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Christopher Menzel [36]Christopher P. Menzel [2]
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Profile: Christopher Menzel (Texas A&M University)
  1. Christopher Menzel (forthcoming). Problems with the Bootstrapping Objection to Theistic Activism. American Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to traditional theism, God alone exists a se, independent of all other things, and all other things exist ab alio, i.e., God both creates them and sustains them in existence. On the face of it, divine "aseity" is inconsistent with classical Platonism, i.e., the view that there are objectively existing, abstract objects. For according to the classical Platonist, at least some abstract entities are wholly uncreated, necessary beings and, hence, as such, they also exist a se. The thesis of (...)
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  2. Christopher Menzel (2014). Wide Sets, ZFCU, and the Iterative Conception. Journal of Philosophy 111 (2):57-83.
    The iterative conception of set is typically considered to provide the intuitive underpinnings for ZFCU (ZFC+Urelements). It is an easy theorem of ZFCU that all sets have a definite cardinality. But the iterative conception seems to be entirely consistent with the existence of “wide” sets, sets (of, in particular, urelements) that are larger than any cardinal. This paper diagnoses the source of the apparent disconnect here and proposes modifications of the Replacement and Powerset axioms so as to allow for the (...)
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  3. Otávio Bueno, Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta (2013). Worlds and Propositions Set Free. Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The authors provide an object-theoretic analysis of two paradoxes in the theory of possible worlds and propositions stemming from Russell and Kaplan. After laying out the paradoxes, the authors provide a brief overview of object theory and point out how syntactic restrictions that prevent object-theoretic versions of the classical paradoxes are justified philosophically. The authors then trace the origins of the Russell paradox to a problematic application of set theory in the definition of worlds. Next the authors show that an (...)
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  4. Christopher Menzel, Possible Worlds. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article includes a basic overview of possible world semantics and a relatively comprehensive overview of three central philosophical conceptions of possible worlds: Concretism (represented chiefly by Lewis), Abstractionism (represented chiefly by Plantinga), and Combinatorialism (represented chiefly by Armstrong).
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  5. Christopher Menzel & Edward N. Zalta (2013). The Fundamental Theorem of World Theory. Journal of Philosophical Logic (2-3):1-31.
    The fundamental principle of the theory of possible worlds is that a proposition p is possible if and only if there is a possible world at which p is true. In this paper we present a valid derivation of this principle from a more general theory in which possible worlds are defined rather than taken as primitive. The general theory uses a primitive modality and axiomatizes abstract objects, properties, and propositions. We then show that this general theory has very small (...)
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  6. Christopher Menzel (2012). Sets and Worlds Again. Analysis 72 (2):304-309.
    Bringsjord (1985) argues that the definition W of possible worlds as maximal possible sets of propositions is incoherent. Menzel (1986a) notes that Bringsjord’s argument depends on the Powerset axiom and that the axiom can be reasonably denied. Grim (1986) counters that W can be proved to be incoherent without Powerset. Grim was right. However, the argument he provided is deeply flawed. The purpose of this note is to detail the problems with Grim’s argument and to present a sound alternative argument (...)
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  7. Christopher Menzel (2011). Knowledge Representation, the World Wide Web, and the Evolution of Logic. Synthese 182 (2):269-295.
    It is almost universally acknowledged that first-order logic (FOL), with its clean, well-understood syntax and semantics, allows for the clear expression of philosophical arguments and ideas. Indeed, an argument or philosophical theory rendered in FOL is perhaps the cleanest example there is of “representing philosophy”. A number of prominent syntactic and semantic properties of FOL reflect metaphysical presuppositions that stem from its Fregean origins, particularly the idea of an inviolable divide between concept and object. These presuppositions, taken at face value, (...)
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  8. Christopher Menzel, Actualism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To understand the thesis of actualism, consider the following example. Imagine a race of beings — call them ‘Aliens’ — that is very different from any life-form that exists anywhere in the universe; different enough, in fact, that no actually existing thing could have been an Alien, any more than a given gorilla could have been a fruitfly. Now, even though there are no Aliens, it seems intuitively the case that there could have been such things. After all, life might (...)
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  9. Christopher Menzel (2008). Problems with the Actualist Account. In Edward Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  10. Christopher Menzel, Basic Semantic Integration. Semantic Interoperability and Integration, Proceedings of Dagstuhl Seminar 04391.
    The use of highly abstract mathematical frameworks is essential for building the sort of theoretical foundation for semantic integration needed to bring it to the level of a genuine engineering discipline. At the same time, much of the work that has been done by means of these frameworks assumes a certain amount of background knowledge in mathematics that a lot of people working in ontology, even at a fairly high theoretical level, lack. The major purpose of this short paper is (...)
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  11. Michael Grüninger & Christopher Menzel (2003). The Process Specification Language: Theory and Applications. AI Magazine 24 (3):63-74.
    The Process Specification Language (PSL) has been designed to facilitate correct and complete exchange of process information among manufacturing systems, such as scheduling, process modeling, process planning, production planning, simulation, project management, work flow, and business process reengineering. We given an overview of the theories with the PSL ontology, discuss some of the design principles for the ontology, and finish with examples of process specifications that are based on the ontology.
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  12. Christopher Menzel, Formal Ontology and Philosophical Content on the Semantic Web.
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  13. Christopher Menzel & Patrick Hayes, SCL: A Logic Standard for Semantic Integration. Semantic Integration, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 82 (2003).
    The Knowledge Interchange Format (KIF) [2] is an ASCII- based framework for use in exchanging of declarative knowledge among disparate computer systems. KIF has been widely used in the fields of knowledge engineering and artificial intelligence. Due to its growing importance, there arose a renewed push to make KIF an offi- cial international standard. A central motivation behind KIF standardization is the wide variation in quality, style, and content — of logic-based frameworks being used for knowledge representation. Variations of all (...)
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  14. Christopher Menzel & Michael Grüninger (2001). A Formal Foundation for Process Modeling. In C. Welty B. Smith (ed.), Formal Ontology and Information  Systems. ACM Press.
    Process modeling is ubiquitous in business and industry. While a great deal of effort has been devoted to the formal and philosophical investigation of processes, surprisingly little research connects this work to real world process modeling. The purpose of this paper is to begin making such a connection. To do so, we first develop a simple mathematical model of activities and their instances based upon the model theory for the NIST Process Specification Language (PSL), a simple language for describing these (...)
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  15. Christopher Menzel (2000). Review of J. Copeland (Ed.), Logic and Reality: Essays on the Legacy of Arthur Prior. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 109 (2):281-286.
  16. Christopher Menzel (2000). Logic and Reality. Philosophical Review 109 (2):281-286.
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  17. Christopher Menzel (1999). The Objective Conception of Context and its Logic. Minds and Machines 9 (1):29-56.
    In this paper, an objective conception of contexts based loosely upon situation theory is developed and formalized. Unlike subjective conceptions, which take contexts to be something like sets of beliefs, contexts on the objective conception are taken to be complex, structured pieces of the world that (in general) contain individuals, other contexts, and propositions about them. An extended first-order language for this account is developed. The language contains complex terms for propositions, and the standard predicate "ist" that expresses the relation (...)
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  18. Christopher Menzel (1998). Logical Form. In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge.
    Consider the following argument: All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal. Intuitively, what makes this a valid argument has nothing to do with Socrates, men, or mortality. Rather, each sentence in the argument exhibits a certain logical form, which, together with the forms of the other two, constitute a pattern that, of itself, guarantees the truth of the conclusion given the truth of the premises. More generally, then, the logical form of a sentence of natural (...)
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  19. Christopher Menzel (1993). Possibilism and Object Theory. Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):195 - 208.
    A central stream running through the history of philosophy has been the attempt to gather a wide range of ostensibly disparate intuitive phenomena under a small, integrated set of concepts. Edward Zalta’s work is a sustained celebration of this tradition. This paper — part of a symposium on Zalta's work — is a friendly, but critical examination of Zalta's commitment to possibilism and the roles they play in his theory.
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  20. Christopher Menzel (1993). Singular Propositions and Modal Logic. Philosophical Topics 21 (2):113-148.
    According to many actualists, propositions, singular propositions in particular, are structurally complex, that is, roughly, (i) they have, in some sense, an internal structure that corresponds rather directly to the syntactic structure of the sentences that express them, and (ii) the metaphysical components, or constituents, of that structure are the semantic values — the meanings — of the corresponding syntactic components of those sentences. Given that reference is "direct", i.e., that the meaning of a name is its denotation, an apparent (...)
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  21. Christopher Menzel (1993). The Proper Treatment of Predication in Fine-Grained Intensional Logic. Philosophical Perspectives 7:61-87.
    In this paper I rehearse two central failings of traditional possible world semantics. I then present a much more robust framework for intensional logic and semantics based liberally on the work of George Bealer in his book Quality and Concept. Certain expressive limitations of Bealer's approach, however, lead me to extend the framework in a particularly natural and useful way. This extension, in turn, brings to light associated limitations of Bealer's account of predication. In response, I develop a more general (...)
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  22. Christopher Menzel (1992). Review: Edward N. Zalta, Intensional Logic and the Metaphysics of Intentionality. [REVIEW] Journal of Symbolic Logic 57 (3):1146-1150.
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  23. Christopher Menzel (1991). Temporal Actualism and Singular Foreknowledge. Philosophical Perspectives 5:475-507.
    Suppose we believe that God created the world. Then surely we want it to be the case that he intended, in some sense at least, to create THIS world. Moreover, most theists want to hold that God didn't just guess or hope that the world would take one course or another; rather, he KNEW precisely what was going to take place in the world he planned to create. In particular, of each person P, God knew that P was to exist. (...)
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  24. Christopher Menzel (1991). The True Modal Logic. Journal of Philosophical Logic 20 (4):331 - 374.
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  25. Christopher P. Menzel (1991). ``The True Modal Logic&Quot. Journal of Philosophical Logic 20:331-374.
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  26. Jonathan L. Kvanvig & Christopher Menzel (1990). The Basic Notion of Justification. Philosophical Studies 59 (3):235-261.
    Epistemologists often offer theories of justification without paying much attention to the variety and diversity of locutions in which the notion of justification appears. For example, consider the following claims which contain some notion of justification: B is a justified belief, S's belief that p is justified, p is justified for S, S is justified in believing that p, S justifiably believes that p, S's believing p is justified, there is justification for S to believe that p, there is justification (...)
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  27. Christopher Menzel (1990). Actualism, Ontological Commitment, and Possible World Semantics. Synthese 85 (3):355 - 389.
    Actualism is the doctrine that the only things there are, that have being in any sense, are the things that actually exist. In particular, actualism eschews possibilism, the doctrine that there are merely possible objects. It is widely held that one cannot both be an actualist and at the same time take possible world semantics seriously — that is, take it as the basis for a genuine theory of truth for modal languages, or look to it for insight into the (...)
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  28. Christopher Menzel (1990). Structuralism and Conceptual Change in Mathematics. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:397 - 401.
    I address Grosholz's critique of Resnik's mathematical structuralism and suggest that although Resnik's structuralism is not without its difficulties it survives Grosholz's attacks.
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  29. Christopher Menzel (1989). On an Unsound Proof of the Existence of Possible Worlds. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 30 (4):598-603.
    In this paper, an argument of Alvin Plantinga's for the existence of abstract possible worlds is shown to be unsound. The argument is based on a principle Plantinga calls "Quasicompactness", due to its structural similarity to the notion of compactness in first-order logic. The principle is shown to be false.
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  30. Christopher Menzel (1988). Frege Numbers And The Relativity Argument. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 18 (March):87-98.
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  31. Christopher Menzel (1987). Theism, Platonism, and the Metaphysics of Mathematics. Faith and Philosophy 4 (4):365-382.
  32. Christopher Menzel (1986). A Complete, Type-Free "Second-Order" Logic and Its Philosophical Foundations. CSLI Publications.
    In this report I motivate and develop a type-free logic with predicate quantifiers within the general ontological framework of (nonextensional) properties, relations, and propositions. In Part I, I present the major ideas of the system informally and discuss its philosophical significance, especially with regard to Russell's paradox. In Part II, I prove the soundness, consistency, and completeness of the logic.
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  33. Christopher Menzel (1986). On Set Theoretic Possible Worlds. Analysis 46 (2):68 - 72.
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  34. Christopher Menzel (1986). On the Iterative Explanation of the Paradoxes. Philosophical Studies 49 (1):37 - 61.
    As the story goes, the source of the paradoxes of naive set theory lies in a conflation of two distinct conceptions of set: the so-called iterative, or mathematical, conception, and the Fregean, or logical, conception. While the latter conception is provably inconsistent, the former, as Godel notes, "has never led to any antinomy whatsoever". More important, the iterative conception explains the paradoxes by showing precisely where the Fregean conception goes wrong by enabling us to distinguish between sets and proper classes, (...)
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  35. Thomas V. Morris & Christopher Menzel (1986). Absolute Creation. American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):353 - 362.
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  36. Thomas V. Morris & Christopher P. Menzel (1986). ``Absolute Creation&Quot. American Philosophical Quarterly 23:353-362.
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  37. Christopher Menzel (1984). Cantor and the Burali-Forti Paradox. The Monist 67 (1):92-107.
    In studying the early history of mathematical logic and set theory one typically reads that Georg Cantor discovered the so-called Burali-Forti (BF) paradox sometime in 1895, and that he offered his solution to it in his famous 1899 letter to Dedekind. This account, however, leaves it something of a mystery why Cantor never discussed the paradox in his writings. Far from regarding the foundations of set theory to be shaken, he showed no apparent concern over the paradox and its implications (...)
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