Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Phil studies

Those nice people at Philosophical Studies (NB: no url link, because I haven't found a way to link to specific springerlink journals) have just let me know that they will publish my paper on conversation and conditionals. What makes me particularly happy about this is that I whiled away many happy hours as a phD student playing "hunt the Stalnaker explanation" (Agustin Rayo being the guilty party who introduced me to this strangely addictive game...)

The idea is simple. The idea is to explain as many philosophical puzzles as possible using Bob Stalnaker's conversational dynamics. The consummate player is, of course, Stalnaker himself: read the papers in his Context and Content for the paradigmatic examples, including e.g. compelling explanations of what's going on with Kripke's puzzling Pierre, negative existentials, Referential/attributive distinction.

At the time, I was particularly keen to use it to try and explain some stuff about de re belief reports (for the cogniscienti: I was looking at Kaplan's "youngest spy" counterexample to Quine's principle of universal exportation). To my regret, I couldn't make it work, and fell back in the end on using Gricean stuff rather than Stalnakerian stuff in the paper that resulted (and I always find relying on Grice unsatisfying, since I never understood where the various "cooperative maxims" come from).

Anyway, the conditionals paper makes use of the Stalnakerian framework to explain a couple of puzzles about conditionals: in particular, showing how to explain away "Sobel" and "reverse Sobel sequences" on any account of conditionals at least as strong as the material conditional; and showing how to explain away the "Gibbard phenomenon" on my favoured implementation of the Stalnaker-style "closest-worlds" account of the semantics of the indicative conditional.


Carrie Jenkins said...

Congrats on the acceptance! Sounds like a fun paper. (Incidentally, I do intend at some point to get back to thinking about your comments on the Sider point, for which thanks, but this week is a mad dash from one end of the country to the other for conferences!)

Vanessa said...

You can't link directly to Phil Studies, but to the Editorial Manager, instead. And this is the most important link anyway, isn't it? :-)

Robbie said...

Carrie: thanks! Will wait with eager anticipation for your latest missives on the Sider argument.

Hi Vanessa! That's a good idea (especially as I keep losing the url of the editorial manager, be useful to have it around...) Of course, it won't let people see the contents of the most recent issue of the journal, which is what I like to be taken to when clicking through such a link. (Seems a bit counterproductive for the publishers to set things up this way, imho.)

Vanessa said...

Well, I guess they have at least one good reason to act in such a way. At least in Germany, there are mailing lists the members of which exchange papers via email. The point is that no every university provides access to every scientific journal online available. In order not to have to buy the respective articles, one just asks all member of the list whether anyone has online access to the respective paper. Because Springer does not provide direct links, they make such things much more laborious.