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The Paradox Of Imprecision In Language, Henry R. Bauer Mar 2017

The Paradox Of Imprecision In Language, Henry R. Bauer

Critical Reflections

The Paradox of Imprecision in Language

Abstract

This paper investigates philosophical questions bearing on the relationship between language and mind, through an analysis of the phenomenon of “efficient imprecision” in language. It is argued that language users’ ability to intuitively connect allegedly imprecise linguistic expressions with definite conceptual information presents a paradox that might lead philosophers, linguists and cognitive scientists alike to reconsider the relationship between the computational machinery of human language and its function as the vehicle of conscious thought.

Like the puzzle about the identity relation which Gottlob Frege presents in the seminal Sense and Reference (1892), which ...


Conspiracy And Bias: Argumentative Features And Persuasiveness Of Conspiracy Theories, Steve Oswald May 2016

Conspiracy And Bias: Argumentative Features And Persuasiveness Of Conspiracy Theories, Steve Oswald

OSSA Conference Archive

This paper deals with the argumentative biases Conspiracy Theories (henceforth CTs) typically suffer from and pursues two goals: (i) the identification of recurring argumentative and rhetorical features of conspiracy theories, which translates into an attempt to elaborate their argumentative profile (see Hansen 2013); (ii) the elaboration of a cognitively-grounded account of CTs in terms of their persuasiveness.

To fulfil goal (i), I examine online instances of different cases of CTs (the Moon hoax, 9/11 as an inside job, chemical trails). Building on the general rhetorical features of CTs identified by Byford (2011: 88-93), I elaborate a first argumentative profile ...