Marga Reimer and Anne Bezuidenhout present a collection of new essays on important topics at the intersection of philosophy and linguistics. Written by a line-up of important contributors drawn from both disciplines, the papers will likewise attract a wide readership of professionals and students from either side.
Three views of demonstrative reference are examined: contextual, intentional, and quasi-intentional. According to the first, such reference is determined entirely by certain publicly accessible features of the context. According to the second, speaker intentions are criterial in demonstrative reference. And according to the third, both contextual features and intentions come into play in the determination of demonstrative reference. The first two views (both of which enjoy current popularity) are rejected as implausible; the third (originally proposed by Kaplan in Dthat) is (...) argued to be highly plausible. (shrink)
thing produced and understood by speakers of natural language. So understood, metaphors are naturally viewed as linguistic expressions oi a particular type, or as Iittguistic expressions used in a particular type of way. W'e adopt this linguistic conception of metaphor in what follows. In doing so, we do not intend to rule out the possibility of non-linguistic forms of metaphor. Many theorists think that nonlinguistic objects (such as paintings or dance performances) or conceptual structures (like love cts a journey or (...) argttment as tvar)' should also be treated as metaphors. Indeed, the idea that metaphors are in the first instance conceptual phenomena, and hvguistic devices only derivatively, is the dominant view in what is now the dominant area of metaphor research: cognitive science.' In construing metaphor as linguistic, we merely intend to impose appropriate constraints on a discussion whose focus is the understanding and analysis of metaphor within contemporary philosophy of language. Given this starting point, what can be said about metaphor that is not controversiaP. Very little, as it turns out. Metaphor is a trope or figure of speech, where a 'figure.. (shrink)
Whether your scepticism is as absolute and sincere as you claim is something we shall learn later on, when we end this little meeting: we’ll then see whether you leave the room through the door or the window; and whether you really doubt that your body has gravity and can be injured by its fall—which is what people in general think on the basis of their fallacious senses and more fallacious experience. What Could Be more dissimilar than a well-argued philosophical (...) thesis and a psychiatric delusion? Compare, for instance, Hume’s (1739) view that the self is nothing more than a “bundle” of perceptions with the psychiatric patient’s view that the thoughts in his head belong to someone else. Or, compare the .. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Davidson's (1986) view that our ability to understand malapropisms forces us to re-think the standard construal of literal word meaning as conventional meaning. Specially, I contend that the standard construal is not only intuitive but also well-motivated, for appeal to conventional meaning is necessary to understand why speakers utter the particular words they do. I also contend that, contra Davidson, we can preserve the intuitive distinction between what a speaker means and what his words (...) mean, even while retaining the standard construal of literal word meaning as conventional. (shrink)
Psychopathy is often characterized in terms of what I call “the language of disorder.” I question whether such language is necessary for an accurate and precise characterization of psychopathy, and I consider the practical implications of how we characterize psychopathy—whether as a biological, or merely normative, disorder.
take leave of one’s senses English, Verb. 1. (idiomatic) To go crazy; to stop behaving rationally A Chief concern in “Only a Philosopher or a Madman” was to draw attention to a number of striking yet underappreciated similarities between paradigm psychiatric delusions and standard philosophical doctrines, “nihilistic” as well as “common sense.” The similarities were presented as illuminating given their potential to inform the debate over whether psychiatric delusions are properly (or usefully) conceptualized as beliefs. The paper’s central argument might (...) be summarized as follows: Paradigm psychiatric delusions appear to differ, in particular ways, from ordinary beliefs. In essence, the .. (shrink)
Standard attempts to defend Russell's Theory of Descriptions against the problem posed by incomplete descriptions, are discussed and dismissed as inadequate. It is then suggested that one such attempt, one which exploits the notion of a contextually delimited domain of quantification, may be applicable to incomplete quantifier expressions which are typically treated as quantificational: expressions of the form AllF's, NoF's, SomeF's, Exactly eightF's, etc. In this way, one is able to retain the plausible claim that such expressions ought to receive (...) their usual quantificational analyses. The conclusion tentatively drawn is that perhaps definite descriptions arenot amenable to a (Russellian) quantificational analysis. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have argued that psychiatric delusions threaten Donald Davidson's rationalist account of intentional agency. I argue that a careful look at both Davidson's account and psychiatric delusions shows that, in fact, the two are perfectly compatible. Indeed, a Davidsonian perspective on psychiatric delusions proves remarkably illuminating.
In his classic paper, “Delusional thinking and perceptual disorder,” Brendan Maher (1974) argues that psychiatric delusions are hypotheses designed to explain anomalous experiences, and are “developed through the operation of normal cognitive processes.” Consider, for instance, the Capgras delusion. Patients suffering from this particular delusion believe that someone close to them—such as a spouse, a sibling, a parent, or a child—has been replaced by an impostor: by someone who bears a striking resemblance to the “original” and who (for reasons unknown) (...) is intent on passing herself off as that individual. On Maher's view, the “Impostor Hypothesis” is the response of a rational agent to the anomalous experience it is invoked to explain. Recently, a number of philosophers have argued that Maher's analysis of delusion doesn't work when applied to the Capgras delusion. In this paper, I defend Maher's analysis against these arguments. However, my aim is not merely to defend Maher's analysis, but also to draw attention to some of the methodological problems that have led to its hasty dismissal. (shrink)
Medical professionals, including mental health professionals, largely agree that moral judgment should be kept out of clinical settings. The rationale is simple: moral judgment has the capacity to impair clinical judgment in ways that could harm the patient. However, when the patient is suffering from a "Cluster B" personality disorder, keeping moral judgment out of the clinic might appear impossible, not only in practice but also in theory. For the diagnostic criteria associated with these particular disorders (Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic) (...) are expressed in overtly moral language. I consider three proposals for dealing with this problem. The first is to eliminate the Cluster B disorders from the DSM on the grounds that they are moral, rather than mental, disorders. The second is to replace the morally laden language of the diagnostic criteria with morally neutral language. The third is to disambiguate the notion of moral judgment so as to respect the distinction between having morally disvalued traits and having moral responsibility for those traits. Sensitivity to this distinction enables the clinician, at least in theory, to employ morally laden diagnostic criteria without adopting the sort of morally judgmental (and potentially harmful) attitude that results from the tacit presumption of moral responsibility. I argue against the first two proposals and in favor of the third. In doing so, I appeal to Grice's distinction between conventional and conversational implicature. I close with a few brief remarks on the irony of retaining overtly moral language in an ostensibly medical manual for the diagnosis of mental disorders. (shrink)
Kripke and Dummett disagree over whether or not there could have been unicorns. Kripke thinks that there could not have been; Dummett thinks otherwise. I argue that Kripke is correct: there are no counterfactual situations properly describable as ones in which there would have been unicorns. In attempting to establish this claim, I argue that Dummett's critique of an argument (reminiscent of an argument of Kripke's) to the conclusion that there could not have been unicorns, is vitiated by a conflation (...) of two superficially similar, though importantly different, claims. I then attempt to provide an account of the counter-intuitiveness of Kripke's position, arguing that the claim that there could not have been unicorns is best understood as a semantic, rather than metaphysical, claim. Finally, I provide a brief argument on behalf of the semantics of species terms that appears to underpin Kripke's position. (shrink)
Hartry Field has argued that Alfred Tarski desired to reduce all semantic concepts to concepts acceptable to physicalism and that Tarski failed to do this. In the two succeeding decades, Field has been charged with being too lenient with Tarski; but it has been almost universally accepted that an objection at least as strong as Field's is telling against Tarski's theory. Close examination of the relevant literature, most of it printed in this journal in the 1930s, reveals that Field's conception (...) of physicalism is anachronistic. Tarski did succeed in furthering the sort of physicalist program he had in mind. (shrink)
In 1905, Bertrand Russell published 'On Denoting' in which he proposed and defended a quantificational account of definite descriptions. Forty-five years later, in 'On Referring', Peter Strawson claimed that Russell was mistaken: definite descriptions do not function as quantifiers but (paradigmatically) as referring expressions. Ever since, scores of theorists have attempted to adjudicate this debate. Others have gone beyond the question of the proper analysis of definite descriptions, focusing instead on the complex relations between definites, indefinites, and pronouns. These relations (...) are often examined with attention to the phenomena of scope and anaphora. This collection assembles nineteen new papers on definite descriptions and related topics. The contributors include both philosophers and linguists, many of whom have been active participants in the various debates concerning descriptions. The volume contains a brief general introduction and is divided into six sections, each of which is accompanied by a detailed introduction of its own. Several of the sections concern issues associated with the Russell/Strawson debate. These include the sections on incomplete descriptions, the referential/attributive distinction, and presupposition and truth value gaps. There is also a section on the representation of definites and indefinites in semantic theory, containing papers that reject certain core assumptions of the Russellian paradigm. Linguists interested in definites have traditionally been concerned with how such expressions interact with other expressions, including pronouns and indefinites. They have explored, and continue to explore, these interactions through the complex phenomena of scope and anaphora. In the section dealing with anaphoric pronouns and descriptions, indefinites and dynamic syntax/semantics, five linguists propose and defend their views on these and related issues. Finally, there is a section that concerns the relation between proper names and descriptions and, more particularly, the idea that some names, those introduced into the language by description, are semantically equivalent to definite descriptions. (shrink)
This study considered representations of divine and human others in the self-understanding of monotheists from three religions. Self-understanding was conceptualized on the basis of semantic and episodic knowledge in narrative response data. Given the importance of social context in the formation of cognitive schemas, the project emphasized self-understanding in a comparative religious design. The sample included sixty nominated religious exemplars who responded to a structured interview. Schemas were subsequently mapped for Jews, Muslims, and Christians by comparison of self and other (...) representations in a computational model known as latent semantic analysis (LSA). Findings indicated that representation of the divine is far removed from parents in cognitive schemas for all participants. Unlike Jews and Christians, Muslims appear to represent human others on the basis of self-understanding which principally references the divine. When considered in a computational semantic space, exemplars generally represent the self in a manner corresponding with divine and peer figures. (shrink)
Cultural safety is a relatively new concept that has emerged in the New Zealand nursing context and is being taken up in various ways in Canadian health care discourses. Our research team has been exploring the relevance of cultural safety in the Canadian context, most recently in relation to a knowledge-translation study conducted with nurses practising in a large tertiary hospital. We were drawn to using cultural safety because we conceptualized it as being compatible with critical theoretical perspectives that foster (...) a focus on power imbalances and inequitable social relationships in health care; the interrelated problems of culturalism and racialization; and a commitment to social justice as central to the social mandate of nursing. Engaging in this knowledge-translation study has provided new perspectives on the complexities, ambiguities and tensions that need to be considered when using the concept of cultural safety to draw attention to racialization, culturalism, and health and health care inequities. The philosophic analysis discussed in this paper represents an epistemological grounding for the concept of cultural safety that links directly to particular moral ends with social justice implications. Although cultural safety is a concept that we have firmly positioned within the paradigm of critical inquiry, ambiguities associated with the notions of 'culture', 'safety', and 'cultural safety' need to be anticipated and addressed if they are to be effectively used to draw attention to critical social justice issues in practice settings. Using cultural safety in practice settings to draw attention to and prompt critical reflection on politicized knowledge, therefore, brings an added layer of complexity. To address these complexities, we propose that what may be required to effectively use cultural safety in the knowledge-translation process is a 'social justice curriculum for practice' that would foster a philosophical stance of critical inquiry at both the individual and institutional levels. (shrink)
Knowledge translation has been widely taken up as an innovative process to facilitate the uptake of research-derived knowledge into health care services. Drawing on a recent research project, we engage in a philosophic examination of how knowledge translation might serve as vehicle for the transfer of critically oriented knowledge regarding social justice, health inequities, and cultural safety into clinical practice. Through an explication of what might be considered disparate traditions (those of critical inquiry and knowledge translation), we identify compatibilities (...) and discrepancies both within the critical tradition, and between critical inquiry and knowledge translation. The ontological and epistemological origins of the knowledge to be translated carry implications for the synthesis and translation phases of knowledge translation. In our case, the studies we synthesized were informed by various critical perspectives and hence we needed to reconcile differences that exist within the critical tradition. A review of the history of critical inquiry served to articulate the nature of these differences while identifying common purposes around which to strategically coalesce. Other challenges arise when knowledge translation and critical inquiry are brought together. Critique is one of the hallmark methods of critical inquiry and, yet, the engagement required for knowledge translation between researchers and health care administrators, practitioners, and other stakeholders makes an antagonistic stance of critique problematic. While knowledge translation offers expanded views of evidence and the complex processes of knowledge exchange, we have been alerted to the continual pull toward epistemologies and methods reminiscent of the positivist paradigm by their instrumental views of knowledge and assumptions of objectivity and political neutrality. These types of tensions have been productive for us as a research team in prompting a critical reconceptualization of knowledge translation. (shrink)
The medical journal Medicinische Reform. Eine Wochenschrift edited by Rudolf Virchow and Rudolf Leubuscher in Berlin from July 1848 to June 1849 was in spite of its short life-time one of the most important and influential periodicals during the time of German revolution and medical reforms in the middle of the 19th century. The paper gives a view of the history of edition of this ephemeral but outstanding journal as an essential source for our knowledge of the development of social (...) medicine in Germany. Moreover it can be seen as an example for a new kind of modern scientific journals. Printing the Medicinische Reform through the years of revolution in 1848/49 was on the merits of the publishing house of Georg Reimer. In 1849 Virchow himself stopped editing the paper. Several reprints show the importance of the periodical for the history of siences (1879 Berlin, partial by Virchow; 1975 Hildesheim; 1983 Berlin). The article ends with a first complete publication of the correspondence between Virchow and Reimer about the weekly Medicinische Reform. (shrink)
We begin our discussion of Richard by comparing his and our aims. Richard argues for and begins to develop an account of a connection between the semantic content of (an utterance of) a sentence and correct indirect reports of it. He submits that by doing so he refutes us, but that's just not so. We never challenged the existence of every such connection. Surely there is some connection (probably many). Our paper attempts to show that one alleged connection does not (...) obtain. We articulated two central goals, one specific (1), and one more general (2). (shrink)
Siegel defends "Limited Intentionism", a theory of what secures the semantic reference of uses of bare demonstratives ("this", "that" and their plurals). According to Limited Intentionism, demonstrative reference is fixed by perceptually anchored intentions on the part of the speaker.
In order to understand a sentence, one must know the relevant semantic rules. Those rules are not learned in a vacuum; they are given to one through one's senses. (One sees Smith; one is told that his name is "Smith.") As a result, knowledge of semantic rules sometimes comes bundled with semantically irrelevant, but cognitively non-innocuous, knowledge of the circumstances in which those rules were learned. Thus, one must work through non-semantic information in order to know what is literally meant (...) by a given sentence-token. A consequence is that one's knowledge of what is literally meant by a given sentence-token is sometimes embedded in non-semantic knowledge, resulting in a cleavage between what that sentence-token literally means and what the auditor in question takes it to mean. Such deviations obviously have nothing to do with the principles put forth by Grice, since those principles only concern sentence-tokens that have already been understood---since, to put it another way, those principles only concern post-semantic implicature. The just-described deviations are appropriately described as being due to "pre-semantic implicature." Given the phenomenon of pre-semantic implicature, it is easily shown that Russell's Theory of Descriptions, if taken as a theory of literal meaning, is false. In the present volume, these rather elementary principles are entirely ignored, and all of the articles in it are sterile repetitions of the points made by Russell and Strawson. The blinkered approach to language embodied in this volume must be reconsidered in light of psychological principles relating to language-acquisition and language-use. Unfortunately, analytic philosophers shy away from such topics, as is made clear by the papers in this grim volume. (shrink)
This paper enters the continuing fray over the semantic significance of Donnellan’s referential/attributive distinction. Some holdthat the distinction is at bottom a pragmatic one: i.e., that the difference between the referential use and the attributive use arises at the level of speaker’s meaning rather the level of sentence-or utterance-meaning. This view has recently been challenged byMarga Reimer andMichael Devitt, both of whom argue that the fact that descriptions are regularly, that is standardly, usedto refer defeats the pragmatic approach. The present (...) paper examines a variety of issues bearing on the regularity in question: whether the regularity would arise in a Russellian language, whether the regularity is similar to the standard use ofcomplex demonstratives, and whether the pragmatic approach founders on the problem of dead metaphors. I argue that the pragmatic approach can readily explain all of these facets ofthe referential use of descriptions. (shrink)
Although delusions are typically regarded as beliefs of a certain kind, there have been worries about the doxastic conception of delusions since at least Bleuler’s time. ‘Anti-doxasticists,’ as we might call them, do not merely worry about the claim that delusions are beliefs, they reject it. Reimer’s paper weighs into the debate between ‘doxasticists’ and ‘anti-doxasticists’ by suggesting that one of the main arguments given against the doxastic conception of delusions—what we might call the functional role objection—is based on a (...) fallacy. She also draws attention to certain parallels between delusions and what she calls “nihilistic philosophical doctrines,” such as the skeptical position that we have no .. (shrink)
Fred Adams and collaborators advocate a view on which empty-name sentences semantically encode incomplete propositions, but which can be used to conversationally implicate descriptive propositions. This account has come under criticism recently from Marga Reimer and Anthony Everett. Reimer correctly observes that their account does not pass a natural test for conversational implicatures, namely, that an explanation of our intuitions in terms of implicature should be such that we upon hearing it recognize it to be roughly correct. Everett argues that (...) the implicature view provides an explanation of only some our intuitions, and is in fact incompatible with others, especially those concerning the modal profile of sentences containing empty names. I offer a pragmatist treatment of empty names based upon the recognition that the Gricean distinction between what is said and what is implicated is not exhaustive, and argue that such a solution avoids both Everett’s and Reimer’s criticisms.Selon Fred Adams et ses collaborateurs, les phrases comportant des noms propres vides codent sémantiquement des propositions incomplètes, bien qu’elles puissent être utilisées pour impliquer des propositions descriptives dans le contexte d’une conversation. Marga Reimer et Anthony Everett ont récemment critiqué cette théorie. Reimer note judicieusement que leur théorie ne résiste pas à l’examen naturel des implications conversationnelles; une explication de nos intuitions concernant l’implication doit être telle que lorsque nous l’entendons, elle nous apparaît globalement correcte. Everett soutient que la théorie de l’implication ne parvient à expliquer qu’un certain nombre de nos intuitions et reste incompatible avec d’autres, notamment celles qui concernent la dimension modale des phrases contenant des noms propres vides. Je propose ici un traitement pragmatiste des noms propres vides fondé sur l’observation que la distinction Gricéenne entre ce qui est dit et ce qui est impliqué n’est pas exhaustive; je soutiens que cette solution échappe aux critiques d’Everett et de Reimer. (shrink)
Demonstrative noun phrases (e.g. this; that guy over there ) are intimately connected to the context of use in that their reference is determined by demonstrations and/or the speaker's intentions. The semantics of demonstratives therefore has important implications not only for theories of reference, but for questions about how information from the context interacts with formal semantics. First treated by Kaplan as directly referential , demonstratives have recently been analyzed as quantifiers by King, and the choice between these two approaches (...) is a matter of ongoing controversy. Meanwhile, linguists and psychologists working from a variety of perspectives have gathered a wealth of data on the form, meaning, and use of demonstratives in many languages. Demonstratives thus provide a fruitful topic for graduate study for two reasons. On the one hand, they serve as an entry point to foundational issues in reference and the semantics–pragmatics interface. On the other hand, they are an especially promising starting point for interdisciplinary research, which brings the results of linguistics and related fields to bear on the philosophy of language. Author Recommends Kaplan, David. 'Demonstratives.' 1977. Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 481–563. The seminal work on the semantics of demonstratives and indexicals, such as I, here , and now . Kaplan introduces a distinction between content (which maps from possible circumstances to extensions) and character (which maps from possible contexts to contents). He argues that demonstratives and indexicals are directly referential : given a possible context, their character fixes their extension. Kaplan, David. 'Afterthoughts.' Themes from Kaplan . Ed. J. Almong, J. Perry, and H. Wettstein. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. 565–614. An elaboration on the theory developed in 'Demonstratives.' Kaplan considers the connection between direct reference and rigid designation; raises the issue of whether demonstratives depend on demonstrations or speaker intentions; and discusses implications of the analysis for formal semantics and for epistemology. King, Jeffrey C. Complex Demonstratives . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. In perhaps the most influential challenge to date to the direct reference theory of demonstratives, King argues that complex demonstratives (i.e. demonstrative determiners with nominal complements) are best analyzed as quantifiers. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. This recent Kaplanian analysis of complex demonstratives shows the 'state of the art' of direct reference approaches and responds to some of the objections to such approaches raised by King. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–466. The most recent analysis of demonstratives as individual concepts, contrasting with both the direct reference and quantificational approaches. Fillmore, Charles. Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. In this collection of lectures, originally delivered in 1971, Fillmore considers demonstratives and indexical expressions in many languages to describe the types of information about the context (e.g. locations in space, time, and discourse) that are encoded in natural language. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Perhaps the most detailed pragmatic alternative to formal semantic theories of demonstratives and other referring expressions. The authors argue that demonstratives are best described as imposing a condition of use in which the referent of the demonstrative has a certain level of salience for the interlocutors. Online Materials http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/ Indexicals (David Braun) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reference/ Reference (Marga Reimer) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rigid-designators/ Rigid designators (Joseph LaPorte) http://philpapers.org/browse/indexicals-and-demonstratives/ Online bibliography of papers on indexicals and demonstratives Sample Syllabus The following syllabus can be used in entirety for a survey course on demonstratives; in addition, each of the three units is self-contained and can be used alone. Unit 1: Demonstratives and Indexicality Week 1: Indexicals 1. Kaplan, Demonstratives 2. Kaplan, Afterthoughts Week 2: Issues for Indexical Reference 1. Reimer, Marga. 'Do Demonstrations Have Semantic Significance?' Analysis 51 (1991): 177–83. 2. Bach, Kent. 'Intentions and Demonstrations.' Analysis 52 (1992): 140–46. 3. Nunberg, Geoffrey. 'Indexicality and Deixis.' Linguistics and Philosophy 16.1 (1993): 1–43. Week 3: Optional detour: Monsters 1. Schlenker, Philippe. 'A Plea for Monsters.' Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (2003): 29-120. Week 4: Demonstratives as Quantifiers 1. King. Complex Demonstratives , chapters 1–3. Week 5: Indexical and Non-Indexical Demonstratives 1. Braun, David. 'Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 57–99. Optional additional reading 2. Roberts, Craige. 'Demonstratives as Definites.' Information Sharing . Ed. Kees van Deemter and Roger Kibble. Stanford, CA: CSLI Press, 2002. 3. Wolter, Lynsey. 'That's That: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Demonstrative Noun Phrases.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2006, chapters 2–3. 4. Elbourne, Paul. 'Demonstratives as Individual Concepts.' Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2008): 409–66. Unit 2: Demonstratives, Proximity, Salience Week 6: Demonstratives and Proximity 1. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis I.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 59–76. 2. Fillmore, Charles. 'Deixis II.' in Lectures on Deixis . Stanford, CA: CSLI, 1997. 103–26. Optional additional reading 3. Prince, Ellen. 'On the Inferencing of Indefinite- this NPs.' Elements of Discourse Understanding . Ed. Aravind K. Joshi, Bonnie L. Weber, and Ivan A. Sag. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981. 231–50. Week 7: Demonstratives and Salience 1. Gundel, Jeanette K., Nancy Hedberg, and Ron Zacharski. 'Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.' Language 69 (1993): 274–307. Optional additional reading 2. Brown-Schmidt, Sarah, Donna K. Byron, and Michael K. Tanenhaus. 'Beyond Salience: Interpretation of Personal and Demonstrative Pronouns.' Journal of Memory and Language 53 (2005): 292–313. Note: readers new to psycholinguistics should concentrate on the Introduction. Unit 3: Demonstratives and Copular Sentences Week 8: Background on the Typology of Copular Sentences 1. Higgins, F. Roger. 'The Pseudo-Cleft Construction in English.' Diss. MIT, 1973, chapter 5. Week 9: Demonstratives in Copular Sentences 1. Mikkelsen, Line. 'Specifying Who: On the Structure, Meaning, and Use of Specificational Copular Clauses.' Diss. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2004, chapter 8.2 (Truncated Clefts). 2. Heller, Daphna and Lynsey Wolter. ' That is Rosa : Identificational Sentences as Intensional Predication.' Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 12 . Ed. Atle Grønn. Oslo: Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, 2008. Week 10: Demonstratives, Copular Sentences, Modals 1. Birner, Betty J., Jeffrey P. Kaplan, and Gregory Ward. 'Functional Compositionality and the Interaction of Discourse Constraints.' Language 83 (2007): 317–43. Focus Questions 1. Which of the following expressions are indexicals? Which are demonstratives? Why? (a) a pencil (b) the pencil (c) this pencil (d) Mary Smith (e) Mary's pencil (f ) my pencil (g) we (h) you (i) here (j) there (k) now (l) then 2. Do demonstratives ever interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings? If so, under what circumstances? 3. (a) If demonstratives (sometimes or always) interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a direct reference theory of demonstratives be maintained? (b) If demonstratives never interact with scope-taking operators to give rise to two or more truth-conditionally distinct readings, to what extent can a quantificational theory of demonstratives be maintained? 4. What kind of thing is a demonstration? Is it a pointing gesture? An indication of the speaker's focus of attention? Something more abstract? 5. What information do English demonstratives convey about proximity? What is 'proximity'– physical closeness to the speaker, or something more abstract? What is the status of this information: is it entailed, presupposed, or something else? 6. Do demonstratives that are accompanied by a physical gesture of demonstration have the same semantic value as anaphoric demonstratives, such as that in (a)? Why or why not? (a) John made a peanut butter sandwich and ate it quickly. Next he took an apple from the fridge. He ate that more slowly. (shrink)
The prize "seemed a kind of prayer and encouragement by the Nobel committee for future endeavor and more consensual American leadership," Steven Erlanger and Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote in The New York Times.
Can one and the same quotation be used on different occasions to quote distinct objects? The view that it can is taken for granted throughout the literature (e.g. Goddard & Routley 1966, Christensen 1967, Davidson 1979, Goldstein 1984, Jorgensen et al 1984, Atlas 1989, Clark & Gerrig 1990, Washington 1992, García-Carpintero 1994, 2004, 2005, Reimer 1996, Saka 1998, Wertheimer 1999). Garcia-Carpintero (1994, p. 261) illustrates with the quotation expression ''gone''. He says it can be used to quote any of the (...) following items. (shrink)
MARGA REIMER has forcefully challenged David Kaplan's recent claim (, pp. 582-4) that demonstrative gestures, in connnection with uses of demonstrative expressions, are without semantic significance and function merely as 'aids to communication', and that speaker intentions are what determine the demonstratum. Against this Reimer argues that demonstrations can and do play an essential semantic role and that the role of intentions is marginal at best. That is, together with the linguistic meaning of the demonstrative phrase being used, an act (...) of demonstration determines what is said. I will argue that Kaplan's view is borne out if we consider the referential intentions specific to communication. Reimer may be correct about such intentions as she considers, but she overlooks specifically referential ones. When these are taken into account, we find that aalthough demonstrations contribute in a way to what is said, this does not make them semantically significant. (shrink)
The way in which we characterize the structural and functional differences between psychopath and normal brains – either as biological disorders or as mere biological differences – can influence our judgments about psychopaths’ responsibility for criminal misconduct. However, Marga Reimer (Neuroethics 1(2):14, 2008) points out that whether our characterization of these differences should be allowed to affect our judgments in this manner “is a difficult and important question that really needs to be addressed before policies regarding responsibility... can be implemented (...) with any confidence”. This paper is an attempt to address Reimer’s difficult and important question; I argue that irrespective of which of these two characterizations is chosen, our judgments about psychopaths’ responsibility should not be affected, because responsibility hinges not on whether a particular difference is (referred to as) a disorder or not, but on how that difference affects the mental capacities required for moral agency. (shrink)
Reimer ( Neuroethics 2008 ) believes that how we use language to characterize psychopathy may affect our judgments of moral responsibility. If we say a psychopath has a disorder we may reduce their responsibility for moral failure. If we say a psychopath is merely different, we may not reduce their responsibility. Vincent ( Neuroethics 2008 ) argues that if this were the case, a diagnosis of disorder would be both necessary and sufficient to reduce the responsibility of some agent for (...) moral failure. Vincent presents two examples to suggest that a disorder is neither necessary nor sufficient to exculpate an individual for moral failure: childhood and hypomania. Vincent suggests instead that our judgments of moral responsibility ought to be based on the individual’s capacity for moral agency. I will side with Vincent in this debate, but argue that the example she uses, hypomania, does not work. I will argue that a diagnosis of hypomania, part of Bipolar II Disorder, is sufficient to exculpate an individual for some moral failure. This is because there are responsibility-relevant capacities missing: the capacities for self-awareness and to control ones abilities. Without these capacities, the individual is not a responsible moral agent. Vincent will need to provide an alternative example to show that the presence of a disorder is not sufficient to exculpate an individual for moral failure. Whilst our use of language is important, that use reflects our judgments of the individual’s capacities for moral agency. Responsibilities are determined not only by capacities, but by the right kind of capacities, and this should be reflected in our moral judgments, and our use of language. (shrink)
Kripke (1977) presents an argument designed to show that the considerations in Donnellan (1966) concerning attributive and referential uses of (definite) descriptions do not, by themselves, refute Russell’s (1905) unitary theory of description sentences (RTD), which takes (utterances of) them to express purely general, quantificational, propositions. Against Kripke, Marga Reimer (1998) argues that the two uses do indeed reflect a semantic ambiguity (an ambiguity at the level of literal truth conditions). She maintains a Russellian (quantificational) analysis of utterances involving attributively (...) used descriptions but attempts to defend the following two claims about utterances involving referentially used descriptions (referential utterances) (1998, p. 89). (shrink)
This paper develops the view presented in our 1997 paper "Varieties of Quotation". In the first part of the paper we show how phenomena such as scare-quotes, echoing and mimicry can be treated as what we call Speech Act Heuristics. We then defend a semantic account of mixed quotation. Along the way we discuss the role of indexicals in mixed quotation and the noncancelability of reference to words in mixed quotation. We also respond to some objections raised by Recanati, Saka, (...) Stainton and Reimer. (shrink)
It is widely held, to the point of being the received interpretation, that Frank Ramsey was the ﬁrst to defend the so-called Redundancy Theory of Truth in his landmark article ‘Facts and Propositions’ (hereafter ‘FP’) of 1927.1 For instance, A.J. Ayer2 cited this article in the context of arguing that saying that p is true is simply a way of asserting p and that truth is not a real quality or relation. Other holders of the received interpretation, such as George (...) Pitcher,3 J.L. Mackie, 4 Susan Haack,5 A.C. Grayling,6 Nils-Eric Sahlin,7 Richard Kirkham,8 Donald Davidson9 and Michael Lynch10 credit Ramsey with having originated what they call ‘the Redundancy Theory.’ Even an authoritative source such as The Encyclopedia of Philosophy11 attributes this theory to him. What is more, Grover et al.,12 in defending their Prosentential Theory of Truth, claim that their theory is an improvement and development of the Redundancy Theory, which they too attribute to Ramsey.13.. (shrink)
Sites of embodied disruption challenge academics to engage with power at its seams. In this article I consider an ethics of embodiment, situating it within questions raised by Judith Butler in her articles, “Doing Justice to Someone” (Butler 2001a) and “Giving an Account of Oneself” (Butler 2001b). In “Giving an Account,” Butler claims that gaps in knowledge and representation are germane to ethical practice, that brave inadequacies and creative approximations are the best we can do for others and ourselves. In (...) “Doing Justice,” Butler enacts this stance, recounting the story of David Reimer, a child who in 1965 was offered up to science after his penis was severed in a botched circumcision. She seizes upon, through narrative fragments, a body whose sexual indeterminacy became the site and occasion for particularly brutal regimes of interpretation. Butler situates this patchwork narrative within the academic industry that reappropriates David's story for its own purposes. Taking Butler's ideas to heart, I carefully trace the nuances of her argument and highlight the (necessary) silences and foreclosures of her account. I propose “seamfulness” as a possible ethical-aesthetic strategy for embodying Butler's ethical concerns. I close by briefly introducing some implications for arts-informed representations in academic work. (shrink)
In "Demonstratives or Demonstrations", Marga Reimer argues that quotation marks are demonstrations and that expressions enclosed with them are demonstratives. In this paper, I argue against her view. There are two objections. The first objection is that Reimer''s view has unattractive consequences: there is more ambiguity, there are more demonstratives, and there are more English expressions than we thought. The second objection is that, unlike other ambiguous expressions, some expressions that are ambiguous on Reimer''s view can''t be disambiguated by using (...) subscripts. This suggests that, contrary to her view, those expressions aren't really ambiguous. (shrink)
Illness and trauma challenge self-narratives. Traumatized individuals, unable to speak about their experiences, suffer in isolation. In this paper, I explore Kristeva’s theories of the speaking subject and signification, with its symbolic and semiotic modalities, to understand how a person comes to speak the unspeakable. In discussing the origin of the speaking subject, Kristeva employs Plato’s chora (related to choreo , “to make room for”). The chora reflects the mother’s preparation of the child’s entry into language and forms an interior (...) darkroom, the reservoir of lived experience, from which self-narratives issue. Unable to speak of their suffering, traumatized individuals need someone to help them make room for a time of remembrance, someone who is a willing and capable listener. I call such a person a healing witness . Through the mediating presence of the healing witness, fragmented memories of trauma are recreated and incorporated into self-narratives that are sharable with others. Unfortunately, opportunities for witnessing are vanishing. In the last section, I examine the failure of modern media and communication technologies to bear (“hold,” “carry,” “transport”) acts of witnessing. I argue that they perturb the semiotic. According to Kristeva, meaning arises from the dialectical tension between the semiotic (drives and affects) and the symbolic (logic and rules) and is threatened by arid discourse, psychosomatic illnesses, and outbreaks of violence when the semiotic is not represented . Unless we open technology to the imaginary, we risk losing the capacity to bear witness to one another and to create narratives and connections that are meaningful. (shrink)