[COCOA] Bridget Copley (SFL) / Mikayla Kelley (Chicago)

Copley: Causal theory as the “B side” of modal theory: the English progressive / Kelley: Intentional Action, Intention, and Evaluative Priority


Merci d'écrire à Bridget point Copley arobase cnrs point fr pour le lien zoom.
Please write to Bridget dot Copley at cnrs dot fr for the zoom link.
Bridget Copley - SFL 
Causal theory as the “B side” of modal theory: the English progressive
Back when record companies used to send radio stations vinyl records, the “A side” of the record would be the intended hit single, and there would be another song, not necessarily good enough to be a single, on the “B side”. Similarly, it’s been said that modality and causation are “two sides of the same coin” (Ilić 2014), or perhaps the same record. There’s no denying that David Lewis’ possible world semantics for modality has gone platinum - it’s a powerful theory. Causation has not gotten nearly as much play in formal semantics. However, theories of causation can be quite powerful as well, and in particular, can easily represent counterfactuality and normality (see work by Leonard Talmy and separately, by Judea Pearl). In this talk, I will put on the B side of the record, and propose that causal relations, appropriately and dynamically represented, can be more useful than quantification over possible worlds, in particular for the English progressive. Not only are they better for truth and assertability conditions, but they also make our semantics align more closely with what is known about grammaticalization and the syntax-semantics interface for English be -ing.

Mikayla Kelley - Chicago 

Intentional Action, Intention, and Evaluative Priority


A topic of longstanding debate is the relationship between intentional action and intention. On a prominent view defended by Michael Bratman---what I’ll call the Single Phenomenon View---when you intentionally X, you typically intend to do something but you need not intend to X in particular. In this talk, I will offer a new argument for the Single Phenomenon View by attending to the functions of the concept of intentional action. I’ll first argue that the concept of intentional action plays a distinctive functional role relative to the structure of concepts with which we engage in normative evaluation, namely to track the doings which are prioritized candidates for normative evaluation. I’ll then argue that in light of this normative function of the concept of intentional action, we have good reason to accept the Single Phenomenon View.


Pas d'interprétation en LSF