Full text: Semantics of ownership

dual semantic theory which claims that we have a formal mode 
for determining a terms extension as well as an informal 
heuristic mode (Putnam, 1975; Armstrong et al., 1983; 
McNamara & Sternberg, 1983). The concept of ownership was 
analyzed in terms of plausible attributes or criteria. 
Empirical data were sought which might indicate which 
criteria were entailed by ownership (Miller, 1978), and to 
what degree (Watanabe, 1969; McNamara & Sternberg, 1983). 
Empirical data were acquired by two different methods: one 
by engaging the subjects in an ownership task in which their 
intensional criteria might be implicit and heuristic, and 
another by having subjects make explicit formal judgements 
as to the definitive worth of criteria in differentiating 
owhers from non-owners. 
Operationally, the goal was to obtain rank orderings 
of the relevance of various criteria of ownership by both 
the formal explicit and the informal implicit methods. 
Consistent with the exploratory nature of an initial study, 
an extensive list of plausible criteria for ownership was 
compiled in a relatively atheoretical manner. Following 
Cohen's (1954) lead, plausible criteria of amenshis were 
whatever explanations or evidence might reasonably be put 
forward to support a claim of ownership. From law, for 
example, Epstein (1979) discussed ownership by first 
possession, by right to destroy, by ownership of self. and

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