dual-largeDualities are pair of neutral concepts which come in pairs, such as each of the two concepts is the opposite of the other.

We can denote a given duality by A/Ā, A and Ā begin the two opposite concepts, which are termed dual poles.

Examples of dualities include: Internal/External, Quantitative/Qualitative, Visible/Invisible, Absolute/Relative Abstract/Concrete, Static/Dynamic, Diachronic/Synchronic, Single/Multiple, Extension/Restriction, Aesthetic/Practical, Precise/Vague, Finite/Infinite, Single/Compound, Individual/Collective, Analytical/Synthetic, Implicit/Explicit, Voluntary/Involuntary

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Dichotomous analysis applied to paradox resolution

dichoThe dichotomous analysis as a methodology that can be used to search for solutions to some paradoxes and philosophical problems, results from the statement of the principle of dialectical indifference. The general idea underlying the dichotomous approach to paradox analysis is that two versions, corresponding to one and the other pole of a given duality, can be untangled within a philosophical paradox. The corresponding approach then is to find a reference class which is associated with the given paradox and the corresponding duality A/Ā, as well as the two resulting variations of the paradox that apply to each pole of this duality.

However, every duality is not well-suited to this approach, as for many dualities, the corresponding version of the paradox remains unchanged, regardless of the pole under consideration. In the dichotomous method, one focuses on finding a reference class and a relevant associated duality, such that the viewpoint of each of its poles actually lead to two structurally different versions of the paradox , or the disappearance of paradox from the point of view of one of the poles. Thus, when considering the paradox in terms of two poles A and Ā, and if it has no effect on the paradox itself, the corresponding duality A/Ā reveals itself therefore, from this point of view, irrelevant.

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Viewpoint of a pole

Fig3Let us define the concept of point of view related to a given pole of an A/Ā duality: we get then, for example (at the level of the extension/restriction duality) the standpoint by extension, as well as the viewpoint by restriction. Similarly, the qualitative viewpoint or perspective results from it, as well as the quantitative point of view, etc.. (at the level of the qualitative/quantitative duality). Thus, when considering a given object o (either a concrete or an abstract object such as a proposition or a reasoning), we may consider it in relation to various dualities, and at the level of the latter, relative to each of its two dual poles.

The underlying idea inherent to the viewpoint relative to a given duality, or to a given pole of a duality, is that each of the two poles of the same duality, all things being equal, deserve an equal legitimacy. In this sense, if we consider an object o in terms of a duality A/Ā, one should not favour one of the poles with respect to the other. To obtain an objective point of view with respect to a given duality A/Ā, one should place oneself in turn from the perspective of the pole A, and then from that of the pole Ā. For an approach that would only address the viewpoint of one of the two poles would prove to be partial and truncated. The fact of considering in turn the perspective of the two poles, in the study of an object o and of its associated reference class allows to avoid a subjective approach and to meet as much as possible the needs of objectivity.

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Principle of dialectical indifference


(Illustration from Wikimedia commons)

(PRINCIPLE OF DIALECTICAL INDIFFERENCE) When considering a given object o and the reference class E associated with it, from the angle of duality A/Ā, all things being equal, it should be given equal weight to the viewpoint of the A pole and the viewpoint of the Ā pole.

The principle of dialectical indifference can be enunciated as follows: if we consider an object o under the angle of a given A/Ā duality, there is no reason to favour the viewpoint from A with regard to the viewpoint from Ā, and unless otherwise resulting from the context, we must weigh equally the viewpoints A and Ā. A direct consequence of this principle is that if one considers the perspective of the A pole, one also needs to take into consideration the standpoint of the opposite pole Ā (and vice versa). The need to consider both points of view, the one resulting from the A pole and the other associated with the Ā pole, meets the need of analysing the object o and the reference class associated with it from an objective point of view. This goal is achieved, as far as possible, by taking into account the complementary points of view which are those of the poles A and Ā. Each of these viewpoints has indeed, with regard to a given duality A/Ā, an equal relevance. Under such circumstances, when only the A pole or (exclusively) the pole Ā is considered, it consists then of a one-sided perspective. Conversely, the viewpoint which results from the synthesis of the standpoints corresponding to both poles A and Ā is of a two-sided type. Basically, this approach proves to be dialectical in essence. In effect, the step consisting of successively analysing the complementary views relative to a given reference class, is intended to allow, in a subsequent step, a final synthesis, which results from the joint consideration of the viewpoints corresponding to both poles A and Ā. In the present construction, the process of confronting the different perspectives relevant to an A/Ā duality is intended to build cumulatively, a more objective and comprehensive standpoint than the one, necessarily partial, resulting from taking into account those data that stem from only one of the two poles.

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Differential Cognitive Treatment of Polythematic Delusions and Generalised Anxiety Disorder

640px-Panic-attackEnglish translation of a paper published in french under the title “Traitement cognitif différentiel des délires polythématiques et du trouble anxieux généralisé”, in the Journal de Thérapie Comportementale et Cognitive, 2011, vol. 21-4, pp. 121-125.

Schizophrenia is often associated with other physical and mental problems. Generalized anxiety disorder is notably one of the comorbid disorders which is often linked to schizophrenia. The association of polythematic delusions and of ideas resulting from generalized anxiety disorder complicates the exercise of the corresponding cognitive therapy, for the resulting ideas are most often inextricably intertwined. In what follows, we endeavour to propose a methodology for the differential treatment of polythematic delusions inherent to schizophrenia when combined with ideas originating from generalized anxiety disorder. We propose, with regard to the corresponding content of delusions, an analysis which allows under certain conditions, to separate the content associated with polythematic delusions and the one that relates to generalized anxiety disorder, in order to facilitate the exercise of the corresponding cognitive therapy.

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The Simulation Argument and the Reference Class Problem: the Dialectical Contextualist’s Standpoint

chap31Preprint. I present in this paper an analysis of the Simulation argument from a dialectical contextualist standpoint. This analysis is grounded on the reference class problem. I begin with describing Bostrom’s Simulation Argument step-by-step. I identify then the reference class within the Simulation argument. I also point out a reference class problem, by applying the argument successively to several references classes: aware-simulations, rough simulations and cyborg-type simulations. Finally, I point out that there are three levels of conclusion within the Simulation Argument, depending on the chosen reference class, that yield each final conclusions of a fundamentally different nature.

This preprint supersedes my preceding work on the Simulation argument. Please do not cite previous work.

Comments are welcome.


The Simulation Argument and the Reference Class Problem:

the Dialectical Contextualist’s Standpoint

1. The Simulation Argument

I shall propose in what follows a solution to solve the problem posed by the Simulation argument, recently described by Nick Bostrom (2003). I shall first attempt to describe in detail the Simulation argument, by exposing in particular its inherent problem. I will show then how a solution can be brought to such a problem, based on the analysis of the reference class which underlies the Simulation argument, and without it being necessary to give up one’s pretheoretical intuitions.

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Polythematic Delusions and Logico-Theoretical vs. Experimentalist Turn of Mind

George Grie-Panic-attackpaper published in the Journal for Neurocognitive Research,  Vol.  2013, 55, No. 1-2.

This article aims to contribute to cognitive therapy of polythematic delusions by proposing a preliminary step to the implementation of traditional cognitive therapy, based on the construction of alternative hypotheses to delusions and testing of the latter. This additional step resides in the construction in the patient of the necessary skills to use the general experimentalist method of knowledge acquisition. Such an approach is based on the contrast between the logico-theoretical and the experimentalist turn of mind. Some elements such as to allow any such construction in the patient are then described and analyzed.

This article is cited in:

Ondrej Pec, Petr Bob,and Jiri Raboch (2014) Splitting in Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder, PLoS One 9(3) e91228.


Polythematic Delusions and Logico-Theoretical vs.  Experimentalist Turn of Mind

Classical cognitive therapy targeted at polythematic delusions associated with schizophrenia is based on the search for evidence related to delusional ideas and the construction of alternative hypotheses to the latter. This article aims to contribute to cognitive therapy for polythematic delusions by proposing a preliminary step to this classical cognitive therapy. Such a step aims to strengthen the patient’s ability to use the general approach of experimentalist type for knowledge acquisitionan approach which is based on the opposition between the theoretical-logical and the experimentalist turn of mind. Some elements such as to enable the reinforcement of such a capability in the patient are thus described and analyzed.

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On the Plausibility of Psychotic Hallucinations

anonyme flamand_cauchemarA paper published in the Journal for Neurocognitive Research,  Vol. 53, No 1-2 (2011).

In this paper, we describe several factors that can contribute, from the patient’s viewpoint, to the plausibility of psychotic hallucinations. We sketch then a Plausibility of Hallucinations Scale, consisting of a 50-item questionnaire, which aims at evaluating the degree of plausibility of hallucinations. We also emphasize the utility of pointing out to the patient the several factors that contribute to the plausibility of his/her hallucinations, in the context of cognitive therapy for schizophrenia.







On the plausibility of psychotic hallucinations

Cognitive therapy of hallucinations is part of cognitive therapy for schizophrenia. Several accounts of cognitive therapy of hallucinations have been described in the literature (Chadwick et al.,1996; Rector & Beck, 2002; Kingdon & Turkington, 2005). On the one hand, Chadwick et al. (1996) stress the importance of the ABC model for cognitive therapy of hallucinations: the hallucinations are the activating events, which engender cognitions, which in turn yield emotional distress and anger. By working on beliefs about the voices, they primary aim at reducing the negative emotions which are the consequences of automatic thoughts following the occurrence of hallucinations. Chadwick et al. also have a special emphasis on the omnipotence and omniscience of the voices. On the other hand, Kingdon & Turkington (2005) propose the cognitive model of hallucinations as an alternative explanation for the voices: auditory hallucinations are the patient’s automatic thoughts that are perceived as originating from outside the patient’s mind. Kingdon & Turkington weigh the available evidence for both competing explanations and finally work on reattribution of auditory hallucinations. Rector & Beck (2002) take a similar stance, and stress that the final aim of the therapy “is to help patients recognize that the voices simply reflect either their own attitudes about themselves or those they imagine others to have about them”.

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Elements of Dialectical Contextualism

Paolo_Veronese - DialecticsPosprint in English (with additional illustrations) of  an article appeared in French in the collective book (pages 581-608) written on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Pascal Engel.

In what follows, I strive to present the elements of a philosophical doctrine, which can be defined as dialectical contextualism. I proceed first to define the elements of this doctrine: dualities and polar contraries, the principle of dialectical indifference and the one-sidedness bias. I emphasize then the special importance of this doctrine in one specific field of meta-philosophy: the methodology for solving philosophical paradoxes. Finally, I describe several applications of this methodology on the following paradoxes: Hempel’s paradox, the surprise examination paradox and the Doomsday Argument.





Elements of Dialectical Contextualism


In what follows, I will endeavour to present the elements of a specific philosophical doctrine, which can be defined as dialectical contextualism. I will try first to clarify the elements that characterise this doctrine, especially the dualities and dual poles, the principle of dialectical indifference and the one-sidedness bias. I will proceed then to describe its interest at a meta-philosophical level, especially as a methodology to assist in the resolution of philosophical paradoxes. Finally, I will describe an application of this methodology to the analysis of the following philosophical paradoxes: Hempel’s paradox , the surprise examination paradox and the Doomday Argument.

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A Two-Sided Ontological Solution to the Sleeping Beauty Problem

eub-sbPreprint published on the PhilSci archive.

I describe in this paper an ontological solution to the Sleeping Beauty problem. I begin with describing the hyper-entanglement urn experiment. I restate first the Sleeping Beauty problem from a wider perspective than the usual opposition between halfers and thirders. I also argue that the Sleeping Beauty experiment is best modelled with the hyper-entanglement urn. I draw then the consequences of considering that some balls in the hyper-entanglement urn have ontologically different properties from normal ones. In this context, drawing a red ball (a Monday-waking) leads to two different situations that are assigned each a different probability, depending on whether one considers “balls-as-colour” or “balls-as-object”. This leads to a two-sided account of the Sleeping Beauty problem.




A Two-Sided Ontological Solution to the Sleeping Beauty Problem

1. The hyper-entanglement urn

Let us consider the following experiment. In front of you is an urn. The experimenter asks you to study very carefully the properties of the balls that are in the urn. You go up then to the urn and begin to examine its content carefully. You notice first that the urn contains only red or green balls. By curiosity, you decide to take a sample of a red ball in the urn. Surprisingly, you notice that while you pick up this red ball, another ball, but a green one, also moves simultaneously. You decide then to replace the red ball in the urn and you notice that immediately, the latter green ball also springs back in the urn. Intrigued, you decide then to catch this green ball. You notice then that the red ball also goes out of the urn at the same time. Furthermore, while you replace the green ball in the urn, the red ball also springs back at the same time at its initial position in the urn. You decide then to withdraw another red ball from the urn. But while it goes out of the urn, nothing else occurs. Taken aback, you decide then to undertake a systematic and rigorous study of all the balls in the urn.

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