MoL-2014-19: Would You Believe That? The Prerogative of Assent and Utility of Disagreement

MoL-2014-19: Olsen, Jessica (2014) Would You Believe That? The Prerogative of Assent and Utility of Disagreement. [Report]

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Abstract

Would You Believe That? The Prerogative of Assent and Utility of Disagreement Jessica Olsen Abstract: By basing interpretation on belief, Davidson incurs heavy constraints regarding similarly of belief across speakers. Among these constraints is taking variance of belief to entail error. It is demonstrated that enriching the structure of belief allows a relaxation of normative criteria adopted to ensure similarity. (This enrichment takes the form of assent as defined by de Sousa, with the complementary semantic concept of overspecification.) With the possibility of acceptable variance in belief, and a corresponding augmentation of Davidsonian interpretation, comes the possibility of linguistically-motivated belief change. A positive account of this belief change is given within a Davidsonian framework. With the capacity to linguistically coordinate beliefs comes the capacity to strategically coordinate beliefs on a systematic level. The asymmetry between semantic access to systematically coordinated beliefs and semantic access to individual beliefs is shown to be epistemically productive, and can consequently serve as a cornerstone in developing an account of formality. The interplay between belief and interpretation is examined in a case study of mathematical language, furthering the case that both varying speaker belief and strategically coordinated effort give rise to formality. Finally it is argued that account developed is compatible with and suggestive of multiple descriptive features of formality, beyond bearing on presented examples. Thus, at minimum, augmented Davidsonian interpretation suggests a negative test for formality, while suggesting the basis of a positive account and focusing the existing discussion.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2014-19
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: logic, language
Subjects: Logic
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/937

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