Since Aristotle, many writers have treated metaphors and similes as equals: any metaphor can be paraphrased as a simile, and vice-versa. This property of metaphors is the basis for psycholinguistic comparison theories of metaphor comprehension. However, if metaphors cannot always be paraphrased as similes, then comparison theories must be abandoned. The different forms of a metaphor—the comparison and categorical forms—have different referents. In comparison form, the metaphor vehicle refers to the literal concept, e.g. 'in my lawyer is like a shark', (...) the term 'shark' refers to the literal fish. In categorical form, 'my lawyer is a shark', 'shark' refers to an abstract (metaphorical) category of predatory creatures. This difference in reference makes it possible for a metaphor and its corresponding simile to differ (a) in interpretability and (b) in meaning. Because a metaphor cannot always be understood in terms of its corresponding simile, we conclude that comparison theories of metaphor are fundamentally flawed. (shrink)
Pickering & Garrod (P&G) argue that language processing in dialogue is in principle easier than in monologue. Although dialogue situations may provide more opportunities for facilitative priming, those priming mechanisms are also available in monologue situations. In both cases, the interactive alignment model calls strict modular accounts of language processing into serious question.
Sam Harris’ new book “The Moral Landscape” is the latest in a series of attempts to provide a new “science of morality.” This essay argues that such a project is unlikely to succeed, using Harris’ text as an example of the major philosophical problems that would be faced by any such theory. In particular, I argue that those trying to construct a scientific ethics need pay far more attention to the tradition of moral philosophy, rather than assuming the debate is (...) simply between a scientific ethics and a “supernatural” ethics provided by religion. (shrink)
Sam Kean: The disappearing spoon: and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements Content Type Journal Article Pages 77-77 DOI 10.1007/s10698-010-9101-x Authors Michael Laing, School of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4041 South Africa Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238 Journal Volume Volume 13 Journal Issue Volume 13, Number 1.
Introduction : time, film, and the ethical vision of Emmanuel Levinas. American transcendence : Levinas and a short history of an American idea in film -- Frank Capra and James Stewart : time, transcendence, and the other -- The changing face of American redemption : Henry Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and Denzel Washington -- Sex, art, and Oedipus : The unbearable lightness of being -- Fellini and La dolce vita : documentary, decadence, and desire -- Antonioni and L'avventura : (...) transcendence, the body, and the feminine. (shrink)
In recent years, a series of bestselling atheist manifestos by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens has thrust the topic of the rationality of religion into the public discourse. Christian moderates of an intellectual bent and even some agnostics and atheists have taken umbrage and lashed back. In this paper I defend the New Atheists against three common charges: that their critiques of religion commit basic logical fallacies (such as straw man, false dichotomy, or hasty generalization), that their own (...) atheism is just as “faith-based” as the religious beliefs they criticize, and that their expressed disrespect for religious belief is immoral. (shrink)
Contemporary theories of civic education frequently appeal to an ideal of mutual respect in the context of ethical, ethical and religious disagreement. This paper critically examines two recently popular criticisms of this ideal. The first, coming from a postmodern direction, charges that the ideal is hypocritical in its effort to be maximally impartial and fair. The second, which I associate with such 'new atheists' as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, argues that notions of mutual respect pose a threat to such (...) basic goals of education as the cultivation of critical thinking. (shrink)
The idea that quotidian, middle-level concepts typically have internal structure -- definitional, statistical, or whatever -- plays a central role in practically every current approach to cognition. Correspondingly, the idea that words that express quotidian, middle-level concepts have complex representations "at the semantic level" is recurrent in linguistics; it's the defining thesis of what is often called "lexical semantics," and it unites the generative and interpretive traditions of grammatical analysis. Recently, Hale and Keyser (1993) have provided a budget of sophisticated (...) and persuasive arguments for the claim that `denominal' verbs are typically derived from phrases containing the corresponding nouns: `singvtr' is supposed to come from something like DO A SONG; `saddlevtr' is supposed to come from something like PUT A SADDLE ON; `shelvevtr' is supposed to come from something like PUT ON A SHELF, and so forth.1 We think these are among the most persuasive arguments for lexical decomposition in the linguistics literature. Still, this paper is going to claim that they are finally unconvincing. In Part 1, we will show that there are quite serious arguments of a familiar kind against the decompositional analyses that Hale and Keyser (henceforth, HK) propose; in Part 2 we'll show that the arguments that HK offer in favor of their analyses are flawed. (shrink)
Technology has provided state and federal governments with huge collections of DNA samples and identifying profiles stored in databanks. That information can be used to solve crimes by matching samples from convicted felons to unsolved crimes, and has aided law enforcement in investigating and convicting suspects, and exonerating innocent felons, even after lengthy incarceration. Rights surrounding the provision of DNA samples, however, remain unclear in light of the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures and privacy concerns. The courts have (...) just begun to consider this issue, and have provided little guidance. It is unclear whether the laws governing protected health information are applicable to the instant situation, and if so, the degree to which they apply. DNA databanks are not uniformly regulated, and it is possible that DNA samples contained in them may be used for purposes unintended by donors of the samples. As people live their lives, they leave bits of their DNA behind. They cannot be assured that these tiny specimens will not be taken or used against their will or without their knowledge for activities such as profiling to measure tendencies such as thrill-seeking, aggressiveness, or crimes with threatening behavior. Existing racial or ethnic discrimination and profiling may also encompass genetic discrimination and profiling, creating societal class distinctions. This article will explore the constitutionality of collecting genetic materials, the ethics of such activities, and balance the social good in solving crime and deterrence against the individual's security, liberty, and privacy. (shrink)