In this short survey article, I discuss Bell’s theorem and some strategies that attempt to avoid the conclusion of non-locality. I focus on two that intersect with the philosophy of probability: (1) quantum probabilities and (2) superdeterminism. The issues they raised not only apply to a wide class of no-go theorems about quantum mechanics but are also of general philosophical interest.
In the context of EPR-Bohm type experiments and spin detections confined to spacelike hypersurfaces, a local, deterministic and realistic model within a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime with a constant spatial curvature (S^3 ) is presented that describes simultaneous measurements of the spins of two fermions emerging in a singlet state from the decay of a spinless boson. Exact agreement with the probabilistic predictions of quantum theory is achieved in the model without data rejection, remote contextuality, superdeterminism or backward causation. A singularity-free Clifford-algebraic (...) representation of S^3 with vanishing spatial curvature and non-vanishing torsion is then employed to transform the model in a more elegant form. Several event-by-event numerical simulations of the model are presented, which confirm our analytical results with the accuracy of 4 parts in 10^4 . Possible implications of our results for practical applications such as quantum security protocols and quantum computing are briefly discussed. (shrink)
Bell inequalities are usually derived by assuming locality and realism, and therefore violations of the Bell-CHSH inequality are usually taken to imply violations of either locality or realism, or both. But, after reviewing an oversight by Bell, in the Corollary below we derive the Bell-CHSH inequality by assuming only that Bob can measure along vectors b and b' simultaneously while Alice measures along either a or a', and likewise Alice can measure along vectors a and a' simultaneously while Bob measures (...) along either b or b', without assuming locality. The violations of the Bell-CHSH inequality therefore only mean impossibility of measuring along b and b' simultaneously. (shrink)
We show that the respective oversights in the von Neumann's general theorem against all hidden variable theories and Bell's theorem against their local-realistic counterparts are homologous. When latter oversight is rectified, the bounds on the CHSH correlator work out to be ±2√2 instead of ±2.
Non-commuting quantities and hidden parameters – Wave-corpuscular dualism and hidden parameters – Local or nonlocal hidden parameters – Phase space in quantum mechanics – Weyl, Wigner, and Moyal – Von Neumann’s theorem about the absence of hidden parameters in quantum mechanics and Hermann – Bell’s objection – Quantum-mechanical and mathematical incommeasurability – Kochen – Specker’s idea about their equivalence – The notion of partial algebra – Embeddability of a qubit into a bit – Quantum computer is not Turing machine (...) – Is continuality universal? – Diffeomorphism and velocity – Einstein’s general principle of relativity – „Mach’s principle“ – The Skolemian relativity of the discrete and the continuous – The counterexample in § 6 of their paper – About the classical tautology which is untrue being replaced by the statements about commeasurable quantum-mechanical quantities – Logical hidden parameters – The undecidability of the hypothesis about hidden parameters – Wigner’s work and и Weyl’s previous one – Lie groups, representations, and psi-function – From a qualitative to a quantitative expression of relativity − psi-function, or the discrete by the random – Bartlett’s approach − psi-function as the characteristic function of random quantity – Discrete and/ or continual description – Quantity and its “digitalized projection“ – The idea of „velocity−probability“ – The notion of probability and the light speed postulate – Generalized probability and its physical interpretation – A quantum description of macro-world – The period of the as-sociated de Broglie wave and the length of now – Causality equivalently replaced by chance – The philosophy of quantum information and religion – Einstein’s thesis about “the consubstantiality of inertia ant weight“ – Again about the interpretation of complex velocity – The speed of time – Newton’s law of inertia and Lagrange’s formulation of mechanics – Force and effect – The theory of tachyons and general relativity – Riesz’s representation theorem – The notion of covariant world line – Encoding a world line by psi-function – Spacetime and qubit − psi-function by qubits – About the physical interpretation of both the complex axes of a qubit – The interpretation of the self-adjoint operators components – The world line of an arbitrary quantity – The invariance of the physical laws towards quantum object and apparatus – Hilbert space and that of Minkowski – The relationship between the coefficients of -function and the qubits – World line = psi-function + self-adjoint operator – Reality and description – Does a „curved“ Hilbert space exist? – The axiom of choice, or when is possible a flattening of Hilbert space? – But why not to flatten also pseudo-Riemannian space? – The commutator of conjugate quantities – Relative mass – The strokes of self-movement and its philosophical interpretation – The self-perfection of the universe – The generalization of quantity in quantum physics – An analogy of the Feynman formalism – Feynman and many-world interpretation – The psi-function of various objects – Countable and uncountable basis – Generalized continuum and arithmetization – Field and entanglement – Function as coding – The idea of „curved“ Descartes product – The environment of a function – Another view to the notion of velocity-probability – Reality and description – Hilbert space as a model both of object and description – The notion of holistic logic – Physical quantity as the information about it – Cross-temporal correlations – The forecasting of future – Description in separable and inseparable Hilbert space – „Forces“ or „miracles“ – Velocity or time – The notion of non-finite set – Dasein or Dazeit – The trajectory of the whole – Ontological and onto-theological difference – An analogy of the Feynman and many-world interpretation − psi-function as physical quantity – Things in the world and instances in time – The generation of the physi-cal by mathematical – The generalized notion of observer – Subjective or objective probability – Energy as the change of probability per the unite of time – The generalized principle of least action from a new view-point – The exception of two dimensions and Fermat’s last theorem. (shrink)
This paper shows how the classical finite probability theory (with equiprobable outcomes) can be reinterpreted and recast as the quantum probability calculus of a pedagogical or toy model of quantum mechanics over sets (QM/sets). There have been several previous attempts to develop a quantum-like model with the base field of ℂ replaced by ℤ₂. Since there are no inner products on vector spaces over finite fields, the problem is to define the Dirac brackets and the probability calculus. The previous attempts (...) all required the brackets to take values in ℤ₂. But the usual QM brackets <ψ|ϕ> give the "overlap" between states ψ and ϕ, so for subsets S,T⊆U, the natural definition is <S|T>=|S∩T| (taking values in the natural numbers). This allows QM/sets to be developed with a full probability calculus that turns out to be a non-commutative extension of classical Laplace-Boole finite probability theory. The pedagogical model is illustrated by giving simple treatments of the indeterminacy principle, the double-slit experiment, Bell's Theorem, and identical particles in QM/Sets. A more technical appendix explains the mathematics behind carrying some vector space structures between QM over ℂ and QM/Sets over ℤ₂. (shrink)
The perception of reality by biosystems is based on different, and in certain respects more effective, principles than those utilized by the more formal procedures of science. As a result, what appears as random pattern to the scientific method can be meaningful pattern to a living organism. The existence of this complementary perception of reality makes possible in principle effective use by organisms of the direct interconnections between spatially separated objects shown to exist in the work of J. S. Bell.
Contrary to Bell’s theorem it is demonstrated that with the use of classical probability theory the quantum correlation can be approximated. Hence, one may not conclude from experiment that all local hidden variable theories are ruled out by a violation of inequality result.
Mathematics equivalent to Bell's derivation of the inequalities, also allows a local hidden variables explanation for the correlation between distant measurements.
In this text the ancient philosophical question of determinism (“Does every event have a cause ?”) will be re-examined. In the philosophy of science and physics communities the orthodox position states that the physical world is indeterministic: quantum events would have no causes but happen by irreducible chance. Arguably the clearest theorem that leads to this conclusion is Bell’s theorem. The commonly accepted ‘solution’ to the theorem is ‘indeterminism’, in agreement with the Copenhagen interpretation. Here it is (...) recalled that indeterminism is not really a physical but rather a philosophical hypothesis, and that it has counterintuitive and far-reaching implications. At the same time another solution to Bell’s theorem exists, often termed ‘superdeterminism’ or ‘total determinism’. Superdeterminism appears to be a philosophical position that is centuries and probably millennia old: it is for instance Spinoza’s determinism. If Bell’s theorem has both indeterministic and deterministic solutions, choosing between determinism and indeterminism is a philosophical question, not a matter of physical experimentation, as is widely believed. If it is impossible to use physics for deciding between both positions, it is legitimate to ask which philosophical theories are of help. Here it is argued that probability theory – more precisely the interpretation of probability – is instrumental for advancing the debate. It appears that the hypothesis of determinism allows to answer a series of precise questions from probability theory, while indeterminism remains silent for these questions. From this point of view determinism appears to be the more reasonable assumption, after all. (shrink)
La mécanique quantique est une théorie physique contemporaine réputée pour ses défis au sens commun et ses paradoxes. Depuis bientôt un siècle, plusieurs interprétations de la théorie ont été proposées par les physiciens et les philosophes, offrant des images quantiques du monde, ou des ontologies, radicalement différentes. L'existence d'un hasard fondamental, ou d'une multitude de mondes en-dehors du nôtre, dépend ainsi de l'interprétation adoptée. Après avoir discuté de la définition de l'interprétation d'une théorie physique, ce livre présente trois principales interprétations (...) quantiques, empiriquement équivalentes : l'interprétation dite orthodoxe, l'interprétation de Bohm, et l'interprétation des mondes multiples. Des textes d'Albert & Galchen, ainsi que de Mermin, présentent le concept de non-localité et invitent à une analyse de l'argument d'Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen et du théorème de Bell. (shrink)
The paper argues that on three out of eight possible hypotheses about the EPR experiment we can construct novel and realistic decision problems on which (a) Causal Decision Theory and Evidential Decision Theory conflict (b) Causal Decision Theory and the EPR statistics conflict. We infer that anyone who fully accepts any of these three hypotheses has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. Finally, we extend the original construction to show that anyone who gives any of the three hypotheses any (...) non-zero credence has strong reasons to reject Causal Decision Theory. However, we concede that no version of the Many Worlds Interpretation (Vaidman, in Zalta, E.N. (ed.), Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2014) gives rise to the conflicts that we point out. (shrink)
We review our approach to quantum mechanics adding also some new interesting results. We start by giving proof of two important theorems on the existence of the A(Si) and i,±1 N Clifford algebras. This last algebra gives proof of the von Neumann basic postulates on the quantum measurement explaining thus in an algebraic manner the wave function collapse postulated in standard quantum theory. In this manner we reach the objective to expose a self-consistent version of quantum mechanics. In detail we (...) realize a bare bone skeleton of quantum mechanics recovering all the basic foundations of this theory on an algebraic framework. We give proof of the quantum like Heisenberg uncertainty relations using only the basic support of the Clifford algebra. In addition we demonstrate the well known phenomenon of quantum Mach Zender interference using the same algebraic framework, as well as we give algebraic proof of quantum collapse in some cases of physical interest by direct application of the theorem that we derive to elaborate the i,±1 N algebra. We also discuss the problem of time evolution of quantum systems as well as the changes in space location, in momentum and the linked invariance principles. We are also able to re-derive the basic wave function of standard quantum mechanics by using only the Clifford algebraic approach. In this manner we obtain a full exposition of standard quantum mechanics using only the basic axioms of Clifford algebra. We also discuss more advanced features of quantum mechanics. In detail, we give demonstration of the Kocken-Specher theorem, and also we give an algebraic formulation and explanation of the EPR paradox only using the Clifford algebra. By using the same approach we also derive Bell inequalities. Our formulation is strongly based on the use of idempotents that are contained in Clifford algebra. Their counterpart in quantum mechanics is represented by the projection operators that, as it is well known, are interpreted as logical statements, following the basic von Neumann results. Von Neumann realized a matrix logic on the basis of quantum mechanics. Using the Clifford algebra we are able to invert such result. According to the results previously obtained by Orlov in 1994, we are able to give proof that quantum mechanics derives from logic. We show that indeterminism and quantum interference have their origin in the logic. Therefore, it seems that we may conclude that quantum mechanics, as it appears when investigated by the Clifford algebra, is a two-faced theory in the sense that it looks from one side to “matter per se”, thus to objects but simultaneously also to conceptual entities. We advance the basic conclusion of the paper: There are stages of our reality in which we no more can separate the logic ( and thus cognition and thus conceptual entity) from the features of “matter per se”. In quantum mechanics the logic, and thus the cognition and thus the conceptual entity-cognitive performance, assume the same importance as the features of what is being described. We are at levels of reality in which the truths of logical statements about dynamic variables become dynamic variables themselves so that a profound link is established from its starting in this theory between physics and conceptual entities. Finally, in this approach there is not an absolute definition of logical truths. Transformations , and thus … “redefinitions”…. of truth values are permitted in such scheme as well as the well established invariance principles, clearly indicate . (shrink)
This paper discusses the extent to which advances in quantum physics can affect ideas of free will and determinism. It questions whether arguments that conclude the existence of free will from quantum physics are as valid as they seem. -/- The paper discusses the validity of Searle’s philosophy of mind, Robert Kane’s parallel processing, and Ted Honderich’s near-determinism, as well as dealing with chaos theory, the relationship between ‘randomness’ and ‘unpredictability,’ and Bell’s theorem, discussing how they can be used (...) to answer the question regarding quantum physics and free will. -/- The paper is tentative towards forming any definitive conclusion due to the ambiguity and confusion surrounding quantum physics but alludes to the idea that quantum randomness not only retracts from universal determinism, but also retracts from human free will, thus theorising a form of universal chaos and unpredictability. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that the (alleged) indeterminism of quantum mechanics, claimed by adherents of the Copenhagen interpretation since Born (1926), can be proved from Chaitin's follow-up to Goedel's (first) incompleteness theorem. In comparison, Bell's (1964) theorem as well as the so-called free will theorem-originally due to Heywood and Redhead (1983)-left two loopholes for deterministic hidden variable theories, namely giving up either locality (more precisely: local contextuality, as in Bohmian mechanics) or free choice (...) (i.e. uncorrelated measurement settings, as in 't Hooft's cellular automaton interpretation of quantum mechanics). The main point is that Bell and others did not exploit the full empirical content of quantum mechanics, which consists of long series of outcomes of repeated measurements (idealized as infinite binary sequences): their arguments only used the long-run relative frequencies derived from such series, and hence merely asked hidden variable theories to reproduce single-case Born probabilities defined by certain entangled bipartite states. If we idealize binary outcome strings of a fair quantum coin flip as infinite sequences, quantum mechanics predicts that these typically (i.e. almost surely) have a property called 1-randomness in logic, which is much stronger than uncomputability. This is the key to my claim, which is admittedly based on a stronger (yet compelling) notion of determinism than what is common in the literature on hidden variable theories. (shrink)
We show how removing faith-based beliefs in current philosophies of classical and constructive mathematics admits formal, evidence-based, definitions of constructive mathematics; of a constructively well-defined logic of a formal mathematical language; and of a constructively well-defined model of such a language. -/- We argue that, from an evidence-based perspective, classical approaches which follow Hilbert's formal definitions of quantification can be labelled `theistic'; whilst constructive approaches based on Brouwer's philosophy of Intuitionism can be labelled `atheistic'. -/- We then adopt what may (...) be labelled a finitary, evidence-based, `agnostic' perspective and argue that Brouwerian atheism is merely a restricted perspective within the finitary agnostic perspective, whilst Hilbertian theism contradicts the finitary agnostic perspective. -/- We then consider the argument that Tarski's classic definitions permit an intelligence---whether human or mechanistic---to admit finitary, evidence-based, definitions of the satisfaction and truth of the atomic formulas of the first-order Peano Arithmetic PA over the domain N of the natural numbers in two, hitherto unsuspected and essentially different, ways. -/- We show that the two definitions correspond to two distinctly different---not necessarily evidence-based but complementary---assignments of satisfaction and truth to the compound formulas of PA over N. -/- We further show that the PA axioms are true over N, and that the PA rules of inference preserve truth over N, under both the complementary interpretations; and conclude some unsuspected constructive consequences of such complementarity for the foundations of mathematics, logic, philosophy, and the physical sciences. -/- . (shrink)
Representation theorems are often taken to provide the foundations for decision theory. First, they are taken to characterize degrees of belief and utilities. Second, they are taken to justify two fundamental rules of rationality: that we should have probabilistic degrees of belief and that we should act as expected utility maximizers. We argue that representation theorems cannot serve either of these foundational purposes, and that recent attempts to defend the foundational importance of representation theorems are unsuccessful. As a result, we (...) should reject these claims, and lay the foundations of decision theory on firmer ground. (shrink)
What can be more fascinating than experimental metaphysics, to quote one of Abner Shimony’s enlightening expressions? Bell inequalities are at the heart of the study of nonlocality. I present a list of open questions, organised in three categories: fundamental; linked to experiments; and exploring nonlocality as a resource. New families of inequalities for binary outcomes are presented.
Twenty-first century science faces a dilemma. Two of its well-verified foundation stones - relativity and quantum theory - have proven inconsistent. Resolution of the conflict has resisted improvements in experimental precision leaving some to believe that some fundamental understanding in our world-view may need modification or even radical reform. Employment of the wave-front model of electrodynamics, as a propagation process with a Markov property, may offer just such a clarification.
In response to recent work on the aggregation of individual judgments on logically connected propositions into collective judgments, it is often asked whether judgment aggregation is a special case of Arrowian preference aggregation. We argue for the converse claim. After proving two impossibility theorems on judgment aggregation (using "systematicity" and "independence" conditions, respectively), we construct an embedding of preference aggregation into judgment aggregation and prove Arrow’s theorem (stated for strict preferences) as a corollary of our second result. Although we (...) thereby provide a new proof of Arrow’s theorem, our main aim is to identify the analogue of Arrow’s theorem in judgment aggregation, to clarify the relation between judgment and preference aggregation, and to illustrate the generality of the judgment aggregation model. JEL Classi…cation: D70, D71.. (shrink)
The standard representation theorem for expected utility theory tells us that if a subject’s preferences conform to certain axioms, then she can be represented as maximising her expected utility given a particular set of credences and utilities—and, moreover, that having those credences and utilities is the only way that she could be maximising her expected utility. However, the kinds of agents these theorems seem apt to tell us anything about are highly idealised, being always probabilistically coherent with infinitely precise (...) degrees of belief and full knowledge of all a priori truths. Ordinary subjects do not look very rational when compared to the kinds of agents usually talked about in decision theory. In this paper, I will develop an expected utility representation theorem aimed at the representation of those who are neither probabilistically coherent, logically omniscient, nor expected utility maximisers across the board—that is, agents who are frequently irrational. The agents in question may be deductively fallible, have incoherent credences, limited representational capacities, and fail to maximise expected utility for all but a limited class of gambles. (shrink)
Amalgamating evidence of different kinds for the same hypothesis into an overall confirmation is analogous, I argue, to amalgamating individuals’ preferences into a group preference. The latter faces well-known impossibility theorems, most famously “Arrow’s Theorem”. Once the analogy between amalgamating evidence and amalgamating preferences is tight, it is obvious that amalgamating evidence might face a theorem similar to Arrow’s. I prove that this is so, and end by discussing the plausibility of the axioms required for the theorem.
The aggregation of individual judgments over interrelated propositions is a newly arising field of social choice theory. I introduce several independence conditions on judgment aggregation rules, each of which protects against a specific type of manipulation by agenda setters or voters. I derive impossibility theorems whereby these independence conditions are incompatible with certain minimal requirements. Unlike earlier impossibility results, the main result here holds for any (non-trivial) agenda. However, independence conditions arguably undermine the logical structure of judgment aggregation. I therefore (...) suggest restricting independence to premises, which leads to a generalised premise-based procedure. This procedure is proven to be possible if the premises are logically independent. (shrink)
The meaning of Lorentz contraction in special relativity and its connection with Bell’s spaceships parable is discussed. The motion of Bell’s spaceships is then compared with the accelerated motion of a rigid body. We have tried to write this in a simple form that could be used to correct students’ misconceptions due to conflicting earlier treatments.
This paper deals with, prepositional calculi with strong negation (N-logics) in which the Craig interpolation theorem holds. N-logics are defined to be axiomatic strengthenings of the intuitionistic calculus enriched with a unary connective called strong negation. There exists continuum of N-logics, but the Craig interpolation theorem holds only in 14 of them.
Our conscious minds exist in the Universe, therefore they should be identified with physical states that are subject to physical laws. In classical theories of mind, the mental states are identified with brain states that satisfy the deterministic laws of classical mechanics. This approach, however, leads to insurmountable paradoxes such as epiphenomenal minds and illusionary free will. Alternatively, one may identify mental states with quantum states realized within the brain and try to resolve the above paradoxes using the standard Hilbert (...) space formalism of quantum mechanics. In this essay, we first show that identification of mind states with quantum states within the brain is biologically feasible, and then elaborating on the mathematical proofs of two quantum mechanical no-go theorems, we explain why quantum theory might have profound implications for the scientific understanding of one's mental states, self identity, beliefs and free will. (shrink)
Background: The occurrence of any disturbance in the seventh facial nerve in the nerves of the brain called inflammation of the seventh nerve or paralysis in the face of half (Bell's paralysis), where paralysis affects one side of the face, and occurs when the seventh nerve, which controls the muscles of the face loses the patient control of the facial muscles on The side of inflammation is the seventh nerve because it controls the muscles on both sides of the face (...) that enable us to express the smile, laughter, crying and other facial expressions to any injury that affects the facial expressions of the motor. Objectives: This paper will solve the problems of treatment of seventh nerve inflammation through correct diagnosis and treatment. Methods: In this research, we provide an expert system for the diagnosis of seven nerve inflammation which will help doctors to explore everything related to the problems of seventh nerve inflammation. We look forward to providing simplified answers to seven nerve inflammation. (shrink)
This paper generalises the classical Condorcet jury theorem from majority voting over two options to plurality voting over multiple options. The paper further discusses the debate between epistemic and procedural democracy and situates its formal results in that debate. The paper finally compares a number of different social choice procedures for many-option choices in terms of their epistemic merits. An appendix explores the implications of some of the present mathematical results for the question of how probable majority cycles (as (...) in Condorcet's paradox) are in large electorates. (shrink)
Following a long-standing philosophical tradition, impartiality is a distinctive and determining feature of moral judgments, especially in matters of distributive justice. This broad ethical tradition was revived in welfare economics by Vickrey, and above all, Harsanyi, under the form of the so-called Impartial Observer Theorem. The paper offers an analytical reconstruction of this argument and a step-wise philosophical critique of its premisses. It eventually provides a new formal version of the theorem based on subjective probability.
Early discussions of ?climate justice? have been dominated by economists rather than political philosophers. More recently, analytical liberal political philosophers have joined the debate. However, the philosophical discussion of climate justice remains in its early stages. This paper considers one promising approach based on human rights, which has been advocated recently by several theorists, including Simon Caney, Henry Shue and Tim Hayward. A basic argument supporting the claim that anthropogenic climate change violates human rights is presented. Four objections to this (...) argument are examined: the ?future persons? objection; the ?risk? objection; the ?collective causation? objection; and the ?demandingness? objection. This critical examination leads to a more detailed specification and defence of the claim that anthropogenic climate change violates human rights. (shrink)
Famous results by David Lewis show that plausible-sounding constraints on the probabilities of conditionals or evaluative claims lead to unacceptable results, by standard probabilistic reasoning. Existing presentations of these results rely on stronger assumptions than they really need. When we strip these arguments down to a minimal core, we can see both how certain replies miss the mark, and also how to devise parallel arguments for other domains, including epistemic “might,” probability claims, claims about comparative value, and so on. A (...) popular reply to Lewis's results is to claim that conditional claims, or claims about subjective value, lack truth conditions. For this strategy to have a chance of success, it needs to give up basic structural principles about how epistemic states can be updated—in a way that is strikingly parallel to the commitments of the project of dynamic semantics. (shrink)
In this paper, I present an argument for a rational norm involving a kind of credal attitude called a quantificational credence – the kind of attitude we can report by saying that Lucy thinks that each record in Schroeder’s collection is 5% likely to be scratched. I prove a result called a Dutch Book Theorem, which constitutes conditional support for the norm. Though Dutch Book Theorems exist for norms on ordinary and conditional credences, there is controversy about the epistemic (...) significance of these results. So, my conclusion is that if Dutch Book Theorems do, in general, support norms on credal states, then we have support for the suggested norm on quantificational credences. Providing conditional support for this norm gives us a fuller picture of the normative landscape of credal states. (shrink)
In recent work Mary Kate McGowan presents an account of oppressive speech inspired by David Lewis's analysis of conversational kinematics. Speech can effect identity-based oppression, she argues, by altering 'the conversational score', which is to say, roughly, that it can introduce presuppositions and expectations into a conversation, and thus determine what sort of subsequent conversational 'moves' are apt, correct, felicitous, etc., in a manner that oppresses members of a certain group (e.g. because the suppositions and expectations derogate or demean members (...) of that group). In keeping with the Lewisian picture, McGowan stresses the asymmetric pliability of conversational scores. She argues that it is easier to introduce (for example) sexist presuppositions and expectations into a conversation than it is to remove them. Responding to a sexist remark, she thus suggests, is like trying to "unring a bell". I begin by situating McGowan's work in the wider literature on speech and social hierarchy, and explaining how her account of oppressive speech improves upon the work of others in its explication of the relationship between individuals' verbal conduct and structurally oppressive social arrangements. I then propose an explanation and supportive elaboration of McGowan's claims about the asymmetric pliability of conversations involving identity-oppressive speech. Rather than regarding such asymmetry as a sui generis phenomenon, I show how we can understand it as a consequence of a more general asymmetry between making things salient and un-salient in speech, and I show how this asymmetry also operates in various cases that interested Lewis. (shrink)
A proof of Fermat’s last theorem is demonstrated. It is very brief, simple, elementary, and absolutely arithmetical. The necessary premises for the proof are only: the three definitive properties of the relation of equality (identity, symmetry, and transitivity), modus tollens, axiom of induction, the proof of Fermat’s last theorem in the case of.
Democratic decision-making is often defended on grounds of the ‘wisdom of crowds’: decisions are more likely to be correct if they are based on many independent opinions, so a typical argument in social epistemology. But what does it mean to have independent opinions? Opinions can be probabilistically dependent even if individuals form their opinion in causal isolation from each other. We distinguish four probabilistic notions of opinion independence. Which of them holds depends on how individuals are causally affected by environmental (...) factors such as commonly perceived evidence. In a general theorem, we identify causal conditions guaranteeing each kind of opinion independence. These results have implications for whether and how ‘wisdom of crowds’ arguments are possible, and how truth-conducive institutions can be designed. (shrink)
Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: whether a premise is justi…ed depends on the notion of probability considered; none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justi…ed. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
The determinism-free will debate is perhaps as old as philosophy itself and has been engaged in from a great variety of points of view including those of scientific, theological, and logical character. This chapter focuses on two arguments from logic. First, there is an argument in support of determinism that dates back to Aristotle, if not farther. It rests on acceptance of the Law of Excluded Middle, according to which every proposition is either true or false, no matter whether the (...) proposition is about the past, present or future. In particular, the argument goes, whatever one does or does not do in the future is determined in the present by the truth or falsity of the corresponding proposition. The second argument coming from logic is much more modern and appeals to Gödel's incompleteness theorems to make the case against determinism and in favour of free will, insofar as that applies to the mathematical potentialities of human beings. The claim more precisely is that as a consequence of the incompleteness theorems, those potentialities cannot be exactly circumscribed by the output of any computing machine even allowing unlimited time and space for its work. The chapter concludes with some new considerations that may be in favour of a partial mechanist account of the mathematical mind. (shrink)
In this article, it is argued that the Gibbs-Liouville theorem is a mathematical representation of the statement that closed classical systems evolve deterministically. From the perspective of an observer of the system, whose knowledge about the degrees of freedom of the system is complete, the statement of deterministic evolution is equivalent to the notion that the physical distinctions between the possible states of the system, or, in other words, the information possessed by the observer about the system, is never (...) lost. Furthermore, it is shown that the Hamilton equations and the Hamilton principle on phase space follow directly from the differential representation of the Gibbs-Liouville theorem, i.e. that the divergence of the Hamiltonian phase flow velocity vanish. Finally, it is argued that the statements of invariance of the Poisson algebra and unitary evolution are equivalent representations of the Gibbs-Liouville theorem. (shrink)
In this article, a possible generalization of the Löb’s theorem is considered. Main result is: let κ be an inaccessible cardinal, then ¬Con( ZFC +∃κ) .
Philosophers of language have drawn on metamathematical results in varied ways. Extensionalist philosophers have been particularly impressed with two, not unrelated, facts: the existence, due to Frege/Tarski, of a certain sort of semantics, and the seeming absence of intensional contexts from mathematical discourse. The philosophical import of these facts is at best murky. Extensionalists will emphasize the success and clarity of the model theoretic semantics; others will emphasize the relative poverty of the mathematical idiom; still others will question the aptness (...) of the standard extensional semantics for mathematics. In this paper I investigate some implications of the Gödel Second Incompleteness Theorem for these positions. I argue that the realm of mathematics, proof theory in particular, has been a breeding ground for intensionality and that satisfactory intensional semantic theories are implicit in certain rigorous technical accounts. (shrink)
We discuss models that attempt to provide an explanation for the violation of Bell inequalities at a distance in terms of hidden influences. These models reproduce the quantum correlations in most situations, but are restricted to produce local correlations in some configurations. The argument presented in (Bancal et al. Nat Phys 8:867, 2012) applies to all of these models, which can thus be proved to allow for faster-than-light communication. In other words, the signalling character of these models cannot remain hidden.
This three-part paper comprises: (i) a critique by Halvorson of Bell’s (1973) paper ‘Subject and Object’; (ii) a comment by Butterfield; (iii) a reply by Halvorson. An Appendix gives the passage from Bell that is the focus of Halvorson's critique.
We give a review and critique of jury theorems from a social-epistemology perspective, covering Condorcet’s (1785) classic theorem and several later refinements and departures. We assess the plausibility of the conclusions and premises featuring in jury theorems and evaluate the potential of such theorems to serve as formal arguments for the ‘wisdom of crowds’. In particular, we argue (i) that there is a fundamental tension between voters’ independence and voters’ competence, hence between the two premises of most jury theorems; (...) (ii) that the (asymptotic) conclusion that ‘huge groups are infallible’, reached by many jury theorems, is an artifact of unjustified premises; and (iii) that the (nonasymptotic) conclusion that ‘larger groups are more reliable’, also reached by many jury theorems, is not an artifact and should be regarded as the more adequate formal rendition of the ‘wisdom of crowds’. (shrink)
We generalize and extend the class of Sahlqvist formulae in arbitrary polyadic modal languages, to the class of so called inductive formulae. To introduce them we use a representation of modal polyadic languages in a combinatorial style and thus, in particular, develop what we believe to be a better syntactic approach to elementary canonical formulae altogether. By generalizing the method of minimal valuations à la Sahlqvist–van Benthem and the topological approach of Sambin and Vaccaro we prove that all inductive formulae (...) are elementary canonical and thus extend Sahlqvist’s theorem over them. In particular, we give a simple example of an inductive formula which is not frame-equivalent to any Sahlqvist formula. Then, after a deeper analysis of the inductive formulae as set-theoretic operators in descriptive and Kripke frames, we establish a somewhat stronger model-theoretic characterization of these formulae in terms of a suitable equivalence to syntactically simpler formulae in the extension of the language with reversive modalities. Lastly, we study and characterize the elementary canonical formulae in reversive languages with nominals, where the relevant notion of persistence is with respect to discrete frames. (shrink)
This paper begins with a puzzle regarding Lewis' theory of radical interpretation. On the one hand, Lewis convincingly argued that the facts about an agent's sensory evidence and choices will always underdetermine the facts about her beliefs and desires. On the other hand, we have several representation theorems—such as those of (Ramsey 1931) and (Savage 1954)—that are widely taken to show that if an agent's choices satisfy certain constraints, then those choices can suffice to determine her beliefs and desires. In (...) this paper, I will argue that Lewis' conclusion is correct: choices radically underdetermine beliefs and desires, and representation theorems provide us with no good reasons to think otherwise. Any tension with those theorems is merely apparent, and relates ultimately to the difference between how 'choices' are understood within Lewis' theory and the problematic way that they're represented in the context of the representation theorems. For the purposes of radical interpretation, representation theorems like Ramsey's and Savage's just aren't very relevant after all. (shrink)
REVIEW OF: Automated Development of Fundamental Mathematical Theories by Art Quaife. (1992: Kluwer Academic Publishers) 271pp. Using the theorem prover OTTER Art Quaife has proved four hundred theorems of von Neumann-Bernays-Gödel set theory; twelve hundred theorems and definitions of elementary number theory; dozens of Euclidean geometry theorems; and Gödel's incompleteness theorems. It is an impressive achievement. To gauge its significance and to see what prospects it offers this review looks closely at the book and the proofs it presents.
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