Evolutionary psychology—in its ambitious version well formulated by Cosmides and Tooby (e.g., Cosmides & Tooby 1987, Tooby & Cosmides 1992) —will succeed to the extent that it causes cognitive psychologists to rethink central aspects of human cognition in an evolutionary perspective, to the extent, that is, that psychology in general becomes evolutionary. The human species is exceptional by its massive investment in cognition, and in forms of cognitive activity—language, metarepresentation, abstract thinking—that are as unique to humans as echolocation is unique (...) to bats. The promise of evolutionary psychology is thus to help explain not just traits of human psychology that are homologous to those of many other species, but also traits of human psychology that are genuinely exceptional and that in turn help explain the exceptional character of human culture and ecology. However, most of the work done in evolutionary psychology so far is on aspects of human psychology that are not specifically human except in their details. Showing, for instance, how human preferences in mate choice are fine -tuned in the way the theory of evolution would predict is of great interest (see e.g., Buss 1994) but it can be done on the basis of a relatively shallow psychology. This makes work on distinctly human adaptations involving higher cognition of particular importance for defenders of a psychologically ambitious evolutionary psychology. What is often presented (e.g., Pinker, 1997) as the signal achievement of cognitive evolutionary psychology in this respect is the experimental testing of Cosmides’ (1989) hypothesis that there exists an evolved competence to deal with social contracts, and, in particular to detect cheaters. We want to argue that, because of faulty methodological choices—the quasi-exclusive reliance on the four-cards selection task—, the hypothesis has in fact not yet been tested. The plan of this chapter is as follows: We begin, with a short presentation of Cosmides’s social contract hypothesis, of Wason selection task, and of Cosmides’s reasons to use the task in order to test the theory.. (shrink)
Communicate. We humans do it all the time, and most of the time we do it as a matter of course, without thinking about it. We talk, we listen, we write, we read - as you are doing now - or we draw, we mimic, we nod, we point, we shrug, and, somehow, we manage to make our thoughts known to one another. Of course, there are times when we view communication as something difficult or even impossible to achieve. Yet, (...) compared to other living kinds, we are amazingly good at it. Other species, if they communicate at all, have a narrow repertoire of signals that they use to convey again.. (shrink)
For acquired behaviour to count as cultural, two conditions must be met: it must propagate in a social group, and it must remain stable across generations in the process of propagation. It is commonly assumed that imitation is the mechanism that explains both the spread of animal culture and its stability. We review the literature on transmission chain studies in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and other animals, and we use a formal model to argue that imitation, which may well play a (...) major role in the propagation of animal culture, cannot be considered faithful enough to explain its stability. We consider the contribution that other psychological and ecological factors might make to the stability of animal culture observed in the wild. (shrink)
Vigilance towards deception is investigated in 3- to-5-year-old children: (i) In study 1, children as young as 3 years of age prefer the testimony of a benevolent rather than of a malevolent communicator. (ii) In study 2, only at the age of four do children show understanding of the falsity of a lie uttered by a communicator described as a liar. (iii) In study 3, the ability to recognize a lie when the communicator is described as intending to deceive the (...) child emerges around four and improves throughout the fifth and sixth year of life. On the basis of this evidence, we suggest that preference for the testimony of a benevolent communicator, understanding of the epistemic aspects of deception, and understanding of its intentional aspects are three functionally and developmentally distinct components of epistemic vigilance. (shrink)
_________________________________________________________________ Abstract : Sperber, Cara, and Girotto (1995) argued that, in Wason’s selection task, relevance-guided comprehension processes tend to determine participants’ performance and pre-empt the use of other inferential capacities. Because of this, the value of the selection task as a tool for studying human inference has been grossly overestimated. Fiddick, Cosmides, and Tooby (2000) argued against Sperber et al. that specialized inferential mechanisms, in particular the “social contract algorithm” hypothesized by Cosmides (1989), pre-empt more general comprehension abilities, making the (...) selection task a useful tool after all. We rebut this argument. We argue and illustrate with two new experiments, that Fiddick et al. mix the true Wason selection task with a trivially simple categorization task superficially similar to the Wason task, yielding methodologically flawed evidence. We conclude that the extensive use of various kinds of selection tasks in the psychology of reasoning has been quite counterproductive and should be discontinued. (shrink)
This work examines how people interpret the sentential connective “or”, which can be viewed either inclusively (A or B or both) or exclusively (A or B but not both). Following up on prior work concerning quantifiers (Noveck, 2001; Noveck & Posada, 2003; Bott & Noveck, 2004) which shows that the common pragmatic interpretation of “some,” some but not all, is conveyed as part of an effortful step, we investigate how extra effort applied to disjunctive statements leads to a pragmatic interpretation (...) of “or”, or but not both. Experiment 1 compelled participants to wait for three seconds before answering, hence giving them the opportunity to process the utterance more deeply. Experiments 2 and 3 emphasized “or”, either by visual means (“OR”) or by prosodic means (contrastive stress) as another way to encourage participants to apply more effort. Following a relevance-theoretic line of argument, we hypothesized that conditions encouraging more processing effort would give rise to more pragmatic inferences and hence to more exclusive interpretations of the disjunction. This prediction was confirmed in the three experiments. (shrink)
not only anomalous animals, but also exemplary animals often take on a symbolic value, thus raising a second problem. A solution to both problems is suggested, based on an examination of the cognitive..
Short abstract (98 words). Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given humans’ exceptional dependence on communication and vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of (...) evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. (shrink)
Let us begin with the paradox. Rhetoric took pride of place in formal education for two millenia and a half. Its very rich and complex history deserves being studied in detail, but it could also be compressed in a few sentences. Indeed, the same substance was inculcated by eighty generations of teachers to eighty generations of pupils. If a general tendency can be discerned, it consists in a mere narrowing down of the subject matter of rhetoric: one of its five (...) branches, elocutio, the study of figures of speech, progressively displaced the four other branches, and in some schools, became identified with rhetoric tout court. (We.. (shrink)
This article revisits the old controversy concerning the relation of the mother’s brother and sister’s son in patrilineal societies in the light both of anthropological criticisms of the very notion of kinship and of evolutionary and epidemiological approaches to culture. It argues that the ritualized patterns of behavior discussed by Radcliffe-Brown, Goody, and others are to be explained in terms of the interaction of a variety of factors, some local and historical, others pertaining to general human dispositions. In particular, an (...) evolved disposition to favor relatives can contribute to the development and stabilization of these behaviors not by directly generating them but by making them particularly “catchy” and resilient. In this way, it is possible to recognize both that cultural representations and practices are specific to a community at a time in its history (rather than mere tokens of a general type) and that they are, in essential respects, grounded in the common evolved psychology of human beings. (shrink)
Memetics is one possible evolutionary approach to the study of culture. Boyd and Richerson’s models (1985, Boyd this volume), or my epidemiology of representations (1985, 1996), are among other possible evolutionary approaches inspired in various ways by Darwin. Memetics however, is, by its very simplicity, particularly attractive.
Experimental evidence on reasoning and decision making has been used to argue both that human rationality is adequate and that it is defective. The idea that reasoning involves not one but two mental systems (see Evans and Over, 1996; Sloman, 1996; Stanovich, 2004 for reasoning, and Kahneman and Frederick, 2005 for decision making) makes better sense of this evidence. ‘System 1’ reasoning is fast, automatic, and mostly unconscious; it relies on ‘fast and frugal’ heuristics (to use Gigerenzer’s expression (Gigerenzer et (...) al., 1999)) offering seemingly effortless conclusions that are generally appropriate in most settings, but may be faulty, for instance in experimental situations devised to test the limits of human reasoning abilities. ‘System 2’ reasoning is slow, consciously controlled and effortful, but makes it possible to follow normative rules and to overcome the shortcomings of system 1 (Evans and Over, 1996). The occurrence of both sound and unsound inferences in reasoning experiments and more generally in everyday human thinking can be explained by the roles played by these two kinds of processes. Depending on the problem, the context, and the person (the ability for system 2 reasoning is usually seen as varying widely between individuals, see Stanovich and West (2000)) either system 1 or system 2 reasoning is more likely to be activated, with different consequences for people’s ability to reach the normatively correct solution (Evans, 2006). The two systems can even compete: system 1 suggests an intuitively appealing response while system 2 tries to inhibit this response and to impose its own norm-guided one. Much evidence has accumulated in favour of such a dual view of reasoning (Evans, 2003, in press; for arguments against, see Osman, 2004). There is, however, some vagueness in the way the two systems are characterized. Instead of a principled distinction, we are presented with a bundle of contrasting features—slow/fast, automatic/controlled, explicit/implicit, associationist/rule based, modular/central— which, depending on the specific dual process theory, are attributed more or less exclusively to one of the two systems.. (shrink)
Groups do better at reasoning tasks than individuals, and, in some cases, do even better than any of their individual members. Here is an illustration. In the standard version of Wason selection task (Wason, 1966), the most commonly studied problem in the psychology of reasoning, only about 10% of participants give the correct solution, even though it can be arrived at by elementary deductive reasoning.1 Such poor performance begs for an explanation, and a great many have been offered. What makes (...) the selection task relevant here is that the difference between individual and group performance is striking. Moshman & Geil for instance (1998, see also Maciejovsky & Budescu, 2007) had participants try and resolve the task either individually or in groups of five or six participants. While, unsurprisingly, only 9% of the participants working on their own found the correct solution, an astonishing 70% of the groups did. Moreover, when groups were formed with participants who had first tried to solve the task individually, 80% of the groups succeeded, including 30% of the groups in which none of the members had succeeded on his or her own. How are such differences between individual and group performance to be explained? (shrink)
A fruit is the mature ovary of a plant. Its main biological function is to ensure the protection and dissemination of the seeds it encloses. In the case of fleshy fruits, dissemination is achieved by attracting animals who eat the fruit, digest the sweet softer flesh, and either regurgitate or excrete the harder seeds at some distance from the plant. Humans, however, have evolved, through artificial selection, plants that produce seedless fruits, such as bananas, Thomson grapes or Arrufatina clementines. Seedless (...) grapes provide an arresting example of the more general issue I want to address in this chapter. Domesticated plants and animals have simultaneously biological, cultural, and artifactual functions. So do also human bodily traits used artifactually, for instance suntans. How should we describe these functions and their articulation? What are the biological and cultural functions of seedless grapes, or of suntans, and how do these functions interact? In trying to answer such questions, we are led to rethink the relationship between nature and culture, and to reappraise the notion of an artifact. The notion of an artifact commonly used in the social sciences, particularly in archeology and anthropology, is a family resemblance notion, useful for a first-pass description of various objects and for a vague characterization of scholarly, and in particular museographic interests. It should not be taken for granted that this notion could be defined precisely enough to serve a genuine theoretical purpose. When definitions are offered, they are based on prototypical cases. This is true of a dictionary definition such as Webster’s: ‘A usually simple object (as a tool or ornament) showing human workmanship or modification, as distinguished from a natural object.’ It is also true of a philosopher’s definition such as Risto Hilpinen’s in his entry on artifact in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: ‘An artifact may be defined as an object that has been intentionally made or produced for a certain purpose.. (shrink)
Someone asked ‘What time is it?’ when her watch reads 3:08 is likely to answer ‘It is 3:10.’ We argue that a fundamental factor that explains such rounding is a psychological disposition to give an answer that, while not necessarily strictly truthful or accurate, is an optimally relevant one (in the sense of relevance theory) i.e. an answer from which hearers can derive the consequences they care about with minimal effort. A rounded answer is easier to process and may carry (...) the same consequences as one that is accurate to the minute. Hence rounding is often a way of optimising relevance. Three simple experiments give support and greater precision to the view that relevance is more important than strict truthfulness in verbal communication. (shrink)
Although a few pioneers in psycholinguistics had, for more than twenty years, approached various pragmatic issues experimentally, it is only in the past few years that investigators have begun employing the experimental method in testing pragmatic hypotheses (see Noveck & Sperber 2004). We see this emergence of a proper experimental pragmatics as an important advance with a great potential for further development. In this chapter we want to illustrate what can be done with experimental approaches to pragmatic (...) issues by presenting one case, that of so-called ‘scalar inferences’, where the experimental method has helped sharpen a theoretical debate and has provided uniquely relevant evidence. We will focus on work done by the first author and his collaborators or work closely related to theirs, but other authors have also made important contributions to the topic (e.g. Papafragou and Musolino, 2003; Guasti, Chierchia, Crain, Foppolo, Gualmini, & Meroni, 2005; De Neys & Schaeken, in press). (shrink)
Human, cognition, interaction, and culture are thoroughly intertwined. Without cognition and interaction, there would be no culture. Without culture, cognition and interaction would be very different affairs, as they are among other social species. The effect of culture on mental life has always been a main concern of the social sciences and, after a long period of almost total neglect, it is more and more taken into consideration in cognitive psychology. The effect of cognition, and in particular of the ability (...) to attribute mental states to others, on interaction has become a important topic of investigation in developmental and social psychology. Little attention, on the other hand, is paid to the effect of cognition on culture. All would agree, of course that the human mind is what makes human culture possible. Quite generally, however, the mind is seen as a mere enabler of culture, a pure opportunity with no constraints attached, nothing that might contribute to shaping, or at least to biasing cultural contents. Against this neglect of cognition, I will argue that understanding the mind is doubly important to the study of culture. Psychological considerations are crucial both to a proper characterization of what is cultural and to a proper explanation of cultural phenomena. Most anthropologists may be too savvy to still talk of the mind as a “blank slate”, but they too often meet any discussion of psychological factors in culture with a blank stare. Most evolutionary theorists who see cultural evolution as an analogue of biological evolution by natural selection postulate rather than investigate the few particulars of the human mind.. (shrink)
Henrich et al.’s article fleshes out in a very useful and timely manner comments often heard but rarely published about the extraordinary cultural imbalance in the recruitment of participants in psychology experiments and the doubt this casts on generalization of findings from these “weird” samples to humans in general. The authors mention that one of the concerns they have met in defending their views has been of a methodological nature: “the observed variation across populations may be due to various methodological (...) artifacts that arise from translating experiments across contexts” (sect. 7.2, para. 1). Here we want to express a less sweeping methodological concern. While accepting the general conclusions and recommendations of the article, we believe they should be complemented with a.. (shrink)
In two experiments, we investigated whether 13-month-old infants expect agents to behave in a way consistent with information to which they have been exposed. Infants watched animations in which an animal was either provided information or prevented from gathering information about the actual location of an object. The animal then searched successfully or failed to retrieve it. Infants’ looking times suggest that they expected searches to be effective when—and only when—the agent had had access to the relevant information. This result (...) supports the view that infants’ possess an incipient metarepresentational ability that permits them to attribute beliefs to agents. We discuss the viability of more conservative explanations and the relationship between this early ability and later forms of ‘theory of mind’ that appear only after children have become experienced verbal communicators. (shrink)
Social learning mechanisms are usually assumed to explain both the spread and the persistence of cultural behaviour. In a recent article, we showed that the fidelity of social learning commonly found in transmission chain experiments is not high enough to explain cultural stability. Here we want to both enrich and qualify this conclusion by looking at the case of song transmission in song birds, which can be faithful to the point of being true replication. We argue that this high fidelity (...) results from natural selection pressure on cognitive mechanisms. This observation strengthens our main argument. Social learning mechanisms are unlikely to be faithful enough to explain cultural stability because they are generally selected not for high fidelity but for generalisation and adjustment to the individual’s needs, capacities and situation. (shrink)
The existence and diversity of human cultures are made possible by our species-specific cognitive capacities. But how? Do cultures emerge and diverge as a result of the deployment, over generations and in different populations, of general abilities to learn, imitate and communicate? What role if any do domain-specific evolved cognitive abilities play in the emergence and evolution of cultures? These questions have been approached from different vantage points in different disciplines. Here we present a view that is currently developing out (...) of the converging work of developmental psychologists, evolutionary psychologists and cognitive anthropologists. (shrink)
On the relevance-theoretic approach outlined in this paper, linguistic metaphors are not a natural kind, and ―metaphor‖ is not a theoretically important notion in the study of verbal communication. Metaphorical interpretations are arrived at in exactly the same way as literal, loose and hyperbolic interpretations: there is no mechanism specific to metaphors, and no interesting generalisation that applies only to them. In this paper, we defend this approach in detail by showing how the same inferential procedure applies to utterances at (...) both ends of the literal-loose-metaphorical continuum, and how both literal and metaphorical utterances may create poetic effects. (shrink)
From an evolutionary point of view, the function of moral behaviour may be to secure a good reputation as a co-operator. The best way to do so may be to obey genuine moral motivations. Still, one's moral reputation maybe something too important to be entrusted just to one's moral sense. A robust concern for one's reputation is likely to have evolved too. Here we explore some of the complex relationships between morality and reputation both from an evolutionary and a cognitive (...) point of view. (shrink)
Obscurity of expression is considered a flaw. Not so, however, in the speech or writing of intellectual gurus. All too often, what readers do is judge profound what they have failed to grasp. Here I try to explain this guru effect by looking at the psychology of trust and interpretation, at the role of authority and argumentation, and at the effects of these dispositions and processes when they operate at a population level where, I argue, a runaway phenomenon of overappreciation (...) may take place. (shrink)
Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
We argue that there is a continuum of cases without any demarcation between more individual and more cultural information, and that therefore “culture” should be viewed as a property that human mental representations and practices exhibit to a varying degree rather than as a type or a subclass of these representations and practices (or of “information”). We discuss the relative role of preservative and constructive processes in transmission. We suggest a revision of Richerson and Boyd’s classification of the forces of (...) cultural evloution. (shrink)
Members of a human group are bound with one another by multiple flows of information. (Here we use “information” in a broad sense that includes not only the content of people’s knowledge, but also that of their beliefs, assumptions, fictions, rules, norms, skills, maps, images, and so on.) This information is materially realized in the mental representations of the people, and in their public productions, that is, their cognitively guided behaviors and the enduring material traces of these behaviors. Mentally represented (...) information is transmitted from individuals to individuals through public productions. Public representations such as speech, gestures, writing, or pictures are a special type of public productions, the function of which is to communicate a content. Public representations play a major role in information transmission. Much information, however, is communicated implicitly, that is, without being publicly represented. Information can also be transmitted without being properly speaking communicated, not even implicitly, as when one individual acquires a skill by observing and imitating the behavior of others. Most information transmitted among humans is about local and transient circumstances, and is not transmitted beyond these. Some information of more general relevance, however, is repeatedly transmitted, and propagates throughout the group. Talk of “culture” (whatever the preferred definition or theory of culture) is about this widely distributed information and about its material realizations inside people’s mind and in their common environment (see Sperber 1996). One can study cultural phenomena in two main ways. One can interpret them, that is, try and make their contents intelligible to people of another culture, or more intelligible to members of the culture in which these phenomena occurs, as do anthropologists and historians. One may also try and explain causally how these cultural phenomena emerge, stabilize and evolve.. (shrink)
Atran & Norenzayan (A&N) ask: “Why do agent concepts predominate in religion?” This question presupposes that we have a notion of religion that is (1) well enough defined, and (2) characterized independently of that of supernatural agents. I question these two presuppositions. I argue that “religion” is a family resemblance notion built around the idea of supernatural agency.
The central problem for pragmatics is that sentence meaning vastly underdetermines speaker’s meaning. The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning is bridged. This paper defends the broadly Gricean view that pragmatic interpretation is ultimately an exercise in mind-reading, involving the inferential attribution of intentions. We argue, however, that the interpretation process does not simply consist in applying general mind-reading abilities to a particular (communicative) domain. Rather, it involves a dedicated comprehension module, (...) with its own special principles and mechanisms. We show how such a metacommunicative module might have evolved, and what principles and mechanisms it might contain. (shrink)
When is a conclusion worth deriving? We claim that a conclusion is worth deriving to the extent that it is relevant in the sense of relevance theory (Sperber & Wilson, 1995). To support this hypothesis, we experiment with ''indeterminate relational problems'' where we ask participants what, if anything, follows from premises such as A is taller than B, A is taller than C . With such problems, the indeterminate response that nothing follows is common, and we explain why. We distinguish (...) several types of determinate conclusions and show that their rate is a function of their relevance. We argue that by appropriately changing the formulation of the premises, the relevance of determinate conclusions can be increased, and the rate of indeterminate responses thereby reduced. We contrast these relevance-based predictions with predictions based on linguistic congruence. (shrink)
This paper questions the widespread view that verbal communication is governed by a maxim, norm or convention of truthfulness which applies at the level of what is literally meant, or what is said. Pragmatic frameworks based on this view must explain the frequent occurrence and acceptability of loose and figurative uses of language. We argue against existing explanations of these phenomena and provide an alternative account, based on the assumption that verbal communication is governed not by expectations of truthfulness but (...) by expectations of relevance, raised by literal, loose and figurative uses alike. Sample analyses are provided, and some consequences of this alternative account are explored. In particular, we argue that the notions of ‘literal meaning’ and ‘what is said’ play no useful theoretical role in the study of language use, and that the nature of explicit communication will have to be rethought. (shrink)
The article revisits the old controversy concerning the relation of the mother's brother and sister's son in patrilineal societies in the light both of anthropological criticisms of the very notion of kinship and of evolutionary and epidemiological approaches to culture. It argues that the ritualized patterns of behavior that had been discussed by Radcliffe-Brown, Goody and others are to be explained in terms of the interaction of a variety of factors, some local and historical, others pertaining to general human dispositions. (...) In particular, an evolved disposition to favor relatives can contribute to the development and stabilization of these behaviors, not by directly generating them, but by making them particularly "catchy" and resilient. In this way, it is possible to recognize both that cultural representations and practices are specific to a community at a time in its history (rather than mere tokens of a general type), and that they are, in essential respects, grounded in the common evolved psychology of human beings. (shrink)
Language is both a biological and a cultural phenomenon. Our aim here is to discuss, in an evolutionary perspective, the articulation of these two aspects of language. For this, we draw on the general conceptual framework developed by Ruth Millikan (1984) while at the same time dissociating ourselves from her view of language.
Humans are expert users of metarepresentations. How has this human metarepresentational capacity evolved? In order to contribute to the ongoing debate on this question, the chapter focuses on three more specific issues: i. How do humans metarepresent representations? ii. What came first: language, or metarepresentations? iii. Do humans have more than one metarepresentational ability?
This is the text of the Radcliffe-Brown Lecture in Social Anthopology 1999 (To appear in the Proceedings of the British Academy). In it, I argue that to approach society and culture in a naturalistic way, the domain of the social sciences must be reconceptualised by recognising only entities and processes of which we have a naturalistic understanding. These are mental representations and public productions, the processes that causally link them, the causal chains that bond these links, and the complex webs (...) of such causal chains that criss-cross human populations over time and space. Such causal chains may distribute and stabilise representations and productions throughout a human population, thereby generating culture. The lecture introduces several conceptual tools useful for such a naturalistic approach, and illustrates their use with the case study of ritual activity in a Southern Ethiopian household. (shrink)
This commentary stresses the importance of Atran's work for the development of a new cognitive anthropology, but questions both his particular use of Dawkins's “meme” model and the general usefulness of the meme model for understanding folk-taxonomies as cultural phenomena.
We argue that the presence of a word in an utterance serves as starting point for a relevance guided inferential process that results in the construction of a contextually appropriate sense. The linguistically encoded sense of a word does not serve as its default interpretation. The cases where the contextually appropriate sense happens to be identical to this linguistic sense have no particular theoretical significance. We explore some of the consequences of this view. One of these consequences is that there (...) may be many more mentally represented concepts than there are linguistically encoded concepts. (shrink)
Humans have two kinds of beliefs, intuitive beliefs and reflective beliefs. Intuitive beliefs are a most fundamental category of cognition, defined in the architecture of the mind. They are formulated in an intuitive mental lexicon. Humans are also capable of entertaining an indefinite variety of higher-order or "reflective" propositional attitudes, many of which are of a credal sort. Reasons to hold "reflective beliefs" are provided by other beliefs that describe the source of the reflective belief as reliable, or that provide (...) explicit arguments in favour of the reflective belief. The mental lexicon of reflective beliefs includes not only intuitive, but also reflective concepts. (shrink)
Chiappe and Kukla argue that relevance theory fails to solve the frame problem as defined by Fodor. They are right. They are wrong, however, to take Fodors frame problem too seriously. Fodors concerns, on the other hand, even though they are wrongly framed, are worth addressing. We argue that Relevance thoery helps address them.
How are non-declarative sentences understood? How do they differ semantically from their declarative counterparts? Answers to these questions once made direct appeal to the notion of illocutionary force. When they proved unsatisfactory, the fault was diagnosed as a failure to distinguish properly between mood and force. For some years now, efforts have been under way to develop a satisfactory account of the semantics of mood. In this paper, we consider the current achievements and future prospects of the mood-based semantic programme.