In this paper it is argued that the opposition between the two main methods of mathematics, the axiomatic and the analytic method, is first of all an opposition between intuition and <span class='Hi'>discourse</span>, and, in addition, an opposition between the socalled demonstrative and non-demonstrative reasoning. These two methods, however, are not on a par because the view that the method of mathematics is the axiomatic method is refuted by Goedel's incompleteness results, which on the contrary do not affect the (...) view that the method of mathematics is the analytic method. (shrink)
Four years after the publication of Wittgenstein's Investigations, Rush Rhees began writing critical reflections on the masterpiece he had helped to edit. In this edited collection of his previously unpublished writings, Rhees argues, contra Wittgenstein, that although language lacks the unity of a calculus it is not simply a family of language games. The unity of language is found in its dialogical character. It is in this context that we say something, and grow in understanding: notions not captured in Wittgenstein's (...) emphasis on language games, following rules, and using language. Rhees develops Wittgenstein's notion that to imagine a language is to image a form of life, without suggesting that we are all engaged in an all-inclusive conversation. The result is not only a major contribution to Wittgenstein scholarship, but an original discussion of central philosophical questions concerning the possibility of discourse. (shrink)
This paper argues that the Turing test is based on a fixed and de-contextualized view of communicative competence. According to this view, a machine that passes the test will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of other situations. But the de-contextualized view ignores the relationship between language and social context, or, to put it another way, the extent to which speakers respond dynamically to variations in discourse function, formality level, social distance/solidarity among participants, and participants' (...) relative degrees of power and status (Holmes, 1992). In the case of the Loebner Contest, a present day version of the Turing test, the social context of interaction can be interpreted in conflicting ways. For example, Loebner discourse is defined 1) as a friendly, casual conversation between two strangers of equal power, and 2) as a one-way transaction in which judges control the conversational floor in an attempt to expose contestants that are not human. This conflict in discourse function is irrelevant so long as the goal of the contest is to ensure that only thinking, human entities pass the test. But if the function of Loebner discourse is to encourage the production of software that can pass for human on the level of conversational ability, then the contest designers need to resolve this ambiguity in discourse function, and thus also come to terms with the kind of competence they are trying to measure. (shrink)
The WTO Dispute Settlement System (DSS) has been the object of many studies in politics, law, and economics focusing on institutional design problems. This paper contributes to such studies by accounting for the argumentative nature and sophisticated features of the DSS through a philosophical analysis of the procedures through which it is articulated. Jürgen Habermas's discourse theory is used as a hermeneutic device to disentangle the types of ‘orientations’ (compromise, consensus, and mutual understanding) pertaining to DSS procedures. We show (...) that these latter are oriented primarily to put the parties in a position to reach mutual understanding. Such an orientation is no mere idiosyncrasy of the DSS but is the only one consistently conducive to the WTO's general aims, in response to the various types of disputes that may arise between its Members. Before closing, we bring our procedural considerations to bear on the reform proposals of the DSS. (shrink)
This collection reflects the growing interest realist critics have shown towards forms of discourse theory and deconstruction. The diverse range of contributions address such issues as the work of Derrida and deconstruction, discourse theory, Eurocentrism and poststructuralism.
Basic concepts in Habermas's theory of communicative action -- Habermas's "reconstruction" of modern law -- Discourse theory and the theory and practice of adjudication -- System, lifeworld, and Habermas's "communication theory of society" -- After between facts and norms : religion in the public square, multiculturalism, and the "postnational constellation".
Post-Marxist critical sociology of education has influenced the development of indigenous (‘kaupapa’) Maori educational theory and research. Its effects are examined in four claims made for Maori education by indigenous theorists. The claims are: indigenous kaupapa Maori education is a revolutionary initiative; it is a cultural solution to Maori educational under-achievement; it has reversed the decline of the Maori language; it provides a valid educational alternative for an ethnically and culturally distinctive population. The analysis suggests that the indigenous theory approach (...) is representative of the position-taking strategy that characterises post-Marxist critical sociology of education, concluding that claims made in kaupapa Maori voice discourse are not supported by the empirical evidence which indicates a more complex social reality. (shrink)
Probabilistic models of sentence comprehension are increasingly relevant to questions concerning human language processing. However, such models are often limited to syntactic factors. This restriction is unrealistic in light of experimental results suggesting interactions between syntax and other forms of linguistic information in human sentence processing. To address this limitation, this article introduces two sentence processing models that augment a syntactic component with information about discourse co-reference. The novel combination of probabilistic syntactic components with co-reference classifiers permits them to (...) more closely mimic human behavior than existing models. The first model uses a deep model of linguistics, based in part on probabilistic logic, allowing it to make qualitative predictions on experimental data; the second model uses shallow processing to make quantitative predictions on a broad-coverage reading-time corpus. (shrink)
Over the past thirty years or so, theoretical work in such fields as legal semiotics and law and literature has argued that the legal process is profoundly rhetorical. At the same time, a number of communication-based disciplines such as semiotics, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology have provided, particularly in interdisciplinary combination with law, a wealth of empirical evidence on, and insight into, the micro-contexts of language and communication in the legal process. However, while these invaluable nitty-gritty analyses provide empirical support for (...) a rhetorical thesis, work in these areas has tended to ignore rhetoric as an explanatory principle. This article introduces an overarching rhetorical framework for the discursive construction and management of cases in contemporary Anglo-American legal processes. Taking ‘forensic’ as relating to the conduct of cases and ‘discourse’ as semiosis-in-practice, I argue that the practices within which forensic discourse is embedded are not, as the received legal view would have it, aimed at revealing an impartial truth but are deeply rhetorical practices aimed at persuading decision-makers to provide a remedy for a claimed wrong. By looking across forensic texts and contexts, I identify common elements of forensic discourse that can be found both in classical forensic orations and throughout the modern legal process and consider how these intersect with critical forces of agency and structure and the particularities of semiosis in situated context. An awareness of commonalities across forensic discourse can help sharpen our focus on the critical causes and consequences of individual and structural difference and point to consequential suggestions for reform. (shrink)
This volume addresses current issues in the semantics and the pragmatics of discourse and dialogue. Collected papers aim at providing insights on different theoretical approaches, all of them in the dynamic semantics tradition, such as Dynamic Predicate Logic (DPL), Discourse Representation Theory (DRT), and Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT). They reflect the current move of formal semantics from short multisentential texts towards structured discourses and dialogues, accounting for more and more phenomena at the semantics-pragmatics interface (e.g., subtleties (...) of anaphora and presupposition, the role of temporal connectives in discourse or the establishment of common references in dialogue). (shrink)
This is the first collection to bring together well-known scholars writing from feminist perspectives within critical discourse analysis. The theoretical structure of CDA is illustrated with empirical research in Eastern and Western Europe, New Zealand, Asia, South America and the US, demonstrating the complex workings of power and ideology in discourse in sustaining particular gender(ed) orders. These studies deal with texts and talk in domains ranging from parliamentary settings, news and advertising media, the classroom, community literacy programs and (...) the workplace. (shrink)
"A consistently clear, comprehensive and accessible introduction which carefully sifts Foucault's work for both its strengths and weaknesses. McHoul and Grace show an intimate familiarity with Foucault's writings and a lively, but critical engagement with the relevance of his work. A model primer." -Tony Bennett, author of Outside Literature In such seminal works as Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish , and The History of Sexuality , the late philosopher Michel Foucault explored what our politics, our sexuality, our societal conventions, (...) and our changing notions of truth told us about ourselves. In the process, Foucault garnered a reputation as one of the pre-eminent philosophers of the latter half of the twentieth century and has served as a primary influence on successive generations of philosophers and cultural critics. With A Foucault Primer , Alec McHoul and Wendy Grace bring Foucault's work into focus for the uninitiated. Written in crisp and concise prose, A Foucault Primer explicates three central concepts of Foucauldian theory-discourse, power, and the subject-and suggests that Foucault's work has much yet to contribute to contemporary debate. (shrink)
Why do speakers of all languages use different grammatical structures under different communicative circumstances to express the same idea? In this comprehensive study, Professor Lambrecht explores the relationship between the structure of sentences and the linguistic and extra-linguistic contexts in which they are used. His analysis is based on the observation that the structure of a sentence reflects a speaker's assumptions about the hearer's state of knowledge and consciousness at the time of the utterance. This relationship between speaker assumptions and (...) formal sentence structure is governed by rules and conventions of grammar, in a component called 'information structure'. Four independent but interrelated categories are analysed: presupposition and assertion, identifiability and activation, topic, and focus. (shrink)
Deirdre McCloskey is rightly one of the most recognizable names in economics. She views economics as a language that uses all the rhetorical devices of everyday conversation and therefore it should be judged by aesthetic and literary standards and not the criteria of mathematical rigor that is espoused by the mainstream. This controversial standpoint has been hugely influential and this examination of the methodological and philosophical consequences of her work is overdue, and very welcome.
Consider the claim that openmindedness is an epistemic virtue, the claim that true belief is epistemically valuable, and the claim that one epistemically ought to cleave to one’s evidence. These are examples of what I’ll call “epistemic discourse.” In this paper I’ll propose and defend a view called “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse.” In particular, I’ll argue that convention-relativismis superior to its main rival, expressivism about epistemic discourse. Expressivism and conventionalism both jibe with anti-realism about epistemic normativity, which (...) is motivated by appeal to philosophical naturalism (§1). Convention-relativism says that epistemic discourse describes how things stands relative to a conventional set of “epistemic” values; such discourse is akin to normative discourse relative to the conventional rules of a club (§2). I defend conventionalism by appeal to a “reverse open question argument,” which says, pace expressivism, that epistemic discourse leaves the relevant normative questions open (§3). (shrink)
Many philosophers think that moral objectivism is supported by stable features of moral discourse and thinking. When engaged in moral reasoning and discourse, people behave ‘as if’ objectivism were correct, and the seemingly most straightforward way of making sense of this is to assume that objectivism is correct; this is how we think that such behavior is explained in paradigmatically objectivist domains. By comparison, relativist, error-theoretic or non-cognitivist accounts of this behavior seem contrived and ad hoc. After explaining (...) why this argument should be taken seriously (recent arguments notwithstanding), I argue that it is nevertheless undermined by considerations of moral disagreement. Even if the metaphysical, epistemic and semantic commitments of objectivism provide little or no evidence against it, and even if the alternative explanations of ‘objectivist’ traits of moral discourse and thinking are speculative or contrived, objectivism is itself incapable of making straightforward sense of these traits. Deep and widespread moral disagreement or, rather, the mere appearance of such disagreement, strongly suggests that the explanations operative in paradigmatically objective discourse fail to carry over to the moral case. Since objectivism, no less than relativism, non-cognitivism and error-theories, needs non-trivial explanations of why we behave ‘as if’ objectivism were correct, such behavior does not presently provide reason to accept objectivism. (shrink)
In this paper I focus on the discussion between Rawls and Habermas on procedural justice. I use Rawls's distinction between pure, perfect, and imperfect procedural justice to distinguish three possible readings of discourse ethics. Then I argue, against Habermas's own recent claims, that only an interpretation of discourse ethics as imperfect procedural justice can make compatible its professed cognitivism with its proceduralism. Thus discourse ethics cannot be understood as a purely procedural account of the (...) notion of justice. Finally I draw the different consequences that follow from this reading. Key Words: discourse ethics Jürgen Habermas imperfect procedural justice moral anti-realism moral cognitivism moral realism perfect procedural justice pure procedural justice John Rawls. (shrink)
Husserl’s Idea of Phenomenology is his first systematic attempt to show how phenomenology differs from natural science and in particular psychology. He does this by the phenomenological reduction. One of his achievements is to show that the formal structures of intentionality are more akin to logic than to psychology. I claim that Husserl’s argument can be made more intuitive if we consider phenomenology to be the study of truth rather than knowledge, and if we see the reduction as primarily a (...) modification in our vocabulary and discourse and not as simply a change in attitude. I briefly compare Husserl’s concept of philosophy with those of Plato and Kant. (shrink)
I take up the task of examining how someone who takes seriously the ambitious programme of conceptual analysis advocated by the Canberra School can minimise the eliminative consequences which I argue the Ramsey-Carnap-Lewis recipe of conceptual analysis is likely to have for many folk discourses. The objective is to find a stable means to preserve the constative appearance of folk discourse and to find it generally successful in its attempts to describe an external world, albeit in non-scientific terms that (...) do not reflect the nature of things. The view I settle on, quasi-fictionalism, is modelled on a modified descriptivist version of Kendall Walton’s account of prop-oriented games of make-believe. (shrink)
Some expressions, such as “all” and “might”, must be interpreted differently, relative to a single context, when embedded under “says that” than when unembedded. Egan, Hawthorne and Weatherson have appealed to that fact to argue that utterance-truth is relative to point of evaluation. This paper shows that the phenomena do not warrant this relativistic response. Instead, contexts may be defined as entities that assign other contexts to contextually relevant people, and context-relative truth conditions for indirect discourse sentences can be (...) satisfactorily formulated in terms of such contexts. (shrink)
Analyzing racial concepts has become an important task in the philosophy of race. Aside from any inherent interest that might be found in the meanings of racial terms, these meanings also can spell the doom or deliverance of competing ontological and normative theories about race. One of the most pressing questions about race at present is the normative question of whether race should be eliminated from, or conserved in, public discourse and practice. This normative question is often answered in (...) part by appealing to the ontological status of race: if race is an illusion, then it should be eliminated, and if it is real, then it can be conserved. 1 Thus, for.. (shrink)
We provide examples of plurals related to ambiguity and anaphora that pose problems or are counterexamples for current approaches to plurals. We then propose a dynamic semantics based on an extension of dynamic predicate logic (DPL+) to handle these examples. On our theory, different readings of sentences or discourses containing plurals don’t arise from a postulated ambiguity of plural terms or predicates applying to plural DPs, but follow rather from different types of dynamic transitions that manipulate inputs and outputs from (...) formulas or discourse constituents. Many aspects of meaning can affect the type dynamic transitions: the lexical semantics of predicates to the left and right of a transition, and number features of DPs and discourse constraints like parallelism. (shrink)
The fact that we can engage in first-person discourse about our own mental states seems, intuitively, to be bound up with consciousness. David Rosenthal draws upon this intuition in arguing for his higher-order thought theory of consciousness. Rosenthal's argument relies upon the assumption that the truth-conditions for "p" and "I think that p" differ. It is argued here that the truth-conditional schema debars "I think" from playing one of its (expressive) roles and thus is not a good test (...) for what is asserted when "I think" is employed in making an assertoric utterance. The critique of Rosenthal's argument allows us to make explicit the intuitions which shape higher-order representation theories of consciousness in general. Consciousness and first-person mental discourse seem to be connected primarily because consciousness is (and was) an epistemic term, used to denote first-person knowledge of minds. Higher-order thought theories of consciousness draw upon this epistemic notion of consciousness, and because self-knowledge seems to involve higher-order representation, the higher-order theorist can deploy what is in effect an "error theory" about conscious experience disguised as a kind of conceptual analysis of our ordinary concept of a conscious mental state. The conclusion reached is that there is unlikely to be a simple or direct path from considerations about mental discourse to conclusions about the nature of consciousness. (shrink)
That the history and the philosophy of science have been united in a form of disciplinary marriage is a fact. There are pressing questions about the state of this union. Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science is a state of the union address, but also an articulation of compelling and well-defended positions on strategies for making progress in the history and philosophy of science.
With the question “What is 'discourse?' “ as the starting point, this paper addresses ways of identifying particular discourses, and attends to how these discourses should be distinguished from texts. The emergence of discourse analysis within psychology, and the continuing influence of linguistic and post-structuralist ideas on practitioners, provide the basis on which discourse-analytic research can be developed fruitfully. This paper discusses the descriptive, analytic and educative functions of discourse analysis, and addresses (...) the cultural and political questions which arise when discourse analysts reflect on their activity. Suggestions for an adequate definition of discourse are proposed and supported by seven criteria which should be adopted to identify discourses, and which attend to contradictions between and within them. Three additional criteria are then suggested to relate discourse analysis to wider political issues. (shrink)
Poe's Law is roughly that online parodies of religious extremism are indistinguishable from instances of sincere extremism. Poe's Law may be expressed in a variety of ways, each highlighting either a facet of indirect discourse generally, attitudes of online audiences, or the quality of online religious material. As a consequence of the polarization of online discussions, invocations of Poe's Law have relevance in wider circles than religion. Further, regular invocations of Poe's Law in critical discussions have the threat of (...) further entrenching and polarizing views. (shrink)
There are several linguistic phenomena that, when examined closely, give evidence that people speak through characters, much like authors of literary works do, in everyday discourse. However, most approaches in linguistics and in the philosophy of language leave little theoretical room for the appearance of characters in discourse. In particular, there is no linguistic criterion found to date, which can mark precisely what stretch of discourse within an utterance belongs to a character, and to which character. And (...) yet, without at least tentatively marking the division of labor between the different characters in an utterance, it is absolutely impossible to arrive at an acceptable interpretation of it. As an alternative, I propose to take character use seriously, as an essential feature of discourse in general, a feature speakers and listeners actively seek out in utterances. I offer a simple typology of actions in discourse that draws on this understanding, and demonstrate its usefulness for the analysis of a conversation transcript. (shrink)
The proposition expressed by an utterance of a quantified sentence depends on a domain of discourse somehow determined by the context. How does the context of utterance determine the content of the domain of discourse? Many philosophers would approach this question from the point of view of an expressive theory of linguistic communication, according to which the primary function of language is to enable speakers to convey the propositional contents of their thoughts to hearers. This paper (...) argues that from this point of view there is no persuasive treatment of the determinants of the domain of discourse. The argument focuses on an abnormal case in which the domain the speaker has in mind is not evident to the hearer. In this way the question concerning the determinants of the domain of discourse is used to challenge the expressive theory of communication. (shrink)
In the face of pluralism, moral constructivists attempt to salvage cognitivism by separating moral and ethical issues. Divergence over ethical issues, which concern the good life, would not threaten moral cognitivism, which is based on identifying generalizable interests as worthy of defending, using reason. Yet this approach falters given the inability of the constructivist to provide us a sure path by which to discern generalizable interests in difficult cases. Still, even if this approach to constructivism fails, cognitivist aspirations may not (...) be defeated if we can continue discursively in a project of identifying and appreciating the interests of others. Grasping the interests of others may require a transformation of moral sensibility such that agents recognize values they have not acknowledged before. This view calls for external moral discourse—that is, moral discourse that makes no appeal to an agent's present interests or desires but rather engages in description of the moral situation in hopes of bringing about a change in moral sensibility. (shrink)
This paper discusses the history of the confusion and controversies over whether the definition of consequence presented in the 11-page 1936 Tarski consequence-definition paper is based on a monistic fixed-universe framework?like Begriffsschrift and Principia Mathematica. Monistic fixed-universe frameworks, common in pre-WWII logic, keep the range of the individual variables fixed as ?the class of all individuals?. The contrary alternative is that the definition is predicated on a pluralistic multiple-universe framework?like the 1931 Gödel incompleteness paper. A pluralistic multiple-universe framework recognizes multiple (...) universes of discourse serving as different ranges of the individual variables in different interpretations?as in post-WWII model theory. In the early 1960s, many logicians?mistakenly, as we show?held the ?contrary alternative? that Tarski 1936 had already adopted a Gödel-type, pluralistic, multiple-universe framework. We explain that Tarski had not yet shifted out of the monistic, Frege?Russell, fixed-universe paradigm. We further argue that between his Principia-influenced pre-WWII Warsaw period and his model-theoretic post-WWII Berkeley period, Tarski's philosophy underwent many other radical changes. (shrink)
This paper embeds the core part of Discourse Representation Theory in the classical theory of types plus a few simple axioms that allow the theory to express key facts about variables and assignments on the object level of the logic. It is shown how the embedding can be used to combine core analyses of natural language phenomena in Discourse Representation Theory with analyses that can be obtained in Montague Semantics.
The article presents the sociology of knowledge approach to discourse (SKAD). SKAD, which has been in the process of development since the middle of the 1990s, is now a widely used framework among social scientists in discourse research in the German-speaking area. It links arguments from the social constructionist tradition, following Berger and Luckmann, with assumptions based in symbolic interactionism, hermeneutic sociology of knowledge, and the concepts of Michel Foucault. It argues thereby for a consistent theoretical and methodological (...) grounding of a genuine social sciences perspective on discourse interested in the social production, circulation and transformation of knowledge, that is in social relations and politics of knowledge in the so-called ‘knowledge societies’. Distancing itself from Critical Discourse Analysis, Linguistics, Ethnomethodology inspired discourse analysis and the Analysis of Hegemonies, following Laclau and Mouffe, SKAD’s framework has been built up around research questions and concerns located in the social sciences, referring to public discourse and arenas as well as to more specific fields of (scientific, religious, etc.) discursive struggles and controversies around problematizations (Foucault). (shrink)
Discourse dynamics, pragmatics, and indefinites Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-30 DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-9882-y Authors Karen S. Lewis, Department of Philosophy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the familiar puzzle of free indirect discourse (FID). FID shares some properties with standard indirect discourse and with direct discourse, but there is currently no known theory that can accommodate such a hybrid. Based on the observation that FID has ‘de se’ pronouns, I argue that it is a kind of an attitude report.
In Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Rousseau argues that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process. His sweeping account of humanity's social and political development epitomizes the innovative boldness of the Enlightenment, and it is one of the most provocative and influential works of the eighteenth century. This new translation by prize-winning translator Franklin Philip includes all of Rousseau's own notes, and Patrick Coleman's introduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly (...) the relationship between political and aesthetic thought. (shrink)
Using three paradigm cases of persons living with Parkinson's Disease (PD) the authors make a case for augmenting and enriching a Cartesian medical account of the pathophysiology of PD with an enriched understanding of the lived body experience of PD, the lived implications of PD for a particular person's concerns and coping with the illness. Linking and adding a thick description of the lived experience of PD can enrich caregiving imagination and attunement to the patient's possibilities, concerns and constraints. The (...) work of Merleau-Ponty is used to articulate the middle terms of the lived experience of dwelling in a lifeworld. Examining lived experience of embodied intentionality, skilled bodily capacities as highlighted in Merleau-Ponty's non-mechanistic physiology opens new therapeutic, coping and caregiving possibilities. Matching temporal rhythms can decrease the stress of being assisted with activities of daily living. For example, caregivers and patients alike can be taught strategies for extending their lived bodily capacities by altering rhythms, by shifting hyperactivity to different parts of the body and other strategies that change the perceptual experience associated with walking in different environment. A medical account of the pathophysiology of PD is nessessary and useful, but not sufficient for designing caregiving in ways that enrich and extend the existential skills of dwelling of persons with PD. The dominance of mechanistic physiology makes caregivers assume that it is the 'real discourse' about the disease, causing researchers and caregivers alike to overlook the equally real lived experience of the patient which requires different descriptive discourses and different sources of understanding. Lack of dialogue between the two discourses is tragic for patients because caregivers need both in order to provide attuned, effective caregiving. (shrink)
With the internationalisation of the Chinese market, Confucian ethics began to draw researchers' attention. However, little research has been conducted in the specific application of Confucian ethics in marketing communication. This article fills in the research gap by examining how Confucian ethics underpins the discourse of Chinese Expo invitations. Chinese sales managers' views are incorporated into the analysis as substantiation of findings. Confucian ethics embraces both qing (emotion) and li (reason) and relevant ethical values such as guanxi (connections), qing, (...) and mianzi (face) play an important role for advertising Expos and trade fairs. The study also highlights the complexities of Chinese Expo advertising that is embedded in inviting behaviour. These findings shed light on understanding Confucian ethics in marketing communications in general and have implications for ethical international marketing and advertising practices. (shrink)
Using the example of contemporary Islamic fundamentalism, and especially the writings of Sayyid Qutb, this article raises questions about discourse ethics as a mode of conflict resolution. It appears that discourse ethics is only relevant when all parties have already agreed to settle disputes deliberatively and already share the notions of rational deliberation and individual autonomy. This raises questions not only about the capability of discourse ethics to incorporate a deep plurality of worldviews, but also about its (...) capability to successfully solve disputes. When confronting situations where the willingness to deliberate is absent, discourse ethics is left standing empty handed. This, I argue, is due to both the conceptual distinction between communicative action and strategic action, as well as the abstracted nature of Habermas's discourse ethics. (shrink)
This paper presents a substantivist construal of discourse ethics, which claims that we should see our engagement in public deliberation as expressing and elaborating a substantive commitment to basic moral ideas of solidarity, equality, and freedom. This view is different from Habermas's standard formalist defence of discourse ethics, which attempts to derive the principle of discursive moral justification from primarily non-moral presuppositions of rational argumentation as such. After explicating the difference between the substantivist and the formalist (...) construal, I defend the former by showing that it is not only intuitively compelling, but also particularly well equipped for addressing four important objections recently levelled against discourse ethics and its political applications (Rawls's concern that it lacks substantive guidelines, Gunnarsson's challenge that it has not been proven to be superior to alternative moral conceptions such as utilitarianism, Scanlon's complaint that it lacks an account of moral motivation, and Galston's and Young's worries that it could lead to political practices of cultural imposition). I conclude by pointing out some consequences of the previous discussion for the future of Critical Theory. (shrink)
Much has been written on Michel Foucault's reluctance to clearly delineate a research method, particularly with respect to genealogy (Harwood, 2000; Meadmore, Hatcher & McWilliam, 2000; Tamboukou, 1999). Foucault (1994, p. 288) himself disliked prescription stating, ‘I take care not to dictate how things should be’ and wrote provocatively to disrupt equilibrium and certainty, so that ‘all those who speak for others or to others’ no longer know what to do. It is doubtful, however, that Foucault ever intended for researchers (...) to be stricken by that malaise to the point of being unwilling to make an intellectual commitment to methodological possibilities. Taking criticism of ‘Foucauldian’ discourse analysis as a convenient point of departure to discuss the objectives of poststructural analyses of language, this paper develops what might be called a discursive analytic; a methodological plan to approach the analysis of discourses through the location of statements that function with constitutive effects. (shrink)
We develop an analysis of discourse anaphora—the relationship between a pronoun and an antecedent earlier in the discourse—using games of partial information. The analysis is extended to include information from a variety of different sources, including lexical semantics, contrastive stress, grammatical relations, and decision theoretic aspects of the context.
Two of Leibniz's most studied and often quoted works appear in this volume. Published in 1686, the Discourse on Metaphysics consists of the philosopher's explanation of individual perception as an expression of the rest of the universe from a unique perspective. The whole world--the best of all possible worlds, as he famously remarks--is thus contained in each individual substance. The Monadology, written in 1714, offers a concise synopsis of Leibniz's philosophy, establishing the laws of final causes, which underlie God's (...) free choice to create the best possible world--a world that serves as dynamic and perfectly ordered evidence of the wisdom of its creator. Translated by George R. Montgomery. (shrink)
Lyotard’s earliest major work, available in English for the first time. Jean-François Lyotard is recognized as one of the most significant French philosophers of the twentieth century. Although nearly all of his major writing has been translated into English, one important work has until now been unavailable. Discourse, Figure is Lyotard’s thesis. Provoked in part by Lacan’s influential seminars in Paris, Discourse, Figure distinguishes between the meaningfulness of linguistic signs and the meaningfulness of plastic arts such as painting (...) and sculpture. Lyotard argues that because rational thought is discursive and works of art are inherently opaque signs, certain aspects of artistic meaning such as symbols and the pictorial richness of painting will always be beyond reason’s grasp. A wide-ranging and highly unusual work, Discourse, Figure proceeds from an attentive consideration of the phenomenology of experience to an ambitious meditation on the psychoanalytic account of the subject of experience, structured by the confrontation between phenomenology and psychoanalysis as contending frames within which to think the materialism of consciousness. In addition to prefiguring many of Lyotard’s later concerns, Discourse, Figure captures Lyotard’s passionate engagement with topics beyond phenomenology and psychoanalysis to structuralism, semiotics, poetry, art, and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
Our objectives in this article are to bring some theoretical order into developmental sequences and simultaneities in children’s ability to appreciate multiple labels for single objects, to reason with identity statements, to reason hypothetically, counterfactually, and with beliefs and desires, and to explain why an ‘implicit’ understanding of belief occurs before an ‘explicit’ understanding. The central idea behind our explanation is the emerging grasp of how objects of thought and desire relate to real objects and to each other. To capture (...) this idea we make use of the notion of discourse referents, as did Perner and Brandl (2005), to explain the developmental link between understanding beliefs and alternative naming. We present confirming evidence of the prediction from this analysis that children should have comparable problems with understanding identity statements. We explain the precociously correct answers in ‘implicit’ false belief tests based on indirect measures in the following way: From infancy children are able to keep track of other people’s experiences, to reason about counterfactual circumstances, and to reason about goal-directed (rational) action depending on given circumstances. Indirect tasks reduce the bias to use actual circumstances for reasoning about goal directed action compared to the traditional task, which leads to more correct answers. An emerging metarepresentational understanding helps overcome these biases and enables not only correct action prediction but also the explanation of erroneous actions. The common metarepresentational element explains why false belief tasks and the alternative naming task are mastered at the same time as children understand identity statements. (shrink)
Discourse Representation Theory is a speciﬁc name for the work of Hans Kamp in the area of dynamic interpretation of natural language. Also, it has gradually become a generic term for proposals for dynamic interpretation of natural language in the same spirit. These proposals have in common that each new sentence is interpreted in terms of the contribution it makes to an existing piece of interpreted discourse. The interpretation conditions for sentences are given as instructions for updating the (...) representation of the discourse. (shrink)
Current theories of context see context as composed of information that is localizable to individual utterances. Current theories of discourse grant that discourses have important global properties that are not so localizable. In this paper, I argue that context, even narrowly construed as whatever combines with a sentence to determine truth conditions, must have a discourse-global component. I identify a context-dependence phenomenon related to the linguistic concepts of topic and focus, isolate the pertinent feature of context, (...) and show that this feature must be discourse-global in nature. I thus argue that context is as complicated as an entire discourse. (shrink)
This paper presents a formal account of how to determine the discourse relations between propositions introduced in a text, and the relations between the events they describe. The distinct natural interpretations of texts with similar syntax are explained in terms of defeasible rules. These characterise the effects of causal knowledge and knowledge of language use on interpretation. Patterns of defeasible entailment that are supported by the logic in which the theory is expressed are shown to underly temporal interpretation.
This paper uses classical logic for a simultaneous description of the syntax and semantics of a fragment of English and it is argued that such an approach to natural language allows procedural aspects of linguistic theory to get a purely declarative formulation. In particular, it will be shown how certain construction rules in Discourse Representation Theory, such as the rule that indefinites create new discourse referents and definites pick up an existing referent, can be formulated declaratively if logic (...) is used as a metalanguage for English. In this case the declarative aspects of a rule are highlighted when we focus on the model theory of the description language while a procedural perspective is obtained when its proof theory is concentrated on. Themes of interest are Discourse Representation Theory, resolution of anaphora, resolution of presuppositions, and underspecification. (shrink)
The notion of ubuntu and communalism is of great importance in anAfrican educational discourse, as well as inAfrican Philosophy of Education and in Africanphilosophical discourse. Ubuntu is aphilosophy that promotes the common good ofsociety and includes humanness as an essentialelement of human growth.
Uniquely among contemporary philosophies, Roy Bhaskar’s system of critical realism attempts to sublate (draw out the real strengths of and surpass) the philosophical discourse of modernity considered as a dialectically developing totality. This paper systematically expounds and comments on Bhaskar’s metacritique of that discourse and situates it briefly in relation to Jürgen Habermas’s earlier critique.
This paper presents a sound and complete proof system for the first order fragment of Discourse Representation Theory. Since the inferences that human language users draw from the verbal input they receive for the most transcend the capacities of such a system, it can be no more than a basis on which more powerful systems, which are capable of producing those inferences, may then be built. Nevertheless, even within the general setting of first order logic the structure of (...) the formulas of DRS-languages, i.e. of the Discourse Representation Structures suggest for the components of such a system inference rules that differ somewhat from those usually found in proof systems for the first order predicate calculus and which are, we believe, more in keeping with inference patterns that are actually employed in common sense reasoning.This is why we have decided to publish the present exercise, in spite of the fact that it is not one for which a great deal of originality could be claimed. In fact, it could be argued that the problem addressed in this paper was solved when Gödel first established the completeness of the system of Principia Mathematica for first order logic. For the DRS-languages we consider here are straightforwardly intertranslatable with standard formulations of the predicate calculus; in fact the translations are so straightforward that any sound and complete proof system for first order logic can be used as a sound and complete proof system for DRSs: simply translate the DRSs into formulas of predicate logic and then proceed as usual. As a matter of fact, this is how one has chosen to proceed in some implementations of DRT, which involve inferencing as well as semantic representation; an example is the Lex system developed jointly by IBM and the University of Tübingen (see in particular (Guenthner et al. 1986)). (shrink)
This paper focuses on discourse analysis, particularly persuasive discourse, using pragmatics and rhetoric in a new combined way, called by us Pragma-Rhetoric. It can be said that this is a cognitive approach to both pragmatics and rhetoric. Pragmatics is essentially Gricean, Rhetoric comes from a new reading of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, extending his notion of discourse to meso- and micro-discourses. Two kinds of intentions have to be considered: first, communicative intention, and, then, persuasive intention. The (...) fulfilment of those intentions is achieved by a successful persuasivecommunicative action. The psychological, philosophical and logical aspects derived from the pragma-rhetorical perspective are crucial in view of its applications in several practical domains. (shrink)
In recent years there has been an increasing critique of the philosophically based reasoning in bioethics which is known as principlism. This article seeks to make a postmodern contribution to this emerging debate by using notions of power and discourse to highlight the limits and superficiality of this , rationalistic mode of reflection. The focus of the discussion will be on the principle of autonomy. Recent doctoral research on a hospice organization (Karuna Hospice Service) will be used to contextualize (...) the debate to end-of life ethical dilemmas. The conclusion will be reached that the discursive richness of this organization's notion of autonomy or choice, which incorporates a holistic respect for the individual and the active creation of alternatives, can provide important insights to our understanding of autonomy in bioethics. The concern is raised that if autonomy is reified as a principle outside of the context of discourse, it may only complement the hegemonic power of biomedicine. (shrink)
Here it is shown that the discourse of contemporary advertising derives from verbal and visual narratives encoded in Locke's representation of American landscape. These narratives embrace the idea of nature as an artifact, the imperial self, picture theory, and palimpsest representation. They are given careful attention in this study not because of their timely value but, precisely, because they are anachronistic and widely disseminated by the advertising media, a national nostalgia industry parasitical upon an intellectual inheritance originating with Locke. (...) Incident to the popularity of Lockean ideas achieved by these means is that counter-narratives on the environment advanced by resource economics and conservation biology are rendered marginal and ineffective. (shrink)
More than one single professional group deals with therapeutic manipulations of the spine and the joints. Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Naprapaths, Physical Therapists (and a contingent Physicians) all share this interest. Each profession is also very clear about where its bulk of knowledge stems from. The disciplines that are reckoned as the oldest are from the USA. A number of “inventors” are to be found, all without a formal university degree in Medicine. Andrew Taylor Still (1828–1917) came up with his system of (...) Osteopathy in 1874. Daniel D. Palmer (1845–1913), the man behind Chiropractic, founded his system in 1894, and Palmer’s colleague and former student, Oakley Smith (1880–1967), developed Naprapathy in 1906/1907. Physical Therapists working with what is called Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy are on the other hand not claiming American ancestry, nor do their body of knowledge and clinical skills originate from outside the medical profession. It is an offspring of Orthopaedic Medicine (OM) which was an invention by Physicians. Date and place of birth is said to be 1929 in England. This article turns the above-mentioned chronology on its head. It will show that Orthopaedic Medicine likely is the oldest system. It will also unearth OM’s sturdy roots in a strong but forgotten, and even hidden, discourse of Mechanical Medicine found in 19th century Europe, which was ruled by Physical Therapists. Why “we” do not know about this “history” is analysed and explained from a variety of perspectives. (shrink)
In this paper I introduce a formalism for natural language understandingbased on a computational implementation of Discourse RepresentationTheory. The formalism covers a wide variety of semantic phenomena(including scope and lexical ambiguities, anaphora and presupposition),is computationally attractive, and has a genuine inference component. Itcombines a well-established linguistic formalism (DRT) with advancedtechniques to deal with ambiguity (underspecification), and isinnovative in the use of first-order theorem proving techniques.The architecture of the formalism for natural language understandingthat I advocate consists of three levels of (...) processing:underspecification, resolution, andinference. Each of these levels has a distinct function andtherefore employs a different kind of semantic representation. Themappings between these different representations define the interfacesbetween the levels. (shrink)
In this article we argue that discourse structure constrains the set ofpossible constituents in a discourse that can provide the relevantcontext for structuring information in a target sentence, whileinformation structure critically constrains discourse structureambiguity. For the speaker, the discourse structure provides a set of possible contexts for continuation while information structure assignment is independent of discourse structure. For the hearer, the information structure of a sentence together with discourse (...) structure instructs dynamic semantics how rhematic information should be used to update the meaning representation of the discourse (Polanyi and van den Berg, 1996). (shrink)
This paper examines voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting as a form of moral discourse. It explores how alternative stakeholder perspectives lead to differing perceptions of the process and content of responsible reporting. We contrast traditional stakeholder theory, which views stakeholders as external parties having a social contract with corporations, with an emerging perspective, which views interaction among corporations and constituents as relational in nature. This moves the stakeholder from an external entity to one that is integral to corporate (...) activity. We explore how these alternative stakeholder perspectives give rise to different normative demands for stakeholder engagement, managerial processes, and communication. We discuss models of CSR reporting and accountability: EMAS, the ISO 14000 series, SA8000, AA1000, the Global Reporting Initiative, and the Copenhagen Charter. We explore how these models relate to the stakeholder philosophies and find that they are largely consistent with the traditional atomistic view but fall far short of the demands for moral engagement prescribed by a relational stakeholder perspective. Adopting a relational view requires stakeholder engagement not only in prescribing reporting requirements, but also in discourse relating to core aspects of the corporation such as mission, values, and management systems. Habermas’ theory of communicative action provides guidelines for engaging stakeholders in this moral discourse. (shrink)
Rousseau and Geneva reconstructs the main aspects of Genevan socio-economic, political and religious thought in the first half of the eighteenth century. In this way Dr Rosenblatt effectively contextualizes the development of Rousseau's thought from the First Discourse through to the Social Contract. Over time Rousseau has been adopted as a French thinker, but this adoption obscures his Genevan origin. Dr Rosenblatt points out that he is, in fact, a Genevan thinker and illustrates for the first time that Rousseau's (...) classical republicanism, his version of natural law theory, his civil religion, and his hostility to the arguments of doux commerce theorists are all responses to the political use of such arguments in Geneva. The author also points out that it was this relationship with Geneva that played an integral part in his development into an original political thinker. (shrink)
This paper explores corporate charitable giving disclosures in order to question the extent to which corporations can claim that their philanthropy activities are charitable at all. Exploration of these issues is carried out by means of a tropological analysis that focuses on the different linguistic tropes within the philanthropy disclosures of 52 companies, namely metaphor and synecdoche. The results reveal a number of complex and contradictory things. Primarily, the master metaphor of 'altruism' projected by the corporate disclosures is ideologically at (...) odds with the more business case-oriented discourse that shapes the disclosures. This contradiction is put into starker contrast by the existence of a root metaphor, whereby the recipients of corporate philanthropy are presented as the 'deserving poor'. Synecdochal devices are present within the corporate disclosures, whereby employee initiatives that are independent of corporate strategies are used to confer attributes onto the disclosures that bolster the master metaphor of 'altruism'. As such, corporate philanthropy is presented by the paper as a structurally incoherent discourse and yet one that has implications for both extracting greater value from various societal groups and in defining, on behalf of civil society, what is a worthy cause. (shrink)
The common discourse on intellectual property rights rests mainly on utilitarian ground, with implications on the question of justice as well as moral significance. It runs like this: Intellectual property rights are to reward the originators for his/her intellectual labour mainly in monetary terms, thereby providing incentives for originators to engage in future innovative labouring. Without such incentives, few, if not none, will engage in creative activities and the whole human community will, thereby, suffer because of reduced inventions. However, (...) such utilitarian argument on piracy as de-motivation may not be necessarily justified. In fact, intellectual property arrangement is one among different institutions concerning how the society may handle new ideas and creative works. In reality, private ownership over one's intellectual product is merely a modern western concept that is being ' advertised' as being normative, which, by itself, is highly debatable. Alarming still, such normative argument assumes both justness and moral dimensions. This article will analyse whether such argument is philosophically sound. (shrink)
The susceptibility of Habermas' socio-political theory (and notion of constitutional patriotism) to the charge of motivational impotence can be traced to a problem in the way in which he conceives of discursive practical reason. By implicitly constructing the notion of discursive rationality in contrast to, and in abstraction from, the rhetorical and affective components of language use, Habermas' notion of discursive practical reason ends up reiterating the same binaries between reason and passion, abstract and concrete, universal and particular (...) that provide the tacit parameters used by his critics to motivate the charge of impotence. Habermas' project of reconciling social integration and political rule with freedom can succeed only by rebuilding his discourse-ethical theory of politics upon a notion of discursive practical reason that overcomes these philosophy/rhetoric binaries common to both camps. Key Words: communicative action constitutional patriotism discourse ethics Jürgen Habermas practical reason rhetoric. (shrink)
Since its inception, Stakeholder Management Capability (SMC) has constituted a powerful hermeneutic through which business organizations have understood and leveraged stakeholder relationships. On this model, achieving a high level of capability largely depends on managerial ability to effectively bargain with stakeholders and establish solidarity vis-à-vis the successful negotiation, implementation, and execution of "win–win" transactional exchanges. Against this account, it is rightly pointed out that a transactional explanation of stakeholder relationships, regarded by many as the bottom line for stakeholder management, fails (...) to provide managerial direction regarding how to resolve a variety of normative stakeholder claims that resist commoditization. In response to this issue, this paper has two overlapping goals. It seeks to elaborate a discourse theoretical approach to the problem by first drawing out Jurgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action and delineating the various types of rational discourse. Second, the paper attempts to present concrete implications for SMC relative to reshaping the contours of rational, process, and transactional analysis in light of central discourse theoretical conclusions. (shrink)
VP ellipsis generally requires a syntactically matching antecedent. However, many documented examples exist where the antecedent is not appropriate. Kehler (2000, Linguistics and philosophy 23(6), 533–575. 2002, Coherence, Reference and the Theory of Grammer, CSLI Publications. Stanford.) proposed an elegant theory which predicts a syntactic antecedent for an elided VP is required only for a certain discourse coherence relation (resemblance), not for cause-effect relations. Most of the data Kehler used to motivate his theory come from corpus studies and (...) thus do not consist of true minimal pairs. We report five experiments testing predictions of the coherence theory, using standard minimal pair materials. The results raise questions about the empirical basis for coherence theory because a syntactically-matching antecedent is preferred for all coherence relations, not just resemblance relations. Further, strict identity readings, which should not be available when a syntactic antecedent is required, are influenced by parallelism per se, holding the discourse coherence relation constant. This draws into question the causal role of coherence relations in processing VP ellipsis. (shrink)
The people's right to know and press rights to gather and publish information remain dominant justifications for controversial media activities. Yet, the power of the media to set the agenda for public discourse in our country warrants a careful analysis of these rights, their corresponding responsibilities, and their moral limits. This article examines the right to know and press freedom from the perspective of their shared purpose, facilitation of informed decision making. This article also demonstrates moral justification of (...) limits on right to know and press freedom based on traditional ethics theories and media impact on public discourse. (shrink)
Suppose there is a domain of discourse of English, then everything of which any predicate is true is a member of that domain. If English has a domain of discourse, then, since ‘is a domain of discourse of English’ is itself a predicate of English and true of that domain, that domain is a member of itself. But nothing is a member of itself. Thus English has no domain of discourse. We defend this argument and go (...) on to argue to the same conclusion without relying on the supposition that English is a language which contains the predicate ‘is a domain of discourse of English’. (shrink)
How is reality really manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace part of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, how it is constructed, and what constructionism means are often left unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter explores the central themes raised by these questions. Representing Reality explores the different traditions in constructivist thought--including sociology of scientific knowledge; conversation analysis and ethnomethodology; and semiotics, poststructuralism, and postmodernism--to provide a lucid introduction to (...) several key strands of work that have overturned the way we think about facts and descriptions. Potter illustrates his points throughout with varied and engaging examples taken from newspaper stories, relationship counseling sessions, accounts of paranormal events, social workers' assessments of violent parents, informal talk between program organizers, political arguments, and everyday conversations. Representing Reality offers the student and scholar in social psychology, rhetoric and discourse, and related fields a critical introduction to constructivism. (shrink)
Focusing on the terms 'possibly affected persons' and 'those affected' in the Habermasian 'discourse principle', I argue that we need a notion of moral subjects in addition to that of a person (in terms of moral agents and moral discussants) and that this notion of moral subjects implies a 'normative gradualism' which weakens the participatory and consensual aspect of discourse theory and strengthens the aspect of enlightened 'advocatory' deliberation in terms of needs and the good life. (...) I argue that this notion of moral subjects ('those affected') represents a challenge for the discourse principle. Confronted with the huge number of (different kinds of) moral subjects and of (hypothetical) future persons, demanding various kinds of advocatory representation, the Habermasian discourse principle, as stated in Between Facts and Norms , becomes unsatisfactory. (shrink)
Empirical adequacy, formal explanation and understanding are distinct goals of science. While no a priori criterion for understanding should be laid down, there may be inherent limitations on the way we are able to understand explanations of physical phenomena. I examine several recent contributions to the exercise of fashioning an explanatory discourse to mold the formal explanation provided by quantum mechanics to our modes of understanding. The question is whether we are capable of truly understanding (or comprehending) quantum phenomena, (...) as opposed to simply accepting the formalism and certain irreducible quantum correlations. The central issue is that of understanding versus merely redefining terms to paper over our ignorance. (shrink)
Revolutionary in its own time and controversial to this day, this work is a permanent classic of political theory and a key source of democratic belief. Rousseau's concepts of "the general will" as a mode of self-interest uniting for a common good, and the submission of the individual to government by contract inform the heart of democracy, and stand as its most contentious components today. Also included in this edition is Rousseau's Discourse on Political Economy", a key transitional work (...) between his Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract. This new translation offers fresh insight into a cornerstone of political thought, which is further illuminated by a comprehensive introduction and notes. (shrink)
What is the role assigned to the author in Foucault's theory of discourse? An analysis of that theory reveals that Foucault speaks in it of the author only as a function of the discourse. But, it is objected, that ignores the causal role of the author in producing a discourse. Foucault's later concern with the self is seen as going beyond his earlier statements about the nature of the human subject. But while his work as a whole (...) offers important insights into the question of the author and the subject, he does not succeed in giving us a worked?out doctrine. (shrink)
This dissertation presents an account of fictional discourse which is teleological. According to it, questions about what is said in fiction and how it ought to be said are answerable in terms of the goals and methods belonging specifically to fiction-making as a practice. Viewed in such a way, it is argued that the incompleteness of fictional discourse and its apparent tolerance of inconsistency are distinctive of it. Moreover, it is argued that there is a sense in which (...) one can produce true statements in fiction without thereby committing one self to the thesis that words made use of in fiction are endowed with reference. Throughout the dissertation, the view espoused in it is contrasted with rival positions on the issues of what fiction is about, and whether it can be true. It is argued that a teleological account of fictional discourse can present a coherent alternative to these. (shrink)
This is a review of From Discourse to Logic: Introduction to Model-theoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory, by Hans Kamp and Uwe Reyle, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1993.
Adam Smith's name has become synonymous with free market economics. Recent scholarship has given us a richer, more nuanced figure, steeped in the intricacies of enlightenment social and political philosophy. Adam Smith's Discourse develops this literature and gives it a radical new dimension. The first book on Adam Smith to deal with recent debates in literary theory, this interdisciplinary work examines Smith's major texts and places them within the context of enlightenment thought. It considers Smith's major writings--the Lectures (...) on Jurisprudence and On Rhetoric and Belles Letters as well as The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations --and places each within its own discursive context and with reference to its stylistic and rhetorical features. Adam Smith's Discourse debunks the view of Smith as a dogmatic free-marketeer. In its place, the book offers a portrait of a more skeptical, philosophical andpolitically focused figure. It shows that Smith's enthusiasm for the transition to a society based on trade and manufacturing was tinged with a more dispassionate recognition of the losses as well as the benefits derived from commercial society. (shrink)
Conventionally, proposals to improve working relations between sociology and history have been interdisciplinary. The present essay advances an alternative approach-consolidation of sociohistorical inquiry as a transdisciplinary enterprise. All socio-historical inquiry depends on four elemental forms of discourse: discourse on values, narrative discourse, social theoretical discourse, and the discourse of explanation. Though inquiry is transdisciplinary in the problematics of these discourses, concrete methodology typically is oriented either toward theorization in relation to cases (historical sociology) or toward (...) comprehensive analysis of a single phenomenon (sociological history). Varying the articulated relations among the four forms of discourse once for historical sociology and again for sociological history yields eight ideal typical strategies of inquiry. The four strategies of historical sociology include universal history, theory application, macro-analytic history, and contrast-oriented comparison. The parallel strategies for sociological history are situational history, specific history, configurational history, and historicism. These ideal types offer standard reference points that help clarify the underpinnings of a diverse range of scholarly practices. (shrink)
In classroom teaching, material objects like the blackboard play an important role. Yet qualitative research on education has largely ignored this material dimension of education and focused on interaction and discourse. Both dimensions are, however, closely related to each other. Material objects are embedded in classroom discourse and are transformed into knowledge objects by speech acts, and in turn structure discussions and constitute a point of reference for school lessons. Drawing on ethnographic research on classroom lessons in mathematics (...) and science classes in German high schools, we propose a perspective that recognizes both the materiality of teaching and its interactive dimension. (shrink)
In [HKL00] (henceforth HKL), Hamm, Kamp and van Lambalgen declare ‘‘there is no opposition between formal and cognitive semantics,’’ notwithstanding the realist/mentalist divide. That divide separates two sides Jackendo¤ has (in [Jac96], following Chomsky) labeled E(xternalized)-semantics, relating language to a reality independent of speakers, and I(nternalized)-semantics, revolving around mental representations and thought. Although formal semanticists have (following David Lewis) traditionally leaned towards E-semantics, it is reasonable to apply formal methods also to I-semantics. This point is made clear in HKL via (...) two computational approaches to natural language semantics, Discourse Representation Theory (DRT, [KR93]) and the Event Calculus (EC) presented in [LH05]. In this short note, I wish to raise certain questions about EC that can be traced to the applicability of formal methods to E-semantics and I-semantics alike. These opposing orientations suggest di¤erent notions of time, event and representation. (shrink)
Discourse ethics is originally conceived as a programme of philosophical justification of morality. This depends on the formal derivation of the moral principle (U) from non-moral principles. The moral theory is supposed to fall out of a pragmatic theory of meaning. The original programme plays a central role in Habermas's social theory: the moral theory, if true, provides good evidence for the more general theory of modernization. But neither Habermas nor his followers have succeeded in providing a formal derivation. (...) This essay shows how and why Habermas's proposed derivation is impossible. As if aware of the lacuna, Habermas has recently suggested that (U) can be derived by 'abduction' rather than deduction. The proposal draws heavily on modernization theory; hence the only justification for (U) now available to him rests on premises drawn from that theory. The original programme of the justification of morality has thus given way to the weaker programme of the philosophical elucidation of morality. Further, since Habermas's moral theory is no longer justified independently of modernization theory, but at least partly by it, the moral theory cannot without circularity provide evidence for the modernization theory. (shrink)
We discuss the special place of the Qur'an in the Muslim discourse in general and on science in particular. The Qur'an has an unparalleled influence on the Muslim mind, and understanding the Islamic treatise on science and religion must start from this realization. We explore the concept of science in the Islamic culture and to what extent it can be related to the Qur'an. Reviewing various Islamic discourses on science, we show how a simplistic understanding of the plan to (...) adopt modern science within an Islamic revival program has been corrupted in the form of the theory of "scientific miraculousness of the Qur'an." We assess and dismiss this theory but use it to show how a serious misunderstanding of the nature of modern science and a narrow view of the Qur'an has led to that embarrassingly popular yet misguided theory. We conclude by promoting a multiplicity of readings of the Qur'an and show that this allows for an enlightenment of one's interpretation of Qur'anic verses, using various tools at one's disposal, including scientific knowledge. We uphold Averroes's principle of "no possible conflict," which can be used to persuade the Muslim public of a given idea not by proving that it can be found in the Qur'an but rather by showing that at least some readings of it are fully consistent with the given scientific theory. (shrink)
What are ethical judgments about? And what is their relation to practice? How can ethical judgment aspire to objectivity? The past two decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in metaethics, placing questions such as these about the nature and status of ethical judgment at the very center of contemporary moral philosophy. Moral Discourse and Practice: Some Philosophical Approaches is a unique anthology which collects important recent work, much of which is not easily available elsewhere, on core metaethical issues. (...) Reinvigorated naturalist moral realism and the various versions of moral realism, as well as irrealist, expressivist, and neo-Kantian constructivist theories are all represented in this fine collection, constituting a rich array of approaches to contemporary moral philosophy's most fundamental debates. An extensive introduction by Darwall, Gibbard, and Railton is also included, making this volume the most comprehensive and up-to-date work of its kind. Moral Discourse is ideally suited for use in courses in contemporary ethics, ethical theory, and metaethics. (shrink)
Central to the discourse ethics advanced by Jürgen Habermas is a principle of universalization (U) amounting to a dialogical equivalent of Kant's Categorical Imperative. Habermas has proposed that ?U? follows by material implication from two premises: (1) what it means to discuss whether a moral norm ought to be . adopted and (2) what those involved in argumentation must suppose of themselves if they are to consider a consensus they reach as rationally motivated. To date, no satisfactory derivation of (...) ?U? from these two premises has been presented. Thus the present study attempts to show how one can, without begging the question, arrive at ?U? by assuming a suitable explication of these two premises, supplemented with a fairly innocuous assumption about the context of discourse. If the argument is sound, then ?U? brings both deontological and consequentialist intuitions together with a notion of solidarity that requires an intersubjective account of insight. (shrink)
We analyse managerial discourse in corporate communication (‘CEO-speak’) during a 6-month period following a legitimacy-threatening event in the form of an incident in a German nuclear power plant. As discourses express specific stances expressed by a group of people who share particular beliefs and values, they constitute an important means of restoring organisational legitimacy when social rules and norms have been violated. Using an analytical framework based on legitimacy as a process of reciprocal sense-making and consisting of three levels (...) of analysis which capture the relationship between text and context, we investigate the discourse used by CEOs in their initial and subsequent accounts of the incident. We find that CEOs aim to negotiate a resolution between their initial account and organisational audiences’ incongruent interpretations of the event by adopting an ad hoc normative attitude to stakeholders. This manifests itself in the strategic use of the discourse of stakeholder engagement as a means of signalling change, yet maintaining the status quo. It suggests that CEOs strategically use discourse to manufacture organisational audiences’ consent regarding the continued operation of the nuclear power plant affected by the incident. Our findings contribute to the critical corporate communication literature which regards corporate narrative reporting as a means of consolidating the private interests of corporations, rather than increasing transparency and accountability. (shrink)
Plato claimed that morality exits to control conflict. Business people increasingly are called upon to resolve moral conflicts between various stakeholders who maintain opposing ethical positions or principles. Attempts to resolve these moral conflicts within business discussions may be exacerbated if disputants have different communicative styles. To better understand the communication process involved in attempts to resolve a moral dilemma, we investigate the "discourse ethics" procedure of Jürgen Habermas. Habermas claims that an individual's level of moral reasoning parallels the (...) type of communication which that individual typically uses in attempts to resolve conflict. Our research focuses upon the relationship between the communicative style used by participants attempting to resolve a particular moral dilemma involving workplace safety and the level of moral reasoning possessed by those participants. The results of our study suggest that, contrary to Habermas' views, participants with "higher" levels of moral reasoning do not use "discursive" communicative tactics more frequently than participants that possessed "lower" moral reasoning. (shrink)
This essay outlines some of the main issues that arise in the theory of freedom and, in particular, those that divide the liberal conception of freedom as non-interference from the republican conception of freedom as non-domination. It goes on to explore the idea that discourse theory provides reasons for favouring the republican conception. Discourse theory is taken for these purposes to be a theory that subsumes, but goes beyond decision theory. It accepts the decision-theoretic view that human agents (...) are moved by beliefs and desires that, on the whole, are rationally maintained and rationally issued in action. But it adds the further, crucial assumption that human beliefs and desires are shaped under the transformative influence of discursive argument and exchange. (shrink)
: This article draws from Hannah Arendt's theory of "inter-est" to formulate a model of coalition discourse that can coarticulate difference and commonality and approach them as mutually nourishing conditions rather than as polarities. By disrupting the normative fantasies of unified, a priori subjectivity and universal truth, interest-based discourse facilitates political interactions that neither rely on sameness nor reify difference to the exclusion of connection.
In this paper the Centering model of anaphoraresolution and discourse coherence(Grosz et al. 1983, 1995)is reformulated in terms of Optimality Theory (OT)(Prince and Smolensky 1993). One version of the reformulated modelis proven to be descriptively equivalent to an earlier algorithmicstatement of Centering due to Brennan, Friedman and Pollard(1987). However, the new model is stated declaratively, and makesclearer the status of the various constraints used in the theory. Inthe second part of the paper, the model is extended, demonstratingthe advantages of (...) the OT reformulation, and capturing formallyideas originally described by Grosz, Joshi and Weinstein. Three newapplications of the extended OT Centering model are described:generation of linguistic forms from meanings, the evaluation andoptimization of extended texts, and the interpretation of accentedpronouns. (shrink)
By focusing on the reasoned debate in the discourse-ethical approach to business ethics, this paper discusses the possibilities and limitations of moral reasoning as well as applied economic and business ethics. Business ethics, it is contended, can be looked at from the standpoint of two criteria: justification and application. These criteria are used to compare three approaches: the Integrative Business Ethics, developed by Swiss philosopher Peter Ulrich, the Cultural Business Ethics of the Nuremberg School in German business ethics, (...) and the concept of “Good Conservation” by Frederick Bird. It is argued that discourse-ethical approaches can be called upon for justifying moral principles. Improving the chances of their application, however, necessitates a good understanding of lifeworlds and culturally developed institutional settings. Bearing this in mind, further research perspectives stressing a linkage between discourse-ethical and critical approaches in social sciences are suggested. (shrink)
In the 1960’s and 70’s Jaakko Hintikka has written extensively about epistemic logic, epistemic concepts and ordinary epistemic discourse. As a (graduate) student of Jaakko’s toward the end of that period, I was somewhat familiar with that body of work and even discussed some fragments of it in my dissertation on the pragmatics of knowledge. Since then my interests developed in different directions, toward philosophy of mind and cognitive science in general and commonsense or naive psychology in particular. (...) This paper looks back at Jaakko’s work on epistemic discourse from the vantage point of my later work on naive psychology. (shrink)
Descartes' Discourse marks a watershed in European thought; in it, the author sets out in brief his radical new philosophy, which begins with a proof of the existence of the self (the famous "cogito ergo sum"). Next he deduces from it the existence and nature of God, and ends by offering a radical new account of the physical world and of human and animal nature. Written in everyday language and meant to be read by common people of the day, (...) it swept away all previous philosophical traditions. This new translation is an ideal introduction to Descartes for the general reader. It is accompanied by a substantial introductory essay from Renaissance scholar Ian Maclean that is designed to provide in-depth historical and philosophical context. The essay draws on Descartes' correspondence to examine what brought him to write his great work, and the impact it had on his contemporaries. A detailed section of notes explain Descartes' philosophical terminology and ideas, as well as historical references and allusions. Any reader can feel comfortable diving in to this classic work of Renaissance philosophical thought. (shrink)
Despite clear parallels between Jürgen Habermas’s discourse ethics and recent scholarship in feminist ethics, feminists are often suspicious of discourse ethics and have kept themselves mostly separate from the field. By developing a sustained application of Habermas’s discourse ethics to friendship, Keller demonstrates that feminist misgivings of discourse ethics are largely misplaced and that Habermas’s theory can be used to develop a compelling moral phenomenology of interpersonal relations.
Abstract. The science and religion discourse in the Western academy, though expansive, has not paid significant enough attention to South Asian views, particularly those from Hindu thought. This essay seeks to address this issue in three parts. First, I present the South Asian standpoint as it currently relates to the science and religion discourse. Second, I survey and evaluate some available literature on South Asian approaches to the science and religion discourse. Finally, I promote three possible steps (...) forward: (1) the literature must shift from high Hindu philosophical religion to the more prevalent bhakti traditions, (2) the Indian context must be understood in its own right without metaphysical assumptions attached to the concepts of science and religion, and (3) most importantly, concepts unique to the Indian worldview, such as dharma, maya, and cit, must receive better treatment in translation in order to facilitate a more accurate exchange of ideas across cultural boundaries. (shrink)
This paper outlines a realist approach to the social ontology of discourse. It seeks to synthesise some elements of the approach to discourse found in the early work of Michel Foucault with a critical realist understanding of the causal power of social structures. It will argue that discursive structures can be causally significant when they are normatively endorsed and enforced by specific groups of people; that it is not discourse as such but these groups—discursive circles—that are causally (...) effective; and that such an account allows us to reconcile the role of discourse with that of the subject. (shrink)