This paper offers an explanation of the fact that sentences of the form (1) ‘X may A or B’ may be construed as implying (2) ‘X may A and X may B’, especially if they are used to grant permission. It is suggested that the effect arises because disjunctions are conjunctive lists of epistemic possibilities. Consequently, if the modal may is itself epistemic, (1) comes out as equivalent to (2), due to general laws of epistemic logic. On the other hand, (...) on a deontic reading of may, (2) is only implied under exceptional circumstances – which usually obtain when (1) is used performatively. (shrink)
This paper is about the semantic analysis of referentially opaque verbs like seek and owe that give rise to nonspecific readings. It is argued that Montague's categorization (based on earlier work by Quine) of opaque verbs as properties of quantifiers runs into two serious difficulties: the first problem is that it does not work with opaque verbs like resemble that resist any lexical decomposition of the seek ap try to find kind; the second one is that it wrongly predicts de (...) dicto (i.e. narrow scope) readings due to quantified noun phrases in the object positions of such verbs. It is shown that both difficulties can be overcome by an analysis of opaque verbs as operating on properties. This is a strongly modified version of a paper entitled lsquoDo We Bear Attitudes towards Quantifiers?rsquo that I have presented at conferences in Gosen (Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft), Ithaca (SALT I), and Konstanz (Lexikon). I owe a special debt to Hans Kamp and Arnim von Stechow for shaping my views on the subject of this paper during the past ten years or so. Comments from and discussions with the following friends and colleagues have also led to considerable improvements: Heinrich Beck, Steve Berman, David Dowty, Veerle van Geenhoven, Fritz Hamm, Irene Heim, Wolfgang Klein, Angelika Kratzer, Michael Morreau, Barbara Partee, Mats Rooth, Roger Schwarzschild, Wolfgang Sternefeld, Emil Weydert, Henk Zeevat, and three referees. (shrink)
The paper is about the interpretation of opaque verbs like “seek”, “owe”, and “resemble” which allow for unspecific readings of their (indefinite) objects. It is shown that the following two observations create a problem for semantic analysis: (a) The opaque position is upward monotone: “John seeks a unicorn” implies “John seeks an animal”, given that “unicorn” is more specific than “animal”. (b) Indefinite objects of opaque verbs allow for higher-order, or “underspecific”, readings: “Jones is looking for something Smith is looking (...) for” can express that there is something unspecific that both Jones and Smith are looking for. Given (a) and (b), it would seem that the following inference is hard to escape, if the premisses are construed unspecifically and the conclusion is taken on its under- specific reading: Jones is looking for a sweater. Smith is looking for a pen. Smith is looking for something Jones is looking for. (shrink)
This paper deals with the role of meaning postulates in Montague's theory of indirect interpretation. More specifically, it is concerned with the problem of finding suitable constraints on systems of postulates. One plausible candidate for such a constraint is discussed in some detail. It is a principle to the effect that the logical complexity of any meaning postulate must not exceed the expressive power of the natural language under description. It is argued that such a constraint would be too powerful (...) because it rules out transparency (first-order reducibility) postulates because they are essentially second-order statements. A weaker alternative to the original constraint is then formulated. It is argued that this new constraint should not be the only restriction on the structure of meaning postulates. (shrink)
Since the days of classical Montague Grammar, formal semantics is frequently characterised as intensional, type-logical and model-theoretic. This paper takes a closer look of some less obvious changes these three key concepts have undergone since the appearance of English as a Formal Language. While intensions used to be crucial for resolving substitution puzzles, they are now giving way to more general constructions of index-dependant denotations. Types, on the other hand, were promoted from handy taxonomic devices to driving forces in meaning (...) composition. Finally, the rôle of models was overestimated in the early days of formal semantics, but appears to have lost its importance. (shrink)
ABSTRACTBackwards-looking operators Saarinen, E. [1979. “Backwards-Looking Operators in Tense Logic and in Natural Language.” In Essays on Mathematical and Philosophical Logic, edited by J. Hintikka, I. Niiniluoto, and E. Saarinen, 341–367. Dordrecht: Reidel] that have the material in their scope depend on higher intensional operators, are known to increase the expressivity of some intensional languages and have thus played a central role in debates about approaches to intensionality in terms of implicit parameters vs. variables explicitly quantifying over them. The current (...) contribution takes a look at these operators from a type-logical perspective. It is shown that extending Gallin's translation from intensional type logic to two-sorted type theory so as to include a version of Yanovich's (Yanovich, I. [201... (shrink)
As first pointed out by Saul, the co-referential names in sentences like and defy substitution _salva veritate_: Clark Kent went into the phone booth, and Superman came out. I never made it to Karl-Marx-Stadt, but I visited Chemnitz last year. This paper elaborates and compares two solutions to Saul's substitution problem, both of which turn on an asymmetry between names that share their bearers. According to the first solution there is a semantic distinction between neutral names and restricted names. According (...) to the second solution, only neutral names are properly used, whereas the use of restricted names involves code-switching and pragmatic re-interpretation. As it turns out, the semantic approach deals more easily with changing names as in, whereas the pragmatic account is more adequate in explaining hidden identity cases like. (shrink)
1This work was supported in part by the projects TRINDI (Task Oriented Instructional Dialogue), EC Project LE4-8314, SDS (Swedish Dialogue Systems), NUTEK/HSFR Language Technology Project F1472/1997, INDI (Information Exchange in Dialogue), Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 1997-0134, and SIRIDUS (Specification, Interaction, Reconfiguration in Dialogue Understanding Systems), EC Project IST-1999-10516, and ILT (Interactive Language Technology), Vinnova Project 2001-6340. To appear in Presuppositions and Discourse ed. by Rainer Bäuerle, Uwe Reyle and Thomas Ede Zimmermann, Elsevier, Amsterdam.
This collection includes twenty original philosophical essays in honour of Wolfgang Spohn. The contributions mirror the scope of Wolfgang Spohn’s work. They address topics from epistemology (e.g., the theory of ranking functions, belief revision, and the nature of knowledge and belief), philosophy of science (e.g., causation, induction, and laws of nature), the philosophy of language (e.g., the theory of meaning and the semantics of counterfactuals), and the philosophy of mind (e.g., intentionality and free will), as well as problems of ontology, (...) logic, the theory of practical rationality, and meta-philosophy. ― Contributors: Ansgar Beckermann, Wolfgang Benkewitz, Bernd Buldt, Ralf Busse, Christoph Fehige, Wolfgang Freitag, Gordian Haas, Volker Halbach, Franz Huber, Andreas Kemmerling, Manfred Kupffer, Hannes Leitgeb, Godehard Link, Arthur Merin, Thomas Müller, Julian Nida-Rümelin, Martine Nida-Rümelin, Hans Rott, Holger Sturm, Thomas Ede Zimmermann, Alexandra Zinke. (shrink)
The management literature is replete with studies on business ethics. Unfortunately, most of these studies have dealt exclusively with ethics in large businesses. Although a handful of studies can be found on small business ethics, none has paid attention to the issue of ethics in small minority businesses. Similarly, several studies on ethics have utilized the Wood et al. (1988) 16-vignette ethics scale, although reliability and validity issues associated with the scale have never been fully addressed. In this study, a (...) purification (via content analysis) of the above mentioned scale was performed. Three reliable factors were extracted from the purified scale. They were used to investigate the ethics in small minority businesses. The study found an association between business ethics and demographic and company-related variables. In the case of age of respondents, findings ran counter the usual relationship of age being positively related to ethical attitudes. The implications of these findings are also discussed. (shrink)
Hecky is a strange character, a mixture between an elephant and a squirrel, but with distinctly human features, including the gifts of speaking (English) and painting, and some supernatural powers. He once painted an enormous brick bridge leading halfway across a canyon near where his archenemy lives. Hence the following sentence clearly expresses a truth.
This paper is about the semantic analysis of opaque verbs such as seek and owe, which allow for unspecific readings of their indefinite objects.1 One may be looking for a good car without there being any car that one is looking for; or, one may be looking for a good car in that a specific car exists that one is looking for. It thus appears that there are two interpretations of these verbs – a specific and an unspecific one – (...) and one may wonder how they are related. The present paper is a contribution to this question. (shrink)
Abstract Freedom in the sense of free will is a multiway power to do any one of a number of things, leaving it up to us which one of a range of options by way of action we perform. What are the ethical implications of our possession of such a power? The paper examines the pre-Hobbesian scholastic view of writers such as Peter Lombard and Francisco Suárez: freedom as a multiway power is linked to the right to liberty understood as (...) a right to exercise that power, and to liberation as a desirable goal involving the perfection of that power. Freedom as a power, liberty as a right, and liberation as a desirable goal, are all linked within this scholastic view to a distinctive theory of law as constituting, in its primary form of natural law, the normative recognition of human freedom. Hobbes's denial of the very existence of freedom as a power led him to a radical revision both of the theory of law and of the relation of law to liberty. Law and liberty were no longer harmonious phenomena, but were left in essential conflict. One legacy of Hobbes is the attempt to base a theory of law and liberty not on freedom as a multiway power, but on rationality. Instead of an ethics of freedom, we have an ethics of reason as involving autonomy. The paper expresses some scepticism about the prospects for such an appeal to reason as a replacement for multiway freedom. (shrink)
Contemporary Philosophy in Focus offers a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Thomas Kuhn, the author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is probably the best-known and most influential historian and philosopher of science of the last 25 years, and has become something of a cultural icon. His concepts of paradigm, paradigm change and incommensurability have changed the way we think about science. This volume offers an introduction to Kuhn's life (...) and work and then considers the implications of Kuhn's work for philosophy, cognitive psychology, social studies of science and feminism. The volume is more than a retrospective on Kuhn, exploring future developments of cognitive and information services along Kuhnian lines. Outside of philosophy the volume will be of particular interest to professionals and students in cognitive science, history of science, science studies and cultural studies. (shrink)
Difficult moral issues in economic life, such as evaluating the impact of hostile takeovers and plant relocations or determining the obligations of business to the environment, constitute the raison d'etre of business ethics. Yet, while the ultimate resolution of such issues clearly requires detailed, normative analysis, a shortcoming of business ethics is that to date it has failed to develop an adequate normative theory. 1 The failing is especially acute when it results in an inability to provide a basis for (...) fine-grained analyses of issues. Both general moral theories and stakeholder theory seem incapable of expressing the moral complexity necessary to provide practical normative guidance for many business ethics contexts. (shrink)
As first pointed out by Saul (1997a), the co-referential names in sentences like (1) and (2) defy substitution salva veritate: (1) Clark Kent went into the phone booth, and Superman came out.(2) I never made it to Karl-Marx-Stadt, but I visited Chemnitz last year.This paper elaborates and compares two solutions to Saul's substitution problem, both of which turn on an asymmetry between names that share their bearers. According to the first solution there is a semantic distinction between neutral names (like (...) ‘Superman’ and ‘Karl-Marx-Stadt’) and restricted names (like ‘Clark Kent’ and ‘Chemnitz’). According to the second solution, only neutral names are properly used, whereas the use of (what would be) restricted names involves code-switching and pragmatic re-interpretation. As it turns out, the semantic approach deals more easily with changing names as in (2), whereas the pragmatic account is more adequate in explaining hidden identity cases like (1). (shrink)
In the first systematic study of the philosophy of Thomas Nagel, Alan Thomas discusses Nagel's contrast between the "subjective" and the "objective" points of view throughout the various areas of his wide ranging philosophy. Nagel's original and distinctive contrast between the subjective view and our aspiration to a "view from nowhere" within metaphysics structures the chapters of the book. A "new Humean" in epistemology, Nagel takes philosophical scepticism to be both irrefutable and yet to indicate a profound truth (...) about our capacity for self-transcendence. The contrast between subjective and objective views is then considered in the case of the mind, where consciousness proves to be the central aspect of mind that contemporary theorising fails to acknowledge adequately. The second half of the book analyses Nagel's work on moral and political philosophy where he has been most deeply influential. Topics covered include the contrast between agent-relative and agent-neutral reasons and values, Nagel's distinctive version of a hybrid ethical theory, his discussion of life's meaningfulness and finally his sceptical arguments about whether a liberal society can reconcile the conflicting moral demands of self and other. (shrink)
" This collection proves otherwise, for the letters illuminate virtually every aspect of Reid's life and career and, in some instances, provide us with invaluable evidence about activities otherwise undocumented in his manuscripts or ...
With each of our three criminal-law topics—defining offenses, apprehending suspects, and establishing punishments—we feel, I believe, strong moral resistance to the idea that our practices should be settled by a prospective-participant perspective. This becomes quite clear when we look at how the “reforms” suggested by institutional viewing might combine once we consider all three topics together: imagine a more extensive and swifter use of the death penalty in homicide cases coupled with somewhat lower standards of evidence; or think of backing (...) a strict-liability criminal statute with the death penalty. Of course, such “reforms” would increase the execution of innocents; but, their proponents will tell us, any penal system involves the punishment of some innocents, and, if it provides for the death penalty, the execution of some innocents. Moreover, why is it worse for innocents to be punished than for innocents to suffer an equivalent harm in some other way? Formulated from a prospective-participant perspective: Why not run a small risk of being innocently executed in exchange for reducing, much more significantly, the risk of dying prematurely in other ways? (shrink)
This paper examines some of the metaphysical assumptions behind Aquinas’s denials that a human rational soul unites with matter at conception and that a human rational soul is capable of developing and arranging the organic parts of an embryo. The paper argues that Buridan does not share these assumptions and holds that a soul is capable of developing and arranging organic parts. It argues that, given hylomorphism about the nature of organisms, including human beings, Buridan’s view is philosophically superior to (...) Aquinas’s in several respects. Finally, the paper poses an apparent inconsistency between several of Buridan’s texts on this topic and attempts to show that the inconsistency is merely apparent. (shrink)
From the Ninth Circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno to the idea of human cryogenic storage, cold has been an important part of human life and imagination. In History of Artificial Cold, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Issues, editor Kostas Gavroglu has brought together a well-balanced and very readable collection of essays on the history of the investigation and use of “cold.” There is something here for a broad range of readers, with articles ranging from fundamental physics to industrial refrigeration and (...) the international politics of frozen meat.Cold is a very relative term, and this book looks at a broad range of coldness. On the laboratory side, there was a competition starting in the late part of the nineteenth century to create the lowest temperature possible. The effort to transform gases into liquids and solids had serious implications for material science and laboratory practice, but it also contributed to the experimental understanding of quantum physics. At about the sa .. (shrink)
The development of chemical warfare by the United States in World War I reveals the chaotic nature of American science in the period, and how attempts to overcome problems helped to establish the modern relationship of military-scientific research.