In this paper the logic of broad necessity is explored. Definitions of what it means for one modality to be broader than another are formulated, and it is proven, in the context of higher-order logic, that there is a broadest necessity, settling one of the central questions of this investigation. It is shown, moreover, that it is possible to give a reductive analysis of this necessity in extensional language. This relates more generally to a conjecture that it is not possible (...) to define intensional connectives from extensional notions. This conjecture is formulated precisely in higher-order logic, and concrete cases in which it fails are examined. The paper ends with a discussion of the logic of broad necessity. It is shown that the logic of broad necessity is a normal modal logic between S4 and Triv, and that it is consistent with a natural axiomatic system of higher-order logic that it is exactly S4. Some philosophical reasons to think that the logic of broad necessity does not include the S5 principle are given. (shrink)
Vagueness is the study of concepts that admit borderline cases. The epistemology of vagueness concerns attitudes we should have towards propositions we know to be borderline. On this basis Andrew Bacon develops a new theory of vagueness in which vagueness is fundamentally a property of propositions, explicated in terms of its role in thought.
In explaining the notion of a fundamental property or relation, metaphysicians will often draw an analogy with languages. The fundamental properties and relations stand to reality as the primitive predicates and relations stand to a language: the smallest set of vocabulary God would need in order to write the “book of the world.” This paper attempts to make good on this metaphor. To that end, a modality is introduced that, put informally, stands to propositions as logical truth stands to sentences. (...) The resulting theory, formulated in higher-order logic, also vindicates the Humean idea that fundamental properties and relations are freely recombinable and a variant of the structural idea that propositions can be decomposed into their fundamental constituents via logical operations. Indeed, it is seen that, although these ideas are seemingly distinct, they are not independent, and fall out of a natural and general theory about the granularity of reality. (shrink)
We explore the view that Frege's puzzle is a source of straightforward counterexamples to Leibniz's law. Taking this seriously requires us to revise the classical logic of quantifiers and identity; we work out the options, in the context of higher-order logic. The logics we arrive at provide the resources for a straightforward semantics of attitude reports that is consistent with the Millian thesis that the meaning of a name is just the thing it stands for. We provide models to show (...) that some of these logics are non-degenerate. (shrink)
In this paper I present a precise version of Stalnaker's thesis and show that it is both consistent and predicts our intuitive judgments about the probabilities of conditionals. The thesis states that someone whose total evidence is E should have the same credence in the proposition expressed by 'if A then B' in a context where E is salient as they have conditional credence in the proposition B expresses given the proposition A expresses in that context. The thesis is formalised (...) rigorously and two models are provided that demonstrate that the new thesis is indeed tenable within a standard possible world semantics based on selection functions. Unlike the Stalnaker-Lewis semantics the selection functions cannot be understood in terms of similarity. A probabilistic account of selection is defended in its place. -/- I end the paper by suggesting that this approach overcomes some of the objections often leveled at accounts of indicatives based on the notion of similarity. (shrink)
The principle of universal instantiation plays a pivotal role both in the derivation of intensional paradoxes such as Prior’s paradox and Kaplan’s paradox and the debate between necessitism and contingentism. We outline a distinctively free logical approach to the intensional paradoxes and note how the free logical outlook allows one to distinguish two different, though allied themes in higher-order necessitism. We examine the costs of this solution and compare it with the more familiar ramificationist approaches to higher-order logic. Our assessment (...) of both approaches is largely pessimistic, and we remain reluctantly inclined to take Prior’s and Kaplan’s derivations at face value. (shrink)
Higher-order logic augments first-order logic with devices that let us generalize into grammatical positions other than that of a singular term. Some recent metaphysicians have advocated for using these devices to raise and answer questions that bear on many traditional issues in philosophy. In contrast to these 'higher-order metaphysicians', traditional metaphysics has often focused on parallel, but importantly different, questions concerning special sorts of abstract objects: propositions, properties and relations. The answers to the higher-order and the property-theoretic questions may coincide (...) sometimes but will often come apart. I argue that when they do, the higher-order questions are closer to the metaphysical action and so it would be better for these debates to proceed in higher-order terms. (shrink)
Most work on the semantic paradoxes within classical logic has centered around what this essay calls “linguistic” accounts of the paradoxes: they attribute to sentences or utterances of sentences some property that is supposed to explain their paradoxical or nonparadoxical status. “No proposition” views are paradigm examples of linguistic theories, although practically all accounts of the paradoxes subscribe to some kind of linguistic theory. This essay shows that linguistic accounts of the paradoxes endorsing classical logic are subject to a particularly (...) acute form of the revenge paradox: that there is no exhaustive classification of sentences into “good” and “bad” such that the T-schema holds when restricted to the “good” sentences unless it is also possible to prove some “bad” sentences. The foundations for an alternative classical nonlinguistic approach is outlined that is not subject to the same kinds of problems. Although revenge paradoxes of different strengths can be formulated, they are found to be indeterminate at higher orders and not inconsistent. (shrink)
An increasing amount of twenty-first century metaphysics is couched in explicitly hyperintensional terms. A prerequisite of hyperintensional metaphysics is that reality itself be hyperintensional: at the metaphysical level, propositions, properties, operators, and other elements of the type hierarchy, must be more fine-grained than functions from possible worlds to extensions. In this paper I develop, in the setting of type theory, a general framework for reasoning about the granularity of propositions and properties. The theory takes as primitive the notion of a (...) substitution on a proposition (property, etc.) and, among other things, uses this idea to elucidate a number of theoretically important distinctions. A class of structures are identified which can be used to model a wide range of positions about the granularity of reality; certain of these structures are seen to receive a natural treatment in the category of M-sets. (shrink)
Individuals play a prominent role in many metaphysical theories. According to an individualistic metaphysics, reality is determined by the pattern of properties and relations that hold between individuals. A number of philosophers have recently brought to attention alternative views in which individuals do not play such a prominent role; in this paper I will investigate one of these alternatives.
We develop a theory of necessity operators within a version of higher-order logic that is neutral about how fine-grained reality is. The theory is axiomatized in terms of the primitive of *being a necessity*, and we show how the central notions in the philosophy of modality can be recovered from it. Various questions are formulated and settled within the framework, including questions about the ordering of necessities under strength, the existence of broadest necessities satisfying various logical conditions, and questions about (...) their logical behaviour. We also wield the framework to probe the conditions under which a logicist account of necessities is possible, in which the theory is completely reducible to logic. (shrink)
This paper is a systematic exploration of non-wellfounded mereology. Motivations and applications suggested in the literature are considered. Some are exotic like Borges’ Aleph, and the Trinity; other examples are less so, like time traveling bricks, and even Geach’s Tibbles the Cat. The authors point out that the transitivity of non-wellfounded parthood is inconsistent with extensionality. A non-wellfounded mereology is developed with careful consideration paid to rival notions of supplementation and fusion. Two equivalent axiomatizations are given, and are compared to (...) classical mereology. We provide a class of models with respect to which the non-wellfounded mereology is sound and complete. (shrink)
This three-part chapter explores a higher-order logic we call ‘Classicism’, which extends a minimal classical higher-order logic with further axioms which guarantee that provable coextensiveness is sufficient for identity. The first part presents several different ways of axiomatizing this theory and makes the case for its naturalness. The second part discusses two kinds of extensions of Classicism: some which take the view in the direction of coarseness of grain (whose endpoint is the maximally coarse-grained view that coextensiveness is sufficient for (...) identity), and some which take the view in the direction of fineness of grain (whose endpoint is the maximally fine-grained theory containing all distinctness claims compatible with Classicism). The third part introduces some techniques for constructing models of Classicism, and uses them to prove the consistency of many of the extensions of Classicism introduced in the second part. (shrink)
The result of combining classical quantificational logic with modal logic proves necessitism – the claim that necessarily everything is necessarily identical to something. This problem is reflected in the purely quantificational theory by theorems such as ∃x t=x; it is a theorem, for example, that something is identical to Timothy Williamson. The standard way to avoid these consequences is to weaken the theory of quantification to a certain kind of free logic. However, it has often been noted that in order (...) to specify the truth conditions of certain sentences involving constants or variables that don’t denote, one has to apparently quantify over things that are not identical to anything. In this paper I defend a contingentist, non-Meinongian metaphysics within a positive free logic. I argue that although certain names and free variables do not actually refer to anything, in each case there might have been something they actually refer to, allowing one to interpret the contingentist claims without quantifying over mere possibilia. (shrink)
One thousand fair causally isolated coins will be independently flipped tomorrow morning and you know this fact. I argue that the probability, conditional on your knowledge, that any coin will land tails is almost 1 if that coin in fact lands tails, and almost 0 if it in fact lands heads. I also show that the coin flips are not probabilistically independent given your knowledge. These results are uncomfortable for those, like Timothy Williamson, who take these probabilities to play a (...) central role in their theorizing. (shrink)
A number of authors have objected to the application of non-classical logic to problems in philosophy on the basis that these non-classical logics are usually characterised by a classical metatheory. In many cases the problem amounts to more than just a discrepancy; the very phenomena responsible for non-classicality occur in the field of semantics as much as they do elsewhere. The phenomena of higher order vagueness and the revenge liar are just two such examples. The aim of this paper is (...) to show that a large class of non-classical logics are strong enough to formulate their own model theory in a corresponding non-classical set theory. Specifically I show that adequate definitions of validity can be given for the propositional calculus in such a way that the metatheory proves, in the specified logic, that every theorem of the propositional fragment of that logic is validated. It is shown that in some cases it may fail to be a classical matter whether a given sentence is valid or not. One surprising conclusion for non-classical accounts of vagueness is drawn: there can be no axiomatic, and therefore precise, system which is determinately sound and complete. (shrink)
In recent years there has been a revitalised interest in non-classical solutions to the semantic paradoxes. In this paper I show that a number of logics are susceptible to a strengthened version of Curry's paradox. This can be adapted to provide a proof theoretic analysis of the omega-inconsistency in Lukasiewicz's continuum valued logic, allowing us to better evaluate which logics are suitable for a naïve truth theory. On this basis I identify two natural subsystems of Lukasiewicz logic which individually, but (...) not jointly, lack the problematic feature. (shrink)
Decision theory is founded on the principle that we ought to take the action that has the maximum expected value from among actions we are in a position to take. But prior to the notion of expected value is the notion of the actual value of that action: roughly, a measure of the good outcomes you would in fact procure if you were to take it. Surprisingly many decision theories operate without an analysis of actual value. I offer a definition (...) of actual value, and show that a form of decision theory due to Stalnaker can be reformulated so as to be in line with the edict to maximize expected value. By contrast, I show that there is no quantity — given by my definition or otherwise — that plays the role of actual value in Jeffrey's decision theory. (shrink)
This paper formulates some paradoxes of inductive knowledge. Two responses in particular are explored: According to the first sort of theory, one is able to know in advance that certain observations will not be made unless a law exists. According to the other, this sort of knowledge is not available until after the observations have been made. Certain natural assumptions, such as the idea that the observations are just as informative as each other, the idea that they are independent, and (...) that they increase your knowledge monotonically (among others) are given precise formulations. Some surprising consequences of these assumptions are drawn, and their ramifications for the two theories examined. Finally, a simple model of inductive knowledge is offered, and independently derived from other principles concerning the interaction of knowledge and counterfactuals. (shrink)
Those inclined to positions in the philosophy of time that take tense seriously have typically assumed that not all regions of space-time are equal: one special region of space-time corresponds to what is presently happening. When combined with assumptions from modern physics this has the unsettling consequence that the shape of this favored region distinguishes people in certain places or people traveling at certain velocities. In this paper I shall attempt to avoid this result by developing a tensed picture of (...) reality that is nonetheless consistent with ‘hypersurface egalitarianism’—the view that all hypersurfaces are equal. (shrink)
Prior to Kripke's seminal work on the semantics of modal logic, McKinsey offered an alternative interpretation of the necessity operator, inspired by the Bolzano-Tarski notion of logical truth. According to this interpretation, `it is necessary that A' is true just in case every sentence with the same logical form as A is true. In our paper, we investigate this interpretation of the modal operator, resolving some technical questions, and relating it to the logical interpretation of modality and some views in (...) modal metaphysics. In particular, we present an hitherto unpublished solution to problems 41 and 42 from Friedman's 102 problems, which uses a different method of proof from the solution presented in the paper of Tadeusz Prucnal. (shrink)
In this paper a logic for reasoning disquotationally about truth is presented and shown to have a standard model. This work improves on Hartry Field's recent results establishing consistency and omega-consistency of truth-theories with strong conditional logics. A novel method utilising the Banach fixed point theorem for contracting functions on complete metric spaces is invoked, and the resulting logic is shown to validate a number of principles which existing revision theoretic methods have heretofore failed to provide.
A number of `no-proposition' approaches to the liar paradox find themselves implicitly committed to a moderate disquotational principle: the principle that if an utterance of the sentence `$P$' says anything at all, it says that $P$ (with suitable restrictions). I show that this principle alone is responsible for the revenge paradoxes that plague this view. I instead propose a view in which there are several closely related language-world relations playing the `semantic expressing' role, none of which is more central to (...) semantic theorizing than any other. I use this thesis about language and the negative result about disquotation to motivate the view that people do say things with utterances of paradoxical sentences, although they do not say the proposition you'd always expect, as articulated with a disquotational principle. (shrink)
ABSTRACTKevin Scharp’s ‘Replacing Truth’ is an ambitious and far reaching account of the semantic paradoxes. In this critical discussion we examine one the books central claims: to have provided a theory of truth that avoids the revenge paradoxes. In the first part we assess this claim, and in the second part we investigate some features of Scharp’s preferred theory of truth, ADT, and compare it with existing theories such as the Kripke–Feferman theory. In the appendix a simple model of Scharp’s (...) theory is presented, and some potential consistent ways to strengthen the theory are suggested. (shrink)
This paper presents and motivates a counterpart theoretic semantics for quantifi ed modal logic based on a fleshed out account of Lewis's notion of a `possibility.' According to the account a possibility consists of a world and some haecceitistic information about how each possible individual gets represented de re. A semantics for quanti ed modal logic based on evaluating formulae at possibilities is developed. It is shown that this framework naturally accommodates an actuality operator, addressing recent objections to counterpart theory, (...) and is equivalent to the more familiar Kripke semantics for quanti fied modal logic with an actuality operator. (shrink)
According to an influential idea in the philosophy of set theory, certain mathematical concepts, such as the notion of a well-order and set, are indefinitely extensible. Following Parsons (1983), this has often been cashed out in modal terms. This paper explores instead an extensional articulation of the idea, formulated in higher-order logic, that flat-footedly formalizes some remarks of Zermelo. The resulting picture is incompatible with the idea that the entire universe can be well-ordered, but entirely consistent with the idea that (...) the sets of any set-theoretic universe can be. (shrink)
An increasing amount of contemporary philosophy of mathematics posits, and theorizes in terms of special kinds of mathematical modality. The goal of this paper is to bring recent work on higher-order metaphysics to bear on the investigation of these modalities. -/- The main focus of the paper will be views that posit mathematical contingency or indeterminacy about statements that concern the `width' of the set theoretic universe, such as Cantor's continuum hypothesis. In the higher-order framework I show that contingency about (...) the width of the set-theoretic universe refutes two orthodoxies concerning the structure of modal reality: the view that the broadest necessity has a logic of S5, and the `Leibniz biconditionals' stating that what is possible, in the broadest sense of possible, is what is true in some possible world. Nonetheless, I argue that the underlying picture of modal set-theory is coherent and has natural models. (shrink)
In this paper a principle of substitutivity of logical equivalents salve veritate and a version of Leibniz’s law are formulated and each is shown to cause problems when combined with naive truth theories.
A number of arguments purport to show that vague properties determine sharp boundaries at higher orders. That is, although we may countenance vagueness concerning the location of boundaries for vague predicates, every predicate can instead be associated with precise knowable cut-off points deriving from precision in their higher order boundaries. I argue that this conclusion is indeed paradoxical, and identify the assumption responsible for the paradox as the Brouwerian principle B for vagueness: that if p then it's determinate that it's (...) not determinate that not p. Other paradoxes which do not appear to turn on B turn instead on some subtle issues concerning the relation between assertion, belief and higher order vagueness. In this paper a theory of assertion, knowledge and logic is outlined which allows one to avoid any kind of higher order precision. A class of realistic models containing counterexamples to B and a number of weakenings of B are introduced and its logic is shown to support vagueness at every order. (shrink)
The fact that physical laws often admit certain kinds of space-time symmetries is often thought to be problematic for substantivalism --- the view that space-time is as real as the objects it contains. The most prominent alternative, relationism, avoids these problems but at the cost of giving abstract objects (rather than space-time points) a pivotal role in the fundamental metaphysics. This incurs related problems concerning the relation of the physical to the mathematical. In this paper I will present a version (...) of substantivalism that respects Leibnizian theses about space-time symmetries, and argue that it is superior to both relationism and the more orthodox form of substantivalism. (shrink)
I consider two puzzles in which an agent undergoes a sequence of decision problems. In both cases it is possible to respond rationally to any given problem yet it is impossible to respond rationally to every problem in the sequence, even though the choices are independent. In particular, although it might be a requirement of rationality that one must respond in a certain way at each point in the sequence, it seems it cannot be a requirement to respond as such (...) at every point for that would be to require the impossible. (shrink)
This paper argues that the theory of structured propositions is not undermined by the Russell-Myhill paradox. I develop a theory of structured propositions in which the Russell-Myhill paradox doesn't arise: the theory does not involve ramification or compromises to the underlying logic, but rather rejects common assumptions, encoded in the notation of the $\lambda$-calculus, about what properties and relations can be built. I argue that the structuralist had independent reasons to reject these underlying assumptions. The theory is given both a (...) diagrammatic representation, and a logical representation in a novel language. In the latter half of the paper I turn to some technical questions concerning the treatment of quantification, and demonstrate various equivalences between the diagrammatic and logical representations, and a fragment of the $\lambda$-calculus. (shrink)
Numerous triviality results have been directed at a collection of views that tie the probability of a conditional sentence to the conditional probability of the consequent on its antecedent. -/- In this paper I argue that this identification makes little sense if conditional sentences are context sensitive. The best alternative, I argue, is a version of the thesis which states that if your total evidence is E then the evidential probability of a conditional evaluated in a context where E is (...) salient is the probability of the consequent given the antecedent. The biggest challenge to this thesis comes from the 'static' triviality arguments developed by Stalnaker, Hajek and Hall. It is argued that these arguments rely on invalid principles of conditional logic and that the thesis is consistent with a reasonably strong logic that does not include the principles in question. (shrink)
There are some properties, like being bald, for which it is vague where the boundary between the things that have it and the things that do not lies. A number of arguments threaten to show that such properties can still be associated with determinate and knowable boundaries: not between the things that have it and those that don’t, but between the things such that it is borderline at some order whether they have it and the things for which it is (...) not. I argue that these arguments, if successful, turn on a contentious principle in the logic of determinacy: Brouwer’s Principle, that every truth is determinately not determinately false. Other paradoxes which do not appear to turn on this principle often tacitly make assumptions about assertion, knowledge and higher-order vagueness. In this paper I’ll show how one can avoid sharp higher-order boundaries by rejecting these assumptions. (shrink)
Could there unknowable truths? Truths which, regardless of any extension to ones capacities or resources, remain impossible to know. The answer to this question is central in the evaluation of semantic anti-realism. But even for a metaphysical realist, the matter is far from closed.
In this thesis I investigate the behaviour of uncertainty about vague matters. It is a fairly common view that vagueness involves uncertainty of some sort. However there are many fundamental questions about this kind of uncertainty that are left open. Could you be genuinely uncertain about p when there is no matter of fact whether p? Could you remain uncertain in a vague proposition even if you knew exactly which possible world obtained? Should your degrees of belief be probabilistically coherent? (...) Should your beliefs in the vague be fixed by your beliefs in the precise? Could one in principle tell what credences a person has in the vague? (shrink)