° Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language, edited by Delia Graff Fara and Gillian Russell, pp. 209-220, 2012.
° The Routledge to the Philosophy of Law, edited by Andrei Marmor, 2012.
° NYU Law School Journal of Law and Liberty, volume 6, 231-259, 2011.
° Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 81, 475-484, 2010.
° Philosophical Topics, 35(1-2): 329-342, 2007.
° In Saul Kripke, Alan Berger, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2011.
° Analysis 71(1): 124-133, 2010.
° In Philosophical Foundations of Language in the Law, Marmor and Soames, eds., Oxford University Press, 2011.
° Synthese, 1995
Eastern Division Meetings of the APA Boston, December 1994
° Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1998
Appearing in The New Theory of Reference, edited by P.W. Humphreys and J.H. Fetzer
° Oxford University Press, 2009
Appearing in Metametaphysics: New Essays at the Foundations of Ontology, edited by David Chalmers, David Manley, and Ryan Wasserman.
° Oxford University Press, 2009
Appearing in Cuts and Clouds: Essays on the Nature of Vagueness, edited by Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Morouzzi
° Midwest Studies in Philosophy, XXXII, 2008, 1-19.
° Soames, Philosophical Papers Vol. 1, Princeton University Press, 2008
° The Oxford Handbook of American Philosophy, Cheryl Misak,ed., 2008, 449-481
A history of analytic philosophy in America from its pre-analytic origins to the present.
° Nous, 42:3, 2008, 529-554
Sentences containing numerals functioning as quantifiers are used to present a new model of the relationship between semantics and pragmatics
° The Journal of Philosophical Logic, 37, 2008, 267-276
Refutation of an objection to the result — established in Soames (1987), "Direct Reference, Propositional Attitudes, and Semantic Content, Philosophical Topics 15, Reprinted in Salmon and Soames (1988) Propositions and Attitudes — that semantic theories incorporating certain natural assumptions about direct reference and propositional attitude ascriptions cannot identify semantic contents of sentences with circumstances in which they are true — no matter how fine-grained such circumstances are taken to be.
° Scott Soames, Philosophical Papers Vol. 1, Princeton University Press, 2008
A conception of meaning as least common denominator is presented according to which the semantic content of S is that which is common to what is asserted by utterances of S in all normal contexts. Although the content of S is often a complete proposition, and, hence, a proper candidate for being asserted and believed, in some cases it is only a skeleton, or partial specification, of such a proposition. In many contexts, the semantic content of S -- whether it is a complete proposition or not -- interacts with an expanded conception of pragmatics to generate a pragmatically enriched proposition that it is the speaker's primary intention to assert. Other propositions count as asserted only when they are relevant, unmistakable, necessary and apriori consequences of the speaker's primary assertions, together with salient presuppositions of the conversational background.
° Philosophical Books, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2008, 317-327.
° Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXXXI, 2007, Mark Kalderon, ed.
This is an essay on the metaphysics, epistemology, semantics, and pragmatics of actuality and possibility.
° On Sense and Direct Reference, Matthew Davidson, ed. McGraw Hill, 2007.
The paper explains the motivations and contents of the pragmatic two-dimensionalism of Robert Stalnaker, the strong and weak semantic versions of two-dimensionalism suggested by many of the writings of Frank Jackson and David Chalmers, and the more recent hybrid version of two-dimensionalism advocated by Chalmers in "Components of Content", 2002. Refutations are presented of all these versions of two-dimensionalism.
° A Symposium on Alan Berger's Terms and Truth, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. LXXII, No. 3, 2006.
This is a contribution to a symposium on Alan Berger's Terms and Truth. There, Berger presents analyses of descriptive names (the referents of which are fixed by description) and pronouns in discourses that are anaphoric on expressions occurring in preceding sentences. Although each analysis has much to be said for it, in my opinion Berger goes wrong in treating descriptive names as if they were anaphoric on expressions used in their original introduction, and discourse anaphors as if they were rigid singular terms.
° Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 12, Language, Mind, and Ontology, 1998
° Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Vol. 23, 1998
° Philosophical Issues, Vol. 16, Blackwell Publishing Co., 2006
Kripke's discovery of the necessary aposteriori is placed in historical and philosophical perspective. I argue that his first, essentialist, route to the necessary aposteriori has led to a distinction between metaphysical and epistemic possibility that is an important advance, while his second route to the necessary aposteriori has led to an attempted revival of pre-Kripkean orthodoxy which both threatens that advance, and leads to suspect philosophical results - including his own flawed argument against mind-body identity theories.
° Content and Modality: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker, Oxford University Press, 2006, 222-250. Editors: Judith Thompson and Alex Byrne
In "Assertion", Robert Stalnaker presents a two-dimensional model of discourse designed (i) to accommodate cases in which utterances assert propositions other than those they semantically express, and (ii) to solve philosophical problems posed by the Kripkean necessary aposteriori for Stalnaker's identification of propositions with functions from possible world-states to truth values, and his restriction of the epistemically possible to the metaphysically possible. I argue that the model cannot succeed, and propose alternative non-2D explanations of the relevant cases.
° Teorema Vol XXIV No. 3. 2005
According to Russell, a simple sentence S containing a definite description, the F, is true only if a single object in the domain of discourse satisfies F. The problem posed by incomplete definite descriptions is that often uses of such sentences are true even though more than one object satisfies F. I argue (i) that non-Russellian semantic analyses cannot solve this problem, and (ii) that Russellian approaches can, provided that a new, and independently motivated, conception of the relationship between meaning and assertion is adopted.
° The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy, 2005.
A review of the antidescriptivist revolution of the 1970's, plus a chronicle and critique of the subsequent neodescriptivist revival based on a causal-descriptivist theory of reference fixing, rigidification, and a two-dimensional semantic theory of the necessary aposteriori and the contingent apriori.
° Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd Edition, Macmillan Publishing Co., 2006
A brief historical summary of the most important developments in analytic philosophy from Moore and Russell to Kripke.
° Semantics vs. Pragmatics, Oxford University Press, 2004, 356-382.
In Beyond Rigidity it was proposed that a speaker who utters S often asserts multiple pragmatically enriched propositions, and that the semantic content of S is a proposition which, for every normal context C in which S is uttered, is among the propositions asserted. In this paper I explain in detail why this view must be modified. According to the new view, the semantic content of S is not always a complete proposition, but rather is a set of conditions that constrains the candidates for assertion, while allowing speakers a measure of freedom for pragmatic enrichment within those constraints. On the new view, assertions must be pragmatic enrichments of semantic content, but when the semantic content of S in C is a complete proposition it counts as asserted by an utterance of S in C only if it is a consequence of the pragmatically enriched propositions asserted by the utterance.
° Philosophical Perspectives, Vol. 17, 2003, 369-383.
The paper gives an account of what it is for a truth predicate to be deflationary. It attempts to say what is right about deflationism, and to clarify the notion of truth in a way that gives us most of what we need for ordinary philosophical purposes, without resolving the contentious issues raised by any complete and precise theory (which would involve, among other things, a definitive solution to the Liar Paradox, plus a non-circular account of what it is to understand the truth predicate). It is argued that our ordinary truth predicate of propositions is deflationary, but that deflationary theories of truth for sentences don't tell the whole story about sentential truth.
° Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox, Oxford University Press, 2003, 128-50.
A theory of higher-order vagueness for partially-defined,
context-sensitive predicates like is blue is offered. According to
the theory, the predicate is determinately blue means roughly is
an object o such that the claim that o is blue is a necessary consequence
of the rules of the language plus the underlying non-linguistic facts in
the world. Because the question of which rules count as rules of the
language is itself vague, the predicate is determinately blue is
both vague and partial in a sense analogous (though not completely
identical) to the sense in which is blue is vague and partial.
However, higher-order vagueness stops there. Although the anti-extension
of is determinately blue differs from that of is blue,
further iterations of determinately have no semantic effect.
The paper closes with a discussion of the need to posit sharp and precise lines dividing the range of potential application of a vague predicate into semantically distinct categories. It is argued that this is less of a problem for the present theory than for many others, because the categories into which the range is divided by the present theory -- like the category of counting as blue because the rules of the language offer speakers no discretion, as opposed to the category of counting as blue because speakers have invoked an absolute minimum of discretion in adjusting the contextually sensitive boundaries of the predicate -- are not those that the linguistic competence of ordinary speakers equips them to make highly accurate and reliable judgments about.
° Facta Philosophica, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2004, 159-181.
Manifest kinds are natural kinds designated by terms like water, tiger, gold, and green, instances of which are objects of our potential acquaintance. Manifest kind terms figure in statements of theoretical identification, many of which are both necessary and knowable only aposteriori. The necessity of many of these statements follows from their truth, plus the way in which the reference of the terms they contain is standardly fixed. The explanation of their aposteriority is based on the fact that our knowledge of manifest kinds parallels our knowledge of individuals. Just as our de re knowledge of individuals standardly depends either on our own acquaintance with them, or on the acquaintance of others who pass important parts of their knowledge on to us, so our de re knowledge of manifest kinds standardly depends either on own acquaintance with members of these kinds, or on the acquaintance of others who pass aspects of their knowledge on to us. Because of this acquaintance requirement, most of our knowledge of individuals, and of manifest kinds, is aposteriori. It is not possible to circumvent this result by using descriptions to introduce or to semantically fix the reference of names or manifest kind terms. In both cases, the requirement that we antecedently believe of the object to be named, or the kind to be designated, that it is denoted by the description used to introduce the term renders our knowledge of the propositions expressed by relevant sentences containing the term aposteriori, rather than apriori.
Last updated: 01/10/10