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the paradox is only a conflict of what reality is And your feeling of what reality ought to be. Richard Feynman

A. Background of the Study The advent of quantum physics vis-a-vis Einsteins theory of relativity took science a great leap towards obtaining a grand unified truth, albeit it also threatened the demise of all fundamental scientific foundations, leading to a premise a tad closer to uncertainty. What the evidences are concluding is that the evidences themselves are inconclusive- the world as we know it might not have been real at all, and aside from the radical notion that physical objects exist due to our constant consciousness, it also suggests that a single phenomenon can branch up to infinite probable results that are as real as the actual world we live in. Contrary to popular belief, the notion of possible worlds traced its origin way back to medieval philosophy, with the likes of Severinus

Boethius postulating a Christian worldview integrated with Aristotelian elements, specifically the theory of potency and actuality. It was not until 400 years ago that the philosopher Wilhelm Gottfried Leibniz utilized this notion for the existence of other possible worlds in allusion to his metaphysical account of the monads. These worlds are comprised of monadic elements which failed to actualize in reality- they are, in a sense, potential substitutes for each individual monad currently existing. Those which were deemed by the Supreme Monad to be the best among all its alternatives were aggregated and actualized, thereby arriving at an optimistic conclusion that this current world poses to be the best of all possible worlds in a teleological sense. It has to be noted that Leibniz, though managing to postulate a relativistic view of time and space, did not elaborate further on the nature of these potentials along their own space- time, but from the fragments of his work it is apparent that he would most certainly deny any predication due to the fact that their activity ceased from the moment they failed to exist. The 20th century marked the decline in metaphysics as logical empiricists such as Bertrand Russell and Rudolf Carnap vehemently attacked the discipline due o its inability of verification, thus, its being

un- scientistic. Fortunately for the metaphysicians, the following period witnessed what Thomas Kuhn dubbed as scientific revolution- a major paradigmatic shift which enabled science to break free of its threehundred- year- old chains from the dogma of classical physics. A greater, more encompassing theory has been conceived, and as scientists probed into the mystery of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, certain realizations dawned upon them as to the truthfulness of proposals endorsed by the modern philosophers. Leading quantum physicists are baffled by the observations and inconsistencies experimental results are showing. Nobel awardee for Physics Richard Feynman was so convinced that he was said to have remarked that it is safe to say that no one fully understands quantum mechanics. Indeed, the phenomenon was shrouded in mystery, and as the ground assumptions has been rebuked, scientists are left with nothing but their instruments and speculations. To acknowledge the gravity of the problem, one must first understand the premise. Suppose a beam of light is fired in an array of two cardboards, one in front of the other and each with a hole bored through them. The first cardboard facing a transmitter beam has a hole

exactly in the middle, while the next cardboard has holes poked on both sides so that no two holes overlap. The beam is then fired, with light particles (photons) being controlled so that they pass through one photon at a time. A photosensitive screen which records the frequency of each photons collision at the opposite side depicts a rather curious pattern- instead of showing two neat piles of photon similar to what is normally produced by particles, the figure exhibited interference akin to that of a waves. This wave- particle duality of light happens to be the crux of the story- scientists simply could not make amends to the respective definitions of particle and wave so as to accommodate this phenomenon. They could either accept that light as well as other elementary substance is a particle and follow the Copenhagen Interpretation and its implications, or they could subscribe to its wave property and acknowledge that the world is constantly oscillating as predicted by the Many Worlds Interpretation. Hugh Everetts Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) champions the necessity of possible worlds. In the infamous Schrodingers Cat- in- the-

Box though experiment1, the set up was modified so that instead of the inevitable wave function collapse, all the possible realities that could develop from the conditions are actualized, leading to proliferation of alternate universes in each quantum state 2 . Instead of the perceiver opening up the box and finding the cat either dead or alive, MWI posits that reality branches out and produces two worlds for each of the circumstances enumerated. Of course, these ramifications occur at the elementary level, although for illustrations sake it was magnified to exhibit a tangible situation.

B. Statement of the Problem It seemingly came to the point that, in order for us to unify the conflicting conditions certain phenomena imply we have to adopt a premise that there might be metaphysical elements science finds the

The following is a brief account of the experiment: Suppose a box contains an electron. The probability then of the electron being found inside the box is 1, ceteris paribus. Now suppose an automatic wall divided the box into two, thereby isolating the electron on either side. The probability now of finding the electron on either side is .5. A toxic gas (radioactive decay in some versions) was installed in the vicinity so that when the observer (which is outside the system) opens the wrong partition, it will be released and kill the only living creature in the setup, in this case, a cat. This notion thereby implies that, unless the perceiver actually decided whether to open a partition or not, the cat is in a state of limbo between life and death. 2 A concrete representation of this with respect to our cat is the actualization of a universe in which it is alive and another one which is otherwise. Both worlds are likely to be true.

need to subscribe to. One such premise is the notion of possible worldswhich, aside from its usage in semiotics and semantics, have been necessitated to exist in order to account for the curious occurrence depicted in the behaviour of elementary particles. Supposing that many worlds indeed exist and it is out of our capacity to perceive them, could we then utilize our most powerful cognitive facultythat of modality to somehow predict the nature of these worlds? The appearance of the word infinite might prove to be misleading for some, yet philosophers such as David Lewis subscribe to infinite concrete possible worlds. One is then entitled to ask how this infinity- possibility interplay works. Should infinity also include those which are improbable? Would it be acceptable to have elements outside infinity? The purpose of this study is to define the boundaries of infinity in order to provide clarity and at the same time predict the nature of laws that govern possible worlds in the Leibnizan and Schrodengerian CI and MWI context. To manage the study, the researcher formulates the following subquestions:

1. What is the concept of rationality and how infallible does it stand? 2. What is modality and how is impossibility conceptualized in accordance to this? 3. Given the parameters of modal logic, why is it impossible to conceive of infinitely possible worlds?

C. Significance of the Study It is inevitable for physics to trace back its roots to philosophy as it faces a new facet whose own existence hinges on philosophical conceptions. One of the purposes of this study is to recommend certain parameters that physicists might as well consider probing into. The discipline of modal logic, for instance, has more prevalently been used in possible world semantics. His study in effect aims to reconcile theory and actuality as far as the two concepts are concerned and hopes to elevate the role of philosophy side- by- side the natural sciences one more. One of the topics discussed therein is infinity. The researcher hopes that the study would help clarify some misunderstandings about infinity as comprehended when scientists pertain to infinite possible

worlds. Again, this task requires incorporation of another discipline, namely the Cantorian Set Theory. This aims to showcase the versatility of philosophy in its ability to encroach other fields (as the said theorem is to be subjected under modal logic). Being a non- scientific person presenting the subject matter to nonscientific audience, this study also provides a philosophical approach on one of sciences more technical problems by discussing in a layman form, without presumably losing its dash of scholasticism. Students of philosophy are very often disheartened whenever faced with issues involving disciplines outside their comfort zone. The researcher equally hopes to sever the aforementioned mindset by providing a crude yet sufficient attempt at presenting the topic in such a way that is comprehensible and enticing enough to initiate further researches on the same topic. Similarly, she expects that the research would be of further use to those who choose to pursue the same endeavour.

D. Scope and Limitations As much as the topic and speculations involved are mostly metaphysical, this study does not wish to invoke postulating a spiritual

realm. Although it can be said that the spiritual might comprise one of the many possible worlds dealt with in this study, we do not want to use it as an excuse to linger on the subject longer than necessary. As a fitting and more concrete concept in the form of consciousness is available, we would instead direct concerns and inquiry involving the former idea to the latter one. For simplicitys sake, the study outline several sentences/ claims that are said to be necessary in postulating the notion of possible worlds. These sentences are to be manipulated and treated only in their discursive element- any interpretation outside the formal linguistic equation is to be disregarded. This is imposed to limit misinterpretation based on postmodernist readings and focus the discussion on its logical formulation, formal and non- formal, instead. The study attempts to reconcile in a sense the possible world semantics as governed by modal logic and the actual infinite possible worlds as depicted by theories proposed in quantum mechanics. Similarly, it endorses the use of Kripkean Modality System as its primary reference, albeit only theorems K, D, T, B, S4 and S5 are to be reviewed and utilized.


Being a philosophical paper, this study does not delve too much on the technicalities involved in presenting the arguments. All computations and equations the researcher deems necessary according to her discretion can be found at the appendix and would be kept at a minimum. If perchance certain computations are to be made to accentuate the point, the mathematical theory incorporated in this study- the so- called Set Theorywill not be approached mathematically.


Review of Related Literature and Studies

Trigg, Robert. Reality at Risk: a Defence of Realism in Philosophy and the Sciences 2nd ed. Harvester Press: Brighton, Sussex, 1989 The dilemma of quantum mechanics often begs to be approached philosophically rather than scientifically; indeed, what theoretical physicists specializing in this field had been doing all along is translating the metaphysics and epistemology into math and trying to speculate the methodology upon which their efforts are directed. One of the most prominent problems under siege is the fact that the observer has now played a significant part in determining reality. Roger Trigg in this book summarized the argument as the inability to correctly measure results


objectively due to the fact that the mere presence of the observer and the instrument creates interference on the result; it has become increasingly difficult to isolate the observer from the subject being observed. In the same book, he quoted physicist John Wheeler to have said that observation in this sense is not anymore a befitting word to describe the process; instead, one has to think that the concept occurring irrevocably is participation. Measurement is a post- product of analysis and discretion, and it involves a great deal of consciousness to be able to apprehend. An entity does not exist if it is incapable of being measured, reiterating Rene Descartes. However, this presents us a trivial question: in an instance reflecting Heisenbergs Uncertainty principle, one cannot know the location and momentum of a particle at the same time. Does this in effect justify that, at a certain point in time, the particle cease to exist? The researcher, as well as Trigg, does not believe so. A perspective of this sort tends to be overly condescending in laying the blame upon the object instead on the limitation that blinds humanity.

Hannah, Robert. Rationality and Logic. MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2006


What are these limitations? Aside from the senses (many people would have quite agreed that it is somewhat difficult to conceive of an additional sensible mode outside the ones enumerated), the other faculty responsible is rationality itself. Hanna in his book exemplifies the interplay between logic and normativity by enumerating the philosophical perspectives with which these concepts are viewed. Arriving at a total of four combinations by merging two sets of binary options stemming from the assumption that logic is normative; Hanna was able to present the common sensical view of how logic is perceived, as well as other alternative versions of its epistemology. For instance, intrinsically hypothetically normative logic talks of reasoning as: i) necessary, relational or non relational; ii) conditional, instrumental; and iii) prescriptive or evaluative. This is an important categorization for it opens up different avenues on how logic is conceived. A more thorough discussion on this topic is to be made on the following chapters of this study.

Plantinga, Alvin. The Nature of Necessity. Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1974 Perhaps this inconclusiveness prompted Alvin Plantinga to take an extremist Quinesian stance and remark that some philosophers hold that no


proposition- not even the austerest law of logic- is in principle immune from revision. Plantingas stance on this elaborated in his book as it discusses the seemingly susceptibility of grounded logical laws to fall into neglect as human understanding progresses. This particular text is of utmost importance in this study, as we shall see on the latter part.

Yap, Gilbert. Conquering the World of Images Through Awareness. University of the Philippines, Diliman. unpublished Master's thesis: 2009 One intriguing argument is the formation of a pre- empted mental image in lieu of the perceivers own discretion and its interference over the actual interpretation of data. Eastern mysticism has much to say about this topic, as Gilbert Yap elaborated in his masters thesis. His discussion on the defects of consciousness was elucidated in his quoting Skitt (2000): When the individual mind is occupied with deception because of the presence of images, the individual cannot be and cannot see the actuality an image which prevents me from looking exactly what is. Similarly, he continued: people try to address their problems by using various strategies, mechanisms and means. These in whatever form, originated from ideas. And, as mentioned, these ideas are mental contents that act as images. If


that is the case, the ways that supposedly solve the problems merely creates another problem, that is, deception. Although the researcher agrees with Yap in this matter, she rejects his alternative solution and overall approach to the problem, stating that it poses inconsistency over the prevailing methodology of this study, that is, analytical and primarily hinged upon tangible scientific facts.

Isaeva, Elmira. Human Perception of Physical Elements and the Simplex Interpretation of Quantum Physics in Progress in Physics: January 2000 (Volume One) p. 47- 51 A related and consequently more appropriate study by Elmira Isaeva reiterates a point similar to that of Yaps, albeit it a more technical manner. She asks that, upon the brains condensation/ analyzation of facts, which reflection- passive or active, unequivocal or multiple valued- occurs? This proves to be a major concern especially since physicists are wary that the perceivers supposedly unbiased judgement is marring the experiment results due to their active consciousness (the process we have, in effect, more or less summed up in Yaps thesis). Both Isaeva and Yap (the latter echoing Jiddu Krishnamurti in his thesis) agree that consciousness is not much of a reliable faculty in discerning the outside world, notwithstanding


each utilized different premises. In addition, knowledge as classified by Isaeva to be either usual, unusual, transcendental, or transient allows us to delve deeper into the nature of knowledge exhibited by logic. At the end of her paper, she concluded that our consciousness comprehends the objective quantum world, a statement which the researcher rejects in reasons that shall be discussed later. Bell, John S. Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press: 1987 One might wonder why scientists are making a big fuss out of the property of light and other elementary substances being either a wave or a particle. If that indeed is the case, why not integrate the two into a single, unique categorization that specifically pertain to these? J. S. Bell pointed out that this has, in fact, already been done by Louise de Broglie and David Bohm. Known as the de Broglie- Bohm synthesis or the pilot wave, this picture disposes of the necessity to divide the world into systems and apparatus. Basically, it proposes a bizarre requirement that events from one place reach other places faster than the speed of light. Since they intellectually agreed that nothing in the known universe is faster than the speed of light (and for the sake of maintaining the relativistic mass equation to be sensible), the thesis has to be discarded.


Skyrms, Bryan. Possible Worlds, Physics and Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition Vol. 30, No. 5 (Nov., 1976), pp. 323-332 Many Worlds Interpretation in this regard is a modified version of this thesis. Simply put, it does not subscribe to wave function collapse (i.e. does not believe that the perceiver tends to dictate what reality to actualize) but proposes instead that upon every change in the quantum state reality branches out and creates a space- time of its own; not just any mathematical reality, but a concrete one which possesses almost the same characteristics as this world. David Lewis in his Counterfactuals (1973) is convinced of these real yet unobservable worlds, yet he also asks: how do we set the criteria on how real these worlds could be? A suggestion is put forth by Bryan Skyrms in Possible Worlds, Physics and Metaphysics (1975) and was stated as such: A world is real if and only if every proposition truein- that- world is true (p. 2). However, as was discussed in his paper, this assumption might lead to contradiction if discussed semantically. The solution he came up was to assign coordinates to specific relational conditions of the sentence and either treat them as distinct possible worlds which are both real (but is thus inconsistent) or combine them both into a single super- world in which the premise and its negation are true at the


same space- time plane and posit that such inconsistent world is real. He also provided a glimpse on what he thinks these possible worlds are with regards to Everetts interpretation of MWI, and his assumption would be probed further at the succeeding chapters of this paper.

Rucker, Rudy. Infinity and the Mind: the Science and Philosophy of the Infinite. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1995 In proceeding with the discussion, we are also obliged to look at how infinity is viewed. Rudy Rucker in his book entitled Infinity and the Mind (1995) identified two major categories of infinity- those that exist in the physical world and those existing in the so- called Mindscape. Infinities in the mindscape are comprised mainly of abstractions (such as thoughts and ideas) and are dealt with using Cantorian Set Theory. The physical infinities on the other hand are laid down in the form of spatial, temporal and infinitesimals which are individually dealt with. However, as to which of these infinities the notion of possible worlds subscribe to would be answered shortly. Two objections have been raised against infinity by St. Thomas Aquinas in his book Summa Theologiae which was quoted and answered by


George Cantor, the father of the mathematical branch of set theory. The following quote comprises Ruckers citation of the said quote:
The existence of actually infinite multitude is impossible. 1) For any set of things one considers must be a specific set. And sets of things are specified by number of things in them. Now no number is infinite, for number results from counting through a set in units. So no set of things can actually be inherently unlimited, nor can it happen to be unlimited. 2) Again, every set of things existing in the world has been created, and anything created is subject to some definite purpose of its creator, for causes never act to no purpose. All created things must be subject therefore to definite enumeration. Thus even a number of things that happens to be unlimited cannot actually exist.

Oppy, Graham. Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006 Without succumbing to Cantors qualms, one can easily say that using this objection is by no means a futile attempt to debunk infinity as used in the context of quantum physics. This is especially evident in the second argument- quantum mechanics, being a non- teleological theory, would not be able be able to ascribe itself to such requirements. Ruckers discussions on infinity, as we shall see later on this paper, provide a succinct solution to the objections on the impossibility of infinite possible worlds. A similar approach was undertaken by Graham Oppy in Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity (2006); indeed, this material shall


serve as one of the studys primary sources due to its discussion on the interplay of modality and infinity.


Methodology Rather than regarding logic and the likes an innate, universal faculty,

the researcher attempts to point out that such presupposition could have been nothing more than a convention established by the so- called authorities on logic. What is apparent here is that, taking into consideration that not all people possesses the same level of reasoning capacity, they tend to abide by the convention set by the makers of the rules without much introspection. This then brainwashes us into thinking uniformly and believing that the said convention indeed is true because, as a result, all people grasp it and take it to be innate. Failure to comply implies retardation of the said faculty, under of course the normative assumption that all humans must be able t o reason out such- and- such way. It is to be noted that reasoning is different from rationality, and this differentiation poses a great deal of arguments in support to our objection. Taking the empiricists point of view, they claimed that during birth


humans are endowed with sense faculties geared for acquiring experiences. Hence, the stand of rationality being innate is jeopardized, and since it is but a potential without so much as a single defining criteria encompassing all strokes, becomes difficult to justify. We therefore take a skeptic stand towards its axioms in logic, mathematics and modality, seeing as these are largely supported by the Platonic notion of forms. Applying this notion to the epistemological possibilities/ necessities comprising a possible world, how would the basic assumptions of modal logic fare? Certainly, given the premises set by the quantum field theories, we are able to find real life applications for these laws. However, it must be known that what is out there deals with entities outside human understanding (say, the superstring theory which is currently backed upon only by equations coupled with speculations). In this note, scientists rely on the pre- established conventions set by finite human understanding, hence the study of the universe inclines to a bias perspective akin to that of the goldfish- in- a- bowl thought experiment.



Conceptual Framework The study surveys several technicalities (i.e. mathematical proofs

and expositions) of the concepts presented. However, it is to be noted that the study mainly focused on the philosophical interpretation that the equation entails; the equations themselves are not to be made the central point of the study. The researcher will attempt to discuss the implications of a quantum state- bounded possible world in the context of modality. The researcher attempts to utilize the input- process- output model to be able to achieve this. The input focuses on the issues of reliability of modality with regards to h8uman rationality. It inspects the arguments supporting the notion that logic is not the key to good reasoning 3 and integrates it to the truths presented via modality for all possible worlds. This in turn comprises the process; examining, for instance, the limits imposed by mathematics our conception of sets and infinities. Lastly, the output portion hopes to yield results based from these method and establish these results as a legitimate source of reference for studies concerning similar interest.

A wordplay in lieu of Jaakko Hintikka s article, Is Logic the Key to All Good Reasoning?


Certain parameters from the discipline were considered and given a theoretical treatment using modal logic. These conditions were converted into propositions and analyzed by means of first- order logic. Premises are given, converted into its logical counterpart, and analyzed using modal logic. The results then are presented to preserve objectivity, albeit the researcher is still entitled to lay her interpretations on the subject matter in the succeeding chapters.


Realm of Human Understanding



Realm outside Human Understanding

Figure 1 Represents the arguments the researcher puts forth. The known conditions of possibility, necessity and impossibility comprise the whole of current human understanding; the rest of the box corresponds to ideas rejected by these (for instance, the possibility of an impossible world and other paradoxes).


Innate potential for rationality endowed at birth

Experiences constituting knowledge (Quine)/ Being limited by language (Wittgenstein)

Taking these conventions as the sole reference of knowledge

Rejecting alternative ideas not consistent with the conventions (e.g. possible world considerations)

Figure 2 Shows the flow of argument of the researcher. Following this line of argument, the notion of impossible worlds is in a paradoxical position- the possibility of an impossible world being an element of infinitely possible worlds.


H. Definition of Terms For the sole purpose of making the study less susceptible to misinterpretation, the following list the definition that corresponds with the concept as used: Quantum mechanics here pertains to the system by which quanta (packets of energy) are observed, measured and behaves. It is also referred to in the introduction as the quantum state theory, although the second concept already integrates this field with that of relativity. The distinction between these two is not given much regard in the course of the study. We are to combine Ruckers, Lewis and Everetts theses in order for us to understand what a possible world is. In its strict sense, a possible world is something out of the reality we are currently experiencing. Adopting the classical Cartesian view, reality is that which can be measured; positing that they indeed exist, we therefore assume that these possible worlds are realities waiting to be realized. The concept of necessity is also dealt with in this paper, as well as its counterpart, possibility. Here the researcher would resort into using the typical representation of these two quantifiers: impossibility is expressed


as ~ (not possible); applying modal negation to the proposition yields ~ (necessarily not). Emphasis was given on the word order.


Division of the Thesis The thesis is to be divided into five parts; the first part serves

as the introduction to the problem and the approaches undertaken in order to address it; Chapter II deals with the notion of necessity alongside impossibility and the concept of possible worlds as advocated by the Leibnizian metaphysical perspective and the Many Worlds/ perceivercentered interpretation as subscribed by Bohm, Wheeler and others. Chapter III includes a thorough discussion on modal logic, and Chapter IV presents arguments that hope to elucidate the nature of possible worlds with respect to modal logic. The final chapter, Chapter V, contains a synthesis of the previous discussions and presents the authors conclusion regarding the subject matter.



In everything one thing is impossible: rationality. Friedrich Nietzsche

How does one know that he knows what he know? One of the many epistemological problems which philosophy took care to delve in and answer, the subject of human rationality perplexed philosophers and psychologists as they have come to realize that they could but provide a biased perception, inevitably due to their inability to detach themselves from the subject. Personal discretions and the likes often mar ones own judgment, hence the inconclusivity of conclusions especially in the fields of social and non- science. While natural science, logic included, seems to enjoy immunity from these attacks, certain factions of philosophers have raised contentions on the alleged formidable foundation of the said disciplines. This chapter examines the reliability of cogency as humans strongest faculty alongside understanding pegged to language and how it would fare under scrutiny from certain schools of thought, namely, constructivism and pragmatism.



Rationality as a Universal Human Trait Aristotles claim in De Anima that man is a rational creature stands

uncontested for millennia at hand, serving as a rule a self- evident premise for the consequentialist schools who established ideologies with this allegation as their foundation without even bothering on the truthfulness of the claim. Albeit the rationalist- empiricist debate have struck a number of avid supporters as early as the 16th century, the argument had only taken a paradigmatic shift when Willard Van Orman Quine wrote his Two Dogmas of Empiricism, which in effect triggered a movement which advocated a whole new perspective of scepticism directed towards the basic assumption aforementioned. It is evident and rather unfortunate that the renowned thinker Immanuel Kant subscribed to this view in formulating his Categorical Imperatives without justifying as to how he arrived at such a decision. Taking into consideration that reason in itself is innate, he proceeded to berate the rationalist- empiricist dichotomy without so much as a second glance as to what comprises understanding, neglecting, for the most part, the role of language in the discussion (footnote- metaphysical discussion on rationality).



Nature of Rationality The term rationality is often interchangeably used with reasoning, and

as is conveniently done by some philosophers. However, it is the authors initiative to firstly distinguish the two and afterwards treat them as one, as she reckons the need to identify their relationship. Rationality and reasoning are, upon closer inspection, hailing from two different viewpoints; reasoning is a system commencing from a specified convention, while rationality is bent on maintaining a normative- reflective perspective. Thus rationality is the umbrella term to which reasoning falls underthis assumption is not to be taken as an explanatory, causally necessitated relation, for it could be such the case as these two are not causal but correlated. A prime example would be a computing machine-- although it has the capability to regress its procedure and pinpoint its premises which prompted it to arrive at a systematically sound solution, still it lacks the attribute of being rational and reflect outside its given set of norms. Determining this distinction, however, is not included in the scope of this discussion. It is clear thus by far that rationality invokes aspects other than reasoning, yet for arguments sake we will narrow down our discussion to that of rationality as exhibited in reasoning.


Robert Hannas definition of rational creatures involves them being conscious, rule- following, intentional, volitional, self- evaluating, selfjustifying, self- legislating, reasons- giving, reasons- sensitive and reflectively self- consciousof, for short, normative reflective animals. Amidst these many criteria, the author would like to focus upon the conscious, rule- following, reason- sensitive and reason- giving aspect and how one actually justify that this is the case without invoking self- evident causes. For humans, Stein (1996) offered three possible ways in which one is deemed rational a) the Aristotelian context of man legalistically being a rational animal; b) fallibility of human reasoning system attributed to external forces; and c) the Freudian conception of humans as irrational creatures.


Categories and Distinctions An elaboration is needed to further emphasize the point. Hanna (2006)

proceeded to distinguish rationality as conceived and appropriated by rationality specialists:



Mentalistic vs Procedural Sense- deals with the conscious

deliberation of invoking rationality by the person. The first argues that every rational act undertaken is always conscious; the latter allows some deviations from consciousness without denying that these deviations are still rational. Subcategories under mentalistic sense include i) rationality of animals; ii) rationality of mental episodes or acts; iii) rationality of mental states; iv) an animals mental capacity for rationality; v) occurrent rationality (with respect to mental episodes); vi) occurrent rationality of state types; and vii) occurrent rationality of state tokens; with the last two distinctions classified under category v). 2. Meeting- the- minimal- standard vs Meeting- the- maximum/

ideal- standard Sense- this distinction deals with the limits of considering an entity to be rational by setting conditions; perchance they reach the basic requirements of the first distinction or they fulfil all the criteria of the second one. This distinction is often controversial and is often used for the dignity debate; the standards imposed by both sides however are



Principled vs Holistic vs Instrumental Sense- these threefold

distinction differ from their foundation on which rationality is anchored. Principled sense grounds its arguments on the capacity of the individual to recognize a priori principles (the Kantian conception of rationality) subscribing to rigidly normative moral claims. The second one on the other hand refers to the individuals capacity to cohere (or even attempt to cohere) an intricate web of quasi- rational considerations such as belief, emotions or will which mutually intertwined hence dubbed as the Hegelian conception of rationality. Instrumental sense also has its share of prominence, as its alternative name Humean conception of rationality echoes its devotion to the philosophers perspective, namely, that rationality is possessing faculties which basically champions the empiricist viewpoint by asserting that the rules are imbibed conditionally as channelled by experience.

What these distinctions suggest is that one can, by combining options from different levels, arrive at a specific conception of rationality


exhibiting two or more of the following senses. However, for simplicitys sake this study would delve more on the first and third distinction as -


Limits to Rationality (Priest) In the field of game theory, an alternative assumption is made perchance

the individual fails to comply with the established norms utilitarianism imposes. This concept is called bounded rationality, and up to recently has yet to be diagrammed for economists to be able to create satisfactory model describing the behaviour of individuals in this shape. Mathematics and logic, on the other hand, are hailed as two of the most formidable reasons why rationality holds true- for instance, no answer other than four would fit the description of two plus two. Basking in their a priori limelight, it seems almost impossible to question self- evident truths such as these whose truthfulness transcends not only this world, but also including other possible worlds. These disciplines bank on the Platonic theory of forms for their truthfulness- since apparently they are intuitively true and coincide greatly with our perception of reality, they are regarded as axioms and are repeatedly able to justify themselves simply through tautology. Stein (1996)


laid down the foundations for the so- called Standard Picture of Rationality, which depicts good reasoning as adhering to the laws established by rules of mathematics and logic. It is not therefore surprising that this principle is normative in character for it imposes how one ought to reason. However, as he pointed out, there seems to be some anomaly in adopting this perception. Firstly, if one ought to reason according to the norms, one ought to have access to it at least. It has been answered in the previous discussions that some approach considers these laws to be selfevident and considers them the end of regress. It is a given that all human beings are capable of reasoning, yet not all has the capability to maximize their reasoning faculty and actually adhere to it every time. An important implication of the limits of human rationality lies on the so- called Godel Incompleteness Theorem, an evidence for the inability of humans to construct a satisfactory proof for the 'completeness' (i. e. describe coherently) of mathematics, specifically number theory or the study of pure mathematics. The second theorem appears to be more radical than the first; paradoxically, a formal system (such as mathematics or logic) can prove its own consistency if and only if it is inconsistent (quote this).



Understanding and Benacerraf's Dilemma Given the speculations aforementioned, one is now inclined to ask

the nature of systematized knowledge humans concieve and utilize for reasoning. Hintikka (2001) hinted that logic indeed is the key to good reasoning, albeit philosophers tend to attribute its usefulness wrongly. He identified logical rules as an interplay between definitory and strategic rules, the former dealing with the actual individual rule as utilized in proving conclusions, whilst the latter is more concerned with how one should proceed in manipulating these rules so as to garner desired outcome/ conclusion. Undue credit is given to definitory rules, (Hintikka) Such was also the objections faced in the discipline of mathematics, which for the meantime would be put under scrutiny due to its profession of being a tad akin to logic in methodology and origin. Logic as is mathematics professes to be a 'body of truths and knowledge' whose rules are grounded on axiomatic assumptions which exude metaphysical airs due to its subtle platonic implication. The truthfulness of propositions is rigidly objective regardless of whether man has the ability to discern it or not; in other words, its truth value stands true outside human understanding and language. Benacerraf used the term 'abstract' to describe these objects.


On the other hand, knowledge imposes the direct involvement of understanding, and Hart deems that "perception is [the] preferred basic mode of contact with the objects required for the truth of our knowledge" (p. 3 introduction- Philosophy of Mathematics). Integrating thus the reasons previously stated, it would consequently result to a black- white dichotomy between platonism and empiricism, two thoughts whose reconcilability appears to lie out of the question, as the necessary elements for mathematical truths are the very same ones which impede mathematical knowledge. This is in a way related but not similar to the mathematical dispute between platonism and formalism, where the latter deems the said discipline to be a mere series of rules applied to symbols, thus creating 'axioms' and proving 'theorems' (Infinity and the Mind, p. 169).

Two elements constitute logic- truth and grammar (Quine- Philosophy of Logic) hence it is inevitable to consider semantics in dealing with it.



The World Outside Language- An Appeal to Pragmatism and Rule Following A common dispute is the conceivability, or rather the lack of it, of

the world beyond human language. Wittgenstein (1974) echoed this sentiment on his book Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics wherein he cited an example of a perfectly rational human being unable to participate in the conventional language game. Certain assumptions even accuse Wittgenstein of being a full- blooded conventionalist for his extending linguistic norms and conventions to that of mathematics. He was quoted into saying as follows:
59 ...Now if I say this to somebody it is surely supposed to mean: "just try, these bits, properly arranged, really do yield figure." I want to encourage him to do something and I forecast that he will succeed. And the forecast is founded on the ease in which we can construct the figure from the pieces as soon as we know how. (footnote- RFM p. 20e)

It is indubitable that for the most part, human understanding is in part hinged upon language, as was championed by Wittgenstein (and consequently by echoed by other philosophers of mathematics such as Dummett and Pinker).



Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation. y Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, father of postmodernism and one of the most prominent philosophers of the 19th century, perhaps is not speaking per se of the logical interpretation of necessity. Nevertheless it did not disqualify him from legitimately uttering this claim, albeit the premise from which this is derived would probably lie in an entirely different discipline with a correspondingly different context. Is necessity indeed interdependent on interpretation? The last chapter attempts to champion the fallibility of human reasoning and its tendency to be conventionally- bounded, as opposed to a more acceptable claim that it gears towards a more naturalistic disposition. This chapter now focuses on one aspect of logic, that is, modality and its powers, and determine if its following suit is as questionable as the previous topic (since apparently it is a manifestation of ones reasoning prowess). For the meantime, one is asked to suspend the prejudices invoked by the aforementioned exposition and try to maintain a


neutral stance in addressing modality. A. Modal Logic and Modal Worlds Modal logic is the discussion of the modes in which a certain proposition is deemed possibly, necessarily or impossible true or false. One of the methodologies in which modal logicians employ is the practice of speculating using the 'possible worlds' argument. To wit, there are three prevalent natures of possible worlds used to argue this case as was enumerated by Priest (2001): 1. Modal Realism- endorses the view that other possible worlds are quite as tangible as the objects of reality in our current world, though situated at a different spacetime coordinate. This belief is advocated by David Lewis (1975) and is used especially in his theory of counterfactuals. The normal parameters of a possible world is its differing space, time and causation from this universe (cite Priest). 2. Modal Actualism- takes on the belief that other abstract worlds do exist and that the composition of such worlds need not to fulfill the physicality criteria as opposed to the first one. Instead of physical elements, the objects in these worlds are comprised of propositions


which are deemed to be true. A certain shortcoming of this view however is the necessity of the criterion of validity in which the elements are to be subjected under and the inability to establish those criteria without hinging them upon human rationality. Combinatorialism, a subcategory of actualism, was able to avoid this objection by stating that a possible world is indeed comprised of things in this world, yet arranged at a relationally different way. 3. Meinongianism- this belief takes the notion of possible world to be comprised of non- existent objects such as unicorns, fairies and other imaginary entities. Most of the objects in this universe are epistemically stipulated to exist.

B. David Lewis' Modal Realism


c. Historical Background Just as we opened the last chapter surveying Aristotles conceptions regarding rationality, this chapter similarly traces back to the great philosopher to defend its roots and determine its ramifications. Necessity per se was used in this sense as an alternative to the term essence, as Aristotle is shown to be a staunch supporter of essentiality in nature. Essentiality in the Aristotelian context talks of the features of an entity which makes it essentially one; Aristotle for instance attributed rationality to humans as its essential characteristic. His discussion elicits different interpretations from current readers, as was evidenced by the two worldviews associated with the interpretation from his writings. Analytic a priori faction champions the main concept of rationalists perception (as opposed to empiricists) by arguing that some knowledge is more accessible though reasoning and lesser by sense experience. The next interpretation focuses more on the semantic rules the interpretation implies and proves to be more applicable to our subject of inquiry. De re and de dicto necessity deals with qualifying the statements in


the notions of possibility and necessity, albeit they differ in terms of indication; de dicto necessity qualifies the entire sentence to be either necessary or possibly (Necessarily bachelors are unmarried men) while de re functions more on the predicate portion of the statement, hence Bachelors are necessarily unmarried men. These two distinctions as introduced by Abelard accounts for most of the debates currently existing in the study of necessity. Saul Kripke, to which the main bulk of readings on modality is to be referenced, apparently follows among the list of philosophers who have undertaken this view.


Kinds of Necessity It is pertinent to first discern types of necessity before proceeding to

address it directly. Conditionals, for instance, enjoys two types of necessity: 1. Conceptual necessity- the lesser common view, this kind denies the Leibnizian context of necessity and possibility by totally incorporating properties with the object itself, hence blurring the distinction between the premise and conclusion (cause and effect).


2. Causal necessity- more commonly assimilated to that of counterfactuals, this type defends the false- therefore- true pattern of conditionals and states that it is not necessarily the case that the premise needs to be true in order for the conclusion to occur. Priest (2001 ibid) was able to provide a more distinct conceptualization of necessity depending on the discipline it subscribes to. For instance, necessity in terms of modal logic is characterized in the S5 rule (it being the most powerful theorem to date, see Priest 2001). Physical necessity on the other hand deems the laws of nature and physics to be the indispensable factor; laws of metaphysics such as accidents and essences on the other hand dictates what is necessary in the metaphysical realm. The truths subsumed under these necessities falls under the T- theorem of reflexivity, at the very least. Epistemic and moral necessity meanwhile have yet to be identified under which theorem their respective necessities falls under, as it appears to be qiote problematic to immediately subsume them under the existing rules of modal logic.



Possible Worlds- The Kripkean Context in Language One of the uncanny revolters from the Kantian school was Saul

Kripke, who insisted the existence of necessary a posteriori statements. This might seem counterintuitive to some, especially since it has been established that analytic statements are purported to be self- evident and hence should not be dependent on sensible experience. Kripke, in his Naming and Necessity (1971, 1980) rejects so, saying that we simply cannot automatically know self- evidently that such- and- such is necessary. One requires knowing through experience that prime numbers, for instance, only have one and itself as factors (following from Quine). Albeit the fact is considered a mathematical necessity, he pointed out that it is not rigidly normative to equate 'can' and 'must'; consequently, 'necessary' is not correspondingly synonymous to 'a priori' (footnote, page 38). One might then be led to ask what the relationship between necessity and a prioricity is, in which suggestions as binding as causality (again, we are faced with the problem of determining which entails which) or a totally ambiguous claim as correlativity might surface. Kripke waived the



An Alternative View- Logic of Counterfactuals A possible world, or 'possible, alternative history' as Kripke fondly

calls it, exists only in his mind as a semantic wordplay in which truths are established as to whether or not they could encompass all probable existent world. He does not, the author believes, consider the idea of an 'actual' possible world coexisting alongside the 'real' world. What he subscribes to is the idea of a 'transworld identification'; in relation to his concept of names being rigid designators, the name only points out to a single entity all throughout the alternative worlds. David Lewis, on the other hand, presents a more concrete application of modality as he proposes his Counterfactuals theory. It is interesting to remark that the MWI follows closely this line of reasoning as it advocates the validity of both options actually existing. Kripke

E. The "Infinite" Argument The nearest yet misleading stance this thesis adheres to is that of classical finitism, the belief that infinity per se is a topic beyond human cognition. Albeit the author wishes to point out, contrary to this view, this


thesis accounts for potential infinities as actual ones; again, integrating MWI, would be an appropriate stance given the scientific circumstances. Aside from the potentiality/ actuality discussion, the thesis nevertheless does not wish to support the finitist stand. Furthermore, it is not the notion per se of the infinite/ finite divide that the researcher attacks; it is the limit of our perception regarding the notion of infinity. Tiles (1989) listed three arguments as to why classical finitists as expropriated by empiricists do not consider the talk of infinity to be sensible (footnote): 1. An assumption on the finitude of the universe to which mathematics is applied. 2. An assumption that mathematics is only applied to this universe via processes of measurement. 3. An assumption that meaning is to be equated with empirical meaning.



"It is sometimes said that if infinitely many planets existed, then every possible planet would have to exist, including, for instance, a planet exactly like ours, except with unicorns. Is this necessarily true?"

Perhaps the query echoed by Rudy Rucker above comprises the common perception regarding the realm of possible worlds, more so in the conception of its attributed infinite property. So far the concept of possibility has been identified through their linguisitc and mathematical considerations. The question now lingers as to what would be the case if the considerations in which quantum physics adheres to are stretched? Are we correct in determining that these causal necessities, if ever they are indeed causal, are but bounded still by human rationality? This chapter discusses how the self- imposed and apparently delimiting modality hinders our notion of the concepts of both "possibility/ impossibility" and "infinity" and why Rucker's answer to the aforementioned statement is a clear, crisp "no".


A. A Mathematically Impossible World Albeit a common conception that Math is governed by universal laws nevertheless necessary, one appears to conveniently forget the fact that these considerations are hinged to conventions, oftently overlooked and considered to be self- evident. An example of such is the field of base arithmetic using the powers of ten. Cognitively, the equation "four times five" necessitates the answer "twenty" and nothing else. But suppose one considers the possibility of human beings being standardly polydactyl and began counting in the standard base twelve. According to mathematicians, had we unfortunately decided to adopt this paradigm shift and settled on base twelve, our entire system of counting would change, garnering an answer of eighteen to the above equation.

B. Actual Possible World This idea might venture a paradox, for how can something be actual and possible at the same time? What, then, does it mean for something to be actually possible? In the preceeding discussions the theory of MWI was introduced, stating, also, that it corresponds to Lewis' notion of


counterfactuals. This view in fact is dubbed modal realism and could be equated modally using the S5 (box) rule. C. Delimitations and Problematic Suppositions It is clear perhaps the need to distinguish between the actual and the possible for us to be able to discern the states accounted for our notion of possible states. However, an indispensible concern hovers as to its actual boundaries- taking into considerations the current scientific breakthrough, where do we draw the line between actuality and possibility? Take, for instance, Stephen Hawking's proposition of the Balck Hole Information Paradox which seemingly violated the fundamental assumption of the Law of Conservation of Energy with relation to the matter being engulfed into a black hole. Hawking sees the need to propose a supporting argument, that is, a white hole wherein the debris from a black hole is channelled to, in order to be consistent with the previous assumptions. Correspondingly, it suggests that the spacetime containing the white hole necessitates an actual parallel universe more or less like our own (or at least composed of the same matter, assuming that it does not obliterate itself upon contact of matter to anti- matter). Would we then account for its being possible or being actual?


D. Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics Hugh Everett's postulation of this interpretation differs from, albeit subtly, Richard Feynman's Multiple history and H. Dieter Zeh's many minds interpretation. Leaving all technicalities behind, it endorses the notion that an event, after splitting at a quantum level, proceeds to branch out and create their own histories independent of the previous circumstances and dependent on the number of probabilities that could have occured given the number of options present. It explicitly endorses the existence of 'doppelgangers' (i. e. object counterparts) whose composition perhaps is that of the same origin, given that only chronological branching out is acknowledged in this view. Hence, the possibility of one being born to different parents perhaps is out of the question for it does not follow chronologically from the set of events induced at one's being born. [Illustration of branching histories]

What then are the nature of these branching worlds? Suppose


E. Branching to Infinity One of the safe hypothesis to make is that the parallel world immediately branching out from this world subscribes to same laws of physics as this world, albeit the occurences and history of that world would take a different turn upon its deviation.

F. Infinite Individuals and Set Theory Suppose one hypothetically decides to gather all his counterparts from all branched- out possible worlds. Depending on the life span and perhaps circumstantial decisions done by that individual (and consequently the people around him) in his world, there could be infinitely many individuals in the set of all branched out possible worlds. However, adding the time coordinate would then induce the individual to limit the world from which to access 'himself' in to that which he himself currently exists (excluding those worlds which he ceased to exist/ not yet existing). Would the set created by those elements contain an infinite or finite elements? It is arguable that at this instance, a finite set is acceptable, provided of course that time is continuously flowing in one direction chronologically.


Difficulties would arise if, for instance, time is taken to be a dependent variable whose property is not bounded one- way, hence allowing the possibility of time- travel. In this hypothetical model, the probability of individual A going to specific period T is accounted for, hence undoubtedly implying an infinite number of individuals at Set S, time T because time is, in essence, not constrained (Godel, me thinks it possible).

Would it, in the spirit of the Schrodinger inconsistency, allow to contain an entity which is both dead and alive (presupposing for instance that being dead or alive is comparable to one's existence/ inexistence)? Would the law of non- contradiction hold true in this particular set?

G. Modalities in Possible Worlds Taking into consideration that conceptually, our 'reality' is taken to be that which is perceptually accessible to us, it is by definition arguable that there is only one 'reality'-- that which is comprised of the world measurable by our senses.