Our main goal is to investigate whether the infinitary rules for the quantifiers endorsed by Elia Zardini in a recent paper are plausible. First, we will argue that they are problematic in several ways, especially due to their infinitary features. Secondly, we will show that even if these worries are somehow dealt with, there is another serious issue with them. They produce a truth-theoretic paradox that does not involve the structural rules of contraction.
This paper gives a definition of self-reference on the basis of the dependence relation given by Leitgeb (2005), and the dependence digraph by Beringer & Schindler (2015). Unlike the usual discussion about self-reference of paradoxes centering around Yablo's paradox and its variants, I focus on the paradoxes of finitary characteristic, which are given again by use of Leitgeb's dependence relation. They are called 'locally finite paradoxes', satisfying that any sentence in these paradoxes can depend on finitely (...) many sentences. I prove that all locally finite paradoxes are self-referential in the sense that there is a directed cycle in their dependence digraphs. This paper also studies the 'circularity dependence' of paradoxes, which was introduced by Hsiung (2014). I prove that the locally finite paradoxes have circularity dependence in the sense that they are paradoxical only in the digraph containing a proper cycle. The proofs of the two results are based directly on König's infinity lemma. In contrast, this paper also shows that Yablo's paradox and its nested variant are non-self-referential, and neither McGee's paradox nor the omega-cycle liar paradox has circularity dependence. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revitalised interest in non-classical solutions to the semantic paradoxes. In this paper I show that a number of logics are susceptible to a strengthened version of Curry's paradox. This can be adapted to provide a proof theoretic analysis of the omega-inconsistency in Lukasiewicz's continuum valued logic, allowing us to better evaluate which logics are suitable for a naïve truth theory. On this basis I identify two natural subsystems of Lukasiewicz logic which (...) individually, but not jointly, lack the problematic feature. (shrink)
One of the most debated problems in the foundations of the special relativity theory is the role of conventionality. A common belief is that the Lorentz transformation is correct but the Galilean transformation is wrong. It is another common belief that the Galilean transformation is incompatible with Maxwell equations. However, the “principle of general covariance” in general relativity makes any spacetime coordinate transformation equally valid. This includes the Galilean transformation as well. This renders a new paradox. This new paradox is (...) resolved with the argument that the Galilean transformation is equivalent to the Lorentz transformation. The resolution of this new paradox also provides the most straightforward resolution of an older paradox which is due to Selleri in. I also present a consistent electrodynamics formulation including Maxwell equations and electromagnetic wave equations under the Galilean transformation, in the exact form for any high speed, rather than in low speed approximation. Electrodynamics in rotating reference frames is rarely addressed in textbooks. The presented formulation of electrodynamics under the Galilean transformation even works well in rotating frames if we replace the constant velocity v\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\mathbf {v}$$\end{document} with v=ω×r\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\mathbf {v}=\varvec{\omega }\times \mathbf {r}$$\end{document}. This provides a practical tool for applications of electrodynamics in rotating frames. When electrodynamics is concerned, between two inertial reference frames, both Galilean and Lorentz transformations are equally valid, but the Lorentz transformation is more convenient. In rotating frames, although the Galilean electrodynamics does not seem convenient, it could be the most convenient formulation compared with other transformations, due to the intrinsic complex nature of the problem. (shrink)
Using Riemann’s Rearrangement Theorem, Øystein Linnebo (2020) argues that, if it were possible to apply an infinite positive weight and an infinite negative weight to a working scale, the resulting net weight could end up being any real number, depending on the procedure by which these weights are applied. Appealing to the First Postulate of Archimedes’ treatise on balance, I argue instead that the scale would always read 0 kg. Along the way, we stop to consider an infinitely jittery flea, (...) an infinitely protracted border conflict, and an infinitely electric glass rod. (shrink)
This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...) to the types of intention, when the latter is interpreted as a modal mental state. Chapter \textbf{2} argues for a novel type of expressivism based on the duality between the categories of coalgebras and algebras, and argues that the duality permits of the reconciliation between modal cognitivism and modal expressivism. I also develop a novel topic-sensitive truthmaker semantics for dynamic epistemic logic, and develop a novel dynamic epistemic two-dimensional hyperintensional semantics. Chapter \textbf{3} provides an abstraction principle for epistemic intensions. Chapter \textbf{4} advances a topic-sensitive two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, and provides three novel interpretations of the framework along with the epistemic and metasemantic. Chapter \textbf{5} applies the fixed points of the modal $\mu$-calculus in order to account for the iteration of epistemic states, by contrast to availing of modal axiom 4 (i.e. the KK principle). Chapter \textbf{6} advances a solution to the Julius Caesar problem based on Fine's `criterial' identity conditions which incorporate conditions on essentiality and grounding. Chapter \textbf{7} provides a ground-theoretic regimentation of the proposals in the metaphysics of consciousness and examines its bearing on the two-dimensional conceivability argument against physicalism. The topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics developed in chapter \textbf{4} is availed of in order for epistemic states to be a guide to metaphysical states in the hyperintensional setting. Chapters \textbf{8-12} provide cases demonstrating how the two-dimensional intensions of epistemic two-dimensional semantics solve the access problem in the epistemology of mathematics. Chapter \textbf{8} examines the modal commitments of abstractionism, in particular necessitism, and epistemic modality and the epistemology of abstraction. Chapter \textbf{9} examines the modal profile of $\Omega$-logic in set theory. Chapter \textbf{10} examines the interaction between topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics, the axioms of epistemic set theory, large cardinal axioms, the Epistemic Church-Turing Thesis, the modal axioms governing the modal profile of $\Omega$-logic, Orey sentences such as the Generalized Continuum Hypothesis, and absolute decidability. Chapter \textbf{11} avails of modal coalgebraic automata to interpret the defining properties of indefinite extensibility, and avails of epistemic two-dimensional semantics in order to account for the interaction of the interpretational and objective modalities thereof. Chapter \textbf{12} provides a modal logic for rational intuition and provides a hyperintensional semantics. Chapter \textbf{13} examines modal responses to the alethic paradoxes. Chapter \textbf{14} examines, finally, the modal semantics for the different types of intention and the relation of the latter to evidential decision theory. The multi-hyperintensional, topic-sensitive epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics developed in chapters \textbf{2} and \textbf{4} is applied in chapters \textbf{7}, \textbf{8}, \textbf{10}, \textbf{11}, \textbf{12}, and \textbf{14}. (shrink)
In this paper, I suggest that infinite numbers are large finite numbers, and that infinite numbers, properly understood, are 1) of the structure omega + (omega* + omega)Ө + omega*, and 2) the part is smaller than the whole. I present an explanation of these claims in terms of epistemic limitations. I then consider the importance, part of which is demonstrating the contradiction that lies at the heart of Cantorian set theory: the natural numbers are too (...) large to be counted by any finite number, but too small to be counted by any infinite number – there is no number of natural numbers. (shrink)
We investigate the properties of Yablo sentences and for- mulas in theories of truth. Questions concerning provability of Yablo sentences in various truth systems, their provable equivalence, and their equivalence to the statements of their own untruth are discussed and answered.
Classical interpretations of Goedels formal reasoning, and of his conclusions, implicitly imply that mathematical languages are essentially incomplete, in the sense that the truth of some arithmetical propositions of any formal mathematical language, under any interpretation, is, both, non-algorithmic, and essentially unverifiable. However, a language of general, scientific, discourse, which intends to mathematically express, and unambiguously communicate, intuitive concepts that correspond to scientific investigations, cannot allow its mathematical propositions to be interpreted ambiguously. Such a language must, therefore, define mathematical truth (...) verifiably. We consider a constructive interpretation of classical, Tarskian, truth, and of Goedel's reasoning, under which any formal system of Peano Arithmetic---classically accepted as the foundation of all our mathematical Languages---is verifiably complete in the above sense. We show how some paradoxical concepts of Quantum mechanics can, then, be expressed, and interpreted, naturally under a constructive definition of mathematical truth. (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)
My aim in this paper is to develop a unified solution to two paradoxes of bounded rationality. The first is the regress problem that incorporating cognitive bounds into models of rational decisionmaking generates a regress of higher-order decision problems. The second is the problem of rational irrationality: it sometimes seems rational for bounded agents to act irrationally on the basis of rational deliberation. I review two strategies which have been brought to bear on these problems: the way of weakening (...) which responds by weakening rational norms, and the way of indirection which responds by letting the rationality of behavior be determined by the rationality of the deliberative processes which produced it. Then I propose and defend a third way to confront the paradoxes: the way of level separation. (shrink)
The paradox of pain refers to the idea that the folk concept of pain is paradoxical, treating pains as simultaneously mental states and bodily states. By taking a close look at our pain terms, this paper argues that there is no paradox of pain. The air of paradox dissolves once we recognize that pain terms are polysemous and that there are two separate but related concepts of pain rather than one.
Supererogatory acts—good deeds “beyond the call of duty”—are a part of moral common sense, but conceptually puzzling. I propose a unified solution to three of the most infamous puzzles: the classic Paradox of Supererogation (if it’s so good, why isn’t it just obligatory?), Horton’s All or Nothing Problem, and Kamm’s Intransitivity Paradox. I conclude that supererogation makes sense if, and only if, the grounds of rightness are multi-dimensional and comparative.
This short paper offers a skeptical solution to Åqvist's paradox of epistemic obligation. The solution is based on the contention that in SDL/KDT logics the externalist features of knowledge, about which we cannot have obligations, are obscured.
This paper presents and motivates a new philosophical and logical approach to truth and semantic paradox. It begins from an inferentialist, and particularly bilateralist, theory of meaning---one which takes meaning to be constituted by assertibility and deniability conditions---and shows how the usual multiple-conclusion sequent calculus for classical logic can be given an inferentialist motivation, leaving classical model theory as of only derivative importance. The paper then uses this theory of meaning to present and motivate a logical system---ST---that conservatively extends classical (...) logic with a fully transparent truth predicate. This system is shown to allow for classical reasoning over the full (truth-involving) vocabulary, but to be non-transitive. Some special cases where transitivity does hold are outlined. ST is also shown to give rise to a familiar sort of model for non-classical logics: Kripke fixed points on the Strong Kleene valuation scheme. Finally, to give a theory of paradoxical sentences, a distinction is drawn between two varieties of assertion and two varieties of denial. On one variety, paradoxical sentences cannot be either asserted or denied; on the other, they must be both asserted and denied. The target theory is compared favourably to more familiar related systems, and some objections are considered. (shrink)
Philosophers have long argued that duties to oneself are paradoxical, as they seem to entail an incoherent power to release oneself from obligations. I argue that self-release is possible, both as a matter of deontic logic and of metaethics.
Paradoxes and their Resolutions is a ‘thematic compilation’ by Avi Sion. It collects in one volume the essays that he has written in the past (over a period of some 27 years) on this subject. It comprises expositions and resolutions of many (though not all) ancient and modern paradoxes, including: the Protagoras-Euathlus paradox (Athens, 5th Cent. BCE), the Liar paradox and the Sorites paradox (both attributed to Eubulides of Miletus, 4th Cent. BCE), Russell’s paradox (UK, 1901) and its (...) derivatives the Barber paradox and the Master Catalogue paradox (also by Russell), Grelling’s paradox (Germany, 1908), Hempel's paradox of confirmation (USA, 1940s), and Goodman’s paradox of prediction (USA, 1955). This volume also presents and comments on some of the antinomic discourse found in some Buddhist texts (namely, in Nagarjuna, India, 2nd Cent. CE; and in the Diamond Sutra, date unknown, but probably in an early century CE). (shrink)
Counterfactuals are somewhat tolerant. Had Socrates been at least six feet tall, he need not have been exactly six feet tall. He might have been a little taller—he might have been six one or six two. But while he might have been a little taller, there are limits to how tall he would have been. Had he been at least six feet tall, he would not have been more than a hundred feet tall, for example. Counterfactuals are not just tolerant, (...) then, but bounded. This paper presents a surprising paradox: If counterfactuals are tolerant and bounded, then we can prove a flat contradiction using natural rules of inference. Something has to go then. But what? (shrink)
Can agents rationally inquire into things that they know? On my view, the answer is yes. Call this view the Compatibility Thesis. One challenge to this thesis is to explain why assertions like “I know that p, but I’m wondering whether p” sound odd, if not Moore-Paradoxical. In response to this challenge, I argue that we can reject one or both premises that give rise to it. First, we can deny that inquiry requires interrogative attitudes. Second, we can deny the (...) ignorance norm, on which agents are not permitted to both know and have interrogative attitudes, such as wondering. I argue that there are compelling reasons to deny the former and reasons to question the latter. Both options pave the way for further work on further inquiry. (shrink)
What José Luis Bermúdez calls the paradox of self-consciousness is essentially the conflict between two claims: (1) The capacity to use first-personal referential devices like “I” must be explained in terms of the capacity to think first-person thoughts. (2) The only way to explain the capacity for having a certain kind of thought is by explaining the capacity for the canonical linguistic expression of thoughts of that kind. (Bermúdez calls this the “Thought-Language Principle”.) The conflict between (1) and (2) is (...) obvious enough. However, if a paradox is an unacceptable conclusion drawn from apparently valid reasoning from apparently true premises, then Bermúdez’s conflict is no paradox. It is rather a conflict between the view that thought must be explained in terms of language, and the view that first person linguistic reference must be explained in terms of first-person thought. Neither view is immediately obvious, and nor is it obvious that the arguments for either are equally compelling. What we have here is a difference of philosophical opinion, not a paradox. (shrink)
Our evidence can be about different subject matters. In fact, necessarily equivalent pieces of evidence can be about different subject matters. Does the hyperintensionality of ‘aboutness’ engender any hyperintensionality at the level of rational credence? In this paper, I present a case which seems to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’. In particular, I argue that our intuitive notions of independent evidence and inadmissible evidence are sensitive to aboutness in a hyperintensional way. We are thus left with a paradox. While (...) there is strong reason to think that rational credence cannot make such hyperintensional distinctions, our intuitive judgements about certain cases seem to demand that it does. (shrink)
I distinguish paradoxes and hypodoxes among the conundrums of time travel. I introduce ‘hypodoxes’ as a term for seemingly consistent conundrums that seem to be related to various paradoxes, as the Truth-teller is related to the Liar. In this article, I briefly compare paradoxes and hypodoxes of time travel with Liar paradoxes and Truth-teller hypodoxes. I also discuss Lewis’ treatment of time travel paradoxes, which I characterise as a Laissez Faire theory of time travel. Time (...) travel paradoxes are impossible according to Laissez Faire theories, while it seems hypodoxes are possible. (shrink)
A novel solution to the knowability paradox is proposed based on Kant’s transcendental epistemology. The ‘paradox’ refers to a simple argument from the moderate claim that all truths are knowable to the extreme claim that all truths are known. It is significant because anti-realists have wanted to maintain knowability but reject omniscience. The core of the proposed solution is to concede realism about epistemic statements while maintaining anti-realism about non-epistemic statements. Transcendental epistemology supports such a view by providing for a (...) sharp distinction between how we come to understand and apply epistemic versus non-epistemic concepts, the former through our capacity for a special kind of reflective self-knowledge Kant calls ‘transcendental apperception’. The proposal is a version of restriction strategy: it solves the paradox by restricting the anti-realist’s knowability principle. Restriction strategies have been a common response to the paradox but previous versions face serious difficulties: either they result in a knowability principle too weak to do the work anti-realists want it to, or they succumb to modified forms of the paradox, or they are ad hoc. It is argued that restricting knowability to non-epistemic statements by conceding realism about epistemic statements avoids all versions of the paradox, leaves enough for the anti-realist attack on classical logic, and, with the help of transcendental epistemology, is principled in a way that remains compatible with a thoroughly anti-realist outlook. (shrink)
The liar paradox is still an open philosophical problem. Most contemporary answers to the paradox target the logical principles underlying the reasoning from the liar sentence to the paradoxical conclusion that the liar sentence is both true and false. In contrast to these answers, Buddhist epistemology offers resources to devise a distinctively epistemological approach to the liar paradox. In this paper, I mobilise these resources and argue that the liar sentence is what Buddhist epistemologists call a contradiction with one’s own (...) words. I situate my argument in the works of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti and show how Buddhist epistemology answers the paradox. (shrink)
Sometimes a fact can play a role in a grounding explanation, but the particular content of that fact make no difference to the explanation—any fact would do in its place. I call these facts vacuous grounds. I show that applying the distinction between-vacuous grounds allows us to give a principled solution to Kit Fine and Stephen Kramer’s paradox of ground. This paradox shows that on minimal assumptions about grounding and minimal assumptions about logic, we can show that grounding is reflexive, (...) contra the intuitive character of grounds. I argue that we should never have accepted that grounding is irreflexive in the first place; the intuitions that support the irreflexive intuition plausibly only require that grounding be non-vacuously irreflexive. Fine and Kramer’s paradox relies, essentially, on a case of vacuous grounding and is thus no problem for this account. (shrink)
The coordinated attack scenario and the electronic mail game are two paradoxes of common knowledge. In simple mathematical models of these scenarios, the agents represented by the models can coordinate only if they have common knowledge that they will. As a result, the models predict that the agents will not coordinate in situations where it would be rational to coordinate. I argue that we should resolve this conflict between the models and facts about what it would be rational to (...) do by rejecting common knowledge assumptions implicit in the models. I focus on the assumption that the agents have common knowledge that they are rational, and provide models to show that denying this assumption suffices for a resolution of the paradoxes. I describe how my resolution of the paradoxes fits into a general story about the relationship between rationality in situations involving a single agent and rationality in situations involving many agents. (shrink)
Saying that x is ineffable seems to be paradoxical – either I cannot say anything about x, not even that it is ineffable – or I can say that it is ineffable, but then I can say something and it is not ineffable. In this article, I discuss Alston’s version of the paradox and a solution proposed by Hick which employs the concept of formal and substantial predicates. I reject Hick’s proposal and develop a different account based on some passages (...) from Pseudo-Dionysius’ Mystica Theologia. ‘God is ineffable’ is a metalinguistic statement concerning propositions about God: not all propositions about God are expressible in a human language. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the paradox of decrease. Its aim is to defend the answer to this puzzle that was propounded by its originator, namely, the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus. The main trouble with this answer to the paradox is that it has the seemingly problematic implication that a material thing could perish due merely to extrinsic change. It follows that in order to defend Chrysippus’ answer to the paradox, one has to explain how it could be that Theon is (...) destroyed by the amputation without changing intrinsically. In this paper, I shall answer this challenge by appealing to the broadly Aristotelian idea that at least some of the proper parts of a material substance are ontologically dependent on that substance. I will also appeal to this idea in order to offer a new solution to the structurally similar paradox of increase. In this way, we will end up with a unified solution to two structurally similar paradoxes. (shrink)
In a series of articles, Dan Lopez De Sa and Elia Zardini argue that several theorists have recently employed instances of paradoxical reasoning, while failing to see its problematic nature because it does not immediately (or obviously) yield inconsistency. In contrast, Lopez De Sa and Zardini claim that resultant inconsistency is not a necessary condition for paradoxicality. It is our contention that, even given their broader understanding of paradox, their arguments fail to undermine the instances of reasoning they attack, either (...) because they fail to see everything that is at work in that reasoning, or because they misunderstand what it is that the reasoning aims to show. (shrink)
I present a paradoxical combination of desires. I show why it's paradoxical, and consider ways of responding. The paradox saddles us with an unappealing trilemma: either we reject the possibility of the case by placing surprising restrictions on what we can desire, or we deny plausibly constitutive principles linking desires to the conditions under which they are satisfied, or we revise some bit of classical logic. I argue that denying the possibility of the case is unmotivated on any reasonable way (...) of thinking about mental content, and rejecting those desire-satisfaction principles leads to revenge paradoxes. So the best response is a non-classical one, according to which certain desires are neither determinately satisfied nor determinately not satisfied. Thus, theorizing about paradoxical propositional attitudes helps constrain the space of possibilities for adequate solutions to semantic paradoxes more generally. (shrink)
Smith argues that, unlike other forms of evidence, naked statistical evidence fails to satisfy normic support. This is his solution to the puzzles of statistical evidence in legal proof. This paper focuses on Smith’s claim that DNA evidence in cold-hit cases does not satisfy normic support. I argue that if this claim is correct, virtually no other form of evidence used at trial can satisfy normic support. This is troublesome. I discuss a few ways in which Smith can respond.
This article examines the prisoner's dilemma paradox and argues that confessing is the rational choice, despite this probably entailing a less-than-ideal outcome.
To counter a general belief that all the paradoxes stem from a kind of circularity (or involve some self--reference, or use a diagonal argument) Stephen Yablo designed a paradox in 1993 that seemingly avoided self--reference. We turn Yablo's paradox, the most challenging paradox in the recent years, into a genuine mathematical theorem in Linear Temporal Logic (LTL). Indeed, Yablo's paradox comes in several varieties; and he showed in 2004 that there are other versions that are equally paradoxical. Formalizing these (...) versions of Yablo's paradox, we prove some theorems in LTL. This is the first time that Yablo's paradox(es) become new(ly discovered) theorems in mathematics and logic. (shrink)
Given any proposition, is it possible to have rationally acceptable attitudes towards it? Absent reasons to the contrary, one would probably think that this should be possible. In this paper I provide a reason to the contrary. There is a proposition such that, if one has any opinions about it at all, one will have a rationally unacceptable set of propositional attitudes—or if one doesn’t, one will end up being cognitively imperfect in some other manner. The proposition I am concerned (...) with is a self-referential propositional attitude ascription involving the propositional attitude of rejection. Given a basic assumption about what constitutes irrationality, and a few assumptions about the nature of cognitively ideal agents, a paradox results. This paradox is superficially like the Liar, but it is importantly different in that no alethic notions are involved at all. As such, it stands independent of the Liar and is not a ‘revenge’ version of it. After setting out the paradox I discuss possible responses. After considering several I argue that one is best off simply accepting that the paradox shows us something surprising and interesting about rationality: that some cognitive shortfall is unavoidable even for ideal agents. I argue that nothing disastrous follows from accepting this conclusion. (shrink)
I present a new argument for the repugnant conclusion. The core of the argument is a risky, intrapersonal analogue of the mere addition paradox. The argument is important for three reasons. First, some solutions to Parfit’s original puzzle do not obviously generalize to the intrapersonal puzzle in a plausible way. Second, it raises independently important questions about how to make decisions under uncertainty for the sake of people whose existence might depend on what we do. And, third, it suggests various (...) difficulties for leading views about the value of a person’s life compared to her nonexistence. (shrink)
Paradoxes have played an important role both in philosophy and in mathematics and paradox resolution is an important topic in both fields. Paradox resolution is deeply important because if such resolution cannot be achieved, we are threatened with the charge of debilitating irrationality. This is supposed to be the case for the following reason. Paradoxes consist of jointly contradictory sets of statements that are individually plausible or believable. These facts about paradoxes then give rise to a deeply (...) troubling epistemic problem. Specifically, if one believes all of the constitutive propositions that make up a paradox, then one is apparently committed to belief in every proposition. This is the result of the principle of classical logical known as ex contradictione (sequitur) quodlibetthat anything and everything follows from a contradiction, and the plausible idea that belief is closed under logical or material implication (i.e. the epistemic closure principle). But, it is manifestly and profoundly irrational to believe every proposition and so the presence of even one contradiction in one’s doxa appears to result in what seems to be total irrationality. This problem is the problem of paradox-induced explosion. In this paper it will be argued that in many cases this problem can plausibly be avoided in a purely epistemic manner, without having either to resort to non-classical logics for belief (e.g. paraconsistent logics) or to the denial of the standard closure principle for beliefs. The manner in which this result can be achieved depends on drawing an important distinction between the propositional attitude of belief and the weaker attitude of acceptance such that paradox constituting propositions are accepted but not believed. Paradox-induced explosion is then avoided by noting that while belief may well be closed under material implication or even under logical implication, these sorts of weaker commitments are not subject to closure principles of those sorts. So, this possibility provides us with a less radical way to deal with the existence of paradoxes and it preserves the idea that intelligent agents can actually entertain paradoxes. (shrink)
It is widely accepted that there is what has been called a non-hypocrisy norm on the appropriateness of moral blame; roughly, one has standing to blame only if one is not guilty of the very offence one seeks to criticize. Our acceptance of this norm is embodied in the common retort to criticism, “Who are you to blame me?”. But there is a paradox lurking behind this commonplace norm. If it is always inappropriate for x to blame y for a (...) wrong that x has committed, then all cases in which x blames x (i.e. cases of self-blame) are rendered inappropriate. But it seems to be ethical common-sense that we are often, sadly, in position (indeed, excellent, privileged position) to blame ourselves for our own moral failings. And thus we have a paradox: a conflict between the inappropriateness of hypocritical blame, and the appropriateness of self-blame. We consider several ways of resolving the paradox, and contend none is as defensible as a position that simply accepts it: we should never blame ourselves. In defending this startling position, we defend a crucial distinction between self-blame and guilt. (shrink)
Conscientious objection in health care is a form of compromise whereby health care practitioners can refuse to take part in safe, legal, and beneficial medical procedures to which they have a moral opposition (for instance abortion). Arguments in defense of conscientious objection in medicine are usually based on the value of respect for the moral integrity of practitioners. I will show that philosophical arguments in defense of conscientious objection based on respect for such moral integrity are extremely weak and, if (...) taken seriously, lead to consequences that we would not (and should not) accept. I then propose that the best philosophical argument that defenders of conscientious objection in medicine can consistently deploy is one that appeals to (some form of) either moral relativism or subjectivism. I suggest that, unless either moral relativism or subjectivism is a valid theory—which is exactly what many defenders of conscientious objection (as well as many others) do not think—the role of moral integrity and conscientious objection in health care should be significantly downplayed and left out of the range of ethically relevant considerations. (shrink)
I use the principle of truth-maker maximalism to provide a new solution to the semantic paradoxes. According to the solution, AUS, its undecidable whether paradoxical sentences are grounded or ungrounded. From this it follows that their alethic status is undecidable. We cannot assert, in principle, whether paradoxical sentences are true, false, either true or false, neither true nor false, both true and false, and so on. AUS involves no ad hoc modification of logic, denial of the T-schema's validity, or (...) obvious revenge. (shrink)
Expressivists explain the expression relation which obtains between sincere moral assertion and the conative or affective attitude thereby expressed by appeal to the relation which obtains between sincere assertion and belief. In fact, they often explicitly take the relation between moral assertion and their favored conative or affective attitude to be exactly the same as the relation between assertion and the belief thereby expressed. If this is correct, then we can use the identity of the expression relation in the two (...) cases to test the expressivist account as a descriptive or hermeneutic account of moral discourse. I formulate one such test, drawing on a standard explanation of Moore's paradox. I show that if expressivism is correct as a descriptive account of moral discourse, then we should expect versions of Moore's paradox where we explicitly deny that we possess certain affective or conative attitudes. I then argue that the constructions that mirror Moore's paradox are not incoherent. It follows that expressivism is either incorrect as a hermeneutic account of moral discourse or that the expression relation which holds between sincere moral assertion and affective or conative attitudes is not identical to the relation which holds between sincere non-moral assertion and belief. A number of objections are canvassed and rejected. (shrink)
How can we think or say what is not? If we equate what-is-not with nothing, then a thought of nothing is no thought at all; if we don’t, we are condemned to admit that what-is-not is, seemingly incurring in self-refutation. In this paper, I address this paradox through the lenses of Parmenides, Plato, Russell, and the early Wittgenstein.
Most paradoxes of self-reference have a dual or ‘hypodox’. The Liar paradox (Lr = ‘Lr is false’) has the Truth-Teller (Tt = ‘Tt is true’). Russell’s paradox, which involves the set of sets that are not self-membered, has a dual involving the set of sets which are self-membered, etc. It is widely believed that these duals are not paradoxical or at least not as paradoxical as the paradoxes of which they are duals. In this paper, I argue that (...) some paradox’s duals or hypodoxes are as paradoxical as the paradoxes of which they are duals, and that they raise neglected and interestingly different problems. I first focus on Richard’s paradox (arguably the simplest case of a paradoxical dual), showing both that its dual is as paradoxical as Richard’s paradox itself, and that the classical, Richard-Poincaré solution to the latter does not generalize to the former in any obvious way. I then argue that my argument applies mutatis mutandis to other paradoxes of self-reference as well, the dual of the Liar (the Truth-Teller) proving paradoxical. (shrink)
Any theory of truth must find a way around Curry’s paradox, and there are well-known ways to do so. This paper concerns an apparently analogous paradox, about validity rather than truth, which JC Beall and Julien Murzi call the v-Curry. They argue that there are reasons to want a common solution to it and the standard Curry paradox, and that this rules out the solutions to the latter offered by most “naive truth theorists.” To this end they recommend a radical (...) solution to both paradoxes, involving a substructural logic, in particular, one without structural contraction. In this paper I argue that substructuralism is unnecessary. Diagnosing the “v-Curry” is complicated because of a multiplicity of readings of the principles it relies on. But these principles are not analogous to the principles of naive truth, and taken together, there is no reading of them that should have much appeal to anyone who has absorbed the morals of both the ordinary Curry paradox and the second incompleteness theorem. (shrink)
The present work outlines a logical and philosophical conception of propositions in relation to a group of puzzles that arise by quantifying over them: the Russell-Myhill paradox, the Prior-Kaplan paradox, and Prior's Theorem. I begin by motivating an interpretation of Russell-Myhill as depending on aboutness, which constrains the notion of propositional identity. I discuss two formalizations of of the paradox, showing that it does not depend on the syntax of propositional variables. I then extend to propositions a modal predicative response (...) to the paradoxes articulated by an abstraction principle for propositions. On this conception, propositions are “shadows” of the sentences that express them. Modal operators are used to uncover the implicit relation of dependence that characterizes propositions that are about propositions. The benefits of this approach are shown by application to other intensional puzzles. The resulting view is an alternative to the plenitudinous metaphysics of impredicative comprehension principles. (shrink)
Why can testimony alone be enough for findings of liability? Why statistical evidence alone can’t? These questions underpin the “Proof Paradox” (Redmayne 2008, Enoch et al. 2012). Many epistemologists have attempted to explain this paradox from a purely epistemic perspective. I call it the “Epistemic Project”. In this paper, I take a step back from this recent trend. Stemming from considerations about the nature and role of standards of proof, I define three requirements that any successful account in line with (...) the Epistemic Project should meet. I then consider three recent epistemic accounts on which the standard is met when the evidence rules out modal risk (Pritchard 2018), normic risk (Ebert et al. 2020), or relevant alternatives (Gardiner 2019 2020). I argue that none of these accounts meets all the requirements. Finally, I offer reasons to be pessimistic about the prospects of having a successful epistemic explanation of the paradox. I suggest the discussion on the proof paradox would benefit from undergoing a ‘value-turn’. (shrink)
Most theories of suspense implicitly or explicitly have as a background assumption what I call suspense realism, i.e., that suspense is itself a genuine, distinct emotion. I claim that for a theory of suspense to entail suspense realism is for that theory to entail a contradiction, and so, we ought instead assume a background of suspense eliminativism, i.e., that there is no such genuine, distinct emotion that is the emotion of suspense. More precisely, I argue that i) any suspense realist (...) (...) theory must resolve the paradox of suspense, ii) if suspense is itself a genuine, distinct emotion, then in order to resolve the paradox of suspense it must be a radically sui generis genuine, distinct emotion, iii) according to any minimally adequate theory of the emotions, there can be no radically sui generis emotion, and so iv) there can be no genuine, distinct emotion that is the emotion of suspense. Quite simply, if a theory of suspense must entail suspense realism, then we ought to be eliminativists about suspense. This I call the Paradox of Suspense Realism, which I take to constitute a productive viability condition for any theory of suspense, i.e., any viable theory of suspense must be mutatis mutandis compatible with suspense eliminativism. (shrink)
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