Szymon Bogacz

My name is Szymon and I’m a PhD student in the ANU School of Philosophy. I did my MA in philosophy in the Institute of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University. I work in Buddhist philosophy, epistemology, and philosophy of logic. In my thesis I analyse what Dharmakīrti says about contradictions and I develop an epistemic approach to logical paradoxes. I’m also interested in philosophy of language and the history of philosophy in India.

Contact me at: szymon.bogacz[at]anu.edu.au / Facebook / Twitter / PhilPeople / Academia.edu

You can read some of my research below:

(please send me a message if you are interested in reading any of my manuscripts)

Buddhist epistemology and the liar paradox (8 000 words), manuscript. Abstract: The liar paradox is still an open philosophical problem. Most contemporary solutions to the paradox target the logical rules underlying the reasoning from the liar sentence to the paradoxical conclusion that the liar sentence is both true and false. In contrast to these approaches, Buddhist epistemology offers resources to devise a distinctively epistemological approach to the liar paradox. In this paper, I mobilise these resources and argue that the liar sentence is what Buddhist epistemologists call a contradiction with one’s own words. I situate my argument in the works of Dignāga and Dharmakīrti and show how Buddhist epistemology answers the paradox.

The epistemological program (6 000 words), manuscript. Abstract: How can we choose between paracomplete (gappy) and paraconsistent (glutty) evaluations of paradoxical sentences? Standardly, whether a paradoxical sentence is a truth-value gap or a truth-value glut depends on what is the only correct logic and we figure out which logic is the only correct logic on abductive grounds. However, as I argue in this paper, this method of evaluating paradoxical sentences faces serious problems. In the face of these problems, I propose an alternative method of evaluating paradoxical sentences: the epistemological program. According to the epistemological program, a paradoxical sentence is a gap if evidence for this sentence is incomplete and a glut if evidence conflicts. After detailing what incomplete and conflicting evidence is, I argue that whether the liar sentence is a gap or a glut depends on what evidence exists for the liar sentence.

Dwelling in epistemic hell (8 500 words), manuscript. Abstract: I argue that believing contradictions in situations of equal evidential support is permissible because it is logically and probabilistically harmless. I explain what contradictory beliefs are and how they cohere with logic and probability theory. Finally, I argue that believing contradictions is not only harmless, but that we should believe that and not-if our evidence supports and not-to the same degree.

A paradox is not a set, it is reasoning (6 000 words), manuscript. Abstract: I argue that a paradox is not a paradox set, i.e., a collectively implausible set of individually plausible principles. I present paradox sets that do not describe paradoxes and paradoxes that are not described by paradox sets. Next, I argue that a paradox is a seemingly acceptable piece of reasoning that produces a doubtful belief.

Epistemology in the Aṣṭasāhasrikāprajñāpāramitā and in Nāgārjuna’s middle way (10 pages, in Polish), 2015, Studia Humanistyczne AGH 3 (14): 7-16, download

A critical approach to the dialectical interpretation of Nāgārjuna’s philosophy (20 pages, in Polish), 2014, Diametros 42, 227-246, download