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Taste Predicates and the Acquaintance Inference

Dr. Dilip Ninan

Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Tufts University, Department of Philosophy

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Simple sentences containing predicates like “tasty" and “beautiful" typically suggest that the speaker has first-hand knowledge of the item being evaluated. I consider two explanations of this 'acquaintance inference': a presuppositional approach and a pragmatic-epistemic approach. The presuppositional approach has a number of virtues, but runs into trouble because the acquaintance inference has a very different projection pattern from that of standard presuppositions. The pragmatic-epistemic approach accounts for the main data I consider, but faces challenges of its own.

Dr. Dilip Ninan