7 found
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  1. Tracing thick and thin concepts through corpora.Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter, Lucien Baumgartner & Pascale Willemsen - 2024 - Language and Cognition.
    Philosophers and linguists currently lack the means to reliably identify evaluative concepts and measure their evaluative intensity. Using a corpus-based approach, we present a new method to distinguish evaluatively thick and thin adjectives like ‘courageous’ and ‘awful’ from descriptive adjectives like ‘narrow,’ and from value-associated adjectives like ‘sunny.’ Our study suggests that the modifiers ‘truly’ and ‘really’ frequently highlight the evaluative dimension of thick and thin adjectives, allowing for them to be uniquely classified. Based on these results, we believe our (...)
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  2. Conspiracy theories are not theories: Time to rename conspiracy theories.Kevin Reuter & Lucien Baumgartner - forthcoming - In Manuel Gustavo Isaac, Steffen Koch & Kevin Scharp (eds.), New Perspectives on Conceptual Engineering. Springer.
    This paper presents the results of two corpus studies investigating the discourse surrounding conspiracy theories and genuine theories. The results of these studies show that conspiracy theories lack the epistemic and scientific standing characteristic of theories more generally. Instead, our findings indicate that conspiracy theories are spread in a manner that resembles the dissemination of rumors and falsehoods. Based on these empirical results, we argue that it is time for both re-engineering conspiracy theory and for relabeling "conspiracy theory". We propose (...)
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  3.  31
    The polarity effect of evaluative language.Lucien Baumgartner, Pascale Https://Orcidorg Willemsen & Kevin Https://Orcidorg Reuter - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology.
    Recent research on thick terms like “rude” and “friendly” has revealed a polarity effect, according to which the evaluative content of positive thick terms like “friendly” and “courageous” can be more easily canceled than the evaluative content of negative terms like “rude” and “selfish”. In this paper, we study the polarity effect in greater detail. We first demonstrate that the polarity effect is insensitive to manipulations of embeddings (Study 1). Second, we show that the effect occurs not only for thick (...)
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  4.  14
    Examining evaluativity in legal discourse: a comparative corpus-linguistic study of thick concepts.Pascale Willemsen, Lucien Baumgartner, Severin Frohofer & Kevin Reuter - 2023 - In Stefan Magen & Karolina Prochownik (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Law. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 192-214.
    How evaluative are legal texts? Do legal scholars and jurists speak a more descriptive or perhaps a more evaluative language? In this paper, we present the results of a corpus study in which we examined the use of evaluative language in both the legal domain as well as public discourse. For this purpose, we created two corpora. Our legal professional corpus is based on court opinions from the U.S. Courts of Appeals. We compared this professional corpus to a public corpus, (...)
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  5.  16
    Evaluative Deflation, Social Expectations, and the Zone of Moral Indifference.Pascale Willemsen, Lucien Baumgartner, Bianca Cepollaro & Kevin Reuter - 2024 - Cognitive Science 48 (1):e13406.
    Acts that are considered undesirable standardly violate our expectations. In contrast, acts that count as morally desirable can either meet our expectations or exceed them. The zone in which an act can be morally desirable yet not exceed our expectations is what we call the zone of moral indifference, and it has so far been neglected. In this paper, we show that people can use positive terms in a deflated manner to refer to actions in the zone of moral indifference, (...)
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  6. The meaning of ‘reasonable’: Evidence from a corpus-linguistic study.Lucien Baumgartner & Markus Kneer - forthcoming - In Kevin P. Tobia (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Experimental Jurisprudence. Cambridge University Press.
    The reasonable person standard is key to both Criminal Law and Torts. What does and does not count as reasonable behavior and decision-making is frequently deter- mined by lay jurors. Hence, laypeople’s understanding of the term must be considered, especially whether they use it predominately in an evaluative fashion. In this corpus study based on supervised machine learning models, we investigate whether laypeople use the expression ‘reasonable’ mainly as a descriptive, an evaluative, or merely a value-associated term. We find that (...)
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  7.  18
    The pragmatic view on dual character concepts and expressions.Lucien Baumgartner - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    This article introduces a new pragmatic framework for dual character concepts and their expressions, offering an alternative to the received lexical‐semantic view. On the prevalent lexical‐semantic view, expressions such as “philosopher” or “scientist” are construed as lexical polysemes, comprising both a descriptive and a normative dimension. Thereby, this view prioritizes established norms, neglecting normative expressions emerging in specific contexts. In contrast, the pragmatic view integrates pragmatic modulation as a central element in explaining context‐dependent dual character concepts and expressions. This not (...)
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