In this paper we examine Prior’s reconstruction of MasterArgument  in some modal-tense logic. This logic consists of a purely tense part and Diodorean definitions of modal alethic operators. Next we study this tense logic in the pure tense language. It is the logic K t 4 plus a new axiom ( P ): ‘ p Λ G p ⊃ P G p ’. This formula was used by Prior in his original analysis of Master (...) class='Hi'>Argument. ( P ) is usually added as an extra axiom to an axiomatization of the logic of linear time. In that case the set of moments is a total order and must be left-discrete without the least moment. However, the logic of MasterArgument does not require linear time. We show what properties of the set of moments are exactly forced by ( P ) in the reconstruction of Prior. We make also some philosophical remarks on the analyzed reconstruction. (shrink)
In the fourteenth century, Duns Scotus suggested that the proper analysis of modality required not just moments of time but also "moments of nature". In making this suggestion, he broke with an influential view first presented by Diodorus in the early Hellenistic period, and might even be said to have been the inventor of "possible worlds". In this essay we take Scotus' suggestion seriously devising first a double-index logic and then introducing the temporal order. Finally, using the temporal order, we (...) define a modal order. This allows us to present modal logic without the usual interpretive questions arising concerning the relation called variously 'accessibility', 'alternativeness', and, 'relative possibility.' The system in which this analysis is done is one of those which have come to be called a hybrid logic. (shrink)
Chalmers has provided a dilemmatic masterargument against all forms of the phenomenal concept strategy. This paper explores a position that evades Chalmers's argument, dubbed Type Bb: it is for Type B physicalists who embrace horn b of Chalmers's dilemma. The discussion concludes that Chalmers fails to show any incoherence in the position of a Type B physicalist who depends on the phenomenal concept strategy.
In my article "berkeley's masterargument" I attempt to show that an argument berkeley uses in the 'dialogues' and 'principles' to support his contention that whatever is perceivable is perceived can be seen as an illuminating attempt to relate conceptualizing, Imaging and perceiving. In consequence it cannot be dismissed as resting on an elementary fallacy, But reflects on the conditions for the self ascription of experience.
Sententialism is the view that intensional positions in natural languages occur within clausal complements only. According to proponents of this view, intensional transitive verbs such as 'want', 'seek' or 'resemble' are actually propositional attitude verbs in disguise. I argue that 'conceive' (and a few other verbs) cannot fit this mould: conceiving-of is not reducible to conceiving-that. I offer a new diagnosis of where Berkeley's 'masterargument' goes astray, analysing what is odd about saying that Hylas conceives a tree (...) which is not conceived. A sententialist semantics cannot account for the absurdity in attitude ascriptions of this type: we need to acknowledge irreducibly non-propositional (but none the less de dicto) conceiving. (shrink)
Chrysippus claims that some propositions perish. including some true conditionals whose consequent is impossible and antecedent is possible, to which he appeals against Diodorus?s MasterArgument. On the standard interpretation. perished propositions lack truth values. and these conditionals are true at the same time as their antecedents arc possible and consequents impossible. But perished propositions are false, and Chrysippus?s conditionals are true when their antecedent and consequent arc possible, and false when their antecedent is possible and consequent impossible. (...) The claim of the MasterArgument that Chrysippus rejects, then, is stronger ihan usually supposed. (shrink)
This paper discusses the 'masterargument' of diodorus cronos from a semantic perspective. An argument is developed which suggests that proposition (1), 'every proposition true about the past is necessary', May have provided the principal motivation for diodorus denial of proposition (3), I.E., His equation of possibility with present-Or-Future truth. It is noted that (1) and (3) are jointly inconsistent only given the assumption of a linear ordering of time. It is further noted that diodorus' fatalism "could" (...) be employed to justify this additional assumption. However, To then use the conclusion of the 'master' to argue for fatalism would obviously be circular. I suspect, Rather, That diodorus' assumption of temporal linearity was implicit and uncritical. (shrink)
On prior's reconstruction, The masterargument of diodorus contains an equivocation and so is invalid for one class of diodorean "propositions." but diodorus knew of such "propositions" and an argument in his treatment of motion can be used to bring them under the masterargument's sway. Also, Despite the consensus of antiquity, The masterargument does not commit diodorus to determinism, Although it commits him to non-Deterministic theses which can be easily misinterpreted as (...) deterministic. (shrink)
My purpose is to compare Berkeley’s and Gentile’s idealism, interpreting Berkeley’s Treatise, §§22–23, and Gentile’s reading of this passage. The Italianphilosopher finds in Berkeley’s masterargument the original source of the true idealistic way of thinking, but he believes that Berkeley has not been sufficientlyconsistent in deducing all the consequences from his new principle. This criticism is the ground of Gentile’s actual idealism. Comparing the two positions isvery instructive both to elucidate the general issue of idealism and to (...) understand Berkeley’s philosophy. (shrink)
It is argued that reconstructions of the so-called ‘MasterArgument’ of Dideros Cronos to the effect that possibility should be understood as present or future truth, essentially relies on two axioms: i) that every true proposition concerning the past is necessary, and ii) that it follows necessarily from a proposition being true that it always has been the case that it would be true. It is furthermore argued that these two axioms are inconsistent in the sense that any (...) tense/modal semantics which incorporates both collapses either modally (fails to distinguish between truth simpliciter and modalised truth) or temporally (fails to offer a plausible semantical account for propositions about the future). This finding is, furthermore, taken as indicator for the more generel claim that there are principled difficulties involved in construing semantics for combined tense/modal logical systems. (shrink)
This paper examines Jaegwon Kim's Supervenience Argument (SA) against nonreductive physicalism, concentrating on Kim's response to two of the most important objections against the SA: First, the Overdetermination Argument, according to which Kim has no convincing argument against the possibility that mental causation might be a case of genuine or systematic overdetermination; second, the Generalization Argument, according to which the SA would entail that causation at any level gives way to causation at the next lower level, (...) thereby leading to an untenable all-encompassing epiphenomenalism. It is argued that as of yet, Kim has failed to develop a coherent overall position, since various moves he makes in response to these criticisms are strangely at odds with other parts of his philosophical position. (shrink)
The past 25 years have witnessed a vigorous discussion of an argument directed against the compatibilist approach to free will and responsibility. This reasoning, variously called the “consequence argument,” the “incompatibility argument,” and the “unavoidability argument,” may be expressed informally as follows: If determinism is true then whatever happens is a consequence of past events and laws over which we have no control and which we are unable to prevent. But whatever is a consequence of what’s (...) beyond our control is not itself under our control. Therefore, if determinism is true then nothing that happens is under our control, including our own actions and thoughts. Instead, everything we do and think, everything that happens to us and within us, is akin to the vibration of a piano string upon being struck, with the past as pianist, and could not be otherwise than it is. While a number of philosophers take this reasoning to crush the prospects of compatibilism, others challenge its assumption that unavoidability “transfers” from sufficient condition to necessary condition or from cause to effect. The ensuing debate has occasionally been vitriolic— Hume once remarked that the free will issue is “the most contentious question of metaphysics, the most contentious science”—yet undeniably fruitful in generating more detailed examinations of ability and practical freedom. Whether we incline towards compatibilism or 2 incompatibilism, this latter development is likely to be of lasting value. As a compatibilist, I believe that the consequence argument fails to prove incompatibilism, and here I will develop criticisms of it that, for the most part, are already in the existing literature. Although a short essay cannot provide the theoretical account of practical freedom needed to underpin and justify this compatibilist critique, it will clarify the tasks that lie ahead. (shrink)
Over the past years, in books and journals (this journal included), N. Maxwell launched a ferocious attack on B. C. van Fraassen’s view of science called Constructive Empiricism (CE). This attack has been totally ignored. Must we conclude from this silence that no defence is possible and that a fortiori Maxwell has buried CE once and for all? Or is the attack too obviously flawed as not to merit exposure? A careful dissection of Maxwell’s reasoning will make it clear that (...) neither is the case. This dissection includes an analysis of Maxwell’s ‘aberrance–argument’ (omnipresent in his many writings) for the claim that science implicitly and permanently accepts a substantial, metaphysical thesis about the universe, which then paves the way for his own metaphysical-realist hierarchy-view of science. This aberrance-claim, which Maxwell directs against a widely shared and harmful ideology of science called ‘Standard Empiricism’, generally has been ignored too, for more than a quarter of a century. Our conclusions will be that (i) Maxwell’s attacks on CE can be beaten off, and (ii) his ‘aberrance–arguments’ do not establish what Maxwell believes they establish, but (iii) we can draw a number of valuable lessons from these attacks about the nature of science and of the libertarian nature of CE. (shrink)
According to Timothy Williamson's epistemic view, vague predicates have precise extensions, we just don't know where their boundaries lie. It is a central challenge to his view to explain why we would be so ignorant, if precise borderlines were really there. He offers a novel argument to show that our insuperable ignorance ``is just what independently justified epistemic principles would lead one to expect''. This paper carefully formulates and critically examines Williamson's argument. It is shown that (...) the argument does not explain our ignorance, and is not really apt for doing so. Williamson's unjustified commitment to a controversial and crucial assumption is noted. It is also argued in three different ways that his argument is, in any case, self-defeating – the same principles that drive the argument can be applied to undermine one of its premises. Along the way, Williamson's unstated commitment to a number of other controversial doctrines comes to light. (shrink)
Diodorus cronus was a megaric logician who was reputed to have derived from uncontroversial premises the surprising conclusion that the possible is that which either is or will be the case. Versions of his lost argument have been reconstructed recently by prior, Hintikka, And rescher. I analyze and compare these versions and argue that none of them forms a sound argument.
Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument and different conceivability arguments, advanced by Saul Kripke, David Chalmers and Joseph Levine, conclude that consciousness involves non-physical properties or properties that cannot be reductively accounted for in physical terms. Some physicalists have replied to these objections by means of different versions of the phenomenal concept strategy. David Chalmers has responded with the masterargument, a reasoning that, if successful, would undermine any reasonable version of the phenomenal concept strategy. In this paper, I (...) argue that the masterargument does not advance the debate between the supporters of the anti-physicalist arguments and those of the phenomenal concept strategy. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Summary presentation of the surviving logic theories of Philo the Dialectician (aka Philo of Megara) and Diodorus Cronus, including some general remarks on propositional logical elements in their logic, a presentation of their theories of the conditional and a presentation of their modal theories, including a brief suggestion for a solution of the MasterArgument.
The manuscript includes comments on Michael Jacovides’s paper, “How Berkeley Corrupted His Capacity to Conceive.” The paper and comments were delivered at the conference “Meaning and Modern Empiricism” held at Virginia Tech in April 2008. I consider Jacovides’s treatment of Berkeley’s Resemblance Argument and his interpretation of the MasterArgument. In particular, I distinguish several ways of understanding the disagreement between Jacovides and Kenneth Winkler over the right way to read the MasterArgument.
The author defends attributing to Berkeley the thesis that we can't conceive of extension in a mind-independent body against criticism from Smalligan Marusic. The author also specifies the resemblance requirements that Berkeley places on conceivability, concedes that the principle that ideas can only be like other ideas is not, strictly speaking, a premise in the MasterArgument, and clarifies his views on the relation between possibility and conceivability.
ABSTRACT: The modal systems of the Stoic logician Chrysippus and the two Hellenistic logicians Philo and Diodorus Cronus have survived in a fragmentary state in several sources. From these it is clear that Chrysippus was acquainted with Philo’s and Diodorus’ modal notions, and also that he developed his own in contrast of Diodorus’ and in some way incorporated Philo’s. The goal of this paper is to reconstruct the three modal systems, including their modal definitions and modal theorems, and to make (...) clear the exact relations between them; moreover, to elucidate the philosophical reasons that may have led Chrysippus to modify his predessors’ modal concept in the way he did. It becomes apparent that Chrysippus skillfully combined Philo’s and Diodorus’ modal notions, with making only a minimal change to Diodorus’ concept of possibility; and that he thus obtained a modal system of modalities (logical and physical) which fit perfectly fit into Stoic philosophy. (shrink)
Hegel’s famous analyses of the ‘master-slave dialectic’, and the more general struggle for recognition which it is a part of, have been remarkably influential throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Bound up with the dominance of this idea, however, has been a corresponding treatment of sadism and masochism as complicit projects that are mutually necessary for one another in a manner that is structurally isomorphic with the way in which master and slave depend on one another. In clinical (...) diagnoses it is almost invariably asserted that sadism and masochism are causally connected, with one of these ‘pathologies’ being seen to derive from an inversion or displacement of the other. Deleuze, however, in Difference and Repetition, ‘Coldness and Cruelty’, and elsewhere, rejects the primacy of the master-slave dialectic for understanding social relations, at least insofar as it relies upon the themes of negativity, contradiction, opposition, and he also rejects the resultant treatment of sadism and masochism. Moreover, if his symptomatology of the latter (especially masochism) convinces us that the master-slave dialectic not only does not understand these ways of existing, but necessarily could not, then we are faced with an important challenge to any conception of social relations that is too closely tied to the dialectic of lordship and bondage as it is sometimes known. This paper, then, is composed of four sections: 1. an exposition of Hegel’s treatment of the master-slave dialectic; 2. a selective account of later understandings of social relations that are indebted to it; 3. a recital of Deleuze’s objections to the master-slave dialectic and its reliance upon three key components: contradiction, opposition, and negativity; and 4. an argument, extending Deleuze’s work, for the manner in which the master-slave dialectic has also been bound up with, and made possible, the belief in a ‘sado-masochistic’ unity (i.e. the way in which they are envisaged as complementary opposites, or as causally connected symptoms). (shrink)
In this essay, I defend a view I call “Robust Realism” about normativity. According to this view, there are irreducibly, perfectly objective, normative truths, that when successful in our normative inquiries we discover rather than create or construct. My argument in support of Robust Realism is modeled after arguments from explanatory indispensability common in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mathematics. I argue that irreducibly normative truths, though not explanatorily indispensable, are nevertheless deliberatively indispensable, and that this (...) kind of indispensability is just as respectable as the more familiar explanatory kind. Deliberative indispensability, I argue, justifies belief in normative facts, just like the explanatory indispensability of, say, theoretical entities like electrons justifies belief in electrons. In the introduction I characterize the view I will be arguing for and sketch the main argument of this essay. In chapter 1 I draw the analogy between explanatory and deliberative indispensability, and argue that there is no non-question-begging reason to take the former but not the latter seriously. Here I also present the master-argument of the thesis, and clarify the argumentative work that needs to be done by each of the following chapters. In chapter 2 I address the worries of the antirealist who is willing to reject arguments from explanatory indispensability as well. In other words, in this chapter I try to justify the move from indispensability (of whatever kind) to belief. In chapter 3 I develop an account of deliberation that supports the premises about deliberation needed for my master-argument to go through. In chapter 4 I reject some alternative views, showing that none of them can allow for sincere deliberation. In this chapter, in other words, I support the indispensability premise: I argue that it really is impossible to deliberate sincerely without believing in irreducibly normative truths.. (shrink)
After determining one set of skills that we hoped our students were learning in the introductory philosophy class at Carnegie Mellon University, we designed an experiment, performed twice over the course of two semesters, to test whether they were actually learning these skills. In addition, there were four different lectures of this course in the Spring of 2004, and five in the Fall of 2004; and the students of Lecturer I (in both semesters) were taught the material using argument (...) diagrams as a tool to aid understanding and critical evaluation, while the other students were taught using more traditional methods. We were interested in whether this tool would help the students develop the skills we hoped they would master in this course. In each lecture, the students were given a pre-test at the beginning of the semester, and a structurally identical post-test at the end. We determined that the students did develop the skills in which we were interested over the course of the semester. We also determined that the students who were able to construct argument diagrams gained significantly more than the other students. We conclude that learning how to construct argument diagrams improves a student's ability to analyze, comprehend, and evaluate arguments. (shrink)
Abstract An anonymous manuscript from the fourteenth or early fifteenth century, recently discovered, apparently transmitted Thierry of Chartres's philosophical theology to Nicholas of Cusa around 1440. Yet the author of the treatise is not endorsing Thierry's views, as both Cusanus and modern readers have assumed, but in fact is writing in order to refute them. Curiously the author never mentions Thierry's best known triad of unitas, aequalitas and conexio . But a careful comparison of the structure of the author's (...) class='Hi'>argument to Thierry's extant works shows that the author was nevertheless quite familiar with the Breton master's writings. The reatise's author offers an incisive critique of Thierry's theory of “four modes of being“ and rejects two of the modes in particular. From this new perspective, the manuscript can be valued as the first known evidence of Thierry of Chartres's late medieval reception. (shrink)
If an argument can be reconstructed in at least two different ways, then which reconstruction is to be preferred? In this paper I address this problem of argument reconstruction in terms of Ryle’s infinite regress argument against the view that knowledge-how requires knowledge-that. First, I demonstrate that Ryle’s initial statement of the argument does not fix its reconstruction as it admits two, structurally different reconstructions. On the basis of this case and infinite regress arguments generally, I (...) defend a revisionary take on argument reconstruction: argument reconstruction is mainly to be ruled by charity (viz. by general criteria which arguments have to fulfil in order to be good arguments) rather than interpretation. (shrink)
Abstract This paper addresses the role that argumentation schemes and argument visualization software tools can play in helping to find and counter objections to a given argument one is confronted with. Based on extensive analysis of features of the argumentation in these two examples, a practical four-step method of finding objections to an argument is set out. The study also applies the Carneades Argumentation System to the task of finding objections to an argument, and shows how (...) this system has some capabilities that are especially useful. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s10503-012-9261-z Authors Douglas Walton, Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric (CRRAR), University of Windsor, 2500 University Ave. W., Windsor, ON N9B 3Y1, Canada Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X. (shrink)
This article addresses the problem of expertise in a democratic political system: the tension between the authority of expertise and the democratic values that guide political life. We argue that for certain problems, expertise needs to be understood as a dialogical process, and we conceptualize an understanding of expertise through and as argument that positions expertise as constituted by and a function of democratic values and practices, rather than in the possession of, acquisition of, or relationship to epistemic materials. (...) Conceptualizing expertise through argument leads us to see expertise as a kind of phronetic practice, oriented toward judgments and problems, characterized by its ability to provide inventional capacities for selecting the best possible resolution of a particular problem vis-à-vis particular expectations regarding the resolution of a problem. At its core, expertise thus comes to exist in reference not to epistemic but to dialogical, deliberative, democratic practice. (shrink)
Many in the informal logic tradition distinguish convergent from linked argument structure. The pragma-dialectical tradition distinguishes multiple from co-ordinatively compound argumentation. Although these two distinctions may appear to coincide, constituting only a terminological difference, we argue that they are distinct, indeed expressing different disciplinary perspectives on argumentation. From a logical point of view, where the primary evaluative issue concerns sufficient strength of support, the unit of analysis is the individual argument, the particular premises put forward to support a (...) given conclusion. Structure is internal to this unit. From a dialectical point of view, where the focus concerns how well a critical discussion comes to a reasoned conclusion of some disputed question, the argumentation need not constitute a single unit of argument. The unit of dialectical analysis will be the entire argumentation made up of these several arguments. The multiple/co-ordinatively compound distinction is dialectical, while the linked/convergent distinction is logical. Keeping these two pairs of distinctions separate allows us to see certain attempts to characterize convergent versus linked arguments as rather characterizing multiple versus co-ordinatively compound arguments, in particular attempts of Thomas, Nolt, and Yanal, and to resolve straightforwardly conflicts, tensions, or anomalies in their accounts. Walton's preferred Suspension/Insufficient Proof test to identify linked argument structure correctly identifies co-ordinatively compound structure. His objection to using the concept of relevance to explicate the distinction between linked and convergent structure within co-ordinatively compound argumentation can be met through explicating relevance in terms of inference licenses. His counterexample to the Suspension/No Support test for identifying linked structure which this approach supports can itself be straightforwardly dealt with when the test is explicated through inference licenses. (shrink)
This article examines argument structures and strategies in pro and con argumentation about the possibility of human-level artificial intelligence (AI) in the near term future. It examines renewed controversy about strong AI that originated in a prominent 1999 book and continued at major conferences and in periodicals, media commentary, and Web-based discussions through 2002. It will be argued that the book made use of implicit, anticipatory refutation to reverse prevailing value hierarchies related to AI. Drawing on Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's (...) (1969) study of refutational argument, this study considers points of contact between opposing arguments that emerged in opposing loci, dissociations, and casuistic reasoning. In particular, it shows how perceptions of AI were reframed and rehabilitated through metaphorical language, reversal of the philosophical pair artificial/natural, appeals to the paradigm case, and use of the loci of quantity and essence. Furthermore, examining responses to the book in subsequent arguments indicates the topoi characteristic of the rhetoric of technology advocacy. (shrink)
In distinguishing justification from discovery, the logical empiricists hoped to avoid confusing causal matters with normative ones. Exaggerating the virtue of this distinction, however, has disguised from us important features of the concept of a reason as it functions in human practice. Surfacing those features gives some insight into reasoning and argument.
The paper's thesis is that dialogue is not an adequate model for all types of argument. The position of Walton is taken as the contrary view. The paper provides a set of descriptions of dialogues in which arguments feature in the order of the increasing complexity of the argument presentation at each turn of the dialogue, and argues that when arguments of great complexity are traded, the exchanges between arguers are turns of a dialogue only in an extended (...) or metaphorical sense. It argues that many of the properties of engaged back-and-forth exchanges of paradigmatic argument dialogues are not found in âsoloâ arguments, and that at least some of the norms appropriate to the former type of argument, such as some of the pragma-dialectical rules of van Eemeren and Grootendorst's model, do not apply to the latter. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the inferential configuration of arguments, generally referred to as argument scheme. After outlining our approach, denominated Argumentum Model of Topics (AMT, see Rigotti and Greco Morasso 2006, 2009; Rigotti 2006, 2008, 2009), we compare it to other modern and contemporary approaches, to eventually illustrate some advantages offered by it. In spite of the evident connection with the tradition of topics, emerging also from AMT’s denomination, its involvement in the contemporary dialogue on argument schemes (...) should not be overlooked. The model builds in particular on the theoretical and methodological perspective of pragma-dialectics in its extended version, reconciling dialectic and rhetoric; nevertheless, it also takes into account numerous other contributions to the study of argument schemes. Aiming at a representation of argument schemes able to monitor the inferential cohesion and completeness of arguments, AMT focuses on two components of argument scheme that could be distinguished, readapting pragma-dialectical terms, as procedural and material respectively. The procedural component is based on the semantic-ontological structure, which generates the inferential connection from which the logical form of the argument is derived. The material component integrates into the argument scheme the implicit and explicit premises bound to the contextual common ground (Rigotti 2006). In this paper, the comparison of the AMT to other approaches focuses on the inferential configuration of arguments and not on the typologies of argument schemes and on the principles they are based on, which the authors intend to tackle in a further paper. (shrink)
Central to argumentation theory is a concern with normativity. Argumentation theorists are concerned, among other things, with explaining why some arguments are good (or at least better than others) in the sense that a given argument provides reasons for embracing its conclusion which are such that a fair- minded appraisal of the argument yields the judgment that the conclusion ought to be accepted -- is worthy of acceptance -- by all who so appraise it.