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Shared Content (completed)

The project examined the prerequisites for a common knowledge base in communication. 

About the project

Speakers, more often than not, succeed in mutual comprehension despite a diversity of beliefs, intentions, interests, goals, audiences, conversational contexts, and perceptual inputs. 

Not only do we easily understand each other despite such differences, we can even share content. We can say or think what you said or tought even though our contexts are radically different. We call this phenomenon inter-contextual communication.

The project Shared Content supported philosophical work on issues related to the nature of linguistic context sensitivity. It interpreted 'related to' liberally. Examples of the kinds of topics explored include (but are not limited to):

  • Questions about whether specific expressions, e.g. 'know', 'if', 'good', 'or', 'some', 'reindeer', and 'might', are semantically context sensitive.
  • How, in general, one should distinguish between semantic and pragmatic context sensitivity.
  • Whether some sentences express propositions that contain unarticulated constituents.
  • How to provide evidence of indexicals that are not articulated in the surface syntax of sentences.
  • Whether in uttering a sentence a speaker asserts more than one proposition.
  • The nature of assertions.
  • The relationship between semantic context sensitivity and relativism about truth.


The project was financed by The Research Council of Norway (FRIHUM) and hosted by IFIKK at the University of Oslo.


The project was a cooperation with the completed Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN). 



Published Oct. 9, 2020 10:42 AM - Last modified Jan. 26, 2021 1:42 PM