377 research outputs found

### Ontological Pluralism and Notational Variance

Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different ways to exist. It is a position with deep roots in the history of philosophy, and in which there has been a recent resurgence of interest. In contemporary presentations, it is stated in terms of fundamental languages: as the view that such languages contain more than one quantifier. For example, one ranging over abstract objects, and another over concrete ones. A natural worry, however, is that the languages proposed by the pluralist are mere notational variants of those proposed by the monist, in which case the debate between the two positions would not seem to be substantive. Jason Turner has given an ingenious response to this worry, in terms of a principle that he calls â€˜logical realismâ€™. This paper offers a counter-response on behalf of the â€˜notationalistâ€™. I argue that, properly applied, the principle of logical realism is no threat to the claim that the languages in question are notational variants. Indeed, there seems to be every reason to think that they are

### Size and Function

Are there different sizes of infinity? That is, are there infinite sets of different sizes? This is one of the most natural questions that one can ask about the infinite. But it is of course generally taken to be settled by mathematical results, such as Cantorâ€™s theorem, to the effect that there are infinite sets without bijections between them. These results settle the question, given an almost universally accepted principle relating size to the existence of functions. The principle is: for any sets A and B, if A is the same size as B, then there is a bijection from A to B. The aim of the paper, however, is to argue that this question is in fact wide open: to argue that we are not in a position to know the answer, because we are not in one to know the principle. The aim, that is, is to argue that for all we know there is only one size of infinity

### Exceptional Logic

The aim of the paper is to argue that allâ€”or almost allâ€”logical rules have exceptions. In particular, it is argued that this is a moral that we should draw from the semantic paradoxes. The idea that we should respond to the paradoxes by revising logic in some way is familiar. But previous proposals advocate the replacement of classical logic with some alternative logic. That is, some alternative system of rules, where it is taken for granted that these hold without exception. The present proposal is quite different. According to this, there is no such alternative logic. Rather, classical logic retains the status of the â€˜one true logicâ€™, but this status must be reconceived so as to be compatible with (almost) all of its rules admitting of exceptions. This would seem to have significant repercussions for a range of widely held views about logic: e.g. that it is a priori, or that it is necessary. Indeed, if the arguments of the paper succeed, then such views must be given up

### Self-referential propositions

Are there â€˜self-referentialâ€™ propositions? That is, propositions that say of themselves that they have a certain property, such as that of being false. There can seem reason to doubt that there are. At the same time, there are a number of reasons why it matters. For suppose that there are indeed no such propositions. One might then hope that while paradoxes such as the Liar show that many plausible principles about sentences must be given up, no such fate will befall principles about propositions. But the existence of self-referential propositions would dash such hopes. Further, the existence of such propositions would also seem to challenge the widespread claim that Liar sentences fail to express propositions. The aim of this paper is thus to settle the questionâ€“at least given an assumption. In particular, I argue that if propositions are structured, then self-referential propositions exist

### Proving unprovability

This paper addresses the question: given some theory T that we accept, is there some natural, generally applicable way of extending T to a theory S that can prove a range of things about what it itself (i.e., S) can prove, including a range of things about what it cannot prove, such as claims to the effect that it cannot prove certain particular sentences (e.g., 0 = 1), or the claim that it is consistent? Typical characterizations of GÃ¶delâ€™s second incompleteness theorem, and its significance, would lead us to believe that the answer is â€˜noâ€™. But the present paper explores a positive answer. The general approach is to follow the lead of recent (and not so recent) approaches to truth and the Liar paradox

### Mathematical anti-realism and explanatory structure

Plausibly, mathematical claims are true, but the fundamental furniture of the world does not include mathematical objects. This can be made sense of by providing mathematical claims with paraphrases, which make clear how the truth of such claims does not require the fundamental existence of mathematical objects. This paper explores the consequences of this type of position for explanatory structure. There is an apparently straightforward relationship between this sort of structure, and the logical sort: i.e. logically complex claims are explained by logically simpler ones. For example, disjunctions are explained by their (true) disjuncts, while generalizations are explained by their (true) instances. This would seem as plausible in the case of mathematics as elsewhere. Also, it would seem to be something that the anti-realist approaches at issue would want to preserve. It will be argued, however, that these approaches cannot do this: they lead not merely to violations of the familiar principles relating logical and explanatory structure, but even to reversals of these. That is, there are cases where generalizations explain their instances, or disjunctions their disjuncts

### WebCSD: the online portal to the Cambridge Structural Database

The new web-based application WebCSD is introduced, which provides a range of facilities for searching the Cambridge Structural Database within a standard web browser. Search options within WebCSD include two-dimensional substructure, molecular similarity, text/numeric and reduced cell searching

- â€¦