The evolution of boundedly rational rules for playing normal form games is studied within stationary environments of stochastically changing games. Rules are viewed as algorithms prescribing strategies for the different normal form games that arise. It is shown that many of the “folk results” of evolutionary game theory, typically obtained with a fixed game and fixed strategies, carry over to the present environments. The results are also related to some recent experiments on rules and games.
This book analyzes the uses of emotive language and redefinitions from pragmatic, dialectical, epistemic and rhetorical perspectives, investigating the relationship between emotions, persuasion and meaning, and focusing on the implicit dimension of the use of a word and its dialectical effects. It offers a method for evaluating the persuasive and manipulative uses of emotive language in ordinary and political discourse. Through the analysis of political speeches and legal arguments, the book offers a systematic study of emotive language in argumentation, rhetoric, (...) communication, political science and public speaking. (shrink)
There has been a recent surge of work on deontic modality within philosophy of language. This work has put the deontic logic tradition in contact with natural language semantics, resulting in significant increase in sophistication on both ends. This chapter surveys the main motivations, achievements, and prospects of this work.
This book shows how research in linguistic pragmatics, philosophy of language, and rhetoric can be connected through argumentation to analyze a recognizably common strategy used in political and everyday conversation, namely the distortion of another’s words in an argumentative exchange. Straw man argumentation refers to the modification of a position by misquoting, misreporting or wrenching the original speaker’s statements from their context in order to attack them more easily or more effectively. Through 63 examples taken from different contexts (including political (...) and forensic discourses and dialogs) and 20 legal cases, the book analyzes the explicit and implicit types of straw man, shows how to assess the correctness of a quote or a report, and illustrates the arguments that can be used for supporting an interpretation and defending against a distortion. The tools of argumentation theory, a discipline aimed at investigating the uses of arguments by combining insights from pragmatics, logic, and communication, are applied to provide an original account of interpretation and reporting, and to describe and illustrate tactics and procedures that can be used and implemented for practical purposes.. This book will appeal to scholars in the fields of political communication, communication in general, argumentation theory, rhetoric and pragmatics, as well as to people working in public speech, speech writing, and discourse analysis. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to provide a basis for a systematic development of signaling theory on CSR initiatives. The paper proposes signaling theory as a framework supportive of a strategic CSR approach; maps extant research on signaling through CSR initiatives; offers a comprehensive assessment of the most diffused CSR initiatives and discusses their eligibility as signaling devices; and outlines a research agenda to further develop and test signaling theory in business ethics. Specifically, the study reconsiders some key assumptions, (...) identifies key gaps in empirical validation, and proposes directions to extend multiple signal, signaling pattern, and target cases. (shrink)
This study examines how evidence is used differently in argumentative discourse compared to individual arguments. Applying a 1×2 crossover study design, 37 secondary school students were asked either to discuss a social issue with their partner before individually writing an essay outlining their opinion or, vice versa, first to discuss and then to write. As background information, they were provided with pieces of evidence with different levels of quality. Dialogs and essays were analyzed regarding (a) the type of evidence and (...) (b) the way evidence was used. Results showed that in their essays students referred more often to the pieces of evidence provided to them (shared evidence). In contrast, they used evidence more often to address the opposing viewpoint in dialogs by incorporating it in a more elaborated (clearer) line of reasoning. Findings suggest that dialogues are a more effective tool than individual writing production, and the study provides first hints regarding how to design curricula that will encourage students to use evidence in a more sophisticated way in their argumentation. (shrink)
Statements about the future are central in everyday conversation and reasoning. How should we understand their meaning? The received view among philosophers treats will as a tense: in ‘Cynthia will pass her exam’, will shifts the reference time forward. Linguists, however, have produced substantial evidence for the view that will is a modal, on a par with must and would. The different accounts are designed to satisfy different theoretical constraints, apparently pulling in opposite directions. We show that these constraints are (...) jointly satisfied by a novel modal account of will. On this account, will is a modal but doesn't work as a quantifier over worlds. Rather, the meaning of will involves a selection function similar to the one used by Stalnaker in his semantics for conditionals. The resulting theory yields a plausible semantics and logic for will and vindicates our intuitive views about the attitudes that rational agents should have towards future-directed contents. (shrink)
The literature presents a broad approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, which aggregates a diversity of issues, such as the environment, labor conditions, and human rights. We addressed the impact of increasing CSR demands during the internationalization of emerging market multinationals on one particular subject, animal welfare. This subject raises important ethical concerns, especially as we understand that animals are sentient beings. Through content analysis of annual reports, we tracked the evolution of AW-CSR activities throughout the internationalization of two large Brazilian (...) meat-processing multinationals as they accessed markets with complex AW regulations. We also synthetized findings on broiler chicken on-farm AW research in Brazil and conducted interviews to gauge the impact of CSR standards on animals. Our findings show that, although EMNs that enter developed markets engage with various standards, the impacts of standard enforcement on actual welfare are not straightforward and call for broader AW and animal ethics developments. Uneven results among AW criteria indicate that some aspects are prioritized over others. Furthermore, some actions of actors such as EMNs and low-tier suppliers seem to counterbalance the expected impact of normative pressures to change the lives of animals for the better. We conclude that AW standards may improve AW in emerging markets; but these standards do not appear to be sufficiently stringent, and require improvements to have a more significant positive impact. A major signal emerging from this research is the fundamental need to broaden the animal ethics debate regarding the use of animals to produce meat. (shrink)
I motivate and characterize an intensional semantics for ‘ought’ on which it does not behave as a universal quantifier over possibilities. My motivational argument centers on taking at face value some standard challenges to the quantificational semantics, especially to the idea that ‘ought’-sentences satisfy the principle of Inheritance. I argue that standard pragmatic approaches to these puzzles are either not sufficiently detailed or unconvincing.
Argument from analogy is a common and formidable form of reasoning in law and in everyday conversation. Although there is substantial literature on the subject, according to a recent survey ( Juthe 2005) there is little fundamental agreement on what form the argument should take, or on how it should be evaluated. Th e lack of conformity, no doubt, stems from the complexity and multiplicity of forms taken by arguments that fall under the umbrella of analogical reasoning in argumentation, dialectical (...) studies, and law. Modeling arguments with argumentation schemes has proven useful in attempts to refine the analyst’s understanding of not only the logical structures that shape the backbone of the argument itself, but also the logical underpinning of strategies for evaluating it, strategies based on the semantic categories of genus and relevance. By clarifying the distinction between argument from example and argument from analogy, it is possible to advance a useful proposal for the treatment of argument from analogy in law. (shrink)
I explore the motivation and logical consequences of the idea that we have some (limited) ability to know contingent facts about the future, even in presence of the assumption that the future is objectively unsettled or indeterminate. I start by formally characterizing skepticism about the future. This analysis nudges the anti-skeptic towards the idea that if some propositions about the future are objectively indeterminate, then it may be indeterminate whether a suitably positioned agent knows them. -/- Philosophical Perspectives, Volume 35, (...) Issue 1, Page 50-69, December 2021. (shrink)
This article discusses the extent to which Global Value Chain governance may lead to animal welfare improvement and help to alleviate animal suffering in food producing chains. Our approach relied on scrutinizing two of the most used compulsory certification templates which are enforced by major buyers to their suppliers in order to assure responsible activity in the farmed fish chain and in the wild-captured fish chain. Since fish may experience intense suffering in regular activities involved in catching, maintenance, transport and (...) management, we analyzed whether those instruments can contribute to improve the welfare of fish. Although positive outcomes may be expected in aquaculture production, serious welfare issues regarding wild-capture fish are brought to the fore and preliminary action is proposed. We present recommendations for improving the positive impacts of such certification schemes in GVCs and argue that sustainability-driven standards could also embrace more AW-focused criteria in order to contribute with reducing unnecessary animal suffering in the fish chain. (shrink)
This book provides a systematic analysis of many common argumentation schemes and a compendium of 96 schemes. The study of these schemes, or forms of argument that capture stereotypical patterns of human reasoning, is at the core of argumentation research. Surveying all aspects of argumentation schemes from the ground up, the book takes the reader from the elementary exposition in the first chapter to the latest state of the art in the research efforts to formalize and classify the schemes, outlined (...) in the last chapter. It provides a systematic and comprehensive account, with notation suitable for computational applications that increasingly make use of argumentation schemes. (shrink)
Contrastivists view ought-sentences as expressing comparisons among alternatives. Deontic actualists believe that the value of each alternative in such a comparison is determined by what would actually happen if that alternative were to be the case. One of the arguments that motivates actualism is a challenge to the principle of agglomeration over conjunction—the principle according to which if you ought to run and you ought to jump, then you ought to run and jump. I argue that there is no way (...) of developing the actualist insight into a logic that invalidates the agglomeration principle without also invalidating other desirable patterns of inference. After doing this, I extend the analysis to other contrastive views that challenge agglomeration in the way that the actualist does. This motivates skepticism about the actualist’s way of challenging agglomeration. (shrink)
We discuss the semantic significance of a puzzle concerning ‘ought’ and conditionals recently discussed by Kolodny and MacFarlane. We argue that the puzzle is problematic for the standard Kratzer-style analysis of modality. In Kratzer’s semantics, modals are evaluated relative to a pair of conversational backgrounds. We show that there is no sensible way of assigning values to these conversational backgrounds so as to derive all of the intuitions in Kolodny and MacFarlane’s case. We show that the appropriate verdicts can be (...) derived by extending Kratzer’s framework to feature a third conversational background and claiming that the relevant reading of ‘ought’ is sensitive to this parameter. (shrink)
Statutory interpretation involves the reconstruction of the meaning of a legal statement when it cannot be considered as accepted or granted. This phenomenon needs to be considered not only from the legal and linguistic perspective, but also from the argumentative one - which focuses on the strategies for defending a controversial or doubtful viewpoint. This book draws upon linguistics, legal theory, computing, and dialectics to present an argumentation-based approach to statutory interpretation. By translating and summarizing the existing legal interpretative canons (...) into eleven patterns of natural arguments - called argumentation schemes - the authors offer a system of argumentation strategies for developing, defending, assessing, and attacking an interpretation. Illustrated through major cases from both common and civil law, this methodology is summarized in diagrams and maps for application to computer sciences. These visuals help make the structures, strategies, and vulnerabilities of legal reasoning accessible to both legal professionals and laypeople. (shrink)
This paper motivates and develops a novel semantic framework for deontic modals. The framework is designed to shed light on two things: the relationship between deontic modals and substantive theories of practical rationality and the interaction of deontic modals with conditionals, epistemic modals and probability operators. I argue that, in order to model inferential connections between deontic modals and probability operators, we need more structure than is provided by classical intensional theories. In particular, we need probabilistic structure that interacts directly (...) with the compositional semantics of deontic modals. However, I reject theories that provide this probabilistic structure by claiming that the semantics of deontic modals is linked to the Bayesian notion of expectation. I offer a probabilistic premise semantics that explains all the data that create trouble for the rival theories. (shrink)
The detection of hate speech and fake news in political discourse is at the same time a crucial necessity for democratic societies and a challenge for several areas of study. However, most of the studies have focused on what is explicitly stated: false article information, language that expresses hatred, derogatory expressions. This paper argues that the explicit dimension of manipulation is only one – and the least problematic – of the risks of political discourse. The language of the unsaid is (...) much more dangerous and incomparably more difficult to detect, hidden in different types of fallacies and inappropriate uses of emotive language. Through a threefold coding scheme based on the instruments of argumentation theory and pragmatics, a corpus of argumentative tweets published by 4 politicians (Matteo Salvini, Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro, and Joseph Biden) within 6 months from their taking office (corresponding to the official end of their election campaign) is analyzed, detecting the types of argument, the fallacies, and the uses and misuses of “emotive words.” This coding results in the argumentation profiles of the speakers, which are compared statistically to show their different implicit strategies and deceptive tactics. (shrink)
I propose an account of the speech act of prediction that denies that the contents of prediction must be about the future and illuminates the relation between prediction and assertion. My account is a synthesis of two ideas: (i) that what is in the future in prediction is the time of discovery and (ii) that, as Benton and Turri recently argued, prediction is best characterized in terms of its constitutive norms.
The relationship between teaching and argumentation is becoming a crucial issue in the field of education and, in particular, science education. Teaching has been analyzed as a dialogue aimed at persuading the interlocutors, introducing a conceptual change that needs to be grounded on the audience’s background knowledge. This paper addresses this issue from a perspective of argumentation studies. Our claim is that argumentation schemes, namely abstract patterns of argument, can be an instrument for reconstructing the tacit premises in students’ argumentative (...) reasoning and retrieving the background beliefs that are the basis of their arguments. On this perspective, the process of premise reconstruction is followed by a heuristic reasoning process aimed at discovering the students’ previous intuitions that can explain the premises and concepts that are left unexpressed in their arguments. The theoretical insights advanced in this paper are illustrated through selected examples taken from activities concerning predictive claims on scientific issues. (shrink)
Modus ponens is the argument from premises of the form If A, then B and A to the conclusion B. Nearly all participants agree that the modus ponens conclusion logically follows when the argument appears in this Basic form. However, adding a further premise can lower participants’ rate of agreement—an effect called suppression. We propose a theory of suppression that draws on contemporary ideas about conditional sentences in linguistics and philosophy. Semantically, the theory assumes that people interpret an indicative conditional (...) as a context-sensitive strict conditional: true if and only if its consequent is true in each of a contextually determined set of situations in which its antecedent is true. Pragmatically, the theory claims that context changes in response to new assertions, including new conditional premises. Thus, the conclusion of a modus ponens argument may no longer be accepted in the changed context. Psychologically, the theory describes people as capable of reasoning about broad classes of possible situations, ordered by typicality, without having to reason about individual possible worlds. The theory accounts for the main suppression phenomena, and it generates some novel predictions that new experiments confirm. (shrink)
I consider the application of possibility semantics to the modeling of the indeterminacy of the future. I argue that interesting problems arise in connection to the addition of object-language determinacy operator. I show that adding a two-dimensional layer to possibility semantics can help solve these problems.
Probabilistic theories of “should” and “ought” face a predicament. At first blush, it seems that such theories must provide different lexical entries for the epistemic and the deontic interpretations of these modals. I show that there is a new style of premise semantics that can avoid this consequence in an attractively conservative way.
This paper explores two non-standard supermajority rules in the context of judgment aggregation over multiple logically connected issues. These rules set the supermajority threshold in a local, context sensitive way—partly as a function of the input profile of opinions. To motivate the interest of these rules, I prove two results. First, I characterize each rule in terms of a condition I call ‘Block Preservation’. Block preservation says that if a majority of group members accept a judgment set, then so should (...) the group. Second, I show that one of these rules is, in a precise sense, a judgment aggregation analogue of a rule for connecting qualitative and quantitative belief that has been recently defended by Hannes Leitgeb. The structural analogy is due to the fact that Leitgeb sets thresholds for qualitative beliefs in a local, context sensitive way—partly as a function of the given credence function. (shrink)
This paper uses argument diagrams, argumentation schemes, and some tools from formal argumentation systems developed in artificial intelligence to build a graph-theoretic model of relevance shown to be applicable as a practical method for helping a third party judge issues of relevance or irrelevance of an argument in real examples. Examples used to illustrate how the method works are drawn from disputes about relevance in natural language discourse, including a criminal trial and a parliamentary debate.
In this survey article, I discuss the variety of ways in which language allows us to talk about the future. Topics discussed include how the category of predictive expressions broadly understood relates to the syntactic category of tense; what it means to say that a language does not have tense; how predictiveness relates to modality; and finally technical issue concerning the scope of negation in a semantics that is capable of shifting evaluation towards the future.
In this article, I argue that the French philosopher René Descartes was far more involved in the study of plants than has been generally recognized. We know that he did not include a botanical section in his natural philosophy, and sometimes he differentiated between plants and living bodies. His position was, moreover, characterized by a methodological rejection of the catalogues of plants. However, this paper reveals a significant trend in Descartes's naturalistic pursuits, starting from the end of 1637, whereby he (...) became increasingly interested in plants. I explore this shift by examining both Descartes's correspondence and several notes contained in theExcerpta anatomica. Grounded in direct observations, Descartes's work on vegetation provides a modest, though not unimportant, contribution to a natural-philosophical approach to the vegetal realm. This had a direct bearing on his lifelong ambition to explain the nature of living bodies and also fuelled the emergence of botany as a modern science. (shrink)
This paper advances an approach to relevance grounded on patterns of material inference called argumentation schemes, which can account for the reconstruction and the evaluation of relevance relations. In order to account for relevance in different types of dialogical contexts, pursuing also non-cognitive goals, and measuring the scalar strength of relevance, communicative acts are conceived as dialogue moves, whose coherence with the previous ones or the context is represented as the conclusion of steps of material inferences. Such inferences are described (...) using argumentation schemes and are evaluated by considering 1) their defeasibility, and 2) the acceptability of the implicit premises on which they are based. The assessment of both the relevance of an utterance and the strength thereof depends on the evaluation of three interrelated factors: 1) number of inferential steps required; 2) the types of argumentation schemes involved; and 3) the implicit premises required. (shrink)
We advocate and develop a states-based semantics for both nominal and adjectival confidence reports, as in "Ann is confident/has confidence that it's raining", and their comparatives "Ann is more confident/has more confidence that it's raining than that it's snowing". Other examples of adjectives that can report confidence include "sure" and "certain". Our account adapts Wellwood's account of adjectival comparatives in which the adjectives denote properties of states, and measure functions are introduced compositionally. We further explore the prospects of applying these (...) tools to the semantics of probability operators. We emphasize three desirable and novel features of our semantics: (i) probability claims only exploit qualitative resources unless there is explicit compositional pressure for quantitative resources; (ii) the semantics applies to both probabilistic adjectives (e.g., "likely") and probabilistic nouns (e.g., "probability"); (iii) the semantics can be combined with an account of belief reports that allows thinkers to have incoherent probabilistic beliefs (e.g. thinking that A & B is more likely than A) even while validating the relevant purely probabilistic claims (e.g. validating the claim that A & B is never more likely than A). Finally, we explore the interaction between confidence-reporting discourse (e.g., "I am confident that...") and belief-reports about probabilistic discourse (e.g.,"I think it's likely that.."). (shrink)
This paper proposes an argumentation-based procedure for legal interpretation, by reinterpreting the traditional canons of textual interpretation in terms of argumentation schemes, which are then classified, formalized, and represented through argument visualization and evaluation tools. The problem of statutory interpretation is framed as one of weighing contested interpretations as pro and con arguments. The paper builds an interpretation procedure by formulating a set of argumentation schemes that can be used to comparatively evaluate the types of arguments used in cases of (...) contested statutory interpretation in law. A simplified version of the Carneades Argumentation System is applied in a case analysis showing how the procedure works. A logical model for statutory interpretation is finally presented, covering pro-tanto and all-things-considered interpretive conclusions. -/- . (shrink)
This paper compares current ways of modeling the inferential structure of practical reasoning arguments, and proposes a new approach in which it is regarded in a modular way. Practical reasoning is not simply seen as reasoning from a goal and a means to an action using the basic argumentation scheme. Instead, it is conceived as a complex structure of classificatory, evaluative, and practical inferences, which is formalized as a cluster of three types of distinct and interlocked argumentation schemes. Using two (...) real examples, we show how applying the three types of schemes to a cluster of practical argumentation allows an argument analyst to reconstruct the tacit premises presupposed and evaluate the argumentative reasoning steps involved. This approach will be shown to overcome the limitations of the existing models of practical reasoning arguments within the BDI and commitment theoretical frameworks, providing a useful tool for discourse analysis and other disciplines. In particular, applying this method brings to light the crucial role of classification in practical argumentation, showing how the ordering of values and preferences is only one of the possible areas of deep disagreement. (shrink)
The reasoning process of analogy is characterized by a strict interdependence between a process of abstraction of a common feature and the transfer of an attribute of the Analogue to the Primary Subject. The first reasoning step is regarded as an abstraction of a generic characteristic that is relevant for the attribution of the predicate. The abstracted feature can be considered from a logic-semantic perspective as a functional genus, in the sense that it is contextually essential for the attribution of (...) the predicate, i.e. that is pragmatically fundamental (i.e. relevant) for the predica-tion, or rather the achievement of the communicative intention. While the transfer of the predicate from the Analogue to the analogical genus and from the genus to the Primary Subject is guaranteed by the maxims (or rules of inference) governing the genus-species relation, the connection between the genus and the predicate can be complex, characterized by various types of reasoning patterns. The relevance relation can hide implicit arguments, such as an implicit argument from classification , an evaluation based on values, consequences or rules, a causal relation, or an argument from practical reasoning. (shrink)
This essay is an opinionated exploration of the constraints that modal discourse imposes on the theory of assertion. Primary focus is on the question whether modal discourse challenges the traditional view that all assertions have propositional content. This question is tackled largely with reference to discourse involving epistemic modals, although connections with other flavors of modality are noted along the way.
Using tools like argument diagrams and profiles of dialogue, this paper studies a number of examples of everyday conversational argumentation where determination of relevance and irrelevance can be assisted by means of adopting a new dialectical approach. According to the new dialectical theory, dialogue types are normative frameworks with specific goals and rules that can be applied to conversational argumentation. In this paper is shown how such dialectical models of reasonable argumentation can be applied to a determination of whether an (...) argument in a specific case is relevant are not in these examples. The approach is based on a linguistic account of dialogue and text from congruity theory, and on the notion of a dialectical shift. Such a shift occurs where an argument starts out as fitting into one type of dialogue, but then it only continues to makes sense as a coherent argument if it is taken to be a part of a different type of dialogue. (shrink)
Pragmatic presupposition is analyzed in this paper as grounded on an implicit reasoning process based on a set of presumptions, which can define cultural differences. The basic condition for making a presupposition can be represented as a reasoning criterion, namely reasonableness. Presuppositions, on this view, need to be reasonable, namely as the conclusion of an underlying presumptive reasoning that does not or may not contain contradictions with other presumptions, including the ordering of the hierarchy of presumptions. Presumptions are in turn (...) analyzed considering their nature and their hierarchy, namely their object and their possible contextual backing, which eliminates some of their possible defaults. This analysis of presupposition brings to light the relationship between communicative infelicities or misunderstandings deriving from presuppositional failures and the underlying system of presumptions and presumptive reasoning. This approach can be applied to the investigation of communicative problems within the medical context, and more precisely the communication in diabetes cases. (shrink)