and Existential Import
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (1): 57-62. 2019.
    It is a received view of the post-Fregean predicate logic that a universal statement has no existential import and thus does not entail its particular (existential) counterpart. This paper takes issue with the view by discussing the trespasser case, which has widely been employed for supporting the view. The trespasser case in fact involves a shift of context. Properly understood, the case provides no support for the received view but rather suggests that we rethink the ‘quantity view’ of the ex…Read more
  •  88
    Two-dimensionalism and Kripkean A Posteriori necessity
    In Manuel Garcia-Carpintero & Josep Macià (eds.), Two-Dimensional Semantics, Oxford University Press. 2006.
    The essence of the associated-proposition strategy is to distinguish the necessary proposition _expressed by_ a sentence
  •  2
    On Jackson’s Descriptivism
    Studies in Logic 8 (2): 52-69. 2015.
    Through a series of writings, Frank Jackson has developed a new kind of descriptivism that he argues can resist all of the three major objections raised by the theorists of direct reference. In this article I articulate some doubts about Jackson’s replies to two of these objections, i.e., the modal argument and the semantic argument.
  •  7
    I understand (MR) as meaning that there is a way the world is that is independent of our minds or representations. One may also state (MR) in terms of ‘A description/language independent world/reality’ or ‘a conceptual scheme independent world/reality’. For our purposes, we need not distinguish these variants of formulation.
  •  54
    Singular Propositions and the A Priori
    Journal of Philosophical Research 21 107-116. 1996.
    In Frege’s Puzzle, Nathan Salmon argues that his theory of singular propositions enables him to refute Saul Kripke’s claim that some identity statements are necessary and yet a posteriori. In this paper, through a critical examination of Salmon’s rejoinders to my earlier objections to his argument, I show what implications the theory of singular propositions has for the notion of apriority. I argue that Salmon’s handling of the ‘trivialization problem,’ which presents serious difficulties for hi…Read more
  •  103
    In 1996, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal of United States ruled that a Washington law banning physician-assisted suicide was unconstitutional. In the same year, the 2nd Circuit found a similar law in New York unconstitutional. One year later, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed both rulings, saying that there was no constitutional right to assisted suicide. However, the Court also made plain that they did not reject such a right in principle and that “citizens are free to press for permissive reform…Read more
  •  38
    Testimony and Computer Proof
    Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 53 317-323. 2008.
    This article aims to evaluate the purported empirical character of computer-assisted proof, as suggested by Thomas Tymoczko and others. Tymoczko famously argued that the proof of the Four-Color Theorem introduced a new, empirical method of proof, forcing us to modify the traditional conception of mathematical argument as a priori reasoning. Detlefsen and Luker contended that Tymoczko’s suggestion entailed that typically mathematical proofs were empirical. My chief interest is to raise some objec…Read more
  •  124
    Computer, Proof, and Testimony
    Studies in Logic 5 (1): 50-67. 2012.
    It has been claimed that computer-assisted proof utilizes empirical evidence in a manner unheard of in traditional mathematics and therefore its employment forces us to modify our conception of proof. This paper provides a critical survey of some arguments for this claim. It starts by revisiting a well known paper by Thomas Tymoczko on the computer proof of the Four-Color Theorem. Drawing on some ideas from the works of Tyler Burge and others, it then considers a way to see the philosophical sig…Read more