This paper develops an adverbial theory of consciousness. Adverbialism is described and endorsed and defended from its near rival, an identity thesis in which conscious mental states are those that the mental subject self-knows immediately that he or she is "in". The paper develops an account of globally supported self-ascription to embed this neo-Brentanian view of experiencing consciously within a more general account of the relation between consciousness and self-knowledge. Following O'Shaughnessy, person level consciousness is explained as a feature (...) of the bundle of mental capacities characteristic of persons: person level consciousness involves a capacity holism. Drawing on Kant, it is argued that if a person is in a mental state intentionally directed to an object then such a subject can "self token" such knowledge. The content of that self-knoweldge supervenes on the possession of a global set of capacities, and this capacity for self-ascription depends on the fact that our experience has a perspectival character with, as it were, nothing at the vanishing point of this perspective. The fact that one can attach the cogito to any one of one's representation shows a truth about the unity of the conscious life of a person that cannot be stated and this capacity is distinguished from self-conscious thinking about oneself. This approach is contrasted to Shoemaker's functionalist treatment of the self-tokening of conscious states and of "self-blindness". It is argued that to be fully consistent, Shoemaker has to abandon the claim that introspectionism is guilty of a self-scanning model or rational control as he seems committed to that model too. (shrink)
In order to resolve problems about the normative aspects of representation without having to (1) provide a naturalized theory of intentional/semantic properties, (2) accept non-natural intentional/semantic properties into our worldview, or (3) eliminate intentionality, this article questions a basic assumption about the metaphysics of representation: that representation involves representation-objects. An alternative, nonreifying approach to the metaphysics of representation is introduced and developed in detail. The argumentative strategy is as follows. First, an adverbial view of linguistic representation is introduced. Two (...) potential objections are identified and considered. To respond to these objections, relationships between physical form and linguistic/representational form are examined. In the process, two ways of idealizing away from the heterogeneous details of actual language use are introduced: idealization toward homogeneity and idealization toward complete heterogeneity. I argue that an adverbial view of linguistic representation both allows for and requires that we idealize toward complete heterogeneity and that doing so has important implications for (1) our understanding of the relationship between physical form and representational form and (2) property attribution in general. These implications provide further indirect support for the alternative metaphysics of representation developed here. (shrink)
A fundamental assumption of Alexius Meinong's 1904 Theory of Objects is the act-content-object analysis of psychological experiences. I suggest that Meinong's theory need not be based on this analysis, but that an adverbial theory might suffice. I then defend the adverbial alternative against an objection raised by Roderick Chisholm, and conclude by presenting an apparently more serious objection based on a paradox discovered by Romane Clark.
The paper presents a novel version of universalism—the thesis according to which there are only universals, no individuals—which is cashed out in terms of an adverbial analysis of predication. According to the theory, every spatiotemporal occurrence of a universal U can be expressed by a sentence which asserts the existence of U adverbially modified by the spatiotemporal region at which it exists. After some preliminary remarks on the interpretation of natural language, a formal semantics for the theory is first (...) provided, along with an intended interpretation of its key metaphysical imports. Follow some commentaries on the spatiotemporal manifold and determinable properties. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of semantic universals with a particular focus on the limits of cross-linguistic variation in the semantics of lexical expressions. I argue that the variation observed in the semantics of adverbial quantifiers in the quantification at a distance (QAD) construction (e.g. J'ai beaucoup lu de livres) between Standard European French and Québec French constitutes an important argument for the existence of polyadicity as a lexical property in natural language. Specifically, I propose that QAD sentences in (...) the European dialect involve an unreducible binary quantifier over 〈event, object〉 pairs and that the same construction in the Canadian dialect involves a unary quantifier over individuals. I argue that the construction has the same syntax in both dialects, and therefore, the variation in the type of quantification should be attributed to variation in the lexical semantics of the adverbial quantifiers of the language. (shrink)
This influence of accent has been taken as evidence that adverbial quantification is focus sensitive (cf. Rooth (1985)) or presupposition sensitive (cf. von Fintel (1994), Rooth (1995)). I will discuss a problem that has been identified by von Fintel and Rooth, the requantifiation problem. Roughly stated, standard accounts of indefinites as NPs that introduce new discourse referents are at odds with standard accounts of the focus sensitivity or presupposition sensitivity of (1), which force us to assume that indefinites may (...) pick up existing discourse referents and “requantify” over them. I will argue for a special class of indefinites that pick up existing discourse referents, which I will call non-novel indefinites, to explain the nature.. (shrink)
This study represents an elaboration and revision of König's (1977) account of the synchronic interrelations among three senses of the English adverbial still. These senses at issue are those in which still serves as a marker of a state's continuation to a temporal reference point, as a concessive particle, and as an indicator of marginal membership within a graded category. I argue here that the three semanrically and grammatically distinct senses can be reconciled by the modern speaker, the lexeme (...) still has an abstract meaning compatible with three types of scalar models. In each of these models, still denotes the existence of effectively identical elements at two contiguous scalar loci. Still-bearing sentences code the existence of an element at the more advanced of these loci, licensing the inference (via lexical presupposition or scalar entailment) that a like element can be found at (at least) one scalar point located closer to the origin of the scale. The three scalar models are ontologically distinct: the scalar loci in question may be time points, worlds, or simply rankings within a property scale. The elements ordered may be eventualities or entities. With respect to its role in discourse, still functions as a scalar operator in the sense of Kay (1990): it serves to relate two propositions within a scalar model. The sense network described here, if it can be regarded as a plausible speaker generalization, provides evidence for the existence of an abstract conception of persistence, i. e. one not restricted to the temporal domain. Persistence can be defined for scales and via scalar inference in general. (shrink)
This paper gives an analysis of the adverbial quantifiers exemplified in “I regretted it every time I had dinner with him.” Sentences of this kind display what I call a ‘matching effect’; they are true if every event in the denotation oftime I had dinner with him can be matched with an event regretting that dinner event. They are thus truth-conditionally equivalent to sentences of the form “There are at least as many As as Bs.” The difficulties of giving (...) a compositional interpretation to sentences of this form have been discussed in, e.g., Boolos 1981. I first show that the matching effect is semantic and not pragmatic. I then give an analysis of these sentences in a neo-Davidsonian framework, interpreting the adverbials as quantifiers over events. Syntactically they are analyzed as objects of a null preposition. This allows a simple compositional semantic interpretation in which the null preposition is interpreted exactly as other prepositions are by Davidson (1967), namely as denoting a function from the event argument of the matrix verb to the prepositional object. The matching effect then follows automatically. I extend the analysis to account for other sentences which directly instantiate the schema “For every A there is a B” and its equivalents, and show how the matching effect follows in general from the functional nature of thematic roles and prepositions. (shrink)
This is the first book to approach depictive secondary predication - a hot topic in syntax and semantics research - from a crosslinguistic perspective. It maps out all the relevant phenomena and brings together critical surveys and new contributions on their morphosyntactic and semantic properties.
It commonly occurs that one person sees a particular colour chip B as saturated blue with no admixture of red or green (i.e., as “uniquely blue”), while another sees it as a somewhat greenish blue. Such a difference is often accompanied by agreement with respect to colour matching – the two persons may mostly agree when asked whether two chips are of the same colour, and this may be so across the whole range of colours. Asked whether B is the (...) same or different from other chips, they mostly agree – though they continue to disagree about whether B is uniquely blue. I shall argue that in such cases neither individual misperceives what colour B is. They differ, rather, in how they perceive the colour of B. (shrink)
In the last two decades, Davidson’s event-argument hypothesis has become very popular in natural language semantics. This article questions that event-based analyses actually add something to our understanding of the respective phenomena: I argue that they already find their explanation in independently motivated grammatical assumptions and principles which apply to all kinds of modification. Apart from a short discussion of Davidson’s original arguments in favour of his hypothesis, I address Larson’s event-based account of the distinctions between stage-level vs. individual-level modification (...) and adverbial vs. adjectival modification in the nominal domain. I argue that his analysis of the former reduces straightforwardly to the grammatical structure of the nominal phase. As for the latter, I provide reasons which motivate a re-description of the phenomenon in terms of sensitivity to descriptive content rather than events. I argue that, so described, the phenomenon can be explained in terms of interface conditions, given a phasal architecture of grammar. (shrink)
A relatively detailed review (~ 4000 words) of Christopher Mole's (2010) book "Attention is Cognitive Unison". I suggest that Mole makes a good case against many types of reductivist accounts of attention, using the right kind of methodology. Yet, I argue that his adverbialist theory is not the best articulation of the crucial anti-reductivist insight. The distinction between adverbial and process-first phenomena he draws remains unclear, anti-reductivist process theories can escapte his arguments, and finally I provide an argument for (...) why no personal level adverbialism can provide a complete and unified theory of attention. Despite my disagreements, I have learned a lot from engaging with Mole's book. It's a central contribution to the new philosophical literature on attention. (shrink)
The notion of existence is a very puzzling one philosophically. Often philosophers have appealed to linguistic properties of sentences stating existence. However, the appeal to linguistic intuitions has generally not been systematic and without serious regard of relevant issues in linguistic semantics. This paper has two aims. On the one hand, it will look at statements of existence from a systematic linguistic point of view, in order to try to clarify what the actual semantics of such statements in fact is. (...) On the other hand, it will explore what sort of ontology such statements reflect. The first aim is one of linguistic semantics; the second aim is one of descriptive metaphysics. Philosophically, existence statements appear to reflect the distinction between endurance and perdurance as well as particular notions of abstract states and of kinds. Linguistically, statements of existence involve a particular way of drawing the distinction between eventive and stative verbs and between individual-level and stage-level predicates as well as a particular approach to the semantics of bare plurals and mass nouns. (shrink)
Does 'Person P tried to A' entail that there is some particular, whether a mental act or a brain state or whatever, that is a trying? Most discussions of trying assume that this entailment holds. There is no good reason for holding that this is a valid inference. In particular, I examine one 'Davidsonian' argument that might be used to justify the validity of such an inference and argue that the argument is not sound. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/IxsuPqt7rvdzqMxpFiTv/full.
This paper investigates the semantics of adverbials like ‘page by page’ and ‘stone upon stone’. An analysis is developed in which sentences containing such adverbials have a pluractional semantics; that is, pluralization affects simultaneously the event- and the individual-argument slot of a predicate. Sternefeld's (1998) system of plural operators is used and extended for this purpose. The adverbial constrains the relation that is pluralized and makes visible a higher plural operator. In the case of ‘page by page’-type adverbials, this (...) is a fairly standard operator that leads to a simple divisional interpretation. In the case of ‘stone upon stone’-type adverbials, the operator has a stronger semantics that leads to a sequence interpretation. The generality of our theory permits straightforward extension to data like ‘she ran and ran’ and ‘she climbed higher and higher’, among others. Finally we propose that inclusive alternative ordering reciprocals (Dalrymple et al. 1998) have a pluractional sequence interpretation as well. (shrink)
In der Geschichte der Philosophie finden wir viele Intentionalitätstheorien, die spezielle Gegenstände zur Erklärung des Intentionalitätsphänomens einführen. Solche Theorien wurden in erster Linie von Philosophen eingeführt, die durch Franz Brentano beeinflusst waren. Gegenstände, um die es hier geht, werden üblicherweise intentionale Gegenstände genannt. Eine Theorie der intentionalen Gegenstände, die vom ontologischen Standpunkt aus betrachtet besonders detailliert ausgearbeitet ist, hat Roman Ingarden formuliert. Auch Ingardens Theorie ist daher Gegenstand einer oft geäußerten Kritik. Man behauptet, dass alles, was intentionale Gegenstände leisten, auch (...) in einer ontologisch sparsameren Weise zu erreichen ist. Wir werden allerdings zeigen, dass diese Behauptung unbegründet ist. Die Einführung intentionaler Gegenstände hat ihre guten Gründe und es ist unklar, ob eine ontologisch sparsamere Variante überhaupt funktionieren kann. Die adverbiale Theorie, die oft als ein Gegenkandidat vorgeschlagen wird, stößt jedenfalls auf große Schwierigkeiten. Was die Ingardensche Version der Theorie betrifft, so erweist sie sich als eine etwas kuriose Mischform der Theorie der intentionalen Gegenstände und der adverbialen Theorie. Wir werden sehen, dass der adverbiale Teil aus dieser Theorie am besten entfernt werden soll. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a novel interval-based approach to some well-known semantic puzzles related to aspect shift, in particular, to the interaction of for-adverbials with accomplishment and achievement verbs that take indefinite, bare plural, and mass noun complements. My approach is based on the insight that implicit frequentative aspect plays a central role in this interaction, a fact that was largely ignored in previous analyses. Specifically, I interpret frequentative aspect as an abstract verb-level pluractional operator that brings about aspect (...) shift and that is responsible for the distribution of subevent times and subevent participants over the event time of an atelic sentence. What Zucchi and White (2001) call "the aspectual effect of frequency adverbs" thus becomes the general rule for all frequentatively understood for-adverbial sentences. Linguistic support for silent verb-level frequentativity in English is drawn from overt frequentative aspect marking in West Greenlandic verbs. (shrink)
This paper presents a diagnostic for identifying distributive constructions and shows that it applies to pseudopartitives and for -adverbials. On this basis, a unified account is proposed for the parallels between the constructions involved. This account explains why for -adverbials reject telic predicates (*run to the store for five hours), why pseudopartitives reject count nouns (*five pounds of book ), and why both reject certain measure functions like temperature and speed (*30 of water, *drive for 5 mph). These restrictions all (...) follow from a general constraint on distributive constructions. Related concepts such as the D operator (Link, 1987), the subinterval property (Bennett and Partee, 1972), and divisive reference (Cheng, 1973) can be understood as formalizing special cases of this constraint. (shrink)
Vague temporal adverbials like soon, recent, just, which are used to locate situations in time, do not set clear boundaries to the time-interval between the reference-point (usually the moment of speech) and the time at which the situation referred to occurs. In the context of particular sentences these vague adverbials receive an interpretation that restricts the length of the time-interval to a more limited range of values (of. John has just smoked a cigaret and John has just married). In two (...) experiments the contextual interpretation of vague temporal adverbials was investigated by means of quantification judgments whereby subjects had to provide numerical estimates for the time-interval. The frequency and the duration of everyday human acts expressed by the verbal phrases of sentences were systematically varied and were shown to have an effect on the assumed length of the time-interval. Larger estimates were obtained when adverbials were combined with verbal phrases that expressed infrequent acts and acts with longer duration. In a final section some theoretical implications of the experimental results are presented. (shrink)
Property dualism is enjoying a slight resurgence in popularity, these days; substance dualism, not so much. But it is not as easy as one might think to be a property dualist and a substance materialist. The reasons for being a property dualist support the idea that some phenomenal properties (or qualia) are as fundamental as the most basic physical properties; but what material objects could be the bearers of the qualia? If even some qualia require an adverbial construal (if (...) they are modifications of the thing that is conscious because of them, not properties of something else to which the subject of consciousness is related), then the property dualist can be driven to speculative forms of materialism none of which, at this point, looks more likely to be true than the more modest versions of emergent dualism defended by contemporary substance dualists. (shrink)
Like their contemporary counterparts, early modern philosophers find themselves in a predicament. On one hand, there are strong reasons to deny that sensations are representations. For there seems to be nothing in the world for them to represent. On the other hand, some sensory representations seem to be required for us to experience bodies. How else could one perceive the boundaries of a body, except by means of different shadings of color? -/- I argue that Nicolas Malebranche offers an extreme (...) – and ultimately unworkable – attempt to solve this riddle. Most commentators claim that Malebranche defends an adverbial theory of sensation, according to which a sensation is merely a way in which an act of sensing happens. The adverbial reading is wrong, or so I argue. Once we arrive at a more accurate reading, we shall see that his position is much more strange than is currently thought. -/- Nevertheless, Malebranche’s view is similar to the adverbial theory in one respect, albeit it at a very high level of generality. His view thus inherits two of the main problems that afflict adverbial theories. Although Malebranche fails to solve them, his ingenious attempts to do so are instructive. (shrink)
How come we can represent Bigfoot even though Bigfoot does not exist, given that representing something involves bearing a relation to it and we cannot bear relations to what does not exist?This is the problem of intentional inexistence. This paper develops a two-step solution to this problem, involving (first) an adverbial account of conscious representation, or phenomenal inten- tionality, and (second) the thesis that all representation derives from conscious representation (all intentionality derives from phenomenal intentionality). The solution is correspondingly (...) two-part: we can consciously represent Bigfoot because consciously representing Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather instantiating a certain non-relational (“adverbial”) property of representing Bigfoot-wise; and we can non-consciously represent Bigfoot because non-consciously representing Bigfoot does not involve bearing a relation to Bigfoot, but rather bearing a relation to conscious representations of Bigfoot. (shrink)
This paper examines some of the central arguments of John McDowell's Mind and World, particularly his treatment of the Kantian themes of the spontaneity of thought and of the nature of self-consciousness. It is argued that in so far as McDowell departs from Kant, his position becomes less plausible in three respects. First, the space of reason is identified with the space of responsible and critical freedom in a way that runs together issues about synthesis below the level of concepts (...) and at the level of complete judgements. This leads to the unwarranted exclusion of animal minds from the space of reasons. Second, McDowell draws no essential distinction between apperception and inner sense, a distinction which is important to a defensible Kantian view and to the very idea of a sui generis transcendental knowledge of the mind that is consistent with Kant's critical principles. McDowell does not take into account some of Kant's developed arguments about the inherently reflective nature of consciousness which is interpreted as an adverbial theory of the nature of conscious experience, a mode of being in a mental state (so neither an intrinsic nor extrinsic property of it). Third, McDowell endorses a standard treatment of Kant's approach to the mind in which a merely formal account of mind needs to be anchored outside consciousness on the physical body. The arguments for this conclusion, both in Mind and World and in related work by Bermudez and Hurley, is shown to be very inconclusive as a criticism of Kant. The capacity to self-ascribe thoughts that are already conscious shows, but does not say, a truth about the unity of our conscious experience that does not require further anchoring on a physical body; at that stage of the Critique Kant is describing conditions for conscious experience in general, not the conscious experience of spatio-temporally located makers of judgements. The alleged lacuna in Kant's arguments is no lacuna at all. (shrink)