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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 20, Issue 3, 2020
On Pietroski’s Conjoining Meanings

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on pietroski’s conjoining meanings
1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Dunja Jutronić, Nenad Miščević Introduction
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Paul M. Pietroski Précis of Conjoining Meanings: Semantics Without Truth Values
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In Conjoining Meanings, I argue that meanings are composable instructions for how to build concepts of a special kind. In this summary of the main line of argument, I stress that proposals about what linguistic meanings are should make room for the phenomenon of lexical polysemy. On my internalist proposal, a single lexical item can be used to access various concepts on different occasions of use. And if lexical items are often “conceptually equivocal” in this way, then some familiar arguments for externalist conceptions of linguistic meaning need to be reevaluated.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
John Collins Conjoining and the Weak/Strong Quantifier Distinction
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Pietroski’s model of semantic composition is introduced and compared to the standard type hierarchy. Particular focus is then given to Pietroski’s account of quantifi cation. The question is raised of how the model might account for the weak/strong distinction in natural language quantifi cation. A number of options are addressed and one proposal is tentatively recommended.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Elmar Unnsteinsson Compositionality and Expressive Power: Comments on Pietroski
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Paul Pietroski has developed a powerful minimalist and internalist alternative to standard compositional semantics, where meanings are identified with instructions to fetch or assemble human concepts in specific ways. In particular, there appears to be no need for Fregean Function Application, as natural language composition only involves processes of combining monadic or dyadic concepts, and Pietroski’s theory can then, allegedly, avoid both singular reference and truth conditions. He also has a negative agenda, purporting to show, roughly, that the vocabulary of standard truth conditional semantics is far too powerful to plausibly describe the linguistic competence of mere human minds. In this paper, I explain some of the basics of Pietroski’s compositional semantics and argue that his major objection to standard compositionality is inconclusive, because a similar argument can be mounted against his own minimalist theory. I argue that we need a clear distinction between the language of the theorist—theoretical notation—and the language whose nature we are trying to explain. The theoretical notation should in fact be as expressively powerful as possible. It does not follow that the notation cannot be used to explain mere human linguistic competence, even if human minds are limited in various ways.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
David Pereplyotchik Generative Linguistics Meets Normative Inferentialism: Part 1
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This is the first installment of a two-part essay. Limitations of space prevented the publication of the full essay in present issue of the Journal. The second installment will appear in the next issue, 2021 (1). My overall goal is to outline a strategy for integrating generative linguistics with a broadly pragmatist approach to meaning and communication. Two immensely useful guides in this venture are Robert Brandom and Paul Pietroski. Squarely in the Chomskyan tradition, Pietroski’s recent book, Conjoining Meanings, offers an approach to natural-language semantics that rejects foundational assumptions widely held amongst philosophers and linguists. In particular, he argues against extensionalism—the view that meanings are (or determine) truth and satisfaction conditions. Having arrived at the same conclusion by way of Brandom’s defl ationist account of truth and reference, I’ll argue that both theorists have important contributions to make to a broader anti-extensionalist approach to language. What appears here as Part 1 of the essay is largely exegetical, laying out what I see as the core aspects of Brandom’s normative inferentialism (§1) and Pietroski’s naturalistic semantics (§2). In Part 2 (next issue), I argue that there are many convergences between these two theoretical frameworks and, contrary to first appearances, very few points of substantive disagreement between them. If the integration strategy that I propose is correct, then what appear to be sharply contrasting commitments are better seen as interrelated verbal differences that come down to different—but complementary—explanatory goals. The residual disputes are, however, stubborn. I end by discussing how to square Pietroski’s commitment to predicativism with Brandom’s argument that a predicativist language is in principle incapable of expressing ordinary conditionals.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Michael Glanzberg But Without …?: Reflections on Pietroski’s Conjoining Meanings
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In this short note, I discuss the viability of truth-conditional semantics in light of Pietroski’s criticisms. I explore an alternative view that follows Pietroski in putting emphasis on the relation of meanings to concepts, but makes some room for truth conditions.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Anna Drożdżowicz What Do We Experience When Listening to a Familiar Language?
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What do we systematically experience when hearing an utterance in a familiar language? A popular and intuitive answer has it that we experience understanding an utterance or what the speaker said or communicated by uttering a sentence. Understanding a meaning conveyed by the speaker is an important element of linguistic communication that might be experienced in such cases. However, in this paper I argue that two other elements that typically accompany the production of spoken linguistic utterances should be carefully considered when we address the question of what is systematically experienced when we listen to utterances in a familiar language. First, when we listen to a familiar language we register various prosodic phenomena that speakers routinely produce. Second, we typically register stable vocal characteristics of speakers, such as pitch, tempo or accent, that are often systematically related to various properties of the speaker. Thus, the answer to the question of what we typically experience when listening to a familiar language is likely to be a complex one. Dedicated attention is needed to understand the nature and scope of phenomenology that pertains to linguistic communication. This paper lays some groundwork for that project.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Olga Ramírez Calle Invasive Weeds in Parmenides’s Garden
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The paper attempts to conciliate the important distinction between what-is, or exists, and what-is-not, thereby supporting Russell’s existential analysis, with some Meinongian insights. For this purpose, it surveys the varied inhabitants of the realm of ‘non-being’ and tries to clarify their diverse statuses. The position that results makes it possible to rescue them back in surprising but non-threatening form, leaving our ontology safe from contradiction.
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Antonin Thuns Semantic Deference and Groundedness
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Semantic deference allows for the meaning of a word w a speaker uses to be determined by the way other speakers would understand or use w. That semantic deference has some role to play in semantic content attributions is intuitive enough. Nevertheless, the exact conditions under which semantic deference takes place are still open for discussion. A key issue that the article critically examines is Recanati’s requirement that deferential uses be grounded, that is, that deferential uses be linked to non-deferential uses (Recanati 1997; 2000). After distinguishing between semantic and epistemic deference, I submit that the only way to maintain the Groundedness Thesis for truly semantic deference is to allow deference to idealized future linguistic collectives. I conclude that this is too high a price to pay for Groundedness and I suggest that it should be rejected as a semantic thesis.
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
René Jagnow Representationalism, Double Vision, and Afterimages: A Response to Işık Sarıhan
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In his paper “Double Vision, Phosphenes and Afterimages: Non-Endorsed Representations rather than Non-Representational Qualia,” Işık Sarıhan addresses the debate between strong representationalists and qualia theorists (Sarıhan 2020). He argues that qualia theorists like Ned Block and Amy Kind who cite double-vision, afterimages, etc., as evidence for the existence of qualia are mistaken about the actual nature of these states. According to Sarıhan, these authors confuse the fact that these states are non-endorsed representational states with the fact that they are at least partly non-representational. I argue that Sarıhan’s argument contains gaps that suggest that he misidentifi es the mistake that leads these qualia theorists to their conclusion. In my view, these qualia theorists do not confuse the fact that the states in question are non-endorsed states with the fact that they are non-representational, but rather mistake certain representational contents, or certain aspects of these contents, for qualia.
11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević The Limits of Expertism
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Snježana Prijić-Samaržija’s book discusses the epistemic grounding of democracy, stressing the epistemic role of experts in her political-epistemological favorite, the project of “reliability democracy”. Her proposal, inspired by Christiano, lets citizens play an important role in setting the aims, whereas experts deliberate about means of reaching them. I argue that it is not easy to reach consensus about goals and values. What is needed is democratic deliberation in deciding, encompassing both experts and laypersons. We should retain the duality of less ideal deliberation in real world and of hypothetical contractualist deliberation, within moral-political thought-experiments, in the tradition of Habermas and Scanlon in the ideal theory. I leave it open whether our author might ultimately agree with this picture of reliability democracy.
12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
John B. Min Two Concepts of the Epistemic Value of Public Deliberation
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Epistemic justifi cation is necessary for deliberative democracy, yet there is a question about what we mean by the concept of epistemic values of public deliberation. According to one reading, the epistemic value of public deliberation implies a procedure’s ability to achieve a correct outcome, as judged by a procedure-independent standard of correctness. As I shall show in this paper, however, there is another reading of the "epistemic" value of public deliberation extant in the literature: Epistemic values are constitutive of a deliberative process as an exchange of reasons. If the distinction between two concepts of epistemic values of public deliberation holds, then we can re-conceptualize the relationship between procedural fairness, epistemic values, and legitimacy. Thus, a concept of legitimacy that combines procedural fairness and a procedure-independent standard of correctness on the one hand, versus one that combines procedural fairness and the constitutive epistemic value of deliberation on the other hand.
book discussion
13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević Can Statism Help?
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Can statism help with burning issues of the present time? The authors in the collection mostly answer affi rmatively; in their view states can successfully deal with their cosmopolitan responsibilities. In the discussion, we question this optimistic assumption, and suggest the need for a more supra-statist, cosmopolitan arrangement for solving the issues.
book reviews
14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Niko Šetar Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence 2017
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15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Urška Martinc Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Biology. A Very Short Introduction
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16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Dunja Jutronić Anđel Starčević, Mate Kapović, Daliborka Sarić, Jeziku je svejedno (Language could care less)
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17. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Lovro Grgić Larry Krasnoff, Nuria Sánchez Madrid, Paula Satne (eds.), Kant’s Doctrine of Right in the Twenty-first Century
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18. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Ekin Erkan Béatrice Longuenesse, I, Me, Mine: Back to Kant and Back Again
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19. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 3
Table of Contents of Vol. XX
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