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An Introduction to Semantics

This self-contained introduction to natural language semantics addresses the major theoretical questions in the field. The authors introduce the systematic study of linguistic meaning through a sequence of formal tools and their linguistic applications. Starting with propositional connectives and truth conditions, the book moves to quantification and binding, intensionality and tense, and so on. To set their approach in a broader perspective, the authors also explore the interaction of meaning with context and use (the semantics-pragmatics interface) and address some of the foundational questions, especially in connection with cognition in general. They also introduce a few of the most accessible and interesting ideas from recent research to give the reader a bit of the flavor of current work in semantics. The organization of this new edition is modular; after the introductory chapters, the remaining material can be covered in flexible order. The book presupposes no background in formal logic (an appendix introduces the basic notions of set theory) and only a minimal acquaintance with linguistics. This edition includes a substantial amount of completely new material and has been not only updated but redesigned throughout to enhance its user-friendliness.

The Evidence against the New Creationism

In Tower of Babel, philosopher Robert Pennock compares the views of the new creationists with those of the old and reveals the insubstantiality of their arguments. One of Pennock's major innovations is to turn from biological evolution to the less-charged subject of linguistic evolution, which has strong theoretical parallels with biological evolution both in content and in the sort of evidence scientists use to draw conclusions about origins.

Several chapters deal with the work of Phillip Johnson, a highly influential leader of the new creationists. Pennock explains how science uses naturalism and discusses the relationship between factual and moral issues in the creationism-evolution controversy. The book also includes a discussion of Darwin's own shift from creationist to evolutionist and an extended argument for keeping private religious beliefs separate from public scientific knowledge.

Contemporary Lectures on Classic Transformational Theory

with Marcela Depiante and Arthur Stepanov

This book provides an introduction to some classic ideas and analyses of transformational generative grammar, viewed both on their own terms and from a more modern, or minimalist perspective. The major focus is on the set of analyses treating English verbal morphology. The book shows how the analyses in Chomsky's classic Syntactic Structures actually work, filling in underlying assumptions and often unstated formal particulars. From there the book moves to successive theoretical developments and revisions—both in general and in particular as they pertain to inflectional verbal morphology. After comparing Chomsky's economy-based account with his later minimalist approach, the book concludes with a hybrid theory of English verbal morphology that includes elements of both Syntactic Structures and A Minimalist Program for Linguistic Theory.

Current Studies in Linguistics No. 33

In this introductory-level linguistics text, Steven E. Weisler and Slavko Milekic develop a theoretically motivated analysis of language with an emphasis on grammar construction and argumentation. They introduce the theory of language, sounds, words, sentences, and meaning, as well as language and the brain.The text is available either in hard-copy form or as a CD-ROM. The CD-ROM presents the text in a dynamic digital learning environment, engaging the user in simulations, demonstrations, hypothesis testing, and theory construction while providing a systematic introduction to linguistic theory. The electronic edition also incorporates the Tree Builder tool for construction and evaluation of phonological, metrical, and syntactic analysis of trees, as well as a word processor, various annotation mechanisms (for example, the ability to create and exchange voice and text memos), import/export capabilities that allow the exchange of different types of information, and an extensive series of interviews with such prominent figures as David Caplan, Noam Chomsky, Lyn Frazier, John Rickford, Tom Roeper, Ivan Sag, and Tom Wasow.

Philosophical Essays

A great deal of interest and excitement surround the interface between the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of psychology, yet the area is neither well defined nor well represented in mainstream philosophical publications. This book is perhaps the first to open a dialogue between the two disciplines. Its aim is to broaden the traditional subject matter of the philosophy of biology while informing the philosophy of psychology of relevant biological constraints and insights.

The book is organized around six themes: functions and teleology, evolutionary psychology, innateness, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and parallels between philosophy of biology and philosophy of mind. Throughout, one finds overlapping areas of study, larger philosophical implications, and even larger conceptual ties. Woven through these connections are shared concerns about the status of semantics, scientific law, evolution and adaptation, and cognition in general.

André Ariew, Mark A. Bedau, David J. Buller, Paul Sheldon Davies, Stephen M. Downes, Charbel Niño El-Hani, Owen Flanagan, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Todd Grantham, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Gary Hatfield, Daniel W. McShea, Karen Neander, Shaun Nichols, Antonio Marcos Pereira, Tom Polger, Lawrence A. Shapiro, Kim Sterelny, Robert A. Wilson, William C. Wimsatt.

The Philosophy and Biology of Cognitive Ethology

The authors of this book, a philosopher and a cognitive ethologist, approach their work from the perspective that many animals have minds and rich cognitive lives. They also believe that arguments about evolutionary continuity are as applicable to the study of animal minds and brains as they are to comparative studies of kidneys, stomachs, and hearts. Cognitive ethologists study the comparative, evolutionary, and ecological aspects of the mental phenomena of animals. Philosophy can provide cognitive ethology with an analytical basis for the attribution and assessment of cognition to nonhuman animals. Cognitive ethology can help philosophy to explain mentality in naturalistic terms by providing data on the evolution of cognition.

The heart of the book is this reciprocal relationship between philosophical theories of mind and empirical studies of animal cognition. All theoretical discussion is carefully tied to case studies, particularly in the areas of antipredator vigilance and social play, where there are many points of contact with philosophical discussions of intentionality and representation. The authors make specific suggestions about how to use philosophical theories of intentionality as starting points for empirical investigation of animal minds. They also discuss cognitive ethology's relevance to questions of ethics, as our beliefs about the mental lives of animals strongly affect our attitudes toward their moral status.

Making Sense of People

How do we make sense of other people and of ourselves? What do we know about the people we encounter in our daily lives and about the situations in which we encounter them, and how do we use this knowledge in our attempt to understand, predict, or recall their behavior? Are our social judgments fully determined by our social knowledge, or are they also influenced by our feelings and desires?

Social cognition researchers look at how we make sense of other people and of ourselves. In this book Ziva Kunda provides a comprehensive and accessible survey of research and theory about social cognition at a level appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers in the field.

The first part of the book reviews basic processes in social cognition, including the representation of social concepts, rules of inference, memory, "hot" cognition driven by motivation or affect, and automatic processing. The second part reviews three basic topics in social cognition: group stereotypes, knowledge of other individuals, and the self. A final chapter revisits many of these issues from a cross-cultural perspective.

Core Readings

Concepts: Core Readings traces the develoment of one of the most active areas of investigation in cognitive science. This comprehensive volume brings together the essential background readings from philosophy, psychology, and linguistics, while providing a broad sampling of contemporary research. The first part of the book centers around the fall of the Classical Theory of Concepts in the face of attacks by W. V. O. Quine, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Eleanor Rosch, and others, emphasizing the emergence and development of the Prototype Theory and the controversies it spurred. The second part surveys a broad range of contemporary theories—Neoclassical Theories, the Prototype Theory, the Theory-Theory, and Conceptual Atomism.

Statistical approaches to processing natural language text have become dominant in recent years. This foundational text is the first comprehensive introduction to statistical natural language processing (NLP) to appear. The book contains all the theory and algorithms needed for building NLP tools. It provides broad but rigorous coverage of mathematical and linguistic foundations, as well as detailed discussion of statistical methods, allowing students and researchers to construct their own implementations. The book covers collocation finding, word sense disambiguation, probabilistic parsing, information retrieval, and other applications.

Photons to Phenomenology

This book revolutionizes how vision can be taught to undergraduate and graduate students in cognitive science, psychology, and optometry. It is the first comprehensive textbook on vision to reflect the integrated computational approach of modern research scientists. This new interdisciplinary approach, called "vision science," integrates psychological, computational, and neuroscientific perspectives.The book covers all major topics related to vision, from early neural processing of image structure in the retina to high-level visual attention, memory, imagery, and awareness. The presentation throughout is theoretically sophisticated yet requires minimal knowledge of mathematics. There is also an extensive glossary, as well as appendices on psychophysical methods, connectionist modeling, and color technology. The book will serve not only as a comprehensive textbook on vision, but also as a valuable reference for researchers in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, optometry, and philosophy.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: file of figures in the book

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