How are events represented? How are they linguistically encoded? What is the metaphysical or ontological basis for talk about events? PHLING's "events" project attempts to understand how such interdisciplinary questions relate, hoping that they do in a more fundamental way than differences in terminology and methodology might suggest.
As part of this project, we invited speakers, kept a running bibliography, and created PHLINC, Maryland's new, annual, graduate student symposium in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics. Our first PHLINC, on "events", was a smashing success.
On October 21st, 2011, Brian Scholl of Yale University came to Maryland to give a colloquium talk, and participate in a day of roundtable discussion and meetings. Brian has done fantastic work on perception and cognition, including uncovering the fine parameters that enter into our perception of animacy and causality. We greatly enjoyed talking with him; the abstract of his talk follows.
Brian Scholl, Oct. 21: It's Alive!: Some Visual Roots of Social Cognition
Beyond features such as color and shape, visual percepts can also involve properties that we typically associate with higher-level cognition -- such as animacy, intentionality, and goal-directedness. Cognitive scientists have long been captivated by such phenomena, but have faced challenges in studying them with precision, and in distinguishing true perceptual effects from higher-level inferences. I will describe and demonstrate several projects from our group that address these challenges, exploring the perception of animacy from some new perspectives: (1) Demonstrations of several new types of perceived animacy (including the 'psychophysics of chasing', the 'wolfpack effect', and the 'slithering snake' animation; (2) Illustrations of how it is possible to assess the objective accuracy of certain types of perceived animacy; and (3) Explorations of how perceived animacy connects up with the rest of mind, and influences other aspects of perception and attention. Each of these research strands will involve perceptually salient demonstrations of various types. Collectively, these projects show how the perception of animacy and intentionality is wired into our minds in deep and pervasive ways, and how perception involves recovering not only the physical structure of the world, but also its causal and social structure.
We try to keep our bibliography as complete as possible, but some things may be missing. In any case, if you think there's something that should appear on this list and doesn't, please email us.
The bibliography is organized by the following subfields (click to jump-to):
- Loucks & Pederson 2011. Linguistic and non-linguistic categorization of complex motion events. Chapter 6 of Event Representation in Language and Cognition, Bohnemeyer & Pederson (Eds.).
- Massad, Hubbard, & Newtson 1979. Selective perception of events. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 15, 513-532.
- Pylyshyn 1984. Computation and cognition: toward a foundation for cognitive science, Chapters 1 and 2. MIT Press.
- Piccinini 2009. Computationalism in the Philosophy of Mind.
- Prinz & Clark 2004. Putting Concepts to Work.
- Scholl 2007. Object persistence in philosophy and psychology. Mind & Language, 22(5), 563-591.
- Schwan & Garsoffky 2008. The role of segmentation in perception and understanding of events, Chapter 15 of Understanding Events. 391-414.
- Spelke 2003. "What makes us smart? Core knowledge and natural language", Chapter 10 of Language in Mind: Advances in the Study of Language and Thought. 277-311.
- Boolos & 1984. To be is to be the value of a variable (or to be some values of some variables). Journal of Philosophy, 81(8)..
- Casati & Varzi 2008. Event Concepts, Chapter 2 of Understanding Events.
- Carruthers 2002. The cognitive functions of language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25.
- Dowty 1989. On the semantic content of the notion of 'thematic role'. In Properties, Types, and Meaning, II.
- Fodor 2004. Having Concepts.
- Goldman 2007. A program for "naturalizing" metaphysics, with application to the ontology of events. The Monist, 90(3), 457-479.
- Lewis 1970. General semantics. Synthese, 22, 18-67.
- Simons 2003. Events, Chapter 12 of the Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. 357-385.
- Pietroski 1998. Actions, adjuncts, and agency. Mind, 107, 76-111.
- Pietroski 2010. Concepts, meanings and truth: First nature, second nature, and hard work. Mind & Language, 25(3), 247-278.
- Barner, Wagner, & Snedeker 2008. Events and the ontology of individuals: Verbs as a source of individuating mass and count nouns. Cognition, 106, 805-832.
- Bunger 2008. Introduction and Event Structure, Chs. 1 & 2 of How we learn to talk about events: Linguistic and conceptual constraints on verb learning. PhD thesis, Northwestern University.
- Gao & Scholl 2010. Chasing vs Stalking: Interrupting the Perception of Animacy.
- Liverence & Scholl 2011. Discrete events as units of perceived time. M.s., Yale U.
- Zacks 2004. Using movement and intentions to understand simple events. Cognitive Science, 28, 979-1008.
- Zacks & Swallow 2007. Event Segmentation. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(2), 80-84.
- Zacks & Swallow 2007. Event Perception: A Mind-Brain Perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 133(2), 273-293.
- Dowty 1989. On the semantic content of the notion of 'thematic role'. In Chierchia, Partee, & Turner (Eds.), Properties, Types and Meaning II. 69-129.
- Hale & Keyser. MIT MS. The basic elements of argument structure.
- Jackendoff 1990. Semantic Structures. MIT Press.
- Katz & Fodor 1963. The structure of a semantic theory. Language, 39(2), 170-210.
- Lepore 1983. What model theoretic semantics cannot do? Synthese, 54(2), 167-187.
- Lin 2004. Event Structure and the Encoding of Arguments: The Syntax of the Mandarin and English Verb Phrase, Chapter 1. MIT dissertation. 11-43.
- Parsons 1990. Events in the semantics of English: A study in subatomic semantics. MIT Press.
- Ramchand 2005. Post-Davidsonianism. Theoretical Linguistics, 31(3), 359-373.
- Rosen 1999. The syntactic representation of linguistic events. MS, University of Kansas.
- Schein (forthcoming). Event semantics. To appear in Delia Graff Fara and Gillian Russell, eds., The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language.
- Ursini 2011. Space and the Vision-Language Interface: A Model-Theoretic Approach. Biolinguistics 5(3), 170-225.