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Profile: Matthew Parker (London School of Economics)
  1. Matthew W. Parker, More Trouble for Regular Probabilitites.
    In standard probability theory, probability zero is not the same as impossibility. But many have suggested that only impossible events should have probability zero. This can be arranged if we allow infinitesimal probabilities, but infinitesimals do not solve all of the problems. We will see that regular probabilities are not invariant over rigid transformations, even for simple, bounded, countable, constructive, and disjoint sets. Hence, regular chances cannot be determined by space-time invariant physical laws, and regular credences cannot satisfy seemingly reasonable (...)
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  2. Matthew W. Parker (2013). Set Size and the Part-Whole Principle. Review of Symbolic Logic (4):1-24.
    Recent work has defended “Euclidean” theories of set size, in which Cantor’s Principle (two sets have equally many elements if and only if there is a one-to-one correspondence between them) is abandoned in favor of the Part-Whole Principle (if A is a proper subset of B then A is smaller than B). It has also been suggested that Gödel’s argument for the unique correctness of Cantor’s Principle is inadequate. Here we see from simple examples, not that Euclidean theories of set (...)
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  3. Matthew W. Parker (2009). Computing the Uncomputable; or, the Discrete Charm of Second-Order Simulacra. Synthese 169 (3):447 - 463.
    We examine a case in which non-computable behavior in a model is revealed by computer simulation. This is possible due to differing notions of computability for sets in a continuous space. The argument originally given for the validity of the simulation involves a simpler simulation of the simulation , still further simulations thereof, and a universality conjecture. There are difficulties with that argument, but there are other, heuristic arguments supporting the qualitative results. It is urged, using this example, that absolute (...)
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  4. Matthew W. Parker (2009). Philosophical Method and Galileo's Paradox of Infinity. In Bart Van Kerkhove (ed.), New Perspectives on Mathematical Practices: Essays in Philosophy and History of Mathematics : Brussels, Belgium, 26-28 March 2007. World Scientfic.
    We consider an approach to some philosophical problems that I call the Method of Conceptual Articulation: to recognize that a question may lack any determinate answer, and to re-engineer concepts so that the question acquires a definite answer in such a way as to serve the epistemic motivations behind the question. As a case study we examine “Galileo’s Paradox”, that the perfect square numbers seem to be at once as numerous as the whole numbers, by one-to-one correspondence, and yet less (...)
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  5. Matthew W. Parker (2005). Undecidable Long-Term Behavior in Classical Physics: Foundations, Results, and Interpretation. Dissertation, University of Chicago
    The behavior of some systems is non-computable in a precise new sense. One infamous problem is that of the stability of the solar system: Given the initial positions and velocities of several mutually gravitating bodies, will any eventually collide or be thrown off to infinity? Many have made vague suggestions that this and similar problems are undecidable: no finite procedure can reliably determine whether a given configuration will eventually prove unstable. But taken in the most natural way, this is trivial. (...)
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  6. Matthew W. Parker (2003). Three Concepts of Decidability for General Subsets of Uncountable Spaces. Theoretical Computer Science 351 (1):2-13.
    There is no uniquely standard concept of an effectively decidable set of real numbers or real n-tuples. Here we consider three notions: decidability up to measure zero [M.W. Parker, Undecidability in Rn: Riddled basins, the KAM tori, and the stability of the solar system, Phil. Sci. 70(2) (2003) 359–382], which we abbreviate d.m.z.; recursive approximability [or r.a.; K.-I. Ko, Complexity Theory of Real Functions, Birkhäuser, Boston, 1991]; and decidability ignoring boundaries [d.i.b.; W.C. Myrvold, The decision problem for entanglement, in: R.S. (...)
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  7. Matthew W. Parker (2003). Undecidability in Rn: Riddled Basins, the KAM Tori, and the Stability of the Solar System. Philosophy of Science 70 (2):359-382.
    Some have suggested that certain classical physical systems have undecidable long-term behavior, without specifying an appropriate notion of decidability over the reals. We introduce such a notion, decidability in (or d- ) for any measure , which is particularly appropriate for physics and in some ways more intuitive than Ko's (1991) recursive approximability (r.a.). For Lebesgue measure , d- implies r.a. Sets with positive -measure that are sufficiently "riddled" with holes are never d- but are often r.a. This explicates Sommerer (...)
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  8. Paul Thagard, Kim Sterelny, Richard Richards, Denis M. Walsh, James W. McAllister, Marcel Boumans, Meir Hemmo, Orly Shenker & Matthew W. Parker (2003). 10. Response to Vollmer's Review of Minds and Molecules Response to Vollmer's Review of Minds and Molecules (Pp. 391-398). [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 70 (2).
     
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  9. Matthew W. Parker (1998). Did Poincare Really Discover Chaos? [REVIEW] Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (4):575-588.