Deep Structure (Jeremy Goodman)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 11th from 4:15-6:15 in room 7314 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Jeremy Goodman (USC).

Title: Deep Structure

AbstractRussell proved over a century ago that a naive conception of structured propositions is inconsistent. Hodes (2015), Dorr (2016), and Goodman (2017) have recently reformulated Russell’s argument in the language of higher-order logic, and concluded from it that distinctions in reality cannot always reflect all the syntactic structure of the language in which we draw those distinctions. But they also float the idea that such distinctions might nevertheless have sentence-like structure, so long as this structure fails to neatly correspond to the syntactic structure of the sentences we use to draw those distinction. Perhaps, that is, the popular metaphor of facts being like sentences written in God’s “book of the world” is tenable after all. In this talk I’ll give a way of making this metaphor precise, and prove a new limitative result showing that, given natural assumptions, it too is inconsistent. 

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