This thesis investigates reflexivity in ancient Greek literature and philosophy from Homer to Plato. It contends that ancient Greek culture developed a notion of personhood that was characteristically reflexive, and that this was linked to a linguistic development of specialized reflexive pronouns, which are the words for 'self'.
The essays in this volume were written to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of G. E. L. Owen, who by his essays and seminars on ancient Greek philosophy has made a contribution to its study that is second to none. The authors, from both sides of the Atlantic, include not only scholars whose main research interests lie in Greek philosophy, but others best known for their work in general philosophy. All are pupils or younger colleagues of Professor Owen who (...) are indebted to his practice of philosophical scholarship as a first-order philosophical activity. At the heart of G. E. L. Owen’s work has been a preoccupation with the role of philosophical reflection on language in the metaphysics and epistemology of Plato, Aristotle and other ancient Greek thinkers. This is accordingly the general topic of the present volume, which includes five papers on Plato’s critical dialogues and seven on Aristotle, prefaced by two on Heraclitus and followed by a study of the debate in Hellenistic philosophy on the sorites. This is a book for specialists in Greek philosophy and philosophers of language which will also be of interest to some linguists. (shrink)
In this study, Levin explores Plato's engagement with the Greek literary tradition in his treatment of key linguistic issues. This investigation, conjoined with a new interpretation of the Republic's familiar critique of poets, supports the view that Plato's work represents a valuable precedent for contemporary reflections on ways in which philosophy might benefit from appeals to literature.
According to the standard analysis, quantifiers such as , connectives such as , modals such as and a host of other expressions form informational scales (Horn, 1972). In the canonical case, informational scales are defined on the basis of entailment (e.g. p and q asymmetrically entails p or q). Given the Gricean assumption that speakers try to say as much as they truthfully can that is relevant to the conversational exchange, the fact that an informationally weaker term was used in (...) (1)-(3) often gives the listener reason to think that the speaker was not in a position to offer a stronger statement (presumably because such a statement would be false). Thus, even though weak scalar expressions such as some and or have a lower-bounded semantics (for instance some means ‘some and possibly all’), their semantic content is typically upper-bounded by a conversational implicature (e.g. ‘some but not all’). More recently, the precise mechanisms responsible for the computation of scalar implicatures (SIs) have become the topic of much debate. There is considerable disagreement as to whether SIs are derived on the basis of broadly Gricean quantity considerations, as the traditional account would have it, or post- Gricean relevance-oriented computations, whether they are the result of local or global calculations, and whether they are context-specific or generalized, default inferences (for varying perspectives, see Hirschberg, 1985; Sperber and Wilson, 1986/1995; Grice, 1989; Carston, 1990, 1998; Horn, 1992; Levinson, 2000; Chierchia, 2001). In several cases, SIs have been used to motivate and illustrate very different views of the architecture of the semantics-pragmatics interface. Despite their prominent place in the theoretical linguistic literature, scalar inferences have attracted relatively little attention in psycholinguistics.. (shrink)