Sunday, December 30, 2007
The Reset Paradox
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Suppose we're Russellian's about propositions - so Clark Kent can fly is the very same proposition as Superman can fly - but that in order to solve various puzzles about intensional contexts, we hold that we can entertain one and the same proposition under different modes of presentation. Now what do people think of the following?
Scenario 1: Suppose that Jake doesn't realize that Hesperus is Phosphorus. He believes that Hesperus is visible in the evening on the basis of really good evidence. However, he has very good but misleading evidence which suggests that it's not true that Phosphorus is visible in the evening. Does this latter evidence prevent him from knowing that Hesperus is visible in the evening when entertained under a Hesperus mode of presentation (on the assumption that he's otherwise epistemically well-placed enough to count as knowing)?
Scenario 2: Suppose that Jake knows full well that Hesperus is Phosphorus. He believes that Hesperus is visible in the evening on the basis of really good evidence. However, he has very good but misleading evidence which suggests that it's not true that Phosphorus is visible in the evening. Does this latter evidence prevent him from knowing that Hesperus is visible in the evening when entertained under a Hesperus mode of presentation (on the assumption that he's otherwise epistemically well-placed enough to count as knowing)?
Monday, December 24, 2007
CFP: Powers, Dispositions, and Singular Causation
The keynote address will be by Stephen Mumford of the University of Nottingham. Be sure to check out Adam's lovely website for the conference, which includes the full call for papers.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Quotation and Disquotation
QS: ' 'e' ' quotes 'e',
SDS: Only ' 'e' ' quotes 'e',
where both occurances of 'e' are replaced by any quotable item (25-6).
Now, Cappelen and Lepore's own minimalist theory simply takes QS as 'the fundamental axiom governing the semantics of quotation expressions' (124). So it's in the bag. Cappelen and Lepore go on to argue that QS entails SDS, so long as quotation expressions are unambiguous. Here's their argument from p128:
"- From QS it follows that for any quotable item e, ' 'e' ' quotes 'e'. If ' 'e' ' quotes some quotable other than 'e', say 'a', then it follows that the quotation expression ' 'e' ' is ambiguous (because it quotes both 'e' and 'a').
- But, as we argued in Ch. 7, quotation expressions are unambiguous (and context-insensitive and not semantically indeterminate).
- So the quotation expression ' 'e' ' can only quote 'e'.
- So SDS follows."
But notice the conclusion reached isn't SDS at all; we wanted to reach the claim that only ' 'e' ' quotes 'e', not that
' 'e' ' only quotes 'e'. And these simply aren't the same claim (even if they turn out to be equivalent).
Fortunately I think there's a quick fix to their argument so that they clearly get the result they want. For suppose that something other than ' 'e' ', let's say ' 'a' ', quotes 'e'. From QS it follows that ' 'a' ' also quotes 'a'. But then ' 'a' ' quotes both 'a' and 'e', and hence would be ambiguous. So, if quotation expressions are unambiguous, only ' 'e' ' quotes 'e', as required.
This is, I submit, how Cappelen and Lepore should have run their argument. QS is exploited to show that if something other than ' 'e' ' quotes 'e', that quotation expression would have to quote something else also, and hence would be ambiguous.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Raining in Baltimore
Let me just wish everyone heading out to Baltimore for APA interviews the best of luck. Looks like a difficult year to be on the market.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Reminder CFP: The University of Texas at Austin Philosophy Grad Conference 2008
2008 University of Texas at Austin Graduate Philosophy Conference
David Chalmers (ANU)
Tamar Szabo Gendler (Yale)
Faculty Roundtable: Understanding and Illusion with:
Adam Pautz (UT Austin)
Mark Sainsbury (UT Austin and KCL)
Michael Tye (UT Austin)
When: April 5-6 2008
Where: the live music capital of the world
Call for Papers: Papers are due by January 15th 2008. The official CFP is here.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Semantics and Philosophy in Europe
That said, every so often I do see things going on which make me wish I was able to spend more time in Europe. And my attention has been drawn to the new annual colloquium Semantics and Philosophy in Europe. The first event is being held in Paris (a city I have yet to see, and am starting to think I'll never get to see) on May 2-4 2008.
There's a CFP up for the first meeting, which will feature, amongst others, Herman Cappelen, Robert May, Stephen Neale and Zoltan Szabo as invited speakers. Obviously this is a wonderful opportunity, so get your submissions in by February 15th!
X-Phi in the News
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Whereof one cannot sing......