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Jan Heylen
KU Leuven
  1. Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? A Logical Investigation.Jan Heylen - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):531-559.
    From Leibniz to Krauss philosophers and scientists have raised the question as to why there is something rather than nothing. Why-questions request a type of explanation and this is often thought to include a deductive component. With classical logic in the background only trivial answers are forthcoming. With free logics in the background, be they of the negative, positive or neutral variety, only question-begging answers are to be expected. The same conclusion is reached for the modal version of the Question, (...)
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  2. Descriptions and Unknowability.Jan Heylen - 2010 - Analysis 70 (1):50-52.
    In a recent paper Horsten embarked on a journey along the limits of the domain of the unknowable. Rather than knowability simpliciter, he considered a priori knowability, and by the latter he meant absolute provability, i.e. provability that is not relativized to a formal system. He presented an argument for the conclusion that it is not absolutely provable that there is a natural number of which it is true but absolutely unprovable that it has a certain property. The argument depends (...)
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  3. Being in a Position to Know and Closure.Jan Heylen - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):63-67.
    The focus of this article is the question whether the notion of being in a position to know is closed under modus ponens. The question is answered negatively.
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  4.  16
    Apophatic Finitism and Infinitism.Jan Heylen - 2019 - Logique Et Analyse 62 (247):319-337.
    This article is about the ontological dispute between finitists, who claim that only finitely many numbers exist, and infinitists, who claim that infinitely many numbers exist. Van Bendegem set out to solve the 'general problem' for finitism: how can one recast finite fragments of classical mathematics in finitist terms? To solve this problem Van Bendegem comes up with a new brand of finitism, namely so-called 'apophatic finitism'. In this article it will be argued that apophatic finitism is unable to represent (...)
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  5. Carnap’s Theory of Descriptions and its Problems.Jan Heylen - 2010 - Studia Logica 94 (3):355-380.
    Carnap's theory of descriptions was restricted in two ways. First, the descriptive conditions had to be non-modal. Second, only primitive predicates or the identity predicate could be used to predicate something of the descriptum . The motivating reasons for these two restrictions that can be found in the literature will be critically discussed. Both restrictions can be relaxed, but Carnap's theory can still be blamed for not dealing adequately with improper descriptions.
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  6.  84
    Factive Knowability and the Problem of Possible Omniscience.Jan Heylen - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):65-87.
    Famously, the Church–Fitch paradox of knowability is a deductive argument from the thesis that all truths are knowable to the conclusion that all truths are known. In this argument, knowability is analyzed in terms of having the possibility to know. Several philosophers have objected to this analysis, because it turns knowability into a nonfactive notion. In addition, they claim that, if the knowability thesis is reformulated with the help of factive concepts of knowability, then omniscience can be avoided. In this (...)
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  7. Closure of A Priori Knowability Under A Priori Knowable Material Implication.Jan Heylen - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):359-380.
    The topic of this article is the closure of a priori knowability under a priori knowable material implication: if a material conditional is a priori knowable and if the antecedent is a priori knowable, then the consequent is a priori knowable as well. This principle is arguably correct under certain conditions, but there is at least one counterexample when completely unrestricted. To deal with this, Anderson proposes to restrict the closure principle to necessary truths and Horsten suggests to restrict it (...)
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  8. Counterfactual Theories of Knowledge and the Notion of Actuality.Jan Heylen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1647-1673.
    The central question of this article is how to combine counterfactual theories of knowledge with the notion of actuality. It is argued that the straightforward combination of these two elements leads to problems, viz. the problem of easy knowledge and the problem of missing knowledge. In other words, there is overgeneration of knowledge and there is undergeneration of knowledge. The combination of these problems cannot be solved by appealing to methods by which beliefs are formed. An alternative solution is put (...)
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  9. Modal-Epistemic Arithmetic and the Problem of Quantifying In.Jan Heylen - 2013 - Synthese 190 (1):89-111.
    The subject of this article is Modal-Epistemic Arithmetic (MEA), a theory introduced by Horsten to interpret Epistemic Arithmetic (EA), which in turn was introduced by Shapiro to interpret Heyting Arithmetic. I will show how to interpret MEA in EA such that one can prove that the interpretation of EA is MEA is faithful. Moreover, I will show that one can get rid of a particular Platonist assumption. Then I will discuss models for MEA in light of the problems of logical (...)
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  10.  36
    The Enhanced Indispensability Argument, the Circularity Problem, and the Interpretability Strategy.Jan Heylen & Lars Arthur Tump - forthcoming - Synthese:1-13.
    Within the context of the Quine–Putnam indispensability argument, one discussion about the status of mathematics is concerned with the ‘Enhanced Indispensability Argument’, which makes explicit in what way mathematics is supposed to be indispensable in science, namely explanatory. If there are genuine mathematical explanations of empirical phenomena, an argument for mathematical platonism could be extracted by using inference to the best explanation. The best explanation of the primeness of the life cycles of Periodical Cicadas is genuinely mathematical, according to Baker (...)
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  11. Strict Conditionals: A Negative Result.Jan Heylen & Leon Horsten - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):536–549.
    Jonathan Lowe has argued that a particular variation on C.I. Lewis' notion of strict implication avoids the paradoxes of strict implication. We show that Lowe's notion of implication does not achieve this aim, and offer a general argument to demonstrate that no other variation on Lewis' notion of constantly strict implication describes the logical behaviour of natural-language conditionals in a satisfactory way.
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  12. Russell's Revenge: A Problem for Bivalent Fregean Theories of Descriptions.Jan Heylen - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (4):636-652.
    Fregean theories of descriptions as terms have to deal with improper descriptions. To save bivalence various proposals have been made that involve assigning referents to improper descriptions. While bivalence is indeed saved, there is a price to be paid. Instantiations of the same general scheme, viz. the one and only individual that is F and G is G, are not only allowed but even required to have different truth values.
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  13.  74
    Truth and Existence.Jan Heylen & Leon Horsten - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):106-114.
    Halbach has argued that Tarski biconditionals are not ontologically conservative over classical logic, but his argument is undermined by the fact that he cannot include a theory of arithmetic, which functions as a theory of syntax. This article is an improvement on Halbach's argument. By adding the Tarski biconditionals to inclusive negative free logic and the universal closure of minimal arithmetic, which is by itself an ontologically neutral combination, one can prove that at least one thing exists. The result can (...)
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  14.  1
    Carnapian Modal and Epistemic Arithmetic.Jan Heylen - 2009 - In Massimiliano Carrara & Vittorio Morato (eds.), Language, Knowledge, and Metaphysics. Selected papers from the First SIFA Graduate Conference.
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  15.  51
    Zelfpredicatie: Middeleeuwse en hedendaagse perspectieven.Jan Heylen & Can Laurens Löwe - 2017 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 79 (2):239-258.
    The focus of the article is the self-predication principle, according to which the/a such-and-such is such-and-such. We consider contemporary approaches (Frege, Russell, Meinong) to the self-predication principle, as well as fourteenth-century approaches (Burley, Ockham, Buridan). In crucial ways, the Ockham-Buridan view prefigures Russell’s view, and Burley’s view shows a striking resemblance to Meinong’s view. In short the Russell-Ockham-Buridan view holds: no existence, no truth. The Burley-Meinong view holds, in short: intelligibility suffices for truth. Both views approach self-predication in a uniform (...)
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  16. The Epistemic Significance of Numerals.Jan Heylen - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    The central topic of this article is de re knowledge about natural numbers and its relation with names for numbers. It is held by several prominent philosophers that numerals are eligible for existential quantification in epistemic contexts, whereas other names for natural numbers are not. In other words, numerals are intimately linked with de re knowledge about natural numbers, whereas the other names for natural numbers are not. In this article I am looking for an explanation of this phenomenon. It (...)
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  17.  19
    Nicholas Rescher, Realism and Pragmatic Epistemology. Pittsburgh (PA), University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005. [REVIEW]Jan Heylen - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (1):162-164.
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  18.  36
    Horsten, Leon, The Tarskian Turn: Deflationism and Axiomatic Truth, MIT Press, 2011. [REVIEW]Jan Heylen - 2012 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 74 (2):377-379.
  19.  2
    Peano Numerals as Buck-Stoppers.Jan Heylen - unknown
    I will examine three claims made by Ackerman and Kripke. First, they claim that not any arithmetical terms is eligible for universal instantiation and existential generalisation in doxastic or epistemic contexts. Second, Ackerman claims that Peano numerals are eligible for universal instantiation and existential generalisation in doxastic or epistemic contexts. Kripke's position is a bit more subtle. Third, they claim that the successor relation and the smaller-than relation must be effectively calculable. These three claims will be examined from the framework (...)
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  20.  30
    Syntactical Treatment of Modalities, 6 February.Lorenz Demey & Jan Heylen - 2013 - The Reasoner 7 (4):45-45.
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  21.  21
    Lieven Decock, Trading Ontology for Ideology. The Interplay of Logic, Set Theory and Semantics in Quine's Philosophy (Synthese Library, Vol. 313). Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002. [REVIEW]Jan Heylen - 2004 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 66 (2):370-371.
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  22.  16
    Nicholas Rescher, Cognitive Harmony. The Role of Systemic Harmony in the Constitution of Knowledge. Pittsburgh (PA), University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005. [REVIEW]Jan Heylen - 2007 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 69 (2):373-374.
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  23.  16
    Nicholas Rescher, Epistemic Logic. A Survey of the Logic of Knowledge. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005. [REVIEW]Jan Heylen - 2006 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (3):644-646.
  24.  12
    Bremmer, R., Ten Kate, L., Warrink, E.(red.), Encyclopedie van de Filosofie. Van de Oudheid tot vandaag. Termen, begrippen, namen en stromingen. Amsterdam, Boom, 2007. [REVIEW]Jan Heylen - 2007 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 99 (4):313-315.
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  25. Carnapian Arithmetic with Descriptions.Jan Heylen - 2009 - In Erik Weber, Thierry Libert, Geert Vanpaemel & P. Marage (eds.), Logic, Philosophy and History of Science in Belgium. Proceedings of the Young Researchers Days 2008. Brussel: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten. pp. 28-34.
  26.  1
    Carnapian Modal and Epistemic Logic and Arithmetic with Descriptions.Jan Heylen - 2009 - Dissertation, KU Leuven
    In the first chapter I have introduced Carnapian intensional logic again st the background of Frege s and Quine s puzzles. The main body of the d issertation consists of two parts. In the first part I discussed Carnapi an modal logic and arithmetic with descriptions. In the second chapter, I have described three Carnapian theories, CCL, CFL, and CNL. All three theories have three things in common. F irst, they are formulated in languages containing description terms. Sec ond, they (...)
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  27. Over wetenschappelijk denken.Jan Heylen - 2019 - Leuven, Belgium: Acco.
    Het meest succesvolle denken over de natuur vind je in de natuurwetenschappen. Filosofie wordt wel eens omschreven als denken over denken. In het handboek Over wetenschappelijk denken behandelen we het denken over het wetenschappelijk denken. Dat maakt van dit boek zowel een algemene inleiding in de wijsbegeerte als meer in het bijzonder een inleiding tot de wetenschapsfilosofie. -/- Eerst gaan we in dit handboek dieper in op de natuurfilosofische revolutie in het antieke Griekenland. De mythische verklaringen van natuurfenomenen zoals regenbogen (...)
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  28. Scott Soames, Reference and Description. The Case against Two-Dimensionalism. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2005. [REVIEW]Jan Heylen - 2006 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (2):406-408.
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  29. Rosenkranz' Logic of Justification.Jan Heylen - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic.
    Rosenkranz has recently proposed a logic for propositional, non-factive, all-thingsconsidered justification, which is based on a logic for the notion of being in a position to know (Rosenkranz Mind, 127(506), 309–338 2018). Starting from three quite weak assumptions in addition to some of the core principles that are already accepted by Rosenkranz, I prove that, if one has positive introspective and modally robust knowledge of the axioms of minimal arithmetic, then one is in a position to know that a sentence (...)
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  30. Rosenkranz’s Logic of Justification and Unprovability.Jan Heylen - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-14.
    Rosenkranz has recently proposed a logic for propositional, non-factive, all-things-considered justification, which is based on a logic for the notion of being in a position to know, 309–338 2018). Starting from three quite weak assumptions in addition to some of the core principles that are already accepted by Rosenkranz, I prove that, if one has positive introspective and modally robust knowledge of the axioms of minimal arithmetic, then one is in a position to know that a sentence is not provable (...)
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