Friday, July 11, 2003
I've moved this blog to Movable Type. The philosophy papers blog can now be found here.
posted by Brian Weatherson Friday, July 11, 2003
Thursday, July 10, 2003
A logic is said to be paraconsistent if it does not allow everything to follow from contradictory premises. There are several approaches to paraconsistency. This paper is concerned with several philosophical positions on paraconsistency. In particular, it concerns three schools of paraconsistency: Australian, Belgian and Brazilian. The Belgian and Brazilian schools have raised some objections to the dialetheism of the Australian school. I argue that the Australian school of paraconsistency need not be closed down on the basis of the Belgian and Brazilian schools objections. In the appendix of the paper, I also argue that the Brazilian schools view of logic is not coherent.
----, Semantic Decision Procedures for Some Relevant Logics, Ross Brady
This paper proves decidability of a range of weak relevant logics using decision procedures based on the Routley-Meyer semantics. Logics are categorized as F-logics, for those proved decidable using a filtration method, and U-logics, for those proved decidable using a direct (unfiltered) method. Both of these methods are set out as reductio methods, in the style of Hughes and Cresswell. We also examine some extensions of the U-logics where the method fails and infinite sequences of worlds can be generated.John T. Lysaker isnt the first person to imagine a productive interlocution between Martin Heidegger and contemporary Anglo-American poetry, though he is certainly first in terms of mounting a lengthy encounter between Heidegger and Pulitzer Prize winner, Charles Simic. Well known is that Heidegger himself was quite reluctant to interface with just anyone, let alone poets who werent part of a very select group: Hölderlin, Rilke, Trakl, George, and Benn. No doubt, Heidegger was after a philosophical poetics that, for a start, disabled the distinction between the two (the philosophical and the poetic), and he saw in Hölderlin a mighty precursor for doing just this. Its already here that I have some misgivings about Lysakers book, because poets like Simic arent anywhere close to the kind of philosophical or poetic accomplishment that would be required to deconstruct the relation between poetry and philosophy. For example, I could imagine a study on Dante that began to broach some of these issues, or a study on Goethe, since in these cases one is really dealing with immense genius. But putting such a burden on figures like Simic seems inappropriate, and, in my estimation, the book falls apart rather quickly on account of it.
Law and Philosophy, July 2003
- Neutrality and Judicial Review, Schauer F.
- Designing Judicial Review: A Comment on Schauer, Sherwin E.
- Rights-Based Judicial Review: A Democratic Justification, Harel A.
- Is Judicial Review Democratic? A Comment on Harel, Alexander L.
- Judicial Review, Rights, and Democracy, Spector H.
- Moral Rights, Judicial Review, and Democracy: A Response to Horacio Spector, Underkuffler L.S.
- Forms of Judicial Review as Expressions of Constitutional Patriotism, Tushnet M.
- Weak and Strong Judicial Review, Sinnott-Armstrong W.
Mind, July 2003
- Article - Horwich's Schemata Meet Syntactic Structures, Collins J.
- Article - The Aesthetics of Photographic Transparency, Lopes D.M.
- Discussion - Wright on Vagueness and Agnosticism, Rosenkranz S.
- Discussion - Rosenkranz on Quandary, Vagueness and Intuitionism, Wright C.
- Article - Naming, Necessity, and Beyond, Salmon N.
- Book Review - Mind in Everyday Life and Cognitive Science, Maibom H.L.
- Book Review - Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism, Barnes J.
- Book Review - Democratic Legitimacy: Plural Values and Political Power, D'Agostino F.
- Book Review - In Defense of Pure Reason: A Rationalist Account of A Priori Justification, Crane T.
- Book Review - The Heart of What Matters: The Role for Literature in Moral Philosophy, Read R.
- Book Review - Time and Space, Oaklander L.N.
- Book Review - Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Exploration, Kania A.
- Book Review - Thomas Reid and Scepticism: His Reliabilist Response, Gallie R.
- Book Review - The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities, Sobel J.H.
- Book Review - Wittgenstein's Copernican Revolution: The Question of Linguistic Idealism, Gert H.J.
- Book Review - Physical Causation, Ehring D.
- Book Review - Uneasy Virtue, Swanton C.
- Book Review - Intellectual Trust In One's Self And Others, Owens D.
- Book Review - The Science of Conjecture, Nadler S.
- Book Review - Aspects of Reason, Raz J.
- Book Review - The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory, Fitelson B.
- Book Review - Justifying Emotions: Pride and Jealousy, Goldie P.
- Book Review - Natural Law and Practical Rationality, Knowles D.
- Book Review - Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World, Hopkins R.
- Book Review - Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, Ten C.L.
- Book Review - The Evolution of Agency and Other Essays, Godfrey-Smith P.
- Book Review - Epistemic Justification, Everitt N.
- Book Review - Return to Reason, O'Hear A.
- Book Review - Kant and the Sciences, Schönfeld M.
- Book Review - Aristotle's Theory of Substance: The Categories and Metaphysics Zeta, Gill M.L.
- Book Review - The Nature of Intrinsic Value, Lemos N.
posted by Brian Weatherson Thursday, July 10, 2003
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
The chapters posted here are the first 4 chapters of a book manuscript entitled The Event Argument and the Semantics of Verbs that I have been working on for more than 10 years. The remaining chapters are close to completion as well, and I will post them as they become available. The chapters posted so far deal with the relation between verbs and their arguments (chapters 1 to 3) and with verbal plurality (chapter 4). The remaining chapters address issues related to voice alternations (actives versus passives, middles, reflexives) and certain transitivity alternations, in particular resultatives. An earlier chapter on adjectival passives (Building Statives) appeared in the 2000 Proceedings of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Another earlier chapter (Telicity and the Meaning of Objective Case) will be published separately in a forthcoming book on the Syntax of Tense edited by Jacqueline Guéron and Jacqueline Lecarme (MIT Press) and will not be included in the present book.
I will keep changing the current manuscript. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Charles Taliaferro - Review of Nancy K. Frankenberry's (ed.) Radical Interpretation in ReligionNancy Frankenberry has assembled ten original essays which will be of special interest to those committed to a naturalistic and generally pragmatist critique of religion. The word radical in the title of this collection seems a little puzzling. The essays are said to be radical in the sense that they question the root assumptions in the study of religion (p. xiii). The essays move away from older models of representation and symbolic expression to holistic ways of thinking about the interrelations of language, meaning, beliefs, desires, and action (p. xiv). The essays are introduced by Frankenberry as built on the assumption that religions should be explained in entirely naturalist terms, rather than in supernatural or faith-based premises (p. xiv). This may be radical, though it is certainly not new or at odds with root assumptions of religious studies today. The naturalistic dismissal of the truth of religious convictions may or may not be legitimate, but it is hard to see it as fresh, bold, and out of step with the contemporary intellectual climate. The current state of play in the philosophical study of religion typically entertains both naturalistic and non-naturalistic points of view. In fact, a failure to take the naturalist critique of religion seriously today would rightly be considered radical because it questions the very root assumptions in the study of religion as it is firmly established in most university and college institutions. Undertaking inquiry into religion in a holist way is also not novel. Aquinas could be described as promoting holistic ways of thinking about the interrelationships of language, meaning, beliefs, desires and action. I suggest that the contributors to this collection are not radical outsiders challenging an entrenched regime where an abundance of fideisms and passing gurus have flourished (p. xvi). Be that as it may, these essays do address philosophically important issues concerning the interpretation and justification of religious beliefs and practices.
posted by Brian Weatherson Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Forthcoming in The Two-Dimensional Framework, ed. by Manuel García-Carpintero and Josep Macià (OUP)
This paper concerns the descriptive stereotypes that we associate with words like "water" and "Bob Dylan," and the epistemic status of those stereotypes. Frank Jackson and David Chalmers advocate a "two-dimensionalist" theory of content, which builds on some of the things Kripke said in Naming and Necessity about how we should "explain away" modal illusions, like the illusion that water might not have been H2O. Two-dimensionalists claim that our words have two kinds of intensions, a "primary" or "epistemic" intension and a "secondary" or "metaphysical" intension. The "epistemic" intension of a word does the most theoretical work. It can be thought of as a set of properties that all competent speakers associate with the word that fixes the word's reference, and that accounts for the word's cognitive significance. For instance, the epistemic intension of "water" might include the properties of being a clear drinkable liquid predominant in our lakes and rivers. These are properties that we and our counterparts on Twin Earth both associate with "water," even if we're referring to H2O and they're referring to XYZ. Alex Byrne and I rehearse Kripke's familiar arguments from ignorance and error, which make it prima facie unlikely that speakers associate informative and uniquely identifying properties with their words. We then examine and criticize some of Chalmers' responses to these arguments.
Introduction to the book Perfect investigations. To be published by de Gruyter.
The central claim of this paper is that surface-faithful word-by-word update is feasible and desirable, even in languages where word order is supposedly free.
posted by Brian Weatherson Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Monday, July 07, 2003
Ron Artstein, Quantificational arguments in temporal adjunct clauses (via the Semantics Archive)
Quantificational arguments can take scope outside of temporal adjunct clauses: the sentence few secretaries cried after each executive resigned allows two scope orderings for the quantificational NPs few secretaries and each executive. Following Pratt and Francez (2001), temporal clauses are analyzed as temporal generalized quantifiers, which arise through an implicit temporal determiner meaning in the adjunct clause; a flexible architecture for the semantics permits the application of this determiner before a quantificational argument, giving the argument scope outside its clause. The semantics derives three kinds of readings for temporal clauses: dependent-time, where the evaluation times of the matrix clause depend on a quantifier inside the temporal clause; single-time, where the matrix clause is evaluated at a single time regardless of quantifiers in the temporal clause; and aggregatetime, where the matrix clause is evaluated in an interval which encompasses the individual times quantified over by the temporal clause. The latter kind of reading is necessary for temporal clauses that are modified internally by a temporal adverbial, as in Bill resigned when John disappeared every Friday; it also yields a natural account of sentences with long-distance temporal dependencies, as in I saw Mary in New York before she claimed that she would arrive (Geis 1970).
Carol Tenny with Petty Speas, "Configurational properties of point of view roles" . In Anna Maria Di Sciullo (ed.) Asymmetry in Grammar Volume 1: Syntax and semantics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 315-343.
posted by Brian Weatherson Monday, July 07, 2003
Friday, July 04, 2003
We can write fictions in which the historical facts are different, in which the laws of nature are different, and even some say in which the laws of mathematics and logic are different. But attempts to write fictions in which the laws of morality are different seem to always end in failure. Why might this be? The puzzle is more interesting than any solution I might have to offer, but I suspect it connects up with some fairly interesting facts about how we imagine complex states of affairs.
Patrick Greenough has argued that a predicate is vague iff it is epistemically tolerant. I show that there are some counterexamples to this analysis, and that it rests on some fairly contentious theories about the behaviour of vague terms in propositional attitude reports.
Binding Theory is traditionally considered a part of syntax, in the sense that some derivations that would otherwise be interpretable are ruled out by purely formal principles. Thus 'Johni likes himi' would in standard semantic theories yield a perfectly acceptable interpretation; it is only because of Condition B that the sentence is deviant on its coreferential reading. We explore an alternative in which some binding-theoretic principles (esp. Condition C, Condition B, a modified version of the Locality of Variable Binding argued for in Kehler 1993 and Fox 2000, and Weak and Strong Crossover) follow from the interpretive procedure - albeit a somewhat non-standard one. In a nutshell, these principles are taken to reflect the way in which sequences of evaluation are constructed in the course of the interpretation of a sentence. The bulk of the work is done by a principle of Non-Redundancy, which prevents any given object from appearing twice in any given sequence of evaluation.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Graham MacDonald - Review of Andrew Ariew's, Robert Cummins', and Mark Perlman's (eds.) Functions: New Essays in Philosophy of Psychology and Biology
This volume of new essays explores the variety of ways in which functions and functional explanations have been viewed in recent debates in philosophy of mind/psychology and philosophy of biology. The volume is divided into four sections: history of teleology and functional explanation (Ariew, Ruse), functional explanation today (Boorse, Millikan, Hardcastle, Cummins, Wimsatt, Buller, Schwartz), teleosemantics (Perlman, Enc, Walsh), and methodological issues (Matthen, Allen, and Neander). In the space available it is impossible to comment appropriately on all these papers, so I will be selective, the selection perhaps reflecting my interests in differing accounts of functionality and teleosemantics rather than the quality of the papers. I have not had space to discuss the interesting contributions of Wimsatt, Schwartz (both in the section on functional explanation), Matthen (on whether the function of rationality is to lead us to true beliefs), and Allen (on different characterisations of biological traits).
----, Allan Silverman - Review of Gretchen J. Reydams-Schils' (ed.) Platos Timaeus as Cultural Icon
Plato’s Timaeus, written in all likelihood towards the end of his career, is his contribution to the Greek tradition of writings on nature, peri phuseôs. Its introduction of a mathematical physics alone would guarantee it a significant place in the western tradition. But it is so much more than a work in cosmology and cosmogony: the Atlantis Myth; the Demiurge; the status of the likely story, eikos muthos; the relation of mind to body. Its influence on subsequent thinkers is enormous. No single volume could possibly cover all the themes broached by Plato in the dialogue, nor canvas the multitude of philosophers and scientists who have been influenced by their reading of the dialogue or translations of it. That said, Reydams-Schils Plato’s Timaeus as Cultural Icon is a paradigm of what a book of essays on the influence of a dialogue should be. First and foremost, the articles are first-rate. Moreover, they cover an extraordinary range of topics, thinkers and time-periods. What follows is an attempt to convey what each of the essays is about, so that scholars with different expertises may pick and choose as they will. But let me add that each essay is worth reading.
posted by Brian Weatherson Friday, July 04, 2003
Thursday, July 03, 2003
Personal Papers[This paper] articulates a notion of immediate or "non-inferential" justification, cites some apparent examples of it, and then examines at length a familiar coherentist argument against the possibility of such justification. That argument was traditionally employed against "the Given Theory"; but it threatens to have much broader scope. It is driven by a principle I call the "Premise Principle," which says that a belief in P cannot be justified except by other representational states whose contents are premises that inferentially support P. One can accept that Principle and still be a foundationalist, but many foundationalists will want to reject it. I argue that the Premise Principle is unmotivated.Paul Dekker, The Pragmatic Dimension of Indefinites
This paper sets out to give a natural pragmatic explanation of several aspects of the interpretation of singular indefinite noun phrases. We develop a uniform account of characteristic features of their use which have been dealt with only partly in other semantic paradigms (in particular the dynamic, the E-type and the choice function one). We give an intuitive motivation for the familiar discourse dynamic features of the use of these expressions, and, taking due account of the structuring of information in more involved contexts, account for their behaviour in negated, conditional, quantified, and intensional constructions.
posted by Brian Weatherson Thursday, July 03, 2003