The Mind, Language, World (MLW) group is characterized by boundary-crossing research in central areas of analytic philosophy. The group aims to produce research distinctive for its philosophical literacy and willingness, in tackling particular questions, to engage with a variety of philosophical areas and approaches.
- Normativity, belief, truth
The central question guiding this research theme concerns how, if at all, we can evaluate belief. Is correct belief necessarily true belief? And if so, does it follow that we can believe only for epistemic reasons? An important line of thought underscoring these questions is the idea that propositional attitudes are, and belief in particular is, constituted or essentially governed by certain normative principles.
Michael Morris’s The Good and the True is a pioneering piece in this area, and one of the first pieces of work to develop this ‘normativist’ stance toward belief. Tony Booth’s work constitutes a response to a general normativism about belief and an argument for why we can appropriately evaluate belief from a non-epistemic (especially moral) perspective.
- Sawyer, Sarah Minds and Morals, Philosophical Issues special issue on Extended Knowledge in connection with the Extended Knowledge research project, hosted at the the Eidyn research centre in Edinburgh (In press)
- Booth, Anthony and Rowbottom, Darren (eds.) (2013) Intuitions. Oxford University Press.
- Booth, Anthony (2012) Two reasons why epistemic reasons are not object-given reasons. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. ISSN 1933-1592
- Booth, Anthony Robert (2012) All things considered duties to believe. Synthese, 187 (2). pp. 509-517. ISSN 0039-7857
- Booth, Anthony and Peels, Rik (2012) Epistemic justification, rights, and permissibility. Logos and Episteme: an International Journal of Epistemology, 3 (3). pp. 405-411. ISSN 2069-3052
- Booth, Anthony (2011) Epistemic ought is a commensurable ought. European Journal of Philosophy. ISSN 0966-8373
- Booth, Anthony Robert (2011) The theory of epistemic justification and the theory of knowledge: a divorce. Erkenntnis, 75 (1). pp. 37-43. ISSN 0165-0106
- Booth, Anthony Robert and Peels, Rik (2010) Why responsible belief is blameless belief. The Journal of Philosophy, 107 (5). pp. 257-256. ISSN 0022-362X
- Booth, Anthony Robert (2009) Compatibilism and free belief. Philosophical Papers, 38 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 0556-8641
- Booth, Anthony (2009) Motivating epistemic reasons for action. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 78. pp. 265-271. ISSN 0165-9227
- Booth, Anthony Robert (2008) Deontology in ethics and epistemology. Metaphilosophy, 39 (4-5). pp. 530-545. ISSN 1126-1068
- Booth, Anthony Robert (2008) A new argument for pragmatism? Philosophia, 36 (2). pp. 227-231. ISSN 0048-3893
- Booth, Anthony Robert (2007) The two faces of evidentialism. Erkenntnis, 67 (3). pp. 401-417. ISSN 0165-0106
- Morris, Michael (1992) The good and the true. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198239444
- Signs, representation and experience
The aim of this research theme is to question the almost universal view that words are signs. This assumption shapes not only approaches to the ontology of language but also our conception of what linguistic meaning is. It determines our view of the relation between language and the world and the relation between language and thought, and affects the way in which we understand debates about realism and anti-realism. It can also be seen to lie behind the view that the content of perceptual experience is conceptual.
Michael Morris has begun work on the issue in a number of papers, as well as in his book on the Tractatus. That work is now being pursued more directly in a monograph called The Myth of the Sign.
- Morris, Michael (ms) The Myth of the Sign.
- Morris, Michael Realism and representation: the case of Rembrandt’s hat, forthcoming in the European Journal of Philosophy. ISSN 0966-8373
- Morris, Michael (2012) The meaning of music. Monist, 95 (4). pp. 556-586. ISSN 0026-9662
- Morris, Michael (2010) The idea of words as signs. In: Philosophy of language and linguistics. Ontos Verlag, Germany. ISBN 9783868380705
- Morris, Michael (2009) The question of idealism in McDowell. Philosophical Topics, 37 (1). ISSN 0276-2080
- Morris, Michael (2008) Routledge philosophy guide book to Wittgenstein and the Tractatus. Routledge philosophy guidebooks . Routledge, Oxford. ISBN 9780415357210 (hbk.) 9780415357227 (pbk.) 9780203003091 (ebook)
- Morris, Michael (2006) An introduction to the philosophy of language. Cambridge introductions to philosophy. Cambridge University Press, New York. ISBN 9780521603119
- Morris, Michael (2006) Akrasia in the Protagoras and the Republic. Phronesis, 51 (3). pp. 195-229. ISSN 0031-8868
- Morris, Michael (2005) Realism beyond correspondence. In: Truthmakers: the contemporary debate. Mind Association Occasional Series . Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, pp. 49-65. ISBN 9780199283569
- Morris, Michael (2000) Metaphor and philosophy: an encounter with Derrida. Philosophy 75, pp. 225–244 [link to SRO]
- Morris, Michael (1993) The place of language. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 67, pp. 153–72
- Anti-individualism and its implications
The most influential and dramatic change in philosophy of mind and language over the past fifty years has been the change from a broadly individualist to a broadly anti-individualist understanding of both.
Sarah Sawyer has worked extensively in this area, demonstrating the importance of anti-individualism not just for our understanding of mind and language, but also for our understanding of scientific theories, epistemology, moral judgement and moral motivation.
- Sawyer, Sarah (2012) Cognitivism: a new theory of singular thought. Mind and Language, 27 (3). pp. 264-283. ISSN 0268-1064
- Sawyer, Sarah (2011) Internalism and externalism in mind. In: The Continuum Companion to Philosophy of Mind. Bloomsbury Companions . Continuum Press, London and New York, pp. 133-150. ISBN 9780826431882
- Sawyer, Dr Sarah, ed. (2010) New waves in philosophy of language. New Waves in Philosophy . Palgrave MacMillan Press. ISBN 9780230224377
- Sawyer, Sarah (2007) There is no viable notion of narrow content. In: Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell Publishers Ltd, Malden Massachusetts, Oxford UK, Victoria Australia, pp. 20-34. ISBN 9781405117616
- Majors, Brad and Sawyer, Sarah (2007) Entitlement, opacity and connection. In: Internalism and externalism in semantics and epistemology. Oxford University Press, pp. 131-159. ISBN 9780199275755
- Sawyer, Sarah (2006) Externalism, apriority and transmission of warrant. In: What Determines Content? The Internalism / Externalism Dispute. Cambridge Scholars Press, Newcastle, United Kingdom, pp. 142-153. ISBN 9781847180117
- Sawyer, Sarah (2006) The role of object-dependent content in psychological explanation. Teorema, 25 (1). pp. 181-192. ISSN 0210-1602
- Majors, Brad and Sawyer, Sarah (2005) The epistemological argument for content externalism. Philosophical Perspectives, 19 (1). pp. 257-280. ISSN 1520-8583
- Sawyer, Sarah (2003) Conceptual errors and social externalism. Philosophical Quarterly, 53 (211). pp. 265-273. ISSN 0031-8094
- Sawyer, Sarah (2002) Reflecting on content skepticism. Southwest Philosophy Review, 18 (2). pp. 89-94. ISSN 0897-2346
- Sawyer, Sarah (2002) In defence of Burge's thesis. Philosophical Studies, 107 (2). pp. 109-128. ISSN 0031-8116
- Sawyer, Sarah (2001) The epistemic divide. Southern Journal of Philosophy, 39 (3). pp. 385-401. ISSN 0038-4283
- Sawyer, Sarah (1999) An externalist account of introspective knowledge. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 80 (4). pp. 358-378. ISSN 0279-0750
- Sawyer, Sarah (1998) Privileged access to the world. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 76 (4). pp. 523-533. ISSN 0004-8402
- Logic, language and their epistemologies
The central questions of this research theme concern the nature of truth, logical truth and logical consequence. It also looks at the interactions between semantic and logic from both a foundational and epistemological perspective.
Philosophical Logic and Epistemology of Logic
- Corine Besson ‘Reasons, Norms and Reasoning: A Guide through Lewis Carroll’s Regress Argument’, The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity, Daniel Star, edd, Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
- Corine Besson ‘Some Remarks about Logical Truth’, special issue on Logical Consequence, M. Carrara and J. Murzi (eds.) Logique et Analyse 227 (2014): 309-331.
- Corine Besson ‘Logical Knowledge and Ordinary Reasoning’, Philosophical Studies 158 (2012): 59-82.
- Corine Besson ‘Understanding the Logical Constants and Dispositions to Infer’, in The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication, vol. 5, B. Armour-Garb et al. (eds.), available at: http://thebalticyearbook.org/journals/baltic/article/view/279/133 (2010): 1-24.
- Corine Besson ‘Propositions, Dispositions and Logical Knowledge’ in Quid Est Veritas? Essays in Honour of Jonathan Barnes, A. Longo and M. Bonelli (eds.), Napoli: Bibliopolis (2010): 233-268.
- Corine Besson ‘Logical Knowledge and Gettier Cases’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 59, 234 (2009): 1-19.
- Michael Morris Wittgenstein and the Tractatus (Routledge, 2008), Ch 5.
- Corine Besson ‘The Open Future, Bivalence and Assertion’ (with Anandi Hattiangadi), Philosophical Studies, 167 (2014): 251-271.
- Michael Morris Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (CUP, 2007)
- Michael Morris 'The Idea of Signs' (in Stalmasczyk, ed., Philosophy of Language and Linguistics, Vol II (Ontos verlag, 2010).
- Sarah Sawyer (2015) ‘The Importance of Fictional Properties’, in S. Brock & A. Everett (eds) Fictional Objects (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
- Sarah Sawyer (2012) ‘Empty Names’ in D. Graff Fara & G. Russell (eds) Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language.
- Sarah Sawyer, (2010) 'The Modified Predicate Theory of Proper Names’, in S. Sawyer (ed.) New Waves in Philosophy of Language (Palgrave MacMillan Press).
Crossover between semantics and epistemology
- Corine Besson ‘Abominable Conjunctions and Gricean Cooperation’, to appear in M. Frauchiger and W.K. Essler (eds.), volume on Fred Dretske in the Lauener Library of Analytical Philosophy, The Hague: De Gruyter.
- Sarah Sawyer (2015) ‘Contrastive Self-Knowledge and the McKinsey Paradox’, in S. Goldberg (ed.) Externalism and Skepticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
- Sarah Sawyer (2015) ‘Contrastivism and Anti-Individualism Part II: A Further Reply to Aikin and Dabay’, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 2: 10-12.
- Sarah Sawyer (2014) ‘Contrastivism and Anti-Individualism: A Response to Aikin and Dabay’, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9: 1-6.
- Sarah Sawyer (2014) ‘Contrastive Self-Knowledge’, Social Epistemology 28: 139-152.
- Sarah Sawyer (2006)'Externalism, Apriority and Transmission of Warrant' in T. Marvan (ed.) What Determines Content? - the Internalism / Externalism Dispute (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press)
- Sarah Sawyer (1999) 'My Language Disquotes', Analysis Vol. 59:3 pp. 206-211.
Logic and semantics of natural kind terms
- Corine Besson ‘Empty Natural Kind Terms and Dry Earth’, Erkenntnis 76 (2012): 403-425.
- Corine Besson ‘Rigidity, Natural Kind Terms and Metasemantics’, in The Semantics and Metaphysics of Natural Kinds, H. Beebee and N. Sabbarton-Leary (eds.), New York: Routledge USA (2010): 25-44
- Corine Besson ‘Externalism, Internalism and Logical Truth’, The Review of Symbolic Logic, 2 (2009): 1-29.
- Michael Morris Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (CUP, 2007), Ch 5.
- Sarah Sawyer (2004) 'Absences, Presences and Sufficient Conditions', Analysis Vol. 64:4 pp. 354-57.
- Sarah Sawyer (2003) 'Sufficient Absences', Analysis Vol. 63:3 pp. 202-208.