Sunday, June 28, 2015

on whether all poltical men are political men.

“But in fact the majority of political men do not really win this appellation [being virtuous even when there is no prospect of fame], for in reality they are not political men. For the political man is one who chooses to perform fine actions for their own sake, but the majority of them take up this sort of life for profit and personal advancement.”
Aristotle, Eudemian Ethics 5, 1216a22-27

on history and doom.

Many say that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. But I say that we are doomed to repeat history whether or not we know it.
Nothing ever changes /
Except scenery arrangements
at the drive in, Shaking Hand Incision

on whether every thesis should be examined. Redux.

“It would be superfluous to examine all the opinions about happiness that find adherents. Many opinions are held by children and by the diseased and the mentally unbalanced, and no sensible man would concern himself with puzzles about them; the holders of such views are in need, not of arguments, but of maturity in which to change their opinions, or else of correction of a civil or medical kind (for medical treatment is no less a form of correction than flogging is)…”
Aristotle, Eudemian Ethics 3, 114b29-34

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

on whether a contradiction and bivalence conjointly imply explosion.

An explosionist is one who believes that any statement follows from a contradiction. Here’s an argument for explosionism:
1   A • ~A  B
2   A                1, conjunction elimination (•E)
3   A v B          2, disjunction introduction (vI)
4   ~A              1, •E
5   B                3, 4, disjunctive syllogism (DS)
Thus, if one wishes to be an anti-explosionist, one must say that either •E, vI, or DS is invalid.1
According to John Bell and company, explosionism follows from bivalence:
Proposition 1.1 If P1,…, PnQ, then the set {P1,…, Pn, ~Q} is unsatisfiable [i.e. a contradiction], and conversely.
For to say that {P1,…, Pn, ~Q} is unsatisfiable is just to assert that P1,…, Pn,  and ~Q are never simultaneously true, which, given the principle of bivalence, amounts to asserting that ~Q is false, i.e. Q is true, whenever all of P1,…, Pn are.
In particular, it follows that if {P1,…, Pn} is unsatisfiable, P1,…, PnQ, for any statement Q. That is, inconsistent premises yield any conclusion whatsoever.2
How so, exactly? How exactly does explosionism follow form bivalence?
1   A • ~A  B
2   A v ~A       (bivalence)
3   B v ~B        (bivalence)
4   ???? 
1 If I were an anti-explosionist, I would deny vI. Many anti-explosionists deny DS rather than vI. I am utterly baffled by such anti-explosionists.
2 John Bell, David DeVidi, and Graham Solomon, Logical Options (Toronto: Broadview Press, 2001), 14. Emphasis is Bell’s et al.
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