CURRENT WORK updated July 2011
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I have three projects underway, each with some branches that threaten to lead me off on (pleasant) tangents. Some of the material described can be found on my Abstracts and Mss page. For each of these projects, further drafts are available for comments to anyone interested; just e-mail me (fraassen [at] princeton.edu).
The main project I'll list third; it is for a book, and I am keeping spring 2012 free to work on it primarily. The first project is in philosophy of science, the other two in philosophical logic.
1) Empirical Grounding.
The most recent version of the main idea was presented at the Philosophy of Science Association, Montreal 2010, in the 'Forging Model/World Relations' symposium. I presented this concept originally in 'The Perils of Perrin, at the hands of philosophers' Philosophical Studies (2009), with reference to ideas of Hermann Weyl and Clark Glymour about how a theory itself is involved in its own testing. The project is to make precise just what scientists are striving for when developing, amending, and expanding a theory, with the ultimate aim of creating an empirically adequate account of the phenomena. I want to test this concept in various areas, currently through involvement with Isabelle Peschard's NSF project Making Sense of Modeling and Experimenting: Beyond Representation. During the past year I presented one application as 'Simulation: How Does An Empirical Question Become Mathematical?' at the University of Aix-Marseille and UC San Diego.
2) The 'Four Logics' project.
A version of results was presented at the Stanford Logic and Methodology Workshop 2011 . The motivation is to get a handle on a semantics that can afford hyperintensional distinctions, that is, distinctions that can cut across necessary equivalence - distinctions that even God could not illustrate by creating a world in which the difference appears in re.
The idea is to construct complete lattices of propositions on top of a frame of conceivable minds capable of supposition, disagreement, and information processing. Heyting lattices, ortho-lattices, Boolean lattices, and De Morgan lattices emerge quickly, and there is a scheme for adding identity and quantification. The next step, postponed for the moment, is to explore relations with Halmos's polyadic algebras and Tarski's cylindrical algebras.
3) The Self, From A Logical Point of View.
This is the book project stemming from the 2007 APA Carus Lectures. During the past year I gave presentations on this subject at UCLA and UNLV. But the main work after 2007 appeared as 'Thomason's Paradox For Belief, And Two Consequence Relations', Journal of Philosophical Logic (2011). Currently I am developing the approach to Moore's Paradox begun in that paper to apply to such issues as the 'absolute generality' debate about quantifiers and Curry's Paradox, as part of my fall Philosophical Logic course on paradoxes. But I am not losing sight of the fact that the topic is The Self. My ambitions for this topic were partially spelled in 'Transcendence of the Ego: The Non-Existent Knight', Ratio (2004).
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