Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

Diana Mazzarella, Antonio Negro, Carlo Penco in Issue 15

Contexts: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Context (But Were Afraid to Ask) [Special Issue]

Introduction, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

We give a short recap of how the notion of context has been developed in the philosophy of language since its introduction by Frege. We introduce various aspects of the concept of context: context of utterance, context at the semantics-pragmatics boundary, and social and cognitive context. We thereby offer to readers not accustomed to the distinctions used in the philosophy of language a framework to better understand the papers enclosed…

Tadeusz Ciecierski, Paweł Grabarczyk in Issue 15

Directives and Context [Special Issue]

Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

The paper aims to add contextual dependence to the new directival theory of meaning, a functional role semantics based on Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz’s directival theory of meaning. We show that the original formulation of the theory does not have a straight answer on how the meaning of indexicals and demonstratives is established. We illustrate it in the example of some problematic axiomatic and inferential directives containing indexicals. We show that the…

Maciej Tarnowski in Issue 15

Proper Names as Demonstratives [Special Issue]

Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language

The paper considers the hypothesis that proper names are simple demonstratives. In the first part, I provide the general motivation for an indexical treatment of proper names as well as assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing indexical accounts. The second part is devoted to proposing a new account that treats proper names as simple demonstratives, where referents are determined by the speaker’s referential intention. In my proposal, I use…

Ernesto Perini-Santos in Issue 15

Opening Up New (and Old) Vistas on the Contextualist-Minimalist Debate [Special Issue]

Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

The border war between semantics and pragmatics has an early version in the dispute between Mates and Cavell. While Mates argues for a strict separation between semantic inferences and mere pragmatic regularities, Cavell argues for a “logic of ordinary language”, identifying the commitments following the act of saying something. This answer gives a clue to the contemporary debate between minimalists and contextualists: we may either think that pragmatic inferences are…

Giuseppe Varnier, Salvatore Pistoia-Reda in Issue 15

Believing the Formless? [Special Issue]

Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

In this note, we discuss the analyticity puzzle affecting the logicality of language hypothesis. The analyticity puzzle is the fact that only some analyticities result in ungrammaticality, which seems to conflict with the idea that an inferential device plays a role in determining the set of the possible sentences of the language. The literature includes two solutions to account for this puzzling evidence. According to one of the solutions, the…

Aldair Díaz-Gómez in Issue 15

Scalar Implicatures and Presupposition of Existence: Strawson-entailment and the Grammatical Theory [Special Issue]

Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

Two strong contenders for scalar implicature (SI) computation are the pragmatic and the grammatical theories. While the former sustains that context plays a major role, the latter suggests context is required but is lexically and monotonically constrained (Chierchia 2012). In particular, this paper discusses a processing account for SIs that is dependent on the satisfaction of the Strawsonian presupposition of existence, necessary for the realization of the asymmetric entailment pattern…

Inés Crespo, Andreas Heise, Claudia Picazo in Issue 15

Metaphor Identification beyond Discourse Coherence [Special Issue]

Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language

In this paper, we propose an account of metaphor identification on the basis of contextual coherence. In doing so, we build on previous work by Nicholas Asher and Alex Lascarides that appeals to rhetorical relations in order to explain discourse structure and the constraints on the interpretation of metaphor that follow from it. Applying this general idea to our problem, we will show that rhetorical relations are sometimes insufficient and…

Palle Leth in Issue 15

Lying and Misleading in Context [Special Issue]

Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

In this paper I question the lying/misleading distinction from three different angles. I argue, first, that if speakers are responsible for what they explicitly say only and hearers for what they infer that speakers implicitly convey, it is practically impossible to enforce speaker responsibility. An implication of this view is that the lying/misleading distinction is untenable. Other attempts at questioning the distinction have been countered by empirical evidence of the…

Claudia Bianchi in Issue 15

Dangerous Liaisons: The Pragmatics of Sexual Negotiation [Special Issue]

Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

The debate about speech acts in sexual contexts has been dominated by discussions of consent and refusal, two illocutions strictly connected to definitions of sexual assault and rape, which constitutes a crucial step in fighting male sexual violence against women. Many authors have recently claimed that this emphasis has a distorting and harmful impact on our understanding of sexual communication—for it highlights only its negative aspects (mostly how to avoid…

Alberto Barbieri in Issue 15

The Debate on the Problem of For-Me-Ness: A Proposed Taxonomy

Cognitive science, Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

Several philosophers claim that a mental state is phenomenally conscious only if it exhibits so-called for-me-ness, or subjective character, i.e., the fact that there is something it is like to be in a conscious state not just for everyone but only for the subject who undergoes it. Consequently, they stress, a proper explanation of consciousness requires to address the question of what the nature of for-me-ness is. This question forms…