Kaplan (1989a) insists that natural languages do not contain displacing devices that operate on character—such displacing devices are called monsters. This thesis has recently faced various empirical challenges (e.g., Schlenker 2003; Anand and Nevins 2004). In this note, the thesis is challenged on grounds of a more theoretical nature. It is argued that the standard compositional semantics of variable binding employs monstrous operations. As a dramatic first example, Kaplan’s formal language, the Logic of Demonstratives, is shown to contain (...) class='Hi'>monsters. For similar reasons, the orthodox lambda-calculus-based semantics for variable binding is argued to be monstrous. This technical point promises to provide some far-reaching implications for our understanding of semantic theory and content. The theoretical upshot of the discussion is at least threefold: (i) the Kaplanian thesis that “directly referential” terms are not shiftable/bindable is unmotivated, (ii) since monsters operate on something distinct from the assertoric content of their operands, we must distinguish ingredient sense from assertoric content (cf. Dummett 1973; Evans 1979; Stanley 1997), and (iii) since the case of variable binding provides a paradigm of semantic shift that differs from the other types, it is plausible to think that indexicals—which are standardly treated by means of the assignment function—might undergo the same kind of shift. (shrink)
Kaplan (1989) famously claimed that monsters--operators that shift the context--do not exist in English and "could not be added to it". Several recent theorists have pointed out a range of data that seem to refute Kaplan's claim, but others (most explicitly Stalnaker 2014) have offered a principled argument that monsters are impossible. This paper interprets and resolves the dispute. Contra appearances, this is no dry, technical matter: it cuts to the heart of a deep disagreement about the fundamental (...) structure of a semantic theory. We argue that: (i) the interesting notion of a monster is not an operator that shifts some formal parameter, but rather an operator that shifts parameters that play a certain theoretical role; (ii) one cannot determine whether a given semantic theory allows monsters simply by looking at the formal semantics; (iii) theories which forbid shifting the formal "context" parameter are perfectly compatible with the existence of monsters (in the interesting sense). We explain and defend these claims by contrasting two kinds of semantic theory--Kaplan's (1989) and Lewis's (1980). (shrink)
This paper argues in favor of a treatment of discourse about fiction in terms of operators on character, that is, Kaplanesque ‘monsters’. The first three sections criticize the traditional analysis of ‘according to the fiction’ as an intensional operator, and the approach to fictional discourse grounded on the notion of contextual shifts. The final sections explain how an analysis in terms of monsters yields the correct readings for a variety of examples involving modal and temporal indexicals.
Hailed as "a feast" (Washington Post) and "a modern-day bestiary" (The New Yorker), Stephen Asma's On Monsters is a wide-ranging cultural and conceptual history of monsters--how they have evolved over time, what functions they have served for us, and what shapes they are likely to take in the future. Beginning at the time of Alexander the Great, the monsters come fast and furious--Behemoth and Leviathan, Gog and Magog, Satan and his demons, Grendel and Frankenstein, circus freaks and (...) headless children, right up to the serial killers and terrorists of today and the post-human cyborgs of tomorrow. Monsters embody our deepest anxieties and vulnerabilities, Asma argues, but they also symbolize the mysterious and incoherent territory beyond the safe enclosures of rational thought. Exploring sources as diverse as philosophical treatises, scientific notebooks, and novels, Asma unravels traditional monster stories for the clues they offer about the inner logic of an era's fears and fascinations. In doing so, he illuminates the many ways monsters have become repositories for those human qualities that must be repudiated, externalized, and defeated. (shrink)
Kaplan says that monsters violate Principle 2 of his theory. Principle 2 is that indexicals, pure and demonstrative alike, are directly referential. In providing this explanation of there being no monsters, Kaplan feels his theory has an advantage over double-indexing theories like Kamp’s or Segerberg’s (or Stalnaker’s), which either embrace monsters or avoid them only by ad hoc stipulation, in the sharp conceptual distinction it draws between circumstances of evaluation and contexts of utterance. We shall argue that (...) Kaplan’s prohibition is also essentially stipulative, and that it is too general. The main difference between ourselves and Kaplan is that the basic carriers of a truth-value is a sentence-in-a-context; our account is utterance-based. (shrink)
This article argues, contra-Derrida, that Foucault does not essentialize or precomprehend the meaning of life or bio- in his writings on biopolitics. Instead, Foucault problematizes life and provokes genealogical questions about the meaning of modernity more broadly. In The Order of Things, the 1974-75 lecture course at the Collège de France, and Herculine Barbin, the monster is an important figure of the uncertain shape of modernity and its entangled problems (life, sex, madness, criminality, etc). Engaging Foucault’s monsters, I show (...) that the problematization of life is far from a “desire for a threshold,” à la Derrida. It is a spur to interrogating and critiquing thresholds, a fraught question mark where we have “something to do.” As Foucault puts it in “The Lives of Infamous Men,” it an ambiguous frontier where beings lived and died and they appear to us “because of an encounter with power which, in striking down a life and turning it to ashes, makes it emerge, like a flash [...]. (shrink)
Kaplan claims in Demonstratives that no operator may manipulate the context of evaluation of natural language indexicals. We show that this is not so. In fact, attitude reports always manipulate a context parameter (or, rather, a context variable). This is shown by (i) the existence of De Se readings of attitude reports in English (which Kaplan has no account for), and (ii) the existence of a variety of indexicals across languages whose point of evaluation can be shifted, but only in (...) attitude reports. We develop an alternative account within an extensional framework with overt quantification over times, worlds and contexts. Various typological facts are discussed, esp. the distinction between English, Amharic and Ewe pronouns, and that between English and Russian tenses. (shrink)
This article argues, contra-Derrida, that Foucault does not essentialize or pre-comprehend the meaning of life or bio- in his writings on biopolitics. Instead, Foucault problematizes life and provokes genealogical questions about the meaning of modernity more broadly. In The Order of Things, the 1974-75 lecture course at the Collège de France, and Herculine Barbin, the monster is an important figure of the uncertain shape of modernity and its entangled problems. Engaging Foucault’s monsters, I show that the problematization of life (...) is far from a “desire for a threshold,” à la Derrida. It is a spur to interrogating and critiquing thresholds, a fraught question mark where we have “something to do.” As Foucault puts it in “The Lives of Infamous Men,” it an ambiguous frontier where beings lived and died and they appear to us “because of an encounter with power which, in striking down a life and turning it to ashes, makes it emerge, like a flash [...].”. (shrink)
This paper argues for the moral significance of the notion of an evil person or character. First, I argue that accounts of evil character ought to support a robust bad/evil distinction; yet existing theories cannot plausibly do so. Consequentialist and related theories also fail to account for some crucial properties of evil persons. Second, I sketch an intuitively plausible “affective-motivational” account of evil character. Third, I argue that the notion of evil character, thus conceived, denotes a significant moral category. It (...) marks one end of a moral continuum that has, at the opposite pole, the saint. Fourth, I argue that “frequent evildoing” accounts confuse this moral space with another: that defined by the moral hero and the moral criminal. (shrink)
One of the standard approaches to the metaphysics of personal identity has some counter-intuitive ethical consequences when combined with maximising consequentialism and a plausible doctrine about aggregation of consequences. This metaphysical doctrine is the so-called ‘multiple occupancy’ approach to puzzles about fission and fusion. It gives rise to a new version of the ‘utility monster’ problem, particularly difficult problems about infinite utility, and a new version of a Parfit-style ‘repugnant conclusion’. While the article focuses on maximising consequentialism for simplicity, the (...) problems demonstrated apply more widely to a range of ethical views, especially flavours of consequentialism. This article demonstrates how these problems arise, and discusses a number of options available in the light of these problems for a consequentialist tempted by a multiple occupancy metaphysics. (shrink)
Table of contents for MONSTERS AND PHILOSOPHY, edited by Charles T. Wolfe (London 2005) -/- List of Contributors iii Acknowledgments vii List of Abbreviations ix -/- Introduction xi Charles T. Wolfe The Riddle of the Sphinx: Aristotle, Penelope, and 1 Empedocles Johannes Fritsche Science as a Cure for Fear: The Status of Monsters in 21 Lucretius Morgan Meis Nature and its Monsters During the Renaissance: 37 Montaigne and Vanini Tristan Dagron Conjoined Twins and the Limits of our (...) Reason 61 Annie Bitbol-Hespériès Degeneration and Hybridism in the Early Modern Species 109 Debate: Towards the Philosophical Roots of the Creation-Evolution Controversy Justin E. H. Smith Leibniz on the Unicorn and Various other Curiosities 131 Roger Ariew The Creativity of God and the Order of Nature: 153 Anatomizing Monsters in the Early Eighteenth Century Anita Guerrini The Status of Anomalies in the Philosophy of Diderot 169 Annie Ibrahim The Materialist Denial of Monsters 187 Charles T. Wolfe Cerebral Assymetry, Monstrosities and Hegel. 205 On the Situation of the Life Sciences in 1800 Michael Hagner The Lady Knight of the Perilous Place 217 Elfriede Jelinek Monster: More than a Word. . . From Portent to Anomaly, 231 the Extraordinary Career of Monsters Beate Ochsner Index 281 . (shrink)
In response to Stefano Predelli's article finding in David Kaplan's “Demonstratives” a distinction between “context shifting” monsters and “operators on character,” I argue that context shifters are operators on character. That conclusion conflicts with the claim that operators on character must be covertly quotational. But that claim is itself unmotivated.
Arguments, the story goes, have one or more premises and only one conclusion. A contentious generalisation allows arguments with several disjunctively connected conclusions. Contentious as this generalisation may be, I will argue nevertheless that it is justified. My main claim is that multiple conclusions are epiphenomena of the logical connectives: some connectives determine, in a certain sense, multiple-conclusion derivations. Therefore, such derivations are completely natural and can safely be used in proof-theoretic semantics.
Should we take into account an artist's personal moral failings when appreciating or evaluating the work? In this essay, I seek to expand Berys Gaut's account of ethicism by showing how moral judgment of an artist's private moral actions can figure in one's overall evaluation of their work. To expand Gaut's view, I argue that the artist's personal morality is relevant to our evaluation of their work because we may only come to understand the point of view of the work, (...) and therefore the work's prescribed attitude, by examining the values, attitudes, and behaviors of the artist. This view is defended against a rival account offered by Bernard Wills and Jason Holt, which holds that the artistic evaluation of an artist's work is independent from the moral evaluation of their life except in extreme cases. (shrink)
Inspired by Schlenker's (2003) seminal 'Plea for Monsters', linguists have been analyzing every occurrence of a shifted indexical by postulating a monstrous operator. My aim in this paper is to show that Kaplan's (1989) original strategy of explaining apparent shifting in terms of a quotational use/mention distinction offers a much more intuitive, parsimonious and empirically superior analysis of many of these phenomena, including direct--indirect switches in Ancient Greek, role shift in signed languages, free indirect discourse in literary narratives, and (...) mixed quotation. Format: . (shrink)
Strangers, Gods and Monster is a fascinating look at how human identity is shaped by three powerful but enigmatic forces. Often overlooked in accounts of how we think about ourselves and others, Richard Kearney skillfully shows, with the help of vivid examples and illustrations, how the human outlook on the world is formed by the mysterious triumvirate of strangers, gods and monsters. Throughout, Richard Kearney shows how strangers, gods and monsters do not merely reside in myths or fantasies (...) but constitute a central part of our cultural unconscious. Above all, he argues that until we understand better that the Other resides deep within ourselves, we can have little hope of understanding how our most basic fears and desires manifest themselves in the external world and how we can learn to live with them. (shrink)
In his book The Myth of Evil , Phillip Cole claims that the concept of evil divides normal people from inhuman, demonic and monstrous wrongdoers. Such monsters are found in fiction, Cole maintains, but not in reality. Thus, even if the concept of evil has the requisite form to be explanatorily useful, it will be of no explanatory use in the real world. My aims in this paper are to assess Cole’s arguments for the claim that there are no (...) actual evil persons, and, in so doing, to develop a clearer framework in which to think about evil personhood. While Cole is right to claim that there are no actual evil monsters or supernatural demons, he underestimates the extent to which ascriptions of demonic monstrosity are figurative rather than literal. Hence, a lack of actual monsters does not imply a lack of actual evil persons. More plausibly, Cole suggests that the concept of evil implies an unrealistically dualistic worldview, with purely evil people on one side and ordinary people on the other. Since no one is purely bad, Cole claims, the concept of evil fails to refer to actual persons. Cole is wrong to think that the use of extreme moral concepts is incompatible with fine-grained moral evaluations across a broad spectrum between the extremes. Nor is Cole sufficiently careful in unpacking the various ways in which a person might be considered purely bad. I will argue that some actual persons are extremely bad, that it is very likely that some actual persons are fixedly bad, and that quite possibly no actual persons are thoroughly bad or innately bad. It is plausible that a person is evil only if he is extremely and fixedly bad, but Cole is wrong to suppose that a person is evil only if he is thoroughly and innately bad. Thus, even if we accept Cole’s claim that no actual person is thoroughly or innately bad, it still seems very likely that some actual persons are evil, and hence that evil can be an explanatorily useful concept. (shrink)
The monstrous power of the blind in Diderot’s 1949 Letter is not due to its ability to make people laugh or afraid, as its most common etymology would indicate: monstrum, monstrare, to point to an abnormal fact. The monstrous power of Diderot’s monster is that of one who shows: monere, monitor, in the manner of a guide or pathfinder. It shows us that everything that lives, and especially the human being, is a hybrid. It takes the idea of a possible (...) mixture of animals and humans into account, thus the boldness of an ‘anti-speciesism’ as presented in the fantastical bestiary of Alembert’s Dream. It brings the humanism of essence to an end and invites us to redefine a new social bond. (shrink)
Creatures living under the rule of domestication form a communicative union based on shared morphological, behavioural, cognitive, and immunologicalresemblances. Domestic animals live under particular conditions that substantially differ from the original settings of their wild relatives. Here we focus on the fact that many parallel characters have appeared in various domestic forms that had been selected for different purposes. These characters are often unique for domestic animals and do not exist in wild forms. We argue that parallel similarities appear in (...) different groups in response to their interaction with theumwelt of a particular host. In zoosemiotic sense, the process of domestication represents a kind of interaction in which both sides are affected and eventuallytransformed in such a way that one is more integrated with the other than in the time of initial encounter. (shrink)
Locke and Leibniz deny that there are any such beings as ‘monsters’ (anomalies, natural curiosities, wonders, and marvels), for two very different reasons. For Locke, monsters are not ‘natural kinds’: the word ‘monster’ does not individuate any specific class of beings ‘out there’ in the natural world. Monsters depend on our subjective viewpoint. For Leibniz, there are no monsters because we are all parts of the Great Chain of Being. Everything that happens, happens for a reason, (...) including a monstrous birth. But what about materialism? Well, beginning with the anatomical interest into ‘monstrous births’ in the French Académie des Sciences in the first three decades of the eighteenth century, there is a shift away from ‘imaginationist’ claims such as those of Malebranche, that if a woman gives birth to a monstrous child it is a consequence of something she imagined. Anatomists such as Lemery and Winslow try to formulate a strictly mechanical explanation for such events, rejecting moral and metaphysical explanations. Picking up on this work, materialist thinkers like Diderot are compelled to reject the very idea of monsters. We are all material beings produced according to the same mechanisms or laws, some of us are more ‘successful’ products than others, i.e. some live longer than others. In his late Eléments de physiologie he says “L’homme est un effet commun, le monstre un effet rare.” Ultimately he arrives at a materialist version of Leibniz’s position: there are no monsters, we are all monsters in each other’s eyes, at one time or another. This conclusion is a pregnant one in light of twentieth century interest in the problem of ‘the normal and the pathological’ (Canguilhem), and the broader question of how materialism relates to the biological world. (shrink)
In both the Consequences of Compassion and his response to my article, Goodman outlines a consequentialist theory that is both coherent and, in many ways, compelling. One can imagine that out of a concern toward—as Goodman puts it—“the impersonal events which fill the world”, we will accept “momentary experiences as the morally significant units”, and our actions will aim to promote the existence of “good dharmas.” However, as this brief reply argues, Goodman’s equating of a consequentialism focused on good dharmas (...) to a consequentialism focused on individual well-being is unjustified, and, as a consequence, the textual evidence he presents does not support his consequentialist view... (shrink)
Geometrical and physical intuition, both untutored andcultivated, is ubiquitous in the research, teaching,and development of mathematics. A number ofmathematical ``monsters'', or pathological objects, havebeen produced which – according to somemathematicians – seriously challenge the reliability ofintuition. We examine several famous geometrical,topological and set-theoretical examples of suchmonsters in order to see to what extent, if at all,intuition is undermined in its everyday roles.
Mixed quotation exhibits characteristics of both mention and use. Some even go so far as to claim it can be described wholly in terms of the pragmatics of language use. Thus, it may be argued that the observed shifting of indexicals under all quotation shows that a monstrous operator is involved. I will argue the opposite: a proper semantic account of quotation can be used to exorcize Schlenker's monsters from semantic theory.
Many models of motivation suggest that goals can be arranged in a hierarchy, ranging from higher-level goals that represent desired end-states to lower-level means that operate in the service of those goals. We present a hierarchical model that distinguishes between three levels—goals, strategies, and tactics—and between approach/avoidance and regulatory focus motivations at different levels. We focus our discussion on how this hierarchical framework sheds light on the different ways that success and failure are defined within the promotion and prevention systems (...) outlined in regulatory focus theory. Specifically, we review research that demonstrates that differences in what “counts” as success versus failure in these systems have important implications for motivational strength, emotional responses, and risky behavior. (shrink)
In this article, the sociocultural meanings and social relations and expectations that cohere around `road rage' and serve to invest it with its particular resonance in contemporary Western societies are examined. It is argued that the combination of car and driver in the driving experience produces a cyborg body, which influences the ways in which people experience, perceive and respond to driving and other cars/drivers. But in contemporary societies the expression of such `negative' emotions is problematic and complex. In this (...) context, `road rage' is deemed to evidence loss of appropriate self-control and as `uncivilized'. (shrink)
: This paper engages with theories of the monstrous maternal in feminist philosophy to explore how examples of visual art practice by Susan Hiller, Marc Quinn, Alison Lapper, Tracey Emin, and Cindy Sherman disrupt maternal ideals in visual culture through differently imagined body schema. By examining instances of the pregnant body represented in relation to maternal subjectivity, disability, abortion, and "prosthetic" pregnancy, it asks whether the "monstrous" can offer different kinds of figurations of the maternal that acknowledge the agency and (...) potential power of the pregnant subject. (shrink)
Foucault's theoretical framework -- Foucault's monsters as genealogy : the abnormal individual -- An English legal history of monsters -- Changing sex : the problem of transsexuality -- Sharing bodies : the problem of conjoined twins -- Admixing embyros : the problem of human/animal hybrids -- Conclusion.
A number of philosophers have been impressed with the thought that moral saints and moral monsters—or, evil people, to put it less sensationally—“mirror” one another, in a sense to be explained. Call this the mirror thesis. The project of this paper is to cash out the metaphorical suggestion that moral saints and evil persons mirror one other and to articulate the most plausible literal version of the mirror thesis. To anticipate, the most plausible version of the mirror thesis implies (...) that evil persons mirror moral saints insofar as the characters of each are marked by similar aretaic properties: suffering from extremely vicious character traits—in a sense to be explained—suffices for being evil whereas possessing extremely virtuous character traits similarly suffices for moral sainthood. (shrink)
This paper engages with theories of the monstrous maternal in feminist philosophy to explore how examples of visual art practice by Susan Hiller, Marc Quinn, Alison Lapper, Tracey Emin, and Cindy Sherman disrupt maternal ideals in visual culture through differently imagined body schema. By examining instances of the pregnant body represented in relation to maternal subjectivity, disability, abortion, and “prosthetic” pregnancy, it asks whether the “monstrous” can offer different kinds of figurations of the maternal that acknowledge the agency and potential (...) power of the pregnant subject. (shrink)
This paper argues that today the true source of terror in the economico-biopolitically advanced countries of global capitalism lies in biopower’s own constitution as a normative field that presupposes its exception as its own precondition. At the two extreme poles of this exception we find “terrorism,” and particularly suicide bombing, and unmanned aerial vehicles, as the pair revealing the core of biopower. However, of the two only “terrorism” is discursively constructed in the “West” as a monstrous act that should incite (...) horror. Linking horror to the psychoanalytic concepts of repression and foreclosure, I argue that the biopolitical function of horror lies in rendering unreadable the message of such “monstrous” acts. Furthermore, insofar as horror’s experience is an affective state of being that can, nevertheless, be incited discursively, affect shifts to the center of the political domain. The affect of horror in particular becomes instrumental to politics as it can provide the criterion for determining the bio-racial break between, in Foucault’s words, “what must live and what must die.”. (shrink)
Reality TV is immensely popular, and various shows in this media genre involve a storyline of infertility and infertility treatment. Feminists argue that normative and constructed realities about infertility and infertility treatment, like those in reality TV, are central to the emancipation of women. Such realities are able to steer viewers' perceptions of the world. This article examines the emancipatory significance of representations of women on 'infertility reality TV shows'. While the women in these shows all have 'abnormal' qualities, we (...) consider their portrayal as figurations of monstrosity. In the literature, monstrosity is understood as a way to challenge nonemancipatory norms by offering an alternative identity. Through a content analysis of seven reality TV shows, we identified four types of in/fertile monsters: the cyborg, the freak, the abject, and the childless. We show that these monsters are predominantly non-emancipatory as they all involve mechanisms of altering, excluding, or condemning infertility in relation to what is considered normal and acceptable womanhood. Therefore, at the end of this article, we make a plea for more diverse and emancipatory representations of infertile women in popular culture. (shrink)
Colin Radford must weary of defending his thesis that the emotional reactions we have towards fictional characters, events, and states of affairs are irrational.1 Yet, for all the discussion, the issue has not, to my mind, been properly settled—or at least not settled in the manner I should prefer—and so this paper attempts once more to debunk Radford’s defiance of common sense. For some, the question of whether our emotional responses to fiction are rational does not arise, for they are (...) inclined to doubt that we have them at all.2 Emotions, on this view, are fundamentally linked to belief states, as in the following thesis concerning the emotion of fear: 1) We fear for ourselves only if we believe ourselves to be in danger; we fear for others only if we believe they actually exist and are in danger. When we typically engage with fiction we do not ‘suspend our disbelief’, in the sense of coming to believe that the fiction is non-fiction. No matter how engrossed I become in a Dracula movie, I do not begin to believe that I am seeing actual vampires. 2) When we watch a horror movie, we do not believe ourselves, or anyone actual, to be in danger. And so these theorists, endorsing (1) and (2), are obliged to deny the intuitive (3): 3) We are sometimes frightened when watching a horror movie. These three propositions are a version of what is sometimes called ‘The Paradox of Fiction’. For my money, since the denial of (2) is foolish, and the denial of (3) deeply counterintuitive, it is (1)—being a substantive philosophical thesis—that is most likely the culprit. Radford agrees, yet maintains that there is some intimate connection between belief and emotion. For him, the dependence is not the existential one stated in (1), but a normative one: we do not rationally feel fear unless we believe ourselves (or someone actual) to be in danger.3 This revision of the connection allows the construction of a quite different inconsistent triad: 4) We are not rationally frightened unless we believe someone actual to be in danger.. (shrink)
Monsters lurk within mathematical as well as literary haunts. I propose to trace some pathways between these two monstrous habitats. I start from Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s influential account of monster culture and explore how well mathematical monsters fit each of his seven theses. The mathematical monsters I discuss are drawn primarily from three distinct but overlapping domains. Firstly, late nineteenth-century mathematicians made numerous unsettling discoveries that threatened their understanding of their own discipline and challenged their intuitions. The (...) great French mathematician Henri Poincaré characterised these anomalies as ‘monsters’, a name that stuck. Secondly, the twentieth-century philosopher Imre Lakatos composed a seminal work on the nature of mathematical proof, in which monsters play a conspicuous role. Lakatos coined such terms as ‘monster-barring’ and ‘monster-adjusting’ to describe strategies for dealing with entities whose properties seem to falsify a conjecture. Thirdly, and most recently, mathematicians dubbed the largest of the sporadic groups ‘the Monster’, because of its vast size and uncanny properties, and because its existence was suspected long before it could be confirmed. (shrink)
Big Brother, the tyrant of George Orwell's 1984, directed his daily Two Minutes Hate against Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the people. When I studied evolutionary biology in graduate school during the mid-1960s, official rebuke and derision focused upon Richard Goldschmidt, a famous geneticist who, we were told, had gone astray. Although 1984 creeps up on us, I trust that the world will not be in Big Brother's grip by then. I do, however, predict that during this decade Goldschmidt will be (...) largely vindicated in the world of evolutionary biology. (shrink)
The article discusses the evolutionary development of horror and fear in animals and humans, including in regard to cognition and physiological aspects of the brain. An overview of the social aspects of emotions, including the role that emotions play in interpersonal relations and the role that empathy plays in humans' ethics, is provided. An overview of the psychological aspects of monsters, including humans' simultaneous repulsion and interest in horror films that depict monsters, is also provided.
This chapter provides a general overview of the issues surrounding so-called semantic monsters. In section 1, I outline the basics of Kaplan’s framework and spell out how and why the topic of “monsters” arises within that framework. In Section 2, I distinguish four notions of a monster that are discussed in the literature, and show why, although they can pull apart in different frameworks or with different assumptions, they all coincide within Kaplan’s framework. In Section 3, I discuss (...) one notion that has spun off into the linguistics literature, namely “indexical shift”. In Section 4, I emphasize the connection between monsters and the compositionality of asserted content in Kaplan’s original discussion. Section 5 discusses monsters and the more general idea of re-interpretation or meaning-shift. Section 6 closes with a brief survey of where monsters may dwell, and pointers to avenues for future research. (shrink)
A recently published study on the development of the turtle shell(1) highlights the important role that development plays in the origin of evolutionary novelties(1). The evolution of the highly derived adult anatomy of turtles is a prime example of a macroevolutionary event triggered by changes in early embryonic development. Early ontogenetic deviation may cause patterns of morphological change that are not compatible with scenarios of gradualistic, stepwise transformation.