In Poggiolesi we have introduced a rigorous definition of the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding; in the present paper our aim is to construct a logic for the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding based on that definition. Our logic will have the form of a calculus of natural deduction, will be proved to be sound and complete and will allow us to have fine-grained grounding principles.
An oft-defended claim of a close relationship between Gentzen inference rules and the meaning of the connectives they introduce and eliminate has given rise to a whole domain called proof-theoretic semantics, see Schroeder- Heister ; Prawitz. A branch of proof-theoretic semantics, mainly developed by Dosen ; Dosen and Petric, isolates in a precise mathematical manner formulas that have the same meaning. These isomorphic formulas are defined to be those that behave identically in inferences. The aim of this paper is to (...) investigate another type of recently discussed rules in the literature, namely grounding rules, and their link to the meaning of the connectives they provide the grounds for. In particular, by using grounding rules, we will refine the notion of isomorphic formulas through the notion of hyper-isomorphic formulas. We will argue that it is actually the notion of hyper-isomorphic formulas that identify those formulas that have the same meaning. (shrink)
At Columbia University in 1906, William James gave a highly confrontational speech to the American Philosophical Association (APA). He ignored the technical philosophical questions the audience had gathered to discuss and instead addressed the topic of human energy. Tramping on the rules of academic decorum, James invoked the work of amateurs, read testimonials on the benefits of yoga and alcohol, and concluded by urging his listeners to take up this psychological and physiological problem. What was the goal of this unusual (...) speech? Rather than an oddity, Francesca Bordogna asserts that the APA address was emblematic—it was just one of many gestures that James employed as he plowed through the barriers between academic, popular, and pseudoscience, as well as the newly emergent borders between the study of philosophy, psychology, and the “science of man.” Bordogna reveals that James’s trespassing of boundaries was an essential element of a broader intellectual and social project. By crisscrossing divides, she argues, James imagined a new social configuration of knowledge, a better society, and a new vision of the human self. As the academy moves toward an increasingly interdisciplinary future, William James at the Boundaries reintroduces readers to a seminal influence on the way knowledge is pursued. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide a definition of the the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding through the concepts of derivability and complexity. It will be shown that this definition yields a subtle and precise analysis of the concept of grounding in several paradigmatic cases.
ABSTRACT Neofregeanism and structuralism are among the most promising recent approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. Yet both have serious costs. We develop a view, structuralist neologicism, which retains the central advantages of each while avoiding their more serious costs. The key to our approach is using arbitrary reference to explicate how mathematical terms, introduced by abstraction principles, refer. Focusing on numerical terms, this allows us to treat abstraction principles as implicit definitions determining all properties of the numbers, achieving a (...) key neofregean advantage, while preserving the key structuralist advantage, which objects play the number role does not matter. (shrink)
One central tenet of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis , and the consensus view among biologists until now, is that all genetic mutations occur by “chance” or at “random” with respect to adaptation. However, the discovery of some molecular mechanisms enhancing mutation rate in response to environmental conditions has given rise to discussions among biologists, historians and philosophers of biology about the “chance” vs “directed” character of mutations . In fact, some argue that mutations due to a particular kind of mutator (...) mechanisms challenge the Modern Synthesis because they are produced when and where needed by the organisms concerned. This paper provides a defense of the Modern Synthesis’ consensus view about the chance nature of all genetic mutations by reacting to Jablonka and Lamb’s analysis of genetic mutations and the explicit Lamarckian flavor of their arguments. I argue that biologists can continue to talk about chance mutations according to what I call and define as the notion of “evolutionary chance,” which I claim is the Modern Synthesis’ consensus view and a reformulation of Darwin’s most influential idea of “chance” variation. Advances in molecular genetics are therefore significant but not revolutionary with respect to the Modern Synthesis’ paradigm. (shrink)
Metaphor has been considered as a cognitive process, independent of the verbal versus visual mode, through which an unknown conceptual domain is understood in terms of another known conceptual domain. Metaphor might instead be viewed as a cognitive process, dependent on the mode, which leads to genuinely new knowledge via ignorance. First, I argue that there are two main senses of ignorance at stake when we understand a metaphor: (1) we ignore some existing properties of the known domain in the (...) sense that we disregard or neglect them; (2) we ignore some “non-existing” properties of the known domain in the sense that they are not a piece of information belonging to the known domain, but emerge in metaphor interpretation. Secondly, I consider a metaphor as a reasoning device, guiding the interpreters along a path of inferences to a conclusion, which attributes to the target some properties of the source. In this path, interpreters might (1) (re)discover the ignored existing properties of the known domain and/or (2) recover the “non-existing” properties, inferring or imagining the missing piece of information. Finally, I argue that, especially in visual metaphors, this process is guided by a “sentiment of (ir)rationality”, tracking a disruption of existing familiar conceptualisations of objects and/or actions and a (partial) recovery of ignored properties. (shrink)
This paper is a critical response to Andreas Bartels’ sophisticated defense of a structural account of scientific representation. We show that, contrary to Bartels’ claim, homomorphism fails to account for the phenomenon of misrepresentation. Bartels claims that homomorphism is adequate in two respects. First, it is conceptually adequate, in the sense that it shows how representation differs from misrepresentation and non-representation. Second, if properly weakened, homomorphism is formally adequate to accommodate misrepresentation. We question both claims. First, we show that homomorphism (...) is not the right condition to distinguish representation from misrepresentation and non-representation: a “representational mechanism” actually does all the work, and it is independent of homomorphism – as of any structural condition. Second, we test the claim of formal adequacy against three typical kinds of inaccurate representation in science which, by reference to a discussion of the notorious billiard ball model, we define as abstraction, pretence, and simulation. We first point out that Bartels equivocates between homomorphism and the stronger condition of epimorphism, and that the weakened form of homomorphism that Bartels puts forward is not a morphism at all. After providing a formal setting for abstraction, pretence and simulation, we show that for each morphism there is at least one form of inaccurate representation which is not accommodated. We conclude that Bartels’ theory – while logically laying down the weakest structural requirements – is nonetheless formally inadequate in its own terms. This should shed serious doubts on the plausibility of any structural account of representation more generally. (shrink)
Hermann von Helmholtz’s geometrical papers have been typically deemed to provide an implicitly group-theoretical analysis of space, as articulated later by Felix Klein, Sophus Lie, and Henri Poincaré. However, there is less agreement as to what properties exactly in such a view would pertain to space, as opposed to abstract mathematical structures, on the one hand, and empirical contents, on the other. According to Moritz Schlick, the puzzle can be resolved only by clearly distinguishing the empirical qualities of spatial perception (...) from those describable in terms of axiomatic geometry. This paper offers a partial defense of the group-theoretical reading of Helmholtz along the lines of Ernst Cassirer in the fourth volume of The Problem of Knowledge of 1940. In order to avoid the problem raised by Schlick, Cassirer relied on a Kantian view of space not so much as an object of geometry, but as a precondition for the possibility of measurement. Although the concept of group does not provide a description of space, the modern way to articulate the concept of space in terms of transformation groups reveals something about the structure and the transformation of spatial concepts in mathematical and natural sciences. (shrink)
The goal of this article is to introduce a philosophical analysis of a widely neglected condition which affects between 3% and 18% of the population. People affected by this condition experience a lower level of wellbeing than the average population and are discriminated against in both their professional and their personal life. I will argue that this form of discrimination should be taken more seriously in philosophical debate and that social, legal and medical measures ought to be taken in order (...) to improve the quality of life of people affected by this condition. (shrink)
In this paper, we present a simple sequent calculus for the modal propositional logic S5. We prove that this sequent calculus is theoremwise equivalent to the Hilbert-style system S5, that it is contraction-free and cut-free, and finally that it is decidable. All results are proved in a purely syntactic way.
A large body of literature agrees that persons with schizophrenia suffer from a Theory of Mind deficit. However, most empirical studies have focused on third-person, egocentric ToM, underestimating other facets of this complex cognitive skill. Aim of this research is to examine the ToM of schizophrenic persons considering its various aspects, to determine whether some components are more impaired than others. We developed a Theory of Mind Assessment Scale and administered it to 22 persons with a DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia (...) and a matching control group. Th.o.m.a.s. is a semi-structured interview which allows a multi-component measurement of ToM. Both groups were also administered a few existing ToM tasks and the schizophrenic subjects were administered the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale and the WAIS-R. The schizophrenic persons performed worse than control at all the ToM measurements; however, these deficits appeared to be differently distributed among different components of ToM. Our conclusion is that ToM deficits are not unitary in schizophrenia, which also testifies to the importance of a complete and articulated investigation of ToM. (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue in favor of a direct perception account of social cognition, focusing on the idea that we can directly grasp at least some mental states of others through their bodily expressions. I will investigate the way we should consider expressions and their relations to mental phenomena in order to defend DP. In order to do so, I will present Krueger and Overgaard’s idea of expressions as constitutive proper parts of the mental phenomena expressed and I (...) will show how this position can support DP. Then, I will present the way in which the authors seem to construe the relation of parthood between expressions and mental states – that is in terms of components of integral wholes, and I will introduce the possible issues that derive from this strategy. I will propose a different way to understand this parthood relation, referring to Husserl’s notion of moments as distinct from that of pieces. I will narrow my analysis to expressions of feelings, and I will try to argue that they can be described more aptly as moments of the feelings expressed. Finally, I will show how this account can support DP. (shrink)
In his paper ‘The truth behind conscientious objection’ Nir Ben-Moshe develops a new approach aimed at justifying conscientious objection without relying on respect of moral integrity of the conscientious objector or tolerance towards her moral views.1 According to Ben-Moshe, the problem with justifications of CO based on moral integrity and tolerance is that ‘truth of conscience’s claims is irrelevant to their justification’. He argues, to the contrary, that whether the claims of the conscientious objector are true or false makes a (...) difference in assessing whether their objection is justifiable or not. He goes on explaining that someone’s CO can be justified if it can be proved that ‘conscience can express true moral claims’. Ben-Moshe then proceeds to explain how one can determine true moral claims. He develops an account of conscience that is modelled on that of Adam Smith. In particular, he uses the idea of the ‘impartial spectator’ to show how a true claim of conscience can emerge after careful thinking from the point of view of an impartial perspective. So, if the healthcare practitioner wants to object to a certain medical procedure after considering the issue at hand from the moral standpoint of such impartial spectator, then her claims of conscience are true (or …. (shrink)
Unethical and dishonest behavior has increasingly attracted the attention of scholars from various disciplines. Recent work has begun to focus on a previous overlooked factor predicting dishonest behavior: the beneficiary or victim of dishonest acts. In two laboratory experiments, we manipulate the level of resources allocated to our participants (their "wealth") and investigate whether perceived inequity from wealth that is randomly or subjectively assigned leads individuals to cross ethical boundaries through helping or hurting others. The results show that dishonest behavior (...) is influenced by positive and negative inequity that motivates helping and hurting acts. Furthermore, a third experiment shows that people tend to discount the wrongness of crossing ethical boundaries to hurt or help others when the action restores equity. (shrink)
Our perception of where touch occurs on our skin shapes our interactions with the world. Most accounts of cutaneous localisation emphasise spatial transformations from a skin-based reference frame into body-centred and external egocentric coordinates. We investigated another possible method of tactile localisation based on an intrinsic perception of ‘skin space’. The arrangement of cutaneous receptive fields (RFs) could allow one to track a stimulus as it moves across the skin, similarly to the way animals navigate using path integration. We applied (...) curved tactile motions to the hands of human volunteers. Participants identified the location midway between the start and end points of each motion path. Their bisection judgements were systematically biased towards the integrated motion path, consistent with the characteristic inward error that occurs in navigation by path integration. We thus showed that integration of continuous sensory inputs across several tactile RFs provides an intrinsic mechanism for spatial perception. (shrink)
Most of the logics of grounding that have so far been proposed contain grounding axioms, or grounding rules, for the connectives of conjunction, disjunction and negation, but little attention has been dedicated to the implication connective. The present paper aims at repairing this situation by proposing adequate grounding principles for relevant implication. Because of the interaction between negation and implication, new grounding principles concerning negation will also arise.
This essay investigates the applicability of Grice’s theory of conversational implicatures to legal interpretation, in order to highlight some of its characteristics. After introducing the notions of language and discourse, and briefly explaining the most salient aspects of Grice’s theory, I will analyse the interpretation of two types of legal acts; authoritative legal acts and acts of private autonomy. Regarding the first class, exemplified by statutes, I will argue against the applicability of Gricean theory due to the conflictual behaviour of (...) the addressees and, above all, to the insurmountable indeterminacy of the contextual elements. As far as acts of private autonomy are concerned, exemplified by contracts, I will argue that the cooperative principle is applicable, at least in those legal systems that include the principle of bona fides among the interpretative regulations of such acts. (shrink)
PG (Plural Grundgesetze) is a consistent second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It employs the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which the infamous Basic Law V. George Boolos’ plural semantics is replaced with Enrico Martino’s Acts of Choice Semantics (ACS), which is developed from the notion of arbitrary reference in mathematical reasoning. Also, substitutional quantification is exploited to interpret quantification into predicate position. ACS provides a form of logicism which is radically (...) alternative to Frege’s and which is grounded on the existence of individuals rather than on the existence of concepts. (shrink)
Are communicators perceived as committed to what they actually say (what is explicit), or to what they mean (including what is implicit)? Some research claims that explicit communication leads to a higher attribution of commitment and more accountability than implicit communication. Here we present theoretical arguments and experimental data to the contrary. We present three studies exploring whether the saying–meaning distinction affects commitment attribution in promises, and, crucially, whether commitment attribution is further modulated by the degree to which the hearer (...) will actually rely on the promise. Our results support the conclusion that people perceive communicators to be committed to ‘what is meant’, and not simply to ‘what is said’. Our findings add to the experimental literature showing that the saying–meaning distinction is not as pivotal to social relations as often assumed, and that its role in commitment attribution might be overestimated. The attribution of commitment is strongly dependent on the (mutually known) relevance of ‘what is meant’. (shrink)
In this article we discuss the moral and legal aspects of causing the death of a terminal patient in the hope of extending their life in the future. We call this theoretical procedure cryothanasia. We argue that administering cryothanasia is ethically different from administering euthanasia. Consequently, objections to euthanasia should not apply to cryothanasia, and cryothanasia could also be considered a legal option where euthanasia is illegal.
In this paper our aim is twofold: on the one hand, to present in a clear and faithful way two recent contributions to the logic of grounding, namely Correia, and Fine ; on the other hand, to argue that some of the formal principles describing the notion of grounding proposed by these logics need to be changed and improved.
In this paper we introduce and compare four different syntactic methods for generating sequent calculi for the main systems of modal logic: the multiple sequents method, the higher-arity sequents method, the tree-hypersequents method and the display method. More precisely we show how the first three methods can all be translated in the fourth one. This result sheds new light on these generalisations of the sequent calculus and raises issues that will be examined in the last section.
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion (...) is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled. (shrink)
This paper argues for a representational semantic conception of scientific theories, which respects the bare claim of any semantic view, namely that theories can be characterised as sets of models. RSC must be sharply distinguished from structural versions that assume a further identity of ‘models’ and ‘structures’, which we reject. The practice-turn in the recent philosophical literature suggests instead that modelling must be understood in a deflationary spirit, in terms of the diverse representational practices in the sciences. These insights are (...) applied to some mathematical models, thus showing that the mathematical sciences are not in principle counterexamples to RSC. (shrink)