2 Admin Website/syllabus: http://consc.net/class/ctw/ Office hours: Tuesdays 3-5Assessment: Paper, drafts encouraged.Incompletes: Draft required by end of term, paper by beginning of spring.Discussion list: constructing-the-
3 Laplace’s DemonAn intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyesPierre-Simon Laplace, 1814
4 Laplace’s Scrutability Thesis If a Laplacenean intellect knew all the Laplacean truths, then for any hypothesis p it could entertain, it could know whether p.Laplacean truths = current positions of all fundamental (physical?) entitiesLaplacean intellect = vast enough to submit these data to (ideally rational?) analysis
5 Problems for Laplace’s Demon I Indeterminism: physical truths at a time not enoughMental truths: physical truths across time not enough?Self-locating truths: objective truths not enough?Negative truths: positive truths not enough?Moral truths, mathematical truths, metaphysical truths?
6 Revising the Thesis IStill: one can handle these problems by expanding the basic class of truths.The following Empirical Scrutability thesis remains on the table:
7 Empirical Scrutability There is some limited class of Laplacean truths such that if a Laplacean intellect knew the Laplacean truths, then for any hypothesis p it could entertain, it would be in a position to know whether p.
8 Problems for Laplace’s Demon II Fitch’s paradox: An unknown truth q yields an unknowable truth q and no- one knows q.A problem for: for all truths p, the demon could know pLaplace finesses this: “knows whether p”Also: Can Laplace’s demon know all about its own brain/mind processes?Demon complexity = world complexity?
9 Revising the Thesis IIThese problems arise from the demon inhabiting the same world that it is to knowOne can overcome these problems by stating the thesis in terms of conditional knowledge.
10 Conditional Scrutability There is a limited class of Laplacean truths such that for any true proposition p, a Laplacean intellect would be in a position to know that if the Laplacean truths obtain, then p.Extending the idea: the Laplacean truths are all the empirical information that is needed, so the conditional itself is a priori?
11 A Priori ScrutabilityThere is a limited class of Laplacean truths such that for any truth p, it is knowable a priori (by a Laplacean intellect) that if the Laplacean truths obtain, then p.
12 Primitive Concepts“For all our complex ideas are ultimately resolvable into simple ideas, of which they are compounded and originally made up, though perhaps their immediate ingredients, as I may so say, are also complex ideas.”John Locke, 1690
13 Wierzbicka’s Primitives substantives: I, you, someone, people, something, bodydeterminers: this, the samequantifiers: one, two, some, all, many/muchevaluators: good, baddescriptors: big, smallintensifiers: verymental predicates: think, know, want, feel, see, hearspeech: say, words, trueaction and events: do, happen, move, touchexistence and possession: there is/exist, havelife and death: live, dietime: when/time, now, before, after, a long time, a short time, for some time, momentspace: where/place, here, above, below, far, near, side, touchinglogic: not, maybe, can, because, ifaugmentors: very, more
14 A Sample Analysis X lied to Y = X said something to person Y; X knew it was not true;X said it because X wanted Y to think it was true;people think it is bad if someone does this.
15 The AufbauIn Der Logische Aufbau der Welt (1928), Carnap proposes a single nonlogical primitive: recollected phenomenal similarityAnd ultimately proposes that we can dispense with this primitive, yielding only logical primitivesAll other expressions can be defined in terms of these primitives.
16 Definability ThesisThere is a compact class of primitive expressions such that all expressions are definable in terms of that class.
17 Definitional Scrutability There is a compact class C of truths such that for any truth S, S is logically entailed by C-truths along with definitions.Definitions must have an appropriate logical form, and meet conditions of adequacy: truth, analyticity, apriority, necessity, ...?E.g. ‘For all x, x is a bachelor iff X is an unmarried man’.
18 A Priori ScrutabilityIf definitions are required to be a priori, then Definitional Scrutability entails a version of A Priori ScrutabilityThere is a compact class C of truths such that all truths are logically entailed by C-truths along with a priori truths.Likewise for Analytic Scrutability, Necessary Scrutability, etc.
19 Carnap’s Construction of the World Carnap defines qualia in terms of phenomenal similarityHe defines spacetime in terms of qualiaHe defines behavior in terms of spacetimeHe defines other minds in terms of behaviorHe defines culture in terms of behavior and other minds.
20 Carnap’s Scrutability Thesis All truths are definitionally entailed by a very limited class of truthsThere is a world-sentence that entails everything: e.g.x y z Rxy & Rxz & ~Ryz ...
21 Problems for the Aufbau Goodman: definition of qualia failsQuine: definition of spacetime failsNewman: logical construction is vacuousQuine: no analytic/synthetic distinctionKripke: names inequivalent to descriptionsMany: most expressions are undefinable
22 Responding to the Problems The first three problems are problems only for Carnap’s very limited basesExpand the base!The last two (or three?) problems are problems only for Carnap’s definitional entailment relationWeaken the relation!
23 A revised Aufbau thesis Where Carnap said:All truths are definitionally entailed by logical/phenomenal truthsIt’s still viable to sayAll truths are a priori entailed by a compact class of truths
24 Problems for Definitions The counterexample problem: For many terms in natural language, all purported definitions appear to have (actual, conceivable, possible) counterexamplesSo those definitions aren’t true, a priori, necessary.
25 The Case of Knowledge Knowledge = justified true belief Counterexample: GettierKnowledge = JTB not inferred from falsehoodCounterexample: fake barnsKnowledge = 12-clause Chisholm definitionCounterexamples: still coming...
26 Definitions and A Priori Entailment So: ‘know’ may not be definable in more primitive vocabularyBut this is compatible with the claim that ‘know’-truths are a priori entailed by truths in a more primitive vocabulary
27 Gettier CaseG = 'S believes with justification that p. S has no evidence concerning q. S forms a belief that p or q, based solely on a valid inference from p. p is false but q is true.’K = ‘S does not know that ‘p or q’Then: ‘If G, then K’ is arguably a priori
28 Analysis without Definitions So: a priori scrutability doesn’t require definitions.It requires only casewise analysis: a priori conditionals regarding specific scenariosModeled by an intension (mapping from scenarios to truth-values), not a definitionCounterexample arguments threaten definitions but not intensions/scrutability.
29 Kripke’s Antidescriptive Arguments Modal argument: ‘N = the D’ isn’t necessaryConcerns necessity, not apriorityNo objection to a priori scrutabilityEpistemic argument: ‘N =the D’ isn’t aprioriAn argument from counterexampleNo objection to a priori scrutability.
30 Scrutability of Reference Once we know enough about the world, we’re in a position to know what our terms refer to (without further empirical information).E.g. ‘Hesperus’, ‘Godel’, etc.Problems:(i) unclarity of ‘know what terms refer to’(ii) Quinean inscrutabiity (permutation)
31 Scrutability of TruthOnce we know enough about the world, we’re in a position to know whether our utterances (and beliefs) are true (without further empirical information).Better: there’s a compact class of truths such that for any true sentence S, one can know (a priori) that if the C-truths obtain, S is true.
32 Scrutability BaseScrutability base = Class of truths from which all truths are scrutableScrutability thesis: There’s a compact scrutability base
33 Compactness What is it for a class of truths to be compact? (i) Involve a small finite class of expressions, or of families of expressions(ii) No trivializing mechanismsBetter definitions welcome -- but it won’t matter much in practice.
35 Multiple BasesThere will be many scrutability bases, and even many minimal scrutability bases.Is there a privileged scrutability base?Maybe: invoke a conceptual grounding relation more fine-grained than a priori entailmentRequire/hope that there will be a scrutability base involving primitive concepts
36 Fundamental Scrutability Fundamental scrutability: All truths are (a priori) scrutable from metaphysically fundamental truthsWhere: metaphysically fundamental truths are the metaphysical grounds for all truths (and will necessitate all truths).
37 Roles of Scrutability Why is the scrutability thesis interesting? It has many applications.
38 EpistemologyThe scrutability thesis is a watered- down version of the knowability thesis -- its plausible core?Some scrutability theses have anti- skeptical applications
39 ModalityOne can use a generalized scrutability thesis to construct the space of epistemically possible worlds, or scenariosE.g. maximal consistent sets of sentences in a generalized scrutability base.Useful for many epistemological purposesClosely related to metaphysically possible worlds?
40 MeaningOne can use a generalized scrutability thesis to define intensions (cf. 2D):functions from scenarios to truth-valuesfunctions from scenarios to extensionsNice epistemic properties (cf. Fregean sense)A is true at all scenarios iff A is a priori‘a’, ‘b’ have same intension iff ‘a=b’ is a priori
41 Other Applications Content: Define narrow contents? Metaphysics: Adjudicate realism/anti- realism, and/or what’s fundamental?Unity of Science: A chain of reductive explanation?Metaphilosophy: Philosophical optimism?
42 Plan The Aufbau [1 week] Formulate scrutability theses  Argue for scrutability theses Address hard cases, minimize the base Foundations (apriori, concepts, reference) Applications (modality, meaning, content) 
43 Next WeekNext week: The Logical Construction of the World, parts I-IV.Especially sections 1-16*, 38-44*, , *, , *.