In a message posted to one of the cognitive science discussion groups the author asked, to paraphrase roughly, what should be read to get an up-to-date account of research into color naming? My advice is (and was) to consider the two books under review here: C. L. Hardin and LuisaMaffis excellent collection of essays on color language research; Robert MacLaurys magnum opus on color naming and cognition.
An important debate in the current literature is whether “all truth-conditional effects of extra-linguistic context can be traced to [a variable at; LM] logical form” (Stanley, ‘Context and Logical Form’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 23 (2000) 391). That is, according to Stanley, the only truth-conditional effects that extra-linguistic context has are localizable in (potentially silent) variable-denoting pronouns or pronoun-like items, which are represented in the syntax/at logical form (pure indexicals like I or today are put aside in this discussion). According to (...) Recanati (‘Unarticulated Constituents’, Linguistics and Philosophy, 25 (2002) 299), extra-linguistic context can have additional truth-conditional effects, in the form of optional pragmatic processes like ‘free enrichment’. This paper shows that Recanati’s position is not warranted, since there is an alternative line of analysis that obviates the need to assume free enrichment. In the alternative analysis, we need Stanley’s variables, but we need to give them the freedom to be or not to be generated in the syntax/present at logical form, a kind of optionality that has nothing to do with the pragmatics-related optionality of free enrichment. (shrink)
Social robotics entertains a particular relationship with anthropomorphism, which it neither sees as a cognitive error, nor as a sign of immaturity. Rather it considers that this common human tendency, which is hypothesized to have evolved because it favored cooperation among early humans, can be used today to facilitate social interactions between humans and a new type of cooperative and interactive agents - social robots. This approach leads social robotics to focus research on the engineering of robots that activate anthropomorphic (...) projections in users. The objective is to give robots "social presence" and "social behaviors" that are sufficiently credible for human users to engage in comfortable and potentially long-lasting relations with these machines. This choice of ’applied anthropomorphism’ as a research methodology exposes the artifacts produced by social robotics to ethical condemnation: social robots are judged to be a "cheating" technology, as they generate in users the illusion of reciprocal social and affective relations. This article takes position in this debate, not only developing a series of arguments relevant to philosophy of mind, cognitive sciences, and robotic AI, but also asking what social robotics can teach us about anthropomorphism. On this basis, we propose a theoretical perspective that characterizes anthropomorphism as a basic mechanism of interaction, and rebuts the ethical reflections that a priori condemns "anthropomorphism-based" social robots. To address the relevant ethical issues, we promote a critical experimentally based ethical approach to social robotics, "synthetic ethics," which aims at allowing humans to use social robots for two main goals: self-knowledge and moral growth. (shrink)
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of communicative intention on action. In Experiment 1 participants were requested to reach towards an object, grasp it, and either simply lift it or lift it with the intent to communicate a meaning to a partner . Movement kinematics were recorded using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The results indicate that kinematics was sensitive to communicative intention. Although the to-be-grasped object remained the same, movements performed for the ‘communicative’ condition (...) were characterized by a kinematic pattern which differed from those obtained for the ‘individual’ condition. These findings were confirmed in a subsequent experiment in which the communicative condition was compared to a control condition, in which the communicative exchange was prevented. Results are discussed in terms of cognitive pragmatics and current knowledge on how social behavior shapes action kinematics. (shrink)
This paper investigates young children's knowledge of scalar implicatures and downward entailment. In previous experimental work, we have shown that young children access the full range of truth-conditions associated with logical words in classical logic, including the disjunction operator, as well as the indefinite article. The present study extends this research in three ways, taking disjunction as a case study. Experiment 1 draws upon the observation that scalar implicatures (SIs) are cancelled (or reversed) in downward entailing (DE) linguistic environments, e.g., (...) in the scope of negation (Chierchia, 2000). Experiment 2 was designed to determine if scalar implicatures are used by children, like adults, to influence the interpretation of disjunction in non-DE contexts, yielding an implicature of exclusivity for disjunction. Whereas adult controls always rejected assertions of the form A or B in positive (non-DE) contexts in which assertions of the form A and B were also true, many children accepted assertions with disjunction in such contexts. To provide an interpretation to the findings from Experiment 2, a new experimental technique was devised and used in Experiment 3. The new technique presents pairs of assertions to children, who are asked to judge which assertion is a ‘better’ description of the context. The findings from Experiment 3 demonstrated children's awareness that A and B is more informative than A or B in positive contexts, where both statements are true. Taken together, the findings of Experiments 2 and 3 are compatible with the view that some children lack the computational resources to apply scalar implicatures when a single assertion is presented alone (see Reinhart, 1999). (shrink)
How a human observer perceives duration depends on the amount of events taking place during the timed interval, but also on psychological dimensions, such as emotional-wellbeing, mindfulness, impulsivity, and rumination. Here we aimed at exploring these influences on duration estimation and passage of time judgments. One hundred and seventeen healthy individuals filled out mindfulness (FFMQ), impulsivity (BIS-11), rumination (RRS), and depression (BDI-sf) questionnaires. Participants also conducted verbal estimation and production tasks in the multiple seconds range. During these timing tasks, subjects (...) were asked to read digits aloud that were presented on a computer screen. Each condition of the timing tasks differed in terms of the interval between the presentation of the digits, i.e., either short (4-s) or long (16-s). Our findings suggest that long empty intervals (16-s) are associated with a relative underestimation of duration, and to a feeling that the time passes slowly, a seemingly paradoxical result. Also, regarding more mindful individuals, such a dissociation between duration estimation and passage of time judgments was found, but only when empty intervals were short (4-s). Relatively speaking, more mindful subjects showed an increased overestimation of durations, but felt that time passed more quickly. These results provide further evidence for the dissociation between duration estimation and the feeling of the passage of time. We discuss these results in terms of an alerting effect when empty intervals are short and events are more numerous, which could mediate the effect of dispositional mindfulness. (shrink)
I argue that the debate on the division of labor between grammar and pragmatics, at least as it pertains to pragmatic free enrichment, needs to be better grounded empirically. Often, only a reduced set of facts from English is used to substantiate claims regarding pragmatic free enrichment. But considering a reduced set of facts from a single language can only afford limited results, because we can merely see whatever this one language chooses to express. Two cases studies are presented: adjectival (...) fragments, and implicit indefinite objects. A grammatical analysis is defended for them. (shrink)
This article addresses the problem of emergence through a distinction, often neglected in the literature, between two different aspects of this issue: (1) the theoretical problem of providing modelizations able to explain the expression of emergent properties; (2) the epistemological problem of warranting the scientific value of the emergentist descriptions of nature. This paper considers this double issue with regard to the biological domain, and proposes a double solution (theoretical and epistemological) originally developed in early studies on self-organization. The underlying (...) hypothesis is that this solution offers the current biological emergentism the opportunity of developing a coherent structure: matching consistently the theoretical and the epistemological frames of the research, that is, coupling the emergentist conception of life with an emergentist conception of science. (shrink)
It is widely assumed that the scope of indefinites is island insensitive, i.e., that, generally, an indefinite inside of a syntactic island, such as an adjunct clause, is capable of taking scope outside of that island. This paper challenges this assumption by studying the scope behaviour of the Spanish plural indefinite algunos ’). It presents an experimental study that shows that the scope of algunos is not free and depends on its syntactic environment, at least in the dialect of Spanish (...) studied here. The paper discusses some of the implications of the study for current theories of indefinite scope: it points out the problems that choice functions and singleton indefinites have with the Spanish data, and it also discusses the implications for Schwarzschild's solution to the so-called ‘Donald Duck’ problem. (shrink)
This paper investigates scalar implicatures and downward entailment in child English. In previous experimental work we have shown that adults’ computation of scalar implicatures is sensitive to entailment relations. For instance, when the disjunction operator or occurs in positive contexts, an implicature of exclusivity arises. By contrast when the disjunction operator occurs within the scope of a downward entailing linguistic expression, no implicature of exclusivity is computed. Investigations on children’s computation of scalar implicatures in the same contexts have led to (...) a slightly different picture. In particular it has proven difficult to demonstrate that children compute scalar implicatures (in non- downward entailing contexts) using the Truth Value Judgment task, a technique that has been used successfully in showing children’s sensitivity to other semantic phenomena. Adopting a different experimental technique called the Felicity Judgment task, however, we demonstrated children’s knowledge of the prerequisites to the computation of scalar implicatures (Chierchia, Crain, Guasti, Gualmini and Meroni, 2001). (shrink)
In this paper I provide a decompositional analysis of three kinds of plural indefinites in two related languages, European Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The three indefinites studied are bare plurals, the unos (Spanish)/uns (Portuguese) type, and the algunos (Spanish)/alguns (Portuguese) type. The paper concentrates on four properties: semantic plurality, positive polarity, partitivity, and event distribution. The logic underlying the analysis is that of compositionality, applied at the subword level: as items become bigger in form (with the addition of morphemes), they (...) also acquire more semantic properties. The paper proposes the “indefinite hierarchy", which establishes a set of components for languages to build their indefinites with, in a particular order. (shrink)
'Memory and Utopia' looks at the connection between memory and forgetfulness in Europe during the twentieth century. Drawing on oral history and feminist theory and practice, the book highlights how women struggled to be recognized as full subjects. The themes of utopia and desire in the 1968 movements of students, women and workers are explored. 'Memory and Utopia' examines the sense of belonging to Europe that has emerged in the last twenty years. The book analyses European identity as expressed through (...) identities based on gender, age and culture to explore an inclusive and non-hierarchical subjectivity. (shrink)
Este artigo aborda o tratamento dado por Platão, no diálogo Crátilo, a certos temas heraclíticos. A partir de uma análise da refutação da personagem Crátilo por Sócrates, que ocorre ao final do diálogo, pretende-se mostrar o jogo explícito e implícito com o chamado ‘fluxo heraclítico’ e a ‘unidade dos contrários’ que o autor Platão é capaz de forjar. Jogo que faz com que, por fim, Sócrates capture Crátilo com a ajuda da armadilha criada por seus próprios argumentos.
Philanthropic venture capital (PhVC) is a financing option available for social enterprises that, like traditional venture capital, provides capital and value-added services to portfolio organizations. Differently from venture capital, PhVC has an ethical dimension as it aims at maximizing the social return on the investment. This article examines the deal structuring phase of PhVC investments in terms of instrument used (from equity to grant), valuation, and covenants included in the contractual agreement. By content analyzing a set of semistructured interviews and (...) thereafter surveying the entire population of PhVC funds that are active in Europe and in the United States, findings indicate that the non-distribution constraint holding for non-profit social enterprises is an effective tool to align the interests of both investor and investee. This makes the investor behaving as a steward rather than as a principal. Conversely, while backing non-profit social ventures, philanthropic venture capitalists structure their deal similarly as traditional venture capital, as the absence of the non-distribution constraint makes such investments subject to moral hazard risk both in terms of perks and stealing and social impact focus. (shrink)
This article explores the change in meaning of the term `utopia' between 1968 and today. It proposes an interpretation of 1968 based on the connection between utopia and desire; the emergence of subjectivity in history meant a new way of becoming subjects of one's own history, and a new understanding of socio-political change, as including daily life and personal emotions.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of social intentions on action. Participants were requested to reach towards, grasp an object, and either pass it to another person or put it on a concave base . Movements’ kinematics was recorded using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The results indicate that kinematics is sensitive to social intention. Movements performed for the ‘social’ condition were characterized by a kinematic pattern which differed from those obtained for the ‘single-agent’ condition. (...) Results are discussed in terms of a motor simulation hypothesis, which assumes that the same mechanisms underlying motor intention are sensitive to social intentions. (shrink)
This article focuses on the frontier between the technological domain of production of artefacts and the naturalistic domain of the sciences of life and cognition. It shows that, since the 1940s, this frontier has become the place of production of an innovative kind of scientific knowledge??synthetic knowledge.? The article describes the methodology and the main characteristics of synthetic knowledge, and formulates a hypothesis on its epistemological genealogy. Accordingly, it characterizes synthetic knowledge as one of the most advanced expressions of a (...) heterodox tradition of research which, since the 1930s, has been promoting the development of a ?non-representationalist???constructivist??science. (shrink)
SummaryDuring the 1920s and 1930s, Italian physicists established strong relationships with scientists from other European countries and the United States. The career of Bruno Rossi, a leading personality in the study of cosmic rays and an Italian pioneer of this field of research, provides a prominent example of this kind of international cooperation. Physics underwent major changes during these turbulent years, and the traditional internationalism of physics assumed a more institutionalized character. Against this backdrop, Rossi's early work was crucial in (...) transforming the study of cosmic rays into a branch of modern physics. His friendly relationships with eminent scientists — notably Enrico Fermi, Walther Bothe, Werner Heisenberg, Hans Bethe, and Homi Bhabha — were instrumental both for the exchange of knowledge about experimental practices and theoretical discussions, and for attracting the attention of physicists such as Arthur Compton, Louis Leprince-Ringuet, Pierre Auger and Patrick Blackett to the problem of cosmic rays. Relying on material from different archives in Europe and the United States, this case study aims to provide a glimpse of the intersection between national and international dimensions during the 1930s, at a time when the study of cosmic rays was still very much in its infancy, strongly interlaced with nuclear physics, and full of uncertain, contradictory, and puzzling results. Nevertheless, as a source of high-energy particles it became a proving ground for testing the validity of the laws of quantum electrodynamics, and made a fundamental contribution to the origins of particle physics. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to propose a unified approach to the split scope readings of negative indefinites, comparative quantifiers, and numerals. There are two main observations that justify this approach. First, split scope shows the same kinds of restrictions across these different quantifiers. Second, split scope always involves low existential force. In our approach, following Sauerland, natural language determiner quantifiers are quantifiers over choice functions, of type <<,t>,t>. In split readings, the quantifier over choice functions scopes above other (...) operators (such as intensional verbs like must or can). Determiner quantifiers leave a choice-function trace when they move and this trace combines with the noun restriction, which is interpreted low. That split scope always involves low existential force is derived, without stipulation, from Kratzer’s idea that low existential force can be achieved via binding (into the noun restriction). (shrink)
Studies of adult sentence processing have established that the referential context in which sentences are presented plays an immediate role in their interpretation, such that referential features of the context mitigate, and even eliminate, so-called ‘garden-path’ effects. Perceivers experience garden path effects almost exclusively when they are attempting to parse locally ambiguous linguistic structures in the absence of context, or in infelicitous contexts. The finding that the referential context ordinarily obviates garden path effects is compelling evidence for the Referential Theory (...) of parsing, advanced originally by Crain and Steedman, (1985) and extended in Altmann and Steedman (1988). (shrink)