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Anti-Exceptionalism and Explanations in Logic (Ole Hjortland and Ben Martin)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on September 16th from 4:15-6:15 in room 7314 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Ole Hjortland and Ben Martin (Bergen).

Title: Anti-Exceptionalism and Explanations in Logic

Abstract: According to logical anti-exceptionalism we come to be justified in believing logical theories by similar means to scientific theories. This is often explained by saying that theory choice in logic proceeds via abductive arguments (Priest, Russell, Williamson, Hjortland). Thus, the success of classical and non-classical theories of validity are compared by their ability to explain the relevant data. However, as of yet there is no agreed upon account of which data logical theories must explain, and subsequently how they prove their mettle. In this paper, we provide a non-causal account of logical explanation, and show how it can accommodate important disputes about logic.

 

Temporal ‘de re’ Attitudes (Yael Sharvit)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on September 9th from 4:15-6:15 in room 7314 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Yael Sharvit (UCLA).

Title: Temporal ‘de re’ Attitudes

Abstract: A sensible approach to the semantics of tense says that present tense and past tense “refer” to the evaluation time and to some pre-evaluation time, respectively. Indeed, this seems to be the case in unembedded sentences (e.g., Mary is thirty-five, Mary was thirty-five). But embedded tenses seem to misbehave: (1) does not express the proposition that two months prior to s* (= the speech time) Joseph was sure about the truth of [Mary is currently thirty-five]; this proposition is expressed by (2). Assuming that tenses are indexical expressions does not automatically solve the problem, since (1) does not express the proposition that two months prior to s* Joseph was sure about the truth of [Mary will be thirty-five at s*] either; that proposition is expressed by (3). (In addition, (2) does not express the proposition that two months prior to s* Joseph was sure about the truth of [Mary will be thirty-five at some s** < s*].) In fact, (1) roughly expresses the proposition that two months prior to s* Joseph was sure about the truth of [Mary is currently thirty-five and will still be thirty-five at s*] (Smith (1978), Enc (1987)). Indeed, unlike (1), (1′) is usually quite odd (presumably because most speakers presuppose that, like them, Joseph can accept that Mary is thirty-five for a period of two – sometimes even twelve – months, but not that she is thirty-five for a period of twenty months). To explain why the embedded past in (2) “refers” to the embedded evaluation time, and why the embedded present in (1)/(1’) “refers” to a time much larger than that, we assume, with Abusch (1997), that these embedded tenses are indexical expressions governed by general constraints on ‘de re’ attitude reports, including – crucially – the Upper Limit Constraint. Expanding on Abusch (1997) and Percus (2013), we derive the Upper Limit Constraint itself from general principles as well.

(1) Two months ago, Joseph was sure that Mary is thirty-five.
(2) Two months ago, Joseph was sure that Mary was thirty-five.
(3) Two months ago, Joseph was sure that Mary would now be thirty-five.
(1′)  Twenty months ago, Joseph was sure that Mary is thirty-five.

 

Fall 2019 Schedule

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will be meeting on Mondays from 4:15 to 6:15 in room 7314 of the Graduate Center, CUNY (365 5th Avenue). The provisional schedule is as follows:

Sep 2. GC CLOSED. NO MEETING

Sep 9. Yael Sharvit, UCLA

Sep 16. Ole Hjortland and Ben Martin, Bergen

Sep 23. Alessandro Rossi, St Andrews

Sept 30. GC CLOSED. NO MEETING

Oct 7. Dongwoo Kim, CUNY

Oct 14. GC CLOSED. NO MEETING

Oct 21. Rohit Parikh, CUNY

Oct 28. Barbara Montero, CUNY

Nov 4. Sergei Artemov, CUNY

Nov 11. Martin Pleitz, Hamburg

Nov 18. Matias Bulnes, CUNY

Nov 25. Vincent Peluce, CUNY

Dec 2. Jessica Wilson, Toronto

Dec 9. Mark Colyvan, Sydney

Dec 16. TBA