We distinguish, among other things, between the agent of the context, the speaker of the agent's utterance, the mechanism the agent uses to produce her utterance, and the tokening of the sentence uttered. Armed with these distinctions, we tackle the the ‘answer-machine’, ‘post-it note’ and other allegedly problematic cases, arguing that they can be handled without departing significantly from Kaplan's semantical framework for indexicals. In particular, we argue that these cases don't require adopting Stefano Predelli's intentionalism.
Upshot: Written by recognized experts in their fields, the book is a set of essays that deals with the influences of early cybernetics, computational theory, artificial intelligence, and connectionist networks on the historical development of computational-representational theories of cognition. In this review, I question the relevance of computability arguments and Jonasian phenomenology, which has been extensively invoked in recent discussions of autopoiesis and Ashby’s homeostats. Although the book deals only indirectly with constructivist approaches to cognition, it is useful reading for (...) those interested in machine-based models of mind. (shrink)
Stefano Predelli comes to the defense of the traditional "formal" approach to natural-language semantics, arguing that it has been misrepresented not only by its critics, but also by its foremost defenders. In Contexts he offers a fundamental reappraisal, with particular attention to the treatment of indexicality and other forms of contextual dependence which have been the focus of much recent controversy. In the process, he presents original approaches to a number of important semantic issues, including the relationship between validity (...) and indexicality, the limits of token-reflexive systems, the significance of contextualist arguments, and the interpretation of attitude reports. Contexts will make invigorating reading for all philosophers of language and many linguists. (shrink)
Il presente scritto e’ attualmante inedito. Per una versione in lingua inglese si veda Stefano Franchi, "Palomar, The Triviality of Modernity, and the Doctrine of the Void,” New Literary History, 28 (1997), 4, 757-778. Si prega di non citare da questa versione senza previa autorizzazione.
This is a preprint version, please do not quote without authorization. The final version has appeared as Stefano Franchi, "Palomar, the Triviality of Modernity, and the Doctrine of the Void,“ New Literary History, 28 (1997), 4, 757-778. See: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_literary_history/toc/nlh28.4.html..
Stefano Garzonio. Mechanisms of adaptation “to our (Russian) customs” of Italian opera librettos. The paper deals with the history of poetical translation of Italian musical poetry in the 18th century Russia. In particular, it is focused on the question of pereloženie na russkie nravy, the adaptation to national Russian customs, of Italian opera librettos, cantatas, arias, songs and so on. The author points out three different phases of this process. The first phase, in the 1730s, coincides with the reign (...) of Anna Ioannovna and it is linked to Trediakovsky’s translations of Italian intermezzos, comedies and to the first opera seria, La forza dell’amore e dell’odio (‘The force of love and hate’, 1736) by F. Araja and F. Prata; the second phase, in the period 1740–1770s, is characterized by a very varied production of translations and imitations, which undoubtedly influenced the general developing of Russian musical and dramatic poetry. It is during this periodthat pereloženie na russkie nravy is introduced into dramatic genres and sometimes it is findable in musical poetry as well. The third phase, in the 1780–1790s, is linked with the activity of such poets-translators as Ivan Dmitrevskij, Michail Popov, Vasilij Levšin and is characterized by the new practice of performing operas in Russian translations. In the paper the different forms of pereloženie na russkie nravy are pointed out, starting from the formal niveau of metrics and stylistics up to the adaptation of themes, places and realia. (shrink)
This essay argues that relativist semantics provide fruitful frameworks for the study of the relationships between meaning and truth-conditions, and consequently for the analysis of the logical properties of expressions. After a discussion of the role of intensionality and indexicality within classic double-indexed semantics, I explain that the non-relativistic identification of the parameters needed for the definition of truth and for the interpretation of indexicals is grounded on considerations that are irrelevant for the assessment of the relationships between meaning and (...) truth. (shrink)
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)
This paper argues in favor of a treatment of discourse about fiction in terms of operators on character, that is, Kaplanesque ‘monsters’. The first three sections criticize the traditional analysis of ‘according to the fiction’ as an intensional operator, and the approach to fictional discourse grounded on the notion of contextual shifts. The final sections explain how an analysis in terms of monsters yields the correct readings for a variety of examples involving modal and temporal indexicals.
Abstract. The aim of this paper is first to defend the intuition that truth is grounded in how things are and, second, to argue that this fact is consistent with Minimalism. After having cashed out that intuition in terms of explanatory claims of the form ‘if it is true that p, it is true that p because p’, I set out an argument against Minimalism which is based on the same intuition, and I argue that a strategy the minimalist could (...) adopt to resist the argument, i.e. to deny the correctness of the intuition, is flawed. Then I explain why the intuition is correct and I make some claims concerning the kind of explanations which are involved in it. Now the stage is set up to present the right way for the minimalist to resist the argument. I finally answer some objections. (shrink)
Questo volume prende in considerazione, analizza e commenta in modo critico alcune recenti interpretazioni della filosofia di Giordano Bruno, che hanno attraversato la seconda parte del '900, indirizzandone l'orizzonte di comprensione. Il testo inizia con l'interpretazione di M.A. Granada e di M. Ciliberto, per poi accedere a quella di M. Ghio e A. Ingegno. Il volume si conclude con l'analisi ed il commento dell'interpretazione fornita da W. Beierwaltes. Una piccola bibliografia bruniana conclude il testo.
A work of music is repeatable in the following sense: it can be multiply performed or played in different places at the same time, and each such datable, locatable performance or playing is an occurrence of it: an item in which the work itself is somehow present, and which thereby makes the work manifest to an audience. As I see it, the central challenge in the ontology of musical works is to come up with an ontological proposal (i.e. an account (...) of what sort of thing a work of music is) which enables us to explain what such repeatability consists in, whilst doing maximal justice to the way in which we conceive of musical works in our reflective critical and appreciative practice. To this end, many have found it tempting to defend some version or other of the type-token theory : the thesis that a work is a type and its occurrences are its tokens. Much of the early debate prompted by the publication of Jerrold Levinson's seminal 'What a Musical Work Is' in 1980 has taken the type-token theory for granted, choosing to focus on how musical works, qua types, are individuated. (A key question here has been whether we should hold, with the sonicist , that works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike; or whether we should agree with Levinson's contextualist thesis that exact sound-alikes are distinct, if composed in distinct musico-historical contexts.) More recently, however, the type-token theory itself has been put under pressure, and alternatives have been suggested. So, e.g. Gregory Currie and David Davies have held versions of the thesis that musical works (and artworks generally) are acts of composition, whilst Guy Rohrbaugh has recommended that we think more innovatively about our metaphysical categories, and treat musical works (along with all repeatable artworks) as historical individuals . Historical individuals, like particular substances, come into and go out of existence, could have been somewhat different than they are, and can change through time; but such items, unlike particular substances, are nonetheless capable of having occurrences. In the last few years, ontologists of music have also stepped back to consider the very nature of their enterprise. In particular, a debate has ensued concerning the cogency of ontological proposals (such as those of Nelson Goodman, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Julian Dodd) that are substantially revisionary of our folk concept of a work of music. Amie Thomasson, David Davies and Andrew Kania occupy, to a greater or lesser degree, the descriptivist standpoint, according to which such revisionary ontologies are misconceived. The debate between revisionists and descriptivists in the ontology of music – if prosecuted against the backdrop of an awareness of developments in meta-ontology more generally – is a particularly fertile area in the philosophy of music at present. Author Recommends Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects . 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. This seminal study nicely introduces and motivates the type-token theory, and in the course of doing so, helpfully, although perhaps contentiously, distinguishes types from both sets and properties. Wollheim's treatment was to a large part responsible for stimulating the subsequent debate as to the ontological nature of musical works. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is.' Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980); reprinted in his Music, Art and Metaphysics , 63–88. This paper has, perhaps, been the most influential account of the nature of musical works, post-Wollheim. Presuming the type-token theory to be correct, Levinson elaborates it by claiming musical works to be, not sound structures (i.e. structured patterns of sound-types), but a species of types he calls indicated structures . According to Levinson, a work of music is not to be identified with its sound structure, S ; it is, in fact, a compound of S and a performance-means structure, PM , as indicated (typically, via a score) by its composer on a certain occasion : something that we can represent as S/PM -as-indicated-by- X -at- t . Such indicated structures, Levinson argues, fit the bill for being what works of music are, because they come into being with their indication (i.e. their composition), are individuated in terms of the musico-historical context in which they were composed, and have their specified performance-means (i.e. their instrumentation) essentially. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Part I of this book sees Wolterstorff defend a Platonistic version of the type-token theory (although Wolterstorff calls them 'kinds' rather than 'types'). According to Wolterstorff, considerations about the existence conditions of types commit us to the thesis that works of music, qua types, are entities that cannot come into or go out of existence. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. In this article, Kivy ingeniously (and wittily) defends a variety of Platonism about works of music against the animadversions of Levinson. Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Here Currie introduces and defends the thesis that works of music (and, indeed, all artworks) are compositional action-types. The book also contains some well-aimed criticisms of Levinson's account. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. In this book, Dodd defends the type-token theory, but argues that no version of it can escape the Platonisic consequence that musical works exist at all times (and hence, are discovered, rather than created, by their composers). Dodd also defends another controversial thesis, this time concerning musical works' individuation. According to Dodd, and pace Levinson and others, sonicism is correct: works that sound exactly alike are identical. Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals.' European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2003): 177–205. In this essay, Rohrbaugh makes some pointed criticisms of the type-token theory of repeatable artworks in the course of arguing that such works should be viewed, not as types, but as historical individuals (see above). Rohrbaugh suggests that treating musical works as historical individuals best captures our intuitions about such works' temporal and modal characteristics, and, in the course of elaborating his position, he makes some meta-ontological claims that see him endorsing a non-revisionary, descriptivist approach to the ontology of art. As Rohrbaugh sees it, ontologies of art are 'beholden to our artistic practices' (179), and 'aesthetics should not be beholden to the metaphysics on offer, but rather should drive new work in metaphysics' (197). Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology,' Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 203–220. This paper sees Ridley outlining a sceptical attitude towards the project of formulating ontological proposals. In his view, a 'serious philosophical engagement with music is orthogonal to, and may well in fact be impeded by, the pursuit of ontological issues' (203). Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.' JAAC 63 (2005:221–9). Thomasson defends descriptivism in the ontology of art by arguing that such a position is a consequence of the only defensible solution to a problem in the theory of reference: the so-called 'qua' problem concerning how the reference of a term can be fixed. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Davies' position is characterised by two theses: one methodological, the other ontological. The methodological claim is that the ontology of art faces a pragmatic constraint : roughly speaking, the ontology of art is answerable to the epistemology of art. The ontological claim is that the rigorous enforcement of the pragmatic constraint commits us to the thesis that all artworks are compositional action-tokens. Online Materials http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/philosophy/article_view?article_id=phco_articles_bpL173 Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–34. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557784/abstract Thomasson, Amie. 'Debates about the Ontology of Art: What are We Doing Here?' Philosophy Compass 1/3 (2006): 245–55. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122517227/abstract Davies, David. 'Works and Performances in the Performing Arts.' forthcoming in Philosophy Compass . doi: [DOI link] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/music/ Kania, Andrew. 'The Philosophy of Music.' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Sample Mini-Syllabus Week 1: The Type/Token Theory Introduced Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects , §§4–8, 21–3, 35–7. Kivy, Peter. Introduction to a Philosophy of Music , chapter 11. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 1. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Week 2: The Type/Token Theory and Platonism in Music Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapters 2–5. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: Another Kind of Defence.' American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1987): 245–52. Predelli, Stefano. 'Against Musical Platonism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (1995): 338–50. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Can a Musical Work be Created?' British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2004): 113–34. Week 3: Musical Works as Indicated Structures Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is, Again', in his Music, Art and Metaphysics . Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. 215–63. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works as Eternal Types.' British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2000). Davies, Stephen. Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Account , chapter 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Howell, Robert. 'Types, Indicated and Initiated.' British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 105–27. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Fine Individuation.' British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2007): 113–37. Week 4: Musical Work as Historical Individuals Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 6. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending Musical Perdurantism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 59–69. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending "Defending Musical Perdurantism".' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 331–37. Week 5: Musical Works as Compositional Actions Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 7. Week 6: Meta-ontology of Music: What are we Doing When we do the Ontology of Music? Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology'. Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics'. Thomasson, Amie. Ordinary Objects , chapter 11. OUP, 2007. Davies, David. 'The Primacy of Practice in the Ontology of Art.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2009): 159–72. Kania, Andrew. 'Piece for the End of Time: In Defence of Musical Ontology,' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 65–79. Kania, Andrew. 'The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and its Implications.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 426–44. Cameron, Ross. 'There are No Things That are Musical Works.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 295–314. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–1134. doi: [DOI link] Focus Questions 1. Are musical works literally created by their composers? 2. Critically examine Levinson's thesis that musical works are 'indicated structures'. 3. What, if anything, is wrong with the thesis that musical works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike? 4. Should we immediately be sceptical of ontological proposals for works of music that are substantially revisionary of the way in which we ordinarily think of them? (shrink)
This essay aims at neutralizing the contextualist challenge against traditional semantics. According to contextualism, utterances of non-elliptical, non-ambiguous, and non-indexical sentences may be associated with contrasting truth-conditions. In this essay, I grant the contextualist analysis of the sentences in question, and the contextualist assessment of the truth-conditions for the corresponding utterances. I then argue that the resulting situation is by no means incompatible with the traditional approach to semantics, and that the evidence put forth by the contextualists may easily be (...) taken into account by the customary treatment of natural languages. (shrink)
In his well-known Discourse on Metaphysics , Leibniz puts individual substance at the basis of metaphysical building. In so doing, he connects himself to a venerable tradition. His theory of individual concept, however, breaks with another idea of the same tradition, that no account of the individual as such can be given. Contrary to what has been commonly accepted, Leibniz’s intuitions are not the mere result of the transcription of subject-predicate logic, nor of the uncritical persistence of some old metaphysical (...) assumptions. They grow, instead, from an unprejudiced inquiry about our basic ontological framework, where logic of truth, linguistic analysis, and phenomenological experience of the mind’s life are tightly interwoven. Leibniz’s struggle for a concept capable of grasping concrete individuals as such is pursued in an age of great paradigm changes – from the Scholastic background to Hobbes’s nominalism to the Cartesian ‘way of ideas’ or Spinoza’s substance metaphysics – when the relationships among words, ideas and things are intensively discussed and wholly reshaped. This is the context where the genesis and significance of Leibniz’s theory of ‘complete being’ and its concept are reconstrued. The result is a fresh look at some of the most perplexing issues in Leibniz scholarship, like his ideas about individual identity and the thesis that all its properties are essential to an individual. The questions Leibniz faces, and to which his theory of individual substance aims to answer, are yet, to a large extent, those of contemporary metaphysics: how to trace a categorial framework? How to distinguish concrete and abstract items? What is the metaphysical basis of linguistic predication? How is trans-temporal sameness assured? How to make sense of essential attributions? In this ontological framework Leibniz’s further questions about the destiny of human individuals and their history are spelt out. Maybe his answers also have something to tell us. This book is aimed at all who are interested in Leibniz’s philosophy, history of early modern philosophy and metaphysical issues in their historical development. (shrink)
In this essay, I propose an analysis of Quine’s example ’Giorgione was so-called because of his size’, grounded on the idea of an obstinate demonstrative. In the first sections, I discuss the advantages and drawbacks of the demonstrative and logophoric treatments of ‘so called’, I highlight certain parallelisms with Davidson’s paratactic view of quotation, and I introduce independent considerations in favor of the idea of an obstinate demonstrative. In the second half of my essay, I apply this notion to Quine’s (...) example, and I discuss its consequences with respect to the principle of substitutivity of coreferential singular terms. (shrink)
According to Lynch’s aletich functionalism truth is manifested by/immanent in different properties in different domains of discourse; so a core concept of Alethic Functionalism is the concept of the relation of manifestation holding between truth and other properties. The claim I’m going to defend is that Lynch makes too many theoretical demands on the manifestation relation and this makes it a metaphysical monster, that is to say a relation with mutually inconsistent features. In order to make manifestation a coherent notion (...) one should give up some of its original features, but this makes Alethic Functionalism a much less appealing theory than it was supposed to be. (shrink)
This essay proposes a semantic analysis of biscuit-conditionals, such as Austin’s classic example “there are biscuits in the cupboard if you want some”. The analysis is grounded on the ideas of contextual restrictions, and of non-character encoded aspects of meaning, and provides a rigorous framework for the widespread intuitions that (i) the if-clause in a biscuit-conditional is truth-conditionally idle, but (ii) it ‘qualifies’ the speech-act in question. In the concluding section of this essay, the analysis is also applied to the (...) importantly similar phenomenon of speech-act adverbs. (shrink)
This essay proposes a novel semantic account of demonstratives, aimed at clarifying the sense in which demonstratives are semantically dependent on demonstrations. Its first two sections summarize the main views currently on the market. Section 3 argues that they are all vitiated by the same shortcomings, and yield incorrect results of ‘truth in virtue of character’ and entailment. Section 4 proposes a different account of the relationships between demonstratives and demonstrations, grounded on the idea of truth-conditionally irrelevant aspects of the (...) meaning of certain expressions. The resulting view of demonstratives is consonant with the so-called ‘bare boned’ account of their truth-conditional role, but is also in the position to recognize that the dependence of a demonstrative on a demonstration is, in some sense of the term, meaning-governed. The final section of this essay discusses the distinction between ‘vacuous’ and ‘incomplete’ uses of demonstratives, and cases involving multiple occurrences of these expressions. (shrink)
This essay defends an analysis of malapropisms consistent with the Simple Picture of communication, namely the view that speakers communicate that P by employing expressions associated with P by the regularities appropriate for the linguistic community to which they belong. My analysis, grounded on the distinction between traces, shapes, and forms, is consistent with an intuitive assessment of the contents conveyed by instances of malapropisms, and with a standard, ‘fully articulated’ approach to semantic interpretation.
Come tutti gli ambiti teorici e pratici della civiltà occidentale anche la riflessione pedagogica viene investtita dalla potenza ideologica del neoliberismo, che intende trasformare e rivoluzionare a partire dagli anni '80 del Novecento tutte le forme in senso lato culturali sviluppatesi a partire dagli anni '60 e '70 del medesimo secolo. L'applicazione del principio della post-modernità frantuma e dissolve progressivamente le prospettive di cambiamento precedenti, assegnando alla civiltà capitalistica un'esistenza assoluta ed immodificabile. Tutti gli intenti che hanno di volta in (...) volta dimostrato di voler moderare e limitare (o condizionare) queste pretese non sono riuscite a raggiungere i propri scopi, favorendo al contrario la rincorsa regressiva operata dal sistema ideologico dominante. Solo la ripresa di una concezione di nuovo rivoluzionaria può invece, proprio a partire da una rinnovata pedagogia radicale e democratica, risolvere i problemi di mera sopravvivenza della civiltà umana e del suo contesto naturale, scatenati dalla illimitata volontà di potenza del neoliberismo economico e finanziario. (shrink)
This essay argues that cases of apparently sub-sentential speech, such as Charles’ utterance of ‘a world famous topologist’ in the presence of a suitably salient woman, are unproblematic from the viewpoint of the Traditional View of meaning and truth-conditions. My argument is grounded on the distinction between different senses of ‘truth-conditions’ in double-index semantics, and on an understanding of semantic inputs as constraints on logical forms. Given these conceptual resources, I argue that an utterly traditional understanding of the relationships between (...) meaning and truth yields the intuitively desired results. (shrink)
La rivoluzionarietà della speculazione bruniana si esercita nei confronti della tradizione di alcuni testi aristotelici fondamentali nella trasmissione del pensiero e della civiltà occidentale. In modo principale essa attacca e demolisce i capisaldi della "Metafisica" di Aristotele, per poter cominciare ad affermare - o, se si vuole, a riaffermare (visto il richiamo esplicito del filosofo nolano alla riflessione dei primi Presocratici) - il principio dell'infinito creativo e doppiamente dialettico. Il breve saggio segue la formulazione e lo sviluppo progressivo del testo (...) aristotelico attraverso la critica esposta dalla riflessione bruniana. Alla fine viene presentata una breve bibliografia bruniana. (shrink)
This essay proposes a systematic semantic account of Davidson’s demonstrative theory of pure quotation (Davidson Theory and decision, 11: 27–40, 1979) within a classic Kaplan-style framework for indexical languages (Kaplan 1977). I argue that Davidson’s informal hints must be developed in terms of the idea of ‘character-external’ aspects of meaning, that is, in terms of truth-conditionally idle restrictions on the class of contexts in which quotation marks may appropriately be used. When thus developed, Davidson’s theory may correctly take into account (...) the intuitively special status of disquotational sentences, such as “Boston’ refers to Boston’, and “‘Boston” refers to ‘Boston”, and is thus immune from the important objections recently raised in Cappelen and Lepore 2007. (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is that of providing a unified analysis for some interesting uses of quotation marks, including so-called scare quotes. The phenomena exemplified by the cases I discuss have remained relatively unexplored, notwithstanding a growing interest in the behavior of quotation marks. They are, however, of no lesser interest than other, more widely studied effectsachieved with the help of quotationmarks. In particular, as I argue in whatfollows, scare quotes and other similar instances bear interesting relations with (...) someimportant themes in the study of natural languages, such as questions regarding alleged devicesof conventional implicature, cases of so-called metalinguistic negation, and, moregenerally, problems pertaining to the distinction between semantic and pragmatic fieldsof inquiry.In Section 1, I begin with a description of some examples involvingthe uses of quotation marks I intend to discuss, and I hint at some desiderata fortheir analysis. In Section 2, I temporarily abandon quotation marks, and, inspired by therecent work of Stephen Neale and Kent Bach on alleged devices of conventional implicature,I present what I call the theory of message and attachment. In Sections 3 and 4,I return to my initial examples, I employ the theory of message and attachment in theiranalysis, and I discuss certain features regarding the behavior of negation in some related cases. (shrink)
Questo breve volume prende in considerazione, analizza e commenta alcune interpretazioni magistrali della filosofia di Giordano Bruno, che hanno attraversato l'800 ed il '900, indirizzandone l'orizzonte di comprensione. Il testo inizia con l'interpretazione di G.W.F. Hegel e di B. Spaventa, per poi accedere a quella di G. Gentile. Il volume si conclude con l'analisi ed il commento dell'interpretazione fornita da N. Badaloni. Una piccola bibliografia bruniana conclude il testo.
Il volume raccoglie il lavoro di ricerca, di analisi e di commento, dedicati ai "Dialoghi Italiani" di Giordano Bruno, che è stato presentato quale tesi di dottorato in filosofia presso l'Università degli studi di Padova, nel febbraio del 2002. Il testo comprende un confronto fra la tradizione dei testi aristotelici della "Metafisica", "Fisica" e "Il cielo" ed i testi in volgare di Giordano Bruno, analizza i testi bruniani giungendo alla scoperta del principio dell'infinito creativo e doppiamente dialettico e presenta una (...) panoramica delle principali interpretazioni fornite al pensiero bruniano durante l'800 ed il '900. (shrink)
Le argomentazioni presentate in questo volume costituiscono il primo contributo dell’autore al progettato compito di un’analisi e commento completi e puntuali dei principali testi filosofici di Giordano Bruno. Iniziando con il "De umbris idearum" e procedendo con le prime opere in latino, l’autore intende svelare le basi teoretiche della prima speculazione bruniana, destinate ad essere riprese, ampliate ed approfondite nei testi successivi, i "Dialoghi Italiani", così come, in una originale prospettiva atomistica, in quelli latini delle ultime fasi. Il "De umbris (...) idearum" costituisce in questa prospettiva il testo base della difficile e complessa speculazione bruniana: assolutamente lontano – come del resto indicato dalle esplicite affermazioni del filosofo di Nola – dall’impiego pragmatico e retorico della tradizionale arte della memoria, esso piuttosto costruisce progressivamente uno spazio di riflessione di natura ontologica, metafisica e teologica, con influssi sulle considerazioni razionali e naturali. In questo modo l’arte di memoria bruniana diventa la memoria di un arte filosofica civile, la necessità del ricordo di una possibilità del pensiero e della prassi incardinata sulla presenza di un plesso centrale creativo e dialettico, che progressivamente consente l’inserimento della principale innovazione escogitata dalla filosofia bruniana: il concetto (con la relativa prassi) dell’infinito. Direttamente tematizzato nei dialoghi in italiano, il concetto creativo e dialettico dell’infinito bruniano separa progressivamente l’autore nolano dalla tradizione neoplatonico-aristotelica, definendo in tal modo uno schema interpretativo della realtà diverso ed opposto rispetto a quello che – oltre l’apparente rivoluzionarietà della scienza moderna – ha innervato i principali sviluppi della civiltà occidentale moderna e contemporanea. (shrink)
Questo breve volumetto prosegue l'analisi iniziata a proposito del confronto fra la speculazione bruniana e la metafisica aristotelica. Ora la critica bruniana si appunta sul testo aristotelico della "Fisica", demolendo e disgregando la possibilità che non vi sia un principio ed un movimento infinito. Seguendo ed integrando le riflessioni precedenti, il pensiero di Giordano Bruno conserva l'unitarietà fra momento teoretico e momento pratico, approfondendo la determinazione dell'infinito creativo e doppiamente dialettico.
This essay presents an argument against the token-reflexive approach to the semantics for indexical languages. After some preliminary remarks in section one, sections two and three explain why some traditional arguments against token-reflexivity are ultimately ineffective. Section four puts forth a more persuasive argument, to the effect that token-reflexive views overgenerate with respect to results of analyticity. However, as section five explains, defenders of the alternative, type-oriented view have all too often wasted the advantage offered by their approach: the unmotivated, (...) independent restriction of semantic evaluation to so-called ‘proper’ indexes is responsible for undesirable conclusions, similar to those to which token- reflexive theorists are committed. (shrink)
Despite his well‐known deductivism, in his early (unpublished) writings, Popper held an inductivist position. Up to 1929 epistemology entered Popper's reflections only as far as the problem was that of the justification of the scientific character of these fields of research. However, in that year, while surveying the history of non‐Euclidean geometries, Popper explicitly discussed the cognitive status of geometry without referring to psycho‐pedagogical aspects, thus turning from cognitive psychology to the logic and methodology of science. As a consequence of (...) his reflections on the problematic relationship between geometrical‐mathematical constructions and physical reality Popper was able to get over a too direct notion of such a relationship, cast doubts on inductive inference and started conceiving in a new (strictly non‐inductivist) manner the relationship between theoretical and observational propositions. (shrink)
Questo breve volumetto cerca di descrivere in modo abbastanza rapido, ma nello stesso tempo preciso ed articolato, la struttura in divenire del pensiero di G.F.W. Hegel. Dalla sua prima fase, animata dagli ideali giacobini e rivoluzionari, alla sua conclusione, quando il pensiero hegeliano sembrava prestarsi bene - come strumento ideologico - al movimento di restituzione regressiva ed autoritaria del potere, imposto dallle sconfitte di Napoleone e dal Congresso di Vienna. Il testo è stato prodotto come tesina per il superamento dell'esame (...) finale For.Com nell'anno accademico 2010-2011. (shrink)
Le argomentazioni presentate in questo testo costituiscono le conclusioni ultime e definitive di un lavoro di ricerca, che ha investito l’insieme dei "Dialoghi Italiani", riuscendo a reperire ed a far emergere quello che pare il nucleo più profondo ed importante – il vero e proprio elevato fondamento – della speculazione bruniana: la presenza attiva di un concetto triadico teologico-politico – il "Padre", il "Figlio" e lo "Spirito" della tradizione trinitaria cristiana – però riformulato attraverso il capovolgimento rivoluzionario di questa stessa (...) tradizione, attuato attraverso il concetto creativo e dialettico dell’infinito. In questo modo la stessa tradizione platonica pare subire una trasformazione essenziale, abbandonando qualunque forma di alienazione e negazione, per riaprirsi invece verso soluzioni che paiono riprendere moniti ed osservazioni suscitati dalle prime, grandi e maestose, speculazioni dei filosofi presocratici. Talete, Anassimandro, Anassimene, Parmenide, Eraclito ed Empedocle sembrano rivivere nei testi bruniani, riproponendo una soluzione ben diversa a quei nodi e problemi teoretico-pratici – fondamentale il rapporto Uno-molti e tutto ciò che da esso consegue, sia sul piano naturale che politico – apparentemente risolti e codificati dal pensiero postsocratico, prima platonico e poi aristotelico. L’inscindibilità del principio di libertà (la figura teologica del "Padre") ed eguaglianza (il "Figlio"), attraverso il richiamo alla fonte amorosa infinita ed universale (lo "Spirito"), consente alla riflessione bruniana di presentare per la prima volta nel panorama filosofico mondiale di tutti i tempi la possibilità di salvaguardare sia l’aspetto creativo naturale, che la diversità politica, presentando nel contempo un concetto di ragione capace di esprimere un movimento infinito sempre aperto ed attento alla molteplicità. In questa liberazione della potenza e della volontà dalle strettoie ordinate e gerarchiche della tradizione il pensiero e la riflessione di Giordano Bruno danno inizio alla modernità, ripresentandosi quale mirabile soluzione ogni qual volta potere e violenza paiono assestarsi e reciprocamente incrementarsi, in un circolo apparentemente indistruttibile. Allora i capitoli di questo libro – attraverso l’analisi di concetti importanti nella filosofia bruniana, quali quelli del desiderio e dell’immaginazione, della materia e della ragione – riattraversano la storia della definizione filosofica delle entità reali più importanti – Dio, Natura, Ragione, Uno – per mostrare un’opposizione fondamentale: l’opposizione fra la fusione speculativa apportata dal pensiero neoplatonico-aristotelico (antico, moderno e contemporaneo), attenta alla difesa della necessità ordinata di un mondo unico, e la liberazione speculativo-pratica bruniana, attenta a far rivivere la coscienza dell’infinito, in noi e fuori di noi. (shrink)
When discussing the distinction between referential and attributive uses of definite descriptions, Keith Donnellan also mentions cases such as âSmithâs murderer is insaneâ, uttered in a scenario in which Smith committed suicide. In this essay, I defend a two-fold thesis: (i) the alleged intuition that utterances of âSmithâs murderer is insaneâ are true in the scenario in question is independent from the phenomenon of referential uses of definite description, and, most importantly, (ii) even if such intuition is granted semantic relevance, (...) the evidence it presents is compatible with a Russellian treatment of definite descriptions. I thus present a Russellian analysis of âSmithâs murderer is insaneâ which, when coupled with certain independently plausible hypotheses, explains the presumed intuition that certain utterances of this sentence are indeed true, at least as long as the intended individual is insane. (shrink)
I present a novel explanation of the apparent truth of certain remarks about fiction, such as an utterance of ''Salieri commissioned the Requiem'' during a discussion of the movie Amadeus. I criticize the traditional view, which alleges that the uttered sentence abbreviates the longer sentence ''it is true in the movie Amadeus that Salieri commissioned the Requiem''. I propose a solution which appeals to some independently motivated results concerning the contexts relevant for the semantic evaluation of indexical expressions.
Questo volumetto conclude il confronto fra la speculazione bruniana e la tradizione del pensiero aristotelico. Ora Giordano Bruno considera le obiezioni della tradizione aristotelica all'esistenza di un corpo universale infinito in movimento interno (creativo e dialettico) infinito. Demolendo e disgregando le premesse dell'impostazione aristotelica la riflessione di Giordano Bruno ridetermina e riqualifica le tradizionali nozioni di spirito e di materia, innovandole in radice e sospingendole verso una rivoluzionarietà, capace di mantenere sempre uniti l'aspetto teoretico e il momento pratico della riflessione (...) e del pensiero. (shrink)
Attraverso una breve e veloce premessa storico-critica e storico-filosofica il testo proposto fa emergere il tema del rapporto problematico sussistente fra l'attuale ideologia che sorregge il fenomeno economico, sociale e politico della globalizzazione internazionale dei capitali (soprattutto finanziari) ed i riflessi di ordine umano e naturale che ne sono l'effettiva conseguenza. Da un punto di vista psicologico, sociale ed educativo l'impianto ideologico neoliberista viene allora contrastato dalla ripresa di un pensiero critico, radicale e rivoluzionario, che riutilizza il principio dell'infinito creativo (...) e doppiamente dialettico, di lontana matrice presocratica e bruniana. Il testo analizza la progressione di avvicinamento a tale principio preparata dalle riflessioni di H. Marcuse, W. Reich, G. Deleuze, C. Castoriadis e A. Badiou. (shrink)
In a recent paper I appeal to a metaontological view I have defended in a number of places and put it to work to solve a puzzle regarding musical ontology: how can it be that musical works, which are seemingly abstract if they exist, are created? My view is subject to criticism from Stefano Predelli, who argues that it is neither original nor successful. Fortunately, Predelli’s criticism does not survive close scrutiny.
According to the view I call `innocent Millianism', that-clauses differing only for occurrences of co-referential names provide the same contribution to the intensional profile of a belief report. It is widely believed by friends and foes of innocent Millianism alike that this approach entails either the denial of what I label a `naïve' account ofbelief reports, or a dismissive attitude towards our semantic intuitions. In this essay, I counter that the conjunction of innocent Millianism and the naïve view of belief (...) reports is compatible with our intuitions of truth-conditions. In order to defend this conclusion, I defend an independently motivated approach, in which utterances endowed of the same intension may nevertheless differ in truth-conditions. (shrink)
The idea that certain mental phenomena (e.g. emotions, depression, anxiety) can represent risk factors for certain somatic diseases runs through common thinking on the subject and through a large part of biomedical science. This idea still lies at the focus of the research tradition in psychosomatic medicine and in certain interdisciplinary approaches that followed it, such as psychoneuroimmunology. Nevertheless, the inclusion in the scientific literature of specifically mental phenomena in the list of risk factors pertaining to a specific pathological condition (...) would seem, to say the least, problematic when not completely absent, unlike what happens for certain behavioural factors, such as smoking, sedentary life, and alcohol abuse. It is also significant that insurance companies and health and welfare services do not pay for interventions and treatment for states of anxiety, disorders of mood and of the personality, alexithymia and stress reduction, as means of prevention or treatment of somatic diseases, as instead they do for the treatment of tobacco addiction. However, as I shall endeavour to argue here, there are numerous and well grounded reasons why this different consideration of psychic conditions compared with behaviours is valid and must be maintained in the evaluation of pathogenetic risk factors. (shrink)
According to a thesis which is today authoritatively supported by some authors, the scarce recognition given to sport sciences in our culture should be ascribed to Christianity. This paper, in addition to attempting to refute this thesis, wishes to enrich the epistemological background of the emerging areas of research, to which sport belongs, with the perspective of a full appreciation of the value of man and of his corporeity. The argument develops in two main directions: the first aims at bringing (...) out the concept of corporeity which characterises genuine Christian thought, as conveyed in the sacred scriptures, while the second is directed towards identifying the values which sports and the Gospel message have in common. The result of this analysis, the bibliographical references of significant authors and of the arguments put forward, seems to lead to the conclusion that the essence of the Christian message entirely values human corporeity, and that it is even possible to identify shared values in sports and Christian ethics. (shrink)
Typically, in cases where an agent's actions produce foreseen harmful consequences, we morally discriminate in favor of scenarios in which those consequences are unintended. This intuitive distinction plays a particularly important role in our moral assessment of military strategies, especially when innocent bystanders may be involved. However, the analysis of the general principles governing such pre-theoretical inclinations must inevitably confront difficult and obstinate philosophical problems. As has often been pointed out, the criteria proposed by the traditional view on this issue, (...) the so-called Doctrine of Double Effect, are dependent upon the description of the agent's intentional profile in an intuitively inadmissible way. As a solution to the Doctrine's shortcomings, contemporary philosophers have proposed analyses in which the notion of harmful involvement plays a central role. The main thesis of this paper is that appeals to harmful involvement do not provide the desired solution. Given the pervasive role played by the assessment of an agent's intentions in our moral evaluation of the use of military force in particular situations, the philosophical puzzles raised in this paper bring to the foreground a set of correlated problems of unequivocal relevance for the discipline of military ethics. (shrink)
In this article the author seeks to highlight a specific disorder related to bodily experience in melancholia conceived as a severe form of clinical depression. The article is divided into three parts. In the first section, the author investigates the intersubjective dimension of bodily experience in light of the categories of Außen- and Innenleiblichkeit. In the second section, I explore a specific disturbance of the dimension of intercorporeality. The excessive feeling of the bodily (außenleibliche) visibility of his/her own sufferance is (...) a fundamental aspect of depression. At a pre-reflexive level, we constantly assume the noncoincidence between one's own bodily expression and the Other's experience/reading of these expressions. An alteration of this (pre-reflexive) awareness occurs in melancholia. The patient feels as if the melancholic condition would be transparent to the other. In the third section, the author intends to show the alteration of the embodied communication between the melancholic person and the other investigating two particular phenomena: the exchange of gaze in a face to face encounter, and the disturbance of the oral sense, revealing a specific form of irresponsiveness and the experience of void. (shrink)
The concept of authority crosses many social sciences, but there is a lack of common taxonomy and definitions on this topic. The aims of this review are: (1) to define the basic characteristics of the authority relationship, reaching a definition suitable for the different domains of social psychology and social sciences; (2) to bridge the gap between individual and societal levels of explanation concerning the authority relationship, by proposing an interpretation within the framework of social representations. The authority relationship can (...) be conceived as a negotiation of meanings and it is closely linked to shared value orientation and the attribution of meanings negotiated within a society. We assume that the authority relationship is socially constructed and represents both a shared representation of society and a normative principle of social life. A multidisciplinary approach is adopted, crossing definitions and studies provided in sociology, political science, law and social psychology. (shrink)
In this essay, I explain how certain suggestions put forth by Frege, Wittgenstein, and Schlick regarding the interpretation of indexical expressions may be incorporated within a systematic semantic account. I argue that the ‘hybrid’ approach they propose is preferable to more conventional systems, in particular when it comes to the interpretation of cases of cross-contextual ellipsis. I also explain how the hybrid view entails certain important and independently motivated distinctions among contextually dependent expressions, for instance between ‘here’ and ‘local’.
According to the Green Paper presented by the European Commission in July 2001, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis (Commission of the European Communities, 2001b, p. 6). On this basis, in 2002, the Italian Government, and especially the Italian Ministry of Welfare, launched an initiative called CSR-SC (social commitment) in order to foster the proactive social role of (...) Italian enterprises, with great attention on SME involvement. The technical partner of the Italian Ministry of Welfare for this initiative is Bocconi University. The goal of this contribution is to present the main results of CSR–SC research project developed by Bocconi University. The paper provides a detailed picture of the general scheme designed to carry out the research project and a review of the different methodologies used to support the solutions proposed. (shrink)
In the context of truth-functional propositional many-valued logics, Hájek’s Basic Fuzzy Logic BL  plays a major rôle. The completeness theorem proved in  shows that BL is the logic of all continuous t -norms and their residua. This result, however, does not directly yield any meaningful interpretation of the truth values in BL per se . In an attempt to address this issue, in this paper we introduce a complete temporal semantics for BL. Specifically, we show that BL formulas (...) can be interpreted as modal formulas over a flow of time, where the logic of each instant is Łukasiewicz, with a finite or infinite number of truth values. As a main result, we obtain validity with respect to all flows of times that are non-branching to the future, and completeness with respect to all finite linear flows of time, or to an appropriate single infinite linear flow of time. It may be argued that this reduces the problem of establishing a meaningful interpretation of the truth values in BL logic to the analogous problem for Łukasiewicz logic. (shrink)
According to a popular approach to the ontology of music, the identity conditions for a musical work include the specification of properties of sound, which constrain the class of its correct performances. This essay argues that the resulting invariantist view of the work–performance relation is inadequate and defends a contextualist alternative.
A summary of François Recanati's book Literal Meaning (section 1), followed by his response to the critical reviews of the same book by Stefano Predelli (section 2) and Manuel García-Carpintero (section 3). /// Este texto da respuesta a los que, en este mismo número, Predelli y García-Carpintero dedican a mi libro Literal Meaning. En la primera seccíon hago un breve resumen de esta obra; en la segunda respondo a los comentarios críticos de Predelli y en la tercera a los (...) de García-Carpintero. (shrink)
Read through semiotic analysis, the narrative intrigue of (the evenemential and cognitive dimension of) the anthropologist’s work reveals the epistemological configuration encasing some central and interrelated questions in anthropology: the communication-interaction between anthropologists and other inter-actants, their invention-application of some metalanguages and the subsequent intercultural translations of concepts and processes. To explore this configuration, I compare a foreword written by Malinowski and another one written by Geertz. In these forewords, they resort to refined stories to frame complex argumentations. In Malinowski’s (...) foreword, two superposing stories are told: (1) a tale of a subject’s performance newly endowed with professional competences (the ethnologist) and a discipline possessing a more modern and positive knowledge (Functionalist ethnology) and (2) a symmetric tale of exchanged messages (with relative sanction and counter-sanction) between an enunciator (who has to lay the foundations of this science) and an addressee (who has to confirm the validity of messages). To lay these foundations, the enunciator implicitly proposes an epistemology based on some values (such as ‘penetration’, ‘progression’, and the‘overcoming of limits’) privileging the metaphor of space and the cumulative aspect of process. As far as Geertz’s foreword is concerned, the enunciator has recourse to two different stories: (1) one concerning the interaction between Geertz and his editor (rather than with natives) to justify his hermeneutic position and (2) another one, larger and including, concerning the reversal of causality relationships to reaffirm the value of coincidence. If in Malinowski’s foreword, stories are used to redefine some programmatic principles (‘discontinuity’ and the combination of ‘three different oxymora’) through which ethnology can be given a scientific nature and a new foundation, in Geertz’s foreword, on the contrary, value is given to ‘coincidence’ and ‘writing’ in its multiple forms and (paradoxically, for an interpretativist) a binary discursive epistemology and a style of thought privileging the nonterminative and imperfective process have been combined. (shrink)
Two suggestions are at the back of the present talk. First, toleration is obligatory, not criticism. So do not try to make people critically-minded: do not force them in any way to try to offer or accept criticism, to learn to participate effectively in the game of critical discussion. If they refuse, then they are within their right. Also, they will easily ad vance excuses for their refusal; admittedly some of these are unreasonable, but not all. Instead of trying to (...) make people critically-minded, try to help them become criticallyminded if and when they request help on this matter, but not otherwise. My second suggestion is that a simple, inconclusive, criterion should be used to distinguish with ease between proper and improper criticism — not by reference to validity, since proper criticism may turn out to be invalid, and some of the worst diatribes may inadvertently include valid criticism. This should hardly be expected of diatribes, and these are recognizable by their display of poor appreciation their target. (This was noted in a recent review by Stefano Gattei of the Italian edition of the Lakatos -Feyerabend correspondence: it largely concerns Popper, yet it displays boorish disrespect to him.) So much for my messages here. I also wish to present here the following ideas. (shrink)
Three types of problems are raised in this commentary: On the linguistic side, we emphasize the importance of an appropriate definition of the different domains of linguistics. This is needed to define the domains (lexicon-syntax-semantics) to which transformational relations apply. We then question the concept of Broca's aphasia as a “functional” syndrome, associated with a specific lesion. Finally, we discuss evidence from functional brain imaging. The breadth and potential impact of such evidence has grown considerably in the last few years, (...) expanding our knowledge of the multiple contributions of the “Broca's region” to phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic processing. “Lumping” under diagnostic labels, such as Broca's aphasia, should be replaced by more detailed linguistic and neurological descriptions of the clinical cases. (shrink)