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  • Author or Editor: Csilla Rákosi x
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The paper focuses on the relation between the analytical philosophy of science and modular and holistic approaches to cognitive linguistics, respectively. The authors show that Chomsky's as well as Bierwisch & Lang's and Lakoff & Johnson's approaches make substantial use of non-demonstrative inferences which the standard view of the analytical philosophy of science evaluates as fallacies. By outlining a metatheoretical framework focusing on plausible inferences, the authors argue that the inferences the theories mentioned make use of are plausible rather than fallacious. This finding illuminates basic aspects of theory formation in linguistics and motivates the revaluation of the methodological foundations of linguistic theories.

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The present paper aims at the exemplification of the applicability of plausibility analysis to linguistics. Starting from the criticism of Robinson (1997), the paper argues for two assumptions. Firstly, as opposed to a theory of distributed systems, it is a theory of plausible reasoning that is capable of capturing basic methodological problems of theory formation in pragmatics (such as circularity, category error, the arbitrariness of interpretations of data and the objectification of the theorist's cultural and linguistic knowledge as principles of language behaviour). Secondly, the cognitive base of pragmatic principles is inferential and plausibilistic, rather than non-inferential and probabilistic.

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