SORITES ISSN 1135-1349
Issue #17 -- October 2006. Pp. 3-6
Abstracts of the Papers
Copyright © by SORITES and the authors
Abstracts of the Papers

About Properties of L-Inconsistent Theories
by Vyacheslav Moiseyev

In the paper a new type of the formal theory, «L-inconsistent theory», is constructed and some properties of such theories are investigated. First a theory T* is defined as a set of limiting sequences of formulas from a theory T with a language L. A limiting sequence {An}n=1 of the formulas from T is said to be a theorem of the theory T* if there exists an m≥0 such that for any n≥m the formula An of the language L is a theorem of the theory T. T is embeded into T*. Then, a theorem of T* is called an L-contradiction if the limit of this theorem equals B∧¬B, where B is a formula of the language L. Finally, the theory T* is said to be an L-inconsistent theory if there exists an L-contradiction in T*. It is proved that the theory T* is consistent, complete, etc., iff the theory T is consistent, complete, etc. However, T* contains more theorems and inferences than T (see Theorems 9 and 10). L-inconsistent theory T* can be presented as a new approach to the Philosophical Logic, dealing with an extension of Method of Limits to thinking. Namely some philosophical antinomies, for example Kantian ones, could be presented as L-contradictions in an L-inconsistent theory.

Paraconsistent logic! (A reply to Slater)
by Jean-Yves Béziau

We answer Slater's argument according to which paraconsistent logic is a result of a verbal confusion between «contradictories» and «subcontraries». We show that if such notions are understood within classical logic, the argument is invalid, due to the fact that most paraconsistent logics cannot be translated into classical logic. However we prove that if such notions are understood from the point of view of a particular logic, a contradictory forming function in this logic is necessarily a classical negation. In view of this result, Slater's argument sounds rather tautological.

The Logic of Lying
by Moses Òkè

By definition, a lie is a dishonestly made statement. It is a wilful misrepresentation, in one's statement, of one's beliefs. Both a truthful person and a liar could hold false beliefs. We should not uncritically regard an untruthfully made statement as an untrue statement, or a truthfully made statement as a true statement. The only instance when a lie is necessarily false is when the liar's corresponding belief that was distorted was true. In other instances, the lie could be either true or false. We conclude that a lie is not necessarily a false statement.

Sparse Parts
by Kristie Miller

Four dimensionalism, the thesis that persisting objects are four dimensional and thus extended in time as well as space, has become a serious contender as an account of persistence. While many four dimensionalists are mereological universalists, there are those who find mereological universalism both counterintuitive and ontologically profligate. It would be nice then, if there was a coherent and plausible version of four dimensionalism that was non-universalist in nature. I argue that unfortunately there is not. By its very nature four dimensionalism embraces theses about the nature of objects and their borders that make any version of non-universalist four dimensionalism either incoherent or at least highly implausible.

Are Functional Properties Causally Potent?
by Peter Alward

Kim has defended a solution to the exclusion problem which deploys the «causal inheritance principle» and the identification of instantiations of mental properties with instantiations of their realizing physical properties. I wish to argue that Kim's putative solution to the exclusion problem rests on an equivocation between instantiations of properties as bearers of properties and instantiations as property instances. On the former understanding, the causal inheritance principle is too weak to confer causal efficacy upon mental properties. And on the latter understanding, the identification of mental and physical instantiations is simply untenable.

Subcontraries and the Meaning of «If...Then»
by Ronald A. Cordero

In this paper I maintain that useful, assertable conditional statements with subcontrary antecedents and consequents do actually occur. I consider the paradoxical results of applying rules of inference like Transposition in such cases and argue that paradox can be avoided through an interpretation of conditionals as claims that the truth of one statement would permit a sound inference to the truth of another.

Does Frege's Definition of Existence Invalidate the Ontological Argument?
by Piotr Labenz

It is a well-known remark of Frege's that his definition of existence invalidated the ontological argument for the existence of God. That has subsequently often been taken for granted. This paper attempts to investigate, whether rightly so. For this purpose, both Frege's ontological doctrine and the ontological argument are outlined.

Arguments in favour and against both are considered, and reduced to five specific questions. It is argued that whether Frege's remark was right depends on what the answers to these questions are, and that for the seemingly most plausible ones -- it was not.

Why Prisoners' Dilemma Is Not A Newcomb Problem
by P. A. Woodward

David Lewis has argued that we can gain helpful insight to the (all too common) Prisoners' Dilemmas that we face from the fact that Newcomb's Problems are easy to solve, and the fact that Prisoners' Dilemmas are nothing other than two Newcomb Problems side by side. The present paper shows that the (all too common) Prisoners' Dilemmas that we face are significantly different from Newcomb Problems in that the former are iterated while the latter are not. Thus Lewis's hope that we can get insight into the former from the latter is illusory.

A Paradox Concerning Science and Knowledge
by Margaret Cuonzo

Quine's and Duhem's problem regarding the «laying of blame» that occurs when an experimental result conflicts with a scientific hypothesis can be put in the form of a standard philosophical paradox. According to one definition, a philosophical paradox is an argument with seemingly true premises, employing apparently correct reasoning, with an obviously false or contradictory conclusion. The Quine/Duhem problem, put in the form of a paradox, is a special case of the skeptical paradox. I argue that both the Quine/Duhem paradox and the skeptical paradox enjoy the same type of solution. Both paradoxes have the kind of restricted solution that Stephen Schiffer calls «mildly unhappy-face» solutions. Although there can be no solution to these two paradoxes that gives an accurate account of the relevant notions (e.g., knowledge), replacement notions are given for the ones that lead to the paradoxes.

Between Platonism and Pragmatism: An alternative reading of Plato's Theaetetus
by Paul F. Johnson

In a letter to his friend Drury, Wittgenstein claims to have been working on the same problems that Plato was working on in the Theaetetus. In this paper I try to say what that problem might have been. In the alternative reading of the dialogue that I construct here, attention is drawn to Socrates' frequent appeal in the course of discussion to the ordinary ways of speaking that he, and Theaetetus, and everyone else in Athens at the time engaged in. The more abstruse theories of Heraclitus and Protagoras which Socrates and Theaetetus are discussing are found to do violence to these ordinary ways of talking, and found seriously wanting as a result. A case is made that the conventions and presuppositions of ordinary conversational speech are inherently normative, and constitute a valid standard against which philosophical theories may be measured. Lines of affinity are drawn between these claims advanced by Plato and the recent work of contemporary neo-pragmatists, and Robert Brandom's work in particular.

Blob Theory: N-adic Properties Do Not Exist
by Jeffrey Grupp

I argue for blob theory: the philosophic position that n-adic properties do not exist. I discuss hitherto unnoticed problems to do with the theories of property possession in the ontological theories of ordinary objects: the bundle theory of objects and substance theories of objects. Specifically, I argue that theories of property possession involved with the bundle theory and substance theories of objects are contradictory, and the best theory we have been given by metaphysical realists is a theory that reality is propertyless.

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