McCarthy develops a theory of radical interpretation--the project of characterizing from scratch the language and attitudes of an agent or population--and applies it to the problems of indeterminacy of interpretation first described by Quine. The major theme in McCarthy's study is that a relatively modest set of interpretive principles, properly applied, can serve to resolve the major indeterminacies of interpretation.
The ability to produce and understand referring expressions is basic to human language use and human cognition. Reference comprises the ability to think of and represent objects (both real and imagined/fictional), to indicate to others which of these objects we are talking about, and to determine what others are talking about when they use a nominal expression. The articles in this volume are concerned with some of the central themes and challenges in research on reference within the cognitive sciences - (...) philosophy (including philosophy of language and mind, logic, and formal semantics), theoretical and computational linguistics, and cognitive psychology. The papers address four basic questions: What is reference? What is the appropriate analysis of different referring forms, such as definite descriptions? How is reference resolved? and How do speaker/writers select appropriate referring forms, such as pronouns vs. full noun phrases, demonstrative vs. personal pronouns, and overt vs. null/zero pronominal forms? Some of the papers assume and build on existing theories, such as Centering Theory and the Givenness Hierarchy framework; others propose their own models of reference understanding or production. The essays examine reference from a number of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, informed by different research traditions and employing different methodologies. While the contributors to the volume were primarily trained in one of the four represented disciplines-computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology, and use methodologies typical of that discipline, each of them bridges more than one discipline in their methodology and/or their approach. (shrink)
This book investigates the nature of the relationship between phonology and syntax and proposes a theory of Minimal Indirect Reference that solves many classic problems relating to the topic. Seidl shows that all variation across languages in phonological domain size is due to syntactic differences and a single domain parameter specific to phonology.
This study provides a unified theory of properties, relations, and propositions (PRPs). Two conceptions of PRPs have emerged in the history of philosophy. The author explores both of these traditional conceptions and shows how they can be captured by a single theory.
This book defends a novel theory of singular concepts, emphasizing the pragmatic requirements of singular concept possession and arguing that these requirements must be understood to institute traditions and policies of thought.
This important book proposes a new account of the nature of language, founded upon an original interpretation of Wittgenstein. The authors deny the existence of a direct referential relationship between words and things. Rather, the link between language and world is a two-stage one, in which meaning is used and in which a natural language should be understood as fundamentally a collection of socially devised and maintained practices. Arguing against the philosophical mainstream descending from Frege and Russell to Quine, Davidson, (...) Dummett, McDowell, Evans, Putnam, Kripke and others, the authors demonstrate that discarding the notion of reference does not entail relativism or semantic nihilism. A provocative re-examination of the interrelations of language and social practice, this book will interest not only philosophers of language but also linguists, psycholinguists, students of communication and all those concerned with the nature and acquisition of human linguistic capacities. (shrink)
_ Meaning_ brings together some of the most significant philosophical work on linguistic representation and understanding, presenting canonical essays on core questions in the philosophy of language. Brings together essential readings which define and advance the literature on linguistic representation and understanding. Examines key topics in philosophy of language, including analyticity; translational indeterminacy; theories of reference; meaning as use; the nature of linguistic competence; truth and meaning; and relations between semantics and metaphysics. Includes classic articles by key figures such as (...) Frege, Quine, Putnam, Kripke, and Davidson; and recent reactions to this work by philosophers including Mark Wilson, Scott Soames, James Higginbotham, Frank Jackson, Alex Byrne, and Paul Bogohossian. (shrink)
This introduction to modern work in analytic philosophy uses the example of the proper name to give a clear explanation of the logical theories of Gottlob Frege, and explain the application of his ideas to ordinary language. McCulloch then shows how meaning is rooted in the philosophy of mind and the question of intentionality, and looks at the ways in which thought can be "about" individual material objects.
"Homage to Rudolph Carnap."--Hempel, C. G. Rudolf Carnap, logical empiricist.--Wedberg, A. How Carnap built the world in 1928.--Eberle, R. A construction of quality classes improved upon the Aufbau.--Carnap, R. Observation language and theoretical language.--Kaplan, D. Significance and analyticity: a comment of some recent proposals of Carnap.--Wójcicki, R. The factual content of empirical theories.--Williams, P. M. On the conservative extensions of semantical systems: a contribution to the problem of analyticity.--Winnie, J. A. Theoretical analyticity.--Wedberg, A. Decision and belief in science.--Bohnert, H. G. (...) Carnap's logicism.--Hintikka, J. Carnap's heritage in logical semantics.--Partee, B. H. The semantics of belief-sentences.--Kasher, A. Pragmatic representations and language-games.--Carnap, R. Notes on probability and induction.--Jeffrey, R. C. Carnap's inductive logic.--Hilpinen, R. Carnap's new system of inductive logic.--Kuipers, T. A. F. A generalization of Carnap's inductive logic. Essler, W. K. Hintikka versus Carnap.--Hintikka, J. Carnap and Essler versus inductive generalization.--Shimony, A. Carnap on entropy, introduction to "Two essays on entropy" by Rudolf Carnap. (shrink)
Metaphor is much more than just a linguistic phenomena, argues Gemma Corradi Fiumara, it is in fact the key process by which we construct and develop our ability to understand the world and the people we share it with. Rationality as understood by philosophers has led to a disembodied view of ourselves in which interaction between life and language has been downplayed. By looking at the metaphoric process - in an interpersonal rather than a formal way - its importance in (...) allowing us access to new worlds of experience is revealed. The metaphoric potential in us all exposes us to the world and initiates our involvement in it. (shrink)
Thanks to their heterogeneity, the nine essays in this volume offer a clear testimony of Donald Davidson's authority, and they undoubtedly show how much his work - even if it has raised many doubts and criticisms - has been, and still is, highly influential and significant in contemporary analytical philosophy for a wide range of subjects. Moreover, the various articles not only critically and carefully analyse Davidson's theses and arguments (in particular those concerning language and knowledge), but they also illustrate (...) how such theories and ideas, despite their unavoidable difficulties, are still alive and potentially fruitful. Davidson's work is indeed an important and provocative starting point for discussing the future progress of philosophy. (shrink)
This book analyzes--in terms of branching--the pervasive reorganization of Latin syntactic and morphological structures: in the development from Latin to French, a shift can be observed from the archaic, left-branching structures (which Latin inherited from Proto-Indo-European) to modern right-branching equivalents. Brigitte Bauer presents a detailed analysis of this development based on the theoretical discussion and definition of "branching" and "head." Subsequently she relates the diachronic shift to psycholinguistic evidence, arguing that the difficuly of LB complex structures as reflected in their (...) painstaking and delayed acquisition accounts for the extensive typological shift from left to right branching that took place in Latin/French and the other Indo-European languages. (shrink)
Semantics is a bridge discipline between linguistics and philosophy; but linguistics student are rarely able to reach that bridge, let alone cross it to inspect and assess the activity on the other side. Professor Kempson's textbook seeks particularly to encourage such exchanges. She deals with the standard linguistic topics like componential analysis, semantic universals and the syntax-semantics controversy. But she also provides for students with no training in philosophy or logic an introduction to such central topics in the philosophy of (...) language as logical form, truth, speech acts, analyticity, entailment and presupposition. The exposition throughout is deliberately argumentative rather than descriptive, introducing the student step by step to the major problems in theoretical semantics. Special emphasis is placed on the need to consider individual arguments within the overall perspective of semantics as an integral part of general linguistic theory. Written primarily as a textbook for undergraduates and graduates in linguistics departments, this book will also be useful to undergraduates in philosophy and in psychology where linguistics is a part of their course. (shrink)
Meaning seems to shift from context to context; how do we know when someone says "grab a chair" that an ottoman or orange crate will do, but when someone says "let's buy a chair," they won't? In Plastic Glasses and Church Fathers, Kronenfeld offers a theory that explains both the usefulness of language's variability of reference and the mechanisms which enable us to understand each other in spite of the variability. Kronenfeld's theory, rooted in the tradition of ethnoscience (or cognitive (...) anthropology), accomplishes three things. First, it distinguishes prototypic referents from extended referents. Second, it describes the various bases of semantic extensions. Finally it details how we use the situational context of usage, the linguistic context of opposition and inclusion, and the conceptual context of knowledge about the world to interpret communicative events. (shrink)
This book considers the semantic and syntactic nature of indexicals - linguistic expressions, as in I, you, this, that, yesterday, tomorrow , whose reference shifts from utterance to utterance.There is a long-standing controversy as to whether the semantic reference point is already present as syntactic material or whether it is introduced post-syntactically by semantic rules of interpretation. Alessandra Giorgi resolves this controversy through an empirically grounded exploration of temporal indexicality, arguing that the speaker's temporal location is specified in the syntactic (...) structure. She supports her analysis with theoretical and empirical arguments based on data from English, Italian, Chinese, and Romanian. Professor Giorgi addresses some difficult and longstanding issues in the analysis of temporal phenomena - including the Italian imperfect indicative, the properties of the so-called future-in-the-past, and the properties of Free Indirect Discourse - and shows that her framework can account elegantly for all of them. Carefully argued, succinct, and clearly written her book will appeal widely to semanticists in linguistics and philosophy from graduate level upwards and to linguists interested in the syntax-semantics interface. (shrink)
Scholars concerned with the phenomenon of mind have searched through history for a principled yet non-reductionist approach to the study of knowledge, communication, and behavior. Pragmatics has been a recurrent theme in Western epistemology, tracing itself back from pre-Socratic dialectics and Aristotle's bio- functionalism, all the way to Wittgenstein's content-dependent semantics. This book's treatment of pragmatics as an analytic method focuses on the central role of context in determining the perception, organization, and communication of experience. As a bioadaptive strategy, pragmatics (...) straddles the middle ground between absolute categories and the non-discrete gradation of experience, reflecting closely the organism's own evolutionary compromises. In parallel, pragmatic reasoning can be shown to play a pivotal role in the process of empirical science, through the selection of relevant facts, the abduction of likely hypotheses, and the construction of non-trivial explanations. In this volume, Professor Givon offers pragmatics as both an analytic method and a strategic intellectual framework. He points out its relevance to our understanding of traditional problems in philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, cognitive psychology, neuro-biology, and evolution. Finally, the application of pragmatics to the study of the mind and behavior constitutes an implicit challenge to the current tenets of artificial intelligence. (shrink)
This contribution to Palgrave's 'Advances' series addresses a wide range of issues that have arisen in post-Gricean pragmatic theory, in chapters by distinguished authors. Among the specific topics covered are scalar implicatures, lexical semantics and pragmatics, indexicality, procedural meaning, the semantics and pragmatics of negation. The volume includes both defences and critiques of Relevance Theory and of Neo-Gricean Pragmatics.
This book opens up a new route to the study of knowledge dynamics and the sociology of knowledge. The focus is on the role of metaphors as powerful catalysts and the book dissects their role in the construction of theories of knowledge and will therefore be of vital interest to social and cognitive scientists alike.
The problem of reference is central to the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, and epistemology yet it remains largely unresolved. Naming and Reference explains the reference of lexical terms, with particular emphasis placed on proper names, demonstrative pronouns and personal pronouns. It examines such specific issues as: how to account for the reference of names that are empty or speculative, which abound in science and philosophy, and how to account for intentional reference as in "he took Mary to be Jane." (...) Naming and Reference begins with a survey of the history of the subject within a philosophical and critical setting, from Locke, Brentano, Peirce, Frege, Russell, Strawson, Tarski, Carnap and Quine up to Kripke and Fodor. The rest of the book is devoted to an algorithmic theory of reference derived from Peirce's idea that signification is a three-way relationship involving a term, an object and an interpretant. The theory rounds out the causal notion of reference, while at the same time preserving Frege's distinction between sense and reference, and making a place for indexical terms. Through the use of various computer models, R. J. Nelson explores the meaning and reference of words to objects and the relationship of these phenomena to perception, belief and truth. The models used are parallel, connectionist computational models rather than the sequential models of mid-century artificial intelligence. The aim, in opposition to nativist and mental representation theories, is to account for the genesis of semantically interpretable symbols, not to assume them. (shrink)
Setting the stage with a selection of readings from important nineteenth century philosophers, this reader on truth puts in conversation some of the main philosophical figures from the twentieth century in the analytic, continental, and pragmatist traditions. Focuses on the value or normativity of truth through exposing the dialogues between different schools of thought Features philosophical figures from the twentieth century in the analytic, continental, and pragmatist traditions Topics addressed include the normative relation between truth and subjectivity, consensus, art, testimony, (...) power, and critique Includes essays by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, James, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Wittgenstein, Levinas, Arendt, Foucault, Rorty, Davidson, Habermas, Derrida, and many others. (shrink)
This book is an outstanding contribution to the philosophical study of language and mind, by one of the most influential thinkers of our time. In a series of penetrating essays, Chomsky cuts through the confusion and prejudice which has infected the study of language and mind, bringing new solutions to traditional philosophical puzzles and fresh perspectives on issues of general interest, ranging from the mind-body problem to the unification of science. Using a range of imaginative and deceptively simple linguistic analyses, (...) Chomsky defends the view that knowledge of language is internal to the human mind. He argues that a proper study of language must deal with this mental construct. According to Chomsky, therefore, human language is a 'biological object' and should be analyzed using the methodology of the sciences. His examples and analyses come together in this book to give a unique and compelling perspective on language and the mind. (shrink)
Conditionals has at its center an extended essay on this problematic and much-debated subject in the philosophy of language and logic, which the widely respected Oxford philosopher Michael Woods had been preparing for publication at the time of his death in 1993. It appears here edited by his eminent colleague David Wiggins, and is accompanied by a commentary specially written by a leading expert on the topic, Dorothy Edgington. This masterly and original treatment of conditionals will demand the attention of (...) all philosophers working in this area. (shrink)
This book deals with a major problem in the study of language: the problem of reference. The ease with which we refer to things in conversation is deceptive. Upon closer scrutiny, it turns out that we hardly ever tell each other explicitly what object we mean, although we expect our interlocutor to discern it. Amichai Kronfeld provides an answer to two questions associated with this: how do we successfully refer, and how can a computer be programmed to achieve this? Beginning (...) with the major theories of reference, Dr Kronfeld provides a consistent philosophical view which is a synthesis of Frege's and Russell's semantic insights with Grice's and Searle's pragmatic theories. This leads to a set of guiding principles, which are then applied to a computational model of referring. The discussion is made accessible to readers from a number of backgrounds: in particular, students and researchers in the areas of computational linguistics, artificial intelligence and the philosophy of language will want to read this book. (shrink)
In this 1970 introduction to philosophy Mr Taylor concentrates on two central topics - explanation and meaning. He takes the argument far enough to acquaint the reader first-hand with the methods and approach of analytical philosophy, and yet because of the scope of these two topics he is able to introduce many of the traditional philosophical problems in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and logic. By this approach he avoids the dangers both of superficiality and of undue technicality. Philosophers are concerned (...) to analyse and describe certain concepts and modes of argument, not to establish facts or conclusions of any sort that can be tested by formal demonstration or controlled observation; their findings cannot be conveniently categorized or graded into a comprehensive and progressive course of studies. Mr Taylor meets this difficulty with his extended discussions of specific topics and questions which have implications over the whole subject. (shrink)