In “Why We Need Friendly AI”, Luke Muehlhauser and Nick Bostrom propose that for our species to survive the impending rise of superintelligent AIs, we need to ensure that they would be human-friendly. This discussion note offers a more natural but bleaker outlook: that in the end, if these AIs do arise, they won’t be that friendly.
In order to fulfil their essential roles as the bearers of truth and the relata of logical relations, propositions must be public and shareable. That requirement has favoured Platonist and other nonmental views of them, despite the well-known problems of Platonism in general. Views that propositions are mental entities have correspondingly fallen out of favour, as they have difficulty in explaining how propositions could have shareable, objective properties. We revive a mentalist view of propositions, inspired by Artificial Intelligence work on (...) perceptual algorithms, which shows how perception causes persistent mental entities with shareable properties that allow them to fulfil the traditional roles of (one core kind of) propositions. The clustering algorithms implemented in perception produce outputs which are (implicit) atomic propositions in different minds. Coordination of them across minds proceeds by game-theoretic processes of communication. The account does not rely on any unexplained notions such as mental content, representation, or correspondence (although those notions are applicable in philosophical analysis of the result). (shrink)
In “God of the Gaps: A Neglected Reply to God’s Stone Problem”, Jc Beall and A. J. Cotnoir offer a gappy solution to the paradox of (unrestricted) omnipotence that is typified by the classic stone problem. Andrew Tedder and Guillermo Badia, however, have recently argued that this solution could not be extended to a more serious Curry-like version of the paradox. In this paper, we show that such a gappy solution does extend to it.
Can God change the past? The standard Aquinas line answers this question negatively: God cannot change the past since such an act implies a contradiction; thus is not within the purview of God's omnipotence. While the Aquinas line is well-known, there are other, non-standard solutions to this question. In this paper, I look into such answers. In particular, I explore those answers that employ the resources of gappy and glutty logics. I show how these solutions are motivated and how each (...) offers an alternative conception of what it is for God to be omnipotent. Finally, I consider and reply to potential issues that may be raised against these non-standard answers. (shrink)
In this discussion note we argue, contrary to the thrust of a recent article by Jenann Ismael, that resolving the paradox of predictability does not require denying the possibility of a natural oracle, and thus stands in no need of the response that she proposes.
Jc Beall’s off-topic interpretation of Weak Kleene logic offers a logic of ‘true-and-topic’ preservation. However, Nissim Francez has recently argued that being ‘off-topic’ is a relational and not an _absolute_ semantic property; as such, it fails to satisfy the conditions of truth-functionality. For Francez, this means that it ‘cannot serve as an interpretation of a truth-value’. In this paper, I propose a two-layered _re_interpretation of Beall’s off-topic semantics. This two-layered framework has two crucial features: a sentential topic-tagging device and a (...) two-layered evaluation tool. I show that this framework results in a logic that preserves Beall’s key insight and addresses Francez’s concerns. (shrink)
Theodore Sider’s puzzle in Hell and Vagueness has generated some interesting responses in the past few years. In this paper, I explore yet another possible solution out of the conundrum. This solution implies three ways of denying a binary conception of the afterlife. I argue that while these solutions might first seem tenable, they might still succumb to a Sideresque revenge puzzle.
Sally Haslanger is Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women's and Gender Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a leading contemporary feminist philosopher. She has worked on analytic metaphysics, epistemology, and ancient philosophy. Her areas of interest are social and political philosophy, feminist theory, and critical race theory. Her 2012 book, Resisting Reality: Social Construction and Social Critique, collects papers published over the course of twenty years that link work in contemporary metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language with social (...) and political issues concerning gender, race, and the family. It was awarded the 2014 Joseph B. Gittler Prize for “outstanding scholarly contribution in the field of the philosophy of one or more of the social sciences.” In this interview, done in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we discuss her ideas on social practices, social structure, and structural explanation. We also delve into her debunking project of elucidating the notion of ideology in a way that links it with contemporary work in epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind, and to do justice to the materiality of social practices and social structures. (shrink)
Da Ré and Szmuc argue that while there is a symmetry between ‘infectious’ and ‘immune’ logics, this symmetry fails w.r.t. extending an algebra with an immune or an infectious element. In this paper, I show that the symmetry also fails w.r.t. defining a new logical operation from a given set of primitive (Boolean) operations. I use the case of the material conditional to illustrate this point.
In this paper, I address the problem about the role of academic philosophy for the feminist movement. I argue that the professionalization of feminism, especially within the sphere of academic philosophy, is detrimental to the stated goal of the feminist movement, which, as historically understood, is to procure women’s rights and liberties and to reassess the treatment of women by different social institutions. The thought is that if feminism were to reap the rewards of a socio-political change, feminists should stop (...) their fantastic theorizing and start bringing their advocacies to the proper forums. (shrink)
This article surveys different philosophical theories about the nature of truth. We give much importance to truth; some demand to know it, some fear it, and others would even die for it. But what exactly is truth? What is its nature? Does it even have a nature in the first place? When do we say that some truth-bearers are true? Philosophers offer varying answers to these questions. In this article, some of these answers are explored and some of the problems (...) raised against them are presented. (shrink)
This paper presents a weak Kleene approach to conditionals that preserves some salient formal features of conditionals, particularly their interdefinability with Boolean logical connectives. I argue that such an approach fares better than other proposed weak logics of conditionals in this regard. In particular, it fares better than the logics proposed by Cooper, Cantwell, Farrell, De Finetti, Égré, Rossi, and Sprenger.
In his two articles, F. P. A. Demeterio III attempts to classify works in Filipino philosophy using a list of twelve (or sixteen) supposed discourses that prominent philosophers in the Philippines have engaged in and published over the past few years. From this list, he advises current Filipino philosophers to invest their time and effort in contributing to only five of these because of their alleged higher measure of "developmental potential" as opposed to other discourses. In this paper, we raise (...) some fundamental issues with Demeterio's approach. We show that (i) his work's conclusions rest on questionable methodological assumptions that make (ii) the discourses which the work arrived at and the rankings in terms of "developmental potential" superficial and ungrounded. Finally, (iii) instead of fulfilling the main aim of advancing research in Filipino philosophy, the proposed approach may actually lead to its stagnation and demise. We argue that these issues, if left unanswered, make Demeterio's whole approach to Filipino philosophy unsound and may put into question the employment of such an approach. (shrink)
In “A neglected reply to Prior’s dilemma” Beall  presents a Weak Kleene framework where Prior’s dilemma for Hume’s no-ought-fromis thesis fails. It fails in the framework because addition, the inference rule that one of its horns relies on, is invalid. In this paper, we show that a more general result is necessary for the viability of Beall’s proposal – a result, which implies that Hume’s thesis holds in the proposed framework. We prove this result and thus show that Beall’s (...) proposal is indeed viable. (shrink)
The debate concerning the proper way of understanding, and hence solving, the “is-ought problem” produced two mutually exclusive positions. One position claims that it is entirely impossible to deduce an imperative statement from a set of factual statements. The other position holds a contrary view to the effect that one can naturally derive an imperative statement from a set of factual statements under certain conditions. Although these two positions have opposing views concerning the problem, it should be evident that they (...) both accept that the “is-ought problem” is concerned with the deducibility of imperative statements from factual statements. Later I will argue that this should not be our concern when we try to make sense of the way we reason about morality. (shrink)
In ‘What on Earth is Logic?’, Michael Shenefelt and Heidi White offer this observation about the nature of logic: ‘If one tries to justify logic logically, one ends up arguing in a circle’. From this, they conclude that ‘logic is a horizon beyond which none of our earnest self-reflecting arguments can help us see’. While there is much to appreciate in how they developed this idea, there are several worrying points that could still be raised against their view. In this (...) article, we outline such problems.Export citation. (shrink)
Farts have not received the metaphysical attention they deserve. Bill Capra has opened the batting in his recent study of this ubiquitous rectal phenomenon. Spurred on by his sterling effort, JJ and I have added our own two bob's worth, disagreeing with much of what Bill says, and defending the buttocks-first conception of farts.
In this paper, I provide a brief overview of the development of analytic philosophy in the Philippines. I first highlight the circumstances that led to its inception in the late 1930s, and some of the notable works by prominent Filipino analytic philosophers that helped shape the tradition. Next, I discuss the socio-political climate in the late 1950s through the 1970s that may have led some Filipino philosophers to move away from analytic philosophy. Finally, I explore some signs of its re-emergence (...) in the late twentieth century and its possible trajectories in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
In “God of the gaps: A neglected reply to God’s stone problem,” Jc Beall and A. J. Cotnoir offer a gappy solution to the paradox of the stone – a paradox that involves God’s omnipotence. This paper shows that their solution extends to a puzzle concerning God’s impeccability or inability to sin. This latter puzzle not only involves God’s omnipotence but also His omnibenevolence.
In ‘Currying omnipotence: A reply to Beall and Cotnoir’, Andrew Tedder and Guillermo Badia argue that Jc Beall and A. J. Cotnoir’s gappy solution to the traditional paradox of unrestricted omnipotence does not extend to a Curry-like version of the paradox. In this paper, we show that it does extend to it.
In ‘Many-valued Logics’, a lecture broadcast over New Zealand's public radio in 1957, Arthur N. Prior (1914–1969) complained that conjunctions are put ‘to something like forced labour’ in Łukasiewicz's three-valued semantics, Ł3. In this paper, we discuss what Prior might have meant by this.
This article is a general introduction to the psychology of reasoning. Specifically, it focuses on the dual process theory of human cognition. Proponents of the said two-system view hold that human cognition involves two processes (viz., System 1 and System 2). System 1 is an automatic, intuitive thinking process where judgments and reasoning rely on fast thinking and ready-to-hand data. On the other hand, System 2 is a slow, logical cognitive process where our judgments and reasoning rely on reflective, careful (...) analysis and data evaluation. Supposedly, these two cognitive processes are at play in every thinking task, and they sometimes work together and sometimes go against each other. (shrink)
In this interview with W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr, we discuss the metaphysical and ethical questions of grouping and classifying people in terms of race and ethnicity. Outlaw is the author of [On Race and Philosophy] and one of the recognised pioneers of Africana Philosophy. Outlaw talks about growing up in racial segregation in Starkville, Mississippi, the Black Power movement, the notion of the Black intellectual, scholarship and teaching, and philosophizing about race. (...) We discuss the ambiguity of the concept of philosophy of race and explore the concepts of raciality, categories, human sociality, evolution, and oppression. With his philosophical, political, and sociological influences, Outlaw asserts that racism makes no sense at all because the diversity of our species is one of our greatest assets; and in terms of survival, we are all of the same species though certain group-shared differences do matter. (shrink)
Bayesianism has been dubbed as the most adequate and successful theory of scientific rationality. Its success mainly lies in its ability to combine two mutually exclusive elements involved in the process of theory-selection in science, viz.: the subjective and objective elements. My aim in this paper is to explain and evaluate Bayesianism’s account of scientific rationality by contrasting it with two other accounts.
In elementary logic textbooks, Venn diagrams are used to analyze and evaluate the validity of syllogistic arguments. Although the method of Venn diagrams is shown to be a powerful analytical tool in these textbooks, it still has limitations. On the one hand, such method fails to represent singular statements of the form, “a is F.” On other hand, it also fails to represent identity statements of the form, “a is b.” Because of this, it also fails to give an account (...) of the validity of some obviously valid arguments that contain these types of statements as constituents. In this paper, owing to the developments in the literature on Venn diagrams, we offer a way of supplementing the rules of the Venn diagram found in textbooks, and show how this retooled Venn diagram technique could account for the problem cases. (shrink)
Claro R. Ceniza [1927-2001] is arguably one of the best philosophers that the Philippines has ever produced. However, it is quite unfortunate that some of his important contributions are not that well-known. This paper aims to rectify this by presenting an evaluation of his original insights on three outstanding problems in philosophy, viz., the paradoxes of material implication, the nature of probability, and the metaphysics of modality.
In “Sideways Music”, Ned Markosian presents the aesthetic value variance of sideways music as a case against what the Spacetime Thesis—the thesis that time is one of four similar dimensions that make up spacetime. Critics have already raised worries about the premises of his argument. In this paper, I focus on Markosian’s assumed aesthetic realism. I argue that there is a version of aesthetic realism—a version that admits aesthetic value gluts—that is consistent with both the Spacetime Thesis and the aesthetic (...) variance of sideways music. If this is right, then sideways music may simply be a non-issue for proponents of the Spacetime Thesis. (shrink)
In this essay, I would like to look at two particular attempts of developing a preliminary question that paves the way for establishing a Filipino Philosophy: viz. Rolando Gripaldo’s Historian of Philosophy approach and Napoleon Mabaquiao’s Strict Discipline approach. The former envisages that the first question that needs to be considered in the discussion of Filipino Philosophy must be taken from the perspective of a scholar of the history of philosophy. The latter’s procedure is to take what academic philosophers deem (...) to be the characterization of their discipline. In effect, while the former’s question is a question of a historian of philosophy; the latter’s question is a question of a philosopher. As this essay progresses I will try to make a critical assessment of the two attempts by first showing the strengths and weaknesses of their respective attempts, and secondly by stressing that their attempts, whether successful or not, should already be taken as contributions to the effort of establishing a Filipino Philosophy. (shrink)
What would a romantic relationship between a biological human and an artificial intelligence system look like? The question is explored through a fictional correspondence between Alan Turing and Ada Lovelace.
The liar paradox results from a line of reasoning that starts with the liar sentence, ‘This sentence is false’ and ends with a contradictory conclusion, ‘The liar sentence is both true and false’. There have been solutions to the paradox that preserve the standard conception of truth and the classical notion of logical validity. In this paper, I explore nonstandard solutions to it. In particular, I focus on two non-classical solutions to the liar paradox; viz., the gappy and the glutty (...) solutions. According to the gappy solution, the liar sentence is neither true nor false, and the reasoning that leads to the paradoxical conclusion is unsound. On the other hand, according to the glutty solution, the paradoxical conclusion is correct, but any subsequent reasoning from it is invalid. I show some ways of motivating each of these solutions. Next, I show what each implies about the notions of truth and validity, and how each solves the paradox. Finally, I highlight some of the more recent problems that could be pitted against each of these solutions. (shrink)
Bullshit is a prevalent phenomenon in this info-crazy world of ours. With the help of Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt, I want to provide a brief philosophical account of this phenomenon, and offer some practical tips to how we could deal with it.Export citation.
The hit American TV show The Good Place has garnered quite a following in recent years. Its main premise implies a scorekeeping view of the afterlife. People who have collected enough credits in their earthly lives will make the cut and go to the Good Place, while those who do not will be banished to the Bad Place. We suggest that such a premise would have to come to terms with Ted Sider's puzzle about the compatibility of a binary afterlife (...) with God's divine attributes. (shrink)
This collection brings together different philosophical points of view discussing two important aspects of human life, namely love and friendship, within the broad context of comparative philosophy. These points of view differ in terms of their cultural orientations - East or West, ancient or modern; philosophical methodologies - analytical, historical, experimental, or phenomenological, broadly construed; and motivation - explanatory, revisionary, or argumentative. The volume is a comparative treatment of how diverse philosophical cultures view love and friendship, such as how Aristotle (...) and Confucius’ views on friendship are similar and different, how the ancient Greeks and the Buddhists view friendship and happiness, and how posthumous love is possible. With contributions from a diverse set of scholars, this book presents the emerging views of Southeast Asian philosophers compared with those of philosophers from other regions, including Europe and North America. The volume thus provides a multi-faceted way of understanding love and friendship across cultures, and will be relevant to scholars interested in philosophy, the history of ideas, Asian Studies, and religious studies. (shrink)
This paper focuses on two interrelated issues about the prospects for research projects in experimental philosophical logic. The first issue is about the role that logic plays in such projects; the second involves the role that experimental results from the cognitive sciences play in them. I argue that some notion of logic plays a crucial role in these research projects, and, in turn, the results of these projects might inform substantive debates in the philosophy of logic.
This paper develops a philosophical account of the relata of romantic love, the nature of the objects in a love-relation. This account holds that the lover who loves and the beloved who is loved are particular people who persist through time by having temporal parts. We show how such a perdurantist account could provide models of different kinds of romantic love: from the love of transitory lovers to the love of immortal beings; from the love of lifelong companions to the (...) love of soulmates. Finally, two possible issues raised against this view will also be addressed. (shrink)
In ‘Fuzzy gender: between female embodiment and intersex’, Ashley Tauchert offers a ‘fuzzy’ model for gender. Her proposed model aims to account for the normative boundaries of sex and gender, especially between females, transwomen, and intersexuals, in terms of a ‘gender line’ on which different gender categories are located. This reply paper aims to clear the fuzziness in Tauchert’s model by pointing out two critical problems. First, her model appears to be self-defeating, since the marginalized gender categories it attempts to (...) empower are defined in terms of the hegemonic binarism of the ‘pure’ heterosexual male and the ‘pure’ heterosexual female, which it tries to dislodge. Second, her model implies an infinite number of possible gender categories along the gender line; being so, it becomes theoretically inert and practically inadequate. In lieu of the fuzzy model, this paper suggests an alternative model of thinking through the black/white and grey gender categories. This model utilizes the metaphor of gender galaxies, where each gender category is treated as an independent, socially-conferred galaxy; each having specific societal concerns and political agenda. This model, as will be argued, provides firmer grounding for the political aspirations of these various gender categories. (shrink)
Max Velmans, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, is one of the leading theorists of consciousness studies — an interdisciplinary field of study that deals with questions about the nature of consciousness and how it relates to the physical world. In this interview, we look back at his life and work; in particular, his idea of reflexive monism, which is one of his landmark contributions to the field.
In this paper, I offer a reconstruction of Wittgenstein's view of the happy life by sketching out three interconnected themes in his early works. The first theme is the distinction between a science of ethics and the ethical. The second is the idea of the willing subject. And finally, the third is the possibility of the happy life.
Against the pervading opinion, the author takes the positive side of the question "Does logic rest on a metaphysical foundation?" Logic is generally understood as a science that investigates ways of distinguishing good from bad arguments. This conception leads many to think that logic does not rest on any metaphysical foundation - that it is not an ontologically-committing enterprise. To claim that "'Someone is male' logically follows from 'Joey is male"' does not commit one to the existence of maleness or (...) the existence of Joey, even if it is logically true that if Joey is male, then someone is male. This paper, however argues for the contrary thesis. In one possible rendering of what logic means and in one possible understanding of what it is for someone to be ontologically committed to something else, it can be shown that logic is an ontologically-committing activity. From this it is argued that logic has a metaphysical foundation. (shrink)
According to Streumer and Wodak, a particular type of formal objection to normative error theory fails because it rests on a questionable assumption about the logical duality of the normative concepts of permissibility and impermissibility. In this discussion, we argue that there is an error in their indictment; as such, the formal objection to normative error theory might still prevail.