Martin Stokhof turned 60 in 2010. Being the discreet and modest person that he is, there were no official academic celebrations. Yet, the regularities of decimal notation should not prevent us from showing our appreciation for his support and wisdom over the years. Thus we decided to put together a collection of papers dedicated to him. Call the result not a Festschrift, call it something else. We simply like the idea of honoring Martin as a philosopher and as a person in this way, and feel fortunate that others are happy to honor him with us as well.
      This website contains contributions by friends and colleagues, consisting both of scientific articles and more personal testimonies. It shows the diversity of Martin's work and interests. The site aims at simplicity. The beautiful artwork at the initial page is contributed by Tine Wilde. Next, there are the names of those who offered their gifts for Martin; i.e. contributions that can be accessed by clicking on a name. The form, content and language of a contribution were left entirely up to its author. Each contribution has an abstract, which ends with a link giving access to the paper. From the papers, the 'back'-function of the browser brings you back to the site.
      We are happy to have received such a diverse and interesting collection, and sincerely hope Martin enjoys it as much as we do.

Jaap van der Does, Catarina Dutilh Novaes

Albert Visser
Context Modification in Action

Wat ik in mijn semantische werk aan Martin verschuldigd ben hoeft niet gezegd te worden, het toont zich.

Ooit waren Martin en ik betrokken bij een project over Bronnen en Stromen van Informatie. Dat zou als eindproduct o.a. een boek hebben. Dat boek over Bronnen en Stromen van Informatie is er helaas nooit gekomen. Het was vast geweldig geworden. Hier is, een beetje verlaat, mijn geplande bijdrage aan dat boek.

In het artikel ontwikkel ik een variant van Dynamic Predicate Logic die ik Context Modification Logic (CML) heb gedoopt. In deze logica worden argumentplaatsen net zo behandeld als in het Latijn. We kunnen in de context van CML dynamische syntaxis maken, dat is syntaxis die iets doet. Die dynamische syntaxis maakt weer allerlei spannende dingen mogelijk, zoals het implementeren van zware en lichte haakjes. Read>>

Barbara H. Partee
For Martin - Much to Celebrate!

My very brief contribution to this special volume in honor of Martin Stokhof is an appreciative reminiscence. The central theme is that formal semantics would not be the rich field that it is today without Martin’s remarkable contributions to research, teaching, and organizing, both individually and with his great colleagues in Amsterdam. Read>>

Catarina Dutilh Novaes
Notations in Logic: Countering Belief Bias with Extended Cognition

In the preface of the Begriffsschrift, Frege seems to be claiming that human agents are prone to letting prior beliefs and tacit presuppositions interfere unnoticed in reasoning processes, and that a suitable notation can act as a counterbalance to this tendency whenever required, in particular in the process of formulating mathematical proofs. These are empirical claims which are not treated as such by Frege, but recent results in psychology and cognitive science allow for an empirical assessment of these claims. On the basis of work by Stenning, and Landy & Goldstone, I shall argue for the thesis that, viewed from the point of view of extended cognition (in Clark's sense), notations in mathematical and logical contexts incite a form of bodily engagement that relies on perceptual and motor functions. Moreover, I shall argue that it is precisely this externalization of reasoning processes that offers a counterbalance to some of our spontaneous reasoning patterns, belief bias in particular. Thus, I conclude that Frege's observations may be seen as vindicated by these empirical results. Read>>

Chantal Bax
Guiding or Drilling? On Initiation into the (Philosophical) Community

Teaching forms a recurring topic in Wittgenstein's later work; it could even be argued that, on his view, we are what our elders have taught us. Wittgenstein describes this formation process in terms like "Abrichtung" at several points. This has led commentators to claim that only blind obedience allows the Wittgensteinian subject to become a participant in social practices. I will argue against this interpretation because of its sharp contrast with Martin's approach to teaching. While there are important differences between supervising a PhD and teaching a child to speak, I will show that the latter need no more be described in terms of mere drill than the former. I will first of all explain that Wittgenstein does not take the self to be the simple product of its upbringing because this process is, on his view, only made possible by factors of a natural rather than a socio-cultural kind. With the help of Stanley Cavell, I will moreover argue that there is a way of understanding the initiation process that does justice to the fact that selfhood is not entirely produced. Hence, I will show that there is no contradiction between Wittgenstein's view on the formation of subjects and Martin's educational practice. Read>>

Edgar Andrade-Lotero
Martin Stokhof: From Formalization to Philosophical Reflexion

The following pages are written to show Prof. Dr. Martin Stokhof, who was my mentor and my supervisor throughout my studies at the ILLC, the great esteem in which I (but I believe I speak for all of his students) hold him both as a philosopher and as a person. Also, I would like to unravel in a speculative way an interesting change of mind that befell upon Martin: from hardcore formal semanticist to one of the most acute and systematic critics of formal semantics, as well as a Wittgenstein scholar on his way to worldwide recognition. Read>>

Frank Veltman
An Appendix to DPL

This paper is dedicated to both Jeroen and Martin. It might appeal to only a select group of readers. One has to be well acquainted with Fitch style natural deduction for static predicate logic, one has to be well acquainted with dynamic predicate logic, and then, most importantly, one should be curious to know if and how a Fitch style natural deduction system for static predicate logic can be made dynamic. I would not be surprised if this leaves only Jeroen, Martin, and Roel de Vrijer as interested readers, who worked on this topic when DPL was developed. Read>>

Frans Jacobs

Het lijkt me gepast om in een aan Martin Stokhof opgedragen bundel iets te schrijven wat noch bij zijn, noch bij mijn vakgebied thuishoort. Wanneer ik me aan de taalfilosofie zou wagen, zou meewarig hoofdschudden mijn deel zijn. Wanneer ik het ging hebben over ethiek, zou ik van eenkennigheid kunnen worden beticht. Maar gelukkig heeft Martin een opvatting over de filosofie die hem geenszins de gevangene laat zijn van een nauw omschreven discipline. Ik kan het dus gerust hebben over wat Robert Musil ooit te berde heeft gebracht over domheid, en daaraan enige overwegingen toevoegen. Lees>>

Fred Landman
Boolean Pragmatics

As is well-known, Lesniewsky developed mereology as an alternative to set theory. Its promise as an alternative foundational theory was reduced when Tarski showed that mereologies are identical to Boolean algebras minus the bottom element, and helped developing the theory of Boolean algebras in set theory (see Tarski 1927, 1935). After all, if that's the only difference, why quibble about a bottom element that is easily deleted and easily regained? I will argue in this paper that the bottom element is not as easily deleted in the nominal domain, and this shows up in Boolean semantics, the semantics of noun phrases. I will also argue that the bottom element is indeed easily deleted and regained in the verbal domain, which is to its advantage, because we can use it as a basis for Boolean pragmatics. The paper ends with a dedication to both Martin and Jeroen. Read>>

Göran Sundholm
Some Coherentist Strands in Wittgenstein's Tractatus

Martin Stokhof's fine book still remains the best guide to the intricate ethical aspects of Wittgenstein's difficult logico-philosophical treatise. The current piece was written circa two decades ago, but has remained unpublished. To my considerable surprise, it has not been rendered otiose by other writings, since it treats of the yet still neglected Tractrian "normative" notion of rightness (in opposition to that of pictorial truth). Accordingly it might not be out of place in a celebration of Martin's sixtieth birthday. Read>>

Jaap van der Does
Philosophical Interactions

This dialogue should give an impression of the inspiring meetings Martin and I had over the last few years. It is about early Wittgenstein's view on Frege as indicated in a few highly condensed Tractarian theses. The puzzling nature of the theses dissolves to a large extent when they are seen as resulting from incompatible views on logic and language, with Frege focused mainly on the ingredients of judgment and Wittgenstein on the essentials of picturing ways the world may be. Read>>

Jan van Eijck
A Conversation with Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein is not always easy to understand. This contribution is an attempt to make sense of his thought by luring him into a conversation with a modern day mystic. There is also a mysterious M moderating the discourse. Read>>

Jeroen Groenendijk
Erotetic languages and the inquisitive hierarchy

One of the things Martin and I have done together is to fight for the independence of questions. Indicative sentences express propositions, but interrogatives have equal rights and are entitled to their own semantic domain: questions. We conceptualized questions as partitions of logical space.

In my contribution, which is not really suitable for a Festschrift, but fortunately that's not what it is, I argue that questions and assertions need not be different kinds of things, but can be things of the same kind, while having different properties. Questions are non-informative propositions, assertions are non-inquisitive propositions. And there is room for hybrid propositions which are both informative and inquisitive.

I now defend the equal rights of informativeness and inquisitiveness as basic semantic notions. And I argue that if we just postulate that, we arrive at inquisitive semantics on purely conceptual grounds. Read>>

Johan van Benthem
The Dynamic World of Martin Stokhof

The editors of this tribute have clearly found a natural nexus where duty coincides with inclination. It is a great pleasure to write something to honour a colleague who is both respected and well liked by people of the most diverse interests and tempers; and I am happy to count myself among them. Read>>

Michiel van Lambalgen
Tractatus on Time

I often pick up Martin's World and Life as One to seek enlightenment about the Tractatus; especially Chapter 4 continues to give insight. There is however one issue that remains as baffling as ever: the young Wittgenstein's thoughts about time and timelessness. My contribution to the Festschrift is an invitation to a conversation rather than a fully worked-out analysis; but then, such an analysis would deprive me of the pleasure of exploring this topic together. Read>>

Paul Dekker
De Waarheid over de Waarheid


Alles\footnote{Alles.} wat je tegen me gezegd hebt heeft heel veel\footnote{Heel Veel.} voor me betekend\footnote{Betekend.}.

Paul dankt je.

Rob van der Sandt
The Ascetic and the Church Father: Dining with Wittgenstein and Augustine

Martin was my colleague and friend for more than 20 years and always inspired me as an authentic philosopher, oscillating between formal philosophy and conceptual ideas that may seem quite alien to the former enterprise. And in contrast to many philosophers he does not just talk but listens and asks questions. He was my direct superior at the University of Nijmegen for a couple of years. These were happy days. I did not even notice the presence of a superior (something I was not used to). But much more important was his type of philosophising inside and outside the university. Our discussions brought me back to my roots: a symposium with appropriate food. The following reflections, written in Dutch, relate to both the Wittgensteinian and the Augustinian picture on food and the way of life. I dedicate them to him. Read >>

Robert van Rooij
This Paradoxical Wittgensteinian

It is mainly because of Martin that we are all very familiar with Wittgenstein's thoughts. I have to admit: sometimes I wonder whether Wittgenstein is really worth our time. At other times, however, I find it completely obvious that we should know all about him. Sometimes Wittgenstein talks nonsensical and says what he can't say, and one wonders whether he can do so. At other times he says that all truths can be expressed, though that not all that matters is expressed. Can he really claim that? Of course, some things can only be shown, but what does that mean? Wittgenstein is a paradoxical philosopher, saying a lot of nonsensical things about contradictions, but by doing so, makes us aware of new possibilities, and allowing for change. Read>>

Tine Wilde
This is not a Festschrift

Our concepts are tied to our practices, which are in principle always open and susceptible to change. According to Wittgenstein, work on philosophy is therefore really work on oneself; on a conception of one's own, on how one sees things, and what one expects from them. One should write philosophy, says Wittgenstein, only as one writes poetry: condensed and with every word being necessary and in exactly the right place. From this, work on oneself will eventually lead to knowledge of oneself. With all these suggestions made by Wittgenstein, the question raises its head as to what the notion of oneself or the self actually means. Read>>

Access to cover-artwork in high resolution>>

Publication details

Title: "This is Not a Festschrift"
Subtitle: To/Voor Martin
Year of Publication: 2011
Editors: Jaap van der Does, Catarina Dutilh Novaes
URL: http://festschriften.illc.uva.nl/M60/