Avec un titre comme Luther et la philosophie, depuis le xviiie siècle et dans les milieux « libéraux » du xixe siècle, on aurait pu s’attendre à un exposé, bien sûr complet, de la philosophie du Réformateur. On trouve l’expression, par exemple, dans les tables analytiques de L’Encyclopédie, à l’entrée « luthéranisme ». Bien que Philippe Büttgen se soit donné comme objet, pour d’autres travaux, « la confessionnalisation de la philosophie ..
Upon learning that John C. Harsanyi was awarded the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, in 1994, for his pioneering work in game theory, few economists probably questioned the appropriateness of that choice. The Budapest-born social scientist had already been recognized as a first-rank contributor to non-cooperative game theory for some time. However, as many readers of this journal will be aware, Harsanyi first contributed to welfare economics, not game theory. More importantly, he was (...) philosophically minded and accordingly has been “acknowledged as the most influential philosopher in economics”. 1 This is of some significance since, before Harsanyi became acquainted with economics around 1950, his main interest was philosophy and, to a lesser extent, sociology and psychology. Rather than an economist with philosophical leanings, Harsanyi was actually a philosopher turned economist. (shrink)
The development of geometrical analysis in the 10th century was partly inspired by the reception of the works of Apollonius, which Arab mathematicians translated as early as the preceding century. Al-Qūhī contributed to this development by writing several collections of problems dealing with Apollonian themes and solved by the method of analysis; however, it seems that they do not all occupy the same place in his work. The author gives here the edition, translation, and mathematical commentary of a short work, (...) entitled The determination of two straight lines from a point along a known angle, which presents the particularity of providing problems as geometrical lemmas to other studies. Indeed, al-Qūhī uses two of these lemmas in more complex constructions which belong to his Treatise on the art of the astrolabe. In this same treatise on the astrolabe, as well as in his Treatise on the perfect compass, this scholar also uses as lemmas several problems solved in another of his works, entitled The generation of points on straight lines according to ratios of which the terms are surfaces. This work is unfortunately lost, and all that remains of it are the traces which subsist in other treatises in which it has been used. This study seems to be necessary if one wishes to understand the organization of the work of al-Qūhī, a mathematician of the first rank who was representative of his time. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWhat is the relation between ethical reflection and moral behavior? Does professional reflection on ethical issues positively impact moral behaviors? To address these questions, Schwitzgebel and Rust empirically investigated if philosophy professors engaged with ethics on a professional basis behave any morally better or, at least, more consistently with their expressed values than do non-ethicist professors. Findings from their original US-based sample indicated that neither is the case, suggesting that there is no positive influence of ethical reflection on moral action. (...) In the study at hand, we attempted to cross-validate this pattern of results in the German-speaking countries and surveyed 417 professors using a replication-extension research design. Our results indicate a successful replication of the original effect that ethicists do not behave any morally better compared to other academics across the vast majority of normative issues. Yet, unlike the original study, we found mixed results o... (shrink)
Ariès traces Western man's attitudes toward mortality from the early medieval conception of death as the familiar collective destiny of the human race to the modern tendency, so pronounced in industrial societies, to hide death as if it were an embarrassing family secret.
Recently, a number of phenomenological approaches to experiential justification emerged according to which an experience's justificatory force is grounded in the experience’s distinctive phenomenology. The basic idea is that certain experiences exhibit a presentive phenomenology and that they are a source of immediate justification precisely by virtue of their presentive phenomenology. Such phenomenological approaches usually focus on perceptual experiences and mathematical intuitions. In this paper, I aim at a phenomenological approach to ethical experiences. I shall show that we need to (...) make a distinction between evaluative experiences directed at concrete cases and ethical intuitions directed at general principles. The focus will be on evaluative experiences. I argue that evaluative experiences constitute a sui generis type of experience that gain their justificatory force by virtue of their presentive evaluative phenomenology. In Sect. 1, I introduce and motivate the phenomenological idea that certain experiences exhibit a justification-conferring phenomenology. In Sect. 4, I apply this idea to morally evaluative experiences. In Sect. 5, I suggest that certain epistemic intuitions should be considered epistemically evaluative experiences and I outline a strong parallelism between ethics and epistemology. (shrink)
A great mathematician and teacher, and a physicist and philosopher in his own right, bridges the gap between science and the humanities in this exposition of the philosophy of science. He traces the history of science from Aristotle to Einstein to illustrate philosophy's ongoing role in the scientific process. In this volume he explains modern technology's gradual erosion of the rapport between physical theories and philosophical systems, and offers suggestions for restoring the link between these related areas. This book is (...) suitable for undergraduate students and other readers. 1962 ed. Index. 36 figures. (shrink)
Kaplan claims in Demonstratives that no operator may manipulate the context of evaluation of natural language indexicals. We show that this is not so. In fact, attitude reports always manipulate a context parameter (or, rather, a context variable). This is shown by (i) the existence of De Se readings of attitude reports in English (which Kaplan has no account for), and (ii) the existence of a variety of indexicals across languages whose point of evaluation can be shifted, but only in (...) attitude reports. We develop an alternative account within an extensional framework with overt quantification over times, worlds and contexts. Various typological facts are discussed, esp. the distinction between English, Amharic and Ewe pronouns, and that between English and Russian tenses. (shrink)
Recent semantic research has made increasing use of a principle, Maximize Presupposition, which requires that under certain circumstances the strongest possible presupposition be marked. This principle is generally taken to be irreducible to standard Gricean reasoning because the forms that are in competition have the same assertive content. We suggest, however, that Maximize Presupposition might be reducible to the theory of scalar implicatures. (i)First, we consider a special case: the speaker utters a sentence with a presupposition p which is not (...) initially taken for granted by the addressee, but the latter takes the speaker to be an authority on the matter. Signaling the presupposition provides new information to the addressee; but it also follows from the logic of presupposition qua common belief that the presupposition is thereby satisfied (Stalnaker, Ling Philos 25(5–6):701–721, 2002). (ii) Second, we generalize this solution to other cases. We assume that even when p is common belief, there is a very small chance that the addressee might forget it (‘Fallibility’); in such cases, marking a presupposition will turn out to generate new information by re-establishing part of the original context. We also adopt from Raj Singh (Nat Lang Semantics 19(2):149–168, 2011) the hypothesis that presupposition maximization is computed relative to local contexts—and we assume that these too are subject to Fallibility; this accounts for cases in which the information that justifies the presupposition is linguistically provided. (iii) Finally, we suggest that our assumptions have benefits in the domain of implicatures: they make it possible to reinterpret Magri’s ‘blind’ (i.e. context-insensitive) implicatures as context-sensitive implicatures which just happen to be misleading. (shrink)
This paper argues that in some explanations mathematics are playing an explanatory rather than a representational role, and that this feature unifies many types of non-causal or non-mechanistic explanations that some philosophers of science have been recently exploring under various names. After showing how mathematics can play either a representational or an explanatory role by considering two alternative explanations of a same biological pattern—“Bergmann’s rule”—I offer an example of an explanation where the bulk of the explanatory job is done by (...) a mathematical theorem, and where mechanisms involved in the target systems are not explanatorily relevant. Then I account for the way mathematical properties may function in an explanatory way within an explanation by arguing that some mathematical propositions involving variables non directly referring to the target system features constitute constraints to which a whole class of systems should comply, provided they are describable by a mathematical object concerned by those propositions. According to such “constraint account”, those mathematical facts are directly entailing the explanandum, as a consequence of such constraints. I call those explanations “structural”, because here properties of mathematical structures are accounting for the explanandum; various kinds of mathematical structures thereby define various types of structural explanations. (shrink)
William Alston’s argument against the deontological conception of epistemic justification is a classic—and much debated—piece of contemporary epistemology. At the heart of Alston’s argument, however, lies a very simple mistake which, surprisingly, appears to have gone unnoticed in the vast literature now devoted to the argument. After having shown why some of the standard responses to Alston’s argument don’t work, we elucidate the mistake and offer a hypothesis as to why it has escaped attention.
The focus of this paper are the ethical, legal and social challenges for ensuring the responsible use of “big brain data”—the recording, collection and analysis of individuals’ brain data on a large scale with clinical and consumer-directed neurotechnological devices. First, I highlight the benefits of big data and machine learning analytics in neuroscience for basic and translational research. Then, I describe some of the technological, social and psychological barriers for securing brain data from unwarranted access. In this context, I then (...) examine ways in which safeguards at the hardware and software level, as well as increasing “data literacy” in society, may enhance the security of neurotechnological devices and protect the privacy of personal brain data. Regarding ethical and legal ramifications of big brain data, I first discuss effects on the autonomy, the sense of agency and authenticity, as well as the self that may result from the interaction between users and intelligent, particularly closed-loop, neurotechnological devices. I then discuss the impact of the “datafication” in basic and clinical neuroscience research on the just distribution of resources and access to these transformative technologies. In the legal realm, I examine possible legal consequences that arises from the increasing abilities to decode brain states and their corresponding subjective phenomenological experiences on the hitherto inaccessible privacy of these information. Finally, I discuss the implications of big brain data for national and international regulatory policies and models of good data governance. (shrink)
This volume handles in various perspectives the concept of function and the nature of functional explanations, topics much discussed since two major and conflicting accounts have been raised by Larry Wright and Robert Cummins’s papers in the 1970s. Here, both Wright’s ”etiological theory of functions’ and Cummins’s ”systemic’ conception of functions are refined and elaborated in the light of current scientific practice, with papers showing how the ”etiological’ theory faces several objections and may in reply be revisited, while its counterpart (...) became ever more sophisticated, as researchers discovered fresh applications for it. Relying on a firm knowledge of the original positions and debates, this volume presents cutting-edge research evincing the complexities that today pertain in function theory in various sciences. Alongside original papers from authors central to the controversy, work by emerging researchers taking novel perspectives will add to the potential avenues to be followed in the future. Not only does the book adopt no a priori assumptions about the scope of functional explanations, it also incorporates material from several very different scientific domains, e.g. neurosciences, ecology, or technology. In general, functions are implemented in mechanisms; and functional explanations in biology have often an essential relation with natural selection. These two basic claims set the stage for this book’s coverage of investigations concerning both ”functional’ explanations, and the ”metaphysics’ of functions. It casts new light on these claims, by testing them through their confrontation with scientific developments in biology, psychology, and recent developments concerning the metaphysics of realization. Rather than debating a single theory of functions, this book presents the richness of philosophical issues raised by functional discourse throughout the various sciences. Content Level » Research Keywords » Causal role theory of functions - Determination of content - Ecosystem selection - Etiological theory of function - Evolutionary biology - Functional explanations - Historical concepts in biology - Larry Wright - Neurosciences - New mechanism - Selected effects functions - Systemic theory of functions - William Wimsatt Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Evolutionary & Developmental Biology - Neuroscience - Philosophy TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction.- Section I. Biological functions and functional explanations: genes, cells, organisms and ecosystems.- Part 1.A. Functions, organization and development in life sciences.- Chapter 1. William C. Wimsatt. Evolution and the Stability of Functional Architectures.- Chapter 2. Denis M. Walsh. Teleological Emergence: The Autonomy of Evo-Devo.- Chapter 3. Jean Gayon. Does oxygen have a function, or: where should the regress of biological functions stop?.- Part 1.B. Functional pluralism for biologists? Chapter 4. Frédéric Bouchard. How ecosystem evolution strengthens the case for functional pluralism.- Chapter 5. Robert N. Brandon. A general case for functional pluralism.- Chapter 6. Philippe Huneman. Weak realism in the etiological theory of functions.- Section 2. Section II. Psychology, philosophy of mind and technology: Functions in a man’s world.- Part 2.A. 2A. Metaphysics, function and philosophy of mind.- Chapter 7. Carl Craver. Functions and Mechanisms in Contemporary Neuroscience.- Chapter 8. Carl Gillett. Understanding the sciences through the fog of ”functionalism.’.- 2.B. Philosophy of technology, design and functions.- Chapter 9. Fran¸ coise Longy. Artifacts and Organisms: A Case for a New Etiological Theory of Functions.- Chapter 10. Pieter Vermaas and Wybo Houkes. Functions as Epistemic Highlighters: An Engineering Account of Technical, Biological and Other Functions.- Epilogue.- Larry Wright. Revising teleological explanations: reflections three decades on. (shrink)
We argue that some sign language loci (i.e. positions in signing space that realize discourse referents) are both formal variables and simplified representations of what they denote; in other words, they are simultaneously logical symbols and pictorial representations. We develop a 'formal semantics with iconicity' that accounts for their dual life; the key idea ('formal iconicity') is that some geometric properties of signs must be preserved by the interpretation function. We analyze in these terms three kinds of iconic effects in (...) American and French Sign Language (ASL and LSF): (i) structural iconicity, where relations of inclusion and complementation among loci are directly reflected in their denotations; (ii) locus-external iconicity, where the high or low position of a locus in signing space has a direct semantic reflex, akin to the semantic contribution of gender features of pronouns; and (iii) locus-internal iconicity, where different parts of a structured locus are targeted by different directional verbs, as was argued by Liddell and Kegl. The resulting semantics combines insights of two traditions that have been sharply divided by recent debates. In line with the 'formalist camp' (e.g. Lillo-Martin and Klima, Neidle, and Sandler and Lillo-Martin), our theory treats loci as variables, and develops an explicit formal analysis of their behavior. But we also incorporate insights of the 'iconic camp', which emphasized the role of iconic constraints in sign language in general and in pronominals in particular (e.g. Cuxac, Taub, Liddell). However, this synthesis is only possible if formal semantics makes provisions for iconic requirements at the very core of its interpretive procedure. (An Appendix discusses relevant data from Italian Sign Language [LIS].). (shrink)
Peter Lombard is best known as the author of a celebrated work entitled Book of Sentences, which for several centuries served as the standard theological textbook in the Christian West. It was the subject of more commentaries than any other work of Christian literature besides the Bible itself. The Book of Sentences is essentially a compilation of older sources, from the Scriptures and Augustine down to several of the Lombard's contemporaries, such as Hugh of Saint Victor and Peter Abelard. Its (...) importance lies in the Lombard's organisation of the theological material, his method of presentation, and the way in which he shaped doctrine in several major areas. Despite his importance, however, there is no accessible introduction to Peter Lombard's life and thought available in any modern language. This volume fills this considerable gap. Philipp W. Rosemann begins by demonstrating how the Book of Sentences grew out of a long tradition of Christian reflection-a tradition, ultimately rooted in Scripture, which by the twelfth century had become ready to transform itself into a theological system. Turning to the Sentences, Rosemann then offers a brief exposition of the Lombard's life and work. He proceeds to a book-by-book examination and interpretation of its main topics, including the nature and attributes of God, the Trinity, creation, angelology, human nature and the Fall, original sin, Christology, ethics, and the sacraments. He concludes by exploring how the Sentences helped shape the further development of the Christian tradition, from the twelfth century through the time of Martin Luther. (shrink)
This remarkable book--the fruit of almost two decades of study--traces in compelling fashion the changes in Western attitudes toward death and dying from the earliest Christian times to the present day. A truly landmark study, The Hour of Our Death reveals a pattern of gradually developing evolutionary stages in our perceptions of life in relation to death, each stage representing a virtual redefinition of human nature. Starting at the very foundations of Western culture, the eminent historian Phillipe Aries shows how, (...) from Graeco-Roman times through the first ten centuries of the Common Era, death was too common to be frightening; each life was quietly subordinated to the community, which paid its respects and then moved on. Aries identifies the first major shift in attitude with the turn of the eleventh century when a sense of individuality began to rise and with it, profound consequences: death no longer meant merely the weakening of community, but rather the destruction of self. Hence the growing fear of the afterlife, new conceptions of the Last Judgment, and the first attempts (by Masses and other rituals) to guarantee a better life in the next world. In the 1500s attention shifted from the demise of the self to that of the loved one (as family supplants community), and by the nineteenth century death comes to be viewed as simply a staging post toward reunion in the hereafter. Finally, Aries shows why death has become such an unendurable truth in our own century--how it has been nearly banished from our daily lives--and points out what may be done to "re-tame" this secret terror. The richness of Aries's source material and investigative work is breathtaking. While exploring everything from churches, religious rituals, and graveyards (with their often macabre headstones and monuments), to wills and testaments, love letters, literature, paintings, diaries, town plans, crime and sanitation reports, and grave robbing complaints, Aries ranges across Europe to Russia on the one hand and to England and America on the other. As he sorts out the tangled mysteries of our accumulated terrors and beliefs, we come to understand the history--indeed the pathology--of our intellectual and psychological tensions in the face of death. (shrink)
This paper concerns Aristotle's kind‐crossing prohibition. My aim is twofold. I argue that the traditional accounts of the prohibition are subject to serious internal difficulties and should be questioned. According to these accounts, Aristotle's prohibition is based on the individuation of scientific disciplines and the general kind that a discipline is about, and it says that scientific demonstrations must not cross from one discipline, and corresponding kind, to another. I propose a very different account of the prohibition. The prohibition is (...) based on Aristotle's scientific and metaphysical essentialism, according to which a scientific demonstration must take as its starting point a set of per se properties of a subject, if these make up a single, unitary definition. The subject of demonstration here is a kind, although not the general kind associated with a discipline, but rather the particular kind that the particular demonstration is about. (shrink)
Foundationalism and coherentism are two fundamentally opposed basic epistemological views about the structure of justification. Interestingly enough, there is no consensus on how to interpret Husserl. While interpreting Husserl as a foundationalist was the standard view in early Husserl scholarship, things have changed considerably as prominent commentators like Christian Beyer, John Drummond, Dagfinn Føllesdal, and Dan Zahavi have challenged this foundationalist interpretation. These anti-foundationalist interpretations have again been challenged, for instance, by Walter Hopp and Christian Erhard. One might suspect that (...) inconsistencies in Husserl’s writings are the simple reason for this disagreement. I shall argue, however, that the real question is not so much how to read Husserl, but how to define foundationalism and that there is overwhelming textual evidence that Husserl championed the most tenable version of foundationalism: a moderate foundationalism that allows for incorporating coherentist elements. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is twofold. The first is an interpretative one as I wish to provide a detailed account of Husserl’s conception of experiential justification. Here Ideas I and Introduction to Logic and Theory of Knowledge: Lectures 1906/07 will be my main resources. My second aim is to demonstrate the currency and relevance of Husserl’s conception. This means two things: Firstly, I will show that in current debates in analytic epistemology there is a movement sharing with Husserl the (...) basic idea that certain experiences gain their justificatory force simply from their distinctive phenomenal character. Secondly, I shall reveal the benefits of Husserl’s specific version of this view. Thus, one of my aims is to show that debates in current analytic epistemology could profit from adopting certain Husserlian elements. More precisely, I will defend Husserl’s claim that perceptual experiences are justifiers due to their self-giving phenomenal character as opposed to the currently popular view that it is the phenomenology of pushiness that makes them justifiers. To put it differently, what matters is what is originally given within experience and not how you feel about what is given. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to shed light on and develop what I call a phenomenological conception of experiential justification. According to this phenomenological conception, certain experiences gain their justificatory force from their distinctive phenomenology. Such an approach closely connects epistemology and philosophy of mind and has recently been proposed by several authors, most notably by Elijah Chudnoff, Ole Koksvik, and James Pryor. At the present time, however, there is no work that contrasts these different versions of PCEJ. This (...) paper not only bridges this gap, but also reveals problems in current versions of PCEJ. Consequently, I argue for a new version of PCEJ that focuses on what is given within experience and not on how what is given pushes me towards believing something. (shrink)
In current debates, many philosophers of science have sympathies for the project of introducing a new approach to the scientific realism debate that forges a middle way between traditional forms of scientific realism and anti-realism. One promising approach is perspectivism. Although different proponents of perspectivism differ in their respective characterizations of perspectivism, the common idea is that scientific knowledge is necessarily partial and incomplete. Perspectivism is a new position in current debates but it does have its forerunners. Figures that are (...) typically mentioned in this context include Dewey, Feyerabend, Leibniz, Kant, Kuhn, and Putnam. Interestingly, to my knowledge, there exists no work that discusses similarities to the phenomenological tradition. This is surprising because here one can find systematically similar ideas and even a very similar terminology. It is startling because early modern physics was noticeably influenced by phenomenological ideas. And it is unfortunate because the analysis of perspectival approaches in the phenomenological tradition can help us to achieve a more nuanced understanding of different forms of perspectivism. The main objective of this paper is to show that in the phenomenological tradition one finds a well-elaborated philosophy of science that shares important similarities with current versions of perspectivism. Engaging with the phenomenological tradition is also of systematic value since it helps us to gain a better understanding of the distinctive claims of perspectivism and to distinguish various grades of perspectivism. (shrink)
: In the 1980s, the analysis of presupposition projection contributed to a ‘dynamic turn’ in semantics: the classical notion of meanings as truth conditions was replaced with a dynamic notion of meanings as Context Change Potentials. We argue that this move was misguided, and we offer an alternative in which presupposition projection follows from the combination of a fully classical semantics and a new pragmatic principle, which we call Be Articulate. This principle requires that a meaning pp’ conceptualized as involving (...) a pre-condition p should be articulated as … … rather than as … pp’ …, unless the full conjunction is ruled out because the first or the second conjunct is semantically idle. In particular, … … is infelicitous - and hence … pp’ … is acceptable - if one can determine as soon as p and is uttered that no matter how the sentence ends these words could be eliminated without affecting its contextual meaning. An equivalence theorem guarantees that this condition suffices to derive Heim’s results in almost all cases. Extensions of the condition lead to several new predictions, in particular concerning some ‘symmetric readings’, as well as presupposition projection in quantified structures, which displays a complex interaction between the nature of the trigger and the monotonicity of the quantifier. (shrink)
There are two main approaches to the problem of donkey anaphora (e.g. If John owns a donkey , he beats it ). Proponents of dynamic approaches take the pronoun to be a logical variable, but they revise the semantics of quantifiers so as to allow them to bind variables that are not within their syntactic scope. Older dynamic approaches took this measure to apply solely to existential quantifiers; recent dynamic approaches have extended it to all quantifiers. By contrast, proponents of (...) E-type analyses take the pronoun to have the semantics of a definite description (with it ≈ the donkey, or the donkey that John owns ). While competing accounts make very different claims about the patterns of coindexation that are found in the syntax, these are not morphologically realized in spoken languages. But they are in sign language, namely through locus assignment and pointing. We make two main claims on the basis of ASL and LSF data. First, sign language data favor dynamic over E-type theories: in those cases in which the two approaches make conflicting predictions about possible patterns of coindexation, dynamic analyses are at an advantage. Second, among dynamic theories, sign language data favor recent ones because the very same formal mechanism is used irrespective of the indefinite or non-indefinite nature of the antecedent. Going beyond this debate, we argue that dynamic theories should allow pronouns to be bound across negative expressions, as long as the pronoun is presupposed to have a non-empty denotation. Finally, an appendix displays and explains subtle differences between overt sign language pronouns and all other pronouns in examples involving ‘disjunctive antecedents’, and suggests that counterparts of sign language loci might be found in spoken language. (shrink)
Husserl claims that his phenomenological–epistemological system amounts to a “universal” form of empiricism. The present paper shows that this universal moment of Husserl’s empiricism is why his empiricism qualifies as a rationalism. What is empiricist about Husserl’s phenomenological–epistemological system is that he takes experiences to be an autonomous source of immediate justification. On top of that, Husserl takes experiences to be the ultimate source of justification. For Husserl, every justified belief ultimately depends epistemically on the subject’s experiences. These are paradigms (...) of empiricist claims and thus Husserl seems to subscribe to empiricism. However, what is universal about Husserl’s “empiricism” is that he does not limit the concept of experiences to sensory experiences or sensory experiences plus introspective intuitions but broadens the concept of experience such that also a priori intuitions are included. Husserl insists that logical, mathematical, and phenomenological intuitions such as ~, 2 + 2 = 4, and “Experiences necessarily bear the mark of intentionality” provide non-inferential justification analogous to how sensory experiences can non-inferentially justify beliefs such as “There is a table in front of me.” Importantly, Husserl makes clear that such a priori intuitions are not about our concepts but about reality. This is why Husserl’s universal empiricism is a rationalism. Husserl differs from traditional rationalism as he allows that a priori intuitions can be fallible and empirically underminable. This distinguishes Husserl’s rationalism from Descartes’ and makes him a proponent of moderate rationalism as currently championed by Laurence BonJour. (shrink)
Stalnaker ( 1978 ) made two seminal claims about presuppositions. The most influential one was that presupposition projection is computed by a pragmatic mechanism based on a notion of ‘local context’ . Due to conceptual and technical difficulties, however, the latter notion was reinterpreted in purely semantic terms within ‘dynamic semantics’ (Heim 1983 ). The second claim was that some instances of presupposition generation should also be explained in pragmatic terms . But despite various attempts, the definition of a precise (...) ‘triggering algorithm’ has remained somewhat elusive. We discuss possible extensions of both claims. First, we offer a reconstruction of ‘local contexts’ which circumvents some of the difficulties faced by Stalnaker’s original analysis. We preserve the idea that local contexts are computed by a pragmatic mechanism that aggregates the information that follows from an incomplete sentence given the global context; but we crucially rely on a modified notion of entailment (‘R-entailment’), whose plausibility should be assessed on independent grounds. Second, we speculate that local contexts might prove necessary (though by no means sufficient) to understand how some presuppositions are triggered. In a nutshell, we suggest that a presupposition is triggered when the semantic contribution of an expression to its local context is in some sense ‘heterogeneous’. Without giving an analysis of the latter notion, we note that this architecture implies that presuppositions should be triggered on the basis of the meaning that an expression has relative to its local context (what we call its ‘local meaning’); we sketch some possible consequences of this analysis. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Austro-American” logical empiricism proposed by physicist and philosopher Philipp Frank, particularly his interpretation of Carnap’s Aufbau, which he considered the charter of logical empiricism as a scientific world conception. According to Frank, the Aufbau was to be read as an integration of the ideas of Mach and Poincaré, leading eventually to a pragmatism quite similar to that of the American pragmatist William James. Relying on this peculiar interpretation, Frank intended to bring (...) about a rapprochement between the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle in exile and American pragmatism. In the course of this project, in the last years of his career, Frank outlined a comprehensive, socially engaged philosophy of science that could serve as a “link between science and philosophy”. (shrink)
According to one productive and influential approach to cognition, categorization, object recognition, and higher level cognitive processes operate on a set of fixed features, which are the output of lower level perceptual processes. In many situations, however, it is the higher level cognitive process being executed that influences the lower level features that are created. Rather than viewing the repertoire of features as being fixed by low-level processes, we present a theory in which people create features to subserve the representation (...) and categorization of objects. Two types of category learning should be distinguished. Fixed space category learning occurs when new categorizations are representable with the available feature set. Flexible space category learning occurs when new categorizations cannot be represented with the features available. Whether fixed or flexible, learning depends on the featural contrasts and similarities between the new category to be represented and the individual's existing concepts. Fixed feature approaches face one of two problems with tasks that call for new features: If the fixed features are fairly high level and directly useful for categorization, then they will not be flexible enough to represent all objects that might be relevant for a new task. If the fixed features are small, subsymbolic fragments (such as pixels), then regularities at the level of the functional features required to accomplish categorizations will not be captured by these primitives. We present evidence of flexible perceptual changes arising from category learning and theoretical arguments for the importance of this flexibility. We describe conditions that promote feature creation and argue against interpreting them in terms of fixed features. Finally, we discuss the implications of functional features for object categorization, conceptual development, chunking, constructive induction, and formal models of dimensionality reduction. Key Words: concept learning; conceptual development; features; perceptual learning; stimulus encoding. (shrink)
Barnett and Block (J Bus Ethics 18(2):179–194, 2011 ) argue that one cannot distinguish between deposits and loans due to the continuum problem of maturities and because future goods do not exist—both essential characteristics that distinguish deposit from loan contracts. In a similar way but leading to opposite conclusions (Cachanosky, forthcoming) maintains that both maturity mismatching and fractional reserve banking are ethically justified as these contracts are equivalent. We argue herein that the economic and legal differences between genuine deposit and (...) loan contracts are clear. This implies different legal obligations for these contracts, a necessary step in assessing the ethics of both fractional reserve banking and maturity mismatching. While the former is economically, legally, and perhaps most importantly ethically problematic, there are no such troubles with the latter. (shrink)
Based on the analysis of narrations in Free Indirect Discourse and the Historical Present, we argue that the grammatical notion of context of speech should be ramified into a Context of Thought and a Context of Utterance. Tense and person depend on the Context of Utterance, while all other indexicals are evaluated with respect to the Context of Thought. Free Indirect Discourse and the Historical Present are analyzed as special combinatorial possibilities that arise when the two contexts are distinct, and (...) exactly one of them is presented as identical to the physical point at which the sentence is articulated. (shrink)
Conceptualist accounts of the representational content of perceptual experiences have it that a subject _S_ can experience no object, property, relation, etc., unless _S_ "i# possesses and "ii# exercises concepts for such object, property, or relation. Perceptual experiences, on such a view, represent the world in a way that is conceptual.
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