Wittgenstein's Tractatus carefully distinguished the concept all from\nthe notion of a truth-function, and thereby from the quantifiers.\nI argue that Wittgenstein's rationale for this distinction is lost\nunless propositional functions are understood within the context\nof his picture theory of the proposition. Using a model Tractatus\nlanguage, I show how there are two distinct forms of generality implicit\nin quantified Tractatus propositions. Although the explanation given\nin the Tractatus for this distinction is ultimately flawed, the distinction\nitself is a genuine one, and the forms of (...) generality that Wittgenstein\nindicated can be seen in the quantified sentences of contemporary\nlogic. (shrink)
In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , a name is always a propositionalfunction. Wittgenstein makes a radical shift in the Fregean opposition between saturated and unsaturated entities. Any sentential component which is not itself a sentence is unsaturated. The proposition is therefore a synthesis of propositional functions. The name is just a limit case of propositionalfunction, and as such it can be negated.
In his “The Foundations of Mathematics”, Ramsey attempted to marry the Tractarian idea that all logical truths are tautologies and vice versa, and the logicism of the Principia. In order to complete his project, Ramsey was forced to introduce propositional functions in extension (PFEs): given Ramsey's definitions of 1 and 2, without PFEs even the quantifier-free arithmetical truth that 1 ≠ 2 is not a tautology. However, a number of commentators have argued that the notion of PFEs is incoherent. (...) This response was first given by Wittgenstein but has been best developed by Sullivan. While I agree with Wittgenstein and Sullivan's common conclusion, I believe that even the most compelling of Sullivan's arguments is importantly mistaken and that Wittgenstein's remarks are too opaque to be left as the end of the matter. In this article I uncover the fault in Sullivan's argument and present an alternative criticism of PFEs which is Wittgensteinian in spirit without being too mystifying. (shrink)
Contemporary epistemology has assumed that knowledge is represented in sentences or propositions. However, a variety of extensions and alternatives to this view have been proposed in other areas of investigation. We review some of these proposals, focusing on (1) Ryle's notion of knowing how and Hanson's and Kuhn's accounts of theory-laden perception in science; (2) extensions of simple propositional representations in cognitive models and artificial intelligence; (3) the debate concerning imagistic versus propositional representations in cognitive psychology; (4) recent (...) treatments of concepts and categorization which reject the notion of necessary and sufficient conditions; and (5) parallel distributed processing (connectionist) models of cognition. This last development is especially promising in providing a flexible, powerful means of representing information nonpropositionally, and carrying out at least simple forms of inference without rules. Central to several of the proposals is the notion that much of human cognition might consist in pattern recognition rather than manipulation of rules and propositions. (shrink)
Propositional logic, also known as sentential logic and statement logic, is the branch of logic that studies ways of joining and/or modifying entire propositions, statements or sentences to form more complicated propositions, statements or sentences, as well as the logical relationships and properties that are derived from these methods of combining or altering statements. In propositional logic, the simplest statements are considered as indivisible units, and hence, propositional logic does not study those logical properties and relations that (...) depend upon parts of statements that are not themselves statements on their own, such as the subject and predicate of a statement. The most thoroughly researched branch of propositional logic is classical truth-functional propositional logic, which studies logical operators and connectives that are used to produce complex statements whose truth-value depends entirely on the truth-values of the simpler statements making them up, and in which it is assumed that every statement is either true or false and not both. However, there are other forms of propositional logic in which other truth-values are considered, or in which there is consideration of connectives that are used to produce statements whose truth-values depend not simply on the truth-values of the parts, but additional things such as their necessity, possibility or relatedness to one another. (shrink)
Peter Geach has said that Russell's use of ‘propositionalfunction’ is ‘hopelessly confused and inconsistent’. Geach is right, and attempts to say what exactly a Russellian propositionalfunction is, or is supposed to be, are bound to end in frustration. Nevertheless, it may be worthwhile to pursue an account of propositional functions that accommodates a good deal of what Russell says about them and that can provide some of what he expected of them.
Arguments are given against the thesis that properties and propositional functions are identical. The first shows that the familiar extensional treatment of propositional functions -- that, for all x, if f(x) = g(x), then f = g -- must be abandoned. Second, given the usual assumptions of propositional-function semantics, various propositional functions (e.g., constant functions) are shown not to be properties. Third, novel examples are given to show that, if properties were identified with propositional (...) functions, crucial fine-grained intensional distinctions would be lost. (shrink)
The Routley-Meyer relational semantics for relevant logics is extended to give a sound and complete model theory for many propositionally quantified relevant logics (and some non-relevant ones). This involves a restriction on which sets of worlds are admissible as propositions, and an interpretation of propositional quantification that makes ∀ pA true when there is some true admissible proposition that entails all p -instantiations of A . It is also shown that without the admissibility qualification many of the systems considered (...) are semantically incomplete, including all those that are sub-logics of the quantified version of Anderson and Belnap’s system E of entailment, extended by the mingle axiom and the Ackermann constant t . The incompleteness proof involves an algebraic semantics based on atomless complete Boolean algebras. (shrink)
Provided here is a characterisation of absolute probability functions for intuitionistic (propositional) logic L, i.e. a set of constraints on the unary functions P from the statements of L to the reals, which insures that (i) if a statement A of L is provable in L, then P(A) = 1 for every P, L's axiomatisation being thus sound in the probabilistic sense, and (ii) if P(A) = 1 for every P, then A is provable in L, L's axiomatisation being (...) thus complete in the probabilistic sense. As there are theorems of classical (propositional) logic that are not intuitionistic ones, there are unary probability functions for intuitionistic logic that are not classical ones. Provided here because of this is a means of singling out the classical probability functions from among the intuitionistic ones. (shrink)
The most difficult problem that Leniewski came across in constructing his system of the foundations of mathematics was the problem of defining definitions, as he used to put it. He solved it to his satisfaction only when he had completed the formalization of his protothetic and ontology. By formalization of a deductive system one ought to understand in this context the statement, as precise and unambiguous as possible, of the conditions an expression has to satisfy if it is added to (...) the system as a new thesis. Now, some protothetical theses, and some ontological ones, included in the respective systems, happen to be definitions. In the present essay I employ Leniewski's method of terminological explanations for the purpose of formalizing ukasiewicz's system of implicational calculus of propositions, which system, without having recourse to quantification, I first extended some time ago into a functionally complete system. This I achieved by allowing for a rule of implicational definitions, which enabled me to define any propositionforming functor for any finite number of propositional arguments. (shrink)
The general fact of the impossibility of a bivalent, truth-functional semantics for the propositional structures determined by quantum mechanics should be more subtly demarcated according to whether the structures are taken to be orthomodular latticesP L or partial-Boolean algebrasP A; according to whether the semantic mappings are required to be truth-functional or truth-functional ; and according to whether two-or-higher dimensional Hilbert spaceP structures or three-or-higher dimensional Hilbert spaceP structures are being considered. If the quantumP structures are taken to be (...) orthomodular latticesP L, then bivalent mappings which preserve the operations and relations of aP L must be truth-functional . Then as suggested by von Neumann and Jauch-Piron and as proven in this paper, the mere presence of incompatible elements in aP L is sufficient to rule out any semantical or hidden-variable proposal which imposes this strong condition, for anytwo-or-higher dimensional Hilbert spaceP L structure. Thus from the orthomodular lattice perspective, the peculiarly non-classical feature of quantum mechanics and the peculiarly non-Boolean feature of the quantum propositional structures is the existence of incompatible magnitudes and propositions. However, the weaker truth-functionality condition can instead be imposed upon the semantic or hidden-variable mappings on theP L structures, although such mappings ignore the lattice meets and joins of incompatibles and preserve only the partial-Boolean algebra structural features of theP L structures. Or alternatively, the quantum propositional structures can be taken to be partial-Boolean algebrasP A, where bivalent mappings which preserve the operations and relations of aP A need only be truth-functional (c). In either case, the Gleason, Kochen-Specker proofs show that any semantical or hidden variable proposal which imposes this truth-functionality (c) condition is impossible for anythree-or-higher dimensional Hilbert spaceP A orP L structures. But such semantical or hidden-variable proposals are possible for any two dimensional Hilbert spaceP A orP L structures, in spite of the presence of incompatibles in these structures, in spite of the fact that Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle applies to the incompatible elements in these structures, and in spite of the fact that these structures are non-Boolean in the Piron sense. (shrink)
The paper is dedicated to the 80th birthday of the outstanding Russian logician A.V. Kuznetsov. It is addressing a history of the ideas and research conducted by him in non-classical and intermediate logics.
Although ‘glue semantics’ is the most extensively developed theory of semantic composition for LFG, it is not very well integrated into the LFG projection architecture, due to the absence of a simple and well-explained correspondence between glue-proofs and f-structures. In this paper I will show that we can improve this situation with two steps: (1) Replace the current quantificational formulations of glue (either Girard’s system F, or first order linear logic) with strictly propositional linear logic (the quantifier, unit and (...) exponential free version of either MILL or ILL, depending on whether or not tensors are used). (2) Reverse the direction of the standard σ-projection from f-structure to meaning, giving one going from the (atomic nodes of) the glue-proof to the f-structure, rather than from the f-structure to a ‘semantic projection’ which is itself somehow related to the glue-proof. As a side effect, the standard semantic projection of LFG glue semantics can be dispensed with. A result is that LFG sentence structures acquire a level composed of strictly binary trees, constructed out of nodes representing function application and lambda abstraction, with a significant resemblance to external and internal merge in the Minimalist Program. This increased resemblance between frameworks might assist in making useful comparisons. (shrink)
The most common account of attitude reports is the relational analysis according towhich an attitude verb taking that-clause complements expresses a two-placerelation between agents and propositions and the that-clause acts as an expressionwhose function is to provide the propositional argument. I will argue that a closerexamination of a broader range of linguistic facts raises serious problems for thisanalysis and instead favours a Russellian `multiple relations analysis' (which hasgenerally been discarded because of its apparent obvious linguistic implausibility).The resulting account (...) can be given independent philosophical motivations within anintentionalist view of truth and predication. (shrink)
Theories that seek to explain the status of psychological states experienced in fictional contexts either claim that those states are special propositional attitudes specific to fictional contexts (make-believe attitudes), or else define them as normal propositional attitudes by stretching the concept of a propositional attitude to include ‘objectless’ states that do not imply constraints such as truth or satisfaction. I argue that the first theory is either vacuous or false, and that the second, by defining the reality (...) of the states in question only nominally, risks having a result similar to the first. Then I put forward an explanation of how propositional attitudes function in fictional contexts which meets the following requirements: (i) does not postulate the existence of attitudes specific to or definitive of fictionality; (ii) does not imply that we transgress our knowledge of the ontological claims of fictions for some attitudes (for example, fear) but not others (belief); (iii) explains how we can adopt normal propositional attitudes towards fictions; (iv) allows explanation of how attitudes adopted during fictional response connect or are relevant to our broader systems of belief and volition. (shrink)
Determiner phrases embedded under a propositional attitude verb have traditionally been taken to denote answers to implicit questions. For example, 'the capital of Vermont' as it occurs in 'John knows the capital of Vermont' has been thought to denote the proposition which answers the implicit question 'what is the capital of Vermont?' Thus, where 'know' is treated as a propositional attitude verb rather than an acquaintance verb, 'John knows the capital of Vermont' is true iff John knows that (...) Montpelier is the capital of Vermont. The traditional view lost its popularity long ago, because it was thought to rest on the controversial assumption that determiner phases embedded under a propositional attitude verb function semantically in the same way as the corresponding wh -clauses. Here we defend the traditional assumption against objections. We then argue that wh -clauses are not to be given a uniform treatment as indirect questions. When occurring under a propositional attitude verb, wh -clauses are better treated as having a predicate-type semantic value. We conclude by considering some possible objections to the predicate view. (shrink)
I argue for two claims. First I argue against the consensus view that accurate behavioral prediction based on accurate representation of cognitive states, i.e. mind reading , is the sustaining function of propositional attitude ascription. This practice cannot have been selected in evolution and cannot persist, in virtue of its predictive utility, because there are principled reasons why it is inadequate as a tool for behavioral prediction. Second I give reasons that favor an alternative account of the sustaining (...)function of propositional attitude ascription. I argue that it serves a mind-shaping function. Roughly, propositional attitude ascription enables human beings to set up regulative ideals that function to mold behavior so as to make it easier to coordinate with. (shrink)
According to the standard definition, a first-order theory is categorical if all its models are isomorphic. The idea behind this definition obviously is that of capturing semantic notions in axiomatic terms: to be categorical is to be, in this respect, successful. Thus, for example, we may want to axiomatically delimit the concept of natural number, as it is given by the pre-theoretic semantic intuitions and reconstructed by the standard model. The well-known results state that this cannot be done within first-order (...) logic, but it can be done within second-order one. Now let us consider the following question: can we axiomatically capture the semantic concept of conjunction? Such question, to be sure, does not make sense within the standard framework: we cannot construe it as asking whether we can form a first-order (or, for that matter, whatever-order) theory with an extralogical binary propositional operator so that its only model (up to isomorphism) maps the operator on the intended binary truth-function. The obvious reason is that the framework of standard logic does not allow for extralogical constants of this type. But of course there is also a deeper reason: an existence of a constant with this semantics is presupposed by the very definition of the framework1. Hence the question about the axiomatic capturability of concunction, if we can make sense of it at all, cannot be asked within the framework of standard logic, we would have to go to a more abstract level. To be able to make sense of the question we would have to think about a propositional ‘proto-language’, with uninterpreted logical constants, and to try to search out axioms which would fix the denotations of the constants as the intended truth-functions. Can we do this? It might seem that the answer to this question is yielded by the completeness theorem for the standard propositional calculus: this theorem states that the axiomatic delimitation of the calculus and the semantic delimitation converge to the same result.. (shrink)
On a traditional or default view of the grasping or understanding of a singular proposition by an individual, it is assumed to be a unitary or holistic activity. However, naturalistic views of cognition plausibly could analyze propositional thinking in terms of more than one distinctive functional stage of cognitive processing, suggesting at least the potential legitimacy of a non-unitary analysis of propositional grasping. We outline a novel dual-component view of this kind, and show that it is well supported (...) by current cognitive science research. (shrink)
In this article I will develop the ﬁrst steps of a wholly general theory of how indexical and reﬂexive pronouns function in propositional attitude ascriptions. This will involve a theory of ascriptions of de se beliefs and de se utterances, which can probably be also generalized so as to apply to ascriptions of other attitudes. It will also involve a theory about the ascriptions of beliefs or other attitudes a person has at a time about what happens then (...) (attitudes de praesente, as they are sometimes called) and the beliefs of a person concerning the one whom he is addressing (which I might call beliefs de recipiente) etc.. The most distinctive aspect of the theory will be that I will argue that many phenomena associated with such ascriptions that are nowadays most often viewed as pragmatic are semantic. I will use a system of symbolic logic to formalize such ascriptions. I will start from David Kaplan’s Logic of Demonstratives and generalize it into a logic I call Doxastic Logic of Demonstratives, DLD. Crucial to the semantics of the logic will be an exact deﬁnition of the adjustments of a character from one context to another. (shrink)
Explicit description of maps definable by formulæ of the second order intuitionistic propositional calculus is given on two classes of linear Heyting algebras?the dense ones and the ones which possess successors. As a consequence, it is shown that over these classes every formula is equivalent to a quantifier free formula in the dense case, and to a formula with quantifiers confined to the applications of the successor in the second case.
The work of Bertrand Russell had a decisive influence on the emergence of analytic philosophy, and on its subsequent development. The essays collected in this volume, by one of the leading authorities on Russell's philosophy, all aim at recapturing and articulating aspects of Russell's philosophical vision during his most influential and important period, the two decades following his break with Idealism in 1899. One theme of the collection concerns Russell's views about propositions and their analysis, and the relation of those (...) ideas to his rejection of Idealism. Another theme is the development of Russell's logicism, culminating in Whitehead's and Russell's Principia Mathematica, and Hylton offers a revealing view of the conception of logic which underlies it. Here again there is an emphasis on Russell's argument against Idealism, on the idea that his logicism was a crucial part of that argument. A further focus of the volume is Russell's views about functions and propositional functions. This theme is part of a contrast that Hylton draws between Russell's general philosophical position and that of Frege; in particular, there is a close parallel with the quite different views that the two philosophers held about the nature of philosophical analysis. Hylton also sheds valuable light on the much-disputed idea of an operation, which Wittgenstein advances in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. (shrink)
A generally ignored feature of Aristotle’s famous function argument is its reliance on the claim that practitioners of the crafts (technai) have functions: but this claim does important work. Aristotle is pointing to the fact that we judge everyday rational agency and agents by norms which are independent of their contingent desires: a good doctor is not just one who happens to achieve his personal goals through his work. But, Aristotle argues, such norms can only be binding on individuals (...) if human rational agency as such is governed by objective teleological norms. . (shrink)
Several theories claim that dreaming is a random by-product of REM sleep physiology and that it does not serve any natural function. Phenomenal dream content, however, is not as disorganized as such views imply. The form and content of dreams is not random but organized and selective: during dreaming, the brain constructs a complex model of the world in which certain types of elements, when compared to waking life, are underrepresented whereas others are over represented. Furthermore, dream content is (...) consistently and powerfully modulated by certain types of waking experiences. On the basis of this evidence, I put forward the hypothesis that the biological function of dreaming is to simulate threatening events, and to rehearse threat perception and threat avoidance. To evaluate this hypothesis, we need to consider the original evolutionary context of dreaming and the possible traces it has left in the dream content of the present human population. In the ancestral environment human life was short and full of threats. Any behavioral advantage in dealing with highly dangerous events would have increased the probability of reproductive success. A dream-production mechanism that tends to select threatening waking events and simulate them over and over again in various combinations would have been valuable for the development and maintenance of threat-avoidance skills. Empirical evidence from normative dream content, children's dreams, recurrent dreams, nightmares, post traumatic dreams, and the dreams of hunter-gatherers indicates that our dream-production mechanisms are in fact specialized in the simulation of threatening events, and thus provides support to the threat simulation hypothesis of the function of dreaming. Key Words: dream content; dream function; evolution of consciousness; evolutionary psychology; fear; implicit learning; nightmares; rehearsal; REM; sleep; threat perception. (shrink)
The meaning of the wave function and its evolution are investigated. First, we argue that the wave function in quantum mechanics is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations in space. Next, we show that the linear non-relativistic evolution of the wave function of an isolated system obeys the free Schrödinger equation due to the requirements of (...) spacetime translation invariance and relativistic invariance. Thirdly, we argue that the random discontinuous motion of particles may lead to a stochastic, nonlinear collapse evolution of the wave function. A discrete model of energy-conserved wavefunction collapse is proposed and shown consistent with existing experiments and our macroscopic experience. Besides, we also give a critical analysis of the de Broglie-Bohm theory, the many-worlds interpretation and other dynamical collapse theories, and briefly discuss the issues of unifying quantum mechanics and relativity. (shrink)
This article analyzes the implications of protective measurement for the meaning of the wave function. According to protective measurement, a charged quantum system has mass and charge density proportional to the modulus square of its wave function. It is shown that the mass and charge density is not real but effective, formed by the ergodic motion of a localized particle with the total mass and charge of the system. Moreover, it is argued that the ergodic motion is not (...) continuous but discontinuous and random. This result suggests a new interpretation of the wave function, according to which the wave function is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations. It is shown that the suggested interpretation of the wave function disfavors the de Broglie-Bohm theory and the many-worlds interpretation but favors the dynamical collapse theories, and the random discontinuous motion of particles may provide an appropriate random source to collapse the wave function. (shrink)
We investigate the meaning of the wave function by analyzing the mass and charge density distributions of a quantum system. According to protective measurement, a charged quantum system has effective mass and charge density distributing in space, proportional to the square of the absolute value of its wave function. In a realistic interpretation, the wave function of a quantum system can be taken as a description of either a physical field or the ergodic motion of a particle. (...) The essential difference between a field and the ergodic motion of a particle lies in the property of simultaneity; a field exists throughout space simultaneously, whereas the ergodic motion of a particle exists throughout space in a time-divided way. If the wave function is a physical field, then the mass and charge density will be distributed in space simultaneously for a charged quantum system, and thus there will exist gravitational and electrostatic self-interactions of its wave function. This not only violates the superposition principle of quantum mechanics but also contradicts experimental observations. Thus the wave function cannot be a description of a physical field but a description of the ergodic motion of a particle. For the later there is only a localized particle with mass and charge at every instant, and thus there will not exist any self-interaction for the wave function. Which kind of ergodic motion of particles then? It is argued that the classical ergodic models, which assume continuous motion of particles, cannot be consistent with quantum mechanics. Based on the negative result, we suggest that the wave function is a description of the quantum motion of particles, which is random and discontinuous in nature. On this interpretation, the square of the absolute value of the wave function not only gives the probability of the particle being found in certain locations, but also gives the probability of the particle being there. We show that this new interpretation of the wave function provides a natural realistic alternative to the orthodox interpretation, and its implications for other realistic interpretations of quantum mechanics are also briefly discussed. (shrink)
We show that the physical meaning of the wave function can be derived based on the established parts of quantum mechanics. It turns out that the wave function represents the state of random discontinuous motion of particles, and its modulus square determines the probability density of the particles appearing in certain positions in space.
Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth 2013, 6th edition, with an additional section entitled, "Reasons for the Common View," eds Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. What is propositional faith? At a first approximation, we might answer that it is the psychological attitude picked out by standard uses of the English locution “S has faith that p,” where p takes declarative sentences as instances, as in “He has faith that they’ll win”. Although correct, this answer is not nearly (...) as informative as we might like. Many people say that there is a more informative answer. They say that, at the very least, propositional faith requires propositional belief. More precisely, they say that faith that p requires belief that p or that it must be partly constituted by belief that p. This view is common enough; call it the Common View. I have two main aims in this paper: (i) to exhibit the falsity of the Common View and the paucity of reasons for it, and (ii) to sketch a more accurate and comprehensive account of what propositional faith is. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the question of whether the expected consequences of holding a belief can affect the rationality of doing so. Special attention is given to various ways in which one might attempt to exert some measure of control over what one believes and the normative status of the beliefs that result from the successful execution of such projects. I argue that the lessons which emerge from thinking about the case ofbelief have important implications for the way we (...) should think about the rationality of a number of other propositional attitudes,such as regret, desire, and fear. Finally,I suggest that a lack of clarity with respect to the relevant issues has given rise to a number of rather serious philosophical mistakes. (shrink)
The propositional attitudes are attitudes such as believing and desiring, taken toward propositions such as the proposition that snow flurries are expected, or that the Prime Minister likes poutine. Collectively, our views about the propositional attitudes make up much of folk psychology, our everyday theory of how the mind works.
The function of a trait token is usually defined in terms of some properties of other (past, present, future) tokens of the same trait type. I argue that this strategy is problematic, as trait types are (at least partly) individuated by their functional properties, which would lead to circularity. In order to avoid this problem, I suggest a way to define the function of a trait token in terms of the properties of the very same trait token. To (...) able to allow for the possibility of malfunctioning, some of these properties need to be modal ones: a function of a trait is to do F just in case its doing F would contribute to the inclusive fitness of the organism whose trait it is. Function attributions have modal force. Finally, I explore whether and how this theory of biological function could be modified to cover artifact function. (shrink)
This book makes a stimulating contribution to the philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. It begins with a spirited defense of the view that propositions are structured and that propositional structure is "psychologically real." The author then develops a subtle view of propositions and attitude ascription. The view is worked out in detail with attention to such topics as the semantics of conversations, iterated attitude ascriptions, and the role of propositions as bearers of truth. Along the way important (...) issues in the philosophy of mind are addressed. (shrink)
Philosophers of evolutionary biology favor the so-called etiological concept of function according to which the function of a trait is its evolutionary purpose, defined as the effect for which that trait was favored by natural selection. We term this the selected effect (SE) analysis of function. An alternative account of function was introduced by Robert Cummins in a non-evolutionary and non-purposive context. Cummins''s account has received attention but little support from philosophers of biology. This paper will (...) show that a similar non-purposive concept of function, which we term causal role (CR) function, is crucial to certain research programs in evolutionary biology, and that philosophical criticisms of Cummins''s concept are ineffective in this scientific context. Specifically, we demonstrate that CR functions are a vital and ineliminable part of research in comparative and functional anatomy, and that biological categories used by anatomists are not defined by the application of SE functional analysis. Causal role functions are non-historically defined, but may themselves be used in an historical analysis. Furthermore, we show that a philosophical insistence on the primary of SE functions places practicing biologists in an untenable position, as such functions can rarely be demonstrated (in contrast to CR functions). Biologists who study the form and function of organismal design recognize that it is virtually impossible to identify the past action of selection on any particular structure retrospectively, a requirement for recognizing SE functions. (shrink)
Propositionalism is the view that intentional attitudes, such as belief, are relations to propositions. Propositionalists argue that propositionalism follows from the intuitive validity of certain kinds of inferences involving attitude reports. Jubien (2001) argues powerfully against propositions and sketches some interesting positive proposals, based on Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment, about how to accommodate “propositional phenomena” without appeal to propositions. This paper argues that none of Jubien’s proposals succeeds in accommodating an important range of propositional phenomena, such (...) as the aforementioned validity of attitude-report inferences. It then shows that the notion of a predication act-type, which remains importantly Russellian in spirit, is sufficient to explain the range of propositional phenomena in question, in particular the validity of attitude-report inferences. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether predication act-types are really just propositions by another name. (shrink)
Conscious mental states are states we are in some way aware of. I compare higher-order theories of consciousness, which explain consciousness by appeal to such higher-order awareness (HOA), and first-order theories, which do not, and I argue that higher-order theories have substantial explanatory advantages. The higher-order nature of our awareness of our conscious states suggests an analogy with the metacognition that figures in the regulation of psychological processes and behaviour. I argue that, although both consciousness and metacognition involve higher-order psychological (...) states, they have little more in common. One thing they do share is the possibility of misrepresentation; just as metacognitive processing can misrepresent one’s cognitive states and abilities, so the HOA in virtue of which one’s mental states are conscious can, and sometimes does, misdescribe those states. A striking difference between the two, however, has to do with utility for psychological processing. Metacognition has considerable benefit for psychological processing; in contrast, it is unlikely that there is much, if any, utility to mental states’ being conscious over and above the utility those states have when they are not conscious. (shrink)
The survival enhancing propensity (SEP) account has a crucial role to play in the analysis of proper function. However, a central feature of the account, its specification of the proper environment to which functions are relativized, is seriously underdeveloped. In this paper, I argue that existent accounts of proper environment fail because they either allow too many or too few characters to count as proper functions. While SEP accounts retain their promise, they are unworkable because of their inability to (...) specify this important feature. However, I suggest that this problem can be overcome by the application of a new strategy for specifying proper environment that is grounded in the operation of natural selection and I conclude by offering a first approximation of such an account. (shrink)
Most contemporary philosophical discussions of intentionality start and end with a treatment of the propositional attitudes. In fact, many theorists hold (tacitly if not explicitly) that all attitudes are propositional attitudes. Our folk-psychological ascriptions suggest, however, that there are non-propositional attitudes: I like Sally, my brother fears snakes, everyone loves my grandmother, and Rush Limbaugh hates Obama. I argue that things are as they appear: there are non-propositional attitudes. More specifically, I argue that there are attitudes (...) that relate individuals to non-propositional objects and do so not in virtue of relating them to propositions. I reach this conclusion by not only showing that attempted analyses of apparently non-propositional attitudes in terms of the propositional fail, but that some non-propositional attitudes don’t even supervene on propositional attitudes. If this is correct, then the common discussions of intentionality that address only propositional attitudes are incomplete and those who hold that all intentional states are propositional are mistaken. (shrink)
I argue that there are at least four different ways in which the term ‘function’ is used in connection with the study of living organisms, namely: (1) function as (mere) activity, (2) function as biological role, (3) function as biological advantage, and (4) function as selected effect. Notion (1) refers to what an item does by itself; (2) refers to the contribution of an item or activity to a complex activity or capacity of an organism; (...) (3) refers to the value for the organism of an item having a certain character rather than another; (4) refers to the way in which a trait acquired and has maintained its current share in the population. The recognition of a separate notion of function as biological advantage solves the problem of the indeterminate reference situation that has been raised against a counterfactual analysis of function, and emphasizes the importance of counterfactual comparison in the explanatory practice of organismal biology. This reveals a neglected problem in the philosophy of biology, namely that of accounting for the insights provided. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: An introduction to Stoic logic. Stoic logic can in many respects be regarded as a fore-runner of modern propositional logic. I discuss: 1. the Stoic notion of sayables or meanings (lekta); the Stoic assertibles (axiomata) and their similarities and differences to modern propositions; the time-dependency of their truth; 2.-3. assertibles with demonstratives and quantified assertibles and their truth-conditions; truth-functionality of negations and conjunctions; non-truth-functionality of disjunctions and conditionals; language regimentation and ‘bracketing’ devices; Stoic basic principles of propositional (...) logic; 4. Stoic modal logic; 5. Stoic theory of arguments: two premisses requirement; validity and soundness; 6. Stoic syllogistic or theory of formally valid arguments: a reconstruction of the Stoic deductive system, which consisted of accounts of five types of indemonstrable syllogisms, which function as nullary argumental rules that identify indemonstrables or axioms of the system, and four deductive rules (themata) by which certain complex arguments can be reduced to indemonstrables and thus shown to be formally valid themselves; 7. arguments that were considered as non-syllogistically valid (subsyllogistic and unmethodically concluding arguments). Their validity was explained by recourse to formally valid arguments. (shrink)
Natural deduction systems were motivated by the desire to define the meaning of each connective by specifying how it is introduced and eliminated from inference. In one sense, this attempt fails, for it is well known that propositional logic rules (however formulated) underdetermine the classical truth tables. Natural deduction rules are too weak to enforce the intended readings of the connectives; they allow non-standard models. Two reactions to this phenomenon appear in the literature. One is to try to restore (...) the standard readings, for example by adopting sequent rules with multiple conclusions. Another is to explore what readings the natural deduction rules do enforce. When the notion of a model of a rule is generalized, it is found that natural deduction rules express “intuitionistic” readings of their connectives. A third approach is presented here. The intuitionistic readings emerge when models of rules are defined globally, but the notion of a local model of a rule is also natural. Using this benchmark, natural deduction rules enforce exactly the classical readings of the connectives, while this is not true of axiomatic systems. This vindicates the historical motivation for natural deduction rules. One odd consequence of using the local model benchmark is that some systems of propositional logic are not complete for the semantics that their rules express. Parallels are drawn with incompleteness results in modal logic to help make sense of this. (shrink)
I clarify some of the details of the modal theory of function I outlined in Nanay (2010): (a) I explicate what it means that the function of a token biological trait is fixed by modal facts; (b) I address an objection to my trait type individuation argument against etiological function and (c) I examine the consequences of replacing the etiological theory of function with a modal theory for the prospects of using the concept of biological (...) class='Hi'>function to explain mental content. (shrink)
Function theorists routinely speculate that a viable function theory will be equally applicable to biological traits and artifacts. However, artifact function has received only the most cursory scrutiny in its own right. Closer scrutiny reveals that only a pluralist theory comprising two distinct notions of function--proper function and system function--will serve as an adequate general theory. The first section describes these two notions of function. The second section shows why both notions are necessary, (...) by showing that attempts to do away with one of them fail. This demonstration draws on examples from the artifactual realm to motivate major points of the argument. The third section is an outline of artifact function. It confirms the conclusions of the second section, and also begins the task of describing some of the special features of artifact function needing accommodation within the general theory. (shrink)
A prospective introduction -- The received view -- Troubles with the received view -- Are propositional attitudes relations? -- Foundations of a measurement-theoretic account of the attitudes -- The basic measurement-theoretic account -- Elaboration and explication of the proposed measurement-theoretic account.