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Profile: Erich Rast (New University of Lisbon, Institute for the Philosophy of Language (IFL))
  1. Erich Rast, Logic: A Primer.
    This text is a short introduction to logic that was primarily used for accompanying an introductory course in Logic for Linguists held at the New University of Lisbon (UNL) in fall 2010. The main idea of this course was to give students the formal background and skills in order to later assess literature in logic, semantics, and related fields and perhaps even use logic on their own for the purpose of doing truth-conditional semantics. This course in logic does not replace (...)
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  2. Erich Rast, Evaluating Time-Continuous Action Alternatives From the Perspective of Negative Utilitarianism: A Layered Approach. Proceedings of the GV-Conf 2013.
    A layered approach to the evaluation of action alternatives with continuous time for decision making under the moral doctrine of Negative Utilitarianism is presented and briefly discussed from a philosophical perspective.
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  3. Erich Rast (2013). On Contextual Domain Restriction in Categorial Grammar. Synthese 190 (12):2085-2115.
    Abstract -/- Quantifier domain restriction (QDR) and two versions of nominal restriction (NR) are implemented as restrictions that depend on a previously introduced interpreter and interpretation time in a two-dimensional semantic framework on the basis of simple type theory and categorial grammar. Against Stanley (2002) it is argued that a suitable version of QDR can deal with superlatives like tallest. However, it is shown that NR is needed to account for utterances when the speaker intends to convey different restrictions for (...)
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  4. Erich Rast (2013). Review of Fenstad's "Grammar, Geometry & Brain&Quot;. [REVIEW] Studia Logica 101 (5).
    In this small book logician and mathematician Jens Erik Fenstad addresses some of the most important foundational questions of linguistics: What should a theory of meaning look like and how might we provide the missing link between meaning theory and our knowledge of how the brain works? The author’s answer is twofold. On the one hand, he suggests that logical semantics in the Montague tradition and other broadly conceived symbolic approaches do not suffice. On the other hand, he does not (...)
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  5. Erich Rast (2012). De Se Puzzles, the Knowledge Argument, and the Formation of Internal Knowledge. Analysis and Metaphysics 11 (December):106-132.
    ABSTRACT. Thought experiments about de se attitudes and Jackson’s original Knowledge Argument are compared with each other and discussed from the perspective of a computational theory of mind. It is argued that internal knowledge, i.e. knowledge formed on the basis of signals that encode aspects of their own processing rather than being intentionally directed towards external objects, suffices for explaining the seminal puzzles without resorting to acquaintance or phenomenal character as primitive notions. Since computationalism is ontologically neutral, the account also (...)
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  6. Erich Rast (2011). Nonindexical Context-Dependence and the Interpretation as Abduction Approach. Lodz Journal of Pragmatics 7 (2):259-279.
    Abstract -/- Inclusive nonindexical context-dependence occurs when the preferred interpretation of an utterance implies its lexically-derived meaning. It is argued that the corresponding processes of free or lexically mandated enrichment can be modeled as abductive inference. A form of abduction is implemented in Simple Type Theory on the basis of a notion of plausibility, which is in turn regarded a preference relation over possible worlds. Since a preordering of doxastic alternatives taken for itself only amounts to a relatively vacuous ad (...)
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  7. Luca Baptista & Erich Rast (2010). Meaning and Context. Peter Lang.
    The contextual contributions to meaning are at the core of the debate about the semantics/pragmatics distinction, one of the liveliest topics in current philosophy of language and linguistics. The controversy between semantic minimalists and contextualists regarding context and semantic content is a conspicuous example of the debate's relevance. This collection of essays, written by leading philosophers as well as talented young researchers, offers new approaches to the ongoing discussion about the status of lexical meaning and the role of context dependence (...)
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  8. Erich Rast, Context as Assumptions. MSH Lorraine Preprints 2010 of the Proceedings of the Epiconfor Workshop on Epistemology, Nancy 2009.
    In the tradition of Stalnaker (1978,2002, context can be regarded as a set of assumptions that are mutually shared by a group of epistemic agents.An obvious generalization of this view is to explicitly represent each agent’s assumptions in a given situation and update them accordingly when new information is accepted. I lay out a number of philosophical and linguistic requirements for using such a model in order to describe communication of ideally-rational agents. In particular,the following questions are addressed: -/- 1. (...)
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  9. Erich Rast (2010). Classical Possibilism and Fictional Objects. In Franck Lihoreau (ed.), Fiction in Philosophy.
    An account of non-existing objects called 'classical possibilism', according to which objects that don't actually exist do exist in various other ways, is implemented in a two-dimensional modal logic with non-traditional predication theory. This account is very similar to Priest's, but preserves bivalence and does not endorse dialethism. The power of classical possibilism is illustrated by giving some examples that makes use of a description theory of reference. However, the same effect could also be achieved in a more Millian fashion. (...)
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  10. Erich Rast (2010). Plausibility Revision in Higher-Order Logic With an Application in Two-Dimensional Semantics. In Arrazola Xabier & Maria Ponte (eds.), LogKCA-10 - Proceedings of the Second ILCLI International Workshop on Logic and Philosophy of Knowledge. ILCLI.
    In this article, a qualitative notion of subjective plausibility and its revision based on a preorder relation are implemented in higher-order logic. This notion of plausibility is used for modeling pragmatic aspects of communication on top of traditional two-dimensional semantic representations.
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  11. Erich Rast & Luiz Carlos Baptista (eds.) (2010). Meaning and Context. Peter Lang.
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  12. Erich Rast (2009). Context and Interpretation. In Jesus M. Larrazabal & Larraitz Zubeldia (eds.), Meaning, Content and Argument. University of the Basque Country Press.
    Based on some of Kent Bach's work and Mount (2008), I point out certain shortcomings of parameter-based semantic two-dimensionalism for the modeling of indexicals and suggest to model context dependence on the basis of the assumptions of indidivual speakers, their rich background knowledge, and defeasible reasoning in a broadly-conceived Stalnakerian framework.
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  13. Erich Rast (2009). What Simulations Can't Do. The Reasoner 3 (10):5-6.
    Simulations can only simulate knowledge.
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  14. Erich Rast (2008). A Remark About Essential Indexicals. The Reasoner 2 (10):5-6.
    There are two ways of interpreting the argument for the existence of essential indexicals; one of them is too strong, the other one is compatible with reductionist positions.
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  15. Erich Rast (2007). Reference and Indexicality. Logos.
    Reference and indexicality are two central topics in the Philosophy of Language that are closely tied together. In the first part of this book, a description theory of reference is developed and contrasted with the prevailing direct reference view with the goal of laying out their advantages and disadvantages. The author defends his version of indirect reference against well-known objections raised by Kripke in Naming and Necessity and his successors, and also addresses linguistic aspects like compositionality. In the second part, (...)
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  16. Erich Rast (2006). Reference and Indexicality. Dissertation, Roskilde University
    Reference and indexicality are two central topics in the Philosophy of Language that are closely tied together. In the first part of this book, a description theory of reference is developed and contrasted with the prevailing direct reference view with the goal of laying out their advantages and disadvantages. The author defends his version of indirect reference against well-known objections raised by Kripke in Naming and Necessity and his successors, and also addresses linguistic aspects like compositionality. In the second part, (...)
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