Varzi (2005) discussed 6 ways of symbolizing the sentence 'If Alf went to the movies then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi-cab.' In the present reply, a seventh symbolization is offered, along with an analysis of the six alternatives discussed by Varzi.
We present two eye-tracking experiments on the interpretation of sentences like “The tall girl is the only one that …,” which are ambiguous between the anaphoric and the exophoric interpretation. These interpretations differ in informativeness: in a positive context, the exophoric reading entails the anaphoric, while in a negative context the entailment pattern is reversed and the anaphoric reading is the strongest one. We tested whether adults rely on considerations about informativeness in solving the ambiguity. The results show that (...) participants interpreted one exophorically in both positive and negative contexts. Given these findings, we cast doubts on the idea that Informativeness plays a role in ambiguity resolution and proposes a Principle of Maximal Exploitation: When a context is provided, adults extend their domain of evaluation to include the whole scenario, independently from truth-conditional considerations about informativity and strength. (shrink)
Immigrants now compose approximately 12 of the population of the United States and a sizable proportion of the workforce. Yet in contrast to research on other traditionally under-represented groups (e.g., women, African Americans), there are relatively few studies on issues related to being an immigrant in the U.S. workforce. This study examined English-only workplace policies, focusing on reactions to business justifications – explanations that justify managerial decisions as business necessities – for these policies. We contrasted the reactions of individuals (...) coming from immigrant families, where at least one parent was an immigrant to the U.S., with those of persons from non-immigrant families. Results of an experiment indicated that business justifications were successful in influencing the attitudes of non-immigrants toward the English-only policies, but did not influence the attitudes of individuals from immigrant families. Probing the reasons for this effect, a thought-listing protocol suggested that non-immigrants mentioned more of the business benefits of the English-only policy than did individuals from immigrant families. Further, business justifications for the English-only policy led individuals from immigrant families, but not those from non-immigrant families, to view the organization as being less ethical and less concerned with the welfare of its workers. The implications of messages from management being understood differently by different demographic groups are discussed. (shrink)
In the division problem with single-peaked preferences, an allocation rule is strategy-proof for same tops if no one can gain by reporting a false preference relation having the true peak. This new condition is so weak that it is implied by strategy-proofness and tops-only. We show that the uniform rule is the only rule satisfying this mild property under efficiency and envy-freeness. We then analyze how largely the preference domain can be extended with admitting a rule satisfying the (...) three axioms, and show that the single-plateaued domain is the unique such maximal domain. (shrink)
Varzi (2005) discussed 6 ways of symbolizing the sentence 'If Alf went to the movies then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi-cab.' In the present reply, a seventh symbolization is offered, along with an analysis of the six alternatives discussed by Varzi.
The best representatives of the self-reflection of xinxue 心学 (the School of Mind) and its development during the Ming and Qing Dynasties are the three masters from the late Ming Dynasty. The overall tendency is to shake off the internal constraints of the School of Mind by studying the Confucian classics and history. During the Qing Dynasty, Dai Zhen had attempted to set up a theoretical system based on Confucian classics and history, offering a theoretical foundation for a new academic (...) movement that gradually suspended issues studied by the School of Mind. But the suspension of these issues does not mean they were resolved. For Peng Shaosheng, xinzong 心宗 (the Doctrine of Mind) has emerged from a bottleneck in the development of the Confucian yi li zhi xue 义理之学 (doctrine of meanings and principles): The only way to find the transcendent connection between the doctrine of meanings and principles and the Dao was through the internality of belief. In this case, the Lay Buddhists, represented by Peng Shaosheng, Wang Dashen and Luo Yougao, as lixue biepai 理学别派 (Alternative School of Principles), played the role that the School of Mind had undertaken in the late Ming Dynasty, thus becoming a shelter for the Confucian doctrine of meanings and principles. To a certain extent, the revival of weishixue 唯识学 (the Consciousness-Only School) during modern times was simply a continuance of the "Alternative School of Principles". It took over the Lay Buddhist theme of the doctrine of meanings and principles of the Qing Dynasty and tried to construct a new pattern of learning for Confucian classics that matched up with the doctrine of meanings and principles, offering a model of integration for the reconstruction of the Confucian tradition. /// 明清之际对心学的检讨以及心学内部的发展，以晚明三大师为代表，其总的 倾向是以经史之学的学问方式走出心学的内在性束缚。到了清代，戴震则尝试从独 玩的经史之学出发建设--种新的理论系统，试图为这一逐渐搁置心学问题的新的学 术运动提供理论基础。不过，心学的被搁置，并不意味着心学所指涉问题的消失。 彭绍升的 "心宗" 已经突破了儒家义理学发展的瓶径; 义理学与道体的超越关联必 须透过信仰的内在性来获得。以彭钥升、汪大绅、罗有高为代表的居士佛教，作为 "理学别派承担起了在晚明由心学所承担的功能，从而成为儒家义理学的寄身 之所。近代唯识学的复兴，在→定意义上是对 "理学别派" 的继承。小仅在义理学 的意义上接过了清代居士佛学的主题，更在清代朴学的传统上，尝试亘:构·种与义 理学配合的新的经学模式，在唯识学的基盘上为重构儒学传统提供了-种极有意义 的整合模式。. (shrink)
The best representatives of the self-reflection of xinxue 心学 (the School of Mind) and its development during the Ming and Qing Dynasties are the three masters from the late Ming Dynasty. The overall tendency is to shake off the internal constraints of the School of Mind by studying the Confucian classics and history. During the Qing Dynasty, Dai Zhen had attempted to set up a theoretical system based on Confucian classics and history, offering a theoretical foundation for a new academic (...) movement that gradually suspended issues studied by the School of Mind. But the suspension of these issues does not mean they were resolved. For Peng Shaosheng, xinzong 心宗 (the Doctrine of Mind) has emerged from a bottleneck in the development of the Confucian yi li zhi xue 义理之学 (doctrine of meanings and principles): The only way to find the transcendent connection between the doctrine of meanings and principles and the Dao was through the internality of belief. In this case, the Lay Buddhists, represented by Peng Shaosheng, Wang Dashen and Luo Yougao, as lixue biepai 理学别派 (Alternative School of Principles), played the role that the School of Mind had undertaken in the late Ming Dynasty, thus becoming a shelter for the Confucian doctrine of meanings and principles. To a certain extent, the revival of weishixue 唯识学 (the Consciousness-Only School) during modern times was simply a continuance of the “Alternative School of Principles”. It took over the Lay Buddhist theme of the doctrine of meanings and principles of the Qing Dynasty and tried to construct a new pattern of learning for Confucian classics that matched up with the doctrine of meanings and principles, offering a model of integration for the reconstruction of the Confucian tradition. (shrink)
With this paper I aim to demonstrate that a look beyond the Aristotelian square of opposition, and a related non-conservative view on logical determiners, contributes to both the understanding of Aristotelian syllogistics as well as to the study of quantificational structures in natural language.
Since Friedrich Nietzsche, philosophers have grappled with the question of how to respond to nihilism. Nihilism, often seen as a derogative term for a ‘life-denying’, destructive and perhaps most of all depressive philosophy is what drove existentialists to write about the right response to a meaningless universe devoid of purpose. This latter diagnosis is what I shall refer to as existential nihilism, the denial of meaning and purpose, a view that not only existentialists but also a long line of (...) philosophers in the empiricist tradition ascribe to. The absurd stems from the fact that though life is without meaning and the universe devoid of purpose, man still longs for meaning, significance and purpose. Inspired by Bojack Horseman and Rick and Morty, two modern existentialist masterpieces, this paper explores the various alternatives that have been offered in how to respond to the absurd, or as Albert Camus puts it; the only “really serious philosophical problem” and concludes that the problem is compatible with a naturalistic world-view, thereby genuine and transcending existentialism. (shrink)
In this paper I present an argument for the claim that you ought to do something only if you may believe that you ought to do it. More exactly, I defend the following principle about normative reasons: An agent A has decisive reason to φ only if she also has sufficient reason to believe that she has decisive reason to φ. I argue that this principle follows from the plausible assumption that it must be possible for an agent (...) to respond correctly to her reasons. In conclusion, I discuss some implications of this argument (given that some other standard assumptions about reasons hold). One such implication is that we are always in a position to be justified in believing all truths about what we have decisive reason (or ought) to do. (shrink)
This paper has two goals: (1) to defend a particular response to the problem of resultant moral luck and (2) to defend the claim that we are only responsible for what we could have avoided. Cases of overdetermination threaten to undermine the claim that we are only responsible for what we could have avoided. To deal with this issue, I will motivate a particular way of responding to the problem of resultant moral luck. I defend the view that (...) one's degree of responsibility is immune to moral luck but the scope of events for which one is responsible is subject to moral luck. I will then argue that this view allows us to explain away certain intuitions about responsibility and overdetermination (as well as similar intuitions regarding Frankfurt Cases). As a result, the claim that we are only responsible for what we could have avoided becomes significantly more plausible. (shrink)
Do the facts of evolution generate an epistemic challenge to moral realism? Some think so, and many “evolutionary debunking arguments” have been discussed in the recent literature. But they are all murky right where it counts most: exactly which epistemic principle is meant to take us from evolutionary considerations to the skeptical conclusion? Here, I will identify several distinct species of evolutionary debunking argument in the literature, each one of which relies on a distinct epistemic principle. Drawing on recent work (...) in epistemology, I will show that most of these initially plausible principles are false, spoiling the arguments that rely on them. And we will see that each argument threatens only one popular view of moral psychology: a “Representationalist” view on which our moral judgments rely crucially on a mental intermediary—e.g. a sentiment, gut reaction, or affect-laden intuition—delivered by our evolved moral faculty. In the end, only one evolutionary debunking argument remains a menace: an “ Argument from Symmetry ” that I will introduce to the literature. But we will see that it should worry only all naturalists, pressuring them into a trilemma: give up moral realism, accept a rationalism that is incongruous with naturalism, or give up naturalism. Non-naturalists are free and clear. (shrink)
I question Brentano's thesis that all and only mental phenomena are intentional. The common gloss on intentionality in terms of directedness does not justify the claim that intentionality is sufficient for mentality. One response to this problem is to lay down further requirements for intentionality. For example, it may be said that we have intentionality only where we have such phenomena as failure of substitution or existential presupposition. I consider a variety of such requirements for intentionality. I argue (...) they either fail to exclude all non-mental phenomena or are so demanding that they ground new, serious challenges to the claim that qualitative states of mind are intentional. (shrink)
Neither art nor philosophy was kind to beauty during the twentieth century. Much modern art disdains beauty, and many philosophers deeply suspect that beauty merely paints over or distracts us from horrors. Intellectuals consigned the passions of beauty to the margins, replacing them with the anemic and rarefied alternative, "aesthetic pleasure." In Only a Promise of Happiness, Alexander Nehamas reclaims beauty from its critics. He seeks to restore its place in art, to reestablish the connections among art, beauty, and (...) desire, and to show that the values of art, independently of their moral worth, are equally crucial to the rest of life.Nehamas makes his case with characteristic grace, sensitivity, and philosophical depth, supporting his arguments with searching studies of art and literature, high and low, from Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Manet's Olympia to television. Throughout, the discussion of artworks is generously illustrated.Beauty, Nehamas concludes, may depend on appearance, but this does not make it superficial. The perception of beauty manifests a hope that life would be better if the object of beauty were part of it. This hope can shape and direct our lives for better or worse. We may discover misery in pursuit of beauty, or find that beauty offers no more than a tantalizing promise of happiness. But if beauty is always dangerous, it is also a pressing human concern that we must seek to understand, and not suppress. (shrink)
Replicability and reproducibility of computational models has been somewhat understudied by “the replication movement.” In this paper, we draw on methodological studies into the replicability of psychological experiments and on the mechanistic account of explanation to analyze the functions of model replications and model reproductions in computational neuroscience. We contend that model replicability, or independent researchers' ability to obtain the same output using original code and data, and model reproducibility, or independent researchers' ability to recreate a model without original code, (...) serve different functions and fail for different reasons. This means that measures designed to improve model replicability may not enhance (and, in some cases, may actually damage) model reproducibility. We claim that although both are undesirable, low model reproducibility poses more of a threat to long-term scientific progress than low model replicability. In our opinion, low model reproducibility stems mostly from authors' omitting to provide crucial information in scientific papers and we stress that sharing all computer code and data is not a solution. Reports of computational studies should remain selective and include all and only relevant bits of code. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against the popular philosophical thesis---aka the ‘own action condition’---that an agent can only intend one’s own actions. I argue that the own action condition does not hold for any executive attitude, intentions included. The proper object of intentions is propositional rather than agential (‘I intend that so-and-so be the case’ rather than ‘I intend to do such-and-such’). I show that, although there are some essential de se components in intending, they do not restrict the (...) content of intentions to one’s own actions. I then discuss the special way in which one’s own actions can figure in the content of one’s intentions, which shows that the distinction between intending and acting is less stark than it appears at first. This is a conclusion that many defenders of the own action condition might find appealing but which, I argue, is better supported by rejecting the own action condition. (shrink)
I describe how relativistic field theory generalizes the paradigm property of material systems, the possession of mass, to the requirement that they have a mass–energy–momentum density tensor T µ associated with them. I argue that T µ does not represent an intrinsic property of matter. For it will become evident that the definition of T µ depends on the metric field g µ in a variety of ways. Accordingly, since g µ represents the geometry of spacetime itself, the properties of (...) mass, stress, energy, and momentum should not be seen as intrinsic properties of matter, but as relational properties that material systems have only in virtue of their relation to spacetime structure. (shrink)
Equivalent overdetermined and underdetermined bivalent Belnap–Dunn type semantics for the logics determined by all natural implicative expansions of Kleene’s strong 3-valued matrix with only one designated value are provided.
The compositional semantics of sentences like Only mammals give live birth and The flag flies only if the Queen is home is a tough problem. Evidence is presented to show that only here is modifying an underlying proposition (its ‘prejacent’). After discussing the semantics of only, the question of the proper interpretation of the prejacent is explored. It would be nice if the prejacent could be analyzed as having existential quantificational force. But that is difficult to (...) maintain, since the prejacent structures when encountered on their own are naturally read as having a lawlike flavor, which in many analyses is attributed to the semantics of implicit operators alleged to be present in them. In the end, an analysis is presented which attributes some very particular properties to these operators and thereby succeeds in providing the target sentences with intuitively adequate interpretations. These complex constructions can therefore be used as a probe into the nature of implicit quantification in natural language. (shrink)
The main focus of this article is the occurrence of some polarity items (PIs) in the complements of emotive factive verbs and only. This fact has been taken as a challenge to the semantic approach to PIs (Linebarger 1980), because only and factive verbs are not downward entailing (DE). A modification of the classical DE account is proposed by introducing the notion of nonveridicality (Zwarts 1995, Giannakidou 1998, 1999, 2001) as the one crucial for PI sanctioning. To motivate (...) this move, it is first shown that two solutions in the direction of weakening classical monotonicity do not work: Strawson DE (von Fintel 1999) and weak DE (Hoeksema 1986). Weakening DE systematically either overgenerates or undergenerates, in either case failing to characterize the correct set of licensers. Nonveridicality is introduced as a conservative extension of DE and is shown to account for PIs also in contexts that are not DE (i.e. questions, modal verbs, imperatives, directive propositional attitudes). This theory, augmented with the premise that certain PIs (i.e. the liberal class represented by any) are subject to a weaker polarity dependency identified not as LICENSING but as RESCUING by nonveridicality, explains the occurrence of this particular class with only and emotive factive verbs. Crosslinguistic comparisons illustrate that the occurrence of PIs with only and emotive factives is not a general phenomenon, and further support the dual nature of polarity dependency and the semantic characterization of the elements that license or rescue PIs. (shrink)
We discuss focus sensitivity in English, the phenomenon whereby interpretation of some expressions is affected by placement of intonational focus. We concentrate in particular on the interpretation of always and only, both of which are interpreted as universal quantifiers, and both of which are focus sensitive. Using both naturally occurring and constructed data we explore the interaction of these operators with negative polarity items, with presupposition, with prosodically reduced elements, and with syntactic extraction. On the basis of this data (...) we show that while only lexically encodes a dependency on the placement of focus, always does not. Rather, the focus sensitivity of always results from its dependency on context, and from the fact that focus also reflects what is given in the context. We account for this split using an analysis couched in event semantics. (shrink)
In this article, I discuss an argument that purports to prove that probability theory is the only sensible means of dealing with uncertainty. I show that this argument can succeed only if some rather controversial assumptions about the nature of uncertainty are accepted. I discuss these assumptions and provide reasons for rejecting them. I also present examples of what I take to..
According to power theorists, properties are powers—i.e. they necessarily confer on their bearers certain dispositions. Although the power theory is increasingly gaining popularity, a vast majority of analytic metaphysicians still favors what I call ‘the nomic theory’—i.e. the view according to which what dispositions a property confers on its bearers is contingent on what the laws of nature happen to be. This paper argues that the nomic theory is inconsistent, for, if it were correct, then properties would not confer any (...) dispositions on their bearers—they would only appear to do so (just like how, in cases of mimicking, objects do not really have the relevant dispositions, they merely appear to have them). If my arguments are sound, then the nomic theory is incoherent and ultimately collapses into what I call ‘neo-occasionalism’ and powers turns out to be the only available option for those who believe that properties genuinely confer dispositions on their bearers. (shrink)
Animal ethicists have recently debated the ethical questions raised by disenhancing animals to improve their welfare. Here, we focus on the particular case of breeding hens for commercial egg-laying systems to become blind, in order to benefit their welfare. Many people find breeding blind hens intuitively repellent, yet ‘welfare-only’ positions appear to be committed to endorsing this possibility if it produces welfare gains. We call this the ‘Blind Hens’ Challenge’. In this paper, we argue that there are both empirical (...) and theoretical reasons why even those adopting ‘welfare-only’ views should be concerned about breeding blind hens. But we also argue that alternative views, which (for example) claim that it is important to respect the telos or rights of an animal, do not offer a more convincing solution to questions raised by the possibility of disenhancing animals for their own benefit. (shrink)
An intrinsic property is roughly a property things have in virtue of how they are, as opposed to how they are related to things outside of them. This paper argues that it is not possible to give a definition of 'intrinsic' that involves only logical, modal and mereological notions, and does not depend on any special assumptions about either properties or possible worlds.
The semantics of only says this: it asserts that no proposition from the set of relevant contrasts C other than the one expressed by its sister sentence α is true. There is in addition an implicature that α is in fact true. There is an industry devoted to the issue of whether the latter ingredient is an implicature (conversational or conventional), a presupposition, or part of the truth-conditions…For our purposes, we don't need to decide.
An extended analysis is given of the program, originally suggested by Deutsch, of solving the probability problem in the Everett interpretation by means of decision theory. Deutsch's own proof is discussed, and alternatives are presented which are based upon different decision theories and upon Gleason's Theorem. It is argued that decision theory gives Everettians most or all of what they need from `probability'. Contact is made with Lewis's Principal Principle linking subjective credence with objective chance: an Everettian Principal Principle is (...) formulated, and shown to be at least as defensible as the usual Principle. Some consequences of (Everettian) quantum mechanics for decision theory itself are also discussed. -/- [NB: this this long (70 pages) and occasionally rambling online-only paper has been almost entirely superseded by material in subsequent; if something is not included in them it usually means that I have had second thoughts. I include it for completeness only. (shrink)
This paper investigates the semantics of the focus particle only and is primarily concerned with the relation between the exclusive proposition and the proposition expressed by the prejacent (the only-less sentence). We argue that, in a sentence of the form only A is B, only triggers the conditional presupposition that if something is B, A is B. We show that in a positive-only sentence, the prejacent is a conversational implicature and therefore it is cancellable. Instead, (...) in a negative-only sentence the prejacent is shown to be entailed by any context that satisfies the conditional presupposition and to which the (negative) assertion is added. Hence, the prejacent of a negative-only sentence is not cancellable. The entailment analyses, the strong presupposition analyses and the weak presupposition analyses of only are discussed, together with the problems that each type of theories faces. (shrink)
It is standardly believed that the only way to justify an assertion in the face of a challenge is by making another assertion. Call this claim ASSERTIONS ONLY. Besides its intrinsic interest, ASSERTIONS ONLY is relevant to deciding between competing views of the norms that govern reasoned discourse. ASSERTIONS ONLY is also a crucial part of the motivation for infinitism and Pyrrhonian skepticism. I suggest that ASSERTIONS ONLY is false: I can justify an assertion by (...) drawing attention to something that clearly makes the assertion true, or likely true. (shrink)
This article is concerned with a distinction Jeff McMahan draws between just and justified wars. It argues that this distinction does not accord with the content of McMahan’s conceptual distinction between just and justified threats; nor does it correspond with the way in which McMahan applies this distinction to the jus in bello tactical bomber scenario. McMahan claims that the tactical bomber’s conduct, assuming it foreseeably causes collateral damage, can only be justified, but not just, while war can be (...) just despite foreseeably resulting in the killing and maiming of innocent people. This claim is incoherent. The incoherence can be overcome, though, within McMahan’s own conceptual framework. For contingent reasons that have to do with the nature of at least modern warfare, justified wars are virtually always unjust. Since agents are generally morally required to prevent themselves from getting into situations in which they can (or must) perform morally justified acts that are unjust, distinguishing between these two types of war is not merely a matter of terminology. This article is a plea for the recognition of the tragedy of justified wars, a tragedy which is only authentic if it could not have been prevented by the agents who wage these wars. (shrink)
Abstract Mental representations, Swiatczak (Minds Mach 21:19–32, 2011) argues, are fundamentally biochemical and their operations depend on consciousness; hence the computational theory of mind, based as it is on multiple realisability and purely syntactic operations, must be wrong. Swiatczak, however, is mistaken. Computation, properly understood, can afford descriptions/explanations of any physical process, and since Swiatczak accepts that consciousness has a physical basis, his argument against computationalism must fail. Of course, we may not have much idea how consciousness (itself a rather (...) unclear plurality of notions) might be implemented, but we do have a hypothesis—that all of our mental life, including consciousness, is the result of computational processes and so not tied to a biochemical substrate. Like it or not, the computational theory of mind remains the only game in town. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s11023-012-9271-5 Authors David Davenport, Computer Engineering Department, Bilkent University, 06800 Ankara, Turkey Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495. (shrink)
In her recent book, Only Imagine, Kathleen Stock promotes extreme intentionalism with respect to fictional content. She writes, ‘the fictional content of a particular text is equivalent to exactly what the author of the text intended the reader to imagine’. There are at least three separate points here: the author’s intentions determine the fictional content; the fictional content is identical with the content of what the reader imagines; reading fiction necessarily entails imagining. The first two points are normative; they (...) are concerned with truth in fiction. The third point takes for granted that fiction necessarily involves imagining on the part of the reader; the main debates here focus on the kind of imagining that is involved in reading fiction. In the following discussion, I leave aside the normative issues marked by the first two points and concentrate on the third point—namely, the relation between fiction and imagining. (shrink)
Evolutionary theodicies are attempts to explain how the enormous amounts of suffering, premature death and extinction inherent in the evolutionary process can be reconciled with belief in a loving and almighty God. A common strategy in this area is to argue that certain very valuable creaturely attributes could only be exemplified by creatures that are produced by a partly random and uncontrolled process of evolution. Evolution, in other words, was the only possible way for God to create these (...) kinds of creatures. This article presents and examines two versions of the “only way”-argument. The anthropocentric version tries to justify God’s use of evolution by reference to the value of human freedom, and argues that freedom presupposes that God lets go of full control over the process of creation . The non-anthropocentric version presents a similar argument with respect to more inclusive creaturely properties, such as that of being “truly other” than God, or of being a “creaturely self” with a certain degree of autonomy in relation to God . With the help of a number of thought-experiments of the “Twin-Earth”-type, the author argues that both the anthropocentric and the non-anthropocentric only way-arguments fail. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWittgenstein’s remark that one cannot follow a rule only once has generated two puzzles: how can everyone accept it to be true? and why does Wittgenstein advance it? These two puzzles have tormented commentators for decades. In this paper I put forward a new interpretation and explain away the two puzzles. I shall show that Wittgenstein’s remark is plain truth and that his motivation behind making it is to dissolve the picture theory of meaning propounded in the Tractatus. This (...) interpretation also helps us to see that Wittgenstein’s other remark, that to follow a rule is a custom, is also a grammatical one. (shrink)
In Atlas (1991) I proposed a novel account of the logical form of statements having the form ‘Only a is F’ and the form ‘Also a is F’, an analysis of the entailments and of the implicatures of those statements, and a discussion of the effects of focal stress on implicatures. In this paper I discuss the merits of my account over those of a Gricean account offered by Peter Geach (1962), Larty Horn (1992), and James McCawley (1981). In (...) doing so I discuss several fundamental problems in Gricean Pragmatics: the nature of the cancellation of implicatures, the intrusion into truth-conditions of pragmatic inference, Negative Polarity Items, and the non-monotonicity of ‘only a’ as a Generalized Quantifier. (shrink)
Most philosophers appear to have ignored the distinction between the broad concept of Virtual Machine Functionalism (VMF) described in Sloman&Chrisley (2003) and the better known version of functionalism referred to there as Atomic State Functionalism (ASF), which is often given as an explanation of what Functionalism is, e.g. in Block (1995). -/- One of the main differences is that ASF encourages talk of supervenience of states and properties, whereas VMF requires supervenience of machines that are arbitrarily complex networks of causally (...) interacting (virtual, but real) processes, possibly operating on different time-scales, examples of which include many different procesess usually running concurrently on a modern computer performing various tasks concerned with handling interfaces to physical devices, managing the file system, dealing with security, providing tools, entertainments, and games, and possibly processing research data. Another example of VMF would be the kind of functionalism involved in a large collection of possibly changing socio-economic structures and processes interacting in a complex community, and yet another is illustrated by the kind of virtual machinery involved in the many levels of visual processing of information about spatial structures, processes, and relationships (including percepts of moving shadows, reflections, highlights, optical-flow patterns and changing affordances) as you walk through a crowded car-park on a sunny day: generating a whole zoo of interacting qualia. (Forget solitary red patches, or experiences thereof.) -/- Perhaps VMF should be re-labelled "Virtual MachinERY Functionalism" because the word 'machinery' more readily suggests something complex with interacting parts. VMF is concerned with virtual machines that are made up of interacting concurrently active (but not necessarily synchronised) chunks of virtual machinery which not only interact with one another and with their physical substrates (which may be partly shared, and also frequently modified by garbage collection, metabolism, or whatever) but can also concurrently interact with and refer to various things in the immediate and remote environment (via sensory/motor channels, and possible future technologies also). I.e. virtual machinery can include mechanisms that create and manipulate semantic content, not only syntactic structures or bit patterns as digital virtual machines do. -/- Please note: Click on the title above or the link below to read the paper. I prefer to keep all my papers freely accessible on my web site so that I can correct mistakes and add improvements. -/- http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/cogaff/misc/vm-functionalism.html -/- This is now part of the Meta-Morphogenesis project: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/research/projects/cogaff/misc/meta-morphogenesis.html. (shrink)
The theory of Generalized Quantifiers has facilitated progress in the study of negation in natural language. In particular it has permitted the formulation of a DeMorgan taxonomy of logical strength of negative Noun Phrases (Zwarts 1996a,b). It has permitted the formulation of broad semantical generalizations to explain grammatical phenomena, e.g. the distribution of Negative Polarity Items (Ladusaw 1980; Linebarger 1981, 1987, 1991; Hoeksema 1986, 1995; Zwarts 1996a,b; Horn 1992, 1996b). In the midst of this theorizing Jaap Hoepelman invited me to (...) lecture in Stuttgart about Focus, and I took the opportunity to talk about a seminal paper on ‘only Proper Name’ and ‘even Proper Name’ by Larry Horn (1969), a paper that I had admired but that had nagged at me for years. The result of Hoepelman‘s invitation was Atlas (1991, 1993), in which I believed that I had discerned difficulties for the formal semantics of Negative Polarity Item sentences, ‘only Proper Name’ sentences licensed Zwarts’s “weak” Negative Polarity Items, e.g. ‘ever’, ‘any’, but ‘only Proper Name’ was not a downwards monotonic quantifier, thus refusing the broad semantical generalization that any NPI licenser was a downward monotonic quantifier. In fact ‘only Proper Name’ was the first of a new category of generalized quantifier: the pseudo-anti-additive quantifier. Though I have explained and defended the introduction of this new category in this paper, a particular interest of my analysis is that it opens up the theory of Negative Polarity Items for further development; it permits the formulation of entirely new questions for research (see ‘Open Questions’, Appendix 1). Along the way I was also trying to present a correct account of the formal semantics and implicatures of ‘Only a is F’, a subject of theoretical investigation for the last 700 years, but without, in my view, any theory ever arriving at the truth. There had to be something wrong with our theoretical methods or theoretical bias towards the data. So I (Atlas 1991, 1993) have tried to break out of this logjam by introducing new constraints on the acceptability of logical forms (first introduced in Atlas & Levinson 1981 for the analysis of clefts, and in Atlas 1988 for the analysis of negative existence statements). The earlier theories ignored conversational implicatures entirely; it seemed of theoretical interest to examine statements containing focal particles like ‘Only’ for their implicatures, especially as the correct prediction of implicatures tells one something about the truth-conditions and logical form of the statement itself (Atlas 1991, 1993). In this paper I review and modify my earlier theory of the logical form, semantical properties, and pragmatic properties of ‘Only a is F‘. I also provide the correct generalization to the case of ‘Only G is F‘. And I respond to the criticisms in Horn (1992, 1996b). (shrink)
Structuring Sense explores the difference between words however defined and structures however constructed. It sets out to demonstrate over three volumes, of which this is the first, that the explanation of linguistic competence should be shifted from lexical entry to syntactic structure, from memory of words to manipulation of rules. Its reformulation of how grammar and lexicon interact has profound implications for linguistic, philosophical, and psychological theories about human mind and language. Hagit Borer departs from both language specific constructional approaches (...) and lexicalist approaches to argue that universal hierarchical structures determine interpretation, and that language variation emerges from the morphological and phonological properties of inflectional material. In Name Only applies this radical approach to nominal structure. Integrating research in syntax, semantics, and morphology, the author argues that nominal structure is based on the syntactic realization of semantic notions such as classifier, quantity, and reference. In the process she seeks to do away with lexical ambiguity and type-shifting. Among the topics she considers are the interpretation of proper names, the mass-count distinction, the weak-strong interpretation of quantifiers, partitive and measure phrases, and the structural representation of the definite article. In the process she explores inter-language variation through the properties of the morpho-phonological system. The languages discussed include English, Chinese, Italian, and Hebrew. (shrink)
There has been a groundswell of interest in the account of modality that Kant sets forth in his pre-Critical Only Possible Argument. Andrew Chignell's reconstruction of Kant's theistic argument in terms of what he calls has a prima facie advantage in that it appears to be able to block the plurality objection (namely, that even if every modal fact presupposes some ground, this does not entail that all modal facts share the same ground). I argue that it is both (...) textually and philosophically problematic to interpret Kant's argument in terms of real harmony. Then, I set forth an alternative response to the plurality objection which does not require the adoption of the problematic notion of real harmony. Instead, I argue that the objection can be overcome by observing that the argument seeks to ground modal facts as a totality and that, according to Kant, such relations can be accounted for only by their schematization in a single intellect. (shrink)
: Debates about commodification in bioethics frequently appeal to Kant's famous second formulation of the categorical imperative, the formula requiring us to treat the rational (human) being as "an end in itself" and "never as a means only." In the course of her own treatment of commodification, Margaret Jane Radin observes that Kant's application of this formula "does not generate noncontroversial particular consequences." This is so, I argue, because Kant offers three different--and largely incompatible--interpretations of the formula. One focuses (...) on the obligation to preserve rational willing; the second stresses respect for human (physical) dignity and integrity; the third views respect for others as "ends in themselves" as primarily involving a willingness to govern one's conduct by a procedure of impartial co-legislation. Only the third of these interpretations, I conclude, offers a reasonable and coherent approach to moral judgment about the limits of commodification. (shrink)
On the difficulty of extracting the logical form of a seemingly simple sentence such as ‘If Andy went to the movie then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi cab’, with some morals and questions on the nature of the difficulty.
In recent years, the growing number of persons to whom basic human rights have been explicitly denied—stateless persons, refugees, undocumented workers, sans papiers and unlawful combatants—has evidenced the logic of contemporary nation-state politics. According to this logic, the state defines itself by virtue of what it excludes while what is excluded is given no other recourse than the state for its protection. Hannah Arendt elucidates this logic when she observes that the stateless and the refugee can only be recognized (...) as human beings when they have already been recognized as citizens. Their appeal to human rights for protection was fruitless because they needed to have citizen rights, the recognition of a government, or of other citizens who can appeal to that government, in order to invoke these rights. In the terms Arendt uses to name political action, one needs to be seen and heard already, the privileges of those who are citizens, in order to appeal to be seen and heard. Just as political life (bios), in order to be free, was only possible once the necessities were accounted for in natural life (zoē), so citizenship is recognized to the exclusion of the non-citizen, that is, the merely human. -/- . (shrink)
This paper uses the controversy surrounding abstinence-only education to depict the current struggle between US government policy and science. The paper demonstrates the way in which this fight over science has become a communications battle and how the internet has become the vehicle through which ideology is able to masquerade as science. In addition, this paper identifies the damage to public health programs, and the ethical problems of providing selected information and misinformation to teenagers. Part of the resolution may (...) be for scientists to become better communicators to the public about scientific principles and findings. If scientists are interested in improving sexuality education, we need to rely on science but may find it more advantageous to reframe our arguments around themes that perhaps have greater cultural salience. (shrink)
In his "Two concepts of possible worlds", Peter Van Inwagen explores two kinds of views about the nature of possible worlds : abstractionism and concretism. The latter is the view defended by David Lewis who claims that possible worlds are concrete spatio-temporal universes, very much like our own, causally and spatio-temporally disconnected from each other. The former is the view of the majority who claims that possible worlds are some kind of abstract objects – such as propositions, properties, states of (...) affairs, or sets of numbers. In this paper, I will develop this view in an 'extreme abstractionist' way, appealing to a 'modal bundle theory', and I will try to show that it is preferable to the standard abstractionist ones. Finally, I will compare this kind of abstractionism to concretism, only to find that the difference between the two is minimal. (shrink)
I claim that consciousness, just as thought or action, is only to be found at the personal level of explanation. Dennett's account is often taken to be at odds with this view, as it is seen as explicating consciousness in terms of sub-personal processes. Against this reading, and especially as it is developed by John McDowell, I argue that Dennett's work is best understood as maintaining a sharp personal/sub-personal distinction. To see this, however, we need to understand better what (...) content ascription at the sub-personal level actually means. When we do we can see how Dennett presents both a philosophical account of consciousness and informed empirical speculation on the nature of its sub-personal underpinnings. Consciousness is a product of certain capacities that are intelligible only at the personal level, capacities that are neither present at the sub-personal level of brain mechanism nor present in 'sub-persons', e.g. some, if not all, non-human animals. (shrink)
In this paper I introduce a theoretical framework on care developed by the Norwegian nurse and philosopher Kari Martinsen, and I argue that this approach has relevance not only within nursing, but also within clinical medicine. I try to substantiate this claim by analysing some of the key concepts in this approach, and I illustrate the potential clinical relevance of this approach by applying it in relation to two care scenarios. Finally, I discuss some of the concerns that have (...) been raised in relation to the aim of highlighting care in medicine. (shrink)
A relative value of life dependent on age has been produced from a survey of 721 randomly selected individuals together with other observations of professional practice. The results are presented in diagrammatic form. If two identical people, except for age, present for medical treatment for a life-threatening condition and only one can be treated then the diagram indicates what the choice should be.