Reichenbach's event, reference and speech times are interpreted semantically by stringing and superposing sets of temporal formulae, structured within regular languages. Notions of continuation branches and of inertia, bound (in a precise sense) by reference time, are developed and applied to the progressive and the perfect.
This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent. , was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it passed through time and the postal service(s) from October 2012 until May 2013. This issue hosts two threads: between space & place and between intention & attention . The editors recommend that to experience the (...) drifiting thought that attention be paid to the contributions as they entered into conversation one after another. This particular piece is from the BETWEEN INTENTION & ATTENTION thread: Jeremy Fernando, Sitting in the Dock of the bay, watching... * R.H. Jackson, Reading Eyes * Gina Rae Foster, Nyctoleptic Nomadism: The Drift/Swerve of Knowing * Bronwyn Lay, Driftwood * Patricia Reed, Sentences on Drifitng * David Prater, drift: a way * * * * "… to sleep perchance to dream " 1 To dream: to be not quite asleep, yet not particularly awake. Or, rather: to be awake but not quite know it. For, it is only when we dream, when we are dreaming, that we know that we are not in that final sleep. But we can only know that we are dreaming, that we have dreamt, when we are awake, when we have awoken; after it is too late. When all we know is that the sleep beyond finitude, the sleep that is the step beyond, is not yet upon us, is only to come. To die to sleep … To dream: a sleep that refuses sleep. Perchance to dream: to drift—between sleep and sleep. Aye there's the rub For, can we even know if we have been sleeping? Or, if death has claimed us?—even if a little death. α Ω α Ω α Ω To drift: but from, to, what? For, to drift implies a certain direction that one was headed from, heading to, headed for; without these indications, markers, points in relation with each other, one would just be moving. Can one know—intend—one's drift? Certainly a stunt driver would say so. But even as (s)he is starting her slide, all that (s)he can know is that she is setting the car, herself, the car with herself in it, in motion: after which the drift itself takes over. After which, all (s)he can do is attend to it. At the point of the drift: both (s)he and the car are drifting—here, one might not even be able to separate the movement from those involved in it. Without either of them, there would not be a drift; there is no drifting without the drifter. Both the drifter and the drifting are in a relationality; in which, all that they can know is that they are in relation with each other. Hence, the drift itself is a relationality. A non-essence. But, it is not as if we cannot speak of it. Perhaps though: we can only speak of it as if we can speak of it. Always already an imaginary gesture; where what is being imagined is the relationality between the drift and the ones drifting. Thus, we have a situation where the drifter and drifting are in a relationality; where relationality itself is what is being imagined. Perhaps then, what are we drifting from, to? , is a moot question. As is, what is drifting? Perhaps then, all we can say is drift? To speak of drift is an attempt to speak of the unspeakable. Not that what is speakable and what is unspeakable are antonyms: if that were so, speaking the unspeakable would make no sense, be a contradiction. But that in every act of speaking, something unspeakable is potentially said: something that opens, ruptures, wounds even. And not just that—at the point where it punctures, speaking itself moves out of the way for the unspeakable; speaking itself disappears. "… the whole art is to know how to disappear before dying, and instead of dying. " 2 To disappear; or, to drift out of sight. Where the words themselves slip away. After all: "in the Beginning was the Word. It was only afterwards that Silence came." Perhaps the wish, the hope, is that "the end itself has disappeared …" (Baudrillard, 70) Remaining hidden from us. Perhaps only glimpsed when we dream. Secret. α Ω α Ω α Ω " Bury all your secrets in my skin " (Corey Taylor) Which is the problem: words cling. And they remain. Perhaps not ontologically; but they certainly remain to haunt us. And here, we should not forget Lucretius' lesson that communication occurs in the skin between the parties in communion with each other. Which is not to say that the encounter is determined by atoms—and more precisely atoms that move in straight lines until they collide with each other—that communication is pre-determined. For, one must not forget that will is found, discovered, enacted even, at the moment the atoms swerve. Clinamen . Drift. But even in their movement—drifting—they trace themselves into the skin between; a tangential touching. Perhaps only briefly. But even then, enough … "… there's always texture that betrays the place." (May Ee Wong) Here though, one must not forget that betrayal cannot happen in the absence of love. In fact, betrayal is the very excess of love: where one loves the other so much that one can no longer bear to see the other drift from what (s)he could have been. Whether that idealised other exists or is only in one's head is another question altogether. Perhaps, a fetishised other: keeping in mind that "fetishes are hinged around simulation." After all, "when one is supposed to show up as an oil rig diver no one is expecting actual crude oil" (Amanda Sordes); in fact, actualisation is the perfect way to destroy the fantasy. Perhaps then, the only way to maintain love for another is to maintain a proper distance, as it were, from love: allow the love to constantly alter, change. And here, one must not forget that if love is a relationality between one and another who remains wholly other (otherwise just a mere manifestation of the self), love is a relationality that knows nothing except for the fact that it is in a relation. For, to love one has to attend to—without subsuming another, some other, under oneself. Which means that to love, one has to be willing to risk, to open oneself, to allow oneself to be wounded, torn apart. In new ways, ways that we have yet to understand, come across, ways we do not yet have a name for. Thus, this movement in love is one that occurs in utter blindness; to not only the other, but to what love is. This is love as pure drifting. Perhaps always searching for love itself, without ever knowing what it is that it is looking for. Love: only at the very moment when the word love itself disappears. Perhaps all we can do is sit, and attend: watching the tides flowing away—as if they were having their "last swim of the summer." (Hendrik Speck) Like a butterfly. α Ω α Ω α Ω Isn't it quite amazing how the appearance of a butterfly can inject a stutter or pause into any conversation? Words and words pour out of the animals in assembly, before they are all of a sudden arrested by the passing flight. Heads turn to trace a lilting poetics, attempting to close the distance with this seemingly awkward beauty. There are no straight lines here, only a relative arrival and departure to bracket a brilliant and bewildering trajectory, surging and lurching in a vibrating and nomadic line avant la lettre. (Sean Smith, 'I Seek You: Countdown to Stereoscopic Tear') Before the letter. Before the possibility of naming. Before being sayable. Quite possibly also before language. And yet, a "surging and lurching," a movement with an effect—"vibrating and nomadic"—tracing itself before there is even anything to trace. Leaving something, even if that thing remains unknowable, for us to attend to. Drifting into us. I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee..." (Carly Simon) NOTES William Shakespeare, Hamlet , Act 3 Scene 1. Jean Baudrillard, Why hasn't everything already disappeared? , 25.  . (shrink)
Classical epistemic logic describes implicit knowledge of agents about facts and knowledge of other agents based on semantic information. The latter is produced by acts of observation or communication that are described well by dynamic epistemic logics. What these logics do not describe, however, is how significant information is also produced by acts of inference— and key axioms of the system merely postulate "deductive closure". In this paper, we take the view that all information is produced by acts, and hence (...) we also need a dynamic logic of inference steps showing what effort on the part of the agent makes a conclusion explicit knowledge. Strong omniscience properties of agents should be seen not as static idealizations, but as the result of dynamic processes that agents engage in. This raises two questions: (a) how to define suitable information states of agents and matching notions of explicit knowledge, (b) how to define natural processes over these states that generate new explicit knowledge. To this end, we use a static base from the existing awareness literature, extending it into a dynamic system that includes traditional acts of observation, but also adding and dropping formulas from the current ' awareness' set. We give a completeness theorem, and we show how this dynamics updates explicit knowledge. Then we extend our approach to multi-agent scenarios where awareness changes may happen privately. Finally, we mention further directions and related approaches. Our contribution can be seen as a ' dynamification' of existing awareness logics. (shrink)
Epistemic logic with its possible worlds semantic model is a powerful framework that allows us to represent an agent’s information not only about propositional facts, but also about her own information. Nevertheless, agents represented in this framework are logically omniscient: their information is closed under logical consequence. This property, useful in some applications, is an unrealistic idealisation in some others. Many proposals to solve this problem focus on weakening the properties of the agent’s information, but some authors have argued that (...) solutions of this kind are not completely adequate because they do not look at the heart of the matter: the actions that allow the agent to reach such omniscient state. Recent works have explored how acts of observation, inference, consideration and forgetting affect an agent’s implicit and explicit knowledge; the present work focuses on acts that affect an agent’s implicit and explicit beliefs. It starts by proposing a framework in which these two notions can be represented, and then it looks into their dynamics, first by reviewing the existing notion of belief revision, and then by introducing a rich framework for representing diverse forms of inference that involve both knowledge and beliefs. (shrink)
In this paper, we explore the relation between an agent’s doxastic attitude and her arguments in support of a given claim. Our main contribution is the design of a logical setting that allows us reason about binary arguments which are either in favour or against a certain claim. This is a setting in which arguments and propositions are the basic building blocks so that the concept of argument-based belief emerges in a straightforward way. We work against the background of Dung’s (...) abstract argumentation framework, extending it to a new setting in which we can study the formal properties of binary arguments as well as the larger structures they establish. This paper introduces a formal ‘two-dimensional’ language to talk about propositions and arguments, for which a sound and complete axiom system is provided. (shrink)
This work proposes an understanding of deductive, default and abductive reasoning as different instances of the same phenomenon: epistemic dynamics. It discusses the main intuitions behind each one of these reasoning processes, and suggest how they can be understood as different epistemic actions that modify an agent’s knowledge and/or beliefs in a different way, making formal the discussion with the use of the dynamic epistemic logic framework. The ideas in this paper put the studied processes under the same umbrella, thus (...) highlighting their relationship and allowing a better understanding of how they interact together. (shrink)
Abductive problems and their solutions are presented by means of justification logic. We introduce additional meta-constructions in order to generate and compare different solutions to the same abductive problem. Our approach has three advantages: it makes structurally explicit the solution to an abductive problem ; it gives a precise meaning to the notion of evidence; it provides clear definitions and procedures for the comparison of solutions that can be adapted to different needs.
Among the non-monotonic reasoning processes, abduction is one of the most important. Usually described as the process of looking for explanations, it has been recognized as one of the most commonly used in our daily activities. Still, the traditional definitions of an abductive problem and an abductive solution mention only theories and formulas, leaving agency out of the picture. Our work proposes a study of abductive reasoning from an epistemic and dynamic perspective. In the first part we explore syntactic definitions (...) of both an abductive problem in terms of an agent’s information and an abductive solution in terms of the actions that modify the agent’s information. We look at diverse kinds of agents, including not only omniscient ones but also those whose information is not closed under logical consequence and those whose reasoning abilities are not complete. In the second part, we look at an existing logical framework whose semantic model allows us to interpret the previously stated formulas, and we define two actions that represent forms of abductive reasoning. (shrink)
The paper develops an interface between syntax-based logical models of awareness and dynamic epistemic logic. The framework is shown to be able to accommodate a variety of notions of awareness and knowledge, as well as their dynamics. This, it is argued, offers a natural formal environment for the analysis of epistemic phenomena typical of multi-agent information exchange, such as how agents become aware of relevant details, how they perform inferences and how they share their information within a group. Technically, the (...) logics presented are all simple refinements of the logic of public announcements. (shrink)
Scholars have debated the meaning of the foreign-relations clauses in the U.S. Constitution. This essay attempts to outline the foreign-relations clauses that an ideal constitution should have. A liberal constitution must enable the government to implement a morally defensible foreign policy. The first priority is the defense of liberty. The constitution must allow the government to effectively defend persons, territory, and liberal institutions themselves. The liberal government should also contribute to the advancement of global freedom, subject to a number of (...) conditions, especially cost. The essay recommends improved methods to incorporate treaties and customary international law into the constitutional structure. Treaties should be approved by the whole legislature and should generally be self-executing. Customary law should be genuine, not fake, and consistent with liberal principles. Finally, based on economic theory and evidence, the essay recommends that liberal constitutions prohibit the government from erecting trade barriers. It concludes by tentatively proposing concrete constitutional language to implement these recommendations. (shrink)
We look at two fundamental logical processes, often intertwined in planning and problem solving: inference and update. Inference is an internal process with which we uncover what is implicit in the information we already have. Update, on the other hand, is produced by external communication, usually in the form of announcements and in general in the form of observations, giving us information that might not have been available (even implicitly) before. Both processes have received attention from the logic community, usually (...) separately. In this work, we develop a logical language that allows us to describe them together. We present syntax, semantics and a complete axiom system; we discuss similarities and differences with other approaches and mention how the work can be extended. (shrink)
Why should sovereign states obey international law? What compels them to owe allegiance to a higher set of rules when each country is its own law of the land? What is the basis of their obligations to each other? Conventional wisdom suggests that countries are too different from one another culturally to follow laws out of mere loyalty to each other or a set of shared moral values. Surely, the prevailing view holds, countries act simply out of self-interest, and they (...) eventually consent to norms of international law to regulate matters of common interest.In this groundbreaking book, Fernando Tesón goes against this prevailing thought by arguing, in the Kantian tradition, that a shared respect for individual human rights underpins not just the obligation countries feel to follow international law but also international laws themselves and even the very legitimacy of nations in the eyes of the international community. Tesón, both a lawyer and a philosopher, proposes that an overlapping respect for human rights has created a moral common ground among the countries of the world; and moreover, that such an outlook is the only one that is rationally defensible. It is this common set of values rather than self-interest that ultimately provides legitimacy to international law. Using the tools of moral philosophy, Tesón analyzes the concepts of sovereignty, intervention, and national interest; the contributions of social contact theory, game theory, and feminist theory; and the puzzles of self-determination and group rights.More than simply outlining his theory, Tesón goes on to give detailed examples of international laws, international institutions, and their human rights foundations, putting his ideas to work and addressing legal reforms called for by the theory. He suggests that treaties, for example, should be considered binding if, and only if, the consent to the treaty was given by a genuinely representative government, one that acts out of interest for the human rights of its citizens. Although the theoretical achievement of this book is to challenge received wisdom on the foundation of international law, the practical ambition is a call to reform the international legal system for the post–Cold War era, to substitute for the old order one that gives primacy to human dignity and freedom over state power. (shrink)