About last time, Alex B. sent along the idea that this was worth thinking about — thanks! My own view of the possibility and necessity puzzle is really that there is not much use to modal logic as presented. It does entail that calculating possibility is harder if one uses (for example) a state space approach. There is something called “provability logic” due to Boolos (not Boole!) that is useful in some contexts, but it is about purely logical possibility. I do not know why philosophers really enjoy the modal logic approaches. All I was ever taught (by their partisans) is that finally we understand possibility and necessity better through them. I simply dispute this.
For those who follow philosophy of religion, ask how you would use modal logic to analyze the traditional theological claim “God is a necessary being.” This is harder than it sounds, especially if one keeps the domains and ranges correct as I have suggested one must. Hint: Alvin Plantinga’s use basically reduces to a question of which modal logic to use, and he has to independently motivate that or beg the question. (Worse, he then must contend with the domain question, too.)
A Puzzle Hunt
This month’s conundrum is a slightly crazed trivia puzzle, which, if completed successfully, entitles the solver to a prize! Each clue is semi-independent, and together they should help you locate the prize. Your accent (whether Australian, Canadian, German, or Korean) will not help you.
- The commonest chemical element
- Réponse, en anglais
- Mind this and your Qs
- Family of carriable mounted spears
- Town of many elements
- We are the knights that say …
- Often the same faculty as architecture
- Title of a book by Jerry Coyne
- With me, a couple, perhaps?
- Mr. Burns’ catchphrase
- Victims of Turkey
- Could maybe have been called a legislative assembly of the gluteus maximus
- What every cybersecurity professional worries about
- With banged gavel, to create calm
- Relative of Wilt, too soft on bigoted Austrian
- Mind or we
- Euclid’s translated alphabet book?
- You’d think after all the musicals, she would have the firearm by now
- People prefer this to olds, usually
- With a purple disinfectant, a favourite classroom explosive
- Typically the opposite of good
- The last clue is this part of the puzzle