In order to contain public care expenditure, policymakers in the Netherlands have over the last decades formulated in ever more stringent ways what ought to be expected from spouses, partners, and family members with regard to care for dependent relatives. The current Dutch coalition cabinet plans to shift the principal responsibility for nonmedical care, including demanding forms of care such as long-term personal care, to individuals and families. I argue that these policy developments imply cost redistribution rather than cost containment (...) and that this redistribution is disadvantageous for women. (shrink)
An English double-embedded relative clause from which the middle verb is omitted can often be processed more easily than its grammatical counterpart, a phenomenon known as the grammaticality illusion. This effect has been found to be reversed in German, suggesting that the illusion is language specific rather than a consequence of universal working memory constraints. We present results from three self-paced reading experiments which show that Dutch native speakers also do not show the grammaticality illusion in Dutch, whereas both German (...) and Dutch native speakers do show the illusion when reading English sentences. These findings provide evidence against working memory constraints as an explanation for the observed effect in English. We propose an alternative account based on the statistical patterns of the languages involved. In support of this alternative, a single recurrent neural network model that is trained on both Dutch and English sentences is shown to predict the cross-linguistic difference in the grammaticality effect. (shrink)
This article is about the logic of the concept of "coherence" as used by historians to justify an argument. Despite its effectiveness in historical arguments, coherence is problematic for epistemologists and some theorists of history. The main purpose of this paper is to present some insights that bear upon the logical status of coherence. As will be demonstrated, this will also shed some light on the allegedly dubious epistemological position of coherence. In general I will argue that, logically seen, coherence (...) is a property of a set of related beliefs which makes it possible to justify a choice out of different factually justifiable interpretations. Coherence disambiguates vague or ambiguous observations. As words lose their vagueness or ambiguity in contexts, so do contexts disambiguate historical facts. My argument will be based on some relatively recent findings about the cognitive processes underlying vision and reading. Research in the field of text linguistics is used to show what kinds of relationship exist between historical representations that might be considered to cohere. (shrink)
In a recent Mind & Society article, Evans (2005) argues for the social and communicative function of conditional statements. In a related article, we argue for satisficing algorithms for mapping conditional statements onto social domains (Eur J Cogn Psychol 16:807â823,2004). The purpose of the present commentary is to integrate these two arguments by proposing a revised pragmatic cues algorithm for pragmatic conditionals.
Atran & Norenzyan (A&N) claim that an appreciation of the evolved inferential machinery underlying supernatural beliefs can greatly aid us in understanding regularities in culturally shared conceptions of religion. I explore how their model provides insight into why culturally shared tales of horror (e.g., horror movies) often combine religious and predatory content.
Thijs Lijster considers the thought of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno on such key topics as the relationship between art and historical experience, between avant-garde art and mass culture, and between the intellectual and the public.
Is het niet vreemd om te zeggen dat een verhaal uit de achtste eeuw voor Christus ons iets kan vertellen over onze hedendaagse westerse cultuur? Hoe kan de beschrijving van een wereld die geregeerd wordt door goden, heksen, nimfen en allerlei mythische gedrochten bijdragen aan ons zelfbegrip? Dat is minder vreemd dan het lijkt. Juist omdat Homeros helemaal aan het begin van onze beschaving stond, kunnen wij in retrospectief herkennen wat de nieuwe wereld scheidde van de oude. De homerische epen (...) vormen een eerste definitie van de westerse cultuur, zij geven de contouren aan van een manier van denken en handelen die de wereld tot op de dag van vandaag beheerst. (shrink)
The metaphor of base and superstructure has been one of the most controversial elements in Marxist aesthetics. In this text I discuss some of the many questions it raises. Today, many theorists believe that its problems are so extensive that it has lost all plausibility. I believe, however, that in rejecting the Marxist framework, aesthetics and cultural theory risks throwing out the baby with the bath water and jeopardizes its critical potential. Drawing on the work of Fredric Jameson and Slavoj (...) Žižek, I will propose a heuristic reinterpretation of the metaphor of base and superstructure. (shrink)