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Mental Functioning and the Ontology of Language Barry Smith Graz, July 21, 2012

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1 Mental Functioning and the Ontology of Language Barry Smith Graz, July 21, 2012

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3 Brentano and his students Brentano Meinong Ehrenfels HusserlTwardowski

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5 Meinong Alley, Graz

6 Investigations in Ontology and Psychology with support from the Imperial-Royal Minister of Culture and Education in Vienna, 1904

7 Bertrand Russell It is argued, e.g., by Meinong, that we can speak about "the golden mountain," "the round square," and so on.... In such theories, it seems to me, there is a failure of that feeling for reality which ought to be preserved even in the most abstract studies. Logic, I should maintain, must no more admit a unicorn than zoology can”

8 from 1874 to 1914 Brentano controls Austrian philosophy Brentano Vienna Meinong Graz Ehrenfels Prague Twardowski Lemberg Husserl Proßnitz

9 from 1874 to 1914 Brentano controls Austrian philosophy Brentano Vienna Meinong Graz Ehrenfels Prague Twardowski Lemberg Franz Kafka Husserl Proßnitz

10 Brentano revolutionizes psychology Brentano published Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint, 1874 Meinong Ehrenfels founder of Gestalt psychology, 1890 HusserlTwardowski Wundt first laboratory of experimental psychology, 1879

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12 Brentanists revolutionize ontology Brentano Meinong On the Theory of Objects, 1904 Ehrenfels Husserl first formal mereology, 1902 ______ first use of ‘formal ontology’ ~1905; Twardowski Leśniewski logical formalization of mereology, 1916

13 Brentanists revolutionize our understanding of the relations between psychology and ontology Brentano introduces in 1874 the idea of intentional directedness (aboutness) Meinong Ehrenfels HusserlTwardowski how can we think about what does not exist?

14 Brentanists revolutionize our understanding of the relations between psychology and ontology Brentano introduces in 1874 the idea of intentional directedness (aboutness) Meinong Ehrenfels HusserlTwardowski Stefan Schulz famous contributor to zoology of unicorns

15 15 the arrow of intentionality

16 Brentanists introduce the problem of understanding the relation between intentionality and language Brentano Meinong Ehrenfels Husserl categorial grammar, 1901 Twardowski Leśniewski founder of formal mereology Tarski invents formal semantics

17 “From Intentionality to Formal Semantics” Brentano Husserl Twardowski Leśniewski formal mereology Tarski formal semantics Joseph Woodger Axiomatic Method in Biology Patrick Hayes “Ontology of Liquids” … Description Logics, OWL …

18 The Logicians: Leśniewski, Tarski, Łukasiewicz, Twardowski Main Library of the University of Warsaw

19 Brentanists revolutionize our understanding of the relations between psychology and language Brentano MeinongEhrenfels Husserl two kinds of aboutness:  relational Twardowski

20 Level L1: the level of reality (for example, in the medical domain, the reality of pains, wounds, bacteria, on the side of the patient Level L2: the level of cognitive representations of this reality, for example as embodied in observations and interpretations, as well as in beliefs, desires and other mental acts and states on the part of patients, clinicians, and others; Level L3: the level of publicly accessible concretizations of L2 cognitive representations in information artifacts of various sorts, of which ontologies, terminologies and Electronic Health Records are examples, as also are categorical systems such as the DSM.

21 (a) relations between a referring use of an expression and its object (assuming, of course, that it has an object), (b) relations between the use of a (true) sentence and that in the world which makes it true, 2 2 (c) relations between a used predicate and the object or objects of which it is predicated, and also, at least in certain cases, between this object and those of its parts and moments in virtue of which the predicate holds, (d) relations among uses of language themselves, for example anaphoric relations, relations between those events which are referring and predicating uses of expressions, relations between successive uses of sentences in higher-order structures such as narratives, arguments, conversations, and so on. I shall have something to say about all of these species of examples in what follows. My main concern, however, will be with the ways in which uses of language are bound up with mental acts. Thus for example I shall be concerned with: (e) relations between mental acts on the one hand and underlying mental states (attitudes, beliefs), on the other, (f) relations between my acts and states and those associated uses of language which are overt actions on my part, for example actions of promising or of asking questions, (g) relations between my mental acts and states and the overt actions (including utterances) of other subjects with whom I come into contact (relations of understanding, of communication).

22 What is a language?

23 object entities vs. meaning entities

24 MFO Draft

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26 simple object-presenting acts vs. judgments, evaluations, … mental processcontent(putative) target presenting act content of presentation “apple” object of presentation judging act judgment-content “the apple over there is ripe” state of affairs Objektive evaluating act emotional act appraisal … “it is good that the apple over there is ripe” ?

27 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation target present target absent target present = you are in physical contact with target successful intentionality with evidence, without evidence Successful intentionality

28 relational acts include also cases of unconscious awareness, e.g. of the chair that you are sitting on

29 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation object exists object does not exist target present target absent Veridical intentionality ordinary perception

30 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation object exists object does not exist target present target absent Veridical intentionality veridical thinking about

31 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation target present target absent object exists object does not exist Non-veridical intentionality non-veridical thinking about (error, hallucination, imagination, …)

32 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation object exists object does not exist target present target absent Non-veridical intentionality error, hallucination = the presenting act is dependent on an underlying false belief

33 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation object exists object does not exist target present target absent Non-veridical intentionality thinking about Macbeth = the presenting act is not dependent on an underlying false belief

34 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation object exists object does not exist target present target absent An excluded case this combination is impossible

35 mental act about a real-world object non-relational (~ linguistic) relational (~ perception) content match content mismatch content match content mismatch veridical non-veridical

36 mental processcontent(putative) target presenting actcontent of presentation “apple” object of presentation object exists object does not exist target present target absent Veridical intentionality ordinary perception evolutionarily most basic case

37 content matches “food”

38 content mismatches “poison”

39 39 the primacy of language (Frege, Tarski …): mental experiences are about objects because words have semantics meaning

40 40 the primacy of the intentional (Brentano, Husserl, …): linguistic expressions have meanings because there are mental experiences which have aboutness

41 content mismatches “poison”

42 dimension of content / belief prior to dimension of language

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45 cognitive representation

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