Some recent studies in computational linguistics have aimed to take advantage of various cues presented by punctuation marks. This short survey is intended to summarise these research efforts and additionally, to outline a current perspective for the usage and functions of punctuation marks. We conclude by presenting an information-based framework for punctuation, influenced by treatments of several related phenomena in computational linguistics.
Democratic instrumentalism is the combination of two ideas. One is instrumentalism regarding political arrangements: the form of government that ought to be instituted and sustained in a political society is the one the consequences of whose operation would be better than those of any feasible alternative. The second idea is the claim that under modern conditions democratic political institutions would be best according to the instrumentalist norm and ought to be established. “Democratic instrumentalism” is not a catchy political slogan apt (...) for car bumper stickers. To my knowledge people have never marched in solidarity under its banner. In fact it is a dreary political abstraction. Yet it has a lot going for it, morally, politically, and intellectually. This essay defends democratic instrumentalism.1 The democratic instrumentalist opposes the doctrine of the divine right of kings along with the idea that aristocrats are inherently more worthy than commoners and as such are uniquely entitled to rule. Striking a more controversial note, the democratic instrumentalist also opposes the suggestion that each adult person has a fundamental moral right to be admitted as a full member of some political society, entitled to run for office and vote (on a one person, one vote basis) in free elections that select the public officials in top government posts and directly or indirectly determine the content of the laws and policies that the government enforces on all members of the society. Call this the right to a democratic say.2 Here a moral right is an individual claim that others ought to honor. If one has a moral right, one is wronged if others do not honor it; a given right is constituted by specified duties that specified others are bound to fulfill. A fundamental moral right holds independently of social and political arrangements, cultural understandings, or people’s opinions. It also holds, at least to some degree, independently of the consequences that would ensue if it were upheld or not upheld.3 A fundamental moral right might be hedged with conditions.. (shrink)
There is an argument promulgated by certain philosophers (notably Dennett 1988, 1991), claiming that from a logical and philosophical point of view the notion of "qualia" makes no sense. On the other hand, other philosophers (e.g. Nagel 1974, Peacocke 1983, and Block 1990) say that qualia must exist since otherwise there would be "nothing it's like" to have sensations: we humans would merely be empty vessels making movements and interacting with our environments, but there would be no inside "feel" to (...) anything. (shrink)
Much philosophy of logic is shaped, explicitly or implicitly, by the thought that logic is distinctively formal and abstracts from material content. The distinction between formal and material does not appear to coincide with the more familiar contrasts between a priori and empirical, necessary and contingent, analytic and synthetic—indeed, it is often invoked to explain these. Nor, it turns out, can it be explained by appeal to schematic inference patterns, syntactic rules, or grammar. What does it mean, then, to say (...) that logic is distinctively formal? (shrink)
Proofs of Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem are often accompanied by claims such as that the gödel sentence constructed in the course of the proof says of itself that it is unprovable and that it is true. The validity of such claims depends closely on how the sentence is constructed. Only by tightly constraining the means of construction can one obtain gödel sentences of which it is correct, without further ado, to say that they say of themselves that they are unprovable (...) and that they are true; otherwise a false theory can yield false gödel sentences. (shrink)
Philosophers of time say that if presentism is true (i.e. if reality is comprised solely of presently existing things), then a complete description of reality must contain tensed terms, such as ‘was’, ‘presently is’ and ‘will be’. I counter this viewpoint by explaining how the presentist may de-tense our talk about times. I argue, furthermore, that, since the A-theory of time denies the success of any such de-tensing strategy, presentism is not a version of the A-theory – contrary to the (...) popular opinion. (shrink)
Realists about animal cognition confront a puzzle. If animals have real, contentful cognitive states, why can’t anyone say precisely what the contents of those states are? I consider several possible resolutions to this puzzle that are open to realists, and argue that the best of these is likely to appeal to differences in the format of animal cognition and human language.
A prominent argument for moral realism notes that we are inclined to accept realism in science because scientific inquiry supports a robust set of critical practices—error, improvement, explanation, and the like. It then argues that because morality displays a comparable set of critical practices, a claim to moral realism is just as warranted as a claim to scientific realism. But the argument is only as strong as its central analogy—and here there is trouble. If the analogy between the critical practices (...) of science and morality is loosely interpreted, the argument does not support moral realism—for paradigmatically constructivist discourses like fashion display the relevant critical practices just as well. So if the argument is to have force, the realist must say more about why the critical practices of morality are sufficiently like those of science to warrant realism. But this cannot be done—moral inquiry differs from scientific inquiry in too many important ways. So the analogy with the critical practices of science fails to vindicate moral realism. But there are further lessons: in looking closely at the critical practices of our moral discourse—and in comparing them to the critical practices of science and fashion—we gain insight into what is distinctive about morality objectivity and moral metaphysics. (shrink)
: In this paper I argue that there is a very important, though often neglected, dissimilarity between the two Gricean conceptions of ‘what is said’: the one presented in his William James Lectures and the one sketched in the ‘Retrospective Epilogue’ to his book Studies in the Way of Words. The main problem lies with the idea of speakers' commitment to what they say and how this is to be related to the conventional, or standard, meaning of the sentences uttered (...) in the act of saying. Since the later notion of ‘what is said’, or ‘dictiveness’, is claimed to be logically independent from ‘formality’ (roughly, conventional meaning), Grice seems to maintain that there are cases in which content that is not expressed by a sentence in a context may nevertheless count as what is said. I propose an account of what is said that brings together the two apparently irreconcilable approaches. The price to be paid for a Gricean, however, is to accept a duality of behaviour between (natural language counterparts of) logical constants and logical variables. (shrink)
In this paper, we study the parameters that come into play when assessing the truth conditions of say reports and contrast them with belief attributions. We argue that these conditions are sensitive in intricate ways to the connection between the interpretation of the complement of say and the properties of the reported speech act. There are three general areas this exercise is relevant to, besides the immediate issue of understanding the meaning of say: (i) the discussion shows the need to (...) go beyond the simplest view of propositional attitudes, which treats them as restricted quantifiers over worlds; (ii) the complex connections that must exist between the say report and its source speech act show that one has to be able to differentiate between various layers of meaning for the antecedent sentences; (iii) finally, this paper is a small step towards a typology of propositional attitudes that allows us to uncover the complex web of relationships that grammatical mood is sensitive to. (shrink)
Fodor and katz criticize cavell's position on the relation between ordinary language philosophy and empirical investigations of ordinary language, In "must we mean what we say?," _inquiry, Volume 1, Pages 172-212, And "the availability of wittgenstein's later philosophy," "philosophical review", Volume 71, Pages 67-93. Cavell holds that disagreements between ordinary language philosophers over grammar and semantics are in no sense empirical. Fodor and katz show that ordinary language philosophers are engaged in empirical investigation. (staff).
This article consists of two important parts. The first is a specific defense of some of the central claims made by stanley cavell in "must we mean what we say" against the criticisms of fodor and katz in "the availability of what we say." the major issue concerns the question of whether evidence of some sort is needed to support a claim by a native speaker about what we mean when we say something. Further speculations on this topic occupy the (...) other part of the paper. (shrink)
Preliminary summaries of a few empirio?semantical investigations1 concerning such sentences as: can we say x, should we ever (ordinarily) say x, x is self?evident (tautological, contradictory, nonsensical), P does not know what be is talking about, x is voluntary (involuntary) and: that is no excuse.
(1) Rupert Read charges that Rawls culpably overlooks the politicized Euthyphro: Do we accept our political perspective because it is right or is it right because we accept it? (2) This charge brings up the question of the deficiency dilemma: Do others disagree with us because of our failures or theirs? —where the two dilemmas appear to be independent of each other and lead to the questions of the logic of deficiency, moral epistemic deficiency, epistemic peers, and the hardness of (...) philosophy. (3) In reply, on an expanded principle of charity Rawls does not overlook the Euthyphro but rather offers ground-breaking solutions to it, (4) that nonetheless trip on the independent bootstrap (5)—as also do Dreben and Nussbaum. (6) Furthermore, Rawls's ' burdens of judgment' seek to bypass the necessity of moral epistemic deficiency and (7) suggest a wider framework for understanding disagreement that sees disagreement as arising from inquiry being in development, unpredictable and uncertain. (8) This wider framework entails that disagreement does not mean moral epistemic deficiency and (9) that our responses to the Euthyphro are 'too soon to say'. (shrink)
This article argues that Agamben's ?paradigmatic method? leads to particular choices in his depiction of the figure of the homo sacer. Reviewing this project also suggests that there's more to history?the example given is the story of homo sacer?than Agamben's method would ever leave us to say. In other words, there are still resources in the tradition for something new, and thus there is much more left to say about its legacies.
A standard response is that we live in "an era full of promise," "one of those rare transforming moments in history" (James Baker). The United States "has a new credibility," the President announced, and dictators and tyrants everywhere know "that what we say goes." George Bush is "at the height of his powers" and "has made very clear that he wants to breathe light into that hypothetical creature, the Middle East peace process" (Anthony Lewis). So (...) things are looking up. (shrink)
The Pozna view is about the logical structure of theories, about what such theories claim and how rationally to judge and improve them. In the context of this volume it is relevant to explore what the Pozna view and the African ideas about knowledge have to say about one another.
This paper is an essay about Harold Garfinkel's heritage. It outlines a response to Eric Livingston's proposal to say goodbye to ethnomethodology as pertaining to the sociological tradition; and it rejects part of Melvin Pollner's diagnosis about the changes occurred in ethnomethodological working. If it agrees with Pollner about the idea that something of the initial ethnomethodology's program has been left aside after the "work studies" turn, it asserts that such a turn has nonetheless made possible authentic discoveries. So the (...) paper speaks for a better integration of the two versions of ethnomethodology separated by Pollner. (shrink)
Referring to Professor Tennessen's article “What Should We Say?”; (Inquiry, vol. 2 (1959), pp. 265-90), Mr. Stigen argues that Tennessen fails to distinguish between the speech situation of the speaker and that of the interpreter. He therefore, according to Stigen, confuses the problems relevant to each of them and frequently treats problems of “What should I say?”; with considerations relevant only to interpreters, whose proper question is “What does he mean?”;, and vice versa. Among other mistakes, according to Stigen, this (...) failure to distinguish the problems leads Tennessen to recommend a Humpty Dumpty attitude for speakers, although it is appropriate only to interpreters. The paper closes with some remarks on the use of modifying expressions. (shrink)
This paper argues that Hegel has much to say to modern mathematical philosophy, although the Hegelian perspective needs to be substantially developed to incorporate within it the extensive advances in post-Hegelian mathematics and its logic. Key to that perspective is the self-referential character of the fundamental concepts of philosophy. The Hegelian approach provides a framework for answering the philosophical problems, discussed by Kurt Gödel in his paper on Bertrand Russell, which arise out of the existence in mathematics of self-referential, non-constructive (...) concepts (such as class). (shrink)
Can one say everything? Does one have the right to say everything? This essay distinguishes these two questions, and seeks to clarify them with reference to two French writers for whom the questions are central: Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida. Blanchot considers the questions with respect to the Marquis de Sade and Louis?René des Fore?ts. For Blanchot, the right to say everything is not supported by an appeal to the integrity of the self; rather, it is linked to a kenosis (...) of the ?I.? His account leaves important questions unaddressed. For Derrida, however, the right to say everything is enshrined in modern democracy and sustained by reference to a ?democracy to come.? Brief as it is, Derrida's response to the questions is the most satisfactory that we have to date. (shrink)
This paper rejects a view of science called "methodological naturalism." -/- According to many defenders of mainstream science and Darwinian evolution, anti-evolution critics--creationists and intelligent design proponents--are conceptually and epistemologically confusing science and religion, a supernatural view of world. These defenders of evolution contend that doing science requires adhering to a methodology that is strictly and essentially naturalistic: science is essentially committed to "methodological naturalism" and assumes that all the phenomena it investigates are entirely natural and consistent with the laws (...) of physics. Thus encountering any unexplained phenomenon, science assumes a priori that there is some natural cause and will only test a natural hypothesis. Since by definition supernatural causes are assumed to be not subject to the constraints of physical or natural law as understood by science, supernatural hypotheses and explanations must be banned from proper science. Science simply can't say that God did, or did not do it. -/- I argue that the success of science is directly relevant to rational belief in supernatural causes, and that in fact science can and does say in particular cases that "God didn't do it." I suggest that pro-evolution proponents can better defend science and the theory of evolution by rejecting methodological naturalism. -/- . (shrink)
Orthodoxy maintains that Jean-Baptiste Say was a liberal political economist and the French disciple of Adam Smith. This article seeks to question such an interpretation through an examination of Say's early writings, and especially the first edition of his famous Traite d'economie politique (Paris, 1803). It is shown that Say was a passionate republican in the 1790s, but a republican of a particular kind. Through the influence of the radical Genevan exile Etienne Claviere, Say became convinced that only a republican (...) constitution would protect the gains of the Revolution. Furthermore, the foundation of a successful republic lay in the pursuit of specific virtuous manners, and in particular independence, equality, frugality and industriousness. Although in 1803 Say turned against supporters of republican constitutions he continued to demand the reformation of manners. His ultimate vision was a science of political economy which would foster republican manners, by instructing both legislators and the general populace. (shrink)
This paper defends a purely semantic notionof what is said against various recent objections. Theobjections each cite some sort of linguistic,psychological, or epistemological fact that issupposed to show that on any viable notion of what aspeaker says in uttering a sentence, there ispragmatic intrusion into what is said. Relying on amodified version of Grice's notion, on which what issaid must be a projection of the syntax of the utteredsentence, I argue that a purely semantic notion isneeded to account for the (...) linguistically determinedinput to the hearer's inference to what, if anything,the speaker intends to be conveying in uttering thesentence. (shrink)
In sections 18 and 73 of Carnap’s Logical Syntax of Language , Carnap famously presents what he understands to be decisive objections to Wittgenstein’s Tractarian distinction between saying and showing. However, Carnap has been criticized in recent literature for severely misinterpreting that distinction. Against this criticism it is argued that Carnap reads that distinction as applying to two distinct classes of expressions ( Unsinn and sinnlos ) that he holds to emerge from his reading of Tractatus 4.1212 and related Tractarian (...) theses. It is then argued that Carnap’s counterexamples to Wittgenstein’s theses are successful given his reading, and that our analysis of his counterexamples puts us in a unique position to reevaluate his conventionalism. (shrink)
That was followed but a deluge of reactions from all over the world. It is far from a scientific sample of course, but nevertheless, the tendencies may be of some interest. Overwhelmingly, those from the â€œthird worldâ€ were on the order of â€œthanks for saying what we think.â€ There were similar ones from the US, but many others were infuriated, often virtually hysterical, with almost no relation to the actual content of the posted form letter. That was true in particular (...) of the posted or published responses brought to my attention. I have received a few requests to comment on several of these. Frankly, it seems to me superfluous. If there is any interest, Iâ€™ll nevertheless find some time to do so. (shrink)
Let us imagine an ideal ethical agent, i.e., an agent who (i) holds a certain ethical theory, (ii) has all factual knowledge needed for determining which action among those open to her is right and which is wrong, according to her theory, and who (iii) is ideally motivated to really do whatever her ethical theory demands her to do. If we grant that the notions of omniscience and ideal motivation both make sense, we may ask: Could there possibly be an (...) ideal utilitarian, that is, an ideal ethical agent whose ethical theory says that our only moral obligation consists in maximizing utility? I claim that an ideal agent cannot be utilitarian. My reasoning against ideal utilitarianism will parallel Putnam's famous argument against the brains in a vat. Putnam argues that an envatted brain cannot describe its own situation because its words do not refer to brains and vats; I argue that an ideal utilitarian cannot entertain or communicate the beliefs necessary to being a utilitarian. (shrink)
Some philosophers think that the challenge of justifying punishment can be met by a theory that emphasizes the expressive character of punishment. A particular type of theories of this sort - call it Expressive Retributivism [ER] - combines retributivist and expressivist considerations. These theories are retributivist since they justify punishment as an intrinsically appropriate response to wrongdoing, as something wrongdoers deserve, but the expressivist element in these theories seeks to correct for the traditional obscurity of retributivism. Retributivists often rely on (...) appeals to controversial intuitions involving obscure concepts. While retributive intuitions can be compelling, some worry that the justificatory challenge cannot be met merely by appealing to them. ER tries to enhance the clarity and justificatory power of these intuitions and the concepts they invoke by appealing to an expressive conception of punishment. I argue that these theories fail to justify punishment and that there is reason to think that they cannot, in principle, justify punishment. (shrink)
On one very simple formulation, the exclusion argument against dualism starts from the assertion that the following theses are inconsistent:
(1) Being in pain causes me to wince. (2) Being in phys1 causes me to wince. (3) Being in pain is distinct from being in phys. (4) If being in pain causes me to wince, nothing distinct from being in pain
What is metaphysics? I’m not going to offer a definition. But work on ontology, causation, persistence, time, and necessity should surely count. Ladyman (2007) distinguishes ‘naturalistic’ from ‘autonomous’ metaphysics. The former is work on these metaphysical topics guided by best current science; the latter, metaphysics done ‘from the armchair’, or at least, done primarily using arguments and techniques not drawn from the empirical sciences most closely associated with their topic (so perhaps using the tools of logic and formal semantics, not (...) physics). It is clear that much recent analytic metaphysics is autonomous in this sense. It’s not completely autonomous: it must be consistent with truth. So a challenge from physics can arise even if metaphysics is autonomous; this is the form of the challenge to presentism from STR I’ll talk about. But metaphysics is autonomous in the sense that there are reasons to believe metaphysical theses that aren’t parasitic upon reasons to believe any particular scientific hypothesis. (shrink)
Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen’s (1996) influential account of “cultures of honor” speculates that honor norms are a socially-adaptive deterrence strategy. This theory has been appealed to by multiple empirically-minded philosophers, and plays an important role in John Doris and Alexandra Plakias’ (2008) antirealist argument from disagreement. In this essay, I raise four objections to the Nisbett-Cohen deterrence thesis, and offer another theory of honor in its place that sees honor as an agonistic normative system regulating prestige competitions. Since my (...) account portrays honor norms as radically different from liberal ones, it actually strengthens Doris and Plakias’ case in some respects: cultures of honor are not merely superficially different from Western liberal ones. Nonetheless, the persistent appeal of honor’s principles, and their moral plausibility in certain contexts, suggests not antirealism, but pluralism—a reply on behalf of realism that itself has considerable empirical support. (shrink)
Dry earth seems to its inhabitants (our intrinsic duplicates) just as earth seems to us, that is, it seems to them as though there are rivers and lakes and a clear, odorless liquid flowing from their faucets. But, in fact, this is an illusion; there is no such liquid anywhere on the planet. I address two objections to externalism concerning the nature of the concept that is expressed by the word 'water' in the mouths of the inhabitants of dry earth. (...) Gabriel Segal presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the application conditions of the concept, and Paul Boghossian presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the complexity of the concept. I show that, in both cases, the externalist may occupy the horn of his choice without departing from either the letter or spirit of externalism. (shrink)
The knowledge account of assertion holds that it is improper to assert that p unless the speaker knows that p. This paper argues against the knowledge account of assertion; there is no general norm that the speaker must know what she asserts. I argue that there are cases in which it can be entirely proper to assert something that you do not know. In addition, it is possible to explain the cases that motivate the knowledge account by postulating a general (...) norm that assertions would be true, combined with conversational norms that govern all speech acts. A theory on which proper assertions must be true explains the data better than a theory on which proper assertions must be known to be true. (shrink)
Hate groups are often thought to reveal a paradox in liberal thinking. On the one hand, such groups challenge the very foundations of liberal thought, including core values of equality and freedom. On the other hand, these same values underlie the rights such as freedom of expression and association that protect hate groups. Thus a liberal democratic state that extends those protections to such groups in the name of value neutrality and freedom of expression may be thought to be undermining (...) the values on which its legitimacy rests. In this paper, I suggest how this apparent paradox might be resolved. I argue that the state should protect the expression of illiberal beliefs, but that the state (along with its citizens) is also obligated to criticize publicly those beliefs. Distinguishing between two kinds of state action—coercive and expressive—I contend that such criticism should be pursued through the state’s expressive capacities in its roles as speaker, educator, and spender. Here I extend the familiar idea that law, to be legitimate, must be widely publicized; I contend that a proper theory of the freedom of expression obligates the legitimate state to publicize the reasons that underlie rights, in particular reasons that appeal to the entitlement of each citizen subject to coercion to be treated as free and equal. My theory of freedom of expression is thus “expressive” in two senses: it protects the entitlement of citizens to express any political viewpoint, and it emphasizes a role for the state in explaining these free-speech protections and persuading its citizens of the value of the entitlements that underlie them. (shrink)
A wave of recent work in metaphysics seeks to undermine the anti-reductionist, functionalist consensus of the past few decades in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. That consensus apparently legitimated a focus on what systems do, without necessarily and always requiring attention to the details of how systems are constituted. The new metaphysical challenge contends that many states and processes referred to by functionalist cognitive scientists are epiphenomenal. It further contends that the problem lies in functionalism itself, and that, to (...) save the causal significance of mind, it is necessary to re-embrace reductionism. We argue that the prescribed return to reductionism would be disastrous for the cognitive and behavioral sciences, requiring the dismantling of most existing achievements and placing intolerable restrictions on further work. However, this argument fails to answer the metaphysical challenge on its own terms. We meet that challenge by going on to argue that the new metaphysical skepticism about functionalist cognitive science depends on reifying two distinct notions of causality (one primarily scientific, the other metaphysical), then equivocating between them. When the different notions of causality are properly distinguished, it is clear that functionalism is in no serious philosophical trouble, and that we need not choose between reducing minds or finding them causally impotent. The metaphysical challenge to functionalism relies, in particular, on a naïve and inaccurate conception of the practice of physics, and the relationship between physics and metaphysics. Key Words: explanation; functionalism; mental causation; metaphysics; reductionism. (shrink)
In this article I ask what recent moral psychology and neuroscience can and can’t claim to have discovered about morality. I argue that the object of study of much recent work is not morality but a particular kind of individual moral judgment. But this is a small and peculiar sample of morality. There are many things that are moral yet not moral judgments. There are also many things that are moral judgments yet not of that particular kind. If moral things (...) are various and diverse, then empirical research about one kind of individual moral judgment doesn’t warrant theoretical conclusions about morality in general. If that kind of individual moral judgment is a peculiar and rare thing, then it is not obvious what it tells us about other moral things. What is more, it is not obvious what its theoretical importance is to begin with—that is, why we should care about it at all. In light of these arguments, I call for a pluralism of methods and objects of inquiry in the scientific investigation of morality, so that it transcends its problematic overemphasis on a particular kind of individual moral judgment. (shrink)