Ideas of Ofra Magidor, by Theme

[Israeli, fl. 2009, At Balliol College, Oxford.]

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2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / a. Category mistakes
People have dreams which involve category mistakes
Category mistakes are either syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / b. Category mistake as syntactic
Category mistakes seem to be universal across languages
Category mistakes as syntactic needs a huge number of fine-grained rules
Embedded (in 'he said thatů') category mistakes show syntax isn't the problem
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / c. Category mistake as semantic
Two good sentences should combine to make a good sentence, but that might be absurd
The normal compositional view makes category mistakes meaningful
If a category mistake is synonymous across two languages, that implies it is meaningful
Category mistakes are meaningful, because metaphors are meaningful category mistakes
A good explanation of why category mistakes sound wrong is that they are meaningless
If a category mistake has unimaginable truth-conditions, then it seems to be meaningless
Category mistakes are neither verifiable nor analytic, so verificationism says they are meaningless
Category mistakes play no role in mental life, so conceptual role semantics makes them meaningless
Maybe when you say 'two is green', the predicate somehow fails to apply?
If category mistakes aren't syntax failure or meaningless, maybe they just lack a truth-value?
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / d. Category mistake as pragmatic
Category mistakes suffer from pragmatic presupposition failure (which is not mere triviality)
In 'two is green', 'green' has a presupposition of being coloured
Category mistakes because of presuppositions still have a truth value (usually 'false')
'Numbers are coloured and the number two is green' seems to be acceptable
Maybe the presuppositions of category mistakes are the abilities of things?
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / e. Category mistake as ontological
The presuppositions in category mistakes reveal nothing about ontology
4. Formal Logic / E. Nonclassical Logics / 8. Intensional Logic
Intensional logic maps logical space, showing which predicates are compatible or incompatible
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / e. Caesar problem
Some suggest that the Julius Caesar problem involves category mistakes
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
We can explain the statue/clay problem by a category mistake with a false premise
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 2. Propositional Attitudes
Propositional attitudes relate agents to either propositions, or meanings, or sentence/utterances
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Two sentences with different meanings can, on occasion, have the same content
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / b. Analysis of concepts
To grasp 'two' and 'green', must you know that two is not green?
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 1. Syntax
Generative semantics says structure is determined by semantics as well as syntactic rules
'John is easy to please' and 'John is eager to please' have different deep structure
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 2. Semantics
The semantics of a sentence is its potential for changing a context
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 4. Compositionality
Strong compositionality says meaningful expressions syntactically well-formed are meaningful
Weaker compositionality says meaningful well-formed sentences get the meaning from the parts
Understanding unlimited numbers of sentences suggests that meaning is compositional
19. Language / D. Propositions / 2. Abstract Propositions / b. Propositions as possible worlds
Are there partial propositions, lacking truth value in some possible worlds?
19. Language / F. Communication / 5. Pragmatics / a. Contextual meaning
A sentence can be meaningful, and yet lack a truth value
In the pragmatic approach, presuppositions are assumed in a context, for successful assertion
19. Language / F. Communication / 5. Pragmatics / b. Implicature
The infelicitiousness of trivial truth is explained by uninformativeness, or a static context-set
The infelicitiousness of trivial falsity is explained by expectations, or the loss of a context-set
19. Language / F. Communication / 5. Pragmatics / c. Presupposition
A presupposition is what makes an utterance sound wrong if it is not assumed?
A test for presupposition would be if it provoked 'hey wait a minute - I have no idea that....'
If both s and not-s entail a sentence p, then p is a presupposition
The best tests for presupposition are projecting it to negation, conditional, conjunction, questions
Why do certain words trigger presuppositions?
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / d. Metaphor
Metaphors tend to involve category mistakes, by joining disjoint domains
One theory says metaphors mean the same as the corresponding simile
Metaphors as substitutes for the literal misses one predicate varying with context
Theories of metaphor divide over whether they must have literal meanings
The simile view of metaphors removes their magic, and won't explain why we use them
Maybe a metaphor is just a substitute for what is intended literally, like 'icy' for 'unemotional'
Gricean theories of metaphor involve conversational implicatures based on literal meanings
Non-cognitivist views of metaphor says there are no metaphorical meanings, just effects of the literal