•  35
    Global Expressivism
    In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics, Routledge. pp. 270-283. 2020.
    In this chapter I consider the prospects of globalizing expressivism. Expressivism is a position in the philosophy of language that questions the central role of representation in a theory of meaning or linguistic function. An expressivist about a domain D of discourse proposes that utterances of sentences in D should not be seen, at the level of analysis as representing how things are, but as expression of non-representational states. So, in the domain of value-utterances, the standard idea is …Read more
  •  883
    Cognitive Expressivism, Faultless Disagreement, and Absolute but Non-Objective Truth
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2): 183-199. 2010.
    I offer a new theory of faultless disagreement, according to which truth is absolute (non-relative) but can still be non-objective. What's relative is truth-aptness: a sentence like ‘Vegemite is tasty’ (V) can be truth-accessible and bivalent in one context but not in another. Within a context in which V fails to be bivalent, we can affirm that there is no issue of truth or falsity about V, still disputants, affirming and denying V, were not at fault, since, in their context of assertion V was b…Read more
  •  244
    Material Objects and Essential Bundle Theory
    with Mark Jago
    Philosophical Studies 175 (12): 2969-2986. 2018.
    In this paper we present a new metaphysical theory of material objects. On our theory, objects are bundles of property instances, where those properties give the nature or essence of that object. We call the theory essential bundle theory. Property possession is not analysed as bundle-membership, as in traditional bundle theories, since accidental properties are not included in the object’s bundle. We have a different story to tell about accidental property possession. This move reaps many benef…Read more
  • Freedom from Social Science
    Philosophie Et Culture: Actes du XVIIe Congrès Mondial de Philosophie 2 549-553. 1988.
  •  216
    Endurance is paradoxical
    with Phil Dowe
    Analysis 65 (1): 69-74. 2005.
  • The Mirror and the Dagger
    In Steve Martinot (ed.), Maps and Mirrors: Topologies of Art and Politics, Northwestern University Press. pp. 83. 2001.
  •  2
    Leaving Things to Take their Chances: Cause and Disposition Grounded in Chance
    In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes, Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;. pp. 100-126. 2009.
  •  520
    There is a wide-spread belief amongst theorists of mind and language. This is that in order to understand the relation between language, thought, and reality we need a theory of meaning and content, that is, a normative, formal science of meaning, which is an extension and theoretical deepening of folk ideas about meaning. This book argues that this is false, offering an alternative idea: The form of a theory that illuminates the relation of language, thought, and reality is a theory of language…Read more
  •  1099
    Semantics without the distinction between sense and force
    In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning, and Mind, Cambridge University Press. pp. 190-210. 2007.
    At the heart of semantics in the 20th century is Frege’s distinction between sense and force. This is the idea that the content of a self-standing utterance of a sentence S can be divided into two components. One part, the sense, is the proposition that S’s linguistic meaning and context associates with it as its semantic interpretation. The second component is S’s illocutionary force. Illocutionary forces correspond to the three basic kinds of sentential speech acts: assertions, orders, and que…Read more
  •  79
    This book develops an alternative approach to sentence- and word-meaning, which I dub the speech-act theoretic approach, or STA. Instead of employing the syntactic and semantic forms of modern logic–principally, quantification theory–to construct semantic theories, STA employs speech-act structures. The structures it employs are those postulated by a novel theory of speech-acts. STA develops a compositional semantics in which surface grammar is integrated with semantic interpretation in a way no…Read more
  •  27
    Towards a pragmatic theory of 'if'
    Philosophical Studies 79 (2). 1995.
  •  91
    Troubles with Horgan and Timmons' nondescriptivist cognitivism
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 63 (1): 235-255. 2002.
    Emotivist, or non-descriptivist metaethical theories hold that value-statements do not function by describing special value-facts, but are the mere expressions of naturalistically describable motivational states of (valuing) agents. Non-descriptivism has typically been combined with the claim that value-statements are non-cognitive: they are not the manifestations of genuine belief states. However, all the linguistic, logical and phenomenological evidence indicates that value-statements are cogn…Read more
  •  47
    The consequent-entailment problem foreven if
    Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (3). 1994.
    A comprehensive theory ofeven if needs to account for consequent ‘entailing’even ifs and in particular those of theif-focused variety. This is where the theory ofeven if ceases to be neutral between conditional theories. I have argued thatif-focusedeven ifs,especially if andonly if can only be accounted for through the suppositional theory ofif. Furthermore, a particular interpretation of this theory — the conditional assertion theory — is needed to account foronly if and a type of metalinguisti…Read more
  •  55
    PET imaging of conscious and unconscious verbal memory
    with M. T. Alkire, R. J. Haier, and J. H. Fallon
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (5-6): 448-62. 1996.
    One method for investigating the neurobiology of consciousness is to experimentally manipulate consciousness as a variable and then visualize the resultant functional brain changes with advanced imaging techniques. To begin investigation into this area, healthy volunteers underwent positron emission tomography scanning while listening to randomized word lists in both conscious and unconscious conditions. Following anaesthesia, subjects had no explicit memories. Nonetheless, subjects demonstrated…Read more
  •  50
    Truth-Making and the Alethic Undecidability of the Liar
    Discusiones Filosóficas 13 (21): 13-31. 2012.
    I argue that a new solution to the semantic paradoxes is possible based on truth-making. I show that with an appropriate understanding of what the ultimate truth and falsity makers of sentences are, it can be demonstrated that sentences like the liar are alethically undecidable. That means it cannot be said in principle whether such sentences are true, not true, false, not-false, neither true nor false, both true and false, and so on. I argue that this leads to a solution to the semantic paradox…Read more
  •  82
    Even, still and counterfactuals
    Linguistics and Philosophy 14 (1). 1991.
  •  474
    I argue that Lewis's counterfactual theory of causation, given his treatment of counterfactuals in terms of world-comparative similarity faces insuperable problems in the form of the problem of effects and the problem of epiphenomena.
  •  1026
    Bird argues that Armstrong’s necessitarian conception of physical modality and laws of nature generates a vicious regress with respect to necessitation. We show that precisely the same regress afflicts Bird’s dispositional-monist theory, and indeed, related views, such as that of Mumford & Anjum. We argue that dispositional monism is basically Armstrongian necessitarianism modified to allow for a thesis about property identity
  •  379
    Can hybridism about moral claims be made to work? I argue it can if we accept the conventional implicature approach developed in Barker (Analysis 2000). However, this kind of hybrid expressivism is only acceptable if we can make sense of conventional implicature, the kind of meaning carried by operators like ‘even’, ‘but’, etc. Conventional implictures are a form of pragmatic presupposition, which involves an unsaid mode of delivery of content. I argue that we can make sense of conventional impl…Read more
  •  23
    Hybrid Theories of Moral Statements
    In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Wiley-blackwell. 2013.
    Hybrid theories are metaethical theories concerning the content of sentences about moral value. These theories claim that sentences with ethical content express two kinds of mental state. One state is an affect‐like state. The other is a belief‐like state. The expressed affect‐like state will involve a moral attitude of some kind, such as approval, but it is not part of the truth‐conditions of the sentence. We can divide hybridists into two kinds.
  •  11
    Comments: The Experiential Thesis: Audi on Intrinsic Value
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (Supplement): 57-61. 2003.
  •  1077
    The Emperor's New Metaphysics of Powers
    Mind 122 (487): 605-653. 2013.
    This paper argues that the new metaphysics of powers, also known as dispositional essentialism or causal structuralism, is an illusory metaphysics. I argue for this in the following way. I begin by distinguishing three fundamental ways of seeing how facts of physical modality — facts about physical necessitation and possibility, causation, disposition, and chance — are grounded in the world. The first way, call it the first degree, is that the actual world or all worlds, in their entirety, are t…Read more
  •  180
    Truth and the expressing in expressivism
    In Terry Horgan & Mark Timmons (eds.), Metaethics After Moore, Oxford University Press. pp. 299. 2006.