A proof of Fermat’s last theorem is demonstrated. It is very brief, simple, elementary, and absolutely arithmetical. The necessary premises for the proof are only: the three definitive properties of the relation of equality (identity, symmetry, and transitivity), modus tollens, axiom of induction, the proof of Fermat’s last theorem in the case of.
Andrew Wiles' analytic proof of Fermat's Last Theorem FLT, which appeals to geometrical properties of real and complex numbers, leaves two questions unanswered: (i) What technique might Fermat have used that led him to, even if only briefly, believe he had `a truly marvellous demonstration' of FLT? (ii) Why is x^n+y^n=z^n solvable only for n<3? In this inter-disciplinary perspective, we offer insight into, and answers to, both queries; yielding a pre-formal proof of why FLT can be treated as (...) a true arithmetical proposition (one which, moreover, might not be provable formally in the first-order Peano Arithmetic PA), where we admit only elementary (i.e., number-theoretic) reasoning, without appeal to analytic properties of real and complex numbers. We cogently argue, further, that any formal proof of FLT needs---as is implicitly suggested by Wiles' proof---to appeal essentially to formal geometrical properties of formal arithmetical propositions. (shrink)
Cantor’s proof that the powerset of the set of all natural numbers is uncountable yields a version of Richard’s paradox when restricted to the full definable universe, that is, to the universe containing all objects that can be defined not just in one formal language but by means of the full expressive power of natural language: this universe seems to be countable on one account and uncountable on another. We argue that the claim that definitional contexts impose restrictions on (...) the scope of quantifiers reveals a natural way out. (shrink)
Gaisi Takeuti (1926–2017) is one of the most distinguished logicians in proof theory after Hilbert and Gentzen. He extensively extended Hilbert's program in the sense that he formulated Gentzen's sequent calculus, conjectured that cut-elimination holds for it (Takeuti's conjecture), and obtained several stunning results in the 1950–60s towards the solution of his conjecture. Though he has been known chiefly as a great mathematician, he wrote many papers in English and Japanese where he expressed his philosophical thoughts. In particular, he (...) used several keywords such as "active intuition" and "self-reflection" from Nishida's philosophy. In this paper, we aim to describe a general outline of our project to investigate Takeuti's philosophy of mathematics. In particular, after reviewing Takeuti's proof-theoretic results briefly, we describe some key elements in Takeuti's texts. By explaining these texts, we point out the connection between Takeuti's proof theory and Nishida's philosophy and explain the future goals of our project. (shrink)
According to Jim Pryor’s dogmatism, if you have an experience as if P, you acquire immediate prima facie justification for believing P. Pryor contends that dogmatism validates Moore’s infamous proof of a material world. Against Pryor, I argue that if dogmatism is true, Moore’s proof turns out to be non-transmissive of justification according to one of the senses of non-transmissivity defined by Crispin Wright. This type of non-transmissivity doesn’t deprive dogmatism of its apparent antisceptical bite.
Paley’s ‘proof’ of the existence of God, or some supposed version of it, is well known. In this paper I offer the real thing and two objections to it. One objection is my own, and the other is provided by Darwin.
In "The Nature and Meaning of Numbers," Dedekind produces an original, quite remarkable proof for the holy grail in the foundations of elementary arithmetic, that there are an infinite number of things. It goes like this. [p, 64 in the Dover edition.] Consider the set S of things which can be objects of my thought. Define the function phi(s), which maps an element s of S to the thought that s can be an object of my thought. Then phi (...) is evidently one-to-one, and the image of phi is contained in S. Indeed, it is properly contained in S, because I myself can be an object of my thoughts and so belong to S, but I myself am not a mere thought. Thus S is infinite. (shrink)
We develop a reading of Moore’s “Proof of an External World” that emphasizes the connections between this paper and Moore’s earlier concerns and strategies. Our reading has the benefit of explaining why the claims that Moore advances in “Proof of an External World” would have been of interest to him, and avoids attributing to him arguments that are either trivial or wildly unsuccessful. Part of the evidence for our view comes from unpublished drafts which, we believe, contain important (...) clues concerning Moore’s aims and intent. While our approach to PEW may be classified alongside other broadly "metaphysical" readings, we believe that a proper recognition of the continuity in Moore’s philosophical concerns and strategies across his philosophical career shows that the customary distinction between "epistemological" and "metaphysical" interpretative approaches to PEW is at best superficial. (shrink)
Dummett’s justification procedures are revisited. They are used as background for the discussion of some conceptual and technical issues in proof-theoretic semantics, especially the role played by assumptions in proof-theoretic definitions of validity.
In the opening chapter of the Monologion, Anselm offers an intriguing proof for the existence of a Platonic form of goodness. This proof is extremely interesting, both in itself and for its place in the broader argument for God’s existence that Anselm develops in the Monologion as a whole. Even so, it has yet to receive the scholarly attention that it deserves. My aim in this article is to begin correcting this state of affairs by examining Anslem’s (...) class='Hi'>proof in some detail. In particular, I aim to clarify the proof’s structure, motivate and explain its central premises, and begin the larger project of evaluating its overall success as an argument for Platonism about goodness. (shrink)
The current standard interpretation of Moore’s proof assumes he offers a solution to Kant’s famously posed problem of an external world, which Moore quotes at the start of his 1939 lecture “Proof of an External World.” As a solution to Kant’s problem, Moore’s proof would fail utterly. A second received interpretation imputes an aim of refuting metaphysical idealism that Moore’s proof does not at all achieve. This study departs from received interpretations to credit the aim Moore (...) announced for the proof Moore performed in his 1939 lecture. Moore’s aim was to impose a counter-example to a stated presupposition of Kant’s problem of an external world. Moore’s lecture nevertheless neither endorses a replacement for Kant’s problem nor acknowledges that an immediate implication of achieving his announced aim would subvert Kant’s famously posed problem of an external world. (shrink)
This paper explains a way of understanding Kant's proof of God's existence in the Critique of Practical Reason that has hitherto gone unnoticed and argues that this interpretation possesses several advantages over its rivals. By first looking at examples where Kant indicates the role that faith plays in moral life and then reconstructing the proof of the second Critique with this in view, I argue that, for Kant, we must adopt a certain conception of the highest good, and (...) so also must choose to believe in the kind of God that can make it possible, because this is essentially a way of actively striving for virtue. One advantage of this interpretation, I argue, is that it is able to make sense of the strong link Kant draws between morality and religion. (shrink)
Commentators almost universally agree that Locke denies the possibility of thinking matter in Book IV Chapter 10 of the Essay. Further, they argue that Locke must do this in order for his proof of God’s existence in the chapter to be successful. This paper disputes these claims and develops an interpretation according to which Locke allows for the possibility that a system of matter could think (even prior to any act of superaddition on God’s part). In addition, the paper (...) argues that this does not destroy Locke’s argument in the chapter, instead it helps to illuminate the nature of it. The paper proceeds in two main stages. First, Locke denies that matter can produce thought. A distinction between two senses of “production” shows that this claim is compatible with the existence of thinking matter. Second, Locke denies that God could be a system of randomly moving particles. Most commentators take this to mean that such a system could not think. But Locke is better interpreted as denying that such a system could have the wisdom and knowledge of God. (shrink)
Avicenna's proof for the existence of God (the Necessary Existent) in the Metaphysics of the Salvation relies on the claim that every possible existent shares a common cause. I argue that Avicenna has good reason to hold this claim given that he thinks that (1) every essentially ordered causal series originates in a first, common cause and that (2) every possible existent belongs to an essentially ordered series. Showing Avicenna's commitment to 1 and 2 allows me to respond to (...) Herbert Davidson's and Richard Swinburne's claim that Avicenna's proof for the Necessary Existent is incomplete and fallacious -/- . (shrink)
The author argues that Plato’s “proof” that happiness follows justice has a fatal flaw – because the philosopher king in Plato’s Republic is itself a counter example.
Euclid's classic proof about the infinitude of prime numbers has been a standard model of reasoning in student textbooks and books of elementary number theory. It has withstood scrutiny for over 2000 years but we shall prove that despite the deceptive appearance of its analytical reasoning it is tautological in nature. We shall argue that the proof is more of an observation about the general property of a prime numbers than an expository style of natural deduction of the (...)proof of their infinitude. (shrink)
The Born’s rule to interpret the square of wave function as the probability to get a specific value in measurement has been accepted as a postulate in foundations of quantum mechanics. Although there have been so many attempts at deriving this rule theoretically using different approaches such as frequency operator approach, many-world theory, Bayesian probability and envariance, literature shows that arguments in each of these methods are circular. In view of absence of a convincing theoretical proof, recently some researchers (...) have carried out experiments to validate the rule up-to maximum possible accuracy using multi-order interference (Sinha et al, Science, 329, 418 [2010]). But, a convincing analytical proof of Born’s rule will make us understand the basic process responsible for exact square dependency of probability on wave function. In this paper, by generalizing the method of calculating probability in common experience into quantum mechanics, we prove the Born’s rule for statistical interpretation of wave function. (shrink)
Nearly a decade has past since Grove gave a semantics for the AGM postulates. The semantics, called sphere semantics, provided a new perspective of the area of study, and has been widely used in the context of theory or belief change. However, the soundness proof that Grove gives in his paper contains an error. In this note, we will point this out and give two ways of repairing it.
This chapter discusses Kant's 1763 "possibility proof" for the existence of God. I first provide a reconstruction of the proof in its two stages, and then revisit my earlier argument according to which the being the proof delivers threatens to be a Spinozistic-panentheistic God—a being whose properties include the entire spatio-temporal universe—rather than the traditional, ontologically distinct God of biblical monotheism. I go on to evaluate some recent alternative readings that have sought to avoid this result by (...) arguing that the relevant facts about real modality can be ultimately grounded in God’s powers or thoughts – or that Kant just leaves the grounding relations mysterious. I argue that the textual and philosophical costs of each of these alternative readings are formidable. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the fate of the proof in the critical period. Some commentators think that it disappears altogether, or that it is downgraded such that it produces a mere regulative idea of God as the most real being. I suggest that the proof survives but that the mode of assent it licenses towards its conclusion changes from knowledge to a certain kind of Belief (Glaube). (shrink)
Gaisi Takeuti extended Gentzen's work to higher-order case in 1950's–1960's and proved the consistency of impredicative subsystems of analysis. He has been chiefly known as a successor of Hilbert's school, but we pointed out in the previous paper that Takeuti's aimed to investigate the relationships between "minds" by carrying out his proof-theoretic project rather than proving the "reliability" of such impredicative subsystems of analysis. Moreover, as briefly explained there, his philosophical ideas can be traced back to Nishida's philosophy in (...) Kyoto's school. For the proving the consistency of such systems, it is crucial to prove the well-foundedness of ordinals called "ordinal diagrams" developed for it. Takeuti presented such arguments several times in order to show that they are admitted in his stand point. As a starting point of investigating his finitist stand point, we formulate the system of ordinal notations up to ε0 and reconstruct the well-foundedness arguments of them. (shrink)
The paper is a continuation of another paper published as Part I. Now, the case of “n=3” is inferred as a corollary from the Kochen and Specker theorem (1967): the eventual solutions of Fermat’s equation for “n=3” would correspond to an admissible disjunctive division of qubit into two absolutely independent parts therefore versus the contextuality of any qubit, implied by the Kochen – Specker theorem. Incommensurability (implied by the absence of hidden variables) is considered as dual to quantum contextuality. The (...) relevant mathematical structure is Hilbert arithmetic in a wide sense, in the framework of which Hilbert arithmetic in a narrow sense and the qubit Hilbert space are dual to each other. A few cases involving set theory are possible: (1) only within the case “n=3” and implicitly, within any next level of “n” in Fermat’s equation; (2) the identification of the case “n=3” and the general case utilizing the axiom of choice rather than the axiom of induction. If the former is the case, the application of set theory and arithmetic can remain disjunctively divided: set theory, “locally”, within any level; and arithmetic, “globally”, to all levels. If the latter is the case, the proof is thoroughly within set theory. Thus, the relevance of Yablo’s paradox to the statement of Fermat’s last theorem is avoided in both cases. The idea of “arithmetic mechanics” is sketched: it might deduce the basic physical dimensions of mechanics (mass, time, distance) from the axioms of arithmetic after a relevant generalization, Furthermore, a future Part III of the paper is suggested: FLT by mediation of Hilbert arithmetic in a wide sense can be considered as another expression of Gleason’s theorem in quantum mechanics: the exclusions about (n = 1, 2) in both theorems as well as the validity for all the rest values of “n” can be unified after the theory of quantum information. The availability (respectively, non-availability) of solutions of Fermat’s equation can be proved as equivalent to the non-availability (respectively, availability) of a single probabilistic measure as to Gleason’s theorem. (shrink)
In a previous paper, an elementary and thoroughly arithmetical proof of Fermat’s last theorem by induction has been demonstrated if the case for “n = 3” is granted as proved only arithmetically (which is a fact a long time ago), furthermore in a way accessible to Fermat himself though without being absolutely and precisely correct. The present paper elucidates the contemporary mathematical background, from which an inductive proof of FLT can be inferred since its proof for the (...) case for “n = 3” has been known for a long time. It needs “Hilbert mathematics”, which is inherently complete unlike the usual “Gödel mathematics”, and based on “Hilbert arithmetic” to generalize Peano arithmetic in a way to unify it with the qubit Hilbert space of quantum information. An “epoché to infinity” (similar to Husserl’s “epoché to reality”) is necessary to map Hilbert arithmetic into Peano arithmetic in order to be relevant to Fermat’s age. Furthermore, the two linked semigroups originating from addition and multiplication and from the Peano axioms in the final analysis can be postulated algebraically as independent of each other in a “Hamilton” modification of arithmetic supposedly equivalent to Peano arithmetic. The inductive proof of FLT can be deduced absolutely precisely in that Hamilton arithmetic and the pransfered as a corollary in the standard Peano arithmetic furthermore in a way accessible in Fermat’s epoch and thus, to himself in principle. A future, second part of the paper is outlined, getting directed to an eventual proof of the case “n=3” based on the qubit Hilbert space and the Kochen-Specker theorem inferable from it. (shrink)
Gödel's incompleteness theorems establish the stunning result that mathematics cannot be fully formalized and, further, that any formal system containing a modicum of number or set theory cannot establish its own consistency. Wilfried Sieg and Clinton Field, in their paper Automated Search for Gödel's Proofs, presented automated proofs of Gödel's theorems at an abstract axiomatic level; they used an appropriate expansion of the strategic considerations that guide the search of the automated theorem prover AProS. The representability conditions that allow the (...) syntactic notions of the metalanguage to be represented inside the object language were taken as axioms in the automated proofs. The concrete task I am taking on in this project is to extend the search by formally verifying these conditions. Using a formal metatheory defined in the language of binary trees, the syntactic objects of the metatheory lend themselves naturally to a direct encoding in Zermelo's theory of sets. The metatheoretic notions can then be inductively defined and shown to be representable in the object-theory using appropriate inductive arguments. Formal verification of the representability conditions is the first step towards an automated proof thereof which, in turn, brings the automated verification of Gödel's theorems one step closer to completion. (shrink)
Mill’s Principle of Utility: Origins, Proof, and Implications (Leiden: Brill, 2022) is a scholarly monograph on John Stuart Mill’s utilitarianism with a particular emphasis on his proof of the principle of utility. Originally published as Mill’s Principle of Utility: A Defense of John Stuart Mill’s Notorious Proof (Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi, 1994), the present volume is a revised and enlarged edition with additional material, tighter arguments, crisper discussions, and updated references. The initiative is still principally an analysis, interpretation, (...) and defense of the controversial proof, which has yet to attract a scholarly consensus on how it works and whether it succeeds. Well over a century and a half after Mill’s contribution, the subject matter continues to figure prominently in classroom discussions, where the principle and its proof are presented and debated in connection with the critical baggage of logical problems and conceptual confusions wrongly attributed to Mill from the beginning. The overarching aim of the book, now supplemented by a comprehensive historical background and salient philosophical implications, remains the vindication of Mill’s reasoning in pursuit of what he promises as a proof of the principle of utility. (shrink)
Kant’s “moral proof” for the existence of God has been the subject of much criticism, even among his most sympathetic commentators. According to the critics, the primary problem is that the notion of the “highest good,” on which the moral proof depends, introduces an element of contingency and heteronomy into Kant’s otherwise strict, autonomy-based moral thinking. In this paper, I shall argue that Kant’s moral proof is not only more defensible than commentators have typically acknowledged, but also (...) has some very interesting implications (e.g. the moral proof is “circular” and thus implicitly self-validating). My account shall proceed in five stages: 1. Preliminary Discussion of the Moral Proof 2. the Argument of the Moral Proof 3. Critics of the Moral Proof 4. Defense of the Moral Proof 5. Implications of the Moral Proof: Circularity and Self-referentiality.” . (shrink)
Edward Feser defends the ‘Neo-Platonic proof ’ for the existence of the God of classical theism. After articulating the argument and a number of preliminaries, I first argue that premise three of Feser’s argument—the causal principle that every composite object requires a sustaining efficient cause to combine its parts—is both unjustified and dialectically ill-situated. I then argue that the Neo-Platonic proof fails to deliver the mindedness of the absolutely simple being and instead militates against its mindedness. Finally, I (...) uncover two tensions between Trinitarianism and the Neo-Platonic proof. (shrink)
Kant's A-Edition objective deduction is naturally (and has traditionally been) divided into two arguments: an " argument from above" and one that proceeds " von unten auf." This would suggest a picture of Kant's procedure in the objective deduction as first descending and ascending the same ladder, the better, perhaps, to test its durability or to thoroughly convince the reader of its soundness. There are obvious obstacles to such a reading, however; and in this chapter I will argue that the (...) arguments from above and below constitute different, albeit importantly inter-related, proofs. Rather than drawing on the differences in their premises, however, I will highlight what I take to be the different concerns addressed and, correspondingly, the distinct conclusions reached by each. In particular, I will show that both arguments can be understood to address distinct specters, with the argument from above addressing an internal concern generated by Kant’s own transcendental idealism, and the argument from below seeking to dispel a more traditional, broadly Humean challenge to the understanding’s role in experience. These distinct concerns also imply that these arguments yield distinct conclusions, though I will show that they are in fact complementary. (shrink)
In his Beweisgrund (1762), Kant presents a sketch of "the only possible basis" for a proof of God's existence. In this essay, I attempt to present that proof as a valid and sound argument for the existence of God.
This paper argues that we should reject G. E. Moore’s anti-skeptical argument as it is presented in “Proof of an External World.” However, the reason I offer is different from traditional objections. A proper understanding of Moore’s “proof” requires paying attention to an important distinction between two forms of skepticism. I call these Ontological Skepticism and Epistemic Skepticism. The former is skepticism about the ontological status of fundamental reality, while the latter is skepticism about our empirical knowledge. Philosophers (...) often assume that Moore’s response to “external world skepticism” deals exclusively with the former, not the latter. But this is a mistake. I shall argue that Moore’s anti-skeptical argument targets an ontological form of skepticism. Thus, the conclusion is an ontological claim about fundamental reality, while the premises are epistemic claims. If this is correct, then the conclusion outstrips the scope of its premises and proves too much. (shrink)
Leibniz proposed the ‘Most Determined Path Principle’ in seventeenth century. According to it, ‘ease’ of travel is the end purpose of motion. Using this principle and his calculus method he demonstrated Snell’s Laws of reflection and refraction. This method shows that light follows extremal (local minimum or maximum) time path in going from one point to another, either directly along a straight line path or along a broken line path when it undergoes reflection or refraction at plane or spherical (concave (...) or convex) surfaces. The extremal time path avoided the criticism that Fermat’s least time path was subjected to, by Cartesians who cited examples of reflections at spherical surfaces where light took the path of longest time. Thereby it became the standard method of demonstration of Snell’s Laws. Ptolemy’s theorem is a fundamental theorem in geometry. A special case of it offers a method of finding the minimum sum of the two distances of a point from two given fixed points. We show in this paper that Leibniz’s calculus proof of Snell’s Laws violates Ptolemy’s theorem, whereby Leibniz’s proof becomes invalid. (shrink)
This is a defense of John Stuart Mill’s proof of the principle of utility in the fourth chapter of his Utilitarianism. The proof is notorious as a fallacious attempt by a prominent philosopher, who ought not to have made the elementary mistakes he is supposed to have made. This book shows that he did not. The aim is not to glorify utilitarianism, in a full sweep, as the best normative ethical theory, or even to vindicate, on a more (...) specific level, Mill’s universalistic ethical hedonism as the best form of utilitarianism. The book is concerned only with Mill’s utilitarianism, and primarily with his proof of the principle of utility. The purpose is to show that Mill proceeds intelligibly and systematically in pursuing a well-defined project in the fourth chapter of Utilitarianism, and that he successfully defends what he sets out to establish in his proof of the principle of utility. (shrink)
In this paper we introduce a Gentzen calculus for (a functionally complete variant of) Belnap's logic in which establishing the provability of a sequent in general requires \emph{two} proof trees, one establishing that whenever all premises are true some conclusion is true and one that guarantees the falsity of at least one premise if all conclusions are false. The calculus can also be put to use in proving that one statement \emph{necessarily approximates} another, where necessary approximation is a natural (...) dual of entailment. The calculus, and its tableau variant, not only capture the classical connectives, but also the `information' connectives of four-valued Belnap logics. This answers a question by Avron. (shrink)
John von Neumann's proof that quantum mechanics is logically incompatible with hidden varibales has been the object of extensive study both by physicists and by historians. The latter have concentrated mainly on the way the proof was interpreted, accepted and rejected between 1932, when it was published, and 1966, when J.S. Bell published the first explicit identification of the mistake it involved. What is proposed in this paper is an investigation into the origins of the proof rather (...) than the aftermath. In the first section, a brief overview of the his personal life and his proof is given to set the scene. There follows a discussion on the merits of using here the historical method employed elsewhere by Andrew Warwick. It will be argued that a study of the origins of von Neumann's proof shows how there is an interaction between the following factors: the broad issues within a specific culture, the learning process of the theoretical physicist concerned, and the conceptual techniques available. In our case, the ‘conceptual technology’ employed by von Neumann is identified as the method of axiomatisation. (shrink)
In his "Ontological proof", Kurt Gödel introduces the notion of a second-order value property, the positive property P. The second axiom of the proof states that for any property φ: If φ is positive, its negation is not positive, and vice versa. I put forward that this concept of positiveness leads into a paradox when we apply it to the following self-reflexive sentences: (A) The truth value of A is not positive; (B) The truth value of B is (...) positive. Given axiom 2, sentences A and B paradoxically cannot be both true or both false, and it is also impossible that one of the sentences is true whereas the other is false. (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.
Georg Cantor's absolute infinity, the paradoxical Burali-Forti class Ω of all ordinals, is a monstrous non-entity for which being called a "class" is an undeserved dignity. This must be the ultimate vexation for mathematical philosophers who hold on to some residual sense of realism in set theory. By careful use of Ω, we can rescue Georg Cantor's 1899 "proof" sketch of the Well-Ordering Theorem––being generous, considering his declining health. We take the contrapositive of Cantor's suggestion and add Zermelo's choice (...) function. This results in a concise and uncomplicated proof of the Well-Ordering Theorem. (shrink)
This paper discusses proof-theoretic semantics, the project of specifying the meanings of the logical constants in terms of rules of inference governing them. I concentrate on Michael Dummett’s and Dag Prawitz’ philosophical motivations and give precise characterisations of the crucial notions of harmony and stability, placed in the context of proving normalisation results in systems of natural deduction. I point out a problem for defining the meaning of negation in this framework and prospects for an account of the meanings (...) of modal operators in terms of rules of inference. (shrink)
The debate on how to interpret Kant's transcendental idealism has been prominent for several decades now. In his book Kant's Transcendental Proof of Realism Kenneth R. Westphal introduces and defends his version of the metaphysical dual-aspect reading. But his real aim lies deeper: to provide a sound transcendental proof for realism, based on Kant's work, without resorting to transcendental idealism. In this sense his aim is similar to that of Peter F. Strawson – although Westphal's approach is far (...) more sophisticated. First he attempts to show that noumenal causation – on the reality of which his argument partly rests – is coherent in and necessary for Kant's transcendental idealism. Westphal then aims to undermine transcendental idealism by two major claims: Kant can neither account for transcendental affinity nor satisfactorily counter Hume's causal scepticism. Finally Westphal defends his alternative for transcendental idealism by showing that it solves these problems and thus offers a genuine transcendental proof for realism. In this paper I will show that all the three steps outlined above suffer from decisive shortcomings, and that consequently, regardless of its merits, Westphal's transcendental argument for realism remains undemonstrated. (shrink)
Hegel endorsed proofs of the existence of God, and also believed God to be a person. Some of his interpreters ignore these apparently retrograde tendencies, shunning them in favor of the philosopher's more forward-looking contributions. Others embrace Hegel's religious thought, but attempt to recast his views as less reactionary than they appear to be. Robert Williams's latest monograph belongs to a third category: he argues that Hegel's positions in philosophical theology are central to his philosophy writ large. The book is (...) diligently researched, and marshals an impressive amount of textual evidence concerning Hegel's view of the proofs, his theory of personhood, and his views on religious community.Many of... (shrink)
The paper briefly surveys the sentential proof-theoretic semantics for fragment of English. Then, appealing to a version of Frege’s context-principle (specified to fit type-logical grammar), a method is presented for deriving proof-theoretic meanings for sub-sentential phrases, down to lexical units (words). The sentential meaning is decomposed according to the function-argument structure as determined by the type-logical grammar. In doing so, the paper presents a novel proof-theoretic interpretation of simple type, replacing Montague’s model-theoretic type interpretation (in arbitrary Henkin (...) models). The domains of derivations are collections of derivations in the associated “dedicated” natural-deduction proof-system, and functions therein (with no appeal to models, truth-values and elements of a domain). The compositionality of the semantics is analyzed. (shrink)
This article attempts to elucidate the phenomenon of time and its relationship to consciousness. It defends the idea that time exists both as a psychological or illusory experience, and as an ontological property of spacetime that actually exists independently of human experience.
Prawitz conjectured that proof-theoretic validity offers a semantics for intuitionistic logic. This conjecture has recently been proven false by Piecha and Schroeder-Heister. This article resolves one of the questions left open by this recent result by showing the extensional alignment of proof-theoretic validity and general inquisitive logic. General inquisitive logic is a generalisation of inquisitive semantics, a uniform semantics for questions and assertions. The paper further defines a notion of quasi-proof-theoretic validity by restricting proof-theoretic validity to (...) allow double negation elimination for atomic formulas and proves the extensional alignment of quasi-proof-theoretic validity and inquisitive logic. (shrink)
In this dissertation, we shall investigate whether Tennant's criterion for paradoxicality(TCP) can be a correct criterion for genuine paradoxes and whether the requirement of a normal derivation(RND) can be a proof-theoretic solution to the paradoxes. Tennant’s criterion has two types of counterexamples. The one is a case which raises the problem of overgeneration that TCP makes a paradoxical derivation non-paradoxical. The other is one which generates the problem of undergeneration that TCP renders a non-paradoxical derivation paradoxical. Chapter 2 deals (...) with the problem of undergeneration and Chapter 3 concerns the problem of overgeneration. Chapter 2 discusses that Tenant’s diagnosis of the counterexample which applies CR−rule and causes the undergeneration problem is not correct and presents a solution to the problem of undergeneration. Chapter 3 argues that Tennant’s diagnosis of the counterexample raising the overgeneration problem is wrong and provides a solution to the problem. Finally, Chapter 4 addresses what should be explicated in order for RND to be a proof-theoretic solution to the paradoxes. (shrink)
The Four-Colour Theorem (4CT) proof, presented to the mathematical community in a pair of papers by Appel and Haken in the late 1970's, provoked a series of philosophical debates. Many conceptual points of these disputes still require some elucidation. After a brief presentation of the main ideas of Appel and Haken’s procedure for the proof and a reconstruction of Thomas Tymoczko’s argument for the novelty of 4CT’s proof, we shall formulate some questions regarding the connections between the (...) points raised by Tymoczko and some Wittgensteinian topics in the philosophy of mathematics such as the importance of the surveyability as a criterion for distinguishing mathematical proofs from empirical experiments. Our aim is to show that the “characteristic Wittgensteinian invention” (Mühlhölzer 2006) – the strong distinction between proofs and experiments – can shed some light in the conceptual confusions surrounding the Four-Colour Theorem. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom dictates that proofs of mathematical propositions should be treated as necessary, and sufficient, for entailing `significant' mathematical truths only if the proofs are expressed in a---minimally, deemed consistent---formal mathematical theory in terms of: * Axioms/Axiom schemas * Rules of Deduction * Definitions * Lemmas * Theorems * Corollaries. Whilst Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem FLT, which appeals essentially to geometrical properties of real and complex numbers, can be treated as meeting this criteria, it nevertheless leaves (...) two questions unanswered: (i) Why is x^n +y^n = z^n solvable only for n < 3 if x, y, z, n are natural numbers? (ii) What technique might Fermat have used that led him to, even if only briefly, believe he had `a truly marvellous demonstration' of FLT? Prevailing post-Wiles wisdom---leaving (i) essentially unaddressed---dismisses Fermat's claim as a conjecture without a plausible proof of FLT. -/- However, we posit that providing evidence-based answers to both queries is necessary not only for treating FLT as significant, but also for understanding why FLT can be treated as a true arithmetical proposition. We thus argue that proving a theorem formally from explicit, and implicit, premises/axioms using rules of deduction---as currently accepted---is a meaningless game, of little scientific value, in the absence of evidence that has already established---unambiguously---why the premises/axioms and rules of deduction can be treated, and categorically communicated, as pre-formal truths in Marcus Pantsar's sense. Consequently, only evidence-based, pre-formal, truth can entail formal provability; and the formal proof of any significant mathematical theorem cannot entail its pre-formal truth as evidence-based. It can only identify the explicit/implicit premises that have been used to evidence the, already established, pre-formal truth of a mathematical proposition. Hence visualising and understanding the evidence-based, pre-formal, truth of a mathematical proposition is the only raison d'etre for subsequently seeking a formal proof of the proposition within a formal mathematical language (whether first-order or second order set theory, arithmetic, geometry, etc.) By this yardstick Andrew Wiles' proof of FLT fails to meet the required, evidence-based, criteria for entailing a true arithmetical proposition. -/- Moreover, we offer two scenarios as to why/how Fermat could have laconically concluded in his recorded marginal noting that FLT is a true arithmetical proposition---even though he either did not (or could not to his own satisfaction) succeed in cogently evidencing, and recording, why FLT can be treated as an evidence-based, pre-formal, arithmetical truth (presumably without appeal to properties of real and complex numbers). It is primarily such a putative, unrecorded, evidence-based reasoning underlying Fermat's laconic assertion which this investigation seeks to reconstruct; and to justify by appeal to a plausible resolution of some philosophical ambiguities concerning the relation between evidence-based, pre-formal, truth and formal provability. (shrink)
One of the most fundamental questions in the philosophy of mathematics concerns the relation between truth and formal proof. The position according to which the two concepts are the same is called deflationism, and the opposing viewpoint substantialism. In an important result of mathematical logic, Kurt Gödel proved in his first incompleteness theorem that all consistent formal systems containing arithmetic include sentences that can neither be proved nor disproved within that system. However, such undecidable Gödel sentences can be established (...) to be true once we expand the formal system with Alfred Tarski s semantical theory of truth, as shown by Stewart Shapiro and Jeffrey Ketland in their semantical arguments for the substantiality of truth. According to them, in Gödel sentences we have an explicit case of true but unprovable sentences, and hence deflationism is refuted. -/- Against that, Neil Tennant has shown that instead of Tarskian truth we can expand the formal system with a soundness principle, according to which all provable sentences are assertable, and the assertability of Gödel sentences follows. This way, the relevant question is not whether we can establish the truth of Gödel sentences, but whether Tarskian truth is a more plausible expansion than a soundness principle. In this work I will argue that this problem is best approached once we think of mathematics as the full human phenomenon, and not just consisting of formal systems. When pre-formal mathematical thinking is included in our account, we see that Tarskian truth is in fact not an expansion at all. I claim that what proof is to formal mathematics, truth is to pre-formal thinking, and the Tarskian account of semantical truth mirrors this relation accurately. -/- However, the introduction of pre-formal mathematics is vulnerable to the deflationist counterargument that while existing in practice, pre-formal thinking could still be philosophically superfluous if it does not refer to anything objective. Against this, I argue that all truly deflationist philosophical theories lead to arbitrariness of mathematics. In all other philosophical accounts of mathematics there is room for a reference of the pre-formal mathematics, and the expansion of Tarkian truth can be made naturally. Hence, if we reject the arbitrariness of mathematics, I argue in this work, we must accept the substantiality of truth. Related subjects such as neo-Fregeanism will also be covered, and shown not to change the need for Tarskian truth. -/- The only remaining route for the deflationist is to change the underlying logic so that our formal languages can include their own truth predicates, which Tarski showed to be impossible for classical first-order languages. With such logics we would have no need to expand the formal systems, and the above argument would fail. From the alternative approaches, in this work I focus mostly on the Independence Friendly (IF) logic of Jaakko Hintikka and Gabriel Sandu. Hintikka has claimed that an IF language can include its own adequate truth predicate. I argue that while this is indeed the case, we cannot recognize the truth predicate as such within the same IF language, and the need for Tarskian truth remains. In addition to IF logic, also second-order logic and Saul Kripke s approach using Kleenean logic will be shown to fail in a similar fashion. (shrink)
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