This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
Kaplan (1989a) insists that natural languages do not contain displacing devices that operate on character—such displacing devices are called monsters. This thesis has recently faced various empirical challenges (e.g., Schlenker 2003; Anand and Nevins 2004). In this note, the thesis is challenged on grounds of a more theoretical nature. It is argued that the standard compositional semantics of variable binding employs monstrous operations. As a dramatic first example, Kaplan’s formal language, the Logic of Demonstratives, is shown to contain (...) monsters. For similar reasons, the orthodox lambda-calculus-based semantics for variable binding is argued to be monstrous. This technical point promises to provide some far-reaching implications for our understanding of semantic theory and content. The theoretical upshot of the discussion is at least threefold: (i) the Kaplanian thesis that “directly referential” terms are not shiftable/bindable is unmotivated, (ii) since monsters operate on something distinct from the assertoric content of their operands, we must distinguish ingredient sense from assertoric content (cf. Dummett 1973; Evans 1979; Stanley 1997), and (iii) since the case of variable binding provides a paradigm of semantic shift that differs from the other types, it is plausible to think that indexicals—which are standardly treated by means of the assignment function—might undergo the same kind of shift. (shrink)
Austin is not much in fashion these days. In Austin’s Way with Skepticism, Mark Kaplan swims against the current, arguing that Austin still has much to teach us about how to do epistemology. Methodologically, Austin’s insistence on fidelity to ordinary ways of talking about knowledge is a non-negotiable constraint on epistemological theorizing. Substantively, Austin has important things to say about knowledge. But while I am fully in accord with the spirit of Kaplan’s enterprise, I take Austin to occupy (...) a more radical position: that getting the linguistic facts straight should lead us to call into question the very idea of a theory of knowledge, at least as ‘theory of knowledge’ has traditionally been understood. (shrink)
In 'the methodological character of theoretical concepts' carnap offered a sophisticated criterion of empirical significance. Unfortunately, Shortly thereafter david kaplan devised a pair of devastating counter-Examples which appeared to show that carnap's criterion was simultaneously too wide and too narrow. In this note I show that kaplan's first counter-Example misses its mark and that his second counter-Example can be avoided by a natural generalization of carnap's method.
Completeness is an important but misunderstood norm of explanation. It has recently been argued that mechanistic accounts of scientific explanation are committed to the thesis that models are complete only if they describe everything about a mechanism and, as a corollary, that incomplete models are always improved by adding more details. If so, mechanistic accounts are at odds with the obvious and important role of abstraction in scientific modelling. We respond to this characterization of the mechanist’s views about abstraction and (...) articulate norms of completeness for mechanistic explanations that have no such unwanted implications. _1_ Introduction _2_ A Balancing Act: When Do Details Matter? _3_ The Norms of Causal Explanation _4_ The Norms of Constitutive Explanation _5_ Salmon-Completeness _6_ From More Details to More Relevant Details _7_ Non-explanatory Virtues of Abstraction _8_ From Explanatory Models to Explanatory Knowledge _9_ Mechanistic Completeness Reconsidered _10_ Conclusion. (shrink)
In this essay I consider Kaplan’s challenge to Frege’s so-called dictum: “Logic (and perhaps even truth) is immune to epithetical color”. I show that if it is to challenge anything, it rather challenges the view (attributable to Frege) that logic is immune to pejorative colour. This granted, I show that Kaplan’s inference-based challenge can be set even assuming that the pejorative doesn’t make any non-trivial truth-conditional (descriptive) contribution. This goes against the general tendency to consider the truth-conditionally inert (...) logically irrelevant. But I take it that Kaplan is right and take his examples to show that truth-conditional inertness need not entail inferential inertness. I end up assessing the Kaplan-Frege “debate” as giving edge to the former to the extent that clarity is achieved through Kaplanian inferences on what should be considered part of the explanandum. (shrink)
If we arrange in chronological order the various statements Darwin made about God, creation, design, plan, law, and so forth, that I have discussed, there emerges a picture of a consistent development in Darwin's religious views from the orthodoxy of his youth to the agnosticism of his later years. Numerous sources attest that at the beginning of the Beagle voyage Darwin was more or less orthodox in religion and science alike.78 After he became a transmutationist early in 1837, he concluded (...) that the doctrine of secondary causes must be extented even to the history of life and that after the first forms of life were created, there was no further need for divine intervention, except where man was concerned. Man's body, he thought, was produced by the process of transmutation, but he believed for a time that man's soul was “superadded.” By mid-1838 he had become convinced that nothing, after the creation of life, was due to miracles. God works only through laws, which are capable of producing “every effect of evey kind which surrounds us.” The existence of man, the idea of God in man's mind, and the harmony of the whole system were in his eyes prearranged goals of deterministic laws imposed by God. Such a conception excludes the miracles on which Christianity depends; but it is not possible to say whether Darwin's loss of Christian faith, which occurred at about this same time, preceded and made possible his “materialism” or was rather caused or hastened by it.79 In the weeks after his reading of Malthus, Darwin's belief in a plan of creation gave way to the belief that God created matter and life and designed their laws, leaving the details, however, to the workings of chance. This remained his view until the 1860s.There is no exact parallel between this development of Darwin's religious views and the development of his ideas on evolution, but there is a general correspondence. When he believed in a plan of creation, Darwin's theory of transmutation did not depend on struggle or the selection of chance variations. Adaptation was, for him, an automatic response to environmental chance. From late 1838 to 1859 he believed in designed laws and chance, and this belief, too, has its parallel in his theory. The element of chance in natural selection meant that there could be no detailed plan,in which even man's idea of God would be a necessary outcome of nature's laws (man himself is not a necessary outcome of the working of natural selection).80 But Darwin still believed nature was programmed to achieve certain general ends. We might say that he believed in a general, though not a special, teleology. Natural selection was for him a law to maximize utility, creating useful organs, retaining vestiges for future use. For many years it was a law designed to produce organisms perfectly adapted to their environments. Only later did Darwin come to doubt even this sort of design in nature.81 One way of describing the development of Darwin's evolutionary thought is to say that it shows a gradual abandoning of his “theistic” assumptions, so that by the late 1860s his theory was informed to a slighter extent by notions of purpose and design than it was in 1838 or 1844 or 1859. (shrink)
We use exact saturation to study the complexity of unstable theories, showing that a variant of this notion called pseudo-elementary class -exact saturation meaningfully reflects combinatorial dividing lines. We study PC-exact saturation for stable and simple theories. Among other results, we show that PC-exact saturation characterizes the stability cardinals of size at least continuum of a countable stable theory and, additionally, that simple unstable theories have PC-exact saturation at singular cardinals satisfying mild set-theoretic hypotheses. This had previously been open even (...) for the random graph. We characterize supersimplicity of countable theories in terms of having PC-exact saturation at singular cardinals of countable cofinality. We also consider the local analog of PC-exact saturation, showing that local PC-exact saturation for singular cardinals of countable cofinality characterizes supershort theories. (shrink)
The Handbook of Formal Argumentation is a community effort aimed at providing a comprehensive and up-to-date view of the state of the art and current trends in the lively research field of formal argumentation. The first volume of the Handbook is organised into five parts, containing nineteen chapters in all, each written by leading experts in the field. The first part provides a general and historical perspective on the field. The second part gives a comprehensive coverage of the argumentation formalisms (...) available in the literature at various levels of abstraction. The third part is devoted to cover some of the many dialogical aspects of argumentation, while the fourth one deals with algorithmic, computational and implementation issues. Finally, the fifth part provides some deeper analyses on the previously introduced topics. The Handbook of Formal Argumentation is an open-ended initiative of which the present volume is the first outcome. Further volumes are planned to cover topics not included in the present one and the initiative is conceived to grow by the support and feeding it receives from the community members. (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)
Joseph Almog says concerning “a certain locus where Quine doesn’t exist…qua evaluation locus, we take to it [singular] propositions involving Quine [as a constituent] which we have generated in our generation locus.” This seems to be either murder, or worse, self-contradiction. It presumes that certain designators designate their designata even at loci where the designata do not exist, i.e., the designators have “Kaplan rigidity.” Against this view, this paper argues that negative existentials such as “Quine does not exist” are (...) true only at ordered couples of loci (times or possible worlds) < l, l’ > such that the constituents of the truthmaker are the designatum itself from l and whatever corresponds to “does not exist” from l’. (shrink)
This paper offers a two dimensional variation of Standard Deontic Logic SDL, which we call 2SDL. Using 2SDL we can show that we can overcome many of the difficulties that SDL has in representing linguistic sets of Contrary-to-Duties (known as paradoxes) including the Chisholm, Ross, Good Samaritan and Forrester paradoxes. We note that many dimensional logics have been around since 1947, and so 2SDL could have been presented already in the 1970s. Better late than never! As a detailed case study (...) illustrating the power of 2SDL, we examine the system DL of Deontic Logic of Andrew Jones and Ingmar Pörn offered in 1985 to solve the Chisholm paradox of Contrary to Duties. The critical examination is done using logics and methods available in 1985 and solutions are proposed using what was available in 1985. (shrink)
This important book provides a new unifying methodology for logic. It replaces the traditional view of logic as manipulating sets of formulas with the notion of structured families of labelled formulas with algebraic structures. This approach has far reaching consequences for the methodology of logics and their semantics, and the book studies the main features of such systems along with their applications. It will interest logicians, computer scientists, philosophers and linguists.
Is Bayesian decision theory a panacea for many of the problems in epistemology and the philosophy of science, or is it philosophical snake-oil? For years a debate had been waged amongst specialists regarding the import and legitimacy of this body of theory. Mark Kaplan had written the first accessible and non-technical book to address this controversy. Introducing a new variant on Bayesian decision theory the author offers a compelling case that, while no panacea, decision theory does in fact have (...) the most profound consequences for the way in which philosophers think about inquiry, criticism and rational belief. The new variant on Bayesian theory is presented in such a way that a non-specialist will be able to understand it. The book also offers new solutions to some classic paradoxes. It focuses on the intuitive motivations of the Bayesian approach to epistemology and addresses the philosophical worries to which it has given rise. (shrink)
Modal logics, originally conceived in philosophy, have recently found many applications in computer science, artificial intelligence, the foundations of mathematics, linguistics and other disciplines. Celebrated for their good computational behaviour, modal logics are used as effective formalisms for talking about time, space, knowledge, beliefs, actions, obligations, provability, etc. However, the nice computational properties can drastically change if we combine some of these formalisms into a many-dimensional system, say, to reason about knowledge bases developing in time or moving objects. To study (...) the computational behaviour of many-dimensional modal logics is the main aim of this book. On the one hand, it is concerned with providing a solid mathematical foundation for this discipline, while on the other hand, it shows that many seemingly different applied many-dimensional systems (e.g., multi-agent systems, description logics with epistemic, temporal and dynamic operators, spatio-temporal logics, etc.) fit in perfectly with this theoretical framework, and so their computational behaviour can be analyzed using the developed machinery. We start with concrete examples of applied one- and many-dimensional modal logics such as temporal, epistemic, dynamic, description, spatial logics, and various combinations of these. Then we develop a mathematical theory for handling a spectrum of 'abstract' combinations of modal logics - fusions and products of modal logics, fragments of first-order modal and temporal logics - focusing on three major problems: decidability, axiomatizability, and computational complexity. Besides the standard methods of modal logic, the technical toolkit includes the method of quasimodels, mosaics, tilings, reductions to monadic second-order logic, algebraic logic techniques. Finally, we apply the developed machinery and obtained results to three case studies from the field of knowledge representation and reasoning: temporal epistemic logics for reasoning about multi-agent systems, modalized description logics for dynamic ontologies, and spatio-temporal logics. The genre of the book can be defined as a research monograph. It brings the reader to the front line of current research in the field by showing both recent achievements and directions of future investigations (in particular, multiple open problems). On the other hand, well-known results from modal and first-order logic are formulated without proofs and supplied with references to accessible sources. The intended audience of this book is logicians as well as those researchers who use logic in computer science and artificial intelligence. More specific application areas are, e.g., knowledge representation and reasoning, in particular, terminological, temporal and spatial reasoning, or reasoning about agents. And we also believe that researchers from certain other disciplines, say, temporal and spatial databases or geographical information systems, will benefit from this book as well. Key Features: Integrated approach to modern modal and temporal logics and their applications in artificial intelligence and computer science Written by internationally leading researchers in the field of pure and applied logic Combines mathematical theory of modal logic and applications in artificial intelligence and computer science Numerous open problems for further research Well illustrated with pictures and tables. (shrink)
Making Sense of Evolution explores contemporary evolutionary biology, focusing on the elements of theories—selection, adaptation, and species—that are complex and open to multiple possible interpretations, many of which are incompatible with one another and with other accepted practices in the discipline. Particular experimental methods, for example, may demand one understanding of “selection,” while the application of the same concept to another area of evolutionary biology could necessitate a very different definition.
In this paper we give some suggestions from etymology on the contrast between Kaplan’s direct reference theory and a neo-Fregean view on indexicals. After a short summary of the philosophical debate on indexicals (§1), we use some remarks about the hidden presence of a demonstrative root in all indexicals to derive some provisional doubts concerning Kaplan’s criticism of what he calls “sloppy thinker” (§2). To support those doubts, we will summarise some etymological data on the derivation of the (...) so-called “pure indexicals” from an original demonstrative root (§ 3). The aim of the paper is to consider etymological data as providing evidence for alternative theories of language and fostering new directions in linguistic and philosophical research on specific topics. (shrink)
Globalization, in its earlier stages, was expected to erode national and ethnic identities. In contrast, ethnicity and ethnic affiliations persisted, growing socially and politically. This paper examines the role of the globalizing new communications technologies on this process, focusing on Diasporas. The study of trans-state networks based on ethnic solidarity, connections and affinities in the framework of social and political science is quite recent. Following a clarification of the distinction between classical and modern Diasporas we analyse a particular case study, (...) that of the Jewish Diaspora. This diaspora was an early adopter of computer-based communications and the Internet for a wide range of purposes. Early events are described including the diffusion of the Internet to Israel, the planning of a Global Jewish Information Network, Israel 2020 macro scenarios for Israel and the Jewish People and the decision on Jewish Peoplehood through communication technologies. A survey of historical systems follows by a description of the Jewish population and the wide variety of Jewish Web based activities today. These include the Institutional landscape; Jewish media — press, radio, video and blogs; the impact on Jewish religious observance; Jewish genealogy; Online dating; Social networks; Jewish education; Online learning; Jewish Studies and Digital Humanities; Jewish memory. Judaica Europeana supports the activities previously described by aggregating and facilitating the access and the re-use of Jewish digital culture. Europeana is the leading global digital library for cultural heritage as well as a lively eco-system for relevant stakeholders. (shrink)
Since its introduction, multivariate pattern analysis, or ‘neural decoding’, has transformed the field of cognitive neuroscience. Underlying its influence is a crucial inference, which we call the decoder’s dictum: if information can be decoded from patterns of neural activity, then this provides strong evidence about what information those patterns represent. Although the dictum is a widely held and well-motivated principle in decoding research, it has received scant philosophical attention. We critically evaluate the dictum, arguing that it is false: decodability is (...) a poor guide for revealing the content of neural representations. However, we also suggest how the dictum can be improved on, in order to better justify inferences about neural representation using MVPA. 1Introduction 2A Brief Primer on Neural Decoding: Methods, Application, and Interpretation 2.1What is multivariate pattern analysis? 2.2The informational benefits of multivariate pattern analysis 3Why the Decoder’s Dictum Is False 3.1We don’t know what information is decoded 3.2The theoretical basis for the dictum 3.3Undermining the theoretical basis 4Objections and Replies 4.1Does anyone really believe the dictum? 4.2Good decoding is not enough 4.3Predicting behaviour is not enough 5Moving beyond the Dictum 6Conclusion. (shrink)
This long awaited book gives a thorough account of the mathematical foundations of Temporal Logic, one of the most important areas of logic in computer science.The book, which consists of fifteen chapters, moves on from giving a solid introduction in semantical and axiomatic approaches to temporal logic to covering the central topics of predicate temporal logic, meta-languages, general theories of axiomatization, many dimensional systems, propositionalquantifiers, expressive power, Henkin dimension, temporalization of other logics, and decidability results.Much of the research presented here (...) is frontline in the new results and in the unifying methodology. This is an indispensable reference work for both the pure logician and the theoretical computer scientist. (shrink)