•  9
    Stakes, Scales, and Skepticism
    with Kathryn B. Francis and Philip Beaman
    Ergo. 2019.
    There is conflicting experimental evidence about whether the “stakes” or importance of being wrong affect judgments about whether a subject knows a proposition. To date, judgments about stakes effects on knowledge have been investigated using binary paradigms: responses to “low” stakes cases are compared with responses to “high stakes” cases. However, stakes or importance are not binary properties—they are scalar: whether a situation is “high” or “low” stakes is a matter of degree. So far, no ex…Read more
  •  7
    This paper defends a challenge, inspired by arguments drawn from contemporary ordinary language philosophy and grounded in experimental data, to certain forms of standard philosophical practice. The challenge is inspired by contemporary philosophers who describe themselves as practicing “ordinary language philosophy”. Contemporary ordinary language philosophy can be divided into constructive and critical approaches. The critical approach to contemporary ordinary language philosophy has been forc…Read more
  •  10
    Ratio, EarlyView.
  •  2
    The Meaning of Pain Expressions and Pain Communication
    with Emma Borg and Tim Salomons
    In Marc A. Russo, Joletta Belton, Bronwyn Lennox Thompson, Smadar Bustan, Marie Crowe, Deb Gillon, Cate McCall, Jennifer Jordan, James E. Eubanks, Michael E. Farrell, Brandon S. Barndt, Chandler L. Bolles, Maria Vanushkina, James W. Atchison, Helena Lööf, Christopher J. Graham, Shona L. Brown, Andrew W. Horne, Laura Whitburn, Lester Jones, Colleen Johnston-Devin, Florin Oprescu, Marion Gray, Sara E. Appleyard, Chris Clarke, Zehra Gok Metin, John Quintner, Melanie Galbraith, Milton Cohen, Emma Borg, Nathaniel Hansen, Tim Salomons & Grant Duncan (eds.), Meanings of Pain: Volume 2: Common Types of Pain and Language, Springer Verlag. pp. 261-282. 2019.
    Both patients and clinicians frequently report problems around communicating and assessing pain. Patients express dissatisfaction with their doctors and doctors often find exchanges with chronic pain patients difficult and frustrating. This chapter thus asks how we could improve pain communication and thereby enhance outcomes for chronic pain patients. We argue that improving matters will require a better appreciation of the complex meaning of pain terms and of the variability and flexibility in…Read more
  •  8
    Meanings of Pain: Volume 2: Common Types of Pain and Language
    with Marc A. Russo, Joletta Belton, Bronwyn Lennox Thompson, Smadar Bustan, Marie Crowe, Deb Gillon, Cate McCall, Jennifer Jordan, James E. Eubanks, Michael E. Farrell, Brandon S. Barndt, Chandler L. Bolles, Maria Vanushkina, James W. Atchison, Helena Lööf, Christopher J. Graham, Shona L. Brown, Andrew W. Horne, Laura Whitburn, Lester Jones, Colleen Johnston-Devin, Florin Oprescu, Marion Gray, Sara E. Appleyard, Chris Clarke, Zehra Gok Metin, John Quintner, Melanie Galbraith, Milton Cohen, Emma Borg, Tim Salomons, and Grant Duncan
    Springer Verlag. 2019.
  •  153
    The meaning of pain expressions and pain communication
    with Emma Borg and Tim Salomons
    In Simon van Rysewyk (ed.), Meanings of Pain, Springer. pp. 261-282. 2019.
    Both patients and clinicians frequently report problems around communicating and assessing pain. Patients express dissatisfaction with their doctors and doctors often find exchanges with chronic pain patients difficult and frustrating. This chapter thus asks how we could improve pain communication and thereby enhance outcomes for chronic pain patients. We argue that improving matters will require a better appreciation of the complex meaning of pain terms and of the variability and flexibility in…Read more
  •  138
    The Myth of the Common Sense Conception of Color
    with Zed Adams
    In Asa Maria Wikforss & Teresa Marques (eds.), Shifting Concepts: The Philosophy and Psychology of Conceptual Variability, Oxford University Press. pp. 106-127. 2020.
    Some philosophical theories of the nature of color aim to respect a "common sense" conception of color: aligning with the common sense conception is supposed to speak in favor of a theory and conflicting with it is supposed to speak against a theory. In this paper, we argue that the idea of a "common sense" conception of color that philosophers of color have relied upon is overly simplistic. By drawing on experimental and historical evidence, we show how conceptions of color vary along several d…Read more
  •  160
    Stakes, Scales, and Skepticism
    with Kathryn B. Francis and Philip Beaman
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6 427--487. 2019.
    There is conflicting experimental evidence about whether the “stakes” or importance of being wrong affect judgments about whether a subject knows a proposition. To date, judgments about stakes effects on knowledge have been investigated using binary paradigms: responses to “low” stakes cases are compared with responses to “high stakes” cases. However, stakes or importance are not binary properties—they are scalar: whether a situation is “high” or “low” stakes is a matter of degree. So far, no ex…Read more
  •  500
    Metalinguistic Proposals
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1-19. 2019.
    This paper sets out the felicity conditions for metalinguistic proposals, a type of directive illocutionary act. It discusses the relevance of metalinguistic proposals and other metalinguistic directives for understanding both small- and large-scale linguistic engineering projects, essentially contested concepts, metalinguistic provocations, and the methodology of ordinary language philosophy. Metalinguistic proposals are compared with other types of linguistic interventions, including metalingu…Read more
  •  394
    We investigate claims about the frequency of "know" made by philosophers. Our investigation has several overlapping aims. First, we aim to show what is required to confirm or disconfirm philosophers’ claims about the comparative frequency of different uses of philosophically interesting expressions. Second, we aim to show how using linguistic corpora as tools for investigating meaning is a productive methodology, in the sense that it yields discoveries about the use of language that philosophers…Read more
  •  242
    This is the second book by Baz that aims to show that a big chunk of contemporary philosophy is fundamentally misguided. His first book, When Words Are Called For: A Defense of Ordinary Language Philosophy (2012) adopted a therapeutic approach (in the Wittgensteinian style) to problems in contemporary epistemology, arguing that when properly thought through, the way philosophers talk about ‘knowing’ that something is the case ultimately does not make sense. Baz’s goal in his second book is less …Read more
  •  75
    Color Comparisons and Interpersonal Variation
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4): 809-826. 2017.
    An important challenge to color objectivists, who hold that statements concerning color are made true or false by objective facts, is the argument from interpersonal variation in where normal observers locate the unique hues. Recently, an attractive objectivist response to the argument has been proposed that draws on the semantics of gradable adjectives and which does not require defending the idea that there is a single correct location for each of the unique hues Noûs 50: 3–40),. In ), I argue…Read more
  •  420
    Must we measure what we mean?
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8): 785-815. 2017.
    This paper excavates a debate concerning the claims of ordinary language philosophers that took place during the middle of the last century. The debate centers on the status of statements about ‘what we say’. On one side of the debate, critics of ordinary language philosophy argued that statements about ‘what we say’ should be evaluated as empirical observations about how people do in fact speak, on a par with claims made in the language sciences. By that standard, ordinary language philosophers…Read more
  •  385
    This paper defends a challenge, inspired by arguments drawn from contemporary ordinary language philosophy and grounded in experimental data, to certain forms of standard philosophical practice. There has been a resurgence of philosophers who describe themselves as practicing "ordinary language philosophy". The resurgence can be divided into constructive and critical approaches. The critical approach to neo-ordinary language philosophy has been forcefully developed by Baz (2012a,b, 2014, 2015, 2…Read more
  •  317
    In the past few years there has been a turn towards evaluating the empirical foundation of epistemic contextualism using formal (rather than armchair) experimental methods. By-and-large, the results of these experiments have not supported the original motivation for epistemic contextualism. That is partly because experiments have only uncovered effects of changing context on knowledge ascriptions in limited experimental circumstances (when contrast is present, for example), and partly because ex…Read more
  •  387
    This paper considers ways that experimental design can affect judgments about informally presented context shifting experiments. Reasons are given to think that judgments about informal context shifting experiments are affected by an exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments and by experimenter bias. Exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments may produce experimental artifacts by obscuring important differences of degree between the phenomena being investigated. Experimenter bia…Read more
  •  167
    Color Adjectives and Radical Contextualism
    Linguistics and Philosophy 34 (3): 201-221. 2011.
    Radical contextualists have observed that the content of what is said by the utterance of a sentence is shaped in far-reaching ways by the context of utterance. And they have argued that the ways in which the content of what is said is shaped by context cannot be explained by semantic theory. A striking number of the examples that radical contextualists use to support their view involve sentences containing color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.). In this paper, I show how the most sophisticated…Read more
  •  183
    Odd and memorable examples are a distinctive feature of Charles Travis's work: cases involving squash balls, soot-covered kettles, walls that emit poison gas, faces turning puce, ties made of freshly cooked linguine, and people grunting when punched in the solar plexus all figure in his arguments. One of Travis's examples, involving a pair of situations in which the leaves of a Japanese maple tree are painted green, has even spawned its own literature consisting of attempts to explain the contex…Read more
  •  337
    Experimenting on Contextualism
    Mind and Language 28 (3): 286-321. 2013.
    This paper concerns the central method of generating evidence in support of contextualist theories, what we call context shifting experiments. We begin by explaining the standard design of context shifting experiments, which are used in both quantitative surveys and more traditional thought experiments to show how context affects the content of natural language expressions. We discuss some recent experimental studies that have tried and failed to find evidence that confirms contextualist predict…Read more
  •  321
    Are color adjectives ("red", "green", etc.) relative adjectives or absolute adjectives? Existing theories of the meaning of color adjectives attempt to answer that question using informal ("armchair") judgments. The informal judgments of theorists conflict: it has been proposed that color adjectives are absolute with standards anchored at the minimum degree on the scale, that they are absolute but have near-midpoint standards, and that they are relative. In this paper we report two experiments, …Read more
  •  390
    On an Alleged Truth/Falsity Asymmetry in Context Shifting Experiments
    Philosophical Quarterly 62 (248): 530-545. 2012.
    Keith DeRose has argued that context shifting experiments should be designed in a specific way in order to accommodate what he calls a ‘truth/falsity asymmetry’. I explain and critique DeRose's reasons for proposing this modification to contextualist methodology, drawing on recent experimental studies of DeRose's bank cases as well as experimental findings about the verification of affirmative and negative statements. While DeRose's arguments for his particular modification to contextualist meth…Read more
  •  282
    Contrasting Cases
    In James R. Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology, Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 71-95. 2014.
    This paper concerns the philosophical significance of a choice about how to design the context shifting experiments used by contextualists and anti-intellectualists: Should contexts be judged jointly, with contrast, or separately, without contrast? Findings in experimental psychology suggest (1) that certain contextual features are more difficult to evaluate when considered separately, and there are reasons to think that one feature--stakes or importance--that interests contextualists and anti-i…Read more
  •  398
    Experimental Philosophy of Language
    Oxford Handbooks Online. 2015.
    Experimental philosophy of language uses experimental methods developed in the cognitive sciences to investigate topics of interest to philosophers of language. This article describes the methodological background for the development of experimental approaches to topics in philosophy of language, distinguishes negative and positive projects in experimental philosophy of language, and evaluates experimental work on the reference of proper names and natural kind terms. The reliability of expert ju…Read more