An English perspective on the dynamics of the market.
Friday, September 26, 2008
An English perspective on the dynamics of the market.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) will be hosting a workshop on the Philosophy of Logical Consequence, October 31-November 2, organized by the Swedish National Committee for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science in cooperation with SCAS and the Departments of Mathematics in Stockholm and Uppsala and the Department of Philosophy at Uppsala University.
List of speakers:
Hourya Benis Sinaceur (Paris)
John Cantwell (KTH, Stockholm)
Matti Eklund (Cornell)
Christopher Gauker (Cincinnati)
Sten Lindström (Umeå/SCAS)
Per Martin-Löf (Stockholm)
Sara Negri (Helsinki)
Peter Pagin (Stockholm)
Dag Prawitz (Stockholm)
Stephen Read (St Andrews)
Tor Sandqvist (KTH, Stockholm)
Gabriel Sandu (Helsinki/Paris)
Peter Schroeder-Heister (Tübingen)
Sören Stenlund (Uppsala)
Göran Sundholm (Leiden)
Dag Westerståhl (Gothenburg)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
THE 2008 ROLF SCHOCK PRIZE IN LOGIC AND PHILOSOPHY
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award Professor Thomas Nagel, of New York University, the 2008 Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy. This is the eighth time the Prize has been awarded. Earlier laureates are W.V. Quine, M. Dummett, D. Scott, J. Rawls, S. Kripke, S. Feferman and J. Hintikka.
SYMPOSIUM FOR THOMAS NAGEL
21 October 2008. At the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm.
The 2008 Rolf Schock laureate in logic and philosophy, Thomas Nagel, has made important contributions to many areas within philosophy, especially the philosophy of mind, epistemology, metaphysics and political philosophy. This symposium in honor of Thomas Nagel will focus on some central themes in his thinking, namely what it means to have reasons for beliefs and for actions, and the possibility to reduce all knowledge to science.
10.30 ”Realism about Reasons"
Thomas Scanlon, Harvard University, U.S.A
John Broome, Oxford University, U.K
15.30 "Antireductionism and the Natural Order"
Thomas Nagel, New York University, U.S.A
No registration is required to attend the symposium. Lunch will be at the participants own expense.
If you have any questions regarding the symposium please contact Programcoordinator Astrid Auraldsson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
More information about the Rolf Schock Prize can be found on www.kva.se
Monday, September 15, 2008
(1) A former logic lecturer of mine, Michał Walicki (UiB), just published a paper on paradox and self-reference.
Abstract: We introduce a variant of pointer structures with denotational semantics and show its equivalence to systems of boolean equations: both have the same solutions. Taking paradoxes to be statements represented by systems of equations (or pointer structures) having no solutions, we thus obtain two alternative means of deciding paradoxical character of statements, one of which is the standard theory of solving boolean equations. To analyze more adequately statements involving semantic predicates, we extend propositional logic with the assertion operator and give its complete axiomatization. This logic is a sub-logic of statements in which the semantic predicates become internalized (for instance, counterparts of Tarski’s definitions and T-schemata become tautologies). Examples of analysis of self-referential paradoxes are given and the approach is compared to the alternative ones.
(2) Although I was in transit and thus missed the event, I know many of my friends here and at home would like to see Chalmers' pictures from the AAP in Melbourne in July. Find the pictures here. The final gem alone is worth the visit.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
We also got the opportunity to see fellow visitor David Ripley's excellent talk about weak (very, very weak) negations ("Weak Negations and Neighborhood Semantics). Dave explores some negations weaker than those presented in the Dunn kite. Unfortunately, I don't have the whole lattice as presented in Dave's talk, but here's the upper fragment of it.
Thanks to Greg and the rest for having us in the seminar!
Another book in the 5 questions series is now available: Epistemology: 5 Questions. Big names in epistemology (Dretske, Hintikka, Sosa, Williamson, etc.) answer questions about the direction and future of epistemology.
Other books in the series were very enjoyable (although the interviewees typically vary in how much effort they put into their answers). The best answers are inspiring and present the field in a historical narrative, typically from the career perspective of the philosopher answering. van Benthem was someone who managed to do both things in an earlier answer. It would be great if people new to writing in this format followed his example.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Here is the introduction to the paper.
It is sometimes held that rules of inference determine the meaning of the logical constants: the meaning of, say, conjunction is fully determined by either its introduction or its elimination rules, or both; similarly for the other connectives. In a recent paper, Panu Raatikainen argues that this view—call it logical inferentialism—is undermined by some “very little known” considerations by Carnap (1943) to the effect that “in a definite sense, it is not true that the standard rules of inference” themselves suffice to “determine the meanings of [the] logical constants” (p. 2). In a nutshell, Carnap showed that the rules allow for non-normal interpretations of negation and disjunction. Raatikainen concludes that “no ordinary formalization of logic [. . . ] is sufficient to ‘fully formalize’ all the essential properties of the logical constants” (ibid.). We suggest that this is a mistake. Pace Raatikainen, intuitionist like Dummett and Prawitz need not worry about Carnap’s problem. And although bilateral solutions for classical inferentialists—as proposed by Timothy Smiley and Ian Rumfitt—seem inadequate, it is not excluded that classical inferentialists may be in a position to address the problem too.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
We were then gently reminded that 'trivial' in fact derives from the medieval Latin 'trivium', a scholastic term for the three disciplines logic, rhetoric, and grammar. So, by a cheap argument-from-etymology, we reach the conclusion that indeed any truth in the area of logic, rhetoric, and grammar is trivial. Now, that's inflation.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
For more about the tournament, see here.
For a recent interview with Carlsen, see here.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Some rhetorical motifs never go out of fashion, and I noticed with curiosity that there is a certain pattern that appears to be a minimal requirement for any great American speech. Look at these two recent examples from the Democratic and Republican conventions respectively:
Bill Clinton: "People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."
Sarah Palin: "In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change."
The pattern goes like this (A-B, B-A), and is called antimetabole (or sometimes chiasmus, although this is probably a broader category). This figure of speech is a repetition of words, in successive clauses, with reverse grammatical order, e.g., "when the going gets tough, the tough gets going". As a rhetorical device it is one of the hallmarks of classical rhetorics; it can be seen for example in Parmenides's "ex nihilo nihil fit"; in the Biblical "but many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first" (Matt 30:19); and again in "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).
Sometimes antimetabole has a comical touch, like in Yakov Smirnoff's "In America you can always find a party; in Soviet Russia, the party always finds you" (the so-called Russian reversal), and in the 'Yes, Minister' line "In Arab countries women get stoned when they commit adultery. In Britain, they commit adultery when they get stoned".
But more to the point in question are the modern political examples. Famous among them, of course, is Kennedy's line from his inaugural speech: "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country". Kennedy is in formidable company, however. Ronald Reagan: "East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust eachother". Winston Churchill: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." And even Bush reverses the order intentionally every now and then: "Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done".
A well-recorded fact: Yes. But what is the reason that this type of rhetorical device is so successful? Is there a cheap psychological explanation, like, say, the grammatical form providing a sort of mnemonic? Or is this rather a cultural phenomenon connected to what we expect from our demagogues?
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Meanwhile, here is the BBC techno blog's first impressions.
Update: Oh, and check out this as well.