In Spanish (and other Romance languages) certain predicates select the subjunctive mood in the embedded clause, while others select the indicative mood. In this paper, I present a new analysis for the predicates that select the subjunctive mood in Spanish that is based on a semantics of comparison. The main generalization proposed here is the following: in Spanish, a predicate selects the subjunctive mood in its embedded proposition if the proposition is compared to its contextual alternatives on a scale introduced (...) by the predicate. In this proposal, predicates that select the subjunctive mood are thus analyzed as gradable predicates. Furthermore, the subjunctive mood morpheme is claimed to make a semantic contribution, namely to evaluate the contextual alternatives that are compared by the predicate. In comparing this proposal to other approaches, I show that it can more straightforwardly account for a number of properties of these predicates (entailment relations, practical inferences, and contexts with more than two alternatives). New empirical evidence for two crucial properties of the predicates that select the subjunctive mood is provided: these predicates are focus sensitive and they are gradable, two properties that follow directly from the proposal developed here. In the vast literature on mood, the link between the appearance of the subjunctive mood and these important properties has never been made before. (shrink)
This paper presents experimental results that elucidate some aspects of semantic processing, i.e. of the system that allows perceivers to associate an interpretation to a sentence on‐line. The phenomenon under investigation is the resolution of quantifier scope ambiguities. Sentences containing multiple quantifiers (i.e. everybody, some musician, etc.) are known to give rise to several interpretations. The question addressed in this work is how this kind of ambiguity is resolved in the on‐line process of constructing an interpretation for a sentence. The (...) research reported here concentrates exclusively on English and French interrogative sentences, and in particular on the case of ambiguous how many questions that contain a universally quantified subject, every N. The central results of this paper are the following. First, quantifier scope preferences are shown to be problematic for the most straightforward extension of an economy‐based model to the processing of meaning, as evidenced by questionnaire studies in English and in French. Second, a model is elaborated in which the attested scope preferences are determined by the interaction with context. The results from a self‐paced reading study in English indicate that context plays a crucial role in the processing of scope ambiguity. Third, while incremental context interactive models have been claimed to induce immediate resolution of structural ambiguity (Crain & Steedman 1985; Altmann & Steedman 1988; and others), it is argued here that the interaction with context can also delay such ambiguity resolution, as evidenced by the results of the English self‐paced reading study. Finally, comparison of the two languages, English and French, sheds further light onto the phenomenon under investigation. (shrink)
Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). (...) class='Hi'>Elisabeth Camp has argued against my and David Hills’ views of metaphor. Her arguments, many of them echoed by Catharine Wearing, demolish a very implausible account of metaphor, but leave entirely untouched the views that Hills and I actually proposed. Clarifying what we say about metaphor serves also as a defense of fictionalist theories that invoke prop oriented make-believe. (shrink)
Meu objetivo é tratar a correspondência entre a Princesa Elisabeth e Descartes como um dos momentos propulsores do estabelecimento da moral cartesiano. Procuro mostrar por primeiro, como os temas propostos por Elisabeth se inscrevem no cerne mesmo do caetesianismo, na medida em que uma de suas preocupações era o modo de relação entre aIma e o corpo. Em seguida, será visto como se estabelece nesta correspondência uma reflexão moral com traços estoicos, mas que não prescinde de uma técnica (...) médica, realizando, assim, a totalidade do projeto cartesiano, que se quer comparado à sabedoria, que não dispensa a metáfora da árvore com raízes, tronco, galhos e frutos bem determinados. (shrink)
The beginning of the twentieth century saw the emergence of the discipline of genetics. It is striking how many female scientists were contributing to this new field at the time. At least three female pioneers succeeded in becoming professors: Kristine Bonnevie (Norway), Elisabeth Schiemann (Germany) and the Tine Tammes (The Netherlands). The question is which factors contributed to the success of these women's careers? At the time women were gaining access to university education it had become quite the norm (...) for universities to be sites for teaching and research. They were still expanding: new laboratories were being built and new disciplines were being established. All three women benefited from the fact that genetics was considered a new field promising in terms of its utility to society; in the case of Tammes and Schiemann in agriculture and in the case of Bonnevie in eugenics. On the other hand, the field of genetics also benefited from the fact that these first female researchers were eager for the chance to work in science and wanted to make active contributions. They all worked and studied in environments which, although different from one another, were positive towards them, at least at the start. Having a patron was generally a prerequisite. Tammes profited from her teacher's contacts and status. Bonnevie made herself indispensable through her success as a teacher and eventually made her position so strong that she was no longer dependent on a single patron. The case of Schiemann adds something new; it shows the vulnerability of such dependency. Initially, Schiemann's teacher had to rely on the first generation of university women simply because he was unable to attract ambitious young men to his institute. In those early, uncertain years of the new discipline, male scientists tended to choose other, better established, and more prestigious disciplines. However, when genetics itself had become an established field, it also became more attractive to men. Our case studies also demonstrate that a new field at first relatively open to women closes its doors to them once it becomes established. (shrink)
Between the years 1643 and 1649, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618–80) and Rene; Descartes (1596–1650) exchanged fifty-eight letters—thirty-two from Descartes and twenty-six from Elisabeth. Their correspondence contains the only known extant philosophical writings by Elisabeth, revealing her mastery of metaphysics, analytic geometry, and moral philosophy, as well as her keen interest in natural philosophy. The letters are essential reading for anyone interested in Descartes’s philosophy, in particular his account of the human being as a union of mind (...) and body, as well as his ethics. They also provide a unique insight into the character of their authors and the way ideas develop through intellectual collaboration. Philosophers have long been familiar with Descartes’s side of the correspondence. Now Elisabeth’s letters—never before available in translation in their entirety—emerge this volume, adding much-needed context and depth both to Descartes’s ideas and the legacy of the princess. Lisa Shapiro’s annotated edition—which also includes Elisabeth’s correspondence with the Quakers William Penn and Robert Barclay—will be heralded by students of philosophy, feminist theorists, and historians of the early modern period. (shrink)
: This paper focuses on Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia's philosophical views as exhibited in her early correspondence with René Descartes. Elisabeth's criticisms of Descartes's interactionism as well as her solution to the problem of mind-body interaction are examined in detail. The aim here is to develop a richer picture of Elisabeth as a philosophical thinker and to dispel the myth that she is simply a Cartesian muse.