An important debate in the current literature is whether “all truth-conditional effects of extra-linguistic context can be traced to [a variable at; LM] logical form” (Stanley, ‘Context and Logical Form’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 23 (2000) 391). That is, according to Stanley, the only truth-conditional effects that extra-linguistic context has are localizable in (potentially silent) variable-denoting pronouns or pronoun-like items, which are represented in the syntax/at logical form (pure indexicals like I or today are put aside in this discussion). According to (...) Recanati (‘Unarticulated Constituents’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 25 (2002) 299), extra-linguistic context can have additional truth-conditional effects, in the form of optional pragmatic processes like ‘free enrichment’. This paper shows that Recanati’s position is not warranted, since there is an alternative line of analysis that obviates the need to assume free enrichment. In the alternative analysis, we need Stanley’s variables, but we need to give them the freedom to be or not to be generated in the syntax/present at logical form, a kind of optionality that has nothing to do with the pragmatics-related optionality of free enrichment. (shrink)
E. Machery, R. Mallon, S. Nichols and S. Stich, have argued that there is empirical evidence against Kripke’s claim that names are not descriptive. Their argument is based on an experiment that compares the intuitions about proper name use of a group of English speakers in Hong Kong with those of a group of non-Chinese American students. The results of the experiment suggest that in some cultures speakers use names descriptively. I argue that such a conclusion is incorrect, for the (...) experiment does not prove what it is purported to prove. (shrink)
According to Donnellan the characteristic mark of a referential use of a definite description is the fact that it can be used to pick out an individual that does not satisfy the attributes in the description. Friends and foes of the referential/attributive distinction have equally dismissed that point as obviously wrong or as a sign that Donnellan’s distinction lacks semantic import. I will argue that, on a strict semantic conception of what it is for an expression to be a genuine (...) referential device, Donnellan is right: if a use of a definite description is referential, it has got to be possible for it to refer to an object independently of any attributes associated with the description, including those that constitute its conventional meaning. (shrink)
Noel and Amanda Sharkey have written an insightful paper on the ethical issues concerned with the development of childcare robots for infants and toddlers, discussing the possible consequences for the psychological and emotional development and wellbeing of children. The ethical issues involving the use of robots as toys, interaction partners or possible caretakers of children are discussed reviewing a wide literature on the pathology and causes of attachment disorders. The potential risks emerging from the analysis lead the authors to promote (...) a multidisciplinary debate on the current legislation to deal with future robot childcare. As a general first consideration, the questions arising from the paper are extremely timely since current robot technology is surprisingly close to achieving autonomous bonding and sustained socialization with human toddlers. The evolution of robot technology has been so speedy in the last few years that even if a discipline like Human-machine Interaction has only recently welcomed human-robot interaction within its disciplinary scope, a variety of social robots have started to populate our life and daily activities. In the past five years human-robot interaction has received a significant and growing interest leading to the development of the so-called robots companions, a term that emphasizes a constant interaction and co-operation between human beings and robotic machines. While Noel and Amanda Sharkey in their paper take a critical stance on the consequences of the use of robots as companions or caretakers, others researchers seem more keen to highlight the potential of caregiver robots in particular in educational settings. In this commentary I’ll try to offer my personal viewpoint on the consequences of using robot companions or caretakers of children on learning and education, and the effects of technologies on cognitive skills development, a controversial area of research where different findings show how little is known. (shrink)
In this paper I examine two ways of defining the rigidity of general terms. First I discuss the view that rigid general terms express essential properties. I argue that the view is ultimately unsatisfactory, although not on the basis of the standard objections raised against it. I then discuss the characterisation in terms of sameness of designation in every possible world. I defend that view from two objections but I argue that the approach, although basically right, should be interpreted cautiously.
: Freedom, understood as active participation in public life, connects the thinking of Rosa Luxemburg with that of Hannah Arendt. Biographically separated through the rise and victory of the totalitarian movements, they both developed a concept of the political that is oriented toward freedom and that demonstrates—in spite of their different historical experiences—essential common features: both authors emphasize the recognition of difference as a presupposition for a critical discussion of norms, traditions, and authorities, for the capacity to make unconstrained judgments, (...) and for the ability to take personal responsibility. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a great deal of interaction among game theorists, philosophers, and logicians in certain foundational problems concerning rationality, the formalization of knowledge and practical reasoning, and models of learning and deliberation. This unique volume brings together the work of some of the preeminent figures in their respective disciplines, all of whom are engaged in research at the forefront of their fields. Together they offer a conspectus of the interaction of game theory, logic, and epistemology in (...) the formal models of knowledge, belief, deliberation, and learning and in the relationship between Bayesian decision theory and game theory, as well as between bounded rationality and computational complexity. (shrink)
In this paper I discuss two approaches to rigidity. I argue that they differ in the general conception of semantics that each embraces. Moreover, I argue that they differ in how each explains the rigidity of general terms, and in what each presupposes in that explanation.
Interest in republicanism as a political theory has burgeoned in recent years, but its implications for the understanding of law have remained largely unexplored. Legal Republicanism is the first book to offer a comprehensive, critical survey of the potential for creating republican accounts of fundamental issues in law and legal theory. -/- Bringing together contributors with backgrounds in political and legal philosophy, the essays in the volume assess republicanism's historical traditions, conceptual coherence, and normative proposals. The collection offers a valuable (...) insight into new debates taking place in republican political and legal theory. It also analyses potential republican approaches to concrete issues arising in areas of law such as criminal, constitutional and international law. Finally, the book includes comparisons between republican legal traditions and how they react to contemporary challenges. The book will be of value to political and democratic theorists, to legal philosophers and constitutional theorists, and all those interested in the legitimacy of decision-making in national and international settings. (shrink)
Aunque admito sin reservas -nos dice Spinoza en su TTP- que todas las cosas son determinadas por leyes universales de la naturaleza a existir y a obrar de una forma fija y determinada, afirmo, no obstante, que [...], para el uso de la vida, ...
There are obvious differences between (1) Mary is talking to the Dean and (2) Mary is looking for the Dean. In (1) we can replace "the Dean" by any other coextensional term and preserve truth value; also, from (1) we can infer that there is someone Mary is talking to. Such behavior breaks down in (2): neither intersubstitution of coextensional terms nor existential generalization guarantee preservation of truth value in a sentence like (2). (1) is purely extensional; (2) is intensional.
The following Principle of Substitutivity holds for the former, but not for the latter sentence: (PS) The truth value of (the proposition expressed by) a sentence that contains an occurrence of t1 remains constant when t2 is substituted for t1, provided that t1 and t2 are codesignative singular terms. It is an undeniable fact that different sentences behave differently when it comes to which substitutions preserve their truth value. What is curious is that this fact has been presented by the (...) philosophical tradition as a puzzle. To be more precise, what is supposed to be puzzling is the breakdown of PS in some sentences. Meanwhile, it is assumed that everything is as it should be, that nothing needs to be explained when we observe that the substitution of 'the number of planets' for 'nine' in 'nine is greater than seven' guarantees the preservation of truth value, in spite of the fact that the subject matter of the former sentence and the subject matter of 'the number of planets is greater than seven' are radically different. The former sentence expresses a claim about numbers and their relationships, whereas the latter sentence makes an assertion about our solar system. (shrink)
This note is a friendly amendment to Martis analysis of the failure of Føllesdals argument that modal distinctions collapse in Carnaps logic S2. Føllesdals argument turns on the treatment of descriptions. Marti considers how modal descriptions, which Carnap banned, might be handled; she adopts an approach which blocks Føllesdals argument, but requires a separate treatment of non-modal descriptions. I point out that a more general treatment of descriptions in S2 is possible, and indeed is implicit in Martis informal discussion, and (...) that this treatment also blocks Føllesdals argument. Further, I show by a semantic argument that no revised version of Føllesdals argument could establish a collapse of modal distinctions. (shrink)
Die offizielle Urteilstheorie Brentanos war eine nicht-propositionale Theorie. Die These, dass man, um die in einem Urteilsakt involvierten intentionalen Beziehungen zu erklären, keine propositionalen Entitäten einführen muss, war in der Tat eine seiner interessantesten Ideen. Brentano hat aber im Laufe seiner Lehrtätigkeit sehr viele neue Wege ausprobiert und so finden wir in seinen Vorlesungen aus den späten achtziger Jahren auch eine Urteilstheorie, die jedem Urteilsakt eine propositionale Entität zuordnet. Gerade diese Lehre war für Brentanos Studenten besonders inspirierend. Vor allem Anton (...) Marty und Carl Stumpf haben sehr interessante Theorien von solchen, wie sie es nannten, Inhalten entwickelt. 1888 hat Stumpf in seinen Vorle¬sun¬gen für der¬ar¬tige Entitäten den Ausdruck „Sachverhalt” ein¬geführt. Da sich vor allem diese Bezeichnung als terminus technicus durchgesetzt hat, werden wir sie in diesem Aufsatz auch in Bezug auf diejenigen Philosophen verwenden, die ihre propo¬sitionalen Entitäte anders nannten. Unter den treuen Brentanisten war es Anton Marty, der am konsequentesten an der Unentbehrlichkeit solcher Sachverhalte als Wahrmacher für richtige Urteile bestand. Seine Theorie hat jedoch einen etwas merkwürdigen Charakter. Die Sachverhalte werden einerseits als unverzichtbare Elemente des ontologischen Mobiliars angesehen, andererseits finden wir aber bei Marty eine deutliche Tendenz, sie als Strukturen zu interpretieren, die auf den Dingen (der nominalen Form), wie man es heutzutage gerne sagt, supervenieren. Der Sinn, in dem sie dann noch als unreduzierbar zu bezeichnen sind, ist nicht einfach zu eruieren. Der Philosoph, der sich von diesem, an sich sehr attraktiven, Supervenienz¬gedanken endgültig verabschiedet hat, war Alexius Meinong. Wir besprechen die Hauptpunkte seiner Kritik, untersuchen mögliche Auswege und versuchen die innere Spannung Martys Sachverhaltsbegriffs zwischen der Supervenienz und Unreduzierbarkeit ein wenig zu klären. (shrink)
At least since Hume we have a serious problem with explaining our moral valuations. Most of us – with notable exception of certain (in)famous esoteric thinkers like Nietzsche or De Sade – share a common intuition that our moral claims are in an important sense objective. We believe that they can be right or wrong; and we believe that if they happen to be right, then they are binding for each human being conducting a similar action in similar circumstances. Now (...) Hume drew our attention to the fact that our valuations do not follow from descriptions of the actions in question. There seems to be nothing in the “descriptive content” of the world around us that could make them true or false and in face of that it becomes very puzzling how they ever could be right, objective or committing. As we all know Hume’s solution proclaims emotions as the basis of our moral valuations. Calling something right or wrong should be in the first place understood as an expression of our emotional attitude toward it. This move explains a part of the initial puzzle, but it also leaves us with a certain unpleasant consequence. It seems that in the strict sense emotions could be neither rational nor true, and consequently we can hardly imagine any conclusive moral argument. De gustibus non disputandum est. Our feeling of objectivity vis a vis our moral valuations has to be classified as a kind of illusion and what follows is a kind of moral relativism or scepticism. Some philosophers are happy with this conclusion, but some others find it untenable. Brentano and his followers belonged to the second group. They generally accepted Hume’s claim that emotions constitute the basis of our moral valuations but developed interesting strategies to avoid his relativistic conclusions. (shrink)
The point of departure for Anton Marty's theory of intentionality is Franz Brentano's ontology of intentionality as outlined in the unpublished manuscript of his logic-lectures from the second half of the 1880's. This rich ontology comprises immanent objects, immanent propositional contents and (transcendent) states of affairs. The late Marty rejects all immanent entities in Brentano's sense and explains intentionality in terms of counterfactualconditionals.However,contraryto the late Brentano,he insists on the indispensability of the category of (transcendent) states of affairs . Consequently Marty (...) can formulate a realistic theory of truth, while Brentano holds an epistemic theory of truth. (shrink)
In this article we will address the issue whether and in how far Anton Marty had a significant influence on the development of the phenomenological movement. As “the phenomenological movement” is not a clearly defined and circumscribed notion, we need to provide an appropriate context for any comparison. The phenomenological movement grew out of the School of Brentano and we take this larger whole as our starting point. Since Marty did not found his own school or movement, but remained a (...) Brentanist, it is quite difficult to identify a clear influence of Marty on the phenomenological movement that would not be intermingled with a general Brentanist background. A specifically Martian influence could perhaps mainly be found in the philosophy of language. We will look at Marty’s and Husserl’s shared background, mutual criticisms and common legacy in order to evaluate the significance of any influence there might have been. (shrink)
I show the relevance of feminist thought to some of the major debates within the field of environmental ethics. The feminist vision of a holistic universe is contrasted with the dualistic notions inherent in both the “individual rights” and traditionally defined “holist” camps. I criticize the attempt in environmental ethics to establish universal, hierarchical rules of conduct for our dealing with nature (an up-down dualism) as weIl as the attempt to derive an ethic from reason alone (the dualism of reason (...) and emotion). I maintain that the division between the “holist” and “individual rights” camps is yet another form of dualist thinking, and propose in its stead a holistic vision that concerns itself both with the individual and with the whole of which the individual is apart. (shrink)
In contemporary science uncertainty is often represented as an intrinsic feature of natural and of human phenomena. As an example we need only think of two important conceptual revolutions occurred in physics and in logic during the first half of the twentieth century: (a) the discovery of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics; (b) the emergence of the many-valued logical reasoning, which gave rise to the so-called fuzzy thinking. We discuss the possibility of applying the notions of uncertainty , developed (...) in the framework of quantum mechanics, quantum information and fuzzy logics, to some problems of political and social sciences. (shrink)
This paper investigates young children's knowledge of scalar implicatures and downward entailment. In previous experimental work, we have shown that young children access the full range of truth-conditions associated with logical words in classical logic, including the disjunction operator, as well as the indefinite article. The present study extends this research in three ways, taking disjunction as a case study. Experiment 1 draws upon the observation that scalar implicatures (SIs) are cancelled (or reversed) in downward entailing (DE) linguistic environments, e.g., (...) in the scope of negation (Chierchia, 2000). Experiment 2 was designed to determine if scalar implicatures are used by children, like adults, to influence the interpretation of disjunction in non-DE contexts, yielding an implicature of exclusivity for disjunction. Whereas adult controls always rejected assertions of the form A or B in positive (non-DE) contexts in which assertions of the form A and B were also true, many children accepted assertions with disjunction in such contexts. To provide an interpretation to the findings from Experiment 2, a new experimental technique was devised and used in Experiment 3. The new technique presents pairs of assertions to children, who are asked to judge which assertion is a ‘better’ description of the context. The findings from Experiment 3 demonstrated children's awareness that A and B is more informative than A or B in positive contexts, where both statements are true. Taken together, the findings of Experiments 2 and 3 are compatible with the view that some children lack the computational resources to apply scalar implicatures when a single assertion is presented alone (see Reinhart, 1999). (shrink)
In recent times, a particular attention has been devoted to thesignificance of Quantum Theory for other disciplines. The articlescollected in this issue discuss some interesting cases,characterized by an interaction between Quantum Theory andother fields. Some basic notrons of the mathematical formalismof the theory are here summarized.
This article addresses the problem of emergence through a distinction, often neglected in the literature, between two different aspects of this issue: (1) the theoretical problem of providing modelizations able to explain the expression of emergent properties; (2) the epistemological problem of warranting the scientific value of the emergentist descriptions of nature. This paper considers this double issue with regard to the biological domain, and proposes a double solution (theoretical and epistemological) originally developed in early studies on self-organization. The underlying (...) hypothesis is that this solution offers the current biological emergentism the opportunity of developing a coherent structure: matching consistently the theoretical and the epistemological frames of the research, that is, coupling the emergentist conception of life with an emergentist conception of science. (shrink)
In a message posted to one of the cognitive science discussion groups the author asked, to paraphrase roughly, what should be read to get an up-to-date account of research into color naming? My advice is (and was) to consider the two books under review here: C. L. Hardin and Luisa Maffis excellent collection of essays on color language research; Robert MacLaurys magnum opus on color naming and cognition.
A course in professional ethics for civil engineers was taught for the first time in Spain during the academic year 2007/08. In this paper a survey on the satisfaction and expectation of the course is presented. Surprisingly the students sought moral and ethical principles for their own ordinary lives as well as for their profession. Students were concerned about the law, but in their actions they were more concerned with their conscience, aware that it can be separate from the law.
The simple proposal for a characterization of general term rigidity is in terms of sameness of designation in very possible world. Critics like Schwartz (2002) and Soames (2002) have argued that such a proposal would trivialize rigidity for general terms. Martí (2004) claims that the objection rests on the failure to distinguish what is expressed by a general term and the property designated. I argue here against such a response by showing that the trivialization problem reappears even if one (...) pays attention to such a distinction. (shrink)
This article takes a linguistic perspective of argumentation, as proposed by Marion Carel and Oswald Ducrot with the “Théorie des blocs sémantiques” (SBT: Semantic Block Theory). This theory argues that the meaning of a linguistic entity is determined by a collection of discourses that this entity calls to mind. Describing the meaning of a word, a syntagm or an utterance amounts to specifying the argumentative linkages (“enchaînements argumentatifs”) allowed by these entities. We propose a semantic and argumentative analysis of syntagms (...) mujer fácil , femme facile [easy woman] and hombre fácil , homme facile [easy man] that, in Romance languages in particular, hold different meanings: both hombre fácil/homme facile describe a man’s character or nature, whereas mujer fácil/femme facile, in their most common usage, imply a certain sexual behavior. We will compare the argumentative linkages that make up the meaning of mujer fácil/femme facile with those of other expressions that are part of the same semantic block. Also, this analysis will connect the proposed description to certain proverbial discourse about women, and it will call attention to the role that these expressions can play in a persuasive strategy. (shrink)
In an article published in 2003, Klaus Jacobi—using texts partially edited in De Rijk's Logica Modernorum—demonstrated that twelfth-century logic contains a tradition of reflecting about some of the transcendental names (nomina transcendentia). In addition to reinforcing Jacobi's thesis with other texts, this contribution aims to demonstrate two points: 1) That twelfth-century logical reflection about transcendental terms has its origin in the logica vetus, and especially in a passage from Porphyry Isagoge and in Boethius's commentary on it. In spite of the (...) loss of the major part of the Aristotelian corpus, the twelfth-century masters in logic still received some Aristotelian theses concerning the notions of one and being via Porphyry and Boethius; on the basis of such theses, they were able to elaborate a sort of proto-theory of the transcendentals as trans-categorical terms. 2) That this theory is centred on the idea that there exists a particular group of names which have the property that they can be said of everything; this group includes "being", "one", "thing" and "something" (ens, unum, res, aliquid). Twelfth-century masters in logic try to question the (originally Aristotelian) thesis that these terms are equivocal, although they do not deny it completely. (shrink)