Science & Logic

Conciliationism is false or trivial

Suppose you and I are adding up a column of expenses, but our only interest is the last digit for some reason. You and I know that we are epistemic peers. We’ve both just calculated the last digit, and a Carl asks: Is the last digit a one? You and I speak up at the same time. I say: “Probably not; my credence that it’s a one is 0.27.” You say: “Very likely; my credence that it’s a one is 0.99.” ¶ Concialiationists now seem to say that I should lower my credence and you should raise yours. ¶ But now suppose that you determine the credence for the last digit as follows: You do the addition three times, each time knowing that you have an independent 1/10 chance of error. Then you assign your credence as the result of a Bayesian calculation with equal priors over all ten options for the last digit. And since I’m your epistemic peer, I do it the same way. Moreover, while we’re poor at adding digits, we’re really good at Bayesianism—maybe we’ve just memorized a lot of Bayes’ factor related tables. So we don’t make mistakes in Bayesian calculations, but we do at addition. ¶ Now I can reverse engineer your answer. If you say your credence in a one is 0.27, then I know that of your three calculations, one of them must have been a one. For if none of your calculations was a one, your credence that the digit... -

Read More @ Alexander Pruss

Natural Deduction Rules in forall x: Calgary

Prompted by a good suggestion by Richard Lawrence and support from Catrin Campbell-Moore, we’ve been working on revising the natural deduction rules used in the Calgary Remix of forall x, the intro logic text by P. D. Magnus.  The proposal is to rename some rules so the nomenclature is in line with that used in the literature on natural deduction, e.g., where the rule is -elimination, not -introduction, and is now called “explosion,” not -elimination. We’re also planning to replace the tertium non datur rule with an indirect proof rule, i.e., Prawitz’s classical absurdity rule. (Tertium non datur, which we now slightly less pretentiously call “law of excluded middle” LEM,  will stay an “official” derived rule.) The proof checker recognizes both the old and... -

Read More @ Open Logic
Talk at Bilkent: Kai Hauser (TU Berlin) 26 October.

Kai Hauser (TU Berlin) ¶ “Intuition and Mathematical Objects” ¶ Thursday, 26 October, 2017 ¶ 1540-1730 ¶ A-130. ¶ Abstract: The view that mathematics deals with ideal objects to which we have  epistemic access by a kind of perception (‘intuition’) has troubled many thinkers. Using ideas from Husserl’s phenomenology, I will... -

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Out now: The Philosophy of Social Evolution, by Jonathan Birch

Dr Jonathan Birch’s new book, The Philosophy of Social Evolution, is out today. ¶ From mitochondria to meerkats, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of social behaviour. In the early 1960s W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves. He introduced three key... -

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Conciliationism is false or trivial Suppose you and I are adding up a column of expenses, but our only interest is the last digit for some reason. You and I know that we are epistemic peers. We’ve both just calculated the last digit, and a Carl asks: Is the last digit a one? You and I speak up at the same time. I say: “Probably not; my credence that it’s a one is 0.27.” You say: “Very likely; my credence... Alexander Pruss -


Out now: The Philosophy of Social Evolution, by Jonathan Birch Dr Jonathan Birch’s new book, The Philosophy of Social Evolution, is out today. From mitochondria to meerkats, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of social behaviour. In the early 1960s W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves. He introduced three key innovations – now known as Hamilton’s rule, kin selection, and inclusive fitness – and his pioneering work kick-started a research programme now known as social evolution... LSE Philosophy -


Talk at Bilkent: Kai Hauser (TU Berlin) 26 October. Kai Hauser (TU Berlin) “Intuition and Mathematical Objects” Thursday, 26 October, 2017 1540-1730 A-130. Abstract: The view that mathematics deals with ideal objects to which we have  epistemic access by a kind of perception (‘intuition’) has troubled many thinkers. Using ideas from Husserl’s phenomenology, I will take a fresh look at these matters. The upshot of this approach is that there are non-material objects and that they can be recognized in a process very closely related to ordinary perception.... Hesperous is Bosperous -


From the finite to the countable Causal finitism lets you give a metaphysical definition of the finite. Here’s something I just noticed. This yields a metaphysical definition of the countable (phrased in terms of pluralities rather than sets): The xs are countable provided that it is possible to have a total ordering on the xs such if a is any of the xs, then there are only finitely many xs smaller (in that ordering) than x. Here’s an intuitive argument that... Alexander Pruss -


Are there multiple models of the naturals that are "on par"? Assuming the Peano Axioms of arithmetic are consistent, we know that there are infinitely many sets that satisfy them. Which of these infinitely many sets is the set of natural numbers? A plausible tempting answer is: “It doesn’t matter—any one of them will do.” But that’s not right. For the infinitely many sets each of which is a model of the Peano Axioms are not isomorphic. They disagree with each other on arithmetical questions. (Famously,... Alexander Pruss -


Natural Deduction Rules in forall x: Calgary Prompted by a good suggestion by Richard Lawrence and support from Catrin Campbell-Moore, we’ve been working on revising the natural deduction rules used in the Calgary Remix of forall x, the intro logic text by P. D. Magnus.  The proposal is to rename some rules so the nomenclature is in line with that used in the literature on natural deduction, e.g., where the rule is -elimination, not -introduction, and is now called “explosion,” not -elimination.... Open Logic -


Robert Pippin reviews Peter E. Gordon’s Adorno and Existence At Critical Inquiry here. Philosophy in a Time of Error -


Our grant has been extended! Thank you to the John Templeton Foundation for extending our project through May 2018! Sign up here to receive news about our upcoming events and initiatives.   Virtue Blog -


Photo of the Week From The Christian Science Monitor: More here. 3 Quarks Daily -


The Human Cell Atlas: from vision to reality Orit Rozenblatt-Rosen et al in Nature: Our knowledge of the cells that make up the human body, and how they vary from person to person, or throughout development and in health or disease, is still very limited. This week, a year after project planning began, more than 130 biologists, computational scientists, technologists and clinicians are reconvening in Rehovot, Israel, to kick the Human Cell Atlas initiative1 into full gear. This international collaboration between hundreds of scientists from dozens... 3 Quarks Daily -


Wednesday Poem Analogous Mountain At the age of seven, I heard about the magic mountain in the fairy tale.  At the age of fourteen, I read that mountains are not single but come in ranges.  At the age of twenty-one, I realized I would never become a mountaineer.  At the age of twenty-eight, I learned that there is a range of mountains from the Sinais to the Vesuviuses.  At the age of thirty-five, I listened to tales... 3 Quarks Daily -


Do Electrons Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip Goff on panpsychism and the nature of matter This essay is a companion piece to Are Electrons Conscious?, published by Oxford University Press. Panpsychism is the view that consciousness is a fundamental feature of all matter. Humans have rich and complex experience; horses less so, mice less so again. As organisms become simpler perhaps at some point the light of consciousness suddenly switches off, with simpler organisms having no subjective experience at all. But... The Forum -


The latest gravitational wave discovery and Standard Sirens Sean Carroll in Preposterous Universe: Everyone is rightly excited about the latest gravitational-wave discovery. The LIGO observatory, recently joined by its European partner VIRGO, had previously seen gravitational waves from coalescing black holes. Which is super-awesome, but also a bit lonely — black holes are black, so we detect the gravitational waves and little else. Since our current gravitational-wave observatories aren’t very good at pinpointing source locations on the sky, we’ve been completely unable to say... 3 Quarks Daily -


LIGO and Telescopes Spot Spectacular Neutron Star Cataclysm in Record-Breaking Discovery Sandhya Ramesh in The Wire: Astrophysicists today have released no less than seven papers on one of the biggest events not only reported in the media but also in the known universe. For the first time ever, we have definitive evidence of two neutron stars colliding and releasing a deadly gamma-ray burst. The light from this burst arrived almost simultaneously with gravitational waves unleashed by the collision. This discovery is further evidence  that gravitational waves... 3 Quarks Daily -


Approximate truth and the very recent past Suppose I say that Jim yelled in delight at 12:31. But in fact he did so at 12:32. Then I said something false but approximately true. Now, suppose that I hear Jim giving a loud yell of delight about 300 meters away. While I am listening to that yell, I think that Jim is yelling. But in the last second of my hearing, Jim is no longer yelling, but the sound waves are still traveling... Alexander Pruss -


Book Symposium: Klauk Commentary and Response Tobias Klauk is a postdoctoral researcher in the research project "The Normative Relations between Fiction, Imagination, and Appreciation" at Göttingen University. His current interests include the theory of fiction, narratology and aesthetics. This week at The Junkyard, we're hosting a symposium on Kathleen Stock's recent book:  Only Imagine: Fiction, Interpretation, and Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2017).  See here for Kathleen's introduction.  Additional commentaries and replies will run each day this week.* * *Commentary from Tobias Klauk:... The Junkyard -


LIGO Detects Fierce Collision of Neutron Stars for the First Time Dennis Overbye in The New York Times: Astronomers announced on Monday that they had seen and heard a pair of dead stars collide, giving them their first glimpse of the violent process by which most of the gold and silver in the universe was created. The collision, known as a kilonova, rattled the galaxy in which it happened 130 million light-years from here in the southern constellation of Hydra, and sent fireworks across the universe. On Aug.... 3 Quarks Daily -


“a white writer should not have tackled this story, and neither should a white character be the center of it.” Story about the controversy surrounding a not-yet-published Young Adult novel is here.   What's Wrong? -


Symposium on Shea and Frith: “Dual-process theories and consciousness: the case for ‘Type Zero’ cognition” I am thrilled to introduce our first symposium in a series on articles from Neuroscience of Consciousness, on Nicholas Shea and Chris Frith’s “Dual-process theories and consciousness: the case for ‘Type Zero’ cognition.”  We have three excellent commentaries on the paper, by Jacob Berger, Nick Byrd, and Elizabeth Schechter, along with a response by the authors, each of which can be linked to below. *** According to some, consciousness primarily interrupts well-tuned subconscious processing, leading... Brains Blog -


Monday Poem ....Doppelgangerdown again in dark earth,our star's come to its most congenial slant close on my knees I smell homeand wash in its scent, its birth hands in loam I rake to smooth it well,I say, yes no one is saying I can’tnothing’s hinting I’m alone my doppelganger’s also in this space;chaos works upon that foolto render him inept at being trueand blind to things he can’t replace soil's slipping through my handslight rain's falling on my backthe... 3 Quarks Daily -