“This current version of the notes is not yet complete, but meets I think the
usual high standards for material posted on the internet.” (Link. No, I have not read the paper apart from this snippet.) Please feel free to comment if you have any corrections or objections to the disquisition below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Logic first became interesting to me when I entered the DBA field and started reading the works of C.J. Date, Hugh Darwen, and Nikos Lorentzos on the foundations of relational databases. While reading in logic, I became intensely interested in Edwin D. Mares’ book RELEVANT LOGIC A PHILOSOPHICAL INTERPRETATION, which seemed to tie in — I am apparently not the first to notice this! — in a very natural way with Fred I. Dretske’s classic work, KNOWLEDGE AND THE FLOW OF INFORMATION. As an exercise in writing to learn Mares’ book I have been for a while entering posts on this blog on the topic of Dretske’s theory of informational content as it relates to Relevant Logic.
Up until now, these posts have been nothing except an effort to decide what my position is on the topic. They pretend to be nothing more than efforts to get my own thoughts in order. As a result, I have not been terribly afraid to be (just occasionally, I hope!) simply mistaken and (worse) unclear.
Basically, I was thinking out loud in order to decide what I do think about the topic. Even though these exercises in thinking out loud were both tentative and preliminary, I have found it to be a useful discipline in performing them in public, where there is always the possibility that someone actually engaging with the posts (in other words, someone who is not merely a troll) may legitimately, pointing to specifics, exclaim ‘THIS IS SIMPLY WRONG!!!!’ or ‘THIS IS CONFUSED!’
Lions And Trolls Oh My! But now that I am suffering under the delusion that I do have my thoughts on the topic in something vaguely resembling order, I am now actively throwing them out to the lions in order to see what survives intelligent, informed criticism. ((I am assuming there are lions out there who are not only hungry, but also intelligent and informed. As regards lions I keep thinking about Ned Rorem’s LIONS (A DREAM) which I once heard on WFMT in Chicago… but I digress.)) Please consider this post and the the posts linked to here as a request for comment.
As each section of this disquisition takes (almost) final shape, the link to it will become active. Each section will be kept as short as possible partly as an troll-control device: the brevity of each piece makes it easier to force the troll to state a specific objection to a specific assertion ((has the troll misstated the assertion (most of the time intentionally but sometimes not)? If so, challenge them to state it in their own words — honestly this time. Once the troll has correctly stated it, do they think the assertion is wrong? If so, why? Does the troll think the assertion is unclear?)) rather than allowing the troll to rely on abusive innuendo.
The Relevance-Making Relation Is Not The Causal Relation
The example that at least initially makes treating the relevance-making relation in terms of Dretske’s notion of informational content attractive: Dretske’s Doorbell Example.
This seems to run aground on the tautology IF p THEN p. The revisions needed to accommodate this tautology.
The ‘peanut is under which shell’ example. Will this example end up making Relevant Logic at least as weird and bizarre as Classical Logic by making the truth of implication statements relative to what one knows?
The measles and wormy red apples example.
No post of mine can do without an homage to Plato’s SYMPOSIUM. Here the homage will take the form of Channing Tatum.
Edit Log: June 04, 2017: Made some minor changes.
June 10, 2017: Made some minor changes. Removed a joke I think wasn’t working.
June 14, 2017: Added quote at the top.