The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on April 3rd from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9205) for a talk by Thomas Ferguson (Czech Academy of Sciences).
Title: Care-theoretic semantics: Problems and non-deterministic solutions
Abstract: In this talk I will present the details of a project of care-theoretic semantics in which a linguistic feature of care–rather than truth–is understood as the fundamental semantic property. I will review the details, including how adopting a bounds consequence position in which bounds are determined by considerations of topic allows one to determine both a theory of inference and theory of meaning on the basis of care alone. I will consider two challenges to the project: that of the reconciliation of topic-theoretic and truth-theoretic bounds (in which we need to acknowledge cases in which a position crosses both types of bounds) and sui generis monstrous content (in which two anodyne sentences together yield a content-theoretic violation). I will show that in both cases intuitions suggest the use of Nmatrices in the style of Avron and consider the merits of their employment in the care-theoretic setting.
The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 20th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9205) for a talk by Shawn Simpson (Pitt).
Title: Logic and inference in the sender-receiver model
Abstract: The sender-receiver model was developed by David Lewis to tackle the question of the conventionality of meaning. But many people who cared about the conventionality of meaning did so because they thought it was intimately connected to the conventionality of logic. Since Lewis’s work, only a few attempts have been made to say anything about the nature of logic and inference from the perspective of the sender-receiver model. This talk will look at the what’s been said in that regard, by Skyrms and others, and suggest a few general lessons.
The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 27th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9205) for a talk by Gregory Taylor (CUNY).
Title: First-order logics over fixed domain
Abstract: What we call first-order logic over fixed domain was initiated, in a certain guise, by Peirce around 1885 and championed, albeit in idiosyncratic form, by Zermelo in papers from the 1930s. We characterize such logics model- and proof-theoretically and argue that they constitute exploration of a clearly circumscribed conception of domain-dependent generality. Whereas a logic, or family of such, can be of interest for any of a variety of reasons, we suggest that one of those reasons might be that said logic fosters some clarification regarding just what qualifies as a logical concept, a logical operation, or a logical law.
The published paper is available here: https://doi.org/10.1111/theo.12382.
The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 13th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9205) for a talk by Melvin Fitting (CUNY).
Title: On Kripke’s proof of Kripke completeness
Abstract: Saul Kripke announced his possible world semantics in 1959, and published his proof of axiomatic completeness for the standard modal logics of the time in 1963. It is very unlike the standard completeness proof used today, which involves a Lindenbaum/Henkin construction and produces canonical models. Kripke’s proof involved tableaus, in a format that is difficult to follow, and uses tableau construction algorithms that are complex and somewhat error prone to describe. I will first discuss Kripke’s proof, then the historical origins of the modern version. Then I will show that completeness, proved Kripke style, could actually have been done in the Lindenbaum/Henkin way, thus simplifying things considerably. None of this is new but, with the parts collected together it is an interesting story. “In my end is my beginning”.
The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on February 27th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9205) for a talk by Lionel Shapiro (UConn).
Title: Neopragmatism and logic: A deflationary proposal
Abstract: Neopragmatists seek to sidestep metaphysical puzzles by shifting the target of philosophical explanation from the objects we think and talk about to the functions of expressions and concepts in our cognitive economy. Logical vocabulary can serve as a target for neopragmatist inquiry, and it has also posed obstacles to neopragmatist accounts of other vocabulary. I will argue that the obstacles can be addressed by adopting a neopragmatist perspective toward logical relations, such as logical consequence, and toward propositional content. Doing so calls into question two purported constraints on explanations of the functions of logical connectives. I will sketch an account made possible by rejecting those constraints, one according to which logical connectives serve to express dialectical attitudes. The proposal is deflationary in two ways: it rests on an extension of deflationism from truth to logical relations, and it aims to deflate some of neopragmatists’ theoretical ambitions.
The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 6th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9206) for a talk by Gary Ostertag (CUNY/Mount Sinai).
Title: Lewis on accommodation and representation de re
Abstract: Recall Lumpl, the lump of clay out of which the statue Goliath is fashioned. While (1) ‘Lumpl could have survived a squashing’ is true, (2) ‘Goliath could have survived a squashing’ is false, it being after all essential to Goliath, but not to Lumpl, that it be a statue. We have here an example of what David Lewis (1986) called “the inconstancy of representation de re”. For Lewis, the inconstancy does not amount to inconsistency, but rather points to the context-sensitivity of de re modal predication: (1) and (2) make implicit, context-sensitive reference to different counterpart relations. Once we recognize this, Lewisians argue, it becomes clear how our intuitive truth-conditional judgments are fully consistent. As I show, however, the conversational rule that triggers the implicit reference not only fails to license the reference shift, it effectively prohibits it. The upshot is that counterpart theory is deprived of a central motivation.
The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will be meeting on Mondays from 4:15 to 6:15 (NY time) unless otherwise indicated. Talks will be in-person only at the CUNY Graduate Center. The provisional schedule is as follows:
Feb 27. Lionel Shapiro (UConn), Room 9205
Mar 6. Gary Ostertag (CUNY/Mount Sinai), Room 9206
Mar 13. Melvin Fitting (CUNY), Room 9205
Mar 20. Shawn Simpson (Pitt), Room 9205
Mar 27. Gregory Taylor (CUNY), Room 9205
Apr 3. Thomas Ferguson (Czech Academy of Sciences), Room 9205
Bradley Armour-Garb (SUNY Albany), Room 9205 Meeting Cancelled
Apr 17. Branden Fitelson (Northeastern), Room 9205
Apr 24. Andrea Iacona (Turin), Room 9205
May 1. Samara Burns (Columbia), Room 9205
May 10. SPECIAL WEDNESDAY SESSION (9:00-4:00). Marc Colyvan (Sydney), Heinrich Wansing and Daniel Skurt (Bochum), Room 9100 (Kelly Skylight Room)
May 15. Maciej Sendłak (Warsaw), Room 9206