This paper is both a survey and a review of the current state of the debate concerning verisimilitude. As a survey it is intended for the interested outsider who wants both easy access to and some comparison between the respective approaches. As a review it covers the first three books on the topic: those of Oddie. Niiniluoto and Kuipers.
This book provides a synthesis of four versions of program semantic—srelational semantics, predicate transformer semantics, information systems, and domain theory—showing, through an exhaustive case study analysis, that it is possible to do back-and-forth translation from any of these versions of program semantics into any of the others, and demonstrating that while there are many variations of each, in principle they may be thought of as intertranslatable.
This paper continues the power ordering approach to verisimilitude. We define a parameterized verisimilar ordering of theories in the finite propositional case, both semantically and syntactically. The syntactic definition leads to an algorithm for computing verisimilitude. Since the power ordering approach to verisimilitude can be translated into a standard notion of belief revision, the algorithm thereby also allows the computation of membership of a belief-revised theory.
In this paper we give an example of intertranslatability between an ontology of individuals (nominalism), an ontology of properties (realism), and an ontology of facts (factualism). We demonstrate that these three ontologies are dual to each other, meaning that each ontology can be translated into, and recaptured from, each of the others. The aiin of the enterprise is to raise the possibility that, at least in some settings, there may be no need for considerations of ontological primacy. Whether the world (...) is made up of things, or properties, or facts, may be no more than a matter of how we look at it. (shrink)
_The Responsive University_ puts forward the proposition that the societal legitimacy of universities depends on whether and how they respond to societal challenges. This issue is exemplified in South Africa, one of the most unequal countries in the world.
At the 1960 International Congress of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, and again in his books Conjectures and Refutations (1963) and Objective Knowledge (1972), Karl Popper proposed a formal definition of what it means for one scientific theory to be “closer to the truth” than another (see popper). Such a concept was a necessary ingredient in Popper's philosophy of science, in which all our scientific theories are not only false, but bound to be false. We can never, according to (...) Popper, arrive at the truth: a complete and adequate description of reality. (That such a reality exists, outside us, is the basic tenet of scientific realism.) Nonetheless, Popper holds, scientists do make progress ‐ namely, when they replace one false theory by another which, though still false, is closer to the truth, or, as we shall say, has greater verisimilitude. (shrink)
In relevance logic it has become commonplace to associate with each logic both an algebraic counterpart and a relational counterpart. The former comes from the Lindenbaum construction; the latter, called a model structure, is designed for semantical purposes. Knowing that they are related through the logic, we may enquire after the algebraic relationship between the algebra and the model structure. This paper offers a complete solution for the relevance logic R. Namely, R-algebras and R-model structures can be obtained from each (...) other, and represented in terms of each other, by application of power constructions. (shrink)
In this paper I present a logical analysis of minorities and minority rights. I consider the question whether the classic social contract of a liberal democracy can be extended to include minorities without significant alteration to the accepted agreement between the individual and the state. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.24(3) 2005: 153-175.
Historically, it has often been maintained that some particular ontology is the right one. The hard core nominalist, for example, would claim that the world is made up of individual objects and nothing else. Likewise, the realist would stake a claim for properties, and the factualists for facts, as the real building-blocks of the world. In a softer version, each of the three protagonists acknowledge that there may be other things in the world, but still maintain that their own favourite (...) objects have ontological primacy – i.e. that these are the things that the world is in the first place made up of, and that such other objects as may exist can be reduced to them. In this paper I show that it is perfectly feasible that such reductionism may be circular. I provide an example of three ontologies, one nominalist, one realist and one factualist, such that, without any loss of generality, each can be translated into either of the others. The technical details have been published elsewhere. Here I will rely on metaphor, not mathematics. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.23(3) 2004: 226-243. (shrink)