•  85
    In his “Meaning and Formal Semantics in Generative Grammar” (Erkenntnis 2015, 61–87), Stephen Schiffer argues that truth-conditional semantics is a poor fit with generative linguistics. In particular, he thinks that it fails to explain speakers’ abilities to understand the sentences of their language. In its place, he recommends his “Best Bet Theory”—a theory which aims to directly explain speakers’ abilities to mean things by their utterances and know what others mean by their utterances. I arg…Read more
  •  72
    How important are truth-conditions for truth-conditional semantics?
    Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (6): 541-575. 2019.
    In this paper, I argue that while truth-conditional semantics in generative linguistics provides lots of good semantic explanations, truth-conditions do not play an important role in these explanations. That is, the fact that expressions have the particular truthconditional contents they have does not even partly explain facts about semantic phenomena. Rather, explanations of semantic phenomena appeal to extra-truth-conditional properties attributed to expressions via their lexical entries. Focu…Read more
  •  67
    Compositionality as weak supervenience
    Synthese 192 (1): 201-220. 2015.
    This paper argues against Zoltán Szabó’s claim in “Compositionality as Supervenience” that we ought to understand the principle of compositionality as the idea that in natural language, the meanings of complex expressions strongly supervene on the meanings of their constituents and how the constituents are combined. The argument is that if we understand compositionality Szabó’s way, then compositionality can play no role in explanations of the acquirability of natural languages, because it makes…Read more