The authors first address two paradoxes in the theory of possible worlds and propositions stemming from Russell and Kaplan and show that these paradoxes don't affect the object-theoretic analysis of worlds and propositions. However, Kit Fine has formulated an object theoretic version of Kaplan's paradox that threatens to show that object theory is, after all, no better off. The initial, most straightforward version of the paradox is blocked by theoretical restrictions specific to object theory, but the paradox can be revised (...) so as to comport with these restrictions by redefining one of the terms in an essential premise. The authors then argue that the premise that results given the new definition is entirely implausible if propositions are understood, as they are in object theory, to be fine-grained intensional entities rather than sets of possible worlds. Object theory, therefore, can block the revised paradox as well. (shrink)
(DRAFT) We investigate the form of mathematical structuralism that acknowledges the existence of structures and their distinctive structural elements. This form of structuralism has been subject to recent criticisms, and our view is that the problems raised stem from the lack of proper, mathematics-free theoretical foundations. We attempt to provide such foundations and show that our foundations have consequences, in the form of theorems, that provide answers to the main questions and problems that have arisen in connection with this form (...) of structuralismn. Our solutions to the problems of structuralism are not developed piecemeal but rather justiﬁed by reference to a principled position. (shrink)
These lecture notes were composed while teaching a class at Stanford and studying the work of Brian Chellas (Modal Logic: An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), Robert Goldblatt (Logics of Time and Computation, Stanford: CSLI, 1987), George Hughes and Max Cresswell (An Introduction to Modal Logic, London: Methuen, 1968; A Companion to Modal Logic, London: Methuen, 1984), and E. J. Lemmon (An Introduction to Modal Logic, Oxford: Blackwell, 1977). The Chellas text inﬂuenced me the most, though the order of (...) presentation is inspired more by Goldblatt.2 My goal was to write a text for dedicated undergraduates with no previous experience in modal logic. The text had to meet the following desiderata: (1) the level of diﬃculty should depend on how much the student tries to prove on his or her own—it should be an easy text for those who look up all the proofs in the appendix, yet more diﬃcult for those who try to prove everything themselves; (2) philosophers (i.e., colleagues) with a basic training in logic should be able to work through the text on their own; (3) graduate students should ﬁnd it useful in preparing for a graduate course in modal logic; (4) the text should prepare people for reading advanced texts in modal logic, such as Goldblatt, Chellas, Hughes and Cresswell, and van Benthem, and in particular, it should help the student to see what motivated the choices in these texts; (5) it should link the two conceptions of logic, namely, the conception of a logic as an axiom system (in which the set of theorems is constructed from the bottom up through proof sequences) and the conception of a logic as a set containing initial ‘axioms’ and closed under ‘rules of inference’ (in which the set of theorems is constructed from the top down, by carving out the logic from the set of all formulas as the smallest set closed under the rules); ﬁnally, (6) the pace for the presentation of the completeness theorems should be moderate—the text should be intermediate between Goldblatt and Chellas in this regard (in Goldblatt, the completeness proofs come too quickly for the undergraduate, whereas in Chellas, too many unrelated.... (shrink)
The fundamental principle of the theory of possible worlds is that a proposition p is possible if and only 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 models (...) and hence that its ontological commitments — and, therefore, those of the fundamental principle of world theory — are minimal. (shrink)
A formula is a contingent logical truth when it is true in every model M but, for some model M , false at some world of M . We argue that there are such truths, given the logic of actuality. Our argument turns on defending Tarski’s definition of truth and logical truth, extended so as to apply to modal languages with an actuality operator. We argue that this extension is the philosophically proper account of validity. We counter recent arguments to (...) the contrary presented in Hanson’s ‘Actuality, Necessity, and Logical Truth’ (Philos Stud 130:437–459, 2006 ). (shrink)
The authors investigated the ontological argument computationally. The premises and conclusion of the argument are represented in the syntax understood by the automated reasoning engine PROVER9. Using the logic of definite descriptions, the authors developed a valid representation of the argument that required three non-logical premises. PROVER9, however, discovered a simpler valid argument for God's existence from a single non-logical premise. Reducing the argument to one non-logical premise brings the investigation of the soundness of the argument into better focus. Also, (...) the simpler representation of the argument brings out clearly how the ontological argument constitutes an early example of a ?diagonal argument? and, moreover, one used to establish a positive conclusion rather than a paradox. (shrink)
Though Frege was interested primarily in reducing mathematics to logic, he succeeded in reducing an important part of logic to mathematics by defining relations in terms of functions. By contrast, Whitehead & Russell reduced an important part of mathematics to logic by defining functions in terms of relations (using the definite description operator). We argue that there is a reason to prefer Whitehead & Russell's reduction of functions to relations over Frege's reduction of relations to functions. There is an interesting (...) system having a logic that can be properly characterized in relational but not in functional type theory. This shows that relational type theory is more general than functional type theory. The simplification offered by Church in his functional type theory is an over-simplification: one can't assimilate predication to functional application.<br>. (shrink)
In this article, we canvass a few of the interesting topics that philosophers can pursue as part of the simultaneous study of logic and metaphysics. To keep the discussion to a manageable length, we limit our survey to deductive, as opposed to inductive, logic. Though most of this article will focus on the ways in which logic can be deployed in the study of metaphysics, we begin with a few remarks about how metaphysics might be needed to understand what logic (...) is. When we ask the question, “What is logic and what is its subject matter?”, there is no obvious answer. There have been so many di erent kinds of studies that have gone by the name ‘logic’ that it is di cult to give an answer that applies to them all. But there are some basic commonalities. Most philosophers would agree that logic presupposes (1) the existence of a language for expressing thoughts or meanings, (2) certain analytic connections between the thoughts that ground and legitimize the inferential relations among them, and (3) that the analytic connections and inferential relations can be studied systematically by investigating (often formally) the logical words and sentences used to express the thoughts so connected and related. For example, analytic connections give rise to various patterns of inferences expressed by certain logical words and phrases.. (shrink)
Karen Bennett has recently argued that the views articulated by Linsky and Zalta (Philos Perspect 8:431–458, 1994) and (Philos Stud 84:283–294, 1996) and Plantinga (The nature of necessity, 1974) are not consistent with the thesis of actualism, according to which everything is actual. We present and critique her arguments. We first investigate the conceptual framework she develops to interpret the target theories. As part of this effort, we question her definition of ‘proxy actualism’. We then discuss her main arguments that (...) the theories carry a commitment to actual entities that do not exist. We end by considering and addressing a worry that might have been the driving force behind Bennett’s claim that Linsky and Zalta’s view is not fully actualistic. (shrink)
In this entry, Frege's logic is introduced and described in some detail. It is shown how the Dedekind-Peano axioms for number theory can be derived from a consistent fragment of Frege's logic, with Hume's Principle replacing Basic Law V.
In this paper, the authors describe their initial investigations in computational metaphysics. Our method is to implement axiomatic metaphysics in an automated reasoning system. In this paper, we describe what we have discovered when the theory of abstract objects is implemented in prover9 (a first-order automated reasoning system which is the successor to otter). After reviewing the second-order, axiomatic theory of abstract objects, we show (1) how to represent a fragment of that theory in prover9’s first-order syntax, and (2) how (...) prover9 then finds proofs of interesting theorems of metaphysics, such as that every possible world is maximal. We conclude the paper by discussing some issues for further research. (shrink)
In this paper, the authors show that there is a reading of St. Anselm’s ontological argument in Proslogium II that is logically valid (the premises entail the conclusion). This reading takes Anselm’s use of the definite description “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” seriously. Consider a first-order language and logic in which definite descriptions are genuine terms, and in which the quantified sentence “there is an x such that…” does not imply “x exists”. Then, using an ordinary logic (...) of descriptions and a connected greater-than relation, God’s existence logically follows from the claims: (a) there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater is conceivable, and (b) if x does not exist, something greater than x can be conceived. To deny the conclusion, one must deny one of the premises. However, the argument involves no modal inferences and, interestingly, Descartes’ ontological argument can be derived from it. (shrink)
In this paper, the authors evaluate the ontological argument they developed in their 1991 paper as to soundness. They focus on Anselm's first premise, which asserts: there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater is conceivable. After suggesting reasons why this premise is false, the authors show that there is a reading of this premise on which it is true. Such a premise can be used in a valid and sound reconstruction of the ontological argument. This argument is developed (...) in precise detail, but the authors show that the conclusion, the formal version of which is a reading of the claim that "God exists", doesn't quite achieve the end Anselm desired. (shrink)
De argumenti ontologici forma logicaTractatione proposita auctores manifestant, „Argumentum Ontologicum“ St. Anselmi in 2° capitulo eius Proslogii inscriptum ut validum exponi posse (i. e. consequentiam bonam servando). Hac in interpretatione vis et notio descriptionis illae „id quo maius cogitari nequit“, qua Anselmus usus est, rite agnoscitur. Datis enim lingua formali „primi ordinis“, ut aiunt, et systemati deductivo logicae huiusmodi, in quo descriptiones definitae genuini sunt termini et ubi a sententia „datur x quod…“ signo quantitatis praefixa ad sententiam „x exsistit“ consequentia (...) non valet, et adhibendo adhuc regulas ordinarias logicae descriptionumrelationemque comparationis, quae „continua“ dicitur, exsistentia Dei sequitur duabus ex praemissis: Una quidem, „datur cogitabile aliquid, quo maius cogitari nequit“; et altera, „x non exsistente, aliquid eo maius cogitari potest“. Conclusio praedicta non potest negari, nisi una quoque harum praemissarum saltem negatur. Argumentum hoc vero nulla deductione modali utitur; et, quod notabile est, ratio ontologica Cartesii ex eo derivari potest.On the Logic of the Ontological ArgumentIn this paper, the authors show that there is a reading of St. Anselm’s ontological argument in Proslogium II that is logically valid (the premises entail the conclusion). This reading takes Anselm’s use of the definite description “that than which nothing greater can be conceived” seriously. Consider a first-order language and logic in which definite descriptions are genuine terms, and in which the quantified sentence “there is an x such that…” does not imply “x exists”. Then, using an ordinary logic of descriptions and a connected greater-than relation, God’s existence logically follows from the claims: (a) there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater is conceivable, and (b) if x does not exist, something greater than x can be conceived. To deny the conclusion, one must deny one of the premises. However, the argument involves no modal inferences and, interestingly, Descartes’ ontological argument can be derived from it. (shrink)
This paper contains answers to the following Five questions, posed by the editors are answered: (1) Why were you initially drawn to the foundations of mathematics and/or the philosophy of mathematics? (2) What example(s) from your work (or the work of others) illustrates the use of mathematics for philosophy? (3) What is the proper role of philosophy of mathematics in relation to logic, foundations of mathematics, the traditional core areas of mathematics, and science? (4) What do you consider the most (...) neglected topics and/or contributions in late 20th century philosophy of mathematics? (5) What are the most important open problems in the philosophy of mathematics and what are the prospects for progress? (shrink)
Forma logica argumenti ontologici reconsiderataHac in tractatione auctores veritatem praemissarum argumenti ontologici, quod in dissertatione sua anno 1991 publicata proposuerunt, examinant. Auctores praesertim de prima Anselmi praemissa, qua asseritur, dari cogitabile quid, quo maius cogitari nequit, dubitant. Primo scilicet argumentum, quod Anselmus pro hac assertione astruit, reiciunt; deinde ostendunt, aliam interpretationem formalem huius praemissae dari posse, secundum quam vera evenit. Haec interpretatione adhibita, argumentum Anselmi non solum validum, sed etiam efficax esse constat. Reconstructio praecisa argumenti in hoc sensu intellectinihilominus revelat, (...) conclusionem eius, scilicet „Deus existit“, sensum peculiarem acquirere, qui Anselmi intentioni originali haud satisfacit.Reflections on the Logic of the Ontological ArgumentThe authors evaluate the soundness of the ontological argument they developed in their 1991 paper. They focus on Anselm’s first premise, which asserts that there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater can be conceived. After casting doubt on the argument Anselm uses in support of this premise, the authors show that there is a formal reading on which it is true. Such a reading can be used in a sound reconstruction of the argument. After this reconstruction is developed in precise detail, the authors show that the conclusion, a reading of the claim “God exists”, does not quite achieve the end Anselm desired. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate (1) what can be salvaged from the original project of "logicism" and (2) what is the best that can be done if we lower our sights a bit. Logicism is the view that "mathematics is reducible to logic alone", and there are a variety of reasons why it was a non-starter. We consider the various ways of weakening this claim so as to produce a "neologicism". Three ways are discussed: (1) expand the conception of logic (...) used in the reduction, (2) allow the addition of analytic-sounding principles to logic so that the reduction is not to "logic alone" but to logic and truths knowable a priori, and (3) revise the conception of "reducible". We show how the current versions of neologicism fit into this classification scheme, and then focus on a kind of neologicism which we take to have the most potential for achieving the epistemological goals of the original logicist project. We argue that that the "weaker" the form of neologicism, the more likely it is to be a new form of logicism, and show how our preferred system, though mathematically weak, is metaphysically and epistemogically strong, and can "reduce" arbitrary mathematical theories to logic and analytic truths, if given a legitimate new sense of "reduction". (shrink)
In this paper, the author shows how one can independently prove, within the theory of abstract objects, some of the most significant claims, hypotheses, and background assumptions found in Kripke's logical and philosophical work. Moreover, many of the semantic features of theory of abstract objects are consistent with Kripke's views — the successful representation, in the system, of the truth conditions and entailments of philosophically puzzling sentences of natural language validates certain Kripkean semantic claims about natural language.
Some recently-proposed counterexamples to the traditional definition of essential property do not require a separate logic of essence. Instead, the examples can be analysed in terms of the logic and theory of abstract objects. This theory distinguishes between abstract and ordinary objects, and provides a general analysis of the essential properties of both kinds of object. The claim ‘x has F necessarily’ becomes ambiguous in the case of abstract objects, and in the case of ordinary objects there are various ways (...) to make the definition of ‘F is essential to x’ more fine-grained. Consequently, the traditional definition of essential property for abstract objects in terms of modal notions is not correct, and for ordinary objects the relationship between essential properties and modality, once properly understood, addresses the counterexample. (shrink)
Current versions of nominalism in the philosophy of mathematics have the benefit of avoiding commitment to the existence of mathematical objects. But this comes with the cost of not taking mathematical theories literally. Jody Azzouni's Deflating Existential Consequence has recently challenged this conclusion by formulating a nominalist view that lacks this cost. In this paper, we argue that, as it stands, Azzouni's proposal does not yet succeed. It faces a dilemma to the effect that either the view is not nominalist (...) or it fails to take mathematics literally. After presenting the dilemma, we suggest a possible solution for the nominalist. (shrink)
In this paper, the authors discuss Frege''s theory of logical objects (extensions, numbers, truth-values) and the recent attempts to rehabilitate it. We show that the eta relation George Boolos deployed on Frege''s behalf is similar, if not identical, to the encoding mode of predication that underlies the theory of abstract objects. Whereas Boolos accepted unrestricted Comprehension for Properties and used the eta relation to assert the existence of logical objects under certain highly restricted conditions, the theory of abstract objects uses (...) unrestricted Comprehension for Logical Objects and banishes encoding (eta) formulas from Comprehension for Properties. The relative mathematical and philosophical strengths of the two theories are discussed. Along the way, new results in the theory of abstract objects are described, involving: (a) the theory of extensions, (b) the theory of directions and shapes, and (c) the theory of truth values. (shrink)
The arguments of the dialetheists for the rejection of the traditional law of noncontradiction are not yet conclusive. The reason is that the arguments that they have developed against this law uniformly fail to consider the logic of encoding as an analytic method that can resolve apparent contradictions. In this paper, we use Priest  and  as sample texts to illustrate this claim. In , Priest examines certain crucial problems in the history of philosophy from the point of view (...) of someone without a prejudice in favor of classical logic. For each of these problems, the logic of encoding offers an alternative explanation of the phenomena---this alternative is not considered when Priest describes what options there are in classical logic for analyzing the problem at hand. (shrink)
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an open access, dynamic reference work designed to organize professional philosophers so that they can write, edit, and maintain a reference work in philosophy that is responsive to new research. From its inception, the SEP was designed so that each entry is maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field. All entries and substantive updates are refereed by the members of a distinguished Editorial Board before they (...) are made public. (shrink)
The author engages a question raised about theories of nonexistent objects. The question concerns the way names of fictional characters, when analyzed as names which denote nonexistent objects, acquire their denotations. Since nonexistent objects cannot causally interact with existent objects, it is thought that we cannot appeal to a `dubbing' or a `baptism'. The question is, therefore, what is the starting point of the chain? The answer is that storytellings are to be thought of as extended baptisms, and the details (...) of this response receive attention in the paper. Once the storytelling is complete, and the characters have been baptized, a priori metaphysical principles linking the storytelling with the realm of nonexistent objects provide the referential, non-causal connection between the names used in the storytelling and the objects denoted by such names. [This is the original English version of an article that first appeared in German translation, translated into German by Arnold Günther and published in the Zeitschrift für Semiotik 9/1-2 (1987): 85-95. The version that appears here is, for the most part, unaltered.]. (shrink)
This paper serves as a kind of field guide to certain passages in the literature which bear upon the theory of abstract objects. This theory assimilates ideas from key philosophers in both the analytical and phenomenological traditions. The paper explains how the theory of abstract objects serves as a common ground where analytic and phenomenological concerns meet.
of my axiomatic theory of abstract objects.<sup>1</sup> The theory asserts the ex- istence not only of ordinary properties, relations, and propositions, but also of abstract individuals and abstract properties and relations. The.
In (1991), Meinwald initiated a major change of direction in the study of Plato’s Parmenides and the Third Man Argument. On her conception of the Parmenides , Plato’s language systematically distinguishes two types or kinds of predication, namely, predications of the kind ‘x is F pros ta alla’ and ‘x is F pros heauto’. Intuitively speaking, the former is the common, everyday variety of predication, which holds when x is any object (perceptible object or Form) and F is a property (...) which x exempliﬁes or instantiates in the traditional sense. The latter is a special mode of predication which holds when x is a Form and F is a property which is, in some sense, part of the nature of that Form. Meinwald (1991, p. 75, footnote 18) traces the discovery of this distinction in Plato’s work to Frede (1967), who marks the distinction between pros allo and kath’ hauto predications by placing subscripts on the copula ‘is’. (shrink)
In this paper, the author develops a theory of concepts and shows that it captures many of the ideas about concepts that Leibniz expressed in his work. Concepts are first analyzed in terms of a precise background theory of abstract objects, and once concept summation and concept containment are defined, the axioms and theorems of Leibniz's calculus of concepts (in his logical papers) are derived. This analysis of concepts is then seamlessly connected with Leibniz's modal metaphysics of complete individual concepts. (...) The fundamental theorem of Leibniz's modal metaphysics of concepts is proved, namely, whenever an object x has F contingently, then (i) the individual concept of x contains the concept F and (ii) there is a (counterpart) complete individual concept y which doesn't contain the concept F and which `appears' at some other possible world. Finally, the author shows how the concept containment theory of truth can be made precise and made consistent with a modern conception of truth. (shrink)
In this paper, we describe "metaphysical reductions", in which the well-defined terms and predicates of arbitrary mathematical theories are uniquely interpreted within an axiomatic, metaphysical theory of abstract objects. Once certain (constitutive) facts about a mathematical theory T have been added to the metaphysical theory of objects, theorems of the metaphysical theory yield both an analysis of the reference of the terms and predicates of T and an analysis of the truth of the sentences of T. The well-defined terms and (...) predicates of T are analyzed as denoting abstract objects and abstract relations, respectively, in the background metaphysics, and the sentences of T have a reading on which they are true. After the technical details are sketched, the paper concludes with some observations about the approach. One important observation concerns the fact that the proper axioms of the background theory abstract objects can be reformulated in a way that makes them sound more like logical axioms. Some philosophers have argued that we should accept (something like) them as being logical. (shrink)
In its approach to fiction and fictional discourse, pretense theory focuses on the behaviors that we engage in once we pretend that something is true. These may include pretending to name, pretending to refer, pretending to admire, and various other kinds of make-believe. Ordinary discourse about fictions is analyzed as a kind of institutionalized manner of speaking. Pretense, make-believe, and manners of speaking are all accepted as complex patterns of behavior that prove to be systematic in various ways. In this (...) paper, I attempt to show: (1) that this systematicity is captured in the basic distinctions and representations that are central to the formal theory of abstract objects, and (2) that this formal theory need not be interpreted platonistically, but may instead have an interpretation on which the `objects' of the theory are things that pretense theorists already accept, namely, complex patterns of linguistic behavior. The surprising conclusion, then, is that a certain Wittgensteinian approach to meaning (e.g., the meaning of a term like `Holmes' is constituted by its pattern of use) bears an interesting relationship to a formal metaphysical theory and the semantic analyses of discourse constructed in terms of that theory---the former offers a naturalized interpretation of the latter, yet the latter makes the former more precise. (shrink)
This is an extended, critical review of Mark Balaguer's book *Platonism and Anti-Platonism in Mathematics* (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). After describing his theory ("full-blooded Platonism"), we raise two criticisms. The first concerns the fact that Balaguer's theory offers no way to uniquely identify the denotations of the terms appearing in mathematical theories. The second concerns the fact that Balaguer overlooks the possibility that the fact, that Platonism and anti-Platonism agree on numerous points but differ only on whether mathematical (...) objects exist, can be explained if both views turn out to be two different interpretations of the same formal theory. (shrink)
<span class='Hi'>Mark</span> Balaguer’s project in this book is extremely ambitious; he sets out to defend both platonism and ﬁctionalism about mathematical entities. Moreover, Balaguer argues that at the end of the day, platonism and ﬁctionalism are on an equal footing. Not content to leave the matter there, however, he advances the anti-metaphysical conclusion that there is no fact of the matter about the existence of mathematical objects.1 Despite the ambitious nature of this project, for the most part Balaguer does not (...) shortchange the reader on rigor; all the main theses advanced are argued for at length and with remarkable clarity and cogency. There are, of course, gaps in the account (some of which are described below) but these should not be allowed to overshadow the sig-. (shrink)
In this paper, the author derives the Dedekind–Peano axioms for number theory from a consistent and general metaphysical theory of abstract objects. The derivation makes no appeal to primitive mathematical notions, implicit definitions, or a principle of infinity. The theorems proved constitute an important subset of the numbered propositions found in Frege"s Grundgesetze. The proofs of the theorems reconstruct Frege"s derivations, with the exception of the claim that every number has a successor, which is derived from a modal axiom that (...) (philosophical) logicians implicitly accept. In the final section of the paper, there is a brief philosophical discussion of how the present theory relates to the work of other philosophers attempting to reconstruct Frege"s conception of numbers and logical objects. (shrink)
In this paper, the author compares passages from two philosophically important texts and concludes that they have fundamental ideas in common. What makes this comparison and conclusion interesting is that the texts come from two different traditions in philosophy, the analytic and the phenomenological. In 1912, Ernst Mally published *Gegenstandstheoretische Grundlagen der Logik und Logistik*, an analytic work containing a combination of formal logic and metaphysics. In 1913, Edmund Husserl published *Ideen zu einer reinen Phänomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie*, a seminal (...) work in phenomenology in which noemata are defined and given a crucial role in directing our mental states. In the passages from these two texts reproduced below, the author shows that the abstract `determinates' postulated by Mally in 1912 are assigned much the same role that Husserl assigned to noemata in 1913. Though Mally's determinates are not as highly structured as Husserl's noemata, they have a feature that explains how they manage to play the role assigned to them. The corresponding feature is missing, or at least, not emphasized in Husserl's account of noemata. Therefore, insights from both philosophers, and thus from both the analytic and phenomenological traditions, are needed to give a more complete account of directed mental states. (shrink)
This paper describes a way of creating and maintaining a `dynamic encyclopedia', i.e., an encyclopedia whose entries can be improved and updated on a continual basis without requiring the production of an entire new edition. Such an encyclopedia is therefore responsive to new developments and new research. We discuss our implementation of a dynamic encyclopedia and the problems that we had to solve along the way. We also discuss ways of automating the administration of the encyclopedia.
The appeal to possible worlds in the semantics of modal logic and the philosophical defense of possible worlds as an essential element of ontology have led philosophers and logicians to introduce other kinds of `worlds' in order to study various philosophical and logical phenomena. The literature contains discussions of `non-normal worlds', `non-classical worlds', `non-standard worlds', and `impossible worlds'. These atypical worlds have been used in the following ways: (1) to interpret unusual modal logics, (2) to distinguish logically equivalent propositions, (3) (...) to solve the problems associated with propositional attitude contexts, intentional contexts, and counterfactuals with impossible antecedents, and (4) to interpret systems of relevant and paraconsistent logic. However, those who have attempted to develop a genuine metaphysical theory of such atypical worlds tend to move too quickly from philosophical characterizations to formal semantics. (shrink)
The modal object calculus is the system of logic which houses the (proper) axiomatic theory of abstract objects. The calculus has some rather interesting features in and of itself, independent of the proper theory. The most sophisticated, type-theoretic incarnation of the calculus can be used to analyze the intensional contexts of natural language and so constitutes an intensional logic. However, the simpler second-order version of the calculus couches a theory of fine-grained properties, relations and propositions and serves as a framework (...) for defining situations, possible worlds, stories, and fictional characters, among other things. In the present paper, we focus on the second-order calculus. The second-order modal object calculus is so-called to distinguish it from the second-order modal predicate calculus. Though the differences are slight, the extra expressive power of the object calculus significantly enhances its ability to resolve logical and philosophical concepts and problems. (shrink)
In "Actualism or Possibilism?" (Philosophical Studies, 84 (2-3), December 1996), James Tomberlin develops two challenges for actualism. The challenges are to account for the truth of certain sentences without appealing to merely possible objects. After canvassing the main actualist attempts to account for these phenomena, he then criticizes the new conception of actualism that we described in our paper "In Defense of the Simplest Quantified Modal Logic" (Philosophical Perspectives 8: Philosophy of Logic and Language, Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview, 1994). We respond (...) to Tomberlin's criticism by showing that we wouldn't analyze the problematic claim (e.g., "Ponce de Leon searched for the fountain of youth") in the way he suggests. (shrink)
In this paper, we develop an alternative strategy, Platonized Naturalism, for reconciling naturalism and Platonism and to account for our knowledge of mathematical objects and properties. A systematic (Principled) Platonism based on a comprehension principle that asserts the existence of a plenitude of abstract objects is not just consistent with, but required (on transcendental grounds) for naturalism. Such a comprehension principle is synthetic, and it is known a priori. Its synthetic a priori character is grounded in the fact that it (...) is an essential part of the logic in which any scientific theory will be formulated and so underlies (our understanding of) the meaningfulness of any such theory (this is why it is required for naturalism). Moreover, the comprehension principle satisfies naturalist standards of reference, knowledge, and ontological parsimony! As part of our argument, we identify mathematical objects as abstract individuals in the domain governed by the comprehension principle, and we show that our knowledge of mathematical truths is linked to our knowledge of that principle. (shrink)
A. Plantinga develops a challenging critique of Castañeda's guise theory, by identifying fundamental intuitions that guise theory gives up and by developing several objections to the guise-theoretic world view as a whole. In this paper, I examine whether Plantinga's criticisms apply to the theory of abstract objects. The theory of abstract objects and guise theory can be fruitfully compared because they share a common intellectual heritage---both follow Ernst Mally  in postulating a special realm of objects distinguished by their "internal" (...) or "encoded" properties. Despite this common heritage, however, the theories organize, develop, and apply these special objects in distinctive ways. The two metaphysical systems, therefore, differ significantly, and these differences become important when one considers Plantinga's critique of guise theory. In this essay, the author shows that the theory of abstract objects anticipates and addresses most of Plantinga's concerns about guise theory, by preserving intuitions guise theory has abandoned. (shrink)
The simplest quantified modal logic combines classical quantification theory with the propositional modal logic K. The models of simple QML relativize predication to possible worlds and treat the quantifier as ranging over a single fixed domain of objects. But this simple QML has features that are objectionable to actualists. By contrast, Kripke-models, with their varying domains and restricted quantifiers, seem to eliminate these features. But in fact, Kripke-models also have features to which actualists object. Though these philosophers have introduced variations (...) on Kripke-models to eliminate their objectionable features, the most well-known variations all have difficulties of their own. The present authors reexamine simple QML and discover that, in addition to having a possibilist interpretation, it has an actualist interpretation as well. By introducing a new sort of existing abstract entity, the contingently nonconcrete, they show that the seeming drawbacks of the simplest QML are not drawbacks at all. Thus, simple QML is independent of certain metaphysical questions. (shrink)
The author revises the formulation of propositional modal logic by interposing a domain of structured propositions between the modal language and the models. Interpretations of the language (i.e., ways of mapping the language into the domain of propositions) are distinguished from models of the domain of propositions (i.e., ways of assigning truth values to propositions at each world), and this contrasts with the traditional formulation. Truth and logical consequence are defined, in the first instance, as properties of, and relations among, (...) propositions. (shrink)
In an author-meets-critics session at the March 1992 Pacific APA meetings, the critics (Christopher Menzel, Harry Deutsch, and C. Anthony Anderson) commented on the author's book *Intensional Logic and the Metaphysics of Intentionality* (Cambridge, MA: MIT/Bradford, 1988). The critical commentaries are published in this issue together with these replies by the author. The author responds to questions concerning the system he proposes, and in particular, to questions concerning the treatment of modality, the semantics of belief reports, and the general efficacy (...) of the metaphysical foundations as compared to that of set theory. (shrink)
States of affairs, situations, and worlds are integrated into a single metaphysical foundation and the most basic principles that pretheoretically characterize these entities are derived. The principles are cast as theorems in a precise logical framework and are derived from an independently- motivated axiomatic theory of objects and relations. Situations and worlds are identified as objects that both encode and exemplify properties. They encode properties of the form being such that (where p is a state of affairs). These encoded properties (...) are distinguished from the other properties that situations and worlds both contingently and necessarily exemplify, and this distinction offers a principled answer to a variety of philosophical questions about these entities. (shrink)
In this paper, I respond to D. Jacquette's paper, "Mally's Heresy and the Logic of Meinong's Object Theory" (History and Philosophy of Logic, 10 (1989): 1-14), in which it is claimed that Ernst Mally's distinction between two modes of predication, as it is employed in the theory of abstract objects, is reducible to, and analyzable in terms of, a single mode of predication plus the distinction between nuclear and extranuclear properties. The argument against Jacquette's claims consists of counterexamples to his (...) reductions and analyses. Reasons are offered for thinking that no such reduction/analysis of the kind Jacquette proposes could be successful. (shrink)
The views of David Lewis and the Meinongians are both often met with an incredulous stare. This is not by accident. The stunned disbelief that usually accompanies the stare is a natural first reaction to a large ontology. Indeed, Lewis has been explicitly linked with Meinong, a charge that he has taken great pains to deny. However, the issue is not a simple one. "Meinongianism" is a complex set of distinctions and doctrines about existence and predication, in addition to the (...) famously large ontology. While there are clearly non-Meinongian features of Lewis' views, it is our thesis that many of the characteristic elements of Meinongian metaphysics appear in Lewis' theory. Moreover, though Lewis rejects incomplete and inconsistent Meinongian objects, his ontology may exceed that of a Meinongian who doesn't accept his possibilia. Thus, Lewis explains the truth of "there might have been talking donkeys" by appealing to possibilia which are talking donkeys. But the Meinongian need not accept that there exist things which are talking donkeys. Indeed, we show that a Meinongian even need not accept that there are nonexistent things which are talking donkeys! (shrink)
In this paper, the authors show that there is a reading of St. Anselm's ontological argument in Proslogium II that is logically valid (the premises entail the conclusion). This reading takes Anselm's use of the definite description "that than which nothing greater can be conceived" seriously. Consider a first-order language and logic in which definite descriptions are genuine terms, and in which the quantified sentence "there is an x such that..." does not imply "x exists". Then, using an ordinary logic (...) of descriptions and a connected greater-than relation, God's existence logically follows from the claims: (a) there is a conceivable thing than which nothing greater is conceivable, and (b) if <em>x</em> doesn't exist, something greater than x can be conceived. To deny the conclusion, one must deny one of the premises. However, the argument involves no modal inferences and, interestingly, Descartes' ontological argument can be derived from it. (shrink)
The author resolves a conflict between Frege's view that the cognitive significance of coreferential names may be distinct and Kaplan's view that since coreferential names have the same "character", they have the same cognitive significance. A distinction is drawn between an expression's "character" and its "cognitive character". The former yields the denotation of an expression relative to a context (and individual); the latter yields the abstract sense of an expression relative to a context (and individual). Though coreferential names have the (...) same character, they may have distinct cognitive characters. Propositions involving these abstract senses play an important role in explaining de dicto belief contexts. (shrink)
The author examines the differences between the general intensional logic defined in his recent book and Montague's intensional logic. Whereas Montague assigned extensions and intensions to expressions (and employed set theory to construct these values as certain sets), the author assigns denotations to terms and relies upon an axiomatic theory of intensional entities that covers properties, relations, propositions, worlds, and other abstract objects. It is then shown that the puzzles for Montague's analyses of modality and descriptions, propositional attitudes, and directedness (...) towards nonexistents can be solved using the author's logic. (shrink)
This book tackles the issues that arise in connection with intensional logic -- a formal system for representing and explaining the apparent failures of certain important principles of inference such as the substitution of identicals and existential generalization-- and intentional states --mental states such as beliefs, hopes, and desires that are directed towards the world. The theory offers a unified explanation of the various kinds of inferential failures associated with intensional logic but also unifies the study of intensional contexts and (...) intentional states by grounding the explanation of both phenomena in a single theory. When an axiomatized realm of abstract entities is added to the metaphysical structure of the world, we can use them to identify and individuate the contents of directed mental states. The special abstract entities can be viewed as the objectified contents of mental files, and they play a crucial role in the analysis of truth conditions of the sentences involved in inferential failures. (shrink)
The author describes an interpreted modal language and produces some clear examples of logical and analytic truths that are not necessary. These examples: (a) are far simpler than the ones cited in the literature, (b) show that a popular conception of logical truth in modal languages is incorrect, and (c) show that there are contingent truths knowable ``a priori'' that do not depend on fixing the reference of a term.
In the debate about the nature and identity of possible worlds, philosophers have neglected the parallel questions about the nature and identity of moments of time. These are not questions about the structure of time in general, but rather about the internal structure of each individual time. Times and worlds share the following structural similarities: both are maximal with respect to propositions (at every world and time, either p or p is true, for every p); both are consistent; both are (...) closed (every modal consequence of a proposition true at a world is also true at that world, and every tense-theoretic consequence of a proposition true at a time is also true at that time); just as there is a unique actual world, there is a unique present moment; and just as a proposition is necessarily true iff true at all worlds, a proposition is eternally true iff true at all times. In this paper, I show that a simple extension of my theory of worlds yields a theory of times in which the above structural similarities between the two are consequences. (shrink)
In this paper, the author analyzes critically some of the ideas found in Karel Lambert's recent book, Meinong and the Principle of Independence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983). Lambert attempts to forge a link between the ideas of Meinong and the free logicians. The link comes in the form of a principle which, Lambert says, these philosophers adopt, namely, Mally's Principle of Independence, which Mally himself later abandoned. Instead of following Mally and attempting to formulate the principle in the material (...) mode as the claim that an object can have properties without having any sort of being, Lambert formulates the principle in the formal mode, as (something equivalent to) the rejection of the traditional constraint on the principle of predication. The principle of predication is that a formula of the form Fa' is true iff the general term F' is true of the object denoted by the object term a'. The traditional constraint on this predication principle is that for the sentence Fa' to be true, not only must the object term have a denotation, but it must also denote an object that has being. According to Lambert, the free logicians violate this constraint by suggesting that Fa' can be true even if the object term has no denotation, whereas Meinong violates this constraint by proposing Fa' can be true even when the object term denotes an object that has no being. Lambert then tries to `vindicate' the Principle of Independence, thereby justifying both the work of the free logicians and Meinong. (shrink)
<span class='Hi'></span> In this paper I propose a fundamental modification of standard type theory,<span class='Hi'></span> produce a new kind of type theoretic language,<span class='Hi'></span> and couch in this language a comprehensive theory of abstract individuals and abstract properties and relations of every type.<span class='Hi'></span> I then suggest how to employ the theory to solve the four following philosophical problems:<span class='Hi'></span> (A)<span class='Hi'></span> the identification and ontological status of Frege's Senses;<span class='Hi'></span> (B)<span class='Hi'></span> the deviant behavior of terms in propositional attitude (...) contexts;<span class='Hi'></span> (C)<span class='Hi'></span> the non-identity of necessarily equivalent propositions,<span class='Hi'></span> and <span class='Hi'></span>(D)<span class='Hi'></span> the paradox of analysis.<span class='Hi'></span> We can roughly describe these solutions as follows:<span class='Hi'></span> (A)<span class='Hi'></span> the senses of English names and descriptions which denote individuals will be modelled as abstract individuals;<span class='Hi'></span> the senses of English relation denoting expressions of a given type will be modelled as abstract relations of that type.<span class='Hi'></span> (B)<span class='Hi'></span> Inside de dicto attitude contexts,<span class='Hi'></span> these English expressions denote <span class='Hi'></span>(the abstract objects which serve as)<span class='Hi'></span> their senses.<span class='Hi'></span> (C)<span class='Hi'></span> Relations and propositions will not be identified with their extensions,<span class='Hi'></span> nor with functions or sets of any kind.<span class='Hi'></span> They will be taken as primitive,<span class='Hi'></span> and precise being and identity conditions will be proposed consistent with the view that necessarily equivalent relations and propositions may be distinct.<span class='Hi'></span> (D)<span class='Hi'></span> With the modelling described in <span class='Hi'></span>(A)<span class='Hi'></span>, the expressions being a brother and being a male sibling may both denote the same property,<span class='Hi'></span> though <span class='Hi'></span>(the abstract properties which serve as)<span class='Hi'></span> their senses may differ.<span class='Hi'></span> Just as Frege predicts,<span class='Hi'></span> being a brother just is being a male sibling is an informative identity statement because the terms flanking the identity sign have the same denotation,<span class='Hi'></span> though distinct senses. (shrink)
The authors develop precise statements of the conditions under which there are nonexistent objects and of the conditions under which any two such objects are identical. Essentially, for any describable condition on properties, there is a nonexistent object which includes (but doesn't necessarily exemplify) just the properties satisfying the condition. The logic of inclusion is developed in detail. It is shown how these nonexistent objects can serve as the denotations of the names of fictional characters.