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The book highlights the legacy of the Lvov-Warsaw School in broadly understood contemporary philosophy of language. Fundamental methodological issues, important topics in syntax, semantics and pragmatics (such as modern Categorial Grammar, theories of truth, game-theoretical semantics, and argumentation theory) are tracked down to their origins in L-WS, and – the other way round – modern renderings of the ideas expressed by Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, Tadeusz Kotarbiński, Stanisław Leśniewski, Jan Łukasiewicz, Alfred Tarski, Kazimierz Twardowski, and other members of the School are presented. Among contributors there are philosophers, logicians, formal linguists and other specialists from France, Italy, Poland, and Spain.
The Life and Work of a Seventeenth-Century Orientalist
Author: Asaph Ben-Tov
In this biography of Johann Ernst Gerhard (1621-1668) Asaph Ben-Tov offers a study of a now forgotten yet unusually well documented seventeenth-century orientalist. Gerhard, the son of the famous Lutheran theologian Johann Gerhard, is not a towering figure but rather a fascinating representative of the academic culture of his day, especially of seventeenth-century oriental studies. His extant Nachlassallows a close scrutiny of the life and work of an early modern scholar, focussing on his training, travels, the ambitious Harmonia linguarum Orientalium (1647) and other works, and the interests he fostered as a professor of history and theology in Jena. It aims to shed light on the broad and understudied field of oriental studies in seventeenth century Germany.
Linguistic Signs, the Process of Signification, and the Hermeneutics of Discursive Resistance
Author: Timo Eskola
Focusing on linguistic signs, New Testament Semiotics navigates through different realist and nominalist traditions. From this perspective, Saussure’s and Peirce’s traditions exhibit similarities. Questioning Derrida’s and Eco’s semiotics based on their misuse of Peirce’s innovations, Dr. Privatdozent Timo Eskola rehabilitates Benveniste and Ricoeur. A sign is about conditions and functions. Sign as a role is a manifestation of participation. Serving as a sign entails participation in a web of relations, participation in a network of meanings, and adoption of a set of rules. We should focus on sentences and networks, not primitive reference or binary oppositions. Enunciations are postulations producing evanescent meanings. Finally, the study suggests a linguistic approach to metatheology that is based on hermeneutics of discursive resistance.
Author: Arie Verhagen
In these lectures, Arie Verhagen presents a version of cognitive linguistics that adheres to both the generalization and cognitive commitments that characterized the field from the start, and a biological commitment: understanding language as adaptive behavior of (human) organisms in the niche(s) that they inhabit. Drawing on the model of biological explanation (“Tinbergen’s four why’s”), Verhagen shows how proximate (individual level) and ultimate (population level) explanations apply to several features of language, shedding new light on basic notions like conventionality and entrenchment, norms/rules and habits, etc., and their causal connections. Topics include the relation between language, culture, and thinking, the role of language in social cognition and narrative, the evolution of sound structure and grammar, semantic change, and more.
Richard Kilvington was one of the most talented Oxford Calculators. His influence on late medieval philosophy and theology remains unquestionable. He made a name for himself with his logical treatise Sophismata, which was soon followed by a series of three commentaries on Aristotle’s works and a commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences. Richard Kilvington on the Capacity of Created Being, Infinity, and Being Simultaneously in Rome and Paris by Monika Michałowska presents a critical edition of question 3 from Kilvington’s Quaestiones super libros Sententiarum, complete with an introduction to the edition and a guide to Kilvington’s theological concepts. Kilvington’s theological question commentary enjoyed considerable popularity and became a source of continuous inspiration for Oxonian and Parisian masters.
Die Beiträge des Bandes verstehen „Krise“ als einen zentralen Bestandteil kultureller und gesellschaftlicher Institutionen – und gleichermaßen als Ursprung und Effekt von Erzählungen: Einerseits müssen Krisenphänomene narrativ hergestellt, medien-, gattungs- und disziplinspezifisch in Szene gesetzt werden, andererseits dient die Kulturtechnik des Erzählens – nicht nur im engeren Sinne einer talking cure – der Überwindung von und dem Lernen aus Krisen. Dabei stellen Krisen in Erzählprozessen als Ereignis meist den Zeitpunkt unmittelbar vor einem Wendepunkt dar: Krisen erfordern Entscheidungen.
Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation
In Learning the Language of Scripture, Mark Randall James offers a new account of theological interpretation as a sapiential practice of learning the language of Scripture, drawing on recently discovered Homilies on the Psalms by the influential early theologian Origen of Alexandria (2nd-3rd c. C.E). Widely regarded as one of the most arbitrary interpreters, James shows that Origen’s appearance of arbitrariness is a result of the modern tendency to neglect the role of wisdom in scriptural interpretation. James demonstrates that Origen offers a compelling model of a Christian pragmatism in which learning and correcting linguistic practice is a site of the transformative pedagogy of the divine Logos.
The Use of Common Sense Reasoning in Conversation
In Enthymemes and Topoi in Dialogue, Ellen Breitholtz presents a novel and precise account of reasoning from an interactional perspective. The account draws on the concepts of enthymemes and topoi, originating in Aristotelian rhetoric and dialectic, and integrates these in a formal dialogue semantic account using TTR, a type theory with records.
Argumentation analysis and formal approaches to reasoning often focus the logical validity of arguments on inferences made in discourse from a god’s-eye perspective. In contrast, Breitholtz’s account emphasises the individual perspectives of interlocutors and the function and acceptability of their reasoning in context. This provides an analysis of interactions where interlocutors have access to different topoi and therefore make different inferences.
These lectures deal with the role of cognitive modelling in language-based meaning construction. To make meaning people use a small set of principles which they apply to different types of conceptual characterizations. This yields predictable meaning effects, which, when stably associated with specific grammatical patterns, result in constructions or fixed form-meaning parings. This means that constructional meaning can be described on the basis of the same principles that people use to make inferences. This way of looking at pragmatics and grammar through cognition allows us to relate a broad range of pragmatic and grammatical phenomena, among them argument-structure characterizations, implicational, illocutionary, and discourse structure, and such figures of speech as metaphor, metonymy, hyperbole, and irony.