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61. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Zhu Zhifang Values Reduced to Facts: Naturalism without Fallacy
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Grammatically, “good” is a one-place predicate. Many authors were misled by the surface grammar and thus mistook good as a simple property. Pragmatically good is a relational property if it is somehow a property. As a term for relational property, “good” captures a particular type of relations between events and the needs of persons. Therefore, all statements in which “good” occurs are statements of facts. Moral terms such as “morally right”, “morally good”, “ought to do” can be adequately defined in terms of “good” and thus all statements of values are at final analysis statements of facts. There is no dichotomy between fact and value, and the question of derivation of an ought from an is is nonsensical. Moore misunderstood the property good or the predicate “good” and thus his objection to naturalistic approach to goodness is pointless. Naturalism concerning goodness commits no fallacy.
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62. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Samuel Cumming Semantics for Nominalists
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Nominalists should give up on one of Frege’s semantic tenets, and adopt an account on which the truth-value of a sentence depends on the senses, rather than the referents, of its syntactic constituents. That way, sentences like ‘2+2=4’ and ‘Hamlet did not exist’ might be true, without components like ‘2’ and ‘Hamlet’ having a referent.
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63. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Fei YuGuo Compositionality and Understanding
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Contemporary debates on the principle of compositionality provoke a perplexing problem about its import on natural language. Whether the principle of compositionality makes any substantial constraints on the meaningfulness of natural language has an indeterminate answer. In this paper, I try to argue against the principle of compositionality for natural language by considering its significance for understanding. Part one is a general survey of the principle of compositionality pertaining to the meaning of a complex expression; and in part two, I will focus on the issue of understanding a sentence or more complex expression, pointing out that principle of compositionality is neither sufficient nor necessary for understanding, even though compositionality is true for natural language, it is trivial and useless; the final part aims to criticize the principle of compositionality from its underspecification of meaning, which is at odds with our general idea of the representational feature of natural language and the hypothesis of isomorphism among mind, language and reality.
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64. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Adam Sennet Semantic Minimalism and Presupposition
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This paper is about the interface between two phenomena—context sensitivity and pre­supposition. I argue that favored competing treatments of context sensitivity are incompatible with the received view about presupposition triggering. In consequence, I will urge a reconsideration of a much-maligned view about how best to represent context s ensitivity.
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65. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Peter Ludlow Norms of Word Meaning Litigation
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In this paper I examine cases in which we attach different meanings to words and in which we litigate or argue about the best way of defining the term in dispute. I reject the idea that this is just a matter of imposing our will on our interlocutors – I think that the process of litigation is normative. To some extent recent work in the theory of argumentation has shed considerable light on this process, but we will need to retrofit that work for the kinds of considerations we are engaged with here. I’ll begin in Section 1, with some important terminological preliminaries. Then in Section 2, I will offer a general description of how we come to notice that there are disputes about meaning and how we engage the meaning variance once it is recognized. In section 3 I’ll then take up a case that is relatively less controversial – the definition of ‘planet’ – and use it to construct a model for our meaning litigation works. Finally, in section 4 I’ll then turn to more contentious and substantial issues – the definition of ‘rape’ and the definition of ‘person’ and begin exploring how disputes about the meanings of those terms can be normative and fail to be normative.
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66. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Ernie Lepore, Matthew Stone Philosophical Investigations into Figurative Speech Metaphor and Irony
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This paper surveys rich and important phenomena in language use that theorists study from a wide range of perspectives. And according to us, there is no unique and general mechanism behind our practices of metaphor and irony. Metaphor works in a particular way, by prompting the specific kind of analogical thinking And, irony works in its own particular way, by prompting new appreciation of the apparent contribution, speaker or perspective of an utterance exhibited for effect. Or so we will argue.
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67. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Christopher Hom, Robert May The Inconsistency of the Identity Thesis
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In theorizing about racial pejoratives, an initially attractive view is that pejoratives have the same reference as their “neutral counterparts”. Call this the identity thesis. According to this thesis, the terms “kike” and “Jew”, for instance, pick out the same set of people. To be a Jew just is to be a kike, and so to make claims about Jews just is to make claims about kikes. In this way, the two words are synonymous, and so make the same contribution to the truth-conditions of sentences containing them. While the fundamental claim for the identity thesis that Jews are kikes sounds anti-semitic, it need not be actually anti-semitic. The identity thesis is usually bolstered with the further claim that the pejorative aspect of “kike” and other such terms is located elsewhere than in truth-conditional content, so what makes “kike” a bad word is a non-truth-conditional association with anti-semitism that is not shared with the word “Jew”. The exact nature and location of the negative moral content of pejoratives is a matter of some dispute among identity theorists. But whatever the intuitive appeal of the identity theory for those persuaded by such views, it is nevertheless inconsistent.
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68. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Paul M. Pietroski Describing I-junction
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The meaning of a noun phrase like ‘brown cow’, or ‘cow that ate grass’, is somehow conjunctive. But conjunctive in what sense? Are the meanings of other phrases—e.g, ‘ate quickly’, ‘ate grass’, and ‘at noon’—similarly conjunctive? I suggest a possible answer, in the context of a broader conception of natural language semantics. But my main aim is to highlight some underdiscussed questions and some implications of our ignorance.
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69. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Barry C. Smith Predicates of Taste and Relativism about Truth
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Is relativism about truth ever a coherent doctrine? Some people have argued that an answer to this question depends on whether there can be cases of genuine disagreement where those who disagree hold conflicting beliefs towards the same proposition and yet are each entitled to say that what they believe is true. These have been called cases of faultless disagreement and are often explored by considering the case of disagreements about taste. However, this is not the right way to formulate the relativist’s doctrine, and the discussions of taste are often based on a faulty view about the nature of taste and about the workings of predicates of taste. I examine the taste case in more detail and consider the prospects for a genuine form of truth relativism.
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70. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Aihua Wang A Semiotic Understanding of Thick Terms
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Thick terms, which express value concepts with significant descriptive content, have aroused a lot of controversial issues, among which the contextual variability of evaluation is the most disputed one. This paper argues that the semiotic notion of verbal medium and its workings can explain away this variability problem. We will first present this variability problem. Second, we will argue that thick terms should be regarded as verbal medium that is both a meaning-carrying substance and a meaning carrier. Third, we will discuss the conventional evaluation of thick terms as a meaning carrier. Special attention is given to the semiotic analysis of evaluative variability of thick terms. Finally, we will diagnose the mistakes of some philosophical views about the variability argument concerning thick terms.
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71. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Limin Liu The Chinese Language and the Value of Truth-seeking: Universality of Metaphysical Thought and Pre-Qin Mingjia’s Philosophy of Language
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This paper argues that philosophy in the sense of metaphysical speculation is universal and not at all language-specific. At the beginning of traditional Chinese philosophy, the ancient Chinese thinkers were concerned with social morality, raising questions which differed greatly from those of ancient Greeks and the language they used was typologically different from the western languages, but in the end the thinking and debating over their questions gave rise to speculations on language names which were unmistakably metaphysical in na­ture and oriented toward the establishment of conditions of truth in language. This shows that truth-seeking is a universal predisposition.
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72. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Guanlian Qian An Echo of the Classical Analytic Philosophy of Language from China: the Post-analytic Philosophy of Language
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It is necessary for us to know a methodological shift from Chinese philosophy to western A(nalytic) P(hilosophy). There is a unique pattern for some being partial to AP but others, to P(hilosophy) of L(anguage) in China. Simply, this unique pattern arises from different professional perspec­tives or preferences, namely, people from philosopher background see the same thing (“PL is nearly synonymous with AP”, Nicholas Bunnin and JiyuanYu 2001:755) with an analytic preference, while people from F(oreign) L(anguage) S(tudies) teacher background see, with a linguistic preference. The focus of this paper is on a narrow scrutiny of 5 case studies, which are regarded by the author as an explanation of the basic elements of the Post-A(nalytic) P(hilosophy) of L(anguage) in China. The epitome of the PAPL is mainly the heavy dependence upon the Chinese language, the strict insistence on the analysis of language and the hot pursuit of some new problems on the basis of western AP. However, the other colorful styles of doing the classic APL are keeping pace actively and effectively with the PAPL in the world of FLS at home.
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73. ProtoSociology: Volume > 31
Ying Zhang Mthat and Metaphor of Love in Classical Chinese Poetry
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This paper has two interconnected themes. First, it is a study of metaphor of love in classical Chinese poetry. Second, Josef Stern’s semantic account on metaphor interpretation will be explored. By analyzing the common grounds and remaining differences in Chinese and English, I will try to challenge the view that metaphor is simply a function of semantics, specifically the analogy between metaphors and demonstratives. I will argue that metaphorical interpretation is not solely a semantic matter. With regard to metaphor in classical Chinese poetry, one of the pragmatic factors, Yi Xiang (the cultural image) should also be taken into consideration.
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74. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Ritu Vij Making and Un-Making Japanese Modernity: An Introduction
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75. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Kinhide Mushakoji Ethno-politics in Contemporary Japan: The Mutual-Occlusion of Orientalism and Occidentalism
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This essay offers a critical reading of Japan’s attempt to craft a modern identity. Eschewing the conventions of most scholarly writings, however, the essay builds on a personal history of political and intellectual engagement with key figures in post-war Japan to outline a counter-narrative about the ethno-politics of contemporary Japan. In distinction to both Orientalist and Occidentalist versions of Japanese modernity, the essay draws attention to the invidious return of notions of ethnic supremacy in Abe Shinzo’s con­temporary state project and the occlusion of a long-standing tradition in Japan of pluralistic co-existence among diverse communities. In drawing attention to the occlusions shaped by the entanglements of Japanese colonialism and state-building with American hegemony, this essay attempts to locate practices of exclusion within Japan (and vis-à-vis its Asian neighbors) in an account of what the essay contends is a civilizational project, best thought of as “Smart Occidentalism”, dominant in in contemporary Japan.
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76. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Hironori Onuki A Dilemma in Modern Japan?: Migrant Workers and the (Self-)Illusion of Homogeneity
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Transnational labour migration has recently returned to the spotlight in Japan, due to its rapidly declining population and labour force. This paper argues that the tension between the (self-)illusion of Japan as a homogeneous nation-state and trans-border labour-importing to ensure the continued supply of the workforce has inherently characterized the process of Japan’s modernity since the Meiji Restoration of 1868. In doing so, it seeks to demonstrate how the synchrony of such ostensibly conflicting interests makes eminent economic sense to recruit migrant workers in order to ameliorate chronic labour shortages while keeping their labouring and living condition perpetually insecure and vulnerable.
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77. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Carl Cassegard Naturalized Modernity and the Resistance it Evokes: Sociological Theory Meets Murakami Haruki
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Shock has often been viewed as emblematic of modernity. Paradigmatic in this respect are the theories of Benjamin and Simmel. However, an equally important experience in modern societies is that of naturalization. This article attempts to investigate the implications of this experience for the theory of modernity through a discussion of contemporary Japanese literature, in particular the works of Murakami Haruki. I argue that just as the focus on shock enabled Benjamin and Simmel to illuminate the interconnectedness of a particular constellation of themes—the heightened consciousness or intellectualism of modernity, the destruction of aura or disenchantment, and the resulting spleen or Blasiertheit—so the focus on naturalization will contribute to an understanding of how themes such as the sense of complexity or ‘obscurity’, the phenomenon of ‘re-enchantment’ or ‘post-secularity’, and the increasing role of ‘non-social’ spheres in late modernity are interrelated.
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78. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Reiko Shindo Pretended Citizenship: Rewriting the Meaning of Il-/Legality
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This paper examines the on-going debate on the conceptual usefulness of citizenship as an analytic tool, arguing that the academic debate often assumes that resistance to state control of mobility is manifested only in refusal to accept the il/legal boundary. Such an assumption leads to a tendency in the debate to privilege irregular migrants’ experiences. By looking at regular migrants who come to Japan with a legal status and the ways in which they negoti­ate the il/legal boundary, the paper highlights different practices of resisting state control: namely practices that pretend to accept state control while quietly rewriting the meaning of Il-/legality.
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79. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Reiko Gotoh What Japan Has Left Behind in the Course of Establishing a Welfare State
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the direction which the Japanese welfare state has pursued and what it has left behind, by contrasting the points of view of two representative approaches in economics: the traditional income approach and the capability approach which has been newly proposed by Amartya Sen. In extracting the structure of the tax-social security system, the paper refers to the framework of John Rawls, precepts of “common sense of justice” and their higher principles in his theory of justice. The main conclusion is that Japanese welfare state has followed universal liberalism based on continuity, the essential characteristic of the income approach, and has left behind the equality of the differences. This paper indicates that the capability approach which makes it possible to analyze the discontinuity within an individual’s life by focusing on her doings and beings is also suitable for understanding the differences among individuals.
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80. ProtoSociology: Volume > 32
Hiroyuki Tosa The Failed Nuclear Risk Governance: Reflections on the Boundary between Misfortune and Injustice in the case of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster
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Although technological progress has greatly created the possibilities for the expanded reach of risk management, its newly manufactured uncertainty may bring about a big scale of catastrophe. In order to control risk of the nature, the human ironically may create a hybrid monster that the human cannot control. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster also can be described as a hybrid monster, in which natural and technological elements combine to produce uncontrollable risks that may have disastrous consequences. This article scrutinizes the politics of the boundary between calculable risks and unpredictable uncertainty as well as the politics of the boundary between misfortune and injustice by focusing upon the lineage of a hybrid monster such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Following the check of implications of a hybrid monster, we will interrogate historical lineage. Third we will examine the way in which technocratic politics of <risk/uncertainty> would influence the boundary between misfortune and injustice. Fourth we will scrutinize problems with the probabilist way of thinking, which tends to suppress the risk of nuclear technology. Finally we shed a light on technocratic governance forcing the people to become resilient.
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