Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Category: Logic & Semantics

Logic & Rationality:

Formal Semantics:
  • Scopal Ambiguity - Using formal semantics to help shed light on why scopal ambiguity arises (and sometimes disappears)

  • Longer than it is - As above, but regarding ambiguities between de dicto (of the words) versus de re (of the object) interpretations of intensional sentences.

  • Naming and Necessity - examples of empirical necessities and a priori contingencies, as described in Kripke's famous work.

  • Analyticity - On Quine's rejection of the analytic-synthetic distinction.

  • Future Truths - Do they already exist?

  • Truth and Relativism - on the absurdity of extreme relativism, but the usefulness of a more limited sort, which can help us to understand value-claims objectively.

  • Semantic Contextualism - An intuitive theory of truth as relative to a contextual 'world' (understood as coarser- or finer-grained views of the ultimate reality)

  • The Law of Non-Contradiction - why it cannot easily be denied.

  • True Contradictions - Could they exist? What would this even mean? I argue that truth is a feature of our descriptions, not of the world itself, and as such a contradiction is symptomatic of a bad description, i.e. not one that we would ever want to settle for (accept as true).

  • Truth and Value - Given the close analogy between {belief, truth} and {desire, value}, can we plausibly hold truth to be objective but value not? See also Convergence, Ethics and the a priori

  • Essential Meanings - Essence is a feature of our descriptions, not of things in themselves.

  • So Many Possibilities - What's really possible?

  • Logic and Possibility - Exposing a question-begging defence of the 'necessary' nature of logical laws

  • More Modality - Expanding on the previous post, and (roughly) outlining a pragmatic formalist approach to modality.

  • Real Possibilities - What does it mean to say some counterfactual event was "really possible"? Is this even a coherent concept?

  • Formal Systems and the Absolute - Comparing formalism about mathematics, modality, and normativity.

  • Modal Cognition - Outlining a psychology experiment to test whether our modal judgments are framework-relative.

  • Fiction & Emotion - Are our emotional responses to fiction irrational?

  • Complete Fiction, inside and out - Is there any fictional fact as to which shoe Harry Potter put on first, or can fictions be incomplete? Also discusses internal vs external explanations of truth in fiction.

  • Fictional Worlds - Can we analyse fictions (and the problem of 'truth in fiction') in terms of possible worlds?

  • Interactive Fictions - a.k.a. The Philosophy of Video Games.

Related Topics: See also Metaphysics and Mind. Also, for more on the topic of "reasons", see Ethics.


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