1. 52321.065305
    Sentences about logic are often used to show that certain embedding expressions (attitude verbs, conditionals, etc.) are hyperintensional. Yet it is not clear how to regiment “logic talk” in the object language so that it can be compositionally embedded under such expressions. In this paper, I develop a formal system called hyperlogic that is designed to do just that. I provide a hyperintensional semantics for hyperlogic that doesn’t appeal to logically impossible worlds, as traditionally understood, but instead uses a shiftable parameter that determines the interpretation of the logical connectives. I argue this semantics compares favorably to the more common impossible worlds semantics, which faces difficulties interpreting propositionally quantified logic talk.
    Found 14 hours, 32 minutes ago on Alexander W. Kocurek's site
  2. 67529.065612
    Yet we know from syntax and crosslinguistic work that conditionals can also be formed with ‘if’-clauses that modify the verb (‘V if S’), as in (2), or a noun (‘N if S’), as in (4). Tests such as the VP-ellipsis and Condition C data in (3), and the coordination and island data in (5), confirm that the ‘if’-clause is a constituent of the verb phrase and noun phrase, respectively, rather than scoping over the rest of the sentence (e.g., Lasersohn 1996, Bhatt & Pancheva 2006).
    Found 18 hours, 45 minutes ago on Alex Silk's site
  3. 330109.065684
    Simple taste predications come with an acquaintance requirement : they require the speaker to have had a certain kind of first-hand experience with the object of predication. For example, if I told you that the creme caramel is delicious, you would ordinarily assume that I have actually tasted the creme caramel and am not simply relying on the testimony of others. The present essay argues in favor of a ‘lightweight’ expressivist account of the acquaintance requirement. This account consists of a recursive semantics and an account of assertion; it is compatible with a number of different accounts of truth and content, including contextualism, relativism, and purer forms of expressivism. The principal argument in favor of this account is that it correctly predicts a wide range of data concerning how the acquaintance requirement interacts with Boolean connectives, generalized quantifiers, epistemic modals, and attitude verbs.
    Found 3 days, 19 hours ago on Dilip Ninan's site
  4. 330253.065728
    This essay examines the case for relativism about future contingents in light of a distinction between two ways of interpreting the ‘branching time’ framework. Focussing on MacFarlane (2014), we break the argument for relativism down into two steps. The first step is an argument for something MacFarlane calls the Non-Determination Thesis, which is essentially the view that there is no unique actual future. The second step is an argument from the Non-Determination Thesis to relativism. I first argue that first step of this argument fails. But despite that result, the second step is still of interest, since many philosophers have maintained something like the Non-Determination Thesis on alternative grounds. I then argue that whether the second step of the argument succeeds depends on how the Non-Determination Thesis is motivated, and how the ‘branching time’ framework is interpreted in light of that motivation. If the branches in an intended branching time model are ersatz possible worlds, then the argument for relativism might go through; but if, instead, the branches are concrete parts of a ‘branching multiverse’, then the argument for relativism turns out to make implausible assumptions about the nature of personal identity over time. That argument can thus be rejected by rejecting those assumptions. One upshot of this is that the case for relativism about future contingents is much weaker than has been appreciated; a broader lesson is that philosophers who invoke the branching time framework need to pay close attention to different ways of interpreting it.
    Found 3 days, 19 hours ago on Dilip Ninan's site
  5. 405283.065765
    We consider a learning agent in a partially observable environment, with which the agent has never interacted before, and about which it learns both what it can observe and how its actions affect the environment. The agent can learn about this domain from experience gathered by taking actions in the domain and observing their results. We present learning algorithms capable of learning as much as possible (in a well-defined sense) both about what is directly observable and about what actions do in the domain, given the learner’s observational constraints. We differentiate the level of domain knowledge attained by each algorithm, and characterize the type of observations required to reach it. The algorithms use dynamic epistemic logic (DEL) to represent the learned domain information symbolically. Our work continues that of Bolander and Gierasimczuk (2015), which developed DEL-based learning algorithms based to learn domain information in fully observable domains.
    Found 4 days, 16 hours ago on Thomas Bolander's site
  6. 621787.065804
    We present nine questions related to the concept of negation and, in passing, we refer to connections with the essays in this special issue. The questions were submitted to one of the most eminent logicians who contributed to the theory of negation, Prof. (Jon) Michael Dunn, but, unfortunately, Prof. Dunn was no longer able to answer them. Michael Dunn passed away on 5 April 2021, and the present special issue of Logical Investigations is dedicated to his memory. The questions concern (i) negation-related topics that have particularly interested Michael Dunn or to which he has made important contributions, (ii) some controversial aspects of the logical analysis of the concept of negation, or (iii) simply properties of negation in which we are especially interested. Though sadly and regrettably unanswered by the distinguished scholar who intended to reply, the questions remain and might stimulate answers by other logicians and further research.
    Found 1 week ago on Hitoshi Omori's site
  7. 621802.065845
    Eugen Fischer and colleagues expand on a body of empirical work offering a debunking explanation of a key assumption involved in the argument from illusion. Following Snowden (1992), we can distinguish between the base case and the spreading step in the argument. Fischer et al. target the base case. In the most prominent current versions of the argument, the key move in the base case involves the phenomenal principle (Robinson, 1994, 32): “If there sensibly appears to a subject to be something which possesses a particular sensible quality then there is something of which the subject is aware which does possess that sensible quality.” In brief, Fischer et al. contend that the move here from a seemingly uncontroversial claim such as “the coin appears elliptical to me” to there being something of which the subject is aware that is elliptical requires that the initial claim be given a “literal interpretation” such that something elliptical has appeared to the subject. But they contend that under such an interpretation the claim should no longer be taken to be uncontroversial, assuming too much of what the argument needs to establish. And they argue that much of the intuitive appeal of this move can be explained in terms of accepting the claim based on the dominant usage of appearance verbs (e.g., I think the coin is elliptical), then shifting to the less salient phenomenal usage required for the conclusion. Fischer et al. then present the results of a series of nifty new studies in cross-cultural psycholinguistics to support the conclusion that people make stereotypical inferences warranted by the dominant sense of appearance verbs, even in contexts where this dominant sense is inappropriate.
    Found 1 week ago on Justin Sytsma's site
  8. 686991.065879
    A binary predicate R is standardly called symmetric if for every x and y, the statement R(x, y) is logically equivalent to R( y, x). Examples for symmetric predicates in English include relational adjectives, nouns and verbs, as in the following equivalent sentences.
    Found 1 week ago on Yoad Winter's site
  9. 737715.065915
    Conceptual engineering involves revising our concepts. It can be pursued as a specific philosophical methodology, but is also common in ordinary, non-philosophical, contexts. How does our capacity for conceptual engineering fit into human cognitive life more broadly? I hold that conceptual engineering is best understood alongside practices of conceptual exploration, examples of which include conceptual supposition (i.e., suppositional reasoning about alternative concepts), and conceptual comparison (i.e., comparisons between possible concept choices). Whereas in conceptual engineering we aim to change the concepts we use, in conceptual exploration, we reason about conceptual possibilities. I approach conceptual exploration via the linguistic tools we use to communicate about concepts, using metalinguistic negotiation, convention-shifting conditionals, and metalinguistic comparatives as my key examples. I present a linguistic framework incorporating conventions that can account for this communication in a unified way. Furthermore, I argue that conceptual exploration helps undermine skepticism about conceptual engineering itself.
    Found 1 week, 1 day ago on PhilPapers
  10. 795681.065947
    This paper is about two requirements on wish reports whose interaction motivates a novel semantics for these ascriptions. The first requirement concerns the ambiguities that arise when determiner phrases, e.g. definite descriptions, interact with ‘wish’. More specifically, several theorists have recently argued that attitude ascriptions featuring counterfactual attitude verbs license interpretations on which the determiner phrase is interpreted relative to the subject’s beliefs. The second requirement involves the fact that desire reports in general require decision-theoretic notions for their analysis. The current study is motivated by the fact that no existing account captures both of these aspects of wishing. I develop a semantics for wish reports that makes available belief-relative readings but also allows decision-theoretic notions to play a role in shaping the truth conditions of these ascriptions. The general idea is that we can analyze wishing in terms of a two-dimensional notion of expected utility.
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  11. 801367.06598
    We implement a recent characterization of metaphysical indeterminacy in the context of orthodox quantum theory, developing the syntax and semantics of two propositional logics equipped with determinacy and indeterminacy operators. These logics, which extend a novel semantics for standard quantum logic that accounts for Hilbert spaces with superselection sectors, preserve different desirable features of quantum logic and logics of indeterminacy. In addition to comparing the relative advantages of the two, we also explain how each logic answers Williamson’s challenge to any substantive account of (in)determinacy: For any proposition p, what could the difference between “p” and “it’s determinate that p” ever amount to?
    Found 1 week, 2 days ago on Samuel C. Fletcher's site
  12. 865530.06602
    The pattern of implicatures of modified numeral ‘more than n’ depends on the roundness of n. Cummins, Sauerland, and Solt (2012) present experimental evidence for the relation between roundness and implicature patterns, and propose a pragmatic account of the phenomenon. More recently, Hesse and Benz (2020) present more extensive evidence showing that implicatures also depend on the magnitude of n and propose a novel explanation based on the Approximate Number System (Dehaene, 1999). Despite the wealth of experimental data, no formal account has yet been proposed to characterize the full posterior distribution over numbers of a listener after hearing ‘more than n’. We develop one such account within the Rational Speech Act framework, quantitatively reconstructing the pragmatic reasoning of a rational listener. We show that our pragmatic account correctly predicts various features of the experimental data.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on Jakub Szymanik's site
  13. 895455.066059
    While evenness is understood to be maximal if all types (species, geno-types, alleles, etc.) are represented equally (via abundance, biomass, area, etc.), its opposite, maximal unevenness, either remains conceptually in the dark or is conceived as the type distribution that minimizes the applied evenness index. The latter approach, however, frequently leads to conceptual inconsistency due to the fact that the minimizing distribution is not specifiable or is monomorphic. The state of monomorphism, however, is indeterminate in terms of its evenness/unevenness characteristics. Indeed, the semantic indeterminacy also shows up in the observation that monomorphism represents a state of pronounced discontinuity for the established evenness indices. This serious conceptual inconsistency is latent in the widely held idea that evenness is an independent component of diversity. As a consequence, the established evenness indices largely appear as indicators of relative polymorphism rather than as indicators of evenness.
    Found 1 week, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  14. 1022168.066099
    I explore, from a proof-theoretic perspective, the hierarchy of classical and paraconsistent logics introduced by Barrio, Pailos and Szmuc in (Journal o f Philosophical Logic, 49, 93-120, 2021). First, I provide sequent rules and axioms for all the logics in the hierarchy, for all inferential levels, and establish soundness and completeness results. Second, I show how to extend those systems with a corresponding hierarchy of validity predicates, each one of which is meant to capture “validity” at a different inferential level. Then, I point out two potential philosophical implications of these results. (i) Since the logics in the hierarchy differ from one another on the rules, I argue that each such logic maintains its own distinct identity (contrary to arguments like the one given by Dicher and Paoli in 2019). (ii) Each validity predicate need not capture “validity” at more than one metainferential level. Hence, there are reasons to deny the thesis (put forward in Barrio, E., Rosenblatt, L. & Tajer, D. (Synthese, 2016)) that the validity predicate introduced in by Beall and Murzi in (Journal o f Philosophy, 110(3), 143–165, 2013) has to express facts not only about what follows from what, but also about the metarules, etc.
    Found 1 week, 4 days ago on PhilPapers
  15. 1248391.066138
    Fictionalists propose that some apparently fact-stating discourses do not aim to convey factual information about the world, but rather allow us to engage in a fiction or pretense without incurring ontological commitments. Some philosophers have suggested that using mathematical, modal, or moral discourse, for example, need not commit us to the existence of mathematical objects, possible worlds, or moral facts. The mental fictionalist applies this reasoning to our mental discourse, suggesting that we can use ‘belief’ and ‘desire’ talk without committing to the existence of beliefs and desires as mental entities. Most arguments for mental fictionalism are based on two key suppositions: first, that there are ontological concerns about mental entities; and second, that these ontological concerns justify a fictionalist interpretation of mental discourse. This paper challenges both suppositions and argues that the standard arguments for mental fictionalism are substantially weaker than arguments for other forms of fictionalism in the philosophical literature.
    Found 2 weeks ago on Zoe Drayson's site
  16. 1445123.066186
    In the mid 1980s, I was into ‘semantic automata’, (van Benthem, 1986), classifying linguistic quantifiers in terms of the complexity of their verification procedures on Venn diagrams. The next step in developing this ‘procedural semantics’ was an analysis of linguistic expressions that depend on the underlying structure of the object domain, and so, I developed an interest in tree automata whose computation rule is recursive in a given tree ordering. This led to an intensive and fruitful correspondence with Dick de Jongh about connections with provability logic, where such recursive definitions can be made explicit. In this correspondence, Dick came up with an elegant generalization of the key step in the Fixed-Point Theorem which applied far beyond the modalities, namely, to arbitrary generalized quantifiers satisfying suitable abstract conditions. Dick’s result was included in my somewhat long and meandering paper ‘Toward a Computational Semantics’, (van Benthem, 1987) where it remained hidden. The purpose of this brief note is twofold. I want to advertize Dick’s result by itself, and its elegant level of abstraction. After that, I go further in this spirit and add some simple observations showing how the Fixed-Point Theorem can be seen as an instance of a family of abstract results on generalized well-founded orders. Much of what follows may be present in the folklore or the expert literature (more on this in Section 3), but a compact story may be useful.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on Johan van Benthem's site
  17. 1454896.066227
    There are distinctive methodological and conceptual challenges in rare and severe event (RSE) forecast-verification, that is, in the assessment of the quality of forecasts involving natural hazards such as avalanches or tornadoes. While some of these challenges have been discussed since the inception of the discipline in the 1880s, there is no consensus about how to assess RSE forecasts. This article offers a comprehensive and critical overview of the many different measures used to capture the quality of an RSE forecast and argues that there is only one proper skill score for RSE forecast-verification. We do so by first focusing on the relationship between accuracy and skill and show why skill is more important than accuracy in the case of RSE forecast-verification. Subsequently, we motivate three adequacy constraints for a proper measure of skill in RSE forecasting. We argue that the Peirce Skill Score is the only score that meets all three adequacy constraints. We then show how our theoretical investigation has important practical implications for avalanche forecasting by discussing a recent study in avalanche forecast-verification using the nearest neighbour method. Lastly, we raise what we call the “scope challenge” that affects all forms of RSE forecasting and highlight how and why the proper skill measure is important not only for local binary RSE forecasts but also for the assessment of different diagnostic tests widely used in avalanche risk management and related operations. Finally, our discussion is also of relevance to the thriving research project of designing methods to assess the quality of regional multi-categorical avalanche forecasts.
    Found 2 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  18. 1489706.066265
    In this paper, I outline a novel approach to the semantics of natural language pronouns. On this account, which I call demonstrativism, pronouns are semantically equivalent to demonstratives. I begin by presenting some contrasts that provide support for demonstrativism. Then I try to explain these contrasts by developing a particular demonstrativist proposal. I build on the “hidden argument” theory of demonstratives (King, 2001, 2008; Elbourne, 2008; Hawthorne & Manley, 2012; Nowak, 2019; Blumberg, 2020). On this theory, demonstratives are semantically similar to definite descriptions, with one important difference: demonstratives take two arguments, rather than one. Using these ideas, I propose that pronouns also take two (covert) arguments, and that the second argument needs to be sufficiently salient to members of the conversation in order for the use of a pronoun to be felicitous. As for the first argument, I maintain that its content is constrained by the process of noun-phrase (NP) deletion (Elbourne, 2005). Taken together, I argue that these constraints provide us with a satisfying account of the uses to which pronouns are put.
    Found 2 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilPapers
  19. 1795795.066303
    On the last page of “On Referring” (1950), Strawson proposes to extend his account of singular definite and indefinite descriptions to plurals and complex quantified noun phrases. He mentions in particular some uses of expressions consisting of ‘the’, ‘all the’, ‘all’, ‘some’, ‘some of the’, etc. followed by a noun, qualified or unqualified, in the plural (1950: [20]) His account of singular noun phrases is, of course, in contrast to Russell, that they are referential, or used “to mention or refer to some individual person or single object or particular event or place or process” (1950: [1]). Russell (1905) had proposed a contextual reanalysis of such “denoting phrases,” in first-order logic, that transmuted the sentences in which they occurred into generalizations.
    Found 2 weeks, 6 days ago on Sam Cumming's site
  20. 1836755.066354
    Artists often think of themselves as engaged in a project of understanding things. Many of those who look at, listen to, or read works of art think that they emerge from the experience with their understanding enriched: that’s the point of it, they think. What do all these people think they understand through art? Everything: people, life, the world. Here’s an ambitious claim which I think they’re committed to: (A) One of the principal functions of representational art is to enable us to understand the world as it is in itself in a particular, distinctive way.
    Found 3 weeks ago on PhilPapers
  21. 2068454.066401
    Arguments have always played a central role within logic and philosophy. But little attention has been paid to arguments as a distinctive kind of discourse, with its own semantics and pragmatics. The goal of this essay is to study the mechanisms by means of which we make arguments in discourse, starting from the semantics of argument connectives such as ‘therefore’. While some proposals have been made in the literature, they fail to account for the distinctive anaphoric behavior of ‘therefore’, as well as uses of argument connectives in complex arguments, suppositional arguments, arguments with non-declarative conclusions, as well as arguments with parenthetical remarks. A comprehensive account of arguments requires imposing a distinctive tree-like structure on contexts. We show how to extend our account to accommodate modal subordination and and different flavors of ‘therefore’.
    Found 3 weeks, 2 days ago on PhilPapers
  22. 2113935.066579
    While there is ongoing debate about the existence of basic emotions and about their status as natural kinds, these debates usually carry on under the assumption that basic emotions are modular and therefore cannot account for behavioral variability in emotional situations. Moreover, both sides of the debate have assumed that these putative features of basic emotions distinguish them as products of evolution rather than products of culture and experience. I argue that these assumptions are unwarranted, that there is empirical evidence against them, and that evolutionary theory itself should not lead us to expect that behavioral invariability and modularity mark the distinction between evolved emotions and higher cognitive emotions. I further suggest that claims about behavioral invariability and modularity have functioned as defeasible conjectures aimed at helping test basic emotion theory. Finally, I draw out the implications of these claims for debates about the existence of basic emotions in humans.
    Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on PhilSci Archive
  23. 2117769.066628
    Many classically valid meta-inferences fail in a standard supervaluationist framework. This allegedly prevents supervaluationism from offering an account of good deductive reasoning. We provide a proof system for supervaluationist logic which includes supervaluationistically acceptable versions of the classical meta-inferences. The proof system emerges naturally by thinking of truth as licensing assertion, falsity as licensing negative assertion and lack of truth-value as licensing rejection and weak assertion. Moreover, the proof system respects well-known criteria for the admissibility of inference rules. Thus, supervaluationists can provide an account of good deductive reasoning. Our proof system moreover brings to light how one can revise the standard supervaluationist framework to make room for higher-order vagueness. We prove that the resulting logic is sound and complete with respect to the consequence relation that preserves truth in a model of the non-normal modal logic NT. Finally, we extend our approach to a first-order setting and show that supervaluation-ism can treat vagueness in the same way at every order. The failure of conditional proof and other meta-inferences is a crucial ingredient in this treatment and hence should be embraced, not lamented.
    Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on Julian J. Schlöder's site
  24. 2117839.066668
    Minimalism about truth is one of the main contenders for our best theory of truth, but minimalists face the charge of being unable to properly state their theory. Donald Davidson incisively pointed out that minimalists must generalize over occurrences of the same expression placed in two different contexts, which is futile. In order to meet the challenge, Paul Horwich argues that one can nevertheless characterize the axioms of the minimalist theory. Sten Lindström and Tim Button have independently argued that Horwich’s attempt to formulate minimalism remains unsuccessful. We show how to properly state Horwich’s axioms by appealing to propositional functions that are given by definite descriptions. Both Lindström and Button discuss proposals similar to ours and conclude that they are unsuccessful. Our new suggestion avoids these objections.
    Found 3 weeks, 3 days ago on Julian J. Schlöder's site
  25. 2317854.06671
    I have finally received the final published PDF of my article "The Pragmatic Metaphysics of Belief". What a pleasure and relief. I poured so much time into that paper! I started presenting versions of it to academic audiences in 2015, including at two APAs and in colloquium talks or mini-conferences at nine different academic departments on three continents. …
    Found 3 weeks, 5 days ago on The Splintered Mind
  26. 2341848.066752
    In an influential and many-times–anthologized article, Donnellan proposes that definite descriptions occurring in argument position can be read, in principle, in two different ways. As he puts it, the (argumental) definite description has two distinct functions. Only on the referential reading can the utterance of the definite description be properly said to refer to something (Donnellan 1966: 281–282). On the alternative, attributive reading, the semantic relation to the item picked out is something other than reference, that we might instead call denotation, following Russell (Donnellan 1966: 293).
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Sam Cumming's site
  27. 2353086.0668
    If the semantic value of predicates are, as Williamson assumes, properties, then epistemicism is immediate. Epistemicism fails, so also this properties view of predicates. I use examination of Williamsons position as a foil, showing that his two positive arguments for bivalence fail, and that his efforts to rescue epistemicism from obvious problems fail to the point of incoherence. In Part II I argue that, despite the properties view’s problems, it has an important role to play in combinatorial semantics. We may separate the problem of how smallest parts of language get attached to the world from the problem of how those parts combine to form complex semantic values. For the latter problem we idealize and treat the smallest semantic values as properties (and referents). So doing functions to put to one side how the smallest parts get worldly attachment, a problem that would just get in the way of understanding the combinatorics. Attachment to the world has to be studied separately, and I review some of the options. As a bonus we see why, mostly, higher order vagueness is an artifact of taking properties as semantic values literally instead of as a simplifying idealization.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Paul Teller's site
  28. 2371978.06692
    As a response to the semantic and logical paradoxes, theorists often reject some principles of classical logic. However, classical logic is entangled with mathematics, and giving up mathematics is too high a price to pay, even for nonclassical theorists. The so-called recapture theorems come to the rescue. When reasoning with concepts such as truth/class membership/property instantiation, if ones is interested in consequences of the theory that only contain mathematical vocabulary, nothing is lost by reasoning in the nonclassical framework. It is shown below that this claim is highly misleading, if not simply false. Under natural assumptions, recapture claims are incorrect.
    Found 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Carlo Nicolai's site
  29. 2468559.066964
    We develop an approach to the problem of de se belief usually expressed with the question, what does the shopper with the leaky sugar bag have to learn to know that he is the one making the mess. Where one might have thought that some special kind of “de se” belief explains the triggering of action, we maintain that this gets the order of explanation wrong. We sketch a very simple cognitive architecture that yields de se like behavior, on which the action triggering functionality of the belief state is what counts it as de se rather than some prior property of being “de se” explaining the triggering of action. This functionality shows that action­triggering change in belief state also undergirds a correlative change in the objective involved in the triggered action. This model is far too simple to have any claim to showing how the de se works for humans, but it shows, by illustration, that nothing mysteriously “subjective” need be involved in this aspect of self­conception.
    Found 4 weeks ago on Paul Teller's site
  30. 2726897.067003
    It is standard in set theory to assume that Cantor’s Theorem establishes that the continuum is an uncountable set. A challenge for this position comes from the observation that through forcing one can collapse any cardinal to the countable and that the continuum can be made arbitrarily large. In this paper, we present a different take on the relationship between Cantor’s Theorem and extensions of universes, arguing that they can be seen as showing that every set is countable and that the continuum is a proper class. We examine several principles based on maximality considerations in this framework, and show how some (namely Ordinal Inner Model Hypotheses) enable us to incorporate standard set theories (including ZFC with large cardinals added). We conclude that the systems considered raise questions concerning the foundational purposes of set theory.
    Found 1 month ago on Neil Barton's site