Guillermo Del Pinal

20132019
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Personal profile

Personal profile

I work in Philosophy of Language, Semantics, and Philosophy of Cognitive Science. My current area of focus is on the relationship between natural languages and our general reasoning capacities, including ‘natural’ logic. I also work on theories of concepts, the building blocks of thought, and other foundational and methodological issues in the cognitive sciences. I completed my PhD at Columbia University and my BA at the University of Chicago, both in philosophy. I also worked as a postdoctoral researcher at ZAS, Berlin, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Research Interests

Philosophy of Language
Semantics
Foundations of Cognitive Science

Professional Information

Most linguists and philosophers agree that the language system includes a syntax and a compositional semantics. Recently, several influential semanticists have argued that the language system also includes an automatic inferential system---sometimes called a `natural logic'---that can determine when expressions are informationally useless, and mark them as unacceptable. Building on this work, I have advanced three claims. First, I argue that the natural logic used by the language system is largely classical. This suggests that we need not posit a logic that is idiosyncratic and domain specific for language, as various extant accounts have done. Second, I argue that the logical forms of natural language expressions are representations which can support general reasoning. This contrasts with several recent accounts which postulate various levels of representation between linguistic logical form and the representations which support general cognition and inference. Third, I argue that this view works best when combined with the hypothesis that the lexicon encodes, and the language system has access to, rich sets of encyclopedic and other information. Taken together, these claims support a view of the language system as, ultimately, a very powerful inferential device, i.e., a system that does a lot of useful yet unconscious/automatic thinking for us.

Office Address

810 S. Wright St.
PHILOSOPHY 200 Greg Hall
810 S Wright
M/C 468
Urbana, IL 61801

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Research Output 2013 2019

Modals under epistemic tension: A defense of the restricted quantificational account of must and might

Del Pinal, G. & Waldon, B., Jun 1 2019, In : Natural Language Semantics. 27, 2, p. 135-188

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

quantification
experiment
logic
interaction
Experiment

Conceptual centrality and implicit bias

Del Pinal, G. & Spaulding, S., Feb 1 2018, In : Mind and Language. 33, 1, p. 95-111 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

trend
Centrality
Salient
Conceptual Representation

Meaning, modulation, and context: a multidimensional semantics for truth-conditional pragmatics

Del Pinal, G., Apr 1 2018, In : Linguistics and Philosophy. 41, 2, p. 165-207 43 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

pragmatics
flexibility
semantics
available information
language

Dual Character Concepts in Social Cognition: Commitments and the Normative Dimension of Conceptual Representation

Del Pinal, G. & Reuter, K., Apr 2017, In : Cognitive Science. 41, p. 477-501 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cognition
Experiments

Stereotypes, Conceptual Centrality and Gender Bias: An Empirical Investigation

Del Pinal, G., Madva, A. & Reuter, K., Dec 2017, In : Ratio. 30, 4, p. 384-410 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Stereotypes
Centrality
Social Cognition
Social Groups
Conceptual Structure