Antoni Diller's website

Introduction

My main reason for setting up this website was to make the various things I have written easily available; most of my published articles are to be found here. Throughout my life I have tended to investigate whatever problem seemed most interesting to me at the time. As a result of this I have pursued topics that are usually studied by different disciplines. This variety is reflected on the pages of this website.

Testimony

Most current philosophers and scientists believe that perception is the basic source of human knowledge. For about fifteen years I have been arguing that this view is incorrect. Testimony is the fundamental means by which we acquire our beliefs; virtually everything we know we have learnt by accepting what other people have told us or by believing what they have written. I have developed a two-mode theory of how we acquire knowledge from other people's assertions. A by-product of this research has been the development of an argument to show that computers have no chance in the foreseeable future of exhibiting human-like intelligence. This is because they have no ability to learn from the statements made by others in any meaningful way and hardly anyone working in Artificial Intelligence or Robotics is even trying to give them this ability. I have given some thought to how machines might be able to acquire propositional information from the testimony of other agents.

Critical rationalism

Critical rationalism is the name sometimes given to the philosophy of Karl Popper; it stresses human fallibility and the hypothetical character of all knowledge. Emphasis is placed on criticising theories in order to weed out the bad ones, rather than on futile attempts to justify what we think we know. Critical rationalism is, therefore, anti-justificationist; it sees no value in justification. In recent papers I have shown the superiority of critical rationalism over pancritical rationalism and have characterised anti-justificationism.

Angry Young Men

The Angry Young Men were a motley crew of playwrights, philosophers, critics, novelists and poets who flourished in London in the late 1950s. They included John Osborne, Colin Wilson, Stuart Holroyd, Bill Hopkins, Michael Hastings and John Braine. In recent years I have been researching the life of Stuart Holroyd and have written several articles about him.

Other interests

I have written a few papers about bracket abstraction algorithms in combinatory logic. My PhD was on one of Frege's key ideas, namely that of an incomplete or unsaturated expression, and some information about that is included on this website, as are details of my criticisms of Ian Rumfitt's theory of predication. There are also pages on this website relating to my book on LaTeX and lecture courses that I have taught in the past on Haskell and the philosophy of cognitive science. There is also a page about the Electric Monk Research Group.

Contact

Please email me at antoni.dillerREMOVE@cantabREMOVE.net with any comments you may have.

© Antoni Diller (5 January 2017)