Sago Boulevard

Friday, December 30, 2005

Some Proofs That p

Philosophy humor from David Chalmers' collection:
Proofs that p:

Some philosophers have argued that not-p, on the grounds that q. It would be an interesting exercise to count all the fallacies in this "argument". (It's really awful, isn't it?) Therefore p.

It would be nice to have a deductive argument that p from self- evident premises. Unfortunately I am unable to provide one. So I will have to rest content with the following intuitive considerations in its support: p.

Suppose it were the case that not-p. It would follow from this that someone knows that q. But on my view, no one knows anything whatsoever. Therefore p. (Unger believes that the louder you say this argument, the more persuasive it becomes).

I have seventeen arguments for the claim that p, and I know of only four for the claim that not-p. Therefore p.

Most people find the claim that not-p completely obvious and when I assert p they give me an incredulous stare. But the fact that they find not- p obvious is no argument that it is true; and I do not know how to refute an incredulous stare. Therefore, p.

Outline Of A Proof That P (1):
Saul Kripke

Some philosophers have argued that not-p. But none of them seems to me to have made a convincing argument against the intuitive view that this is not the case. Therefore, p.

(1) This outline was prepared hastily -- at the editor's insistence -- from a taped manuscript of a lecture. Since I was not even given the opportunity to revise the first draft before publication, I cannot be held responsible for any lacunae in the (published version of the) argument, or for any fallacious or garbled inferences resulting from faulty preparation of the typescript. Also, the argument now seems to me to have problems which I did not know when I wrote it, but which I can't discuss here, and which are completely unrelated to any criticisms that have appeared in the literature (or that I have seen in manuscript); all such criticisms misconstrue my argument. It will be noted that the present version of the argument seems to presuppose the (intuitionistically unacceptable) law of double negation. But the argument can easily be reformulated in a way that avoids employing such an inference rule. I hope to expand on these matters further in a separate monograph.

If not p, what? q maybe?