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Showing posts from July, 2009

Tahko's paper on modal epistemology online

I see Tuomas Tahko, besides posting a bunch of pictures from his recent trip, posted also his paper on modal epistemology. It's quite interesting. Title and details below.

Two-Dimensional Modal Semantics, Conceivability, and Modal Epistemology

ABSTRACT The combination of two-dimensional modal semantics and conceivability purports to be very powerful: it upholds modal rationalism, explains a posteriori necessity, and even accounts for metaphysical impossibilities—all this while committing to only one modal space, conceptual modality. In this paper I will examine whether two-dimensional modal semantics and conceivability can produce a complete account of modal epistemology and argue that they cannot. We will see that the framework fails to account for metaphysical modality or to deal with metaphysically substantial, essentialist statements because it is unable to distinguish between trivial and substantial modal truths.

Leitgeb, "about", Yablo (again)

A paper I already mentioned has been accepted and is coming out in Logique et Analyse soon. I'm keeping the copyright and I like open-access stuff, so the most recent version is available here. Title and (updated) abstract below:

Leitgeb, "about", Yablo

Leitgeb (2002) objects against the clarity of the debate about the alleged (non-)circularity of Yablo's paradox, arguing that there are actually two notions of self-reference and circularity at play. One, on which Yablo's paradox is not circular, is defined via the reference of the constituents of a sentence, and another, on which the paradox is circular, is defined via syntactic mappings and fixed points. More importantly, Leitgeb argues that both definitions aren't satisfactory and that before we can undertake a serious debate about the circularity of Yablo's paradox we first need to clarify the notions involved. I will focus on Leitgeb's criticism of the first definition and will argue that the prob…

NCM 09 (part 1)

As promised, I begin a series of posts about Non-Classical Mathematics 2009. (I've just started using this LaTeX editor for internet, so the formulas look kinda weird, I should get used to this system within a couple of weeks).

The conference started with Greg Restall's talk titled Theories, Co-Theories & Bi-Theories in Non-Classical Mathematics. In the non-classical setting the assertion of a negation of a formula and its denial are different things. Those who accept gluts will assert negations of certain formulas without denying the formulas themselves. Those who accept gaps will deny certain formulas without asserting their negations.

Now, in a setting of a mathematical theory we're dealing with a consequence operation such that for any A and B, if A entails B, then asserting A and denying Bis a clash. This generalizes to sets of formulas.



The rules we buy into unconditionally are at least these:



There are two interesting negation rules:



Both rules hold if there are no g…

Change & contradiction

Over at Blog&~Blog, Ben Burgis has a nice post about Graham Priest's theory of change. He also raises certain difficulties for the theory. One of the objections is that if we admit that change involves contradiction, then Priest probabilistic argument for classical re-capture ("contradictions are rare, so we are most of the cases allowed to use classical rules, even if they aren't really valid") seems to fail. Even though I'm not a dialetheist myself, I'm still wondering how damaging this objection is, so I posted a comment with a sketch of a possible way out for the dialetheist. More remarks over at Blog&~Blog.

A few papers reach daylight

My long-in-the-drawer mini-trilogy about doxastic synonymy and slingshot arguments has finally reached daylight, published in The Reasoner. Here (starting on p. 4), here (starting on p. 5), and here (starting on p. 4). (I started thinking about these things in 2006 in a seminar on truth given by Prof. Ali Kazmi).

I must say, my experience with The Reasoner is quite positive, and not because they accepted the paper(s), but rather because:
Their feedback was really quick (three weeks or so).Nevertheless, I had three competent reviewers.Their helpful comments were forwarded to me together with an initial R&R. Given that there are places where your paper might be stuck for almost a year, or places that either don't justify their negative decisions or send along pretty weird reviews, The Reasoner's way of handling things is certainly praiseworthy. Of course, this result is partially obtained by severe wordcount limits; yet saying stuff in as few words as possible is quite an i…