We contribute to the empirical debate on whether we understand and predict mental states by using simulation (simulation theory) or by relying on a folk psychological theory (theory theory). To decide between these two fundamental positions, it has been argued that failure to predict other people's choices would be challenging evidence against the simulation view. We test the specific claim that people prefer the rightmost position in choosing among equally valued objects, and whether or not this position bias can be (...) correctly predicted. A series of experiments shows that the bias appears only in a specific spatial arrangement and that it can be correctly predicted given adequate imaginative input. In concert with other recent findings on the correct prediction of choices these findings do actually strengthen, rather than challenge, the simulation account on the prediction of mental states. (shrink)
We analyse the system of ethical review of human research in the Baltic States by introducing the principle of equivalent stringency of ethical review, that is, research projects imposing equal risks and inconveniences on research participants should be subjected to equally stringent review procedures. We examine several examples of non-equivalence or asymmetry in the system of ethical review of human research: (1) the asymmetry between rather strict regulations of clinical drug trials and relatively weaker regulations of other types of clinical (...) biomedical research and (2) gaps in ethical review in the area of non-biomedical human research where some sensitive research projects are not reviewed by research ethics committees at all. We conclude that non-equivalent stringency of ethical review is at least partly linked to the differences in scope and binding character of various international legal instruments that have been shaping the system of ethical review in the Baltic States. Therefore, the Baltic example could also serve as an object lesson to other European countries which might be experiencing similar problems. (shrink)
Context: It is beyond doubt that RC has received a great deal of attention in educational studies and learning theory. But overall, the current situation seems to be rather ambivalent in view of the blurring of the various strands in constructivist discourses and the different ways of distinguishing and foregrounding constructivist positions. Correspondingly, there is a wide range of claims, from the claim that (radical) constructivism represents a mainstream endeavor to attributions of its being outdated, self-refuting or irrelevant. Purpose: The (...) paper seeks to sound out the ambivalent situation of (radical) constructivism between “all” and “nothing” by examples of attributions of meaning to constructivist positions in academic everyday life and by challenging both prevalent criticisms of systemic-constructivist pedagogy and widespread broad classifications in learning theory. Method: The article critically reflects on (1) one-sentence “destructions” of constructivist positions, (2) Pongratz’s criticism of systemic-constructivist pedagogy, and (3) the threefold classification of the world of learning, i.e., behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. Results: Both the current criticism of constructivism as a mainstream endeavor and evolutionary suggestions provided by the threefold classification are criticized. Although some constructivist concepts and distinctions are widely accepted today, often these achievements are not recognized as being rooted in constructivist discourses. Implications: As far as mainstreaming constructivism might be related to power politics, selling the “real thing,” and joining the ranks of truth-oriented Isms, it would not appear to be a desirable endeavor for those who rely on viability, circular foundations, relativist philosophy, and relationalist approaches. Nevertheless, clarifications of power relations and the interplay between constructivist analyses of politics and the politics of constructivism might contribute to overcoming the diffuse popularity of constructivist thought towards a better understanding of constructivist contributions to solution oriented, meaningful ways of dealing with urgent problems. (shrink)
Purpose: So far, the work of Josef Mitterer has not been widely recognized in philosophy of education, even though it offers many points of contact not only for epistemological and methodological questions but also for empirical and educational issues. Among these points of contact there is an outstanding sentence (see motto), which can be taken as a starting point for conceptual considerations in philosophy of education. The article takes this sentence as a hub for some corresponding investigations. Method: The article (...) seeks to make progress in these investigations through reflecting on Mitterer's sentence in ten steps, beginning with translational aspects and ending with questions of power relations and inconsistency. The arguments are made through (a) reference to concepts that are currently being discussed in philosophy of education and constructivist discourses, (b) through contrasting various conceptualizations, and (c) through discussion of selected examples. Findings: The article proposes a translation of Mitterer's sentence that may be from Mitterer. It points out several similarities with and differences to positions related to (presumed) positions of Mitterer. Furthermore, it shows innovative options for argumentations in educational philosophy on that basis. Benefits: The contribution sounds out some interfaces between Mitterer's philosophy and current debates in philosophy of education. It contributes to differentiated understandings of Mitterer's sentence and it opens up a new field of discourse. (shrink)
Excerpt: There is the difficulty in allowing for personal items when focussing on academic interests and in allowing for rational aspects when focussing on personal items for someone who has had the chance to get to know Ernst personally. At least for me the search for apposite words in English is not easy in view of the successful interplay between his philosophical ideas, his handling of everyday problems of life and his ability to cope with difficult situations. But let's give (...) it a try and look back at one of the most striking experiences we have had together. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an account of the meaning of must and can within the framework of possible worlds semantics. The paper consists of two parts: the first argues for a relative concept of modality underlying modal words like must and can in natural language. I give preliminary definitions of the meaning of these words which are formulated in terms of logical consequence and compatibility, respectively. The second part discusses one kind of insufficiency in the meaning definitions given in (...) the first part, which arise from the ex falso quodlibet paradox of logical consequence. In stepwise fashion, I make an attempt to avoid most of the consequences of this paradox for the meaning definitions of must and can. (shrink)
Situation semantics was developed as an alternative to possible worlds semantics. In situation semantics, linguistic expressions are evaluated with respect to partial, rather than complete, worlds. There is no consensus about what situations are, just as there is no consensus about what possible worlds or events are. According to some, situations are structured entities consisting of relations and individuals standing in those relations. According to others, situations are particulars. In spite of unresolved foundational issues, the partiality provided by situation semantics (...) has led to some genuinely new approaches to a variety of phenomena in natural language semantics. In the way of illustration, this article includes relatively detailed overviews of a few selected areas where situation semantics has been successful: implicit quantifier domain restrictions, donkey pronouns, and exhaustive interpretations. It moreover addresses the question of how Davidsonian event semantics can be embedded in a semantics based on situations. Other areas where a situation semantics perspective has led to progress include attitude ascriptions, questions, tense, aspect, nominalizations, implicit arguments, point of view, counterfactual conditionals, and discourse relations. (shrink)
The last section made it clear that an analysis which at first seems to fail is viable after all. It is viable if we let it depend on a partition function to be provided by the context of conversation. This analysis leaves certain traits of the partition function open. I have tried to show that this should be so. Specifying these traits as Pollock does leads to wrong predictions. And leaving them open endows counterfactuals with just the right amount of (...) variability and vagueness. (shrink)
They are expressives, too. There is a phonology. There is a syntax. There is a compositional semantics. There are interesting interactions to investigate. German, Greek, and Papago are known examples of discourse particle languages. Intonation has been said to have similar uses in other languages.
This means that, to know which conditionals are true, was considered to be just as important as to know what happens after our death. It was the conditionals which divided DIODOROS KRONOS and his pupil PHILO. Later, CHRYSIPPOS joined the quarrel and they all died without reconcilement.
What are facts, situations, or events? When Situation Semantics was born in the eighties, I objected because I could not swallow the idea that situations might be chunks of information. For me, they had to be particulars like sticks or bricks. I could not imagine otherwise. The first manuscript of “An Investigation of the Lumps of Thought” that I submitted to Linguistics and Philosophy had a footnote where I distanced myself from all those who took possible situations to be units (...) of information. In that context and at that time, this meant Jon Barwise and John Perry. (shrink)
Imperatives cannot be true or false, so they are shunned by logicians. And yet imperatives can be combined by logical connectives: "kiss me and hug me" is the conjunction of "kiss me" with "hug me". This example may suggest that declarative and imperative logic are isomorphic: just as the conjunction of two declaratives is true exactly if both conjuncts are true, the conjunction of two imperatives is satisfied exactly if both conjuncts are satisfied—what more is there to say? Much more, (...) I argue. "If you love me, kiss me", a conditional imperative, mixes a declarative antecedent ("you love me") with an imperative consequent ("kiss me"); it is satisfied if you love and kiss me, violated if you love but don't kiss me, and avoided if you don't love me. So we need a logic of three -valued imperatives which mixes declaratives with imperatives. I develop such a logic. (shrink)
The deontic modal must has two surprising properties: an assertion of must p does not permit a denial of p, and must does not take past tense complements. I first consider an explanation of these phenomena that stays within Angelika Kratzer’s semantic framework for modals, and then offer some reasons for rejecting that explanation. I then propose an alternative account, according to which simple must sentences have the force of an imperative.
Kratzer 1998 proposes that certain indefinite determiners (at least in some of their uses) might be variables for (Skolemized) choice functions that receive a value from the utterance context. What does it mean for a choice function variable to receive a value from the context of utterance? How can a context provide such a function? To sharpen intuitions, here is an example describing a custom from my home town Mindelheim. After every funeral, all the mourners gathered around the still open (...) grave say a prayer that starts with the words: “And now let us pray for the person among us who will die next.” Suppose an anthropologist attended one or more funerals in Mindelheim, and reports on what she found out in a lecture using (1), or the more general (2). (shrink)
This article discusses some of the ways in which natural language can express modal information – information which is, to a first approximation, about what could be or must be the case, as opposed to being about what actually is the case. It motivates, explains, and raises problems for Angelika Kratzer's influential theory of modal auxiliaries, and introduces a new approach to one important debate about the relationships between modality, evidentiality, context change, and imperative force.
This paper is about the semantic analysis of referentially opaque verbs like seek and owe that give rise to nonspecific readings. It is argued that Montague's categorization (based on earlier work by Quine) of opaque verbs as properties of quantifiers runs into two serious difficulties: the first problem is that it does not work with opaque verbs like resemble that resist any lexical decomposition of the seek ap try to find kind; the second one is that it wrongly predicts de (...) dicto (i.e. narrow scope) readings due to quantified noun phrases in the object positions of such verbs. It is shown that both difficulties can be overcome by an analysis of opaque verbs as operating on properties. This is a strongly modified version of a paper entitled lsquoDo We Bear Attitudes towards Quantifiers?rsquo that I have presented at conferences in Gosen (Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft), Ithaca (SALT I), and Konstanz (Lexikon). I owe a special debt to Hans Kamp and Arnim von Stechow for shaping my views on the subject of this paper during the past ten years or so. Comments from and discussions with the following friends and colleagues have also led to considerable improvements: Heinrich Beck, Steve Berman, David Dowty, Veerle van Geenhoven, Fritz Hamm, Irene Heim, Wolfgang Klein, Angelika Kratzer, Michael Morreau, Barbara Partee, Mats Rooth, Roger Schwarzschild, Wolfgang Sternefeld, Emil Weydert, Henk Zeevat, and three referees. (shrink)
This note is a reply to ‘On the Lumping Semantics of Counterfactuals’ by Makoto Kanazawa, Stefan Kaufmann and Stanley Peters. It shows first that the first triviality result obtained by Kanazawa, Kaufmann, and Peters is already ruled out by the constraints on admissible premise sets listed in Kratzer (1989). Second, and more importantly, it points out that the results obtained by Kanazawa, Kaufmann, and Peters are obsolete in view of the revised analysis of counterfactuals in Kratzer (1990, 2002).
The BPR assumes that we already know how sentences are partitioned into focused and backgrounded material, and this is quite legitimate, given the literature on the topic (see e.g. Krifka (1991), von Stechow (1991)). If the BPR was true, no more would have to be said about the meaning of focus. The behavior of whatever inferences are generated by backgrounding could be taken care of by theories dealing with the projection of presuppositions of the familiar kind, the presuppositions of definite (...) descriptions, clefts, or factives, for example. This is a non-trivial and interesting claim. (shrink)
The adjectival passive construction that is traditionally called ‘Zustandspassiv’ (‘state passive’) in German seems to have the same syntactic and semantic properties as its English cousin, except that it is easier to identify. German state or adjectival passives select the auxiliary sein (‘be’), and are therefore clearly distinguished from verbal or ‘Vorgangs’- passives (‘process passives’), which use the auxiliary werden (‘get’, ‘become’). In spite of their appearance, German state passives do not form a homogenious class, however. There are two important (...) subclasses that behave differently with respect to the adverbial immer noch (‘still’), for example2. (shrink)
Resultatives raise important questions for the syntax-semantics interface, and this is why they have occupied a prominent place in recent linguistic theorizing. What is it that makes this construction so interesting? Resultatives are submitted to a cluster of not obviously related constraints, and this fact calls out for explanation. There are tough constraints for the verb, for example.
I will assume (without explicitly argue for it here) that the verb’s external argument is not an argument of the verb root itself, but is introduced by a separate head in a neo-Davidsonian way. The content argument can be saturated by DPs denoting the kinds of things that can be believed or reported.
Both Kratzer 1981 (“Partition and Revision”) and Kratzer 1989 (“Lumps of Thought”) assume that the truth of counterfactuals depends on a parameter. The parameter provides a set of propositions that uniquely characterizes the actual world in Kratzer 1981, and a so-called “set of propositions relevant for the truth of counterfactuals” in Kratzer 1989. Both papers try to find empirical constraints for the relevant sets, but - crucially - without characterizing them uniquely. The vagueness and context-dependency of counterfactuals is assumed to (...) be in part due to the fact that the set of propositions that the truth of counterfactuals depends on is underdetermined. (shrink)
In his original semantics for counterfactuals, David Lewis presupposed that the ordering of worlds relevant to the evaluation of a counterfactual admitted no incomparability between worlds. He later came to abandon this assumption. But the approach to incomparability he endorsed makes counterintuitive predictions about a class of examples circumscribed in this paper. The same underlying problem is present in the theories of modals and conditionals developed by Bas van Fraassen, Frank Veltman, and Angelika Kratzer. I show how to reformulate (...) all these theories in terms of lower bounds on partial preorders, conceived of as maximal antichains, and I show that treating lower bounds as cutsets does strictly better at capturing our intuitions about the semantics of modals, counterfactuals, and deontic conditionals. (shrink)
This paper provides an update semantics for counterfactual conditionals. It does so by giving a dynamic twist to the ‘Premise Semantics’ for counterfactuals developed in Veltman (1976) and Kratzer (1981). It also offers an alternative solution to the problems with naive Premise Semantics discussed by Angelika Kratzer in ‘Lumps of Thought’ (Kratzer, 1989). Such an alternative is called for given the triviality results presented in Kanazawa et al. (2005, this issue).
In this article we will explore the consequences of adopting recent proposals by Chomsky, according to which the syntactic derivation proceeds in terms of phases. The notion of phase – through the associated notion of spellout – allows for an insightful theory of the fact that syntactic constituents receive default phrase stress not across the board, but as a function of yet-to-be-explicated conditions on their syntactic context. We will see that the phonological evi- dence requires us to modify somewhat the (...) theory of which functional categories actually deﬁne a phase. Patterns of default, syntax-determined, phrase stress are argued to result from a prosodic spellout requiring the highest phrase in the spellout domain to correspond to a major prosodic phrase in phonological representation, and carry major phrase stress. (shrink)
This paper pursues some of the consequences of the idea that there are (at least) two sources for distributive/cumulative interpretations in English. One source is lexical pluralization: All predicative stems are born as plurals, as Manfred Krifka and Fred Landman have argued. Lexical pluralization should be available in any language and should not depend on the particular make-up of its DPs. I suggest that the other source of cumulative/distributive interpretations in English is directly provided by plural DPs. DPs with plural (...) agreement features can ‘release’ those features to pluralize adjacent verbal projections. If there is a lexical source for distributive/cumulative interpretations, there should be instances of such interpretations with singular DPs. But there should also be cases of distributive/cumulative interpretations that require the presence of DPs with plural agreement morphology. (shrink)
Empirical research on counterfactual thinking has found a closeness effect: people report higher negative affect if an actual outcome is close to a better counterfactual outcome. However, it remains unclear what actually is a ?close? miss. In three experiments that manipulate close counterfactuals, closeness effects were found only when closeness was unambiguously defined either with respect to a contrasted alternative, or with respect to a categorical boundary. In a real task people failed to report greater negative affect when encountering a (...) close numerical miss, while they predicted greater negative affect hypothetically. These results show that counterfactual closeness effects on affect depend on closeness being accessible and unambiguously defined. (shrink)
Standard accounts of semantics for counterfactuals confront the true–true problem: when the antecedent and consequent of a counterfactual are both actually true, the counterfactual is automatically true. This problem presents a challenge to safety-based accounts of knowledge. In this paper, drawing on work by Angelika Kratzer, Alan Penczek, and Duncan Pritchard, we propose a revised understanding of semantics for counterfactuals utilizing machinery from generalized quantifier theory which enables safety theorists to meet the challenge of the true–true problem.
: Standing before one of Ada Medina's works in a museum recently, I knew myself to be in the company of a distinct presence. The exquisite form was so novel, yet its layers of organicity were deeply familiar. The piece effectively conveyed complex relationality, and pointed toward innovative forms of being, without resorting to didacticism, melodrama, or cliché. I had a strong urge to hug it. I needed to step back and figure it out.
“Now, in calm weather, to swim in the open ocean is as easy to the practised swimmer as to ride in a spring-carriage ashore. But the awful lonesomeness is intolerable. The intense concentration of self in the middle of such a heartless immensity, my God! who can tell it? Mark, how when sailors in a dead calm bathe in the open sea—mark how closely they hug their ship and only coast along her sides.” (Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 94).
In a series of recent articles Angelika Kratzer has argued that the standard account of modality along Kripkean lines is inadequate in order to represent context-dependent modals. In particular she argues that the standard account is unable to deliver a non-trivial account of modality capable of overcoming inconsistencies of the underlying conversational background.
psychological terms, the [Japanese] system relies on positive rather than negative reinforcement, emphasizing loving acceptance in exchange for genuine repentance. An analogue of what the Japanese policeman wants the offender to feel is the tearful relief of a child when confession of wrongdoing to his parents results in a gentle laugh and a warm hug. In relation to American policemen, Japanese officers want to be known for the warmth of their care rather than the strictness of their enforcement.1 Much of (...) the most disturbing police behaviour stems from two connected facts: the system's overwhelming dependence on admissions of guilt, and the absence of checks on police power in the interrogation room. In Japan, the conditions of interrogation?the duration and intensity of questioning, the duty to endure questioning even after the right to silence has been invoked, and the unavailability of defence lawyers?means that an ?overborne will? is more than merely an occasional problem.2. (shrink)