Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Language’s Dreamwork Reconsidered [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Andreas Heise
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind

This paper offers both exegetical and systematic reconsiderations of Donald Davidson’s view on metaphor. In his essay What Metaphors Mean, Davidson argued against the idea that metaphors have any kind of propositional content beyond the literal meaning of the relevant sentence. Apart from this negative claim, Davidson also made a constructive proposal by suggesting that metaphor’s distinctive effect is to prompt a mental state of seeing-as. These two points seem connected insofar as Davidson makes the following assumptions. First, metaphors cause their distinctive effects in an a-rational way. Second, seeing-as…

Constitutive Rules: The Manifest Image and the Deep Image. [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Maurizio Ferraris
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

Social objects originate from constitutive rules. But there are two ways of explaining the relationship between them. I call them “Manifest Image” and “Deep Image”. The former depends on Searle’s interpretation of social reality and it is based on collective intentionality; the latter is the one I support and it is based on documentality. Indeed, recordings and documents are sufficient to explain how and why social world exists. There is no need to use such a vague notion, as that of collective intentionality, in order to give a useful account…

From Persons to Selfing: Some Developments of Parfit’s Legacy

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Michele Di Francesco, Massimo Marraffa, Alfredo Paternoster
Topics: Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind

In this paper we shall discuss some aspects of Parfit’s thought in connection with what we regard as a promising, quasi-naturalist approach to the self. The focus is not so much on the concept of person (considered as the starting point of a metaphysics of person), which—for our present purposes—we take essentially to be a forensic notion; our point is, rather, that certain ideas developed by Parfit in Reasons and Persons (1984) may be viewed as a component of a bottom-up account of the self that combines psychobiological and narrativist…

Experiments in Visual Perspective: Size Experience

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Brentyn Ramm
Topics: Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind

Phenomenal objectivism explains perceptual phenomenal character by reducing it to an awareness of mind-independent objects, properties, and relations. A challenge for this view is that there is a sense in which a distant tree looks smaller than a closer tree even when they are the same objective size (perceptual size variation). The dual content view is a popular objectivist account in which such experiences are explained by my objective spatial relation to the tree, in particular visual angle (perspectival size). I describe a series of first-person experiments for investigating size…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Kourken Michaelian, Patrizia Pedrini, Elisabetta Sacchi
Topics: Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Political philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

Fiction and Imagination: Introduction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Carola Barbero, Matteo Plebani, Alberto Voltolini
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind

Simulation Modelling in Fiction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Conrad Aquilina
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Philosophy of science

This essay assesses the claim that model structures have features in common with narratology and fiction-making. It proposes that simulation—a form of modelling—is amenable to literary narratives which are hypermimetic, in the sense that their cognitive or material reception by the reader demands a phenomenology attained through the heightening of a mimetic secondary reality. Simulation models construct frames of reference for target systems through self-validating mechanisms, and the same is true of narratology. I specifically argue that the modelling of a world out of text, one which is written and…

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

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Diana Mazzarella, Antonio Negro, Carlo Penco
Topics: 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 in this issue (and of which we provide summaries at the end of this introduction).

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.…

Believing the Formless? [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Giuseppe Varnier, Salvatore Pistoia-Reda
Topics: 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 deductive system can access both ungrammatical and grammatical trivialities, though only the latter can be rescued, i.e. made informative, via…
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