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April 15, 2019: Isidora Stojanovic: Aesthetic Adjectives and the Relative-Absolute Distinction

Alice meets Humpty Dumpty - The Victorian Web

Seminars of Philosophy of Perception, Mind, and Language — Winter session, 2018


Isidora Stojanovic (Institut Jean-Nicod)

Aesthetic Adjectives and the Relative-Absolute Distinction

April 15, 2019: h.

Room Enzo Paci, Directorate of the Department of Philosophy, Via Festa del Perdono 7, Milan


Gradable adjectives are customarily divided between relative (such as ‘long’ or ‘expensive’) and absolute (such as ‘full’ or ‘bent’) (McNally & Kennedy 2005, Kennedy 2007). After a brief recap of the theoretical motivations for this distinction, I present the experiments from Liao and Meskin (2016), who applied the experimental paradigm from Syrett et al. (2006) to the aesthetic adjectives 'beautiful', 'ugly' and ‘elegant’. Their findings seem to show that aesthetic adjectives do not pattern either like relative or absolute adjectives. I discuss various semantic and pragmatic factors that may be responsible for the observed results, and close with some thoughts on the possible next steps for an experimental approach to evaluative adjectives.

The Lecture will be held in English.

Participation is strongly recommended to students of the Doctoral School in Philosophy and Human Sciences.

Everyone interested is welcome to attend.

15 April 2019
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