Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Pragmatics, modularity and epistemic vigilance [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 02 • Author/s: Diana Mazzarella
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

The cognitive revolution, which from the early ’60s shaped the domains of linguistics, anthropology, psychology and related disciplines, manifested its effect in the field of pragmatics with the seminal work of Sperber and Wilson (1986/1995). Among many other issues, Sperber and Wilson brought to the attention of the pragmatics community the question of the place of pragmatic abilities in the overall architecture of the mind. At that time, Fodor had already suggested that human cognitive architecture is partly modular (Fodor 1983) by introducing the functional and architectural distinction between modular…

Reichenbach, Russell and the Metaphysics of Induction

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: Michael J. Shaffer
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophical logic

Hans Reichenbach’s pragmatic treatment of the problem of induction in his later works on inductive inference was, and still is, of great interest. However, it has been dismissed as a pseudo-solution and it has been regarded as problematically obscure. This is, in large part, due to the difficulty in understanding exactly what Reichenbach’s solution is supposed to amount to, especially as it appears to offer no response to the inductive skeptic. For entirely different reasons, the significance of Bertrand Russell’s classic attempt to solve Hume’s problem is also both obscure…

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

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Ernesto Perini-Santos
Topics: 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 only effective after the proposition is grasped, or think that it is part of the determination of what is said.…

Lying and Misleading in Context [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Palle Leth
Topics: 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 robustness of the distinction. However, there is also contrasting empirical evidence that people do think that it is possible to…