Little is known about the harmonic theorist Archestratus (probably early 3rd century BC). Our only substantial information comes from Porphyry, who quotes a brief comment by a certain Didymus on his epistemological stance, and seeks to justify it through reflection on a rather startling technical doctrine which Archestratus propounded; and from Philodemus, who comments scathingly on his view of the relation between harmonic theory and philosophy. Neither passage is easy to interpret; this paper tries to make sense of them, and (...) to set them in an intelligible relation to one another. It argues that the doctrine recorded by Porphyry becomes comprehensible when it is placed against the background of Aristoxenus' work in harmonics, and it discusses Porphyry's inferences about the way in which his epistemological position diverged from that of Aristoxenus. It argues that Philodemus' report gives evidence of Archestratus' interest in issues of central concern to philosophy and in particular of an engagement with Aristotelian thought; it tries to identify some specific questions which attracted his attention, and to explain how he seems to have answered them, and why. It suggests that the two reports can be brought together as elements in a single, though fragmentary picture, and finally that Archestratus can be assigned an interesting though minor role in the history of Peripatetic philosophy and science. (shrink)
Why ever assert clarity? If It is clear that p is true, then saying so should be at best superfluous. Barker and Taranto (2003) and Taranto (2006) suggest that asserting clarity reveals information about the beliefs of the discourse participants, specifically, that they both believe that p . However, mutual belief is not sufficient to guarantee clarity ( It is clear that God exists ). I propose instead that It is clear that p means instead (roughly) 'the publicly available (...) evidence justifies concluding that p '. Then what asserting clarity reveals is information concerning the prevailing epistemic standard that determines whether a body of evidence is sufficient to justify a claim. If so, the semantics of clarity constitutes a grammatical window into the discourse dynamics of inference and skepticism. (shrink)
We present a general theory of scope and binding in which both crossover and superiority violations are ruled out by one key assumption: that natural language expressions are normally evaluated (processed) from left to right. Our theory is an extension of Shan’s (2002) account of multiple-wh questions, combining continuations (Barker, 2002) and dynamic type-shifting. Like other continuation-based analyses, but unlike most other treatments of crossover or superiority, our analysis is directly compositional (in the sense of, e.g., Jacobson, 1999). In (...) particular, it does not postulate a level of Logical Form or any other representation distinct from surface syntax. One advantage of using continuations is that they are the standard tool for modeling order-of-evaluation in programming languages. This provides us with a natural and independently motivated characterization of what it means to evaluate expressions from left to right. We give a combinatory categorial grammar that models the syntax and the semantics of quantifier scope and wh-question formation. It allows quantificational binding but not crossover, in-situ wh but not superiority violations. In addition, the analysis automatically accounts for a variety of sentence types involving binding in the presence of pied piping, including reconstruction cases such as Whose criticism of hisi mother did each personi resent? (shrink)
Barker, Ken One of the lasting fruits of the wide-spread experience of the renewal in the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council has been the surprising emergence of new expressions of consecrated life. The Missionaries of God's Love (MGL) is an Australian example of this renaissance. Founded in Canberra in 1986 as a small fraternity of young men around a priest, the MGL brothers have now grown to more than twenty in final vows and more than thirty in (...) formation. The MGL sisters, founded in Canberra in 1987, possess the same charism, but with a separate identity and expression. They currently have six in final vows and fifteen members. To understand the new ecclesial energy that has generated this resurgence of desire for consecrated life, it is necessary to examine the ecclesial context in which the Missionaries of God's Love was born. Three main movements of the Spirit have provided this new ecclesial environment, which has proved conducive to the birth of a new way of consecrated life. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to Jacquette’s criticisms, in (Jacquette, 2008), of my (Barker, 2008). In so doing, I argue that the Liar paradox is in fact a problem about the disquotational schema, and that nothing in Jacquette’s paper undermines this diagnosis.
Whom a prime minister or president will not shake hands with is still more noticed than with whom they will. Public identity can afford to be ambiguous about friends, but not about enemies. Rodney Barker examines the available accounts of how enmity functions in the cultivation of identity, how essential or avoidable it is, and what the consequences are for the contemporary world.
This paper analyzes sluicing as anaphora to an anti-constituent (a continuation), that is, to the semantic remnant of a clause from which a subconstituent has been removed. For instance, in Mary said that [John saw someone yesterday], but she didn’t say who, the antecedent clause is John saw someone yesterday, the subconstituent targeted for removal is someone, and the ellipsis site following who is anaphoric to the scope remnant John saw ___ yesterday. I provide a compositional syntax and semantics on (...) which the relationship between the targeted subconstituent and the rest of the antecedent clause is one of scopability, not movement or binding. This correctly predicts that sluicing should be sensitive to scope islands, but not to syntactic islands. Unlike the currently dominant approaches to sluicing, there is no need to posit syntactic structure internal to the ellipsis site, nor is there any need for a semantic mutual-entailment requirement. Nevertheless, the fragment handles phenomena usually taken to suggest a close syntactic correspondence between the antecedent and the sluice, including case matching, voice matching, and verbal argument structure matching. In addition, the analysis handles phenomena exhibiting antecedent/sluice mismatches, including examples such as John remembers meeting someone, but he doesn’t remember who, , and especially so-called sprouting examples such as John left, but I don’t know when, in which there is no overt subconstituent to target for removal. In Sect. 5, I show how the analysis accounts for Andrews Amalgams such as Sally ate [I don’t know what] today, in which the antecedent surrounds the sluiced clause. Finally, in Sect. 6, I propose a new semantic constraint on sluicing: the Answer Ban, which says that the antecedent clause must not resolve, or even partially resolve, the issue raised by the sluiced interrogative. (shrink)
If we seek to analyse causation in terms of counterfactual conditionals then we must assume that there is a class of counterfactuals whose members (i) are all and only those we need to support our judgements of causation, (ii) have truth-conditions specifiable without any irreducible appeal to causation. I argue that (i) and (ii) are unlikely to be met by any counterfactual analysis of causation. I demonstrate this by isolating a class of counterfactuals called non-projective counterfactuals, or NP-counterfactuals, and indicate (...) how counterfactual analyses of causation must appeal to them to account for the correct causal judgements we make. I show that the truth-conditions of NP-counterfactuals are specifiable only by irreducible appeal to causation. A dilemma then holds: if counterfactual analyses of causation eschew appeal to NP-counterfactuals they are empirically inadequate, but if they appeal to NP-counterfactuals they are circular and thus conceptually inadequate. (shrink)
: This paper continues my application of theories of concepts developed in cognitive psychology to clarify issues in Kuhn's mature account of scientific change. I argue that incommensurability is typically neither global nor total, and that the corresponding form of scientific change occurs incrementally. Incommensurability can now be seen as a local phenomenon restricted to particular points in a conceptual framework represented by a set of nodes. The unaffected parts in the framework constitute the basis for continued communication between the (...) communities supporting alternative structures. The importance of a node is a measure of the severity of incommensurability introduced by replacing it. Such replacements occur incrementally so that changes like that from the conceptual structure of Aristotelian celestial physics to the conceptual structure of Newtonian celestial physics occur in small stages over time, and for each change it is in principle possible to identify the arguments and evidence that led historical actors to make the revisions. Thus the process of scientific change is a rational one, even when its beginning and end points are incommensurable conceptual structures. It is also apparent, from a detailed examination of the conceptual structure of astronomy at the time of Copernicus, thatthe kind of conceptual difficulty identified as incommensurability may occur within a single scientific tradition as well as between two rival traditions. (shrink)
Two critiques of simple adaptationism are distinguished: anti-adaptationism and extended adaptationism. Adaptationists and anti-adaptationists share the presumption that an evolutionary explanation should identify the dominant simple cause of the evolutionary outcome to be explained. A consideration of extended-adaptationist models such as coevolution, niche construction and extended phenotypes reveals the inappropriateness of this presumption in explaining the evolution of certain important kinds of features—those that play particular roles in the regulation of organic processes, especially behavior. These biological or behavioral ‘levers’ are (...) distinctively available for adaptation and exaptation by their possessors and for co-optation by other organisms. As a result they are likely to result from a distinctive and complex type of evolutionary process that conforms neither to simple adaptationist nor to anti-adaptationist styles of explanation. Many of the human features whose evolutionary explanation is most controversial belong to this category, including the female orgasm. (shrink)
It seems to be generally accepted that (a) counterfactual conditionals are to be analysed in terms of possible worlds and inter-world relations of similarity and (b) causation is conceptually prior to counterfactuals. I argue here that both (a) and (b) are false. The argument against (a) is not a general metaphysical or epistemological one but simply that, structurally speaking, possible worlds theories are wrong: this is revealed when we try to extend them to cover the case of probabilistic counterfactuals. Indeed (...) a type of counterfactual probability exists which cannot be expressed in possible worlds terms at all. The argument against (b) emerges when we look at the form of an adequate account of both probabilistic and non-probabilistic counterfactuals. I do this by sketching and defending an approach to counterfactuals that, first, invoke a generalized notion of cause as primitive and, secondly, is algorithmic in form: counterfactuals are evaluated algorithmically in terms of other counterfactuals, without vicious circularity. Structures like possible worlds do not play a role either in general truth-conditions or in evaluation. They are simply the wrong sorts of structures. (shrink)
Emotivist, or non-descriptivist metaethical theories hold that value-statements do not function by describing special value-facts, but are the mere expressions of naturalistically describable motivational states of (valuing) agents. Non-descriptivism has typically been combined with the claim that value-statements are non-cognitive: they are not the manifestations of genuine belief states. However, all the linguistic, logical and phenomenological evidence indicates that value-statements are cognitive. Non-descriptivism then has a problem. Horgan and Timmons propose to solve it by boldly combining a non-descriptivist thesis about (...) value with the claim that value-judgements are after all cognitive. Although possessing many attractive features, I argue that their framework fails to deliver the promised results; it suffers from a certain internal incoherence about the concept of content and mis-characterizes the descriptive/non-descriptive content distinction required by nondescriptivism. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the pattern of conceptual change during scientific revolutions by using methods from cognitive psychology. We show that the changes characteristic of scientific revolutions, especially taxonomic changes, can occur in a continuous manner. Using the frame model of concept representation to capture structural relations within concepts and the direct links between concept and taxonomy, we develop an account of conceptual change in science that more adequately reflects the current understanding that episodes like the Copernican revolution are (...) not always abrupt. When concepts are represented by frames, the transformation from one taxonomy to another can be achieved in a piecemeal fashion not preconditioned by a crisis stage, and a new taxonomy can arise naturally out of the old frame instead of emerging separately from the existing conceptual system. This cognitive mechanism of continuous change demonstrates the constructive roles of anomaly and incommensurability in promoting the progress of science. (shrink)