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The Good Samaritan and the Hygienic Cook: A Cautionary Tale About Linguistic Data

Fox, C (2009) 'The Good Samaritan and the Hygienic Cook: A Cautionary Tale About Linguistic Data.' In: Stalmaszczyk, P, (ed.) Philosophy of Language and Linguistics, Volume I: The formal turn. Ontos Verlag, 103 - 118. ISBN 9783868380705


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When developing formal theories of the meaning of language, it is appropriate to consider how apparent paradoxes and conundrums of language are best resolved. But if we base our analysis on a small sample of data then we may fail to take into account the influence of other aspects of meaning on our intuitions. Here we consider the so-called Good Samaritan Paradox (Prior, 1958), where we wish to avoid any implication that there is an obligation to rob someone from "You must help a robbed man". We argue that before settling on a formal analysis of such sentences, we should consider examples of the same form, but with intuitively ?different entailments ? such as "You must use a clean knife" ? and also actively seek other examples that exhibit similar contrasts in meaning, even if they do not exemplify the phenomena that is under investigation. This can refine our intuitions and help us to attribute aspects of interpretation to the various facets of meaning.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Proceedings of the International Conference on Philosophy of Language and Linguistics 2009
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2012 10:38
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 18:08

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