This paper is based on a doctoral thesis which aimed at investigating on whether the use of strategic vagueness in Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq has contributed to the breakout of the 2002–2003s Gulf war instead of a diplomatic solution of the controversies. This work contains a linguistic and legal comparative analysis between UN and U.S. documents and their drafts in order to demonstrate how vagueness was deliberately added to the final versions of the documents before being (...) passed, and thus strategically used vagueness has played a crucial role in UN resolutions related to the outbreak of war in Iraq, and in relevant legislation produced by the United States for its Congressional authorisation for war. The comparative analysis between S/RES/1441(2002) and US legislation has evidenced that that there would have been diplomatic solutions to the Iraq crises which were not synonymous of light-handed intervention against Iraq, but deliberately vague UN wording allowed the US to build its own legislation with a personal interpretation implying that the UN did not impede military action. (shrink)
Does context and context-dependence belong to the research agenda of semantics - and, specifically, of formal semantics? Not so long ago many linguists and philosophers would probably have given a negative answer to the question. However, recent developments in formal semantics have indicated that analyzing natural language semantics without a thorough accommodation of context-dependence is next to impossible. The classification of the ways in which context and context-dependence enter semantic analysis, though, is still a matter of much controversy and (...) some of these disputes are ventilated in the present collection. This book is not only a collection of papers addressing context-dependence and methods for dealing with it: it also records comments to the papers and the authors' replies to the comments. In this way, the contributions themselves are contextually dependent. In view of the fact that the contributors to the volume are such key figures in contemporary formal semantics as Hans Kamp, Barbara Partee, Reinhard Muskens, Nicholas Asher, Manfred Krifka, Jaroslav Peregrin and many others, the book represents a quite unique inquiry into the current activities on the semantics side of the semantics/pragmatics boundary. (shrink)
Dr Thrane makes an original contribution to one of the central topics in syntax and semantics: the nature and mechanisms of reference in natural language. He makes a fundamental distinction between syntactic analyses that are internal to the structure of a language and analyses of the referential properties that connect a language with the 'outside world' - and therefore derive in some sense from common human capacities for perceptual discrimination. Dr Thrane argues that the failure to make this distinction and (...) to attend separately to both kinds of analysis has vitiated previous general accounts of linguistic structure. The book focuses particularly on pronouns and on the role of determiners, quantifiers and other components of the noun phrase. Most of the data come from the modern Germanic languages, especially English, but Dr Thrane considers also the structural peculiarities of 'classifier languages' like Vietnamese. The book will be important for students of English language as well as for general linguists. (shrink)
Recently, several philosophers have recast feminist arguments against pornography in terms of Speech Act Theory. In particular, they have considered the ways in which the illocutionary force of pornographic speech serves to set the conventions of sexual discourse while simultaneously silencing the speech of women, especially during unwanted sexual encounters. Yet, this raises serious questions as to how pornographers could (i) be authorities in the language game of sex, and (ii) set the conventions for sexual discourse - questions which these (...) speech act-theoretic arguments against pornography have thus far failed to adequately answer. I fill in this gap of the argumentation by demonstrating that there are fairly weak standards for who counts as an authority or convention-setter in sexual discourse. With this analysis of the underpinnings of a speech act analysis of pornography in mind, I discuss a range of possible objections. I conclude that (i) the endorsement of censorship by a speech act analysis of pornography competes with its commitment to the conventionality of speech acts, and, more damningly, that (ii), recasting anti-pornography arguments in terms of linguistic conventions risks an unwitting defence of a rapist's lack of mens rea - an intolerable result; and yet resisting this conclusion requires that one back away from the original claim to women's voices being 'silenced'. (shrink)
For Sengzhao 僧肇 (374−414 CE), a leading Sanlun 三論 philosopher of Chinese Buddhism, things in the world are ontologically indeterminate in that they are devoid of any determinate form or nature. In his view, we should understand and use words provisionally, so that they are not taken to connote the determinacy of their referents. To echo the notion of ontic indeterminacy and indicate the provisionality of language, his main work, the Zhaolun, abounds in paradoxical expressions. In this paper, I offer (...) a philosophical analysis and rational reconstruction of Sengzhao’s linguistic thought, with a view to exploring the rationale for and purpose of his use of paradoxical language. (shrink)
Clahsen's compelling evidence for the dual-mechanism model of the lexicon derives in part from the use of cross-linguistic data in psycholinguistic research. This approach reflects a growing (and positive) trend toward incorporating data from several languages when analyzing and modeling human language behavior. This perspective should be expanded to include data from typologically distinct languages to develop more explanatory models of language.
The ARXMLIV corpus is a remarkable collection of text containing scientiﬁc mathematical discourse. With more than half a million documents, it is an ambitious target for large scale linguistic and semantic analysis, requiring a generalized and distributed approach. In this paper we implement an architecture which solves and automates the issues of knowledge representation and knowledge management, providing an abstraction layer for distributed development of semantic analysis tools. Furthermore, we enable document interaction and visualization and present current (...) implementations of semantic tools and follow-up applications using this architecture. We identify ﬁve different stages, or purposes, which such architecture needs to address, encapsulating each in an independent module. These stages are determined by the different properties of the document formats used, as well as the state of processing and linguistic enrichment introduced so far. We discuss the need of migration between XML representations and the challenges it would pose on our system, revealing the beneﬁts and trade-off of each format we employ. In the heart of the architecture lies the Semantic Blackboard module. The Semantic Blackboard comprises a system based on a centralized RDF database which can facilitate distributed corpus analysis of arbitrary applications, or analysis modules. This is achieved by providing a document abstraction layer and a mechanism for storing, reusing and communicating results via RDF stand-off annotations deposited in the central database. Achieving a properly encapsulated and automated pipeline from the input corpus document to a semantically enriched output in a state-of-the-art representation is the task of the Preprocessing, Semantic Result and Output Generation modules. Each of them addresses the task of format migration and enhances the document for further semantic enrichment or aggregation. The ﬁfth module, targeting Visualization and Feedback, enables user interaction and display of different stages of processing.. (shrink)
This now-classic work challenges what Ryle calls philosophy's "official theory," the Cartesians "myth" of the separation of mind and matter. Ryle's linguisticanalysis remaps the conceptual geography of mind, not so much solving traditional philosophical problems as dissolving them into the mere consequences of misguided language. His plain language and esstentially simple purpose place him in the traditioin of Locke, Berkeley, Mill, and Russell.
Along with the Chan’s “linguistic turn”, the significance of sutras, which were despised and even regarded as the obstacle to complete enlightenment, became accepted by the Chan. Due to Yanshou’s contributions, the principle that emphasized the diversity of teaching in terms of the relationship between meaning and expression in the Sui and Tang Dynasties has been changed into a system which stressed the importance of the root/branches relationship of the mind and words. According to Yanshou, the conflict between the (...) Chan and doctrinal teachings is resolved by highlighting the significance of words. Yanshou’s work greatly inspired the Chan’s interest in words in the Song Dynasty. (shrink)
This book argues that languages are composed of sets of ‘signs’, rather than ‘strings’. This notion, first posited by de Saussure in the early 20th century, has for decades been neglected by linguists, particularly following Chomsky’s heavy critiques of the 1950s. Yet since the emergence of formal semantics in the 1970s, the issue of compositionality has gained traction in the theoretical debate, becoming a selling point for linguistic theories. Yet the concept of ‘compositionality’ itself remains ill-defined, an issue this (...) book addresses. Positioning compositionality as a cornerstone in linguistic theory, it argues that, contrary to widely held beliefs, there exist non-compositional languages, which shows that the concept of compositionality has empirical content. The author asserts that the existence of syntactic structure can flow from the fact that a compositional grammar cannot be delivered without prior agreement on the syntactic structure of the constituents. (shrink)
The question of emotion in music is addressed from a linguistic perspective, providing a typology of statements that can be made about that topic. In particular, it is analyzed how an interlocutor could react to such statements uttered by another person, and whether or how the content of the statements could be refuted by the listener, and possibly corroborated by the speaker. Furthermore, it is briefly discussed which theories of emotion in music are compatible with the respective types of (...) statement and what illocutionary and perlocutionary function they may serve. (shrink)
Conceptual analysis is undergoing a revival in philosophy, and much of the credit goes to Frank Jackson. Jackson argues that conceptual analysis is needed as an integral component of so-called serious metaphysics and that it also does explanatory work in accounting for such phenomena as categorization, meaning change, communication, and linguistic understanding. He even goes so far as to argue that opponents of concep- tual analysis are implicitly committed to it in practice. We show that he (...) is wrong on all of these points and that his case for conceptual analysis doesn. (shrink)
Following a Toulmian account of argument analysis and evaluation, I offer a general unitary schema for, so called, deductive and inductive types of analogical arguments. This schema is able to explain why certain analogical arguments can be said to be deductive, and yet, also defeasible.
The relation between linguistics and logic has been discussed in a, recent paper by Bar-Hillel} where it is argued that a disregard for workin logical syntax and semantics has caused linguists to limit themselves too narrowly in their inquiries, and to fall into several errors. In particular, Bar-Hillel asserts, they have attempted to derive relations of synonymy and so-called ‘rules of transfOI`1'Il8.tiOH,, such as the active—pussive relation, from distributional studies alone, and they have hesitated to rely on considerations of meaning (...) in linguisticanalysis. No one can quarrel with the suggestion that linguists interest themselves in meaning or transformation rules, but the relevance of logical syntax and semsmticsz (at least as we now know them) to this study is very dubious. I think that a closer investigation of the assumptions and concems of logical syntax and semantics will show that the hope of applying the results which have been achieved in these fields to the solution of linguistic problems is illusory. (shrink)
The construction and analysis of arguments supposedly are a philosopher's main business, the demonstration of truth or refutation of falsehood his principal aim. In Sense and Sensibilia, J.L. Austin does something entirely different: He discusses the sense-datum doctrine of perception, with the aim not of refuting it but of 'dissolving' the 'philosophical worry' it induces in its champions. To this end, he 'exposes' their 'concealed motives', without addressing their stated reasons. The paper explains where and why this at first (...) sight outrageous aim and approach are perfectly sensible, how exactly Austin proceeds, and how his approach can be taken further. This shows Austin to be a pioneer of the currently much discussed notion of philosophy as therapy, reveals a subtle and unfamiliar use of linguisticanalysis that is not open to the standard objections to ordinary language philosophy, and yields a novel and forceful treatment of the sense-datum doctrine. (shrink)
A central argument against Ryle’s (The concept of mind, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1949 ) distinction between propositional and non propositional knowledge has relied on linguistic evidence. Stanley and Williamson (J Philos 98:411–444, 2001 ) have claimed that knowing-how ascriptions do not differ in any relevant syntactic or semantic respect from ascriptions of propositional knowledge, concluding thereby that knowing-how ascriptions attribute propositional knowledge, or a kind thereof. In this paper I examine the cross-linguistic basis of this argument. (...) I focus on the linguisticanalysis of practical knowledge ascriptions in Modern Greek, although the issues raised are not restricted to one language. It is relatively straightforward to show that none of the three types of practical knowledge ascriptions in Modern Greek is an embedded question configuration, and hence Stanley and Williamson original claim is confined to certain languages only. This is not the end of the matter, however, since Stanley (Nous 45:207–238, 2011 ) argues that the equivalents of ‘knowing-how’ ascriptions in certain languages should be semantically analyzed as embedded questions despite their syntactic form. I argue that this fallback position faces a host of empirical and theoretical problems, in view of which it cannot bear the weight Stanley puts on it, supporting a conclusion about the kind of knowledge thereby attributed. (shrink)
This book expounds and defends a new conception of the relation between truth and meaning. Atlas argues that the sense of a sense-general sentence radically underdetermines (independently of indexicality) its truth-conditional content. He applies this linguisticanalysis to illuminate old and new philosophical problems of meaning, truth, falsity, negation, existence, presupposition, and implicature. In particular, he demonstrates how the concept of ambiguity has been misused and confused with other concepts of meaning, and how the interface between semantics and (...) pragmatics has been misunderstood. The problems he tackles are common to philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence, and his conclusions will be of interest to all those working in these fields. (shrink)
In the last 150 years, the ambiguous and enigmatic 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching have been translated, interpreted and adapted into the English language more than 100 times. The Tao and its subtle philosophy is currently being actively assimilated into mainstream western culture as evidenced by the popularity and volume of Taoist works. The purpose of this study was to analyse this phenomenon. First, a database of English translations of the Tao Te Ching was established. This database documents (...) the vast number of Tao Te Ching translations in print from 1868 to the present. Second, specific chapters of selected English translations of the Tao Te Ching were compared using holistic and content analysis. The holistic methods focused on the overall semantic connotation of the selected chapters. The specific (linguistic) analysis methods entailed the use of a computerised content analysis program (hyperRESEARCH for Macintosh). Through these inquiries, a specific understanding of the cross-cultural relationship between East and West was investigated. (shrink)
This article combines the disciplines of textual/linguisticanalysis, anthropology, and perceptual psychology to examine selected ancient Jewish mystical texts that claim to describe the praxis for ascents into heaven and encounters with angelic spirits in order to reconstruct the psychosocial context of these literary works. Specifically, the article examines Hekhalot or "Divine Palaces" texts that deal with hydromancy, giving attention to their mythic–symbolic assumptions, their described preparatory and triggering rituals, and their accounts of the ASC (altered states of (...) consciousness) visions resulting from these rituals that are experienced by the practitioners. The article suggests that these accounts correlate with ASC practices identified in the literature and additionally suggests that although the mystical texts are written to resemble biblical accounts of revelatory experiences, the texts under consideration are more than works of fabulous imagination; they are literary artifacts of an actual ecstatic ASC praxis among the Jews of Late Antiquity. (shrink)
The current disclosure model of informed consent ignores the linguistic complexity of any act of communication, and the increased risk of difficulties in the special circumstances of informed consent. This article explores, through linguisticanalysis, the specificity of informed consent as a speech act, a communication act, and a form of dialogue, following on the theories of J.L. Austin, Roman Jakobson, and Mikhail Bakhtin, respectively. In the proposed model, informed consent is a performative speech act resulting from (...) a series of communication acts which together constitute a dialogic, polyphonic, heteroglossial discourse. It is an act of speech that results in action being taken after a conversation has happened where distinct individuals, multiple voices, and multiple perspectives have been respected, and convention observed and recognized. It is more meaningful and more ethical for both patient and physician, in all their human facets including their interconnectedness. Keywords: communication, dialogism, informed consent, linguistics, performative, physician-patient relationship CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The word ‘dignity’ is used in a variety of ways in bioethics, and this ambiguity has led some to argue that the term must be expunged from the bioethical lexicon. Such a judgment is far too hasty, however. In this article, the various uses of the word are classified into three serviceable categories: intrinsic, attributed, and inflorescent dignity. It is then demonstrated that, logically and linguistically, the attributed and inflorescent meanings of the word presuppose the intrinsic meaning. Thus, one cannot (...) conclude that these meanings are arbitrary and unrelated. This categorization and logical and linguisticanalysis helps to unravel what seem to be contradictions in discourse about dignity and bioethics, and provides a hierarchy of meaning that has potential normative implications. (shrink)
In this paper we compare grammatical inference in the context of simple and of mixed Lambek systems. Simple Lambek systems are obtained by taking the logic of residuation for a family of multiplicative connectives /,,\, together with a package of structural postulates characterizing the resource management properties of the connective.Different choices for Associativity and Commutativity yield the familiar logics NL, L, NLP, LP. Semantically, a simple Lambek system is a unimodal logic: the connectives get a Kripke style interpretation in terms (...) of a single ternary accessibility relation modeling the notion of linguistic composition for each individual system.The simple systems earch have their virtues in linguisticanalysis. But none of them in isolation provides a basis for a full theory of grammar. In the second part of the paper, we consider two types of mixed Lambek systems. (shrink)
This book provides a concise overview, with excellent historical and systematic coverage, of the problems of the philosophy of language in the analytic tradition. Howard Callaway explains and explores the relation of language to the philosophy of mind and culture, to the theory of knowledge, and to ontology. He places the question of linguistic meaning at the center of his investigations. The teachings of authors who have become classics in the field, including Frege, Russell, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, and Putnam (...) are critically analyzed. I share completely his conviction that contemporary Anglo-American philosophy follows the spirit of the enlightenment in insisting on intellectual sincerity, clarity, and the willingness to meet scientific doubts or objections openly. --Professor Henri Lauener, Editor of Dialectica. (shrink)
Inspired by the success of generative linguistics and transformational grammar, proponents of the linguistic analogy (LA) in moral psychology hypothesize that careful attention to folk-moral judgments is likely to reveal a small set of implicit rules and structures responsible for the ubiquitous and apparently unbounded capacity for making moral judgments. As a theoretical hypothesis, LA thus requires a rich description of the computational structures that underlie mature moral judgments, an account of the acquisition and development of these structures, and (...) an analysis of those components of the moral system that are uniquely human and uniquely moral. In this paper we present the theoretical motivations for adopting LA in the study of moral cognition: (a) the distinction between competence and performance, (b) poverty of stimulus considerations, and (c) adopting the computational level as the proper level of analysis for the empirical study of moral judgment. With these motivations in hand, we review recent empirical findings that have been inspired by LA and which provide evidence for at least two predictions of LA: (a) the computational processes responsible for folk-moral judgment operate over structured representations of actions and events, as well as coding for features of agency and outcomes; and (b) folk-moral judgments are the output of a dedicated moral faculty and are largely immune to the effects of context. In addition, we highlight the complexity of the interfaces between the moral faculty and other cognitive systems external to it (e.g., number systems). We conclude by reviewing the potential utility of the theoretical and empirical tools of LA for future research in moral psychology. (shrink)
After what has been termed the affective or emotional turn in sociology and many other academic fields, there is still a dearth of methodologies for systematic empirical emotion analysis in sociology. The article addresses this gap and argues that the principles of narrative analysis can be fruitfully extended to the systematic empirical investigation of emotions. A short description of key principles and tools in narrative analysis will serve as the basis for showing how the same concepts can (...) be used to gain access to the emotional side of human experience. To this end the article engages with philosophical debates to develop a specific theoretical notion of emotions—their narrative nature—and discusses the emotional nature of narrative. Specifically, this calls into question any clear-cut distinction between meaning and emotion. Based on this, the text then employs linguistic and some psychological and literary research to demonstrate and systematize key ways in which emotions can be expressed narratively as well as on the level of sentences and words. Together this forms an encompassing methodological framework that can capture the emotionality of human experience in its manifold forms. Specifically, this also addresses the problem of non-conscious emotions. (shrink)
Is the science of moral cognition usefully modeled on aspects of Universal Grammar? Are human beings born with an innate "moral grammar" that causes them to analyze human action in terms of its moral structure, with just as little awareness as they analyze human speech in terms of its grammatical structure? Questions like these have been at the forefront of moral psychology ever since John Mikhail revived them in his influential work on the linguistic analogy and its implications for (...) jurisprudence and moral theory. In this seminal book, Mikhail offers a careful and sustained analysis of the moral grammar hypothesis, showing how some of John Rawls' original ideas about the linguistic analogy, together with famous thought experiments like the trolley problem, can be used to improve our understanding of moral and legal judgment. The book will be of interest to philosophers, cognitive scientists, legal scholars, and other researchers in the interdisciplinary field of moral psychology. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt a philosophical analysis of the Chinese Buddhist thought of linguistic reference to shed light on how the Buddhist understands the way language refers to an ineffable reality. For this purpose, the essay proceeds in two directions: an enquiry into the linguistic thoughts of Sengzhao (374-414 CE) and Jizang (549-623 CE), two leading Chinese Madhyamika thinkers, and an analysis of the Buddhist simile of a moon-pointing finger. The two approaches respectively constitute the (...) horizontal and vertical axes of this essay. The simile of a moon-pointing finger originated in Indian Buddhism and later received much attention in Chinese Buddhism. In light of the Chinese Buddhist interpretations of the simile, I set forth six theses to make explicit the philosophic implications there involved. They are: (1) words in no way correspond with the ineffable Real and cannot say or properly express the Real; (2) words can point toward the Real by means of the forms meant or properly expressed by them; (3) the forms are plainly different from the Real and so are to be negated; (4) one who takes the forms for the Real not only misunderstands the Real but is also ignorant of the function of language; (5) the forgetting of words and their forms can dissolve the entanglement of language and thought and even lead to the intuition of the Real; (6) the intuition of the Real depends upon extra-linguistic factors as well as language. In elaborating the theses, I resort to passages in Sengzhao’s and Jizang’s works to disclose their linguistic thoughts in relation to the theses. A main concern here is to show how one can speak the unspeakable, how one can refer to an ineffable reality without committing self-contradiction. This is done in relation to their views, the theses as well as a free interpretive analysis. I construe the notion of indication as involving the imposition-cum-negation method and argue that one can use words to indicate the ineffable without at the same time describing it. The ineffable is indescribable, but it can be intimated through indication. Meanwhile, I also discuss Zhuangzi’s notion of word-forgetting as it plays a role in the simile and in Jizang’s philosophy of language. One of the purposes of this essay is to show that while valuing the therapeutic and evocative functions of religious language, Chinese Buddhist thinkers also understand the language indicatively. Without taking note of the indicative function of religious language, one cannot form an adequate picture of the Chinese Buddhist -- especially, the Chinese Madhyamaka -- philosophy of language. (shrink)
To Aristotle, spoken words are symbols, not of objects in the world, but of our mental experiences related to these objects. Presently there are two major strands of interpretation of Aristotle’s concept of the linguistic sign. First, there is the structuralist account offered by Coseriu (Geschichte der Sprachphilosophie. Von den Anfängen bis Rousseau, 2003 , pp. 65–108) whose interpretation is reminiscent of the Saussurean sign concept. A second interpretation, offered by Lieb (in: Geckeler (Ed.) Logos Semantikos: Studia Linguistica in (...) Honorem Eugenio Coseriu 1921–1981, 1981) and Weidemann (in: Schmitter (Ed.) Geschichte der Sprachtheorie 2. Sprachtheorien der abendländischen Antike, 1991), says that Aristotle’s concept of the linguistic sign is similar to the one presented in Ogden and Richard’s (The meaning of meaning: A study of the influence of language upon thought and of the science of symbolism, 1970 ) semiotic triangle. This paper starts off with an introductory outline of the so-called phýsei-thései discussion which started during presocratic times and culminated in Plato’s Cratylus. Aristotle’s concept of the linguistic sign is to be regarded as a solution to the stalemate position reached in the Cratylus. Next, a discussion is offered of both Coseriu’s and Lieb’s analysis. We submit that Aristotle’s concept of the linguistic sign shows features of both Saussure’s and Ogden and Richards’s sign concept but that it does not exclusively predict one of the two. We argue that Aristotle’s concept of the linguistic sign is based on three different relations which together evince his teleological as well empiricist point of view: one internal (symbolic) relation and two external relations, i.e. a likeness relation and a relation katà synthéken. (shrink)
This volume is a comprehensive, up-to-date, and readable introduction to linguistic meaning. While partial to conceptual and typological approaches, the book also presents results from formal approaches. Throughout, the focus is on grammatical meaning -- the way languages delineate universal semantic space and encode it in grammatical form. Subjects covered by the author include: the domain of linguistic semantics and the basic tools, assumptions, and issues of semantic analysis; semantic properties of entities, events, and thematic roles; language (...) and space; tense, aspect, and the internal structure and temporal ordering of events; modality, negation, and the epistemology of the speaker; and modification and attribution. In contrast to most current treatments of semantics, this book is accessible to the beginning student of semantics and linguistics and also useful to the advanced practitioner. A textbook and reference work in a single volume, it can be used in a number of disciplines: psychology, computer science, and anthropology as well as linguistics. (shrink)
Recent encounters with structuralist and poststructuralist critical theory, linguistics, and cognitive sciences have brought the theory and analysis of music into the orbit of important developments in present-day intellectual history. Without seeking to impose an explicit redefinition of either theory or analysis, this book explores the limits of both. Essays on decidability, ambiguity, metaphor, music as text, and music analysis as cognitive theory are complemented by studies of works by Debussy, Schoenberg, Birtwistle and Boulez.