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.
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 Empowered Self: Law and Society in the Age of Individualism examines the gradual emancipation of the individual in national and international law and the changing social attitudes towards personal choice in constituting identity. It demonstrates that this desire of persons for choice is not limited to Western industrial society but a historical development powered by such independent variables as urbanization, the communications revolution, education, and economic development. These factors are changing the way persons affiliate: their attitudes towards nationality, religion, (...) careers, sexuality, and gender roles. In the new climate of personal freedom, individuals increasingly select the components of their identity, choosing one or several from among multiple possible affiliations and questioning---even sometimes rejecting---the imposed or inherited forms of socialization, but despite such resistance, Thomas Franck demonstrates that we are now entering the age of the individual. (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)
The abilities to attribute an action to its proper agent and to understand its meaning when it is produced by someone else are basic aspects of human social communication. Several psychiatric syndromes, such as schizophrenia, seem to lead to a dysfunction of the awareness of one’s own action as well as of recognition of actions performed by other. Such syndromes offer a framework for studying the determinants of agency, the ability to correctly attribute actions to their veridical source. Thirty normal (...) subjects and 30 schizophrenic patients with and without hallucinations and/or delusional experiences were required to execute simple finger and wrist movements, without direct visual control of their hand. The image of either their own hand or an alien hand executing the same or a different movement was presented on a TV-screen in real time. The task for the subjects was to discriminate whether the hand presented on the screen was their own or not. Hallucinating and deluded schizophrenic patients were more impaired in discriminating their own hand from the alien one than the non-hallucinating ones, and tended to misattribute the alien hand to themselves. Results are discussed according to a model of action control. A tentative description of the mechanisms leading to action consciousness is proposed. (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)
Panpsychism is the doctrine that mind is a fundamental feature of the world existing throughout the universe. One problem with panpsychism is that it is a purely theoretical concept so far. For progress towards an operationalization of the idea, this paper suggests to make use of an ontological difference involved in the mind-matter distinction. The mode in which mental phenomena exist is called presence. The mode in which matter and radiation exist is called reality Physical theory disregards presence in both (...) the form of mental presence and the form of the temporal present In contrast to mental presence the temporal present is objective in the perspective of the third person. This relative kind of objectivity waits to be utilized for a hypothesis of how the mental and the physical are interrelated In order to do so this paper translates the mind-matter distinction into the distinction between mental and physical time and addresses the problem that panpsychism tries to attack head-on in these temporal terms. There are in particular , two issues thus getting involved: discussions about a time observable and the quantum Zeno effect. (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)
Pierre Maquet1,2,6, Steven Laureys1,2, Philippe Peigneux1,2,3, Sonia Fuchs1, Christophe Petiau1, Christophe Phillips1,6, Joel Aerts1, Guy Del Fiore1, Christian Degueldre1, Thierry Meulemans3, André Luxen1, Georges Franck1,2, Martial Van Der Linden3, Carlyle Smith4 and Axel Cleeremans5.
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.
Whoever paid the bill at the restaurant last night, will clearly remember doing it. Independently from the type of action, it is a common experience that being the agent provides a special strength to our memories. Even if it is generally agreed that personal memories (episodic memory) rely on separate neural substrates with respect to general knowledge (semantic memory), little is known on the nature of the link between memory and the sense of agency. In the present paper, we review (...) results from two experiments investigating the effects of agency on both explicit and implicit memory traces. Performance of normal subjects is compared to that of schizophrenic patients in order to explore the role of awareness of action on memory. It is proposed that reliable first-person information is necessary to create a stable and coherent motor memory trace. (shrink)
'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.'.
This study aimed at evaluating the role of proprioception in the process of matching the final position of one's limbs with an intentional movement. Two experiments were realised with the same paradigm of conscious recognition of one's own limb position from a distorted position. In the first experiment, 22 healthy subjects performed the task in an active and in a passive condition. In the latter condition, proprioception was the only available information since the central signals related to the motor command (...) were likely to be absent. The second experiment was realised with a deafferented patient who suffers from a complete haptic deafferentation, including loss of proprioception. The results first argue in favour of a dominant role of proprioception in action recognition, but they also stress the possible role of central signals. The process of matching the final position of one's limbs with an intended movement and thus of action recognition would be achieved through a comparison process between the predicted sensory consequences of the action, which are stored in its internal model, and the actual sensory consequences of that action. (shrink)
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)
Summary. It is proposed to translate the mind-matter distinction into terms of mental and physical time. In the spirit of this idea, we hypothesize a relation between the intensity of mental presence and a crucial time scale (some seconds) often referred to as a measure for the duration of nowness. This duration is experimentally accessible and might, thus, offer a suitable way to characterize the intensity of mental presence. Interesting consequences with respect to the idea of a generalized notion of (...) mental presence, with human consciousness as a special case, are outlined. Our approach includes some features consistent with other, related ideas which are indicated. (shrink)
European animal disease policy seems to find its justification in a “harm to other” principle. Limiting the freedom of animal keepers—e.g., by culling their animals—is justified by the aim to prevent harm, i.e., the spreading of the disease. The picture, however, is more complicated. Both during the control of outbreaks and in the prevention of notifiable, animal diseases the government is confronted with conflicting claims of stakeholders who anticipate running a risk to be harmed by each other, and who ask (...) for government intervention. In this paper, we first argue that in a policy that aims to prevent animal diseases, the focus shifts from limiting “harm” to weighing conflicting claims with respect to “risks of harm.” Therefore, we claim that the harm principle is no longer a sufficient justification for governmental intervention in animal disease prevention. A policy that has to deal with and distribute conflicting risks of harm needs additional value assumptions that guide this process of assessment and distribution. We show that currently, policies are based on assumptions that are mainly economic considerations. In order to show the limitations of these considerations, we use the interests and position of keepers of backyard animals as an example. Based on the problems they faced during and after the recent outbreaks, we defend the thesis that in order to develop a sustainable animal disease policy other than economic assumptions need to be taken into account. (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)
From the resurrection of body to eternal recurrence -- The shadow of God -- The guiding thread -- The logic of the body -- The system of identical cases -- From eternal recurrence to the resurrection of body.
Rosmini’s philosophy is a comprehensive effort toward the renovation of Christian thought in modern times. An intense discussion of the problem of knowledge led him to reformulate Augustine’s theory of illumination in terms of the ideal presence of universal being to the mind. Universal being is the lumen intellectus and our mind’s first object: it is implied in all our thoughts and makes them possible. Although devoid of reality, it shows remarkable features, such as infinity, necessity, and eternity. Without being (...) God, it may be called “divine,” and confers a special value to intelligent creatures, whose dignity comes from their being enlightened by universal being. The “divine” is also the seal of God’s presence in nature. The present article supports the logic of this argument. (shrink)