Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one correct logic. In this article, I explore what logical pluralism is, and what it entails, by: (i) distinguishing clearly between relativism about a particular domain and pluralism about that domain; (ii) distinguishing between a number of forms logical pluralism might take; (iii) attempting to distinguish between those versions of pluralism that are clearly true and those that are might be controversial; and (iv) surveying three prominent attempts to argue for (...) logical pluralism and evaluating them along the criteria provided by (ii) and (iii). (shrink)
Roy T Cook examines the Yablo paradox--a paradoxical, infinite sequence of sentences, each of which entails the falsity of all others that follow it. He focuses on questions of characterization, circularity, and generalizability, and pays special attention to the idea that it provides us with a semantic paradox that involves no circularity.
We report an experiment investigating the “special-process” theory of insight problem solving, which claims that insight arises from non-conscious, non-reportable processes that enable problem re-structuring. We predicted that reducing opportunities for speech-based processing during insight problem solving should permit special processes to function more effectively and gain conscious awareness, thereby facilitating insight. We distracted speech-based processing by using either articulatory suppression or irrelevant speech, with findings for these conditions supporting the predicted insight facilitation effect relative to silent working or thinking (...) aloud. The latter condition was included to investigate the currently contested effect of “verbal overshadowing” on insight, whereby thinking aloud is claimed to hinder the operation of special, non-reportable processes. Whilst verbal overshadowing was not evident in final solution rates, there was nevertheless support for verbal overshadowing up to and beyond.. (shrink)
It is widely thought that the acceptability of an abstraction principle is a feature of the cardinalities at which it is satisfiable. This view is called into question by a recent observation by Richard Heck. We show that a fix proposed by Heck fails but we analyze the interesting idea on which it is based, namely that an acceptable abstraction has to “generate” the objects that it requires. We also correct and complete the classification of proposed criteria for acceptable abstraction.
A number of authors have argued that Peano Arithmetic supplemented with a logical validity predicate is inconsistent in much the same manner as is PA supplemented with an unrestricted truth predicate. In this paper I show that, on the contrary, there is no genuine paradox of logical validity—a completely general logical validity predicate can be coherently added to PA, and the resulting system is consistent. In addition, this observation lead to a number of novel, and important, insights into the nature (...) of logical validity itself. (shrink)
A co-authored article with Roy T. Cook forthcoming in a special edition on the Caesar Problem of the journal Dialectica. We argue against the appeal to equivalence classes in resolving the Caesar Problem.
One of the main problems plaguing neo-logicism is the Bad Company challenge: the need for a well-motivated account of which abstraction principles provide legitimate definitions of mathematical concepts. In this article a solution to the Bad Company challenge is provided, based on the idea that definitions ought to be conservative. Although the standard formulation of conservativeness is not sufficient for acceptability, since there are conservative but pairwise incompatible abstraction principles, a stronger conservativeness condition is sufficient: that the class of acceptable (...) abstraction principles be strictly logically symmetrically class conservative . The article concludes with an examination of which classes of abstraction principles meet this criteria. (shrink)
Fine and Antonelli introduce two generalizations of permutation invariance — internal invariance and simple/double invariance respectively. After sketching reasons why a solution to the Bad Company problem might require that abstraction principles be invariant in one or both senses, I identify the most fine-grained abstraction principle that is invariant in each sense. Hume’s Principle is the most fine-grained abstraction principle invariant in both senses. I conclude by suggesting that this partially explains the success of Hume’s Principle, and the comparative lack (...) of success in reconstructing areas of mathematics other than arithmetic based on non-invariant abstraction principles. (shrink)
It is shown that the logical truth of instances of the T-schema is incompatible with the formal nature of logical truth. In particular, since the formality of logical truth entails that the set of logical truths is closed under substitution, the logical truth of T-schema instances entails that all sentences are logical truths.
A neologicist set theory based on an abstraction principle (NewerV) codifying the iterative conception of set is investigated, and its strength is compared to Boolos's NewV. The new principle, unlike NewV, fails to imply the axiom of replacement, but does secure powerset. Like NewV, however, it also fails to entail the axiom of infinity. A set theory based on the conjunction of these two principles is then examined. It turns out that this set theory, supplemented by a principle stating that (...) there are infinitely many nonsets, captures all (or enough) of standard second-order ZFC. Issues pertaining to the axiom of foundation are also investigated, and I conclude by arguing that this treatment provides the neologicist with the most viable reconstruction of set theory he is likely to obtain. (shrink)
Truth values are, properly understood, merely proxies for the various relations that can hold between language and the world. Once truth values are understood in this way, consideration of the Liar paradox and the revenge problem shows that our language is indefinitely extensible, as is the class of truth values that statements of our language can take – in short, there is a proper class of such truth values. As a result, important and unexpected connections emerge between the semantic paradoxes (...) and the set-theoretic paradoxes. (shrink)
One of the main reasons for providing formal semantics for languages is that the mathematical precision afforded by such semantics allows us to study and manipulate the formalization much more easily than if we were to study the relevant natural languages directly. Michael Tye and R. M. Sainsbury have argued that traditional set-theoretic semantics for vague languages are all but useless, however, since this mathematical precision eliminates the very phenomenon (vagueness) that we are trying to capture. Here we meet this (...) objection by viewing formalization as a process of building models, not providing descriptions. When we are constructing models, as opposed to accurate descriptions, we often include in the model extra ‘machinery’ of some sort in order to facilitate our manipulation of the model. In other words, while some parts of a model accurately represent actual aspects of the phenomenon being modelled, other parts might be merely artefacts of the particular model. With this distinction in place, the criticisms of Sainsbury and Tye are easily dealt with—the precision of the semantics is artefactual and does not represent any real precision in vague discourse. Although this solution to this problem is independent of any particular semantics a detailed account of how we would distinguish between representor and artefact within Dorothy Edgington's degree-theoretic semantics is presented. (shrink)
In “The Runabout Inference Ticket” AN Prior (1960) examines the idea that logical connectives can be given a meaning solely in virtue of the stipulation of a set of rules governing them, and thus that logical truth/consequence.
In “Properties and the Interpretation of Second-Order Logic” Bob Hale develops and defends a deflationary conception of properties where a property with particular satisfaction conditions actually exists if and only if it is possible that a predicate with those same satisfaction conditions exists. He argues further that, since our languages are finitary, there are at most countably infinitely many properties and, as a result, the account fails to underwrite the standard semantics for second-order logic. Here a more lenient version of (...) the view is explored, which allows for the possibility of countably infinite predicates understood as the product of linguistic supertasks. This enriched deflationist account of properties—the Infinitary Deflationary Conception of Existence—supports the standard semantics for models with countable first-order domains, and allows one to prove the categoricity of the second-order Peano axioms. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson’s Modal Logic as Metaphysics is a book-length defense of necessitism about objects—roughly put, the view that, necessarily, any object that exists, exists necessarily. In more formal terms, Williamson argues for the validity of necessitism for objects (NO: ◻︎∀x◻︎∃y(x=y)). NO entails both the (first-order) Barcan formula (BF: ◇∃xΦ → ∃x◇Φ, for any formula Φ) and the (first-order) converse Barcan formula (CBF: ∃x◇Φ → ◇∃xΦ, for any formula Φ). The purpose of this essay is not to assess Williamson’s arguments either (...) for necessitism (although discussion of these arguments will play a central role in the dialectic) or for necessitism’s two famous corollaries. Instead, the focus shall be a general principle governing abstract objects—the abstract of principle (or AOP) —instances of which seems to be at work in some of Williamson’s central arguments for necessitism. The AOP can be straightforwardly formulated and applied within the neo-logicist framework—in fact, arguably the principle is most naturally formulated in neo-logicist terms. -/- After closely examining, and carefully formalizing, the AOP, the remainder of the paper focuses on arguments for necessitism-like claims (the exact meaning of “necessitism-like” will become clearer as the essay progresses) based on the AOP. In particular, we shall focus on the instance of the AOP that applies to the abstract objects governed by the most well-known and most fully studied abstraction principle: Hume’s Principle (HP). It turns out that, although we cannot reconstruct a valid argument for necessitism based on this numerical instance of the AOP, we can obtain valid arguments for weaker, but equally interesting conclusions. In particular, we shall show that, although HP combined with the AOP (and some additional, related assumptions) allows the contents of the domains of possible worlds to vary, the size of those domains must remain constant. The paper concludes by developing and critiquing some related arguments for necessitism based on applying relevant instances of the AOP to abstraction principles governing sets (or extensions), and to a simple objectual abstraction principle. (shrink)
A difficulty for alethic pluralism has been the idea that semantic evaluation of conjunctions whose conjuncts come from discourses with distinct truth properties requires a third notion of truth which applies to both of the original discourses. But this line of reasoning does not entail that there exists a single generic truth property that applies to all statements and all discourses, unless it is supplemented with additional, controversial, premises. So the problem of mixed conjunctions, while highlighting other aspects of alethic (...) pluralism worth investigating further, does not constitute an effective objection to it. (shrink)
Paradoxes are arguments that lead from apparently true premises, via apparently uncontroversial reasoning, to a false or even contradictory conclusion. Paradoxes threaten our basic understanding of central concepts such as space, time, motion, infinity, truth, knowledge, and belief. In this volume Roy T Cook provides a sophisticated, yet accessible and entertaining, introduction to the study of paradoxes, one that includes a detailed examination of a wide variety of paradoxes. The book is organized around four important types of paradox: the semantic (...) paradoxes involving truth, the set-theoretic paradoxes involving arbitrary collections of objects, the Soritical paradoxes involving vague concepts, and the epistemic paradoxes involving knowledge and belief. In each of these cases, Cook frames the discussion in terms of four different approaches one might take towards solving such paradoxes. Each chapter concludes with a number of exercises that illustrate the philosophical arguments and logical concepts involved in the paradoxes. _Paradoxes_ is the ideal introduction to the topic and will be a valuable resource for scholars and students in a wide variety of disciplines who wish to understand the important role that paradoxes have played, and continue to play, in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
It is sometimes suggested that impure sets are spatially co-located with their members (and hence are located in space). Sets, however, are in important respects like numbers. In particular, sets are connected to concepts in much the same manner as numbers are connected to concepts—in both cases, they are fundamentally abstracts of (or corresponding to) concepts. This parallel between the structure of sets and the structure of numbers suggests that the metaphysics of sets and the metaphysics of numbers should parallel (...) each other in relevant ways. This entails, in turn, that impure sets are not co-located with their members (nor are they located in space). (shrink)
The Revenge Problem threatens every approach to the semantic paradoxes that proceeds by introducing nonclassical semantic values. Given any such collection Δ of additional semantic values, one can construct a Revenge sentence:This sentence is either false or has a value in Δ.TheEmbracing Revengeview, developed independently by Roy T. Cook and Phlippe Schlenker, addresses this problem by suggesting that the class of nonclassical semantic values is indefinitely extensible, with each successive Revenge sentence introducing a new ‘pathological’ semantic value into the discourse. (...) The view is explicitly motivated in terms of the idea that every notion thatseemsto be expressible should, if at all possible,beexpressible. Extant work on the Embracing Revenge view has failed to live up to this promise, since the formal languages developed within such work are expressively impoverished. We rectify this here by developing a much richer formal language, and semantics for that language, and we then prove an extremely powerful expressive completeness result for the system in question. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the prospects for a successful neo–logicist reconstruction of the real numbers, focusing on Bob Hale's use of a cut-abstraction principle. There is a serious problem plaguing Hale's project. Natural generalizations of this principle imply that there are far more objects than one would expect from a position that stresses its epistemological conservativeness. In other words, the sort of abstraction needed to obtain a theory of the reals is rampantly inflationary. I also indicate briefly why this (...) problem is likely to reappear in any neo–logicist reconstruction of real analysis. (shrink)
This chapter examines the debate between advocates of classical logic and advocates of intuitionistic logic. It examines the semantic and epistemic issues on which this debate is usually conducted. After introducing the idea that logic is a model of correct reasoning, the chapter explores the viability of a logic intermediate between classical and intuitionistic.
It is usually accepted that whether or not indirect discrimination is a form of immoral discrimination, it appears to be structurally different from direct discrimination. First, it seems that either one involves the agent focusing on different things while making a decision. Second, it seems that the victim’s group membership is relevant to the outcomes of either sort of action in different ways. In virtue of these two facts, it is usually concluded that indirect discrimination is structurally different from direct (...) discrimination. I argue against the notion that indirect discrimination and direct discrimination have significantly different structures. I first argue that both kinds of discrimination involve similar decision-making processes. Second, I analyze how being in a social group affects personal identity, and from there argue that indirect discrimination and direct discrimination are about group membership similarly. In virtue of these two arguments, I conclude that direct and indirect discrimination are structurally similar. (shrink)
A number of formal constraints on acceptable abstraction principles have been proposed, including conservativeness and irenicity. Hume’s Principle, of course, satisfies these constraints. Here, variants of Hume’s Principle that allow us to count concepts instead of objects are examined. It is argued that, prima facie, these principles ought to be no more problematic than HP itself. But, as is shown here, these principles only enjoy the formal properties that have been suggested as indicative of acceptability if certain constraints on the (...) size of the continuum hold. As a result, whether or not these higher-order versions of Hume’s Principle are acceptable seems to be independent of standard (ZFC) set theory. This places the abstractionist in an uncomfortable dilemma: Either there is some inherent difference between counting objects and counting concepts, or new criteria for acceptability will need to be found. It is argued that neither horn looks promising. (shrink)
On the Dummettian understanding, anti-realism regarding a particular discourse amounts to (or at the very least, involves) a refusal to accept the determinacy of the subject matter of that discourse and a corresponding refusal to assert at least some instances of excluded middle (which can be understood as expressing this determinacy of subject matter). In short: one is an anti-realist about a discourse if and only if one accepts intuitionistic logic as correct for that discourse. On careful examination, the strongest (...) Dummettian arguments for anti-realism of this sort fail to secure intuitionistic logic as the single, correct logic for anti-realist discourses. Instead, antirealists are placed in a situation where they fail to be justified in asserting monism (that intuitionistic logic is the unique correct logic). Thus, antirealists seem forced either to accept pluralism (i.e. one or more intermediate logic is at least as `correct’ as intuitionistic logic–an option I take to be unattractive from the anti-realist perspective), or they must be anti-realists about the realism/anti-realism debate (and, in particular, must refuse to assert the instance of excluded middle equivalent to logical monism or logical pluralism). (shrink)