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Pervasive Nonarbitrariness: Meaning From Form In Natural Language, David J. Neely 2022 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Pervasive Nonarbitrariness: Meaning From Form In Natural Language, David J. Neely

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

It is generally assumed that the expressions of a natural language are largely arbitrary. That is, any expressions that display a nonarbitrary connection between what their utterances sound like and what they mean are small in number and of no real theoretical importance.

This thesis challenges such a position. I argue that nonarbitrariness is a pervasive feature of natural language and that understanding the sound/meaning connections that exist in language is necessary if to appreciate how languages work.

I begin, in Chapter 1, by showing that many theorists are committed to the idea that nonarbitrary sound/meaning connections are ...


How Speech Act Theory Can Help Address Problems In Theology And Church Posed By Modern Philosophy, Charles W. Westby 2022 Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

How Speech Act Theory Can Help Address Problems In Theology And Church Posed By Modern Philosophy, Charles W. Westby

Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation

Westby, Charles W. “How Speech Act Theory Can Help Address Problems in Theology and Church Posed by Modern Philosophy.” Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2022. 347 pp.

This dissertation analyzes modern idealism as developed by René Descartes and Immanuel Kant to show how modern philosophy has impacted conservative theology, focusing on the theology of Carl F. H. Henry. The relationship between theology and philosophy is analyzed in terms of foundationalism, using postliberal theological analysis propounded by Hans Frei and George Lindbeck. Speech Act Theory as propounded by J. L. Austin and John R. Searle is used to critique modern idealism ...


Attention, Reflection, And Contemplation: Approaching The Divine Through Romantic Poiesis, Katelynn Tyner 2022 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Attention, Reflection, And Contemplation: Approaching The Divine Through Romantic Poiesis, Katelynn Tyner

English Undergraduate Honors Theses

Often the techniques of the said and the unsaid work together. This paper will explore ways in which poets embrace iconophilic or iconoclastic postures toward divine poiesis. One objective will be to focus on the arrangement of an abundance of images into itineraries and poetic landscapes. Another objective will be to demonstrate how these patterns of cultivation can be related to a divine poiesis. Through poetry, there are ways of attending to, reflecting on, and contemplating divine images that can return us to forms of participation with the sacred. First examining poetic attention, I identify poets who demonstrate an attachment ...


..., Claire Alfonso 2022 East Tennessee State University

..., Claire Alfonso

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Words are fickle, easily misunderstood, and often put us at a loss... but we all have so much we feel we need to express. This begs the question: Is there any safe way of communication? Can anything ever really be communicated how you mean it? Will you ever see the reflection of what you feel, think, and dream outside of yourself? In response to this existential dilemma, I imagine an alternative language of images, sounds, color, feelings, and non-identification. My thesis is a meditation on the issues with standard language and the idea of alternative language. In my argument I ...


Robert Brandom On Semantics And The Objectivity Of Conceptual Norms, Jiayu Wu 2022 William & Mary

Robert Brandom On Semantics And The Objectivity Of Conceptual Norms, Jiayu Wu

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In arguing for an inferentialist understanding of conceptual contents, Robert Brandom claims that a fundamental feature of the norms that govern our concept-using practices is that they are objective. Brandom believes that the objective aspect of conceptual norms is grounded in the distinction between the normative status of a performance being a correct (or incorrect) application of a concept and the normative attitude of a performance being taken as a correct (or incorrect) application. In the first two sections of this thesis, I will offer an overview of Brandom’s inferential approach to semantics and his normative approach to pragmatics ...


Indeterminacy, Disagreement, And Reasonable Reference Magnetism, Jaocb (Hengyun) Yang 2022 William & Mary

Indeterminacy, Disagreement, And Reasonable Reference Magnetism, Jaocb (Hengyun) Yang

Undergraduate Honors Theses

According to reference magnetism, some properties are easier to refer than others. The proposal finds many applications in the different fields of philosophy, but it has also been criticized as an ad hoc solution to philosophical problems. This thesis provides a novel account of reference magnetism that preserves its explanatory power but is, hopefully, more reasonable.


Reading And Understanding: A Defense Of Heideggerian Hermeneutics And Philogy, Phillip M. Gandy 2022 Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge

Reading And Understanding: A Defense Of Heideggerian Hermeneutics And Philogy, Phillip M. Gandy

LSU Master's Theses

This paper addresses methodologies espoused by the hermeneutic tradition begun under Martin Heidegger. I argue for the methodologies of Philology, Destruktion and the use of poetic language in order to understand and communicate fundamental truths about Dasein. I demonstrate that these methods provide us, hermeneutically, with a closer and more precise understanding than simple communication in common speech.


Mephistopheles' Atopy, Allotry, Lottery. On Textual Proliferations In Goethe's Faust I And Ii, Pasqual Solass 2022 Brown University

Mephistopheles' Atopy, Allotry, Lottery. On Textual Proliferations In Goethe's Faust I And Ii, Pasqual Solass

Vernacular: New Connections in Language, Literature, & Culture

Combining a careful reading of selected passages from Goethe’s Faust I and II and of marginal but nevertheless revealing lines on maybe the actual protagonist of the “Tragödie”, Mephistopheles, this paper aims to present aspects of what one could call Goethe’s vision of a modern devil. Taking departure from etymological considerations on the root of “diabolus”, i.e. diabállein, meaning to cast apart, to scatter, but also to accuse, as well as from different beliefs of German “Aberglaube” (superstition), it will become clear that one if not the major feature of Goethe’s Mephistopheles-figure is movement, not just ...


The Rise Of An Eco-Spiritual Imaginary: Ecology And Spirituality As Decolonial Protest In Contemporary Multi-Ethnic American Literature, Andrew Michael Spencer 2022 Southern Methodist University

The Rise Of An Eco-Spiritual Imaginary: Ecology And Spirituality As Decolonial Protest In Contemporary Multi-Ethnic American Literature, Andrew Michael Spencer

English Theses and Dissertations

The Rise of an Eco-Spiritual Imaginary reveals a shared ecological aesthetic among contemporary U.S. ethnic writers whose novels communicate a decolonial spiritual reverence for the earth. This shared narrative focus challenges white settler colonial mythologies of manifest destiny and American exceptionalism to instantiate new ways of imagining community across socially constructed boundaries of time, space, nation, race, and species. The eco-spiritual imaginary—by which I mean a shared reverence for the ecological interconnection between all living beings—articulates a common biological origin and sacredness of all life that transcends racial difference while remaining grounded in local ethnicities and bioregions ...


Wave By Wave: A Fantasy Author's Guide For Refining A Creative Writing Style, Michael Bose 2022 Liberty University

Wave By Wave: A Fantasy Author's Guide For Refining A Creative Writing Style, Michael Bose

Senior Honors Theses

Writing a novel is a great undertaking. Many would-be writers have set out to create a novel and give up halfway through, uncertain where or how they failed. This project aims to help prospective authors get past that barrier. By analyzing one’s own writing style, a writer can ascertain greater insight into the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own work and therefore help rectify mistakes one might make otherwise, or learn to see a chapter from a new angle. The author will demonstrate this method on himself first by way of focused revisions. A sample chapter of a ...


Wittgenstein And Hume On Miracles, Samuel Wheeler 2022 Old Dominion University

Wittgenstein And Hume On Miracles, Samuel Wheeler

Undergraduate Research Symposium

In this paper, I intend to contrast the positions of Ludwig Wittgenstein and David Hume on miracles. While Hume holds that miracles are violations of laws of nature which can never be probable, Wittgenstein would reject this definition. Instead, he takes a broader stance on miracles and holds that many events which are not transgressions of laws of nature can be seen as miraculous. And the point of this is to highlight the vastly different events we call miracles. Contra Hume, Wittgenstein thinks that even some of our greatest certainties can call up in us a sense of absolute wonder ...


Inferring Inferences: Relational Propositions For Argument Mining, Andrew Potter 2022 University of North Alabama

Inferring Inferences: Relational Propositions For Argument Mining, Andrew Potter

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

Inferential reasoning is an essential feature of argumentation. Therefore, a method for mining discourse for inferential structures would be of value for argument analysis and assessment. The logic of relational propositions is a procedure for rendering texts as expressions in propositional logic directly from their rhetorical structures. From rhetorical structures, relational propositions are defined, and from these propositions, logical expressions are then generated. There are, however, unsettled issues associated with Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), some of which are problematic for inference mining. This paper takes a deep dive into some of these issues, with the aim of elucidating the problems ...


Elgin's "Native Tongue": A "Me Too" Universe?, Amir Barati 2022 Louisiana State University

Elgin's "Native Tongue": A "Me Too" Universe?, Amir Barati

Tête-à-Tête

Suzette Haden Elgin’s novel Native Tongue (1984) provides a fascinating critique of the ideologies inscribed into patriarchal language and evokes an extremely valuable linguistic and political awareness. This article will examine the liability of the ways the novel revolts against the patriarchal society via the introduction of a gynocentric linguistic intervention. I claim, Elgin’s novel showcases an invaluable instance of how it is possible for women to revolt against the pillars of patriarchy through manipulations at the gestalt and schematic level of language and most specifically, the bodily metaphoric quality of the English. This proposed transformation of the ...


Candles, Stoners, Emotions, Oh My!, Ashley Gruca 2022 Kennesaw State University

Candles, Stoners, Emotions, Oh My!, Ashley Gruca

Emerging Writers

This paper focuses on the topic of our language constantly changing while using the word “lit” to show this. Analysis of examples from personal experience like yearbook signings as well as lyrics from Travis Scott songs demonstrate how a word's meaning can shift depending on its generational context.


Heart Hurts From Higging, Nia Pettway 2022 Kennesaw State University

Heart Hurts From Higging, Nia Pettway

Emerging Writers

This essay examines an emotion that does not have a word and offers a neologism to apply. "Higgs," the neologism in question, defines a feeling of nostalgia for the present that blends itself with a fear of moving into the future. With the word having such a timeless, yet relevant application, this essay takes readers through its creation, examples in contemporary media, as well as how implementation of the word may help users better understand the emotion it describes.


A Bad Time To Name Your Pet: Pet Names In The Age Of Witches, Evan Velez 2022 Kennesaw State University

A Bad Time To Name Your Pet: Pet Names In The Age Of Witches, Evan Velez

Emerging Writers

In early America, there were many strange superstitions about witches. Colonists looked for all sorts of forms of witchcraft “evidence”. According to The Penguin Book of Witches, the nature of pet names may have served as an unconscious form of evidence (Howe 239). While the author thought of this suggestion as a form of social logic, this essay investigates it as a phenomenon of language. Pet names had a key role in influencing negative feelings towards animals labeled as “familiars.” This affected colonists’ perceptions of an animal, and resulted in the familiar eventually becoming a hated “pet.”


Parallels Of Quantum Mechanics And Mahāyāna Buddhist Philosophy: An Argument For Relational Quantum Mechanics, Axel I. Palapa 2022 Keck Science Department

Parallels Of Quantum Mechanics And Mahāyāna Buddhist Philosophy: An Argument For Relational Quantum Mechanics, Axel I. Palapa

CMC Senior Theses

Western orthodoxy philosophy is based on the principle of noncontradiction and thus, the philosophy of science is as well. The most prominent interpretations of quantum mechanics, since its inception, have followed this principle. In this paper, two quantum phenomena, the Observer Problem (measurement problem) and quantum entanglement will be analyzed from a Mahayana Buddhism ontological perspective. I will analyze the mathematical and philosophical arguments proposed by Graham Priest and Jay Garfield, based on dialethism, pertaining to Nagarjuna and the Net of Indra. Demonstrating the parallels and adaptability of the arguments to further the philosophical groundwork for Carlo Reveille’s Relational ...


Black Codes Re-Envisioned: The Dred Scott Majority Opinion As An Antiblack Performative Speech Act., Tiffany Dillard-Knox 2021 University of Louisville

Black Codes Re-Envisioned: The Dred Scott Majority Opinion As An Antiblack Performative Speech Act., Tiffany Dillard-Knox

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation is a discursive analysis of the decision in the Dred Scott v Sandford, 1857 case written by Chief Justice Roger Taney. It begins with an overview of the literature on performative speech acts, focusing on the aspects of performatives that relate to Louis Miron and Jonathan Xavier Inda’s thesis that race is a performative speech act. Breaking from their use of race as the analytic, this analysis is situated within a black/nonblack paradigm. This provides a framework that focuses on the unique ways in which the discourse of the text enacts, accumulates and renders blackness fungible ...


Babel And Babble In Benjamin And Burke, Samuel McCormick, John Durham Peters 2021 San Francisco State University

Babel And Babble In Benjamin And Burke, Samuel Mccormick, John Durham Peters

communication +1

Drawing on the works of Walter Benjamin and Kenneth Burke, this essay argues that the philosophical conditions and conclusions of rhetoric and translation are the same: both trace their origins to the primal fall of language, whether after the Fall from Eden or the curse of Babel, and both find their horizons in an ultimate linguistic motive that, oddly enough, typifies ordinary language use.


Gender Deviants: Subverting Regulatory Power In Medical Institutions, Ursa Nuffer-Rodriguez Mx. 2021 Portland State University

Gender Deviants: Subverting Regulatory Power In Medical Institutions, Ursa Nuffer-Rodriguez Mx.

University Honors Theses

Medical and psychiatric institutions have a long history of regulating and pathologizing the bodies of non-normative individuals. The harmful normativity of these institutions is particularly salient for trans* people pursuing gender-affirming medical care, as popular media representations of trans* identity reinforce narratives of certainty and aspirations towards cisgender standards of corporeality which rarely map onto authentic narratives of trans*ness. For the gender deviant subject, who conceives of hirself beyond these hegemonic notions of identity, navigating these institutions often requires a false projection of identity that fits the standard narrative, simply as a means to an end. In doing so ...


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