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[Related Event] The Tokyo Forum for Analytic Philosophy (TFAP)

17:00-19:00, Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Bld. 18, 4F, Collaboration Room 2, The University of Tokyo, Komaba

The Tokyo Forum for Analytic Philosophy (TFAP) is a forum for research in analytic philosophy broadly conceived---including research in the empirical/formal sciences that is of philosophical interest. We are inviting speakers from Japan and abroad. Meetings are held in English. Anybody who is interested is welcome.

Title: Irreflexive Similarity: Another Solution to the Sorites Paradox
Speaker: Shimpei Endo (ILLC, University of Amsterdam)


Abstract: The sorites paradox (i.e. the bald man paradox, paradox of heap) leads to a contradiction from (seemingly) plausible assumptions such as tolerance principle (n hair and n+1 hair are similar with respect to baldness). This paper will outline a new solution to this paradox. I will focus on which any other previous attempts have accepted for granted: reflexivity of similarity. Similarity is usually understood as a binary relation which is symmetric, non-transitive, and reflexive (i.e. x is similar to x itself, for whatever x). I cast a doubt on this reflexivity; There might be something which is not similar to itself (non-reflexive similarity). Even further, it may be that nothing is similar to itself (irreflexive similarity). My talk will begin with a technical argument to see how non-reflexive/irreflexive similarity can block the Sorites paradox. Next, I defend the existence of an object that is not similar to itself. Furthermore, I will discuss connections with my solution and previous attempts, especially Priest's paraconsistent and Williamson's epistemic approaches.

Hosted by the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, the University of Tokyo

For details, please see

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