Aesthetic adjectives and context
Download
1 / 14

Aesthetic Adjectives and Context - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 224 Views
  • Uploaded on

Aesthetic Adjectives and Context. Aaron Meskin (Philosophy, Leeds) Experimental Aesthetics Workshop. My hypothesis. Aesthetic terms are like ordinary relative gradable adjectives in that they exhibit context sensitivity. Aesthetic gradability.

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Aesthetic Adjectives and Context' - Gabriel


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Aesthetic adjectives and context l.jpg

Aesthetic Adjectives and Context

Aaron Meskin

(Philosophy, Leeds)

Experimental Aesthetics Workshop


My hypothesis l.jpg
My hypothesis

Aesthetic terms are like ordinary relative gradable adjectives in that they exhibit context sensitivity.


Aesthetic gradability l.jpg
Aesthetic gradability

Aesthetic (and artistic and expressive) adjectives are gradable.

Allow for degree modifiers.

The flower is very beautiful.

The novel is extremely original.

The song is very sad.

Allow for comparative constructions.

That painting is more elegant than this painting.

He is less creative than my aunt.

Durham Cathedral is more serene than York Minster.


Context sensitivity in gradable adjectives l.jpg
Context-sensitivity in gradable adjectives

(1) John is tall.

“What proposition is expressed by a sentence like [1] is context dependent, depending on what standard of tallness is given by the context. It might express a true proposition if the standard is set to a value appropriate for talking about jockeys, but a false one if set to a value appropriate for talking about the tallness of basketball players” (Glanzbeg, ‘Context, Content, and Relativism’, 9; see also Stanley “On the Linguistic Basis for Contextualism, 123)


But not all gradable adjectives are context sensitive l.jpg
But not all gradable adjectives are context-sensitive

“Some expressions are gradable, yet not context-sensitive” (Stanley, “The Linguistic Basis for Contextualism”, 132).

Examples: “taller than six feet”, “regret”, “justified”

In fact, some linguists argue that one distinctive and large class of gradable adjectives do not exhibit context-sensitive. Do aesthetic terms belong to that class?


What kind of gradable adjectives are aesthetic adjectives l.jpg
What kind of gradable adjectives are aesthetic adjectives?

Kennedy: “There is a well-defined set of adjectives that are demonstrably gradable but do not have context dependent interpretations...” (“Vagueness and Grammar”, 22).

minimum standard absolute gradable adjectives: impure, damp, wet, open, bent...

application requires some minimal degree of property

maximum standard absolute gradable adjectives: pure, dry, closed, straight...

application requires a maximal degree of property


Aesthetic terms are not absolute gradable l.jpg
Aesthetic terms are not absolute gradable

NO ENTAILMENT TO AN ANTONYM

It is not closed.=>It is open.

It is not wet. => It is dry.

It is not beautiful. ≠> It is ugly.

It is not ugly. ≠> It is beautiful.


Aesthetic terms are not absolute gradable8 l.jpg
Aesthetic terms are not absolute gradable

NOT MAXIMUM STANDARD

??It is CLOSED but it could be more closed.

It is BEAUTIFUL but it could be more beautiful.

He is CREATIVE but he could be more creative.

My door is more closed than Robbie’s door. => Robbie’s door is not closed.

John is more beautiful than Jim. ≠> Jim is not beautiful.

Jane is more creative than Bob. ≠> Bob is not creative.


Aesthetic terms are not absolute gradable9 l.jpg
Aesthetic terms are not absolute gradable

NOT MINIMUM STANDARD

??It is not damp but it has some moisture in it.

She is not beautiful, but she displays a bit of beauty.

He is not creative but he possesses a bit of creativity.

The table is more damp than the towel. => The table is damp.

John is more beautiful than Jim. ≠> John is beautiful.

(“John is not beautiful but he is more beautiful than Jim.”)

Mary is more creative than Maisie. ≠> Mary is creative.


The presupposition assessment task syrett et al 2005 l.jpg
The Presupposition Assessment Task (Syrett et al 2005)

Pairs of objects (e.g., 2 cubes, 2 rods, 2 disks) were presented. Experimenter made request using definite description: “Please give me the X one” (X= target adjective) Pairs designed so that neither, both or one of the objects could be modified by the adjective.


Prediction l.jpg
Prediction

In relative gradable adjective case, participant can always shift context to satisfy presupposition of unique existence. So subjects should always conform to request and give the object that possesses property to the greater degree. In absolute gradable adjective case, subjects won’t be able to shift context. So in cases where presupposition is not met, subjects will reject request.


Relative gradable l.jpg
Relative gradable

“Please give me the big one.”

“Please give me the long one.”

Result: Compliance at or near ceiling.


Absolute gradable l.jpg
Absolute gradable

“Please give me the spotted one.”

“Please give me the full one.”

Result: Much more rejection of requests.


Aesthetic adjectives and the presupposition assessment test l.jpg
Aesthetic adjectives and the presupposition assessment test

“Please give me the beautiful one.”


ad