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LINGUISTIX&LOGIK, Tony Marmo's blog
Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Other Ways of Paradox 
By William G. Lycan 

In "The Ways of Paradox" (1966), Quine offered his classic characterization of the notion of paradox, a taxonomy for paradoxical arguments, and some vocabulary for discussing them. In this paper I shall generalize Quine's taxonomy and defend a simpler characterization. My characterization will have the virtue or the flaw (as might be) of making paradox a matter of degree. 

Posted by Tony Marmo at 22:40 GMT
Updated: Thursday, 7 January 2010 23:32 GMT
Thursday, 10 December 2009

Topic: Counterfactuals
Counterfactual desire as belief
By J. Robert G. Williams

Bryne & Hájek (1997) argue that Lewis's (1988; 1996) objections to identifying desire with belief do not go through if our notion of desire is ‘causalized' (characterized by causal, rather than evidential, decision theory). I argue that versions of the argument go through on certain assumptions about the formulation of decision theory. There is one version of causal decision theory where the original arguments cannot be formulated-the ‘imaging' formulation that Joyce (1999) advocates. But I argue this formulation is independently objectionable. If we want to maintain the desire as belief thesis, there's no shortcut through causalization.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 01:44 GMT
Updated: Thursday, 7 January 2010 23:32 GMT
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Topic: Temporal Logic

Amir Pnueli, Pioneer of Temporal Logic

Amir Pnueli, who turned philosophical studies of time, logic and free will into a critical technique for verifying the reliability of computers, died on Nov. 2 in Manhattan, of brain hemorrhage, at the age of 68. [Read more at the NYT site]


Posted by Tony Marmo at 17:41 GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 18 November 2009 17:51 GMT
Thursday, 12 March 2009
This blog will be updated very soon.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 17:44 BST
Monday, 14 April 2008


The Modal Logic of Agreement and Noncontingency

Lloyd Humberstone

The formula DA (it is noncontingent whether A) is true at a point in a Kripke model just in case all points accessible to that point agree on the truth-value of A. We can think of D-based modal logic as a special case of what we call the general modal logic of agreement, interpreted with the aid of models supporting a ternary relation, S, say, with OA (which we write instead of DA to emphasize the generalization involved) true at a point w just in case for all points x, y, with Swxy, x and y agree on the truth-value of A. The noncontingency interpretation is the special case in which Swxy if and only if Rwx and Rwy, where R is a traditional binary accessibility relation. Another application, related to work of Lewis and von Kutschera, allows us to think of OA as saying that A is entirely about a certain subject matter.

Keywords: modal logic; contingency; noncontingency; subject matters; supervenience
Source: Notre Dame J. Formal Logic Volume 43, Number 2 (2002), 95-127.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 01:13 BST
Thursday, 31 January 2008

Topic: Counterfactuals
Causal Structuralism, 
Dispositional Actualism, and
Counterfactual Conditionals
By Antony Eagle

Dispositional essentialists are typically committed to two claims: that properties are individuated by their causal role (‘causal structuralism’), and that natural necessity is to be explained by appeal to these causal roles (‘dispositional actualism’). I argue that these two claims cannot be  simultaneously maintained; and that the correct response is to deny dispositional actualism. Causal structuralism remains an attractive position, but doesn’t in fact provide much support for dispositional essentialism.
Forthcoming in Toby Handfield (ed) Dispositions Causes, OUP 
Source:Online Papers in Philosophy

Posted by Tony Marmo at 06:42 GMT
Updated: Thursday, 31 January 2008 07:04 GMT
Wednesday, 2 January 2008

HAPPY 2008


Posted by Tony Marmo at 06:52 GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008 06:53 GMT
Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Topic: Polemics


By Volker Halbach


It has been proposed to block Fitch’s paradox by disallowing a predicate or sentential operator of knowledge that can be applied to sentences containing the same predicate or operator of knowledge. Furthermore it has been claimed that this move is not ad hoc as there is independent motivation for this restriction, because this restriction provides a solution also to paradoxes arising from selfreference like the paradox of the Knower. A solution to paradoxes arising from selfreference is only needed if knowledge is treated as a predicate that can be diagonalized. However, if knowledge and possibility are conceived as such predicates with type restrictions, a new paradox arises. Very basic, jointly consistent assumptions on the predicates of knowledge and possibility yield an inconsistency if (a typed version of) the verifiability principle is added.

[read more]

Analysis 68 (2008), to appear

Posted by Tony Marmo at 19:29 BST
Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007 19:31 BST
Friday, 31 August 2007

Topic: Counterfactuals
By Igal Kvart

In this paper I first go through an argument against cause transitivity, then sketch the theories of probabilistic cause and counterfactuals that I advanced. I then proceed to the main goal of this paper: to present the counterfactual analysis of cause that follows from them.

Appeared in Synthese 127: 389-427, 2001.

Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:48 BST

Topic: Counterfactuals



By Richard Otte

Philosophers have often attempted to use counterfactual conditionals to analyze probability. This article focuses on counterfactual analyzes of epistemic probability by Alvin Plantinga and Peter van Inwagen. I argue that a certain type of counterfactual situation creates problems for these analyses. I then argue that Plantinga's intuition about the role of warrant in epistemic probability is mistaken. Both van Inwagen's and Plantinga's intuitions about epistemic probability are flawed.

Source: Online Papers in Philosophy

Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:27 BST
Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007 18:44 BST

Topic: Counterfactuals
Impossible Worlds and Knowledge of Necessary Truths
By Allan Hazlett

I propose that safety and sensitivity conditionals may be used to explain the reliability of beliefs in necessary truths, by appeal to a non-standard semantics for counterfactuals with impossible antecedents and necessarily true consequents. 
Source: Online Papers in Philosophy  

Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:11 BST
Friday, 29 June 2007

On the Distinction between Relational and Functional Type Theory
By Paul E. Oppenheimer and Edward N. Zalta
It is commonly believed that it makes no difference whether one starts with relational types or functional types in formulating type theory, since one can either start with relations as primitive and represent functions as relations or start with functions as primitive and represent relations as functions. It is also commonly believed that the formula-based logic of relational type theory is equivalent to the term-based logic of functional type theory. However, in this paper, the authors argue that there are systems with logics that can be properly characterized in relational type theory, but not in functional type theory.
Source: Online Papers in Philosophy 

Posted by Tony Marmo at 17:08 BST
Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007 17:19 BST
Wednesday, 6 June 2007


Context, Content and Relativism

By Michael Glanzberg

Here is a simple and inviting picture: the semantic values of sentences, relative to contexts,are sets of possible worlds. These are the truth conditions of assertions of those sentences in contexts. They are thus the contents of assertions, or the objects of attitudes we might take towards such contents.
There have been many questions raised about the simple picture. I propose to ignore these questions to focus on whether the semantic values of sentences hould be sets of something more than possible worlds.
My main concern here shall be with the philosophy of language side of this debate. I shall argue that in fact, thinking about the way language works does not give us any argument for relativism. I shall also suggest, in the end, that the argument which leads to this kind of rampant relativism hinges on a particularly stringent view about the way context fixes contextual parameters. I shall suggest this stringent view is not well-justified, and that language shows us many contextual effects which do not conform to it. This will not constitute a knock-down argument against relativism, but I do hope to show that sober reflection on language offers relativism no support.

Source: Semantics Archive 

Posted by Tony Marmo at 16:18 BST
Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007 16:33 BST
Monday, 4 June 2007

A propositional logic for Tarski's consequence operator

By Hércules de Araújo Feitosa, Mauri Cunha do Nascimento & Maria Claudia Cabrini Grácio

This paper presents the TK-algebras associated to Tarski's consequence operator and introduces the TK Logic. So it shows the adequacy (soundness and completeness) of TK Logic relative to the algebraic model given by TK-algebras.

Source: CLE e-prints Vol. 7(1), 2007

Posted by Tony Marmo at 15:19 BST
Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007 15:37 BST
Friday, 1 June 2007


Sylvan's Box: A Short Story and Ten Morals

By Graham Priest

The paper contains a short story which is inconsistent, essentially so, but perfectly intelligible. The existence of such a story is used to establish various views about truth in fiction and impossible worlds.

Source: Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic Volume 38, Number 4 (1997), 573-582.
 Check peer's review here

Posted by Tony Marmo at 18:45 BST
Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007 18:58 BST

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