“On modus ponens: a response to McGee and respondents” by Theresa Helke (31 Mar)

My presentation is on modus ponens, specifically Vann McGee’s counterexample to this rule of inference. I will ask ‘Does the general validity of modus ponens hold?’ and answer ‘Yes, huzzah!’ I will consider three responses to McGee (those of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong et al, E.J. Lowe and Joseph S. Fulda), demonstrate how each fail and present my own response. It saves the general validity of modus ponens by appealing to Dorothy Edgington’s suppositional view of indicative conditionals. Interestingly, in so doing, my response strengthens the case for this view.

Graduate Seminar Series.
Date: Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015
Time: 2 pm – 3 pm
Venue: Philosophy Resource Room (AS3 #05-23)
Speaker: Theresa Helke
Moderator: Tay Qing Lun

About the Speaker:

Department_Photo_Theresa_HelkeTheresa Helke joined the department in August 2014. She is the first Philosophy PhD candidate in the NUS/Yale-NUS joint supervision programme. Before, she majored in Logic and minored in Government at Smith College. Professors Jay Garfield and James Henle supervised her honours thesis (‘Brown v. Brown: The Limits of Logic in Law and Language’). Professor Chris Mortensen (University of Adelaide) and she co-authored an article which the British Journal of Aesthetics published in 2013 (‘How Many Impossible Images Did Escher Produce?’, (2013) 53 (4): 425-441). After working at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London and travelling to India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, she read Law at the University of Cambridge. Now, she is interested in multiculturalism and, within it, feminism, migration, law and linguistics. Professor Jay Garfield, who currently teaches at both NUS and Yale-NUS, is supervising her dissertation. She is English but grew up in New York City, Geneva and Vienna. Having trained eight years as a circus artist, she enjoys riding her unicycle.

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