Logic and Death

Episode four of the SpaceTimeMind podcast is now available. This episode features special guest Eric Schwitzgebel. In this first part of our discussion we talk about death, immortality, and logic (and in the second part we talk about consciousness and its relation to biology).

During the first part of the discussion about logic I am pressing the kind of argument that Williamson makes in his new book Modal Logic as Metaphysics (even though none of us have read the book :)). My thought was that since Eric is open to the possibility of Crazyism then he should welcome Williamson’s view as one of the possible crazy options. Eric resists because of a commitment to logical pluralism while Pete resists because modal logic seems disconnected from science and the actual world. At the 87 minute mark I make the crucial move of distinguishing one’s metalogic from first-order logic that would help to answer a lot of Pete’s and Eric’s objections. And of course after we had this discussion I found this paper by Williamson where he makes exactly the same move but with more elegance and sophistication. I am not saying that I endorse Williamson’s view of higher-order modal logic as a science, or that I reject it, but I do think it is an interesting and important position that is worth exploring.