This paper investigates the semantics of the focus particle only and is primarily concerned with the relation between the exclusive proposition and the proposition expressed by the prejacent. We argue that, in a sentence of the form only A is B, only triggers the conditional presupposition that if something is B, A is B. We show that in a positive- only sentence, the prejacent is a conversational implicature and therefore it is cancellable. Instead, in a negative- only sentence the prejacent (...) is shown to be entailed by any context that satisfies the conditional presupposition and to which the assertion is added. Hence, the prejacent of a negative- only sentence is not cancellable. The entailment analyses, the strong presupposition analyses and the weak presupposition analyses of only are discussed, together with the problems that each type of theories faces. (shrink)
This paper deals with the problem of understanding semiosis and meaning in cognitive systems. To this aim we argue for a unified two-factor account according to which both external and internal information are non-independent aspects of meaning, thus contributing as a whole in determining its nature. To overcome the difficulties stemming from this approach we put forward a theoretical scheme based on the definition of a suitable representation space endowed with a set of transformations, and we show how it can (...) be implemented, in the case of a single agent, by a neural network architecture. Numerical experiments conducted on different instances of the latter show that similar representations are developed as a consequence of the fact that these instances are facing a similar semantic task. This allows to model social and environmental influences through a system of interacting agents, each described by a specific implementation of this model architecture. (shrink)
The recent trend in institutional communication research seems to foster the image of the University as a private organization significantly oriented towards a policy of customer satisfaction. Following the concept of organizational culture, institutional settings too are conceived as organizational contexts, where discourse is a privileged vehicle to convey and spread values, traditions and artifacts, both through internal and external communication practices. Thus, within academic discourse organizational culture is shaped and perpetuated by specific devices of rhetorical argumentation. The corpus of (...) data consists of two different examples of academic discourse: the self promotional endorsement letters of the academic candidates to the chancellor’s position on occasion of the elections and the inaugural speeches proclaimed by the chancellors in charge during the opening celebration of the academic year. The first kind of academic discourse could be meant as an example of political discourse since the candidates use communication strategically and manipulate their academic membership as a rhetorical device to support their aims. On the other hand, the second example is a mere celebration of academic culture which through linguistic rituals recalls and perpetuates the basic values of this microcosm. The data have been analysed with the critical discourse analysis and diatextual analysis which pay particular attention to the context of speech. Moreover, attention has been focused on the metaphors and on the meta-discursive cues. The results show that although with different purposes academic discourse use similar discursive and rhetorical strategies as both belong to the same organization. (shrink)
The debate on scientific realism has raged among philosophers of science for decades. The scientific realist's claim that science aims to give us a literally true description of the way things are, has come under severe scrutiny and attack by Bas van Fraassen's constructive empiricism. All science aims at is to save the observable phenomena, according to van Fraassen. Scientific realists have faced since a main sceptical challenge: the burden is on them to prove that the entities postulated by our (...) scientific theories are real and that science is still in the ‘truth’ business. (shrink)
This is a welcome collection of essays addressing Kant’s treatment of natural laws. Kant’s best-known discussion of natural laws is the Critique of Pure Reason’s second analogy, which argues that all alterations take place according to causal laws. But Kant’s overall treatment of natural laws extends far beyond the second analogy. For instance, the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science aims to derive specific laws of motion. The appendix to the Critique of Pure Reason’s transcendental dialectic and the introductions to the (...) Critique of the Power of Judgment examine the notion of a systematic order of particular laws. And the Critique of the Power of Judgment discusses the relationship between mechanical and... (shrink)
The aim of the article is to compare the ideas of Herbert Marcuse and Michel Foucault. In his works Marcuse focused on the excluded social circles. Their revolt against the establishment shook up the normative foundations of the social order in the 1960s and the 1970s, which finally led to a cultural revolution. Inspired by these social changes, Foucault was interested in the effects of this revolution at the epistemological and moral level. He recognized that the actions of the excluded (...) circles weakened the institutional order which hitherto tempered the development of the alternative forms of knowledge and lifestyle in the western culture. Hence the contemporary western culture is a place of relentless conflicts between different values and conceptions of truth, but also a place of unique tolerance and a variety of lifestyles. (shrink)
Pierre Souffrin a occupé une place singulière parmi les historiens des sciences. Astrophysicien de formation, il a très tôt été conscient de l’enjeu que constituait l’acquisition par les scientifiques d’une culture en histoire des sciences. Il a alors créé et animé pendant de longues années le séminaire d’épistémologie et d’histoire des sciences de Nice où ont été invités les meilleurs spécialistes de la discipline. Le passage d’une formation scientifique à une discipline comme l’histoire des..
CONTEMPORARY TRANSFORMATIONS OF INTIMACY IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF MICHEL FOUCAULT’S HISTORY OF SEXUALITY This article discusses relations between Foucault’s history of sexuality and the contemporary transformations of eroticism diagnosed by Wojciech Klimczyk. The Klimczyk’s studies are interpreted in the perspective of theoretical tools provided by Foucault and seem to lead to an interesting conclusions. Peculiarity of those conclusions is especially connected with the fact that they are opposite to the diagnosis provided by Brian McNair and Anthony Giddens. Simply speaking, Giddens (...) and McNair claim that contemporary intimacy is emancipated from most of regulations and contains a high amount of freedom, while Klimczyk (with theoretical support of Foucault) argues that nowadays sexuality is strongly regulated by the outside conditions, especially by the market. (shrink)
SANDRA LAUGIER / MICHELA MARZANO. — Quel est, selon vous, le rôle de la pornographie dans l’initiation masculine à la sexualité ?DANIEL WELZER-LANG. — Quand, dans les conférences ou les cours, j’interroge les hommes pour savoir combien d’entre eux n’ont pas eu leur premier émoi sexuel devant une..
In this paper, I assess recent claims in philosophy of science about scientific perspectivism being compatible with realism. I clarify the rationale for scientific perspectivism and the problems and challenges that perspectivism faces in delivering a form of realism. In particular, I concentrate my attention on truth, and on ways in which truth can be understood in perspectival terms. I offer a cost-benefit analysis of each of them and defend a version that in my view is most promising in living (...) up to realist expectations. (shrink)