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1. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Claudia Bianchi, Nicla Vassallo Contextualizing Meaning Through Epistemology
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Epistemological contextualism and semantic contextualism are two distinct but closely entangled projects in contemporary philosophy. According to epistemological contextualism, our knowledge attributions are context-sensitive. That is, the truth-conditions of knowledge ascribing sentences – sentences of the form of (1) S knows that p - vary depending on the context in which they are uttered. Contextualism admits the legitimacy of several epistemic standards that vary with the context of use of (1); it might be right to claim – for the same cognitive subject S and the same proposition p – that (1) is true in one context, and false in another. The epistemological contextualist thesis is grounded in a semantic claim about the context-sensitivity of the predicate “know”: the semantic thesisis that a sentence of the form (1) does not express a complete proposition. Different utterances of (1) can, in different contexts, express different propositions: we must add in information about the context in order to determine the proposition expressed by (1). Many scholars have tried to spell out the semantic contextualist thesis on which epistemological contextualism is grounded. Our general aim in this paper is to evaluate the plausibility of a project that takes the opposite starting point, that is establishing the semantic contextualist thesis on the epistemological one. According to semantic contextualism, virtually no sentences of a naturallanguage express complete propositions – meaning underdetermines truth conditions. In our paper, instead of assuming the traditional view of meaning in terms of truth conditions, we suggest that a theory of meaning as justification may shed new light on the contextualist approach. We thus show how the notion of justification can be contextualized, arguing that our attempt provides an interesting and quite straightforward way of contextualizing meaning.
2. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Steffen Borge Intentions and Compositionality
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It has been argued that philosophers that base their theories of meaning on communicative intentions and language conventions cannot accommodate the fact that natural languages are compositional. In this paper I show that if we pay careful attention to Grice’s notion of “resultant procedures” we see that this is not the case. The argument, if we leave out all the technicalities, is fairly simple. Resultant procedures tell you how to combine utterance parts, like words, into larger units, like sentences. You cannot have that unless you have R-correlations (reference) and Dcorrelations (denotation). These in turn, the argument goes, depend on communicative intentions, since without communicative intentions any attempt to R-correlate or D-correlate a word with an object or sets of objects would inevitably result in correlation-relations between that word and everything that exists. In other words, without communicative intentions in the equation it would turn out that every time we speak, we inevitably speak about everything, but clearly we do not. So communicative intentions, instead of being nebulous things that are in possible conflict with the Principle of Compositionality, are in fact a prerequisite for that very principle.
3. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Joao Branquinho On the Persistence of Indexical Belief
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This paper is devoted to an examination of the topic of cognitive dynamics as introduced by David Kaplan in his essay ‘Demonstratives’. I discuss two approaches to cognitive dynamics: the directly referential approach, which I take as best represented in Kaplan’s views, and the neo-Fregean approach, which I take as best represented in Gareth Evans’s views. The upshot of my discussion is twofold. On the one hand, I argue that both Kaplan’s account and Evans’s account are on the whole defective - even though there are features of each of those views which seem to be along the right lines. On the other hand, I claim that a broadly Fregean account is still to be preferred since by positing semantically efficacious modes of presentation it is clearly better equipped to deal with thephenomena in the area. In particular, I argue that the notion of a memory-based mode of presentation of an object turns out to be indispensable for the purpose of accounting for the persistence of intentional mental states over time.
4. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Vibhas Chandra The Linguistic Self: Appropriation of Meaning
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The account of meaning has remained unsatisfactory within the western philosophical tradition. Thus, a radically new approach that spotlights the semantic transaction has now become imperative to broaden our understanding of the issue. Drawing on leads from contemporary thinkers, but essentially guided by the insights of Indian savants of yore, this paper attempts to crack the riddle of meaning by offering a language metaphysics which extends the scope of self in thisprocess. At the core lies the interplay of the transcendental and the empirical which constitutes the total speech complex. There exists a linguistic self which is also the stratum of thought. Meaning is the experience of this linguistic self.
5. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Daihyun Chung Fitting: A Case of Cheng (誠) Intentionality
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Notions of fitting seem to be attractive in explaining language understanding. This paper tries to interpret "fitting" in terms of holistic (cheng, 誠) intentionality rather than the dualistic one. I propose to interpret “cheng” as a notion of integration: The cheng of an entity is the power to realize the embedded objective of it in the context where it interacts with all others; "Mind" refers to the ability of not a single kind of entity but to that of all entities of complex degrees in processinginformations and to any agent that integrates. I would like to discuss some cases where this notion of fitting is working. First, building of a primitive language could have been done by fittings of primitive expressions which came out of people's basic needs and desires, their forms of life. Second, we do not identify an object on the basis of a criterion of similarity, but by asking questions like whether it would be more fitting to identify two objects in the present context than not to.Third, what is involved in our recognition of a fact is a context. A context does not dictate one single description but does allow any number of descriptions, some of which are more or less fitting and others of which are more or less unfitting. It may take time for the community of language involved to come to a more fitting description. For the sake of convenience, this description may come to have a grammar for the community where it can be classified as true and others as false.
6. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Manjulika Ghosh On Parasitic Language: Austin and Derrida
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This paper is about the uses of language which the Oxford philosopher of language, J.L. Austin excluded from theoretical consideration in his William James Lectures delivered in 1955 and posthumously published as How to Do Things with Words. Uses of language, such as dramatic, poetic or comedic, are said by Austin to be non-serious, deviant and parasitic upon the everyday normal ordinary language. This leaves literature out of consideration as an etiolation. Derrida, who is not merely a trained philosopher but also one of the finest literary critics of our day, fails to agree with Austin. In his “Signature, Event, Context”, and Limited Inc, he criticizes Austin of “totalization” and “idealization” of the norm or the standard; his inability to see that the parasitic is necessarily inbuilt in the standard. This paper is an attempt at seeing how far Derrida is justified in his critique as there is much that is common between his and Austin’s approaches towards language.
7. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Mario Gomez-Torrente The Private Language Argument and the Analogy between Rules and Grounds
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I identify one neglected source of support for a Kripkean reading of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations: the analogy between rules and epistemic grounds and the existence of a Kripkean anti-privacy argument about epistemic grounds in On Certainty. This latter argument supports Kripke’s claims that the basic anti-privacy argument in the Investigations (a) poses a question about the distinguishability of certain first-person attributions with identical assertability conditions, (b) concludes that distinguishability is provided by third-person evaluability, and (c) is a general argument, not one about a specific kind of alleged rules.
8. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Jussi Haukioja Rigid Kind Terms
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Kripke argued, famously, that proper names are rigid designators. It is often assumed that some kind terms (most prominently natural kind terms) are rigid designators as well. This is thought to have significant theoretical consequences, such as the necessity of certain a posteriori identities involving natural kind terms. However, there is no agreement on what it is for a kind term to be rigid. In this paper I will first take a detailed look at the most common view: that rigid kind terms are those which designate the same kind in all possible worlds. This view has been subjected to much recent criticism. I will argue that, while the proponents of the view do seem to have good answers to some of the arguments presented against it, it fails because this notion of rigidity cannot deliver aposteriori necessities. Time permitting, I will also sketch an alternative view which seems far more promising.
9. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Richard Wei Tzu Hou Parasitic Liar and the Gappy Solution
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There is a prevalent view against the disquotational and the minimal theories of truth, that the most sensible solution to the Liar—that is, the gappy solution—is not available to them. I would like to argue that, though this solution is unavailable to the two theories, the prevailing argument and the reasoning behind this view are wrong. This paper mainly focuses on Simmons’ “Deflationary Truth and the Liar” (1999), within which the idea that disquotationalism can take the Liar in its stridein terms of the gappy option is thoroughly criticised. Albeit Simmons’ account is about disquotationalism, it is in fact about truth theories with the disquotational feature. For Horwich’s minimal theory of truth to be feasible, it is in need of providing an account of which the primary truth bearers are utterances or sentences. The reasoning behind Simmons’ account and his argument is a widely accepted but in my opinion mistaken reading of deflationary theories, reading the deflationary axiom schemata as emphasising the redundant feature of the true predicate only. By analysing and criticising this reasoning the mistakes of this interpretation of the deflationary theories of truth are revealed. Simmons bases his argument on two premises: taking disquotational theory of truth asdefinitional theory and considering the main feature of the disquotational truth predicate as eliminability. In terms of the notion of parasitic liar, I will argue that Simmons fails to show the plausibility of one crucial premise of his argument—that is, the paradoxical or the pathological feature is missing from the disquotational mirrors of the Liar. I will further show what deflationary feature is misunderstood by those accounts similar to Simmons’.
10. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Maria Rodica Iacobescu Non-discursiveness and Language
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Discursive knowledge is expressed in a conceptual, specialized language, which offers the standardization and rigor necessary to a rational reasoning. For the non discursive knowledge, language, as a means of communication, is inadequate and insufficient.
11. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Yu Izumi Some Remarks on an Implementation of the Burgean View of Proper Names
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Tyler Burge's theory of proper names is being revived with the help of Generative Grammar. The complex syntax of DPs appears to encourage the Burgean analysis of proper names which attributes complex semantic structures to the uses of proper names. I will argue, however, that the Millian view of proper names which hypothesizes simple semantics for names is also compatible with the complex syntactic structures. In order to defend this thesis, I will show that Paul Elbourne's implementation of Burge's insight is no better than the Millian semantics of proper names.
12. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Marc Joseph Language, the World and Spontaneity in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus
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Wittgenstein’s early philosophy of language is shaped by his attention to Parmenides’ paradox of false propositions and the problem of the unity of the proposition. Wittgenstein (dis)solves these two (pseudo)problems through his discussion of the “internal pictorial relation” between propositions and states of affairs, which is an artifact of language and the world being “constructed according to a common logical pattern” (TLP 4.014). After examining these issues, I argue that this treatment points to a further problem, namely, the question of the agency responsible for this construction, and in the paper I briefly explore this byconsidering a parallel set of problems as they arise for Kant. For Kant, the question is what guarantees that nature conforms to our concepts and their logic, which he answers through his account of the normative authority we exercise in our cognitive activities. Wittgenstein, I argue, faces a parallel question, which he fails to face in his early work, and only begins to address in his later work on rule-following.
13. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Jussi Jylkkä Why Fodor’s Theory of Concepts Fails
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Fodor’s theory of concepts holds that the psychological mechanisms which guide us in applying concepts to objects do not determine reference; instead, causal relations of a specific kind between properties and our dispositions to token a concept are claimed to do so. Fodor does admit that there needs to be some psychological mechanism mediating the property – concept tokening relations, but argues that it is purely accidental for reference. In contrast, I argue that the actual mechanisms that sustain the reference determining concept tokening relations are necessary for reference. Thus, to possess a concept it is necessary to possess some specific sustaining mechanism.
14. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Jussi Jylkkä, Jussi Haukioja Psychological Essentialism and Semantic Externalism Evidence for Externalism in Lay Speakers’ Language Use
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Some experimental studies have recently claimed to undermine semantic externalism about natural kind terms. However, it is unclear how philosophical accounts of reference can be experimentally tested. We present two externalistic adaptations of psychological placeholder essentialism, a strict externalist and a hybrid externalist view, which are experimentally testable. We examine Braisby’s et al. (1996) study which claims to undermine externalism, and argue that the study fails in its aims. We conducted two experiments, the results of which undermine internalism and the hybrid theory, and support strict externalism. Ourconclusion is that lay speakers’ natural kind concepts involve a belief in an external category essence, which determines reference.
15. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Hanna Kim Context, Compositionality and Metaphor
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A general feature of language that appears to resist systematic semantic analysis is context-sensitivity. Since the birth of analytic philosophy, philosophers have thought the context-dependence of natural language renders it unsuitable for analysis by the semantic tools of the logician. And metaphor appears to pose a particularly vexing problem in that, in addition to being difficult to systematize for other reasons, it is also context-dependent. However in recent years, the problem of context-dependency has moved to the foreground in the philosophy of language. And some theorists have taken on the daunting challenge of accounting forour context-variant intuitions about what is said by systematic means. The central point of this paper then is to show that the resources these theorists use are far more powerful than the theorists realize. I argue that if these theorists are correct about context-sensitivity, the same resources they use to make context-sensitivity compatible with semantic systematicity can be used to yield a systematic semantic account of metaphor. The paper can be viewed as either a powerful consideration against adopting the resources of theorists who seek to explain all contextsensitivity semantically, or a powerful consideration against those whobelieve metaphor to be merely a matter of language use.
16. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Joongol Kim Numerical Predication
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Numerical predication as in ‘Quine and Goodman are two (in number)' has been cited as a chief example of non-distributive predication that shows the need for a logic of plural terms (as opposed to the standard logic that only admits singular terms). This paper argues that numerical predicates like ‘to be two (in number)' are spurious and should be eliminated in favor of singular numerical quantifiers.
17. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Maxim Lebedev The Agent of Virtual Communications: Distributed Intentionality
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It will be argued that the virtual agent (VA) can be characterized using phenomenological descriptive tools and other conceptual means within related paradigms of the analysis of subjectivity. From such a point of view, the main features of VA are: •VA is constituted by its communicative valencies; •VA is intentionally active in perception, and it is the case also at the intersubjective level; •VA establishes and supports the truth of its statements, which come out as a creative boundary, an "unquestionable point of contact" between virtual "I" and virtual reality; •communicative intersubjectivity in cyberspace is better describedthrough recursive ontologies. Peirce's conception of the Subject as a species of semiosis can be helpful to clarify these points. Unlike the traditional concept of subject where communication stands at a level resting on an underlying level of being, for Peirce communication is inherent in mind itself. Along these lines, I argue for the open multivalence of the signified as overdetermined by communicative acts.
18. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Pablo Lopez Lopez Philosophy of Languages and Languages as Framework of Philosophies
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There is a gap between the most abstract approach of Philosophy of language and the empirical information of language sciences. An intermediate level of abstraction and a bridge between Philosophy of language and language sciences is precisely Philosophy of languages. How can we come forward in philosophizing on language, if we are not able to philosophize on particular languages?. Language is nothing but the interrelated sum of languages. Philosophy of languages set out from the fact that every language has a philosophical identity. Therefore, we should be much more conscious of the great relevance of every particular language for philosophical speech. A language is not a neutral tool for deep thinking. The core of a language is its Philosophy, a philosophicalperspective. Thus, a language has to give an implicit general orientation to whatever speech that is performed or written with its syntactic rules and concepts. A language is the framework, the atmosphere, the environment of every deep thinking (Philosophy or Theology). It is the deepest root of every deep thought. All of that can be analyzed in basic concepts like “to be” or “essence”.
19. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Chienkuo Mi Semantics without Metaphysics
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Semantics and metaphysics are different. However, many philosophers maintain that the two are very closely related. Semantics is usually considered as a linguistic subject that deals with the meanings of linguistic expressions. Metaphysics, on the other hand, is a philosophical enterprise that purports to explore the nature of the world and to describe the structures and constituents of it. It is not difficult to see why the two distinct areas can merge so intimately together. After all, we all agree that human languages and the world we know are closely connected. Because of this, some philosophers approach the topics of linguistic issues from the metaphysical perspectives and construct their theses of philosophical semantics based on their metaphysical standpoints. It naturally results invarious confusions of the semantic debates and projects with the metaphysical ones. This paper aims to explore the confusions which lie between semantics and metaphysics and to suggest that we can execute the semantic project successfully without taking up any metaphysical dispute.
20. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 39
Shao Ming The Riddle of ‘Gavagai’: Reflection on Quine’s Theory of Indeterminacy
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In 20th century, many philosophers were excited by new discoveries in natural science, and held some kind of thoughts of indeterminacy. The trend is opposite to the traditional pursuit of certainty with a dogmatic character. However, through analyzing Quine’s theory of indeterminacy of translation, as well as the ideas of indeterminacy what Rorty and Putnam have developed forward, the article will argue that: their conclusions of indeterminacy inferred from the observationsentences are questionable; indeterminacy perhaps is materialized so that they similarly maintain, in another way, an ontological custom about which they have made a great effort to criticize; therefore, their some philosophical statements maybe have also implied a dogmatic inclination; indeterminacy has possibly become another ‘unempirical dogma of empiricists’.