Moral adjectives, judge-dependency and holistic multidimensionality

Andrés Soria Ruiz, Federico L.G. Faroldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In recent experimental work, the spectrum-like nature of the phenomenon of ordering subjectivity has been accounted for by recourse to the distinction, within the class of subjective adjectives, between multi-dimensional and judge-dependent ones. One way to cash out judge-dependency is in terms of some kind of experiencer-sensitivity. In this paper, we argue that this approach is insufficient. Applying Solt’s ([2018]. “Multidimensionality, Subjectivity and Scales: Experimental Evidence.” In The Semantics of Gradability, Vagueness, and Scale Structure, edited by E. Castroviejo, L. McNally, and G. W. Sassoon, 59–91. Springer) experimental paradigm to moral adjectives (many of which are not experiential) suggests that, within the class of judge-dependent adjectives, one must draw a further distinction between (at least) experiential and evaluative adjectives. This opens up the question of what, if anything, characterizes judge-dependency. We propose that judge-dependency is characterized by the notion of holistic multi-dimensionality: a predicate is holistically multidimensional just in case its denotation is composed by various dimensions whose contribution is inseparable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

Keywords

  • gradability
  • Judge-dependency
  • multidimensional adjectives
  • subjectivity

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