Paper: A Computational Theory Of Dispositions

ACL ID P84-1064
Title A Computational Theory Of Dispositions
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1984

Informally, a disposition is a proposition which is prepon- derantly, but no necessarily always, true. For example, birds can fly is a disposition, as are the propositions Swedes are blond and Spaniards are dark. An idea which underlies the theory described in this paper is that a disposition may be viewed as a proposition with implicit fuzzy quantifiers which are approximations to all and always, e.g., almost all, almost always, most, frequently, etc. For example, birds can fly may be interpreted as the result of supressing the fuzzy quantifier most in the proposi- tion most birds can fly. Similarly, young men like young women may be read as most young men like mostly young women. The process of transforming a disposition into a proposition is referred to as ezplicitation or restoration. ...