Inferences that result from exhaustification of a sentence S depend on the set of alternatives to S. In this paper, we present some inference patterns that are problematic for previous theories of alternatives and propose some structural constraints on the derivation of formal alternatives which derive the observations.
In recent work, Fox has argued, on the basis of both empirical and conceptual considerations, that relevance is closed under speaker belief: if $\phi $ is relevant, then it’s also relevant whether the speaker believes $\phi $. We provide a formally explicit implementation of this idea and explore its theoretical consequences and empirical predictions. As Fox already observes, one consequence is that ignorance inferences can only be derived in grammar, via a covert belief operator of the sort proposed by Meyer. (...) We show, further, that the maxim of quantity no longer enriches the meaning of an utterance, per se, but rather acts as a filter on what can be relevant in an utterance context. In particular, certain alternatives are shown to be incapable of being relevant in any context where the maxim of quantity is active — a property we dub obligatory irrelevance. We show that the resulting system predicts a quite restricted range of interpretations for sentences with the scalar item some, as compared to both neo-Gricean and grammatical theories of scalar implicature, and we argue that these predictions seem largely on the right track. (shrink)
El kitsch no es solo una categoría que ha definido una de las posibles gramáticas estéticas de la modernidad, sino también una dimensión antropológica que ha tenido diferentes configuraciones en el curso de los procesos históricos. El ensayo ofrece una mirada histórico-crítica sobre las transformaciones que condujeron desde el kitsch de principios del siglo XX hasta el neokitsch contemporáneo: desde la génesis del kitsch hasta su afirmación como una de las manifestaciones más tangibles de la cultura de masas. Integrándose con (...) la estética posmoderna, el kitsch se transforma en neokitsch, una estética que utiliza el kitsch como su propia sintaxis en el complejo escenario de la estética contemporánea. /// -/- Kitsch is not just a category that has defined one of the possible aesthetic grammars of modernity, but also an anthropological dimension that has had different configurations in the course of historical processes. The essay offers a historical-critical look at the transformations that led from the early twentieth century kitsch to the contemporary neokitsch: from the genesis of kitsch to its affirmation as one of the most tangible manifestations of mass culture. Integrating with postmodern aesthetics, kitsch turns into neokitsch, an aesthetic that deliberately uses kitsch as its own syntax in the complex scenario of contemporary aesthetics. (shrink)
Andreas Stokke presents a comprehensive study of lying and insincere language use. He investigates how lying relates to other forms of insincerity and explores the kinds of attitudes that go with insincere uses of language. -/- Part I develops an account of insincerity as a linguistic phenomenon. Stokke provides a detailed theory of the distinction between lying and speaking insincerely, and accounts for the relationship between lying and deceiving. A novel framework of assertion underpins the analysis of various kinds (...) of insincere speech, including false implicature and forms of misleading with presuppositions, prosodic focus, and semantic incompleteness. -/- Part II sets out the relationship between what is communicated and the speaker's attitudes. Stokke develops the view of insincerity as a shallow phenomenon that is dependent on conscious attitudes rather than deeper motivations. The various of ways of speaking while being indifferent toward what one communicates are covered, and the phenomenon of 'bullshitting' is distinguished from lying and other forms of insincerity. Finally, an account of insincere uses of interrogative, imperative, and exclamative utterances is also given. (shrink)
The paper argues that the correct deﬁnition of lying is that to lie is to assert something one believes to be false, where assertion is understood in terms of the notion of the common ground of a conversation. It is shown that this deﬁnition makes the right predictions for a number of cases involving irony, joking, and false implicature. In addition, the proposed account does not assume that intending to deceive is a necessary condition on lying, and hence counts so-called (...) bald-faced lies as lies. (shrink)
In _The Boundaries of Babel_, Andrea Moro tells the story of an encounter between two cultures: contemporary theoretical linguistics and the cognitive neurosciences. The study of language within a biological context has been ongoing for more than fifty years. The development of neuroimaging technology offers new opportunities to enrich the "biolinguistic perspective" and extend it beyond an abstract framework for inquiry. As a leading theoretical linguist in the generative tradition and also a cognitive scientist schooled in the new imaging technology, (...) Moro is uniquely equipped to explore this. Moro examines what he calls the "hidden" revolution in contemporary science: the discovery that the number of possible grammars is not infinite and that their number is biologically limited. This radical but little-discussed change in the way we look at language, he claims, will require us to rethink not just the fundamentals of linguistics and neurosciences but also our view of the human mind. Moro searches for neurobiological correlates of "the boundaries of Babel" -- the constraints on the apparent chaotic variation in human languages -- by using an original experimental design based on artificial languages. He offers a critical overview of some of the fundamental results from linguistics over the last fifty years, in particular regarding syntax, then uses these essential aspects of language to examine two neuroimaging experiments in which he took part. He describes the two neuroimaging techniques used, but makes it clear that techniques and machines do not provide interesting data without a sound theoretical framework. Finally, he discusses some speculative aspects of modern research in biolinguistics regarding the impact of the linear structure of linguistics expression on grammar, and more generally, some core aspects of language acquisition, genetics, and evolution. (shrink)
The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 oﬀer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...) physicalists are presented. Second, in Sect.9, the six papers that comprise the special issue are introduced and summarized. (shrink)
As made manifest by Clower's comments on their “science fiction” nature, general equilibrium theories present such peculiar and puzzling features that the methodologist must perforce seek some specific methodological accommodation for this part of economic theory. The role played by such theories in contemporary economics is so fundamental that the impossibility of appraising them by means of any version of falsificationism, and their patent lack of empirical content if approached with the conceptual devices of the methodology of scientific research programs, (...) have prompted several scholars interested in the methodology of economics to search for a reasonable way out. (shrink)
An influential tradition holds that thoughts are public: different thinkers share many of their thoughts, and the same applies to a single subject at different times. This ‘publicity principle’ has recently come under attack. Arguments by Mark Crimmins, Richard Heck and Brian Loar seem to show that publicity is inconsistent with the widely accepted principle that someone who is ignorant or mistaken about certain identity facts will have distinct thoughts about the relevant object—for instance, the astronomer who does not know (...) that Hesperus is Phosphorus will have two distinct thoughts Hesperus is bright and Phosphorus is bright. In this paper, I argue that publicity can be defended if we adopt a relational account on which thoughts are individuated by their mutual relations. I then go on to develop a specific relational theory—the ‘linking account’—and contrast it with other relational views. (shrink)
Twentieth-century philosophy has often been pictured as divided into two camps, analytic and continental. This study challenges this depiction by examining encounters between some of the leading representatives of either side. Starting with Husserl and Frege's fin-de-siècle turn against psychologism, it turns to Carnap's 1931 attack on Heidegger's metaphysics (together with its background in the Cassirer-Heidegger dispute of 1929), moving on to Ayer's 1951 meeting with Bataille and Merleau-Ponty at a Parisian bar, followed by the 'dialogue of the deaf' between (...) Oxford linguistic philosophers and phenomenologists at the 1951 Royaumont colloquium, leading up to the Derrida-Searle controversy. Careful study shows that it is implausible to assume the existence of a century-old 'gulf' between two sides of philosophy. Vrahimis argues that miscommunication and ignorance over the exact content of the above encounters must to a large extent be held accountable for any perceived gap. (shrink)
The emerging influence wielded on Japanese businesses by the sokaiya, or extortioners, raises issues not just of bribery but more fundamentally of corporate governance and transparency in the conduct of business. “If it were true that the Japanese companies in question were otherwise conducting their businesses in perfectly ethical ways, then sokaiya would not have any leverage”. The author has completed the first year of her MBA at London Business School after previously working with the Japanese Delegation to the OECD.
Individuals with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have difficulties in the recollection of past experiences (Episodic Memory). Accumulating evidence suggests that they might have also difficulties in the ability to imagine potential future scenarios (Episodic Future Thinking, EFT) and in narrative generation skills. This investigation aimed to determine 1) whether impairments of EFT can be identified in a large cohort of children with high functioning ASD using a task with minimal narrative demands; and 2) if such impairments are related to the (...) ability to generate a narrative's scenario. 77 children with high-functioning ASD and 77 children with typical development were recruited for the study. The two groups were balanced for age, level of formal education, and IQ. EFT was assessed by administering a task with minimal narrative demands, whereas narrative generation skills were assessed with three tasks requiring children to generate past, middle or future episodes in a narrative discourse. With respect to control participants, a subgroup of children with ASD had impaired EFT skills and also showed significant impairments in the ability to generate adequate narratives. On the contrary, participants with spared EFT had normal performance on the narrative generation task. Interestingly, EFT skills predicted narrative generation abilities in both groups. The results of this study support the hypothesis that EFT may be impaired in some but not all children with ASD and of a relation between difficulties with EFT and impairments in the process of narrative generation. The assessment of EFT should employ tasks that do not require narrative production, as children with impaired EFT may also have reduced narrative skills. (shrink)
For a number of years, those interested in recovering women's thought have known about Princess Elisabeth, a seventeenth-century correspondent and friend of Descartes whose questions provoked the philosopher to think more seriously about ethics and the passions. Up to now, only a few of her letters have found their way into print. This volume includes translations of all of Elisabeth's extant letters to Descartes, as well as of other materials relevant to understanding her philosophical perspective and her life. Nye has (...) supplemented the translations with a running commentary on the historical, biographical, and intellectual context of the letters. (shrink)
"How can human beings, who are liable to error, possess knowledge, since the grounds on which we believe do not rule out that we are wrong? Andrea Kern argues that we can disarm this skeptical doubt by conceiving knowledge as an act of a rational capacity. In this book, she develops a metaphysics of the mind as existing through knowledge of itself."--Provided by publisher.
This collection of new essays examines philosophical issues at the intersection of feminism and autonomy studies. Are autonomy and independence useful goals for women and subordinate persons? Is autonomy possible in contexts of social subordination? Is the pursuit of desires that issue from patriarchal norms consistent with autonomous agency? How do emotions and caring relate to autonomous deliberation? Contributors to this collection answer these questions and others, advancing central debates in autonomy theory by examining basic components, normative commitments, and applications (...) of conceptions of autonomy. Several chapters look at the conditions necessary for autonomous agency and at the role that values and norms -- such as independence, equality, inclusivity, self-respect, care and femininity -- play in feminist theories of autonomy. Whereas some contributing authors focus on dimensions of autonomy that are internal to the mind -- such as deliberative reflection, desires, cares, emotions, self-identities and feelings of self-worth -- several authors address social conditions and practices that support or stifle autonomous agency, often answering questions of practical import. These include such questions as: What type of gender socialization best supports autonomous agency and feminist goals? When does adapting to severely oppressive circumstances, such as those in human trafficking, turn into a loss of autonomy? How are ideals of autonomy affected by capitalism? and How do conceptions of autonomy inform issues in bioethics, such as end-of-life decisions, or rights to bodily self-determination? (shrink)
Although the modern age is often described as the age of democratic revolutions, the subject of popular foundings has not captured the imagination of contemporary political thought. Most of the time, democratic theory and political science treat as the object of their inquiry normal politics, institutionalized power, and consolidated democracies. The aim of Andreas Kalyvas' study is to show why it is important for democratic theory to rethink the question of its beginnings. Is there a founding unique to democracies? (...) Can a democracy be democratically established? What are the implications of expanding democratic politics in light of the question of whether and how to address democracy's beginnings? Kalyvas addresses these questions and scrutinizes the possibility of democratic beginnings in terms of the category of the extraordinary, as he reconstructs it from the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt and their views on the creation of new political, symbolic, and constitutional orders. (shrink)
Traditionally, the manufacturer/operator of a machine is held (morally and legally) responsible for the consequences of its operation. Autonomous, learning machines, based on neural networks, genetic algorithms and agent architectures, create a new situation, where the manufacturer/operator of the machine is in principle not capable of predicting the future machine behaviour any more, and thus cannot be held morally responsible or liable for it. The society must decide between not using this kind of machine any more (which is not a (...) realistic option), or facing a responsibility gap, which cannot be bridged by traditional concepts of responsibility ascription. (shrink)
In der Tugendlehre Kants findet die allgemeine ethische Orientierung, wie sie der Kategorische Imperativ ausdrückt, Anwendung auf die Bedingungen der menschlichen Existenz. Die vorliegende Untersuchung rekonstruiert den Kantischen Ansatz vor dem Hintergrund der gegenwärtigen, vor allem aristotelischen Tugendethik und löst dabei den Kantischen Tugendbegriff kritisch von seinen zeitbedingten Prägungen. Auf so erneuerter Grundlage wird eine transzendentalphilosophische Ethikkonzeption entfaltet, die den methodischen und inhaltlichen Einsichten der jüngeren Theorieentwicklung Rechnung trägt. Zu den Ergebnissen zählt die Bestimmung einzelner Tugenden, deren ethische Orientierung an (...) konkreten Strukturen unserer alltäglichen Praxis demonstriert wird. (shrink)
It is sometimes argued that certain sentences of natural language fail to express truth conditional contents. Standard examples include e.g. Tipper is ready and Steel is strong enough. In this paper, we provide a novel analysis of truth conditional meaning using the notion of a question under discussion. This account explains why these types of sentences are not, in fact, semantically underdetermined, provides a principled analysis of the process by which natural language sentences can come to have enriched meanings in (...) context, and shows why various alternative views, e.g. so-called Radical Contextualism, Moderate Contextualism, and Semantic Minimalism, are partially right in their respective analyses of the problem, but also all ultimately wrong. Our analysis achieves this result using a standard truth conditional and compositional semantics and without making any assumptions about enriched logical forms, i.e. logical forms containing phonologically null expressions. (shrink)
Chapter 14. Andrea Timár engages with literary representations of the experience of perpetrators of dehumanization. Her chapter focuses on perpetrators of dehumanization who do not violate laws of their society (i.e., they are not criminals) but exemplify what Simona Forti, inspired by Hannah Arendt, calls “the normality of evil.” Through the parallel examples of Dezső Kosztolányi’s Anna Édes (1926) and Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing (1950), Timár first explores a possible clash between criminals and perpetrators of dehumanization, showing literature’s (...) exceptional ability to reveal the gap between ethics and law. Second, she examines novels focalized through perpetrators and the difficult narrative empathy they provoke, arguing that only the critical reading of these novels can make one engage with the potential perpetrator in oneself. As case studies, Timár examines Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), which may potentially turn its reader into an accomplice in the process of dehumanization, and J.M. Coetzee’s Foe (1986), which puts on critical display the dehumanizing potentials of both aesthetic representation and sympathy as imaginative violence. Third, she reads Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones [Les Bienveillantes, 2006], which can make the reader question, through the polyphony of the voice of its protagonist, the notions of narrative voice and readerly empathy, only to reveal that the difficulty involved in empathizing with perpetrator characters lies not so much in the characters’ being perpetrators, but rather in their being literary characters. Eventually, Timár briefly touches upon the problem of the aesthetic and the comic via Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) to ask whether one can avoid some necessarily dehumanizing aspects of humor. (shrink)