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"Intentions, dispositions, and the lack thereof " par B. Copley

le 4 fvrier 2021
De 14h à 16h

Conférence de Bridget Copley (CNRS/Paris 8)


Intentions, dispositions, and the lack thereof


Intentions: How do languages represent intentional action? I argue that intentions are a kind of disposition. That is, intentions share with ``ordinary'' dispositions a certain formal structure even though they have interpretational differences. The evidence for this lies in the fact that intentions and dispositions are often treated the same by grammar (Copley 2018). Intentions and ordinary dispositions can thus be argued to share a conceptual structure: (i) a property p holds of an individual x in a situation s; (ii) there is a situation s' of which q holds; (iii) there is a causal relationship between s and s' which can represent an action and which is in some sense "about" or "because of" a relationship between p and q.

Dispositions: We would expect to see dispositional versions of this kind of structure grammaticalized, and we do, in involuntary state constructions (Rivero 2009).

The lack thereof: Many languages do not grammatically mark intentional/dispositional causes in their grammar of actions. I hypothesize that where languages do mark intentional and/or dispositional action and also mark "mere action", the latter get mirative or "suddenly" readings, since there is an implication that they are somehow "uncaused" by either intention or disposition.

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Dernière modification : 14 dcembre 2020



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