SORITES, ISSN 1135-1349

Issue #02. Juy 1995. Pp. 4-6

Abstracts of the Papers

Copyright © by SORITES and the authors

Three Prospects for Theodicy.

Some Anti-Leibnizian Approaches

by Enrique Romerales

In focusing on the problem of evil from the viewpoint of theodicy, I argue that new conceptual regions are to be explored in order to get out of the permanent impasse. These possibilities respectively are: to reject the tenet that this world, if created by God, must be the best possible world; either to reject the tenet that human beings have had no previous existences to their present ones; or finally to reject causal determinism in the framework of the creation of the world and accept the idea that God proceeds with a margin of randomness in a non-deterministic universe. Since these three tenets are all embedded in the philosophical tradition, and explicitly in Leibniz's Theodicy (most remarkably the first one), my prospects are in this sense anti-leibnizian.

A Methodology for the Representation of Legal Knowledge:

Formal Ontology Applied to Law

by Daniela Tiscornia

For the development of applications, artificial intelligence requires the identification of models of human cognitive mechanisms and of the process of knowledge acquisition: formal ontology, too, which constitutes one of the most recent approaches to modelling knowledge, is in reality a revisitation of linguistic and philosophical theories. In the field of legal applications, the theory of law and dogmatics are a rich reservoir of ideas which offer solutions and suggestions exportable to other sectors: one need only consider the application of deontic logic to the generation of databases. From computational models, on the other hand, it is possible to extract interesting feedback for legal science.

In this article, we shall describe the principles on which formal ontology is based, comparing its characteristics with those of legal domain and referring, as exemplification, to some models offered by legal theory which could lay the bases for a legal formal ontology.

Denied Conditionals Are Not Negated Conditionals

by Joseph S. Fulda

This note addresses the problems that arise from denying conditionals in classical logic and concludes that such problems result from using propositional logic where predicate logic with quantification over cases is indicated.

Indexicals and Descriptions

by Fernando Garcia-Murga

Reference is a common feature to indexicals, definite descriptions and, at least some uses of indefinite descriptions. A referential expression triggers a search for a referent, which ranges over the linguistic context, physical environment or encyclopedic knowledge. I argue for a unified theory of reference within which indexicals and definite descriptions refer to salient objects while indefinite descriptions refer to non salient objects. The descriptive content attached to each expression provides information making it possible for the addressee to find an object the speaker has referred to. Ostension and other non linguistic knowledge helps the addressee's search. Salience, rather than mutual knowledge or givenness, is the crucial aspect the speaker considers when he performs a referential act. Unlike indefinite descriptions, indexicals and definite descriptions presuppose the referent's existence. However, current theories of presupposition-projection maintain inheritance mechanisms which are shown to be inadequate from our present approach.

Textual Identity

by Jorge J. E. Gracia

What does make texts the same? Three types of sameness are distinguished: achronic, synchronic and diachronic. The latter two involve time and so are more restrictive; thus I concentrate on achronic sameness. After examining various possible views I reach the conclusion that there are three conditions which, taken together, constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions of the achronic sameness of texts and hence explain their identity: sameness of meaning, of syntactical arrangement and of type-sign composition. We can thus understand how different copies of a book are the same text, for they have the same meaning and they are composed of the same type signs arranged in the same way. Thus, in spite of the many differences that characterize them, they are still to be regarded as copies of the same text.

Critical Notice of Raul Orayen's Logica, significado y ontologia

by Lorenzo Peña

Orayen proposes some kind of intensional approach in philosophy of logic, with meanings playing a central role in implementing the notion of logical truth. Orayen regards Quine as his main interlocutor. The major topic gone into through the book is logical form, validity and logical truth. As an outgrowth, Quine's operationalist view of language receives an extensive coverage and discussion. The investigation into the notion of logical truth and validity leads to a critical assessment of the relevantist challenge to the classical conception. This critical notice casts doubt on Orayen's defence of analyticity as a requirement for logical truth.

SORITES, ISSN 1135-1349

Issue #02. July 1995. Pp. 7-25.