This paper discusses Jean van Heijenoort’s (1967) and Jaakko and Merrill B. Hintikka’s (1986, 1997) distinction between logic as auniversal language and logic as a calculus, and its applicability to Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology. Although it is argued that Husserl’s phenomenology shares characteristics with both sides, his view of logic is closer to the model-theoretical, logic-as-calculus view. However, Husserl’s philosophy as transcendental philosophy is closer to the universalist view. This paper suggests that Husserl’s position shows that holding a model-theoretical view of (...) logic does not necessarily imply a calculus view about the relations between language and the world. The situation calls for reflection about the distinction: It will be suggested that the applicability of the van Heijenoort and the Hintikkas distinction either has to be restricted to a particular philosopher’s views about logic, in which case no implications about his or her more general philosophical views should be inferred from it; or the distinction turns into a question of whether our human predicament is inescapable or whether it is possible, presumably by means of model theory, to obtain neutral answers to philosophical questions. Thus the distinction ultimately turns into a question about the correct method for doing philosophy. (shrink)
This paper discusses Jean van Heijenoort’s and Jaakko and Merrill B. Hintikka’s distinction between logic as auniversal language and logic as a calculus, and its applicability to Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology. Although it is argued that Husserl’s phenomenology shares characteristics with both sides, his view of logic is closer to the model-theoretical, logic-as-calculus view. However, Husserl’s philosophy as transcendental philosophy is closer to the universalist view. This paper suggests that Husserl’s position shows that holding a model-theoretical view of logic does not (...) necessarily imply a calculus view about the relations between language and the world. The situation calls for reflection about the distinction: It will be suggested that the applicability of the van Heijenoort and the Hintikkas distinction either has to be restricted to a particular philosopher’s views about logic, in which case no implications about his or her more general philosophical views should be inferred from it; or the distinction turns into a question of whether our human predicament is inescapable or whether it is possible, presumably by means of model theory, to obtain neutral answers to philosophical questions. Thus the distinction ultimately turns into a question about the correct method for doing philosophy. (shrink)
This paper presents an information-based logic that is applied to the analysis of entailment, implicature and presupposition in natural language. The logic is very fine-grained and is able to make distinctions that are outside the scope of classical logic. It is independently motivated by certain properties of natural human reasoning, namely partiality, paraconsistency, relevance, and defeasibility: once these are accounted for, the data on implicature and presupposition comes quite naturally.The logic is based on the family of semantic spaces (...) known as bilattices, originally proposed by Ginsberg (1988), and used extensively by Fitting (1989, 1992). Specifically, the logic is based on a subset of bilattices that I call evidential bilattices, constructed as the Cartesian product of certain algebras with themselves. The specific details of the epistemic agent approach of the logical system is derived from the work of Belnap (1975, 1977), augmented by the use of evidential links for inferencing. An important property of the system is that it has been implemented using an extension of Fitting's work on bilattice logic programming (1989, 1991) to build a model-based inference engine for the augmented Belnap logic. This theorem prover is very efficient for a reasonably wide range of inferences. (shrink)
In The Dynamics of Meaning , Gennaro Chierchia tackles central issues in dynamic semantics and extends the general framework. Chapter 1 introduces the notion of dynamic semantics and discusses in detail the phenomena that have been used to motivate it, such as "donkey" sentences and adverbs of quantification. The second chapter explores in greater depth the interpretation of indefinites and issues related to presuppositions of uniqueness and the "E-type strategy." In Chapter 3, Chierchia extends the dynamic approach to the domain (...) of syntactic theory, considering a range of empirical problems that includes backwards anaphora, reconstruction effects, and weak crossover. The final chapter develops the formal system of dynamic semantics to deal with central issues of definites and presupposition. Chierchia shows that an approach based on a principled enrichment of the mechanisms dealing with meaning is to be preferred on empirical grounds over approaches that depend on an enrichment of the syntactic apparatus. Dynamics of Meaning illustrates how seemingly abstract stances on the nature of meaning can have significant and far-reaching linguistic consequences, leading to the detection of new facts and influencing our understanding of the syntax/semantics/pragmatics interface. (shrink)
Exponents and critics of semantic presupposition have almost invariably based their discussion on the ('Standard') definition of presupposition implied by Frege and Strawson. In this study Noel Burton-Roberts argues convincingly against this definition, that leads it to a three-valued semantics. He presents a very simple semantic definition which is weaker, more general and leads to a semantics more easily interpreted as two-valued with gaps. The author shows that a wide range of intuitive facts that eluded the Standard definition (...) follow directly from this ('Revised') definition itself: facts about the presuppositions of compound sentences and modal sentences, about presuppositional conflict and about differences in the logical status of simple sentences suffering from presupposition failure. The book includes a detailed argument that an ambiguity of natural language negation, generally assumed to be necessary to the defence of semantic presupposition, is neither possible nor necessary in a presuppositional semantics. Noel Burton-Roberts has made an authoritative contribution to a debate which has involved philosophers and linguists for many years. His command of the issues, his clarity of exposition and his theoretical insight may well serve to change the boundaries of that debate. (shrink)
All humans can interpret sentences of their native language quickly and without effort. Working from the perspective of generative grammar, the contributors investigate three mental mechanisms, widely assumed to underlie this ability: compositional semantics, implicature computation and presupposition computation. This volume brings together experts from semantics and pragmatics to bring forward the study of interconnections between these three mechanisms. The contributions develop new insights into important empirical phenomena; for example, approximation, free choice, accommodation, and exhaustivity effects.
In this paper it is shown how a partial semantics for presuppositions can be given which is empirically more satisfactory than its predecessors, and how this semantics can be integrated with a technically sound, compositional grammar in the Montagovian fashion. Additionally, it is argued that the classical objection to partial accounts of presupposition projection, namely that they lack “flexibility,” is based on a misconception. Partial logics can give rise to flexible predictions without postulating any ad hoc ambiguities. Finally, it (...) is shown how the partial foundation can be combined with a dynamic system of common-ground maintenance to account for accommodation. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper discusses ancient versions of paradoxes today classified as paradoxes of presupposition and how their ancient solutions compare with contemporary ones. Sections 1-4 air ancient evidence for the Fallacy of Complex Question and suggested solutions, introduce the Horn Paradox, consider its authorship and contemporary solutions. Section 5 reconstructs the Stoic solution, suggesting the Stoics produced a Russellian-type solution based on a hidden scope ambiguity of negation. The difference to Russell's explanation of definite descriptions is that in the (...) Horn Paradox the Stoics uncovered a hidden conjunction rather than a hidden existential sentence. Sections 6 and 7 investigate hidden ambiguities in 'to have' and 'to lose' (including inalienable and alienable possession) and ambiguities of quantification based on substitution of indefinite plural expressions for indefinite or anaphoric pronouns, and Stoic awareness of these. Section 8 considers metaphorical readings and allusions that add further spice to the paradox. (shrink)
This paper argues for and explores the implications of the following epistemological principle for knowability a priori (with 'Ka' abbreviating 'it is knowable a priori that'). -/- (AK) For all ϕ, ψ such that ϕ semantically presupposes ψ: if Ka(ϕ), Ka(ψ). -/- Well-known arguments for the contingent a priori and a priori knowledge of logical truth founder when the semantic presuppositions of the putative items of knowledge are made explicit. Likewise, certain kinds of analytic truth turn out to carry semantic (...) presuppositions that make them ineligible as items of a priori knowledge. -/- On a happier note, I argue that (AK) offers an appealing, theory-neutral explanation of the a posteriori character of certain necessary identities, as well as an interesting rationalization for a commonplace linguistic maneuver in philosophical work on the a priori. (shrink)
A modal logic for translating a sequence of English sentences to a sequence of logical forms is presented, characterized by Kripke models with points formed from input/output sequences, and valuations determined by entailment relations. Previous approaches based (to one degree or another) on Quantified Dynamic Logic are embeddable within it. Applications to presupposition and ambiguity are described, and decision procedures and axiomatizations supplied.
In this volume, Geurts takes discourse representation theory (DRT), and turns it into a unified account of anaphora and presupposition, which he applies not only to the standard problem cases but also to the interpretation of modal expressions, attitude reports, and proper names. The resulting theory, for all its simplicity, is without doubt the most comprehensive of its kind to date. The central idea underlying Geurts' 'binding theory' of presupposition is that anaphora is just a special case of (...)presupposition projection. But this is only one of the ways in which the concept of presupposition is taken beyond its traditional limits. Geurts shows, furthermore, that presupposition projection is crucially involved in several phenomena that are not usually viewed in presuppositional terms, such as modal subordination, de re readings of attitude reports, and rigid designation. While making his case for DRT and the binding theory, Geurts also presents an incisive analysis of what is probably still the most influential account of presupposition, viz. the satisfaction theory, demonstrating that there are fundamental problems not only with this theory but with the very framework in which it is couched. (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)
Both the phenomenon of presupposition and that of vagueness have motivated the use of one form or another of trivalent logic, in which a declarative sentence can not only receive the standard values true and false , but also a third, non-standard truth-value which is usually understood as ‘undefined’ . The goal of this paper is to propose a multivalent framework which can deal simultaneously with presupposition and vagueness, and, more specifically, capture their projection properties as well as (...) their different roles in language. Now, there is a prima facie simple way of doing this, which simply consists in assimilating the two phenomena, and using an appropriate type of trivalent logic. On this view, we just need a compositional system that deals with the ‘undefined’ truth-value, and does not care about whether the source of undefinedness is ‘presuppositional’ or related to vagueness. I will argue that such a simple solution cannot succeed, and point out a number of desiderata that any successful approach must meet. I will then present and discuss two seven-valued semantics, inspired, respectively, by the Strong Kleene semantics and by supervaluationism, which meet these desiderata. (shrink)
First, I will sketch an account of identity sentences according to which identity is a device for achieving semantic change. Specifically, it changes which sentences are analytic. Second, I will sketch an account of presupposition according to which presupposition triggers are devices for logical change. More precisely, they change the logic of the language (not the logical form of the sentences in which they occur). The purpose is to sketch a general strategy of appealing to change within a (...) language to handle tricky cases. (shrink)
In researching presuppositions dealing with logic and dynamic of belief we distinguish two related parts. The first part refers to presuppositions and logic, which is not necessarily involved with intentional operators. We are primarily concerned with classical, free and presuppositonal logic. Here, we practice a well known Strawson’s approach to the problem of presupposition in relation to classical logic. Further on in this work, free logic is used, especially Van Fraassen’s research of the role of presupposition in supervaluations (...) logical systems. At the end of the first part, presuppositional logic, advocated by S.K. Thomason, is taken into consideration. The second part refers to the presuppositions in relation to the logic of the dynamics of belief. Here the logic of belief change is taken into consideration and other epistemic notions with immanent mechanism for the presentation of the dynamics. Three representative and dominant approaches are evaluated. First, we deal with new, less classical, situation semantics. Besides Strawson’s theory, the second theory is the theory of the belief change, developed by Alchourron, Gärdenfors, and Makinson (AGM theory). At the end, the oldest, universal, and dominant approach is used, recognized as Hintikka’s approach to the analysis of epistemic notions. (shrink)
Metaphysics is a repeated act by way of representation ; the instantaneous judgment is solidified, the inevitable conclusion is made, and at the same time other possibilities are excluded. Outside thinking is a blow to the spiritual tradition of metaphysics, which holds that representation will lead to a differential activity concerning the relationship between stranger things. Such relationship follows a kind of horizontal logic, the latter discards the presupposition on the origin of things, that is, it no longer presumes (...) that this point or that point has greater privilege than other points. Things do not develop from a central point. Rather, things are the result of innumerable points in cooperative relationships between strangers. These cooperative relationships are arbitrary. In horizontal logic, many starting points or spiritual T-points are used as substitutes for a unique origin. (shrink)
Pour des raisons essentiellement liées à la vocation des textes où la notion de présupposition a fait son apparition, c’est la présupposition d’existence qui s’est imposée la première à l’attention des philosophes du langage. Elle a également déterminé l’orientation des débats en les focalisant sur quelques problèmes traditionnels, au premier chef desquels le problème de l’absence de référence de certaines expressions et celui des imperfections du langage naturel. Contrairement aux noms propres et aux descriptions définies, les termes qui signifient des (...) universaux ont joué un rôle très marginal dans la discussion de ce qui est présupposé par les énoncés que nous échangeons. Ce sont pourtant les noms d’espèces et de genres qui ont été associés les tout premiers à des phénomènes qui relèvent de la présupposition. Afin de montrer que cette association n’a rien perdu de son intérêt, nous avons étudié le traitement qu’Aristote réserve à la famille de paralogismes qui exploitent la similarité morphologique entre noms propres et noms communs pour rattacher la même présupposition d’existence aux uns et aux autres, alors même que cette présupposition est légitime dans un cas (celui des expressions qui désignent des choses particulières), abusive dans l’autre cas (celui des expressions qui signifient des universaux). (shrink)
Ignacio Jane has argued that second-order logic presupposes some amount of set theory and hence cannot legitimately be used in axiomatizing set theory. I focus here on his claim that the second-order formulation of the Axiom of Separation presupposes the character of the power set operation, thereby preventing a thorough study of the power set of infinite sets, a central part of set theory. In reply I argue that substantive issues often cannot be separated from a logic, but rather must (...) be presupposed. I call this the logic-metalogic link. There are two facets to the logic-metalogic link. First, when a logic is entangled with a substantive issue, the same position on that issue should be taken at the meta- level as at the object level; and second, if an expression has a clear meaning in natural language, then the corresponding concept can equally well be deployed in a formal language. The determinate nature of the power set operation is one such substantive issue in set theory. Whether there is a determinate power set of an infinite set can only be presupposed in set theory, not proved, so the use of second-order logic cannot be ruled out by virtue of presupposing one answer to this question. Moreover, the legitimacy of presupposing in the background logic that the power set of an infinite set is determinate is guaranteed by the clarity and definiteness of the notions of all and of subset. This is also exactly what is required for the same presupposition to be legitimately made in an axiomatic set theory, so the use of second-order logic in set theory rather than first-order logic does not require any new metatheoretic commitments. (shrink)
A simple, bivalent semantics is defined for Łukasiewicz’s 4-valued modal logic Łm4. It is shown that according to this semantics, the essential presupposition underlying Łm4 is the following: A is a theorem iff A is true conforming to both the reductionist and possibilist theses defined as follows: rt: the value of modal formulas is equivalent to the value of their respective argument iff A is true, etc.); pt: everything is possible. This presupposition highlights and explains all oddities arising (...) in Łm4. (shrink)
The following paper deals with the notion of existence, especially as concerns natural languages. In Section 1, starting from some quite obvious examples drawn from logic, I sketch the problem of the existential presupposition usually ascribed to noun phrases. My opinion is that the point of view frequently adopted in this case is unduly restrictive, for the existence which is believed to be presupposed here is actual existence. Accordingly, I emphasize the need for having a weaker notion of existential (...)presupposition, such that the existence (if this word can still be used) here referred to is relevant only to linguistic goals. Section 2 sketches this notion, by assimilating existence (in the weak sense) to identification in a linguistic space. (I deal here only with intuitive considerations: a more formal account will be given, I hope, in another paper.) Finally, in Section 3, the notion of actual existence is examined by contrast with the linguistic (or weak) notion of existence: and this is a question which of course can't be tackled in terms of a purely linguistic analysis, for it needs a general, epistemo-logical approach. (shrink)
The present paper presents an anaphoric account of presupposition. It is argued that presuppositional expressions should not be seen as referring expressions, nor is presupposition to be explicated in terms of some non-standard logic. The notion of presupposition should not be relegated to a pragmatic theory either. Instead presuppositional expressions are claimed to be anaphoric expressions which have internal structure and semantic content. In fact they only differ from pronouns and other semantically less loaded anaphors in that (...) they have more descriptive content. It is this fact which enables them to create an antecedent in case discourse does not provide one. If their capacity to accommodate is taken into account they can be treated by basically the same mechanism which handles the resolution of pronouns. The theory is elaborated in the framework of discourse representation theory. It is shown that pragmatic factors interfere in the resolution of presuppositional anaphors. The resulting account can neither be classified as wholly semantic nor wholly pragmatic. Section 1 presents a survey of standing problems in the theory of presupposition projection and discusses the major competing approaches. An argumentation for a purely anaphoric account of presupposition is given in section 2. Section 3 presents a coding of presuppositional expressions in an extension of discourse representation theory. The final section is devoted to a discussion of the constraints which govern the resolution of presuppositional anaphors. (shrink)
Heim 1983 suggested that the analysis of presupposition projection requires that the classical notion of meanings as truth conditions be replaced with a dynamic notion of meanings as Context Change Potentials. But as several researchers (including Heim herself) later noted, the dynamic framework is insufficiently predictive: although it allows one to state that, say, the dynamic effect of F and G is to first update a Context Set C with F and then with G (i.e., C[F and G] = (...) C[F][G]), it fails to explain why there couldn’t be a ‘deviant’ conjunction and* which performed these operations in the opposite order (i.e., C[F and* G] = C[G][F]). We provide a formal introduction to a competing framework, the Transparency theory, which addresses this problem. Unlike dynamic semantics, our analysis is fully classical, i.e., bivalent and static. And it derives the projective behavior of connectives from their bivalent meaning and their syntax. We concentrate on the formal properties of a simple version of the theory, and we prove that (i) full equivalence with Heim’s results is guaranteed in the propositional case (Theorem 1), and that (ii) the equivalence can be extended to the quantificational case (for any generalized quantifiers), but only when certain conditions are met (Theorem 2). (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it aims at providing an account of an indirect mechanism responsible for establishing one's power to issue biding directive acts; second, it is intended as a case for an externalist account of illocutionary interaction. The mechanism in question is akin to what David Lewis calls presupposition accommodation: a rule-governed process whereby the context of an utterance is adjusted to make the utterance acceptable; the main idea behind the proposed account is that (...) the indirect power-establishing mechanism involves the use of imperative sentences that function as presupposition triggers and as such can trigger off the accommodating change of the context of their utterance. According to the externalist account of illocutionary interaction, in turn, at least in some cases the illocutionary force of an act is determined by the audience's uptake rather than by what the speaker intends or believes; in particular, at least in some cases it is the speaker, not her audience, who is invited to accommodate the presupposition of her act. The paper has three parts. The first one defines a few terms — i.e., an “illocution”, a “biding act”, the “audience's uptake” and an “Austinian presupposition” — thereby setting the stage for the subsequent discussion. The second part formulates and discusses the main problem of the present paper: what is the source of the agent's power to perform binding directive acts? The third part offers an account of the indirect power-establishing mechanism and discusses its externalist implications. (shrink)
We carry out the Karttunen-Stalnaker pragmatic account of presupposition projection within a state-of-the art version of dynamic epistemic logic. It turns out that the basic projection facts can all be derived from a Gricean maxim ‘be informative’. This sheds light on a recent controversy on the appropriateness of dynamic semantics as a tool for analysing presupposition.