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Sense and Sensibility: Four Essays on Evaluative Discourse
Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Historisk-filosofiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen, Avdelningen för teoretisk filosofi. Uppsala University.
2018 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Fritextbeskrivning
Abstract [en]

The subject of this thesis is the nature of evaluative terms and concepts. It investigates various phenomena that distinguish evaluative discourse from other types of language use. Broadly, the thesis argues that these differences are best explained by the hypothesis that evaluative discourse serves to communicate that the speaker is in a particular emotional or affective state of mind.

The first paper, “Aesthetic Evaluation and First-hand Experience”, examines the fact that it sounds strange to make evaluative aesthetic statements while at the same time denying that you have had first-hand experience with the object being discussed. It is proposed that a form of expressivism about aesthetic discourse best explains the data.

The second paper, “Evaluative Discourse and Affective States of Mind”, discusses the problem of missing Moorean infelicity for expressivism. It is argued that evaluative discourse expresses states of mind attributed by sentences of the form “Nils finds it wrong to tell lies”. These states, the paper argues, are non-cognitive, and the observation therefore addresses the problem of missing infelicity.

The third paper, “Sensibilism and Evaluative Supervenience”, argues that contemporary theories about why the moral supervenes on the non-moral have failed to account for the full extent of the phenomenon. Supervenience pertains not just to the moral but to the evaluative in general, it is a conceptual truth and it involves a relationship with a certain directionality. While all these points have been individually recognized at various points in the literature on moral supervenience, no theory accounts for all them. It is suggested that a kind of sensibilist semantics, according to which the extensions of evaluative terms are determined by how we feel about things, explains the full phenomenon.

The fourth paper, “Sensibilism and Imaginative Resistance”, discusses why we refuse to accept strange evaluative claims as being true in fictions, even though we are happy to accept other types of absurdities as fictionally true. The paper argues that the sensibilist semantics outlined in the third article offers a good diagnosis of the puzzle and compares this to other approaches.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Uppsala: Department of Philosophy , 2018. , s. 37
Nyckelord [en]
aesthetics; aesthetic language; evaluative language; expressivism; Allan Gibbard; R.M. Hare; David Hume; John MacFarlane. metaethics; moral language; philosophy of language; predicates of personal taste; relativism; speech-acts
Nationell ämneskategori
Humaniora och konst
Forskningsämne
Filosofi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356595ISBN: 978-91-506-2717-6 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-356595DiVA, id: diva2:1236351
Disputation
2018-09-20, Geijersalen, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 15:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Anmärkning

Jag lyckas inte fylla i University of Leeds under "University, department", men det är alltså opponentens hemuniversitet. 

Tillgänglig från: 2018-08-30 Skapad: 2018-08-02 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-30
Delarbeten
1. Aesthetic Evalution and First-hand Experience
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Aesthetic Evalution and First-hand Experience
2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0004-8402, E-ISSN 1471-6828, Vol. 96, nr 4, s. 669-682Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Evaluative aesthetic discourse communicates that the speaker has had first-hand experience of what is talked about. If you call a book bewitching, it will be assumed that you have read the book. If you say that a building is beautiful, it will be assumed that you have had some visual experience with it. According to an influential view, this is because knowledge is a norm for assertion, and aesthetic knowledge requires first-hand experience. This paper criticizes this view and argues for an alternative view, according to which aesthetic discourse expresses affective states of mind, analogously to how assertions express beliefs. It is because these affective states require first-hand experience that aesthetic discourse communicates that such acquaintance is at hand. The paper furthermore argues that the lack of an experience requirement for aesthetic belief ascriptions constitutes a problem for the kind of expressivist who claims that evaluative belief states are covert non-cognitive states.

Nyckelord
first-hand experience, aesthetic evaluation, evaluative discourse, acquaintance inference, expressivism, aesthetic knowledge
Nationell ämneskategori
Filosofi
Forskningsämne
Filosofi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-341025 (URN)10.1080/00048402.2018.1425729 (DOI)000446493500004 ()
Tillgänglig från: 2018-02-06 Skapad: 2018-02-06 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-12-07Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Evaluative Discourse and Affective States of Mind
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Evaluative Discourse and Affective States of Mind
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Expressivists maintain that evaluative discourse expresses non-cognitve states of mind in a similar way to how ordinary descriptive language expresses beliefs. Conjoining an ordinary assertion that p with the denial of being in the corresponding belief-state that p famously gives rise to Moorean infelicity:

(i) ?? It’s raining but I don’t believe that it’s raining.

If expressivists are right, then conjoining evaluative statements with the denial of being in the requite non-cognitive state of mind should give rise to similar infelicity. However, as several theorists have pointed out, this does not seem to be the case. Statements like the following are not infelicitious:

(ii) Murder is wrong but I don’t disapprove of it.

In this paper, I argue that evaluative discourse expresses the kind of states which are attributed by ‘find’- constructions in English, and that these states are non-cognitive in nature. This addresses the problem of missing Moorean infelicity for expressivism, and it also tells us some interesting things about evaluative discourse in general.

Nyckelord
Expressivism; Anti-realism; Evaluative Discourse; Aesthetic Discourse; Moral Discourse; Predicates of personal taste
Nationell ämneskategori
Humaniora och konst
Forskningsämne
Teoretisk filosofi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356593 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2018-08-02 Skapad: 2018-08-02 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-07Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Sensibilism and Evaluative Supervenience
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Sensibilism and Evaluative Supervenience
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This paper argues that the current literature on the supervenience of the evaluative on the non-

Nyckelord
aesthetic predicates, anti-realism, expressivism, moral predicates, predicates of personal taste, R.M Hare, supervenience, sensibilism
Nationell ämneskategori
Filosofi
Forskningsämne
Teoretisk filosofi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356566 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2018-08-01 Skapad: 2018-08-01 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-09
4. Sensibilism and Imaginative Resistance
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Sensibilism and Imaginative Resistance
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This article discusses why it is that we refuse to accept strange evaluative claims as being true in fictions, even though weare happy to accept other types of absurdities in such stories. For instance, we would refuse to accept the following statement as true in a fiction:

(i)             In killing her baby, Giselda did the right thing; after all, it was a girl.

The diagnosis of the puzzle is the following: when entering a fictional story, we leave our beliefs about what the world is like behind, while taking our emotional attitudes with us into the fiction. If sensibilism is true, the way we feel about things is what settles their evaluative properties. Thus, imagining a scenario were the configuration of the relevant facts and properties are the same, we refuse to go along with that evaluative properties are instantiated according to a different pattern. It is the attitudes we hold in the actual world that fixes the extension of evaluative properties, even at non-actual worlds.

Nyckelord
Sensibilism; Evaluative discourse; Philosophy of fiction; Aesthetic predicates; Moral predicates; Predicates of personal taste; Imaginative resistance; David Hume
Nationell ämneskategori
Humaniora och konst
Forskningsämne
Filosofi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356594 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2018-08-02 Skapad: 2018-08-02 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-08-07Bibliografiskt granskad

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