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This book reimagines the compositional semantics of comparative sentences using words such as more, as, too, and others. The book's central thesis entails a rejection of a fundamental assumption of degree semantic frameworks: that gradable adjectives like tall lexicalize functions from individuals to degrees, i.e., measure functions. Alexis Wellwood argues that comparative expressions in English themselves introducemeasure functions; this is the case whether that morphology targets adjectives, as intaller or more intelligent; nouns, as in more coffee, more coffees; verbs, such as run more, jump more; or expressions of other categories. Furthermore, she suggests that expressions that comfortably and meaningfully appear in the comparative form should be distinguished from those that do not in terms of a general notion of "measurability": a measurable predicate has a domain of application with non-trivial structure. This notion unifies the independently motivated distinctions between, for example, gradable and non-gradable adjectives, mass and count nouns, singular and plural noun phrases, and telic and atelic verb phrases. Based on careful examination of the distribution of dimensions for comparison within the class of measurable predicates, she ties the selection of measure functions to the specific nature and structure of the domain entities targeted for measurement. The book ultimately explores how, precisely, we should understand semantic theories that invoke the "nature" of domain entities: does the theory depend for its explanation on features of metaphysical reality, or something else? Such questions are especially pertinent in light of a growing body of research in cognitive science exploring the understanding and acquisition of comparative sentences.
We all fear pain and we will do almost anything to avoid it. In The Meaning of Pain, renowned osteopath Nick Potter presents a radical new approach to treating chronic pain. He draws on insights from biology, evolution and social behaviour to help us understand why pain is essential to our survival, and how we can manage our experience of it. In this sage and enlightening book, drawing on 25 years of clinical experience and success stories from his consulting room, Potter presents a timely, compelling roadmap for wellbeing, showing us how to break the vicious cycle of stress, pain and anxiety before the damage is done.
First published in 1893, this illustrated study explores the important role of the English coffee house in seventeenth-century life.
Originally published in 1983, this title is a determined attack on personality theories current at the time. It critically examines their basic motivational constructs and rejects any that invoke goal-seeking as being inescapably teleological and therefore unacceptable as natural science. Dr Maze argues the necessity for an unqualified determinism in psychology, yet one that incorporates the role of cognitive processes in the formation of behaviour. However, action theories which profess to offer a causal account of apparently goal-seeking or voluntarist behaviour by reference to the internal states of desire for a goal and a belief about how to get it are also dismissed. For the concept of belief as an internal state is argued to be a relativistic one, defined as being intrinsically related to its object. This is an incoherent notion and one which cannot specify anything acceptable as a causal state. The one motivational theory in dynamic psychology which offered a solution to these problems was Sigmund Freud’s formulation of his instinctual drive concept, defined as an innate physiological driving mechanism with preformed consummatory behaviours: his ‘specific actions’. But his hydraulic models have been patronisingly dismissed by modern neurologists, arguing that there are no ‘flush-toilets’ in the central nervous system. This book argues that such a glib dismissal is shallow minded, and that a reformulation of Freud’s concept in terms of modern neuroscience is readily available, though the problem of identifying the relevant structures remains formidable. The book is of immediate interest to all those seriously concerned with the springs and meanings of human behaviour, whether they be psychologists, psychoanalysts, philosophers or those generally interested in social and ethical theory.
Mark Vernon offers penetrating insights on the idea of friendship, using philosophy and modern culture to ask about friendship and sex, work, politics and spirituality. He also explores how notions of friendship may or may not be changing because of the internet, and looks at the psychology of friendship.
Phenomenological analyses of the orderliness of naturally occurring collaboration. Pioneered by Harold Garfinkel in the 1950s and ’60s, ethnomethodology is a sociological approach rooted in phenomenology that is concerned with investigating the unspoken rules according to which people understand and create order in unstructured situations. Based on more than thirty years of teaching ethnomethodology, Kenneth Liberman—himself a student of Garfinkel’s—provides an up-to-date introduction through a series of classroom-based studies. Each chapter focuses on a routine experience in which people collaborate to make sense of and coordinate an unscripted activity: organizing the coherence of the rules of a game, describing the objective taste of a cup of gourmet coffee, making sense of intercultural conversation, reading a vague map, and finding order amidst chaotic traffic flow. Detailed descriptions of the kinds of ironies that naturally arise in these and other ordinary affairs breathe new life into phenomenological theorizing and sociological understanding.

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