The subject of my article is the principle of characterization – the most controversial principle of Meinong’s Theory of Objects. The aim of this text is twofold. First of all, I would like to show that Russell’s well-known objection to Meinong’s Theory of Objects can be reformulated against a new modal interpretation of Meinongianism that is presented mostly by Graham Priest. Secondly, I would like to propose a strategy which gives uncontroversial restriction to the principle of characterization and which allows (...) to avoid Russell’s argument. The strategy is based on the distinction between object- and metalanguage, and it applies to modal Meinongianism as well as to other so-called Meinongian theories. (shrink)
outrageous remarks about contradictions. Perhaps the most striking remark he makes is that they are not false. This claim first appears in his early notebooks (Wittgenstein 1960, p.108). In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein argued that contradictions (like tautologies) are not statements (Sätze) and hence are not false (or true). This is a consequence of his theory that genuine statements are pictures.
People with the kind of preferences that give rise to the St. Petersburg paradox are problematic---but not because there is anything wrong with infinite utilities. Rather, such people cannot assign the St. Petersburg gamble any value that any kind of outcome could possibly have. Their preferences also violate an infinitary generalization of Savage's Sure Thing Principle, which we call the *Countable Sure Thing Principle*, as well as an infinitary generalization of von Neumann and Morgenstern's Independence axiom, which we call (...) *Countable Independence*. In violating these principles, they display foibles like those of people who deviate from standard expected utility theory in more mundane cases: they choose dominated strategies, pay to avoid information, and reject expert advice. We precisely characterize the preference relations that satisfy Countable Independence in several equivalent ways: a structural constraint on preferences, a representation theorem, and the principle we began with, that every prospect has a value that some outcome could have. (shrink)
Could space consist entirely of extended regions, without any regions shaped like points, lines, or surfaces? Peter Forrest and Frank Arntzenius have independently raised a paradox of size for space like this, drawing on a construction of Cantor’s. I present a new version of this argument and explore possible lines of response.
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)
Russell’s initial project in philosophy (1898) was to make mathematics rigorous reducing it to logic. Before August 1900, however, Russell’s logic was nothing but mereology. First, his acquaintance with Peano’s ideas in August 1900 led him to discard the part-whole logic and accept a kind of intensional predicate logic instead. Among other things, the predicate logic helped Russell embrace a technique of treating the paradox of infinite numbers with the help of a singular concept, which he called ‘denoting phrase’. (...) Unfortunately, a new paradox emerged soon: that of classes. The main contention of this paper is that Russell’s new conception only transferred the paradox of infinity from the realm of infinite numbers to that of class-inclusion. Russell’s long-elaborated solution to his paradox developed between 1905 and 1908 was nothing but to set aside of some of the ideas he adopted with his turn of August 1900: (i) With the Theory of Descriptions, he reintroduced the complexes we are acquainted with in logic. In this way, he partly restored the pre-August 1900 mereology of complexes and simples. (ii) The elimination of classes, with the help of the ‘substitutional theory’, and of propositions, by means of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgment, completed this process. (shrink)
I have two aims in this paper. In §§2-4 I contend that Moore has two arguments (not one) for the view that that ‘good’ denotes a non-natural property not to be identified with the naturalistic properties of science and common sense (or, for that matter, the more exotic properties posited by metaphysicians and theologians). The first argument, the Barren Tautology Argument (or the BTA), is derived, via Sidgwick, from a long tradition of anti-naturalist polemic. But the second argument, the Open (...) Question Argument proper (or the OQA), seems to have been Moore’s own invention and was probably devised to deal with naturalistic theories, such as Russell’s, which are immune to the Barren Tautology Argument. The OQA is valid and not (as Frankena (1939) has alleged) question-begging. Moreover, if its premises were true, it would have disposed of the desire-to-desire theory. But as I explain in §5, from 1970 onwards, two key premises of the OQA were successively called into question, the one because philosophers came to believe in synthetic identities between properties and the other because it led to the Paradox of Analysis. By 1989 a philosopher like Lewis could put forward precisely the kind of theory that Moore professed to have refuted with a clean intellectual conscience. However, in §§6-8 I shall argue that all is not lost for the OQA. I first press an objection to the desire-to-desire theory derived from Kripke’s famous epistemic argument. On reflection this argument looks uncannily like the OQA. But the premise on which it relies is weaker than the one that betrayed Moore by leading to the Paradox of Analysis. This suggests three conclusions: 1) that the desire-to-desire theory is false; 2) that the OQA can be revived, albeit in a modified form; and 3) that the revived OQA poses a serious threat to what might be called semantic naturalism. (shrink)
Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox of phenomenal judgment: if epiphenomenalism is true—qualia are causally inefficacious—then (...) any judgment concerning qualia, including epiphenomenalism itself, cannot be caused by qualia. For many writers, including Hawthorne (Philos Perspect 15:361–378, 2001), Smart (J Conscious Stud 11(2):41–50, 2004), and Braddon-Mitchell and Jackson (The philosophy of mind and cognition, Blackwell, Malden, 2007), Russellian monism faces the same paradox as epiphenomenalism does. I will assess Chalmers’s (The conscious mind: in search of a fundamental theory. Oxford University Press, New York, 1996) and Seager’s (in: Beckermann A, McLaughlin BP (eds) The Oxford handbook of philosophy of mind. Oxford University Press, New York, 2009) defences of Russellian monism against the paradox, and will put forward a novel argument against those defences. (shrink)
Some hold that the lesson of Russell’s paradox and its relatives is that mathematical reality does not form a ‘definite totality’ but rather is ‘indefinitely extensible’. There can always be more sets than there ever are. I argue that certain contact puzzles are analogous to Russell’s paradox this way: they similarly motivate a vision of physical reality as iteratively generated. In this picture, the divisions of the continuum into smaller parts are ‘potential’ rather than ‘actual’. Besides the intrinsic (...) interest of this metaphysical picture, it has important consequences for the debate over absolute generality. It is often thought that ‘indefinite extensibility’ arguments at best make trouble for mathematical platonists; but the contact arguments show that nominalists face the same kind of difficulty, if they recognize even the metaphysical possibility of the picture I sketch. (shrink)
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)
We prove a representation theorem for preference relations over countably infinite lotteries that satisfy a generalized form of the Independence axiom, without assuming Continuity. The representing space consists of lexicographically ordered transfinite sequences of bounded real numbers. This result is generalized to preference orders on abstract superconvex spaces.
I present and discuss three previously unpublished manuscripts written by Bertrand Russell in 1903, not included with similar manuscripts in Volume 4 of his Collected Papers. One is a one-page list of basic principles for his “functional theory” of May 1903, in which Russell partly anticipated the later Lambda Calculus. The next, catalogued under the title “Proof That No Function Takes All Values”, largely explores the status of Cantor’s proof that there is no greatest cardinal number in the variation of (...) the functional theory holding that only some but not all complexes can be analyzed into function and argument. The final manuscript, “Meaning and Denotation”, examines how his pre-1905 distinction between meaning and denotation is to be understood with respect to functions and their arguments. In them, Russell seems to endorse an extensional view of functions not endorsed in other works prior to the 1920s. All three manuscripts illustrate the close connection between his work on the logical paradoxes and his work on the theory of meaning. (shrink)
Book synopsis: Held every five years under the auspices of the Kant-Gesellschaft, the International Kant Congress is the world’s largest philosophy conference devoted to the work and legacy of a single thinker. The five-volume set Kant and Philosophy in a Cosmopolitan Sense contains the proceedings of the Eleventh International Kant Congress, which took place in Pisa in 2010. The proceedings consist of 25 plenary talks and 341 papers selected by a team of international referees from over 700 submissions. The contributions (...) span 14 sections: Kant’s Concept of Philosophy; Theory of Cognition and Logic; Ontology and Metaphysics; Ethics; Law and Justice; Religion and Theology; Aesthetics; Anthropology and Psychology; Politics and History; Science, Mathematics, and the Philosophy of Nature; Kant and the Leibnizian Tradition; Kant and the Philosophical Tradition; Kant and Schopenhauer; and Kant’s Heritage. Thanks to cooperation from the Schopenhauer Gesellschaft, the 2010 conference was the first in the history of the International Kant Congress to include a session on Kant and Schopenhauer. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: This paper discusses ancient versions of paradoxes today classified as paradoxes of presupposition and how their ancient solutions compare with contemporary ones. Sections 1-4 air ancient evidence for the Fallacy of Complex Question and suggested solutions, introduce the Horn Paradox, consider its authorship and contemporary solutions. Section 5 reconstructs the Stoic solution, suggesting the Stoics produced a Russellian-type solution based on a hidden scope ambiguity of negation. The difference to Russell's explanation of definite descriptions is that in the (...) Horn Paradox the Stoics uncovered a hidden conjunction rather than a hidden existential sentence. Sections 6 and 7 investigate hidden ambiguities in 'to have' and 'to lose' (including inalienable and alienable possession) and ambiguities of quantification based on substitution of indefinite plural expressions for indefinite or anaphoric pronouns, and Stoic awareness of these. Section 8 considers metaphorical readings and allusions that add further spice to the paradox. (shrink)
According to Russell, the notation in Principia Mathematica has been designed to avoid the vagueness endemic to our natural language. But what does Russell think vagueness is? My argument is an attempt to show that his views on vagueness evolved and that the final conception he adopts is not coherent. Three phases of his conception of vagueness are identified, the most significant being the view that he articulates on vagueness in his 1923 address to the Jowett Society. My central thesis (...) is that the 1912 conception of vagueness -- what I characterize as "semantic egalitarianism" -- seriously conflicts with the later paradoxical account of vagueness. (shrink)
In this paper I consider two paradoxes that arise in connection with the concept of demonstrability, or absolute provability. I assume—for the sake of the argument—that there is an intuitive notion of demonstrability, which should not be conflated with the concept of formal deducibility in a (formal) system or the relativized concept of provability from certain axioms. Demonstrability is an epistemic concept: the rough idea is that a sentence is demonstrable if it is provable from knowable basic (“self-evident”) premises by (...) means of simple logical steps. A statement that is demonstrable is also knowable and a statement that is actually demonstrated is known to be true. By casting doubt upon apparently central principles governing the concept of demonstrability, the paradoxes of demonstrability presented here tend to undermine the concept itself—or at least our understanding of it. As long as we cannot find a diagnosis and a cure for the paradoxes, it seems that the coherence of the concepts of demonstrability and demonstrable knowledge are put in question. There are of course ways of putting the paradoxes in quarantine, for example by imposing a hierarchy of languages a` la Tarski, or a ramified hierarchy of propositions and propositional functions a` la Russell. These measures, however, helpful as they may be in avoiding contradictions, do not seem to solve the underlying conceptual problems. Although structurally similar to the semantic paradoxes, the paradoxes discussed in this paper involve epistemic notions: “demonstrability”, “knowability”, “knowledge”... These notions are “factive” (e.g., if A is demonstrable, then A is true), but similar paradoxes arise in connection with “nonfactive” notions like “believes”, “says”, “asserts”.3 There is no consensus in the literature concerning the analysis of the notions involved—often referred to as “propositional attitudes”—or concerning the treatment of the paradoxes they give rise to. (shrink)
The main objective of this paper is to examine how theories of truth and reference that are in a broad sense Fregean in character are threatened by antinomies; in particular by the Epimenides paradox and versions of the so-called Russell-Myhill antinomy, an intensional analogue of Russell’s more well-known paradox for extensions. Frege’s ontology of propositions and senses has recently received renewed interest in connection with minimalist theories that take propositions (thoughts) and senses (concepts) as the primary bearers of (...) truth and reference. In this paper, I will present a rigorous version of Frege’s theory of sense and denotation and show that it leads to antinomies. I am also going to discuss ways of modifying Frege’s semantical and ontological framework in order to avoid the paradoxes. In this connection, I explore the possibility of giving up the Fregean assumption of a universal domain of absolutely all objects, containing in addition to extensional objects also abstract intensional ones like propositions and singular concepts. I outline a cumulative hierarchy of Fregean propositions and senses, in analogy with Gödel’s hierarchy of constructible sets. In this hierarchy, there is no domain of all objects. Instead, every domain of objects is extendible with new objects that, on pain of contradiction, cannot belong to the given domain. According to this approach, there is no domain containing absolutely all propositions or absolutely all senses. (shrink)
It seems that the most common strategy to solve the liar paradox is to argue that liar sentences are meaningless and, consequently, truth-valueless. The other main option that has grown in recent years is the dialetheist view that treats liar sentences as meaningful, truth-apt and true. In this paper I will offer a new approach that does not belong in either camp. I hope to show that liar sentences can be interpreted as meaningful, truth-apt and false, but without engendering (...) any contradiction. This seemingly impossible task can be accomplished once the semantic structure of the liar sentence is unpacked by a quantified analysis. The paper will be divided in two sections. In the first section, I present the independent reasons that motivate the quantificational strategy and how it works in the liar sentence. In the second section, I explain how this quantificational analysis allows us to explain the truth teller sentence and a counter-example advanced against truthmaker maximalism, and deal with some potential objections. (shrink)
DEFINING OUR TERMS A “paradox" is an argumentation that appears to deduce a conclusion believed to be false from premises believed to be true. An “inconsistency proof for a theory" is an argumentation that actually deduces a negation of a theorem of the theory from premises that are all theorems of the theory. An “indirect proof of the negation of a hypothesis" is an argumentation that actually deduces a conclusion known to be false from the hypothesis alone or, more (...) commonly, from the hypothesis augmented by a set of premises known to be true. A “direct proof of a hypothesis" is an argumentation that actually deduces the hypothesis itself from premises known to be true. Since `appears', `believes' and `knows' all make elliptical reference to a participant, it is clear that `paradox', `indirect proof' and `direct proof' are all participant-relative. PARTICIPANT RELATIVITY In normal mathematical writing the participant is presumed to be “the community of mathematicians" or some more or less well-defined subcommunity and, therefore, omission of explicit reference to the participant is often warranted. However, in historical, critical, or philosophical writing focused on emerging branches of mathematics such omission often invites confusion. One and the same argumentation has been a paradox for one mathematician, an inconsistency proof for another, and an indirect proof to a third. One and the same argumentation-text can appear to one mathematician to express an indirect proof while appearing to another mathematician to express a direct proof. WHAT IS A PARADOX’S SOLUTION? Of the above four sorts of argumentation only the paradox invites “solution" or “resolution", and ordinarily this is to be accomplished either by discovering a logical fallacy in the “reasoning" of the argumentation or by discovering that the conclusion is not really false or by discovering that one of the premises is not really true. Resolution of a paradox by a participant amounts to reclassifying a formerly paradoxical argumentation either as a “fallacy", as a direct proof of its conclusion, as an indirect proof of the negation of one of its premises, as an inconsistency proof, or as something else depending on the participant's state of knowledge or belief. This illustrates why an argumentation which is a paradox to a given mathematician at a given time may well not be a paradox to the same mathematician at a later time. -/- The present article considers several set-theoretic argumentations that appeared in the period 1903-1908. The year 1903 saw the publication of B. Russell's Principles of mathematics, [Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1903; Jbuch 34, 62]. The year 1908 saw the publication of Russell's article on type theory as well as Ernst Zermelo's two watershed articles on the axiom of choice and the foundations of set theory. The argumentations discussed concern “the largest cardinal", “the largest ordinal", the well-ordering principle, “the well-ordering of the continuum", denumerability of ordinals and denumerability of reals. The article shows that these argumentations were variously classified by various mathematicians and that the surrounding atmosphere was one of confusion and misunderstanding, partly as a result of failure to make or to heed distinctions similar to those made above. The article implies that historians have made the situation worse by not observing or not analysing the nature of the confusion. -/- RECOMMENDATION This well-written and well-documented article exemplifies the fact that clarification of history can be achieved through articulation of distinctions that had not been articulated (or were not being heeded) at the time. The article presupposes extensive knowledge of the history of mathematics, of mathematics itself (especially set theory) and of philosophy. It is therefore not to be recommended for casual reading. AFTERWORD: This review was written at the same time Corcoran was writing his signature “Argumentations and logic”[249] that covers much of the same ground in much more detail. https://www.academia.edu/14089432/Argumentations_and_Logic . (shrink)
Book synopsis: This volume is a collection of papers selected from those presented at the 5th International Conference on Philosophy sponsored by the Athens Institute for Research and Education (ATINER), held in Athens, Greece at the St. George Lycabettus Hotel, June 2010. Held annually, this conference provides a singular opportunity for philosophers from all over the world to meet and share ideas with the aim of expanding our understanding of our discipline. Over the course of the conference, sixty papers were (...) presented. The twenty-eight papers (one of which was originally presented in 2009) in this volume were selected for inclusion after a process of review by at least two of the editors and reviewers. We have organized the volume along traditional lines. This should not, however, mislead a reader into supposing that the topics or approacher to problems fall neatly into traditional categories. The selection of papers chosen for inclusion gives some sense of the variety of topics addressed at the conference. However, it would be impossible in an edited volume to ensure coverage of the full extent of diversity of the subject matter and approaches brought to the conference itself by the participants, some of whom could not travel to one another's home countries without enormous difficulty. (shrink)
I argue that absolutism, the view that absolutely unrestricted quantification is possible, is to blame for both the paradoxes that arise in naive set theory and variants of these paradoxes that arise in plural logic and in semantics. The solution is restrictivism, the view that absolutely unrestricted quantification is not possible. -/- It is generally thought that absolutism is true and that restrictivism is not only false, but inexpressible. As a result, the paradoxes are blamed, not on illicit quantification, but (...) on the logical conception of set which motivates naive set theory. The accepted solution is to replace this with the iterative conception of set. -/- I show that this picture is doubly mistaken. After a close examination of the paradoxes in chapters 2--3, I argue in chapters 4 and 5 that it is possible to rescue naive set theory by restricting quantification over sets and that the resulting restrictivist set theory is expressible. In chapters 6 and 7, I argue that it is the iterative conception of set and the thesis of absolutism that should be rejected. (shrink)
CORCORAN RECOMMENDS COCCHIARELLA ON TYPE THEORY. The 1983 review in Mathematical Reviews 83e:03005 of: Cocchiarella, Nino “The development of the theory of logical types and the notion of a logical subject in Russell's early philosophy: Bertrand Russell's early philosophy, Part I”. Synthese 45 (1980), no. 1, 71-115 .
Throughout this paper my objective will be to establish and clarify Hume's original intentions in his discussion of causation in Book I of the Treatise. I will show that Hume's views on ontology, presented in Part IV of that book, shed light on his views on causation as presented in Part III. Further, I will argue that Hume's views on ontology account for the original motivation behind his two definitions of 2 cause. This relationship between Hume's ontology and his account (...) of causation explains something which has baffled Hume scholars for some time,- namely, why does Hume's discussion of causation in I, iii, 14 have such a paradoxical air about it? I will show that Hume's views on causation have a paradoxical air about them because they rest on an ontology of "double existence" - an ontology which Hume describes as the monstrous offspring of two principles, which are contrary to each other, which are both at once embrac'd by the mind, and which are unable mutually to destroy each other (T 215) My interpretation will centre on the following two claims: (i) When Hume wrote Section 14, Of the idea of necessary connexion, he was primarily concerned to attack the view that the origin of our idea of necessity was to be discovered in the operations of matter or bodies. Of the suggested sources from which our idea of necessity could be thought to originate this is the source which, initially, interested Hume the most. It is, therefore, of great importance that we interpret Hume's remarks in light of this fact. (ii) Hume offers the first definition of cause as an account of causation as it exists in the material world independent of our thought and reasoning.He offers the second definition as an account of causation as we find it in our perceptions. It will also be argued, in this context, that necessity constitutes "an essential part" of both of Hume's two definitions of cause. (shrink)
A paradox, according to Wittgenstein, is something surprising that is taken out of its context. Thus, one way of dealing with paradoxical sentences is to imagine the missing context of use. Wittgenstein formulates what I call the paradigm paradox: ‘one sentence can never describe the paradigm in another, unless it ceases to be a paradigm.’ (PG, p.346) There are several instances of this paradox scattered throughout Wittgenstein’s writings. I argue that this paradox is structurally equivalent to (...) Russell’s paradox. The above quotation is Wittgenstein’s version of the vicious circle principle which counteracts the paradox. The prohibition Wittgenstein describes is, however, limited to a certain language-game. Finally, I argue that there is a structural analogy between a noun being employed as a self-membered set and a paradigmatic sample being included in or excluded from the set it generates. Paradoxical sentences are not prohibited forever; they can indicate a change in our praxis with a given paradigm. (shrink)
John Turri gives an example that he thinks refutes what he takes to be “G. E. Moore's view” that omissive assertions such as “It is raining but I do not believe that it is raining” are “inherently ‘absurd'”. This is that of Ellie, an eliminativist who makes such assertions. Turri thinks that these are perfectly reasonable and not even absurd. Nor does she seem irrational if the sincerity of her assertion requires her to believe its content. A commissive counterpart of (...) Ellie is Di, a dialetheist who asserts or believes that The Russell set includes itself but I believe that it is not the case that the Russell set includes itself. Since any adequate explanation of Moore's paradox must handle commissive assertions and beliefs as well as omissive ones, it must deal with Di as well as engage Ellie. I give such an explanation. I argue that neither Ellie's assertion nor her belief is irrational yet both are absurd. Likewise neither Di's assertion nor her belief is irrational yet in contrast neither is absurd. I conclude that not all Moore-paradoxical assertions or beliefs are irrational and that the syntax of Moore's examples is not sufficient for the absurdity found in them. (shrink)
Recently Feferman has outlined a program for the development of a foundation for naive category theory. While Ernst has shown that the resulting axiomatic system is still inconsistent, the purpose of this note is to show that nevertheless some foundation has to be developed before naive category theory can replace axiomatic set theory as a foundational theory for mathematics. It is argued that in naive category theory currently a ‘cookbook recipe’ is used for constructing categories, and it is explicitly shown (...) with a formalized argument that this “foundationless” naive category theory therefore contains a paradox similar to the Russell paradox of naive set theory. (shrink)
In Bertrand Russell's 1903 Principles of Mathematics, he offers an apparently devastating criticism of the neo-Kantian Hermann Cohen's Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History (PIM). Russell's criticism is motivated by his concern that Cohen's account of the foundations of calculus saddles mathematics with the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum, and thus threatens the very idea of mathematical truth. This paper defends Cohen against that objection of Russell's, and argues that properly understood, Cohen's views of limits and infinitesimals (...) do not entail the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum. Essential to that defense is an interpretation, developed in the paper, of Cohen's positions in the PIM as deeply rationalist. The interest in developing this interpretation is not just that it reveals how Cohen's views in the PIM avoid the paradoxes of the infinitesimal and continuum. It also reveals some of what is at stake, both historically and philosophically, in Russell's criticism of Cohen. (shrink)
An essay on Wittgenstein's conception of nonsense and its relation to his idea that "logic must take care of itself". I explain how Wittgenstein's theory of symbolism is supposed to resolve Russell's paradox, and I offer an alternative to Cora Diamond's influential account of Wittgenstein's diagnosis of the error in the so-called "natural view" of nonsense.
Aristotle’s words in the Metaphysics: “to say of what is that it is, or of what is not that it is not, is true” are often understood as indicating a correspondence view of truth: a statement is true if it corresponds to something in the world that makes it true. Aristotle’s words can also be interpreted in a deflationary, i.e., metaphysically less loaded, way. According to the latter view, the concept of truth is contained in platitudes like: ‘It is true (...) that snow is white iff snow is white’, ‘It is true that neutrinos have mass iff neutrinos have mass’, etc. Our understanding of the concept of truth is exhausted by these and similar equivalences. This is all there is to truth. In his book Truth (Second edition 1998), Paul Horwich develops minimalism, a special variant of the deflationary view. According to Horwich’s minimalism, truth is an indefinable property of propositions characterized by what he calls the minimal theory, i.e., all (nonparadoxical) propositions of the form: It is true that p if and only if p. Although the idea of minimalism is simple and straightforward, the proper formulation of Horwich’s theory is no simple matter. In this paper, I shall discuss some of the difficulties of a logical nature that arise. First, I discuss problems that arise when we try to give a rigorous characterization of the theory without presupposing a prior understanding of the notion of truth. Next I turn to Horwich’s treatment of the Liar paradox and a paradox about the totality of all propositions that was first formulated by Russell (1903). My conclusion is that Horwich’s minimal theory cannot deal with these difficulties in an adequate way, and that it has to be revised in fundamental ways in order to do so. Once such revisions have been carried out the theory may, however, have lost some of its appealing simplicity. (shrink)
The shape of the egg is proposed to be the consequence of synergistic actions from the transmission of forces derived from instinctual motions and energy matter conversions that act to obstruct the grounding and neutralization of energy emissions by limiting in size the physical domain of self witness. A philosophy and theory associating, atemporal in nature, form and emergence is evolved from logical considerations for the construction of a mathematical/geometrical model of the egg that is generated from a template construed (...) from simple geometrical considerations. The acquisition of instinct as the setting/identity associated propagation of motion to avoid closed space is discussed in relation to cause and effect, the universal attribute of contingency and a special verses general case to describe the world. Analogy is made between the proposed natural transmission of the transparent/conceptual egg form, expressed physically at important nodes in the course of biological propagation to the philosophy of self- belonging of Bertrand Russell. (shrink)
This paper argues that the theory of structured propositions is not undermined by the Russell-Myhill paradox. I develop a theory of structured propositions in which the Russell-Myhill paradox doesn't arise: the theory does not involve ramification or compromises to the underlying logic, but rather rejects common assumptions, encoded in the notation of the $\lambda$-calculus, about what properties and relations can be built. I argue that the structuralist had independent reasons to reject these underlying assumptions. The theory is given (...) both a diagrammatic representation, and a logical representation in a novel language. In the latter half of the paper I turn to some technical questions concerning the treatment of quantification, and demonstrate various equivalences between the diagrammatic and logical representations, and a fragment of the $\lambda$-calculus. (shrink)
Future Logic is an original, and wide-ranging treatise of formal logic. It deals with deduction and induction, of categorical and conditional propositions, involving the natural, temporal, extensional, and logical modalities. Traditional and Modern logic have covered in detail only formal deduction from actual categoricals, or from logical conditionals (conjunctives, hypotheticals, and disjunctives). Deduction from modal categoricals has also been considered, though very vaguely and roughly; whereas deduction from natural, temporal and extensional forms of conditioning has been all but totally ignored. (...) As for induction, apart from the elucidation of adductive processes (the scientific method), almost no formal work has been done. This is the first work ever to strictly formalize the inductive processes of generalization and particularization, through the novel methods of factorial analysis, factor selection and formula revision. This is the first work ever to develop a formal logic of the natural, temporal and extensional types of conditioning (as distinct from logical conditioning), including their production from modal categorical premises. Future Logic contains a great many other new discoveries, organized into a unified, consistent and empirical system, with precise definitions of the various categories and types of modality (including logical modality), and full awareness of the epistemological and ontological issues involved. Though strictly formal, it uses ordinary language, wherever symbols can be avoided. Among its other contributions: a full list of the valid modal syllogisms (which is more restrictive than previous lists); the main formalities of the logic of change (which introduces a dynamic instead of merely static approach to classification); the first formal definitions of the modal types of causality; a new theory of class logic, free of the Russell Paradox; as well as a critical review of modern metalogic. But it is impossible to list briefly all the innovations in logical science — and therefore, epistemology and ontology — this book presents; it has to be read for its scope to be appreciated. (shrink)
A Fortiori Logic: Innovations, History and Assessments is a wide-ranging and in-depth study of a fortiori reasoning, comprising a great many new theoretical insights into such argument, a history of its use and discussion from antiquity to the present day, and critical analyses of the main attempts at its elucidation. Its purpose is nothing less than to lay the foundations for a new branch of logic and greatly develop it; and thus to once and for all dispel the many fallacious (...) ideas circulating regarding the nature of a fortiori reasoning. -/- The work is divided into three parts. The first part, Formalities, presents the author’s largely original theory of a fortiori argument, in all its forms and varieties. Its four (or eight) principal moods are analyzed in great detail and formally validated, and secondary moods are derived from them. A crescendo argument is distinguished from purely a fortiori argument, and similarly analyzed and validated. These argument forms are clearly distinguished from the pro rata and analogical forms of argument. Moreover, we examine the wide range of a fortiori argument; the possibilities of quantifying it; the formal interrelationships of its various moods; and their relationships to syllogistic and analogical reasoning. Although a fortiori argument is shown to be deductive, inductive forms of it are acknowledged and explained. Although a fortiori argument is essentially ontical in character, more specifically logical-epistemic and ethical-legal variants of it are acknowledged. -/- The second part of the work, Ancient and Medieval History, looks into use and discussion of a fortiori argument in Greece and Rome, in the Talmud, among post-Talmudic rabbis, and in Christian, Moslem, Chinese and Indian sources. Aristotle’s approach to a fortiori argument is described and evaluated. There is a thorough analysis of the Mishnaic qal vachomer argument, and a reassessment of the dayo principle relating to it, as well as of the Gemara’s later take on these topics. The valuable contribution, much later, by Moshe Chaim Luzzatto is duly acknowledged. Lists are drawn up of the use of a fortiori argument in the Jewish Bible, the Mishna, the works of Plato and Aristotle, the Christian Bible and the Koran; and the specific moods used are identified. Moreover, there is a pilot study of the use of a fortiori argument in the Gemara, with reference to Rodkinson’s partial edition of the Babylonian Talmud, setting detailed methodological guidelines for a fuller study. There is also a novel, detailed study of logic in general in the Torah. -/- The third part of the present work, Modern and Contemporary Authors, describes and evaluates the work of numerous (some thirty) recent contributors to a fortiori logic, as well as the articles on the subject in certain lexicons. Here, we discover that whereas a few authors in the last century or so made some significant contributions to the field, most of them shot woefully off-target in various ways. The work of each author, whether famous or unknown, is examined in detail in a dedicated chapter, or at least in a section; and his ideas on the subject are carefully weighed. The variety of theories that have been proposed is impressive, and stands witness to the complexity and elusiveness of the subject, and to the crying need for the present critical and integrative study. But whatever the intrinsic value of each work, it must be realized that even errors and lacunae are interesting because they teach us how not to proceed. -/- This book also contains, in a final appendix, some valuable contributions to general logic, including new analyses of symbolization and axiomatization, existential import, the tetralemma, the Liar paradox and the Russell paradox. (shrink)
This essay proposes that metaphysics is best done as lazily as possible, and that a lazy approach, which some would call 'high level', is effective where it means that issues are simplified and unpleasant facts are faced with no wriggling on the hook. It sketches out the solution proposed by Buddhism or more generally mysticism. It suggest that the principle obstacle to a solution for metaphysics is Russell's Paradox, and that it can be overcome.
From my ongoing "Metalogical Plato" project. The aim of the diagram is to make reasonably intuitive how the Socratic elenchos (the logic of refutation applied to candidate formulations of virtues or ruling knowledges) looks and works as a whole structure. This is my starting point in the project, in part because of its great familiarity and arguable claim to being the inauguration of western philosophy; getting this point less wrong would have broad and deep consequences, including for philosophy’s self-understanding. -/- (...) (i.) is the first pass at elenchos in which the Socratic interlocutor does not reflect on knowledge being the crux of the problem. (ii.) is the second, rarer, reflective pass in which they are, making the investigation explicitly about knowledge. Its centrality in the Charmides makes that neglected dialogue of superlative importance. This structure is also the gateway through which the discussion/dialectic crosses into the Agathology (discussion of the form of the good) at Republic 505. -/- The problem of elenchos, then, grasped as a whole structure, is that it seems that knowledge can neither satisfactorily be included in nor excluded from its own scope. The development of the ti esti (“what is ---?”) question leads to the introduction of knowledge into its own scope (i. implicitly, as goodness contrasted with blind rule-following ii. explicitly qua knowledge) while the development of the dual peri tinos (“----about what?) question leads to K’s elimination from its own scope. The introductions are motivated to avoid contradiction, but produce regress; the eliminations are motivated to avoid regress, but produce contradiction. In scholarship, and in the history of philosophy, the ti esti question is universally recognized, to the point of being identified with philosophy’s origin and essence; the peri tinos question is neglected textually and never recognized as the equal dual to the ti esti. This, I claim, has blocked the development of a nontrivial logical appreciation of what Plato's Socrates is up to. (One rather disastrous effect of this neglect is taking Aristotle as the beginning of the development of logic, rather than, correctly, for the beginning of logic’s fatal separation from mathematics and dialectic.) -/- Further, because of this monopticism of the ti esti, the function of consistency in the elenchos has not been understood, even with respect to the ti esti. The ti esti is actually in search of completeness, given a norm of consistency; the peri tinos is in search of consistency, given a norm of completeness. Only appreciating the two questions as dual allows space in the structure to clarify these different orientations relative to consistency. (And, dually, to completeness, whose function in the elenchos is generally entirely missed by scholars and relegated to discussions of eros; it's not out of place there, of course, but its significance is secured here.) Recognizing the duality of the ti esti and peri tinos questions is thus the royal road, in the Socratic-Platonic context, to catching sight of what we post-Cantorians can recognize as the metalogical duality of consistency and completeness. (The salutary disruptive effects of this Plato-Cantor proximity have, of course, been traced in complementary ways by Badiou.) -/- Note that the diagram is supposed to provide a relatively accessible orientation, not to stand on its own, and certainly not to be the last word on any subject. An important qualification (telegraphed in the previous paragraph) is that what elenchos shows is not finally circular or paradoxical, though the problem first presents as such (stubbornly, obdurately, as "difficult" Plato's Socrates always says with characteristic understatement). What is depicted here is meant, at a first pass, to be the shape of that first presentation, the form of the problem of elenchos, rather than of its solution. It's not an accident that this problem strongly resembles "Russell's paradox" (not Russell's not a paradox.) Problem is to solution as RP is to the diagonal theorems. (shrink)
As emphasized by Alonzo Church and David Kaplan (Church 1974, Kaplan 1975), the philosophies of language of Frege and Russell incorporate quite different methods of semantic analysis with different basic concepts and different ontologies. Accordingly we distinguish between a Fregean and a Russellian tradition in intensional semantics. The purpose of this paper is to pursue the Russellian alternative and to provide a language of intensional logic with a model-theoretic semantics. We also discuss the so-called Russell-Myhill paradox that threatens simple (...) Russellian type theory if propositions satisfies very strict principles of individuation. One way of avoiding the paradox is to adopt a ramified rather than a simple theory of types. (shrink)
The paradox of the concept horse has often been taken to be devastating for Frege’s ontological distinction between objects and concepts. I argue that if we consider how the concept-object distinction is supposed to account for the unity of linguistic meaning, it transpires that the paradox is in fact not paradoxical.
It is shown that Russell's Paradox can be solved without advocating the Theory of Types, and also that the Liar's Paradox can be solved in much the same way. Neither solution requires that any of our commonsense-based beliefs be revised, let alone jettisoned. It is also shown that the Theory of Types is false.
Russell’s role in the controversy about the paradoxes of material implication is usually presented as a tale of how even the greatest minds can fall prey of basic conceptual confusions. Quine accused him of making a silly mistake in Principia Mathematica. He interpreted “if-then” as a version of “implies” and called it material implication. Quine’s accusation is that this decision involved a use-mention fallacy because the antecedent and consequent of “if-then” are used instead of being mentioned as the premise and (...) the conclusion of an implication relation. It was his opinion that the criticisms and alternatives to the material implication presented by C. I. Lewis and others would never be made in the first place if Russell simply called the Philonian construction “material conditional” instead of “material implication”. Quine’s interpretation on the topic became hugely influential, if not universally accepted. This paper will present the following criticisms against this interpretation: (1) the notion of material implication does not involve a use-mention fallacy, since the components of “if-then” are mentioned and not used; (2) Quine’s belief that the components of “if-then” are used was motivated by a conditional-assertion view of conditionals that is widely controversial and faces numerous difficulties; (3) the Philonian construction remains counter-intuitive even if it is called “material conditional”; (4) the Philonian construction is more plausible when it is interpreted as a material implication. (shrink)
As is well-known, the formal system in which Frege works in his Grundgesetze der Arithmetik is formally inconsistent, Russell?s Paradox being derivable in it.This system is, except for minor differences, full second-order logic, augmented by a single non-logical axiom, Frege?s Axiom V. It has been known for some time now that the first-order fragment of the theory is consistent. The present paper establishes that both the simple and the ramified predicative second-order fragments are consistent, and that Robinson arithmetic, Q, (...) is relatively interpretable in the simple predicative fragment. The philosophical significance of the result is discussed. (shrink)
In a recent article, P. Roger Turner and Justin Capes argue that no one is, or ever was, even partly morally responsible for certain world-indexed truths. Here we present our reasons for thinking that their argument is unsound: It depends on the premise that possible worlds are maximally consistent states of affairs, which is, under plausible assumptions concerning states of affairs, demonstrably false. Our argument to show this is based on Bertrand Russell’s original ‘paradox of propositions’. We should then (...) opt for a different approach to explain world-indexed truths whose upshot is that we may be (at least partly) morally responsible for some of them. The result to the effect that there are no maximally consistent states of affairs is independently interesting though, since this notion motivates an account of the nature of possible worlds in the metaphysics of modality. We also register in this article, independently of our response to Turner and Capes, and in the spirit of Russell’s aforementioned paradox and many other versions thereof, a proof of the claim that there is no set of all true propositions one can render false. (shrink)
Metaphysically possible worlds have many uses. Epistemically possible worlds promise to be similarly useful, especially in connection with propositions and propositional attitudes. However, I argue that there is a serious threat to the natural accounts of epistemically possible worlds, from a version of Russell’s paradox. I contrast this threat with David Kaplan’s problem for metaphysical possible world semantics: Kaplan’s problem can be straightforwardly rebutted, the problems I raise cannot. I argue that although there may be coherent accounts of epistemically (...) possible worlds with fruitful applications, any such an account must fundamentally compromise the basic idea behind epistemic possibility. (shrink)
According to the iterative conception of set, each set is a collection of sets formed prior to it. The notion of priority here plays an essential role in explanations of why contradiction-inducing sets, such as the Russell set, do not exist. Consequently, these explanations are successful only to the extent that a satisfactory priority relation is made out. I argue that attempts to do this have fallen short: understanding priority in a straightforwardly constructivist sense threatens the coherence of the empty (...) set and raises serious epistemological concerns; but the leading realist interpretations---ontological and modal interpretations of priority---are deeply problematic as well. I conclude that the purported explanatory virtues of the iterative conception are, at present, unfounded. (shrink)
The present paper deals with the ontological status of numbers and considers Frege ́s proposal in Grundlagen upon the background of the Post-Kantian semantic turn in analytical philosophy. Through a more systematic study of his philosophical premises, it comes to unearth a first level paradox that would unset earlier still than it was exposed by Russell. It then studies an alternative path, that departin1g from Frege’s initial premises, drives to a conception of numbers as synthetic a priori in a (...) more Kantian sense. On this basis, it tentatively explores a possible derivation of basic logical rules on their behalf, suggesting a more rudimentary basis to inferential thinking, which supports reconsidering the difference between logical thinking and AI. Finally, it reflects upon the contributions of this approach to the problem of the a priori. (shrink)
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