Contributors: Steven Barbone, Laurent Bove, Edwin Curley, Valérie Debuiche, Michael Della Rocca, Simon B. Duffy, Daniel Garber, Pascale Gillot, Céline Hervet, Jonathan Israel, Chantal Jaquet, Mogens Lærke, Jacqueline Lagrée, Martin Lin, Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Pierre-François Moreau, Steven Nadler, Knox Peden, Alison Peterman, Charles Ramond, Michael A. Rosenthal, Pascal Sévérac, Hasana Sharp, Jack Stetter, ArielSuhamy, Lorenzo Vinciguerra.
Cognitive penetration of perception, broadly understood, is the influence that the cognitive system has on a perceptual system. The paper shows a form of cognitive penetration in the visual system which I call ‘architectural’. Architectural cognitive penetration is the process whereby the behaviour or the structure of the perceptual system is influenced by the cognitive system, which consequently may have an impact on the content of the perceptual experience. I scrutinize a study in perceptual learning that provides empirical evidence that (...) cognitive influences in the visual system produce neural reorganization in the primary visual cortex. The type of cognitive penetration can be synchronic and diachronic. (shrink)
Both traditional accounts of hope and some of their recent critics analyze hope exclusively in terms of attitudes that a hoper bears towards a hoped-for prospect, such as desire and probability assignment. I argue that all of these accounts misidentify cases of despair as cases of hope, and so misconstrue the nature of hope. I show that a more satisfactory view is arrived at by noticing that in addition to the aforementioned attitudes, hope involves a characteristic attitude towards an external (...) factor, on whose operation the hoper takes the prospect's realization to depend causally. (shrink)
p. cm. — (Zeuthen lecture book series) Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN 0-262-18187-8 (hardcover : alk. paper). — ISBN 0-262-68100-5 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Decision-making. 2. Economic man. 3. Game theory. 4. Rational expectations (Economic theory) I. Title. II. Series.
The paper is a discussion of the interpretation of game theory. Game theory is viewed as an abstract inquiry into the concepts used in social reasoning when dealing with situations of conflict and not as an attempt to predict behavior. The first half of the paper..
The distribution of indefinite singular generics is much more restricted than that of bare plural generics. The former, unlike the latter, seem to require that the property predicated of their subject be, in some sense, ‘definitional’. Moreover, the two constructions exhibit different scopal behaviour, and differ in their felicity in conjunctions, questions, and expressions describing the speaker's confidence. I propose that the reason is that the two expressions, in fact, have rather different meanings. Carlson (1995) makes a distinction between inductivist (...) and rules‐and‐regulations theories of generics. Instead, I draw a distinction between inductivist and rules‐and‐regulations readings of generics. On one reading, a generic expresses the way things are, and its logical form involves quantification; on the other reading, a generic refers to some rule or regulation (often a definition), and states that it is in effect. While bare plurals are ambiguous between the two readings, indefinite singulars can only refer to a rule or a regulation. This difference between the two constructions follows from the fact that bare plurals, but not (nonspecific) indefinite singulars, are acceptable topics. The topic of bare plural generics, then, is the bare plural itself. It is mapped onto the restrictor of the generic quantifier, hence an inductivist reading is available. In contrast, this option is not open to indefinite singular generics. Thus, an inductivist reading is ruled out, and the only possible topic is a rule or regulation. The various differences between the two types of generic are then shown to follow. (shrink)
It is widely agreed that generics tolerate exceptions. It turns out, however, that exceptions are tolerated only so long as they do not violate homogeneity: when the exceptions are not concentrated in a salient “chunk” of the domain of the generic. The criterion for salience of a chunk is cognitive: it is dependent on the way in which the domain is mentally represented. Findings of psychological experiments about the ways in which different domains are represented, and the actors affecting such (...) representations, account for judgments of generic sentences, facts which cannot be explained by linguistics alone. The reason for the homogeneity requirement itself is, in turn, also dependent on cognitive considerations. Generics express default rules, and psychological findings have shown that, the more homogeneous the domain, the easier it is for subjects to infer rules about it. Thus, cognitive results form a crucial part of a comprehensive account of the meaning of a linguistic expression. (shrink)
Generics and frequency statements are puzzling phenomena: they are lawlike, yet contingent. They may be true even in the absence of any supporting instances, and extending the size of their domain does not change their truth conditions. Generics and frequency statements are parametric on time, but not on possible worlds; they cannot be applied to temporary generalizations, and yet are contingent. These constructions require a regular distribution of events along the time axis. Truth judgments of generics vary considerably across speakers, (...) whereas truth judgments of frequency statements are much more uniform. A generic may be false even if the vast majority of individuals in its domain satisfy the predicated property, whereas a frequency statement using, e.g., usually would be true. This paper argues that all these seemingly unrelated puzzles have a single underlying cause: generics and frequency statements express probability judgments, and these, in turn, are interpreted as statements of hypothetical relative frequency. (shrink)
Arising out of the author's lifetime fascination with the links between the formal language of mathematical models and natural language, this short book comprises five essays investigating both the economics of language and the language of economics. Ariel Rubinstein touches the structure imposed on binary relations in daily language, the evolutionary development of the meaning of words, game-theoretical considerations of pragmatics, the language of economic agents and the rhetoric of game theory. These short essays are full of challenging ideas (...) for social scientists that should help to encourage a fundamental rethinking of many of the underlying assumptions in economic theory and game theory. As a postscript two economists, Tilman Borgers and Bart Lipman, and a logician, Johan van Benthem offer comments. (shrink)
An interesting metatheoretical controversy took place during the 1980’s and 1990’s between pattern and phylogenetic cladists. What was always at stake in the discussion was not how work in systematics should be carried out, but rather how this practice should be metatheoretically interpreted. In this article, we criticize Pearson’s account of the metatheoretical factors at play in this discussion. Following him, we focus on the issue of circularity, and on the role that phylogenetic hypotheses play in the determination of “primary (...) homologies”. Pearson argues that the recognition of primary homologies cannot be achieved without recourse to previous phylogenetic knowledge, and that to claim otherwise is to state that primary homologies are observable. To show why that view would be inadequate, he appeals to Hanson’s views about theory-laden observation, alongside with a specific case study, which allegedly illustrates the more complex relation between observation and theory. We will argue that the pattern cladists’ point is better addressed by taking a quite different approach: instead of thinking in terms of observability, the topic can be tackled by paying attention to the way in which concepts are determined. We will take the notion of T-theoricity from metatheoretical structuralism and show that, once the issue is discussed with the appropriate metatheoretical framework, the alleged counterexample brought up by Pearson is not problematic at all for pattern cladism. (shrink)
In addition to the familiar cardinal and proportional readings of many and few, there is yet another interpretation, the relative proportional reading. This reading, unlike the ordinary absolute proportional reading, is not conservative. Under the relative reading, 'Many ψs are φs' is true just in case the proportion of φs among ψs is greater than the proportion of φs among members of contextually given alternatives to ψ. I provide a definition of proportional readings that reduces the differences between absolute and (...) relative interpretations to the value of a single parameter.I argue that relative readings are not restricted to many and few, but are also exhibited by the adverbs often and seldom, and by generics. Interpretations of determiners that have been treated as "focus-affected readings," interpretations of adverbs of quantification that have been treated as "pure frequency readings," and interpretations of generics which have been claimed to be cases of "reverse interpretation" or "direct kind predication" are, in fact, instances of relative readings.A: Army reserve service is especially hard on people who own a small business.Q: Do many small-business owners serve in your regiment?A: I don't know what it's like in other regiments –Q: I am not asking you about other regiments.A: I know, but relatively speaking . . .(Interview on Israel Army Radio, June 8th, 2001). (shrink)
While opinions on the semantic analysis of generics vary widely, most scholars agree that generics have a quasi-universal flavor. However, there are cases where generics receive what appears to be an existentialinterpretation. For example, B's response is true, even though only theplatypus and the echidna lay eggs: (1) A: Birds lay eggs. B: Mammals lay eggs too. In this paper I propose a uniform account of the semantics of generics,which accounts for their quasi-existential readings as well as for their more (...) familiar quasi-universal ones. Generics are focus-sensitiveoperators: their domain is restricted by a set of alternatives, which may be provided by focus. I claim that, unlike otherfocus-sensitive operators, generics may, but do not have to, associate with focus. When alternatives are introduced, either by focus or by other means, generics get their usual quasi-universal readings. But when no alternatives are introduced, quasi-existential readings result.I argue that generics, unlike adverbs of quantification, do not introduce tripartite structures directly, but are initially interpreted as cases ofdirect kind predication. Only when this interpretation fails to make sense, the phonologically null generic quantifier is derived, and tripartite structures result. This two-level interpretation has the effect that while adverbs of quantification require focus to determine which elements go to the restrictor and which to the nuclear scope, and hence must associate with focus, generics do not, and hence may fail to associate with focus, resulting in quasi-existential readings. (shrink)
In this article, I examine the issue of the alleged circularity in the determination of homologies within cladistic analysis. More specifically, I focus on the claims made by the proponents of the dynamic homology approach, regarding the distinction between primary and secondary homology. This distinction is sometimes invoked to dissolve the circularity issue, by upholding that characters in a cladistic data matrix have to be only primarily homologous, and thus can be determined independently of phylogenetic hypotheses, by using the classical (...) Owenian criteria or via multiple sequence alignment. However, since in the dynamic approach, sequence data can be analyzed without being pre-aligned, proponents have claimed that the distinction between primary and secondary homology has no place within cladistics. I will argue that this is not the case, since cladistic practice within the dynamic framework does presuppose primary homology statements at a higher level. (shrink)
What on earth are economic theorists like me trying to accomplish? This paper discusses four dilemmas encountered by an economic theorist: The dilemma of absurd conclusions: Should we abandon a model if it produces absurd conclusions or should we regard a model as a very limited set of assumptions that will inevitably fail in some contexts? The dilemma of responding to evidence: Should our models be judged according to experimental results? The dilemma of modelless regularities: Should models provide the hypothesis (...) for testing or are they simply exercises in logic that have no use in identifying regularities? The dilemma of relevance: Do we have the right to offer advice or to make statements that are intended to influence the real world? (shrink)
This paper is an examination of some modelling problems regarding imperfect recall within the model of extensive games. It is argued that, if the assumption of perfect recall is violated, care must be taken in interpreting the main elements of the model. Interpretations that are inconsequential under perfect recall have important implications in the analysis of games with imperfect recall.
The two standard interpretations of Kant’s view of the relationship between external freedom and public law make one of the terms a means for the production of the other: either public law is justified as a means to external freedom, or external freedom is justified as a means for producing a system of public law. This article defends an alternative, constitutive interpretation: public law is justified because it is partly constitutive of external freedom. The constitutive view requires conceiving of external (...) freedom in a novel, second-personal way, that is, as an irreducibly relational norm. (shrink)
The adequacy of Elliott Sober’s analogy between classical mechanics and evolutionary theory—according to which both theories explain via a zero-force law and a set of forces that alter the zero-force state—has been criticized from various points of view. I focus here on McShea and Brandon’s claim that drift shouldn’t be considered a force because it is not directional. I argue that there are a number of different theses that could be meant by this, and show that one of those theses—the (...) idea that drift cannot bias populations to be taken somewhere in the evolutionary space from one generation to the next—is actually false. Not only has this thesis been implicitly assumed in the discussion of the force analogy thus far, but it is also commonly found in a wider range of philosophical and biological texts. I argue that correcting this view, and the usual images associated with it, will thereby bring heuristic benefits that impact the force analogy discussion, but that also go beyond it. (shrink)