This chapter introduces debates about freedom of speech and argues that very few if any individuals support no restrictions whatsoever on freedom of speech. The question is therefore not should we restrict freedom of speech but rather what sorts of speech and how?
In this paper I provide an interpretation of Kant’s conception of free speech. Free speech is understood as the kind of speech that is constitutive of interaction respectful of everybody’s right to freedom, and it requires what we with John Rawls may call ‘public reason’. Public reason so understood refers to how the public authority must reason in order to properly specify the political relation between citizens. My main aim is to give us some reasons for taking (...) a renewed interest in Kant’s conception of free speech, including his account public reason. Kant’s position provides resources for dealing with many of the legal and political problems we currently struggle to analyze under this heading, such as the proper distinction between the sphere of justice and the sphere of ethics, hate speech, freedom of speech, defamation, and the public guarantee of reliable media and universal education. (shrink)
Abstract: Introspection reveals that one is frequently conscious of some form of inner speech, which may appear either in a condensed or expanded form. It has been claimed that this speech reflects the way in which language is involved in conscious thought, fulfilling a number of cognitive functions. We criticize three theories that address this issue: Bermúdez’s view of language as a generator of second-order thoughts, Prinz’s development of Jackendoff’s intermediate-level theory of consciousness, and Carruthers’s theory of inner (...)speech as a rehearsal of action-schemata. We contend they have problems to account for those cases in which inner speech is fragmentary, and for the difference with those instances in which it appears as more sentence-like. In addition, we present verbal overshadowing as a phenomenon that neither of them can easily explain. Finally, we propose an account in which inner speech is fundamentally silent outer speech and argue that it is more explanatory than the alternatives. (shrink)
We very often discover ourselves engaged in inner speech. It seems that this kind of silent, private, speech fulfils some role in our cognition, most probably related to conscious thinking. Yet, the study of inner speech has been neglected by philosophy and psychology alike for many years. However, things seem to have changed in the last two decades. Here we review some of the most influential accounts about the phenomenology and the functions of inner speech, as (...) well as the methodological problems that affect its study. (shrink)
Are government restrictions on hate speech consistent with the priority of liberty? This relatively narrow policy question will serve as the starting point for a wider discussion of the use and abuse of nonideal theory in contemporary political philosophy, especially as practiced on the academic left. I begin by showing that hate speech (understood as group libel) can undermine fair equality of opportunity for historically-oppressed groups but that the priority of liberty seems to forbid its restriction. This tension (...) between free speech and equal opportunity creates a dilemma for liberal egalitarians. Nonideal theory apparently offers an escape from this dilemma, but after examining three versions of such an escape strategy, I conclude that none is possible: liberal egalitarians are indeed forced to choose between liberty and equality in this case and others. I finish the paper by examining its implications for other policy arenas, including markets in transplantable human organs and women’s reproductive services. (shrink)
In this essay I show how to reconcile epistemic invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion. My basic proposal is that we can comfortably combine invariantism with the knowledge account of assertion by endorsing contextualism about speech acts. My demonstration takes place against the backdrop of recent contextualist attempts to usurp the knowledge account of assertion, most notably Keith DeRose's influential argument that the knowledge account of assertion spells doom for invariantism and enables contextualism's ascendancy.
Susan Hurley has argued against a well known argument for freedom of speech, the argument from autonomy, on the basis of two hypotheses about violence in the media and aggressive behaviour. The first hypothesis says that exposure to media violence causes aggressive behaviour; the second, that humans have an innate tendency to copy behaviour in ways that bypass conscious deliberation. I argue, first, that Hurley is not successful in setting aside the argument from autonomy. Second, I show that the (...) empirical data are irrelevant to statutory regulation of media violence. They do not yield a sufficiently strong correlation between exposure to media violence and non-autonomously copied criminal violence, and they do not yield a way ex ante to individuate the viewers who will be affected by media violence. (shrink)
Foundations of Speech Act Theory investigates the importance of speech act theory to the problem of meaning in linguistics and philosophy. The papers in this volume, written by respected philosophers and linguists, significantly advance standards of debate in this area.
In the last twenty years, recorded messages and written notes have become a significant test and an intriguing puzzle for the semantics of indexical expressions (see Smith 1989, Predelli 1996, 1998a,1998b, 2002, Corazza et al. 2002, Romdenh-Romluc 2002). In particular, the intention-based approach proposed by Stefano Predelli has proven to bear interesting relations to several major questions in philosophy of language. In a recent paper (Saul 2006), Jennifer Saul draws on the literature on indexicals and recorded messages in order to (...) criticize Rae Langton's claim that works of pornography can be understood as illocutionary acts – in particular acts of subordinating women or acts of silencing women. Saul argues that it does not make sense to understand works of pornography as speech acts, because only utterances in contexts can be speech acts. More precisely, works of pornography such as a film may be seen as recordings that can be used in many different contexts – exactly like a written note or an answering machine message. According to Saul, bringing contexts into the picture undermines Langton's radical thesis – which must be reformulated in much weaker terms. In this paper, I accept Saul's claim that only utterances in contexts can be speech acts, and that therefore only works of pornography in contexts may be seen as illocutionary acts of silencing women. I will, nonetheless, show that Saul's reformulation doesn't undermine Langton's thesis. To this aim, I will use the distinction Predelli proposes in order to account for the semantic behaviour of indexical expressions in recorded messages – namely the distinction between context of utterance and context of interpretation. (shrink)
I take it that liberal justice recognises special protections against the restriction of speech and expression; this is what I call the Free Speech Principle. I ask if this Principle includes speech acts which might broadly be termed ‘hate speech’, where ‘includes’ is sensitive to the distinction between coverage and protection , and between speech that is regulable and speech that should be regulated . I suggest that ‘hate speech’ is too broad a (...) designation to be usefully analysed as a single category, since it includes many different kinds of speech acts, each of which involves very different kinds of free speech interests, and may cause very different kinds of harm. I therefore propose to disaggregate hate speech into various categories which are analysed in turn. I distinguish four main categories of hate speech, namely (1) targeted vilification, (2) diffuse vilification, (3) organised political advocacy for exclusionary and/or eliminationist policies, and (4) other assertions of fact or value which constitute an adverse judgment on an identifiable racial or religious group. Reviewing these categories in the light of the justifications for the Free Speech Principle, I will argue that category (1) is uncovered by the Principle, categories (2) and (3) are covered but unprotected , and that category (4) is protected speech. (shrink)
Fodor argues that speech perception is accomplished by a module. Typically, modular processing is taken to be bottom-up processing. Yet there is ubiquitous empirical evidence that speech perception is influenced by top-down processing. Fodor attempts to resolve this conflict by denying that modular processing must be exclusively bottom-up. It is argued, however, that Fodor's attempt to reconcile top-down and modular processing fails, because: (i) it undermines Fodor's own conception of modular processing; and (ii) it cannot account for the (...) contextually varying top-down influences that characterize speech perception. (shrink)
Abstract: How it is that one's own thoughts can seem to be someone else's? After noting some common missteps of other approaches to this puzzle, I develop a novel cognitive solution, drawing on and critiquing theories that understand inserted thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia as stemming from mismatches between predicted and actual sensory feedback. Considerable attention is paid to forging links between the first-person phenomenology of thought insertion and the posits (e.g. efference copy, corollary discharge) of current cognitive (...) theories. I show how deficits in the subconscious mechanisms regulating inner speech may lead to a 'fractured phenomenology' responsible for schizophrenic patients' reports of inserted thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations. Supporting work on virtual environments is discussed, and lessons concerning the fixity of delusional belief are drawn. (shrink)
We provide an overview of Searle's contributions to speech act theory and the ontology of social reality, focusing on his theory of constitutive rules. In early versions of this theory, Searle proposed that all such rules have the form 'X counts as Y in context C' formula – as for example when Barack Obama (X) counts as President of the United States (Y) in the context of US political affairs. Crucially, the X and the Y terms are here identical. (...) A problem arises for this theory for cases involving 'free-standing Y terms', as for example in the case of money in a computerized bank account. Here there is no physical X to which a status function might be attached. We conclude by arguing that Searle's response to this problem creates difficulties for his naturalistic framework. (shrink)
Recently, many philosophers and psychologists have claimed that the explanation that grounds both passivity phenomena in the cognitive domain and passivity phenomena that occur with respect to overt actions is, along broad lines, the same. Furthermore, they claim that the best account we have of such phenomena in both scenarios is the “comparator” account. However, there are reasons to doubt whether the comparator model can be exported from the realm of overt actions to the cognitive domain in general. There is (...) a lingering worry concerning such explanations of thought insertion: the "What is compared to what?" problem. Here I examine two ways to tackle this problem. First: thought insertion consists of the misattribution of strings of inner speech which are not attenuated (thought insertion is thus another name for auditory verbal hallucinations). Second: thought insertion is misattributed inner speech which exhibits the same phenomenological characteristics as normal inner speech. After explaining the types of problem that each of these potential solutions faces, I conclude with a set of open questions that the comparator theorist has to tackle. (shrink)
been recently proposed (Morin, 2003; 2004). The model takes into account most known mechanisms and processes leading to self-awareness, and examines their multiple and complex interactions. Inner speech is postulated to play a key-role in this model, as it establishes important connections between many of its ele- ments. This paper first reviews past and current references to a link between self-awareness and inner speech. It then presents an analysis of the nature of the relation between these two concepts. (...) It is suggested that inner speech can inter- nally reproduce and expand social and physical (ecological) sources of self- awareness. Inner speech can also create a psychological distance between the self and mental events it experiences (thus facilitating self-observation) it can act as a problem-solving device where the self represents the problem and self-information the solution, and can label aspects of one’s inner life that would otherwise be difficult to objectively perceive. Empirical evidence supporting the role of inner speech in self-awareness is also presented. (shrink)
There have recently been a number of high profile political incidents, and legal cases, that raise questions about hate speech. At the same time, the tensions, and perceived conflicts, between religion and sexuality have become controversial topics. This paper considers the relationship between religious freedom, free speech and equality through an analysis of recent case law in Great Britain, Canada and the United States. The paper starts with a discussion of how conflicts between these values arise in areas (...) such as hate speech and explores the differences between the European and US approach to this issue. In Council of Europe member states there is an increasing use of the criminal law to regulate hate speech. This paper argues that criminalisation of hate speech poses a distinct risk to the values of free speech and proposes alternative non-legal responses such as a greater use of cultural policy. The paper also explores a range of cases where the religion and sexual orientation conflict has arisen in areas such as the workplace. An analysis of these cases suggests that although there is no perfect resolution of this issue, it is possible to develop a set of principles that encourage a balance between the values of religious freedom, free speech and equality even in difficult situations where there is a conflict between religion and sexuality. The paper concludes with some practical recommendations for managing the tensions or conflicts between religious freedom, free speech and equality in liberal democracies. (shrink)
This paper applies speech-act theory to craft a new response to Pyrrhonian skepticism and diagnose its appeal. Carefully distinguishing between different levels of language-use and noting their interrelations can help us identify a subtle mistake in a key Pyrrhonian argument.
During much of the past century, it was widely believed that phonemes--the human speech sounds that constitute words--have no inherent semantic meaning, and that the relationship between a combination of phonemes (a word) and its referent is simply arbitrary. Although recent work has challenged this picture by revealing psychological associations between certain phonemes and particular semantic contents, the precise mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated. Here we provide novel evidence that certain phonemes have an inherent, nonarbitrary (...) emotional quality. Moreover, we show that the perceived emotional valence of certain phoneme combinations depends on a specific acoustic feature--namely, the dynamic shift within the phonemes’ first two frequency components. These data suggest a phoneme-relevant acoustic property influencing the communication of emotion in humans, and provide further evidence against previously held assumptions regarding the structure of human language. This finding has potential applications for a variety of social, educational, clinical, and marketing contexts. (shrink)
In this paper I provide a metatheoretical analysis of speech perception research. I argue that the central turning point in the history of speech perception research has not been well understood. While it is widely thought to mark a decisive break with what I call "the alphabetic conception of speech," I argue that it instead marks the entrenchment of this conception of speech. In addition, I argue that the alphabetic conception of speech continues to underwrite (...)speech perception research today and moreover that it functions as a dogma which ought to be rejected. (shrink)
. Although the courts have ruled that companies are legal persons, they have not yet made clear the extent to which political free speech for corporations is limited by the strictures legitimately placed upon corporate commercial speech. I explore the question of whether or not companies can properly be said to have the right to civil free speech or whether corporate speech is always de facto commercial speech not subject to the same sorts of legal (...) protections as is the right to civil free speech. In the absence of clearly defined legal precedent, I emphasize moral reasons for determining the appropriate limits of corporate civil free speech. Appealing to arguments typically used to justify individual rights to civil free speech, I examine the extent to which this sort of justification may or may not be legitimately extended to corporations. I conclude that corporate rights to civil free speech must be restricted because granting rights of free speech to institutions may, in practice, undermine the moral rationale and practical feasibility of guaranteeing rights of civil free speech to individuals. Furthermore, I argue that granting corporations full rights to civil free speech will undercut attempts to develop good moral character in corporate institutions by undermining the efforts of watchdog organizations. (shrink)
There is a long‐standing project in psychology the goal of which is to explain our ability to perceive speech. The project is motivated by evidence that seems to indicate that the cognitive processing to which speech sounds are subjected is somehow different from the normal processing employed in hearing. The Motor Theory of speech perception was proposed in the 1960s as an attempt to explain this specialness. The first part of this essay is concerned with the Motor (...) Theory's explanandum. It shows that it is rather hard to give a precise account of what the Motor Theory is a theory of. The second part of the essay identifies problems with the theory's explanans: There are difficulties in finding a plausible account of what the content of the Motor Theory is supposed to be. (shrink)
The paper reconstructs and discusses three different approaches to the study of speech acts: (i) the intentionalist approach, according to which most illocutionary acts are to be analysed as utterances made with the Gricean communicative intentions, (ii) the institutionalist approach, which is based on the idea of illocutions as institutional acts constituted by systems of collectively accepted rules, and (iii) the interactionalist approach the main tenet of which is to perform illocutionary acts by making conventional moves in accordance with (...) patterns of social interaction. It is claimed that, first, each of the discussed approaches presupposes a different account of the nature and structure of illocutionary acts, and, second, all those approaches result from one-sided interpretations of Austin’s conception of verbal action. The first part of the paper reconstructs Austin's views on the functions and effects of felicitous illocutionary acts. Thesecond part reconstructs and considers three different research developments in the post-Austinian speech act theory—the intentionalist approach, the institutionalist approach, and the interactionalist approach. (shrink)
Jizang (549−623 CE), the key philosophical exponent of the Sanlun tradition of Chinese Buddhism, based his philosophy considerably on his reading of the works of Nāgārjuna (c.150−250 CE), the founder of the Indian Madhyamaka school. However, although Jizang sought to follow Nāgārjuna closely, there are salient features in his thought on language that are notably absent from Nāgārjuna’s works. In this paper, I present a philosophical analysis of Jizang’s views of the relationship between speech and silence and compare them (...) with those of Nāgārjuna. I first elaborate on Nāgārjuna’s doctrine of twofold truth and discuss his thought concerning the relationship between language and ineffable quiescence. I then examine Jizang’s interpretation of the doctrine. Thereafter, I distinguish silence qua teaching from silence qua principle and examine Jizang’s views on the relationship between speech and these two kinds of silence. It is shown that while Nāgārjuna leans toward affirming a clear-cut distinction between speech and the ineffable quiescence, Jizang endorses the nonduality of conventional speech and sacred silence. (shrink)
Some empirical evidence in the artificial language acquisition literature has been taken to suggest that statistical learning mechanisms are insufficient for extracting structural information from an artificial language. According to the more than one mechanism (MOM) hypothesis, at least two mechanisms are required in order to acquire language from speech: (a) a statistical mechanism for speech segmentation; and (b) an additional rule-following mechanism in order to induce grammatical regularities. In this article, we present a set of neural network (...) studies demonstrating that a single statistical mechanism can mimic the apparent discovery of structural regularities, beyond the segmentation of speech. We argue that our results undermine one argument for the MOM hypothesis. (shrink)
The species-specific organizational property of speech is a continual mouth open-close alternation, the two phases of which are subject to continual articulatory modulation. The cycle constitutes the syllable, and the open and closed phases are segments framescontent displays that are prominent in many nonhuman primates. The new role of Broca's area and its surround in human vocal communication may have derived from its evolutionary history as the main cortical center for the control of ingestive processes. The frame and content (...) components of speech may have subsequently evolved separate realizations within two general purpose primate motor control systems: (1) a motivation-related medial system, including anterior cingulate cortex and the supplementary motor area, for self-generated behavior, formerly responsible for ancestral vocalization control and now also responsible for frames, and (2) a lateral system, including Broca's area and surround, and Wernicke's area, specialized for response to external input (and therefore the emergent vocal learning capacity) and more responsible for content. (shrink)
Free Speech and the Politics of Identity challenges the scholarly view as well as the dominant legal view outside the United States that the right of free speech may reasonably be traded off in pursuit of justice to stigmatized minorities. The book's innovative normative and interpretative methodology calls for a new departure in comparative public law, in which all states responsibly address their common problems, not only of inadequate protection of free speech, but also correlative failure to (...) take seriously the continuing political power of such evils as anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. (shrink)
Is speech special? This paper evaluates the evidence that speech perception is distinctive when compared with non-linguistic auditory perception. It addresses the phenomenology, contents, objects, and mechanisms involved in the perception of spoken language. According to the account it proposes, the capacity to perceive speech in a manner that enables understanding is an acquired perceptual skill. It involves learning to hear language-specific types of ethologically significant sounds. According to this account, the contents of perceptual experience when listening (...) to familiar speech are of a variety that is distinctive to hearing spoken utterances. However, perceiving speech involves neither novel perceptual objects nor a unique perceptual modality. Much of what makes speech special stems from our interest in it. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is an account of the semantics and pragmatics of exclamation. I focus on two key observations: first, that sentence exclamations like Wow, John bakes delicious desserts! and exclamatives like What delicious desserts John bakes! express that a particular proposition has violated the speaker’s expectations; and second, that exclamatives are semantically restricted in a way that sentence exclamations are not. In my account of these facts, I propose a characterization of illocutionary force of exclamation, a function (...) from propositions to speech acts of exclamation. The difference in meaning between sentence exclamations and exclamatives has consequences for the type of violated expectation. I end with a comparison to some previous approaches and a tentative extension of parts of the analysis to other constructions. (shrink)
This paper advances a novel argument that speech perception is a complex system best understood nonindividualistically and therefore that individualism fails as a general philosophical program for understanding cognition. The argument proceeds in four steps. First, I describe a "replaceability strategy", commonly deployed by individualists, in which one imagines replacing an object with an appropriate surrogate. This strategy conveys the appearance that relata can be substituted without changing the laws that hold within the domain. Second, I advance a "counterfactual (...) test" as an alternative to the replaceability strategy. Third, I show how the typical objects of cross-modal processes (in this case, auditory-visual speech perception), more clearly irreplaceable than the objects of the unimodal process examined by Burge [(1986) Individualism and psychology, The Philosophical Review, XCV, 3-45], supply a firm basis for a nonindividualist interpretation of such cases. Finally, I demonstrate that the routine violation of the individualist's Replaceability Condition occurs even in unimodal cases - so the violation of the replaceability constraint does not derive simply from the diversity of modal sources but rather from the causal complexity of psychological processes generally. The conclusion is that philosophical progress on this issue must await progress in psychology, or, at least, philosophical progress in accounting for psychological complexity--precisely the vicissitude predicted by a thoroughgoing naturalism. (shrink)
The tradeoff hypothesis in the speech–gesture relationship claims that (a) when gesturing gets harder, speakers will rely relatively more on speech, and (b) when speaking gets harder, speakers will rely relatively more on gestures. We tested the second part of this hypothesis in an experimental collaborative referring paradigm where pairs of participants (directors and matchers) identified targets to each other from an array visible to both of them. We manipulated two factors known to affect the difficulty of speaking (...) to assess their effects on the gesture rate per 100 words. The first factor, codability, is the ease with which targets can be described. The second factor, repetition, is whether the targets are old or new (having been already described once or twice). We also manipulated a third factor, mutual visibility, because it is known to affect the rate and type of gesture produced. None of the manipulations systematically affected the gesture rate. Our data are thus mostly inconsistent with the tradeoff hypothesis. However, the gesture rate was sensitive to concurrent features of referring expressions, suggesting that gesture parallels aspects of speech. We argue that the redundancy between speech and gesture is communicatively motivated. (shrink)
Although speech categories are defined by multiple acoustic dimensions, some are perceptually weighted more than others and there are residual effects of native-language weightings in non-native speech perception. Recent research on nonlinguistic sound category learning suggests that the distribution characteristics of experienced sounds influence perceptual cue weights: Increasing variability across a dimension leads listeners to rely upon it less in subsequent category learning (Holt & Lotto, 2006). The present experiment investigated the implications of this among native Japanese learning (...) English /r/-/l/ categories. Training was accomplished using a videogame paradigm that emphasizes associations among sound categories, visual information, and players’ responses to videogame characters rather than overt categorization or explicit feedback. Subjects who played the game for 2.5 h across 5 days exhibited improvements in /r/-/l/ perception on par with 2–4 weeks of explicit categorization training in previous research and exhibited a shift toward more native-like perceptual cue weights. (shrink)
In this paper, we study the performance of baseline hidden Markov model (HMM) for segmentation of speech signals. It is applied on single-speaker segmentation task, using Hindi speech database. The automatic phoneme segmentation framework evolved imitates the human phoneme segmentation process. A set of 44 Hindi phonemes were chosen for the segmentation experiment, wherein we used continuous density hidden Markov model (CDHMM) with a mixture of Gaussian distribution. The left-to-right topology with no skip states has been selected as (...) it is effective in speech recognition due to its consistency with the natural way of articulating the spoken words. This system accepts speech utterances along with their orthographic “transcriptions” and generates segmentation information of the speech. This corpus was used to develop context-independent hidden Markov models (HMMs) for each of the Hindi phonemes. The system was trained using numerous sentences that are relevant to provide information to the passengers of the Metro Rail. The system was validated against a few manually segmented speech utterances. The evaluation of the experiments shows that the best performance is obtained by using a combination of two Gaussians mixtures and five HMM states. A category-wise phoneme error analysis has been performed, and the performance of the phonetic segmentation has been reported. The modeling of HMMs has been implemented using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 (C++), and the system is designed to work on Windows operating system. The goal of this study is automatic segmentation of speech at phonetic level. (shrink)
Some of the systems used in natural language generation (NLG), a branch of applied computational linguistics, have the capacity to create or assemble somewhat original messages adapted to new contexts. In this paper, taking Bernard Williams’ account of assertion by machines as a starting point, I argue that NLG systems meet the criteria for being speech actants to a substantial degree. They are capable of authoring original messages, and can even simulate illocutionary force and speaker meaning. Background intelligence embedded (...) in their datasets enhances these speech capacities. Although there is an open question about who is ultimately responsible for their speech, if anybody, we can settle this question by using the notion of proxy speech, in which responsibility for artificial speech acts is assigned legally or conventionally to an entity separate from the speech actant. (shrink)
Mintz (2003) found that in English child-directed speech, frequently occurring frames formed by linking the preceding (A) and succeeding (B) word (A_x_B) could accurately predict the syntactic category of the intervening word (x). This has been successfully extended to French (Chemla, Mintz, Bernal, & Christophe, 2009). In this paper, we show that, as for Dutch (Erkelens, 2009), frequent frames in German do not enable such accurate lexical categorization. This can be explained by the characteristics of German including a less (...) restricted word order compared to English or French and the frequent use of some forms as both determiner and pronoun in colloquial German. Finally, we explore the relationship between the accuracy of frames and their potential utility and find that even some of those frames showing high token-based accuracy are of limited value because they are in fact set phrases with little or no variability in the slot position. (shrink)
This article explores recent developments inthe regulation of Internet speech, inparticular, injurious or defamatory speech andthe impact the attempts at regulation arehaving on the `body' in the sense of theindividual person who speaks through the mediumof the Internet and upon those harmed by thatspeech. The article proceeds in threesections. First, a brief history of the legalattempts to regulate defamatory Internet speechin the United States is presented; a shortcomparative discussion of defamation law in theUK and Australia is included. As (...) discussedbelow, this regulation has altered thetraditional legal paradigm of responsibilityand, as a result, creates potential problems forthe future of unrestricted and even anonymousspeech on the Internet. Second, an ethicalassessment is made of the defamatory speechenvironment in order to determine which actorshave moral responsibility for the harm causedby defamatory speech. This moral assessment iscompared to the developing and anticipatedlegal paradigm to identify possible conformityof moral and legal tenants or to recognize theconflict between morality and law in assigningresponsibility to defamatory actors. Thisassessment then concludes with possiblesuggestions for changes in the legal climategoverning the regulation of defamatory speechon the Internet, as well as prediction of theresult should the legal climate continue todevelop on its present course. This is not tosuggest that all law, or even the law ofdefamation, be structured to reflect thesubjectivity of a moral construct, but since itis the authors position that the legalassignment of liability in online settings ismisaligned, this reflection can serve asbeginning reassessment of that assignment. (shrink)
Ethical oaths for bankers, economists and managers are increasingly seen as successful instruments to ensure more responsible behaviour. In this article, we reflect on the nature of ethical oaths. Based on John Austin's speech act theory and the work of Emmanuel Levinas, we introduce a performative concept of ethical oaths that is characterised by (1) the existential self-performative of the one I want to be, which is (2) demanded by the public context. Because ethical oaths are (3) structurally threatened (...) by the possibility of infelicity or failure, we stress (4) the behavioural aspect of ethical oaths in economics and business. We conclude that a performative concept of ethical oaths can contribute to more ethical behaviour in economics and business, because the performative involves action and behaviour. At the same time, it becomes clear that a radical new perspective on the nature, function and limitation of oaths is needed. (shrink)
The question of what constitutional constraints should apply to government efforts to regulate scientific speech is frequently contrasted to the question of what constitutional constraints should apply to government efforts to regulate scientific research. This comment argues that neither question is well formulated for constitutional analysis, which should instead turn on the relationship to constitutional values of specific acts of scientific speech and research.
The following analysis demonstrates that G.H. Mead's understanding of human speech (what Mead often referred to as “the vocal gesture”) is remarkably consistent with today's interdisciplinary field that studies speech as a natural behavior with an evolutionary history. Mead seems to have captured major empirical and theoretical insights more than half a century before the contemporary field began to take shape. In that field the framework known as “Tinbergen's Four Questions,” developed in ecology to study naturally occurring behavior (...) in nonhuman animals, has been an effective organizing framework for research on human speech. It is used in this paper to organize the comparison of Mead with contemporary scholars. The analysis concludes that Mead was, in a sense, “beyond” the Four Questions by recognizing the limitations of reductionist methods in understanding the nature of conscious phenomena, especially language. Mead's socially situated model of the nature of human speech makes him relevant to today's field where some see an undervaluation of the treatment of language as a social process. (shrink)
This innovative collection addresses such themes as: the relation between the concept of truth and the success conditions of assertions and kindred speech acts the linguistic devices of expressing the truth of a proposition the relation ...
Aristotle's illustrations of the fallacy of Figure of Speech (or Form of Expression) are none too convincing. They are tied to Aristotle's theory of categories and to peculiarities of Greek grammar that fail to hold appeal for a contemporary readership. Yet, upon closer inspection, Figure of Speech shows many points of contact with views and problems that inhabit 20th-century analytical philosophy. In the paper, some Aristotelian examples will be analyzed to gain a better understanding of this fallacy. The (...) case of the Third Man argument and some modern cases lend plausibility to the claim that Figure of Speech is of more interest as a type of fallacy than has generally been assumed. Finally, a case is made for the view that Figure of Speech, though listed among the fallacies dependent upon language, is not properly classified as a fallacy of ambiguity. More likely, it should be looked upon as a type of non sequitur. This has important consequences for the profile of dialogue associated with this fallacy. (shrink)
During speech perception, humans integrate auditory information from the voice with visual information from the face. This multisensory integration increases perceptual precision, but only if the two cues come from the same talker; this requirement has been largely ignored by current models of speech perception. We describe a generative model of multisensory speech perception that includes this critical step of determining the likelihood that the voice and face information have a common cause. A key feature of the (...) model is that it is based on a principled analysis of how an observer should solve this causal inference problem using the asynchrony between two cues and the reliability of the cues. This allows the model to make predictions abut the behavior of subjects performing a synchrony judgment task, predictive power that does not exist in other approaches, such as post hoc fitting of Gaussian curves to behavioral data. We tested the model predictions against the performance of 37 subjects performing a synchrony judgment task viewing audiovisual speech under a variety of manipulations, including varying asynchronies, intelligibility, and visual cue reliability. The causal inference model outperformed the Gaussian model across two experiments, providing a better fit to the behavioral data with fewer parameters. Because the causal inference model is derived from a principled understanding of the task, model parameters are directly interpretable in terms of stimulus and subject properties. (shrink)
This paper argues that there is a tension between two central features of Dworkin’s partnership conception of democracy. The conception holds, on the one hand, that it is a necessary condition of the legitimacy of the decisions of a political majority that every member of the political community has a very robust right to publicly criticize those decisions. A plausible interpretation of this argument is that free political speech constitutes a normatively privileged vehicle for political minorities to become majorities, (...) and therefore in the absence of freedom of speech minorities could not be rightfully compelled to comply with majority decisions. On the other hand, the partnership conception holds that properly exercised constraints on majority rule do not incur any moral costs. The no-moral-costs thesis is argued for on the basis that nothing of significance is lost when individuals’ influence on political decisions is diminished. However, the legitimacy argument for free speech assumes the significance of individual political influence, which the no-moral-costs thesis denies. Hence the tension. (shrink)
If it is well known that knowledge facilitates higher cognitive functions, such as visual and auditory word recognition, little is known about the influence of knowledge on detection, particularly in the auditory modality. Our study tested the influence of phonological and lexical knowledge on auditory detection. Words, pseudo words and complex non phonological sounds, energetically matched as closely as possible, were presented at a range of presentation levels from sub threshold to clearly audible. The participants performed a detection task (Experiments (...) 1 and 2) that was followed by a two alternative forced choice recognition task in Experiment 2. The results of this second task in Experiment 2 suggest a correct recognition of words in the absence of detection with a subjective threshold approach. In the detection task of both experiments, phonological stimuli (words and pseudo words) were better detected than non phonological stimuli (complex sounds), presented close to the auditory threshold. This finding suggests an advantage of speech for signal detection. An additional advantage of words over pseudo words was observed in Experiment 2, suggesting that lexical knowledge could also improve auditory detection when listeners had to recognize the stimulus in a subsequent task. Two simulations of detection performance performed on the sound signals confirmed that the advantage of speech over non speech processing could not be attributed to energetic differences in the stimuli. (shrink)
It is now generally recognized that figures such as Reid, Peirce, and Reinach formulated theories of speech acts avant la lettre of Austin and Searle, in Reid and Reinach’s cases under the heading ‘theory of social acts’. Here we address the question as to what conditions would have to be satisfied for such theories to count as ‘theories of speech acts’ in the now familiar sense.
Research on the evolutionary basis of the human language faculty has proposed the mirror neuron system as a link between motor processing and speech development. Consequently, most work has focussed on the left inferior frontal cortex, in particular Broca's region, and the left inferior parietal cortex. However, the direct link between planning of hand motor and speech actions remains to be elucidated. Thus, the present study investigated whether sequencing of hand motor actions vs. speech motor actions has (...) a common neural denominator. For the hand motor task, 25 subjects performed single, repeated, or sequenced button presses with either the left or right hand. The speech task was in analogy; the same subjects produced the syllable "po" once or repeatedly, or a sequence of different syllables (“po-pi-po”). Speech motor vs. hand motor effectors resulted in increased perisylvian activation including Broca's region (left area 44 and areas medially adjacent to left area 45). In contrast, common activation for sequenced vs. repeated production of button presses and syllables revealed the effector-independent involvement of left area 7A in the superior parietal lobule (SPL) in sequencing. These data demonstrate that sequencing of vocal gestures, an important precondition for ordered utterances and ultimately human speech, shares area 7A, rather than inferior parietal regions, as a common cortical module with hand motor sequencing. Interestingly, area 7A has previously also been shown to be involved in the observation of hand and non-hand actions. In combination with the literature, the present data thus suggest a distinction between area 44, which is specifically recruited for (cognitive aspects of) speech, and SPL area 7A for general aspects of motor sequencing. In sum, the study demonstrates a yet little considered role of the superior parietal lobule in the origins of speech, and may be discussed in the light of embodiment of speech and language in the motor system. (shrink)
Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) has grown considerably over the past three decades. One form of SRI, engagement-SRI, is today by far the most practiced form of SRI (in assets managed) and has the potential to mainstream SRI even further. However, lack of formalized engagement procedures and evaluation tools leave the engagement practice too opaque for such a mainstreaming. This article can be considered as a first step in the development of a standard for the engagement practice. By developing an engagement (...) heuristic, this article offers a more transparent engagement dialog. Drawing on Stevenson’s and Austin’s speech-act theories, this article develops a classification of management’s responses to the signaling of allegations and controversies on two dimensions: a factual dimension concerning (dis)agreements on factual claims and an attitudinal dimension concerning (dis)agreements on responsibilities, values, and norms. On the basis of the distinctions this article develops, the authors provide for a synoptic table and offer a next-step heuristic for the engagement process that started with signaling a concern to management. The article uses an engagement logic that, while keeping the exit option for the investor open, allows management to address signaled concerns without having to let down or to opt out at the first setback in the dialog process between investor and investee corporation. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to address the question of whethercomputer source code is speech protected by the First Amendmentto the United States Constitution or whether it is merelyfunctional, a ``machine'', designed to fulfill a set task andtherefore bereft of protection. The answer to this question is acomplex one. Unlike all other forms of ``speech'' computer sourcecode holds a unique place in the law: it can be copyrighted, likea book and it can be patented like a machine (...) or process.Case law, intellectual property law and encryption exportregulations all reflect this contradictory dichotomy. (shrink)
This innovative collection addresses such themes as: the relation between the concept of truth and the success conditions of assertions and kindred speech acts the linguistic devices of expressing the truth of a proposition the relation ...
This paper is primarily about the personal and public responsibilities of ethics and of ethicists in speaking, writing and commenting publicly about issues of ethical, political and social significance. The paper argues that any such interventions are ‘willy-nilly’, actually or potentially, in the public domain in ways that make any self-conscious decision about intended publics or audiences problematic. In it is argued that a famous, and hitherto useful, distinction relating to the ethical limitations on freedom of speech which we (...) owe to John Stuart Mill may, because of the emergence of ‘the cloud’ have become redundant or inoperable. (shrink)
Speech act theory seems to provide a promising avenue for the analysis of the functional organization of argument. The theory, however, might be taken to suggest that arguments are a homogenous class of speech act with a specifiable illocutionary force and a single set of felicity conditions. This suggestion confuses the analysis of the meaning of speech act verbs with the analysis of the pragmatic structure of actual language use. Suggesting that arguments are conveyed through a homogeneous (...) class of linguistic action overlooks the way in which the context of activity and the form of expression organize the argumentative functions performed in using language. An alternative speech act analysis would treat folk terminology as a heuristic entry point into the development of a technical analysis of the myriad argumentative functions and structures to be found in natural language use. This would lead to a thorough-going pragmatic analysis of the rational and functional design of speech acts in argumentation. (shrink)