This paper gives an outline of truthmaker semantics for natural language against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics. It develops a truthmaker semantics for attitude reports and deontic modals based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of such objects. It also présents new motivations for 'object-based truthmaker semantics' from intensional transitive verbs such as ‘need’, ‘look for’, ‘own’, and ‘buy’ and gives an outline of their semantics. This paper is (...) a commissioned 'target' article, with commentaries by W. Davis, B. Arsenijevic, K. Moulton, K. Liefke, M. Kaufmann, R. Matthews, P. Portner and A. Rubinstein, P. Elliott, G. Ramchand and my reply. (shrink)
This is a reply to the commentaries on my paper 'Truthmaker Semantics for Natural Language: Attitude Verbs, Modals, and Intensional Transitive Verbs'. The paper is a commissioned 'target' article, with commentaries by W. Davis, B. Arsenijevic, K. Moulton, K. Liefke, M. Kaufman, R. Matthews, P. Portner and A. Rubinstein, P. Elliott, and G. Ramchand.
Philosophers frequently draw on natural language to motivate properties, numbers, and propositions as objects, and it is generally taken for granted that abstract objects of this sort are well-reflected in natural language and in fact that reference to them in natural language is pervasive In this paper, I will review and modify in a certain way the view I had advanced in Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language (Moltmann 2013a). This is the view that natural language permits reference (...) to abstract objects only in its periphery, not in its core. Even though reference to abstract objects of the sort of properties, propositions, and numbers is available only in the periphery of language, natural language permits reference to other sorts of abstract objects in its core, in particular abstract artifacts of various sorts. (shrink)
The notions of part and whole play an important role for ontology and in many areas of the semantics of natural language. Both in philosophy and linguistic semantics, usually a particular notion of part structure is used, that of extensional mereology. This paper argues that such a notion is insufficient for ontology and, especially, for the semantic analysis of the relevant constructionsof natural language. What is needed for the notion of part structure,in addition to an ordering among parts, is the (...) notion of integrated whole. (shrink)
This book pursues the question of how and whether natural language allows for reference to abstract objects in a fully systematic way. By making full use of contemporary linguistic semantics, it presents a much greater range of linguistic generalizations than has previously been taken into consideration in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological picture is very different from that generally taken for granted by philosophers and semanticists alike. Reference to abstract objects such as properties, numbers, propositions, and degrees (...) is considerably more marginal than generally held. (shrink)
The paper introduces the communication view on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which regards CSR as communicatively constructed in dynamic interaction processes in today’s networked societies. Building on the idea that communication constitutes organizations we discuss the potentially indeterminate, disintegrative, and conflictual character of CSR. We hereby challenge established mainstream views on CSR such as the instrumental view, which regards CSR as an organizational instrument to reach organizational aims such as improved reputation and financial performance, and the political-normative view on CSR, (...) which highlights the societal conditions and role of corporations in creating norms. We argue that both the established views, by not sufficiently acknowledging communication dynamics in networked societies, remain biased in three ways: control-biased, consistency-biased, and consensus-biased. We discuss implications of these biases and propose a future research agenda for the communication view on CSR. (shrink)
One of the goals of computerized tutoring systems is to optimize the learning of facts. Over a hundred years of declarative memory research have identified two robust effects that can improve such systems: the spacing and the testing effect. By making optimal use of both and adjusting the system to the individual learner using cognitive models based on declarative memory theories, such systems consistently outperform traditional methods. This adjustment process is driven by a continuously updated estimate of the rate of (...) forgetting for each item and learner on the basis of the learner's accuracy and response time. In this study, we investigated to what extent these estimates of individual rates of forgetting are stable over time and across different materials. We demonstrate that they are stable over time but not across materials. Even though most theories of human declarative memory assume a single underlying rate of forgetting, we show that, in practice, it makes sense to assume different materials are forgotten at different rates. If a computerized, adaptive fact-learning system allowed different rates of forgetting for different materials, it could adapt to individual learners more readily. (shrink)
Negative compatibility effects in the masked-prime paradigm are usually obtained when primes are masked effectively. With ineffective masks—and primes above the perceptual threshold—positive compatibility effects occur. We investigated whether this pattern reflects a causal relationship between conscious awareness and low-level motor control, or whether it reflects the fact that both are affected in the same way by changes in physical stimulus attributes. In a 5-session perceptual learning task, participants learned to consciously identify masked primes. However, they showed unaltered NCEs that (...) were not different from those produced by participants in a control group without equivalent perceptual learning. A control experiment demonstrated that no NCEs occur when prime identification is made possible by ineffective masking. The results suggest that perceptual awareness and low-level motor control are affected by the same factors, but are fundamentally independent of each other. (shrink)
This paper defends what the philosopher Merleau Ponty coins ‘the imaginary texture of the real’. It is suggested that the imagination is at work in the everyday world which we perceive, the world as it is for us. In defending this view a concept of the imagination is invoked which has both similarities with and differences from, our everyday notion. The everyday notion contrasts the imaginary and the real. The imaginary is tied to the fictional or the illusory. Here it (...) will be suggested, following both Kant and Strawson, that there is a more fundamental working of the imagination, present in both perception and the constructions of fictions. What Kant and Strawson failed to make clear, however, was that the workings of the imagination within the perceived world, gives that world, an affective logic. The domain of affect is that of emotions, feelings and desire, and to claim such an affective logic in the world we experience, is to point out that it has salience and significance for us. Such salience suggests and demands the desiring and sometimes fearful responses we make to it; the shape of the perceived world echoed in the shapes our bodies take within it. (shrink)
In order to explore one aspect of the engaging nature of computer games, this study will propose a method that aims at classifying the experience of engagement in video games. Inspired by a literature review, we will focus on the fundamental causes of engagement that motivate a player so much that he or she wants to continue playing. By organizing this willingness to continue playing into six broad types of causes of engagement—intellectual, physical, sensory, social, narrative, and emotional—we describe a (...) typology of player engagement and a method that is intended to map players’ experience of engagement while playing video games. The engagement mapping method is inspired by card sorting found from a perspective of usability testing, and in order to exemplify the use of the method, occurrences of the six types of engagement were investigated during gameplay in Angry Birds and Wii Sports. (shrink)
A common view is that natural language treats numbers as abstract objects, with expressions like the number of planets, eight, as well as the number eight acting as referential terms referring to numbers. In this paper I will argue that this view about reference to numbers in natural language is fundamentally mistaken. A more thorough look at natural language reveals a very different view of the ontological status of natural numbers. On this view, numbers are not primarily treated abstract objects, (...) but rather 'aspects' of pluralities of ordinary objects, namely number tropes, a view that in fact appears to have been the Aristotelian view of numbers. Natural language moreover provides support for another view of the ontological status of numbers, on which natural numbers do not act as entities, but rather have the status of plural properties, the meaning of numerals when acting like adjectives. This view matches contemporary approaches in the philosophy of mathematics of what Dummett called the Adjectival Strategy, the view on which number terms in arithmetical sentences are not terms referring to numbers, but rather make contributions to generalizations about ordinary (and possible) objects. It is only with complex expressions somewhat at the periphery of language such as the number eight that reference to pure numbers is permitted. (shrink)
Among the extensive literature on the first Critique, very few commentators offer a thorough analysis of Kant's conception of inner sense. This is quite surprising since the notion is central to Kant's theoretical philosophy, and it is very difficult to provide a consistent interpretation of this notion. In this paper, I first summarize Kant's claims about inner sense in the Transcendental Aesthetic and show why existing interpretations have been unable to dissolve the tensions arising from the conjunction of these claims. (...) Secondly, I present my own reconstruction of Kant's model of inner sense, relying essentially on Kantian considerations found in the B-version of the Transcendental Deduction. My main idea is that inner sense, for Kant, is a passive faculty that gets affected by the understanding performing its figurative synthesis on material given in outer sense. In the remainder of the paper, I highlight a few consequences of my interpretation and outline ways to deal with some objections. (shrink)
This chapter gives a truthmaker-based account of the semantics of 'reifying' quantifiers like 'something' when they act as complements of intensional transitive verbs ('need', 'look for'). It argues that such quantifiers range over 'variable satisfiers' of the attitudinal object described by the verb (e.g. the need or the search).
This book present a unified semantic theory of expressions involving the notions of part and whole. It develops a theory of part structures which differs from traditional (extensional) mereological theories in that the notion of an integrated whole plays a central role and in that the part structure of an entity is allowed to vary across different situations, perspectives, and dimensions. The book presents a great range of empirical generalizations involving plurals, mass nouns, adnominal and adverbial modifiers such as 'whole', (...) 'together', and 'alone', nominal and adverbial quanitfiers ranging over parts, and expressions of completion such as 'completely' and 'partly'. (shrink)
The concept of self-generated action is controversial, despite extensive study of its neural basis. Why is this concept so troublesome? We analyse the concept of self-generated action as employed by and. There are two definitions of self-generated action; as operant action and as underdetermined action. The latter draws on subjective experience. Experiments on action awareness suggest that experience may not be a good guide for defining self-generated action. Nevertheless, we agree with Passingham and colleagues that self-generated actions exist distinct from (...) operant actions. But defining ‘self-generated’ by the degree of involvement of an endogenous process risks regress. We sketch an alternative account of self-generated action that tries to avoid these problems to make self-generated actions accessible to experimental science. (shrink)
The most common account of attitude reports is the relational analysis according towhich an attitude verb taking that-clause complements expresses a two-placerelation between agents and propositions and the that-clause acts as an expressionwhose function is to provide the propositional argument. I will argue that a closerexamination of a broader range of linguistic facts raises serious problems for thisanalysis and instead favours a Russellian `multiple relations analysis' (which hasgenerally been discarded because of its apparent obvious linguistic implausibility).The resulting account can be (...) given independent philosophical motivations within anintentionalist view of truth and predication. (shrink)
Natural languages generally distinguishes among different existence predicates for different types of entities, such as English 'exist', 'occur', and 'obtain'. The paper gives an in-depth discussion and analysis of a range of existence predicates in natural language within the general project of descriptive metaphysics, or more specifically ‘natural language ontology’.