[FOM] BUFFALO LOGIC COLLOQUIUM 20056 FOURTH FALL ANNOUNCEMENT
John Corcoran
corcoran at buffalo.edu
Tue Oct 11 12:38:11 EDT 2005
BUFFALO LOGIC COLLOQUIUM 20056 THIRTYSIXTH YEAR
FOURTH FALL ANNOUNCEMENT
QUOTE OF THE MONTH: TYPETOKENOCCURRENCE AMBIGUITY: Consider the word 'letter'. In one sense there are exactly twentysix letters (lettertypes or ideal letters) in the English alphabet and there are exactly four letters in the wordtype 'letter'. There is exactly one word (wordtype) spelled eleeteeteeeear, and that word is 'letter'. In another sense of the word 'letter', there are exactly six letters (letterrepetitions or letteroccurrences) in the wordtype 'letter'. There are two occurrences of the lettertype 't' in the wordtype 'letter'. In order for two string occurrences to be occurrences of one and the same type it is necessary and sufficient for the two to be characterbycharacter identical. In yet another sense, every new inscription (act of writing or printing) of 'letter' brings into existence six new letters (lettertokens or inkletters) and one new word (wordtoken) that had not previously existed. The number of letteroccurrences (occurrences of a lettertype) in a given wordtype is the same as the number of lettertokens (tokens of a lettertype) in a single token of the given word. There are no tokens of 't' in the wordtype 'letter' and there are no occurrences of 't' in a token of 'letter'. Tokens are material objects; types and thus occurrences are abstract. Many logicians fail to distinguish "token" from "occurrence" and a few actually confuse the two concepts. The word 'instance' is often used ambiguously: now for "token", now for "occurrence".
In the above paragraphtype there are twenty occurrences of the wordtype 'letter' and, as usual, no sentencetype occurs twice. The token of that paragraph that you just looked at is not the token that I am now looking at. But we were both thinking about the same paragraphtype. – John Corcoran, FOM 9/22/2005; Corcoran et al. 1974, fn. 4.
FOURTH MEETING
Friday, October 14, 2005
4:30 6:00P.M.
141 Park Hall
SPEAKER: John Dawson, Mathematics, Pennsylvania State University (York), Author of the 1997 Logical Dilemmas: The Life and Work of Kurt Gödel and Editor of History and Philosophy of Logic.
TITLE: Kurt Gödel. His Life and Work in Retrospect, on the Eve of His Centennial
ABSTRACT: Kurt Gödel (19061978) was the greatest mathematical logician of the twentieth century. This talk will survey his life and most important achievements, including the completeness of firstorder logic, the incompleteness of formal number theory, his relative consistency results in set theory, and his contributions to relativistic cosmology and to philosophy (Platonism and the mind/mechanism debate). Some common misconceptions about the implications of his work, perpetuated in recent writings about him, will also be addressed.
DUTCH TREAT SUPPER FOLLOWS.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
FIFTH MEETING: JOINT WITH THE PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENTAL COLLOQUIUM
Friday, November 4, 2005
4:30 6:00P.M.
141 Park Hall
SPEAKER: George Boger, Philosophy, Canisius College.
TITLE: Humanist principles underlying argumentation theory.
ABSTRACT: Argumentation theorists ― such as Stephen Toulmin, Chaim Perelman, Charles Hamlin, and more recently, Douglas Walton, Trudy Govier, Ralph Johnson, and Franz van Eemeren ― in spite of disavowing “timeless principles”, rejecting the use of ‘proposition’, and affirming the “dethronement of formal logic”, nevertheless embrace a set of principles to underlie argumentation theory. Argumentation theory here compasses various currents, including informal logic, critical thinking, “pragmadialectics”, “dialogue logic”, and communication theory. The turn away from formal logic was motivated by deepseated humanist concerns to make logic relevant to ordinary human beings and to empower them with skills to assess argumentations that affect their wellbeing. As it happened, these logicians became less concerned with formal implication and decidedly more concerned with the contextual matters of situated argumentations and the pragmatics of discourse. This discussion reviews the thinking of some prominent argumentation theorists to extract principles common to their thinking about the activity of human argumentation. It concludes by suggesting that argumentation theory, as they construe it, rather than being a part of applied epistemology, is really a part of applied ethics.
DUTCH TREAT SUPPER FOLLOWS.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
SIXTH MEETING
Friday, November 11, 2005
4:30 6:00P.M.
141 Park Hall
SPEAKER: Daniel Merrill, Philosophy. Oberlin College. author of the 1990 book Augustus De Morgan and the Logic of Relations, Dordrecht: Kluwer.
TITLE: De Morgan’s Numerically Definite Syllogism.
ABSTRACT: Augustus De Morgan’s numerically definite syllogism (NDS) is one of the most striking, if leastknown, of the eight innovations in his Formal Logic (1847). It comes in two forms. A simple numerical example of the NDS is this: There are exactly 10 Ys; at least 7 Xs are Ys and at least 5 Zs are Ys; therefore, at least 2 Xs are Zs. A percentage example is: Most Ys are Xs and most Ys are Zs; therefore, some Xs are Zs. This paper will (1) explain the basic forms of the NDS, including some that are rather complex, and outline De Morgan’s justifications for them. It will then (2) show how he deduces the traditional syllogistic laws from them and (3) how they were involved in his controversy with Sir William Hamilton over the quantification of the predicate. It will next (4) consider the claim, by De Morgan’s contemporary Henry Mansel, that the NDS is part of arithmetic, and not of “formal” logic. De Morgan’s response to this objection will help to illuminate his idiosyncratic conception of the formmatter distinction in logic. The paper will conclude by (5) considering whether, in more modern terms, the NDS should be considered a part of formal logic.
DUTCH TREAT SUPPER FOLLOWS.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
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