Browsing All Posts filed under »Aaron Thomas-Bolduc«

Teaching as a Grad Student: Logic Week One

January 22, 2017 by

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I have just started teaching my first course as instructor of record (i.e. I’m lecturing, not TAing), and I thought that this would be a good opportunity to start an occasional series on teaching as a graduate student. What follows are my thoughts after finishing my first (and now second) week of teaching. I plan […]

More About Forallx: Calgary Remix

January 18, 2017 by

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The Winter 2017 edition of Forallx: Calgary remix has been out for a few weeks. Indeed, I’ve started teaching from it. Richard Zach has blogged about our progress here. Later this week I’ll be posting about my experience getting ready to teach “Logic I” for the first time, so stay tuned!   (Photo credit: Richard […]

Direct Democracy

November 21, 2016 by

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I was visiting friends in northern California during the US election, and although I have thoughts and opinions about Trump, US politics and the electoral college, I’m going to put those issues aside. Instead I would like to share my experience with the ballot propositions in California (I’m from NY, so I have little experience […]

An Open Source Logic Text

October 18, 2016 by

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The Open Logic Project, initiated by my supervisor, Richard Zach, is a project to produce a comprehensive free and open source intermediate logic text. More recently, Richard and I have been putting together a Calgary remix of forallx, a free and open source text for introductory logic, originally written by PD Magnus. Below is the […]

Political Possibilities.

August 22, 2016 by

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With the political turmoil in the US and UK this year, there has been a lot of discussion of the relative merits of democratic forms of government and alternatives (e.g. here and here). Many of the proposed changes seem to me to be unworkable, but others, like a move away from first past the post […]

Grinworthy Quotes (12)

July 24, 2016 by

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Here’s W. V. O. Quine discussing the fact that Frege didn’t adopt a type theoretic approach (like Russell and Whitehead’s) when faced with Russell’s paradox. Actually, it is not to be wondered that Frege did not think of this course, or, thinking of it, adopt it. It was by having all his classes at ground […]

Is the Universe Part of the World?

June 11, 2016 by

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First let me head off the suspicion that I’ll be discussing some sort of weird idealist/massively subjectivist/etc metaphysics. I’m concerned with ‘world’ and ‘universe’ as they’re used by analytic metaphysicians, logicians, and philosophers of mathematics. In particular I’m concerned about the cardinalities of the domains of discourse assumed by some philosophers when dealing with, in […]

An Unusual Worry About Jargon.

May 16, 2016 by

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I was often told, especially earlier in my education, to avoid excessive use of jargon. More generally, we as philosophers are accused of writing articles that are difficult to understand, at least in part because of our use of jargon. I do think that we should be careful about the overuse of technical terminology, especially […]

Grinworthy Quotes (11)

November 16, 2015 by

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Here are the final three sentences of Alberto Coffa’s “Kant, Bolzano, and the Emergence of Logicism” (Journal of Philosophy, 74, 1982, p. 689): When concepts were finally wedded to the word, a priori knowledge turned from true in virtue of concepts to true in virtue of meanings—as Carnap put it—or true ex vi terminorum—as Wilfred […]

Grinworthy Quotes (10)

November 5, 2015 by

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Here’s other amusing line from Paul Benacerraf’s dissertation (Princeton, 1960, p. 182): It was in fact through [Cantor’s] interest in the infinite and in infinite numbers that he developed the theory of sets. The purpose was to make an honest woman of the infinite, a task held by most mathematicians of his time to be […]

Grinworthy Quotes (9)

October 8, 2015 by

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I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these — I’ve been reading some fairly dry material recently. The following quote is at the very beginning of Paul Benacerraf’s unpublished PhD dissertation (Princeton, 1960) which I’m reading as part of my dissertation research. The quote is attributed to an unnamed undergraduate student. […]

On Sustaining Life.

June 15, 2015 by

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This past weekend, the philosophy department here at the University of Calgary hosted a conference on Sustainability with a focus on intergenerational justice. A topic of much debate was what exactly should be sustained/left for future generations. Now, I am very much an outsider to this debate, but one candidate of a necessary (but insufficient) […]

Grinworthy Quotes (8)

June 5, 2015 by

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Here is another quote from John Burgess, this time from his book Fixing Frege (Princeton University Press: 2005). Anyone who reads logic/mathematics/philosophy of mathematics will have come across the phenomenon he’s talking about. Now it is a common mathematical practice, called “abuse of language,” to omit to distinguish notationally between items that are distinct notionally, […]

Hashtag_Octothorpe

April 26, 2015 by

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A while back I was reading a paper  by Bob Hale and Crispin Wright, first published in 2000 [1], in which they use the symbol “#” to denote an arbitrary matrix sentence. That was over half a decade before twitter went live. That symbol, variously known as the hash sign/symbol, the number sign, or octothorpe […]

Grinworthy Quotes (7)

March 14, 2015 by

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Here is John Burgess’s amusing description of Quine’s view of mathematical ontology as motivated by the indispensability argument, from “Mathematics and the Bleak House” (Phil. Math. 12, 2004). Quine…urged a very different sort of reason for accepting the existence of numbers (or other abstract mathematical entities to which numbers could be “reduced”).  According to Quine, […]

Playing Outside Your Wheelhouse

February 2, 2015 by

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Anyone who has been following the Grinworthy Quotes series here on A Philosopher’s Take will likely have noticed that I’ve been reading a fair amount of medieval philosophy recently. Some readers may also be aware that I usually work on philosophy of mathematics, logic and metaphysics. In working on medieval philosophy, and in particular medieval […]

Grinworthy Quotes (6)

January 27, 2015 by

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Here is Pope Pius II (Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini) reporting, in his Commentaries, the response of (then Cardinal) Nicolas of Cusa to Pius unilaterally appointing cardinals (quoted in Watanabe, Concord and Reform, Ashgate, 2001, p. 10): The Cardinal of St. Peter (Cusanus)…Finally answered as follows: “…Now you ignore the ordinance of the synod and do ask […]

Grinworthy Quotes (5)

January 7, 2015 by

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Here is a quote from Moses Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed (M. Friedlaender trans., 1923, p. 263) that is particularly appropriate for the holiday season: Wine may be treated as food, if taken as such, but to form parties for the purpose of drinking wine together must be considered more disgraceful than the unrestrained conduct […]

Philosophers from Poverty

December 19, 2014 by

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I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in academic philosophy, and/or inequality issues to have a look at this discussion over at the Daily Nous.

Grinworthy Quotes (4)

December 9, 2014 by

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I apologize for taking so long to post another one of these. Here is Nicholas of Cusa (a.k.a. Cusano, a.k.a. Nikolaus von Kues) (1401–1464) on the primacy of intelligent people from De Concordantia Catholica. (This was quoted in Paul Sigmund’s Nicholas of Cusa and Medieval Political Thought, Harvard University Press, 1963, p. 132).   Almighty […]