Science & Logic

Fusions and organisms

Suppose you believe the following: For any physical objects, the xs, there is a physical object y with the following properties: each of the xs is a part of y; it is an essential property of y that it have the parts it does; and necessarily, if all the actual proper parts of y exist, then y exists as well. ¶ For instance, on the standard version of mereological universalism, it seems we could just take y to be the fusion of the xs. And on some versions of monism, we could take y to be the cosmos. ¶ But it seems (1) is false if organisms are physical objects and if particles survive ingestion. For suppose that there is exactly one x, Alice, who is a squirrel, and at t1 we find a y that satisfies (1). And now suppose that at t2 there comes into existence a nut whose simple parts are not already parts of y, and at t3 this nut has been eaten and fully digested by Alice. Suppose no parts of y have ceased to exist between t1 and t3. Then y exists at t3 by (c), and has Alice as a part of itself (by (a) and (b)), and the simple particles of the nut are parts of y by transitivity as they are parts of Alice. Hence y has gained parts, contrary to (b), a contradiction. ¶ (Note that the argument can be run modally against a four-dimensionalist version of (1).) ¶... -

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LARUELLE AND SCIENCE FICTION (4): New Foundations

The investigation of the parallels between Laruelle’s metaphysical research programme as developped in TETRALOGOS and science fiction as genre has led us to add a few more entries to our list of certain key terms and concepts used by both: amplitude, inventivity, mega-text, cognitive estrangement, futurality, neologism, transformed language, hard SF, cosmicity, space opera, Universe, aliens, cosmic voyage, willing suspension of disbelief, and sense of wonder. In this next section new parallels will emerge. ¶ 4) New foundations of science fiction ¶ Science fiction (SF) is a minor genre of literature entrusted to an arbitrary imaginary as well as to the talent of its authors, but it is possible to refound it, this time on  more solid bases as a non-philosophical genre, on strictly... -

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Experiment in Physics

[Revised entry by Allan Franklin and Slobodan Perovic on October 16, 2019. Changes to: Main text] Physics, and natural science in general, is a reasonable enterprise based on valid experimental evidence, criticism, and rational discussion. It provides us with knowledge of the physical world, and it is experiment that provides... -

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Graeme Wood remembers Harold Bloom

¶ Some amusing anecdotes about the recently deceased Yale literary critic, HERE. -

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Fusions and organisms Suppose you believe the following: For any physical objects, the xs, there is a physical object y with the following properties: each of the xs is a part of y; it is an essential property of y that it have the parts it does; and necessarily, if all the actual proper parts of y exist, then y exists as well. For instance, on the standard version of mereological universalism, it seems we could just take... Alexander Pruss -


Experiment in Physics [Revised entry by Allan Franklin and Slobodan Perovic on October 16, 2019. Changes to: Main text] Physics, and natural science in general, is a reasonable enterprise based on valid experimental evidence, criticism, and rational discussion. It provides us with knowledge of the physical world, and it is experiment that provides the evidence that grounds this knowledge. Experiment plays many roles in science. One of its important roles is to test theories and to provide the... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Art and Objects arrives Just received my copy of the book this evening…   Object Oriented Philosophy -


The Current State of Play in Statistical Foundations: A View From a Hot-Air Balloon 1.3 Continue to the third, and last stop of Excursion 1 Tour I of Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars (2018, CUP)–Section 1.3. It would be of interest to ponder if (and how) the current state of play in the stat wars has shifted in just one year. I’ll do so in the comments. Use that space to ask me any questions. How can a discipline, central to science... Error Statistics -


Graeme Wood remembers Harold Bloom Some amusing anecdotes about the recently deceased Yale literary critic, HERE. Object Oriented Philosophy -


Oligonism Monism holds there is only one (or at least one fundamental) thing in reality: the universe. Pluralism, as normally taken, holds there are many. An underexplored metaphysical view is oligonism: the view that there are (at least fundamentally) only a handful of objects in reality, but more than one. One way to get oligonism is to take the universe of monism and add God while holding that God is not derivative from the universe. But... Alexander Pruss -


Philosophy of Cell Biology [New Entry by William Bechtel and Andrew Bollhagen on October 15, 2019.] Among biological entities, cells are regarded as of special importance since they are widely viewed as the simplest organized systems that are unambiguously alive. Although one can debate about entities such as viruses, there is little debate that cells are living. Cells perform all the activities critical to life, from metabolism to reproduction. All cells alive today maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Russell’s Logical Atomism [Revised entry by Kevin Klement on October 14, 2019. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography] Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970) described his philosophy as a kind of "logical atomism", by which he meant to endorse both a metaphysical view and a certain methodology for doing philosophy. The metaphysical view amounts to the claim that the world consists of a plurality of independently existing things exhibiting qualities and standing in relations. According to logical atomism, all truths... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


Logic exercises: a first batch I have put online a first batch of the end-of-chapter exercises for IFL2. There are PDFs of each set of exercises in stand-alone form, and then PDFs of worked answers (in some cases with an amount of discussion). These should be of some use to beginning students, whether or not they are following a version of IFL. The exercises relate to the opening seven chapters, introducing notions like validity, soundness, proof, form, proposition, etc. in very informal... Logic Matters -


It’s Not a Bad Idea to Be Innocent The smart money is on not being too clever. If you can be humble, and really truly believe in your humility, potential employers will recognize that and give you a good job. Don’t be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If you can, be a sheep in sheep’s clothing. I discussed this with the magic dragonfly who lives in the pond behind my house very early in the morning, when you can’t see the sun, but... Eric Linus Kaplan -


The Limits of Sense and Reason: A Line-By-Line Critical Commentary on Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason,” #2–Bii/GW91 The Motto. You can download a .pdf version of this installment of The Limits of Sense and Reason HERE. Previous Installment: #1 Introduction to The Limits of Sense and Reason A Note on References to Kant’s Works CPR TEXT Bii/GW91 The Motto                           Baco de Verulam Instauratio Magna. Praefatio De nobis ipsis silemus: De re autem, quae agitur … [continue reading] Against Professional Philosophy -


The Semiotics of Drinking alcoholhumoursatiresemioticsthe chap Man Without Qualities -


Indexicalism in contrast to Hegel and Whitehead (a project) In the study group around Hegel's Wissenschaft der Logik the topic of the universality of negation and the exercises of the content (as opposed to the fixed and determined categories of Kant) often comes out. Determinate negation and concrete universals provide content with a dynamics that is not determined (in any of its particular movements or arriving points) and yet necessary. Today it occurred to me a direct contrast between a) Hegel's general doctrine that... No Borders Metaphysics -


Do inconsistent credences lead to Dutch Books? It is said that if an agent has inconsistent credences, she is Dutch Bookable. Whether this is true depends on how the agent calculates expected utilities. After all, expected utilities normally are Lebesgue integrals over a probability measure, but the inconsistent agent’s credences are not a probability measure, so strictly speaking there is no such thing as a Lebesgue integral over them. Let’s think how a Lebesgue integral is defined. If P is a probability... Alexander Pruss -


SCIENCE FICTION ET TETRALOGOS DE FRANCOIS LARUELLE: concepts partagés Nous pouvons trouver de nombreux parallèles entre les principes du programme de recherche métaphysique que François Laruelle développe dans TETRALOGOS et la science-fiction en tant que genre. Une liste de termes et de concepts pouvant être utilisés pour discuter les deux inclut: amplitude, inventivité, méga-texte, estrangement cognitif, construction du monde, aliens, futuralité, néologismes, langage transformé, SF dure, espace opéra, cosmicité, univers, extraterrestres, voyage cosmique, suspension volontaire de l’incrédulité, sens de l’émerveillement, temps quantique , agon... Agent Swarm -


FRANCOIS LARUELLE ET LA SCIENCE FICTION RADICAL: texte complet Ce texte comporte une présentation de TETRALOGOS, le nouveau (2019) livre de François Laruelle, suivi par un examen de sa formule pour une « science-fiction générale » et une proposition pour rendre cette formule plus générique. Abstract: (1) considérations générales concernant l’amplitude et l’inventivité du programme de recherche laruelléen. (2) présentation statique du livre, de sa structure et de ses thèmes. (3) présentation dynamique du livre, de ses mouvements, de son drame conceptuel, et de... Agent Swarm -


SCIENCE FICTION AND FRANCOIS LARUELLE’S TETRALOGOS: shared concepts We can find many parallels between François Laruelle’s metaphysical research program as developed in TETRALOGOS and science fiction as a genre. A list of terms and concepts that can be used to discuss both include: amplitude, inventivity, mega-text, cognitive estrangement, world-building, futurality, neologisms, transformed language, hard SF, space opera, cosmicity, Universe, aliens, cosmic voyage, the willing suspension of disbelief, the sense of wonder, quantum time, the agon of dystopia and utopia, human destiny, multiple worlds,... Agent Swarm -


Severity: Strong vs Weak (Excursion 1 continues) 1.2 Marking one year since the appearance of my book: Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars (2018, CUP), let’s continue to the second stop (1.2) of Excursion 1 Tour 1. It begins on p. 13 with a quote from statistician George Barnard. Assorted reflections will be given in the comments. Ask me any questions pertaining to the Tour.   I shall be concerned with the foundations of the subject.... Error Statistics -


Approximatable laws Some people, most notably Robin Collins, have run teleological arguments from the discoverability of the laws of nature. But I doubt that we know that the laws of nature are discoverable. After all, it seems we haven’t discovered the laws of physics yet. But the laws of nature are, surely, approximatable: it is within our power to come up with approximations that work pretty well in limited, but often useful, domains. This feature of the... Alexander Pruss -


Transubstantiation and hylemorphism One of the key themes of the early modern philosophers’ revolt against Scholasticism was a move away from an Aristotelian hylemorphist conception of the nature of physical substance to some variation or other of the mechanical philosophy.  The other day I was asked a very interesting question: Can transubstantiation be formulated in terms of a mechanistic conception of physical substance rather than a hylemorphic one?  My answer was that I would not peremptorily say that... Edward Feser -