User talk:Chalst/archive-1

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Welcome message[edit]


Hello, Chalst/archive-1, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically produce your name and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Where to ask a question, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and someone will show up shortly to answer your questions. Again, welcome!  --Lst27 23:00, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Some pages in need of serious attention[edit]

Sorry, I hope I didn't discourage you from editing; there are some logic pages that need serious attention! --- Axiom for example has some appalling innaccuracies about the Godel completeness theorem (this and the incompleteness theroem are the logic equivalent of Schrodinger's cat). Possible worlds isn't bad, but an explicit (maybe simplified) discussion of models of modal logic would be helpful. (Having such a discussion, would make it clearer the distinction between Possible worlds and many-worlds interpretation) CSTAR 14:02, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Not at all: you should see the criticism my last (accepted) conference paper on modal logic received... And in any case, the most rewarding thing is to know that someone will actually read what I write :-) I'm a "root and branch" sort of reformer: I'll start making improvements at the Logic page, and branch out to the ramified logic pages from there. So thanks for keeping track of hwat I have been doing so far! ---- Charles Stewart 15:54, 14 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It would be useful to delete or reorganize some of the Logic pages. For instance, there is a page called college logic; another called good argument. SHouldn't these be deleted or incorporated into other pages? I also put some effort into cleaning up logical argument and informal logic, but these still need attention from others. And also I would like to see major improvement in the political argument page. I started it, because I felt something had to be said (particularly considering the lack of it on this side of the Atlantic).CSTAR 17:10, 22 Aug 2004 (UTC)

GJ on logic, careful w/ red links[edit]

Hey, thanks for some excellent additions to logic, they'll really help the article out. I've made a couple changes already, but one thing I noticed was just superficial so I thought I'd alert you to it here. After your major edit you left several red links. In general, when you preview an article you should look at all the red links and see if you can fix them. Of course some articles won't exist yet, but major topics almost always exist, and you may have to search for it to see the exact page name to use for the link. Familiarity with general naming conventions will help you find these pages hopefully. [[User:Siroxo|—siroχo

siroχo]] 05:13, Aug 26, 2004 (UTC)

As I said in the Logic talk page, I found the articles and misstyped them. Losing patience with howlong the long edit was taking, I guess. Thanks for the comment, though ---- Charles Stewart 07:21, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Sorry I interfered too quickly. I thought it was another case of breaking up an entry into meaningless entrylets. I suppose some text is coming? Wetman 07:08, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

In the long run there's enough material to justify full articles for all of the books of the Organon, but for now I am just creating pages for Prior Analytics (about a week or so ago) and De Interpretatione, since they are relevant to content I am creating as part of my great Logic editing drive. I know what content I want to put in, but maybe it takes some time to apply it, until then they would remain sub-stubs ---- Charles Stewart 07:17, 26 Aug 2004 (UTC)

howdy! --The Cunctator

Argumention and politics[edit]

Hello! I appreciate your comments on the talk pages and your contributions to articles. My interest in logic and argument is more a matter of urgency, perhaps felt more vividly on this side of the Atlantic, where I see a gradual slide from open discourse in the political arena to jingoism, religious fundamentalism and political intimidation. Who knows where this will end. I'd like to see wikipedia at least provide a foundation for some relevant concepts in discourse.CSTAR 17:35, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I care about these things too, but definitely less than the academic side of logic. It's kind of a topic with strategic significance in Wikipedia, I think: I'm surpirised there aren't more people weighing in on the rights and wrongs of rhetoric. (Oh, long delay, because I'm at conferences at the mo.) ---- Charles Stewart 17:55, 9 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Lob's Theorem[edit]

i welcome the revision on the Lob's theorem page, but the current (which was the original) intro. is completely confusing. i idiotically replied to you in my own talk page. anyway, talking about 'satisfies' there was in regard to the Peano axioms wrt to a particular theory T. i wasn't talking about the satisfiability of axiomatic statements of T. i think it strange to say that the Peano axioms are provable from T, but it works.

also, the formalizing it in modal provability logic has the benefit of abstracting from any particular provability theory. unfortunately i dont' know how to format it using the proper typesetting. the revision was quick and i've no time to look into it now. we can keep the informal definition of lob's theorem as it stands, but it most certainly isn't elegant let alone clear.

Gödel's incompleteness theorem[edit]


Hilbert's problems[edit]

I see you have put a disputed notice on Hilbert's problems. Is this perhaps a bit extreme ? The usage guidelines suggest only using the disputed notice if there are more than 5 dubious or inaccurate statements in an article, whereas I think you have only highlighted two statements that you disagree with. Also, Mathworld seems to verify that Hilbert's first and second problems are generally accepted as having been solved. I'm all in favour of a debate - it's one of the joys of Wikpedia - but I do think the disputed notice is going too far. Gandalf61 09:18, Oct 22, 2004 (UTC)

I'm not very experienced yet, so I could be misusing the feature, but I regard the problems are serious: as it stands what the page implies about the first two problems does not reflect what professional logicians know about the problem, and the second is actually silly (I am disappointed to see that MathWorld belongs to the ranks of the confused on this point). I could move the disputed tag to two dubious tags in the table, but I doubt this would work properly. ---- Charles Stewart 09:40, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
So can I make a suggestion ? Why not make the changes that you think are required to make the article factually accurate, and then remove the disputed notice ? That way everyone can see what your changes are, and they can be debated (if necessary) on the article's discussion page. Gandalf61 15:26, Oct 22, 2004 (UTC)

Quantum logic[edit]

There is a link to the article on quantum logic in the logic page. It would be a useful project to try to add some intro material to that article to make it accessible to somebody reading the logic page (so far I have been the only contributor to that page -- for all I know I may be its only reader).

One fact to note that it is not really about logic as much as a semantics for a logic. The logic I guess would be the free algebra generated by a set S modulo relations which are true for in representations of S as self-adjoint projections.

This would have some significance for logic in at least giving some plausibility to the Putnamist notion that logic is empirical. (I am not sure I believe this, although I have a lot sympathy for this view since I have a lot of empiricist blood running in my veins) CSTAR 20:52, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"Is logic empirical?" is a good subsection for Logic#Controversies in logic, with a discussion of quantum logic there. I take a position derived from Wittgenstein: what's true in logic is an abstraction from conventions that our practice of assertions depend upon. So I take quantum logic seriously as a rival logic, but I have an argument in my doctoral thesis that shows that usual "or" and quantum "or" cannot both be logical connectives of the same language; I take this to show that quantum logic is a weak rival (I think intuitionistic logic has a stronger case), but you could reach a different conclusion. Would you be willing to start that subsection? ---- Charles Stewart 12:48, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yeah I'll start it in the next few days --- although I admit I may be in over my depth here.CSTAR 16:58, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Great. I'll take a close look at whatever you write. ---- Charles Stewart 18:25, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I added the Is logic empirical subsection as per our discussion. There are several issues which require additional comment or about which I am not entirely satisfied:

  1. The subsection centers around the Putnam-Finkelstein papers, though the idea is surely older than that (preceding the Birkhoff-von Neumann work on quantum logic). My previous remark I'm in over my depth meant that I have no appreciation of the philosophical historical development here.
  2. More to the point, I'm not sure I understand Putnam's argument -- what I wrote down is my understanding of his presentation, which is (in my view) drawn around the analogy between Euclidean -- Non Euclidean geometry and Boolean logic -- Quantum logic.
  3. Notice I replaced Putnam's non-Euclidean geometry exposition with something else --- mechanics and relativity. One peculiarity of Putnam's writings is that he tries to appeal to a larger audience than might be warranted for a technical philosopher. This expository style sometimes obscures his technical points. His motives may have resulted from Putnam's political views of another era.
  4. My rendering of empiricism is probably abhorrent to most philosophers (it seems to be a crappy rendition of operationalism). But I think that for the limited purpose of this article crappy operationalism suffices. Anyway it appeals to me.

CSTAR 22:57, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

(I changed your bullet points into an enumeration, above) I don't really have time to give a proper reaction to what you have wrote before Thursday; I'll put my comments on the Logic talk page when I do. For now, responding to your points as they are numbered:

  1. Neither do I, but I have a couple of books sitting on my shelf that address the argument, and I'll take a look at them. I think what you have written is the germ of a full-length article, which we should create (I'll do that).
  2. I'll check this point.
  3. Sounds rigt.
  4. I think it's fine.

I think I'll pass on the remarks to a philosopher, to see if he can give me any useful pointers. May as well get on top of this stuff, while the subject has come up. ---- Charles Stewart 08:18, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Logical Argument: Thanks for being informative[edit]

I am touched that as an RV-er, you informed me, and left relavant notes in the talk page. If only all wikipedians were as thoughtful. Let us continue any discussion at the said talk page. (20040302)

Replied at 20040302#Logical_argument ---- Charles Stewart 10:25, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Quine's paper[edit]

I have reverted the article on Two Dogmas of Empiricism to the way that the title of the paper appears in the body of the article. Capitalization of published work is retained in the title of the article. Cheers,[[User:Noisy|Noisy | Talk]] 19:45, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Just a thought. I was doing New Page patrol and saw that you had a new page on List of for the Nobels. Did you check the Nobel Prize article? I believe it breaks down to categories, and there is already a List of Nobel Prize winners for each category. Perhaps a category tag would be better, and that way you could recombine those later for a master list. Geogre 16:21, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Very many thanks! I'm in the middle of a complex edit, and that is timely information ---- Charles Stewart 16:25, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Hilbert's 1st Problem[edit]

Hi, I have changed the status of Hilbert's 1st problem to solved as I believe that is the commonly accepted state of the problem in the mathematical community. I know you were in a discussion of what the status would be and so I would appreciate your input on my reasons. I have given them in more detail Talk:Hilbert's problems#More on the 1st problem. Thanks a lot Aleph0 02:45, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Comment on Hilbert's 1st Problem Change[edit]

Hi, I just wanted to say that I think that the footnote answer is an excelent idea. Aleph0 01:00, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)


(This is a copy of a note I sent to Charles Matthews). A relatively new user has added the POV banner to the logical argument article. I tried to respond to his/her comments, but I noticed that user has added the asme banner to a large range of articles, including physical law and mathematical rigor. Now it's possible this user is trying to make a philosophical point: complete NPOV is not possible. What do you think? CSTAR 03:03, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The POV banner has been removed, but (as you surely noticed by now) not before someone suggested I put it up via a sock puppet. I suppose part of this is my carelessness
  • In confusing the pagelogical argument with logical fallacy (where indeed the POV banner was placed) which I often do, since I've worked on both and consider them related.
  • Asking you and Charles Matthews the innocent question what do you think? That of course is motivated by a desire for consensus, in determining what to do with the banners, not what do you think in regard to POV. Geesh generally I try to be as precise as possible, but I guess this time i t wasn't enough. CSTAR 17:17, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

About Users Critical and CStar[edit]

For the record, the user Critical ( talk, contributions), who slapped the "disputed NPoV" sticker on some pages, has made his or her first edits tonight (or today) and within less than two hours has attacked eight articles for PoV, including (ironically given the CStar example given on the Logical fallacy talk page), Physical law. These were the only "edits" (plus weak justifications on talk pages in the same vein as this one). I don't think the PoV claim has merit. We may ask if this series of attacks is to be taken seriously.

For the following reasons I am thinking that these pages has been the victim of a tiresome semi-sophisticated troll and the PoV sticker should be removed sooner rather than later, if not immediately. We may note that CStar ( talk, contributions) after making edits, paused during the period user Critical made edits, and then CStar took up responding to these edits after the series of user Critical edits ends, as if there is only one user involved, and the user logged out, changed cookies and logged back in. Further, user CStar left a note on Charles Matthew's talk page, Chalst's talk page, and Angela's talk page pointing to a supposed PoV accusation placed on the Logical argument page, when in fact no such sticker has been placed. Perhaps the irony regarding the Physical law page is not so ironic. Hu 05:19, 2004 Dec 1 (UTC)


Pleas see this on the logical fallacy talk page. CSTAR 13:50, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)


response on my talk page. CSTAR 04:46, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Relevant logic to Relevance logic moved[edit]

Done. Correctly, I hope.CSTAR 01:08, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Other logic pages[edit]

Wouldn't cleanup be desirable and hopefully possible here also? CSTAR 03:51, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yes, indeed. In particular, I've been wondering for some time what the right main article for the redlink dialectical logic on the logic page would be, and college logic is the best fit so far. I don't like it: it smacks of parochial American liberal arts collegeism to me, but its the right place to start, I think. Cogency isn't awful: in particular it's less important to sort out than the mess in soundness and validity (currently on my priority to do list). Critical thinking is ghastly, and a lousy name to boot, but its got a cleanup tag already, I see. ---- Charles Stewart 04:01, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Informal logic and logical argument might be fused; I've worked on both, only because they were already there. I wouldn't have started them both. Logical fallacy could use some improvement. The actual list of logical fallacies is in urgent need of population control. Abstinence doesn't appear to be working here (Does it ever?).CSTAR 18:17, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Critical thinking[edit]

That article really is awful. Why is Edward de Bono given such prominent mention? Actually, who the Hell is Edward de Bono? He's got a pretty lame website ---- Well at least we don't have Florentin Smarandache to contend with. CSTAR 00:30, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

do Bono is a management consultant who became famous-for-five-minutes with his ideas about "six hats" that represent six styles of thinking about a topic. Never heard of Smarandache ---- Charles Stewart 11:25, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Article Licensing[edit]

Hi, I've started a drive to get users to multi-license all of their contributions that they've made to either (1) all U.S. state, county, and city articles or (2) all articles, using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (CC-by-sa) v1.0 and v2.0 Licenses or into the public domain if they prefer. The CC-by-sa license is a true free documentation license that is similar to Wikipedia's license, the GFDL, but it allows other projects, such as WikiTravel, to use our articles. Since you are among the top 2000 Wikipedians by edits, I was wondering if you would be willing to multi-license all of your contributions or at minimum those on the geographic articles. Over 90% of people asked have agreed. For More Information:

To allow us to track those users who muli-license their contributions, many users copy and paste the "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" template into their user page, but there are other options at Template messages/User namespace. The following examples could also copied and pasted into your user page:

Option 1
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions, with the exception of my user pages, as described below:


Option 2
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions to any [[U.S. state]], county, or city article as described below:

Or if you wanted to place your work into the public domain, you could replace "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" with "{{MultiLicensePD}}". If you only prefer using the GFDL, I would like to know that too. Please let me know what you think at my talk page. It's important to know either way so no one keeps asking. -- Ram-Man (comment| talk)

Logic featured article status[edit]

I'm not sure whether it was my idea to make it a featured article -- actually it may have been your idea. But in any case, I agree with it. I would like to see more references to semantics in the logic articles generally. The main logic article itself makes some timid references to semantics.

Yep the see also section is a complete mess. Let's farm it out.CSTAR 19:35, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

indie record label[edit]

Sorry, I did not know the protocol. --Smooth Henry 18:17, Feb 4, 2005 (UTC)

Bell's theorem[edit]

In response to your comment over on Charles Matthews talk page:

As it turned out Sterling Newberry finally (and quite independently) removed the POV banner; hopefully this ends the story. However, there was something very disturbing in the whole episode.

As I mentioned, CT has a very public agenda which she freely admits, allows for no compromise with accepted interpretations and formalism of quantum mechanics. Or rather, I should say her proposed compromise was that (to paraphrase her) she (i.e. local realism) gets Bell's theorem and peripheral pages because QM has taken up the rest.

I did take the time to read her webpages---They're utter lunacy. She rejects Michelson-Morley, postulates the existence of an aether, seems to suggest electrons don't exist etc. etc. It is pretty pathetic reading how she gets continually rejected by the establishment. She may not be quite as bad as Archimedes Plutonium, but at least there is something endearing and funny about him.

Surely we should be able to deal with such crankery a little more expeditiously. This whole rewrite of the page has taken two days shy of a month. CSTAR 22:45, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I saw that there was something untoward going on a while back, and a few days ago found time to follow (at least in part) the issue. She is, at first glance, sort of plausible: with Archimedes Plutonium one knew straight off he was wrong, and it was a puzzle to figure out why, while with Caroline I was wondering: maybe there is a defensible case here... it took quite a while before I sorted out in my own mind: no, really there isn't beyond the generic "perhaps things don't exist" sort of skepticism;
As for efficiency, I think the current NPOV policy makes the task of timewasters a bit too easy, as does the lousy presentation of the NPOV policy on the policy page (the NPOV tutorial is much more use). Still, it's not been a complete waste of time: I think you'd agree the current pages are better for the work that has gone into them: just don't think of the better ways you could have used the time... I do have one comment: you let CT personalise the discussion on the talk pages in places, which suited her very well: she turned courteous concessions into evidence that her interlocutors really agreed with her. ---- Charles Stewart 00:12, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I did have the feeling that she was able to turn courteous concessions around into support for her position, although it would be helpful to extract some specific examples. I suppose this could be a case study. There were various stages
  • The initial POV banner (put there by User:DrChinese calling attention to her self-promotion and POV and subsequent discussion of what to do about it. This lasted about a week. Everyone, myself included, seemed quite reluctant to do anything about it. CT has become well-known in WP as a "difficult" person. My previous encounter with CT on the EPR paradox had already confirmed that. That experience was softened somewhat by the fact that User:CYD actually did most of the edits, although there was quite a bit of input from me in the talk page.
  • My initial rewrite, followed by an immediate, shrill revert by CT (with no explanation other than the edit summary "revert!" as though calling to arms) and a subsequent revert by Lethe and a warning that he would revert any major reversion of hers.
  • CT's persistent taunts and relentless personal attacks (I paraphrase, but fairly I think: "you clearly don't understand Bell's theorem", "I suspect your qualifications are minimal", "I'm defending science", "Bell's theorem is not maths", "you've ruined the page" etc, etc.) That really wore me down. At one point I just told her "You have no idea what you are talking about", after she had complained about an edit which she clearly had not understood. I suppose that was the low point for me. CSTAR 05:39, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If the matter comes down to an RfC, as I suspect it will eventually, then maybe thinking of it in case study terms is helpful. Surely then CT will cite your personal comments as evidence that she was only giving as good as she got, but the arbitrators are more likely to be astonished at your self control. When I talked abput personalising, I guess the contrast I would make would be with a crisp, cold, bureaucratic way of handling her ("I refer you back to point #17, re. your 7th PIV edit on this page..."); normal friendliness seems to be a mistake with her (as I suspect was the case with all her scientific correspondents who she claims think highly of her investigations) ---- Charles Stewart 09:13, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
While we're at at, could you please have a look at interpretation of quantum mechanics, and particularly the section on instrumentalism. I think you may have something useful (and hopefully helpful!) to say. This is not currently CT related, fortunately. It initially was however, since her "QM seems bogus" POV was very prominent before I started editing it. CSTAR 17:26, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Bah, I look at the article and the only thing that happebns is that I realise I have to understand Consistent histories if I am to be able to talk knowledgably about quantum logic... But, seriously, I think that User:Charles Matthews has picked up anything that I might have. ---- Charles Stewart 22:17, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I guess I'm hoping for a cross-over collaboration by philosophers, logicians, mathematicians and physicists on various articles of widespread relevance. That risks embarrasment of course (I hope I didn't seem too ridiculous on possible worlds, not to mention "le Théorème de la Cloche").CSTAR 23:34, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Linking between namespaces[edit]

Hi there, Charles! After you left a message on my talk page, I went ahead and performed the obligatory hmmm let's see who sent me this message inquiry. I noticed that you'd linked to your userpage from Charles Stewart, but it's generally considered bad practice to link to other namepsaces from the main namespace. If someone wrote a Wikipedia article on you, then by all means, feel free to link to it. But as most people aren't notable enough to warrant a Wikipedia biography, and autobiographies are discouraged, I'm guessing there's no Charles A. Stewart article around :-) So I've removed the link to your userpage, and I hope you understand. Best wishes and happy editing! --David Iberri | Talk 00:35, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)

POV warrior[edit]

I just noticed your comments now about "POV warrior." Huh? I don't think I ever talked to you before. This was our first conflict (and I would say a rather minor one) on an article, and you immediately made that derogatory remark before I even posted my first comment on the talk page. Interesting OneGuy 04:58, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

No, but I'd checked out your editing on some other pages and wasn't looking forward to your involvement on these pages. But in fact I have no complaints about the way you've argued your position, and I agree you've been sorely provoked in those edits. I regret saying that, and I'll retract the claim on the talk page. ---- Charles Stewart 08:49, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Possible Worlds[edit]

A bit over a week ago, I wrote on the Talk:Possible worlds page:

I've thought a bit about the dispute between CSTAR and Mel, and I think I know what's going on. Mel has a very tight conception of what the alethic modalities are, which I think means he thinks S5 is the right axiomatisation of possibility: given this then the two disputed points that Mel reinstated from the possible worlds/ many worlds comparison are seen to be valid. I've deleted them again, because I think as it stands Mel is using a conception of modality that is itself disputed, so his points are POV.

I'd like to revisit the possible worlds article, and I'd like to know where you stand, because I think you have a valuable take on the question. I guess the question is: where do you stand on the question of acceptable axiomatisations of alethic modalities? Did I read you aright? ---- Charles Stewart 22:46, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sorry to have disappeared from the discussion — it's so easy to get distracted on Wikipedia. My personal view is that different modal systems are appropriate for different purposes (so in this I follow Lemmon), but I also think that S5 most closely captures our ordinary modal intuitions (though I can see a case for S4). For that reason I go along with most writers in assuming S5 unless doing so begs an important question. In introducing possible worlds, especially, I assume S5 (if only because not doing so would make the introduction too cumbersome), but I return to the issue of the choice between alternative systems when it becomes relevant (as in Plantinga's modal argument for the existence of god). That's why I approached the Wikipedia article as I did.
I'm particularly wary about getting too technical and detailed in this area, because it's so easy to overdo it — especially as my doctoral thesis was on possible worlds. Yoo much knowledge can get in the way of writing introductions. Having said that, to be honest I tred to keep my thesis as non-technical as possible, because my main interest was in the ontological status of possible worlds. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:59, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I guess what I would like to say about the status of S5 is that, if we accept Dummett's claim that bivalence about truth is realism in semantical form, so we should say that asserting S5 to be the correct alethic modality is modal realism in analogically semantical form. ---- Charles Stewart 02:47, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Soory for the delay again. I'm not at all sure of the idea that to choose S5 is to accept modal realism. The reverse is probably true (though I'd have to think about it), but there are plenty of people who have chosen S5, and whose arguments depend upon that choice, but who are certainly not modal realists (Alvin Plantinga, for one). Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:23, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In fact, Crispin Wright, in "Anti-realism and revisionism", criticised Dummett's thesis on the grounds that there are both realists who reject principle of the excluded middle, and non-realists who accept it. With modal realism, I can see how a modal anti-realist might nonetheless argue that S5 is the right alethic modality, I would guess that most people who hold this position would also be happy with the idea that one can embrace PEM and reject bivalence; the reverse implication seems to me to be very strong, though: pace your idea that modal realists ought to reject S5, I don't see how they can.
Oops, sorry; by “the reverse” I meant that choosing modal realism might entail the choice of S5. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 12:11, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Roughly, my argument is that:

  • For sake of simplicity, let us say that we modalities are modalities of a normal modal logic. This isn't a triviality, but it makes the argument easier to phrase;
  • It appears that the modal realist is then committed to there being a right alethic modality: the modality is characterised by (i) the set of possible worlds the modal realism posists, and (ii) the truth-values of sentences involving althetic modalities will tell us what the accessibility relation is;
  • Any alethic modality is committed to the T-axiom: []p -> p; what must further be the case for an alethic modality to be S5-like is that (i) it is not degenerate (so []p is not the same as p), and (ii) it is Euclidean, ie. any worlds accessible from here are accessible from each other. It's a standard result that S5 is maximal, ie. you if you add new axioms of propositional modal logic, parametric in their propositional letters to S5, either these axioms were theorems already or the resulting logic is degenerate.
  • Modal realism, to be non-trivial, isn't degenerate;
  • What's real can't depend on what's actual, so what's accessible from here should be accessible anywhere, so we have Euclideanity.

There's little holes in the above that devious theories can wriggle through, but I guess the wriggling is not very confortable. ---- Charles Stewart 12:04, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Charles, regarding the stub you created. Is your definition accurate? Online sources suggest that the term is used to refer to anti-Muslim sentiment. Your stub is already the first entry under a Google search for anti-Islamism, and a lot of Muslims deny there's such a thing as Islamism as such (as a distinct political movement), so it could end up being a tricky, inherently POV article. What do you think? SlimVirgin 00:06, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

The objections to the old meaning of anti-islamism have been like a running sore for over 4 months now, and you're the first person to defend the old meaning. I suspect that almost all of the online references derive from the wikipedia usage: certainly my recollection back then was that the online references did not support the wikipedia usage. ---- Charles Stewart 00:18, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Actually I didn't reply to your question: my gut feeling is that it is impossible to write anything on this topic that wouldn't constitute a "tricky, inherently POV article", but then I heartily loathe the whole mess this topic has been, and it is, at long last, getting better. ---- Charles Stewart 00:20, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I didn't realize that an article existed elsewhere on this. I've only seen your stub. I also don't know what the old and new meanings are. The sources I saw on Google weren't Wikipedia-related by and large; they were Muslim websites and Arab newspaper articles mainly. I think the problem with defining anti-Islamism as opposition to Islamism is (a) not everyone agrees that there's such a thing as Islamism, and (b) that aside, most people, I would say, have never heard of it. So the term, pro or anti, is a battleground: almost by definition POV and inclining toward original research, in the same way that Jewish ethnocentrism was, which has thankfully just been deleted. SlimVirgin 00:34, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

What is now called Criticism of Islam was, until not many hours ago, called Anti-Islamism. There's lots of discussion on the talk pages, and elsewhere. I would have preferred to have both of these articles merged into Islamophobia, but there's no real chance of a consensus to do this, hence the three articles. ---- Charles Stewart 00:41, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for explaining. I've deleted most of what was there, which perhaps I shouldn't have, but it was all so tawdry, and with no references. I would agree with you about having all the issues dealt with under one roof. The problem is that, if this article is to deal with legitimate criticism, a lot of the sources, and perhaps all, that could be used (I'm thinking of Daniel Pipes, for example) will be dismissed as Islamophobes; so I wonder where you will find sources that others will regard as fair. SlimVirgin 01:30, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

Your intervention has been perfectly inspired. Pipes is an Islamophobe, but he still has arguments worth attending to (maybe Huntingdon is in the same category). I think it is possible to do justice to him. ---- Charles Stewart 01:35, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I see the term Islamophobe as neutral myself (meaning fear of, or dislike of, but leaving aside whether the reasons for that are good or bad), but I'm probably in the minority in interpreting it that way. Pipes is a scholar and I would regard him as an excellent source, bearing in mind that he is extreme and resolute, but I know others won't accept him as a source, or anyone else who is knowledgeable and critical, so I foresee a future of hideous revert wars or else an article with zero sources. I therefore feel the way to proceed might be to draw up an acceptable list of sources in advance of writing the article, and to seek consensus for it, because we can only proceed to writing if we know we will have sources. SlimVirgin 02:05, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)

I don't regard him as maintaining scholarly standards: he wrote a misrepresentation of the religious significance of Jihad to muslims that was so extreme that, given his depth ofr reading, can only have been dishonest. I think Christopher Hitchens is pretty much right on with this. The thing about Pipes, though, is he is a crystal clear writer, and very thorough, and so no matter how polluted his motives, he often comes up with the goods. Plus he is a not just a commentator, but a feature of the landscape: he is subject matter, as well as source. My opinion is that we press ahead with a merge, and not worry about tackling the difficulties until we actually know what shape they take. I doubt that a quiet life is an option with this one. ---- Charles Stewart 02:21, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Luftangriff auf Dresden[edit]

Hello Charles Stewart, for the moment the article on German Wikipedia isn't ready yet, we had some problems last days because of a started edit war. But there is hope, that all participants, specially "Benutzer:Jesusfreund (User Jesusfreund)" don't give up and find a solution about the question, witch historical facts are proofed and how the text should be like. If this problem is solved I think, you will be supported in the translation. Sorry, my English is bad - I am not the person, who ever could translate ;-) - Have a nice day, --Nocturne 07:22, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Full agreement to Nocturne. The article will perhaps (probably) never be ready. The reason is the matter itself. The discussions that take place about it are were very much alike yours, lingering between the positions of Jörg Friedrich and/or Frederick Taylor. But we have to admit yours are much cooler and less emotional in dealing with revisionism like David Irving f.e.. I was just about to recommend it to some of our participants, when your message arrived!
I will translate the "Gedenken"-section of the article in a few days, as soon as possible. But personally I think this section is pretty much a reflection of the specific German situation. As you know, we are facing a gathering of perhaps 5000 Neonazis and revisionists on February 13th in Dresden. Stressing the partnership of Dresden and Coventry citizens in the article is also a reaction to that. But none-the-less this partnership has a political impact for the future, and therefore it can not be overestimated in it´s relevance for the matter.
Thank you very much for contacting. Benutzer:Jesusfreund on German Wikipedia -- 12:43, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Strangeley enough, I can´t see my previous message to you, although it´s here in the source-scripture. I just want to tell you translation is on its way. Some terms I had to subscribe and grammar isn´t all that perfect also, due to my limited english. Excuse it please. Greetings, Jesusfreund -- 14:43, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Translation of "Gedenken", German article, last section[edit]


On February 13th each year memory events take place in Dresden. All Dresden church bells ring at 10:13 PM – the exact time when the bombing started that day. In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of the attacks, a bell sinphony was performed including all bells of the city. In 2002, citizens of Dresden and its partnertown Coventry, which had also been hit severly by German bombing in World war II, came together. Following the motto „Build bridges – live forgiveness and brotherhood („Versöhnung“) they put up a sign against war and hate. They met at the Dresden „Frauenkirche“ (womans church) which had been totally destroyed by the attacks. In the meantime it has been restored almost completely. This rebuilding was successful because of the activities of mainly British and German fundraising clubs.

Parallel to that old and new right wing extremists try to abuse the anniversaries of the bombings for their gatherings and revisionist propaganda. The number of demonstrators which follow the invitation of the „Junge Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen“ (young landfellows of east prussia) is increasing continuously. The date has developed to be one of the biggest regular events including Neonazis from all over Germany and other countries. Gouvernor Georg Milbradt (CDU-party) therefor has rejected to overtake the „leadership“ for the event in 2005, which Holger Apfel (NPD-party) then accepted for himself.

Their prefered term „bombing Holocaust“ is meant to relativate the Holocaust and to describe the complete warfare of the Allied coalition as a crime, in order to put the guilt for the war on them and to minimize or even deny the German guilt. They abuse some historical facts for that purpose, f.e. the planned and worked out mass destuction of the central city of Dresden which didn´t make much military sense. They want to describe Germanys former enemies, especially the US, as outstanding inhumane and cruel, comparing their behavior to German war crimes thus justifying these. This ideological abuse one cannot find in the National Democratic Party (NPD) only but it is also a widespread mentality.

As a reaction, some Antifascists groups try to oppose this abuse with paroles like „German actors are no victims“, „No tears for Dresden“ or „Bomber-Harris do it again“. They fear the „breaking-a-taboo“-approach of the historical discussion about German war victims will continously justify Nazi thought and behavior. Protesting this they celebrate the bombing of Dresden as a necessary part of winning the military fight against Nazi-Germany.

The city council of Dresden therefore forbids any demonstration in the center of Dresden on that day every year. But moreover, it tries to regain initiative for the way of celebrating the memory day with its own events. A very important part of that are the partnership contacts with the city of Coventry and the Church work for „Versöhnung“. Both try to build up understanding beyond national limits for the fact that German guilt of war cannot be weighed with others war crimes. There is no doubt possible that Germany started the war and its crimes cannot be relativated. But what happened in the war was an increasing abstraction of the warfare from rational aims. This tendency cannot be looked at by isolating it from the criminal plans and actions of Nationalsocialism. But also, the Allied bombings of populated cities cannot be interpreted as a necessary and unevitable reaction to these Nazi crimes.

Most of the survivors of the bombings who suffered unmeasurable pain and their relatives conclude from their terrifying war experiences: Remembering all the victims on both sides together, humanely, without accusations, is the best healing - instead of the undignified counting and comparing of victims and distributing guilt portions.

Greetings, Jesusfriend (February 11, 2005) -- 20:55, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I wish to complain about the usage in the Bombing of Dresden page of the terms "self-taught, controversial, Holocaust denier David Irving" especially in light of the fact that you give a link to his Wikipedia page as well. Why the labels if people can easily look up(on the site no less) who he is and what he is about? It doesn´t make any sense then. I mean one could have said "Nazi Propoganda Minister Joseph Goebbels" but you didn´t. It seems odd to put lables on one person but not another. Also I do not like the connection between the number of deaths and the fact that he is a holocaust denier. Not all people who dispute the numbers are holocaust deniers and to combine the two as if it is an automatic thing is to deny the dignity of those who dispute the numbers.

User:DM123 I have explained in several places why I think it is important to include the label holocaust denier when speaking of David Irving in the context of the Dresden Bombing. Also, please sign posts on talk pages. ---- Charles Stewart 10:30, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Of course one has to mention the quality or non-quality of a "source" like Irving in an encyclopedia which collects knowlegde based on facts. Don´t identify with a lyer, so you cannot feel insulted.
Sorry Charles, just wanted to tell you there are more precise informations about the reconciliation contacts between Coventry and Dresden now on the discussion page of the article. And I´m looking further. Greetings, Jesusfreund -- 11:13, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Subjunctive and alethic modalities[edit]

Thanks for your question about the usage of "subjunctive" and "alethic." The quick answer is that the "subjunctive" / "epistemic" contrast comes from David Chalmers. The longer answer is that Chalmers frames the distinction as a distinction between subjunctive and epistemic (modalities, content) because he approaches the difference from the difference between indicative-mood conditionals and past-subjunctive-mood conditionals, which lines up with the metaphysical/epistemic modality distinction. ("If I am the King of France, then I'll have their heads cut off" vs. "If I were the King of France, then I'd have their heads cut off"). For myself, I usually prefer framing the distinction in terms of metaphysical vs. epistemic modalities; but "subjunctive" vs. "epistemic" currently seems to be the most widely used across WikiPedia articles (see e.g. Logical possibility), so it seems as good a candidate as any for adoption.

Of course, I'm hardly wedded to this; if you think there are strong reasons not to frame it this way, let me know and we'll see what we can work out.

Radgeek 13:48, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)