In ‘Essential stuff’ (2008) and ‘Stuff’ (2009), Kristie Miller argues that two generally accepted theses, often formulated as follows, are incompatible: - (Temporal) mereological essentialism for stuff (or matter), the thesis that any portion of stuff has the same parts at every time it exists.
We address the notion of integration of new memory representations and the potential dependence of this phenomenon on sleep, in light of recent findings on the lexicalization of spoken words. A distinction is introduced between measures tapping directly into the strength of the newly acquired knowledge and indirect measures assessing the influence of this knowledge on spoken word identification.
It is now widely believed among philosophers and logicians that ordinary English contains plural terms that may refer to several things at once. But are there terms that stand to ordinary plural terms the way ordinary plural terms stand to singular terms? Let’s call such terms superplural. A superplural term would thus, loosely speaking, refer to several “pluralities” at once. It is reasonably straightforward to devise a formal logic of superplural terms, superplural predicates, and even superplural quantifiers (Rayo 2006). But (...) does this formal logic reflect any features of natural languages? In particular, does ordinary English contain superplural terms and predicates? The purpose of this note is to address these questions. We examine some earlier arguments for the existence of superplural expressions in English, and find these arguments to be either inconclusive or not sufficiently far-reaching. Then we present some better examples of the superplural in ordinary English. [First author: Linnebo; second author: Nicolas.]. (shrink)
The discussion of ethics, corporate responsibility and its educational dimensions focuses primarily on CSR, corporate citizenship and philanthropic theory and practise. The partnership between Microsoft Corporation and UNHCR was launched to help the victims of the Kosovo crisis, at the same time as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gained momentum, and in particular, at the same time as Microsoft experienced a decrease in stock value. This case study sheds light on a decade of Microsoft Corp. efforts to align business (...) objectives with refugee aid, by use of corporate expertise and company revenues. As a leader in technology and corporate citizenship, can Microsoft bridge the digital divide for the disadvantaged and arouse the unlimited potential of tomorrow’s leaders, as the company claims in its communications? Is the partnership beneficial to UNHCR, in line with corporate objectives of “doing big things” and “doing good”? (shrink)
What semantics should we attribute to nouns like wisdom and generosity, which are derived from gradable adjectives? We show that, from a morphosyntactic standpoint, these nouns are mass nouns. This leads us to consider and answer the following questions. How are these nouns interpreted in their various uses? What formal representations may one associate with their interpretations? How do these depend on the semantics of the adjective? And where lies the semantic unity of nouns like wisdom and generosity with the (...) more familiar concrete mass nouns, like wine and furniture? (shrink)
In ‘Essential stuff' (2008) and ‘Stuff' (2009), Kristie Miller argues that two generally accepted theses, often formulated as follows, are incompatible: - (Temporal) mereological essentialism for stuff (or matter), the thesis that any portion of stuff has the same parts at every time it exists. - Stuff composition, the thesis that for any two portions of stuff, there exists a portion of stuff that is their mereological sum (or fusion). She does this by considering competing hypotheses about stuff, trying to (...) prove inconsistency in all cases and with all corresponding understandings of mereological essentialism and stuff composition. I explain why, from an endurantist standpoint, her argument does not go through. (shrink)
where ‘aa’ is a plural term, and ‘F’ a plural predicate. Following George Boolos (1984) and others, many philosophers and logicians also think that plural expressions should be analysed as not introducing any new ontological commitments to some sort of ‘plural entities’, but rather as involving a new form of reference to objects to which we are already committed (for an overview and further details, see Linnebo 2004). For instance, the plural term ‘aa’ refers to Alice, Bob and Charlie simultaneously, (...) and the plural predicate ‘F’ is true of some things just in case these things cooperate. A natural question that arises is whether the step from the singular to the plural can be iterated. Are there terms that stand to ordinary plural terms the way ordinary plural terms stand to singular terms? Let’s call such terms superplural. A superplural term would thus, loosely speaking, refer to several ‘pluralities’ at once, much as an ordinary plural term refers to several objects at once.1 Further, let’s call a predicate superplural if it can be predicated of superplural terms. It is reasonably straightforward to devise a formal logic of superplural terms, superplural predicates, and even superplural quantifiers (see Rayo 2006). But does this formal logic reflect any features of natural languages? In particular, does ordinary English contain superplural terms and predicates? The purpose of this article is to address these questions. We examine some earlier arguments for the existence of superplural expressions in English and find them to be either.. (shrink)
In English, some common nouns, like cat, can be used in the singular and in the plural, while others, like water, are invariable. Moreover, nouns like cat can be employed with numerals like one and two and determiners like a, many and few, but neither with much nor little . On the contrary, nouns like milk can be used with determiners like much and little, but neither with a, one nor many. These two types of nouns constitute two morphosyntactic sub-classes (...) of English common nouns; cf. for instance Gillon (1992). They have been respectively called count nouns and mass nouns. In many languages, notably Romance and Germanic languages, one can similarly identify two morphosyntactic subclasses of common nouns, nouns of one class admitting singular and plural number, and nouns of the other being invariable in grammatical number.1 The question we want to address in this paper is one in lexical semantics: Is there anything characteristic about the meaning of a count noun? This question has occupied the mind of many linguists and philosophers. It is comparable in intent to: Can one give a purely semantic definition of verbs? Four proposals have been discussed in the literature. (shrink)
A dilemma put forward by Schein (1993, Plurals and events. Cambridge: MIT Press) and Rayo (2002, Nous, 36, 436-464) suggests that, in order to characterize the semantics of plurals, we should not use predicate logic, but plural logic, a formal language whose terms may refer to several things at once. We show that a similar dilemma applies to mass nouns. If we use predicate logic and sets when characterizing their semantics, we arrive at a Russellian paradox. And if we use (...) predicate logic and mereological sums, the semantics turns out to be too weak. We then develop an account where mass nouns are treated as non-singular terms. This semantics is faithful to the intuition that, if there are eight pieces of silverware on a table, the speaker refers to eight things at once when he says: The silverware that is on the table comes from Italy. We show that this account provides a satisfactory semantics for a wide range of sentences. (shrink)
What semantics should we attribute to mass expressions like "wisdom" and "love", which are derived from gradable expressions? We first examine how these expressions are used, then how they are interpreted in their various uses. We then propose a model to account for these data, in which derived mass nouns denote instances of properties.
'Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundation either. It leaves everything as it is.' 'We must do away with all explanation, and description alone must take its place.'.
Contra Jackendoff, we argue that within the parallel architecture framework, the generality of language does not require a rich conceptual structure. To show this, we put forward a delegation model of specialization. We find Jackendoff's alternative, the subdivision model, insufficiently supported. In particular, the computational consequences of his representational notion of modularity need to be clarified.
In this paper, we investigate how certain types of predicates should be connected with certain types of degree scales, and how this can affect the events they describe. The distribution and interpretation of various degree adverbials will serve us as a guideline in this perspective. They suggest that two main types of degree scales should be distinguished: (i) quantity scales, which are characterized by the semantic equivalence of Yannig ate the cake partially and Yannig ate part of the cake; quantity (...) scales only appear with verbs possessing an incremental theme (cf. Dowty 1991); (ii) intensity scales, which are characterized by degree modifiers (e.g., extremely, perfectly) receiving an intensive interpretation; intensity scales typically occur with verbs morphologically related to an adjective (to dry). More generally, we capitalize on a typology of degree structures to explain how degrees play a central role with respect to event structure. (shrink)
L'objet de cet article est d'examiner en quoi la phrase nominale existentielle : (a) Lecture pendant toute la matinée. (b) Lecture d'un poème. (c) Lecture. peut être concernée par la distinction aspectuelle télique / atélique. Nous avons examiné les phrases qui, notamment à cause du type d'expression nominale employé, renvoient à un événement, un processus ou un état. Celles qui renvoient à un événement sont téliques, les autres sont atéliques, comme dans le cas des expressions verbales. Nous avons étudié les (...) énoncés nominaux qui comportent un circonstant (a) pouvant influer sur l'aspect télique ou atélique de l'énoncé et les énoncés qui renferment uniquement un groupe nominal, comme en (b), ou un simple nom comme en (c). Il ressort de cette étude i) que le caractère télique ou atélique d'une phrase nominale existentielle dépend non seulement du type de nom utilisé, mais aussi de facteurs syntaxiques (circonstant, complément, adjectif et déterminant du nom) voire contextuels (l'énoncé précédent); ii) que la phrase nominale existentielle impose certaines contraintes d'emploi, notamment par rapport aux déterminants, ce qui peut freiner l'observation de la télicité pour certains groupes nominaux2. (shrink)
Even if the literature on the effects of pupil composition has been extensive, no clear consensus has been reached concerning the significance and magnitude of this effect. The first objective of this article is to estimate the magnitude of the school composition effect in primary schools (6th grade) in French-speaking Belgium. Different indicators of school composition are used: academic, socio-cultural, 'language' and sex composition. Except for sex composition, the results show that the school composition effect explains significant amount of between (...) schools variance even after controlling for pupils' initial performance, socio-cultural background, and non-cognitive dispositions. The second objective is to examine covariance between school composition and several organisational variables and their joint effect on school performance. The second set of analyses is intended to question the conceptual nature of the school composition effect, establishing whether it is direct or indirect. (shrink)
Nos daremos a la tarea de presentar una discusión que se encuentra en la obra del filósofo colombiano Julio Enrique Blanco, y en particular en dos de sus primeros escritos: “De la causalidad biológica I” (1917) y “Caminos de perfección” (1918). Para hacerlo debimos primero recurrir a uno de los textos centrales del inglés John Stuart Mill: Un sistema de lógica (1843). Lo que ha resultado de estas tres lecturas es la reconstrucción de una propuesta metodológica realizada por el colombiano, (...) propuesta que presentamos con complementos que son el resultado de las lecturas de éstas y otras obras suyas. Finalmente, intentaremos demostrar que ante la evaluación de los fundamentos cognoscitivos de nociones heredadas, una de las posibilidades que se presenta es inmovilizar aquellas que sean de carácter hipotético antes que hipertético. (shrink)
Abstract: Friends of plural logic—like Oliver & Smiley (2001), Rayo (2002), Yi (2005), and McKay (2006)—have argued that a semantics of plurals based on mereological sums would be too weak, and they have adduced several examples in favor of their claim. However, they have not considered various possible counter-arguments. So how convincing are their own arguments? We show that several of them are easily answered, while some others are more problematic. Overall, the case against mereological singularism—the idea that mereological sums (...) can serve as the semantic values of plurals—turns out to be much less strong than what it is usually presented to be. (shrink)
A dilemma put forward by Schein (1993) and Rayo (2002) suggests that, in order to characterize the semantics of plurals, we should not use predicate logic, but non-singular logic, a formal language whose terms may refer to several things at once. We show that a similar dilemma applies to mass nouns. If we use predicate logic and sets, we arrive at a Russellian paradox when characterizing the semantics of mass nouns. Likewise, a semantics of mass nouns based upon predicate logic (...) and mereological sums is too weak, since it cannot characterize the “intermediary” construals that sentences containing mass nouns may receive. We then develop an account where mass nouns are treated as non-singular terms, which may refer to several things at once. This semantics is faithful to the intuition that, if there are eight pieces of silverware on a table, the speaker refers to eight things at once when he says: “The silverware that is on the table comes from Italy”. We show that this account provides a satisfactory semantics for a wide range of sentences, including cases often seen as difficult, like “The gold on the table weighs seven ounces” (Bunt 1985) and “All phosphorus is either red or black” (Roeper 1983). (shrink)
An agent is rational by dominance then states of mind (DSM) if he makes his decisions by, first, preselecting the alternatives that are not dominated by any other alternative in the choice set, and second, by choosing the preselected alternative corresponding to his state of mind. This state of mind is dependent on the previous choices he made. An agent is rational by states of mind then dominance (SMD) if he makes his decisions by, first, preselecting the alternatives corresponding to (...) his state of mind and second, choosing the alternative that is not dominated. We give axiomatizations for SMD-rational or DSM-rational choice functions. (shrink)
We show that an individual using a choice function is sequentially rational and the decisions he makes are independent of the order of implementation of the rationales if and only if he is rational with the union of the rationales as a base binary relation. When he makes his decisions following a choice correspondence, the sufficiency part of this claim still holds, the necessity part of it does not.
The article analizes the several times of Proclus‘s reception by Nicholas of Cusa’s thought. The direct reading of Proclus can be established because Expositio in Parmenidem Platonis –Cod.Cus. 186– and Elementatio theological –Cod.Cus.195– (Moerbeke’s translation) and De theologia Platonis Libri VI –Cod.Cus.185– (Petrus Balbus’s translation) are in his Library in Bernkastel-Kues with his marginalia. The assimilation of doctrines can be considered assuming that the implicits and explicits references to Plato’s Diadochus, especially in the last works.