Recent years have seen rapid progress in the development of ontologies as semantic models intended to capture and represent aspects of the real world. There is, however, great variation in the quality of ontologies. If ontologies are to become progressively better in the future, more rigorously developed, and more appropriately compared, then a systematic discipline of ontology evaluation must be created to ensure quality of content and methodology. Systematic methods for ontology evaluation will take into account representation of individual ontologies, (...) performance (in terms of accuracy, domain coverage and the efficiency and quality of automated reasoning using the ontologies) on tasks for which the ontology is designed and used, degree of alignment with other ontologies and their compatibility with automated reasoning. A sound and systematic approach to ontology evaluation is required to transform ontology engineering into a true scientific and engineering discipline. This chapter discusses issues and problems in ontology evaluation, describes some current strategies, and suggests some approaches that might be useful in the future. (shrink)
This reader collects and introduces important work in linguistics, computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics on the use of linguistic devices in natural languages to situate events in time: whether they are past, present, or future; whether they are real or hypothetical; when an event might have occurred, and how long it could have lasted. In focussing on the treatment and retrieval of time-based information it seeks to lay the foundation for temporally-aware natural language computer processing systems, for example (...) those that process documents on the worldwide web to answer questions or produce summaries. The development of such systems requires the application of technical knowledge from many different disciplines. The book is the first to bring these disciplines together, by means of classic and contemporary papers in four areas: tense, aspect, and event structure; temporal reasoning; the temporal structure of natural language discourse; and temporal annotation. Clear, self-contained editorial introductions to each area provide the necessary technical background for the non-specialist, explaining the underlying connections across disciplines.A wide range of students and professionals in academia and industry will value this book as an introduction and guide to a new and vital technology. The former include researchers, students, and teachers of natural language processing, linguistics, artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, computer science, information retrieval, library sciences, human-computer interaction, and cognitive science. Those in industry include corporate managers and researchers, software product developers, and engineers in information-intensive companies, such as on-line database and web-service providers. (shrink)
The Rockefeller Foundation played a key role inthe shift from `isolationism' to globalism inUS foreign policy between 1939 and 1945. TheFoundation utilised its considerable financialresources in a conscious and systematic attemptto assist official policymakers and academicsto build a new globalist consensus within thestate and public opinion. The article testsfour theoretical models that have been used todescribe Rockefeller initiatives. It concludesthat a Gramscian analysis provides the mosthelpful way of understanding the Foundation'srole in American foreign affairs.
One of the most important recent developments in the discussion of Kierkegaard's ethics is an interpretation defended, in different forms, by Philip Quinn and Stephen Evans. Both argue that a divine-command theory of moral obligation is to be found in Works of Love . Against this view, I argue that, despite significant overlap between DCT and the view of moral obligation found in Works of Love , there is at least one essential difference between the two: the former, but not (...) the latter, is committed to the claim that, necessarily, p is morally obligatory only if God commands that p. (shrink)
What would it mean to apply quantum theory, without restriction and without involving any notion of measurement and state reduction, to the whole universe? What would realism about the quantum state then imply? This book brings together an illustrious team of philosophers and physicists to debate these questions. The contributors broadly agree on the need, or aspiration, for a realist theory that unites micro- and macro-worlds. But they disagree on what this implies. Some argue that if unitary quantum evolution has (...) unrestricted application, and if the quantum state is taken to be something physically real, then this universe emerges from the quantum state as one of countless others, constantly branching in time, all of which are real. The result, they argue, is many worlds quantum theory, also known as the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. No other realist interpretation of unitary quantum theory has ever been found. Others argue in reply that this picture of many worlds is in no sense inherent to quantum theory, or fails to make physical sense, or is scientifically inadequate. The stuff of these worlds, what they are made of, is never adequately explained, nor are the worlds precisely defined; ordinary ideas about time and identity over time are compromised; no satisfactory role or substitute for probability can be found in many worlds theories; they can't explain experimental data; anyway, there are attractive realist alternatives to many worlds. Twenty original essays, accompanied by commentaries and discussions, examine these claims and counterclaims in depth. They consider questions of ontology - the existence of worlds; probability - whether and how probability can be related to the branching structure of the quantum state; alternatives to many worlds - whether there are one-world realist interpretations of quantum theory that leave quantum dynamics unchanged; and open questions even given many worlds, including the multiverse concept as it has arisen elsewhere in modern cosmology. A comprehensive introduction lays out the main arguments of the book, which provides a state-of-the-art guide to many worlds quantum theory and its problems. (shrink)
The problem of the many threatens to show that, in general, there are far more ordinary objects than you might have thought. I present and motivate a solution to this problem using many-one identity. According to this solution, the many things that seem to have what it takes to be, say, a cat, are collectively identical to that single cat.
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.
2nd edition. Many-valued logics are those logics that have more than the two classical truth values, to wit, true and false; in fact, they can have from three to infinitely many truth values. This property, together with truth-functionality, provides a powerful formalism to reason in settings where classical logic—as well as other non-classical logics—is of no avail. Indeed, originally motivated by philosophical concerns, these logics soon proved relevant for a plethora of applications ranging from switching theory to cognitive modeling, and (...) they are today in more demand than ever, due to the realization that inconsistency and vagueness in knowledge bases and information processes are not only inevitable and acceptable, but also perhaps welcome. The main modern applications of (any) logic are to be found in the digital computer, and we thus require the practical knowledge how to computerize—which also means automate—decisions (i.e. reasoning) in many-valued logics. This, in turn, necessitates a mathematical foundation for these logics. This book provides both these mathematical foundation and practical knowledge in a rigorous, yet accessible, text, while at the same time situating these logics in the context of the satisfiability problem (SAT) and automated deduction. The main text is complemented with a large selection of exercises, a plus for the reader wishing to not only learn about, but also do something with, many-valued logics. (shrink)
Many advocates of the Everettian interpretation consider that theirs is the only approach to take quantum mechanics really seriously, and that this approach allows to deduce a fantastic scenario for our reality, one that consists of an infinite number of parallel worlds that branch out continuously. In this article, written in dialogue form, we suggest that quantum mechanics can be taken even more seriously, if the many-worlds view is replaced by a many-measurements view. This allows not only to derive the (...) Born rule, thus solving the measurement problem, but also to deduce a one-world non-spatial reality, providing an even more fantastic scenario than that of the multiverse. (shrink)
"The first two lectures place the alternative I defend -- a kind of pragmatic realism -- in a historical and metaphysical context. Part of that context is provided by Husserl's remark that the history of modern philosophy begins with Galileo -- that is, modern philosophy has been hypnotized by the idea that scientific facts are all the facts there are. Another part is provided by the analysis of a very simple example of what I call 'contextual relativity'. The position I (...) defend holds that truth depends on conceptual scheme and it is nonetheless 'real truth'. "In my third lecture I turn to the Kantian antecedents of this view, explaining what I think should be retained of the Kantian idea of autonomy as the central theme of morality, and extracting from Kant's work a 'moral image of the world' that connects the ideals of equality and intellectual liberty. In this lecture I defend the idea that moral images are an indispensible part of our moral and cultural heritage. "In the final lecture I defend the idea of moral objectivity. I compare our epistemological positions in ethics, history, analysis of human character, and science, and I argue that in no area can we hope for a 'foundation' which is more ultimate than the beliefs that actually, at a given time, function as foundational in the area, the beliefs concerning which one has to say 'this is where my spade is turned'. In ethics such beliefs are represented in moral images of the world.". (shrink)
I argue that when perception plays a guiding role in intentional bodily action, it is a necessary part of that action. The argument begins with a challenge that necessarily arises for embodied agents, what I call the Many-Many Problem. The Problem is named after its most common case where agents face too many perceptual inputs and too many possible behavioral outputs. Action requires a solution to the Many-Many Problem by selection of a specific linkage between input and output. In bodily (...) action the agent perceptually selects, and in this way perceptually attends to, relevant information so as to guide the execution of specific movements. Since perceptual attention is a necessary part of solving the Many-Many Problem, it is a necessary part of bodily action. Indeed, the process of implementing a solution to the Many-Many Problem, as constrained by the agent's motivational state, just is the agent's performing an intentional bodily action in the relevant way. (shrink)
This is a self-contained introduction to the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics. It is the introductory chapter of Many Worlds? Everett, quantum theory, and reality, S. Saunders, J. Barrett, A. Kent, and D. Wallace, Oxford University Press.
Many psychological scientists and behavioral neuroscientists affirm that “emotion” influences thinking, decision-making, actions, social relationships, well-being, and physical and mental health. Yet there is no consensus on a definition of the word “emotion,” and the present data suggest that it cannot be defined as a unitary concept. Theorists and researchers attribute quite different yet heuristic meanings to “emotion.” They show considerable agreement about emotion activation, functions, and regulation. The central goal of this article is to alert researchers, students, and other (...) consumers of “emotion” research to the multiple meanings or aspects that distinguished scientists attribute to ”emotion,” increase appreciation of its interesting and challenging complexity, and sharpen perspectives on “emotion” and the associated body of literature that is of critical significance to science and society. (shrink)
This book provides an incisive, basic introduction to many-valued logics and to the constructions that are "many-valued" at their origin. Using the matrix method, the author sheds light on the profound problems of many-valuedness criteria and its classical characterizations. The book also includes information concerning the main systems of many-valued logic, related axiomatic constructions, and conceptions inspired by many-valuedness. With its selective bibliography and many useful historical references, this book provides logicians, computer scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians with a valuable survey (...) of the subject. (shrink)
Two things become one thing, something having parts, and something becoming something else, are cases of many things being identical with one thing. This apparent contradiction introduces others concerning transitivity of identity, discernibility of identicals, existence, and vague existence. I resolve the contradictions with a theory that identity, number, and existence are relative to standards for counting. What are many on some standard are one and the same on another. The theory gives an account of the discernibility of identicals using (...) phrases like “insofar as”. And it holds that standards for counting remain or shift depending on our purposes. (shrink)
Two families of many-valued modal logics are investigated. Semantically, one family is characterized using Kripke models that allow formulas to take values in a finite many-valued logic, at each possible world. The second family generalizes this to allow the accessibility relation between worlds also to be many-valued. Gentzen sequent calculi are given for both versions, and soundness and completeness are established.
We argue that certain modal questions raise serious problems for a modal metaphysics on which we are permitted to quantify unrestrictedly over all possibilia. In particular, we argue that, on reasonable assumptions, both David Lewis's modal realism and Timothy Williamson's necessitism are saddled with the remarkable conclusion that there is some cardinal number of the form ℵα such that there could not be more than ℵα-many angels in existence. In the last section, we make use of similar ideas to draw (...) a moral for a recent debate in meta-ontology. (shrink)
Schrödinger’s first proposal for the interpretation of quantum mechanics was based on a postulate relating the wave function on configuration space to charge density in physical space. Schrödinger apparently later thought that his proposal was empirically wrong. We argue here that this is not the case, at least for a very similar proposal with charge density replaced by mass density. We argue that when analyzed carefully, this theory is seen to be an empirically adequate many-worlds theory and not an empirically (...) inadequate theory describing a single world. Moreover, this formulation—Schrödinger’s first quantum theory—can be regarded as a formulation of the many-worlds view of quantum mechanics that is ontologically clearer than Everett’s. (shrink)
A many-valued (aka multiple- or multi-valued) semantics, in the strict sense, is one which employs more than two truth values; in the loose sense it is one which countenances more than two truth statuses. So if, for example, we say that there are only two truth values—True and False—but allow that as well as possessing the value True and possessing the value False, propositions may also have a third truth status—possessing neither truth value—then we have a many-valued semantics in the (...) loose but not the strict sense. A many-valued logic is one which arises from a many-valued semantics and does not also arise from any two-valued semantics [Malinowski, 1993, 30]. By a ‘logic’ here we mean either a set of tautologies, or a consequence relation. We can best explain these ideas by considering the case of classical propositional logic. The language contains the usual basic symbols (propositional constants p, q, r, . . .; connectives ¬, ∧, ∨, →, ↔; and parentheses) and well-formed formulas are defined in the standard way. With the language thus specified—as a set of well-formed formulas—its semantics is then given in three parts. (i) A model of a logical language consists in a free assignment of semantic values to basic items of the non-logical vocabulary. Here the basic items of the non-logical vocabulary are the propositional constants. The appropriate kind of semantic value for a proposition is a truth value, and so a model of the language consists in a free assignment of truth values to basic propositions. Two truth values are countenanced: 1 (representing truth) and 0 (representing falsity). (ii) Rules are presented which determine a truth value for every proposition of the language, given a model. The most common way of presenting these rules is via truth tables (Figure 1). Another way of stating such rules—which will be useful below—is first to introduce functions on the truth values themselves: a unary function ¬ and four binary functions ∧, ∨, → and ↔ (Figure 2).. (shrink)
Recently four different papers have suggested that the supervaluational solution to the Problem of the Many is flawed. Stephen Schiffer (1998, 2000a, 2000b) has argued that the theory cannot account for reports of speech involving vague singular terms. Vann McGee and Brian McLaughlin (2000) say that theory cannot, yet, account for vague singular beliefs. Neil McKinnon (2002) has argued that we cannot provide a plausible theory of when precisifications are acceptable, which the supervaluational theory needs. And Roy Sorensen (2000) argues (...) that supervaluationism is inconsistent with a directly referential theory of names. McGee and McLaughlin see the problem they raise as a cause for further research, but the other authors all take the problems they raise to provide sufficient reasons to jettison supervaluationism. I will argue that none of these problems provide such a reason, though the arguments are valuable critiques. In many cases, we must make some adjustments to the supervaluational theory to meet the posed challenges. The goal of this paper is to make those adjustments, and meet the challenges. (shrink)
I argue that the many worlds explanation of quantum computation is not licensed by, and in fact is conceptually inferior to, the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics from which it is derived. I argue that the many worlds explanation of quantum computation is incompatible with the recently developed cluster state model of quantum computation. Based on these considerations I conclude that we should reject the many worlds explanation of quantum computation.
Modal logics, originally conceived in philosophy, have recently found many applications in computer science, artificial intelligence, the foundations of mathematics, linguistics and other disciplines. Celebrated for their good computational behaviour, modal logics are used as effective formalisms for talking about time, space, knowledge, beliefs, actions, obligations, provability, etc. However, the nice computational properties can drastically change if we combine some of these formalisms into a many-dimensional system, say, to reason about knowledge bases developing in time or moving objects. To study (...) the computational behaviour of many-dimensional modal logics is the main aim of this book. On the one hand, it is concerned with providing a solid mathematical foundation for this discipline, while on the other hand, it shows that many seemingly different applied many-dimensional systems (e.g., multi-agent systems, description logics with epistemic, temporal and dynamic operators, spatio-temporal logics, etc.) fit in perfectly with this theoretical framework, and so their computational behaviour can be analyzed using the developed machinery. We start with concrete examples of applied one- and many-dimensional modal logics such as temporal, epistemic, dynamic, description, spatial logics, and various combinations of these. Then we develop a mathematical theory for handling a spectrum of 'abstract' combinations of modal logics - fusions and products of modal logics, fragments of first-order modal and temporal logics - focusing on three major problems: decidability, axiomatizability, and computational complexity. Besides the standard methods of modal logic, the technical toolkit includes the method of quasimodels, mosaics, tilings, reductions to monadic second-order logic, algebraic logic techniques. Finally, we apply the developed machinery and obtained results to three case studies from the field of knowledge representation and reasoning: temporal epistemic logics for reasoning about multi-agent systems, modalized description logics for dynamic ontologies, and spatio-temporal logics. The genre of the book can be defined as a research monograph. It brings the reader to the front line of current research in the field by showing both recent achievements and directions of future investigations (in particular, multiple open problems). On the other hand, well-known results from modal and first-order logic are formulated without proofs and supplied with references to accessible sources. The intended audience of this book is logicians as well as those researchers who use logic in computer science and artificial intelligence. More specific application areas are, e.g., knowledge representation and reasoning, in particular, terminological, temporal and spatial reasoning, or reasoning about agents. And we also believe that researchers from certain other disciplines, say, temporal and spatial databases or geographical information systems, will benefit from this book as well. Key Features: Integrated approach to modern modal and temporal logics and their applications in artificial intelligence and computer science Written by internationally leading researchers in the field of pure and applied logic Combines mathematical theory of modal logic and applications in artificial intelligence and computer science Numerous open problems for further research Well illustrated with pictures and tables. (shrink)
We provide a derivation of the Born Rule in the context of the Everett (Many-Worlds) approach to quantum mechanics. Our argument is based on the idea of self-locating uncertainty: in the period between the wave function branching via decoherence and an observer registering the outcome of the measurement, that observer can know the state of the universe precisely without knowing which branch they are on. We show that there is a uniquely rational way to apportion credence in such cases, which (...) leads directly to the Born Rule. Our analysis generalizes straightforwardly to cases of combined classical and quantum self-locating uncertainty, as in the cosmological multiverse. (shrink)
Biological individuality is a major topic of discussion in biology and philosophy of biology. Recently, several objections have been raised against traditional accounts of biological individuality, including the objections of monism, theory-centrism, ahistoricity, disciplinary isolationism, and the multiplication of conceptual uncertainties. In this introduction, I will examine the current philosophical landscape about biological individuality, and show how the contributions gathered in this special issue address these five objections. Overall, the aim of this issue is to offer a more diverse, unifying, (...) and scientifically informed conception of what a biological individual is. (shrink)
We claim that, as it stands, the Deutsch–Wallace–Everett approach to quantum theory is conceptually incoherent. This charge is based upon the approach’s reliance upon decoherence arguments that conflict with its own fundamental precepts regarding probabilistic reasoning in two respects. This conceptual conflict obtains even if the decoherence arguments deployed are aimed merely towards the establishment of certain ‘emergent’ or ‘robust’ structures within the wave function: To be relevant to physical science notions such as robustness must be empirically grounded, and, on (...) our analysis, this grounding can only plausibly be done in precisely the probabilistic terms that lead to conceptual conflict. Thus, the incoherence problems presented necessitate either the provision of a new, non-probabilistic empirical grounding for the notions of robustness and emergence in the context of decoherence, or the abandonment of the Deutsch–Wallace–Everett programme for quantum theory. (shrink)
Suppose there are several experts, with some dominating others (expert A dominates expert B if B says something is true whenever A says it is). Suppose, further, that each of the experts has his or her own view of what is possible — in other words each of the experts has their own Kripke model in mind (subject, of course, to the dominance relation that may hold between experts). How will they assign truth values to sentences in a common modal (...) language, and on what sentences will they agree? This problem can be reformulated as one about many-valued Kripke models, allowing many-valued accessibility relations. This is a natural generalization of conventional Kripke models that has only recently been looked at. The equivalence between the many-valued version and the multiple expert one will be formally established. Finally we will axiomatize many-valued modal logics, and sketch a proof of completeness. (shrink)
The many-property problem has traditionally been taken to show that the adverbial theory of perception is untenable. This paper first shows that several widely accepted views concerning the nature of perception---including both representational and non-representational views---likewise face the many-property problem. It then presents a solution to the many-property problem for these views, but goes on to show how this solution can be adapted to provide a novel, fully compositional solution to the many-property problem for adverbialism. Thus, with respect to the (...) many-property problem, adverbialism and several widely accepted views in the philosophy of perception are on a par, and the problem is solved. (shrink)
Empathy has become a hot topic in philosophy and more generally, but its many uses haven’t yet been recognized. Empathy has epistemological applications beyond its ability to put us directly in contact with the minds of others, and its role in ethics has been underestimated: it can, for example, help the present-day sentimentalist make sense of Francis Hutcheson’s idea of a moral sense. Most notably, perhaps, empathy also plays an important role in speech acts that speech act theorists have completely (...) ignored: for example, felicitous assertion and questioning both depend on the empathic conveying of emotion. (shrink)
Adverbialists propose to analyse sentences of the form ‘Jane has a blue afterimage’ as ‘Jane afterimages blue-ly’. One commonly raised objection to adverbialism is the many-property problem, the problem of accounting for sentences that seem to ascribe more than one property to an afterimage . Plausible responses to this objection may be on offer. In this note, however, I will argue that the many-property problem resurfaces at the level of relations and that, at this level, no solution for the problem (...) is in sight. (shrink)
Given a consequence relation in many-valued logic, what connectives can be defined? For instance, does there always exist a conditional operator internalizing the consequence relation, and which form should it take? In this paper, we pose this question in a multi-premise multi-conclusion setting for the class of so-called intersective mixed consequence relations, which extends the class of Tarskian relations. Using computer-aided methods, we answer extensively for 3-valued and 4-valued logics, focusing not only on conditional operators, but also on what we (...) call Gentzen-regular connectives. For arbitrary N-valued logics, we state necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of such connectives in a multi-premise multi-conclusion setting. The results show that mixed consequence relations admit all classical connectives, and among them pure consequence relations are those that admit no other Gentzen-regular connectives. Conditionals can also be found for a broader class of intersective mixed consequence relations, but with the exclusion of order-theoretic consequence relations. (shrink)
Suszko's Thesis maintains that many-valued logics do not exist at all. In order to support it, R. Suszko offered a method for providing any structural abstract logic with a complete set of bivaluations. G. Malinowski challenged Suszko's Thesis by constructing a new class of logics (called q-logics by him) for which Suszko's method fails. He argued that the key for logical two-valuedness was the "bivalent" partition of the Lindenbaum bundle associated with all structural abstract logics, while his q-logics were generated (...) by "trivalent" matrices. This paper will show that contrary to these intuitions, logical two-valuedness has more to do with the geometrical properties of the deduction relation of a logical structure than with the algebraic properties embedded on it. (shrink)
Although black holes are objects of central importance across many fields of physics, there is no agreed upon definition for them, a fact that does not seem to be widely recognized. Physicists in different fields conceive of and reason about them in radi- cally different, and often conflicting, ways. All those ways, however, seem sound in the relevant contexts. After examining and comparing many of the definitions used in practice, I consider the problems that the lack of a universally accepted (...) definition leads to, and discuss whether one is in fact needed for progress in the physics of black holes. I conclude that, within reasonable bounds, the profusion of different definitions is in fact a virtue, making the investigation of black holes possible and fruitful in all the many different kinds of problems about them that physicists consider, although one must take care in trying to translate results between fields. (shrink)
The Many Gods Objection (MGO) is widely viewed as a decisive criticism of Pascal’s Wager. By introducing a plurality of hypotheses with infinite expected utility into the decision matrix, the wagerer is left without adequate grounds to decide between them. However, some have attempted to rebut this objection by employing various criteria drawn from the theological tradition. Unfortunately, such defenses do little good for an argument that is supposed to be an apologetic aimed at atheists and agnostics. The purpose of (...) this paper is to offer a defensive strategy of a different sort, one more suited to the Wager’s apologetic aim and status as a decision under ignorance. Instead of turning to criteria independent of the Wager, it will be shown that there are characteristics already built into its decision theoretic structure that can be used to block many categories of theological hypotheses including MGO’s more outrageous “cooked-up” hypotheses and “philosophers’ fictions”. -/- Please note that there are editorial errors in the published version. They have been corrected in the attached. (shrink)
A surfeit of research confirms that people activate personal, affective, and conceptual representations when perceiving the states of others. However, researchers continue to debate the role of self–other overlap in empathy due to a failure to dissociate neural overlap, subjective resonance, and personal distress. A perception–action view posits that neural-level overlap is necessary during early processing for all social understanding, but need not be conscious or aversive. This neural overlap can subsequently produce a variety of states depending on the context (...) and degree of common experience and emotionality. We outline a framework for understanding the interrelationship between neural and subjective overlap, and among empathic states, through a dynamic-systems view of how information is processed in the brain and body. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Martin Hackl and I identified a variety of circumstances where scalar implicatures, questions, definite descriptions, and sentences with the focus particle only are absent or unacceptable (Fox and Hackl 2006, henceforth F&H). We argued that the relevant effect is one of maximization failure (MF): an application of a maximization operator to a set that cannot have the required maximal member. We derived MF from our hypothesis that the set of degrees relevant for the semantics of degree (...) constructions is always dense (the Universal Density of Measurement, UDM). The goal of this paper is to present an apparent shortcoming of F&H and to argue that it is overcome once certain consequences of the proposal are shown to follow from more general properties of MF. Specifically, the apparent problem comes from evidence that the core generalizations argued for in F&H extend to areas for which an account in terms of density is unavailable. Nevertheless, I will argue that the account could still be right. Certain dense sets contain "too many alternatives" for there to be a maximal member, thus leading to MF. But, there are other sets that lead to the same predicament. My goal will be to characterize a general signature of MF in the hope that it could be used to determine the identity of alternatives in areas where their identity is not clear on independent grounds. (shrink)
The standard Kratzerian analysis of modal auxiliaries, such as ‘may’ and ‘can’, takes them to be univocal and context-sensitive. Our first aim is to argue for an alternative view, on which such expressions are polysemous. Our second aim is to thereby shed light on the distinction between semantic context-sensitivity and polysemy. To achieve these aims, we examine the mechanisms of polysemy and context-sensitivity and provide criteria with which they can be held apart. We apply the criteria to modal auxiliaries and (...) show that the default hypothesis should be that they are polysemous, and not merely context-sensitive. We then respond to arguments against modal ambiguity. Finally, we show why modal polysemy has significant philosophical implications. (shrink)
1.1 In standard modal logics, the worlds are 2-valued in the following sense: there are 2 values that a sentence may take at a world. Technically, however, there is no reason why this has to be the case. The worlds could be many-valued. This paper presents one simple approach to a major family of many-valued modal logics, together with an illustration of why this family is philosophically interesting.
Ned BlockÕs inﬂuential distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness has become a staple of current discussions of consciousness. It is not often noted, however, that his distinction tacitly embodies unargued theoretical assumptions that favor some theoretical treatments at the expense of others. This is equally so for his less widely discussed distinction between phenomenal consciousness and what he calls reﬂexive consciousness. I argue that the distinction between phenomenal and access consciousness, as Block draws it, is untenable. Though mental states that (...) have qualitative character plainly diﬀer from those with no mental qualities, a mental stateÕs being conscious is the same property for both kinds of mental state. For one thing, as Block describes access consciousness, that notion does not pick out any property that we intuitively count as a mental stateÕs being conscious. But the deeper problem is that BlockÕs notion of phenomenal consciousness, or phenomenality, is ambiguous as between two very diﬀerent mental properties. The failure to distinguish these results in the begging of important theoretical questions. Once the two kinds of phenomenality have been distinguished, the way is clear to explain qualitative consciousness by appeal to a model such as the higher-order-thought hypothesis. Ó 2002 Elsevier Science . All rights reserved. (shrink)
I look at the two main approaches used to count COVID-19 deaths and show how each of those approaches can appear to both overcount COVID deaths (including deaths it should exclude) and undercount COVID deaths (excluding deaths it should include). I trace this to the fact - well-known to philosophers - that causal attribution is interest-relative. Which deaths we should attribute to COVID (as opposed to other causes) will depend on our particular interests and values. Contrary to what many journalists (...) and researchers report, there is therefore no such thing as the "true" COVID death toll. Understanding this can help us to become more sophisticated consumers of COVID information. I conclude by suggesting that scientists, by reflecting on society's varied interests and values, are in a position to construct measures of COVID-caused mortality that are potentially as useful, or more useful, than the measures we currently have. (shrink)
In recent years, theorists have debated how we introduce new social objects and kinds into the world. Searle, for instance, proposes that they are introduced by collective acceptance of a constitutive rule; Millikan and Elder that they are the products of reproduction processes; Thomasson that they result from creator intentions and subsequent intentional reproduction; and so on. In this chapter, I argue against the idea that there is a single generic method or set of requirements for doing so. Instead, there (...) is a variety of what I call “anchoring schemas,” or methods by which new social kinds are generated. Not only are social kinds a diverse lot, but the metaphysical explanation for their being the kinds they are is diverse as well. I explain the idea of anchoring and present examples of social kinds that are similar to one another but that are anchored in different ways. I also respond to Millikan’s argument that there is only one kind of “glue” that is “sticky enough” for holding together kinds. I argue that no anchoring schema will work in all environments. It is a contingent matter which schemas are successful for anchoring new social kinds, and an anchoring schema need only be “sticky enough” for practical purposes in a given environment. (shrink)
‘Fake news’ has become an increasingly common refrain in public discourse, though the term itself has several uses, at least one of which constitutes Frankfurtian bullshit. After examining what sorts of fake news appeals do and do not count as bullshit, I discuss strategies for overcoming our openness to such bullshit. I do so by drawing a parallel between openness to bullshit and naïve skepticism—one’s willingness to reject the concept of truth on unsupported or ill-considered grounds—and suggest that this parallel (...) indicates three principles for how we ought to combat our openness to fake news and other bullshit. First, the root causes of bullshit openness are not monolithic; we should adopt anti-bullshit strategies in recognition of this fact. Second, our efforts to overcome bullshit openness should be collaborative efforts to create an environment that allows for sustained interrogation of our bullshit openness, rather than a confrontational provision of contrary evidence, despite the fact that such strategies are more time-intensive. Third, social media is unlikely to be a fertile ground on which we will make meaningful progress in the fight against bullshit because of the inherent nature of social media platforms as spaces for short, declarative, confrontational claims. (shrink)
It's often said that according to deflationary theories of truth, truth is not a ‘substantial’ property. While this is a fine slogan, it is far from transparent what deflationists mean (or ought to mean) in saying that truth is ‘insubstantial’. Focusing so intently upon the concept of truth and the word ‘true’, I argue, deflationists and their critics have been insufficiently attentive to a host of metaphysical complexities that arise for deflationists in connection with the property of truth. My aim (...) is to correct several misunderstandings as to what deflationists are after here—including some harboured by deflationists themselves—and to offer an account of the commitments about truth's nature that they ought to undertake. In developing this account, I focus particularly upon the issue of what metaphysics of truth a Horwichian minimalist ought to adopt. (shrink)
In this paper I attempt a general explanation of the role played by the reasonable person in law, especially but not only in the common law. I relate my explanation to some problems about the very nature of law, and some problems about the ideal of the rule of law.