A critical survey of the main philosophical theories about events and event talk, organized in three main sections: (i) Events and Other Categories (Events vs. Objects; Events vs. Facts; Events vs. Properties; Events vs. Times); (ii) Types of Events (Activities, Accomplishments, Achievements, and States; Static and Dynamic Events; Actions and Bodily Movements; Mental and Physical Events; Negative Events); (iii) Existence, Identity, and Indeterminacy.
In the first part of the paper I argue that an ontology of events is precise, flexible and general enough so as to cover the three main alternative formulations of quantum mechanics as well as theories advocating an antirealistic view of the wave function. Since these formulations advocate a primitive ontology of entities living in four-dimensional spacetime, they are good candidates to connect that quantum image with the manifest image of the world. However, to the extent that some form of (...) realism about the wave function is also necessary, one needs to endorse also the idea that the wave function refers to some kind of power. In the second part, I discuss some difficulties raised by the recent proposal that in Bohmian mechanics this power is holistically possessed by all the particles in the universe. (shrink)
A fundamental aspect of human cognition is the ability to parse our constantly unfolding experience into meaningful representations of dynamic events and to communicate about these events with others. How do we communicate about events we have experienced? Influential theories of language production assume that the formulation and articulation of a linguistic message is preceded by preverbal apprehension that captures core aspects of the event. Yet the nature of these preverbal event representations and the way they are mapped (...) onto language are currently not well understood. Here, we review recent evidence on the link between event conceptualization and language, focusing on two core aspects of event representation: event roles and event boundaries. Empirical evidence in both domains shows that the cognitive representation of events aligns with the way these aspects of events are encoded in language, providing support for the presence of deep homologies between linguistic and cognitive event structure. (shrink)
This extended investigation of the semantics of event (and state) sentences in their various forms is a major contribution to the semantics of natural language, simultaneously encompassing important issues in linguistics, philosophy, and logic. It develops the view that the logical forms of simple English sentences typically contain quantification over events or states and shows how this view can account for a wide variety of semantic phenomena. Focusing on the structure of meaning in English sentences at a &"subatomic&" level&-that (...) is, a level below the one most theories accept as basic or &"atomic&"&-Parsons asserts that the semantics of simple English sentences require logical forms somewhat more complex than is normally assumed in natural language semantics. His articulation of underlying event theory explains a wide variety of apparently diverse semantic characteristics of natural language, and his development of the theory shows the importance of seeing the distinction between events and states. Parsons demonstrates that verbs, also, indicate kinds of actions rather than specific, individual actions. Verb phrases, too, he argues, depend on modifiers to make their function and meaning in a sentence specific. An appendix gives many of the details needed to formalize the theory discussed in the body of the text and provides a series of templates that permit the generation of atomic formulas of English. (shrink)
We present in this paper a novel ontological theory of events whose central tenet is the Aristotelian distinction between the object that changes and the actual subject of change, which is what we call an individual quality. While in the Kimian tradition events are individuated by a triple ⟨ o, P, t ⟩, where o is an object, P a property, and t an interval of time, for us the simplest events are qualitative changes, individuated by a triple ⟨ o, (...) q, t ⟩, where q is an individual quality inhering in o or in one of its parts. Detaching the individuation of events from the property they exemplify results in a fine-grained theory that keeps metaphysics and semantics clearly separate, and lies between the multiplicative and the unitarian approaches. We discuss then the way language refers to events, observing that, in most cases, event descriptions refer to complex, cognitively relevant clusters of co-occurring qualitative changes, which exhibit a synchronic structure depending on the way they are described. Contra Bennett, who famously argued that the semantics of event names ultimately depends on “local context and unprincipled intuitions”, we show how the lexicon provides systematic principles for individuating such clusters and classifying them into kinds. Finally, we address some open challenges in the semantics of locative and manner modifiers. (shrink)
Events and event prediction are pivotal concepts across much of cognitive science, as demonstrated by the papers in this special issue. We first discuss how the study of events and the predictive processing framework may fruitfully inform each other. We then briefly point to some links to broader philosophical questions about events.
In this study of events and their places in our language and thought, Bennett propounds and defends views about what kind of item an event is, how the language of events works, and about how these two themes are interrelated. He argues that most of the supposedly metaphysical literature is really about the semantics of their names, and that the true metaphysic of events--known by Leibniz and rediscovered by Kim--has not been universally accepted because it has been tarred with (...) the brush of a false semantic theory. (shrink)
Whether non-human animals can have episodic memories remains the subject of extensive debate. A number of prominent memory researchers defend the view that animals do not have the same kind of episodic memory as humans do, whereas others argue that some animals have episodic-like memory—i.e., they can remember what, where and when an event happened. Defining what constitutes episodic memory has proven to be difficult. In this paper, I propose a dual systems account and provide evidence for a distinction (...) between event memory and episodic memory. Event memory is a perceptual system that evolved to support adaptive short-term goal processing, whereas episodic memory is based on narratives, which bind event memories into a retrievable whole that is temporally and causally organized around subject’s goals. I argue that carefully distinguishing event memory from episodic memory can help resolve the debate. (shrink)
This paper argues that a counterpart-theoretic treatment of events, combined with a counterfactual theory of causation, can help resolve three puzzles from the causation literature. First, CCT traces the apparent contextual shifts in our causal attributions to shifts in the counterpart relation which obtains in those contexts. Second, being sensitive to shifts in the counterpart relation can help diagnose what goes wrong in certain prominent examples where the transitivity of causation appears to fail. Third, CCT can help us resurrect the (...) much-maligned fragility response to the problems of late pre-emption by understanding fragility in counterpart-theoretic terms. Some reasons to prefer this CCT approach to rivals are discussed. (shrink)
Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s settling of whether certain states-of-affairs obtain on a particular occasion can be reduced to the causing of events by certain mental events or states, such as certain desires, beliefs and/or intentions. Agent-causal libertarians disagree. A common critique against event-causal libertarian accounts is that the agent’s role of settling matters is left unfilled and the agent “disappears” from such accounts—a problem known as the disappearing agent problem. Recently, Franklin has argued that an “enriched” (...)event-causal account can overcome this problem. Franklin, however, doesn’t consider whether, as Pereboom argues, the agent as decider of “torn decisions” disappears from even enriched accounts. As I show here, Franklin’s enriched account takes some modifying if it is to overcome Pereboom’s torn decision problem—a special case of the disappearing agent problem. However, as I also show, there is a more fundamental problem facing event-causal libertarian accounts. It is implausible that an agent qua event or state simultaneously settles whether and how she intervenes. The upshot is that events and/or states lack an ability essential to completely fulfilling an agent’s role qua settler. This isn’t a problem for agent-causal accounts like the one offered by Steward because in as much as an agent qua substance settles whether her body moves in certain ways on certain occasions she simultaneously settles whether and how she intervenes. As a consequence, event-causal libertarians face a dilemma, or rather several, that agent-causal libertarians do not. This may ultimately be explained by the irreducibility of causation by agents to causation by events. (shrink)
A critical review of the main themes arising out of recent literature on the semantics of ordinary event talk. The material is organized in four sections: (i) the nature of events, with emphasis on the opposition between events as particulars and events as universals; (ii) identity and indeterminacy, with emphasis on the unifier/multiplier controversy; (iii) events and logical form, with emphasis on Davidson’s treatment of the form of action sentences; (iv) linguistic applications, with emphasis on issues concerning aspectual phenomena, (...) the telicity/atelicity distinction, the treatment of statives, and temporal quantification. (shrink)
The semantics of our event talk is a complex affair. What is it that we are talking about when we speak of Brutus’s stabbing of Caesar? Exactly where and when did it take place? Was it the same event as the killing of Caesar? Some take questions such as these to be metaphysical questions. I think they are questions of semantics—questions about the way we talk and about what we mean. And I think that this conflict between metaphysic (...) and semantic concerns is indicative of a “deep indeterminacy” (Bennett’s phrase) in our event concept. We do talk about events; but what events a statement is about is not something that can be inferred from the event names we use; it depends heavily (more heavily than with ordinary material objects) on local context and unprincipled intuitions. This paper illustrates this view in connection with two examples: the phenomenon of vagueness and the dispute over identity statements. (shrink)
This chapter analyzes the concept of an event and of event representation as an umbrella notion. It provides an overview of different ways events have been dealt with in philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science. This variety of positions has been construed in part as the result of different descriptive and explanatory projects. It is argued that various types of notions — common-sense, theoretically revised, scientific, and internalist psychological — be kept apart.
The paper explicates unique events and investigates their epistemology. Explications of unique events as individuated, different, and emergent are philosophically uninteresting. Unique events are topics of why-questions that radically underdetermine all their potential explanations. Uniqueness that is relative to a level of scientific development is differentiated from absolute uniqueness. Science eliminates relative uniqueness by discovery of recurrence of events and properties, falsification of assumptions of why-questions, and methodological simplification e.g. by explanatory methodological reduction. Finally, an overview of contemporary philosophical disputes (...) that hinge on issues of uniqueness emphasizes its philosophical significance. (shrink)
The familiar Vendler-Kenny scheme of verb-types, viz., performances (further differentiated by Vedler into accomplishments and achievements), activities, and states, is too narrow in two important respects. First, it is narrow linguistically. It fails to take into account the phenomenon of verb aspect. The trichotomy is not one of verbs as lexical types but of predications. Second, the trichotomy is narrow ontologically. It is a specification in the context of human agency of the more fundamental, topic-neutral trichotomy, event-process-state.The central component (...) in this ontological trichotomy, event, can be sharply differentiated from its two flanking components by adapting a suggestion by Geoffrey N. Leech and others that the contrast between perfective and imperfective aspect in verbs corresponds to the count/mass distinction in the domain of nouns. With the help of two distinctions, of cardinal count adverbials versus frequency adverbials, and of occurrence versus associated occasion, two interrelated criteria for event predication are developed. Accordingly, Mary capsized the boat is an event predication because (a) it is equivalent to There was at least one capsizing of the boat by Mary, or (b) because it admits cardinal count adverbials, e.g., at least once, twice, three times. Ontologically speaking, events are defined as those occurrences that are inherently countable. (shrink)
A “conceptual spaces” approach is used to formalize Aristotle’s main intuitions about time and change, and other ideas about temporal points of view. That approach has been used in earlier studies about points of view. Properties of entities are represented by locations in multidimensional conceptual spaces; and concepts of entities are identified with subsets or regions of conceptual spaces. The dimensions of the spaces, called “determinables”, are qualities in a very general sense. A temporal element is introduced by adding a (...) time variable to state functions that map entities into conceptual spaces. That way, states may have some permanency or stability around time instances. Following Aristotle’s intuitions, changes and events will not be necessarily instant phenomena, instead they could be processual and interval dependent. Change is defined relatively to the interval during which the change is taking place. Time intervals themselves are taken to represent points of view. To have a point of view is to look at the world as it is in the selected interval. Many important concepts are relativized to intervals, for instance change, events, identity, ontology, potentiality, etc. The definition of points of view as intervals allows to compare points of view in relation to all these concepts. The conceptual space approach has an immediate semantic and structural character, but it is tempting to develop also logics to describe them. A formal language is introduced to show how this could be done. (shrink)
Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s freely bringing about a choice is reducible to states and events involving him bringing about the choice. Agent-causal libertarians demur, arguing that free will requires that the agent be irreducibly causally involved. Derk Pereboom and Meghan Griffith have defended agent-causal libertarianism on this score, arguing that since on event-causal libertarianism an agent’s contribution to his choice is exhausted by the causal role of states and events involving him, and since these states and (...) events leave it open which decision he will make, he does not settle which decision occurs, and thus “disappears.” My aim is to explain why this argument fails. In particular, I demonstrate that event-causal libertarians can dismantle the argument by enriching the reductive base in their analysis of free will to include a state that plays the functional role of the self-determining agent and with which the agent is identified. (shrink)
This volume covers a broad spectrum of research into the role of events in grammar. It addresses event arguments and thematic argument structure, the role of events in verbal aspectual distinctions, events and the distinction between stage and individual level predicates, and the role of events in the analysis of plurality and scope relations. It is of interest to scholars and students of theoretical linguistics, philosophers of language, computational linguists, and computer scientists.
Event concepts are unstructured atomic concepts that apply to event types. A paradigm example of such an event type would be that of diaper changing, and so a putative example of an atomic event concept would be DADDY'S-CHANGING-MY-DIAPER.1 I will defend two claims about such concepts. First, the conceptual claim that it is in principle possible to possess a concept such as DADDY'S-CHANGING-MY-DIAPER without possessing the concept DIAPER. Second, the empirical claim that we actually possess such (...) concepts and that they play an important role in our cognitive lives. The argument for the empirical claim has the form of an inference to the best explanation and is aimed at those who are already willing to attribute concepts and beliefs to infants and nonhuman animals. Many animals and prelinguistic infants seem capable of re-identifying event-types in the world, and they seem to store information about things happening at particular times and places. My account offers a plausible model of how such organisms are able to do this without attributing linguistically structured mental states to them. And although language allows adults to form linguistically structured mental representations of the world, there is no good reason to think that such structured representations necessarily replace the unstructured ones. There is also no good reason for a philosopher who is willing to explain the behavior of an organism by appealing to atomic concepts of individuals or kinds to not use a similar form of explanation when explaining the organism's capacity to recognize events. -/- We can form empirical concepts of individuals, kinds, properties, event-types, and states of affairs, among other things, and I assume that such concepts function like what François Recanati calls ‘mental files’ or what Ruth Millikan calls ‘substance concepts’ (Recanati 2012; Millikan 1999, 2000, 2017). To possess such a concept one must have a reliable capacity to re-identify the object in question, but this capacity of re-identification does not fix the reference of the concept. Such concepts allow us to collect and utilize useful information about things that we re-encounter in our environment. We can distinguish between a perception-action system and a perception-belief system, and I will argue that empirical concepts, including atomic event concepts, can play a role in both systems. The perception-action system involves the application of concepts in the service of (often skilled) action. We can think of the concept as a mental file containing motor-plans that can be activated once the individual recognizes that they are in a certain situation. In this way, recognizing something (whether an object or an event) as a token of a type, plays a role in guiding immediate action. The perception-belief system, in contrast, allows for the formation of beliefs that can play a role in deliberation and planning and in the formation of expectations. I distinguish between two particular types of belief which I call where-beliefs and when-beliefs, and I argue that we can model the formation of such perceptual beliefs in nonlinguistic animals and human infants in terms of the formation of a link between an empirical concept and a position on a cognitive map. According to the account offered, seemingly complex beliefs, such as a baby's belief that Daddy changed her diaper in the kitchen earlier, will not be linguistically structured. If we think that prelinguistic infants possess such concepts and are able to form such beliefs, it is likely that adults do too. The ability to form such beliefs does not require the capacity for public language, and we can model them in nonlinguistic terms; thus, we have no good reason to think of such beliefs as propositional attitudes. Of course, we can use sentences to refer to such beliefs, and thus it is possible to think of such beliefs as somehow relations to propositions. But it is not clear to me what is gained by this as we have a perfectly good way to think about the structure of such beliefs that does not involve any appeal to language. (shrink)
Abstract: The following is an outline of an emerging foundation for science that begins to explain living forms and their patterns of movement beyond the sphere of mechanistic interactions. Employing an event ontology based on a convergence of quantum physics and Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy, coupled with the controversial yet promising theory of formative causation, this development will explore possible influences on the outcomes of events beyond any combination of external forces, laws of Nature, and chance. If it (...) turns out there are no such additional influences--beyond mechanistic causes--it is difficult to see how agency or free will could exist. Assuming agency exists, as Whitehead apparently does, while committing to an event ontology in which process is fundamental leads to interesting questions about the natures of any entities that might participate in events. Furthermore, what might the purposes and agendas of such entities be based upon, beyond memory traces or DNA code? This ontological model, recognizing processes as fundamental, leads to a revised cosmology where the trajectory of a series of events may be due to more than rearrangement of material bits according to external forces and where goal-directed, recurring processes and the emergence of mind are not so surprising. Just as special relativity reduces to classical treatment when speeds slow down, this scientific model for a living world reduces to mechanistic materialism whenever conditions are more limited. Though this development is based on a philosophy of process, there are some dissimilarities with respect to Whitehead’s particular version. (shrink)
This monograph investigates the temporal interpretation of narrative discourse in two parts. The theme of the first part is narrative progression. It begins with a case study of the adverb ‘now’ and its interaction with the meaning of tense. The case study motivates an ontological distinction between events, states and times and proposes that ‘now’ seeks a prominent state that holds throughout the time described by the tense. Building on prior research, prominence is shown to be influenced by principles of (...) discourse coherence and two coherence principles, NARRATION and RESULT, are given a formally explicit characterization. The key innovation is a new method for testing the definitional adequacy of NARRATION and RESULT, namely by an abductive argument. This contribution opens a new way of thinking about how eventive and stative descriptions contribute to the perceived narrative progression in a discourse. -/- The theme of the second part of the monograph is the semantics and pragmatics of tense. A key innovation is that the present and past tenses are treated as scalar alternatives, a view that is motivated by adopting a particular hypothesis concerning stative predication. The proposed analysis accounts for tense in both matrix clauses and in complements of propositional attitudes, where the notorious double access reading arises. This reading is explored as part of a corpus study that provides a glimpse of how tense semantics interacts with Gricean principles and at-issueness. Several cross-linguistic predictions of the analysis are considered, including their consequences for the Sequence of Tense phenomenon and the Upper Limit Constraint. Finally, a hypothesis is provided about how tense meanings compose with temporal adverbs and verb phrases. Two influential analysis of viewpoint aspect are then compared in light of the hypothesis. (shrink)
events all seem to have something in common, metaphysically speaking, and some philosophers have inquired into what this common nature is. The main aim of a theory of events is to propose and defend an identity condition on events; that is, a condition under which two events are identical. For example, if Brutus kills Caesar by stabbing him, are there two events, the stabbing and the killing, or only one event? Each of the leading theories of events is surveyed (...) in this article. According to Jaegwon Kim, events are basically property instantiations. In contrast, Donald Davidson attempts to individuate events by their causes and effects. However, Davidson eventually rejects this view and, together with W.V.O. Quine, individuates events with respect to their location in spacetime. According to David Lewis, an event is a property of a spatiotemporal region. (shrink)
What is consciousness? Some philosophers have contended that ‘qualia’, or an experiential medium from which consciousness is derived, exists as a fundamental component of reality. Whitehead, for example, described the universe as being comprised of ‘occasions of experience’. To examine this possibility scientifically, the very nature of physical reality must be re-examined. We must come to terms with the physics of space-time -- as is described by Einstein's general theory of relativity -- and its relation to the fundamental theory of (...) matter -- as described by quantum theory. This leads us to employ a new physics of objective reduction: OR which appeals to a form of ‘quantum gravity’ to provide a useful description of fundamental processes at the quantum/classical borderline . Within the OR scheme, we consider that consciousness occurs if an appropriately organized system is able to develop and maintain quantum coherent superposition until a specific ‘objective’ criterion is reached; the coherent system then self-reduces . We contend that this type of objective self-collapse introduces non-computability, an essential feature of consciousness. OR is taken as an instantaneous event -- the climax of a self-organizing process in fundamental space-time -- and a candidate for a conscious Whitehead-like ‘occasion’ of experience. How could an OR process occur in the brain, be coupled to neural activities, and account for other features of consciousness? We nominate an OR process with the requisite characteristics to be occurring in cytoskeletal microtubules within the brain's neurons. (shrink)
There is a tradition, tracing back to Kant, of recasting metaphysical questions as questions about the utility of a conceptual scheme, linguistic framework, or methodological rule for achieving some particular end. Following in this tradition, I propose a ‘means-ends metaphysics ’, in which one rigorously demonstrates the suitability of some conceptual framework for achieving a specified goal. I illustrate this approach using a debate about the nature of events. Specifically, the question is whether the time at which an event (...) occurs is an essential property of that event. I argue that this question is naturally transformed into a question about the methodology of causal modeling. In this new framework, the question concerns what kind of variables to use to represent the effects of potential interventions on a system. This question has a demonstrably correct answer, which sheds new light on the original question. (shrink)
Most event-referring expressions are vague; it is utterly difficult, if not impossible, to specify the exact spatiotemporal location of an event from the words that we use to refer to it. We argue that in spite of certain prima facie obstacles, such vagueness can be given a purely semantic (broadly supervaluational) account.
There is an emerging view according to which countability is not an integral part of the lexical meaning of singular count nouns, but is ‘added on’ or ‘made available’, whether syntactically, semantically or both. This view has been pursued by Borer and Rothstein among others in order to deal with classifier languages such as Chinese as well as challenges to standard views of the mass-count distinction such as object mass nouns such as furniture. I will discuss a range of data, (...) partly from German, that such a grammar-based view of countability receives support when applied to verbs with respect to the event argument position. Verbs themselves fail to specify events as countable in English and related languages; instead countability is made available only by the use of the event classifier time or else particular lexical items, such as frequency expressions, German beides ‘both’, or the nominalizing light noun -thing. The paper will not adopt or elaborate a particular version of the grammar-based view of countability, but rather critically discuss existing versions and present two semantic options of elaborating the view. (shrink)
This paper takes off from a growing preoccupation in Western political-social philosophy on the thinkability of the materiality of change, that became most pronounced in Alain Badiou's philosophy of the event. It traces the development of the discourse of radical change tied to a materialist theory of subjectivity beginning from Badiou, down to the strong criticism posed against it by Slavoj Žižek. This is then followed by the discussion of Bruno Bosteels' potent defense of Badiou's philosophy. Finally, the last (...) part takes off from this debate and highlights how this tension in Badiou's philosophy was possible in the first place. Using Adrian Johnston's key insight on pre-evental and post-evental time, this paper argues that Žižek and Bosteels respectively employ pre-evental and post-evental lenses in reading the relation of event to being. Furthermore, these two lenses are themselves the effect of the split readability of the event at the moment of its rupture: the parallax-effect that divides the event into two. This paper asserts that neither of the two is sufficient. Both are fundamental in outlining what sort of sustained disciplines are necessary before and after events take place. (shrink)
Статья посвящена исследованию event-менеджмента в управлении развитием туризма. Раскрыт потенциал event-менеджмента в сфере туризма. Изучен событийный туризм и его перспективы развития на украинском рынке туристических услуг.
Events and situations are represented by strings of temporally ordered observations, on the basis of which the events and situations are recognized. Allen’s basic interval relations are derived from superposing strings that mark interval boundaries, and Kamp’s event structures are constructed as projective limits of strings. Observations are generalized to temporal propositions, leading to event-types that classify event-instances. Working with sets of strings built from temporal propositions, we obtain natural notions of bounded entailment from set inclusions. These (...) inclusions are decidable if the sets are accepted by finite automata. (shrink)
Violence is signaled by a mark of discontinuity, interruption, rupture. The tripartite temporality of violence, with its strong focus on the present, points to the originary violence. Moreover, the violent event is structuring the order of the action sequences in an actual violent (embodied) interaction. The interactional dynamics in violent encounters between co-present actors shapes the specific forms of the experiencing in (and of) the violent interaction. Based on how violence is experienced in an interactive situation, the phenomenon of (...) violence articulates itself according to three coordinates: directedness, co-performativity and de-capabilisation. The outlining of the structure of the lived experience of violence is revealing something irreducible in it. To understand the experience of violence as such, I propose that we accept the idea of violence per se and depart from the idea that the acts of violence are essentially moral actions. The core of the ethical-moral discussion concerning violence should be grounded instead on the moment of conversion identifiable when we take into account the reaction to violence. (shrink)
Dynamic events such as a rolling ball moving from one place to another involve change and time intervals and thus presumably successions of static events occurring one after the other, e.g., the ball’s being at a certain place and then at another place during the interval in question. When dynamic events are experienced they should count as present and thus as existent from a presentist point of view. But this seems to imply the existence of the static events involved in (...) them. This in turn seems to imply that there exist past and perhaps even future static events. Therefore, there is a problem for presentism. A possible way out for the presentist is proposed, based on allowing for time-indexed past-oriented and future-oriented properties. One may raise objections regarding the ontological status of these properties and the commitment to past and future objects and times that they seem to bring with them, but these objections can be put to rest. (shrink)
It is a matter of dispute whether we should acknowledge the existence of two distinct species of causation – event causation and agent causation – and, if we should, whether either species of causation is reducible to the other. In this paper, the prospects for such a reduction either way are considered, the conclusion being that a reduction of event causation to agent causation is the more promising option. Agent causation, in the sense understood here, is taken to (...) include but not to be restricted to the intentional causation of an event by a rational agent. But, it is argued, there are certain special features of intentional causation, understood as a sub-species of agent causation, which make the agent-causation approach to human agency a particularly promising one with which to tackle the problem of free will. (shrink)
Much of our behavior is guided by our understanding of events. We perceive events when we observe the world unfolding around us, participate in events when we act on the world, simulate events that we hear or read about, and use our knowledge of events to solve problems. In this book, Gabriel A. Radvansky and Jeffrey M. Zacks provide the first integrated framework for event cognition and attempt to synthesize the available psychological and neuroscience data surrounding it. This synthesis (...) leads to new proposals about several traditional areas in psychology and neuroscience including perception, attention, language understanding, memory, and problem solving.Radvansky and Zacks have written this book with a diverse readership in mind. It is intended for a range of researchers working within cognitive science including psychology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, anthropology, and education. Readers curious about events more generally such as those working in literature, film theory, and history will also find it of interest. (shrink)
Nominalizations are expressions that are particularly challenging philosophically in that they help form singular terms that seem to refer to abstract or derived objects often considered controversial. The three standard views about the semantics of nominalizations are  that they map mere meanings onto objects,  that they refer to implicit arguments, and  that they introduce new objects, in virtue of their compositional semantics. In the second case, nominalizations do not add anything new but pick up objects that would (...) be present anyway in the semantic structure of a corresponding sentence without a nominalization. In the first and third case, nominalizations in a sense ‘create’ new objects’, enriching the ontology on the basis of the meaning of expressions. I will argue that there is a fourth kind of nominalization which requires a quite different treatment. These are nominalizations that introduce ‘new’ objects, but only partially characterize them. Such nominalizations generally refer to events or tropes. I will explore an account according on which such nominalizations refer to truth makers. (shrink)
We address the problem of observables in generally invariant spacetime theories such as Einstein’s general relativity. Using the refined notion of an event as a “point-coincidence” between scalar fields that completely characterise a spacetime model, we propose a generalisation of the relational local observables that does not require the existence of four everywhere invertible scalar fields. The collection of all point-coincidences forms in generic situations a four-dimensional manifold, that is naturally identified with the physical spacetime.
Helen Steward puts forward a radical critique of the foundations of contemporary philosophy of mind, arguing that it relies too heavily on insecure assumptions about the sorts of things there are in the mind--events, processes, and states. She offers a fresh investigation of these three categories, clarifying the distinctions between them, and argues that the category of state has been very widely and seriously misunderstood.