October 30th at 17:30, in ILLC Seminar Room (F1.15)
An answer to this question depends on what kind of modality (logical, physical or biological) is in play: Flying pigs do not violate any logical or physical laws; therefore, it is logically and physically possible that pigs fly (think of very tiny pigs with large wingspans). However, there are no biological laws; it is hence either trivial that flying pigs are biologically possible, or an answer is more complicated. In this talk, we will explore the second option. We will first get acquainted with one of the very few explicit definitions of biological possibility which is due to Daniel Dennett and based on the Library of Mendel thought experiment. Second, we will see how the Library of Mendel can be used as stepping stone for logical models of pig mutants. Time permitting, we will have a more detailed look at one such model constructed in the framework of graded modal logic.