We present the simplest solution ever to 'the hardest logic puzzle ever'. We then modify the puzzle to make it even harder and give a simple solution to the modified puzzle. The final sections investigate exploding god-heads and a two-question solution to the original puzzle.
Rabern and Rabern (2008) have noted the need to modify `the hardest logic puzzle ever’ as presented in Boolos 1996 in order to avoid trivialization. Their paper ends with a two-question solution to the original puzzle, which does not carry over to the amended puzzle. The purpose of this note is to offer a two-question solution to the latter puzzle, which is, after all, the one with a claim to being the hardest logic puzzle ever.
Gottlob Frege maintained that two name-containing identity sentences, represented schematically as a=a and a=b,can both be true in virtue of the same object’s self-identity but nonetheless, puzzlingly, differ in their epistemic profiles. Frege eventually resolved his puzzlement by locating the source of the purported epistemic difference between the identity sentences in a difference in the Sinne, or senses, expressed by the names that the sentences contain. -/- Thus, Frege portrayed himself as describing a puzzle that can be posed prior (...) to and independently of any particular theoretical position regarding names, and then resolving that puzzle with his theory of Sinn and Bedeutung. In this paper, I suggest that Frege’s presentation is problematic. If attempt is made to characterize the epistemic status of true identity sentences without appeal to Frege’s theoretical commitments, then what initially seemed puzzling largely dissolves. It turns out that, in order to generate puzzlement, Frege must invoke the theoretical account that he uses the puzzle to establish the purported necessity of. (shrink)
"The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever" was first described by the late George Boolos in the Spring 1996 issue of the Harvard Review of Philosophy. Although not dissimilar in appearance from many other simpler puzzles involving gods (or tribesmen) who always tell the truth or always lie, this puzzle has several features that make the solution far from trivial. This paper examines the puzzle and describes a simpler solution than that originally proposed by Boolos.
Rabern and Rabern (Analysis 68:105–112 2 ) and Uzquiano (Analysis 70:39–44 4 ) have each presented increasingly harder versions of ‘the hardest logic puzzle ever’ (Boolos The Harvard Review of Philosophy 6:62–65 1 ), and each has provided a two-question solution to his predecessor’s puzzle. But Uzquiano’s puzzle is different from the original and different from Rabern and Rabern’s in at least one important respect: it cannot be solved in less than three questions. In this paper we (...) solve Uzquiano’s puzzle in three questions and show why there is no solution in two. Finally, to cement a tradition, we introduce a puzzle of our own. (shrink)
In examining the puzzle of experience, and its possible solutions, Valberg discusses relevant views of Hume, Kant, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Strawson, as well as ideas from the recent philosophy of perception. Finally, he describes and analyzes a manifestation of the puzzle outside philosophy, in everyday experience.
I have two goals in this paper. First, I want to show by example that inferences about theoretical entities are relatively contingent affairs. Previously accepted conceptual metaphors in science set both the general form of new theories and our acceptance of the theories as plausible. In addition, they determine how we define the relevant parameters in investigating phenomena in the first place. These items then determine how we conceptualize things in the world. Second, and maybe more importantly, I want to (...) solve a puzzle that falls out of our current explication of attention, namely why we have it. Given the now widely accepted view that our brains are massively parallel, it is difficult to see why we should have evolved attentional mechanisms at all. Why gate when we can already process what we transduce in parallel? Here I answer that puzzle and suggest a perspective on attention that makes it a bit easier to understand, although this perspective also entails that we have to revise how we individuate experimental protocols and relevant data. (shrink)
Gary Ostertag (Philos Stud 146:249–267, 2009) has presented a new puzzle for Russellianism about belief reports. He argues that Russellians do not have the resources to solve this puzzle in terms of pragmatic phenomena. I argue to the contrary that the puzzle can be solved according to Nathan Salmon’s (Frege’s puzzle, 1986) pragmatic account of belief reports, provided that the account is properly understood. Specifically, the puzzle can be solved so long as Salmon’s guises are (...) not identified with sentences. (shrink)
This paper revisits a puzzle that arises for theories of knowledge according to which one can know on the basis of merely inductive grounds. No matter how strong such theories require inductive grounds to be if a belief based on them is to qualify as knowledge, there are certain beliefs (namely, about the outcome of fair lotteries) that are based on even stronger inductive grounds, while, intuitively, they do not qualify as knowledge. This paper discusses what is often regarded (...) as the most promising classical invariantist solution to the puzzle, namely, that beliefs about the outcomes of fair lotteries do not qualify as knowledge because they are too lucky to do so (or, relatedly, because they do not satisfy a safety condition on knowledge), while other beliefs based on potentially weaker inductive grounds are not too lucky (or, relatedly, because they are safe). A case is presented that shows that this solution to the puzzle is actually not viable. It is argued that there is no obvious alternative solution in sight and that therefore the puzzle still awaits a classical invariantist solution. (shrink)
In this paper we discuss the new Tweety puzzle. The original Tweety puzzle was addressed by approaches in non-monotonic logic, which aim to adequately represent the Tweety case, namely that Tweety is a penguin and, thus, an exceptional bird, which cannot fly, although in general birds can fly. The new Tweety puzzle is intended as a challenge for probabilistic theories of epistemic states. In the first part of the paper we argue against monistic Bayesians, who assume that (...) epistemic states can at any given time be adequately described by a single subjective probability function. We show that monistic Bayesians cannot provide an adequate solution to the new Tweety puzzle, because this requires one to refer to a frequency-based probability function. We conclude that monistic Bayesianism cannot be a fully adequate theory of epistemic states. In the second part we describe an empirical study, which provides support for the thesis that monistic Bayesianism is also inadequate as a descriptive theory of cognitive states. In the final part of the paper we criticize Bayesian approaches in cognitive science, insofar as their monistic tendency cannot adequately address the new Tweety puzzle. We, further, argue against monistic Bayesianism in cognitive science by means of a case study. In this case study we show that Oaksford and Chater’s (2007, 2008) model of conditional inference—contrary to the authors’ theoretical position—has to refer also to a frequency-based probability function. (shrink)
In this paper, we first propose a simple formal language to specify types of agents in terms of necessary conditions for their announcements. Based on this language, types of agents are treated as ‘first-class citizens’ and studied extensively in various dynamic epistemic frameworks which are suitable for reasoning about knowledge and agent types via announcements and questions. To demonstrate our approach, we discuss various versions of Smullyan’s Knights and Knaves puzzles, including the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever (HLPE) proposed by (...) Boolos (in Harv Rev Philos 6:62–65, 1996). In particular, we formalize HLPE and verify a classic solution to it. Moreover, we propose a spectrum of new puzzles based on HLPE by considering subjective (knowledge-based) agent types and relaxing the implicit epistemic assumptions in the original puzzle. The new puzzles are harder than the previously proposed ones in the literature, in the sense that they require deeper epistemic reasoning. Surprisingly, we also show that a version of HLPE in which the agents do not know the others’ types does not have a solution at all. Our formalism paves the way for studying these new puzzles using automatic model checking techniques. (shrink)
According to the Dogmatism Puzzle, knowledge breeds dogmatism: if a subject knows a proposition h, then she is justified in disregarding any future evidence against h, for she knows that such evidence is misleading. The standard, widely accepted solution to the puzzle appeals to the defeasibility of knowledge. I argue that the defeat solution leaves intact a residual dogmatist puzzle. Solving this puzzle requires proponents of defeat to deny a plausible principle that the original puzzle (...) relies on called Entitlement, a principle stating roughly that knowing that a piece of evidence is misleading entitles one to disregard it. The plausibility of Entitlement should cast doubt not only on the defeat solution, but on an assumption that has often been taken for granted: the falsity of the dogmatist conclusion of the original puzzle. I conclude that we face a dilemma between giving up Entitlement and living with dogmatism. (shrink)
Pulier (2000, Theory and Decision 49: 291) and Machina (2000, Theory and Decision 49: 293) seek to dissolve the BarrettâArntzenius infinite decision puzzle (1999, Theory and Decision 46: 101). The proposed dissolutions, however, are based on misunderstandings concerning how the puzzle works and the nature of supertasks more generally. We will describe the puzzle in a simplified form, address the recent misunderstandings, and describe possible morals for decision theory.
A puzzle about warranted belief, often attributed to Kripke, has recently come to prominence. This puzzle claims to show that it follows from the possession of a warrant for one's belief in an empirical proposition that one is entitled to dismiss all subsequent evidence against that proposition as misleading. The two main solutions that have been offered to this puzzle in the recent literature - by James Cargile and David Lewis - argue for a revisionist epistemology which, (...) respectively, either denies the so-called 'Closure' principle that warrants transmit across known entailments, or 'contextualizes' the epistemic operator in question. In contrast, it is argued here that such revisionism is unnecessary because the puzzle in fact depends upon an ambiguity in the notion of warrant. It is claimed that once this ambiguity is made explicit then the puzzle dissipates. (shrink)
Metaphysical grounding is standardly taken to be irreflexive: nothing grounds itself. Kit Fine has presented some puzzles that appear to contradict this principle. I construct a particularly simple variant of those puzzles that is independent of several of the assumptions required by Fine, instead employing quantification into sentence position. Various possible responses to Fine's puzzles thus turn out to apply only in a restricted range of cases.
In a series of influential articles (Kim 1989b, 1992b, 1993a and 1998), Jaegwon Kim has developed a strong argument against nonreductive physicalism as a plausible solution to mental causation. The argument is commonly called the ’causal exclusion argument’, and it has become, over the years, one of the most serious threats to the nonreductivist point of view. In the first part of this paper I offer a careful reconstruction and detailed discussion of the exclusion argument. In the second part I (...) show why some important objections to it actually fail. (shrink)
To have a propositional attitude, a thinker must possess the concepts included in its content. Surprisingly, this rather trivial principle refl ects badly on many theories of concept possession because, in its light, they seem to require too much. To solve this problem, I point out an ambiguity in attributions of the form 'S possesses the concept of Fs'. There is an undemanding sense which is involved in the given principle, whereas the theoretical claims concern a stronger sense which can (...) be brought out by formulations such as 'S has an adequate conception of Fs' or 'S knows what Fs are'. (shrink)
We study a generalization of the Muddy Children puzzle by allowing public announcements with arbitrary generalized quantifiers. We propose a new concise logical modeling of the puzzle based on the number triangle representation of quantifi ers. Our general aim is to discuss the possibility of epistemic modeling that is cut for specifi c informational dynamics. Moreover, we show that the puzzle is solvable for any number of agents if and only if the quanti fier in the announcement (...) is positively active (satis es a form of variety). (shrink)
In this paper we advance a new solution to Quinn’s puzzle of the self-torturer. The solution falls directly out of an application of the principle of instrumental reasoning to what we call “vague projects”, i.e., projects whose completion does not occur at any particular or definite point or moment. The resulting treatment of the puzzle extends our understanding of instrumental rationality to projects and ends that cannot be accommodated by orthodox theories of rational choice.
The objects of credence are the entities to which credences are assigned for the purposes of a successful theory of credence. I use cases akin to Frege's puzzle to argue against referentialism about credence: the view that objects of credence are determined by the objects and properties at which one's credence is directed. I go on to develop a non-referential account of the objects of credence in terms of sets of epistemically possible scenarios.
This paper provides a new approach to a family of outstanding logical and semantical puzzles, the most famous being Frege's puzzle. The three main reductionist theories of propositions (the possible-worlds theory, the propositional-function theory, the propositional-complex theory) are shown to be vulnerable to Benacerraf-style problems, difficulties involving modality, and other problems. The nonreductionist algebraic theory avoids these problems and allows us to identify the elusive nondescriptive, non-metalinguistic, necessary propositions responsible for the indicated family of puzzles. The algebraic approach is (...) also used to defend antiexistentialism against existentialist prejudices. The paper closes with a suggestion about how this theory of content might enable us to give purely semantic (as opposed to pragmatic) solutions to the puzzles based on a novel formulation of the principle of compositionality. (shrink)
In this paper, I develop a neglected puzzle for the moral realist. I then canvass some potential responses. Although I endorse one response as the most promising of those I survey, my primary goal is to make vivid how formidable the puzzle is, as opposed to offering a definitive solution.
Our puzzle about moral motivation can be seen as a tension that we encounter when we try to reconcile intellectual and practical aspects of morality. Cognitivists interpret moral judgments as expressing cognitive attitudes, such as belief. Moral judgments ascribe properties – axiological, deontic, and aretaic – to persons, actions, institutions, and policies. Internalists believe that moral judgments necessarily engage the will and motivate. We expect people to be motivated to act in accord with their moral judgments and would find (...) it odd for people to be systematically indifferent to what they judge morally significant. It is also a common view that motivation involves pro-attitudes, such as desires. We explain intentional action as the product of informational states, such as beliefs, and practical states, such as desires. But beliefs and desires are logically independent states; no belief entails any particular desire. These assumptions are in tension. (shrink)
Relocating Kripke's puzzle about belief, this paper investigates i) in what the puzzle consists, exactly; ii) the method used in its construction; and iii) relations between meaning and rationality. Essential to Kripke's puzzle is a normative notion of contradictory belief. Different positions about the meaning of names yield different views of what constitutes the attribution of contradictory belief; and Kripke's puzzle unwittingly _imports a Millian assumption. Accordingly, the puzzle about belief is not independent of positions (...) about the meaning of names. (shrink)
The existence of natural laws, whether deterministic or indeterministic, and whether exceptionless or ceteris paribus, seems puzzling because it implies that mindless bits of matter behave in a consistent and co-ordinated way. I explain this puzzle by showing that a number of attempted solutions fail. The puzzle could be resolved if it were assumed that natural laws are a manifestation of God’s activity. This argument from natural law to God’s existence differs from its traditional counterparts in that, whereas (...) the latter seek to explain the fact of natural laws, the former seeks to explain their possibility. The customary objections to the traditional arguments cannot be successfully adapted to counter this new argument, with one exception which has only limited effect. I rebut four claims that the theistic solution to the puzzle about natural laws is paradoxical, though I concede that one of these claims has merit. I consider four objections to the new argument but find three of them more or less unsatisfactory. The fourth, if successful, would undermine our claims to know the truth about the world. (shrink)
The exercise of willpower is puzzling because it seems to require that a person both most wants to act on a wayward desire, and most wants to resist this desire, and this seems impossible. There are two accounts that try to resolve this puzzle of synchronic self-control, Jeanette Kennett and Michael Smith’s ‘non-actional’ account and Alfred Mele’s ‘ancillary action’ account. I criticize these accounts because they set too strong constraints on what kinds of synchronic self-control are possible, and thus (...) what willpower could turn out to be. I then propose a ‘divided mind’ account that helps make sense of particularly strong forms of willpower that cannot be accommodated on the alternative accounts. On the divided mind account, motivational architecture is divided between a deliberative motivational system and an emotional motivational system, and willpower is a proprietary action exclusively available to the deliberative system. I address potential objections to the divided mind account. One objection says that it is not in fact possible for a weaker desire to defeat a stronger one. A second objection says that actions that arise exclusively from parts of a mind cannot be said to belong to the whole agent. (shrink)
This paper argues that there is no genuine puzzle of ‘imaginative resistance’. In part 1 of the paper I argue that the imaginability of fictional propositions is relative to a range of different factors including the ‘thickness’ of certain concepts, and certain pre-theoretical and theoretical commitments. I suggest that those holding realist moral commitments may be more susceptible to resistance and inability than those holding non-realist commitments, and that it is such realist commitments that ultimately motivate the problem. However, (...) I argue that the relativity of imaginability is not a particularly puzzling feature of imagination. In part 2, I claim that it is the so-called ‘alethic’ puzzle, concerning fictional truth, which generates a real puzzle about imaginative resistance. However, I argue that the alethic puzzle itself depends on certain realist assumptions about the nature of fictional truth which are implausible and should be rejected in favour of an interpretive view of fictional truth. Once this is done, I contend, it becomes evident that the supposed problem of imaginative resistance as it has hitherto been discussed in the literature is not puzzling at all. (shrink)
The essay is a partial investigation into the semantics of the explanatory connective ‘because’. After three independently plausible assumptions about ‘because’ are presented in some detail, it is shown how their interaction generates a puzzle about ‘because’, once they are combined with a common view on conceptual analysis. Four possible solutions to the puzzle are considered.
The puzzle of imaginative desire arises from the difficulty of accounting for the surprising behaviour of desire in imaginative activities such as our engagement with fiction and our games of pretend. Several philosophers have recently attempted to solve this puzzle by introducing a class of novel mental states?what they call desire-like imaginings or i-desires. In this paper, I argue that we should reject the i-desire solution to the puzzle of imaginative desire. The introduction of i-desires is both (...) ontologically profligate and unnecessary, and, most importantly, fails to make sense of what we are doing in the imaginative contexts in question. (shrink)
Visual imagination (or visualization) is peculiar in being both free, in that what we imagine is up to us, and useful to a wide variety of practical reasoning tasks. How can we rely upon our visualizations in practical reasoning if what we imagine is subject to our whims? The key to answering this puzzle, I argue, is to provide an account of what constrains the sequence in which the representations featured in visualization unfold—an account that is consistent with its (...) freedom. Three different proposals are outlined, building on theories that link visualization to sensorimotor predictive mechanisms (e.g., efference copies, forward models ). Each sees visualization as a kind of reasoning, where its freedom consists in our ability to choose the topic of the reasoning. Of the three options, I argue that the approach many will find most attractive—that visualization is a kind of off-line perception, and is therefore in some sense misrepresentational—should be rejected. The two remaining proposals both conceive of visualization as a form of sensorimotor reasoning that is constitutive of one’s commitments concerning the way certain kinds of visuomotor scenarios unfold. According to the first, these commitments impinge on one’s web of belief from without, in the manner of normal perceptual experience; according to the second, these commitments just are one’s (occurrent) beliefs about such generalizations. I conclude that, despite being initially counterintuitive, the view of visualization as a kind of occurrent belief is the most promising. (shrink)
In this paper, I investigate the prospects for using the distinction between rejection and denial to resolve Saul Kripke’s puzzle about belief. One puzzle Kripke presents in A Puzzle About Belief poses what would have seemed a fairly straightforward question about the beliefs of the bilingual Pierre, who is disposed to sincerely and reflectively assent to the French sentence Londres est jolie , but not to the English sentence London is pretty , both of which he understands (...) perfectly well. The question to be answered is whether Pierre believes that London is pretty, and Kripke argues, of each answer, that it is unacceptable. On my proposal, either answer to the question is to be rejected, but neither answer is to be denied, using the resource of partially-defined predicates. After demonstrating how this serves as a solution to the puzzle, I illustrate some philosophical motivations—independent of Kripke’s puzzle—for adopting a view on which belief is a partially defined predicate. I conclude that there are decent prospects for the proposed response to Kripke’s puzzle. (shrink)
I'd like to present a puzzle about belief reports that's been nagging at me for several years. I've subjected many friends and audiences to various abortive attempts at solving it. Now it's time to get it off my chest and let others try their hand at it.<1>.
Gregory Kavka's 'Toxin Puzzle' suggests that I cannot intend to perform a counter-preferential action A even if I have a strong self-interested reason to form this intention. The 'Rationalist Solution,' however, suggests that I can form this intention. For even though it is counter-preferential, A-ing is actually rational given that the intention behind it is rational. Two arguments are offered for this proposition that the rationality of the intention to A transfers to A-ing itself: the 'Self-Promise Argument' and David (...) Gauthier's 'Rational Self-Interest Argument.' But both arguments – and therefore the Rationalist Solution – fail. The Self-Promise Argument fails because my intention to A does not constitute a promise to myself that I am obligated to honor. And Gauthier's Rational Self-Interest Argument fails to rule out the possibility of rational irrationality. (shrink)
Conscious experience presents a deep puzzle. On the one hand, a fairly robust materialism must be true in order to explain how it is that conscious events causally interact with non-conscious, physical events. On the other hand, we cannot explain how physical phenomena give rise to conscious experience. In this wide-ranging study, Joseph Levine explores both sides of the mind-body dilemma, presenting the first book-length treatment of his highly influential ideas on the "explanatory gap," the fact that we can't (...) explain the nature of phenomenal experience in terms of its physical realization. He presents a careful argument that there is such a gap, and, after providing intriguing analyses of virtually all existing theories of consciousness, shows that recent attempts to close it fall short of the mark. Levine concludes that in the foreseeable future consciousness will remain a mystery. (shrink)
Thomas Reid thinks of natural philosophy as a purely nomothetic enterprise but he maintains that it is proper for natural philosophers to employ causal terminology in formulating their explanatory claims. In this paper, I analyze this puzzle in light of Reid's distinction between efficient and physical causation – a distinction he grounds in his strict understanding of active powers. I consider several possible reasons that Reid may have for maintaining that natural philosophers ought to employ causal terminology and suggest (...) that the underlying rationale for his views is his understanding of the aims of explanation and their connection to the interests of human agents. The ultimate aim of knowing the causes of phenomena is to mollify the natural intellectual curiosity of human inquirers and provide guidance that insures successful action. The discovery of laws governing phenomena fulfills this aim and, as such, it is appropriate for natural philosophers to employ causal terminology. (shrink)
Abstract: How it is that one's own thoughts can seem to be someone else's? After noting some common missteps of other approaches to this puzzle, I develop a novel cognitive solution, drawing on and critiquing theories that understand inserted thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia as stemming from mismatches between predicted and actual sensory feedback. Considerable attention is paid to forging links between the first-person phenomenology of thought insertion and the posits (e.g. efference copy, corollary discharge) of current (...) cognitive theories. I show how deficits in the subconscious mechanisms regulating inner speech may lead to a 'fractured phenomenology' responsible for schizophrenic patients' reports of inserted thoughts and auditory verbal hallucinations. Supporting work on virtual environments is discussed, and lessons concerning the fixity of delusional belief are drawn. (shrink)
Pejoratives are the class of expressions that are meant to insult or disparage. They include swear words and slurs. These words allow speakers to convey emotional states beyond the truth-conditional contents that they are normally taken to encode. The puzzle arises because, although pejoratives seem to be a semantically unified class, some of their occurrences are best accounted for truth-conditionally, while others are best accounted for non-truth-conditionally. Where current, non-truth-conditional, views in the literature fail to provide a unified solution (...) for the puzzle, this paper motivates a novel, semantic, analysis of pejorative language. The significance of the proposed solution is not only linguistic in nature, but also philosophical, as it both provides a new argument for, and sheds further light on, the nature of semantic externalism. (shrink)
It seems that every singular proposition implies that the object it is singular with respect to exists. It also seems that some propositions are true with respect to possible worlds in which they do not exist. The puzzle is that it can be argued that there is contradiction between these two principles. In this paper, I explain the puzzle and consider some of the ways one might attempt to resolve it. The puzzle is important because it has (...) implications concerning the way we think about the relationship between a proposition and the claim that the proposition is true. (shrink)
This article criticises existing solutions to the 'puzzle of imaginative resistance', reconstrues it, and offers a solution of its own. About the Book : Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts is the first comprehensive collection of papers by philosophers examining the nature of imagination and its role in understanding and making art. Imagination is a central concept in aesthetics with close ties to issues in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, yet it has not received the kind (...) of sustained, critical attention it deserves. This collection of seventeen brand new essays critically examines just how and in what form the notion of imagination illuminates fundamental problems in the philosophy of art. (shrink)
In his recent article, ‘Lottery puzzles and Jesus’ return’, Donald Smith says that Christians should accept a very robust scepticism about the future because a Christian ought to think that the probability of Jesus’ return happening at any future moment is inscrutable to her. But I think that Smith’s argument lacks the power rationally to persuade Christians who are antecedently uncommitted as to whether or not we can or do have any substantive knowledge about the future. Moreover, I think that (...) Christians who are so antecedently uncommitted have available objections they can reasonably press against Smith’s arguments. In the article, I attempt to bring out these objections. (shrink)
In 'Chrysippus' Puzzle about Identity', John Bowin (thereafter JB) cogently strengthens David Sedley's reading of the puzzle of Chrysippus as a reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument. For Sedley, Chrysippus reduces to absurdity the assumption that matter is the sole principle of identity by refuting its presupposition that the two protagonists of the puzzle, namely Theon and Dion, are related as part to the whole. According to Plutarch's Comm. not. 1083 a8-c1, however, the Growing Argument concludes (...) by posing that growth is actually 'generation' and 'destruction'. In order to avoid the contradiction, Theon should have perished rather than become a part of Dion. JB attempts to answer the questions of whether within the Growing Argument there are elements against Theon being a living part of Dion. He shows that in both Epicharmus' fragment 2 and Plutarch's Comm.not. 1083b 308 "there is nothing to block the inference from matter being the sole principle of identity to the possibility that Theon could be a part of Dion" (246). Again, in exploring whether the above contradiction can be solved, he convincingly argues against Epicharmus' and Plutarch's reading of growth as generation and destruction. In the last part of his article, JB stresses that the reductio ad absurdum of the Growing Argument can be tackled without introducing the concept of 'peculiarly qualified individuals'. (shrink)
A traditional argument is often used against Mill's theory of names (the meaning of a name is exhausted by its referent). Mill's theory implies transparency of proper names (coreferring proper names are substitutable salva veritate); but examples like Frege's and Quine's show that proper names are not transparent in belief contexts. This could be thought to be a reductio ad absurdum of Mill's theory. In " A puzzle about Belief" (1979; 1988) Kripke builds up an argument which aims to (...) show that the same problems, given by the principle of transparency of proper names, can also be generated without the use of that principle, but with some weaker and more general principles, which seem to be difficult to reject. (see Donellan) Therefore, the traditional argument against Mill's theory does not work. If you want to reject Mill's theory with some reductio ad absurdum, you should reject two very intuitive and apparently valid principles. The well known puzzle is based on the assumption that our speaker is normal non omniscient, sincere, reflective and not conceptually confused. The two principles used are the Disquotational Principle (DP) and the Translation Principle (TP). (shrink)
This paper argues against the common practice of presenting perdurantism, endurantism, and other views about persistence and time as solutions to an alleged puzzle about change. Various recent attempts to generate a puzzle about change are examined and found unsuccessful. This does not mean, however, that the relevant views about persistence and time are not well motivated, but rather that their interest and purpose is independent of their suitability for solving the alleged puzzle.
The aim of this paper is to give a detailed reconstruction of Frege's solution to his puzzle about the cognitive function of truth, which is this: On the one hand, the concept of truth seems to play an essential role in acquiring knowledge because the transition from the mere hypothetical assumption that p to the acknowledgement of its truth is a crucial step in acquiring the knowledge that p, while, on the other hand, this concept seems to be completely (...) redundant because the sense of the word 'true' does not make any essential contribution to the senses of the sentences in which it occurs. (shrink)
The Puzzle of the Hats is a betting arrangement which seems to show that a Dutch book can be made against a group of rational players with common priors who act in the common interest and have full trust in the other players’ rationality. But we show that appearances are misleading—no such Dutch book can be made. There are four morals. First, what can be learned from the puzzle is that there is a class of situations in which (...) credences and betting rates diverge. Second, there is an analogy between ways of dealing with situations of this kind and different policies for sequential choice. Third, there is an analogy with strategic voting, showing that the common interest is not always served by expressing how things seem to you in social decision-making. And fourth, our analysis of the Puzzle of the Hats casts light on a recent controversy about the Dutch book argument for the Sleeping Beauty. (shrink)