Noun phrases with overt determiners, such as <i>some apples</i> or <i>a quantity of milk</i>, differ from bare noun phrases like <i>apples</i> or <i>milk</i> in their contribution to aspectual composition. While this has been attributed to syntactic or algebraic properties of these noun phrases, such accounts have explanatory shortcomings. We suggest instead that the relevant property that distinguishes between the two classes of noun phrases derives from two modes of existential quantification, one of which holds the values of a variable fixed (...) throughout a quantificational context while the other allows them to vary. Inspired by Dynamic Plural Logic and Dependence Logic, we propose Plural Predicate Logic as an extension of Predicate Logic to formalize this difference. We suggest that temporal <i>for</i>-adverbials are sensitive to aspect because of the way they manipulate quantificational contexts, and that analogous manipulations occur with spatial <i>for</i>-adverbials, habituals, and the quantifier <i>all</i>. (shrink)
In Beck, focus intervention is used as an argument for reducing Hamblin’s semantics for questions to Rooth’s focus semantics. Drawing on novel empirical evidence from Mandarin and English, we argue that this reduction is unwarranted. Maintaining both Hamblin’s original semantics and Rooth’s focus semantics not only allows for a more adequate account for focus intervention in questions, but also correctly predicts that focus intervention is a very general phenomenon caused by interaction of alternatives in different dimensions.
A major controversy in the study of the "Analects" has been over the relation between two central concepts, ren (humanity, human excellence) and li (rites, rituals of propriety). Confucius seems to have said inconsistent things about this relation. Some passages appear to suggest that ren is more fundamental than li, while others seem to imply the contrary. It is therefore not surprising that there have been different interpretations and characterizations of this relation. Using the analogy of language grammar and mastery (...) of a language, it is proposed here that we should understand li as a cultural grammar and ren as the mastery of a culture. In this account, society cultivates its members through li toward the goal of ren, and persons of ren manifest their human excellence through their practice of li. (shrink)
One aspect of the intellectual changes taking place in China in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was the emergence of utilitarian ideas. Although it may be useful to think of modern Chinese thought from the perspective of the emergence of social Darwinism and nationalism, it is significant that the country's most progressive scholars at the turn of thecentury derived their inspiration from utilitarianism. Utilitarianism was accepted as a weapon with which to challenge traditional social, political, and cultural ideas, (...) and to justify social and political reforms. (shrink)