Generic sentences (e.g., bare plural sentences such as “dogs have four legs” and “mosquitoes carry malaria”) are used to talk about kinds of things. Three experiments investigated the conceptual foundations of generics as well as claims within the formal semantic approaches to generics concerning the roles of prevalence, cue validity and normalcy in licensing generics. Two classes of generic sentences that pose challenges to both the conceptually based and formal semantic approaches to generics were investigated. Striking property generics (e.g. “sharks (...) bite swimmers”) are true even though only a tiny minority of instances have the property and thus pose obvious problems for quantificational approaches, and they also do not seem to characterize kinds in terms of the principled or statistical connections investigated in previous research ( Prasada and Dillingham, 2006 ; Prasada and Dillingham, 2009). The second class — minority characteristic generics (e.g. “ducks lay eggs”) — also poses serious problems for quantificational accounts, and appears to involve principled connections even though fewer than half of its instances have the relevant property. The experiments revealed three principal discoveries: first, striking generics involve neither principled nor statistical connections. Instead, they involve a causal connection between a kind and a property. Second, minority characteristic generics exhibit the characteristics of principled connections, which suggests that principled connections license the expectation that most instances will have the property, but do not require it. Finally, the experiments also provided evidence that prevalence and the acceptability of generics may be dissociated and provided data that are problematic for normalcy approaches to generics, and for the idea that cue validity licenses low prevalence generics. As such, the studies provided evidence in favor of a conceptually based approach to the semantics of generics ( Leslie, 2007 ; Leslie, 2008; see also Carlson, 2009). (shrink)
Since Aristotle, many writers have treated metaphors and similes as equals: any metaphor can be paraphrased as a simile, and vice-versa. This property of metaphors is the basis for psycholinguistic comparison theories of metaphor comprehension. However, if metaphors cannot always be paraphrased as similes, then comparison theories must be abandoned. The different forms of a metaphor—the comparison and categorical forms—have different referents. In comparison form, the metaphor vehicle refers to the literal concept, e.g. 'in my lawyer is like a shark', (...) the term 'shark' refers to the literal fish. In categorical form, 'my lawyer is a shark', 'shark' refers to an abstract (metaphorical) category of predatory creatures. This difference in reference makes it possible for a metaphor and its corresponding simile to differ (a) in interpretability and (b) in meaning. Because a metaphor cannot always be understood in terms of its corresponding simile, we conclude that comparison theories of metaphor are fundamentally flawed. (shrink)
Pickering & Garrod (P&G) argue that language processing in dialogue is in principle easier than in monologue. Although dialogue situations may provide more opportunities for facilitative priming, those priming mechanisms are also available in monologue situations. In both cases, the interactive alignment model calls strict modular accounts of language processing into serious question.
Neither art criticism nor a scholar’s monograph on an artist, Jean-François Lyotard’s Sam Francis: Lesson of Darkness: ‘like the paintings of a blind man’ is a reflection that engages both the painter and 43 of his works into a conversation alternating painting and aphoristic writing. Their order follows neither the chronology of the works nor a linear argument in the prose. And yet, the work generates the strongest feeling of there being a continuity in this peculiar dialogue of pictures and (...) poeticism, a continuity not clearly presented by logic, but one concerning what remains unpresented in presentation. The conversation is revelatory of their shared concerns with the energetic force of absence and is fascinating. (shrink)
Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse This essay argues that common metaphors and metaphoric phrases used in biopolitical discourse limit how meanings are constructed by framing messages narrowly: so much so, that alternate readings are delimited, resulting in less opportunity for cognitive scrutiny of such messages. We moor our discussion of metaphors in cognitive linguistics, building on three decades of research by scholars including Sam Glucksberg, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, and Ray Gibbs, Jr., demonstrating how research in framing effects (...) bolsters our claims of limited entailments resulting from message construction. By situating our discussion of framing in biopolitics we make a case that metaphors including Frankenfood, designer baby, vegetative state and death tax address how life and death are "managed" in discourse. In this essay we demonstrate ways in which the framing of some metaphors in social discourse slip under readers' and viewers' cognitive radars, and thus become "under-the-radar metaphors.". (shrink)
Sam Harris’ new book “The Moral Landscape” is the latest in a series of attempts to provide a new “science of morality.” This essay argues that such a project is unlikely to succeed, using Harris’ text as an example of the major philosophical problems that would be faced by any such theory. In particular, I argue that those trying to construct a scientific ethics need pay far more attention to the tradition of moral philosophy, rather than assuming the debate is (...) simply between a scientific ethics and a “supernatural” ethics provided by religion. (shrink)
Sometimes the right book finds you at the right time, and it shifts your perception of a familiar subject just a little, just enough to make a difference. It reminds you of something important you haven’t thought of in a while, or it shows you a new way of looking at and interacting with the world. Last winter, for me, that book was The Disappearing Spoon, by Sam Kean. I heard a very fuzzy description of the book at a holiday (...) party, something about the periodic table and political history. As someone eternally interested in chemistry and its impact on society at large, I was intrigued. (shrink)
Sam Kean: The disappearing spoon: and other true tales of madness, love, and the history of the world from the periodic table of the elements Content Type Journal Article Pages 77-77 DOI 10.1007/s10698-010-9101-x Authors Michael Laing, School of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4041 South Africa Journal Foundations of Chemistry Online ISSN 1572-8463 Print ISSN 1386-4238 Journal Volume Volume 13 Journal Issue Volume 13, Number 1.
This paper investigates whether relative corporate sustainability as measured by the SAM sustainability ranking and sustainability reporting in terms of Global Reporting Initiative application levels are associated with a higher market valuation. We conduct a value relevance study for the 600 largest European companies with the Feltham and Ohlson valuation model as a reference point. Our results indicate that for the observation period 2001 to 2011, the association between corporate sustainability and market value is positive. The empirical evidence of a (...) positive relationship between GRI reporting and market value is statistically significant in some but not all of the model specifications. We find no evidence of interaction between the value relevance of corporate sustainability and sustainability reporting, nor do we find any positive effect of external assurance on the capital market perception of GRI application levels. Our results support the notion that conducting business in accordance with ethical norms is also a shareholder value-increasing business strategy. However, it is not possible to verify the information given in sustainability reports through external assurance. (shrink)
El manuscrito anónimo n.° XVIII de la colección Gayangos es una compilación que consiste en partes de dos obras: Futuh al-Sam de (ps.) al-Waqidi y una obra sin título de Abu `Umar al-Talamanki. Un análisis del texto revela que la "compilación" de Talamanki no es una obra original suya, sino una transmisión del controvertido texto de Abu Isma`il al-Azdi, también titulado Futuh al-Sam. La obra de al-Azdi fue considerada por muchos estudiosos como un fraude de la época de las Cruzadas. (...) La transmisión de al-Talamanki, que murió décadas antes de la Primera Cruzada, demuestra que la obra de al-Azdi es más temprana, dando de ese modo fin a la controversia. Otras citas de al-Azdi recién descubiertas también apoyan esta conclusión. También se investigan los isnads del manuscrito anónimo cuyos eslabones más antiguos coinciden con los de la obra de al-Azdi, algunos de los cuales, hasta ahora desconocidos, identificamos. El texto manuscrito es cotejado con las versiones publicadas de Futuh al-Sam de al-Azdi y las innumerables variantes prueban que esta obra se transmitió en varias versiones (riwaya). El análisis del manuscrito y el cotejo desvelan algunos de los procesos que intervienen el la construcción de los textos . (shrink)
This essay attempts to clarify the distinction between property and sovereignty, and to bring out the importance of that distinction to a liberal nationalism. Beginning with common intuitions about what distinguishes our rights to our possessions from the state's rightful governance over us, it proceeds to explore some historical sources of these intuitions, and the importance of a sharp distinction between ownership and governance to the rise of liberalism. From here, the essay moves into an exploration of group ownership, and (...) the ways in which group ownership can in practice turn into an illiberal kind of sovereignty The point is to shed new light on problems that nationalist states — states purporting to represent or foster a particular group identity — characteristically face. Examples of these problems, from the Israel/Palestine conflict, are put forth in the conclusion. (shrink)
Introduction : time, film, and the ethical vision of Emmanuel Levinas. American transcendence : Levinas and a short history of an American idea in film -- Frank Capra and James Stewart : time, transcendence, and the other -- The changing face of American redemption : Henry Fonda, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, and Denzel Washington -- Sex, art, and Oedipus : The unbearable lightness of being -- Fellini and La dolce vita : documentary, decadence, and desire -- Antonioni and L'avventura : (...) transcendence, the body, and the feminine. (shrink)
_Zero's Neighbour_ is Hélène Cixous's tribute to the minimalist genius of the artist in exile who courted nothingness in his writing like nobody else: Samuel Beckett. In this unabashedly personal odyssey through a sizeable range of his novels, plays and poems, Cixous celebrates Beckett’s linguistic flair and the poignant, powerful thrust of his stylistic terseness, and passionately declares her love for his unrivalled expression of the meaningless ‘precious little’ of life, its unfathomable banality ending in chaos and death. Poised between (...) a critical essay and a textual performance across two languages adapting Beckett's own literary vein, this book will appeal to scholars, critics and creative writers as well as students of the ‘grey self-Sam’. Its allusive intertextual insights will also prove to be of critical relevance to readers of Dante and Proust, among other literary figures, as much as to those appreciative of Cixous’s own inimitable genius for dissecting the quintessence of the life and works of a ‘neighbourly’ artist. (shrink)
Set in 2029, The Education of Sam Sanders tells the story of an 8th grader searching for meaning in his school experiences. In a public school system beset by the finality and rigidity of standardized tests and curriculums, Sam Sanders, with the help of his teacher and mother, defies the system and creates something new: a curriculum that enlightens rather than categorizes students. In this hopeful yet frightening look at an educational future not too far from our own, we encounter (...) the high cost of inquiry-oriented learning and the even higher cost of a system that suppresses it. (shrink)