I argue here that recent discussions of f. sommers' "rule for enforcing ambiguity" have been mistaken on one of two grounds. either they misrepresent the sense of the rule or they misunderstand its intent. the rule is neither a sense rule nor a categorial rule, but a 'translation' rule relating senses of terms to categories of individuals. rather than a test for term ambiguity the rule is a test for theory coherence. finally, i show that there are many possible ways (...) of applying the rule. (shrink)
I argue here that r. Van straaten's four modifications of f. Sommers' 'rule for enforcing ambiguity' are based upon a misunderstanding of the basis of the rule and a failure to see the spanning/predicability distinction. The effect is that none of van straaten's several counterexamples are telling against the rule. In place of van straaten's modifications I offer the following simple but important changes in the rule: the restriction of things to individuals and the reading of 'makes sense to predicate' (...) and similar phrases in terms of the spanning relation. (shrink)
I Would like to draw attention to the basic defect in the argument used by Mr J. R. Lucas . Mr Lucas there states that Gödel's theorem shows that any consistent formal system strong enough to produce arithmetic fails to prove, within its own structure, theorems that we, as humans , can nevertheless see to be true. From this he argues that ‘minds’ can do more than machines, since machines are essentially formal systems of this same type, and subject to (...) the limitation implied by Godel's theorem. (shrink)
In an interesting work ‘The Ethical Animal’ Professor C. H. Waddington valiantly attempts to bridge the gap between ‘ought’ and ‘is’ without, it seems, succeeding in doing so. Notwithstanding his erudition, honesty of purpose and charm in exposition, the gulf remains unbridged. Indeed there are passages where it is difficult to be certain whether the author considers that he has bridged it or even what standpoint he finally adopts.
I Would like to draw attention to the basic defect in the argument used by Mr J. R. Lucas. Mr Lucas there states that Gödel's theorem shows that any consistent formal system strong enough to produce arithmetic fails to prove, within its own structure, theorems that we, as humans, can nevertheless see to be true. From this he argues that ‘minds’ can do more than machines, since machines are essentially formal systems of this same type, and subject to the limitation (...) implied by Godel's theorem. (shrink)
This question as to whether machines can, or could, be made to think, has become familiar in recent years since the renewed outburst of interest that has taken place in the development of Cybernetics. The notion of servo–mechanisms and the like has a history in remote antiquity but the form of its fundamental question has recently taken on a new and especially acute significance.
I would like to make some further clarifying remarks about the nature of learning machines, or finite automata as they are more generally known these days. It is clear from much that has recently been written on this subject that there are still many misunderstandings about their capacity and significance.
Artificial intelligence and the interrogation game; Scientific method and explanation; Godel's incompleteness theorem; Determinism and uncertainty; Axioms, theorems and formalisation; Creativity; Consciousness and free will; Pragmatics; A ...
This essay argues that propositions are made true by facts. A proposition is the sense expressed by a statement (sentence token used to make a truth claim). Facts are positive or negative constitutive properties of the domain of discourse (usually the actual world). The presence of horses is a positive constitutive property of the world; the absence of unicorns is a negative one. This notion of constitutive properties accords well with the Hume-Kant claim that existence is not a property of (...) any individual said to exist. While Frege held existence to be a property of concepts and Russell held it to be a property of propositional functions, our view sees existence as a property of a domain of discourse. To say that Native Dancer exists is simply to say that the world is characterized by the presence of Native Dancer; to say that Pegasus does not exist is to say the world is characterized by the absence of Pegasus. Such properties of presence and absence are facts. Facts make true propositions true; nothing makes false propositions false (they simply fail to be made true). Facts are not items in the world; they are (constitutive) properties of the world. (shrink)