JOHN CORCORAN AND WILIAM FRANK. Surprises in logic. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic. 19 253. Some people, not just beginning students, are at first surprised to learn that the proposition “If zero is odd, then zero is not odd” is not self-contradictory. Some people are surprised to find out that there are logically equivalent false universal propositions that have no counterexamples in common, i. e., that no counterexample for one is a counterexample for the other. Some people would be surprised (...) to find out that in normal first-order logic existential import is quite common: some universals “Everything that is S is P” —actually quite a few—imply their corresponding existentials “Something that is S is P”. Anyway, perhaps contrary to its title, this paper is not a cataloging of surprises in logic but rather about the mistakes that did or might have or might still lead people to think that there are no surprises in logic. The paper cataloging of surprises in logic is on our “to-do” list. -/- ► JOHN CORCORAN AND WILIAM FRANK, Surprises in logic. Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260-4150, USA E-mail: email@example.com There are many surprises in logic. Peirce gave us a few. Russell gave Frege one. Löwenheim gave Zermelo one. Gödel gave some to Hilbert. Tarski gave us several. When we get a surprise, we are often delighted, puzzled, or skeptical. Sometimes we feel or say “Nice!”, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”, “Is that so?”, or the like. Every surprise belongs to someone. There are no disembodied surprises. Saying there are surprises in logic means that logicians experience surprises doing logic—not that among logical propositions some are intrinsically or objectively “surprising”. The expression “That isn’t surprising” often denigrates logical results. Logicians often aim for surprises. In fact,  argues that logic’s potential for surprises helps motivate its study and, indeed, helps justify logic’s existence as a discipline. Besides big surprises that change logicians’ perspectives, the logician’s daily life brings little surprises, e.g. that Gödel’s induction axiom alone implies Robinson’s axiom. Sometimes wild guesses succeed. Sometimes promising ideas fail. Perhaps one of the least surprising things about logic is that it is full of surprises. Against the above is Wittgenstein’s surprising conclusion : “Hence there can never be surprises in logic”. This paper unearths basic mistakes in  that might help to explain how Wittgenstein arrived at his false conclusion and why he never caught it. The mistakes include: unawareness that surprise is personal, confusing logicians having certainty with propositions having logical necessity, confusing definitions with criteria, and thinking that facts demonstrate truths. People demonstrate truths using their deductive know-how and their knowledge of facts: facts per se are epistemically inert.  JOHN CORCORAN, Hidden consequence and hidden independence. This Bulletin, vol.16, p. 443.  LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Kegan Paul, London, 1921. -/-. (shrink)
After a skillful interweaving of the ideas of past philosophers, which have been rapidly, but for the most part fairly, run through under his critical glance, Walsh concludes that Metaphysics as the explication of the first principles of discourse is not only possible, but unavoidable if one is to be a serious philosopher. But having accepted this much of the Aristotelian notion of Metaphysics-as-analysis, Walsh registers a modernized Kantian caveat in which he rejects the Ontological pretensions that some metaphysicians have (...) entertained: e.g., Aristotle's conception of Metaphysics as being also the science of separate substance. Consistent with this rejection is a rejection of a meaningful isomorphism between the first principles of discourse and the first principles of being. Thus, the former are in no way absolute, but must be seen in the context of the cultural and linguistic community in which they occur. In taking up the question of the justification of a set of metaphysical principles, Walsh avoids the fashionable but impossibly vague umbrella-term, "pragmatic justification," which he recognizes is a relic from the brasher days of Verificationism; but he still concludes that metaphysical statements can be neither true nor false, but, at best, consistent. There is much to take issue with in this book, but its clear style and frank but judicious appraisals of the opinions of other philosophers make it both a stimulating and informative introduction to the subject.—E. A. R. (shrink)
Dedicated to Philipp Frank and containing introductory greetings to Frank by some of his more illustrious pupils and colleagues, the essays in this volume cover the proceedings of the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science, 1962-1964. The essays deal with most of the important problems in the philosophy of science from physics to the biological sciences and psychology, and include approaches from diverse traditions: Whiteheadian, Scientific Realism, Thomistic, Phenomenological, as well as historical approaches. High points were McMullin's (...) "From Matter to Mass," which contained a highly sensitive analysis of the Aristotelian doctrine of prime matter; Sellars's "The Identity Approach to the Mind-Body Problem"; Capek's "The Myth of Frozen Passage," which very ably took to task some historical and theoretical overextensions of Relativity Theory and spatializations of time which have resulted in the Block-Universe theory: the fact that Donald Williams commented on Capek's paper made it all the more interesting as it was William's theory in particular that was under attack. The best part of the book, however, was an approximately one hundred page exchange on the nature of scientific explanation which included a lead paper by J. J. C. Smart and lengthy commentaries by Sellars, Putnam, and Feyerabend. The issue, in part, was the radical-replaceability-of-frameworks theory of Feyerabend versus the gradual-replacement theory of Sellars.—E. A. R. (shrink)
Engineering an artificial intelligence to play an advisory role in morally charged decision making will inevitably introduce meta-ethical positions into the design. Some of these positions, by informing the design and operation of the AI, will introduce risks. This paper offers an analysis of these potential risks along the realism/anti-realism dimension in metaethics and reveals that realism poses greater risks, but, on the other hand, anti-realism undermines the motivation for engineering a moral AI in the first place.
Addiction appears to be a deeply moralized concept. To understand the entwinement of addiction and morality, we briefly discuss the disease model and its alternatives in order to address the following questions: Is the disease model the only path towards a ‘de-moralized’ discourse of addiction? While it is tempting to think that medical language surrounding addiction provides liberation from the moralized language, evidence suggests that this is not necessarily the case. On the other hand non-disease models of addiction may seem (...) to resuscitate problematic forms of the moralization of addiction, including, invoking blame, shame, and the wholesale rejection of addicts as people who have deep character flaws, while ignoring the complex biological and social context of addiction. This is also not necessarily the case. We argue that a deficit in reasons responsiveness as basis for attribution of moral responsibility can be realized by multiple different causes, disease being one, but it also seems likely that alternative accounts of addiction as developed by Flanagan, Lewis, and Levy, may also involve mechanisms, psychological, social, and neurobiological that can diminish reasons responsiveness. It thus seems to us that nondisease models of addiction do not necessarily involve moralization. Hence, a non-stigmatizing approach to recovery can be realized in ways that are consistent with both the disease model and alternative models of addiction. (shrink)