In this article I try to elucidate the concept of human dignity by taking a closer look at the features of a paradigmatic torture situation. After identifying the salient aspects of torture, I discuss various accounts for the moral wrongness of such acts and argue that what makes torture a violation of human dignity is the perverted moral relationship between torturer and victim. This idea is subsequently being substantiated and defended against important objections. In the final part of the chapter (...) I give a (qualified) defense of the methodology employed in the previous sections. (shrink)
Quotation exhibits characteristics of both use and mention. I argue against the recently popular pragmatic reductions of quotation to mere language use (Recanati 2001), and in favor of a truly hybrid account synthesizing and extending Potts (2007) and Geurts and Maier (2005), using a mention logic and a dynamic semantics with presupposition to establish a context-driven meaning shift. The main advantages are an account of error neutralization and shifted indexicality under quotation. The current paper addresses the problematic data involving (...) quoted non-constituents. (shrink)
The nature of motion -- Causes, forces, and resistance -- The concept of the function in fourteenth-century physics -- The significance of the theory of impetus for Scholastic natural philosophy -- Galileo and the Scholastic theory of impetus -- The theory of the elements and the problem of their participation in compounds -- The achievements of late Scholastic natural philosophy.
Whether meaning is compositional has been a major issue in linguistics and formal philosophy of language for the last 2 decades. Semantic holism is widely and plausibly considered as an objection to the principle of semantic compositionality therein. It comes as a surprise that the holistic peculiarities of scientific language have been rarely addressed in formal accounts so far, given that semantic holism has its roots in the philosophy of science. For this reason, a model-theoretic approach to semantic holism in (...) the language of science is presented here. This approach preserves compositionality to a large extent. *Received September 2009; revised February 2010. †To contact the author, please write to: Seminar for Philosophy, Logic, and Theory of Science, Hauspostfach 49, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich 80539, Germany; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
Quotation exhibits characteristics of both use and mention. I argue against the recently popular pragmatic reductions of quotation to mere language use (e.g. Recanati 2001), and in favor of a truly hybrid account synthesizing and extending Potts (2007) and Geurts & Maier (2005), using a mention logic and a dynamic semantics with presupposition to establish a context-driven meaning shift. The current paper explores a `quotebreaking' extension to solve the problems posed by non-constituent quotation, and anaphora, ellipsis and quantifier raising (...) across quotation marks. (shrink)
This article describes and refines an experiential distinction which has been highlighted by neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), perceptual positions. When you are imagining a past or future scene, you may perceive it (usually pre-reflectively) from three different viewpoints or perceptual positions. If you are looking at the world from your own point of view, through your own eyes, you are in the first perceptual position. If you are looking at the scene through another person's eyes, appreciating the other person's point of (...) view, you are in the second position. If you are seeing the world from an outside point of view, as an independent observer, you are in the third position. NLP highlighted the fact that our feelings change dramatically according to the perceptual position we adopt. Through a concrete example, Connirae Andreas shows that this distinction does not only concern visual perceptions, but also auditory and kinaesthetic perceptions. She also shows that our visual, auditory and kinaesthetic perceptions may be split in different perceptual positions at the same time, and that this misalignment may cause difficulties. Learning to 'align' our perceptual positions brings us greater wholeness, enables us to become more integrated. (shrink)
In the accounts we give of one another, claims about our abilities appear to be indispensable. Some abilities are so widespread that many who have them take them for granted, such as the ability to walk, or to write one's name, or to tell a hawk from a handsaw. Others are comparatively rare and notable, such as the ability to hit a Major League fastball, or to compose a symphony, or to tell an elm from a beech. In either case, (...) however, when we ascribe such abilities to one another we have the impression that we are making claims that, whether they are worth saying or not, are at least sometimes true. The impression of truth exerts a pressure towards giving a philosophical theory of ability. It is not an option, at least at the outset, to dismiss all our talk of ability as fiction or outright falsehood. A theory of ability can be reasonably expected to say what it is to have an ability in a way that vindicates the appearance of truth. Such a theory will deserve the name “philosophical” insofar as it gives an account, not of this or that range of abilities, but of abilities generally. (shrink)
This paper deals with the semantics of de dicto , de re and de se belief reports. First, I flesh out in some detail the established, classical theories that assume syntactic distinctions between all three types of reports. I then propose a new, unified analysis, based on two ideas discarded by the classical theory. These are: (i) modeling the de re/de dicto distinction as a difference in scope, and (ii) analyzing de se as merely a special case of relational de (...) re attitudes. The resurrection of these ideas takes place in a dynamic setting. My formalization of the first idea involves a modification of the presupposition-as-anaphora resolution algorithm for DRT. The second involves treating acquaintance relations as second-order presuppositions, to be bound in the context by means of higher-order unification, or accommodated if necessary. The resulting framework requires no syntactic distinctions between different modes of attitude, with the exception of a specific subclass of de se reports characterized by special ‘ de se pronouns’ (i.e. PRO and logophors). These special pronouns are handled in syntax; everything alse is passed on to the pragmatic resolution module as it appears on the surface. The more sophisticated contextual resolution process nonetheless ensures adequate output truth conditions for a variety of classical and novel puzzles. In particular, I compare the new pragmasemantic system to the classical, syntactic analysis with respect to iterated and quantified reports, and monstrously shifted indexicals. (shrink)
I provide a novel semantic analysis of proper names and indexicals, combining insights from the competing traditions of referentialism, championed by Kripke and Kaplan, and descriptivism, introduced by Frege and Russell, and more recently resurrected by Geurts and Elbourne, among others. From the referentialist tradition, I borrow the proof that names and indexicals are not synonymous to any definite description but pick their referent from the context directly. From the descriptivist tradition, I take the observation that names, and to some (...) extent indexicals, have uses that are best understood by analogy with anaphora and definite descriptions, that is, following Geurts, in terms of presupposition projection. The hybrid analysis that I propose is couched in Layered Discourse Representation Theory. Proper names and indexicals trigger presuppositions in a dedicated layer, which is semantically interpreted as providing a contextual anchor for the interpretation of the other layers. For the proper resolution of DRSs with layered presuppositions, I add two constraints to van der Sandt's algorithm. The resulting proposal accounts for both the classic philosophical examples and the new linguistic data, preserving a unified account of the preferred rigid interpretation of both names and indexicals, while leaving room for non-referential readings under contextual pressure. (shrink)
It appears that in mixed quotations like the following, the quoted expression is used and mentioned at the same time: (1) George says Tony is his ``bestest friend''. Most theories seek to account for this observation by assuming that mixed quotations operate at two levels of content at once. In contradistinction to such two-dimensional theories, we propose that quotation involves just a single level of content. Quotation always produces a change in meaning of the quoted expression, and if the quotation (...) is mixed the shift is, to a first approximation at least, from '...' to ``what x calls '...''', where x is a variable whose value is determined by the context. We argue that quotation is generally context dependent in various ways, and that some of these ways are presuppositional in nature; we present a detailed analysis of the presuppositions in question. (shrink)
The concept of measurement is fundamental to a whole range of different disciplines, including not only the natural and engineering sciences, but also laboratory medicine and certain branches of the social sciences. This being the case, the concept of measurement has a particular relevance to the development of top-level ontologies in the area of knowledge engineering. For this reason, the present paper is concerned with ontological aspects of measurement. We are searching for a list of concepts that are apt to (...) characterize measurement methods in a general manner. To establish such means of characterization, we will primarily deal with the semantics of measurement values. (shrink)
Correspondence should be addressed to David A. Leopold email@example.comDuring the viewing of certain patterns, widely known as ambiguous or puzzle figures, perception lapses into a sequence of spontaneous alternations, switching every few seconds between two or more visual interpretations of the stimulus. Although their nature and origin remain topics of debate, these stochastic switches are generally thought to be the automatic and inevitable consequence of viewing a pattern without a unique solution. We report here that in humans such perceptual alternations (...) can be slowed, and even brought to a standstill, if the visual stimulus is periodically removed from view. We also show, with a visual illusion, that this stabilizing effect hinges on perceptual disappearance rather than on actual removal of the stimulus. These findings indicate that uninterrupted subjective perception of an ambiguous pattern is required for the initiation of the brain-state changes underlying multistable vision.Visual perception involves coordination between sensory sampling of the world and active interpretation of the sensory data. Human perception of objects and scenes is normally stable and robust, but it falters when one is presented with patterns that are inherently ambiguous or contradictory. Under such conditions, vision lapses into a chain of continually alternating percepts, whereby a viable visual interpretation dominates for a few seconds and is then replaced by a rival interpretation. This multistable vision, or 'multistability', is thought to result from destabilization of fundamental visual mechanisms, and has offered valuable insights into how sensory patterns are actively organized and interpreted in the brain1, 2. Despite a great deal of recent research and interest in multistable perception, however, its neurophysiological underpinnings remain poorly understood. Physiological studies have suggested that disambiguation of ambiguous patterns. (shrink)
The information conveyed by any utterance is a motley ensemble. Utterances carry content about the world as it is according to the speaker, but also about speakers’ attitudes, the way they speak, what has been said before, and so on. There are many kinds of information that are conveyed by way of language, and diﬀerences in kind correlate with diﬀerences in status. Presupposed information exhibits a distinctive projection behaviour; conversational implicatures are cancellable in a way that asserted information is not; (...) a pronoun’s gender may help to determine a referent, but is otherwise truth-conditionally inert; and so on. (shrink)
In this paper, a new account of empirical claims in structuralism is developed. Its novelty derives from the use that is made of the linguistic approach to scientific theories despite the presumed incompatibility of structuralism with that approach. It is shown how the linguistic approach can be applied to the framework of structuralism if the semantic foundations of that approach are refined to do justice to the doctrine of indirect interpretation of theoretical terms. This doctrine goes back to Carnap but (...) has been advanced until the present day without a proper semantic explanation. (shrink)
A number of philosophical projects require a proper understanding of the modal aspects of agency, or of what I call ‘the agentive modalities.’ I propose a general account of the agentive modalities, one which takes as its primitive the decision-theoretic notion of an option. I relate this account to the standard semantics for ‘can’ and to the viability of some positions in the free will debates.
The human self model comprises essential features such as the experiences of ownership, of body-centered spatial perspectivity, and of a long-term unity of beliefs and attitudes. In the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, it is suggested that clinical subsyndromes like cognitive disorganization and derealization syndromes reflect disorders of this self model. These features are neurobiologically instantiated as an episodically active complex neural activation pattern and can be mapped to the brain, given adequate operationalizations of self model features. In its unique capability of (...) integrating external and internal data, the prefrontal cortex (PFC) appears to be an essential component of the neuronal implementation of the self model. With close connections to other unimodal association cortices and to the limbic system, the PFC provides an internally represented world model and internal milieu data of the organism, both serving world orientation. In the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, it is the dysfunction of the PFC that is suggested to be the neural correlate for the different clinical schizophrenic subsyndromes. The pathophysiological study of psychiatric disorders may contribute to the theoretical debate on the neuronal basis of the self model. (shrink)
Mixed quotation exhibits characteristics of both mention and use. Some even go so far as to claim it can be described wholly in terms of the pragmatics of language use. Thus, it may be argued that the observed shifting of indexicals under all quotation shows that a monstrous operator is involved. I will argue the opposite: a proper semantic account of quotation can be used to exorcize Schlenker's monsters from semantic theory.
In this paper, a solution to the problem of theoretical terms is developed that is based on Carnap’s doctrine of indirect interpretation of theoretical terms. This doctrine will be given a semantic, model-theoretic explanation that is not given by Carnap himself as he remains content with a syntactic explanation. From that semantic explanation, rules for the truth-value assignment to postulates, i.e. sentences that determine the meaning of theoretical terms, are derived. The logical status of postulates will be clarified thereby in (...) such a way that the problem of theoretical terms disappears. (shrink)
The concept of the "unlevel playing field" is critiqued for its tendency to take the prevailing masculinist managerial paradigm for granted. Rather than assume that both men and women should assimilate to corporate masculinity, feminist alternatives are suggested. The pervasiveness of the masculine ethic and the "myth of meritocracy" in organizations are reviewed, with the space shuttle Challenger disaster serving as a focal point to demonstrate the dysfunctionality of masculine management and the rationale for feminist-based organizational transformation to promote not (...) only gender equity, but more effective and ethical organizational behavior. (shrink)
Background: Continuous viewing of ambiguous patterns is characterized by wavering perception that alternates between two or more equally valid visual solutions. However, when such patterns are viewed intermittently, either by repetitive presentation or by periodic closing of the eyes, perception can become locked or "frozen" in one configuration for several minutes at a time. One aspect of this stabilization is the possible existence of a perceptual memory that persists during periods in which the ambiguous stimulus is absent. Here, we use (...) a novel paradgim of temporally interleaved ambiguous stimuli to explore the nature of this memory, with particular regard to its potential impact on perceptual organization. Results: We found that the persistence of a perceptual configuration was robust to interposed visual patterns and, further, that at least three ambiguous patterns, when interleaved in time, could undergo parallel, stable time courses. Then, using an interleaved presentation paradigm, we established that the occasional reversal in one pattern could be coupled with that of its interleaved counterpart, and that this coupling was a function of the structural similarity between the patterns. Conclusions: We postulate that the stabilization observed with repetitive presentation of ambiguous patterns can be at least partially accounted for by processes that retain a recent perceptual interpretation, and we speculate that such memory may be important in natural vision. We further propose tha the interleaved paradigm introduced here may be of great value to gauge aspects of stimulus similarity that appeal to particular mechanisms of perceptual organization. (shrink)
This thesis deals with the phenomenon of attitude reporting. More specifically, it provides a unified semantics of de re and de se belief reports. After arguing that de se belief is best thought of as a special case of de re belief, I examine whether we can extend this unification to the realm of belief reports. I show how, despite very promising first steps, previous attempts in this direction ultimately fail with respect to some relatively recent linguistic data involving quantified (...) and infinitival reports, logophoric constructions, and monstrously shifted indexicals. Formalizing my idea of a contextual resolution of acquaintance relations in a dynamic framework, I arrive at an alternative analysis that handles all these data. (shrink)
Shows that both anaphoricity and egocentric de se binding play a crucial role in the interpretation of tense in discourse. Uses the English backwards shifted reading of the past tense in a mistaken time scenario to bring out the tension between these two features. Provides a suitable representational framework for the observed clash in the form of an extension of DRT in which updates of the common ground are accompanied by updates of each relevant agent's complex attitudinal state.
The central characteristic of denials is that they perform a non-monotonic correction operation on discourse structure. A second characteristic is that they may be used to object to various kinds of information including presuppositions and implicatures. In this paper we first use standard DRT to capture these features, implement an earlier proposal of van der Sandt (1991) in DRT and point out a shortcoming of that approach. We then adopt Layered DRT. LDRT is an extension of standard DRT designed to (...) represent and interpret different types of information conveyed in a conversation by distributing them over separate layers of the same LDRS. We will then show how LDRT allows us to solve the problems of the classic monostratal system. The resulting system makes use of a directed reverse anaphora mechanism to locate, remove and negate the material objected to. (shrink)
We argue that contrastive statements have the same underlying semantics and affect the context in the same way as denials. We substantiate this claim by giving a unified account of the two phenomena that treats contrast as a subtype of denial. This analysis crucially requires a dynamic semantics view of context-dependence with a multi-dimensional representation of information.
Modal logic has been applied in many different areas, as reasoning about time, knowledge and belief, necessity and possibility, to mention only some examples. In the present paper, an attempt is made to use modal logic to account for the semantics of theoretical sentences in scientific language. Theoretical sentences have been studied extensively since the work of Ramsey and Carnap. The present attempt at a modal analysis is motivated by there being several intended interpretations of the theoretical terms once these (...) terms are introduced through the axioms of a theory. (shrink)
I show how, contrary to recent claims, so-called embedded imperatives are better analyzed in terms of mixed quotation. To this end I extend the presuppositional analysis of mixed quotation to include quotations of constructions.
English direct discourse is easily recognized by e.g. the lack of a complementizer, the quotation marks (or the intonational contour they induce), and verbatim (`shifted') pronouns. Japanese employs the same complementizer for all reports, does not have a consistent intonational quotation marking, and tends to drop pronouns where possible. Some have argued that this just shows many Japanese reports are ambiguous: despite the lack of explicit marking, the underlying distinction is just as hard. On the basis of a number of (...) `mixed' examples, I claim that the line between direct and indirect is blurred and I propose a unified analysis of speech reporting in which a general mechanism of mixed quotation replaces the classical two-fold distinction. (shrink)
Fixpoint semantics are provided for ambiguity blocking and propagating variants of Nute's defeasible logic. The semantics are based upon the well-founded semantics for logic programs. It is shown that the logics are sound with respect to their counterpart semantics and complete for locally finite theories. Unlike some other nonmonotonic reasoning formalisms such as Reiter's default logic, the two defeasible logics are directly skeptical and so reject floating conclusions. For defeasible theories with transitive priorities on defeasible rules, the logics are shown (...) to satisfy versions of Cut and Cautious Monotony. For theories with either conflict sets closed under strict rules or strict rules closed under transposition, a form of Consistency Preservation is shown to hold. The differences between the two logics and other variants of defeasible logic—specifically those presented by Billington, Antoniou, Governatori, and Maher—are discussed. (shrink)
On Choice of Time Metric. What criteria ought to be satisfied by those observable processes which, accompanied by a function assigning values to intervals of that processes, serve as the standard for measurement of time? In how far do the criteria which can reasonably be established admit of an unambigous definition of time metric? That are the questions to which I have addressed myself in the paper. Peter Janich has aimed at solving the problem with careful avoidance of any reference (...) to physical theory. Although this paper owes a great deal to his ‘Protophysik der Zeit’, reasons will be ad-vanced that it is in principle impossible to give a foundation of time metric without any reference to physical theory. It follows that taking results of physical theory into account is unavoidable as far as a definite decision concerning the choice of time metric is aspired. At first sight reference to law-like assertions on the duration of temporal intervals appears to be paradoxical for it means to take something which originally ought to be submitted to experimental test as the standard for measurement. Poincaré is fairly conscious of this problem, yet explicitly acknowledges that there is a mutual relationship between definition of time metric and physical theory. It will be shown that this kind of mutual relationship which even might be termed as circular does not void physical theory of empirical content. Thus in the final part I am concerned to free the position which recommends reference to physical theory from its paradoxical image in order to advance a conventionalist account as a sceptical, but nevertheless fully satisfying solution. (shrink)
In this paper we defend a rather traditional view of pronouns that is based on the fundamental opposition between reference and anaphora: local pronouns are referential, like names and other indexicals, while third person proouns are anaphoric. We argue against the grammatical classification based on the opposition between pronouns and R-expressions: all pronouns, but not names and other indexicals, are systematically ambiguous between a bound-variable and a referential reading. More specifically we aim to defuse Kratzer's recent argumentation aimed at establishing (...) that local pronouns indeed allow both referential and bound interpretations. We then present an alternative pragmasemantic analysis of Kratzer's and our own data that is fully in line with the traditional analysis of local pronouns and other indexicals as purely referential expressions. (shrink)
This commentary on coderre & katz, wiesenfeld-hallin et al., and dickenson focuses on: (a) the brain as an under-recognized contributor to pain facilitation at the spinal cord; (b) these brain-to-spinal pathways being activated by learning or by body infection/inflammation; and (c) the resultant spinal release of anti-analgesic neuropeptides, activators of the NMDA-NO cascade, and activators of glia.
In the social world, multiple sensory channels are used concurrently to facilitate communication. Among human and nonhuman pri- mates, faces and voices are the primary means of transmitting social signals (Adolphs, 2003; Ghazanfar and Santos, 2004). Primates recognize the correspondence between species-specific facial and vocal expressions (Massaro, 1998; Ghazanfar and Logothetis, 2003; Izumi and Kojima, 2004), and these visual and auditory channels can be integrated into unified percepts to enhance detection and discrimination. Where and how such communication signals are integrated (...) at the neural level are poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear what role “unimodal” sensory areas, such as the auditory cortex, may play. We recorded local field potential activity, the signal that best correlates with human imaging and event-related potential signals, in both the core and lateral belt regions of the auditory cortex in awake behaving rhesus monkeys while they viewed vocalizing conspecifics. We demonstrate unequivocally that the primate auditory cortex integrates facial and vocal signals through enhancement and suppression of field potentials in both the core and lateral belt regions. The majority of these multisensory responses were specific to face/voice integration, and the lateral belt region shows a greater frequency of multisensory integration than the core region. These multisensory processes in the auditory cortex likely occur via recip- rocal interactions with the superior temporal sulcus. (shrink)
This paper proposes a way of semantically representing de re belief ascriptions that involves contextual resolution of the acquaintance relation between the attitude holder and the object about which the attitude is de re. A special case is that where the belief is about the believer herself. Here, we may discern two possibilities: the acquaintance relation is equality, in which case we end up with a de se belief, or, if the first option fails, we search the context for a (...) different suitable relation of acquaintance between the believer and herself, like looking in a mirror or seeing yourself on TV. This second option leaves open the possibility that the believer herself is unaware of the fact that she's actually seeing herself, thereby accounting for the true reading (de re/non-de se) of ``Lain believes she will win'' in mistaken identity scenarios. To implement all this formally, I use a two-dimensionally modal extension of DRT, and second order binding and unification. (shrink)
We present a unified treatment of contrast and denial as slightly different instantiations of the same discourse schema. Both denial and contrast are analysed as involving a revision operation, what sets them apart is merely the type of information being retracted. The formal analysis requires a representational framework that separates different types of information and is therefore implemented in Layered DRT. One of our selling points is the account of the uses of rectification vs. contrastive particles (like German sondern/aber) we (...) get for free with our unification. (shrink)
Percus & Sauerland (2003) use quantified belief reports of the form 'Only Peter thinks he's...' to argue for dedicated de se LFs. The argument is targeted against any reductionist account that sees de se as merely a particular subtype of de re, viz. a de re belief about oneself from a first person perspective, requiring nothing but an account of de re attitudes. My acquaintance resolution framework is an attempt at just such a reduction and in this paper I extend (...) that theory with a projection mechanism to allow local accommodation of acquaintance relations. With this extension we can account for their data, as well as for some related data involving quantified belief reports familiar from arguments in the de se literature. Note: the embedded video of Peter's mistaken self-identity is urlhttp://ncs.ruhosting.nl/emar/dese.mpgavailable in .mpg here. (shrink)
Chierchia (1989) and others have used the contrast between George hopes that he will win and Georges hopes to win in mistaken-self-identity scenarios, to argue for dedicated de se LFs. The argument, further strengthened by evidence of shiftable indexicals, appears applicable against any reductionist account that sees de se as merely a particular subtype of de re. My Acquaintance Resolution framework is an attempt at such a reduction, and this paper seeks to extend that theory with a logical principle of (...) introspection for belief, to account for the data within a unified treatment of de re and de se. (shrink)