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Colloquium: Amir Anvari
April 1, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
A theory of oddness
We will rehearse a host of puzzles that have been uncovered in the literature on oddness pertaining particularly, but not exclusively, to disjunction (Singh 2008, Katzir & Singh 2014, Mayr & Romoli 2016, Mandelkern & Romoli 2018, Marty & Romoli 2021 and references therein). The ambition is to provide a unified analysis for all these cases, as well as a few novel generalizations. We begin with the classical insight, as formulated by Katzir & Singh (2015), that “a good assertion is one that constitutes a good answer to a good question”. We aim at a procedural approach where the question that an assertion is understood to address is not a semantic or contextual given but rather is computed on the fly on the basis of the background assumptions, the logical structure of the sentence asserted and as well as its formal simplifications (Katzir 2007, Fox & Katzir 2011). Specifically, we explore the idea that “good questions” are subsets of the formal alternatives of asserted sentences that satisfy certain conditions to be specified. If no such constellation of alternatives exists, the sentence fails to address a good question and is deemed unacceptable. We apply this idea to the puzzles mentioned with decent, but not completely satisfactory, results.
This event will be hosted over Zoom. For a link, please contact the organizers:
Indira Das (indira.das [at] rutgers.edu)
Tatevik Yolyan (tatevik.yolyan [at] rutgers.edu)
Jiaxing Yu (jiaxing.j.yu [at] rutgers.edu)