Current textbooks in formal semantics are all versions of, or introductions to, the same paradigm in semantic theory: Montague Grammar. Knowledge of Meaning is based on different assumptions and a different history. It provides the only introduction to truth- theoretic semantics for natural languages, fully integrating semantic theory into the modern Chomskyan program in linguistic theory and connecting linguistic semantics to research elsewhere in cognitive psychology and philosophy. As such, it better fits into a modern graduate or undergraduate program in (...) linguistics, cognitive science, or philosophy. Furthermore, since the technical tools it employs are much simpler to teach and to master, Knowledge of Meaning can be taught by someone who is not primarily a semanticist. Linguistic semantics cannot be studied as a stand-alone subject but only as part of cognitive psychology, the authors assert. It is the study of a particular human cognitive competence governing the meanings of words and phrases. Larson and Segal argue that speakers have unconscious knowledge of the semantic rules of their language, and they present concrete, empirically motivated proposals about a formal theory of this competence based on the work of Alfred Tarski and Donald Davidson. The theory is extended to a wide range of constructions occurring in natural language, including predicates, proper nouns, pronouns and demonstratives, quantifiers, definite descriptions, anaphoric expressions, clausal complements, and adverbs. Knowledge of Meaning gives equal weight to philosophical, empirical, and formal discussions. It addresses not only the empirical issues of linguistic semantics but also its fundamental conceptual questions, including the relation of truth to meaning and the methodology of semantic theorizing. Numerous exercises are included in the book. (shrink)
The way language as a human faculty has evolved is a question that preoccupies researchers from a wide spread of disciplines. In this book, a team of writers has been brought together to examine the evolution of language from a variety of such standpoints, including language's genetic basis, the anthropological context of its appearance, its formal structure, its relation to systems of cognition and thought, as well as its possible evolutionary antecedents. The book includes Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch's seminal and (...) provocative essay on the subject, 'The Faculty of Language,' and charts the progress of research in this active and highly controversial field since its publication in 2002. This timely volume will be welcomed by researchers and students in a number of disciplines, including linguistics, evolutionary biology, psychology, and cognitive science. (shrink)
law's oscillation between power and meaning -- Law's screen life : visualizing law in practice -- Images run riot : law on the landscape of the neo-baroque -- Theorizing the visual sublime : law's legitimation reconsidered -- The digital challenge : command and control culture and the ethical sublime -- Conclusion : visualizing law as integral rhetoric : harmonizing the ethical and the aesthetic.
In this book, Richard Fenn looks at the way in which we experience time in secular societies. In Fenn's view, secularization is virtually synonymous with individualism. Although it is often the Church that decries modern individualism, he says, it is in fact the Church that created it, by its demystification of the universe, its insistence on individual self-discipline, and its intensification of individual responsibility for the use of time. The result was a profound change in the way in which (...) time is experienced by the individual. Fenn offers a probing exploration of our modern experience of time, as expressed in such phrases as 'wasting time' and 'making up for lost time'. He is particularly interested in the idea and experience of waiting, which he believes to be a defining characteristic of modern life. (shrink)
In a clear and interesting style that presupposes no prior knowledge of philosophy, this book states the main features of the relativist-absolutist debate over the foundations of ethics. The dialogues explore the rational basis for moral judgement and examine the question from both the perspective of moral relativism and that of moral absolutism.
While discourse on the relation between Christianity and science has a long history, it has only been in the last century that Buddhists and Buddhist scholars have begun to consider the relation between their own religious tradition and the promises and challenges of modern science. This does not mean that there has not been a long history of a relation between Buddhism and the sciences. However, rarely has that relation been conceived of in terms of “discourse on religion and science” (...) as such. As a result, much of the recent work done in the area of science and religion, though significant in its own right, inadequately considers many core Buddhist concerns. Originally published in 1993, this version has been updated with a preface surveying developments over the last three decades. (shrink)
By accepting the above proposals for translating tenses it appears possible to achieve a very general account of the interpretation of Warlpiri adjoined clauses. Moreover, if the analysis is correct it would provide an interesting example of natural language generalizing across tenses and NPs, since what we would have is a single syntactic construction whose interpretation varied according to whether an NP or a tense were translated with a distinguished variable. These results thus serve to pose once again the question (...) of where precisely the common features of tenses and NPs reside. Recent work applying model-theoretic techniques to natural language semantics may well provide an answer. Thus in Dowty (1979) and Larson and Cooper (1980) NPs and tenses both denote the same sort of set-theoretic object, viz., sets of sets. Within generalized quantification theory this is just to say that both NPs and tenses denote quantifiers (cf. Barwise and Cooper, 1981, for much illuminating information on quantifiers and natural language). It may thus be possible to view the interpretation of Warlpiri adjoined clauses as a case of natural language generalizing across the semantic type of quantifiers. (shrink)
This essay provides a critical analysis of the concept “Japanese Buddhism.” “Japanese Buddhism” is an inherently ambiguous phrase, and this allows it to conceal a host of problematic theoretical commitments. On the one hand, the phrase is relatively bland—a mere locative identifying the various forms of Buddhism found in Japan. On the other, however, it can be used with a different kind of adjectival intent, identifying a unique kind of Buddhism, a Buddhism that is Japanese. In contrast, the expression “Buddhisms (...) of Japan” is explicitly employed as an alternative to “Japanese Buddhism.” These usages are intentional—not simply a matter of stylistics, but serving meta-theoretical ends. In fact, it is in this realm of meta-theory that the following critique of three prominent approaches to the study of the thought and practice of the Buddhisms of Japan—one theoretical and two disciplinary—is leveraged. The distinction between theoretical and disciplinary creates something of an unbalanced structure in the following, since the theoretical issue—the tendency to essentialize “Japanese Buddhism” in one way or another—is common to both of the disciplinary approaches examined here, that is, comparative philosophy and comparative religion. It is necessary to subvert the very idea that there is any one correct way to represent Japanese Buddhism against which other representations may be judged. Such a project is necessarily doomed to failure. This is clear once we shift our understanding of the referent of the phrase “Japanese Buddhism.” Rather than having any fixed referent, whether as a Platonic ideal form, a natural kind, or a class noun, it is a social construction, one that operates within a sociology or economy of knowledge. To presume that “Japanese Buddhism” has a fixed referent, an ahistorical essence or a transhistorical identity, that can be represented, conceals the role of selection underlying the referent. In other words, “Japanese Buddhism” is not something discovered but, rather, something made, an artifact of both popular and academic discourse. Such a claim, of course, does not imply that there are not indefinitely many things that can be pointed to stipulatively as instances of Japanese Buddhism. Indeed, the constructed nature of the concept is indicated by this overwhelming number of possible stipulative referents and the plurality of ways in which they can be grouped and categorized. (shrink)
Accreditation requirements for schools of education across the country have changed dramatically in recent years. Accreditation bodies are no longer willing to accept a proclamation that a particular standard or guideline is being addressed in a course through lecture or course requirements. Performance assessment is the current concept requiring schools of education to demonstrate student mastery of a standard and to provide data demonstrating this mastery. Case studies present a teaching and learning opportunity to demonstrate students have the ability to (...) master a particular accreditation standard or guideline while also providing a method to ensure an opportunity to develop higher order thinking skills. (shrink)