The proper role, if any, for religion-based arguments is a live and sometimes heated issue within the field of bioethics. The issue attracts heat primarily because bioethical analyses influence the outcomes of controversial court cases and help shape legislation in sensitive biopolicy areas. A problem for religious bioethicists who seek to influence biopolicy is that there is now widespread academic and public acceptance, at least within liberal democracies, that the state should not base its policies on any particular religion’s metaphysical (...) claims or esoteric moral system. In response, bioethicists motivated by religious concerns have adopted two identifiable strategies. Sometimes they rely on slippery-slope arguments that, sometimes at least, have empirically testable premises. A more questionable response is the manipulation and misuse of secular-sounding moral language, such as references to “human dignity,” and the plights of groups of people labeled “vulnerable.”. (shrink)
This is a study of how self-transformation may occur through the practice of reframing one's personal experience in terms of a canonical language: that is, a system of symbols that purports to explain something about human beings and the universe they live in. The Christian conversion narrative is used as the primary example here, but the approach used in this book also illuminates other practices such as psychotherapy in which people deal with emotional conflict through language.
Christian Marazzi's first book: a post-Fordist classic on the roots to economic crises in the contemporary age. Communication as work: we have recently experienced a profound transformation in the processes of production. While the assembly line excluded any form of linguistic productivity, today, there is no production without communication. The new technologies are linguistic machines. This revolution has produced a new kind of worker who is not a specialist but is versatile and infinitely adaptable. If standardized mass production was dominant (...) in the past, today we produce an array of different goods corresponding to specific consumer niches. This is the post-Fordist model described by Christian Marazzi in Capital and Affects. Tracing the development of this new model of labor from Toyota plants in Japan to the most recent innovations, Marazzi's critique goes beyond political economy to encompass issues related to social life, political engagement, democratic institutions, interpersonal relations, and the role of language in liberal democracies. This translation at long last makes Marazzi's first book available to English readers. Capital and Affects stands not only as the foundation to Marazzi's subsequent work, but as foundational work in post-Fordist literature, with an analysis startlingly relevant to today's troubled economic times. This Semiotext edition includes the afterword Marazzi wrote for the 1999 Italian edition. (shrink)
This volume deals with the connection between thinking-and-speaking and our form of life. All contributions engage with Wittgenstein’s approach to this topic. As a whole, the volume takes a stance against both biological and ethnological interpretations of the notion "form of life" and seeks to promote a broadly logico-linguistic understanding instead. The structure of this book is threefold. Part one focuses on lines of thinking that lead from Wittgenstein’s earlier thought to the concept of form of life in his later (...) work. Contributions to part two examine the concrete philosophical function of this notion as well as the ways in which it differs from cognate concepts. Contributions to part three put Wittgenstein’s notion of form of life in perspective by relating it to phenomenology, ordinary language philosophy and problems in contemporary analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Does thought depend on language? Primarily as a consequence of the cognitive turn in empirical disciplines like psychology and ethology, many current empirical researchers and empirically minded philosophers tend to answer this question in the negative. This book rejects this mainstream view and develops a philosophical argument in favor of a universal dependence of language on thought. In doing so, it comprises insights of two primary representatives of 20 th century and contemporary philosophy, namely Donald Davidson and Robert (...) Brandom. Barth offers an introduction to the debate concerning the language-dependence of thought and lays the methodological foundation for the subsequent argument in favor of a universal dependence of thought on language, presenting an account and defense of the transcendental method in reference to the writings of Peter F. Strawson. He then offers a transcendental argument in favor of a universal language-dependence of thought, beginning with a reevaluation of a basic idea for an argument originally presented by Donald Davidson. Later, two main objections to the conclusion of this transcendental argument are addressed and rejected using Robert Brandom’s inferentialist and normativist account of thought and language. In the course of doing so, the recent debate on Brandom’s work is addressed extensively, and main objections to Brandom’s work are presented and answered. (shrink)
We prove completeness for some language-theoretic models of the full Lambek calculus and its various fragments. First we consider syntactic concepts and syntactic concepts over regular languages, which provide a complete semantics for the full Lambek calculus \. We present a new semantics we call automata-theoretic, which combines languages and relations via closure operators which are based on automaton transitions. We establish the completeness of this semantics for the full Lambek calculus via an isomorphism theorem for the (...) syntactic concepts lattice of a language and a construction for the universal automaton recognizing the same language. Finally, we use automata-theoretic semantics to prove completeness of relation models of binary relations and finite relation models for the Lambek calculus without and with empty antecedents and \), thus solving a problem left open by Pentus. (shrink)
The irreducibility of language : the history of rhetoric in the age of typewriters -- The failures of empiricism : language, science, and the philosophical tradition -- What is a trope? : the discourse of metaphor and the language of the body -- The nervous systems of modern consciousness : metaphor, physiology, and mind -- Interpretation and life : outlines of an anthropology of knowledge.
A complex and controversial social phenomenon is religious and religious life. An important part of it is the preaching of the word of God based on the use of language and writing, on the basis of which sacred books and other written sources for the submission of religious cults are made. The linguistic aspect of the social significance of language and writing as part of the church and religious life of Christians is considered.
Peter Singer's recent appointment to Princeton University created considerable controversy, most of it focused on his proposal for active euthanasia of disabled infants. Singer articulates utilitarian ideas that often appear in public discussions of euthanasia. Drawing on Pope John Paul II's work on ethics and suffering, I argue that Singer's utilitarian theory of value is impoverished. After introducing the Pope's ethic based on the imago dei, I discuss love as self-gift. I show how this concept supports a theory of value (...) in which spiritual goods are preeminent over material goods. I then describe how suffering reveals spiritual goods, discussing how participation in Christ's suffering can alter our perception of value. I also consider how communal responses to suffering provide opportunities for self-giving. Third, I consider Singer's proposal for killing infants with hemophilia, arguing that it arbitrarily ignores spiritual goods. I then discuss proposals to kill anencephalic infants, discussing how parental response to their suffering can demonstrate an extraordinary love in seemingly hopeless circumstances. I conclude by calling for a more sustained social response to euthanasia initiatives. (shrink)
John Wilson. some concerns of his, and from that time up to the present period, he has continued his attention to those concerns, as he says, not in a professional but perfectly gratuitous, and without any emolument. It came to this gentleman's ...
This article extends the definition of sensationalism to print media by arguing that language intensifiers may be an aspect of sensationalism. In addition, this paper investigates if an indirect effect can be established by which sensationalistic message features influence news reception through the perception of sensationalism. Two between-subjects experiments show that sensationalistic message features like intensifiers increase perceived language intensity. In experiment 1, intensifiers had a negative effect on news article appreciation, which was not influenced by PLI. Experiment (...) 2 revealed positive indirect effects of intensifiers through PLI on newsworthiness and news article appreciation. (shrink)
This paper is a reflexion on the computability of natural language semantics. It does not contain a new model or new results in the formal semantics of natural language: it is rather a computational analysis, in the context for type-logical grammars, of the logical models and algorithms currently used in natural language semantics, defined as a function from a grammatical sentence to a set of logical formulas—because a statement can be ambiguous, it can correspond to multiple formulas, (...) one for each reading. We argue that as long as we do not explicitly compute the interpretation in terms of possible world models, one can compute the semantic representation of a given statement, including aspects of lexical meaning. This is a very generic process, so the results are, at least in principle, widely applicable. We also discuss the algorithmic complexity of this process. (shrink)
This volume focuses on the role language plays at all levels of the argumentation process. It explores the effects that specific linguistic choices may have in the production and the reception of arguments and in doing so, it moves beyond the first, necessary, descriptive stance provided by current literature on the topic. Each chapter provides an original take illuminating one or more of the following three issues: the range of linguistic resources language users draw on as they argue; (...) how cognitive processes of meaning construction may influence argumentative practices; and which discursive devices can be used to fulfil a number of argumentative goals. The volume includes theoretical and empirical or applied stances, providing the reader both with state-of-the-art reflections on the relationship between argumentation and language, and with concrete examples of how this relationship plays out in naturally occurring argumentative practices, such as classroom interaction, and political, parliamentary or journalistic discourse. This is a very original, timely and welcome contribution to the study of argumentation conducted with the tools of the language sciences. The collection of papers relevantly tackles key linguistic, discursive and cognitive aspects of argumentative practices whose treatment is underrepresented in mainstream argumentation studies by offering new and exciting linguistically-grounded theoretical accounts. As such, the volume testifies both to the vigour of the linguistic current within the discipline and to the high standards of scholarly commitment and quality that the younger generation is pushing forward. Without question, this book marks an important milestone in the relationships between linguistics and argumentation theory. Christian Plantin, Professor Emeritus. (shrink)
Natural scientific psychology grew out of an effort to objectify language. The ultimate effect of its methodological innovations was to distance the reader from a primordial poetic experience of the world and from a cultural heritage whose primary task it was to cultivate that experience. We make use of the poetics and the phenomenological thought of Gaston Bachelard in order to place poetry and literature in a more fruitful relationship to psychology.
This important contribution to the ground-breaking Radical Orthodoxy series revisits the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Augustine and Derrida to reconsider the challenge of speaking of God through predication, silence, confession and praise. James K. A. Smith argues for God's own refusal to avoid speaking as well as for our urgent need of words to make Him visible to us. This leads to a radical new "incarnational phenomenology" in which God's love endows imperfect signs with the means to indicate true states (...) of infinitude, and in which we may ultimately discover a new theology of the arts. (shrink)
The four contributions in this special issue on Argumentation Through Languages and Cultures deals with clear cases of such argumentative situations as they develop in different cultures and language groups. One of these papers comes from the Inuit oral culture; three papers from written cultures, Chinese, Muslim and Indian cultures. Among written cultures, the Indian and Muslim cultures have developed sophisticated theories of argument, while the Chinese culture, according to Graham, combined “a sense of rigorous proof with the (...) indifference to logical forms”. (shrink)
This paper analyzes debates on animal language in eighteenth-century German philosophy and science. Adopting a history of ideas approach, I explain how the study of animal language became tied to the investigation into the origin and development of language towards the end of the eighteenth century. I argue that for large parts of the eighteenth century, the question of the existence of animal languages was studied within the context of the philosophical question of whether animals possess (...) reason. In Germany, the debate concerning animal reason was influenced by Christian Wolff and was taken up by diverse thinkers such as Winkler, Meier, and Reimarus. I argue that in the second half of the eighteenth century the study of animal language became more loosely related to the question of whether animals possess reason: animal language was studied not only in light of the debate on animal reason but also because it sheds light on the nature of animals, on the differences and similarities between animals and humans, and on the origin and development of language. This systematic study of animal language coincided with the rise of linguistics, anthropology, and biology as independent sciences. (shrink)
The contributions in this volume focus on the Bayesian interpretation of natural languages, which is widely used in areas of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and computational linguistics. This is the first volume to take up topics in Bayesian Natural Language Interpretation and make proposals based on information theory, probability theory, and related fields. The methodologies offered here extend to the target semantic and pragmatic analyses of computational natural language interpretation. Bayesian approaches to natural language semantics and (...) pragmatics are based on methods from signal processing and the causal Bayesian models pioneered by especially Pearl. In signal processing, the Bayesian method finds the most probable interpretation by finding the one that maximizes the product of the prior probability and the likelihood of the interpretation. It thus stresses the importance of a production model for interpretation as in Grice’s contributions to pragmatics or in interpretation by abduction. (shrink)