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Showing papers in "Grazer Philosophische Studien in 2016"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article present a presuppositional account for a class of evaluative terms that encode both a descriptive and an evaluativity component: slurs and thick terms, and discuss several issues related to the hybrid nature of these terms.
Abstract: In this paper, the authors present a presuppositional account for a class of evaluative terms that encode both a descriptive and an evaluative component: slurs and thick terms. The authors discuss several issues related to the hybrid nature of these terms, such as their projective behavior, the ways in which one may reject their evaluative content, and the ways in which evaluative content is entailed or implicated (as the case may be) by the use of such terms.

38 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The knowledge argument fails as a refutation of physicalism as mentioned in this paper, but it remains the case that there is a pressing question for physicalists raised by the argument, namely, does Mary acquire old information or misinformation when she leaves the black and white room?
Abstract: Suppose that, for one reason or another, the knowledge argument fails as a refutation of physicalism. Even so, it remains the case that there is a pressing question for physicalists raised by the argument. Does Mary acquire old information or misinformation when she leaves the black and white room? Answering this question requires physicalists to address the tricky question of the informational content of colour experiences – what information do colour experiences deliver by virtue of being the kinds of experiences they are?

15 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors showed that the original strategy of explaining apparent shifting in terms of a quotational use/mention distinction offers a much more intuitive, parsimonious and empirically superior analysis of many of these phenomena, including direct-indirect switches in Ancient Greek, role shift in signed languages, free indirect discourse in literary narratives, and mixed quotation.
Abstract: Inspired by Schlenker’s (2003) seminal Plea for Monsters , linguists have been analyzing every occurrence of a shifted indexical by postulating a monstrous operator. The author’s aim in this paper is to show that Kaplan’s (1989) original strategy of explaining apparent shifting in terms of a quotational use/mention distinction offers a much more intuitive, parsimonious and empirically superior analysis of many of these phenomena, including direct–indirect switches in Ancient Greek, role shift in signed languages, free indirect discourse in literary narratives, and mixed quotation.

14 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide an account of the relationship between transcendental claims and the project of using transcendental argumentation that differs from the mainstream literature, and argue that these broader arguments can be used more broadly, regardless of any doubts one may have about the anti-sceptical value of such claims.
Abstract: This article aims to provide an account of the relationship between transcendental claims and the project of using transcendental argumentation that differs from the mainstream literature. In much of the literature, such claims are said to have as their primary value the overcoming of various sceptical positions. The author argues that, whilst transcendental arguments may be narrowly characterised as anti-sceptical, transcendental claims do not have to be used in only this way, and in fact can be useful in several areas of philosophy outside the issue of scepticism, and so can be used by transcendental arguments more broadly conceived. The author offers four examples of transcendental claims that are not used in narrow, anti-sceptical transcendental arguments. The author argues that these broader arguments use transcendental claims but not in an anti-sceptical way. From this, the author concludes that given the well-known difficulties transcendental arguments in this narrow sense seem to have had in defeating scepticism, distinguishing narrow transcendental arguments clearly from transcendental claims as such in this manner can provide a way for the latter to still serve an important role in philosophy, by showing how such claims can be used more broadly, regardless of any doubts one may have about the anti-sceptical value of such claims.

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined the Gricean view that quality maxims take priority over other conversational maxims and showed that Griceans conversational implicatures are routinely inferred from utterances that are recognized to be untruthful.
Abstract: This paper examines the Gricean view that quality maxims take priority over other conversational maxims. It is shown that Gricean conversational implicatures are routinely inferred from utterances that are recognized to be untruthful. It is argued that this observation falsifies Grice’s original claim that hearers assume that speakers are obeying other maxims only if the speaker is assumed to be obeying quality maxims, and furthermore the related claim that hearers assume that speakers are being cooperative only to the extent that they assume they are being truthful.

5 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that pragmatic invariantism makes inaccurate predictions for a wide range of well-known use data and is committed to attributing systematic pragmatic error to ordinary speakers. But pragmatic error is unprecedented, and it is doubtful that speakers are systematically wrong about what they intend to communicate.
Abstract: ‘Know-that’, like so many natural language expressions, exhibits patterns of use that provide evidence for its context-sensitivity. A popular family of views – call it pragmatic invariantism – attempts to explain the shifty patterns by appeal to a pragmatic thesis: while the semantic meaning of ‘know-that’ is stable across all contexts of use, sentences of the form ‘S knows [doesn’t know] that p’ can be used to communicate a pragmatic content that depends on the context of use. In this paper, the author argues that pragmatic invariantism makes inaccurate predictions for a wide range of well-known use data and is committed to attributing systematic pragmatic error to ordinary speakers. But pragmatic error is unprecedented, and it is doubtful that speakers are systematically wrong about what they intend to communicate.

5 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the Causal-Psychological Account of Action (CPA) is used to argue that normative reasons are non-psychological, and motivate us when we act for them.
Abstract: Because normative reasons are non-psychological, and motivate us when we act for them, some have concluded that motivating reasons have to be non-psychological, too This thought has served as part of an argument against the Causal-Psychological Account of Action, because the account states that motivating reasons are psychological Recently, many authors recognized that there are two different notions of motivating reasons which are commonly being confused in this dispute While the Anti-Psychologist is right that motivating reasons in her sense need to be classified as non-psychological, the proponent of the Causal-Psychological Account refers to something else by the term ‘motivating reason’ and rightly claims that it is psychological However, this insight has not gained the uptake it deserves, partly because it has not been presented by way of a systematic evaluation of the different readings of the argument against the Causal-Psychological Account This paper’s aim is to point out more carefully the argument against the Causal-Psychological Account and the dilemma faced by that argument This will hopefully show that and why motivating reasons – in the sense in which they figure in the Causal-Psychological Account – can be psychological even if agents act for non-psychological normative reasons

5 citations


Journal Article
TL;DR: In this article, the interpretation of indexicals within the framework of quantified modal logic is discussed, and the dominant theory on this topic is Kaplan's two-dimensional analysis has been challenged on various grounds.
Abstract: The article discusses the interpretation of indexicals within the framework of quantified modal logic. The dominant theory on this topic is Kaplan's two-dimensional analysis. Since its appearance in 1977, Kaplan's analysis has been challenged on various grounds. The author will argue that by revising the way of modelling the objects we refer to in conversation, we can account for counterexamples to Kaplan's theory, while maintaining Kaplan's basic insights concerning the meaning of 'you' and 'I'.

3 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the perception of properties allows for a distinction between the sense of the identity and the perceived qualitative nature of a property, and that the perceived tropes cannot constitute the phenomenal character of the perceptual experience.
Abstract: The topic of this paper is the perception of properties. It is argued that the perception of properties allows for a distinction between the sense of the identity and the sense of the qualitative nature of a property. So, for example, we might perceive a property as being identical over time even though it is presented as more and more determinate. Thus, you might see an object first as red and then as crimson red. In this case, the property is perceived as identical over time, even though the sense of the qualitative nature (the redness, the crimson redness) of the property is changing. The distinction between the sense of identity and the sense of quality is explicated in terms of perceiving a particular property, a trope, and perceiving it as an instance of a universal. It is subsequently argued that the perceived tropes cannot constitute the phenomenal character of the perceptual experience.

3 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors put some pressure on Brian O'Shaughnessy's claim that perceptual experiences are necessarily mental processes, and pointed out that perceptual experience is not a mental process.
Abstract: The goal of this piece is to put some pressure on Brian O’Shaughnessy’s claim that perceptual experiences are necessarily mental processes. The author targets two motivations behind the development of that view. First, O’Shaughnessy resorts to pure conceptual analysis to argue that perceptual experiences are processes. The author argues that this line of reasoning is inconclusive. Secondly, he repeatedly invokes a thought experiment concerning the total freeze of a subject’s experiential life. Even if this case is coherent, however, it does not show that perceptual experiences are processes.

3 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The author puts forward and defends a new argument for indirect realism called the argument from pain . The argument is akin to a well-known traditional argument to the same end, the argument from hallucination . Like the latter, it contains one premise stating an analogy between veridical perceptions and certain other states and one premise stating that those states are states of acquaintance with sense-data. The crucial difference is that the states that are said to be analogous to veridical perceptions are pain-states instead of hallucinations. This difference makes the argument from pain immune to the standard objections against the argument from hallucination.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that there is a structural difference between classical cases involving knowledge-undermining environmental luck, and cases where a subject acquires understanding in the presence of environmental luck and this difference appears to bear on arguments against the reductionist thesis that understanding is a special form of knowledge.
Abstract: The present paper argues that there is a structural difference between classical cases involving knowledge-undermining environmental luck, and cases where a subject acquires understanding in the presence of environmental luck. This difference appears to bear on arguments against the reductionist thesis that understanding is a special form of knowledge.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The aim of this paper is to show why the theories of impossible worlds do not fully solve the problem of counterpossibles, but merely shift it, and by distinguishing two types of languages it will show that some expectations about a proper theory of counterfactuals might be too great.
Abstract: To solve the problem of counterpossibles (i.e., counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents), many philosophers have been arguing that one needs to invoke impossible worlds. This extension of the semantics of modality should save the analysis of counterfactuals from being insensitive to the problem of counterpossibles. The aim of this paper is to show why the theories of impossible worlds do not fully solve the problem of counterpossibles, but merely shift it. Moreover, by distinguishing two types of languages, we will show that some expectations about a proper theory of counterfactuals might be too great.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the author argues that belief formation as an immediate reaction to practical reasons is not necessarily equivalent to belief at will, because the causal mechanism that leads to the formation might be deviant.
Abstract: The author argues that believing at will – i.e. believing for practical reasons – is in some sense possible and in some sense impossible. It is impossible insofar as we think of belief formation as a result of our exercise of certain capacities (perception, memory, agency). But insofar as we think of belief formation as an action that might lead to such a result (i.e. a deliberation or an inquiry), believing at will is possible. First the author presents and clarifies the problem and its philosophical relevance (section 1). The author then argues that a belief formation as an immediate reaction to practical reasons is not necessarily equivalent to believing at will, because the causal mechanism that leads to the formation might be deviant (section 2). Finally, the author explains the difference between the two meanings of “belief formation” mentioned above, in order to clarify the possibility and impossibility of believing at will (section 3).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the moral non-naturalist can solve the exclusion problem in a way that is different from the approach to solving mental-physical exclusion, and the author argues that while the autonomy solution to mental exclusion may work, a similar autonomy approach to moral exclusion is implausible.
Abstract: Recently some philosophers (e.g. Shafer-Landau 2003; Wedgwood 2007) suggested an exclusion problem for moral non-naturalism, which is similar to the exclusion problem in philosophy of mind. In this article, the author aims to advance the discussion of exclusion in morality by investigating two influential solutions to the exclusion problem: the autonomy solution and the overdetermination solution. The author attempts to show that the moral non-naturalist can solve the exclusion problem in a way that is different from the approach to solving mental-physical exclusion. First, the author argues that while the autonomy solution to mental exclusion may work, a similar autonomy approach to moral exclusion is implausible. Second, the author argues that whereas the overdetermination solution to mental exclusion fails, a similar overdetermination solution to moral exclusion is promising.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This survey serves as an introduction to a symposium onContext-relativity as a problem in formal semantics, and the several aspects of the problem are here surveyed.
Abstract: Context-relativity may be conceived as a problem in formal semantics. The several aspects of the problem are here surveyed. This survey serves as an introduction to a symposium on this topic in this issue.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, various arguments against indexical relativism and truth-relativism have been discussed, including the action-theoretic, the epistemological, and the truth-theory argument.
Abstract: In this article, various objections will be discussed that have been put forward against ethical relativism, but which haven’t been considered seriously enough on the part of relativists and have been overrated on the part of their opponents. The objections will be concentrated into three arguments: the action-theoretic, the epistemological and the truth-theoretic argument. The article will discuss whether they can be rebutted by proponents of the two main types of relativism: indexical relativism and truth-relativism. The conclusion will be as follows: (i) one version of indexical relativism, the analytical version, gets into serious troubles by the action-theoretic argument, while its revisionary version will remain unaffected, (ii) the epistemological argument fails with respect to indexical relativism and stands on shaky ground as regards truth-relativism, (iii) the truth-theoretic argument puts considerable pressure (solely) on truth-relativism.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine Wittgenstein's and Waismann's objections to the explanation of equinumerosity in terms of one-one correlations and show how this equivalence can be used to explain the use of 'Just as many' and respond to Husserl's objection that this phrase is indefinable.
Abstract: The author critically examines Wittgenstein’s and Waismann’s objections to the explanation of equinumerosity in terms of one-one correlations. They are right to maintain that the actuality of a one-one correlation is not a necessary condition for equinumerosity. But, contrary to what they claim, the possibility of such a correlation is equivalent with equinumerosity. The author shows how this equivalence can be used to explain the use of ‘just as many’, thereby also responding to Husserl’s objection that this phrase is indefinable. And against all three authors it is argued that there are no semantically relevant equinumerosity criteria besides one-one correlatability.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the author argues that, in a restricted sense, we can decide to believe certain propositions and that acquiring a belief is not a basic action and possibly not even an action at all.
Abstract: In this essay the author argues that, in a restricted sense, we can decide to believe certain propositions. It is conceded that acquiring a belief is not a basic action and possibly not even an action at all. However, this does not entail the impossibility of decisions to believe since not everything we can decide to do is a basic action. In fact, we can often decide to be in a certain state of affairs. Although beliefs normally aim at truth, there are cases in which we can voluntarily seek or avoid irrational states of affairs and thereby influence our attitudes. Bearing this in mind, situations in which we can talk of decisions to belief can be construed easily.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper proposed a theory of vague sentences that is behaviour-rather than paradox-led, which is more explanatory than other available theories of vagueness and also provides a solution to the sorites paradox.
Abstract: This paper proposes a novel method of identifying the nature of vague sentences and a novel solution to the sorites paradox. The theory is motivated by patterns of use that language users display when using vague predicates. Identifying a coherent cause of this behaviour provides us with a theory of vague sentences that is behaviour- rather than paradox-led. The theory also provides a solution to the sorites paradox and is therefore more explanatory than other available theories of vagueness.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the author argues for two senses of the word "possibility" in order to explain modal illusions, or false beliefs about what is possible, such as hydrogen-less water.
Abstract: The author argues for two senses of the word ‘possibility’ in order to explain modal illusions, or false beliefs about what is possible. While it is metaphysically impossible that there could be hydrogen-less water, it might strike some people as possible. This is because it is epistemically possible: we cannot know a priori that water is not composed of something other than hydrogen and oxygen. Unlike other accounts in the literature, the author argues that the person who makes this mistake has a false belief about water that is not due to an intuition about some substance like water. This account can be extended to treat the illusion of mind-body dualism.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper argued that non-relational realism can be understood as a selective application of satisfaction semantics to predicates like exemplify, and that so understood, it is not obscure.
Abstract: Non-Relational Realism is a popular solution to the Bradleyan regress of facts or truths. It denies that there is a relational universal of exemplification; for an object a to exemplify a universal F-ness, on this view, is not for a relation to subsist between a and F-ness. An influential objection to Non-Relational Realism is that it is unacceptably obscure. The author argues that Non-Relational Realism can be understood as a selective application of satisfaction semantics to predicates like ‘exemplify’, and that so understood, it is not obscure. This kind of selective use of satisfaction semantics may be feasible in other contexts as a means of making theories more parsimonious.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argue that the truth-value intuitions that MacFarlane uses to motivate his view can be accommodated within the Kaplanian semantic framework, once we acknowledge the sentence-tokened and the role it can play.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to define the sentence-tokened—a product of utterance distinct from the act of utterance—and highlight the role that it can play in communication. In particular, the author will suggest that this entity is plausibly at the root of John MacFarlane’s motivating intuitions for the view that truth is assessment-sensitive. Here the author argues that the truth-value intuitions that MacFarlane uses to motivate his view can be accommodated within the Kaplanian semantic framework, once we acknowledge the sentence-tokened and the role it can play.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A new view of the key relation between the content and the conscious character of visual experience is offered, which suggests that conscious character is identical with those patterns of activation of neurons that are referentially or representationally alive.
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to offer a new view of the key relation between the content and the conscious character of visual experience. The author aims to support the following claims. First, the author rejects the qualia realist claim that conscious character is an intrinsic, nonrepresentational property of visual experience, for example, a pattern of activation of neurons. However, the author also rejects the rival widespread representationalist claim that the conscious character of visual experience is identical to, or supervenes on, any specific property represented by visual experience. The positive proposal is the following. Conscious character is identical with those patterns of activation of neurons that are referentially or representationally alive. Conscious redness, for example, is a pattern of activations of neurons that is created normally only when brains of physical duplicates come in visual contact with some distal property and this pattern of activation is recruited by natural selection to represent that property. This is called meaning representationalism .

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a novel principle of rational self-locating belief is proposed, which refers to the epistemic agent's causal context, and applied to some of the most-discussed problems of self-localizing belief including the Doomsday Argument, the Serpent's Advice scenario, the Presumptuous Philosopher problem, the Sleeping Beauty problem, and the problem of confirmation in the Everett interpretation.
Abstract: The paper proposes a novel principle of rational self-locating belief that refers to the epistemic agent’s causal context. The principle is motivated and applied to some of the most-discussed problems of self-locating belief including the Doomsday Argument, the Serpent’s Advice scenario, the Presumptuous Philosopher problem, the Sleeping Beauty problem, and the problem of confirmation in the Everett interpretation. It is shown to yield plausible verdicts in all these cases.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a defense of "presentist externalism" and argue that memory contents are fixed by the environment and by the time at which a recollection takes place rather than by those at which the original mental state occurred.
Abstract: This article presents a defense of “presentist externalism,” that is, the claim that memory contents are fixed by the environment and by the time at which a recollection takes place rather than by those at which the original mental state occurred. Its case is an instance of an argument to the best explanation. The author argues, firstly, that “presentist externalism” is the only version of content externalism that can stand up to both Boghossian’s memory and fallacy arguments. In slow switching cases, inferences containing memory thoughts as premises are unsound or unsafe, but valid. The author contends, secondly, that the externalist must recognize the existence of wide mismemories besides wide forgetting and that only the presentist externalist can account for their existence. The author maintains, finally, that if the validity of an inference requires that all its premises and conclusion be evaluated in the same context, that in which the inference is made, then it is the present context that fixes the content and the concepts of memory rather than the past.