Polarized unification grammar (PUG) is a linguistic formalism which uses polarities to better control the way grammar fragments interact. The grammar combination operation of PUG was conjectured to be associative. We show that PUG grammar combination is not associative, and even attaching polarities to objects does not make it order-independent. Moreover, we prove that no non-trivial polarity system exists for which grammar combination is associative. We then redefine the grammar combination operator, moving to the powerset domain, in a way that (...) guarantees associativity. The method we propose is general and is applicable to a variety of tree-based grammar formalisms. (shrink)
The topic of time is central to Levinas's philosophy. By examining aspects of the Biblical stories of Abraham and Moses compared with Greek myths, mainly that of Cronos devouring his children, this paper aims to show that Levinas's view of time, though certainly indebted to the Greek (i.e. philosophical) tradition, contains traces of Biblical experiences. Moreover, Levinas's interpretation of time will serve as a concrete demonstration of the way the Jewish experience enables Levinas to express his criticism of the philosophical-Greek (...) tradition. (shrink)
Helen Fielding, in examining Yael Bartana’s video art works, in particular, Wild Seeds (2005), argues that politics seem to privilege the temporal, and video art thus lends itself to this enactment. Drawing upon Hannah Arendt, she concludes that the in-between, while a space and not a territory, is more a spacing, a taking place between people “no matter where they happen to be” than a place as such. In Bartana’s works, the temporal aspect of video allows her to open (...) up a time-space, or rather a spacing as a relation rather than a place. It is a spacing that takes place only when the art work sets to work in its engagement with viewers, that is, when the video is playing in a public space. Moreover, Bartana generally takes up temporally circumscribed events that are deeply embedded in the past, yet show up either disjuncture or parallels between national identity and individual embodied narratives. While national identity might rely upon fusion, Bartana’s videos upset that identity by opening up a spacing where identity can be questioned. Filming events such as a demonstration, an initiation into military weapons training, as well as play, her videos draw upon ritualized events that, in their repetition, are often meant to work performatively at a corporeal level to create a national and cultural unity. Her videos affectively and phenomenally draw the viewer into the corporeal experience of these rituals in order to show up the ruptures; indeed, they seem to suggest that it is at the level of the corporeal that this cohesion can both be effected and also undone. In other words, rather than focusing on national identity which is exclusive and hence spatial, corporeal being-with is temporal—the polis is figured as embodied intermittent relations or spacings rather than as an actual territory or space. -/- . (shrink)
"This is a most timely, intelligent, well-written, and absorbing essay on a central and painful social and political problem of out time."--Sir Isaiah Berlin"The major achievement of this remarkable book is a critical theory of nationalism, worked through historical and contemporary examples, explaining the value of national commitments and defining their moral limits. Tamir explores a set of problems that philosophers have been notably reluctant to take on, and leaves us all in her debt."--Michael WalzerIn this provocative work, Yael (...) Tamir urges liberals not to surrender the concept of nationalism to conservative, chauvinist, or racist ideologies. In her view, liberalism, with its respect for personal autonomy, reflection, and choice, and nationalism, with its emphasis on belonging, loyalty, and solidarity are not irreconcilable. Here she offers a new theory, "liberal nationalism," which allows each set of values to accommodate the other. Tamir sees nationalism as an affirmation of communal and cultural memberships and as a quest for recognition and self-respect. Persuasively she argues that national groups can enjoy these benefits through political arrangements other than the nation-state. While acknowledging that nationalism places members of national minorities at a disadvantage, the author offers guidelines for alleviating the problems involved using examples from currents conflicts in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.Liberal Nationalismis an impressive attempt to tie together a wide range of issues often kept apart: personal autonomy, cultural membership, political obligations, particularity versus impartiality in moral duties, and global justice. Drawing on material from disparate fields--including political philosophy, ethics, law, and sociology--Tamir brings out important and previously unnoticed interconnections between them, offering a new perspective on the influence of nationalism on modern political philosophy. (shrink)
One of the central issues in modern linguistics has been the relationship between syntax and semantics. Within the framework of generative grammar, established by Chomsky in the early 1960s, it has been assumed that syntax is distinct from, and independent of, semantics. This premise has been challenged recently by Chomsky himself; he now proposes semantics, and in particular thematic roles, as the basis for generating syntactic structures. Yael Ravin argues that thematic roles are not valid semantic entities, and that (...) syntax and semantics are indeed autonomous and independent of one another. She advocates a Decompositional approach to lexical semantics, in the spirit of Katz's semantic theory. In the course of her argument she discusses theoretical issues such as indeterminacy and ambiguity, lexical configuration rules, and lexical projection, and analyses the semantic content of event concepts such as causation, action, and change. (shrink)
This paper is a guide to the main ideas and innovations in Robert Stalnaker's "Indicative Conditionals". The paper is for a volume of essays on twenty-one classics of formal semantics edited by Louise McNally, Yael Sharvit and Zoltàn Gendler Szabò.
Although widely studied in other domains, relatively little is known about the metacognitive processes that monitor and control behaviour during reasoning and decision-making. In this paper, we examined the conditions under which two fluency cues are used to monitor initial reasoning: answer fluency, or the speed with which the initial, intuitive answer is produced, and perceptual fluency, or the ease with which problems can be read. The first two experiments demonstrated that answer fluency reliably predicted Feeling of Rightness judgments to (...) conditional inferences and base rate problems, which subsequently predicted the amount of deliberate processing as measured by thinking time and answer changes; answer fluency also predicted retrospective confidence judgments. Moreover, the effect of answer fluency on reasoning was independent from the effect of perceptual fluency, establishing that these are empirically independent constructs. In five experiments with a variety of reasoning problems similar to those of Alter et al., we found no effect of perceptual fluency on FOR, retrospective confidence or accuracy; however, we did observe that participants spent more time thinking about hard to read stimuli, although this additional time did not result in answer changes. In our final two experiments, we found that perceptual disfluency increased accuracy on the CRT, but only amongst participants of high cognitive ability. As Alter et al.’s samples were gathered from prestigious universities, collectively, the data to this point suggest that perceptual fluency prompts additional processing in general, but this processing may results in higher accuracy only for the most cognitively able. (shrink)
Advertising by health care institutions has increased steadily in recent years. While direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising is subject to unique oversight by the Federal Drug Administration, advertisements for health care services are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and treated no differently from advertisements for consumer goods. In this article, we argue that decisions about pursuing health care services are distinguished by informational asymmetries, high stakes, and patient vulnerabilities, grounding fiduciary responsibilities on the part of health care providers and health (...) care institutions. Using examples, we illustrate how common advertising techniques may mislead patients and compromise fiduciary relationships, thereby posing ethical risks to patients, providers, health care institutions, and society. We conclude by proposing that these risks justify new standards for advertising when considered as part of the moral obligation of health care institutions and suggest that mechanisms currently in place to regulate advertising for prescription pharmaceuticals should be applied to advertising for health care services more broadly. (shrink)
We observe that the facts pertaining to the acceptability of negative polarity items (henceforth, NPIs) in interrogative environments are more complex than previously noted. Since Klima [Klima, E. (1964). In J. Fodor & J. Katz (Eds.), The structure of language. Prentice-Hall], it has been typically assumed that NPIs are grammatical in both matrix and embedded questions, however, on closer scrutiny it turns out that there are differences between root and embedded environments, and between question nucleus and wh-restrictor. While NPIs are (...) always licensed in the nucleus of root questions, their acceptability in the restrictor of wh-phrases and in the nucleus of any embedded question depends on the logical properties of the linguistic environment: its strength in terms of exhaustivity [Groenendijk, J., & Stokhof, M. (1984). Studies on the semantics of questions and the pragmatic answers. Amserdam (NL), Post-Doctoral Dissertation. Heim, I. (1994). In R. Buchalla & A. Mittwoch (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th annual IATL conference and of the 1993 IATL workshop on discourse (pp. 128-144). Akademon, Jerusalem. Beck, S., & Rullmann, H. (1999). Natural Language Semantics, 7, 249-298. Sharvit, Y. (2002). Natural Language Semantics, 10, 97-123] and its monotonicity properties (in the sense of von Fintel [von Fintel, K. (1999). Journal of Semantics, 16, 97-148]). (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the familiar puzzle of free indirect discourse (FID). FID shares some properties with standard indirect discourse and with direct discourse, but there is currently no known theory that can accommodate such a hybrid. Based on the observation that FID has ‘de se’ pronouns, I argue that it is a kind of an attitude report.
This paper deals with the exceptions-tolerance property of generic sentences with indefinite singular and bare plural subjects (IS and BP generics, respectively) and with the way this property is connected to some well-known observations about felicity differences between the two types of generics (e.g. Lawler's 1973, Madrigals are popular vs. #A madrigal is popular). I show that whereas both IS and BP generics tolerate exceptional and contextually irrelevant individuals and situations in a strikingly similar way, which indicates the existence of (...) a basically equivalent tolerance mechanism, there is also a difference between them, unnoticed so far, which concerns the degree to which the properties of the legitimate exceptions can be characterized in advance. Following claims in Greenberg (2003), I argue that both this newly observed difference as well as the traditional felicity differences result from an underlying contrast in the type of ‘non-accidentalness’ expressed by the two types of generic sentences, and more formally, in the accessibility relations that their generic quantifier (Gen) is compatible with. To capture the new difference in tolerance of exceptions, I develop an improved version of the exceptions-tolerance mechanism for generic sentences suggested in Kadmon & Landman (1993), namely, a restriction on the set of individuals and situations quantified by Gen, which is partially vague to two different degrees using supervaluationist methods. The different degrees of vagueness in this restriction are shown to be systematically dependent on the two types of accessibility relations that IS and BP generics are compatible with, which are redefined as precise and vague restrictions on the generic quantification over worlds. (shrink)
The existence of “local implicatures” has been the topic of much recent debate. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to this debate by asking what we can learn from three puzzles, namely, the cancellation of such implicatures by or both, their behavior in the complement clauses of negative factive verbs such as sorry, and their behavior in root and embedded questions. Two basic approaches to local implicatures have been advanced: a fully pragmatic account in which local implicatures result (...) from conventional Gricean principles and a semantic account according to which the generation of implicatures is interwoven with compositional, grammatical mechanisms. We argue that the lesson to be learned from our three case studies is that some kind of approach along the latter, grammatical line is necessary to account for the data. (shrink)
It is argued, contra Beck and Rullmann (1999), and with Heim (1994), that the sources of strongly exhaustive interpretations and `de dicto' interpretations of wh-complements of veridical question-embedding verbs are one and the same. Beck and Rullmann's theory is shown to predict certain `de dicto' readings which do not exist, while a particular rendition of Heim's theory is shown to constrain the generation of `de dicto' readings in the correct way.
Is our moral cognition “colored” by the language that we speak? Despite the centrality of language to political life and agency, limited attempts have been made thus far in contemporary political philosophy to consider this possibility. We therefore set out to explore the possible influence of linguistic relativity effects on political thinking in linguistically diverse societies. We begin by introducing the facts and fallacies of the “linguistic relativity” principle, and explore the various ways in which they “color,” often covertly, current (...) normative debates. To illustrate this, we focus on two key Rawlsian concepts: the original position and public reason. We then move to consider the resulting epistemic challenges and opportunities facing contemporary multilingual democratic societies in an age of increased mobility, arguing for the consequent imperative of developing political metalinguistic awareness and political extelligence among political scientists, political philosophers, and political actors alike in an irreducibly complex linguistic world. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe paper examines the relevance of the nomological view of nature to three discussions of tide in the thirteenth century. A nomological conception of nature assumes that the basic explanatory units of natural phenomena are universally binding rules stated in quantitative terms. Robert Grosseteste introduced an account of the tide based on the mechanism of rarefaction and condensation, stimulated by the Moon's rays and their angle of incidence. He considered the Moon's action over the sea an example of the general (...) efficient causality exerted through the universal activity of light or species. Albert the Great posited a plurality of causes which cannot be reduced to a single cause. The connaturality of the Moon and the water is the only principle of explanation which he considered universal. Connaturality, however, renders neither formulation nor quantification possible. While Albert stressed the variety of causes of the tide, Roger Bacon emphasized regularity and reduced the various causes producing tides into forces. He replaced the terminology of ‘natures’ by one of ‘forces’. Force, which in principle can be accurately described and measured, thus becomes a commensurable aspect of a diverse cosmos. When they reasoned why waters return to their place after the tide, Grosseteste argued that waters return in order to prevent a vacuum, Albert claimed that waters ‘follow their own nature’, while Bacon held that the ‘proper force’ of the water prevails over the distant force of the first heaven. I exhibit, for the thirteenth century, moments of the move away from the Aristotelian concerns. The basic elements of these concerns were essences and natures which reflect specific phenomena and did not allow for an image of nature as a unified system. In the new perspective of the thirteenth century the key was a causal link between the position of the Moon and the tide cycle, a link which is universal and still qualitative, yet expressed as susceptible to quantification. (shrink)
Polysemy is a term used in semantic and lexical analysis to describe a word with multiple meanings. Although such words present few difficulties in everyday communication, they do pose near-intractable problems for linguists and lexicographers. The contributors in this volume consider the implications of these problems for linguistic theory and how they may be addressed in computational linguistics.
Boycotts of various types and forms have become in recent years an increasingly common feature of political life. And yet, despite both their ubiquity and clear ethical grounding, they remain to date under-explored in academic philosophy. I examine in this article the question of the ethics of boycotting, using the academic and cultural boycott of Israel as a case study. I propose that the boycott exhibits an intriguing pattern of continuous tension between its own stated principles and its realised practices, (...) and suggest that this tension is not a dysfunction of the boycott but rather a structural feature, which emanates from its primary commitment to the idea of anti-normalisation as an ethical imperative. I explore the complex cross-linguistic political pragmatics of the notion of normalisation, and argue that the commitment to it on the part of the boycott movement, as a group actor, effectively amounts to a capricious form of arbitrary treatment of the boycotted. I then propose that the effective validation of arbitrary treatment constitutes, first, a harm in itself; and, second, that it hinders the capacity of the campaign to draw on and contribute to a general theory of the ethics of boycotting. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the relationship between the semantics of specificational and predicational sentences and the Connectivity effects they display. It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of semantic and syntactic approaches to Connectivity (the ‘unconstrained-be theory’, the ‘question-in-disguise theory’, and the ‘unclefting theory’), concluding that a semantic theory of Connectivity is not only preferable, but necessary. The paper also discusses the implications of such a move regarding Binding phenomena (i.e., Principle A, B, and C effects): adopting a semantic theory (...) of Connectivity requires a theory of Binding which is different from the standard GB Binding Theory. (shrink)
This paper concentrates on giving precise content to the general wisdom on the scalar presupposition of even, according to which the prejacent of even, p, is stronger than its relevant focus alternatives, q. To that end I first examine both familiar challenges for the popular ‘comparative likelihood’ view of the ‘stronger than’ relation, as well as novel challenges, having to do with the context dependency of even and with its sensitivity to standards of comparison. To overcome these challenges and to (...) account for the full range of data I develop a revised, ‘gradability-based’ scalar presupposition for even, which differs from the ‘comparative likelihood’ one in several respects: instead of directly comparing degrees to which propositions are more or less likely, we compare extents to which non-focus entities x in p and q exceed the salient standard on a scale associated with a contextually supplied gradable property G. To capture cases where information about contrastive topics is crucial for fixing two distinct standards on G, I follow theories which view even as a general, two-place alternative-sensitive operator, allowing it to associate with both focus and contrastive topics. Beyond the ability to account for a large range of intricate felicity variations and inferences found with even, a more general contribution of the paper lies in showing the linguistic relevance of tools originally developed in the literature on gradable predicates to the semantics of scalar alternative–sensitive particles. (shrink)
The relationship between affect and metacognitive processes has been largely overlooked in both the affect and the metacognition literatures. While at the core of many affect-cognition theories is the notion that positive affective states lead people to be more confident, few studies systematically investigated how positive affect influences confidence and strategic behaviour. In two experiments, when participants were free to control answer interval to general knowledge questions, participants induced with positive affect outperformed participants in a neutral affect condition. However, in (...) Experiment 1 positive affect participants showed larger overconfidence than neutral affect participants. In Experiment 2, enhanced salience of social cues eliminated this overconfidence disadvantage of positive affect relative to neutral affect participants, without compromising their enhanced performance. Notably, in both experiments, positive affect led to compromised social norms regarding the answers’ informativeness. Implications for both affect and metacognition are discussed. (shrink)
:Academic Medical Centers offer patient care and perform research. Increasingly, AMCs advertise to the public in order to garner income that can support these dual missions. In what follows, we raise concerns about the ways that advertising blurs important distinctions between them. Such blurring is detrimental to AMC efforts to fulfill critically important ethical responsibilities pertaining both to science communication and clinical research, because marketing campaigns can employ hype that weakens research integrity and contributes to therapeutic misconception and misestimation, undermining (...) the informed consent process that is essential to the ethical conduct of research. We offer ethical analysis of common advertising practices that justify these concerns. We also suggest the need for a deliberative body convened by the Association of American Medical Colleges and others to develop a set of voluntary guidelines that AMCs can use to avoid in the future, the problems found in many current AMC advertising practices. (shrink)