• *
  • 1 Posts
    • View Profile
Can someone help me colloquialize Maydole?
« on: March 04, 2012, 12:23:57 pm »
I've been trying for over a year now to get a handle on Maydole's MPA, with limited success. I have only a limited knowledge of logic, and I'm trying to tame this thing down into a manageable, readable argument that any layman could understand without having to know all the background logic (other than, perhaps, a basic understanding of modus tollens/ponens). Even emails with Maydole and Oppy themselves didn't help much. I think once you become an academic it becomes difficult to dumb yourself down anymore.

This is what I have so far, which is only the first half (the possibility premise). Does this work as a basic capture of the core intuition?

1. If "maximal greatness" is not possible, then all properties entail "non-maximal-greatness"

2. The property of "Maximal greatness" cannot entail the property of "non-maximal greatness"

3. Therefore, "maximal greatness" is possible

Premise 1 a tautology. Premise 2 is true because a  great-making property cannot entail a lesser-making property, by  definition. If a great-making property entailed a lesser-making  property, then it would not be a great-making property in the first  place. For example, if a plausibly great-making property such as  "intelligence" also entailed the property of "being stuck in a hospital  bed hooked up to wires", then "intelligence" would not in fact be a  great-making property after all. Since "maximal greatness" is a  great-making property, then it cannot entail a lesser-making property  like "non-maximal-greatness."



  • **
  • 159 Posts
    • View Profile
Can someone help me colloquialize Maydole?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 07:02:19 pm »



  • **
  • 246 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Can someone help me colloquialize Maydole?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2013, 05:17:26 pm »
Here is Maydole's argument in the Blackwell Companion:


And here is a clear and complete formalization of it:


Hope this helps.