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Profile: Y. Sandy Berkovski (Bilkent University)
Profile: Sandy Berkovski (Bilkent University)
  1. Sandy Berkovski, Philosophy of Language.
    The course falls roughly into three parts. In the first part (Chapters 1 3) we shall deal with central issues in the theory of reference emanating from Kripke's and Kaplan's work on singular terms. In the second part (Chapters 4 5) we shall discuss issues of meaning and truth, where deflationist approaches will play a central role. In the third part (Chapters 6 8) we touch upon modal semantics and its employment in the analysis of proposition and belief. We then (...)
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  2. Sandy Berkovski, Carnap and Frege on Ontology.
    On several occasions Carnap acknowledged Frege’s influence on his work. However, one area where he believed that Frege had got it all wrong was ontology. In this paper I examine to what extent Frege’s realist ontology is in conflict with Carnap’s principle of tolerance.
     
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  3. Sandy Berkovski, Chance in History.
    There is a common intuition about dividing events into two classes. Since naming those classes is part of the problem we are to explain, it is easier to start with an example. Suppose Joe, a New Yorker, is flying to Paris to visit his grandfather. Contingent..
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  4. Sandy Berkovski, Happiness, Ignorance, and Externalism.
    A natural view of happiness is based on ‘internalism’. One of its components is the claim about the supervenience of happiness over experiences. A change from one’s happiness to unhappiness is necessarily accompanied by a change in one’s experiences. Another component is the supreme authority of the subject. An agent must be regarded as the best judge of his own happiness. Any third person judgment which may be passed on his happiness depends on how the agent himself values his condition.
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  5. Sandy Berkovski, Intermediate Logic.
    The course falls into three parts. In the first part, encompassing Chapters 2-6, we shall streamline and upgrade the treatment of sentence and predicate calculi already familiar from the introductory course. In the second part, which is Chapter ??, we shall prove the completeness of the predicate calculus utilising methods and techniques acquired in the first part. In the third part, consisting of Chapters 8-9, we shall discuss some elements of the theory of algorithms. We shall then make inroads into (...)
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  6. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture I.
    We will combine lectures with discussions based on the texts. The main text is Kuhn (1996). Other texts will be available online. More texts could be added to the syllabus if we move fast. Requirements: midterm essay (40%), final essay (40%), participation..
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  7. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture IX.
    Why to call a particular discipline ‘science’? There are some clear-cut cases (physics, art) and some much less clear-cut (economics). The very argument about the definition shows something in the nature of the discipline. The possibility of progress divides between science and non-science.
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  8. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture III.
    What is the analogy between a game and a paradigm? Can we identify the rules set up by a particular paradigm? What is the significance of ‘small revolutions’? What theoretical claim is the discovery of oxygen supposed to illustrate?
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  9. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture IV.
    There is a logical possibility of cumulative development. New theories would exhibit aspects of the order of nature unnoticed before. But it is not found in actual practice. Further, there is a case to be made against possibility-in-principle. Men do not simply look around for solutions: they already have beliefs about where to look for solutions.
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  10. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture VIII.
    Is sensory experience stable and theory-neutral? If it is, scientists do not have different experiences, but rather have different interpretations of the same experience. Kuhn: scientists rarely have ‘bare’ experience. Also, the construction of sense-language has not been successful.
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  11. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture VI–Vii.
    A growing perception of malfunction. The conviction that political institutions must be changed. Individuals become alienated from the political system. The ineptitude of institutions leads to the failure of political resolution of conflicts.
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  12. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture VII.
    A common practice in science: we find the best estimation of constants by reconciling different experimental outcomes. Those that fit best are accepted as the values of the constants. The function of measurement: not to refute theories. Rather, as Kuhn claimed: measurement is used to deal with ‘puzzles’ and ‘anomalies’.
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  13. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture XIII.
    Darwinism does not dismiss the functionalist way of speech. So from the point of view of evolutionary biology, adaptations have certain functions. This is unlike natural science where teleology was dismissed. But we must distinguish, as Aquinas did not, between necessity and probability.
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  14. Sandy Berkovski, Lecture XIV.
    P(H|E): posterior probability of H. That is, the probability of the hypothesis H given the evidence E. P(E|H): likelihood of H. That is, the probability of the evidence E given the hypothesis H.
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  15. Sandy Berkovski, Morality and Apriority.
    Since the argument is a valid one, in order to evaluate it we have to look at its premisses. In this paper I shall confine my attention to the second premiss. I shall look at two species of moral realism. Within the more attractive form..
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  16. Sandy Berkovski, Metaphysical Necessity.
    I address the problem of knowing modal truths. We have two paradigmatic ways of establishing truth. Empirical statements are verified by experiment, by ‘looking at the world’ in Hume’s phrase. Mathematical statements are verified by proofs. However, verifying some modal statements, at least on the face of it, does not resemble either of the above ways.
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  17. Sandy Berkovski, Philosophy of Science.
    1 Logical empiricism: Hempel 1.1 Earlier criteria of significance 1.2 Significance as dependent on constitutive terms 1.3 Partially interpreted systems 2 Explanation 2.1 Background: deductive nomological explanation 2.2 Causal explanation 2.3 The pragmatics of explanation 2.4 Theoretical explanation 3 Confirmation 3.1 Hypothetico deductive model 3.2 The new riddle of induction 4 Scientific change 4.1 Kuhn's revolutions 4.2 Darwin's contribution 5 Realism 5.1 Constructive empiricism 5.2 Structural realism 6 Laws 6.1 Laws and mere regularities 6.2 Systems 6.3 Universals 7 Assignments..
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  18. Sandy Berkovski, Possible Worlds: A Neo-Fregean Proposal.
    I defend a neo-logicist approach in the debate over the metaphysics of possible worlds. I start by examining a series of proposals put forward by Robert Stalnaker. All of them have a shared theme of deriving ontological commitment to problematic abstract objects from the commitment to the practice quantifying over them. These general proposals find a crisper formulation in Frege’s context principle. I build the case for the employment of a modal analogue of Hume’s Principle: possible worlds are to be (...)
     
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  19. Sandy Berkovski, Weyl and Reichenbach on Apriority and Mathematical Applicability.
    The melting temperature is not a sufficient characteristic, but a necessary one. Suppose there is a given solid substance X. To verify whether X is phosphorus we heat it to 44◦C and observe its behaviour. If it starts melting, there are other tests to perform for establishing the nature of X. If it fails, we raise a hypothesis that X is not in fact phosphorus.
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  20. Sandy Berkovski (2012). The Possibility of Modified Hedonism. Theoria 78 (3):186-212.
    A popular objection to hedonist accounts of personal welfare has been the experience machine argument. Several modifications of traditional hedonism have been proposed in response. In this article I examine two such responses, recently expounded by Feldman and Sumner respectively. I argue that both modifications make hedonism indistinguishable from anti-hedonism. Sumner's account, I claim, also fails to satisfy the demands of theoretical unity.
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  21. Sandy Berkovski (2011). Lewis' Reduction of Modality. Acta Analytica 26 (2):95-114.
    I start by reconsidering two familiar arguments against modal realism. The argument from epistemology relates to the issue whether we can infer the existence of concrete objects by a priori means. The argument from pragmatics purports to refute the analogy between the indispensability of possible worlds and the indispensability of unobserved entities in physical science and of numbers in mathematics. Then I present two novel objections. One focusses on the obscurity of the notion of isolation required by modal realism. The (...)
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  22. Sandy Berkovski (2011). Prichard's Heresy. Philosophy 86 (04):503-524.
    H. A. Prichard ascribed to Aristotle a form of closeted hedonism. Aristotle allegedly misunderstood his own task: while his avowed goal in Nicomachean Ethics is to give an account of the nature of happiness, his real goal must be to offer an account of the factors most efficiently generating happiness. The reason is that the nature of happiness is enjoyment, and this fact is supposed to have been recognised by Aristotle and his audience. While later writers judged Prichard's view obviously (...)
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  23. Sandy Berkovski (2011). Possible Worlds: A Neo-Fregean Alternative. Axiomathes 21 (4):531-551.
    I outline a neo-Fregean strategy in the debate on the existence of possible worlds. The criterion of identity and the criterion of application are formulated. Special attention is paid to the fact that speakers do not possess proper names for worlds. A broadly Quinean solution is proposed in response to this difficulty.
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  24. Sandy Berkovski (2011). Reichenbach and Weyl on Apriority and Mathematical Applicability. Synthese 181 (1):63-77.
    I examine Reichenbach’s theory of relative a priori and Michael Friedman’s interpretation of it. I argue that Reichenbach’s view remains at bottom conventionalist and that one issue which separates Reichenbach’s account from Kant’s apriorism is the problem of mathematical applicability. I then discuss Hermann Weyl’s theory of blank forms which in many ways runs parallel to the theory of relative a priori. I argue that it is capable of dealing with the problem of applicability, but with a cost.
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  25. Sandy Berkovski (2010). —9—Sandy Berkovski Some Remarks on Mthat. In Erich Rast & Luiz Carlos Baptista (eds.), Meaning and Context. Peter Lang. 2--213.
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  26. Sandy Berkovski (2002). Surprising User-Friendliness. Logique Et Analyse 45 (179-180):283-297.
    Some theorists are bewildered by the effectiveness of mathematical concepts. For example, Steiner attempts to show that there can be no rational explanation of mathematical applicability in physics. Others (notably Penrose) are concerned primarily with the unexpected effectiveness within mathematics. Both views consist of two parts: a puzzle and a positive solution. I defend their paradoxical parts against the sceptics who do not believe that the very problem of effectiveness is a genuine one. Utilising Horwich’s theory of surprise, I argue (...)
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  27. Sandy Berkovski, Formal Logic.
    of Γ, {X, Y } is simultaneously satisfiable. 2. Given that Γ and ∆ are simultaneously satisfiable, would Π = Γ ∩ ∆ be simultaneously satisfiable? 3. Prove the following results: (a) {A ⊃ B, ¬A ⊃ B} B. (b) A ∨ B B ∨ A. (c) ¬(A ∧ ¬A). 4. Find a disjunctive normal form for the formula (B ∧ C) ⊃ (A ↔ (¬B ∨ C)). 5. Show that the formula:    Ai..
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