Of the various notions of reduction in the logical literature, relative interpretability in the sense of Tarskiet al.  appears to be the central one. In the present note, this syntactic notion is characterized semantically, through the existence of a suitable reduction functor on models. The latter mathematical condition itself suggests a natural generalization, whose syntactic equivalent turns out to be a notion of interpretability quite close to that of Ershov , Szczerba  and Gaifman .
There are fundamental differences between the explanation of scientific change and the explanation of technological change. The differences arise from fundamental differences between scientific and technological knowledge and basic disanalogies between technological advance and scientific progress. Given the influence of economic markets and industrial and institutional structures on the development of technology, it is more plausible to regard technological change as a continuous and incremental process, rather than as a process of Kuhnian crises and revolutions.
Near the end of 2015, Luis Fariñas del Cerro officially retired as directeur de recherche in the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique and became an Emeritus researcher of the CNRS. The present special issue is a Festschrift in his honour to celebrate Luis’s achievements in science, both as an outstanding scholar as well as a remarkable and highly successful organiser, administrator and leader in science and technology policy and management, in particular as the founder of the Journal of Applied Non-Classical (...) Logics. The issue contains 13 scientific contributions by 32 authors, among them Luis’s colleagues, former students and friends. Preceding versions of these papers were presented at the international workshop ‘Logical Reasoning and Computation’ that was held at IRITInstitut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, on 3–4 March 2016. The present introduction contains a short scientific biography describing the many different areas of logic and co... (shrink)
The doctrines of scientific realism have enjoyed a close and enduring, if not always harmonious, association with Tarski's semantic conception of truth and theories of formal semantics generally. From its inception Tarski's theory received unqualified support from some realists, like Karl Popper, who saw it as legitimizing the use of semantic notions in epistemology and the philosophy of science.
Certain extensions of Nelson's constructive logic N with strong negation have recently become important in arti.cial intelligence and nonmonotonic reasoning, since they yield a logical foundation for answer set programming (ASP). In this paper we look at some extensions of Nelson's .rst-order logic as a basis for de.ning nonmonotonic inference relations that underlie the answer set programming semantics. The extensions we consider are those based on 2-element, here-and-there Kripke frames. In particular, we prove completeness for .rst-order here-and-there logics, and their (...) minimal strong negation extensions, for both constant and varying domains. We choose the constant domain version, which we denote by QNc5, as a basis for de.ning a .rst-order nonmonotonic extension called equilibrium logic. We establish several metatheoretic properties of QNc5, including Skolem forms and Herbrand theorems and Interpolation, and show that the .rst-oder version of equilibrium logic can be used as a foundation for answer set inference. (shrink)
The Abolitionist Project outlines how (post)humans will use biotechnology to abolish suffering in all sentient life. Sadly, this utopian sounding outcome may not be nearly as wonderful as it sounds. Assume..
This essay is an attempt to consider dynamic aspects of scientific theorising from a formal perspective. Our emphasis will be on the aims and methods for constructing formal models of theory dynamics which will be conceived from a general or 'theoretical' rather than 'applied' standpoint.
We give an account of stable reasoning, a recent and novel approach to problem solving from a formal, logical point of view. We describe the underlying logic of stable reasoning and illustrate how it is used to model different domains and solve practical reasoning problems. We discuss some of the main differences with respect to reasoning in classical logic and we examine an ongoing research programme for the rational reconstruction of human knowledge that may be considered a successor to the (...) logical empiricists’ programme of the mid-twentieth century. (shrink)
In this paper we give the gist of our reconstructed notion of (limiting case) correspondence. Our notion is very general, so that it should be applicable to all the cases in which a correspondence has been said to exist in actual science.
We revive the idea that a deductive-nomological explanation of a scientific theory by its successor may be defensible, even in those common and troublesome cases where the theories concerned are mutually incompatible; and limiting, approximating and counterfactual assumptions may be required in order to define a logical relation between them. Our solution is based on a general characterization of limiting relations between physical theories using the method of nonstandard analysis.
Though formal metascience has made rapid advances over the past few decades, it has seldom been seen to contribute much to the rational reconstruction of scientic development; for the most part, logical concepts have found application in the synchronic analysis of scientic theories. It should be important, therefore, to consider to what extent diachronic or dynamic aspects of scientic theorizing may also be captured within the connes of a formal metascientic framework, and what tools are best suited for constructing a (...) general model of theory dynamics. (shrink)
"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all k inds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. It must be so." -/- —Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden (1995).
advocating the use of biotechnology to abolish suffering throughout the living world. At that time, Nick was a philosophy postgrad in London. He read the manifesto and fired off several incisive questions. Later we met up. I harangued Nick into getting a website. Nick then sounded me out about setting up a kind of umbrella organization for transhumanists - and overcame my doubts about whether overcoming suffering is really at the heart of a transhumanist agenda.
Does introspection grant us privileged insight into the intrinsic nature of the stuff of the world? Michael Lockwood 's startling answer is yes. Quantum mechanics may indeed supply a complete formal description of the universe. Yet what "breathes fire into" the quantum-theoretic equations, it transpires, isn't physical in the traditional sense at all.
In this article we examine the role which vindication plays in contract damages. Vindication describes the making good of a right by the award of an adequate remedy. We argue that, while the primary purpose of compensation is to provide an indemnity for loss, an award of compensatory damages will nevertheless generally vindicate the right to performance of the contract. We go on to consider a distinct measure of damages, vindicatory damages. These, we argue, are neither compensatory nor restitutionary, neither (...) loss-based nor gain-based: they are a rights-based remedy. We then identify various situations in which the courts may be seen to have awarded what are, in substance, vindicatory damages. We conclude by considering the benefits which may follow from recognition of the availability of vindicatory damages as a contract remedy. (shrink)
Summary In hisProgress and its Problems, Laudan dismisses the problem of incommensurability in science by endorsing two general assertions. The first claims there are actually no incommensurable pairs of theories or research traditions; the second maintains that his problem-solving model of scientific progress would be able rationally to appraise even incommensurable pairs of theories or traditions (are compare them for their progressiveness). I argue here that Laudan fails to provide a plausible defence of either thesis, and that this creates some (...) problems for his general approach. (shrink)
ANDRÉS LOMEÑA: Transhumanism, or human enhancement, suggests the use of new technologies to improve mental and physical abilities, discarding some aspects as stupidity, suffering and so forth. You have been described as technoutopian by critics who write on “Future hypes”. In my opinion, there is something pretty much worse than optimism: radical technopessimism, managed by Paul Virilio, deceased Baudrillard and other thinkers. Why is there a strong strain between the optimistic and pessimistic overview?
Our current conception of intelligence as measured by IQ tests is “mind-blind”. IQ tests lack ecological validity because they ignore social cognition – the “mindreading” prowess that enabled one species of social primate to become the most cognitively successful on the planet. In this talk, I shall examine how to correct the ethnocentric and anthropocentric biases of our perspective-taking abilities. What future technologies can enrich our capacity to understand other minds? I shall also discuss obstacles to building empathetic AGI (artificial (...) general intelligence) - and why old-fashioned “autistic AI” may always be vulnerable to the cunning of “Machiavellian apes”. In an era of global catastrophic and existential risks, developing ways to enrich and “de-bias” mankind's capacity for empathetic cognition will be vital. This is because the greatest underlying risk to the wellbeing of life on Earth is the dominance behaviour of other male human primates. (shrink)
Before anaesthesia, surgery used to be agony. ItÂ’s hard to imagine that anyone could have been anything but pleased when painless surgery was introduced in the mid-19th century. And yet, although many welcomed anaesthesia, some did object. In Zurich, anaesthesia was even outlawed. Â“Pain is a natural and intended curse of the primal sin. Any attempt to do away with it must be wrong,Â” claimed the Zurich City Fathers. Painless delivery in childbirth was a particularly contentious issue. Some insisted that (...) Â“in sorrow thou shalt bring forth childrenÂ” (Genesis 3:16). Others, like Doctor Charles Delucena Meigs (1792-1869), Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women at Jefferson Medical College, believed that labour pains were Â“a most desirable, salutary and conservative manifestation of the life force.Â” There was even a belief, expressed in 1847 in The New York Journal of Medicine, that pain was vital to surgical procedure. (shrink)
"Over the past half billion years, life on Earth has been governed by the pleasure pain axis. Nature is typically "red in tooth and claw". Consequently, life has typically been "nasty, brutish and short". However, a major evolutionary transition lies ahead. Natural selection has evolved organic robots with the capacity to rewrite their own source code. Humans will shortly be able to redesign our own reward circuitry, decommission natural selection, design compassionate ecosystems, and abolish suffering throughout the living world.