Gradable adjectives: A defence of pluralism

  title={Gradable adjectives: A defence of pluralism},
  author={Keith DeRose},
  journal={Australasian Journal of Philosophy},
  pages={141 - 160}
  • Keith DeRose
  • Published 1 March 2008
  • Linguistics
  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy
This paper attacks the Implicit Reference Class Theory of gradable adjectives and proposes instead a ‘pluralist’ approach to the semantics of those terms, according to which they can be governed by a variety of different types of standards, one, but only one, of which is the group-indexed standards utilized by the Implicit Reference Class Theory. 

Relativism and Conservatism

Relativism and contextualism have been suggested as candidate semantics for “knowledge” sentences. I argue that relativism faces a problem concerning the preservation of beliefs in memory.

Vagueness as indecision

© 2016 The Aristotelian Society. This paper motivates and explores an expressivist theory of vagueness, modelled on Allan Gibbard's (2003) normative expressivism. It shows how Chris Kennedy's (2007)

Epistemic Contextualism: An Idle Hypothesis

ABSTRACT Epistemic contextualism is one of the most hotly debated topics in contemporary epistemology. Contextualists claim that ‘know’ is a context-sensitive verb associated with different

Thick Concepts and Underdetermination

Thick terms and concepts in ethics (e.g. selfish, cruel and courageous) somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. The non-evaluative aspects of thick terms and concepts

Color adjectives, standards, and thresholds: an experimental investigation

Are color adjectives (“red”, “green”, etc.) relative adjectives or absolute adjectives? Existing theories of the meaning of color adjectives attempt to answer that question using informal

The Speaker Authority Problem for Context-Sensitivity (Or: You Can’t Always Mean What You Want)

Context-sensitivity raises a metasemantic question: what determines the value of a context-sensitive expression in context? Taking gradable adjectives as a case study, this paper argues against

The Metaphysics of Negative Action

The Metaphysics of Negative Action Jonathan D. Payton Doctor of Philosophy Graduate Department of Philosophy University of Toronto 2016 Standard metaphysical theories of action assume that all

Thick Concepts and Underdetermination

What is supposed to be distinctive of “thick” concepts relative to “thin” concepts in ethics and aesthetics is that thick concepts somehow “hold together” evaluation and non-evaluative description,

Negative Actions

Negative actions, like intentional omissions or refrainments, seem to be genuine actions. The standard metaphysical theories of action are event-based: they treat actions as events of a special kind.

Heim Sequences and Why Most Unqualified ‘Would’-Counterfactuals Are Not True

ABSTRACT The apparent consistency of Sobel sequences (example below) famously motivated David Lewis to defend a variably strict conditional semantics for counterfactuals. If Sophie had gone to the



On the Linguistic Basis for Contextualism

descendant of the original paper (Stanley (forthcoming)) focuses on developing a noncontextualist account of knowledge that captures the intuitive data as well as contextualism. Discussion with the

Defective Contexts, Accommodation, and Normalization

  • M. Richard
  • Philosophy
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy
  • 1995
Propositional Attitudes defends an account of ‘believes’ on which the verb is contextually sensitive. x believes that S says (quite roughly) that x has a belief which is ‘well rendered’ or acceptably

Context and Logical Form

In this paper, I defend the thesis that alleffects of extra-linguistic context on the truth-conditions of an assertion are traceable to elements in the actual syntactic structure of the sentence

Descriptions, Indexicals, and Belief Reports: Some Dilemmas (But Not the Ones Your Expect)

I am going to state what I take to be a couple of dilemmas for certain theorists. The first is a dilemma for theorists who hold both that certain sentences containing pronouns or demonstratives

Context, interest relativity and the sorites

According to what I will call a contextualist solution to the sorites paradox, vague terms are context-sensitive, and one can give a convincing dissolution of the sorites paradox in terms of this

Simple ‘Might’s, Indicative Possibilities and the Open Future

Analyse des phrases construites autour du seul verbe pouvoir (might) et non pas autour du groupe verbal aurait pu (might have) qui introduit une ambiguite dans l'expression de la possibilite

Shifting sands: An interest relative theory of vagueness

Please quote or cite page numbers from published version only.

Knowledge and lotteries

1. Introducing the Puzzle 2. Contextualism and the Puzzle 3. Invariantist Treatments 4. Sensitive Moderate Invariantism Bibliography

Implicit comparison classes