We provide a general framework for constructing natural consequence relations for paraconsistent and plausible nonmonotonic reasoning. The framework is based on preferential systems whose preferences are based on the satisfaction of formulas in models. We show that these natural preferential In the research on paraconsistency, preferential systems systems that were originally designed for for paraconsistent reasoning fulfill a key condition (stopperedness or smoothness) from the theoretical research of nonmonotonic reasoning. Consequently, the nonmonotonic consequence relations that they induce fulfill the desired (...) conditions of plausible consequence relations. Hence our framework encompasses different types of preferential systems that were developed from different motivations of paraconsistent reasoning and non-monotonic reasoning, and reveals an important link between them. (shrink)
This paper offers a framework for extending Arnon Avron and Iddo Lev’s non-deterministic semantics to quantified predicate logic with the intent of resolving several problems and limitations of Avron and Anna Zamansky’s approach. By employing a broadly Fregean picture of logic, the framework described in this paper has the benefits of permitting quantifiers more general than Walter Carnielli’s distribution quantifiers and yielding a well-behaved model theory. This approach is purely objectual and yields the semantical equivalence of both α-equivalent formulae (...) and formulae differing only by codenotative terms. Finally, we make a brief excursion into non-deterministic model theory, proving a strong Łoś’ Theorem and compactness for all finitely-valued, non-deterministic logics whose quantifiers have intensions describable in a first order metalanguage. (shrink)
Is life meaningless? Does life have enough meaning to make it feel worthwhile? If we think our lives lack meaning, what can we do about it? Finding Meaning in an Imperfect World answers these and other difficult questions, while confronting head-on famous, recurrent theories that insist on life's meaninglessness. Landau shows us how to single out what is meaningful, explains why we sometimes fail to recognize meaning, and suggests ways in which we can resensitize ourselves to it.
This article pushes interactionist sociology forward. It does so by drawing out the implications of a simple idea, that to understand the situation—the mise en scene of interactionist theory—we must understand it in relation not only to past-induced habits of thought and action but to future situations anticipated in interaction. Focusing especially on the rhythmic nature of situations, the paper then argues that such a recalibration both unsettles core tenets of interactionism and helps solve some problems in the sociology of (...) culture. As an illustration, it focuses on two such puzzles—the place of disruption in interaction and the relationship between the notion of “boundaries” and of “distinctions” in the sociology of culture. -/- . (shrink)
Several philosophers have argued that if we examine our lives in context of the cosmos at large, sub specie aeternitatis, we cannot escape life's meaninglessness. To see our lives as meaningful, we have to shun the point of view of the cosmos and consider our lives only in the narrower context of the here and now. I argue that this view is incorrect: life can be seen as meaningful also sub specie aeternitatis. While criticizing arguments by, among others, Simon Blackburn, (...) Nicholas Rescher, and Thomas Nagel, I show that what determines assessments of the meaning of a life are the standards of meaningfulness one endorses rather than the size of the context in which that life is assessed. Employing non-demanding standards of meaningfulness to assess a life is compatible with examining it in the context of the cosmos at large. That is also the case if we accept Nagel's claim that to examine a life sub specie aeternitatis is to examine it externally, impersonally and objectively: life can be evaluated as meaningful also when under these perspectives if the standards of meaningfulness we adopt are not overly challenging. Nor does the contingency of our existence, realized sub specie aeternitatis, render our life meaningless. Contrary to a commonly accepted view, then, examining our lives sub specie aeternitatis does not necessitate that we see them as meaningless. (shrink)
The Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) is an approach to quantum mechanics according to which, in addition to the world we are aware of directly, there are many other similar worlds which exist in parallel at the same space and time. The existence of the other worlds makes it possible to remove randomness and action at a distance from quantum theory and thus from all physics.
This is a philosophical paper in favor of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory. The necessity of introducing many worlds is explained by analyzing a neutron interference experiment. The concept of the “measure of existence of a world” is introduced and some difficulties with the issue of probability in the framework of the MWI are resolved.
IntroductionIn a recent article in this journal, Joshua W. Seachris (2012) argues that the distinction I make between perspectives and standards in sub specie aeternitatis arguments for the meaninglessness of life does not hold for a salient component of the sub specie aeternitatis perspective: the ontological-normative component. In this article I suggest that Seachris’s argument is problematic in a number of ways and ought to be rejected.BackgroundVarious authors, such as Albert Camus (1969, p. 78), Nicholas Rescher (1990, p. 153) and (...) Simon Blackburn (2001, p. 79), have argued that when lives are considered as a part of very large temporal or spatial contexts, they are realized to be meaningless. Considered in the context of a million years, whatever one chooses or achieves in a life or even the fact that one has existed seems unimportant: the world would be the same in a million years whether or not we had existed and whatever we might or might not have done. Our effect on the world. (shrink)
This paper replies to two arguments against marriage presented by Dan Moller (Philosophy 78, 2003: 79–91). One of Moller's arguments examines several ways in which the marriage promise could be explained, and shows that none of them is viable. The other argument suggests that marriage may not be a worthwhile enterprise since marriages frequently fail, in that they become loveless or end up in divorce. I argue that the marriage promise can be explained in a way unconsidered by Moller, which (...) renders the promise viable; and that notwithstanding the failure of many marriages, it still is, for some people, a worthwhile enterprise. (shrink)
A critical pathway for conceptual innovation in the social is the construction of theoretical ideas based on empirical data. Grounded theory has become a leading approach promising the construction of novel theories. Yet grounded theory-based theoretical innovation has been scarce in part because of its commitment to let theories emerge inductively rather than imposing analytic frameworks a priori. We note, along with a long philosophical tradition, that induction does not logically lead to novel theoretical insights. Drawing from the theory of (...) inference, meaning, and action of pragmatist philosopher Charles S. Peirce, we argue that abduction, rather than induction, should be the guiding principle of empirically based theory construction. Abduction refers to a creative inferential process aimed at producing new hypotheses and theories based on surprising research evidence. We propose that abductive analysis arises from actors' social and intellectual positions but can be further aided by careful methodological data analysis. We outline how formal methodological steps enrich abductive analysis through the processes of revisiting, defamiliarization, and alternative casing. (shrink)
It is argued that, although in the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics there is no ``probability'' for an outcome of a quantum experiment in the usual sense, we can understand why we have an illusion of probability. The explanation involves: a). A ``sleeping pill'' gedanken experiment which makes correspondence between an illegitimate question: ``What is the probability of an outcome of a quantum measurement?'' with a legitimate question: ``What is the probability that ``I'' am in the world corresponding to that (...) outcome?''; b). A gedanken experiment which splits the world into several worlds which are identical according to some symmetry condition; and c). Relativistic causality, which together with explain the Born rule of standard quantum mechanics. The Quantum Sleeping Beauty controversy and ``caring measure'' replacing probability measure are discussed. (shrink)
This article is a reply to Thaddeus Metz's (2011). I suggest that Metz's theory is too broad since it entails that merely understanding Einstein's or Darwin's views can make a life highly meaningful. Furthermore, it is unclear whether , toward which highly meaningful lives are oriented, may or may not be necessary conditions to , how completely the former should explain the latter, and whether Metz's account is indeed non-consequentialist. While acknowledging the importance of Metz's contribution, I consider alternative directions (...) that future research might take. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 67 - 93 The talmudic sages granted the legal status of _sefer_ to five texts: the Torah, _tefillin_, the _get_, the _mezuzah_, and the Scroll of Esther. These texts share two features: they have a ritualistic format and use, and they are the only sacred texts that demonstrate _mise en abyme_—the trait of literary self-containing. These two traits turn the rabbinic book into a radical case of “open work”: the _sefer_ consists of both (...) textual signs and the actual body of an empirical reader; its pragmatic level is not bracketed out in favor of the semiotic one. I argue that Deleuze’s reception theory best accounts for the _sefer_. (shrink)
Two recently proposed quantum experiments are analyzed. The first allows to find an object without "touching" it. The second allows to teleport quantum states, transmitting a very small amount of information. It is shown that in the standard approach these experiments are in conflict with the intuitive notions of causality and locality. It is argued that the situation is less paradoxical in the framework of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum theory.
Counterfactuals in quantum theory are briefly reviewed and it is argued that they are very different from counterfactuals considered in the general philosophical literature. The issue of time symmetry of quantum counterfactuals is considered and a novel time-symmetric definition of quantum counterfactuals is proposed. This definition is applied for analyzing several controversies related to quantum counterfactuals.
A recent claim by Meehan that quantum mechanics has a new “control problem” that puts limits on our ability to prepare quantum states and revises our understanding of the no-cloning theorem is examined. We identify flaws in Meehan’s analysis and argue that such a problem does not exist.
The paper explores an egalitarian norm widely accepted today, which I call the Marital Non‐Hierarchy Standard. According to this standard, marital relationships should be non‐hierarchical; neither partner may be more dominant than the other. The Marital Non‐Hierarchy Standard is exceptional: in almost all associations, including many financial, professional, educational and recreational ones, in almost all spheres of life, some hierarchies, within certain limits, are widely believed to be morally legitimate. I argue that in marital relations, too, some hierarchies should be (...) accepted as morally legitimate. It might be argued that marital relations should be loving, and love requires that lovers will have the same degree of power. However, contemporary analyses of love show that love is consistent with hierarchies. It might also be argued that justice requires that lovers will have equal power. However, theories of distributive justice such as Rawls's, Sen's, Dworkin's, and almost all others allow some marital hierarchies. Thus, both the love requirement and the justice requirement allow some hierarchical marital relationships and conflict with the Marital Non‐Hierarchy Standard. Until other justifications for this standard are presented, it is unclear why it should be endorsed. (shrink)
The Brain and the Meaning of Life Paul Thagard Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010 274 pages, ISBN: 9780691142722 (hbk): $29.95 This paper criticizes central arguments in Paul Thagard's The Brain and the Meaning of Life, concluding, contrary to Thagard, that there is very little that we can learn from brain research about the meaning of life. The paper offers a critical review of Thagard's argument against nihilism and his argument that it is love, work, and play, rather than other activities, (...) that make life meaningful. Moreover, the paper argues that the rich neurological information Thagard presents throughout the book does not contribute at all to his arguments and, more generally, that neurological research is irrelevant also to almost all other aspects of meaning of life research. (shrink)
Historically, appearance of the quantum theory led to a prevailing view that Nature is indeterministic. The arguments for the indeterminism and proposals for indeterministic and deterministic approaches are reviewed. These include collapse theories, Bohmian Mechanics and the many-worlds interpretation. It is argued that ontic interpretations of the quantum wave function provide simpler and clearer physical explanation and that the many-worlds interpretation is the most attractive since it provides a deterministic and local theory for our physical Universe explaining the illusion of (...) randomness and nonlocality in the world we experience. (shrink)
A brief review of the attempts to define “elements of reality” in the framework of quantum theory is presented. It is noted that most definitions of elements of reality have in common the feature to be a definite outcome of some measurement. Elements of reality are extended to pre- and post- selected systems and to measurements which fulfill certain criteria of weakness of the coupling. Some features of the newly introduced concepts are discussed.
This paper critically examines Sartre's argument for the meaninglessness of life from our foundationless freedom. According to Sartre, our freedom to choose our values is completely undetermined. Hence, we cannot rely on anything when choosing and cannot justify our choices. Thus, our freedom is the foundation of our world without itself having any foundation, and this renders our lives absurd. Sartre's argument presupposes, then, that although we can freely choose all our values we have a meta-value that we cannot choose: (...) that values are acceptable only if they are justified by some independent factor rather than by one's free choice. I argue that we need not accept this presupposition: subjectivists may well choose to be 'proud subjectivists' who are pleased with, rather than ashamed by, their subjectivism. Indeed, many subjectivists, including those considering the meaning of life - for example, Harry Frankfurt and Brooke Alan Trisel - adopt this position. (shrink)
This article develops a research position that allows cultural sociologists to compare morality across sociohistorical cases. In order to do so, the article suggests focusing analytic attention on actions that fulfill the following criteria: (a) actions that define the actor as a certain kind of socially recognized person, both within and across fields; (b) actions that actors experience—or that they expect others to perceive—as defining the actor both intersituationally and to a greater extent than other available definitions of self; and (...) (c) actions to which actors either have themselves, or expect others to have, a predictable emotional reaction. Such a position avoids both a realist moral sociology and descriptive-relativism, and provides sociologists with criteria for comparing moral action in different cases while staying attuned to social and historical specificity. (shrink)
This study examined students' reasoning about simple repeated choices. Each choice involved ''betting'' on two events, differing in probability. We asked subjects to generate or evaluate alternative strategies such as betting on the most likely event on every trial, betting on it on almost every trial, or employing a ''probability matching'' strategy. Almost half of the college students did not generate or rank strategies according to their expected value, but few subjects preferred a strategy of strict probability matching. High-school students (...) showed greater deviations from expected value than college students. Similar misunderstandings were observed in a choice task involving real (not hypothetical) repeated trials. Large gender differences in prediction strategies and in related computational skills were observed. Subjects who understand the optimal strategy usually do so in terms of independence of successive trials rather than calculation. Some subjects understand the concept of independence but fail to bring it to bear, thinking it can be overridden by intuition or local balancing (representativeness). (shrink)
An attempt to solve the collapse problem in the framework of a time-symmetric quantum formalism is reviewed. Although the proposal does not look very attractive, its concept - a world defined by two quantum states, one evolving forwards and one evolving backwards in time - is found to be useful in modifying the many-worlds picture of Everett’s theory.
The main focus of the book is the presentation of the 'inertial' view of population growth. This view provides a rather simple model for complex population dynamics, and is achieved at the level of the single species without invoking species interactions. An important part of this account is the maternal effect. Investment of mothers in the quality of their daughters makes the rate of reproduction of the current generation depend not only on the current environment, but also on the environment (...) experienced by the previous generation. (shrink)
Progressions of iterated reflection principles can be used as a tool for the ordinal analysis of formal systems. We discuss various notions of proof-theoretic ordinals and compare the information obtained by means of the reflection principles with the results obtained by the more usual proof-theoretic techniques. In some cases we obtain sharper results, e.g., we define proof-theoretic ordinals relevant to logical complexity Π1 0 and, similarly, for any class Π n 0 . We provide a more general version of the (...) fine structure relationships for iterated reflection principles (due to U. Schmerl ). This allows us, in a uniform manner, to analyze main fragments of arithmetic axiomatized by restricted forms of induction, including IΣ n , IΣ n − , IΠ n − and their combinations. We also obtain new conservation results relating the hierarchies of uniform and local reflection principles. In particular, we show that (for a sufficiently broad class of theories T) the uniform Σ1-reflection principle for T is Σ2-conservative over the corresponding local reflection principle. This bears some corollaries on the hierarchies of restricted induction schemata in arithmetic and provides a key tool for our generalization of Schmerl's theorem. (shrink)
Prominent thinkers such as Jurgen Habermas and Michael Sandel are warning that biomedical enhancements will undermine fundamental political values. Yet whether biomedical enhancements will undermine such values depends on how biomedical enhancements will function, how they will be administered and to whom. Since only few enhancements are obtainable, it is difficult to tell whether these predictions are sound. Nevertheless, such warnings are extremely valuable. As a society we must, at the very least, be aware of developments that could have harmful (...) consequences. Indeed, if important values were to be jeopardized, we should take appropriate measures to protect them. This paper focuses on four central values: solidarity, personal responsibility, equality and autonomy. It delineates the conditions under which biomedical enhancements would undermine these values. It also details the circumstances under which these values would be unaffected by enhancements as well as those under which they would be promoted. Specifying these conditions is valuable; it would enable society to prepare appropriate ethical guidelines and policy responses in advance. (shrink)
We suggest an algebraic approach to proof-theoretic analysis based on the notion of graded provability algebra, that is, Lindenbaum boolean algebra of a theory enriched by additional operators which allow for the structure to capture proof-theoretic information. We use this method to analyze Peano arithmetic and show how an ordinal notation system up to 0 can be recovered from the corresponding algebra in a canonical way. This method also establishes links between proof-theoretic ordinal analysis and the work which has been (...) done in the last two decades on provability logic and reflection principles. Because of its abstract algebraic nature, we hope that it will also be of interest for non-prooftheorists. (shrink)
Provability logic GLP is well-known to be incomplete w.r.t. Kripke semantics. A natural topological semantics of GLP interprets modalities as derivative operators of a polytopological space. Such spaces are called GLP-spaces whenever they satisfy all the axioms of GLP. We develop some constructions to build nontrivial GLP-spaces and show that GLP is complete w.r.t. the class of all GLP-spaces.
The role of nonhumans in social life has recently generated significant scholarly interest. The two main paradigms for explaining the sociological significance of nonhumans are constructivism and actor-network theory. We propose a pragmatist synthesis inspired by George Herbert Mead, demonstrating how interactions with nonhumans help constitute the social self—that is, the identity one constructs by imaginatively looking upon oneself as others would. Drawing upon observations of humans interacting with objects, animals, and nature, we identify two complementary ways that nonhumans organize (...) the social self and enable people to experience group membership in absentia: (1) by molding how one is perceived by others and constraining alternative presentations of self and (2) by acting as a totem that conjures up awareness of, and feelings of attachment to, a particular social group. This formulation moves beyond constructivist claims that nonhumans reflect people’s self-definitions, and it offers a corrective to actor-network theory’s neglect of sociality. (shrink)
A well-known polymodal provability logic inlMMLBox due to Japaridze is complete w.r.t. the arithmetical semantics where modalities correspond to reflection principles of restricted logical complexity in arithmetic. This system plays an important role in some recent applications of provability algebras in proof theory. However, an obstacle in the study of inlMMLBox is that it is incomplete w.r.t. any class of Kripke frames. In this paper we provide a complete Kripke semantics for inlMMLBox . First, we isolate a certain subsystem inlMMLBox (...) of inlMMLBox that is sound and complete w.r.t. a nice class of finite frames. Second, appropriate models for inlMMLBox are defined as the limits of chains of finite expansions of models for inlMMLBox . The techniques involves unions of n -elementary chains and inverse limits of Kripke models. All the results are obtained by purely modal-logical methods formalizable in elementary arithmetic. (shrink)