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Franz Berto
University of St. Andrews
  1. Impossible Worlds and the Logic of Imagination.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1277-1297.
    I want to model a finite, fallible cognitive agent who imagines that p in the sense of mentally representing a scenario—a configuration of objects and properties—correctly described by p. I propose to capture imagination, so understood, via variably strict world quantifiers, in a modal framework including both possible and so-called impossible worlds. The latter secure lack of classical logical closure for the relevant mental states, while the variability of strictness captures how the agent imports information from actuality in the imagined (...)
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  2. Impossible Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013).
    It is a venerable slogan due to David Hume, and inherited by the empiricist tradition, that the impossible cannot be believed, or even conceived. In Positivismus und Realismus, Moritz Schlick claimed that, while the merely practically impossible is still conceivable, the logically impossible, such as an explicit inconsistency, is simply unthinkable. -/- An opposite philosophical tradition, however, maintains that inconsistencies and logical impossibilities are thinkable, and sometimes believable, too. In the Science of Logic, Hegel already complained against “one of the (...)
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  3. Truth in Fiction, Impossible Worlds, and Belief Revision.Christopher Badura & Francesco Berto - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's [1978] ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
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    Taming the Runabout Imagination Ticket.Francesco Berto - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This research is published within the project ‘The Logic of Conceivability’, funded by the European Research Council, Grant Number 681404.
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  5. Impossible Worlds and Propositions: Against the Parity Thesis.Francesco Berto - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):471-486.
    Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian worlds, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions (...)
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  6. Modal Meinongianism and Fiction: The Best of Three Worlds.Francesco Berto - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):313-35.
    We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...)
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  7. Absolute Contradiction, Dialetheism, and Revenge.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (2):193-207.
    Is there a notion of contradiction—let us call it, for dramatic effect, “absolute”—making all contradictions, so understood, unacceptable also for dialetheists? It is argued in this paper that there is, and that spelling it out brings some theoretical benefits. First it gives us a foothold on undisputed ground in the methodologically difficult debate on dialetheism. Second, we can use it to express, without begging questions, the disagreement between dialetheists and their rivals on the nature of truth. Third, dialetheism has an (...)
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  8. Conceivability and Possibility: Some Dilemmas for Humeans.Francesco Berto & Tom Schoonen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2697-2715.
    The Humean view that conceivability entails possibility can be criticized via input from cognitive psychology. A mainstream view here has it that there are two candidate codings for mental representations (one of them being, according to some, reducible to the other): the linguistic and the pictorial, the difference between the two consisting in the degree of arbitrariness of the representation relation. If the conceivability of P at issue for Humeans involves the having of a linguistic mental representation, then it is (...)
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  9. Hegel's Dialectics as a Semantic Theory: An Analytic Reading.Francesco Berto - 2007 - European Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):19–39.
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  10. A Modality Called ‘Negation’.Francesco Berto - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):761-793.
    I propose a comprehensive account of negation as a modal operator, vindicating a moderate logical pluralism. Negation is taken as a quantifier on worlds, restricted by an accessibility relation encoding the basic concept of compatibility. This latter captures the core meaning of the operator. While some candidate negations are then ruled out as violating plausible constraints on compatibility, different specifications of the notion of world support different logical conducts for negations. The approach unifies in a philosophically motivated picture the following (...)
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  11. On Conceiving the Inconsistent.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (1pt1):103-121.
    I present an approach to our conceiving absolute impossibilities—things which obtain at no possible world—in terms of ceteris paribus intentional operators: variably restricted quantifiers on possible and impossible worlds based on world similarity. The explicit content of a representation plays a role similar in some respects to the one of a ceteris paribus conditional antecedent. I discuss how such operators invalidate logical closure for conceivability, and how similarity works when impossible worlds are around. Unlike what happens with ceteris paribus counterfactual (...)
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  12. The Gödel Paradox and Wittgenstein's Reasons.Francesco Berto - 2009 - Philosophia Mathematica 17 (2):208-219.
    An interpretation of Wittgenstein’s much criticized remarks on Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem is provided in the light of paraconsistent arithmetic: in taking Gödel’s proof as a paradoxical derivation, Wittgenstein was drawing the consequences of his deliberate rejection of the standard distinction between theory and metatheory. The reasoning behind the proof of the truth of the Gödel sentence is then performed within the formal system itself, which turns out to be inconsistent. It is shown that the features of paraconsistent arithmetics match (...)
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  13. Modal Meinongianism and Characterization.Francesco Berto & Graham Priest - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):183-200.
    In this paper we reply to arguments of Kroon (“Characterization and Existence in Modal Meinongianism”. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86, 23–34) to the effect that Modal Meinongianism cannot do justice to Meinongian claims such as that the golden mountain is golden, and that it does not exist.
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  14. Adynaton and Material Exclusion.Francesco Berto - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):165 – 190.
    Philosophical dialetheism, whose main exponent is Graham Priest, claims that some contradictions hold, are true, and it is rational to accept and assert them. Such a position is naturally portrayed as a challenge to the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC). But all the classic formulations of the LNC are, in a sense, not questioned by a typical dialetheist, since she is (cheerfully) required to accept them by her own theory. The goal of this paper is to develop a formulation of the (...)
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  15. The World is Either Digital or Analogue.Francesco Berto & Jacopo Tagliabue - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):481-497.
    We address an argument by Floridi (Synthese 168(1):151–178, 2009; 2011a), to the effect that digital and analogue are not features of reality, only of modes of presentation of reality. One can therefore have an informational ontology, like Floridi’s Informational Structural Realism, without commitment to a supposedly digital or analogue world. After introducing the topic in Sect. 1, in Sect. 2 we explain what the proposition expressed by the title of our paper means. In Sect. 3, we describe Floridi’s argument. In (...)
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  16. Dialetheism.Francesco Berto, Graham Priest & Zach Weber - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2018 (2018).
    A dialetheia is a sentence, A, such that both it and its negation, ¬A, are true (we shall talk of sentences throughout this entry; but one could run the definition in terms of propositions, statements, or whatever one takes as her favourite truth-bearer: this would make little difference in the context). Assuming the fairly uncontroversial view that falsity just is the truth of negation, it can equally be claimed that a dialetheia is a sentence which is both true and false.
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  17. Is Dialetheism an Idealism? The Russellian Fallacy and the Dialetheist’s Dilemma.Francesco Berto - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (2):235–263.
    In his famous work on vagueness, Russell named “fallacy of verbalism” the fallacy that consists in mistaking the properties of words for the properties of things. In this paper, I examine two (clusters of) mainstream paraconsistent logical theories – the non-adjunctive and relevant approaches –, and show that, if they are given a strongly paraconsistent or dialetheic reading, the charge of committing the Russellian Fallacy can be raised against them in a sophisticated way, by appealing to the intuitive reading of (...)
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  18. Cellular Automata.Francesco Berto & Jacopo Tagliabue - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Cellular automata (henceforth: CA) are discrete, abstract computational systems that have proved useful both as general models of complexity and as more specific representations of non-linear dynamics in a variety of scientific fields. Firstly, CA are (typically) spatially and temporally discrete: they are composed of a finite or denumerable set of homogeneous, simple units, the atoms or cells. At each time unit, the cells instantiate one of a finite set of states. They evolve in parallel at discrete time steps, following (...)
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  19. Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: An Issue in Meta-Ontology.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  20. Meaning, Metaphysics, and Contradiction.Francesco Berto - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (4):283-297.
  21. Non-Normal Worlds and Representation.Francesco Berto - 2012 - In Michal Peliš & Vít Punčochář (eds.), The Logica Yearbook. College Publications.
    World semantics for relevant logics include so-called non-normal or impossible worlds providing model-theoretic counterexamples to such irrelevant entailments as (A ∧ ¬A) → B, A → (B∨¬B), or A → (B → B). Some well-known views interpret non-normal worlds as information states. If so, they can plausibly model our ability of conceiving or representing logical impossibilities. The phenomenon is explored by combining a formal setting with philosophical discussion. I take Priest’s basic relevant logic N4 and extend it, on the syntactic (...)
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  22. To Exist and to Count: A Note on the Minimalist View.Francesco Berto & Massimiliano Carrara - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):343-356.
    Sometimes mereologists have problems with counting. We often don't want to count the parts of maximally connected objects as full-fledged objects themselves, and we don't want to count discontinuous objects as parts of further, full-fledged objects. But whatever one takes "full-fledged object" to mean, the axioms and theorems of classical, extensional mereology commit us to the existence both of parts and of wholes – all on a par, included in the domain of quantification – and this makes mereology look counterintuitive (...)
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  23. Existence as a Real Property.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Synthèse Library, Springer.
    This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...)
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  24. How to Sell a Contradiction.Francesco Berto - 2007 - College Publications.
    There is a principle in things, about which we cannot be deceived, but must always, on the contrary, recognize the truth – viz. that the same thing cannot at one and the same time be and not be": with these words of the Metaphysics, Aristotle introduced the Law of Non-Contradiction, which was to become the most authoritative principle in the history of Western thought. However, things have recently changed, and nowadays various philosophers, called dialetheists, claim that this Law does not (...)
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  25. The Selection Problem.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 262:519-37.
    In 'Fiction and Fictionalism', Mark Sainsbury has recently dubbed “Selection Problem” a serious trouble for Meinongian object theories. Typically, Meinongianism has been phrased as a kind of realism on nonexistent objects : these are mind-independent things, not mental simulacra, having the properties they have independently from the activity of any cognitive agent. But how can one single out an object we have no causal acquaintance with, and which is devoid of spatiotemporal location, picking it out from a pre-determined, mind-independent set (...)
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  26. The Firmest of All Principles.Francesco Berto - 2015 - In Channa van Dijk, Eva van der Graaf, Michiel den Haan, Rosa de Jong, Christiaan Roodenburgh, Dyane Til & Deva Waal (eds.), Under Influence - Philosophical Festival Drift (2014). pp. 82-93.
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  27. Modal Meinongianism for Fictional Objects.Francesco Berto - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (2):205-218.
    Drawing on different suggestions from the literature, we outline a unified metaphysical framework, labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM), combining Meinongian themes with a non-standard modal ontology. The MMM approach is based on (1) a comprehension principle (CP) for objects in unrestricted, but qualified form, and (2) the employment of an ontology of impossible worlds, besides possible ones. In §§1–2, we introduce the classical Meinongian metaphysics and consider two famous Russellian criticisms, namely (a) the charge of inconsistency and (b) the (...)
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  28. Characterizing Negation to Face Dialetheism.Francesco Berto - 2006 - Logique Et Analyse 49 (195):241-263.
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    There’s Plenty of Boole at the Bottom: A Reversible CA Against Information Entropy.Francesco Berto, Jacopo Tagliabue & Gabriele Rossi - 2016 - Minds and Machines 26 (4):341-357.
    “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom”, said the title of Richard Feynman’s 1959 seminal conference at the California Institute of Technology. Fifty years on, nanotechnologies have led computer scientists to pay close attention to the links between physical reality and information processing. Not all the physical requirements of optimal computation are captured by traditional models—one still largely missing is reversibility. The dynamic laws of physics are reversible at microphysical level, distinct initial states of a system leading to distinct final (...)
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  30. Paraconsistency: Logic and Applications.Francesco Berto, Edwin Mares, Koji Tanaka & Francesco Paoli (eds.) - 2013 - Springer.
    A logic is called 'paraconsistent' if it rejects the rule called 'ex contradictione quodlibet', according to which any conclusion follows from inconsistent premises. While logicians have proposed many technically developed paraconsistent logical systems and contemporary philosophers like Graham Priest have advanced the view that some contradictions can be true, and advocated a paraconsistent logic to deal with them, until recent times these systems have been little understood by philosophers. This book presents a comprehensive overview on paraconsistent logical systems to change (...)
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  31. L'esistenza Non È Logica: Dal Quadrato Rotondo Ai Mondi Impossibili.Francesco Berto - 2010 - Laterza.
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  32. Review. [REVIEW]Francesco Berto - 2005 - Hegel-Studien 39:211-214.
    Hegel und Russell. Logik und Ontologie im modernen und zeitgenössischen Denken.
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  33. Teorie Dell'assurdo: I Rivali Del Principio di Non-Contraddizione.Francesco Berto - 2006 - Carocci.
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    Counting the Particles: Entity and Identity in the Philosophy of Physics.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Metaphysica 18 (1).
    I would like to attack a certain view: The view that the concept of identity can fail to apply to some things although, for some positive integer n, we have n of them. The idea of entities without self-identity is seriously entertained in the philosophy of quantum mechanics. It is so pervasive that it has been labelled the Received View. I introduce the Received View in Section 1. In Section 2 I explain what I mean by entity, and I argue (...)
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  35. L’esistenza Non È Logica.Roberto Ciuni & Francesco Berto - 2010 - Rivista di Estetica 45.
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  36.  7
    Modal Noneism: Transworld Identity, Identification, and Individuation.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Logic 11 (2).
    Noneism a is form of Meinongianism, proposed by Richard Routley and developed and improved by Graham Priest in his widely discussed book Towards Non-Being. Priest's noneism is based upon the double move of building a worlds semantics including impossible worlds, besides possible ones, and admitting a new comprehension principle for objects, differerent from the ones proposed in other kinds of neo-Meinongian theories, such as Parsons' and Zalta's. The new principle has no restrictions on the sets of properties that can deliver (...)
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    Strong Paraconsistency and Exclusion Negation.Francesco Berto - unknown
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  38. Ontologia formale.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Rivista di Estetica 49.
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    Buone scartoffie, cattive intenzioni: una piccola nota su Documentalità.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Rivista di Estetica 50:29-35.
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    How to Rule Out Things with Words: Strong Paraconsistency and the Algebra of Exclusion1.Francesco Berto - 2012 - In Greg Restall & Gillian Kay Russell (eds.), New Waves in Philosophical Logic. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 169.
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    Guest Editors' Introduction.Koji Tanaka, Francesco Berto, Edwin Mares & Francesco Paoli - 2010 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 19 (1-2):5-6.
    A logic is said to be paraconsistent if it doesn’t license you to infer everything from a contradiction. To be precise, let |= be a relation of logical consequence. We call |= explosive if it validates the inference rule: {A,¬A} |= B for every A and B. Classical logic and most other standard logics, including intuitionist logic, are explosive. Instead of licensing you to infer everything from a contradiction, paraconsistent logic allows you to sensibly deal with the contradiction.
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    Wittgenstein on Incompleteness Makes Paraconsistent Sense.Francesco Berto - 2013 - In Francesco Berto, Edwin Mares, Koji Tanaka & Francesco Paoli (eds.), Paraconsistency: Logic and Applications. Springer. pp. 257--276.
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    Agossou, Mèdéwalé-Kodjo-Jacob, Hegel Et la Philosophie Africaine: Une Lecture Interprétative de la Dialectique Hégélienne (Paris: Karthala, 2005). Alves, João Lopes, O Estado da Razão: Da Ideia Hegeliana de Estado Ao Estado Segunda a Ideia Hegeliana:(Sobre Os Principios de Filosofia Do Direito de Hegel (Lisboa: Edições Colibri, 2004)). [REVIEW]José Eduardo Marques Baioni, Marilena de Souza Chauí, Frederick C. Beiser, Corrado Bertani, Francesco Berto, Bernard Bourgeois, David Carlson & Allegra De Laurentiis - 2005 - The Owl of Minerva 36 (2).
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  44. Modus Tollerns. Kant, Hegel e la critica della nozione logica di sostanza.Francesco Berto - 2003 - Giornale di Metafisica 25 (2):287-304.
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    Un'interpretazione analitica della dialettica hegeliana.Francesco Berto - 2004 - Iride: Filosofia e Discussione Pubblica 17 (3):569-592.
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    Representing the Contradictory.Francesco Berto - 2014 - In Elena Ficara (ed.), Contradictions: Logic, History, Actuality. De Gruyter. pp. 81-94.
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    Some Topics Concerning Identity and Contradiction in Philosophical Logic.Francesco Berto - 2005 - Epistemologia 28 (2):219-238.
  48.  4
    2.1. Meinonghianismo modale e fiction: il meglio di tre mondi.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Rivista di Estetica 49:73-97.
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    Modal Meinongianism and Actuality.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    Modal Meinongianism is the most recent neo-Meinongian theory. Its main innovation consists in a Comprehension Principle which, unlike other neo-Meinongian approaches, seemingly avoids limitations on the properties that can characterize objects. However, in a recent paper A. Sauchelli has raised an objection against modal Meinongianism, to the effect that properties and relations involving reference to worlds at which they are instantiated, and specifically to the actual world or parts thereof, force a limitation of its Comprehension Principle. The theory, thus, is (...)
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    Il primo teorema di Gödel e l'indeterminabilità del riferimento (incompletezza sintattica, insaturabilità semantica).Francesco Berto - 2004 - Epistemologia 27 (1):29-54.
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