Re: Questions 16, 17, 21, 24, 30, 32. 34 & 35 Challenged

From: Harnad, Stevan (
Date: Wed May 21 1997 - 22:32:08 BST

> From: Head, Phineas <>

(16) Which two of Grice's Maxims overlap with Sperber & Wilson's two
criteria for relevance?
a. quality and relation
b. ***relation and quantity
c. manner and relation
d. quantity and quality
e. quantity and manner

> If we assume Grice's Maxims to be;
> "Quantity (say no more than needed to get your information across)
> Quality (make sure the message is true)
> Relation (make sure your message is relevant)
> Manner (make it simple and understandable)"
> and S&W's Theory of Relevance to be
> "In a given context, information should be relevant.....[where]
> RELEVANCE = Implications/Effort
> it is that it is not obvious that what we
> usually want is the largest number of
> implications. What we want is the largest
> number of RELEVANT implications. This suggests
> that the Relevance Principle may be circular."
> then could not "Quantity" be akin to "Effort" and
> "Quality" akin to "Implication"? Obviously, I
> conceded that relation is important too, but
> took d. to be the 'best fit' answer.

Anything can be fitted to anything (if one fiddles with it enough!),
but the match here was stated fairly clearly in the lecture notes:

    Sperber & Wilson's theory of relevance is meant to be
    replace Grice's "maxims" about what is needed for
    sensible conversations.
    Grice had the maxims of
    Quantity (say no more than needed to get your information across)
    Quality (make sure the message is true)
    Relation (make sure your message is relevant)
    Manner (make it simple and understandable)
    [This might have been used as a definition of "kid-sib" explanations.]
    Sperber and Wilson replaced Quantity and Relation by
    their own priciples of relevance:
    In a given context, information should be relevant.
    For them, relevance is the outcome of two opposing variables: To
    decide which of two messages is more relevant to a hearer in a specific
    context, the more relevant one is the one that IMPLIES more.

    (17) What must be understood to understand irony?
    a. ***metarepresentation
    b. representation
    c. sentence meaning
    d. sense
    e. reference

> If I say "I think bull fighting is an entirely morally
> laudable past time." then surely the 'sense' in which I
> meant that (tone of voice, context, my (known) views
> etc.) conveys to the listener that I think it is
> uniformly evil, as in answer d.? Or am I overextending
> the sense of 'sense'?

Yes, you're overextending the sense of "sense". Have a look at what the
book says literally about irony and metarepresentation.

    (21) The prisoner's dilemma is an example of:
    a. theory of mind
    b. ***mutual knowledge
    c. irony
    d. deixis
    e. context

> At the risk of being the least popular member of
> py 104 since Chomsky, (actually IF I do persuade you,
> your algorithm change means all the others get it
> right too, yes?) here goes....
> I would argue that for one prisoner to even begin
> to consider what is going on in the other chap's
> mind IS the theory of mind (or at least, the theory of
> mind IN WORKING) and therefore, answer a. If
> he had none, and therefore failed to try and theorize
> on the other's predicament and likely action then he
> would rat IMMEDIATELY (the least painful option) WITHOUT
> all that cogitation.
> Indeed, this is surely a SECOND ORDER example, since
> he has to know what the OTHER villein is thinking ABOUT
> i.e.
> "Do CRIMINALS know THAT other CRIMINALS know
> and WHAT other CRIMINALS know."

Those reflections would have been fine in an essay on the topic,
but here is a passage straight out of the lecture notes again:

"Although the prisoners' dilemma is a situation in which the prisoners
DON'T get to to communicate directly, it illustrates how many levels of
"mutual knowledge" can be involved."

> Q (24)
> I'm with Sandra here...

See reply to Sandra

    (30) If you lose your hippocampi, will your memory problem be:
    a. agnosia
    b. ***episodic memory
    c. short-term memory
    d. procedural memory
    e. retrograde amnesia

> I thought HM had lost his SHORT TERM store as well
> (although he could consolidate procedures). His
> pre-lesion episodic was fine wasn't it? Also, given
> Q (35)'s answer of c. surely the hipocampi have to
> contain (in whatever way) short term memories in order
> for them to be consolidated. I put c. anyway.

"HM's injury was mostly in the hippocampus, and that is why he has
"anterograde amnesia" -- amnesia for anything new happening since his
operation -- except for the short span of his short-term memory.
Other patients can have the reverse problem: Long-term memory
intact, but a much shorter short-term memory span (e.g., able to
recall only 1 digit instead of six)."

About Question 35, see my responses to others.

> Q (32)
> Same as Sandra.

Same reply

    (34) If a patient's brain is stimulated by the surgeon and the patient
    reports a memory:
    a. it is a re-experienced episode from earlier in life?
    b. ***it is an imagined episode from earlier in life
    c. it is an effect of early trauma
    d. it is a teatment for memory
    e. none of the above

> Given b., how do we know? I don't really
> understand what is actually going on here,
> could you Kid-Sib me please?

It would help to read the book, in which it is stated explicitly that
although it had been thought that Penfield's direct stimulation
activated real episodic memories, it turned out that they were
just imaginal recombinations (as in dreams) coulped with the
FEELING that they were real memories.

> Q (35)
> With Sandra again.

Same reply.

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