The Spaceship Paradox and Other Supertasks
Andrew Brenner (University of North Florida)
A supertask is an infinite number of actions that are performed in a finite period of time. One of the more interesting supertasks was introduced by José Benardete, and has since come to be known as the spaceship paradox. The spaceship paradox is the topic of this short paper. Besides offering an analysis of the spaceship paradox, it is my further contention that the correct interpretation of the spaceship paradox hints at the correct interpretation of supertasks in general (or, at least, supertasks involving the completion of a denumerably infinite number of actions).
In Defense of Positive Relevance
Aaron Kenna (University of North Florida)
The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to defend positive relevance as a necessary condition of evidence from Peter Achinstein’s contention, made via a putative counter-example, that evidence can provide sufficient support for a hypothesis even though it does not increase the probability of the hypothesis, by arguing that, contrary to what is supposed, his counter-example does not reveal a counter-intuitive implication of positive relevance. Second, this paper aims to show why Achinstein’s counter-example is in principle misguided, that is, the conception of evidence upon which it is based is defective. To accomplish this, Achinstein’s account of evidence will be presented and shown not only to possess implications that do not conform to intuitive judgments concerning a desired conception of evidence, but also to be logically inconsistent.
Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science
Brad Summers (Georgia State University)
The purpose of this essay is to try to peg the conceptual beginnings of field theories in physics to some strands of thought in Kant’s Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. In my view, Faraday took up (perhaps unwittingly) two prominent themes in Kant’s work on the foundations of physics: first, that bodies can act on one another through a field of influence, and not by touching alone; secondly, that we are in a position to better explain physical phenomena in terms of forces, rather than in terms of fundamental properties associated with matter, such as “solidity” or “conductivity.” Special attention is paid to defending the claim that Kant denies the possibility of action by contact and that this denial is theoretically useful, both within his critical system and for physical explanations generally.