Martin Stokhof

Martin Stokhof
Tsinghua University | TH · Department of Philosophy

PhD

About

121
Publications
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Introduction
Martin Stokhof is emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, where he is affiliated with the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) and the Department of Philosophy. Currently he is part-time Jin Yuelin professor at the Department of Philosophy of Tsinghua University in Beijing. His current projects are 'Philosophy of Semantics' and "Wittgenstein". Past projects are "Dynamic Semantics" and "Questions".
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - present
University of Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
September 2017 - present
Tsinghua University
Position
  • Professor
October 2014 - October 2015
Tsinghua University
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (121)
Article
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There is a noticeable gap between results of cognitive neuroscientific research into basic mathematical abilities and philosophical and empirical investigations of mathematics as a distinct intellectual activity. The paper explores the relevance of a Wittgensteinian framework for dealing with this discrepancy.
Article
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The discussion of collective agency involves the reduction problem of the concept of a collective. Individualism and Cartesian internalism have long restricted orthodox theories and made them face the tension between an irreducible concept of a collective and ontological reductionism. Heterodox theories as functionalism and interpretationism reinte...
Chapter
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Preprint
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In this paper it is argued that philosophy might benefit from a return to its episodic roots, i.e., to everyday individual problems, and that such a return needs an equally 'episodic' method, i.e., the discovery and design of ways of seeing. The argument is made in terms of an exploration of the potential relevance of Wittgenstein's views on aspect...
Chapter
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The paper traces some of the assumptions that have informed conservative naturalism in linguistic theory, critically examines their justification, and proposes a more liberal alternative.
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This short note addresses the question whether Rietveld’s account of visual arts and adaptive behaviour be extended to literature.
Article
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The article argues for a contextualised reading of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. It analyses in detail the role that use and application play in the text and how that supports a conception of transcendentality of logic that allows for contextualisation. The article identifies a tension in the text, between the requirement that sense be determinate and...
Chapter
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La collana, coordinata da Laura Cerasi, Mario Infelise e Anna Rapetti, si propone di ospitare studi di storia medievale, moderna e contemporanea, spaziando tra la dimensione locale della storia veneziana e veneta e quella ampia della storia europea ed extraeuropea. “Studi di storia” intende dedicare particolare attenzione alle ricerche che adottino...
Article
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The paper addresses the tension in Wittgenstein’s work between an absolute and a more contextual approach to values. It argues that both are relevant, but that from a systematic point of view the contextual perspective has priority. The consequent commitment to a form of moral realism is discussed, and an analogy with normativity in the domain of l...
Chapter
The question whether natural language can be captured in a formal system has been argued at length, and both a positive and a negative answer has been defended. The paper investigates the main lines of argument for both, and argues that the stalemate that appears to have been reached is an indication that the question itself rests on a wrong concep...
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The paper addresses the challenges that naturalism poses for the humanities, and for philosophy in particular. After a general overview it takes as its starting point recent discussions on Wittgenstein’s meta-philosophy and argues that from Wittgenstein’s work on certainty, aesthetic experience and religious belief a notion of ‘non-discursive conte...
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Does DBS change a patient’s personality? This is one of the central questions in the debate on the ethics of treatment with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). At the moment, however, this important debate is hampered by the fact that there is relatively little data available concerning what patients actually experience following DBS treatment. There are...
Article
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The end of philosophy? A Wittgensteinian perspective on the challenge of naturalism The paper addresses the challenges that naturalism poses for the humanities, and for philosophy in particular. After a general overview it takes as its starting point recent discussions on Wittgenstein’s metaphilosophy and argues that from Wittgenstein’s work on cer...
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Working Paper
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Article
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Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a relatively new, experimental treatment for patients suffering from treatment-refractory Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The effects of treatment are typically assessed with psychopathological scales that measure the amount of symptoms. However, clinical experience indicates that the effects of DBS are not limi...
Research
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This short note reports on the results of a workshop on the interplay between modern logic and logic-oriented philosophy and key concepts from modernity and modernism, in China and in the West. It also identifies some possible directions for further research in this area.
Chapter
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Whether, and if so in what sense, dynamic semantics establishes the need to move away from standard truth-conditional semantics, is a question that has been discussed in the literature on and off. This paper does not attempt to answer it, it merely wants to draw attention to an aspect that has hitherto received little attention in the discussion, v...
Conference Paper
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The paper takes critical look at naturalistic conceptions of language in linguistics.
Article
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People suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) do things they do not want to do, and/or they think things they do not want to think. In about 10% of OCD patients, none of the available treatment options is effective. A small group of these patients is currently being treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS involves the implantatio...
Article
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This paper discusses a number of methodological issues with mainstream formal semantics and then investigates whether Wittgenstein's later work provides an alternative approach that is able to avoid these issues.
Article
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The paper addresses the way in which modern linguistics, - in particular, but not exclusively, the generative tradition -, has constructed its core concepts. It argues that a particular form of construction, reminiscent of, but crucially different from, abstraction, which is dubbed 'idealisation', plays a central role here. The resemblances and dif...
Article
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The authors respond to commentaries about their paper "Abstractions and Idealisations: The Construction of Modern Linguistics" particularly with respect to their analysis of the role of idealisation in modern linguistics. They explain the application of their analysis to a specific paradigm and/or part of modern linguistics. They address criticisms...
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This short note takes another look at the idea of a 'New Wittgenstein', focusing on a feature of the discussion surrounding this idea that hitherto has received not that much attention, viz., the connection between ideas about the proper interpretation of Wittgenstein's work and the conception of philosophy as an intellectual enterprise, including...
Article
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O presente artigo delineia o lugar da semântica dinâmica dentro de um quadro mais amplo de desenvolvimentos nas teorias linguisticas e filosoficas sobre o significado. Alguns conceitos basicos da semântica dinâmica sao apresentados atraves de uma analise detalhada das descricoes anaforicas definidas e indefinidas, que sao tratadas como expressoes q...
Article
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When formal semantics originated in the late sixties, early seventies of the previous century, it borrowed some important methodological assumptions from the generative tradition in linguistics concerning intuitions, competence, linguistic facts and their con-nections. These assumptions helped shape a certain methodological practice in which intuit...
Article
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This paper deals with the question of how modern linguistics has constructed its objects of study, such as ‘language’, ‘grammar’, ‘competence’, ‘meaning’ and ‘rule’. Apparently, a major factor that explains the success and prestige of modern linguistics is that it has succeeded in coming up with scientific characterizations of its core concepts tha...
Article
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This paper deals with the question of how modern linguistics has constructed its objects of study, such as 'language', 'grammar', 'competence', 'meaning' and 'rule'. Apparently, a major factor that explains the success and prestige of modern linguistics is that it has succeeded in coming up with scientific characterizations of its core concepts tha...
Article
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Natural languages are vehicles of information, arguably the most important, certainly the most ubiquitous that humans possess. Our everyday interactions with the world, with each other and with ourselves depend on them. And even where in the specialised contexts of science we use dedicated formalisms to convey information, their use is embedded in...
Article
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Inleiding 1 Een van de centrale thema's in Kraak Over Natuur en Cultuur bij de Taal is de eenheid van taal en denken, de idee dat de taal een (perfecte) afspiegeling is van wat er zich in ons hoofd (in onze 'geest') afspeelt, dat de primaire functie van taal is uitdrukking te geven aan ons denken. In het recente en minder recente verleden is die id...
Article
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The paper by Fritz Hamm, Hans Kamp and Michiel van Lambalgen (in what follows abbreviated as '') is a very rich one. Not only does it contain a wealth of empirical and formal insights concerning the analysis of tense and aspect, planning and causality, and other phenomena, it also contains some penetrating remarks concerning the scope and method...
Chapter
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Dynamic logic, broadly conceived, is the logic that analyses change by decomposing actions into their basic building blocks and by describing the results of performing actions in given states of the world. The actions studied by dynamic logic can be of various kinds: actions on the memory state of a computer, actions of a moving robot in a closed w...
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Zoals het een kenmerk is van grote kunst dat ze steeds opnieuw inspireert, en van grote wetenschappelijke ideeën dat de toepassing ervan verder reikt dan de bedenkers hadden voorzien, zo lijkt het een kenmerk van grote filosofie en grote filosofen dat ze niet voor één uitleg vatbaar zijn. Dat Wittgenstein een groot filosoof was, en zijn werken grot...
Article
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The paper identifies some background assumptions of compositionality in formal semantics and investigates how they shape formal semantics as scientific discipline.
Chapter
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The aim of this paper is a modest one. In what follows, we will argue that if one takes into consideration certain constructions involving interrogatives, a flexible approach to the relationship between syntactic categories and semantic types may be of great help. More in particular, we will try to show that if one uses something like an orthodox i...
Article
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this paper (and in some others). Questioning the `standard model', the assumptions on which the working semanticists silently agree, Van Benthem opened up a space of issues to be discussed, questions to be asked, routes to be explored, that had been hidden from view by the unreflective endorsement of just one possible, albeit fruitful way of doing...
Article
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The paper sketches the place of dynamic semantics within a broader picture of developments in philosophical and linguistic theories of meaning. Some basic concepts of dynamic semantics are illustrated by means of a detailed analysis of anaphoric definite and indefinite descriptions, which are treated as contextually dependent quantificational expre...
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In this paper we show that the dynamic interpretation techniques of Janssen (assignment modalities), Groenendijk and Stokhof (dynamic binding), and Hendriks (exibly scoping rules) enable a rigorous formulation of the semantics of intersentential anaphoric relationships, as well as of telescoping and periscoping phenomena in natural language. Keywor...
Article
This paper is about a topic in the semantics of interrogatives.
Chapter
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This paper is devoted to an analysis of a specific problem area, which is not only of interest descriptively, but which also presents an interesting theoretical challenge. The descriptive area is that of the interaction between indefinites, pronouns, and epistemic modalities, a subject renowned for the many puzzles it creates, including questions c...
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this paper was part of the Esprit Basic Research Project Dyana (6852). 1
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In common parlance, the term question is used in at least three different ways, which, to avoid misunderstanding it is distinguished terminologically in this chapter. First of all, the term may be used to refer to a particular type of sentences, characterized (in English) by word order, intonation, question mark, and the occurrence of interrogative...
Article
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this paper adds one more system to the existing stock. It o#ers a semantics for the language of modal predicate logic, which is new, not in the sense that it proposes a new ontology as an alternative to the possible world paradigm, but new because it characterizes the meaning of a sentence in terms of its information change potential rather than it...
Article
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modes de phrase. Ainsi, la signification d'une phrase interrogative peut elle etre aussi identifi ee a ses conditions de reponse : Savoir ce qu'une phrase interrogative signifie, est savoir ce qui compte, et dans quelles circonstances, comme une reponse vraie. (Voir Groenendijk and Stokhof 1996, pour une argumentation et une vue d'ensemble.) 1 et l...
Conference Paper
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this paper is to argue that update semantics is a natural framework for contextually restricted quantification, and to illustrate its use in the analysis of anaphoric definite descriptions and certain other anaphoric terms.
Conference Paper
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The dynamic view on the semantics of natural language, though stemming already from the seventies, has developed into a widely studied subject in the second half of the eighties. At present, the unification of various dynamic theories constitutes an important issue. In this paper, two theories are compared, viz. update semantics, and dynamic predic...
Thesis
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Photocopy. Thesis (doctoral)--University of Amsterdam, 1984.
Article
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This paper is mainly concerned with the analysis of some aspects of the specific/non-specific contrast. It also contains some remarks on the de dicto/de re ambiguity in belief contexts. The basic assumption underlying our analysis is that an adequate theory of meaning for a language should consist of (at least) a semantic theory and a pragmatic the...
Article
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In this paper arguments are given for the thesis that an adequate theory of meaning for a natural language has to consist at least of a recursive specification of the truth conditions (semantics) and of a recursive specification of the correctness conditions (pragmatics) of the sentences of that language.The thesis is defended on both theoretical a...
Article
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This paper is an informal introduction to some aspects of dynamic semantics.
Article
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This paper is about a topic in the semantics of interrogatives.
Article
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this paper is based was presented on several occasions, the first of which was the Stuttgart conference on discourse representation theory, held in November 1987. Various people have given us the benefit of their comments and criticisms, for which we thank them all. Special thanks go to Paul Dekker and Fred Landman for many stimulating and helpful...

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