We provide three innovations to recent debates about whether topological or “network” explanations are a species of mechanistic explanation. First, we more precisely characterize the requirement that all topological explanations are mechanistic explanations and show scientific practice to belie such a requirement. Second, we provide an account that unifies mechanistic and non-mechanistic topological explanations, thereby enriching both the mechanist and autonomist programs by highlighting when and where topological explanations are mechanistic. Third, we defend this view against some powerful mechanist objections. (...) We conclude from this that topological explanations are autonomous from their mechanistic counterparts. (shrink)
Hobbes emphasized that the state of nature is a state of war because it is characterized by fundamental and generalized distrust. Exiting the state of nature and the conflicts it inevitably fosters is therefore a matter of establishing trust. Extant discussions of trust in the philosophical literature, however, focus either on isolated dyads of trusting individuals or trust in large, faceless institutions. In this paper, I begin to fill the gap between these extremes by analyzing what I call the (...) class='Hi'>topology of communities of trust. Such communities are best understood in terms of interlocking dyadic relationships that approximate the ideal of being symmetric, Euclidean, reflexive, and transitive. Few communities of trust live up to this demanding ideal, and those that do tend to be small (between three and fifteen individuals). Nevertheless, such communities of trust serve as the conditions for the possibility of various important prudential epistemic, cultural, and mental health goods. However, communities of trust also make possible various problematic phenomena. They can become insular and walled-off from the surrounding community, leading to distrust of out-groups. And they can lead their members to abandon public goods for tribal or parochial goods. These drawbacks of communities of trust arise from some of the same mecha-nisms that give them positive prudential, epistemic, cultural, and mental health value – and so can at most be mitigated, not eliminated. (shrink)
This chapter provides a systematic overview of topological explanations in the philosophy of science literature. It does so by presenting an account of topological explanation that I (Kostić and Khalifa 2021; Kostić 2020a; 2020b; 2018) have developed in other publications and then comparing this account to other accounts of topological explanation. Finally, this appraisal is opinionated because it highlights some problems in alternative accounts of topological explanations, and also it outlines responses to some of the main criticisms raised by the (...) so-called new mechanists. (shrink)
Abstract. The aim of this paper is to sketch a topological epistemology that can be characterized as a knowledge first epistemology. For this purpose, the standard topological semantics for knowledge in terms of the interior kernel operator K of a topological space is extended to a topological semantics of belief operators B in a new way. It is shown that a topological structure has a kind of “derivation” (its “assembly” or “lattice of nuclei”) that defines a profusion of belief operators (...) B. These operators are compatible with the knowledge operator K in the sense that the all the pairs (K, B) satisfy the rules and axioms of a (weak) Stalnaker logic of knowledge and belief. The family of belief operators B compatible with K is partially ordered such that different belief operators can be compared according to their strength or reliability. Thereby, for a given topological knowledge operator, a kind of intuitionist logic of belief operators B compatible with K is defined. In sum, the topological knowledge first epistemology presented in this paper amounts to a pluralist knowledge first epistemology that conceives the relation between knowledge and belief not as a 1-1-relation but as a pluralist 1-n-relation, i.e., one knowledge operator K gives rise to a numerous family of compatible belief operators B. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that (elementary) topology may be useful for dealing with problems of epistemology and metaphysics. More precisely, I want to show that the introduction of topological structures may elucidate the role of the spatial structures (in a broad sense) that underly logic and cognition. In some detail I’ll deal with “Cassirer’s problem” that may be characterized as an early forrunner of Goodman’s “grue-bleen” problem. On a larger scale, topology turns out to (...) be useful in elaborating the approach of conceptual spaces that in the last twenty years or so has found quite a few applications in cognitive science, psychology, and linguistics. In particular, topology may help distinguish “natural” from “not-so-natural” concepts. This classical problem that up to now has withstood all efforts to solve (or dissolve) it by purely logical methods. Finally, in order to show that a topological perspective may also offer a fresh look on classical metaphysical problems, it is shown that Leibniz’s famous principle of the identity of indiscernibles is closely related to some well-known topological separation axioms. More precisely, the topological perspective gives rise in a natural way to some novel variations of Leibniz’s principle. (shrink)
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, from the central (...) position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
This paper intends to further the understanding of the formal properties of (higher-order) vagueness by connecting theories of (higher-order) vagueness with more recent work in topology. First, we provide a “translation” of Bobzien's account of columnar higher-order vagueness into the logic of topological spaces. Since columnar vagueness is an essential ingredient of her solution to the Sorites paradox, a central problem of any theory of vagueness comes into contact with the modern mathematical theory of topology. Second, Rumfitt’s recent (...) topological reconstruction of Sainsbury’s theory of prototypically defined concepts is shown to lead to the same class of spaces that characterize Bobzien’s account of columnar vagueness, namely, weakly scattered spaces. Rumfitt calls these spaces polar spaces. They turn out to be closely related to Gärdenfors’ conceptual spaces, which have come to play an ever more important role in cognitive science and related disciplines. Finally, Williamson’s “logic of clarity” is explicated in terms of a generalized topology (“locology”) that can be considered an alternative to standard topology. Arguably, locology has some conceptual advantages over topology with respect to the conceptualization of a boundary and a borderline. Moreover, in Williamson’s logic of clarity, vague concepts with respect to a notion of a locologically inspired notion of a “slim boundary” are (stably) columnar. Thus, Williamson’s logic of clarity also exhibits a certain affinity for columnar vagueness. In sum, a topological perspective is useful for a conceptual elucidation and unification of central aspects of a variety of contemporary accounts of vagueness. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a general theory of topological explanations, and illustrate its fruitfulness by showing how it accounts for explanatory asymmetry. My argument is developed in three steps. In the first step, I show what it is for some topological property A to explain some physical or dynamical property B. Based on that, I derive three key criteria of successful topological explanations: a criterion concerning the facticity of topological explanations, i.e. what makes it true of a particular system; (...) a criterion for describing counterfactual dependencies in two explanatory modes, i.e. the vertical and the horizontal; and, finally, a third perspectival one that tells us when to use the vertical and when to use the horizontal mode. In the second step, I show how this general theory of topological explanations accounts for explanatory asymmetry in both the vertical and horizontal explanatory modes. Finally, in the third step, I argue that this theory is universally applicable across biological sciences, which helps to unify essential concepts of biological networks. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to elaborate a topological semantics of knowledge and belief operators that can be used for an epistemological characterisation of Gettier cases. Relying on this semantics it will be shown that in Stalnaker’s logic KB every topological knowledge operator K is accompanied with a partially ordered family of belief operators B compatible with K in the sense that the pairs (K, B) of modal operators K and B satisfy all axioms of KB (except the contentious (...) axiom (NI) of negative introspection). For most topological models of KB Gettier cases occur in a natural way, i.e., most models of KB contain sets of possible worlds that can be interpreted as Gettier cases where true justified beliefs obtain that are not knowledge. On the other hand, there exist a special class of models that lack Gettier cases. Topologically, Gettier cases are characterized as nowhere dense sets. This entails that Gettier cases are “epistemically invisible” and “doxastically invisible”, i.e., they can neither be known by K nor consistently believed by B. The proof that Gettier cases cannot be known by knowledge operators K is elementary, the proof that they cannot be believed by belief operators B relies, however, on a non-trivial theorem of point-free topology, namely, Isbell’s density theorem. -/- Keywords. Stalnaker’s logic KB of knowledge and belief; Topological epistemology; Nuclei; Epistemic Invisibility; Doxastic invisibility; Gettier cases; Isbell’s theorem. (shrink)
In “Topology of Balasaguni’s Kutadgu Bilig: Thinking the Between,” Onur Karamercan focuses on the philosophical dimension of Kutadgu Bilig, a poetic work of Yūsuf Balasaguni, an 11th century Central Asian thinker, poet, and statesman. Karamercan pays special attention to the meaning of betweenness and, in the first step of his argument, discusses the hermeneutic and topological implications of the between, distingushing the dynamic sense of betweenness from a static sense of in-betweenness. He then moves on to analyze Balasaguni’s notion (...) of language, which he interprets as an early critique of the instrumental account of language and, by examining several selected fragments from Kutadgu Bilig, illustrates Balasaguni’s designation of language as an inexhaustible phenomenon. In the process, he also points to the possible parallels between Balasaguni’s and Heidegger’s ideas of language. In the final section of the article, building on his argument, Karamercan thematizes the margins of Turkic languages and of Islamic philosophy, suggesting that they need to be reexamined. He problematizes the very meaning of Asia itself by decentering what he calls “its internal East–West antagonism” and puts forth instead a framework based on in-betweenness reinterpreted from a topological perspective, proposing it as an alternative view which might help us make sense of the hermeneutic neighborhoods of Asian philosophies. (shrink)
Proponents of ontic conceptions of explanation require all explanations to be backed by causal, constitutive, or similar relations. Among their justifications is that only ontic conceptions can do justice to the ‘directionality’ of explanation, i.e., the requirement that if X explains Y , then not-Y does not explain not-X . Using topological explanations as an illustration, we argue that non-ontic conceptions of explanation have ample resources for securing the directionality of explanations. The different ways in which neuroscientists rely on multiplexes (...) involving both functional and anatomical connectivity in their topological explanations vividly illustrate why ontic considerations are frequently (if not always) irrelevant to explanatory directionality. Therefore, directionality poses no problem to non-ontic conceptions of explanation. (shrink)
It is a well-known fact that mathematics plays a crucial role in physics; in fact, it is virtually impossible to imagine contemporary physics without it. But it is questionable whether mathematical concepts could ever play such a role in psychology or philosophy. In this paper, we set out to examine a rather unobvious example of the application of topology, in the form of the theory of persons proposed by Kurt Lewin in his Principles of Topological Psychology. Our aim is (...) to show that this branch of mathematics can furnish a natural conceptual system for Gestalt psychology, in that it provides effective tools for describing global qualitative aspects of the latter’s object of investigation. We distinguish three possible ways in which mathematics can contribute to this: explanation, explication and metaphor. We hold that all three of these can be usefully characterized as throwing light on their subject matter, and argue that in each case this contrasts with the role of explanations in physics. Mathematics itself, we argue, provides something different from such explanations when applied in the field of psychology, and this is nevertheless still cognitively fruitful. (shrink)
Considering topology as an extension of mereology, this paper analyses topological variants of mereological essentialism (the thesis that an object could not have different parts than the ones it has). In particular, we examine de dicto and de re versions of two theses: (i) that an object cannot change its external connections (e.g., adjacent objects cannot be separated), and (ii) that an object cannot change its topological genus (e.g., a doughnut cannot turn into a sphere). Stronger forms of structural (...) essentialism, such as morphological essentialism (an object cannot change shape) and locative essentialism (an object cannot change position) are also examined. (shrink)
This is a revised version of the introductory essay in C. Eschenbach, C. Habel and B. Smith (eds.), Topological Foundations of Cognitive Science, Hamburg: Graduiertenkolleg Kognitionswissenschaft, 1994, the text of a talk delivered at the First International Summer Institute in Cognitive Science in Buffalo in July 1994.
Abstract. The aim of this paper is to present a topological method for constructing discretizations (tessellations) of conceptual spaces. The method works for a class of topological spaces that the Russian mathematician Pavel Alexandroff defined more than 80 years ago. Alexandroff spaces, as they are called today, have many interesting properties that distinguish them from other topological spaces. In particular, they exhibit a 1-1 correspondence between their specialization orders and their topological structures. Recently, a special type of Alexandroff spaces was (...) used by Ian Rumfitt to elucidate the logic of vague concepts in a new way. According to his approach, conceptual spaces such as the color spectrum give rise to classical systems of concepts that have the structure of atomic Boolean algebras. More precisely, concepts are represented as regular open regions of an underlying conceptual space endowed with a topological structure. Something is subsumed under a concept iff it is represented by an element of the conceptual space that is maximally close to the prototypical element p that defines that concept. This topological representation of concepts comes along with a representation of the familiar logical connectives of Aristotelian syllogistics in terms of natural settheoretical operations that characterize regular open interpretations of classical Boolean propositional logic. In the last 20 years, conceptual spaces have become a popular tool of dealing with a variety of problems in the fields of cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics and philosophy, mainly due to the work of Peter Gärdenfors and his collaborators. By using prototypes and metrics of similarity spaces, one obtains geometrical discretizations of conceptual spaces by so-called Voronoi tessellations. These tessellations are extensionally equivalent to topological tessellations that can be constructed for Alexandroff spaces. Thereby, Rumfitt’s and Gärdenfors’s constructions turn out to be special cases of an approach that works for a more general class of spaces, namely, for weakly scattered Alexandroff spaces. This class of spaces provides a convenient framework for conceptual spaces as used in epistemology and related disciplines in general. Alexandroff spaces are useful for elucidating problems related to the logic of vague concepts, in particular they offer a solution of the Sorites paradox (Rumfitt). Further, they provide a semantics for the logic of clearness (Bobzien) that overcomes certain problems of the concept of higher2 order vagueness. Moreover, these spaces help find a natural place for classical syllogistics in the framework of conceptual spaces. The crucial role of order theory for Alexandroff spaces can be used to refine the all-or-nothing distinction between prototypical and nonprototypical stimuli in favor of a more fine-grained gradual distinction between more-orless prototypical elements of conceptual spaces. The greater conceptual flexibility of the topological approach helps avoid some inherent inadequacies of the geometrical approach, for instance, the so-called “thickness problem” (Douven et al.) and problems of selecting a unique metric for similarity spaces. Finally, it is shown that only the Alexandroff account can deal with an issue that is gaining more and more importance for the theory of conceptual spaces, namely, the role that digital conceptual spaces play in the area of artificial intelligence, computer science and related disciplines. Keywords: Conceptual Spaces, Polar Spaces, Alexandroff Spaces, Prototypes, Topological Tessellations, Voronoi Tessellations, Digital Topology. (shrink)
The general aim of this paper is to introduce some ideas of the theory of infinite topological games into the philosophical debate on supertasks. First, we discuss the elementary aspects of some infinite topological games, among them the Banach-Mazur game.Then it is shown that the Banach-Mazur game may be conceived as a Newtonian supertask.In section 4 we propose to conceive physical experiments as infinite games. This leads to the distinction between determined and undetermined experiments and the problem of how it (...) is related to that between determinism and indeter-minism. Finally the role of the Axiom of Choice as a source of indetermi-nacy of supertasks is discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I want to show that topology has a bearing on the theory of tropes. More precisely, I propose a topological ontology of tropes. This is to be understood as follows: trope ontology is a „one-category”-ontology countenancing only one kind of basic entities, to wit, tropes. 1 Hence, individuals, properties, relations, etc. are to be constructed from tropes.
A possible world is a junky world if and only if each thing in it is a proper part. The possibility of junky worlds contradicts the principle of general fusion. Bohn (2009) argues for the possibility of junky worlds, Watson (2010) suggests that Bohn‘s arguments are flawed. This paper shows that the arguments of both authors leave much to be desired. First, relying on the classical results of Cantor, Zermelo, Fraenkel, and von Neumann, this paper proves the possibility of junky (...) worlds for certain weak set theories. Second, the paradox of Burali-Forti shows that according to the Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory ZF, junky worlds are possible. Finally, it is shown that set theories are not the only sources for designing plausible models of junky worlds: Topology (and possibly other "algebraic" mathematical theories) may be used to construct models of junky worlds. In sum, junkyness is a relatively widespread feature among possible worlds. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to investigate speciﬁc aspects connected with visualization in the practice of a mathematical subﬁeld: low-dimensional topology. Through a case study, it will be established that visualization can play an epistemic role. The background assumption is that the consideration of the actual practice of mathematics is relevant to address epistemological issues. It will be shown that in low-dimensional topology, justiﬁcations can be based on sequences of pictures. Three theses will be defended. First, the (...) representations used in the practice are an integral part of the mathematical reasoning. As a matter of fact, they convey in a material form the relevant transitions and thus allow experts to draw inferential connections. Second, in low-dimensional topology experts exploit a particular type of manipulative imagination which is connected to intuition of two- and three-dimensional space and motor agency. This imagination allows recognizing the transformations which connect diﬀerent pictures in an argument. Third, the epistemic—and inferential—actions performed are permissible only within a speciﬁc practice: this form of reasoning is subject-matter dependent. Local criteria of validity are established to assure the soundness of representationally heterogeneous arguments in low-dimensional topology. (shrink)
In this thesis we present two logical systems, $\bf MP$ and $\MP$, for the purpose of reasoning about knowledge and effort. These logical systems will be interpreted in a spatial context and therefore, the abstract concepts of knowledge and effort will be defined by concrete mathematical concepts.
Irigaray’s engagement with Aristotelian physics provides a specific diagnosis of women’s ontological and ethical situation under Western metaphysics: Women provide place and containership to men, but have no place of their own, rendering them uncontained and abyssal. She calls for a reconfiguration of this topological imaginary as a precondition for an ethics of sexual difference. This paper returns to Aristotelian cosmological texts to further investigate the topologies of sexual difference suggested there. In an analysis both psychoanalytic and phenomenological, the paper (...) rigorously traces a teleological and oedipal narrative implicit in the structure of the Aristotelian cosmos, in which desire for the mother is superseded by love for the father. Further, the paper argues that this narrative is complicated by certain other elements in the Aristotelian text—aporias involving the notion of boundary and the relationship between space and time, the fallenness of the feminine, and the ineliminably aleatory qualities of matter. The paper concludes that such elements may provide material for disrupting this teleology of gender, opening onto not merely an ethics of sexual difference, but providing space and place for a proliferation of non-normative, queer, transgender and intersex modes of sexed and gendered subjectivity. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that topology has a bearing on<br><br>combinatorial theories of possibility. The approach developed in this article is “mapping account” considering combinatorial worlds as mappings from individuals to properties. Topological structures are used to define constraints on the mappings thereby characterizing the “really possible” combinations. The mapping approach avoids the well-known incompatibility problems. Moreover, it is compatible with atomistic as well as with non-atomistic ontologies.It helps to elucidate the positions of logical atomism and (...) monism with theaid of topological separation axioms. (shrink)
The objective of this article is twofold. First, a methodological issue is addressed. It is pointed out that even if philosophers of mathematics have been recently more and more concerned with the practice of mathematics, there is still a need for a sharp deﬁnition of what the targets of a philosophy of mathematical practice should be. Three possible objects of inquiry are put forward: (1) the collective dimension of the practice of mathematics; (2) the cognitives capacities requested to the practitioners; (...) and (3) the speciﬁc forms of representation and notation shared and selected by the practitioners. Moreover, it is claimed that a broadening of the notion of ‘permissible action’ as introduced by Larvor (2012) with respect to mathematical arguments, allows for a consideration of all these three elements simultaneously. Second, a case from topology – the proof of Alexander’s theorem – is presented to illustrate a concrete analysis of a mathematical practice and to exemplify the proposed method. It is discussed that the attention to the three elements of the practice identiﬁed above brings to the emergence of philosophically relevant features in the practice of topology: the need for a revision in the deﬁnition of criteria of validity, the interest in tracking the operations that are performed on the notation, and the constant and fruitful back-and-forth from one representation to another in dealing with mathematical content. Finally, some suggestions for further research are given in the conclusions. (shrink)
A collection of papers presented at the First International Summer Institute in Cognitive Science, University at Buffalo, July 1994, including the following papers: ** Topological Foundations of Cognitive Science, Barry Smith ** The Bounds of Axiomatisation, Graham White ** Rethinking Boundaries, Wojciech Zelaniec ** Sheaf Mereology and Space Cognition, Jean Petitot ** A Mereotopological Definition of 'Point', Carola Eschenbach ** Discreteness, Finiteness, and the Structure of Topological Spaces, Christopher Habel ** Mass Reference and the Geometry of Solids, Almerindo E. Ojeda (...) ** Defining a 'Doughnut' Made Difficult, N .M. Gotts ** A Theory of Spatial Regions with Indeterminate Boundaries, A.G. Cohn and N.M. Gotts ** Mereotopological Construction of Time from Events, Fabio Pianesi and Achille C. Varzi ** Computational Mereology: A Study of Part-of Relations for Multi-media Indexing, Wlodek Zadrozny and Michelle Kim. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that topology has a bearing on Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII). According to (PII), if, for all properties F, an object a has property F iff object b has property F, then a and b are identical. If any property F whatsoever is permitted in PII, then Leibniz’s principle is trivial, as is shown by “identity properties”. The aim of this paper is to show that topology can (...) make a contribution to the problem of giving criteria of how to restrict the domain of properties to render (PII) non-trivial. In topology a wealth of different Leibnizian principles of identity can be defined - PII turns out to be just the weakest topological separation axiom T0 in disguise, stronger principles of can be defined with the aid of higher separation axioms Ti, i > 0. Topologically defined properties have a variety of nice features, in particular they are stable in a natural sense. Topologically defined properties do not have a monopoly on defining “good” properties. In the final section of the paper it is show that the topological approach is closely related to Gärdenfors’s approach of conceptual spaces based on the concept of convexity. (shrink)
In the last two decades, philosophy of neuroscience has predominantly focused on explanation. Indeed, it has been argued that mechanistic models are the standards of explanatory success in neuroscience over, among other things, topological models. However, explanatory power is only one virtue of a scientific model. Another is its predictive power. Unfortunately, the notion of prediction has received comparatively little attention in the philosophy of neuroscience, in part because predictions seem disconnected from interventions. In contrast, we argue that topological predictions (...) can and do guide interventions in science, both inside and outside of neuroscience. Topological models allow researchers to predict many phenomena, including diseases, treatment outcomes, aging, and cognition, among others. Moreover, we argue that these predictions also offer strategies for useful interventions. Topology-based predictions play this role regardless of whether they do or can receive a mechanistic interpretation. We conclude by making a case for philosophers to focus on prediction in neuroscience in addition to explanation alone. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show that every topological space gives rise to a wealth of topological models of the modal logic S4.1. The construction of these models is based on the fact that every space defines a Boolean closure algebra (to be called a McKinsey algebra) that neatly reflects the structure of the modal system S4.1. It is shown that the class of topological models based on McKinsey algebras contains a canonical model that can be used to (...) prove a completeness theorem for S4.1. Further, it is shown that the McKinsey algebra MKX of a space X endoewed with an alpha-topologiy satisfies Esakia's GRZ axiom. (shrink)
Physical boundaries and the earliest topologists. Topology has a relatively short history; but its 19th century roots are embedded in philosophical problems about the nature of extended substances and their boundaries which go back to Zeno and Aristotle. Although it seems that there have always been philosophers interested in these matters, questions about the boundaries of three-dimensional objects were closest to center stage during the later medieval and modern periods. Are the boundaries of an object actually existing, less-than-three-dimensional parts (...) of the object—that is, are solids bounded by two-dimensional surfaces, surfaces by one-dimensional “edges” or “physical lines”, edges by dimensionless “simples”? If not, how does a perfectly spherical object manage to touch a perfectly flat object—what part of the sphere is in immediate contact with the plane, if the sphere has no unextended parts? But if such parts be admitted, are we not then saddled with “actual infinities” of simples, lines, and surfaces spread throughout each continuous object—the boundaries of all the object’s internal parts? Does it help to say that these internal boundaries exist only “potentially”? (shrink)
Neutrosophy has been introduced by Smarandache [7, 8] as a new branch of philosophy. The purpose of this paper is to construct a new set theory called the neutrosophic set. After given the fundamental definitions of neutrosophic set operations, we obtain several properties, and discussed the relationship between neutrosophic sets and others. Finally, we extend the concepts of fuzzy topological space [4], and intuitionistic fuzzy topological space [5, 6] to the case of neutrosophic sets. Possible application to superstrings and space–time (...) are touched upon. (shrink)
We develop a simple framework called ‘natural topology’, which can serve as a theoretical and applicable basis for dealing with real-world phenomena.Natural topology is tailored to make pointwise and pointfree notions go together naturally. As a constructive theory in BISH, it gives a classical mathematician a faithful idea of important concepts and results in intuitionism. -/- Natural topology is well-suited for practical and computational purposes. We give several examples relevant for applied mathematics, such as the decision-support system (...) Hawk-Eye, and various real-number representations. -/- We compare classical mathematics (CLASS), intuitionistic mathematics (INT), recursive mathematics (RUSS), Bishop-style mathematics (BISH) and formal topology, aiming to reduce the mutual differences to their essence. To do so, our mathematical foundation must be precise and simple. There are links with physics, regarding the topological character of our physical universe. -/- Any natural space is isomorphic to a quotient space of Baire space, which therefore is universal. We develop an elegant and concise ‘genetic induction’ scheme, and prove its equivalence on natural spaces to a formal-topological induction style. The inductive Heine-Borel property holds for ‘compact’ or ‘fanlike’ natural subspaces, including the real interval [g, h]. Inductive morphisms respect this Heine-Borel property, inversely. This partly solves the continuous-function problem for BISH, yet pointwise problems persist in the absence of Brouwer’s Thesis. -/- By inductivizing the definitions, a direct correspondence with INT is obtained which allows for a translation of many intuitionistic results into BISH. We thus prove a constructive star-finitary metrization theorem which parallels the classical metrization theorem for strongly paracompact spaces. We also obtain non-metrizable Silva spaces, in infinite-dimensional topology. Natural topology gives a solid basis, we think, for further constructive study of topological lattice theory, algebraic topology and infinite-dimensional topology. The final section reconsiders the question of which mathematics to choose for physics. Compactness issues also play a role here, since the question ‘can Nature produce a non-recursive sequence?’ finds a negative answer in CTphys . CTphys , if true, would seem at first glance to point to RUSS as the mathematics of choice for physics. To discuss this issue, we wax more philosophical. We also present a simple model of INT in RUSS, in the two-players game LIfE. (shrink)
A topological model of elementary semiotic schemes is presented. Implications are discussed with respect to the establishment of abstract terms and the search for ultimate meaning.
While mechanistic explanation and, to a lesser extent, nomological explanation are well-explored topics in the philosophy of biology, topological explanation is not. Nor is the role of diagrams in topological explanations. These explanations do not appeal to the operation of mechanisms or laws, and extant accounts of the role of diagrams in biological science explain neither why scientists might prefer diagrammatic representations of topological information to sentential equivalents nor how such representations might facilitate important processes of explanatory reasoning unavailable to (...) scientists who restrict themselves to sentential representations. Accordingly, relying upon a case study about immune system vulnerability to attacks on CD4+ T-cells, I argue that diagrams group together information in a way that avoids repetition in representing topological structure, facilitate identification of specific topological properties of those structures, and make available to controlled processing explanatorily salient counterfactual information about topological structures, all in ways that sentential counterparts of diagrams do not. (shrink)
A central concept for information retrieval is that of similarity. Although an information retrieval system is expected to return a set of documents most relevant to the query word(s), it is often described as returning a set of documents most similar to the query. The authors argue that in order to reason with similarity we need to model the concept of discriminating power. They offer a simple topological notion called resolution space that provides a rich mathematical framework for reasoning with (...) limited discriminating power, avoiding the vagueness paradox. (shrink)
The first aim of this paper is to prove a topological completeness theorem for a weak version of Stalnaker’s logic KB of knowledge and belief. The weak version of KB is characterized by the assumption that the axioms and rules of KB have to be satisfied with the exception of the axiom (NI) of negative introspection. The proof of a topological completeness theorem for weak KB is based on the fact that nuclei (as defined in the framework of point-free (...) class='Hi'>topology) give rise to a profusion of topological belief operators that are compatible with the familiar topological knowledge operator. Thereby a canonical topological model for weak KB can be constructed. For this canonical model a truth lemma for the K and B holds such that a completeness theorem for KB can be proved in the familiar way. The second aim of this paper is to show that the topological interpretation of knowledge K comes along with a complete Heyting algebra of belief operators B that all fit the knowledge operator K in the sense that the pairs (K, B) satisfy all axioms of weak KB. This amounts to a pluralistic relation between knowledge and belief: Knowledge does not fully determine belief, rather it designs a conceptual space for belief operators where different (competing) belief operators coexist. (shrink)
In this article we provide a mathematical model of Kant?s temporal continuum that satisfies the (not obviously consistent) synthetic a priori principles for time that Kant lists in the Critique of pure Reason (CPR), the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (MFNS), the Opus Postumum and the notes and frag- ments published after his death. The continuum so obtained has some affinities with the Brouwerian continuum, but it also has ‘infinitesimal intervals’ consisting of nilpotent infinitesimals, which capture Kant’s theory of rest (...) and motion in MFNS. While constructing the model, we establish a concordance between the informal notions of Kant?s theory of the temporal continuum, and formal correlates to these notions in the mathematical theory. Our mathematical reconstruction of Kant?s theory of time allows us to understand what ?faculties and functions? must be in place for time to satisfy all the synthetic a priori principles for time mentioned. We have presented here a mathematically precise account of Kant?s transcendental argument for time in the CPR and of the rela- tion between the categories, the synthetic a priori principles for time, and the unity of apperception; the most precise account of this relation to date. We focus our exposition on a mathematical analysis of Kant’s informal terminology, but for reasons of space, most theorems are explained but not formally proven; formal proofs are available in (Pinosio, 2017). The analysis presented in this paper is related to the more general project of developing a formalization of Kant’s critical philosophy (Achourioti & van Lambalgen, 2011). A formal approach can shed light on the most controversial concepts of Kant’s theoretical philosophy, and is a valuable exegetical tool in its own right. However, we wish to make clear that mathematical formalization cannot displace traditional exegetical methods, but that it is rather an exegetical tool in its own right, which works best when it is coupled with a keen awareness of the subtleties involved in understanding the philosophical issues at hand. In this case, a virtuous ?hermeneutic circle? between mathematical formalization and philosophical discourse arises. (shrink)
The existence of singularities alerts that one of the highest priorities of a centennial perspective on general relativity should be a careful re-thinking of the validity domain of Einstein’s field equations. We address the problem of constructing distinguishable extensions of the smooth spacetime manifold model, which can incorporate singularities, while retaining the form of the field equations. The sheaf-theoretic formulation of this problem is tantamount to extending the algebra sheaf of smooth functions to a distribution-like algebra sheaf in which the (...) former may be embedded, satisfying the pertinent cohomological conditions required for the coordinatization of all of the tensorial physical quantities, such that the form of the field equations is preserved. We present in detail the construction of these distribution-like algebra sheaves in terms of residue classes of sequences of smooth functions modulo the information of singular loci encoded in suitable ideals. Finally, we consider the application of these distribution-like solution sheaves in geometrodynamics by modeling topologically-circular boundaries of singular loci in three-dimensional space in terms of topological links. It turns out that the Borromean link represents higher order wormhole solutions. (shrink)
So-called ‘distinctively mathematical explanations’ (DMEs) are said to explain physical phenomena, not in terms of contingent causal laws, but rather in terms of mathematical necessities that constrain the physical system in question. Lange argues that the existence of four or more equilibrium positions of any double pendulum has a DME. Here we refute both Lange’s claim itself and a strengthened and extended version of the claim that would pertain to any n-tuple pendulum system on the ground that such explanations are (...) actually causal explanations in disguise and their associated modal conditionals are not general enough to explain the said features of such dynamical systems. We argue and show that if circumscribing the antecedent for a necessarily true conditional in such explanations involves making a causal analysis of the problem, then the resulting explanation is not distinctively mathematical or non-causal. Our argument generalises to other dynamical systems that may have purported DMEs analogous to the one proposed by Lange, and even to some other counterfactual accounts of non-causal explanation given by Reutlinger and Rice. (shrink)
In parts of his Notebooks, Tractatus and in “Lecture on Ethics”, Wittgenstein advanced a new approach to the problems of the meaning of life. It was developed as a reaction to the explorations on this theme by Bertrand Russell. Wittgenstein’s objective was to treat it with a higher degree of exactness. The present paper shows that he reached exactness by treating themes of philosophical anthropology using the formal method of topology.
I argue that relations between non-collocated spatial entities, between non-identical topological spaces, and between non-identical basic building blocks of space, do not exist. If any spatially located entities are not at the same spatial location, or if any topological spaces or basic building blocks of space are non-identical, I will argue that there are no relations between or among them. The arguments I present are arguments that I have not seen in the literature.
The aim of this paper is to elucidate the relationship between Aristotelian conceptual oppositions, commutative diagrams of relational structures, and Galois connections.This is done by investigating in detail some examples of Aristotelian conceptual oppositions arising from topological spaces and similarity structures. The main technical device for this endeavor is the notion of Galois connections of order structures.
The concept of similarity has had a rather mixed reputation in philosophy and the sciences. On the one hand, philosophers such as Goodman and Quine emphasized the „logically repugnant“ and „insidious“ character of the concept of similarity that allegedly renders it inaccessible for a proper logical analysis. On the other hand, a philosopher such as Carnap assigned a central role to similarity in his constitutional theory. Moreover, the importance and perhaps even indispensibility of the concept of similarity for many empirical (...) sciences can hardly be denied. The aim of this paper is to show that Quine’s and Goodman’s harsh verdicts about this notion are mistaken. The concept of similarity is susceptible to a precise logico-mathematical analysis through which its place in the conceptual landscape of modern mathematical theories such as order theory, topology, and graph theory becomes visible. Thereby it can be shown that a quasi-analysis of a similarity structure S can be conceived of as a sheaf (etale space) over S. (shrink)
In this paper the propositional logic LTop is introduced, as an extension of classical propositional logic by adding a paraconsistent negation. This logic has a very natural interpretation in terms of topological models. The logic LTop is nothing more than an alternative presentation of modal logic S4, but in the language of a paraconsistent logic. Moreover, LTop is a logic of formal inconsistency in which the consistency and inconsistency operators have a nice topological interpretation. This constitutes a new proof of (...) S4 as being "the logic of topological spaces", but now under the perspective of paraconsistency. (shrink)
I elucidate Heidegger’s understanding of the “place-being” of the “question of being.” My premises are: 1) Heidegger’s “question of being” can be appropriately made sense of as the “question of language.” 2) The “question of language” requires a topological approach that looks into the link between the place-nature of language and the open-bounded essence of human existence. First, I explain the topological underpinnings of Heidegger’s later thought of being as the clearing and language; second, I examine Sheehan’s phenomenological reading of (...) Heidegger by focusing on the relationship between alētheia and appropriation. In the first section, I explain the correlation between place and language within the context of the “question of being” and display how understanding the former is crucial in having a more complete perspective for the latter. In the second section, I examine Sheehan’s acknowledgment of Heidegger’s idea of place in his understanding of the nature of human existence in relation to Ereignis, while criticizing the “metaphorical” reading of the “placebeing” of the clearing. (shrink)
The being is derived by a difference in Lacanian ontology. This difference is the basic element in Lacanian theory that grounds the unconscious subject. Because according to Lacan, the existence of the subject can not be self-proclaimed and it is represented by a signifier. Lacan gives the name "object a" to this paradoxical being which is distinguished by this difference or lack, and uses some topological transformations in order to be able to explain the structural paradoxes in the psychological theory. (...) The aim of this study is to explore the ontology of these paradoxical situations and try to decipher the function of topology in Lacan's theory. (shrink)
Geometry was a main source of inspiration for Carnap’s conventionalism. Taking Poincaré as his witness Carnap asserted in his dissertation Der Raum (Carnap 1922) that the metrical structure of space is conventional while the underlying topological structure describes "objective" facts. With only minor modifications he stuck to this account throughout his life. The aim of this paper is to disprove Carnap's contention by invoking some classical theorems of differential topology. By this means his metrical conventionalism turns out to be (...) indefensible for mathematical reasons. This implies that the relation between to-pology and geometry cannot be conceptualized as analogous to the relation between the meaning of a proposition and its expression in some language as logical empiricists used to say. (shrink)
General Relativity says gravity is a push caused by space-time's curvature. Combining General Relativity with E=mc2 results in distances being totally deleted from space-time/gravity by future technology, and in expansion or contraction of the universe as a whole being eliminated. The road to these conclusions has branches shining light on supersymmetry and superconductivity. This push of gravitational waves may be directed from intergalactic space towards galaxy centres, helping to hold galaxies together and also creating supermassive black holes. Together with the (...) waves' possible production of "dark" matter in higher dimensions, there's ample reason to believe knowledge of gravitational waves has barely begun. Advanced waves are usually discarded by scientists because they're thought to violate the causality principle. Just as advanced waves are usually discarded, very few physicists or mathematicians will venture to ascribe a physical meaning to Wick rotation and "imaginary" time. Here, that maths (when joined with Mobius-strip and Klein-bottle topology) unifies space and time into one space-time, and allows construction of what may be called "imaginary computers". This research idea you're reading is not intended to be a formal theory presenting scientific jargon and mathematical formalism. (shrink)
Abstract: Theories of rough sets and fuzzy sets are related and complementary methodologies to handle uncertainty of vagueness and coarseness, respectively. They are generalizations of classical set theory for modeling vagueness and uncertainty. A fundamental question concerning both theories is their connections and differences. There have been many studies on this topic. Topology is a branch of mathematics, whose ideas exist not only in almost all branches of mathematics but also in many real life applications. The topological structure on (...) an abstract set is used as the base, which used to extract knowledge from data. In this paper: topological structure is used to study the relation between rough sets and fuzzy sets. Membership function is used to convert from rough set to fuzzy set and vice versa. This conversion will achieve the advantages of two theories. Some examples and theories are introduced to indicate the importance of using general binary relations in the construction of rough set concepts, and indicate the relation between rough sets and fuzzy sets according to the topological spaces. (shrink)
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