•  35
    Arguments based on Leibniz's Law seem to show that there is no room for either indefinite or contingent identity. The arguments seem to prove too much, but their conclusion is hard to resist if we want to keep Leibniz's Law. We present a novel approach to this issue, based on an appropriate modification of the notion of logical consequence.
  •  40
    Foreword: Three-valued logics and their applications
    Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 24 (1-2): 1-11. 2014.
  •  94
    Vagueness, Truth and Permissive Consequence
    In Kentaro Fujimoto, José Martínez Fernández, Henri Galinon & Theodora Achourioti (eds.), Unifying the Philosophy of Truth, Springer Verlag. pp. 409-430. 2015.
    We say that a sentence A is a permissive consequence of a set X of premises whenever, if all the premises of X hold up to some standard, then A holds to some weaker standard. In this paper, we focus on a three-valued version of this notion, which we call strict-to-tolerant consequence, and discuss its fruitfulness toward a unified treatment of the paradoxes of vagueness and self-referential truth. For vagueness, st-consequence supports the principle of tolerance; for truth, it supports the requi…Read more
  •  7
    To determine what the speaker in a cooperative dialog meant with his assertion, on top of what he explicitly said, it is crucial that we assume that the assertion he gave was optimal. In determining optimal assertions we assume that dialogs are embedded in decision problems (van Rooij 2003) and use backwards induction for calculating them (Benz 2006). In this paper, we show that in terms of our framework we can account for several types of implicatures in a uniform way, suggesting that there is …Read more
  •  26
    Explaining Quantity Implicatures
    with Tikitu Jager
    Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (4): 461-477. 2012.
    We give derivations of two formal models of Gricean Quantity implicature and strong exhaustivity in bidirectional optimality theory and in a signalling games framework. We show that, under a unifying model based on signalling games, these interpretative strategies are game-theoretic equilibria when the speaker is known to be respectively minimally and maximally expert in the matter at hand. That is, in this framework the optimal strategy for communication depends on the degree of knowledge the s…Read more
  •  8
    Strengthening conditional presuppositions
    Journal of Semantics 24 (3): 289-304. 2007.
    In this paper it will be shown how conditional presuppositions can be strengthened to unconditional ones if we assume that the antecedent and consequent of a conditional presupposition are independent of one another. Our notion of independence is very weak, and based on Lewis' notion of orthogonality of questions. It will be argued that our way of strengthening these presuppositions does not give rise to some wrong predictions Geurts argued other proposed strengthening accounts do.
  •  3
    In Suppose and Tell, Williamson makes a new and original attempt to defend the material conditional account of indicative conditionals. His overarching argument is that this account offers the best explanation of the data concerning how people evaluate and use such conditionals. We argue that Williamson overlooks several important alternative explanations, some of which appear to explain the relevant data at least as well as, or even better than, the material conditional account does. Along the …Read more
  •  38
    Natural kinds and dispositions: a causal analysis
    Synthese 198 (Suppl 12): 3059-3084. 2019.
    Objects have dispositions. Dispositions are normally analyzed by providing a meaning to disposition ascriptions like ‘This piece of salt is soluble’. Philosophers like Carnap, Goodman, Quine, Lewis and many others have proposed analyses of such disposition ascriptions. In this paper we will argue with Quine that the proper analysis of ascriptions of the form ‘x is disposed to m ’, where ‘x’ denotes an object, ‘m’ a manifestation, and ‘C’ a condition, goes like this: ‘x is of natural kind k’, and…Read more
  • One of the traditional pragmatic approaches to vagueness suggests that there needs to be a significant gap between individuals or objects that can be described using a vague adjective like tall and those that cannot. In contrast, intuitively, an explicit comparative like taller does not require fulfillment of the gap requirement. Our starting point for this paper is the consideration that people cannot make precise measures under time pressure and their ability to discriminate approximate height…Read more
  •  50
    Pragmatic value and complex sentences
    Mind and Matter 4 (2): 195-218. 2006.
    We investigate to what extent it is possible to determine a reasonable default pragmatic value of complex sentences in a compositional manner, and --when combined with a Boolean semantics --to see under which conditions it gives rise to reasonable predictions. We discuss several notions of pragmatic value, or relevance, and compare their behavior over complex sentences. Although the goal-oriented notions of relevance give rise to the same ordering relations between propositions,the conditions un…Read more
  •  22
    Towards a uniform analysis of any
    Natural Language Semantics 16 (4): 297-315. 2008.
    In this paper, Universal any and Negative Polarity Item any are uniformly analyzed as ‘counterfactual’ donkey sentences (in disguise). Their difference in meaning is reduced here to the distinction between strong and weak readings of donkey sentences. It is shown that this explains the universal and existential character of Universal- and NPI-any, respectively, and the positive and negative contexts in which they are licensed. Our uniform analysis extends to the use of any in command and permiss…Read more
  •  57
    The principle of stability now says that if sentence ϕ is true/false in a model M, then ϕ has to stay true/false if M is getting more precise. Formally, let M = D, I be a refinement of M = D, I . Then it has to be the case that for all ϕ: (i) If VM(ϕ) = 1, then VM (ϕ) = 1. (ii) If VM(ϕ) = 0, then VM (ϕ) = 0.
  •  23
    Review of Joseph Almog, Paolo Leonardi (eds.), The Philosophy of David Kaplan (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (9). 2009.
  • Contains papers presented at the Thirteenth Amsterdam Colloquium in formal semantics, pragmatics and logic, which was held in Amsterdam, December 17-19, 2001.
  •  2
    Game-Theoretic Pragmatics Under Conflicting and Common Interests
    with Kris De Jaegher
    Erkenntnis 79 (Suppl 4): 769-820. 2014.
    This paper combines a survey of existing literature in game-theoretic pragmatics with new models that fill some voids in that literature. We start with an overview of signaling games with a conflict of interest between sender and receiver, and show that the literature on such games can be classified into models with direct, costly, noisy and imprecise signals. We then argue that this same subdivision can be used to classify signaling games with common interests, where we fill some voids in the l…Read more
  •  21
    Definition 1. A Strict partial order is a structure X, P , with P a binary relation on X that is irreflexive (IR) and Transitive (TR): (IR) ∀x : ¬P (x, x). (TR) ∀x, y, v, w : (P (x, y) ∧ P (y, z)) → P (x, z).
  •  31
    Synthese 174 (1): 1-3. 2010.
  •  39
    Tolerant reasoning: nontransitive or nonmonotonic?
    Synthese 199 (Suppl 3): 681-705. 2017.
    The principle of tolerance characteristic of vague predicates is sometimes presented as a soft rule, namely as a default which we can use in ordinary reasoning, but which requires care in order to avoid paradoxes. We focus on two ways in which the tolerance principle can be modeled in that spirit, using special consequence relations. The first approach relates tolerant reasoning to nontransitive reasoning; the second relates tolerant reasoning to nonmonotonic reasoning. We compare the two approa…Read more
  •  13
    Implicit versus explicit comparatives
    In Paul Egre & Nathan Klinedinst (eds.), Vagueness and Language Use, Palgrave-macmillan. 2010.
  •  43
    Generics and typicality: a bounded rationality approach
    Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (1): 83-117. 2020.
    Cimpian et al. observed that we accept generic statements of the form ‘Gs are f’ on relatively weak evidence, but that if we are unfamiliar with group G and we learn a generic statement about it, we still treat it inferentially in a much stronger way: all Gs are f. This paper makes use of notions like ‘representativeness’, ‘contingency’ and ‘relative difference’ from psychology to provide a uniform semantics of generics that explains why people accept generics based on weak evidence. The spirit …Read more
  •  9
    Conditionals As Representative Inferences
    Axiomathes 31 (3): 437-452. 2021.
    According to Adams, the acceptability of an indicative conditional goes with the conditional probability of the consequent given the antecedent. However, some conditionals seem to be inappropriate, although their corresponding conditional probability is high. These are cases with a missing link between antecedent and consequent. Other conditionals are appropriate even though the conditional probability is low. Finally, we have the so-called biscuit conditionals. In this paper we will generalize …Read more
  •  55
    Conditionals, Causality and Conditional Probability
    Journal of Logic, Language and Information 28 (1): 55-71. 2018.
    The appropriateness, or acceptability, of a conditional does not just ‘go with’ the corresponding conditional probability. A condition of dependence is required as well. In this paper a particular notion of dependence is proposed. It is shown that under both a forward causal and a backward evidential reading of the conditional, this appropriateness condition reduces to conditional probability under some natural circumstances. Because this is in particular the case for the so-called diagnostic re…Read more
  •  58
    Exhaustive interpretation of complex sentences
    Journal of Logic, Language and Information 13 (4): 491-519. 2004.
    In terms of Groenendijk and Stokhofs (1984) formalization of exhaustive interpretation, many conversational implicatures can be accounted for. In this paper we justify and generalize this approach. Our justification proceeds by relating their account via Halpern and Moses (1984) non-monotonic theory of only knowing to the Gricean maxims of Quality and the first sub-maxim of Quantity. The approach of Groenendijk and Stokhof (1984) is generalized such that it can also account for implicatures that…Read more
  •  18
    Coevolution of Lexical Meaning and Pragmatic Use
    with Thomas Brochhagen and Michael Franke
    Cognitive Science 42 (8): 2757-2789. 2018.
  •  27
    Explaining Quantity Implicatures
    with Tikitu de Jager
    Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (4): 461-477. 2012.
    We give derivations of two formal models of Gricean Quantity implicature and strong exhaustivity in bidirectional optimality theory and in a signalling games framework. We show that, under a unifying model based on signalling games, these interpretative strategies are game-theoretic equilibria when the speaker is known to be respectively minimally and maximally expert in the matter at hand. That is, in this framework the optimal strategy for communication depends on the degree of knowledge the s…Read more
  •  29
    A Causal Power Semantics for Generic Sentences
    Topoi 40 (1): 131-146. 2019.
    Many generic sentences express stable inductive generalizations. Stable inductive generalizations are typically true for a causal reason. In this paper we investigate to what extent this is also the case for the generalizations expressed by generic sentences. More in particular, we discuss the possibility that many generic sentences of the form ‘ks have feature e’ are true because kind k have the causal power to ‘produce’ feature e. We will argue that such an analysis is quite close to a probabi…Read more
  •  83
    A much discussed topic in the theory of choice is how a preference order among options can be derived from the assumption that the notion of ' choice' is primitive. Assuming a choice function that selects elements from each finite set of options, Arrow (Económica 26: 121-127,1959) already showed how we can generate a weak ordering by putting constraints on the behavior of such a function such that it reflects utility maximization. Arrow proposed that rational agents can be modeled by such choice…Read more
  •  61
    In this paper an approach to the exhaustive interpretation of answers is developed. It builds on a proposal brought forward by Groenendijk and Stokhof (1984). We will use the close connection between their approach and McCarthy's (1980, 1986) predicate circumscription and describe exhaustive interpretation as an instance of interpretation in minimal models, well-known from work on counterfactuals (see for instance Lewis (1973)). It is shown that by combining this approach with independent develo…Read more