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LINGUISTIX&LOGIK, Tony Marmo's blog
Monday, 5 June 2006


On Aristotle and Baldness- Topic, Reference, Presupposition, and Negation

By Johan Brandtler

This paper is a contribution to the never settled debate on reference, negation and presupposition of existence in the linguistic/philosophical literature. Based on Swedish and English data, the discussion is an attempt to present a unified account of the opposing views put forward in the works of Aristotle, Frege (1892), Russell (1905) and Strawson (1950). The starting point is the observed asymmetry in Swedish (and English) that negation may precede a quantified subject NP in the first position, but not a definite subject NP or a proper name. This asymmetry is argued to be due to semantic, rather than syntactic, restrictions. In the model proposed here, negating a topic NP affects the “topic selection”. This is allowed with quantified NPs, since negating a quantifier leads only to a modification of the topic selection. For definite/generic subject NPs this cannot be allowed, since negating a definite NP equals cancelling the topic selection. This leads to a ‘crash’ at the semantic level.

keywords: negation, presupposition, reference, topic, aristotle, frege, russell, strawson, quantifiers, semantics

Published in: Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax, volume 77 (2006), 177-204. Lund University, Sweden.

Source: LingBuzz/000281

Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:32 BST
Thursday, 25 May 2006

Topic: Ontology&possible worlds

Eventism and Pointism

By Zdzislaw Augustynek

The domain of contemporary physics consists of two different classes of objects:
a) physical objects ? point events (shortly ? events), elementary particles (and their aggregates), and fields;
b) spatio-temporal objects ? space-time points (shortly ? points), moments, space points, and their corresponding sets: space-time, time and physical space.

If objects of some kind (physical or spatio-temporal) are treated as individuals, i.e. nonsets, then it is possible to define the remaining kinds of objects from both above-mentioned classes. In this way one can construct two alternative monistic ontologies of physics: eventism founded on events, and pointism founded on points. It is also possible to establish a dualistic ontology of physics, based both on events and points treated as individuals.
In this paper these three ontologies are presented with particular emphasis on some extreme versions of monistic ontologies. I shall compare them considering both their respective advantages and difficulties and trying to justify my own choice of eventistic ontology.

Source: Logic and Logical Philosophy, No. 1, 1993, pp. 169

Posted by Tony Marmo at 17:19 BST
Updated: Thursday, 25 May 2006 17:22 BST
Tuesday, 16 May 2006


A Short Note on Gentzen's LJ and NJ Systems Isomorphism

By Wagner Sanz

We state a new intuitionistic sequent calculus and use it to clarify Gentzen's NJ and LJ isomorphism, it contains new negation rules which are immediate readings of what seems to be good and sound natural deduction rules.
Sequent Calculus, Natural Deduction, Intuitionism, Negation.

CLE e-prints

Posted by Tony Marmo at 16:58 BST
Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006 17:02 BST
Friday, 5 May 2006


A game-theoretic account of implicature

By Prashant Parikh

I use game theory, decision theory, and situation theory to model a class of implicatures. Two types of relevance are distinguished and used to construct a model of Gricean communication between speaker and addressee.

Source: Proceedings of the 4th conference on Theoretical aspects of reasoning about knowledge, Monterey, California, Pages: 85 - 94 Year of Publication: 1992

Posted by Tony Marmo at 16:46 BST
Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006 16:50 BST
Wednesday, 26 April 2006


A Logic for Ambiguous Description

By Arthur Buchsbaum

A logic formalizing ambiguity, which appears both in natural language and in mathematical discourse, is presented, through a sequent calculus and a semantics, together with some elementary results.

Author Keywords: ambiguous description; designators; rigidity
Appeared in 'Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science' Volume 67, October 2002, Pages 1-18 WoLLIC'2002, 9th Workhop on Logic, Language, Information and Computation

Posted by Tony Marmo at 14:44 BST
Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Topic: Counterfactuals

Conditional Excluded Middle in Systems of Consequential Implication

By Claudio Pizzi & Timothy Williamson

It is natural to ask under what conditions negating a conditional is equivalent to negating its consequent. Given a bivalent background logic, this is equivalent to asking about the conjunction of Conditional Excluded Middle (CEM, opposite conditionals are not both false) and Weak Boethius’ Thesis (WBT, opposite conditionals are not both true). In the system CI.0 of consequential implication, which is intertranslatable with the modal logic KT, WBT is a theorem, so it is natural to ask which instances of CEM are derivable. We also investigate the systems CIw and CI of consequential implication, corresponding to the modal logics K and KD respectively, with occasional remarks about stronger systems. While unrestricted CEM produces modal collapse in all these systems, CEM restricted to contingent formulas yields the Alt2 axiom (semantically, each world can see at most two worlds), which corresponds to the symmetry of consequential implication. It is proved that in all the main systems considered, a given instance of CEM is derivable if and only if the result of replacing consequential implication by the material biconditional in one or other of its disjuncts is provable. Several related results are also proved. The methods of the paper are those of propositional modal logic as applied to a special sort of conditional.

Appeared at the Journal of Philosophical Logic 34, 4 (2005): 333-362

Posted by Tony Marmo at 05:58 BST

Topic: Counterfactuals

Gestalt Effects in Counterfactual and Abductive Inference

By Claudio Pizzi

This paper begins by focusing the basic idea that Gestalt phenomena belong not only to the realm of perception but to the realm of inference. It is shown that Gestalt effects (i.e. the derivability of incompatible indifferent conclusions on the basis of the same background information) often occur both in counterfactual and in ampliative – i.e. inductive and abductive – reasoning. The main thesis of the paper is that the common feature of such forms of non-deductive reasoning is provided by a rational selection between incompatible conclusions, where rationality lies in the choice of the alternative which preserves the maximum of background information. It is also stressed a distinction between a weak and a strong notion of incompatibility. Such distinction may help in giving account of some alleged Gestalt phenomena which have been recognized in theory construction and theory change.

Keywords: Abduction, Counterfactuals, Induction, Gestalt, Rationality

To appear in the L. J. of the IGPL

Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 BST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006 05:49 BST
Saturday, 8 April 2006


Flexible Temporal Consistency for Fixed-Time Constraint Verification in Grid Workflow Systems

By Jinjun Chen & Yun Yang

To verify fixed-time constraints in grid workflow systems, the consistency and inconsistency conditions have been defined in the conventional work. However, in this paper, we argue that although the conventional consistency condition is reasonable, the conventional inconsistency condition is too rigorous and covers several different situations. These situations which are handled conventionally by the same exception handling should be handled differently for cost saving. Therefore, we divide the conventional inconsistency into weak consistency,weak inconsistency and strong inconsistency and treat the conventional consistency as strong consistency. Correspondingly, we discuss how to verify them. Especially, for the weak consistency, we present a method on how to adjust it to the strong consistency. For the weak inconsistency, we analyse why it can be handled by simpler and more economical exception handling. The final comparison and discussion further demonstrate that our research can achieve better cost effectiveness than the conventional work.

Appeared in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 3795 / 2005

Posted by Tony Marmo at 01:16 BST
Updated: Saturday, 8 April 2006 01:18 BST
Thursday, 6 April 2006

Topic: Counterfactuals

Counterfactuals in a Dynamic Context

By Kai von Fintel

This paper has presented a sketch of an alternative implementation of the standard possible worlds semantics of counterfactuals.

The Presupposition of Subjunctive Conditionals

By Kai von Fintel

Why are some conditionals subjunctive? It is often assumed that at least one crucial difference is that subjunctive conditionals presuppose that their antecedent is false, that they are counterfactual (Lakoff 1970). The traditional theory has apparently been refuted. Perhaps the clearest counter-example is one given by Alan Anderson (1951: 37): If Jones had taken arsenic, he would have shown just exactly those symptoms which he does in fact show. A typical place to use such a subjunctive conditional would be in the course of an argument that tries to bolster the hypothesis that Jones did in fact take arsenic. But then it would of course be self-defeating to presuppose that the hypothesis is false. Thus, something else must be going on.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 BST
Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006 01:45 BST
Friday, 31 March 2006

Topic: Interconnections

Information and knowledge: an evolutionary framework for information Science

By Marcia J Bates

Background. Many definitions of information, knowledge, and data have been suggested throughout the history of information science. In this article, the objective is to provide definitions that are usable for the physical, biological, and social meanings of the terms, covering the various senses important to our field.

Argument. Information 1 is defined as the pattern of organization of matter and energy. Information 2 is defined as some pattern of organization of matter and energy that has been given meaning by a living being. Knowledge is defined as information given meaning and integrated with other contents of understanding.

Elaboration. The approach is rooted in an evolutionary framework; that is, modes of information perception, processing, transmission, and storage are seen to have developed as a part of the general evolution of members of the animal kingdom. Brains are expensive for animals to support; consequently, efficient storage, including, particularly, storage at emergent levels-for example, storing the concept of chair, rather than specific memories of all chairs ever seen, is powerful and effective for animals. Conclusion. Thus, rather than being reductionist, the approach taken demonstrates the fundamentally emergent nature of most of what higher animals and human beings, in particular, experience as information.


Source: Philoinfo group

Posted by Tony Marmo at 17:53 GMT
Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006 17:59 GMT
Friday, 24 March 2006

Topic: Interconnections

A Paradox:

Tony Marmo

We try to defeat death everyday by moral means, which is to say: once one human is aware of or believes in his temporal finitude, he endeavours to overcome it by attaching a time transcending significance to his own existence. In this sense, each of us needs to believe in his own significance, which he maps onto immortality, whilst he believes in the insignificance and hence in the mortality of the others. The kind of significance that transcends time and at the same time seems reachable to individuals is the Philosophical one.

From the Maieutikos Blog

Posted by Tony Marmo at 16:12 GMT
Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006 16:15 GMT
Monday, 20 March 2006

Topic: Interconnections

The Truth According to James

By Andre Fuhrmann

In this paper I shall be mainly concerned with James’s thesis that pragmatist truth is absolute. James tried to safeguard this aspect of pragmatist truth by means of a particular version of the convergence thesis. But before turning to this aspect of his theory, I shall begin by briefly reviewing James’s view of how the three theses are to be integrated into a pragmatist theory of truth. I shall then discuss in some detail James’s theory of absolute truth as it emerges in a discussion of a supposed problem case for any evidence-constraint theory of truth such as James’s. This is the case of past events that have left no evidential traces. James’s theory of absolute truth, so I shall argue, is a close cousin to Crispin Wright’s theory of superassertibility.

Appeared in Pragmatism Today, ed. A. Fuhrmann and E. Olsson

Posted by Tony Marmo at 20:25 GMT
Friday, 10 March 2006


Davidson's Criticism of the Proximal Theory of Meaning

By Dirk Greimann

According to the proximal theory of meaning, which is to be found in Quine’s early writings, meaning is determined completely by the correla-tion of sentences with sensory stimulations. Davidson tried to show that this theory is untenable because it leads to a radical form of skepticism. The present paper aims to show, first, that Davidson’s criticism is not sound, and, second, that nonetheless the proximal theory is untenable because it has a very similar and equally unacceptable consequence: it implies that the truth-value of ordinary sentences like ‘Snow is white’ is completely determined by the properties of the speaker, not by the properties of the objects to which these sentences refer.

Appeared in Principia - An International Journal Of Epistemology, volume 9, n. 1-2, p. 73-86, 2005.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 16:25 GMT
Monday, 6 March 2006


Universal versus Existential Quantifiers

The Russian vsjakij

By Georgy Bronnikov

The quantifier vsjakij has drawn considerable attention from semanticists in the Russian tradition. This article proposes an analysis based on the morphological structure of the word, using Carlson’s (1977) theory of kind reference. The result is an account that allows us to give a unified treatment to generic [sic] and existential uses of vsjakij, which, to my knowledge, has never been done before. There remain a number of problematic cases; those are noted and, where possible, analyzed as well. If the proposed account is correct, vsjakij turns out to be a near-exception to a well-known universal stating that no language has determiners specialized for kind reference (see, for example, Gerstner-Link and Krifka 1995, p. 967, Dayal 2004, p. 394).

Source: Semantics Archive

Posted by Tony Marmo at 14:24 GMT
Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006 14:28 GMT
Saturday, 25 February 2006


What is a Field

PROPAEDEUTICS was a section inaugurated on the 13th of November of 2005 and is devoted to the introduction of basic formal concepts in the relevant fields of this blog.
The first entry was about what the term field means in mathematical language. The entry was updated today.

Soon there will be a post about the notion of Boolean Algebra.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 00:01 GMT
Updated: Saturday, 25 February 2006 13:41 GMT

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