Logic and probability


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Beauty and aesthetics Bioethics Comparative philosophy Cosmopolitanism Death Ethics History of ideas Knowledge Logic and probability Meaning and the good life Metaphysics Philosophy of language Philosophy of mind Philosophy of religion Philosophy of science Political philosophy Thinkers and theories Values and beliefs Virtues and vices

Illustration by Fumitake Uchida

Essay/
Logic and probability
Beyond true and false

Buddhist philosophy is full of contradictions. Now modern logic is learning why that might be a good thing

Graham Priest

Photo by James Clarke

Essay/
Logic and probability
The mathematical world

Some philosophers think maths exists in a mysterious other realm. They’re wrong. Look around: you can see it

James Franklin

Ann Atwater and C P Ellis, longtime enemies, chaired a 10-day community summit on desegregating Durham schools, ‘Save Our Schools’ (SOS). Photo by Jim Thornton, courtesy of The Herald-Sun Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries

Idea/
Political philosophy
Reach out, listen, be patient. Good arguments can stop extremism

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

The teaching of Logic or Dialetics from a collection of scientific, philosophical and poetic writings, French, 13th century; Bibliothèque Sainte-Genevieve, Paris, France. Photo by Bridgeman

Essay/
Logic and probability
What is logic?

Is logical thinking a way to discover or to debate? The answers from philosophy and mathematics define human knowledge

Catarina Dutilh Novaes

What the…? Photo courtesy Let There Be Neon-NYC

Essay/
Logic and probability
Philosophy tool kit

Thinking like a philosopher need not be a strange and arcane art, if you get started with these tricks of the trade

Alan Hájek

Photo by Gallery Stock

Essay/
Logic and probability
Why things happen

Either cause and effect are the very glue of the cosmos, or they are a naive illusion due to insufficient math. But which?

Mathias Frisch

Photo by Getty

Essay/
Logic and probability
Why is simpler better?

Ockham’s Razor says that simplicity is a scientific virtue, but justifying this philosophically is strangely elusive

Elliott Sober

Bertrand Russell in November 1950, having been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Photo by Bettmann/Getty

Essay/
Political philosophy
The politics of logic

Should philosophy express the national character of a people? Bertrand Russell’s ‘scientific’ philosophy was a bulwark against nationalism

Alexander Klein

ESA’s Optical Ground Station in the Canary Islands has set a new distance world record in ‘quantum teleportation’ by reproducing the characteristics of a light particle across 143 km of open air. Photo courtesy ESA

Essay/
Future of technology
Quantum gravity

The most exciting discovery in physics could come about thanks to telecoms satellites. Is a single theory of reality in sight?

Sidney Perkowitz

A version of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain at the Barbican Art Gallery, London. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty

Essay/
Beauty and aesthetics
It is and it isn’t

Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ is not just a radical kind of art. It’s a philosophical dialetheia: a contradiction that is true

Damon Young & Graham Priest

‘…there are more sets of bananas than there are bananas’. Photo by Getty

Essay/
History of ideas
Infinity and beyond

Georg Cantor showed that some infinities are bigger than others. Did he assault mathematical wisdom or corroborate it?

A W Moore

Frank Ramsey, pictured in 1925 above Buttermere Lake in England’s Lake District. Photograph by Lettice Ramsey. With thanks to Stephen Burch

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Philosophy must be useful

For Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, much of philosophy was mere nonsense. Then came Frank Ramsey’s pragmatic alternative

Cheryl Misak

Photo by David Malan/Getty

Essay/
Logic and probability
What’s the best option?

It seems only logical: if A is better than B, and B is better than C, then A is better than C. Right? Not necessarily

Larry Temkin

Václav Havel wrote: ‘all at once, I seemed to rise above the coordinates of my momentary existence in the world into a kind of state outside time …’ Photo by Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Peak ellipsis

Does philosophy reside in the unsayable or should it care only for precision? Carnap, Heidegger and the great divergence

Sam Dresser

Will the sun rise? Photo taken from the ISS on 1 March 2016. Photo courtesy NASA

Essay/
Mathematics
Future tension

Facts about the past and present are either true or false. Can knowledge of the future offer the same degree of certainty?

Anthony Sudbery