David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This paper represents a philosophical experiment inspired by the formalist philosophy of mathematics. In the formalist picture of cognition, the principal act of knowledge generation is represented as tentative postulation – as introduction of a new knowledge construct followed by exploration of the consequences that can be derived from it. Depending on the result, the new construct may be accepted as normative, rejected, modified etc. Languages and means of reasoning are generated and selected in a similar process. In the formalist picture, all kinds of “truth” are detected intra-theoretically. Some knowledge construct may be considered as “true”, if it is accepted in a particular normative knowledge system. Some knowledge construct may be considered as persistently true, if it remains invariant during the evolution of some knowledge system for a sufficiently long time. And, if you wish, you may consider some knowledge construct as absolutely true, if you do not intend abandoning it in your knowledge system. And finally, in the formalist picture, all kinds of ontologies generated by humans can be demystified by reconstructing them within the basic solipsist ontology simply as hypothetical branches of it.
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