Logic in Fiction. Mark Colyvan

December 9, 2019 @ 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
CUNY Grad Center, 7314
365 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016

This paper will address the question of whether the logic of a fiction can be specified as part of the fiction. For example, can one tell a fictional story in which it is part of the story that the logic in question is, say, K3? It seems unproblematic that we can do this. After all, we can tell a story about a world with a different geometry from ours, different physical laws, and even different numbers of dimensions (e.g. the two-dimensional world of Flatland). While allowing fictions to specify their own logics seems a natural extension of such science fiction, there are problems looming. Fictions are, by their very nature, incomplete. Specifying that the logic in question is classical is to embrace, amongst other things, classical principles such as excluded middle. But if the fictional world is incomplete, in what sense can it be part of the story that excluded middle holds? We would, in effect, be specifying that the incomplete situation described in the fiction is complete. Imposing excluded middle where it doesn’t belong leads to contradiction. These are especially pressing issues for (particular kinds of) fictionalism about mathematics.

Logic and Metaphysics Workshop

September 2 GC Closed NO MEETING

September 9 Yael Sharvit, UCLA

September 16  Ole Hjortland and Ben Martin, Bergen

September 23 Alessandro Rossi, StAndrews

September 30 GC Closed NO MEETING

October 7 Dongwoo Kim, GC

October 14 GC Closed NO MEETING

October 21 Rohit Parikh, GC

October 28 Barbara Montero, GC

November 4 Sergei Aretmov, GC

November 11 Martin Pleitz, Muenster

November 18 Matias Bulnes, CUNY

November 25 Vincent Peluce, CUNY

December 2 Jessica Wilson, Toronto

December 9 Mark Colyvan, Sydney


Be the first to reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *