Moshe Idel considers that the emergence of Hasidism is not the result of the confrontation between ancient and modern orientations. In M. Idel’s interpretation of the Hasidic phenomenon, a central point is ascribed to the inevitable encounter of the Hasidim masters with a variety of mystic literature. I have chosen to analyze three extremely complex and very important concepts regarding Jewish mystic phenomenon: mitzvoth, worlds, and community. In discussing these concepts I have tried to emphasize their practical and very important (...) nature. I have also described the relations that bring them together, in order to identify the special role of the Hasidic mystic in the process of influencing the superior and inferior worlds. This depends on the manner in which he respects and carries out the commandments. I would like to emphasize the blurred line between mystic and magic in the Hasidism of Southeastern Europe. (shrink)
Viebahn (2018) has recently argued that several tests for ambiguity, such as the conjunction-reduction test, are not reliable as tests for polysemy, but only as tests for homonymy. I look at the more fine-grained distinction between regular and irregular polysemy and I argue for a more nuanced conclusion: the tests under discussion provide systematic evidence for homonymy and irregular polysemy but need to be used with more care to test for regular polysemy. I put this conclusion at work in the (...) context of the debate over the alleged referential-attributive ambiguity of the definite article. In reply to various criticisms, defenders of the ambiguity view argue that this is a case of polysemy. But opponents object that the dual use of the definite article fails tests for ambiguity. The debate seems to have come to stalemate, unless the relevance of the tests is determined for cases of alleged polysemy. I conclude that the balance of considerations incline towards rejecting the ambiguity thesis. (shrink)
In recent discussions concerning the definition of argument, it has been maintained that the word ‘argument’ exhibits the process-product ambiguity, or an act/object ambi-guity. Drawing on literature on lexical ambiguity we argue that ‘argument’ is not ambiguous. The term ‘argument’ refers to an object, not to a speech act. We also examine some of the important implications of our argument by considering the question: what sort of abstract objects are arguments?
In recent discussions concerning the definition of argument, it has been maintained that the word ‘argument’ exhibits the process-product ambiguity, or an act/object ambigu-ity. Drawing on literature on lexical ambiguity we argue that ‘argument’ is not ambiguous. The term ‘argu-ment’ refers to an object, not to a speech act. We also examine some of the important implications of our argument by considering the question: what sort of abstract objects are arguments?
In this paper I am concerned with the analysis of fragments of a discourse or text that express arguments suspected of being denials of the antecedent. I first argue that one needs to distinguish between two senses of ‘the argument expressed’. Second, I show that, with respect to one of these senses, given a Gricean account of the pragmatics of conditionals, some such fragments systematically express arguments that are valid.
In this paper I discuss Hilary Putnam’s view of the conditions that need to be fulfilled for a speaker to successfully defer to a linguistic community for the meaning of a word she uses. In the first part of the paper I defend Putnam’s claim that knowledge of what he calls “stereotypes” is a requirement on linguistic competence. In the second part of the paper I look at two consequences that this thesis has. One of them concerns the choice between (...) two competing formulations of consumerist semantics. The other concerns the notion of deference, and in particular the question whether deference can be non-intentional. Although the standard view is that deference is intentional, it has also been argued (Stojanovic et al. 2005) that most common forms of deference are not. I argue that deference is best understood as intentional, given the possibility of failures of deference. Cases in which the requirement that the speaker know the stereotypes associated with a particular word is not fulfilled are examples of unsuccessful attempts to defer. (shrink)
In the first part of this paper I consider the Gricean account of communication, as structured by the Cooperative Principle and the four maxims. Several authors, including Jean Goodwin , Fred Kauffeld , Michael Gilbert , Ernie Lepore and Mathew Stone , among others, argue that the Gricean view of communication fails in as much as it pretends to offer an account of all such human interactions. As Goodwin and Kauffeld suggest, a more promising starting point is to consider the (...) variety of contextually determined presumptions that we make about speakers and that we rely upon in interpreting utterances. These presumptions are established in various ways, and are dropped, or defeated, in certain conditions. In order to clarify these aspects we need to inquiry into the nature of presumptions. I argue that Kauffeld’s , ,  account of presumptions is useful in this context. In the second part of the paper I look at what this account tells us about how, and in what conditions, presumptions in communication are rebutted. (shrink)
A tacit assumption in the literature devoted to singular thought is that singular thought constitutes a unitary phenomenon, and so a correct account of it must encompass all instances. In this essay, I argue against such a unitary account. The superficial feature of singularity might result from ver y different deep-level phenomena. Following Taylor (2010) and Crane (2013), I distinguish between the referential fitness and the referential success of a thought. I argue that facts responsible for referential fitness (e.g., mental (...) files or individual concepts), as well as facts responsible for referential success (e.g., acquaintance conditions on referential success), are relevant in explaining the data pertaining to a theory of singular thought. What makes this approach particularly attractive is that there are good independent reasons to introduce both kinds of facts in theorizing about thought. (shrink)
Work on analogy has been done from a number of disciplinary perspectives throughout the history of Western thought. This work is a multidisciplinary guide to theorizing about analogy. It contains 1,406 references, primarily to journal articles and monographs, and primarily to English language material. classical through to contemporary sources are included. The work is classified into eight different sections (with a number of subsections). A brief introduction to each section is provided. Keywords and key expressions of importance to research on (...) analogy are discussed in the introductory material. Electronic resources for conducting research on analogy are listed as well. (shrink)
Multiple team membership is a form of work organization extensively used nowadays to flexibly deploy human resources across multiple simultaneous projects. Individual members bring in their cognitive resources in these multiple teams and at the same time use the resources and competencies developed while working together. We test in an experimental study whether working in MTM as compared to a single team yields more individual performance benefits in estimation tasks. Our results fully support the group-to-individual transfer of learning, yet the (...) hypothesized benefits of knowledge variety and broader access to meta-knowledge relevant to the task in MTM as compared to single teams were not supported. In addition, we show that individual estimates improve only when members are part of groups with low or average collective estimation errors, while confidence in individual estimates significantly increases only when the collective confidence in the group estimates is average or high. The study opens valuable venues for using the dynamic model of G-I transfer of learning to explore individual learning in MTM. (shrink)
En examinant l’oeuvre de Descartes et en en découvrant les éléments sociologiques, il nous devient possible de déduire l’horizon social de son système. Descartes mentionne les conditions, les manifestations et les unités sociales. Pour lui, l’individu est partie d’un tout. L’amitié et la générosité sont des sentiments profondément sociaux. Mais la raison met la vie sociale en valeur et c’est elle aussi qui décide, en cas de conflit entre l’individu et la société, lequel des deux a le bon droit de (...) son côté et si c’est l’individu qui doit se sacrifier à la société. Le Souverain Bien est le critère suprême. La société à laquelle aspire Descartes doit être dirigée par une aristocratie intellectuelle, créée sur des bases démocratiques et ayant à sa tête, peut-être, un roi-philosophe, législateur unique et prévoyant. L’homme cartésien est une synthèse de la sagesse antique, de Partisan moderne et de l’homme créateur qui, par la science et la raison, cherche à rapprocher la Société du Bien souverain. (shrink)
We almost can’t find among the countries of the East one not to praise or to display as own virtues – particular or specific – hospitality and tolerance. In fact, to project such qualities in a privileged register of categories is a part of a quasi-generalized imagologic strategy meant to valorize the positive character of some traits – ethnic, national or belonging to a group. Each country needs a favorable mythology, luxuriant in fairytales, heroes, acts of bravery, one in which (...) to be able to project its obsessions and nostalgias, composing a self image as good as possible. Is the fervor of idealization a sin? Certainly not, if the purposes are reasonable, and not subjected to some insidious ideological or propagandistic finalities. (shrink)
L'intention du texte ci-dessous est de suivre la manière dont la métaphore assume une condition "nomade". Je ne poursuis pas, ce faisant, une appropriation des occurrences sémantiques d'un vocable revendiqué par le discours postmoderne, encore moins lui attacher abusivement des significations étrangères ou inactuelles. Le meilleur exemple de prise en charge du "nomadisme" dans le champ métaphorique est précisément la figure classique, dans l'acception de Deleuze, du "nomade" - preuve éloquente de ce que la "chasse" à la métaphore dans le (...) discours philosophique peut être une entreprise à la fois agréable et profitable. Quel est le sens que Deleuze attribue à son "nomade" ? Ce terme en lui-même, a-t-il une charge intensionnelle différente de celle des étymologiesconventionnelles? Est-il métaphore ou plutôt "personnage conceptuel" ? Les "figures", dans le discours deleuzien, ont-elles un statut comparable à celui des concepts? Quelle place occupent-elles vraiment dans la configuration de la philosophie de Deleuze? Quelles sont les affinités entre Deleuze et Foucault dans laperspective du motif en discussion? (shrink)
In the Christian imaginary, the ternary representation of the universe is reiterated by appealing either to the Platonic texts, or to the Stoic ones. The triadic scheme of the worlds certifies an ambiguous status of man, of an individual placed neither here nor there, by the force of some circumstances which he cannot resist. Situated at equal distance from sidereal heights - credited as having the monopoly on perfection - and from the terrifying shadows, managed in a totalitarian manner by (...) the instances of evil, in “the world between the worlds”, he thinks of the interval as of a space of communication, filled with signs, shapes and characters, by means of which distances can be “neared, compressed and “humanised”. Each step, stage, climb or descent is perceived as a “rupture of level”, as overcoming of the human condition by assuming a trans-mundane axiological repertoire. (shrink)
Conference Proceedings (ASPLF Conference “Le Beau” in Iaşi, Romania, August 23-27, 2016). -/- Sections: 1. Le beau dans l'histoire de la philosophie; 2. Le beau à travers les cultures; 3. Beauté de la pensée et beauté du langage; 4. Ontologie et métaphysique du beau; 5. Le beau dans la nature et dans la société; 6. Beauté, éthique, politique; 7. Les catégories esthétiques; 8. L'esthétique et la vie quotidienne; 9. Renouvellement et perspectives de l'esthétique. -/- Conference sections: 1. The Beautiful in (...) the History of Philosophy; 2. The Beautiful across Cultures; 3. Beauty in Thought and Beauty in Language; 4. Ontology and Metaphysics of the Beautiful; 5. The Beautiful in Nature and in Society; 6. Beauty, Ethics, Politics; 7. Aesthetic Categories; 8. Aesthetics and Everyday-Life; 9. New Perspectives in Aesthetics. (shrink)
The present study is an ideography applied to the work and intellectual activity of the Romanian-born Jewish scholar Leon Volovici. A careful analysis of his writings reveals a series of essential directions - landmarks and recurrent themes of his work - that Volovici himself followed without hesitation throughout his intellectual becoming. Succinctly, the case of Leon Volovici represents a remarkable model of practicing cultural dialogue and achieving intellectual histories from several perspectives. In addition to brief introductory considerations and concluding remarks, (...) this study focuses upon the following dimensions of his writings: i) the role of intellectual dialogue and the meaning of dialogic culture in Volovici's view; ii) the systematic presentation of the dimensions of Romanian antisemitism in the period between 1850 and 1940; iii) the presentation of the historical and sociological dimensions of the idea of writer in Romanian culture and iv) the remembrance of Volovici's identity in the context of his wanderings through distinct geographic spaces. Our conclusion is that all these dimensions are coherent with one another, making up the general image of Leon Volovici's work. (shrink)
This paper focuses on what is known in the literature on the semantics and pragmatics of definite descriptions as “the argument from convention”. This argument purports to show that referential uses of definite descriptions are a semantic phenomenon. A key premise of the argument is that none of the pragmatic alternatives (any one of a variety of Gricean accounts of referential uses) is successful. I argue that no good reason is offered to support this claim. I conclude that the argument (...) from convention fails to be compelling. (shrink)
In the first part of this paper I make some general remarks about the relevance of semantics and pragmatics to argumentation theory, insisting on the importance of the reconstruction of speaker meaning for argument analysis, especially in the case of implicatures. In the second part of the paper I look more closely at the relation between argument and implicature. In the last part I discuss the concept of argumentative implicature, that is, implicatures that are generated by speech acts of arguing. (...) I maintain, against Jackson (1987), that there are no specifically argumentative implicatures. (shrink)
The phenomenon of Holocaust denial, once considered a fringe manifestation with very little impact, has, more or less, entered the mainstream of historiographical and academic debate in recent years. The main danger associated with the deniers’ discourse is that of forcing into the public conscience the awareness of the fact that there might be “more sides” to the Holocaust history than previously known based on written documents, testimonies of survivors and other types of proofs. The following paper is a review (...) of the emergence, development and extent of Holocaust denial, especially in the United States, as well as an attempt to summarise the deniers’ arguments, claims and motivations, following the line opened by Deborah Lipstadt and other historians. (shrink)
I argue that an affirmative answer to the question whether entailments could figure as contents of CI is warranted. In particular, the two features of CI that could rule out entailments from the class of contents that could be conversationally implicated are cancellability and non-conventionality. Entailments are non-cancellable, but this is a reason to conclude that they cannot be CIs only if cancellability is a universal property of CIs; alternatively, one might accept CIs that are entailed by what is said (...) and, on this basis, reject the claim that all CIs are cancellable. I see no compelling reason to go one way or another. So, this criterion does not lead to a principled answer to our question. Turning to non-conventionality, this is a defining feature of CIs, according to Grice. I explore the reasons given in the literature for taking non-conventionality to be a defining feature of CI, and argued that none of them are compelling: lexicalization of dead metaphors does not lead to overgeneration of CIs, and calculability is sufficient to distinguish conventional from conversational implicatures. I propose a definition of CI in terms of calculability alone, which does not rule out entailments. So, the answer to our initial question is, eventually, a tentative ‘yes’. A notable consequence of this definition is that the argument against the cancellability test based on cases of CIs the content of which is entailed by what is said seems a good one after all. This means that CIs are not necessarily cancellable. However, that does not mean that the test is a bad one, inasmuch as non-entailed CIs are still expected to be cancellable. (shrink)
What is it for an utterance of an expression to lack meaning? In this paper I address the issue along the lines of Carnap’s seminal article “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology”. Carnap provides there an answer to the above question, which he then uses to argue that certain claims of metaphysics are meaningless. In the first section of the paper I present Carnap’s argument for the meaninglessness of certain metaphysical claims. In the second section I argue that, although the argument is (...) not compelling, the main virtue of Carnap’s proposal is the strategy he develops for generating meaningless uses of language. In the third section I propose an externalist criterion of meaningless uses of expressions that relies on semantic externalist considerations. This, I argue, bears significant resemblances to Carnap’s proposal. In the last section I discuss the applicability of the new criterion to the question concerning the meaning of metaphysical claims. (shrink)