•  332
    Against Conventional Wisdom
    Philosophers' Imprint 20 (22): 1-27. 2020.
    Conventional wisdom has it that truth is always evaluated using our actual linguistic conventions, even when considering counterfactual scenarios in which different conventions are adopted. This principle has been invoked in a number of philosophical arguments, including Kripke’s defense of the necessity of identity and Lewy’s objection to modal conventionalism. But it is false. It fails in the presence of what Einheuser (2006) calls c-monsters, or convention-shifting expressions (on analogy wit…Read more
  •  90
    Faultless disagreement and faultless retraction have been taken to motivate relativism for predicates of personal taste, like ‘tasty’. Less attention has been devoted to the question of what aspect of their meaning underlies this relativist behavior. This paper illustrates these same phenomena with a new category of expressions: appearance predicates, like ‘tastes vegan’ and ‘looks blue’. Appearance predicates and predicates of personal taste both fall into the broader category of experiential p…Read more
  •  76
    A closer look at the perceptual source in copy raising constructions
    Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 23 2 287-304. 2019.
    Simple claims with the verb ‘seem’, as well as the specific sensory verbs, ‘look’, ‘sound’, etc., require the speaker to have some relevant kind of perceptual acquaintance (Pearson, 2013; Ninan, 2014). But different forms of these reports differ in their perceptual requirements. For example, the copy raising (CR) report, ‘Tom seems like he’s cooking’ requires the speaker to have seen Tom, while its expletive subject (ES) variant, ‘It seems like Tom is cooking’, does not (Rogers, 1972; Asudeh and…Read more
  •  133
    The acquaintance inference with 'seem'-reports
    Proceedings of the Chicago Linguistics Society 54 451-460. 2019.
    Some assertions give rise to the acquaintance inference: the inference that the speaker is acquainted with some individual. Discussion of the acquaintance inference has previously focused on assertions about aesthetic matters and personal tastes (e.g. 'The cake is tasty'), but it also arises with reports about how things seem (e.g. 'Tom seems like he's cooking'). 'Seem'-reports give rise to puzzling acquaintance behavior, with no analogue in the previously-discussed domains. In particular, these…Read more