Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


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…

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

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Claudia Bianchi
Topics: 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 unwanted sex). Moreover, an account in terms of consent and refusal seems to presuppose a default asymmetrical scenario, with men…

Undermining Defeat and Propositional Justification [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 02 • Author/s: Giacomo Melis
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind

I extend the Higher-Order View of Undermining Defeat (HOVUD) defended in Melis (2014) to account for the defeat of propositional justification. In doing so, I also clarify the important notion of higher-order commitment, and I make some considerations concerning the defeat of externalist epistemic warrants.

The Ludic Background of Constitutive Rules in Bernard Suits [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Filip Kobiela
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

The main purpose of the paper is to present and discuss Bernard Suits’ account of constitutive rules presented in his opus magnum—The Grasshopper. Games, Life and Utopia—and in several minor contributions, which supplement or modify his original position. This account will be regarded as a crucial part of Suits’ theory of ludic activities, mainly game-playing. The stress will be put on peculiarities of constitutive rules—their relation to ends in games, players’ attitudes and their limitative nature. The analysis of the consequences of breaking a rule in different types of actions…

Constitutive Rules and the Internal Point of View [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Corrado Roversi
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

In this paper, I connect J.R. Searle’s concept of constitutive rules and H.L.A. Hart’s concept of internal point of view and look for an extension of this joint paradigm in institutional ontology. I make a distinction between five different perspectives about an institution—structural, teleological, axiological, strategic, and sociological—and connect these perspectives to three kinds of concepts: institutional, meta-institutional, and para-institutional. In the light of these distinctions, I submit that an explanation of institutional phenomena requires a three-dimensional ontology consisting of a structure (framed by constitutive rules), a conceptual background, and…

Presentism and Causal Processes

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Ernesto Graziani
Topics: Epistemology, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Presentism is the view that only present temporal entities (tenselessly) exist. A widely-discussed problem for presentism concerns causation and, more specifically, the supposed cross-temporally relational character of it. I think that the best reply to this problem can already be found in the literature on temporal ontology: it consists, roughly, in showing that (at least) some of the main approaches to causation can be rephrased so as to avoid commitment to any cross-temporal relation, including the causal relation itself. The main purpose of this paper is to extend this reply…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Peter Øhrstrøm, Giulia Lorenzi, Laura Caponetto, Bianca Cepollaro
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Moral Philosophy, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

What Galileo Said

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: John Biro
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of language

Davidson’s paratactic account of indirect speech has it that a natural-language report of an utterance such as Galileo’s supposed one of ‘The Earth moves’ should be understood as analyzable into two separate, and semantically independent, utterances, the first of which points to the second, with the latter meaning in the reporter’s mouth what Galileo’s meant in his. The account rests on the assumption—shared by most writers on the subject, including critics of the account—that the correct natural-language report of Galileo’s utterance is ‘Galileo said that the Earth moves.’ I show…

Dispositional Arrays: Why So Scared of Possible Worlds? [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Lorenzo Azzano
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

Some philosophers believe that powers are more acceptable, naturalistic, non-ad hoc and actualist-friendly candidates to replace possible worlds (PWs) in a dispositionalist analysis of modality. However, such a swift opposition between powers and PWs is both unwarranted and problematic. Furthermore, there is at least one power-based ontology of PWs, which in turn offers a power-based applied PW-semantics for dispositionalists. On this account, first briefly suggested in Vetter 2015, a PW is taken to be a dispositional array, viz., a power for the entire universe to be so-and-so. I discuss several…

A Skeptical Approach to the Audibility of Semantic Properties

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Elvira Di Bona
Topics: Aesthetics, Cognitive science, Epistemology, Ontology, Philosophy of language

The issue of whether we can auditorily perceive meanings (or semantic properties) expressed in a language we understand has been approached through arguments based either on theoretical reasoning or the discussion of psychological effects. I am skeptical about the use of either type of argument. In this paper, I will first explain the limitations of the standard theoretical argument: the phenomenal contrast method. As for psychological phenomena, I will discuss semantic satiation and the Stroop effect. I will summarize why semantic satiation has already been dismissed and, based on said…
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