- From Good to Better: Using contextual shifts to define preference in terms of monadic value
- Book title
- Johan van Benthem on Logic and Information Dynamics
- Pages (from-to)
- Cham: Springer
- ISBN (electronic)
- Outstanding contributions to logic: 2211-2758
- Volume (Serie)
- Document type
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
- Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC)
It has usually been assumed that monadic value notions can be defined in terms of dyadic value notions, whereas definitions in the opposite direction are not possible. In this paper, inspired by van Benthem’s work, it is shown that the latter direction is feasible with a method in which shifts in context have a crucial role. But although dyadic preference orderings can be defined from context-indexed monadic notions, the monadic notions cannot be regained from the preference relation that they gave rise to. Two formal languages are proposed in which reasoning about context can be represented in a fairly general way. One of these is a modal language much inspired by van Benthem’s work. Throughout the paper the focus is on relationships among the value notions “good”, “bad”, and “better”. Other interpretations like “tall” and “taller” are equally natural. It is hoped that the results of this paper can be relevant for the analysis of natural language comparatives and of vague predicates in general.
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