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Displaying: 1-20 of 32 documents

1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Dunja Jutronić On Stephen Neale’s manuscript Silent Reference
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on stephen neale’s manuscript silent reference
2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Stephen Schiffer Gricean Semantics and Vague Speaker-Meaning
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Presentations of Gricean semantics, including Stephen Neale’s in “Silent Reference,” totally ignore vagueness, even though virtually every utterance is vague. I ask how Gricean semantics might be adjusted to accommodate vague speaker-meaning. My answer is that it can’t accommodate it: the Gricean program collapses in the face of vague speaker-meaning. The Gricean might, however, find some solace in knowing that every other extant meta-semantic and semantic program is in the same boat.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Daniel W. Harris Speaker Reference and Cognitive Architecture
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Philosophers of language inspired by Grice have long sought to show how facts about reference boil down to facts about speakers’ communicative intentions. I focus on a recent attempt by Stephen Neale (2016), who argues that referring with an expression requires having a special kind of communicative intention—one that involves representing an occurrence of the expression as standing in some particular relation to its referent. Neale raises a problem for this account: because some referring expressions are unpronounced, most language users don’t realize they exist, and so seemingly don’t have intentions about them. Neale suggests that we might solve this problem by supposing that speakers have nonconscious or “tacit” intentions. I argue that this solution can’t work by arguing that our representations of unpronounced bits of language all occur within a modular component of the mind, and so we can’t have intentions about them. From this line of thought, I draw several conclusions. (i) The semantic value of a referring expression is not its referent, but rather a piece of partial and defeasible evidence about what a speaker refers to when using it literally. (ii) There is no interesting sense in which speakers refer with expressions; referring expressions are used to give evidence about the sort of singular proposition one intends to communicate. (iii) The semantics–pragmatics interface is coincident with the interface between the language module and central cognition.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Elmar Unnsteinsson Saying without Knowing What or How
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In response to Stephen Neale (2016), I argue that aphonic expressions, such as PRO, are intentionally uttered by normal speakers of natural language, either by acts of omitting to say something explicitly, or by acts of giving phonetic realization to aphonics. I argue, also, that Gricean intention-based semantics should seek divorce from Cartesian assumptions of transparent access to propositional attitudes and, consequently, that Stephen Schiffer’s so-called meaning-intention problem is not powerful enough to banish alleged cases of over-intellectualization in contemporary philosophy of language and mind.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Jesse Rappaport Is There a Meaning-Intention Problem?
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Stephen Schiffer introduced the “meaning-intention problem” as an argument against certain semantic analyses that invoke hidden indexical expressions. According to the argument, such analyses are incompatible with a Gricean view of speaker’s meaning, for they require speakers to refer to things about which they are ignorant, such as modes of presentation. Stephen Neale argues that a complementary problem arises due to the fact that speakers may also be ignorant of the very existence of such aphonic expressions. In this paper, I attempt to articulate the assumptions that support the meaning-intention problem. I argue that these assumptions are incompatible with some basic linguistic data. For instance, a speaker could have used a sentence like “The book weighs five pounds” to mean that the book weighs five pounds on Earth, even before anyone knew that weight was a relativized property. The existence of such “extrinsic parameters” undermines the force of the meaning-intention problem. However, since the meaning-intention problem arises naturally from a Gricean view of speaker’s meaning and speaker’s reference, the failure of the argument raises problems for the Gricean. I argue that the analysis of referring-with offered by Schiffer, and defended by Neale, is defective.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Erich Rast Value Disagreement and Two Aspects of Meaning
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The problem of value disagreement and contextualist, relativist and metalinguistic attempts of solving it are laid out. Although the metalinguistic account seems to be on the right track, it is argued that it does not sufficiently explain why and how disagreements about the meaning of evaluative terms are based on and can be decided by appeal to existing social practices. As a remedy, it is argued that original suggestions from Putnam’s “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’” ought to be taken seriously. The resulting dual aspect theory of meaning can explain value disagreement in much the same way as it deals with disagreement about general terms. However, the account goes beyond Putnam’s by not just defending a version of social externalism, but also defending the thesis that the truth conditional meaning of many evaluative terms is not fixed by experts either and instead constantly contested as part of a normal function of language.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Mark Steen Temporally Restricted Composition
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I develop and defend a novel answer to Peter van Inwagen’s ‘Special Composition Question,’ (SCQ) namely, under what conditions do some things compose and object? My answer is that things will compose an object when and only when they exist simultaneously relative to a reference frame (I call this ‘Temporally Restricted Composition’ or TREC). I then show how this view wards off objections given to ‘Unrestricted Mereology’ (UM). TREC, unlike other theories of Restricted Composition, does not fall prey to worries about vagueness, anthropocentrism, or arbitrariness. TREC also has advantages over all the other answers to the SCQ. TREC is an account an A-theorist anti-Eternalist who wants an unrestricted mereology should accept. I also engage in some conceptual hygiene by showing how UM, as it should be used, should not, in itself, entail or contain a commitment to either Eternalism or Four-Dimensionalism.
book discussion
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Joško Žanić The Power of Language: Discussion of Charles Taylor’s The Language Animal: The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity
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The paper is a discussion of Charles Taylor’s recent book The Language Animal. The criticism of Taylor’s view of language clusters around two main themes: first, that he seems to “mysterianize” language somewhat, whereas the topics he addresses can be adequately dealt with within standard formal approaches in the philosophy of language and cognitive science; second, that his focus on language is in many cases misplaced, and should indeed be replaced with a focus on human conceptual structure, which language only fragmentarily expresses.
book reviews
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević Subjectivity and Perspective in Truth-Theoretic Semantics
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10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Iris Vidmar The Possibility of Culture: Pleasure and Moral Development in Kant’s Aesthetics
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11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Ana Smokrović The Oxford Handbook of Food, Politics, and Society
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12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Table of Contents of Vol. XVII
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13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić, Nenad Miščević Introduction
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on pejoratives
14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Robin Jeshion Loaded Words and Expressive Words: Assessing Two Semantic Frameworks for Slurs
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In this paper, I assess the relative merits of two semantic frameworks for slurring terms. Each aims to distinguish slurs from their neutral counterparts via their semantics. On one, recently developed by Kent Bach, that which differentiates the slurring term from its neutral counterpart is encoded as a ‘loaded’ descriptive content. Whereas the neutral counterpart ‘NC’ references a group, the slur has as its content “NC, and therefore contemptible”. On the other, a version of hybrid expressivism, the semantically encoded aspect of a slurring term that distinguishes it from its neutral counterpart is, rather, expressed. A speaker who uses the slurring term references the group referenced by the neutral counterpart and, in addition, expresses her contempt for the target. On this view, while the speaker’s attitude may be evaluated for appropriateness, the expressivist component of slurring terms is truth-conditionally irrelevant. The reference to the group, and only the reference to the group, contributes to truth conditions. I’ll argue that hybrid expressivism offers a more parsimonious analysis of slurs’ projective behavior than loaded descriptivism and that its truth conditional semantics is not inferior to the possible accounts available for loaded descriptivism. I also meet Bach’s important objection that hybrid expressivism cannot account for uses of slurring terms in indirect quotation and attitude attributions.
15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević Precis of the Theoretical Part of A Word Which Bears a Sword
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Pejoratives are negative terms for alleged social kinds: ethnic, gender, racial, and other. They manage to refer the way kind-terms do, relatively independently of false elements contained in their senses. This proposal, presented in the book, is called the Negative Hybrid Social Kind Term theory, or NHSKT theory, for short. The theory treats the content of pejoratives as unitary, in analogy with unitary thick concepts: both neutral-cum-negative properties (vices) ascribed and negative prescriptions voiced are part of the semantics preferably with some truth-conditional impact, and even the expression of attitudes is part of the semantic potential, although not necessarily the truth conditional one. Pejoratives are thus directly analogue to laudatives, and in matters of reference close to non-evaluative, e.g. superstitious social kind terms (names of zodiacal signs, or terms like “magician”). A pejorative sentence typically expresses more than one proposition and pragmatic context selects the relevant one. Some propositions expressed can be non-offensive and true, other, more typical, are offensive and false. Pejoratives are typically face attacking devices, although they might have other relevant uses. The Negative Hybrid Social Kind Term proposal thus fits quite well with leading theories of (im-)politeness, which can offer a fine account of their typical pragmatics.
16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Julija Perhat Pejoratives and Testimonial Injustice: Precis
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Testimonial injustice is a hot topic in social epistemology. My own work is concerned with pejoratives (in particular, gender pejoratives for women), so in this paper I wish to connect them with such injustice. So, my present topic is testimonial injustice perpetrated by the serious use of pejoratives, in particular, gender pejoratives. It combines two strands: on the one hand, the work on testimonial injustice; and here I shall rely on Miranda Fricker’s work, and on the other hand, my own central area of interest, (gender) pejoratives.
17. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Katherine Ritchie Social Identity, Indexicality, and the Appropriation of Slurs
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Slurs are expressions that can be used to demean and dehumanize targets based on their membership in racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual orientation groups. Almost all treatments of slurs posit that they have derogatory content of some sort. Such views—which I call content-based—must explain why in cases of appropriation slurs fail to express their standard derogatory contents. A popular strategy is to take appropriated slurs to be ambiguous; they have both a derogatory content and a positive appropriated content. However, if appropriated slurs are ambiguous, why can only members in the target group use them to express a non-offensive/positive meaning? Here, I develop and motivate an answer that could be adopted by any content-based theorist. I argue that appropriated contents of slurs include a plural fi rst-person pronoun. I show how the semantics of pronouns like ‘we’ can be put to use to explain why only some can use a slur to express its appropriated content. Moreover, I argue that the picture I develop is motivated by the process of appropriation and helps to explain how it achieves its aims of promoting group solidarity and positive group identity.
18. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Bianca Cepollaro Let’s Not Worry about the Reclamation Worry
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In this paper, I discuss the Reclamation Worry (RW), raised by Anderson and Lepore 2013 and addressed by Ritchie (2017) concerning the appropriation of slurs. I argue that Ritchie’s way to solve the RW is not adequate and I show why such an apparent worry is not actually problematic and should not lead us to postulate a rich complex semantics for reclaimed slurs. To this end, after illustrating the phenomenon of appropriation of slurs, I introduce the Reclamation Worry (section 2). In section 3, I argue that Richie’s complex proposal is not needed to explain the phenomenon. To show that, I compare the case of reclaimed and non-reclaimed slurs to the case of polysemic personal pronouns featuring, among others, in many Romance languages. In section 4 I introduce the notion of ‘authoritativeness’ that I take to be crucial to account for reclamation. In section 5, I focus on particular cases (the “outsider” cases) that support my claims and speak against the parsimony of the indexical account. Finally, I conclude with a methodological remark about the ways in which the debate on appropriation has developed in the literature (section 6).
19. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Nikola Kompa The Myth of Embodied Metaphor
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According to a traditionally infl uential idea metaphors have mostly ornamental value. Current research, on the other hand, stresses the cognitive purposes metaphors serve. According to the Conceptual Theory of Metaphor (CTM, for short), e.g., expressions are commonly used metaphorically in order to conceptualize abstract and mental phenomena. More specifically, proponents of CTM claim that abstract terms are understood by means of metaphors and that metaphor comprehension, in turn, is embodied. In this paper, I will argue that CTM fails on both counts.
20. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Guido Melchior Baseless Knowledge
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It is a commonly held view in contemporary epistemology that for having knowledge it is necessary to have an appropriately based belief, although numerous different views exist about when a belief’s base is appropriate. Broadly speaking, they all share the view that one can only have knowledge if the belief’s base is in some sense truth-related or tracking the truth. Baseless knowledge can then be defined as knowledge where the belief is acquired and sustained in a way that does not track the truth. I will argue that rejecting baseless knowledge leads to controversial consequences. The problem increases if we consider contrasting persons who know because of appropriate belief forming processes but who fail to possess further epistemic virtues such as understanding. I will not argue which belief bases constitute a sufficient condition for knowledge. Rather I will stress the point that the common assumption that an appropriate basing relation constitutes a necessary condition for knowledge has controversial consequences.