Polarized unification grammar (PUG) is a linguistic formalism which uses polarities to better control the way grammar fragments interact. The grammar combination operation of PUG was conjectured to be associative. We show that PUG grammar combination is not associative, and even attaching polarities to objects does not make it order-independent. Moreover, we prove that no non-trivial polarity system exists for which grammar combination is associative. We then redefine the grammar combination operator, moving to the powerset domain, in a way that (...) guarantees associativity. The method we propose is general and is applicable to a variety of tree-based grammar formalisms. (shrink)
"This is a most timely, intelligent, well-written, and absorbing essay on a central and painful social and political problem of out time."--Sir Isaiah Berlin"The major achievement of this remarkable book is a critical theory of nationalism, worked through historical and contemporary examples, explaining the value of national commitments and defining their moral limits. Tamir explores a set of problems that philosophers have been notably reluctant to take on, and leaves us all in her debt."--Michael WalzerIn this provocative work, Yael (...) Tamir urges liberals not to surrender the concept of nationalism to conservative, chauvinist, or racist ideologies. In her view, liberalism, with its respect for personal autonomy, reflection, and choice, and nationalism, with its emphasis on belonging, loyalty, and solidarity are not irreconcilable. Here she offers a new theory, "liberal nationalism," which allows each set of values to accommodate the other. Tamir sees nationalism as an affirmation of communal and cultural memberships and as a quest for recognition and self-respect. Persuasively she argues that national groups can enjoy these benefits through political arrangements other than the nation-state. While acknowledging that nationalism places members of national minorities at a disadvantage, the author offers guidelines for alleviating the problems involved using examples from currents conflicts in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.Liberal Nationalismis an impressive attempt to tie together a wide range of issues often kept apart: personal autonomy, cultural membership, political obligations, particularity versus impartiality in moral duties, and global justice. Drawing on material from disparate fields--including political philosophy, ethics, law, and sociology--Tamir brings out important and previously unnoticed interconnections between them, offering a new perspective on the influence of nationalism on modern political philosophy. (shrink)
ABSTRACT The apparent consistency of Sobel sequences famously motivated David Lewis to defend a variably strict conditional semantics for counterfactuals. If Sophie had gone to the parade, she would have seen Pedro. If Sophie had gone to the parade and had been stuck behind someone tall, she would not have seen Pedro. But if the order of the counterfactuals in a Sobel sequence is reversed—in the example, if is asserted prior to —the second counterfactual asserted no longer rings true. This (...) is the Heim sequence problem. That the order of assertion makes this difference is surprising on the variably strict account. Some argue that this is reason to reject the Lewis-Stalnaker semantics outright. Others argue that the problem motivates a contextualist rendering of counterfactuals. Still others maintain that the explanation for the phenomenon is merely pragmatic. I argue that none of these is right, and I defend a novel way to understand the phenomenon. My proposal avoids the problems faced by the alternative analyses and enjoys independent support. There is, however, a difficulty for my view: it entails that many ordinarily accepted counterfactuals are not true. I argue that this cost is acceptable. (shrink)
Advertising by health care institutions has increased steadily in recent years. While direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising is subject to unique oversight by the Federal Drug Administration, advertisements for health care services are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and treated no differently from advertisements for consumer goods. In this article, we argue that decisions about pursuing health care services are distinguished by informational asymmetries, high stakes, and patient vulnerabilities, grounding fiduciary responsibilities on the part of health care providers and health (...) care institutions. Using examples, we illustrate how common advertising techniques may mislead patients and compromise fiduciary relationships, thereby posing ethical risks to patients, providers, health care institutions, and society. We conclude by proposing that these risks justify new standards for advertising when considered as part of the moral obligation of health care institutions and suggest that mechanisms currently in place to regulate advertising for prescription pharmaceuticals should be applied to advertising for health care services more broadly. (shrink)
Is our moral cognition “colored” by the language that we speak? Despite the centrality of language to political life and agency, limited attempts have been made thus far in contemporary political philosophy to consider this possibility. We therefore set out to explore the possible influence of linguistic relativity effects on political thinking in linguistically diverse societies. We begin by introducing the facts and fallacies of the “linguistic relativity” principle, and explore the various ways in which they “color,” often covertly, current (...) normative debates. To illustrate this, we focus on two key Rawlsian concepts: the original position and public reason. We then move to consider the resulting epistemic challenges and opportunities facing contemporary multilingual democratic societies in an age of increased mobility, arguing for the consequent imperative of developing political metalinguistic awareness and political extelligence among political scientists, political philosophers, and political actors alike in an irreducibly complex linguistic world. (shrink)
This paper concentrates on giving precise content to the general wisdom on the scalar presupposition of even, according to which the prejacent of even, p, is stronger than its relevant focus alternatives, q. To that end I first examine both familiar challenges for the popular ‘comparative likelihood’ view of the ‘stronger than’ relation, as well as novel challenges, having to do with the context dependency of even and with its sensitivity to standards of comparison. To overcome these challenges and to (...) account for the full range of data I develop a revised, ‘gradability-based’ scalar presupposition for even, which differs from the ‘comparative likelihood’ one in several respects: instead of directly comparing degrees to which propositions are more or less likely, we compare extents to which non-focus entities x in p and q exceed the salient standard on a scale associated with a contextually supplied gradable property G. To capture cases where information about contrastive topics is crucial for fixing two distinct standards on G, I follow theories which view even as a general, two-place alternative-sensitive operator, allowing it to associate with both focus and contrastive topics. Beyond the ability to account for a large range of intricate felicity variations and inferences found with even, a more general contribution of the paper lies in showing the linguistic relevance of tools originally developed in the literature on gradable predicates to the semantics of scalar alternative–sensitive particles. (shrink)
1000 time-travelers travel back in time, each with the intention of killing their own infant-self. If there is no branching time, then on pain of bringing about a logical contradiction, all must fail. But this seems inexplicable: what is to ensure that the time-travelers are stopped? For a time, this inexplicability objection was thought to provide evidence that there is something incoherent about the possibility of backwards time travel in a universe without branching time. There is now near-consensus, however, that (...) the objection has no bite: there is nothing inexplicable about the mass failure. Lewis, Sider and Ismael independently argue that since it is built into the description of the class of cases considered that the time-travelers must fail – and so we consider only unsuccessful attempts – there is no mystery. Smith argues that the absence of possible worlds at which auto-infanticide is committed suffices as a complete explanation for the failures. And Baron and Colyvan maintain that available causal and logical explanations jointly account for everything that needs accounting for. I argue that these are wrong. There is remaining, problematic inexplicability. For backwards time travel not to lead to logical contradiction, something would need to do logic’s bidding, after all. (shrink)
Polysemy is a term used in semantic and lexical analysis to describe a word with multiple meanings. Although such words present few difficulties in everyday communication, they do pose near-intractable problems for linguists and lexicographers. The contributors in this volume consider the implications of these problems for linguistic theory and how they may be addressed in computational linguistics.
Peter van Inwagen's influential Direct Argument (DA) for the incompatibility of moral responsibility and causal determinism makes use of an inference rule he calls "Rule B." Michael McKenna has argued that van Inwagen's defense of this rule is dialectically inappropriate because it is based entirely on alleged “confirming” cases that are not of the right kind to justify the use of Rule B in DA. Here I argue that McKenna’s objection is on the right track but more must be said (...) if we are to see why. To fill in the gaps I consider a recent attempt by Ira M. Schnall and David Widerker to defend DA against McKenna’s objection. I argue that neither prong of their attack is successful against a variation on McKenna’s basic argument. In the course of responding to Schnall and Widerker’s objections to McKenna, I identify what is, as I argue, the real reason DA fails in its purpose to shift the burden of proof. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe paper examines the relevance of the nomological view of nature to three discussions of tide in the thirteenth century. A nomological conception of nature assumes that the basic explanatory units of natural phenomena are universally binding rules stated in quantitative terms. Robert Grosseteste introduced an account of the tide based on the mechanism of rarefaction and condensation, stimulated by the Moon's rays and their angle of incidence. He considered the Moon's action over the sea an example of the general (...) efficient causality exerted through the universal activity of light or species. Albert the Great posited a plurality of causes which cannot be reduced to a single cause. The connaturality of the Moon and the water is the only principle of explanation which he considered universal. Connaturality, however, renders neither formulation nor quantification possible. While Albert stressed the variety of causes of the tide, Roger Bacon emphasized regularity and reduced the various causes producing tides into forces. He replaced the terminology of ‘natures’ by one of ‘forces’. Force, which in principle can be accurately described and measured, thus becomes a commensurable aspect of a diverse cosmos. When they reasoned why waters return to their place after the tide, Grosseteste argued that waters return in order to prevent a vacuum, Albert claimed that waters ‘follow their own nature’, while Bacon held that the ‘proper force’ of the water prevails over the distant force of the first heaven. I exhibit, for the thirteenth century, moments of the move away from the Aristotelian concerns. The basic elements of these concerns were essences and natures which reflect specific phenomena and did not allow for an image of nature as a unified system. In the new perspective of the thirteenth century the key was a causal link between the position of the Moon and the tide cycle, a link which is universal and still qualitative, yet expressed as susceptible to quantification. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the familiar puzzle of free indirect discourse (FID). FID shares some properties with standard indirect discourse and with direct discourse, but there is currently no known theory that can accommodate such a hybrid. Based on the observation that FID has ‘de se’ pronouns, I argue that it is a kind of an attitude report.
Boycotts of various types and forms have become in recent years an increasingly common feature of political life. And yet, despite both their ubiquity and clear ethical grounding, they remain to date under-explored in academic philosophy. I examine in this article the question of the ethics of boycotting, using the academic and cultural boycott of Israel as a case study. I propose that the boycott exhibits an intriguing pattern of continuous tension between its own stated principles and its realised practices, (...) and suggest that this tension is not a dysfunction of the boycott but rather a structural feature, which emanates from its primary commitment to the idea of anti-normalisation as an ethical imperative. I explore the complex cross-linguistic political pragmatics of the notion of normalisation, and argue that the commitment to it on the part of the boycott movement, as a group actor, effectively amounts to a capricious form of arbitrary treatment of the boycotted. I then propose that the effective validation of arbitrary treatment constitutes, first, a harm in itself; and, second, that it hinders the capacity of the campaign to draw on and contribute to a general theory of the ethics of boycotting. (shrink)
This paper deals with the exceptions-tolerance property of generic sentences with indefinite singular and bare plural subjects (IS and BP generics, respectively) and with the way this property is connected to some well-known observations about felicity differences between the two types of generics (e.g. Lawler's 1973, Madrigals are popular vs. #A madrigal is popular). I show that whereas both IS and BP generics tolerate exceptional and contextually irrelevant individuals and situations in a strikingly similar way, which indicates the existence of (...) a basically equivalent tolerance mechanism, there is also a difference between them, unnoticed so far, which concerns the degree to which the properties of the legitimate exceptions can be characterized in advance. Following claims in Greenberg (2003), I argue that both this newly observed difference as well as the traditional felicity differences result from an underlying contrast in the type of ‘non-accidentalness’ expressed by the two types of generic sentences, and more formally, in the accessibility relations that their generic quantifier (Gen) is compatible with. To capture the new difference in tolerance of exceptions, I develop an improved version of the exceptions-tolerance mechanism for generic sentences suggested in Kadmon & Landman (1993), namely, a restriction on the set of individuals and situations quantified by Gen, which is partially vague to two different degrees using supervaluationist methods. The different degrees of vagueness in this restriction are shown to be systematically dependent on the two types of accessibility relations that IS and BP generics are compatible with, which are redefined as precise and vague restrictions on the generic quantification over worlds. (shrink)
This article suggests a change of perspective on philosophy’s engagement with its past. It argues that rather than the putative purport of giving life to the past philosopher’s work, philosophical engagement with the past gives life to one’s own. Drawing on the neo-pragmatist thesis of Robert Brandom, it suggests looking to what philosophers do when they attribute meaning to concepts and considering their engagement with the past as appropriation in consequence. By scrutinizing Robert Pippin’s opposing thesis of philosophical engagement with (...) the past as dialogue, and carefully examining Brandom’s, the article suggests an account for appropriation that shows it to be non-dialogical, and hence unable to yield the fruits associated with this conception, but also insightful and rich with other philosophical values. Brandom and John McDowell’s dispute over the interpretation of Wilfrid Sellars provides an illustration of the proposed perspective and of those values. (shrink)
We observe that the facts pertaining to the acceptability of negative polarity items (henceforth, NPIs) in interrogative environments are more complex than previously noted. Since Klima [Klima, E. (1964). In J. Fodor & J. Katz (Eds.), The structure of language. Prentice-Hall], it has been typically assumed that NPIs are grammatical in both matrix and embedded questions, however, on closer scrutiny it turns out that there are differences between root and embedded environments, and between question nucleus and wh-restrictor. While NPIs are (...) always licensed in the nucleus of root questions, their acceptability in the restrictor of wh-phrases and in the nucleus of any embedded question depends on the logical properties of the linguistic environment: its strength in terms of exhaustivity [Groenendijk, J., & Stokhof, M. (1984). Studies on the semantics of questions and the pragmatic answers. Amserdam (NL), Post-Doctoral Dissertation. Heim, I. (1994). In R. Buchalla & A. Mittwoch (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th annual IATL conference and of the 1993 IATL workshop on discourse (pp. 128-144). Akademon, Jerusalem. Beck, S., & Rullmann, H. (1999). Natural Language Semantics, 7, 249-298. Sharvit, Y. (2002). Natural Language Semantics, 10, 97-123] and its monotonicity properties (in the sense of von Fintel [von Fintel, K. (1999). Journal of Semantics, 16, 97-148]). (shrink)
The existence of “local implicatures” has been the topic of much recent debate. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to this debate by asking what we can learn from three puzzles, namely, the cancellation of such implicatures by or both, their behavior in the complement clauses of negative factive verbs such as sorry, and their behavior in root and embedded questions. Two basic approaches to local implicatures have been advanced: a fully pragmatic account in which local implicatures result (...) from conventional Gricean principles and a semantic account according to which the generation of implicatures is interwoven with compositional, grammatical mechanisms. We argue that the lesson to be learned from our three case studies is that some kind of approach along the latter, grammatical line is necessary to account for the data. (shrink)
The surprising case for liberal nationalism Around the world today, nationalism is back—and it’s often deeply troubling. Populist politicians exploit nationalism for authoritarian, chauvinistic, racist, and xenophobic purposes, reinforcing the view that it is fundamentally reactionary and antidemocratic. But Yael Tamir makes a passionate argument for a very different kind of nationalism—one that revives its participatory, creative, and egalitarian virtues, answers many of the problems caused by neoliberalism and hyperglobalism, and is essential to democracy at its best. In Why (...) Nationalism, she explains why it is more important than ever for the Left to recognize these positive qualities of nationalism, to reclaim it from right-wing extremists, and to redirect its power to progressive ends. Provocative and hopeful, Why Nationalism is a timely and essential rethinking of a defining feature of our politics. (shrink)
Before a fair, indeterministic coin is tossed, Lucky, who is causally isolated from the coin-tossing mechanism, declines to bet on heads. The coin lands heads. The consensus is that the following counterfactual is true: (M:) If Lucky had bet heads, he would have won the bet. It is also widely believed that to rule (M) true, any plausible semantics for counterfactuals must invoke causal independence. But if that’s so, the hope of giving a reductive analysis of causation in terms of (...) counterfactuals is undermined. Here I argue that there is compelling reason to question the assumption that (M) is true. (shrink)
Professor Goodman first presented his "new riddle of induction" in 1946 but it was mainly the more elaborated version published in his Fact, Fiction and Forecast in 1955 that has captured the attention of philosophers. Since then, numerous attempts to solve his "paradox of grue" appeared in press; none of them, however, proved to be wholly satisfactory. In this paper I want to present a solution to this 30-years old puzzle. In the first section I shall try to show that (...) my solution, which is based on a Gedankenexperiment, is immune to the objections leveled against previous attempts. In light of this solution I shall re-examine the status of the paradox and show that in order to preserve the meaningfulness of the paradox some type of Platonic framework for the theory of meaning should have to be assumed. In the last section I shall discuss a proposed solution to the paradox using counterfactual claims. I will show that despite the similarity between counterfactuals and thought-experiments, the counterfactual approach does not lead to a satisfactory solution. (shrink)
"Semantic Truth Theories" uses the techniques of mathematical logic to develop a new semantic treatment of the concept of truth based on ideas of Saul Kripke. Yael Cohen goes on to solve the Liar paradox, Hempel's raven paradox in the philosophy of science, and other classical problems of philosophy. She does this by enlarging the scope of formal logic to include concepts of presupposition besides the usual implication. The book thus provides a unified treatment of many topics having to (...) do with truth, topics whose deep and unsuspected interconnections are not visible without the insights of mathematical knowledge which the author elaborates. The early chapters of the book contain an accessible introduction to semantic paradoxes which should be useful to students. (shrink)
ABSTRACTFeelings and cognitions influence judgment through attribution. For instance, the attribution of positive feelings and cognitions to a stimulus leads to a positive judgment of that stimulus. We examined whether misattribution is moderated by the applicability of a distractor to the judgment question. For instance, when are people more likely to attribute to a target person the affective and cognitive experiences triggered by a kitten – when trying to judge the person’s cuteness or trustworthiness? The kitten triggers experiences specifically relevant (...) to cuteness, but people might more easily suspect the kitten’s potential influence when judging cuteness rather than trustworthiness. Using the Affect Misattribution Procedure, we found that applicability increases the effect of misattribution on valenced judgments. The results emphasise the importance of specific information in attribution and suggest that high applicability of distractors to the judgment question d... (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the relationship between the semantics of specificational and predicational sentences and the Connectivity effects they display. It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of semantic and syntactic approaches to Connectivity (the ‘unconstrained-be theory’, the ‘question-in-disguise theory’, and the ‘unclefting theory’), concluding that a semantic theory of Connectivity is not only preferable, but necessary. The paper also discusses the implications of such a move regarding Binding phenomena (i.e., Principle A, B, and C effects): adopting a semantic theory (...) of Connectivity requires a theory of Binding which is different from the standard GB Binding Theory. (shrink)
It is argued, contra Beck and Rullmann (1999), and with Heim (1994), that the sources of strongly exhaustive interpretations and `de dicto' interpretations of wh-complements of veridical question-embedding verbs are one and the same. Beck and Rullmann's theory is shown to predict certain `de dicto' readings which do not exist, while a particular rendition of Heim's theory is shown to constrain the generation of `de dicto' readings in the correct way.
The topic of time is central to Levinas's philosophy. By examining aspects of the Biblical stories of Abraham and Moses compared with Greek myths, mainly that of Cronos devouring his children, this paper aims to show that Levinas's view of time, though certainly indebted to the Greek tradition, contains traces of Biblical experiences. Moreover, Levinas's interpretation of time will serve as a concrete demonstration of the way the Jewish experience enables Levinas to express his criticism of the philosophical‐Greek tradition.
The idea that nature is governed by laws and that the goal of science is to discover and formulate these laws, rose to prominence during the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. It was manifestly held by the most significant actors of that revolution such as Galileo, Descartes, Kepler, Boyle, and Newton. But this idea was not new. In fact, it made an appearance in the Middle Ages, and it is likely to have emerged already in Antiquity.1In this paper we (...) pay close attention to the concept of law of nature in the writings of Roger Bacon, the outspoken Franciscan who promoted experimental science. We will be using Bacon as a test case to show that long before the... (shrink)
This article explores the properties of formulations in a corpus of Hebrew radio phone-ins by juxtaposing two theoretical frameworks: conversation analysis and dialogic syntax. This combination of frameworks is applied towards explaining an anomalous interaction in the collection – a caller’s marked, unexpected rejection of a formulation of gist produced by the radio phone-in’s host. Our analysis shows that whereas previous CA studies of formulations account for many instances throughout the corpus, understanding this particular formulation in CA terms does not (...) explain its drastic rejection by the caller. We therefore turn to an in-depth examination of strategies for lexical and syntactic resonance as a stance-taking device throughout the interaction. In so doing, we not only shed light on the anomalous interaction, but also offer an answer to a provocative question previously put forward by Haddington concerning which of the two – stances or actions – have more meaningful consequences for the description of the organization of interaction. In the particular interaction analyzed here, stances play the more significant role. We propose that the intersubjective stance-taking of participants may be viewed as a meta-action employed among participants as they move across actions, sequences, and activities in talk. (shrink)
In this erudite study, Anna Becker employs the lens of gender to explore the political thought of nine Renaissance writers. She argues that political thinkers in the Italian and French Renaissance perceived the domestic realm to be essentially political, particularly within relationships of marriage and parenting. She demonstrates that "The Great Dichotomy"—the assumed binary opposition between a public-civic realm that is political and male, and a private-domestic realm that is apolitical and female—did not exist in canonical Renaissance political thought.The first (...) chapter closely examines how three Italian commentators, Leonardo Bruni, Donato Acciaioli, and Bernardo Segni... (shrink)
This study investigates employment of two elements having a lexical source involving comparison -, `like') which have greatly proliferated over the last decade or so in Israel, Hebrew Kaze and ke'ilu. Here I focus particularly on kaze and compare it to ke'ilu, which was investigated at length in Maschler. The data come from audio-recordings of casual conversations of college-educated Israelis with their friends and relatives. A qualitative analysis of talk-in-interaction reveals three functions for kaze: comparative demonstrative, hedge and quotative. A (...) quantitative perspective on the distribution of these functions is presented, and these qualitative and quantitative analyses lead to an examination of the functional itinerary of this word in Hebrew. The recent proliferation of kaze and ke'ilu in Israeli Hebrew discourse is then tied to the change from a culture in which dugri speech is central to one in which this speaking style is in decline. (shrink)
In 1967 Garfinkel and Bittner were investigating good organizational reasons for bad clinic records, demonstrating how the reading of such records as sociological data should be reported to the understanding of their production’s practical contingencies and to the situated circumstances of their use. This seminal paper opened new avenues of research related to the study of records in various professional contexts and of their transformation, to the development of praxiological approaches to practical and professional texts, or to the study of (...) historical documents and archives. To contribute to this ethnomethodological strand of research, I propose a case-study of artworks’ records management at the museum, investigated as a perspicuous site to reflect upon how artworks are experienced, apprehended and defined in the institutional ordinary business. Drawing on observations and materials collected at the French National Museum of Modern Art, I study records’ careers and describe their material and organizational properties, by giving a close look at some elements. More particularly, I focus on one distinctive property of some records: their thickness, investigated as a scheme of interpretation of the situated features of documentation work. By reading artworks’ records as local collective practices of assemblage, disruption and reconfiguration of pieces of documentation, I demonstrate that what is documented in this process is not only the artwork: it is also the collective work of working with artworks, dealt with as ongoing achievements of institutional practices. (shrink)
Recovery is a commonly used concept in both professional and everyday contexts. Yet despite its extensive use, it has not drawn much philosophical attention. In this paper, I question the common understanding of recovery, show how the concept is inadequate, and introduce new and much needed terminology. I argue that recovery glosses over important distinctions and even misrepresents the process of moving away from malady as "going back" to a former state of health. It does not invite important nuances needed (...) to distinguish between biomedical, phenomenological, and social perspectives. In addition, I claim that there are many conditions where we are making use of the concept of recovery, although the person recovered from the condition in question, has not regained the same degree of soundness. I show how the concept of recovery leads to conceptual discrepancies that can result in worsening patients' conditions. To gain a fuller understanding, I propose to rethink the direction of the process in question. I define the process of moving away from malady as a move forward towards a new state of soundness. I also suggest three terms, corresponding to different perspectives, to describe this movement forward: 'curing', 'healing', and 'habilitating'. This new terminology provides a more nuanced understanding of the states of both malady and soundness and an attentiveness as to how they differ and relate. (shrink)