This article presents an overview of the current debate on Kant's doctrine of idealism, focussing on the metaphysical interpretations of Ameriks, Allais, Friebe, Langton, Van Cleve and Westphal, and also on Guyer's recent reassessment of Allison's latest views.
Wittgenstein’s interpreters are undivided that the method plays a central role in his philosophy. This would be no surprise if we have in mind the Tractarian dictum: “philosophy is not a body of doctrine but an activity” (4.112). After 1929, Wittgenstein’s method evolved further. In its final form, articulated in Philosophical Investigations, it was formulated as different kinds of therapies of specific philosophical problems that torment our life (§§ 133, 255, 593). In this paper we follow the changes in Wittgenstein’s (...) thinking in four subsequent phases and in three dimensions: (i) in logic and ontology; (ii) in method proper; (iii) in style. (shrink)
A surprising fact in the historiography of the Hispanic philosophy of this century is its almost total opacity towards the American philosophy, in spite of the real affinity between the central questions of American pragmatism and the topics addressed by the most relevant Hispanic thinkers of the century: Unamuno, Ortega y Gasset, d'Ors, Vaz Ferreira. In this paper that situation is studied, paying special attention to Charles S. Peirce, his personal connections with the Hispanic world, the reception of his texts (...) in Spanish, and some of the connections that lie almost hidden under the mutual ignorance which divides the two traditions. -/- . (shrink)
In this paper I examine parallels between C.S. Peirce's most mature account of signs and contemporary philosophy of language. I do this by first introducing a summary of Peirce's final account of Signs. I then use that account of signs to reconstruct Peircian answers to two puzzles of reference: The Problem of Cognitive Significance, or Frege's Puzzle; and The Same-Saying Phenomenon for Indexicals. Finally, a comparison of these Peircian answers with both Fregean and Direct Referentialist approaches to the puzzles highlights (...) interesting parallels and important differences between Peirce's final account of signs, and the concepts used in analytic philosophy of language. (shrink)
The problem of the irreversibility’s origin in thermodynamic processes occupies a distinguished place among many and lasting attempts by researchers to derive irreversibility from molecular-mechanical principles. However, this problem is still open and no universally accepted solution may be given during any course. In this paper, I shall try to show that the examining of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment may provide insight into the difficulties that emerge, looking for this origin because: (i) it is connected with the notion of irreversibility, (...) and (ii) one of its functions is that of the “reversibility objection.” In order to illustrate this point, I study Boltzmann’s approach to the problem of a molecular-mechanical interpretation of irreversibility and I show that an auxiliary assumption (the selected direction of time) is responsible for producing irreversibility. But this result is accordant with the predictions of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment: the assumptions of this kind are not dictated by molecular-mechanical principles but are separate input in the model-systems used. (shrink)
Shoemaker argues that a satisfactory resolution of Moore's paradox requires a _self-intimation thesis that posits a "constitutive relation between belief and believing that one believes." He claims that such a thesis is needed to explain the crucial fact that the assent conditions for '_P' entail those for '_I believe that P'. This paper argues for an alternative resolution of Moore's paradox that provides for an adequate explanation of the crucial fact without relying on the kind of necessary connection between first (...) and second-order beliefs that is posited by Shoemaker's self-intimation thesis. (shrink)
Some contemporary intepreters of Kant maintain that on Kant's view fulfilling duties of virtue require doing so from the motive of duty. I argue that there are interpretive and doctinal reasons for rejecting this interpretation. However, I argue that for Kant motives can be deontically relevant; one's motives can affect the deontic status of actions.
Different conceptions on reality in physics and philosophy in the 20th century have been analyzed in the article. These approaches caused the necessity to study the multitude of the worlds. The author proved that multiworld interpretation of quantum mechanics and multitude of the worlds in the Goodman's conception are opposite tendencies. Everett and his followers consider the quantum world as some universal reality whereas Goodman and his supporters do not believe in universal reality.
This paper examines the complexity and fluidity of maternal identity through an examination of narratives about "real motherhood" found in children's literature. Focusing on the multiplicity of mothers in adoption, I question standard views of maternity in which gestational, genetic and social mothering all coincide in a single person. The shortcomings of traditional notions of motherhood are overcome by developing a fluid and inclusive conception of maternal reality as authored by a child's own perceptions.
Intensive professional testing of children with disabilities is becoming increasingly prominent within the field of children’s rehabilitation. In this paper we question the high quality ascribed to standardized assessment procedures. We explore testing practices using a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach analyzing data from interviews and participant observations among 20 children with disabilities and their parents. All the participating children have extensive experience from being tested. This study reveals that the practices of testing have certain limitations when confronted with the lived experience of (...) those who are being tested. Testing seems to transmit the experts’ view of what is important, correct and admirable, and the way in which an individual child fulfills such requirements and fits in with the predetermined standard. Regular testing may result in insecurity on the part of the tested individual, and possibly to a lack of confidence in their body and the way it functions. For the individual being tested the meaning of testing is primarily related to passing or not passing the test requirements. Given the meaning of testing, children with disabilities may experience repeated testing as an ordeal that they are expected to put up with. By illuminating the experiences of the ones exposed to testing, this paper offers new insight for professionals to gauge more accurately the quality of contemporary testing practice. (shrink)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder, known to cause a large number of motor and non-motor limitations. Research related to factors that affect motor control and learning in people with PD is still relatively limited. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of different frequencies (100% versus 66%) of knowledge of results (KR) on the learning of a motor skill with spatial demand in participants with PD. Twenty individuals with PD were randomly assigned to one (...) of two groups. The 100% group received KR after each trial, while the 66% group received KR on two thirds of the trials. A linear positioning task with a spatial target was used. Participants carried out the task with the dominant hand while being blindfolded. In the acquisition and retention phases, the goal was to position the cursor at a distance of 60cm from the starting point. The hypothesis was that participants with PD, who practiced with a reduced KR frequency, would demonstrate more effective learning than those who practiced with a 100% KR frequency, similar to previous findings with adults without neurological disorders. The results showed differences between the groups in the retention phase (without KR): The 66% KR group was more accurate and less variable in their performance than the 100% KR group. Thus, reducing the KR frequency can enhance motor learning in persons with PD, similar to what has previously been found for unimpaired participants. (shrink)
Recently, the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has been shown to be critically involved in decision-making, action selection, and motor control. Here we investigate the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the STN on reward-based decision-learning in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). We determined computational measures of outcome evaluation and reward prediction from PD patients who performed a probabilistic reward-based decision-learning task. In previous work, these measures covaried with activation in the nucleus caudatus (outcome evaluation during the early phases of (...) learning) and the putamen (reward prediction during later phases of learning). We observed that stimulation of the STN motor regions in PD patients served to improve reward-based decision-learning, probably through its effect on activity in frontostriatal motor loops (prominently involving the putamen and, hence, reward prediction). In a subset of relatively younger patients with relatively shorter disease duration, the effects of DBS appeared to spread to more cognitive regions of the STN, benefitting loops that connect the caudate to various prefrontal areas important for outcome evaluation. These results highlight positive effects of STN stimulation on cognitive functions that may benefit PD patients in daily-life association-learning situations. (shrink)
Where has the Western attraction to the study and practice of shamanic techniques brought us? Where might it take us? In what ways have our Western biases and philosophical underpinnings influenced and changed how shamanism is practiced, both in the West and in the traditional cultures out of which they emerged? Is it time to stop using the umbrella term “shamanism” to refer to such diverse cross-cultural practices? What are our responsibilities, both as researchers and as spiritual seekers? In this (...) conversation, researcher-authors Stephan Beyer, Stanley Krippner, and Hillary S. Webb discuss their work in field and consider some of the ramifications of the Western world's intellectual and spiritual fascination with shamanic practices. Special attention is paid to the language used to describe these techniques and their practitioners, the developing relationship between researchers and cultural participants, and the ethical implications of merging what are often very distinct worldviews. (shrink)
We shall evaluate two strategies for motivating the view that knowledge is the norm of belief. The first draws on observations concerning belief's aim and the parallels between belief and assertion. The second appeals to observations concerning Moore's Paradox. Neither of these strategies gives us good reason to accept the knowledge account. The considerations offered in support of this account motivate only the weaker account on which truth is the fundamental norm of belief.
In this paper I argue that Plato's Apology is the principal text on which Kierkegaard relies in arguing for the idea that Socrates is fundamentally an ironist. After providing an overview of the structure of this argument, I then consider Kierkegaard's more general discussion of irony, unpacking the distinction he draws between irony as a figure of speech and irony as a standpoint. I conclude by examining Kierkegaard's claim that the Apology itself is “splendidly suited for obtaining a clear concept (...) of Socrates' ironic activity,” considering in particular Kierkegaard's discussion of Socrates' remarks about death and his use of Friedrich Ast's commentary to help his readers to discover the irony that he contends runs throughout Socrates' defense speech. (shrink)
Hume's Dictum (HD) says, roughly and typically, that there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed, entities. HD plays an influential role in metaphysical debate, both in constructing theories and in assessing them. One should ask of such an influential thesis: why believe it? Proponents do not accept Hume's arguments for his dictum, nor do they provide their own; however, some have suggested either that HD is analytic or that it is synthetic a priori (that is: motivated by (...) intuitions we have no good reason to question). Here I explore whether belief in HD is directly justified on either grounds. I motivate and present more formal characterizations of HD; I show that there are good prima facie cases to be made for HD's being analytic and for its being synthetic a priori; I argue that each of the prima facie cases fails, some things considered. I close by offering two suggestions for how belief in HD might be indirectly justified on argumentative grounds. (shrink)
An interpretation of Wittgenstein’s much criticized remarks on Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem is provided in the light of paraconsistent arithmetic: in taking Gödel’s proof as a paradoxical derivation, Wittgenstein was drawing the consequences of his deliberate rejection of the standard distinction between theory and metatheory. The reasoning behind the proof of the truth of the Gödel sentence is then performed within the formal system itself, which turns out to be inconsistent. It is shown that the features of paraconsistent arithmetics match (...) with some intuitions underlying Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics, such as its strict finitism and the insistence on the decidability of any mathematical question. (shrink)
Philosophers have responded to McTaggart’s famous argument for the unreality of time in a variety of ways. Some of those responses are not easy to evaluate, since they involve, for example, sometimes murky questions concerning whether a certain infinite regress is or is not vicious. In this paper I set out a response that has not, I think, been advanced by any other author, and which, if successful, is absolutely clear-cut. The basic idea is simply that a tensed approach to (...) time can avoid McTaggart’s contradiction, and can also avoid any regress, vicious or otherwise, by specifying the times at which events have different tensed properties in a tenseless fashion — namely, by using dates. This answer to McTaggart’s argument is, however, open to four important objections. The first objection is that my answer to the second part of McTaggart’s argument is incompatible with something that McTaggart takes himself to have proved in the first part of his argument — the claim, namely, that “there can be no change unless some propositions are sometimes true and sometimes false.” The second objection is that the sentences that I claim can be used to specify when an event has a given tensed property do not in fact do so, since they turn out to be purely tenseless sentences. The third objection is that the sentences in question make use of tenseless verbs, and that it is not in fact possible to make sense of such verbs. The fourth and final objection is that it is not really possible to specify, in tenseless terms, when an event has a given tensed property, since dates have to be analyzed using the relation of temporal priority, and that relation, in turn, must be analyzed in terms of the tensed properties of pastness, presentness and futurity, so that the purportedly tenseless specification is implicitly tensed. I argue, however, that none of these four objections can be sustained. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revitalised interest in non-classical solutions to the semantic paradoxes. In this paper I show that a number of logics are susceptible to a strengthened version of Curry's paradox. This can be adapted to provide a proof theoretic analysis of the omega-inconsistency in Lukasiewicz's continuum valued logic, allowing us to better evaluate which logics are suitable for a naïve truth theory. On this basis I identify two natural subsystems of Lukasiewicz logic which individually, but (...) not jointly, lack the problematic feature. (shrink)
Among recent objections to Pascal’s Wager, two are especially compelling. The first is that decision theory, and specifically the requirement of maximizing expected utility, is incompatible with infinite utility values. The second is that even if infinite utility values are admitted, the argument of the Wager is invalid provided that we allow mixed strategies. Furthermore, Hájek (Philosophical Review 112, 2003) has shown that reformulations of Pascal’s Wager that address these criticisms inevitably lead to arguments that are philosophically unsatisfying and historically (...) unfaithful. Both the objections and Hájek’s philosophical worries disappear, however, if we represent our preferences using relative utilities (generalized utility ratios) rather than a one-place utility function. Relative utilities provide a conservative way to make sense of infinite value that preserves the familiar equation of rationality with the maximization of expected utility. They also provide a means of investigating a broader class of problems related to the Wager. (shrink)
In his Beweisgrund (1762), Kant presents a sketch of "the only possible basis" for a proof of God's existence. In this essay, I attempt to present that proof as a valid and sound argument for the existence of God.
It is argued that kripke's objections to the identity theory can be met by token theories. the crucial point is that the existence of the required qualitative counterparts is consistent with the absence of psychophysical correlations.
The American novelist Walker Percy (1916-90) considered himself a "thief of Peirce", because he found in the views of C.S. Peirce, the founder of pragmatism, an alternative approach to prevailing reductionist theories in order to understand what we human beings are and what the peculiar nature of our linguistic activity is. -/- This paper describes, quoting widely from Percy, how abduction is the spontaneous activity of our reason by which we couple meanings and experience in our linguistic expressions. This coupling (...) of personal creativity and cultural tradition makes it possible to bridge the gaps between persons and cultures. (shrink)
The cyclical theory f time, which is better known under the name of the 'theory of eternal recurrence,' is usually associated with certain ancient thinkers--in particular, Pythagoreans and Stoics. The most famous among those who have tried to revive the theory in the modern era is unquestionably Friedrich Nietzsche. It is less well known that the theory was defended also by C.S. Peirce and, as late as 1927, by the French historian of science, Abel Rey. The contemporary discussion of the (...) problem of the direction of time has a direct bearing on the problem of eternal recurrence. The primary purpose of this paper is to evaluate critically the theory itself and then to show how this critical analysis can be applied to Peirce's own version of this theory. (shrink)
The Gödelian symphony -- Foundations and paradoxes -- This sentence is false -- The liar and Gödel -- Language and metalanguage -- The axiomatic method or how to get the non-obvious out of the obvious -- Peano's axioms -- And the unsatisfied logicists, Frege and Russell -- Bits of set theory -- The abstraction principle -- Bytes of set theory -- Properties, relations, functions, that is, sets again -- Calculating, computing, enumerating, that is, the notion of algorithm -- Taking numbers (...) as sets of sets -- It's raining paradoxes -- Cantor's diagonal argument -- Self-reference and paradoxes -- Hilbert -- Strings of symbols -- In mathematics there is no ignorabimus -- Gödel on stage -- Our first encounter with the incompleteness theorem -- And some provisos -- Gödelization, or say it with numbers! -- TNT -- The arithmetical axioms of tnt and the standard model N -- The fundamental property of formal systems -- The Gödel numbering -- And the arithmetization of syntax -- Bits of recursive arithmetic -- Making algorithms precise -- Bits of recursion theory -- Church's thesis -- The recursiveness of predicates, sets, properties, and relations -- And how it is represented in typographical number theory -- Introspection and representation -- The representability of properties, relations, and functions -- And the Gödelian loop -- I am not provable -- Proof pairs -- The property of being a theorem of TNI (is not recursive!) -- Arithmetizing substitution -- How can a TNT sentence refer to itself? -- Fixed point -- Consistency and omega-consistency -- Proving G1 -- Rosser's proof -- The unprovability of consistency and the immediate consequences of G1 and -- G2 -- Technical interlude -- Immediate consequences of G1 and G2 -- Undecidable1 and undecidable 2 -- Essential incompleteness, or the syndicate of mathematicians -- Robinson arithmetic -- How general are Gödel's results? -- Bits of turing machine -- G1 and G2 in general -- Unexpected fish in the formal net -- Supernatural numbers -- The culpability of the induction scheme -- Bits of truth (not too much of it, though) -- The world after Gödel -- Bourgeois mathematicians! : the postmodern interpretations -- What is postmodernism? -- From Gödel to Lenin -- Is biblical proof decidable? -- Speaking of the totality -- Bourgeois teachers! -- (un)interesting bifurcations -- A footnote to Plato -- Explorers in the realm of numbers -- The essence of a life -- The philosophical prejudices of our times -- From Gödel to Tarski -- Human, too human -- Mathematical faith -- I'm not crazy! -- Qualified doubts -- From gentzen to the dialectica interpretation -- Mathematicians are people of faith -- Mind versus computer : Gödel and artificial intelligence -- Is mind (just) a program? -- Seeing the truth and going outside the system -- The basic mistake -- In the haze of the transfinite -- Know thyself : Socrates and the inexhaustibility of mathematics -- Gödel versus wittgenstein and the paraconsistent interpretation -- When geniuses meet -- The implausible Wittgenstein -- There is no metamathematics -- Proof and prose -- The single argument -- But how can arithmetic be inconsistent? -- The costs and benefits of making Wittgenstein plausible. (shrink)
Throughout history, many people, including Mother Teresa, have been troubled by God’s silence. In spite of the conflicting interpretations of the Bible, God has remained silent. What are the implications of divine silence for a meaning of life? Is there a good reason that explains God’s silence? If God created humanity to fulfill a purpose, then God would have clarified his purpose and our role by now, as I will argue. To help God carry out his purpose, we would need (...) to have a clear understanding of our role. Thus, by failing to clarify our role, God would be undermining himself in achieving the purpose he conceived, which would not make sense. Because God, if he exists, would not engage in this self-defeating behavior, this suggests that humanity was not created by God to fulfill a purpose. (shrink)
Many contemporary philosophers accept Hume's Dictum (HD), according to which there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed entities. Tacit in Lewis's work is a potential motivation for HD, according to which one should accept HD as presupposed by the best account of the range of metaphysical possibilities---namely, a combinatorial account, applied to spatiotemporal fundamentalia. Here I elucidate and assess this Ludovician motivation for HD. After refining HD and surveying its key, recurrent role in Lewis’s work, I present (...) Lewis’s appeal to HD as providing a broadly axiomatic generating basis for the space of metaphysical modality, and canvas the prima facie advantages of the resulting combinatorial principle---HD (L-combinatorialism)---as being principled, extensionally adequate and modally reductive. Most criticisms of Lewis's combinatorialism have targeted seeming ways in which the theory overgenerates the desired space; I rather argue that HD (L-combinatorialism) seriously undergenerates the desired space in three different ways. For each way I argue that available means of overcoming the undergeneration either fail to close the gap, undermine the claim that HD (L-combinatorialism) is a principled generator of metaphysical modal space, undermine the reductive status of Lewis's combinatorialism, or call into question the truth of HD. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to derive a perfectly general criterion of identity through time from Locke’s Principle, which says that two things of the same kind cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In this way, the paper pursues a suggestion made by Peter F. Strawson almost thirty years ago in an article called ‘Entity and Identity’. The reason why the potential of this suggestion has so far remained unrealized is twofold: firstly, the suggestion was never (...) properly developed by Strawson, and secondly, it seemed vulnerable to an objection that he himself raised against it. Consequently, the paper’s aim is to further develop Strawson’s suggestion, and to show that the result is not vulnerable to the objection that seemed fatal to its underdeveloped predecessor. In addition, the paper aims to defend Locke’s Principle against alleged counterexamples such as those produced by Leibniz, Fine and Hughes. (shrink)
The following essay reconsiders the ontological and logical issues around Frege’s Basic Law (V). If focuses less on Russell’s Paradox, as most treatments of Frege’s Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (GGA)1 do, but rather on the relation between Frege’s Basic Law (V) and Cantor’s Theorem (CT). So for the most part the inconsistency of Naïve Comprehension (in the context of standard Second Order Logic) will not concern us, but rather the ontological issues central to the conflict between (BLV) and (CT). These ontological (...) issues are interesting in their own right. And if and only if in case ontological considerations make a strong case for something like (BLV) we have to trouble us with inconsistency and paraconsistency. These ontological issues also lead to a renewed methodological reflection what to assume or recognize as an axiom. (shrink)
In this article I argue that two received accounts of belief and assertion cannot both be correct, because they entail mutually contradictory claims about Moore’s Paradox. The two accounts in question are, first, the Action Theory of Belief (ATB), the functionalist view that belief must be manifested in dispositions to act, and second, the Belief Account of Assertion (BAA), the Gricean view that an asserter must present himself as believing what he asserts. It is generally accepted also that Moorean assertions (...) are absurd, and that BAA explains why they are. I shall argue that ATB implies that some Moorean assertions are, in some fairly ordinary contexts, well justified. Thus BAA and ATB are mutually inconsistent. In the concluding section I explore three possible ways of responding to the dilemma, and what implications they have for the nature of the constitutive relationships linking belief, assent and behavioural dispositions. (shrink)
Gottlob Frege maintained that two name-containing identity sentences, represented schematically as a=a and a=b,can both be true in virtue of the same object’s self-identity but nonetheless, puzzlingly, differ in their epistemic profiles. Frege eventually resolved his puzzlement by locating the source of the purported epistemic difference between the identity sentences in a difference in the Sinne, or senses, expressed by the names that the sentences contain. -/- Thus, Frege portrayed himself as describing a puzzle that can be posed prior to (...) and independently of any particular theoretical position regarding names, and then resolving that puzzle with his theory of Sinn and Bedeutung. In this paper, I suggest that Frege’s presentation is problematic. If attempt is made to characterize the epistemic status of true identity sentences without appeal to Frege’s theoretical commitments, then what initially seemed puzzling largely dissolves. It turns out that, in order to generate puzzlement, Frege must invoke the theoretical account that he uses the puzzle to establish the purported necessity of. (shrink)
Necessity holds that, if a proposition A supports another B, then it must support B. John Greco contends that one can resolve Hume's Problem of Induction only if she rejects Necessity in favor of reliabilism. If Greco's contention is correct, we would have good reason to reject Necessity and endorse reliabilism about inferential justification. Unfortunately, Greco's contention is mistaken. I argue that there is a plausible reply to Hume's Problem that both endorses Necessity and is at least as good as (...) Greco's alternative. Hence, Greco provides a good reason for neither rejecting Necessity nor endorsing inferential reliabilism. (shrink)
In a recent paper S. McCall adds another link to a chain of attempts to enlist Gödel’s incompleteness result as an argument for the thesis that human reasoning cannot be construed as being carried out by a computer.1 McCall’s paper is undermined by a technical oversight. My concern however is not with the technical point. The argument from Gödel’s result to the no-computer thesis can be made without following McCall’s route; it is then straighter and more forceful. Yet the argument (...) fails in an interesting and revealing way. And it leaves a remainder: if some computer does in fact simulate all our mathematical reasoning, then, in principle, we cannot fully grasp how it works. Gödel’s result also points out a certain essential limitation of self-reflection. The resulting picture parallels, not accidentally, Davidson’s view of psychology, as a science that in principle must remain “imprecise”, not fully spelt out. What is intended here by “fully grasp”, and how all this is related to self-reflection, will become clear at the end of this comment. (shrink)
This paper argues that Duhem’s thesis does not decisively refute a corroboration-based account of scientific methodology (or ‘falsificationism’), but instead that auxiliary hypotheses are themselves subject to measurements of corroboration which can be used to inform practice. It argues that a corroboration-based account is equal to the popular Bayesian alternative, which has received much more recent attention, in this respect.
Many still seem confident that the kind of semantic theory Putnam once proposed for natural kind terms is right. This paper seeks to show that this confidence is misplaced because the general idea underlying the theory is incoherent. Consequently, the theory must be rejected prior to any consideration of its epistemological, ontological or metaphysical acceptability. Part I sets the stage by showing that falsehoods, indeed absurdities, follow from the theory when one deliberately suspends certain devices Putnam built into it , (...) presumably in order to block such entailments. Part II then raises the decisive issue of at what cost these devices do the job they need to do. It argues that - apart from possessing no other motivation than their capacity to block the consequences derived in Part I - they only fulfil this blocking function if they render the theory unable to deal with fiction and related 'make-believe' activities. Part III indicates the affinity Putnam's account has with the classically 'denotative' view of meaning, and thus how its weaknesses may be seen as a variant of the classical weakness of 'denotative' approaches. It concludes that the theory is a conceptual muddle. (shrink)
I show how the 'innersense' (quasiperceptual) view of introspection can be defended against Shoemaker's influential 'argument from selfblindness'. If introspection and perception are analogous, the relationship between beliefs and introspective knowledge of them is merely contingent. Shoemaker argues that this implies the possibility that agents could be selfblind, i.e., could lack any introspective awareness of their own mental states. By invoking Moore's paradox, he rejects this possibility. But because Shoemaker's discussion conflates introspective awareness and selfknowledge, he cannot establish his conclusion. (...) There is thirdperson evidence available to the selfblind which Shoemaker ignores, and it can account for the considerations from Moore's paradox that he raises. (shrink)
The Confessions recounts Augustine's successful search for God. But Augustine worries that one cannot search for God if one does not already know God. That version of the paradox of <span class='Hi'>inquiry</span> dominates and structures Confessions 1–10. I draw connections between the dramatic opening lines of book 1 and the climactic discussion in book 10.26–38 and argue that the latter discussion contains Augustine's resolution of the paradox of <span class='Hi'>inquiry</span> as it applies to the special case of searching for God. (...) I claim that he develops a model, relying on the universal human experience of joy and truth, that identifies a starting point that (1) is common to all human beings, (2) is sufficient for guiding a successful search for God, and (3) avoids commitment to recollection of experiences prior to birth. The model is crucial to Augustine's rejection of traditional Platonist views about recollection. (shrink)
Church's Thesis asserts that the only numeric functions that can be calculated by effective means are the recursive ones, which are the same, extensionally, as the Turing-computable numeric functions. The Abstract State Machine Theorem states that every classical algorithm is behaviorally equivalent to an abstract state machine. This theorem presupposes three natural postulates about algorithmic computation. Here, we show that augmenting those postulates with an additional requirement regarding basic operations gives a natural axiomatization of computability and a proof of Church's (...) Thesis, as Gödel and others suggested may be possible. In a similar way, but with a different set of basic operations, one can prove Turing's Thesis, characterizing the effective string functions, and--in particular--the effectively-computable functions on string representations of numbers. (shrink)
Kurt Godel, the greatest logician of our time, startled the world of mathematics in 1931 with his Theorem of Undecidability, which showed that some statements in mathematics are inherently "undecidable." His work on the completeness of logic, the incompleteness of number theory, and the consistency of the axiom of choice and the continuum theory brought him further worldwide fame. In this introductory volume, Raymond Smullyan, himself a well-known logician, guides the reader through the fascinating world of Godel's incompleteness theorems. The (...) level of presentation is suitable for anyone with a basic acquaintance with mathematical logic. As a clear, concise introduction to a difficult but essential subject, the book will appeal to mathematicians, philosophers, and computer scientists. (shrink)
This paper argues that Pascal's formulation of his famous wager argument licenses an inference about God's nature that ultimately vitiates the claim that wagering for God is in one's rational self-interest. In particular, it is argued that if we accept Pascal's premises, then we can infer that the god for whom Pascal encourages us to wager is irrational. But if God is irrational, then the prudentially rational course of action is to refrain from wagering for him.
Church's thesis asserts that a number-theoretic function is intuitively computable if and only if it is recursive. A related thesis asserts that Turing's work yields a conceptual analysis of the intuitive notion of numerical computability. I endorse Church's thesis, but I argue against the related thesis. I argue that purported conceptual analyses based upon Turing's work involve a subtle but persistent circularity. Turing machines manipulate syntactic entities. To specify which number-theoretic function a Turing machine computes, we must correlate these syntactic (...) entities with numbers. I argue that, in providing this correlation, we must demand that the correlation itself be computable. Otherwise, the Turing machine will compute uncomputable functions. But if we presuppose the intuitive notion of a computable relation between syntactic entities and numbers, then our analysis of computability is circular. (shrink)
A variation of Fitch’s paradox is given, where no special rules of inference are assumed, only axioms. These axioms follow from the familiar assumptions which involve rules of inference. We show (by constructing a model) that by allowing that possibly the knower doesn’t know his own soundness (while still requiring he be sound), Fitch’s paradox is avoided. Provided one is willing to admit that sound knowers may be ignorant of their own soundness, this might offer a way out of the (...) paradox. (shrink)
Gödel’s philosophical rationalism includes a program for “developing philosophy as an exact science.” Gödel believes that Husserl’s phenomenology is essential for the realization of this program. In this article, by analyzing Gödel’s philosophy of idealism, conceptual realism, and his concept of “abstract intuition,” based on clues from Gödel’s manuscripts, I try to investigate the reasons why Gödel is strongly interested in Husserl’s phenomenology and why his program for an exact philosophy is unfinished. One of the topics that has attracted much (...) attention recently is the development of Gödel’s philosophical thoughts and its connection with other philosophical ideas. For instance, some scholars are searching for the possible connections between Gödel’s philosophy and Husserl’s phenomenology and examining if there is any solid evidence of Husserl’s influence on Gödel from Gödel’s works (Tieszen, Bull Symbolic Logic 4(2):181–203, 1998; Huaser, Bull Symbolic Logic 12(4):529–588, 2006). Why is Gödel’ s interested in Husserl? How should this turn to Husserl be interpreted? Is it a dismissal of Leibnizian philosophy, or a different way to achieve similar goals? Way did Gödel turn specifically to Husserl’s transcendental idealism? (Van Atten and Kennedy, Bull Symbolic Logic 9(4):425–476, 2003) I believe, the reason is that Gödel has a valuable program for “developing philosophy as an exact science” and he believes that Husserl’s phenomenology is relevant to the realization of this program. So far there are no sufficient evidence to show that there is a direct inheritance relation between Gödel’s and Husserl’s thoughts. However, from the clues in Gödel’s idealistic philosophy, conceptual realism, and his concept of “abstract intuition,” we can perhaps explore some similarities between his thoughts and Husserl’s thoughts, and analyze the reason why Gödel is interested in Husserl’s phenomenology and why his program for an exact philosophy is unfinished. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
According to David Charles, in the Meno Socrates fleetingly distinguishes the signification from the essence question, but, in the end, he conflates them. Doing so, Charles thinks, both leads to Meno's paradox and prevents Socrates from answering it satisfactorily. I argue that Socrates doesn't conflate the two questions, and that his reply to Meno's paradox is more satisfactory than Charles allows.