1. 29781.304015
    In March, I’ll be talking at Spencer Breiner‘s workshop on Applied Category Theory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. I’ll be giving a joint talk with John Foley about our work using operads to design networks. …
    Found 8 hours, 16 minutes ago on Azimuth
  2. 47912.304062
    Davidson’s well-known language skepticism—the claim that there is no such a thing as a language—has recognizably Gricean underpinnings, some of which also underlie his continuity skepticism—the claim that there can be no philosophically illuminating account of the emergence of language and thought. My first aim in this paper is to highlight aspects of the complicated relationship between central Davidsonian and Gricean ideas concerning language. After a brief review of Davidson’s two skeptical claims and their Gricean underpinnings, I provide my own take on how Davidson’s continuity skepticism can be resisted consistently with his rejection of the Gricean priority claim, yet without giving up some of Grice’s own insights regarding the origins of meaning.
    Found 13 hours, 18 minutes ago on Dorit Bar-On's site
  3. 254078.304083
    It is often said that ‘what it is like’-knowledge cannot be acquired by consulting testimony or reading books [Lewis 1998; Paul 2014; 2015a]. However, people also routinely consult books like What It Is Like to Go to War [Marlantes 2014], and countless ‘what it is like’ articles and youtube videos, in the apparent hope of gaining knowledge about what it is like to have experiences they have not had themselves. This article examines this puzzle and tries to solve it by appealing to recent work on knowing-wh ascriptions. In closing I indicate the wider significance of these ideas by showing how they can help us to evaluate prominent arguments by Paul [2014; 2015a] concerning transformative experiences.
    Found 2 days, 22 hours ago on PhilPapers
  4. 305098.304097
    The internet has made it easier than ever to speak to others. It has empowered individuals to publish our opinions without first convincing a media company of their commercial value; to find and share others' views without the fuss of photocopying and mailing newspaper clippings; and to respond to those views without the limitations of a newspaper letter page. …
    Found 3 days, 12 hours ago on The Philosopher's Beard
  5. 635378.304111
    This essay is an opinionated exploration of the constraints that modal discourse imposes on the theory of assertion. Primary focus is on the question whether modal discourse challenges the traditional view that all assertions have propositional content. This question is tackled largely with reference to discourse involving epistemic modals, although connections with other flavors of modality are noted along the way.
    Found 1 week ago on Fabrizio Cariani's site
  6. 723529.304124
    Now students in the Applied Category Theory 2018 school are reading about categories applied to linguistics. Read the blog article here for more: • Jade Master and Cory Griffith, Linguistics using category theory, The n-Category Café, 6 February 2018. …
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on Azimuth
  7. 898388.304138
    [Editor's Note: The following new entry by Ana María Mora-Márquez replaces the former entry on this topic by the previous author.] Simon of Faversham († 1306) was a thirteenth-century scholar, mainly known as a commentator on Aristotle’s logic and natural philosophy. He is considered a modist, among other things because of his use of the notions of modi praedicandi and modi essendi in his commentary on Aristotle’s Categories (cf. Marmo 1999). Simon’s work as an Aristotelian commentator heavily relies on Albert the Great’s paraphrases on the Aristotelian corpus. Simon’s question-commentaries often portray key medieval discussions in a somewhat undeveloped state.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  8. 990583.304151
    There is an ambiguity in the fundamental concept of deductive logic that went unnoticed until the middle of the 20th Century. Sorting it out has led to profound mathematical investigations with applications in complexity theory and computer science. The origins of this ambiguity and the history of its resolution deserve philosophical attention, because our understanding of logic stands to benefit from an appreciation of their details.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on Curtis Franks's site
  9. 1004281.304164
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Secondly, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents oneself as not having any confused beliefs about the object to which one intends to refer. This paves the way for an intentionalist theory of reference that circumvents well known problems, which have not been adequately addressed before in the literature.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  10. 1004416.304177
    Buchanan (2014) argues for a Gricean solution to well-known counterexamples to direct reference theories of content. Peet ( ) develops a way to change the counterexample so that it seems to speak against Buchanan’s own proposal. I argue that both theorists fail to notice a significant distinction between the kinds of cases at issue. Those appearing to count against direct reference theory must be described such that speakers have false beliefs about the identity of the object to which they intend to refer, beliefs that appear relevant to the determination of what constitutes communicative success. This suggests, further, that cases of this sort do not provide a basis for robust generalizations about singular reference.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  11. 1063771.304192
    I discuss the problem of whether true contradictions of the form “x is P and not P ” might be the expression of an implicit relativization to distinct respects of application of one and the same predicate P . Priest rightly claims that one should not mistake true contradictions for an expression of lexical ambiguity. However, he primarily targets cases of homophony for which lexical meanings do not overlap. There exist more subtle forms of equivocation, such as the relation of privative opposition singled out by Zwicky and Sadock in their study of ambiguity. I argue that this relation, which is basically a relation of general to more specific, underlies the logical form of true contradictions. The generalization appears to be that all true contradictions really mean “x is P in some respects/to some extent, but not in all respects/not to all extent”. I relate this to the strict-tolerant account of vague predicates and outline a variant of the account to cover one-dimensional and multi-dimensional predicates.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Paul Egré's site
  12. 1071589.304206
    Constantin Brancusi. Socrates Image © The Museum of Modern Art; Licensed by Scala/Art Resource, NY ©2005 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris reproduced with permission of the Brancusi Estate The philosopher Socrates remains, as he was in his lifetime (469–399 B.C.E. ),[ 1 ] an enigma, an inscrutable individual who, despite having written nothing, is considered one of the handful of philosophers who forever changed how philosophy itself was to be conceived. All our information about him is second-hand and most of it vigorously disputed, but his trial and death at the hands of the Athenian democracy is nevertheless the founding myth of the academic discipline of philosophy, and his influence has been felt far beyond philosophy itself, and in every age.
    Found 1 week, 5 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  13. 1294414.304219
    What is it that confers a meaning to a sign? This is no easy question, but quite a number of philosophers seem to concur that the key concept here is that of rule-following. But what is it to follow a rule? This is, once again, no easy question. What is worse, in the literature there is a well-known argument that purports to show that, in fact, there is no such thing. The argument in question is often referred to as “Kripkenstein’s Paradox” for while most commentators believe that Kripke was the first to discuss the argument, Kripke has maintained that its paternity must be ascribed to Wittgenstein. Maybe the argument is Kripke’s, maybe it is Wittgenstein’s, maybe there is also a sense in which it is nobody’s argument: after all, Kripke’s attitude towards it is ambivalent, and among those who agree with him in ascribing its paternity to Wittgenstein some think that though the Austrian philosopher actually discussed the argument, he did not believe it sound. Be that as it may, Kripkenstein’s conclusion has seemed unacceptable to most philosophers, and his attempt to show that the notion that there is no such thing as following a rule should not be regarded as paradoxical, his “skeptical solution”, has not found many followers. My two cents is that while the pars destruens of Kripkenstein’s view (that is: the paradox) is basically right, its pars construens (that is: the skeptical solution) needs revision. The main goal of this paper is to provide such a revision.
    Found 2 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  14. 1362267.304232
    I’ve been way too distracted by actual research lately from my primary career as a nerd blogger—that’s what happens when you’re on sabbatical. But now I’m sick, and in no condition to be thinking about research. …
    Found 2 weeks, 1 day ago on Scott Aaronson's blog
  15. 1475286.304245
    Proof-theoretic semantics is an alternative to truth-condition semantics. It is based on the fundamental assumption that the central notion in terms of which meanings are assigned to certain expressions of our language, in particular to logical constants, is that of proof rather than truth. In this sense proof-theoretic semantics is semantics in terms of proof . Proof-theoretic semantics also means the semantics of proofs, i.e., the semantics of entities which describe how we arrive at certain assertions given certain assumptions. Both aspects of proof-theoretic semantics can be intertwined, i.e.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  16. 1524831.304258
    There is a fundamental disagreement about which norm regulates assertion. Proponents of factive accounts argue that only true propositions are assertable, whereas proponents of nonfactive accounts insist that at least some false propositions are. Puzzlingly, both views are supported by equally plausible (but apparently incompatible) linguistic data. This paper delineates an alternative solution: to understand truth as the aim of assertion, and pair this view with a non-factive rule. The resulting account is able to explain all the relevant linguistic data, and finds independent support from general considerations about the differences between rules and aims.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  17. 1532947.304271
    Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics is undoubtedly the most unknown and under-appreciated part of his philosophical opus. Indeed, more than half of Wittgenstein’s writings from 1929 through 1944 are devoted to mathematics, a fact that Wittgenstein himself emphasized in 1944 by writing that his “chief contribution has been in the philosophy of mathematics” (Monk 1990: 466). The core of Wittgenstein’s conception of mathematics is very much set by the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922; hereafter Tractatus), where his main aim is to work out the language-reality connection by determining what is required for language, or language usage, to be about the world.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  18. 1972632.304285
    Ifs and cans Posted on Saturday, 27 Jan 2018 Is 'can' information-sensitive in an interesting way, like 'ought'? An example of uninteresting information-sensitivity is (1): (1) If you can lift this backpack, then you can also lift that bag. …
    Found 3 weeks, 1 day ago on wo's weblog
  19. 2035040.304298
    On grammatical accounts, this indicates a relation between two arguments that ensures their coreference, for any assignment of values to variables. PRO in (1c), for example, would be related in this way to an argument that is linked to the role of trader in either (1a) or (1b). Such accounts have good motives, sketched in §3. But in this paper we make two objections, one syntactic and one semantic. The syntactic objection comes from remote control, as in (2). We can use (2) just like (1c), again to mean (1d) (Higgins 1973, Dowty 1989, Sag & Pollard 1991, Williams 2015). Yet in this case, we will argue in §4, there can be no local binder for PRO, when there isn’t one audible.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on Alexander Williams's site
  20. 2041102.304311
    In this paper I study an epistemic alternating offers game with a termination option, in which each rational and self-interested player expresses strategic caution – assigns positive probability to the event of opponent choosing the termination option – and internally coherent concession proportional beliefs – expects the opponent to be more likely to terminate the game after being offered a division of resource associated with a larger personal utility concession than after being offered a division of resource associated with a smaller personal utility concession. I define the epistemic conditions under which the players expressing concession proportional beliefs converge on a subjective equilibrium, as well as conditions under which the subjective equilibrium will yield an egalitarian distribution of bargaining gains .
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  21. 2355432.304326
    Plural definites (PDs) display two well-known properties: Non-maximality and Homogeneity. Non-maximality refers to the fact the the quantificational force of plural definites is variable across contexts. While they tend to have universal quantificational force, they easily ‘allow for exceptions’. For instance, if there are many windows in a building and if I was asked to make sure that some fresh air enters the building, (1a) below can be judged true if I opened all of the windows but two or three. If the quantifier all is added, as in (1b), this is no longer the case.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Benjamin Spector's site
  22. 2678693.30434
    The paper discusses two types of quantifier particles in Hungarian that both partici‐ pate in reiterated constructions. One type follows and the other precedes its host, which makes it easy to compare them. The particles that follow their hosts are argued to be heads on the clausal spines of independent propositions. Host+particle does, but need not, occur in reitera‐ tions, and the particles do not build quantifier words. In contrast, the particles that precede their hosts are argued to be quantifier‐phrase internal. Particle+host must occur in reiterations, and the particles also build quantifier words. The two types of reiterated constructions also dif‐ fer in having their own distinct internal “connectives” and in forming strict vs. non‐strict nega‐ tive concord expressions. The paper focuses on syntax, with some attention to semantics. It ar‐ gues for propositional coordination for both types, and propositional quantification for the sec‐ ond type. Constituent‐size reiterations are derivable via ellipsis, raising the question whether they must be so derived. The discussion is supplemented with a small survey of cross‐linguistic data (to be added).
    Found 1 month ago on Anna Szabolcsi's site
  23. 2707669.304355
    An axiomatic theory of truth is a deductive theory of truth as a primitive undefined predicate. Because of the liar and other paradoxes, the axioms and rules have to be chosen carefully in order to avoid inconsistency. Many axiom systems for the truth predicate have been discussed in the literature and their respective properties been analysed. Several philosophers, including many deflationists, have endorsed axiomatic theories of truth in their accounts of truth. The logical properties of the formal theories are relevant to various philosophical questions, such as questions about the ontological status of properties, Gödel’s theorems, truth-theoretic deflationism, eliminability of semantic notions and the theory of meaning.
    Found 1 month ago on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  24. 2746286.304369
    In this paper, we provide a Bayesian analysis of the well-known surprise exam paradox. Central to our analysis is a probabilistic account of what it means for the student to accept the teacher’s announcement that he will receive a surprise exam. According to this account, the student can be said to have accepted the teacher’s announcement provided he adopts a subjective probability distribution relative to which he expects to receive the exam on a day on which he expects not to receive it. We show that as long as expectation is not equated with subjective certainty there will be contexts in which it is possible for the student to accept the teacher’s announcement, in this sense. In addition, we show how a Bayesian modeling of the scenario can yield plausible explanations of the following three intuitive claims: (1) the teacher’s announcement becomes easier to accept the more days there are in class; (2) a strict interpretation of the teacher’s announcement does not provide the student with any categorical information as to the date of the exam; and (3) the teacher’s announcement contains less information about the date of the exam the more days there are in class. To conclude, we show how the surprise exam paradox can be seen as one among the larger class of paradoxes of doxastic fallibilism, foremost among which is the paradox of the preface.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  25. 2807317.304382
    Utterances within the context of telling fictional tales that appear to be assertions are nevertheless not to be taken at face value. The present paper attempts to explain exactly what such ‘pseudo-assertions’ are, and how they behave. Many pseudo-assertions can take on multiple roles, both within fictions and in what I call ‘participatory criticism’ of a fiction, especially when they occur discourse-initially. This fact, taken together with problems for replacement accounts of pseudo-assertion based on the implicit prefixing of an ‘in the fiction’ operator, suggest that pseudo-assertion is best understood as a kind of make-believe. This proposal is elaborated and defended, and some applications to fictionalism are tentatively explored.
    Found 1 month ago on Antony Eagle's site
  26. 2814485.304395
    An influential tradition holds that thoughts are public: different thinkers share many of their thoughts, and the same applies to a single subject at different times. This ‘publicity principle’ has recently come under attack. Arguments by Mark Crimmins, Richard Heck and Brian Loar seem to show that publicity is inconsistent with the widely accepted principle that someone who is ignorant or mistaken about certain identity facts will have distinct thoughts about the relevant object—for instance, the astronomer who does not know that Hesperus is Phosphorus will have two distinct thoughts Hesperus is bright and Phosphorus is bright. In this paper, I argue that publicity can be defended if we adopt a relational account on which thoughts are individuated by their mutual relations. I then go on to develop a specific relational theory—the ‘linking account’—and contrast it with other relational views.
    Found 1 month ago on PhilPapers
  27. 3128183.304408
    . Stephen Senn Head of  Competence Center for Methodology and Statistics (CCMS) Luxembourg Institute of Health Twitter @stephensenn Being a statistician means never having to say you are certain A recent discussion of randomised controlled trials[1] by Angus Deaton and Nancy Cartwright (D&C) contains much interesting analysis but also, in my opinion, does not escape rehashing some of the invalid criticisms of randomisation with which the literatures seems to be littered. …
    Found 1 month ago on D. G. Mayo's blog
  28. 3311402.304423
    Consider the principle that for a given agent S, and any proposition p, it is metaphysically possible that S is thinking p, and p alone, at time t. According to philosophical folklore, this principle cannot be true, despite its initial appeal, because there are more propositions than possible worlds: the principle would require a different possible world to witness the thinking of each proposition, and there simply aren’t enough possible worlds to go around. Some theorists have taken comfort in the thought that, when taken in conjunction with facts about human psychology, the principle was not on particularly firm footing to begin with: most propositions are far too complicated for any human to grasp, much less think uniquely.
    Found 1 month, 1 week ago on Andrew Bacon's site
  29. 3422888.304438
    According to a highly natural, orthodox view, epistemic modals like might and must are contextually variable, allowing us to express different propositions in different contexts of utterance. This view (contextualism about epistemic modals) is the orthodox one because the only other ways of making sense of how epistemic expressions are sensitive to information (views like relativism, expressivism, and dynamicism) carry such unorthodox commitments. Yet it has faced more than its share of challenges. In this paper, I will argue that two important challenges for contextualism about epistemic modals receive the very same solution: one problem about disagreement, and one problem about the reasonableness of our epistemic beliefs. The first of these challenges is very familiar, and the second less so, but equally important.
    Found 1 month, 1 week ago on Ergo
  30. 3431255.304454
    The foundational claim underlying nearly all narrative theory is that a distinction can be made between the story and its telling. Indeed, Jonathan Culler calls this the “indispensable premise of narratology.” The general distinction has been labeled in a variety of different ways, such as ‘histoire’ and ‘discours,’ ‘histoire’ and ‘r ´ecite,’ ‘narrative’ and ‘narration,’ ‘story’ and ‘discourse,’ and even ‘plot’ and ‘story.’ Most influentially, to mark the distinction, the Russian formalists supplied the labels fabula (story) and sjuzet (discourse).
    Found 1 month, 1 week ago on Aaron Smuts's site