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161. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Iris Vidmar An Introduction to Metaphilosophy by Søren Overgaard, Paul Gilbert, Stephen Burwood
162. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević The Geometry of Offense – Pejoratives and Conceptual Spaces
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The meaning of pejoratives can be analyzed along several dimensions in the relevant conceptual space, of the kind put forward by Gärdenfors in his groundbreaking work. The first dimension has to do with neutral, non-evaluative sense: for a given class (group, social kind) K it delineates the basic causal-cum-descriptive components that determine the intended reference of the pejorative (say, the social kind “gays” for “faggot”). The second comprises the evaluative components ascribed to K, together with their associated descriptive bases. The third is a prescriptive one, suggesting how badly the target is to be treated. The fourth is expressive of speaker’s negative attitude towards members of K. The last three dimensions suggest that the concept associated with a pejorative is a thick concept, whose non-empty extension, is, however, determined by the first, neutral dimension. It also helps understand the dynamics of pejoratives, including the figurative origin and change of valence. The whole account treats pejoratives as negative social kind terms with a hybrid bases for reference (causal history plus a neutral description). The last section raises the general issue of realism in regard to conceptual spaces, and argues in favor of it, in a dialogue with Gärdenfors.
163. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Lexical Variation and Attrition in the Scottish Fishing Communities by Robert McColl Millar, William Barras and Lisa Bonnici
164. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Zdenka Brzović Philosophy of Biology by Peter Godfrey-Smith
165. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
David Botting A Dialectical View of “Freedom and Resentment”
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In this paper I wish to look at the structure of Strawson’s argument in the classic paper “Freedom and Resentment.” My purpose is less to evaluate and criticize Strawson’s paper as to give a dialectical perspective on it in which Strawson and those he is arguing against are given specific dialectical roles and the arguments and counter-arguments are designed with specific dialectical aims in mind. Specifi c parallels will be drawn between some things that Strawson says and certain ideas in dialectical theory. Despite textual evidence that I will appeal to I do not claim to be reconstructing Strawson’s argument; the understanding ofStrawson’s argument that I will be trying to make clear is my own.
166. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Table of Contents of Vol. XIV
167. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Martina Blečić The Nature of the Literal/Non-literal Distinction
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In this paper I would like to suggest that a cognitive approach to pragmatics does not lead necessarily to the impossibility of a distinction between literal and non-literal contents and interpretations. If my reading is correct, this approach is focused on the cognitive activities that take place in the minds of regular language users and not on models applied to ideal speaker-hearers. If we accept that, then we should also accept that the distinction between the literal and the non-literal is subjective since different language users will, in certain cases, consider differently a linguistic element in regards to its belonging to the literal or non-literal domain. In order to save this dichotomy we need to return partially to a philosophical approach to pragmatics, that is, we need to establishthe distinction between the literal and the non-literal on the basis of generalized objective inferential strategies. The proposal is the following: the presence of implicit or explicit inferential communicational processes (explicit and implicit conversational implicatures, as I refer to them) connected to the literal meaning of the uttered words will be the criterion for the non-literal status of a linguistic/communicational element. By applying objective criteria to the subjective inferential processes of actual language users we can retain both the subjectivity of cognitive differences between individual speakers and the objectivity of the distinctionbetween the literal and the non-literal.
168. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Aneta Stojić, Anita Pavić Pintarić Pejorative Nouns in Speech Act of Insulting as Expression of Verbal Aggression
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In this paper we investigate lexical, semantic und pragmatic aspects of pejorative nouns which play an important role as language means of verbal aggression. The basis of study are nouns in the German and Croatian language used in the speech act of insult. The aim of this paper is to describe relative pejoratives, i.e. nouns which have both a neutral and pejorative meaning when used to refer to individuals. The following points will be investigated: semantic fields that the relative pejoratives belong to, their use in sentences, as well as similarities and differences between the two languages. The lexical aspect of pejoratives togetherwith their semantic and pragmatic characteristics will be described.
169. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Jörg Löschke Second-Personal Reasons and Special Obligations
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The paper discusses the second-personal account of moral obligation as put forward by Stephen Darwall. It argues that on such an account, an important part of our moral practice cannot be explained, namely special obligations that are grounded in special relationships between persons. After highlighting the problem, the paper discusses several strategies to accommodate such special obligations that are implicit in some of Darwall’s texts, most importantly a disentanglement strategy and a reductionist strategy. It argues that neither one of these strategies is entirely convincing. The last part of the papers sketches a novel account of how to accommodate special obligations in a second-personal framework: According to this suggestion, special obligations might be due to the fact that relationships change the normative authority that persons have over each other.
170. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Vasco Correia From Self-Deception to Self-Control: Emotional Biases and the Virtues of Precommitment
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‘Intentionalist’ approaches portray self-deceivers as “akratic believers”, subjects who deliberately choose to believe p despite knowing that p is false. In this paper, I argue that the intentionalist model leads to a series of paradoxes that seem to undermine it. I show that these paradoxes can nevertheless be overcome if we accept the hypothesis that self-deception is a non-intentional process that stems from the influence of emotions on judgment. Furthermore, I propose a motivational interpretation of the phenomenon of ‘hyperbolic discounting bias’, highlighting the role of emotional biases in akratic behavior. Finally, I argue thatwe are not the helpless victims of our irrational attitudes, insofar as we have the ability—and arguably the epistemic obligation—to counteract motivational biases.
171. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Miguel López-Astorga Chrysippus’ Indemonstrables and Mental Logic
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Stoic logic assumes five inference schemata attributed to Chrysippus of Soli. Those schemata are the well-known indemonstrables. A problem related to them can be that, according to standard propositional calculus, only one of them, modus ponens, is clearly indemonstrable. Nevertheless, I try to show in this paper that the mental logic theory enables to understand why the Stoics considered such schemata to be basic kinds of arguments. Following that theory, four of them can be linked to ‘Core Schemata’ of mental logic and the only one that is more controversial is modus tollens. However, as I also comment, some assumptions of Stoic philosophy, which can be interpreted from the mental logic theory, can explain why this last argument was included into the set of the indemonstrablesas well.
172. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Hili Razinsky A Live Language: Concreteness, Openness, Ambivalence
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Wittgenstein has shown that that life, in the sense that applies in the first place to human beings, is inherently linguistic. In this paper, I ask what is involved in language, given that it is thus essential to life, answering that language—or concepts—must be both alive and the ground for life. This is explicated by a Wittgensteinian series of entailments of features. According to the first feature, concepts are not intentional engagements. The second feature brings life back to concepts by describing them as inflectible: Attitudes, actions, conversations and other engagements inflect concepts, i.e., concepts take their particular characters in our actual engagements. However, inflections themselves would be reified together with the life they ground unless they could preserve the openness of concepts: hence the third feature of re-inflectibility. Finally, the openness of language must be revealed in actual life. This entails the possibility of conceptual ambivalence.
173. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Dušan Dožudić Resisting the Restriction of the Propositional Attitude Class
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It is a standard view among philosophers that an attitude is propositional if a that clause could represent its content. One way of challenging this view is to argue that attitudes whose content can be represented in that way have categorically different content. A number of authors adopted such a strategy and imposed various restrictions on the propositional attitude class. In this paper, I will argue that such restrictions are not tenable because the arguments that are used to support them turn against such restrictions as well. As a consequence, if one cannot adequately deal with these arguments from the perspective of the standardview, one is forced to discard generally the propositionality of attitudes, perhaps even their relational nature. I will consider a strategy for resolving this challenge in favour of the standard view.
174. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Jasper Doomen Of Mosquitoes and Men: The Basis of Animal and Human Rights
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This article discusses the status of animal rights, and more particularly whether these rights may be defended from a natural rights perspective or from an ethical perspective. I argue that both options fail. The same analysis applies in the case of mankind. ‘Mankind’ does not bring with it the acknowledgement such rights, nor does a focus on what is arguably characteristic of mankind, namely, reason. Reason is decisive, though, in another respect, namely, the fact that reasonable beings can claim and lay down rights. It does not follow from this that animals should have no rights, since human beings may be motivated to constitute such rights, while this provides the most solid basis for them.
175. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Chen Bo Social Constructivism of Language and Meaning
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To systematically answer two questions “how does language work?” and “where does linguistic meaning come from?” this paper argues for SocialConstructivism of Language and Meaning (SCLM for short) which consists of six theses: (1) the primary function of language is communication rather than representation, so language is essentially a social phenomenon. (2) Linguistic meaning originates in the causal interaction of humans with the world, and in the social interaction of people with people. (3) Linguistic meaning consists in the correlation of language to the world established by collective intentions of a language community. (4) Linguistic meaning is based on the conventions produced by a language community in their long process of communication. (5) Semantic knowledge is empirical and encyclopedic knowledge distilled and condensed, and the uses of language accepted by a linguistic community. (6) Language and meaning change rapidly or slowly as the communicative practice of a linguistic community does. The crucial point of SCLM is to focus on the triadic relation among language, humans (a linguistic community) and the world, rather than the dyadic relation between language and the world.
176. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Dwayne Moore Mereological Essentialism and Mereological Inessentialism
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Mereological essentialists argue that mereological summations cannot change their parts. Mereological inessentialists argue that mereological summations can change some or all of their parts. In this paper I articulate and defend a position called Moderate Mereological Inessentialism, according to which certain mereological summations can change some, but not all, of their parts. Persistent mereological summations occur when the functional parts of mereological summations persist through alterations to its spatial parts.
177. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson Beyond Speaker’s Meaning
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Our main aim in this paper is to show that constructing an adequate theory of communication involves going beyond Grice’s notion of speaker’s meaning. After considering some of the difficulties raised by Grice’s three-clause definition of speaker’s meaning, we argue that the characterisation of ostensive communication introduced in relevance theory can provide a conceptually unified explanation of a much wider range of communicative acts than Grice was concerned with, including cases of both ‘showing that’ and ‘telling that’, and with both determinate and indeterminate import
178. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Anne Bezuidenhout Cognitive Environments and Conversational Tailoring
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This paper explores the psychological notion of context as cognitive environment (CE) that is part of the Relevance Theory (RT) framework and describes the way in which such CEs are constrained during the course of conversation as the conversational partners engage in “conversional tailoring”.
179. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević Pejoratives and Relevance: Synchronic and Diachronic Issues
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The paper considers a possible relevantist treatment, in the spirit of Wilson and Sperber’s work, of pejoratives and argues for three claims concerning them. On the level of synchronic issues it suggests that the negative content of pejoratives, at least in its minimal scope, is the normal part of their lexical meaning, and not a result of extra-semantic enrichment. It thus suggests an evaluative-content approach for the relevantist, in contrast to its neutral-content alternative. On the more general side, it suggests that the relevance theorist owes us a clear story about what kind of material is normally encoded. Concerning the issues of diachronic behavior of pejoratives, the paper suggests primarily the application of relevantist theory of irony, and secondarily some links with theory of metaphor. A relevantist theory of echoic use, and proposed for irony, can be used to understand the appropriation of pejoratives by their original target group, and the reversal of valence that goes with it. There is an interesting parallel between the echoing-cum-reversal processes Wilson and Sperber propose for irony and the repeating-and-reversing process typicall of appropriation of pejoratives. Finally, a brief application of the relevantist understanding of metaphor is proposed as a tool for understanding the genealogy of pejoratives of fi gurative origin. The dynamics, history and development of pejoratives has not been systematically addressed by philosophical theories of pejoratives: a collaboration with relevance theory might prove a useful strategy.
180. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Cognitive Pragmatics and Variational Pragmatics: Possible Interaction?
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In this paper I attempt to look into a possible way in which cognitive pragmatics can help out variational studies in explaining the processes of language change. After broadly setting the scene this article proceeds by giving basic information about variational pragmatics. Then it concentrates on Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory and its possible interaction with social sciences, namely its possible application in sociolinguistics. I next present my own research of Split (urban) dialect/vernacular change where I concentrate on explanatory side, asking which explanation would be the best one for the changes of some variables in the dialect. The interpretation and discussion of the fi ndings preceed the discussion of salience as the explanatory tool for language change as seen from cognitivists and variationists with the hope that such discussions can bring closer cognitivists, i.e. relevantists, to sociolinguists, i.e. variationists.