•  1549
    Failing to do things with words
    Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1): 135-142. 2009.
    It has become standard for feminist philosophers of language to analyze Catherine MacKinnon's claim in terms of speech act theory. Backed by the Austinian observation that speech can do things and the legal claim that pornography is speech, the claim is that the speech acts performed by means of pornography silence women. This turns upon the notion of illocutionary silencing, or disablement. In this paper I observe that the focus by feminist philosophers of language on the failure to achieve upt…Read more
  •  421
    What are Beall and Restall pluralists about?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3). 2004.
    In this paper I argue that Beall and Restall's claim that there is one true logic of metaphysical modality is incompatible with the formulation of logical pluralism that they give. I investigate various ways of reconciling their pluralism with this claim, but conclude that none of the options can be made to work.
  •  404
    The pragmatics of empty names
    Dialogue 46 (4): 663-681. 2007.
    Fred Adams and collaborators advocate a view on which empty-name sentences semantically encode incomplete propositions, but which can be used to conversationally implicate descriptive propositions. This account has come under criticism recently from Marga Reimer and Anthony Everett. Reimer correctly observes that their account does not pass a natural test for conversational implicatures, namely, that an explanation of our intuitions in terms of implicature should be such that we upon hearing it …Read more
  •  153
    Did duns scotus invent possible worlds semantics?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (2). 2000.
    I argue that, contra the claims of Knuuttila and Dumont, Scotus can not be credited with the invention of possible worlds semantics.
  •  138
    What constitutes illocutionary silencing? This is the key question underlying much recent work on Catherine MacKinnon's claim that pornography silences women. In what follows I argue that the focus of the literature on the notion of audience `uptake' serves to mischaracterize the phenomena. I defend a broader interpretation of what it means for an illocutionary act to succeed, and show how this broader interpretation provides a better characterization of the kinds of silencing experienced by wom…Read more
  •  115
    How Do Logics Explain?
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1): 157-167. 2018.
    Anti-exceptionalists about logic maintain that it is continuous with the empirical sciences. Taking anti-exceptionalism for granted, we argue that traditional approaches to explanation are inadequate in the case of logic. We argue that Andrea Woody's functional analysis of explanation is a better fit with logical practice and accounts better for the explanatory role of logical theories.
  •  75
    Against logical generalism
    Synthese 1-18. forthcoming.
    The orthodox view of logic takes for granted the central importance of logical principles. Logic, and thus logical reasoning, is to be understood as a system of rules or principles with universal application. Let us call this orthodox view logical generalism. In this paper we argue that logical generalism, whether monist or pluralist, is wrong. We then outline an account of logical consequence in the absence of general logical principles, which we call logical particularism.
  •  73
    Logical Pluralism and Logical Form
    Logique Et Analyse 61 (241): 25-42. 2018.
    Disputes about logic are commonplace and undeniable. It is sometimes argued that these disputes are not genuine disagreements, but are rather merely verbal ones. Are advocates of different logics simply talking past each other? In this paper we argue that pluralists (and anyone who sees competing logics as genuine rivals), should reject the claim that real disagreement requires competing logics to assign the same meaning to logical connectives, or the same logical form to arguments. Along the wa…Read more
  •  51
    The Philosophical Computer: Exploratory Essays in Philosophical Computer Modeling (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2): 489-492. 2001.
    Grim, Mar and St. Denis frame their unusual philosophy book with a number of quotes, two of which seem particularly appropriate. The first, from Plato, illustrates nicely the degree to which the work in the book is part of a long tradition of philosophical modeling. The second, from Picasso, accurately captures the frustration which many readers will feel.
  •  34
    On the Very Idea of Sex with Robots
    In John Danaher & Neil McArthur (eds.), Robot Sex: Social Implications and Ethical, Mit. pp. 15-27. 2018.
    In this chapter, we focus on the simple sounding question: What is it to have sex? On the assumption that having sex is what you do with all and only your sexual part-ners, this offers a way of focusing the question: What would it take for a sex robot to be a sex partner? In order to understand the significance of the development of robots with whom (or which) we can have sex, we need to know what it is to have sex with a robot. And in order to know this, we have to know what it is to have sex, …Read more
  •  25
    How to do things with Pornography by Nancy Bauer (review)
    Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 28 (1): 8-14. 2018.
    Nancy Bauer's How to do things with Pornography is a difficult to review book. It sits in a somewhat liminal location somewhere between monograph and thematic collection. Bauer takes the reader on an intellectual journey that crosses a number of philosophical sub-disciplines but also moves between philosophical writing for a general audience and more technical writing exploring the same themes.
  •  10
    Ralph H. Johnson, Manifest Rationality: A Pragmatic Theory of Argument (review)
    Philosophy in Review 21 (3): 185-187. 2001.
  •  1
    Logical Particularism
    In Jeremy Wyatt, Nikolaj J. L. L. Pedersen & Nathan Kellen (eds.), Pluralisms in Truth and Logic, Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 277-299. 2018.
    Logics—that is to say logical systems—are generally conceived of as describing the logical forms of arguments as well as endorsing cer- tain principles or rules of inference specified in terms of these forms. From this perspective, a correct logic is a system which captures only (and perhaps all) of the correct principles, and good—i.e. logical— reasoning is reasoning which at the level of logical form conforms to the principles of a correct logic. In contrast, as logical particularists we rejec…Read more