This paper is a contribution to graded model theory, in the context of mathematical fuzzy logic. We study characterizations of classes of graded structures in terms of the syntactic form of their first-order axiomatization. We focus on classes given by universal and universal-existential sentences. In particular, we prove two amalgamation results using the technique of diagrams in the setting of structures valued on a finite MTL-algebra, from which analogues of the Łoś–Tarski and the Chang–Łoś–Suszko preservationtheorems follow.
In a recent pair of publications, Richard Bradley has offered two novel no-go theorems involving the principle of Preservation for conditionals, which guarantees that one’s prior conditional beliefs will exhibit a certain degree of inertia in the face of a change in one’s non-conditional beliefs. We first note that Bradley’s original discussions of these results—in which he finds motivation for rejecting Preservation, first in a principle of Commutativity, then in a doxastic analogue of the rule of modus (...) ponens —are problematic in a significant number of respects. We then turn to a recent U-turn on his part, in which he winds up rescinding his commitment to modus ponens, on the grounds of a tension with the rule of Import-Export for conditionals. Here we offer an important positive contribution to the literature, settling the following crucial question that Bradley leaves unanswered: assuming that one gives up on full-blown modus ponens on the grounds of its incompatibility with Import-Export, what weakened version of the principle should one be settling for instead? Our discussion of the issue turns out to unearth an interesting connection between epistemic undermining and the apparent failures of modus ponens in McGee’s famous counterexamples. (shrink)
Memory seems intuitively to consist in the preservation of some proposition (in the case of semantic memory) or sensory image (in the case of episodic memory). However, this intuition faces fatal difficulties. Semantic memory has to be updated to reflect the passage of time: it is not just preservation. And episodic memory can occur in a format (the observer perspective) in which the remembered image is different from the original sensory image. These difficulties indicate that memory cannot be (...) preserved content. It is proposed that what is preserved in memory isan underlying "trace", and that in every act of remembering, memorial content is reconstructed from the preserved trace. (shrink)
In this paper, I show how a novel treatment of speech acts can be combined with a well-known liberal argument for multiculturalism in a way that will justify claims about the preservation, protection, or accommodation of minority languages. The key to the paper is the claim that every language makes a distinctive range of speech acts possible, acts that cannot be realized by means of any other language. As a result, when a language disappears, so does a class of (...) speech acts. If we accept that our social identities are in large part constituted by the decisions we make about how to speak, language loss, then, will amount to a substantial infringement on our autonomy in a particularly important domain. (shrink)
Many ecological economists have argued that some natural capital should be preserved for posterity. Yet, among environmental philosophers, the preservation paradox entails that preserving parts of nature, including those denoted by natural capital, is impossible. The paradox claims that nature is a realm of phenomena independent of intentional human agency, that preserving and restoring nature require intentional human agency, and, therefore, no one can preserve or restore nature (without making it artificial). While this article argues that the preservation (...) paradox is more difficult to resolve than ordinarily recognized, it also concludes by sketching a positive way to understand what it means to preserve natural capital during the Anthropocene. (shrink)
Bradley offers a quick and convincing argument that no Boolean semantic theory for conditionals can validate a very natural principle concerning the relationship between credences and conditionals. We argue that Bradley’s principle, Preservation, is, in fact, invalid; its appeal arises from the validity of a nearby, but distinct, principle, which we call Local Preservation, and which Boolean semantic theories can non-trivially validate.
This article draws together research from various sub-disciplines of philosophy to offer an overview of recent philosophical work on the ethics of historic preservation. I discuss how philosophers writing about art, culture, and the environment have appealed to historical significance in crafting arguments about the preservation of objects, practices, and places. By demonstrating how it relates to core themes in moral and political philosophy, I argue that historic preservation is essentially concerned with ethical issues.
In Saving Truth from Paradox, Hartry Field presents and defends a theory of truth with a new conditional. In this paper, I present two criticisms of this theory, one concerning its assessments of validity and one concerning its treatment of truth-preservation claims. One way of adjusting the theory adequately responds to the truth-preservation criticism, at the cost of making the validity criticism worse. I show that in a restricted setting, Field has a way to respond to the validity (...) criticism. I close with some general considerations on the use of revision-theoretic methods in theories of truth. (shrink)
We give a review and critique of jury theorems from a social-epistemology perspective, covering Condorcet’s (1785) classic theorem and several later refinements and departures. We assess the plausibility of the conclusions and premises featuring in jury theorems and evaluate the potential of such theorems to serve as formal arguments for the ‘wisdom of crowds’. In particular, we argue (i) that there is a fundamental tension between voters’ independence and voters’ competence, hence between the two premises of most (...) jury theorems; (ii) that the (asymptotic) conclusion that ‘huge groups are infallible’, reached by many jury theorems, is an artifact of unjustified premises; and (iii) that the (nonasymptotic) conclusion that ‘larger groups are more reliable’, also reached by many jury theorems, is not an artifact and should be regarded as the more adequate formal rendition of the ‘wisdom of crowds’. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on the appetite for self-preservation and its central role in Francis Bacon’s natural philosophy. In the first part, I introduce Bacon’s classification of universal appetites, showing the correspondences between natural and moral philosophy. I then examine the role that appetites play in his theory of motions and, additionally, the various meanings accorded to preservation in this context. I also discuss some of the sources underlying Bacon’s ideas, for his views about preservation reveal traces of (...) Stoicism, Telesian natural philosophy, the natural law tradition, as well as late-scholastic ideas. Bacon assumes the existence of two kinds of preservation: self-preservation and preservation of the whole. The appetite through which the whole preserves itself overpowers individual appetites for self-preservation. In Bacon’s theory of motions, the primacy of global preservation – that is, the preservation of the whole – is evidenced by the way matter resists being annihilated, while self-preservation at a local and particular level is revealed through other kinds of motion. Bacon’s notion of appetite reflects a specific metaphysics of matter and motion, in which the preservation of natural bodies follows teleological patterns shared by both nature and humanity: the preservation of the whole is the highest goal, both in moral and natural philosophy. In this chapter, I argue that in Bacon’s natural philosophy different kind of things, including nature and humans, are ruled by patterns that are constitutive of correlated orders, neither of which is reducible to the other: there is no priority of the natural order over the moral, or vice versa. Thus, at a more general level, both are expressions of the same type of divinely imposed, law-like behaviour. (shrink)
Democratic decision-making is often defended on grounds of the ‘wisdom of crowds’: decisions are more likely to be correct if they are based on many independent opinions, so a typical argument in social epistemology. But what does it mean to have independent opinions? Opinions can be probabilistically dependent even if individuals form their opinion in causal isolation from each other. We distinguish four probabilistic notions of opinion independence. Which of them holds depends on how individuals are causally affected by environmental (...) factors such as commonly perceived evidence. In a general theorem, we identify causal conditions guaranteeing each kind of opinion independence. These results have implications for whether and how ‘wisdom of crowds’ arguments are possible, and how truth-conducive institutions can be designed. (shrink)
My argument is that Chalmers' zombie fiction and his rigid-designator-argument going back on Kripke comes down to a petitio principii. Rather, at the core it appears to be more related to the essential 'privacy' of the phenomenal internal perspective. In return for Chalmers I argue that the 'principle self-preservation' of living organisms necessarily implies subjectivity and the emergence of sense. The comparison with a robot proves instructive. The mode of 'mere physical' being is transcended if, in the form of (...) phenomenal perception, sense appears on the stage of higher animals – a transition explained here as an emergence phenomenon based on the systemic co-operation of perception, valuation and action ('perc-val-act system'). Some fundamental considerations are added: Those consequences implied by the principle self-preservation reveal the natural-biological origin of the organism – primarily seeming a more insignificant circumstance – as a momentous fundamental difference (end-in-itself-character, subjectivity, constitution of sense) compared to technical artefacts (robot). And the emergentist approach indicates the – maybe paradoxical – possibility of a dualism of physical and psychical phenomena in an overall physical system, that is not dualistic at the same time. (shrink)
If the concept of “free will” is reduced to that of “choice” all physical world share the latter quality. Anyway the “free will” can be distinguished from the “choice”: The “free will” involves implicitly certain preliminary goal, and the choice is only the mean, by which it can be achieved or not by the one who determines the goal. Thus, for example, an electron has always a choice but not free will unlike a human possessing both. Consequently, and paradoxically, the (...) determinism of classical physics is more subjective and more anthropomorphic than the indeterminism of quantum mechanics for the former presupposes certain deterministic goal implicitly following the model of human freewill behavior. The choice is usually linked to very complicated systems such as human brain or society and even often associated with consciousness. In its background, the material world is deterministic and absolutely devoid of choice. However, quantum mechanics introduces the choice in the fundament of physical world, in the only way, in which it can exist: All exists in the “phase transition” of the present between the uncertain future and the well-ordered past. Thus the present is forced to choose in order to be able to transform the coherent state of future into the well-ordering of past. The concept of choice as if suggests that there is one who chooses. However quantum mechanics involves a generalized case of choice, which can be called “subjectless”: There is certain choice, which originates from the transition of the future into the past. Thus that kind of choice is shared of all existing and does not need any subject: It can be considered as a low of nature. There are a few theorems in quantum mechanics directly relevant to the topic: two of them are called “free will theorems” by their authors, Conway and Kochen, and according to them: “Do we really have free will, or, as a few determined folk maintain, is it all an illusion? We don’t know, but will prove in this paper that if indeed there exist any experimenters with a modicum of free will, then elementary particles must have their own share of this valuable commodity” “The import of the free will theorem is that it is not only current quantum theory, but the world itself that is non-deterministic, so that no future theory can return us to a clockwork universe”. Those theorems can be considered as a continuation of the so-called theorems about the absence of “hidden variables” in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
The aggregation of individual judgments over interrelated propositions is a newly arising field of social choice theory. I introduce several independence conditions on judgment aggregation rules, each of which protects against a specific type of manipulation by agenda setters or voters. I derive impossibility theorems whereby these independence conditions are incompatible with certain minimal requirements. Unlike earlier impossibility results, the main result here holds for any (non-trivial) agenda. However, independence conditions arguably undermine the logical structure of judgment aggregation. I (...) therefore suggest restricting independence to premises, which leads to a generalised premise-based procedure. This procedure is proven to be possible if the premises are logically independent. (shrink)
Representation theorems are often taken to provide the foundations for decision theory. First, they are taken to characterize degrees of belief and utilities. Second, they are taken to justify two fundamental rules of rationality: that we should have probabilistic degrees of belief and that we should act as expected utility maximizers. We argue that representation theorems cannot serve either of these foundational purposes, and that recent attempts to defend the foundational importance of representation theorems are unsuccessful. As (...) a result, we should reject these claims, and lay the foundations of decision theory on firmer ground. (shrink)
Throughout her work, Audre Lorde maintains that her self-preservation in the face of oppression depends on acting from the recognition and valorization of her feelings as a deep source of knowledge. This claim, taken as a portrayal of agency, poses challenges to standard positions in ethics, epistemology, and moral psychology. This article examines the oppositional agency articulated by Lorde’s thought, locating feeling, poetry, and the power she calls “the erotic” within her avowed project of self-preservation. It then explores (...) the implications of taking seriously Lorde’s account, particularly for theorists examining ethics and epistemology under nonideal social conditions. For situations of sexual intimacy, for example, Lorde’s account unsettles prevailing assumptions about the role of consent in responsibility between sexual partners. I argue that obligations to solicit consent and respect refusal are not sufficient to acknowledge the value of agency in intimate encounters when agency is oppositional in the way Lorde describes. (shrink)
Our conscious minds exist in the Universe, therefore they should be identified with physical states that are subject to physical laws. In classical theories of mind, the mental states are identified with brain states that satisfy the deterministic laws of classical mechanics. This approach, however, leads to insurmountable paradoxes such as epiphenomenal minds and illusionary free will. Alternatively, one may identify mental states with quantum states realized within the brain and try to resolve the above paradoxes using the standard Hilbert (...) space formalism of quantum mechanics. In this essay, we first show that identification of mind states with quantum states within the brain is biologically feasible, and then elaborating on the mathematical proofs of two quantum mechanical no-go theorems, we explain why quantum theory might have profound implications for the scientific understanding of one's mental states, self identity, beliefs and free will. (shrink)
This chapter describes Kurt Gödel's paper on the incompleteness theorems. Gödel's incompleteness results are two of the most fundamental and important contributions to logic and the foundations of mathematics. It had been assumed that first-order number theory is complete in the sense that any sentence in the language of number theory would be either provable from the axioms or refutable. Gödel's first incompleteness theorem showed that this assumption was false: it states that there are sentences of number theory that (...) are neither provable nor refutable. The first theorem is general in the sense that it applies to any axiomatic theory, which is ω-consistent, has an effective proof procedure, and is strong enough to represent basic arithmetic. Their importance lies in their generality: although proved specifically for extensions of system, the method Gödel used is applicable in a wide variety of circumstances. Gödel's results had a profound influence on the further development of the foundations of mathematics. It pointed the way to a reconceptualization of the view of axiomatic foundations. (shrink)
The determinism-free will debate is perhaps as old as philosophy itself and has been engaged in from a great variety of points of view including those of scientific, theological, and logical character. This chapter focuses on two arguments from logic. First, there is an argument in support of determinism that dates back to Aristotle, if not farther. It rests on acceptance of the Law of Excluded Middle, according to which every proposition is either true or false, no matter whether the (...) proposition is about the past, present or future. In particular, the argument goes, whatever one does or does not do in the future is determined in the present by the truth or falsity of the corresponding proposition. The second argument coming from logic is much more modern and appeals to Gödel's incompleteness theorems to make the case against determinism and in favour of free will, insofar as that applies to the mathematical potentialities of human beings. The claim more precisely is that as a consequence of the incompleteness theorems, those potentialities cannot be exactly circumscribed by the output of any computing machine even allowing unlimited time and space for its work. The chapter concludes with some new considerations that may be in favour of a partial mechanist account of the mathematical mind. (shrink)
In spite of the many efforts made to clarify von Neumann’s methodology of science, one crucial point seems to have been disregarded in recent literature: his closeness to Hilbert’s spirit. In this paper I shall claim that the scientific methodology adopted by von Neumann in his later foundational reflections originates in the attempt to revaluate Hilbert’s axiomatics in the light of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. Indeed, axiomatics continues to be pursued by the Hungarian mathematician in the spirit of Hilbert’s school. (...) I shall argue this point by examining four basic ideas embraced by von Neumann in his foundational considerations: a) the conservative attitude to assume in mathematics; b) the role that mathematics and the axiomatic approach have to play in all that is science; c) the notion of success as an alternative methodological criterion to follow in scientific research; d) the empirical and, at the same time, abstract nature of mathematical thought. Once these four basic ideas have been accepted, Hilbert’s spirit in von Neumann’s methodology of science will become clear. (shrink)
Textbook on Gödel’s incompleteness theorems and computability theory, based on the Open Logic Project. Covers recursive function theory, arithmetization of syntax, the first and second incompleteness theorem, models of arithmetic, second-order logic, and the lambda calculus.
Peano arithmetic cannot serve as the ground of mathematics for it is inconsistent to infinity, and infinity is necessary for its foundation. Though Peano arithmetic cannot be complemented by any axiom of infinity, there exists at least one (logical) axiomatics consistent to infinity. That is nothing else than a new reading at issue and comparative interpretation of Gödel’s papers (1930; 1931) meant here. Peano arithmetic admits anyway generalizations consistent to infinity and thus to some addable axiom(s) of infinity. The most (...) utilized example of those generalizations is the complex Hilbert space. Any generalization of Peano arithmetic consistent to infinity, e.g. the complex Hilbert space, can serve as a foundation for mathematics to found itself and by itself. (shrink)
When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a debunking (...) explanation of folk intuitions, concluding that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions as tied into a benighted view of nature. (shrink)
Famous results by David Lewis show that plausible-sounding constraints on the probabilities of conditionals or evaluative claims lead to unacceptable results, by standard probabilistic reasoning. Existing presentations of these results rely on stronger assumptions than they really need. When we strip these arguments down to a minimal core, we can see both how certain replies miss the mark, and also how to devise parallel arguments for other domains, including epistemic “might,” probability claims, claims about comparative value, and so on. A (...) popular reply to Lewis's results is to claim that conditional claims, or claims about subjective value, lack truth conditions. For this strategy to have a chance of success, it needs to give up basic structural principles about how epistemic states can be updated—in a way that is strikingly parallel to the commitments of the project of dynamic semantics. (shrink)
We show that the respective oversights in the von Neumann's general theorem against all hidden variable theories and Bell's theorem against their local-realistic counterparts are homologous. When latter oversight is rectified, the bounds on the CHSH correlator work out to be ±2√2 instead of ±2.
Many global catastrophic risks are threatening human civilization, and a number of ideas have been suggested for preventing or surviving them. However, if these interventions fail, society could preserve information about the human race and human DNA samples in the hopes that the next civilization on Earth will be able to reconstruct Homo sapiens and our culture. This requires information preservation of an order of magnitude of 100 million years, a little-explored topic thus far. It is important that a (...) potential future civilization will discover this information as early as possible, thus a beacon should accompany the message in order to increase visibility. The message should ideally contain information about how humanity was destroyed, perhaps including a continuous recording until the end. This could help the potential future civilization to survive. The best place for long-term data storage is under the surface of the Moon, with the beacon constructed as a complex geometric figure drawn by small craters or trenches around a central point. There are several cost-effective options for sending the message as opportunistic payloads on different planned landers. (shrink)
Philosophers of language have drawn on metamathematical results in varied ways. Extensionalist philosophers have been particularly impressed with two, not unrelated, facts: the existence, due to Frege/Tarski, of a certain sort of semantics, and the seeming absence of intensional contexts from mathematical discourse. The philosophical import of these facts is at best murky. Extensionalists will emphasize the success and clarity of the model theoretic semantics; others will emphasize the relative poverty of the mathematical idiom; still others will question the aptness (...) of the standard extensional semantics for mathematics. In this paper I investigate some implications of the Gödel Second Incompleteness Theorem for these positions. I argue that the realm of mathematics, proof theory in particular, has been a breeding ground for intensionality and that satisfactory intensional semantic theories are implicit in certain rigorous technical accounts. (shrink)
Pettit (2012) presents a model of popular control over government, according to which it consists in the government being subject to those policy-making norms that everyone accepts. In this paper, I provide a formal statement of this interpretation of popular control, which illuminates its relationship to other interpretations of the idea with which it is easily conflated, and which gives rise to a theorem, similar to the famous Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem. The theorem states that if government policy is subject to popular (...) control, as Pettit interprets it, and policy responds positively to changes in citizens' normative attitudes, then there is a single individual whose normative attitudes unilaterally determine policy. I use the model and theorem as an illustrative example to discuss the role of mathematics in normative political theory. (shrink)
Proof by refutation of a geometry theorem that is not universally true produces a Gröbner basis whose elements, called side polynomials, may be used to give inequations that can be added to the hypotheses to give a valid theorem. We show that (in a certain sense) all possible subsidiary conditions are implied by those obtained from the basis; that what we call the kind of truth of the theorem may be derived from the basis; and that the side polynomials may (...) be classified in a useful way. We analyse the relationship between side polynomials and kinds of truth, and we give a unified algorithmic treatment of side polynomials, with examples generated by an implementation. (shrink)
Classical interpretations of Goedels formal reasoning, and of his conclusions, implicitly imply that mathematical languages are essentially incomplete, in the sense that the truth of some arithmetical propositions of any formal mathematical language, under any interpretation, is, both, non-algorithmic, and essentially unverifiable. However, a language of general, scientific, discourse, which intends to mathematically express, and unambiguously communicate, intuitive concepts that correspond to scientific investigations, cannot allow its mathematical propositions to be interpreted ambiguously. Such a language must, therefore, define mathematical truth (...) verifiably. We consider a constructive interpretation of classical, Tarskian, truth, and of Goedel's reasoning, under which any formal system of Peano Arithmetic---classically accepted as the foundation of all our mathematical Languages---is verifiably complete in the above sense. We show how some paradoxical concepts of Quantum mechanics can, then, be expressed, and interpreted, naturally under a constructive definition of mathematical truth. (shrink)
Population axiology is the study of the conditions under which one state of affairs is better than another, when the states of affairs in ques- tion may differ over the numbers and the identities of the persons who ever live. Extant theories include totalism, averagism, variable value theories, critical level theories, and “person-affecting” theories. Each of these the- ories is open to objections that are at least prima facie serious. A series of impossibility theorems shows that this is no (...) coincidence: it can be proved, for various sets of prima facie intuitively compelling desiderata, that no axiology can simultaneously satisfy all the desiderata on the list. One’s choice of population axiology appears to be a choice of which intuition one is least unwilling to give up. (shrink)
The Pareto principle states that if the members of society express the same preference judgment between two options, this judgment is compelling for society. A building block of normative economics and social choice theory, and often borrowed by contemporary political philosophy, the principle has rarely been subjected to philosophical criticism. The paper objects to it on the ground that it indifferently applies to those cases in which the individuals agree on both their expressed preferences and their reasons for entertaining them, (...) and those cases in which they agree on their expressed preferences, while differing on their reasons. The latter are cases of "spurious unanimity", and it is normatively inappropriate, or so the paper argues, to defend unanimity preservation at the social level for them, so the Pareto principle is formulated much too broadly. The objection seems especially powerful when the principle is applied in an ex ante context of uncertainty, in which individuals can disagree on both their probabilities and utilities, and nonetheless agree on their preferences over prospects. (shrink)
Decision theory has at its core a set of mathematical theorems that connect rational preferences to functions with certain structural properties. The components of these theorems, as well as their bearing on questions surrounding rationality, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Philosophy’s current interest in decision theory represents a convergence of two very different lines of thought, one concerned with the question of how one ought to act, and the other concerned with the question of what (...) action consists in and what it reveals about the actor’s mental states. As a result, the theory has come to have two different uses in philosophy, which we might call the normative use and the interpretive use. It also has a related use that is largely within the domain of psychology, the descriptive use. This essay examines the historical development of decision theory and its uses; the relationship between the norm of decision theory and the notion of rationality; and the interdependence of the uses of decision theory. (shrink)
Judgment aggregation theory, or rather, as we conceive of it here, logical aggregation theory generalizes social choice theory by having the aggregation rule bear on judgments of all kinds instead of merely preference judgments. It derives from Kornhauser and Sager’s doctrinal paradox and List and Pettit’s discursive dilemma, two problems that we distinguish emphatically here. The current theory has developed from the discursive dilemma, rather than the doctrinal paradox, and the final objective of the paper is to give the latter (...) its own theoretical development along the line of recent work by Dietrich and Mongin. However, the paper also aims at reviewing logical aggregation theory as such, and it covers impossibility theorems by Dietrich, Dietrich and List, Dokow and Holzman, List and Pettit, Mongin, Nehring and Puppe, Pauly and van Hees, providing a uniform logical framework in which they can be compared with each other. The review goes through three historical stages: the initial paradox and dilemma, the scattered early results on the independence axiom, and the so-called canonical theorem, a collective achievement that provided the theory with its specific method of analysis. The paper goes some way towards philosophical logic, first by briefly connecting the aggregative framework of judgment with the modern philosophy of judgment, and second by thoroughly discussing and axiomatizing the ‘general logic’ built in this framework. (shrink)
I consider the first-order modal logic which counts as valid those sentences which are true on every interpretation of the non-logical constants. Based on the assumptions that it is necessary what individuals there are and that it is necessary which propositions are necessary, Timothy Williamson has tentatively suggested an argument for the claim that this logic is determined by a possible world structure consisting of an infinite set of individuals and an infinite set of worlds. He notes that only the (...) cardinalities of these sets matters, and that not all pairs of infinite sets determine the same logic. I use so-called two-cardinal theorems from model theory to investigate the space of logics and consequence relations determined by pairs of infinite sets, and show how to eliminate the assumption that worlds are individuals from Williamson’s argument. (shrink)
As stochastic independence is essential to the mathematical development of probability theory, it seems that any foundational work on probability should be able to account for this property. Bayesian decision theory appears to be wanting in this respect. Savage’s postulates on preferences under uncertainty entail a subjective expected utility representation, and this asserts only the existence and uniqueness of a subjective probability measure, regardless of its properties. What is missing is a preference condition corresponding to stochastic independence. To fill this (...) significant gap, the article axiomatizes Bayesian decision theory afresh and proves several representation theorems in this novel framework. (shrink)
This article takes one of the richest historical debates, that of Hsun-Tzu and Mencius, as the contextual starting-point for the elaboration of human goodness. In support of Mencius, this article develops additional metaphysical and bio-social-evolutionary grounds, both of which parallel each other. The metaphysical analysis suggests that, in the spirit of Spinoza, an entity’s nature must necessarily include the drive toward its preservation. Likewise, the multi-faceted bio-social-evolutionary argument locates the fundamental telos of humanity in the preservation of social (...) ties and species preservation, leading to a life-affirming philosophy and bio-psychological deduction of human emotions based on the primary emotion of love. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that a comprehensive account of the role of representations in science should reconsider some neglected theses of the classical philosophy of science proposed in the first decades of the 20th century. More precisely, it is argued that the accounts of Helmholtz and Hertz may be taken as prototypes of representational accounts in which structure preservation plays an essential role. Following Reichenbach, structure-preserving representations provide a useful device for formulating an up-to-date version (...) of a (relativized) Kantian a priori. An essential feature of modern scientific representations is their mathematical character. That is, representations can be conceived as (partially) structure-preserving maps or functions. This observation suggests an interesting but neglected perspective on the history and philosophy of this concept, namely, that structure-preserving representations are closely related to a priori elements of scientific knowledge. Reichenbach’s early theory of a relativized constitutive but non-apodictic a priori component of scientific knowledge provides a further elaboration of Kantian aspects of scientific representation. To cope with the dynamic aspects of the evolution of scientific knowledge, Cassirer proposed a re-interpretation of the concept of representation that conceived of a particular representation as only one phase in a continuous process determined by pragmatic considerations. Pragmatic aspects of representations are further elaborated in the classical account of C.I. Lewis and the more modern of Hasok Chang. (shrink)
Harsanyi claimed that his Aggregation and Impartial Observer Theorems provide a justification for utilitarianism. This claim has been strongly resisted, notably by Sen and Weymark, who argue that while Harsanyi has perhaps shown that overall good is a linear sum of individuals’ von Neumann-Morgenstern utilities, he has done nothing to establish any con- nection between the notion of von Neumann-Morgenstern utility and that of well-being, and hence that utilitarianism does not follow. The present article defends Harsanyi against the Sen-Weymark (...) cri- tique. I argue that, far from being a term with precise and independent quantitative content whose relationship to von Neumann-Morgenstern utility is then a substantive question, terms such as ‘well-being’ suffer (or suffered) from indeterminacy regarding precisely which quantity they refer to. If so, then (on the issue that this article focuses on) Harsanyi has gone as far towards defending ‘utilitarianism in the original sense’ as could coherently be asked. (shrink)
I address two related questions. First: what value is there in visiting a museum and becoming acquainted with the objects on display? For art museums the answer seems obvious: we go to experience valuable works of art, and experiencing valuable works of art is itself valuable. In this paper I focus on non-art museums, and while these may house aesthetically valuable objects, that is not their primary purpose, and at least some of the objects they house might not be particularly (...) aesthetically valuable at all. Second: to what ontological type or category do museum objects belong? What type of item should be featured on an inventory of a museum collection? I distinguish between typical objects and special objects. While these are different types of object, both, I argue, are abstracta, not concreta. The answer to the second question, concerning the ontological category of special objects, throws new light on various philosophical questions about museums and their collections, including the question about the value of museum experiences. But it also throws light on important questions concerning the preservation and restoration of museum objects. (shrink)
Portraits are defined in part by their aim to reveal and represent the inner ‘character’ of a person. Because landscapes are typically viewed as lacking such an ‘inner life,’ one might assume that landscapes cannot be the subject of portraiture. However, the notion of landscape character plays an important role in landscape aesthetics and preservation. In this essay, I argue that landscape artworks can thus share in portraiture’s goal of capturing character, and in doing so present us with essential (...) tools for revealing the often ineffable character of place. I explain the implications of this view for debates about scientific cognitivism in environmental aesthetics, representing the narrative dimension of landscape character and integrity, and appeals to the character of place in historic and environmental preservation. (shrink)
Le concept de développement durable s’enracine dans l’histoire des mouvements de préservation de la nature et de conservation des ressources naturelles et de leurs relations avec les sciences de la nature, en particulier l’écologie. En tant que paradigme sociétal, à la fois écologique, politique et économique, il se présente comme un projet politique idéal applicable à l’ensemble des sociétés, qui prétend dépasser l’opposition entre ces deux visions profondément divergentes des relations homme‑nature. L’analyse des textes internationaux pertinents permet de dégager les (...) principes fondamentaux, interdépendants, qui structurent ce paradigme : démocratie effective, soutenabilité sociale et respect de la capacité de renouvellement des systèmes écologiques. En dépit de concessions formelles aux préservationnistes, avec l’affirmation de la valeur intrinsèque de la biodiversité, le développement durable est explicitement anthropocentré et se situe dans la filiation directe du conservationnisme. Parce que ses principes fondamentaux ne sont pas mis en oeuvre de façon intégrée, son évocation rituelle ne réussit pas à cacher ses contradictions profondes, éthiques et politiques, lesquelles l’obligeront à rester dans le champ de l’utopie. -/- Sustainable development is rooted in the history of movements for the preservation of nature and for the conservation of natural resources, and of their relationships with natural sciences, ecology having a central role. As a societal paradigm, at the same time ecological, political, and economical, sustainable development embodies ideal policy for all societies, and is supposed to overcome the opposition between these two diverging views of man-nature relationships. The analysis of international texts devoted to sustainable development emphasizes fundamental, interdependent, principles : true democracy, social sustainability, and respect for the resilience of ecological systems. Despite formal concessions to preservationists, by recognizing the intrinsic value of biodiversity, the sustainable development concept is clearly anthropocentric, and is in direct line of descent from conservationism. As its fundamental principles are not implemented in an integrated way, its ritual evocation fails to hide strong ethical and political contradictions, and it will get stuck with utopia. (shrink)
On a few occasions F.A. Hayek made reference to the famous Gödel theorems in mathematical logic in the context of expounding his cognitive and social theory. The exact meaning of the supposed relationship between Gödel's theorems and the essential proposition of Hayek's theory of mind remains subject to interpretation, however. The author of this article argues that the relationship between Hayek's thesis that the human brain can never fully explain itself and the essential insight provided by Gödel's (...) class='Hi'>theorems in mathematical logic has the character of an analogy, or a metaphor. Furthermore the anti-mechanistic interpretation of Hayek's theory of mind is revealed as highly questionable. Implications for the Socialist Calculation Debate are highlighted. It is in particular concluded that Hayek's arguments for methodological dualism, when compared with those of Ludwig von Mises, actually amount to a strengthening of the case for methodological dualism. (shrink)
This paper presents a uniform semantic treatment of nonmonotonic inference operations that allow for inferences from infinite sets of premises. The semantics is formulated in terms of selection functions and is a generalization of the preferential semantics of Shoham (1987), (1988), Kraus, Lehman, and Magidor (1990) and Makinson (1989), (1993). A selection function picks out from a given set of possible states (worlds, situations, models) a subset consisting of those states that are, in some sense, the most preferred ones. A (...) proposition α is a nonmonotonic consequence of a set of propositions Γ iff α holds in all the most preferred Γ-states. In the literature on revealed preference theory, there are a number of well-known theorems concerning the representability of selection functions, satisfying certain properties, in terms of underlying preference relations. Such theorems are utilized here to give corresponding representation theorems for nonmonotonic inference operations. At the end of the paper, the connection between nonmonotonic inference and belief revision, in the sense of Alchourrón, Gärdenfors, and Makinson, is explored. In this connection, infinitary belief revision operations that allow for the revision of a theory with a possibly infinite set of propositions are introduced and characterized axiomatically. (shrink)
A truth-preservation fallacy is using the concept of truth-preservation where some other concept is needed. For example, in certain contexts saying that consequences can be deduced from premises using truth-preserving deduction rules is a fallacy if it suggests that all truth-preserving rules are consequence-preserving. The arithmetic additive-associativity rule that yields 6 = (3 + (2 + 1)) from 6 = ((3 + 2) + 1) is truth-preserving but not consequence-preserving. As noted in James Gasser’s dissertation, Leibniz has been (...) criticized for using that rule in attempting to show that arithmetic equations are consequences of definitions. -/- A system of deductions is truth-preserving if each of its deductions having true premises has a true conclusion—and consequence-preserving if, for any given set of sentences, each deduction having premises that are consequences of that set has a conclusion that is a consequence of that set. Consequence-preserving amounts to: in each of its deductions the conclusion is a consequence of the premises. The same definitions apply to deduction rules considered as systems of deductions. Every consequence-preserving system is truth-preserving. It is not as well-known that the converse fails: not every truth-preserving system is consequence-preserving. Likewise for rules: not every truth-preserving rule is consequence-preserving. There are many famous examples. In ordinary first-order Peano-Arithmetic, the induction rule yields the conclusion ‘every number x is such that: x is zero or x is a successor’—which is not a consequence of the null set—from two tautological premises, which are consequences of the null set, of course. The arithmetic induction rule is truth-preserving but not consequence-preserving. Truth-preserving rules that are not consequence-preserving are non-logical or extra-logical rules. Such rules are unacceptable to persons espousing traditional truth-and-consequence conceptions of demonstration: a demonstration shows its conclusion is true by showing that its conclusion is a consequence of premises already known to be true. The 1965 Preface in Benson Mates (1972, vii) contains the first occurrence of truth-preservation fallacies in the book. (shrink)
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