Friday, February 24: Rachel Rudolph

Please join us this Friday as Rachel Rudolph (Philosophy, UC Berkeley) presents work on perceptual reports.

Date and time: Friday, February 24, 11:00 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Location: Stuart 209 (Philosophy seminar room)

Title: Searching for the perceptual source


This will be an exploratory talk about the conditions under which perception reports place constraints on what the source of perception must be — that is, on what the speaker must have perceived for the report to be felicitous. Recognizing that some copy raising perception reports (e.g. ‘Tom seems like he’s cooking’) require perception of the subject (Tom), Asudeh and Toivonen (2012) give semantics for ‘seem’ (and ‘look’, ‘sound’, etc.) that has the subject in these sentences always being interpreted as the perceptual source. Others, like Landau (2011), have recognized this to be too strong. While Landau’s analysis avoids the overly general consequences of Asudeh and Toivonen’s, it still doesn’t answer the question of when the restriction on perceptual source shows up and when it doesn’t. I’ll go through a variety of cases to test some hypotheses about what gives rise to the restriction. I believe this exploration may also help shed light on the evidential role of perception reports.
Asudeh, A. and Toivonen, I. (2012). Copy raising and perception. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. 30:321-380.
Landau, I. (2011). Predication vs. aboutness in copy raising. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory. 29:779-813.

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