21,211 research outputs found

    Quasi Indexicals

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    I argue that not all context dependent expressions are alike. Pure (or ordinary) indexicals behave more or less as Kaplan thought. But quasi indexicals behave in some ways like indexicals and in other ways not like indexicals. A quasi indexical sentence φ allows for cases in which one party utters φ and the other its negation, and neither party’s claim has to be false. In this sense, quasi indexicals are like pure indexicals (think: “I am a doctor”/“I am not a doctor” as uttered by different individuals). In such cases involving a pure indexical sentence, it is not appropriate for the two parties to reject each other’s claims by saying, “No.” However, in such cases involving a quasi indexical sentence, it is appropriate for the par- ties to reject each other’s claims. In this sense, quasi indexicals are not like pure indexicals. Drawing on experimental evidence, I argue that gradable adjectives like “rich” are quasi indexicals in this sense. e existence of quasi indexicals raises trouble for many existing theories of context dependence, including standard contextualist and relativist theories. I propose an alternative semantic and pragmatic theory of quasi indexicals, negotiated contextualism, that combines insights from Kaplan 1989 and Lewis 1979. On my theory, rejection is licensed with quasi indexicals (even when neither of the claims involved has to be false) because the two utterances involve conflicting proposals about how to update the conversational score. I also adduce evidence that conflicting truth value assessments of a single quasi indexical utterance exhibit the same behavior. I argue that negotiated contextualism can account for this puzzling property of quasi indexicals as well

    Disjunctive antecedent conditionals

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    Disjunctive antecedent conditionals —conditionals of the form if A or B, C—sometimes seem to entail both of their simplifications and sometimes seem not to. I argue that this behavior reveals a genuine ambiguity in DACs. Along the way, I discuss a new observation about the role of focal stress in distinguishing the two interpretations of DACs. I propose a new theory, according to which the surface form of a DAC underdetermines its logical form: on one possible logical form, if A or B, C does entail both of its simplifications, while on the other, it does not

    Computer-based library or computer-based learning?

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    Traditionally, libraries have played the role of repository of published information resources and, more recently, gateway to online subscription databases. The library online catalog and digital library interface serve an intermediary function to help users locate information resources available through the library. With competition from Web search engines and Web portals of various kinds available for free, the library has to step up to play a more active role as guide and coach to help users make use of information resources for learning or to accomplish particular tasks. It is no longer sufficient for computer-based library systems to provide just search and access functions. They must provide the functionality and environment to support learning and become computer-based learning systems. This paper examines the kind of learning support that can be incorporated in library online catalogs and digital libraries, including 1) enhanced support for information browsing and synthesis through linking by shared meta-data, references and concepts; 2) visualization of related information; 3) adoption of Library 2.0 and social technologies; 4) adoption of Library 3.0 technologies including intelligent processing and text mining

    To what extent could Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) contribute positively to e-learning?

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    The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of Business Process Management Suite (BPMS) as a teaching-learning technology with the lens of the conversational framework (Laurillard 2002). The paper hopes to link commercial technological development with research in teaching-learning technologies and bring about better collaboration between the two. This theoretical evaluation aims to address the preliminary question - could educational communities adopt BPMS, a tool that has evolved from the commercial world to further enhance teaching-learning process? The scope of this paper and its evaluative study will be limited to using the conversational framework. The paper will briefly discuss BPMS and its relation to business process and business process management to provide a brief introduction. The main section of this paper will be a detailed analysis of key BPMS components against the conversational framework. The conclusion will provide a summary of the effectiveness of BPMS as a teaching-learning tool based on the requirements set out by the conversational framework. The results of the conclusion could lead to further empirical research on BPMS as a teaching-learning technology tool and may be the opportunity to request funding to carry out a proof of concept

    Tasting Singapore

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    A review of Nicole Tarulevicz, Eating Her Curries and Kway: A Cultural History of Food in Singapore (University of Illinois Press, 2013)

    New Horizons for a Theory of Epistemic Modals

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    ABSTRACTRecent debate over the semantics and pragmatics of epistemic modals has focused on intuitions about cross-contextual truth-value assessments. In this paper, we advocate a different approach to evaluating theories of epistemic modals. Our strategy focuses on judgments of the incompatibility of two different epistemic possibility claims, or two different truth value assessments of a single epistemic possibility claim. We subject the predictions of existing theories to empirical scrutiny, and argue that existing contextualist and relativist theories are unable to account for the full pattern of observed judgments. As a way of illustrating the theoretical upshot of these results, we conclude by developing a novel theory of epistemic modals that is able to predict the results

    Against Preservation

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    Bradley offers a quick and convincing argument that no Boolean semantic theory for conditionals can validate a very natural principle concerning the relationship between credences and conditionals. We argue that Bradley’s principle, Preservation, is, in fact, invalid; its appeal arises from the validity of a nearby, but distinct, principle, which we call Local Preservation, and which Boolean semantic theories can non-trivially validate
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