In a period of over 50 years, Peter Mittelstaedt has made substantial and lasting contributions to several fields in theoretical physics as well as the foundations and philosophy of physics. Here we present an overview of his achievements in physics and its foundations which may serve as a guide to the bibliography (printed in this Festschrift) of his publications. An appraisal of Peter Mittelstaedt’s work in the philosophy of physics is given in a separate contribution by B. Falkenburg.
The Stein Rokkan Prize was set up by the International Social Science Council and the Conjunto Universitario Candido Mendes to honour a seminal work by a young social scientist in comparative social science. The Prize, in the sum of two thousand dollars, was awarded for the first time on 17 November 1981 at a session of the General Assembly of the ISSC to Manfred G. Schmidt, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Konstanz, for his manuscript entitled: “Wohlfahrtstaatliche Politik (...) unter bürgerlichen und sozialdemokratischen Regierungen. Ein internationaler Vergleich”. We are pleased to print the speech he made on receiving the award. (shrink)
Keith DeRose and Stewart Cohen object to the fallibilist strand of pragmatic invariantism regarding knowledge ascriptions that it is committed to non-cancelable pragmatic implications. I show that this objection points us to an asymmetry about which aspects of the conveyed content of knowledge ascriptions can be canceled: we can cancel those aspects that ascribe a lesser epistemic standing to the subject but not those that ascribe a better or perfect epistemic standing. This situation supports the infallibilist strand of pragmatic invariantism (...) according to which knowledge semantically requires absolute certainty but this claim is often pragmatically weakened: it turns out that exactly those aspects of the conveyed content are cancelable that this view claims are pragmatic. I also argue that attributor contextualism and relativism do not have an alternative explanation of this phenomenon. (shrink)
Early in his career and in critical engagement with ordinary language philosophy, John Mackie developed the roots of a methodology that would be fundamental to his thinking: Mackie argues that we need to clearly separate the conceptual analysis which determines the meaning of an ordinary term and the factual analysis which is concerned with the question what, if anything, our language corresponds to in the world. I discuss how Mackie came to develop this distinction and how central ideas of his (...) philosophy are based on it. Using the examples of Mackie’s moral skepticism and his work on Locke’s theory of perception I show how his methodology opens the door to error theories but can also support more positive claims. Finally, I put Mackie’s methodology in a historical perspective and argue that in cases like the Gettier debate, we can use it to cast light on the vagueness of the underlying methodology in some philosophical debates. (shrink)
Epistemological disjunctivists such as Duncan Pritchard claim that in paradigmatic cases of knowledge the rational support for the known propositions is both factive and reflectively accessible. This position faces some problems, including the basis problem – how can our knowledge be based on such strong reasons that seem to leave no room for non-knowledge and therefore presuppose knowledge? – and the access problem – can disjunctivists avoid the implausible claim that we can achieve knowledge through inference from our introspective awareness (...) of those reasons? I argue that disjunctivists cannot solve both of these problems at the same time by posing the dilemma question whether we can have factive and reflectively accessible reasons without knowledge. While I focus on Pritchard throughout most of the paper, I argue in the last section that other anti-skeptical versions of disjunctivism face the same dilemma. (shrink)
Any good theory of knowledge ascriptions should explain and predict our judgments about their felicity. I argue that any such explanation must take into account a distinction between three ways of using knowledge ascriptions: to suggest acceptance of the embedded proposition, to explain or predict a subject's behavior or attitudes, or to understand the relation of knowledge as such. The contextual effects on our judgments about felicity systematically differ between these three types of uses. Using such a distinction is, in (...) principle, open to both contextualist and pragmatic invariantist accounts of knowledge ascriptions. However, there are some implications pertaining to the use of the “method of cases” in the debate about knowledge ascriptions. (shrink)
Talking about “being another person”, many different things may be meant. I make use of Wollheim’s distinction between three different modes of imagination and invoke four different kinds of possible content of what may be imagined. In effect, I aim at a hopefully complete overview of the possible imaginative projects of “imagining being another person”. I try to keep an eye on the role of numerical identity in each case.
Argumentation mining is an application of natural language processing (NLP) that emerged a few years ago and has recently enjoyed considerable popularity, as demonstrated by a series of international workshops and by a rising number of publications at the major conferences and journals of the field. Its goals are to identify argumentation in text or dialogue; to construct representations of the constellation of claims, supporting and attacking moves (in different levels of detail); and to characterize the patterns of reasoning that (...) appear to license the argumentation. Furthermore, recent work also addresses the difficult tasks of evaluating the persuasiveness and quality of arguments. Some of the linguistic genres that are being studied include legal text, student essays, political discourse and debate, newspaper editorials, scientific writing, and others. The book starts with a discussion of the linguistic perspective, characteristics of argumentative language, and their relationship to certain other notions such as subjectivity. Besides the connection to linguistics, argumentation has for a long time been a topic in Artificial Intelligence, where the focus is on devising adequate representations and reasoning formalisms that capture the properties of argumentative exchange. It is generally very difficult to connect the two realms of reasoning and text analysis, but we are convinced that it should be attempted in the long term, and therefore we also touch upon some fundamentals of reasoning approaches. Then the book turns to its focus, the computational side of mining argumentation in text. We first introduce a number of annotated corpora that have been used in the research. From the NLP perspective, argumentation mining shares subtasks with research fields such as subjectivity and sentiment analysis, semantic relation extraction, and discourse parsing. Therefore, many technical approaches are being borrowed from those (and other) fields. We break argumentation mining into a series of subtasks, starting with the preparatory steps of classifying text as argumentative (or not) and segmenting it into elementary units. Then, central steps are the automatic identification of claims, and finding statements that support or oppose the claim. For certain applications, it is also of interest to compute a full structure of an argumentative constellation of statements. Next, we discuss a few steps that try to 'dig deeper': to infer the underlying reasoning pattern for a textual argument, to reconstruct unstated premises (so-called 'enthymemes'), and to evaluate the quality of the argumentation. We also take a brief look at 'the other side' of mining, i.e., the generation or synthesis of argumentative text. The book finishes with a summary of the argumentation mining tasks, a sketch of potential applications, and a—necessarily subjective—outlook for the field. Table of Contents: Preface / Acknowledgments / Introduction / Argumentative Language / Modeling Arguments / Corpus Annotation / Finding Claims / Finding Supporting and Objecting Statements / Deriving the Structure of Argumentation / Assessing Argumentation / Generating Argumentative Text / Summary and Perspectives / Bibliography / Authors' Biographies / Index. (shrink)
In the near future three anniversaries are to be celebrated: Hans-Joachim Schoeps, German-Jewish scholar and full Professor of Religious and Intellectual History, would have been 100 years old in January 2009. Jointly together with Ernst Benz, full Professor of Theology at the University of Marburg, Hans-Joachim Schoeps launched the Journal of religious and intellectual history, which is now entering its 60th volume. Also, the Scientific Association for religious and intellectual history, which was as well founded by Hans-Joachim (...) Schoeps, is going to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The article depicts biographical data and scholarly highlights of Schoeps, and combines them with a view to the development of ZRGG and GGG. (shrink)
The distinction between telic and atelic predicates has been described in terms of the algebraic properties of their meaning since the early days of model-theoretic semantics. This perspective was inspired by Aristotle’s discussion of types of actions that do or do not take time to be completed1 which was taken up and turned into a linguistic discussion of action-denoting predicates by Vendler (1957). The algebraic notion that seemed to be most conducive to express the Aristotelian distinction appeared to be the (...) mereological notion of a part, applied to the time at which these predicates hold: atelic predicates, like push a cart, have the subinterval property, that is, whenever they are true at a time interval, then they are true at any part of that interval; this does not hold for telic predicates, like eat an apple, cf. Bennett & Partee (1972), Taylor (1977), and Dowty (1979)2. Bach (1986) integrated these insights into a semantics based on events. (shrink)
It is customary to identify three broad classes of grading particles: additive particles like also, exclusive particles like only, and scalar particles like even (cf. König (1991); in the examples, grave accent stands for the main, falling accent).
Quantified NPs in questions may lead to an interpretation in which the NP quantifies into the question. Which dish did every guest bring? can be understood as: 'For every guest x: which dish did x bring?'. After a review of previous approaches that tried to capture this quantification formally or to explain it away, it is argued that such readings involve quantification into speech acts. As the algebra of speech acts is more limited than a Boolean algebra – it only (...) contains conjunction, not disjunction or negation – it is predicted that only universal quantifiers can scope out of questions or other speech acts. The approach is extended to indirect questions, which either are embedded speech acts or coerced to denote the true answers, depending on the embedding verb; in the latter case a Boolean structure results, and we find wide-scope readings of non-universal quantifiers. (shrink)
In this book, translated from the German by the author, Joachim Schulte uses the discussions of psychological concepts in Wittgenstein's late manuscripts as a basis of reconstructing the central arguments and ideas developed by Wittgenstein during that period. This reconstruction yields valuable insights not only in the philosophy of psychology, but also in aesthetics and the theory of meaning.
This article takes stock of the basic notions of Information Structure (IS). It first provides a general characterization of IS following Chafe (1976) within a communicative model of Common Ground (CG), which distinguishes between CG content and CG management. IS is concerned with those features of language that concern the local CG. It then defines and discusses the notions of Focus (as indicating alternatives) and its various uses, Givenness (as indicating that a denotation is already present in the CG), and (...) Topic (as specifying what an statement is about). It also proposes a new notion, Delimitation, which comprises contrastive topics and frame setters, and indicates that the current conversational move does not satisfy the local communicative needs totally. It also points out that the rhetorical structuring partly belongs to IS. (shrink)
The classical analysis of donkey sentences like (1.a,b) in Kamp (1981) and Heim (1982) assigns them truth conditions as given in (2.a). That is, they are treated as quantifications over farmer-donkey pairs. Partee (1984) and Kadmon (1987) have pointed out that the proper reading of (1.b), and a preferred reading of (1.a), is rather a quantification over farmers, as illustrated in (2.b).