The papers blog is usually quiet of a weekend. So I normally don’t feel bad about leaving it late to do, since there’s often nothing to do. But today there’s a bumper crop of papers, including papers by Alex Byrne, Paul Pietrowski and Johan van Benthem. There’s also a curious argument that “texts mean what their authors intend them to mean.” I was thinking I could just be a good Gricean and point out how this is obviously ridiculous, but it turns out this is a premise in an argument against something Scalia once said. Now I have to decide whether I care more about the truth or about winning arguments against Tories.
(In case you were wondering about its ridiculousness, just remember the old example of the bad reference letter. If one writes in a reference letter for me “Brian is a snappy dresser,” and doesn’t go on to talk about my philosophical abilities or lack thereof, clearly one means that I’m no good, even if one’s text means that I’m a snappy dresser. What would be really interesting is if textualists about interpretation deny that we should use interpretative principles that rely on the existence of such things as scalar implicature. If they do, then they are really interpretativists in textualists clothing I would think.)
As you may have noticed, I added a new feature to the blog. In the sidebar I now have a menu that keeps track of the most recent comments. I’ve been noticing a few comments being added to posts that rolled off the main screen, and these usually fall stillborn from the (e-)presses. Hopefully now it will be easier for people to see active comments threads, and it may encourage people to leave comments on old posts.