Thursday, April 24, 2008

I didn't lose it (I think...)

Yes, I too am sad about the loss of 'bee-bee.' However, the simple fact that it was lost does not entail that I lost it. I see this inference made far too often, as if the question "where is x?" is equivalent to the question "what did you, Sam, do with x?" The questions are not equivalent (nor are the implied answers to the questions equivalent), for there is a possible world in which something is lost and it was not I who lost it.
Carrie, as she has asserted in print, seems to think that possible worlds of those types, even if they do exist (she does seem to drift between saying that "Sam tends to lose stuff" and "Sam necessarily loses stuff") are quite far removed from the actual world. I would have to disagree based on a Lewis-Stalnaker semantics, for the counterfactual "If something were to be lost, then it would not have been lost by Sam" seems intuitively true. The semantics for that statement are that in the closest possible worlds where something is lost, that something was not lost by Sam.
That implies we should not just blame me! Q.E.D.


Kate said...

Oh you crazy philosopher people! LOL. Proofs were always my least favorite part of Logic. I never WAS a logical person, I guess. :)

Lee Jones said...

Still arguing that modal axiom? I hope you don't take "heavy fire" from Carrie for this post! I am curious, though, if this possible world in which something in your house is lost and it was not you who lost it is one that can be actualized?

Heidi said...

you guys crack me up!