December 22, 2014

12:21 AM | Reanimating the living world
Each year, Edge.org asks contributors to respond to their annual question. In 2014, the question was: What scientific idea is ready for retirement? There were 174 interesting responses, but one that got my attention was written by Scott Sampson (author, Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life). The idea that Sampson would like [...]

December 21, 2014

7:28 AM | Derailment: Faking Science: A true story of academic fraud, by Diederik Stapel (translated into English)
Diederik Stapel’s book, “Ontsporing” has been translated into English, with some modifications. From what I’ve read, it’s interesting in a bizarre, fraudster-porn sort of way. Faking Science: A true story of academic fraud Diederik Stapel Translated by Nicholas J.L. Brown Nicholas J. L. Brown (nick.brown@free.fr) Strasbourg, France December 14, 2014 Foreword to the Dutch edition […]

December 19, 2014

8:00 PM | Friday Potpourri
This week's grab-bag (and I will either have NO weekly potpourri next week, or else it will appear on Sunday, rather than on Friday, the day after Christmas): 1)  Recent New Zealand interview with Marcus du Sautoy here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/20160965/marcus-du-sautoy-maths-and-art ...related Sautoy article here: http://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/

December 18, 2014

The organisers are delighted to announce a provisional programme and call for registration for the upcoming Symposium in the Foundations of Mathematics, to be held at the Institute of Philosophy in London on 12-13th January 2015. There will be an additional (free) affiliated talk by Benedict Eastaugh at the Institute on the 14th January.Sponsors: The Institute of Philosophy, Mind Association, British Logic Colloquium, Aristotelian Society, British Society for the Philosophy of Science, and […]

December 17, 2014

5:56 AM | Staley
9.4 Error-statistical philosophy of science and severe testing Deborah Mayo has developed an alternative approach to the interpretation of frequentist statistical inference (Mayo 1996). But the idea at the heart of Mayo’s approach is one that can be stated without invoking probability at all. …. Mayo takes the following “minimal scientific principle for evidence” to […]

December 15, 2014

8:34 AM | CPF: Workshop on Epistemic Justification -- JustGroningen 2015
CALL FOR PAPERSWorkshop on Epistemic Justification: JustGroningen 2015August 23 to 25, 2015Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, NetherlandsInvited speakers:Clayton Littlejohn (King's College London)Erik Olsson (Lund)Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh)William Roche (Texas)Katie Steele (LSE)Sylvia Wenmackers (Leuven)We welcome submissions on all aspects of epistemic justification, and especially encourage contributions which aim to connect formal and traditional perspectives. All sessions are […]

December 14, 2014

2:19 PM | Halbach & Visser: Self-reference in arithmetic
New in the Review of Symbolic Logic (part 1, part 2) A Gödel sentence is often described as a sentence saying about itself that it is not provable, and a Henkin sentence as a sentence stating its own provability. We discuss what it could mean for a sentence of arithmetic to ascribe to itself a property such as provability or unprovability. The starting point will be the answer Kreisel gave to Henkin’s problem. We describe how the properties of the supposedly self-referential sentences […]

December 13, 2014

5:15 PM | S. Stanley Young: Are there mortality co-benefits to the Clean Power Plan? It depends. (Guest Post)
  S. Stanley Young, PhD Assistant Director Bioinformatics National Institute of Statistical Sciences Research Triangle Park, NC Are there mortality co-benefits to the Clean Power Plan? It depends. Some years ago, I listened to a series of lectures on finance. The professor would ask a rhetorical question, pause to give you some time to think, […]
1:19 PM | Storify'd Michael Beaney's Vinna Circle Lecture on Susan Stebbing
[View the story "Michael Beaney's Vienna Circle Lecture on Susan Stebbing" on Storify]
12:51 PM | More on Shatunovsky, Kagan, and Yanovskaya
In response to my post about "lesser known Russian/Soviet logicians", Lev Beklemishev commented: Dirk van Dalen was interested in Shatunovsky's work and at his request I procured a copy of his book on the development of algebra on the basis of what can be called rudimentary constructivist ideas. This was, of course, pre-Brouwerian, and the ideas o f Shatunovsky were perhaps more in line with Kroneker's. In any case, this was interesting to see, but it never came to a publication on it with […]

December 12, 2014

6:00 PM | Big Helping of Potpourri
The good and diverse mathy stuff just keeps on comin'... ICYM any of these: 1)  First, this wonderful, ranging interview with fascinating polymath Eric Weinstein ought not be missed: http://tinyurl.com/q4mt2c7 2)  Interesting interview with Caltech's Xinwen Zhu (former student of Edward Frenkel), who works on the Langlands program: http://www.caltech.edu/news/

December 11, 2014

5:44 AM | Msc. Kvetch: What does it mean for a battle to be “lost by the media”?
1.  What does it mean for a debate to be “media driven” or a battle to be “lost by the media”? In my last post, I noted that until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of a “power morcellator.” Nor had I heard of the AAGL–The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists. In an article “Battle over […]
1:03 AM | Causal and probabilistic reasoning conference at MCMP
Causal and Probabilistic Reasoning18-20 June, 2015Idea and Motivation2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the publications of Judea Pearl’s Causality and the second edition of Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour, and Richard Scheines’ Causality, Prediction, and Search, which together are the foundations for the mathematical theory of causal modeling. During this period, the theory of causal Bayesian networks has been applied to a variety of topics in the special sciences, including […]

December 09, 2014

3:42 PM | Some Lesser Known (to me) Russian/Soviet Logicians
I'm working on a paper that features Moses Schönfinkel, so I was reading through a manuscript of his where he rattles off a long list of important logicians.  In addition to the usual suspects, it features the names "Schatunowski, Sleschinski, Kahan, Poretski."  I spent the better part of a day trying to figure out to whom he was referring: Samuil Osipovich Shatunovsky (1859-1929) was a mathematician working in Odessa who, so Wikipedia, "independently from Hilbert, he developed a similar […]
3:00 PM | ☝ What Ariadne Said To Theseus ☟
☞ You have to understand, the Minotaur is not clueless — it just has a different goal than getting out of the maze. ☜
12:30 PM | A Nitpick With Publishers... but a Thumbs-Up to Matt Parker!
More from the book scene.... I briefly mentioned Matt Parker's new book (sight unseen), "Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension," in my recommendations for the Holidays, based on reviews I'd seen, but am now reading it myself and can give an even more enthusiastic thumbs-up! It's a joyful read (unless you despise puns, in which case stay far, far away!! ;-)). It's really the only "
12:14 PM | Call For Papers: Epistemic Consequentialism at the University of Kent
Conference Epistemic Consequentialism: Problems and Prospects25-26 June 2015 • University of Kent, CanterburyKeynote SpeakersJulia Driver (WUSTL)James Joyce (Michigan)Ralph Wedgwood (USC)Jon Williamson (Kent)Call for PapersContributors are invited to submit extended abstracts (no more than one page) on the topic of consequentialist or teleological approaches to epistemology. Papers in both formal and traditional epistemology are welcome.Submission deadline: 31 January 2015Submit abstract in […]

December 08, 2014

3:00 PM | Notes on Category Theory, instalment #2
After a bit of a gap, I’ve been able to get back to writing up my notes. The current instalment of the notes (61 pp.) corrects some typos in the first six chapters — and it is those needed corrections … Continue reading →
2:29 PM | Graduate Programs in Philosophical Logic
Shawn Standefer has done us all a great service by starting and populating a Wiki of PhD programs in Philosophical Logic! This wiki provides an unranked list of PhD (and (eventually) terminal M.A.) programs that have strengths in philosophical logic. Links are provided to the websites, CVs, and PhilPapers profiles of the relevant faculty at each program. Additionally, when known, the specialities and willingness of faculty members to work with new graduate students are noted. The primary […]

December 07, 2014

4:38 AM | How power morcellators inadvertently spread uterine cancer
Until a few weeks ago, I’d never even heard of a “power morcellator.” Nor was I aware of the controversy that has pitted defenders of a woman’s right to choose a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure in removing fibroids—enabled by the power morcellator–and those who decry the danger it poses in spreading an undetected uterine cancer throughout a […]

December 06, 2014

6:06 PM | One person's modus ponens...
...is another's modus tollens. [W]hen I was nine years old, I came down with scarlet fever. [...] During that year there was nothing in the world which I wanted so much as a bicycle. My father assured me that when I got well I would get one but, childlike, I interpreted this as meaning that I was not going to get well. Julia Robinson, in: Constance Reid, The Autobiography of Julia Robinson. The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1, (1986), pp. 3-21
4:25 PM | Adolf Lindenbaum
Jan Zygmunt and Robert Purdy have a paper ("Adolf Lindenbaum: Notes on his Life, with Bibliography and Selected References", open access) in the latest issue of Logica Universalis detailing what little is known about the life of Adolf Lindenbaum (1904-1941). It includes a complete bibliography of Lindenbaum's own publications and public lectures, as well as a bibliography of articles in which results are credited to Lindenbaum.  Another paper on Lindenbaum's mathematical contributions is in […]

December 05, 2014

4:45 PM | First Potpourri of December
Dig in.... 1)  For the puzzle-minded, John Allen Paulos wrote up this clever one last weekend: http://tinyurl.com/kungkts 2)   Evelyn Lamb experiences "existential angst" over music and integers... and that's a fascinating thing for the rest of us (but what would Sartre think? ;-): http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/2014/11/30/the-saddest-thing-i-know-about-the-integers/ 3) 
3:05 AM | “Probing with Severity: Beyond Bayesian Probabilism and Frequentist Performance” (Dec 3 Seminar slides)
Below are the slides from my Rutgers seminar for the Department of Statistics and Biostatistics yesterday, since some people have been asking me for them. The abstract is here. I don’t know how explanatory a bare outline like this can be, but I’d be glad to try and answer questions[i]. I am impressed at how interested in foundational matters I […]

December 04, 2014

11:04 AM | Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students 2015
After a very successful event last year, the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy is hosting the second Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students.The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) is organizing the second Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students, which will be held from July 26 to August 1, 2015 in Munich, Germany. The summer school is open to excellent female students who want to specialize in mathematical philosophy.Since […]
9:01 AM | Summer School in Logic 2015 - Helsinki
The Scandinavian Logic Society is very pleased to announce the next summer school in logic, taking place July 27-31 in Helsinki this summer of 2015. Notice that the school takes place exactly the week before both the ASL European Summer Meeting and the LMPS, both of which are being held in Helsinki the week starting August 3rd.http://www.helsinki.fi/sls2015/index.htmlCourse are offered by a very distinguished group of lecturers:Samson Abramsky (Oxford)Jeremy Avigad (Carnegie Mellon)Laura […]

December 02, 2014

5:51 PM | My Rutgers Seminar: tomorrow, December 3, on philosophy of statistics
I’ll be talking about philosophy of statistics tomorrow afternoon at Rutgers University, in the Statistics and Biostatistics Department, if you happen to be in the vicinity and are interested. RUTGERS UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS AND BIOSTATISTICS www.stat.rutgers.edu Seminar θSpeaker:     Professor Deborah Mayo, Virginia Tech Title:           Probing with Severity: Beyond […]
2:56 PM | Kennedy's Interpreting Gödel Out Now
Interpreting Gödel: Critical Essays, edited by Juliette Kennedy, was just published by Cambridge. It looks extremely interesting, with an all-star cast of contributors: 1. Introduction: Gödel and analytic philosophy: how did we get here? Juliette KennedyPart I. Gödel on Intuition:2. Intuitions of three kinds in Gödel's views on the continuum, John Burgess 3. Gödel on how to have your mathematics and know it too, Janet FolinaPart II. The Completeness Theorem:4. Completeness and the ends of […]

December 01, 2014

3:00 PM | Logic books of the year?
It is the time of year when the more serious newspapers invite panels of authors, reviews editors, and others to pick out their books of the year, leaving the rest of us to feel hopelessly out of touch and wondering how to find … Continue reading →
12:15 PM | Wrapping Up Books...
Holiday suggestions.... I didn't believe 2014 could be as banner-a-year for popular math books as 2013 was, and, I don't believe it has been... but, still a dang good year! Back in June, I predicted Jordan Ellenberg's "How Not To Be Wrong" would end up as my favorite book of the year, and that's proven true, though with a bit of semi-stretching (I'll get to later) it has a strong
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