This book investigates context-sensitivity in natural language by examining the meaning and use of a target class of theoretically recalcitrant expressions. These expressions-including epistemic vocabulary, normative and evaluative vocabulary, and vague language -exhibit systematic differences from paradigm context-sensitive expressions in their discourse dynamics and embedding properties. Many researchers have responded by rethinking the nature of linguistic meaning and communication. Drawing on general insights about the role of context in interpretation and collaborative action, Silk develops an improved contextualist theory of (...) CR-expressions within the classical truth-conditional paradigm: Discourse Contextualism. The aim of Discourse Contextualism is to derive the distinctive linguistic behavior of a CR-expression from a particular contextualist interpretation of an independently motivated formal semantics, along with general principles of interpretation and conversation. It is shown how in using CR-expressions, speakers can exploit their mutual grammatical and world knowledge, and general pragmatic reasoning skills, to coordinate their attitudes and negotiate about how the context should evolve. The book focuses primarily on developing a Discourse Contextualist semantics and pragmatics for epistemic modals. The Discourse Contextualist framework is also applied to other categories of epistemic vocabulary, normative and evaluative vocabulary, and vague adjectives. The similarities/differences among these expressions, and among context-sensitive expressions more generally, have been underexplored. The development of Discourse Contextualism in this book sheds light on general features of meaning and communication, and the variety of ways in which context affects and is affected by uses of language. Discourse Contextualism provides a fruitful framework for theorizing about various broader issues in philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science. (shrink)
Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereya provides a new English translation of G. W. Leibniz's Discourse on Metaphysics, complete with a critical introduction and a comprehensive philosophical commentary. In this fundamental work, Leibniz sets out a metaphysics for Christianity and provides answers to the central metaphysical questions.
In his Discourses, Rousseau argues that inequalities of rank, wealth, and power are the inevitable result of the civilizing process. If inequality is intolerable - and Rousseau shows with unparalledled eloquence how it robs us not only of our material but also of our psychological independence - then how can we recover the peaceful self-sufficiency of life in the state of nature? We cannot return to a simpler time, but measuring the costs of progress may help us to imagine alternatives (...) to the corruption and oppressive conformity of modern society. Rousseau's sweeping account of humanity's social and political development epitomizes the innovative boldness of the Englightment, and it is one of the most provocative and influential works of the eighteenth century. This new translation includes all Rousseau's own notes, and Patrick Coleman's introduction builds on recent key scholarship, considering particularly the relationship between political and aesthetic thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. (shrink)
What are ethical judgments about? And what is their relation to practice? How can ethical judgment aspire to objectivity? The past two decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in metaethics, placing questions such as these about the nature and status of ethical judgment at the very center of contemporary moral philosophy. Moral Discourse and Practice: Some Philosophical Approaches is a unique anthology which collects important recent work, much of which is not easily available elsewhere, on core metaethical issues. (...) Reinvigorated naturalist moral realism and the various versions of moral realism, as well as irrealist, expressivist, and neo-Kantian constructivist theories are all represented in this fine collection, constituting a rich array of approaches to contemporary moral philosophy's most fundamental debates. An extensive introduction by Darwall, Gibbard, and Railton is also included, making this volume the most comprehensive and up-to-date work of its kind. Moral Discourse is ideally suited for use in courses in contemporary ethics, ethical theory, and metaethics. (shrink)
"Lawyers and the law have long been the object of popular criticism and satire for the obscurity and incomprehensibility of their language. Legal Discourse provides a novel historical and systematic account of the language of the legal institution together with a sustained criticism of legal exegesis and `legalese' more generally. In the first part of the work the doctrinal history of the legal discipline and its concepts of language, text and sign are examined and assessed. In the second part (...) the contemporary disciples of linguistics, discourse analysis and communication studies are brought to bear upon the task of constructing a theory of legal discourse as a linguistics of legal power" -- Backcover. (shrink)
The work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is presented in two volumes, together forming the most comprehensive anthology of Rousseau's political writings in English. This second volume contains the earlier writings such as the First and Second Discourses, the publication of which signalled the power and challenge of Rousseau's thinking. Rousseau's influence was wide reaching and has continued to grow since his death: major landmarks in world history, such as the American and French Revolutions, were profoundly affected by Rousseau's writing, as were (...) cultural and intellectual movements such as Romanticism and Idealism. This volume, like its successor, contains a comprehensive introduction, chronology and guide to further reading and will enable students to obtain a full understanding of the writings of one of the world's greatest thinkers. (shrink)
By far the most widely used translation in North American college classrooms, Donald A. Cress's translation from the French of the Adam and Tannery critical edition is prized for its accuracy, elegance, and economy. The translation featured in the Third Edition has been thoroughly revised from the 1979 First Edition and includes page references to the critical edition for ease of comparison.
Theories of discourse bring to realism new ideas about how knowledge develops and how representations of reality are influenced. We gain an understanding of the conceptual aspect of social life and the processes by which meaning is produced. This collection reflects the growing interest realist critics have shown towards forms of discourse theory and deconstruction. The diverse range of contributions address such issues as the work of Derrida and deconstruction, discourse theory, Eurocentrism and poststructuralism. What unites all (...) of the contributions is a sense that it is essential to provide a realist alternative to the hitherto dominance of social constructionism, hermeneutics and postmodernism, over many of the issues discussed. By developing a realist perspective the different authors attempt to embed discourse within the structured nature of the reality of the world. Realism can situate language, discourse and ideology within context specific, or 'causally efficacious' circumstances. Realism can help to uncover issues of power, representation, and subjectivity and how discursive and other social practices produce real effects. This can help us understand the manner in which social structures are reproduced through various forms of ideology and discourse. And by knowing this, we can start to address questions concerning human emancipation and how the world is to be transformed. (shrink)
John Locke's theory of property is perhaps the most distinctive and the most influential aspect of his political theory. In this book James Tully uses an hermeneutical and analytical approach to offer a revolutionary revision of early modern theories of property, focusing particularly on that of Locke. Setting his analysis within the intellectual context of the seventeenth century, Professor Tully overturns the standard interpretations of Locke's theory, showing that it is not a justification of private property. Instead he shows it (...) to be a theory of individual use rights within a framework of inclusive claim rights. He links Locke's conception of rights not merely to his ethical theory, but to the central arguments of his epistemology, and illuminates the way in which Locke's theory is tied to his metaphysical views of God and man, his theory of revolution and his account of a legitimate polity. (shrink)
Revolutionary in its own time and controversial to this day, this work is a permanent classic of political theory and a key source of democratic belief. Rousseau's concepts of "the general will" as a mode of self-interest uniting for a common good, and the submission of the individual to government by contract inform the heart of democracy, and stand as its most contentious components today. Also included in this edition is Rousseau's Discourse on Political Economy", a key transitional work (...) between his Discourse on Inequality and The Social Contract. This new translation offers fresh insight into a cornerstone of political thought, which is further illuminated by a comprehensive introduction and notes. (shrink)
It is widely believed that open and public speech is at the heart of the democratic ideal. Public discourse is instrumentally epistemically valuable for identifying good policies, as well as necessary for resisting domination (e.g., by vocally challenging decision-makers, demanding public justifications, and using democratic speech to hold leaders accountable). But in our highly polarized and socially fragmented political environment, an increasingly pressing question is: do actual democratic societies live up to the ideal of inclusive public speech? In this (...) essay, I explore Maxime Lepoutre's defence of discursive democracy from the challenge of defective public discourse. I argue that political ignorance, dogmatism, and social fragmentation present more formidable challenges to discursive democracy than Lepoutre acknowledges. As a result, his account occasionally veers from warranted optimism to unwarranted idealism. (shrink)
This book is about beliefs, language, communication and cognition. It deals with the fundamental issue of the interpretation of the speaker's utterance expressing a belief and reporting on beliefs of other people in the form of oratio obliqua. The main aim of the book is to present a new account of the problem of interpreting utterances expressing beliefs and belief reports in terms of an approach called Default Semantics.
How is reality really manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace part of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, how it is constructed, and what constructionism means are often left unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter explores the central themes raised by these questions. Representing Reality explores the different traditions in constructivist thought--including sociology of scientific knowledge; conversation analysis and ethnomethodology; and semiotics, poststructuralism, and postmodernism--to provide a lucid introduction to (...) several key strands of work that have overturned the way we think about facts and descriptions. Potter illustrates his points throughout with varied and engaging examples taken from newspaper stories, relationship counseling sessions, accounts of paranormal events, social workers' assessments of violent parents, informal talk between program organizers, political arguments, and everyday conversations. Representing Reality offers the student and scholar in social psychology, rhetoric and discourse, and related fields a critical introduction to constructivism. (shrink)
This influential study contrasts the practices of ancient Rome with those of the author's 16th-century contemporaries. Machiavelli's The Prince offers advice on ruling a kingdom; this treatise explains the structure and benefits of a republic. Topics include establishing a republic's internal structure, conducting warfare, and exhibiting leadership qualities.
Two of Leibniz's most studied and often quoted works appear in this volume. Published in 1686, the Discourse on Metaphysics consists of the philosopher's explanation of individual perception as an expression of the rest of the universe from a unique perspective. The whole world--the best of all possible worlds, as he famously remarks--is thus contained in each individual substance. The Monadology, written in 1714, offers a concise synopsis of Leibniz's philosophy, establishing the laws of final causes, which underlie God's (...) free choice to create the best possible world--a world that serves as dynamic and perfectly ordered evidence of the wisdom of its creator. Translated by George R. Montgomery. (shrink)
This edition contains Donald Cress's completely revised translation of the _Meditations_ and recent corrections to _Discourse on Method_, bringing this version even closer to Descartes's original, while maintaining the clear and accessible style of a classic teaching edition.
Contending discourses underlie many of the worlds most intractable conflicts, producing misery and violence. This is especially true in the post-9/11 world. However, contending discourses can also open the way to greater dialogue in global civil society and across states and international organizations. This possibility holds even for the most murderous sorts of conflicts in deeply divided societies. In this timely and original book, John Dryzek examines major contemporary conflicts in terms of clashing discourses. Topics covered include the alleged clash (...) of civilizations; societies divided by ethnicity, nationality, or religion; economic globalization versus resistance; plus an in-depth discussion of the 'war on terror'. Dryzek concludes by highlighting the limitations of current neoconservative and cosmopolitan approaches, arguing that only deliberative global politics offers unprecedented new possibilities for democratic engagement in the international system. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, politics, philosophy, and sociology. (shrink)
Preface This book is about semantics and logic. More specifically, it is about the semantics and logic of natural language; and, even more specifically than that, it is about a particular way of dealing with those subjects, known as Discourse Representation Theory, or DRT. DRT is an approach towards natural language semantics which, some thirteen years ago, arose out of attempts to deal with two distinct problems. The first of those was the semantic puzzle that had been brought to (...) contempo rary attention by Geach's notorious "donkey sentences" - sentences like If Pedro owns some donkey, he beats it, in which the anaphoric connection we perceive between the indefinite noun phrase some donkey and the pronoun it may seem to conflict with the existential meaning of the word some. The second problem had to do with tense and aspect. Some languages, for instance French and the other Romance languages, have two morphologically distinct past tenses, a simple past and a continuous past. To articulate precisely what the difference between these tenses is has turned out to be surprisingly difficult. (shrink)
The so-called “conciliatory” norm in epistemology and meta-ethics requires that an agent, upon encountering peer disagreement with her judgment, lower her confidence about that judgment. But whether agents actually abide by this norm is unclear. Although confidence is excessively researched in the empirical sciences, possible effects of disagreement on confidence have been understudied. Here, we target this lacuna, reporting a study that measured confidence about moral beliefs before and after exposure to moral discourse about a controversial issue. Our findings (...) indicate that participants do not abide by the conciliatory norm. Neither do they conform to a rival “steadfast” norm that demands their confidence to remain the same. Instead, moral discourse seems to boost confidence. Interestingly, we also find a confidence boost for factual beliefs, and a correlation between the extremity of moral views and confidence. One possible explanation of our findings is that when engaging in moral discourse participants become more extreme in their opinions, which leads them to become more confident about them, or vice versa: they become more confident and in turn more extreme. Although our work provides initial evidence for the former mechanism, further research is needed for a better understanding of confidence and moral discourse. (shrink)
"A consistently clear, comprehensive and accessible introduction which carefully sifts Foucault's work for both its strengths and weaknesses. McHoul and Grace show an intimate familiarity with Foucault's writings and a lively, but critical engagement with the relevance of his work. A model primer." -Tony Bennett, author of Outside Literature In such seminal works as Madness and Civilization, Discipline and Punish , and The History of Sexuality , the late philosopher Michel Foucault explored what our politics, our sexuality, our societal conventions, (...) and our changing notions of truth told us about ourselves. In the process, Foucault garnered a reputation as one of the pre-eminent philosophers of the latter half of the twentieth century and has served as a primary influence on successive generations of philosophers and cultural critics. With A Foucault Primer , Alec McHoul and Wendy Grace bring Foucault's work into focus for the uninitiated. Written in crisp and concise prose, A Foucault Primer explicates three central concepts of Foucauldian theory-discourse, power, and the subject-and suggests that Foucault's work has much yet to contribute to contemporary debate. (shrink)
On method, discursive logics, and epistemology -- Questions of medieval discursive practice -- From the middle ages to the (w)hole of Utopia -- Kepler, his Dream, and the analysis and pattern of thought -- Campanella and Bacon: concerning structures of mind -- The masculine birth of time -- Cyrano and the experimental discourse -- The myth of sun and moon -- The difficulty of writing -- Crusoe rights his story -- Gulliver's critique of Euclid -- Emergence, consolidation, and dominance (...) of a discourse. (shrink)
For centuries, Stoicism was virtually the unofficial religion of the Roman world The stress on endurance, self-restraint, and power of the will to withstand calamity can often seem coldhearted. It is Epictetus, a lame former slave exiled by Emperor Domitian, who offers by far the most precise and humane version of Stoic ideals. The Discourses, assembled by his pupil Arrian, catch him in action, publicly setting out his views on ethical dilemmas. Committed to communicating with the broadest possible audience, Epictetus (...) uses humor, imagery conversations and homely comparisons to put his message across. The results are perfect universal justice and calm indifference in the face of pain. The most comprehensive edition available with an introduction, notes, selected criticism, glossary, and chronology of Epictetus' life and times. (shrink)
In recent years scholars have begun to question the usefulness of the category of ''religion'' to describe a distinctive form of human experience and behavior. In his last book, The Ideology of Religious Studies (OUP 2000), Timothy Fitzgerald argued that ''religion'' was not a private area of human existence that could be separated from the public realm and that the study of religion as such was thus impossibility. In this new book he examines a wide range of English-language texts to (...) show how religion became transformed from a very specific category indigenous to Christian culture into a universalist claim about human nature and society. These claims, he shows, are implied by and frequently explicit in theories and methods of comparative religion. But they are also tacitly reproduced throughout the humanities in the relatively indiscriminate use of ''religion'' as an a priori valid cross-cultural analytical concept, for example in historiography, sociology, and social anthropology. Fitzgerald seeks to link the argument about religion to the parallel formation of the ''non-religious'' and such dichotomies as church-state, sacred-profane, ecclesiastical-civil, spiritual-temporal, supernatural-natural, and irrational-rational. Part of his argument is that the category ''religion'' has a different logic compared to the category ''sacred,'' but the two have been consistently confused by major writers, including Durkheim and Eliade. Fitzgerald contends that ''religion'' imagined as a private belief in the supernatural was a necessary conceptual space for the simultaneous imagining of ''secular'' practices and institutions such as politics, economics, and the Nation State. The invention of ''religion'' as a universal type of experience, practice, and institution was partly the result of sacralizing new concepts of exchange, ownership, and labor practices, applying ''scientific'' rationality to human behavior, administering the colonies and classifying native institutions. In contrast, shows Fitzgerald, the sacred-profane dichotomy has a different logic of use. (shrink)
Descartes' ideas not only changed the course of Western philosophy but also led to or transformed the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, physics and mathematics, political theory and ethics, psychoanalysis, and literature and the arts. This book reprints Descartes' major works, _Discourse on Method_ and _Meditations_, and presents essays by leading scholars that explore his contributions in each of those fields and place his ideas in the context of his time and our own. There are chapters by David Weissman on metaphysics (...) and psychoanalysis, John Post on epistemology, Lou Massa on physics and mathematics, William T. Bluhm on politics and ethics, and Thomas Pavel on literature and art. These essays are accompanied by others by David Weissman and by Stephen Toulmin that introduce the idea of intellectual lineages, discuss the period in which Descartes wrote, and reexamine the premises of his philosophy in light of contemporary philosophical, political, and social thinking. (shrink)
William Connolly presents a lucid and concise defense of the thesis of "essentially contested concepts" that can well be read as a general introduction to political theory, as well as for its challenge to the prevailing understanding of political discourse. In Connolly's view, the language of politics is not a neutral medium that conveys ideas independently formed but an institutionalized structure of meanings that channels political thought and action in certain directions. In the new preface he pursues the implications (...) of this perspective for a distinctive conception of ethics and democracy. (shrink)
In this article a dialectical model for practical reasoning within a community, based on the Generic/Actual Argument Model (GAAM) is advanced and its application to deliberative dialogue discussed. The GAAM, offers a dynamic template for structuring knowledge within a domain of discourse that is connected to and regulated by a community. The paper demonstrates how the community accepted generic argument structure acts to normatively influence both admissible reasoning and the progression of dialectical reasoning between participants. It is further demonstrated (...) that these types of deliberation dialogues supported by the GAAM comply with criteria for normative principles for deliberation, specifically, Alexyâs rules for discourse ethics and Hitchcockâs Principles of Rational Mutual Inquiry. The connection of reasoning to the community in a documented and transparent structure assists in providing best justified reasons, principles of deliberation and ethical discourse which are important advantages for reasoning communities. (shrink)
Throughout his career as a theologian, deacon, priest and cardinal, John Henry Newman remained a committed believer in the value of education. A graduate of Trinity College, Oxford, his own academic experiences shaped his friendships, politics and faith. His Discourses, delivered initially as a series of lectures when he was rector of the newly-established Catholic University of Ireland, inspired a generation of young and talented Catholic scholars. Providing an intelligent but accessible analysis of the relationship between theology and other academic (...) disciplines, the lectures were celebrated in the popular press for dispensing instruction to those who 'had no traditions to guide them in forming a correct estimate of what a university ought to be'. Newman argued that a university should foster the 'diffusion and extension of knowledge' rather than religious or moral training, and that it should prepare students for life in the world. (shrink)
Constructions of Intersubjectivity shows that the meaning of grammatical constructions often has more to do with the human cognitive capacity for taking other peoples' points of view than with describing the world. Treating pragmatics, semantics, and syntax in parallel and integrating insights from linguistics, psychology, and animal communication, Arie Verhagen develops a new understanding of linguistic communication. In doing so he shows the continuity between language and animal communication and reveals the nature of human linguistic specialization. Professor Verhagen uses Dutch (...) and English data from a wide variety of sources and considers the contributions of grammar to the coherence of discourse. He argues that important problems in semantics and syntax may be resolved if language is understood as an instrument for exerting influence and coordinating different perspectives. The grammatical phenomena he discusses include negative expressions, the let alone construction, complementation constructions, and discourse connectives.This powerfully argued and original explanation of the nature and operation of communication will interest a wide range of scholars and advanced students in linguistics, cognitive science, and human evolution. (shrink)
Originally published in 1830, this book can be called the first modern work in the philosophy of science, covering an extraordinary range of philosophical, methodological, and scientific subjects. "Herschel's book . . . brilliantly analyzes both the history and nature of science."—Keith Stewart Thomson, American Scientist.
Discourse ethics represents an exciting new development in neo-Kantian moral theory. William Rehg offers an insightful introduction to its complex theorization by its major proponent, Jürgen Habermas, and demonstrates how discourse ethics allows one to overcome the principal criticisms that have been leveled against neo-Kantianism. Addressing both "commun-itarian" critics who argue that universalist conceptions of justice sever moral deliberation from community traditions, and feminist advocates of the "ethics of care" who stress the moral significance of caring for other (...) individuals, Rehg shows that discourse ethics combines impartiality with solidarity. He provides the first systematic reconstruction of Habermas's theory and explores its relationship to the work of such contemporary philosophers as Charles Taylor. His book articulates a bold alternative to the split between the "right" and the "good" in moral theory and will greatly interest philosophers, social and legal scholars, and political theorists. (shrink)
The “Discourse on Metaphysics” is widely considered to be Leibniz’s most important philosophical work from his so-called “middle period”. Written early in 1686, when Leibniz was 39 years old, it consolidates a number of philosophical ideas that he had developed and sketched out in the years beforehand in a host of short private essays, fragments, and letters. This chapter guides the reader through the key themes of the “Discourse”, such as God’s choice of the best, the nature of (...) substance, final causes, and the relationship between soul and body. The essay concludes with a consideration of what prompted Leibniz to write the “Discourse”; I suggest that the “Discourse” is likely to have been conceived as an attempt to reach supporters of Descartes and Malebranche, not only to challenge key tenets of their respective philosophies but also to present a viable alternative. (shrink)
This book presents in-depth investigation of the language used about women and ageing in public discourse, and compares this with the language used by women to express their personal, lived experience of ageing. It takes a linguistic approach to identify how messages contained in public discourse influence how individual women evaluate their own ageing, and particularly their ageing appearance. It begins by establishing the wider cultural context that produces prevailing attitudes to women, before turning to an analysis of (...) representations of the ageing female body in beauty and cosmetic advertising and the lifestyle media. The focus then moves to a detailed investigation of women’s own perceptions of the process of ageing and of their ageing appearance as revealed through their personal narratives. The final chapters challenge dominant attitudes to women and ageing by presenting two case studies of women who for different reasons and in different ways refuse to conform to cultural expectations. This work provides a platform for further academic research in the fields of linguistics, gerontology, gender and media studies; as well as offering meaningful applications in the wider domains of business and advertising. (shrink)
We examine the compromises that are actually made in modern scientific discourse concerning atoms. We conclude that even the ideals of clarity and consistency can be legitimately compromised in order to obtain other advantages.
We analyse managerial discourse in corporate communication (‘CEO-speak’) during a 6-month period following a legitimacy-threatening event in the form of an incident in a German nuclear power plant. As discourses express specific stances expressed by a group of people who share particular beliefs and values, they constitute an important means of restoring organisational legitimacy when social rules and norms have been violated. Using an analytical framework based on legitimacy as a process of reciprocal sense-making and consisting of three levels (...) of analysis which capture the relationship between text and context, we investigate the discourse used by CEOs in their initial and subsequent accounts of the incident. We find that CEOs aim to negotiate a resolution between their initial account and organisational audiences’ incongruent interpretations of the event by adopting an ad hoc normative attitude to stakeholders. This manifests itself in the strategic use of the discourse of stakeholder engagement as a means of signalling change, yet maintaining the status quo. It suggests that CEOs strategically use discourse to manufacture organisational audiences’ consent regarding the continued operation of the nuclear power plant affected by the incident. Our findings contribute to the critical corporate communication literature which regards corporate narrative reporting as a means of consolidating the private interests of corporations, rather than increasing transparency and accountability. (shrink)
This is the only complete modern translation of Epictetus's Discourses, together with the Handbook and fragments. A major work of Stoic practical ethics, the Discourses teach that the basis of happiness is up to us. This accessible new translation is accompanied by a full introduction and thorough notes.
We disagree about issues like abortion, euthanasia, the meaning of justice and the treatment of animals, and our debates often fail to reach a consensus. Discourse and Knowledge claimes that there is a correct solution to ethical controversies but that ethical decisions have to be made collectively. Janna Thompson argues that discourse is required for the very process of reaching correct conclusions about ethical matters.