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Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophy of Language: A Defence of the Ambiguity Thesis

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dc.rights.license Author Retains All Rights en_NZ
dc.contributor.advisor Brock, Stuart
dc.contributor.advisor Sytsma, Justin
dc.contributor.author Hamilton, Katharine
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-28T23:22:53Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-11-03T18:34:41Z
dc.date.available 2016-01-28T23:22:53Z
dc.date.available 2022-11-03T18:34:41Z
dc.date.copyright 2016
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/29841
dc.description.abstract In this thesis I employ the experimental method to inform three important debates within the philosophy of language. These three debates can loosely be characterised as the following: Strawsonianism vs. Russellianism about the meaning of definite descriptions (Chapter 2), Millianism vs. Descriptivism about the meaning of proper names (Chapter 3), and Internalism vs. Externalism about natural kind terms (Chapter 4). To investigate these debates I use surveys to test the intuitions of ordinary language users, that is, non-philosophers, about the meaning of various terms and phrases in natural language. This included New Zealand undergraduate students, students in China, and participants in the US in order to investigate any cross-cultural differences. The results of these three studies indicate substantial variation in the intuitions held among ordinary language users. I use this variation to defend an ambiguity thesis. According to this thesis, some terms and phrases as they occur in natural language (specifically, proper names, natural kind terms, and definite descriptions) have multiple meanings associated them. No one disambiguation is correct outside of a context of utterance. If the ambiguity thesis is accepted, various philosophical puzzles disappear. I will also address a number of objections that face the general program of this thesis. en_NZ
dc.format pdf en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.rights Access is restricted to staff and students only until 03/2018. For information please contact the Library. en_NZ
dc.subject Experimental Philosophy en_NZ
dc.subject Language en_NZ
dc.subject Ambiguity en_NZ
dc.subject Philosophy en_NZ
dc.title Experimental Philosophy and the Philosophy of Language: A Defence of the Ambiguity Thesis en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
dc.date.updated 2016-01-26T03:03:12Z
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 220313 Philosophy of Language en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline Philosophy en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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