Paradoxes are arguments that lead from apparently true premises, via apparently uncontroversial reasoning, to a false or even contradictory conclusion. Paradoxes threaten our basic understanding of central concepts such as space, time, motion, infinity, truth, knowledge, and belief. In this volume Roy T Cook provides a sophisticated, yet accessible and entertaining, introduction to the study of paradoxes, one that includes a detailed examination of a wide variety of paradoxes. The book is organized around four important types (...) of paradox: the semantic paradoxes involving truth, the set-theoretic paradoxes involving arbitrary collections of objects, the Soritical paradoxes involving vague concepts, and the epistemic paradoxes involving knowledge and belief. In each of these cases, Cook frames the discussion in terms of four different approaches one might take towards solving such paradoxes. Each chapter concludes with a number of exercises that illustrate the philosophical arguments and logical concepts involved in the paradoxes. _Paradoxes_ is the ideal introduction to the topic and will be a valuable resource for scholars and students in a wide variety of disciplines who wish to understand the important role that paradoxes have played, and continue to play, in contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
Bodily pain strikes many philosophers as deeply paradoxical. The issue is that pains seem to bear both physical characteristics, such as a location in the body, and mental characteristics, such being mind-dependent. In this paper I clarify and address this alleged paradox of pain. I begin by showing how a further assumption, Objectivism, the thesis that what one feels in one’s body when one is in pain is something mind-independent, is necessary for the generation of the paradox. Consequently, the paradox (...) can be avoided if one rejects this idea. However, doing so raises its own difficulties, for it is not obvious how anything can possess all of the features we typically associate with bodily pain. To address this puzzle and finally put the paradox of pain to rest, I develop the Embodied View, a novel metaphysical account on which pains are constitutively mind-dependent features of parts of a subject’s body. (shrink)
Supererogatory acts—good deeds “beyond the call of duty”—are a part of moral common sense, but conceptually puzzling. I propose a unified solution to three of the most infamous puzzles: the classic Paradox of Supererogation (if it’s so good, why isn’t it just obligatory?), Horton’s All or Nothing Problem, and Kamm’s Intransitivity Paradox. I conclude that supererogation makes sense if, and only if, the grounds of rightness are multi-dimensional and comparative.
A paradox can be defined as an unacceptable conclusion derived by apparently acceptable reasoning from apparently acceptable premises. Many paradoxes raise serious philosophical problems, and they are associated with crises of thought and revolutionary advances. The expanded and revised third edition of this intriguing book considers a range of knotty paradoxes including Zeno's paradoxical claim that the runner can never overtake the tortoise, a new chapter on paradoxes about morals, paradoxes about belief, and hardest of all, (...)paradoxes about truth. The discussion uses a minimum of technicality but also grapples with complicated and difficult considerations, and is accompanied by helpful questions designed to engage the reader with the arguments. The result is not only an explanation of paradoxes but also an excellent introduction to philosophical thinking. (shrink)
The paradox of pain refers to the idea that the folk concept of pain is paradoxical, treating pains as simultaneously mental states and bodily states. By taking a close look at our pain terms, this paper argues that there is no paradox of pain. The air of paradox dissolves once we recognize that pain terms are polysemous and that there are two separate but related concepts of pain rather than one.
_Paradoxes from A to Z, Third edition_ is the essential guide to paradoxes, and takes the reader on a lively tour of puzzles that have taxed thinkers from Zeno to Galileo, and Lewis Carroll to Bertrand Russell. Michael Clark uncovers an array of conundrums, such as Achilles and the Tortoise, Theseus’ Ship, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma, taking in subjects as diverse as knowledge, science, art and politics. Clark discusses each paradox in non-technical terms, considering its significance and looking at (...) likely solutions. This third edition is revised throughout, and adds nine new paradoxes that have important bearings in areas such as law, logic, ethics and probability. Paradoxes from A to Z, Third edition is an ideal starting point for those interested not just in philosophical puzzles and conundrums, but anyone seeking to hone their thinking skills. (shrink)
How can we experience real emotions when viewing a movie or reading a novel or watching a play when we know the characters whose actions have this effect on us do not exist? This is a conundrum that has puzzled philosophers for a long time, and in this book Robert Yanal both canvasses previously proposed solutions to it and offers one of his own. First formulated by Samuel Johnson, the paradox received its most famous answer from Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who (...) advised his readers to engage in a "willing suspension of disbelief." More recently, philosophers have argued that we are irrational in emoting toward fiction, or that we do not emote toward fiction but rather toward factual counterparts, or that we do not have real but only quasi-emotion toward fiction, generated by our playing games of make-believe. All of these proposed solutions are critically reviewed. Finding these answers unsatisfactory, Yanal offers an alternative, providing a new version of what has been dubbed "thought theory." On this theory, mere thoughts not believed true are seen as the functional equivalent of belief at least insofar as stimulating emotion is concerned. The emoter's disbelief in the actuality of components of the thoughts must be rendered relatively inactive. Such emotion is real and typically has the character of being richly generated yet unconsummated. The book extends this theory also to resolving other paradoxes arising from emotional response to fiction: how we feel suspense over what comes next in a story even when we are re-reading it for a second or third time; and how we take pleasure in narratives, such as tragedy, that excite unpleasant emotions such as fear, pity, or horror. (shrink)
Logical paradoxes – like the Liar, Russell's, and the Sorites – are notorious. But in Paradoxes and Inconsistent Mathematics, it is argued that they are only the noisiest of many. Contradictions arise in the everyday, from the smallest points to the widest boundaries. In this book, Zach Weber uses “dialetheic paraconsistency” – a formal framework where some contradictions can be true without absurdity – as the basis for developing this idea rigorously, from mathematical foundations up. In doing so, (...) Weber directly addresses a longstanding open question: how much standard mathematics can paraconsistency capture? The guiding focus is on a more basic question, of why there are paradoxes. Details underscore a simple philosophical claim: that paradoxes are found in the ordinary, and that is what makes them so extraordinary. (shrink)
This paper presents and motivates a new philosophical and logical approach to truth and semantic paradox. It begins from an inferentialist, and particularly bilateralist, theory of meaning---one which takes meaning to be constituted by assertibility and deniability conditions---and shows how the usual multiple-conclusion sequent calculus for classical logic can be given an inferentialist motivation, leaving classical model theory as of only derivative importance. The paper then uses this theory of meaning to present and motivate a logical system---ST---that conservatively extends classical (...) logic with a fully transparent truth predicate. This system is shown to allow for classical reasoning over the full (truth-involving) vocabulary, but to be non-transitive. Some special cases where transitivity does hold are outlined. ST is also shown to give rise to a familiar sort of model for non-classical logics: Kripke fixed points on the Strong Kleene valuation scheme. Finally, to give a theory of paradoxical sentences, a distinction is drawn between two varieties of assertion and two varieties of denial. On one variety, paradoxical sentences cannot be either asserted or denied; on the other, they must be both asserted and denied. The target theory is compared favourably to more familiar related systems, and some objections are considered. (shrink)
Winner of the 2014 Edward Goodwin Ballard Award for an Outstanding Book in Phenomenology, awarded by the Center for Advance Research in Phenomenology. -/- Merleau-Ponty and the Paradoxes of Expression offers a comprehensive reading of the philosophical work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a central figure in 20th-century continental philosophy. -/- By establishing that the paradoxical logic of expression is Merleau-Ponty's fundamental philosophical gesture, this book ties together his diverse work on perception, language, aesthetics, politics and history in order to establish (...) the ontological position he was developing at the time of his sudden death in 1961. Donald A. Landes explores the paradoxical logic of expression as it appears in both Merleau-Ponty’s explicit reflections on expression and his non-explicit uses of this logic in his philosophical reflection on other topics, and thus establishes a continuity and a trajectory of his thought that allows for his work to be placed into conversation with contemporary developments in continental philosophy. The book offers the reader a key to understanding Merleau-Ponty's subtle methodology and highlights the urgency and relevance of his research into the ontological significance of expression for today's work in art and cultural theory. (shrink)
In this paper, I identify and provide an explanation for a heretofore unrecognized puzzle in feminist aesthetics and the philosophy of horror. Many horror movie fans have an aversion to rape scenes. This is puzzling because genre fans are not equally bothered by the depiction of other types of violence and cruelty. I argue that we can make sense of this selective aversion by appeal to the notion of ‘distance’, which philosophers of horror use to explain why people are attracted (...) to horror movies in the first place. When we consume horror, we ‘distance’ ourselves from the scary things depicted, which allows other mechanisms to kick in that lead to overall enjoyment. I argue that ‘distance’ often collapses when viewers are confronted with depictions of rape because rape is common in real life and a gendered form of violence that is implicated in social injustice. (shrink)
The author believes that large‐scale rationality on the part of the interpretant is essential to his interpretability, and therefore, in his view, to her having a mind. How, then are cases of irrationality, such as akrasia or self‐deception, judged by the interpretant's own standards, possible? He proposes that, in order to resolve the apparent paradoxes, one must distinguish between accepting a contradictory proposition and accepting separately each of two contradictory propositions, which are held apart, which in turn requires to (...) conceive of the mind as containing a number of semi‐independent structures of interlocking beliefs, desires, emotions, memories, and other mental states. (shrink)
According to the principle of Conjunction Closure, if one has justification for believing each of a set of propositions, one has justification for believing their conjunction. The lottery and preface paradoxes can both be seen as posing challenges for Closure, but leave open familiar strategies for preserving the principle. While this is all relatively well-trodden ground, a new Closure-challenging paradox has recently emerged, in two somewhat different forms, due to Backes :3773–3787, 2019a) and Praolini :715–726, 2019). This paradox synthesises (...) elements of the lottery and the preface and is designed to close off the familiar Closure-preserving strategies. By appealing to a normic theory of justification, I will defend Closure in the face of this new paradox. Along the way I will draw more general conclusions about justification, normalcy and defeat, which bear upon what Backes :2877–2895, 2019b) has dubbed the ‘easy defeat’ problem for the normic theory. (shrink)
Counterfactuals are somewhat tolerant. Had Socrates been at least six feet tall, he need not have been exactly six feet tall. He might have been a little taller—he might have been six one or six two. But while he might have been a little taller, there are limits to how tall he would have been. Had he been at least six feet tall, he would not have been more than a hundred feet tall, for example. Counterfactuals are not just tolerant, (...) then, but bounded. This paper presents a surprising paradox: If counterfactuals are tolerant and bounded, then we can prove a flat contradiction using natural rules of inference. Something has to go then. But what? (shrink)
Paradoxes are more than just intellectual puzzles - they raise substantive philosophical issues and offer the promise of increased philosophical knowledge. In this introduction to paradox and paradoxes, Doris Olin shows how seductive paradoxes can be, why they confuse and confound, and why they continue to fascinate. Olin examines the nature of paradox, outlining a rigorous definition and providing a clear and incisive statement of what does and does not count as a resolution of a paradox. The (...) view that a statement can be both true and false, that contradictions can be true, is seen to provide a challenge to the account of paradox resolution, and is explored. With this framework in place, the book then turns to an in-depth treatment of the Prediction Paradox, versions of the Preface/Fallibility Paradox, the Lottery Paradox, Newcomb's Problem, the Prisoner's Dilemma and the Sorites Paradox. Each of these paradoxes is shown to have considerable philosophical punch. Olin unpacks the central arguments in a clear and systematic fashion, offers original analyses and solutions, and exposes further unsettling implications for some of our most deep-seated principles and convictions. (shrink)
This book intervenes in contemporary debates about the threat posed to democratic life by political emergencies. Must emergency necessarily enhance and centralize top-down forms of sovereignty? Those who oppose executive branch enhancement often turn instead to law, insisting on the sovereignty of the rule of law or demanding that law rather than force be used to resolve conflicts with enemies. But are these the only options? Or are there more democratic ways to respond to invocations of emergency politics? Looking at (...) how emergencies in the past and present have shaped the development of democracy, Bonnie Honig argues that democracies must resist emergency's pull to focus on life's necessities because these tend to privatize and isolate citizens rather than bring us together on behalf of hopeful futures. Emphasizing the connections between mere life and more life, emergence and emergency, Honig argues that emergencies call us to attend anew to a neglected paradox of democratic politics: that we need good citizens with aspirational ideals to make good politics while we need good politics to infuse citizens with idealism.Honig takes a broad approach to emergency, considering immigration politics, new rights claims, contemporary food politics and the infrastructure of consumption, and the limits of law during the Red Scare of the early twentieth century. Taking its bearings from Moses Mendelssohn, Franz Rosenzweig, and other Jewish thinkers, this is a major contribution to modern thought about the challenges and risks of democratic orientation and action in response to emergency. (shrink)
This book develops a framework for analysing strategic rationality, a notion central to contemporary game theory, which is the formal study of the interaction of rational agents and which has proved extremely fruitful in economics, political theory and business management. The author argues that a logical paradox lies at the root of a number of persistent puzzles in game theory, in particular those concerning rational agents who seek to establish some kind of reputation. Building on the work of Parsons, Burge, (...) Gaifman and Barwise and Etchemendy, Robert Koons constructs a context-sensitive solution to the whole family of liar-like paradoxes including, for the first time, a detailed account of how the interpretation of paradoxical statements is fixed by context. This analysis provides an understanding of how the rational agent model can account for the emergence of rules, practices and institutions. (shrink)
Social interaction is both ubiquitous and central to understanding human behavior. Such interactions depend, we argue, on shared intentionality: the parties must form a common understanding of an ambiguous interaction. Yet how can shared intentionality arise? Many well-known accounts of social cognition, including those involving “mind-reading,” typically fall into circularity and/or regress. For example, A’s beliefs and behavior may depend on her prediction of B’s beliefs and behavior, but B’s beliefs and behavior depend in turn on her prediction of A’s (...) beliefs and behavior. One possibility is to embrace circularity and take shared intentionality as imposing consistency conditions on beliefs and behavior, but typically there are many possible solutions and no clear criteria for choosing between them. We argue that addressing these challenges requires some form of we-reasoning, but that this raises the puzzle of how the collective agent arises from the individual agents. This puzzle can be solved by proposing that the will of the collective agent arises from a simulated process of bargaining: agents must infer what they would agree, were they able to communicate. This model explains how, and which, shared intentions are formed. We also propose that such “virtual bargaining” may be fundamental to understanding social interactions. (shrink)
Roy T Cook examines the Yablo paradox--a paradoxical, infinite sequence of sentences, each of which entails the falsity of all others that follow it. He focuses on questions of characterization, circularity, and generalizability, and pays special attention to the idea that it provides us with a semantic paradox that involves no circularity.
The last decade has witnessed the emergence of a paradox perspective on corporate sustainability. By explicitly acknowledging tensions between different desirable, yet interdependent and conflicting sustainability objectives, a paradox perspective enables decision makers to achieve competing sustainability objectives simultaneously and creates leeway for superior business contributions to sustainable development. In stark contrast to the business case logic, a paradox perspective does not establish emphasize business considerations over concerns for environmental protection and social well-being at the societal level. In order to (...) contribute to the consolidation of this emergent field of research, we offer a definition of the paradox perspective on corporate sustainability and a framework to delineate its descriptive, instrumental, and normative aspects. This framework clarifies the paradox perspective’s contents and its implications for research and practice. We use the framework to map the contributions to this thematic symposium on paradoxes in sustainability and to propose questions for future research. (shrink)
In the face of the puzzles of material constitution, some philosophers have been moved to posit a distinction between an object's matter and its form. A familiar difficulty for contemporary hylomorphism is to say which properties are eligible as forms: for example, it seems that it would be intolerably arbitrary to say that being statue shaped is embodied by some material object, but that other complex shape properties aren't. Anti-arbitrariness concerns lead quickly to a plenitudinous ontology. The usual complaint is (...) that the super-abundance of material objects is too extraordinary to accept, but I want to raise a different worry: I argue that the most natural way of developing this picture is already inconsistent. I show that a simple version of plenitudinous hylomorphism is subject to a Russellian argument, but argue that we cannot treat the problem straightforwardly as an instance of Russell's Paradox of Sets. (shrink)
Our evidence can be about different subject matters. In fact, necessarily equivalent pieces of evidence can be about different subject matters. Does the hyperintensionality of ‘aboutness’ engender any hyperintensionality at the level of rational credence? In this paper, I present a case which seems to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’. In particular, I argue that our intuitive notions of independent evidence and inadmissible evidence are sensitive to aboutness in a hyperintensional way. We are thus left with a paradox. While (...) there is strong reason to think that rational credence cannot make such hyperintensional distinctions, our intuitive judgements about certain cases seem to demand that it does. (shrink)
Modern epistemology has run into several paradoxes in its efforts to explain how knowledge acquisition can be both socially based and still able to determine objective facts about the world. In this important book, Richmond Campbell attempts to dispel some of these paradoxes, to show how they are ultimately just "illusions of paradox," by developing ideas central to two of the most promising currents in epistemology: feminist epistemology and naturalized epistemology. Campbell's aim is to construct a coherent theory (...) of knowing that is feminist and "naturalized." Illusions of Paradox will be valuable for students and scholars of epistemology and women's studies. (shrink)
I distinguish paradoxes and hypodoxes among the conundrums of time travel. I introduce ‘hypodoxes’ as a term for seemingly consistent conundrums that seem to be related to various paradoxes, as the Truth-teller is related to the Liar. In this article, I briefly compare paradoxes and hypodoxes of time travel with Liar paradoxes and Truth-teller hypodoxes. I also discuss Lewis’ treatment of time travel paradoxes, which I characterise as a Laissez Faire theory of time travel. Time (...) travel paradoxes are impossible according to Laissez Faire theories, while it seems hypodoxes are possible. (shrink)
Philosophers have long argued that duties to oneself are paradoxical, as they seem to entail an incoherent power to release oneself from obligations. I argue that self-release is possible, both as a matter of deontic logic and of metaethics.
Many of the most popular genres of narrative art are designed to elicit negative emotions: emotions that are experienced as painful or involving some degree of pain, which we generally avoid in our daily lives. Melodramas make us cry. Tragedies bring forth pity and fear. Conspiratorial thrillers arouse feelings of hopelessness and dread, and devotional religious art can make the believer weep in sorrow. Not only do audiences know what these artworks are supposed to do; they seek them out in (...) pursuit of prima facie painful reactions.Traditionally, the question of why people seek out such experiences of painful art has been presented as the paradox of tragedy. Most solutions to the paradox of tragedy assume that the reason we seek out tragedies, horror films, melodramas, and the like is because they afford pleasureful experiences. From there, theorists attempt to account for the source of this pleasure, a pleasure assumed to be had from representations of events from which we do not derive pleasure in real life. I argue that this assumption is suspect: the motive for seeking out devotional religious art, melodrama, tragedy, and some horror is not clearly to find pleasure. (shrink)
There are two paradoxes of satisfaction, and they are of different kinds. The classic satisfaction paradox is a version of Grelling’s: does ‘does not satisfy itself’ satisfy itself? The Unsatisfied paradox finds a predicate, P, such that Px if and only if x does not satisfy that predicate: paradox results for any x. The two are intuitively different as their predicates have different paradoxical extensions. Analysis reduces each paradoxical argument to differing rule sets, wherein their respective pathologies lie. Having (...) different pathologies, they are paradoxes of different kinds. Furthermore, each of these satisfaction paradoxes has an analogue with the same pathology in set theory. Therefore, these analogues are respectively of the same two kinds. This level of abstraction is significant in that it tracks two related but different pathologies. Thus, not all paradoxes of semantics and set theory share the same pathology: there are at least two kinds of paradox cutting across the semantic and set-theoretic distinction. (shrink)
The lottery paradox can be solved if epistemic justification is assumed to be a species of permissibility. Given this assumption, the starting point of the paradox can be formulated as the claim that, for each lottery ticket, I am permitted to believe that it will lose. This claim is ambiguous between two readings, depending on the scope of ‘permitted’. On one reading, the claim is false; on another, it is true, but, owing to the general failure of permissibility to agglomerate, (...) does not generate the paradox. The solution generalizes to formulations of the paradox in terms of rational acceptability and doxastic rationality. (shrink)
The laws of logic and two of the broader theories of truth are fundamental components that are responsible for espousing an ontology and meaningfulness in matters of analytic philosophy. In this respect they have persisted as conventional attitudes or modes of thought which most, if not all, of analytic philosophy uses to philosophize. However, despite the conceptual productivity of these components they are unable to account for matters that are beyond them. These matters would include certain theological beliefs, for instance, (...) that transcend the purview of analytic ontology and the meaningfulness it ensues. Any attempt in making rational sense of such beliefs that are insusceptible to these methodological components would conventionally prohibit (restrict) us from rationally believing in them. This is because we would be unable to make sense of such beliefs with the aid of these methodological components. As a result of this, religious beliefs of this particular nature would be deemed irrational. I shall demonstrate this point by applying both of these components to an absolutely ineffable God of Islam. This would entail, attempting to make sense of an absolutely ineffable God of Islam in virtue of the laws of logic and two broad categories of truth theories, namely, substantive and insubstantive theories. I hope to establish that applying both of these methodological components in attempting to make sense of an absolutely ineffable God of Islam would not be conceptually viable. It would result in a contradictory notion which I shall allude to as the paradox of ineffability. (shrink)
What José Luis Bermúdez calls the paradox of self-consciousness is essentially the conflict between two claims: (1) The capacity to use first-personal referential devices like “I” must be explained in terms of the capacity to think first-person thoughts. (2) The only way to explain the capacity for having a certain kind of thought is by explaining the capacity for the canonical linguistic expression of thoughts of that kind. (Bermúdez calls this the “Thought-Language Principle”.) The conflict between (1) and (2) is (...) obvious enough. However, if a paradox is an unacceptable conclusion drawn from apparently valid reasoning from apparently true premises, then Bermúdez’s conflict is no paradox. It is rather a conflict between the view that thought must be explained in terms of language, and the view that first person linguistic reference must be explained in terms of first-person thought. Neither view is immediately obvious, and nor is it obvious that the arguments for either are equally compelling. What we have here is a difference of philosophical opinion, not a paradox. (shrink)
This paper gives a definition of self-reference on the basis of the dependence relation given by Leitgeb (2005), and the dependence digraph by Beringer & Schindler (2015). Unlike the usual discussion about self-reference of paradoxes centering around Yablo's paradox and its variants, I focus on the paradoxes of finitary characteristic, which are given again by use of Leitgeb's dependence relation. They are called 'locally finite paradoxes', satisfying that any sentence in these paradoxes can depend on finitely (...) many sentences. I prove that all locally finite paradoxes are self-referential in the sense that there is a directed cycle in their dependence digraphs. This paper also studies the 'circularity dependence' of paradoxes, which was introduced by Hsiung (2014). I prove that the locally finite paradoxes have circularity dependence in the sense that they are paradoxical only in the digraph containing a proper cycle. The proofs of the two results are based directly on König's infinity lemma. In contrast, this paper also shows that Yablo's paradox and its nested variant are non-self-referential, and neither McGee's paradox nor the omega-cycle liar paradox has circularity dependence. (shrink)
Does traditional Christianity involve paradoxical doctrines, that is, doctrines that present the appearance (at least) of logical inconsistency? If so, what is the nature of these paradoxes and why do they arise? What is the relationship between "paradox" and "mystery" in theological theorizing? And what are the implications for the rationality, or otherwise, of orthodox Christian beliefs? In Paradox in Christian Theology, James Anderson argues that the doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation, as derived from Scripture and formulated (...) in the ecumenical creeds, are indeed paradoxical. But this conclusion, he contends, need not imply that Christians who believe these doctrines are irrational in doing so. In support of this claim, Anderson develops and defends a model of understanding paradoxical Christian doctrines according to which the presence of such doctrines is unsurprising and adherence to paradoxical doctrines cannot be considered as a serious intellectual obstacle to belief in Christianity. The case presented in this book has significant implications for the practice of systematic theology, biblical exegesis, and Christian apologetics. (shrink)
When we evaluate moral agents, we consider many factors, including whether the agent acted freely, or under duress or coercion. In turn, moral evaluations have been shown to influence our (non-moral) evaluations of these same factors. For example, when we judge an agent to have acted immorally, we are subsequently more likely to judge the agent to have acted freely, not under force. Here, we investigate the cognitive signatures of this effect in interpersonal situations, in which one agent (“forcer”) forces (...) another agent (“forcee”) to act either immorally or morally. The structure of this relationship allowed us to ask questions about both the “forcer” and the “forcee.” Paradoxically, participants judged that the “forcer” forced the “forcee” to act immorally (i.e. X forced Y), but that the “forcee” was not forced to act immorally (i.e. Y was not forced by X). This pattern obtained only for human agents who acted intentionally. Directly changing participants’ focus from one agent to another (forcer vs. forcee) also changed the target of moral evaluation and therefore force attributions. The full pattern of judgments may provide a window into motivated moral reasoning and focusing bias more generally; participants may have been motivated to attribute greater force to the immoral forcer and greater freedom to the immoral forcee. (shrink)
Smith argues that, unlike other forms of evidence, naked statistical evidence fails to satisfy normic support. This is his solution to the puzzles of statistical evidence in legal proof. This paper focuses on Smith’s claim that DNA evidence in cold-hit cases does not satisfy normic support. I argue that if this claim is correct, virtually no other form of evidence used at trial can satisfy normic support. This is troublesome. I discuss a few ways in which Smith can respond.
Paradoxes of the Infinite presents one of the most insightful, yet strangely unacknowledged, mathematical treatises of the 19 th century: Dr Bernard Bolzano’s Paradoxien . This volume contains an adept translation of the work itself by Donald A. Steele S.J., and in addition an historical introduction, which includes a brief biography as well as an evaluation of Bolzano the mathematician, logician and physicist.
The classical theory of semantic information (ESI), as formulated by Bar-Hillel and Carnap in 1952, does not give a satisfactory account of the problem of what information, if any, analytically and/or logically true sentences have to offer. According to ESI, analytically true sentences lack informational content, and any two analytically equivalent sentences convey the same piece of information. This problem is connected with Cohen and Nagel's paradox of inference: Since the conclusion of a valid argument is contained in the premises, (...) it fails to provide any novel information. Again, ESI does not give a satisfactory account of the paradox. In this paper I propose a solution based on the distinction between empirical information and analytic information. Declarative sentences are informative due to their meanings. I construe meanings as structured hyperintensions, modelled in Transparent Intensional Logic as so-called constructions. These are abstract, algorithmically structured procedures whose constituents are sub-procedures. My main thesis is that constructions are the vehicles of information. Hence, although analytically true sentences provide no empirical information about the state of the world, they convey analytic information, in the shape of constructions prescribing how to arrive at the truths in question. Moreover, even though analytically equivalent sentences have equal empirical content, their analytic content may be different. Finally, though the empirical content of the conclusion of a valid argument is contained in the premises, its analytic content may be different from the analytic content of the premises and thus convey a new piece of information. (shrink)
Philosophers often claim that forgiveness is a paradoxical phenomenon. I here examine two of the most widespread ways of dealing with the paradoxical nature of forgiveness. One of these ways, emblematized by Aurel Kolnai, seeks to resolve the paradox by appealing to the idea of repentance. Somehow, if a wrongdoer repents, then forgiving her is no longer paradoxical. I argue that this influential position faces more problems than it solves. The other way to approach the paradox, exemplified here by the (...) work of Jacques Derrida, is just too obscure to be by itself helpful. Yet, I argue that what I take to be its spirit is on the right track. I recommend distinguishing between the definition and the justification of forgiveness, and also between forgiveness understood as a mental phenomenon and an overt, communicative act. These distinctions are not given their due in the specialized literature, and I expose the nefarious consequences of this neglect. By focusing on forgiveness as a mental phenomenon I seek to analyze the root of the talk of paradoxes which surrounds the discussion of forgiveness. Finally, I present an analysis of forgiveness as a pure mental phenomenon, and argue that this analysis is the most important step in understanding forgiveness in any other sense. While my analysis reveals interesting aspects of forgiveness, it reveals, too, that forgiveness is not quite as paradoxical after all. (shrink)
Sometimes people desire that their lives go badly, take pleasure in their lives going badly, or believe that their lives are going badly. As a result, some popular theories of welfare are paradoxical. I show that no attempt to defend those theories from the paradox fully succeeds.
In engaging five of Plato's dialogues—Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Cratylus, Sophist, and Statesman—and by paying particular attention to Socrates' intellectual defense in the "philosophic trial" by the Stranger from Elea, Jacob Howland illuminates Plato's understanding of the proper relationship between philosophy and politics. This insightful and innovative study illustrates the Plato's understanding of the difference between sophistry and philosophy, and it identifies the innate contradictions of political philosophy that Plato observed and remain entrenched within the field to this day. This is essential (...) reading for anyone interested in the past, present, and future of political philosophy. (shrink)
I argue that on very weak assumptions about truth (in particular, that there are coherent norms governing the use of "true"), there is a proposition absolutely inexpressible with conventional language, or something very close. I argue for this claim "constructively": I use a variant of the Berry Paradox to reveal a particular thought for my readership to entertain that very strongly resists conventional expression. I gauge the severity of this expressive limitation within a taxonomy of expressive failures, and argue that (...) despite its strength there is nothing incoherent about admitting its existence. The argument forms part of a project of clarifying precisely what trade-offs are required to secure the kinds of expressive power truth theorists typically want, in the process showing that the admission of very strong expressive limitations may ultimately prove to be the lesser of two evils. (shrink)
I present a paradoxical combination of desires. I show why it's paradoxical, and consider ways of responding. The paradox saddles us with an unappealing trilemma: either we reject the possibility of the case by placing surprising restrictions on what we can desire, or we deny plausibly constitutive principles linking desires to the conditions under which they are satisfied, or we revise some bit of classical logic. I argue that denying the possibility of the case is unmotivated on any reasonable way (...) of thinking about mental content, and rejecting those desire-satisfaction principles leads to revenge paradoxes. So the best response is a non-classical one, according to which certain desires are neither determinately satisfied nor determinately not satisfied. Thus, theorizing about paradoxical propositional attitudes helps constrain the space of possibilities for adequate solutions to semantic paradoxes more generally. (shrink)