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Displaying: 1-10 of 11976 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 10
Paolo Santorio Alternatives and Truthmakers in Conditional Semantics
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Natural language conditionals seem to be subject to three logical requirements: they invalidate Antecedent Strengthening, they validate so-called Simplification of Disjunctive Antecedents, and they allow for the replacement of logically equivalent clauses in antecedent position. Unfortunately, these requirements are jointly inconsistent. Conservative solutions to the puzzle drop Simplification, treating it as a pragmatic inference. I show that pragmatic accounts of Simplification fail, and develop a truthmaker semantics for conditionals that captures all the relevant data. Differently from existing truthmaker semantics, my semantics extends, rather than replaces, standard possible worlds semantics. The main innovation is the notion of a truthmaker in play: this notion is cognitive, rather than metaphysical, and can be defined in a purely syntactic way.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 10
Michael Johnson Pure Quotation and Natural Naming
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The name theory has largely been discarded in the literature on quotation. In this paper, I resurrect the theory under the heading of the natural name theory. According to the natural name theory, a pure quotation is a natural, rather than an arbitrary, name of a linguistic item. As with other natural names, like onomatopoeia, pure quotations resemble their referents. I argue that this observation allows us to deflate the arguments traditionally thought to undermine the name theory. Then I argue for the “multiplicity thesis,” that pure quotations name a wide variety of linguistic items, such as expression types, graphemes, spellings, phonemes, pronunciations, meanings, and senses. Then I show that while the natural name theory easily accommodates the multiplicity thesis, none of the major, viable alternatives to it likewise do.
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 10
New Books
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4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 9
Peter Koellner On the Question of Whether the Mind Can Be Mechanized, II: Penrose’s New Argument
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Gödel argued that his incompleteness theorems imply that either “the mind cannot be mechanized” or “there are absolutely undecidable sentences.” In the precursor to this paper I examined the early arguments for the first disjunct. In the present paper I examine the most sophisticated argument for the first disjunct, namely, Penrose’s new argument. It turns out that Penrose’s argument requires a type-free notion of truth and a type-free notion of absolute provability. I show that there is a natural such system, DTK. I prove a series of results which show that (1) Gödel’s disjunction is provable in the system, (2) Penrose’s argument is invalid in the system, (3) there can be no proof or refutation of either disjunct in the system, (4) the independence results are robust in that they persist when one strengthens the principles governing absolute provability, and (5) there are reasons to believe that the situation will not improve under any plausible alteration of the underlying theory of truth.
5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 9
William Roche The Perils of Parsimony
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It is widely thought in philosophy and elsewhere that parsimony is a theoretical virtue in that if a theory T1 is more parsimonious than another theory T2, then T1 is preferable to T2, other things being equal. This thesis admits of many distinct precisifications. I focus on a relatively weak precisification on which preferability is a matter of probability, and argue that it is false. This is problematic for various alternative precisifications, and even for Inference to the Best Explanation as standardly understood.
6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 9
New Books
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7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 9
Addendum
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8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 8
Stephan Leuenberger Global Supervenience without Reducibility
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Does the global supervenience of one class on another entail reductionism, in the sense that any property in the former class is definable from properties in the latter class? This question appears to be at the same time formally tractable and philosophically significant. It seems formally tractable because the concepts involved are susceptible to rigorous definition. It is philosophically significant because in a number of debates about inter-level relationships, there are prima facie plausible positions that presuppose that there is no such entailment: standard versions of non-reductive physicalism and of normative non-naturalism accept global supervenience while rejecting reductionism. I identify a gap in an influential argument for the entailment, due to Frank Jackson and Robert Stalnaker, and draw on the model theory of infinitary languages to argue that some globally supervening properties are not reducible.
9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 8
Gabriel Uzquiano Groups: Toward a Theory of Plural Embodiment
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Groups are ubiquitous in our lives. But while some of them are highly structured and appear to support a shared intentionality and even a shared agency, others are much less cohesive and do not seem to demand much of their individual members. Queues, for example, seem to be, at a given time, nothing over and above some individuals as they exemplify a certain spatial arrangement. Indeed, the main aim of this paper is to develop the more general thought that at a given time, a group is nothing over and above some individual members as they exemplify a certain complex condition. The general conception of groups that emerges is able to accommodate a variety of constraints on a reasonable answer to the question of what are groups.
10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 115 > Issue: 7
Peter Koellner On the Question of Whether the Mind Can Be Mechanized, I: From Gödel to Penrose
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In this paper I address the question of whether the incompleteness theorems imply that “the mind cannot be mechanized,” where this is understood in the specific sense that “the mathematical outputs of the idealized human mind do not coincide with the mathematical outputs of any idealized finite machine.” Gödel argued that his incompleteness theorems implied a weaker, disjunctive conclusion to the effect that either “the mind cannot be mechanized” or “mathematical truth outstrips the idealized human mind.” Others, most notably, Lucas and Penrose, have claimed more—they have claimed that the incompleteness theorems actually imply the first disjunct. I will show that by sharpening the fundamental concepts involved and articulating the background assumptions governing them, one can prove Gödel’s disjunction, one can show (by invoking results of Reinhardt and Carlson) that the arguments of Lucas and Penrose fail, and one can see what likely led proponents of the first disjunct astray.