I find very persuasive arguments like this:
If theory T is true, then whether I exist now depends on some future events. Facts about what exists now do not depend on future events. So, theory T is not true. …
According to the so-called strong variant of Composition as Identity (CAI), the Principle of Indiscernibility of Identicals can be extended to composition, by resorting to broadly Fregean relativizations of cardinality ascriptions. In this paper we analyze various ways in which this relativization could be achieved. According to one broad variety of relativization, cardinality ascriptions are about objects, while concepts occupy an additional argument place. It should be possible to paraphrase the cardinality ascriptions in plural logic and, as a consequence, relative counting requires the relativization either of quantifiers, or of identity, or of the is one of relation. However, some of these relativizations do not deliver the expected results, and others rely on problematic assumptions. In another broad variety of relativization, cardinality ascriptions are about concepts or sets. The most promising development of this approach is prima facie connected with a violation of the so-called Coreferentiality Constraint, according to which an identity statement is true only if its terms have the same referent. Moreover – even provided that the problem with coreferentiality can be fixed – the resulting analysis of cardinality ascriptions meets several difficulties.
It’s currently fashionable to take Putnamian model theoretic worries seriously for mathematics, but not for discussions of ordinary physical objects and the sciences. In this paper, I will attack this combination of views in two ways. First, I’ll (quickly) suggest there’s an analogy between the challenge of understanding realist reference to physical possibility and that of understanding reference to the kind of logical/combinatorial possibility invoked when we say that second order quantifiers range over ‘all possible subsets’ or it would be ‘logically impossible’ for a property to apply to 0 and the successor of any number it applies to but not all the numbers. Second, I will argue that (under certain mild assumptions about the physical possibility of infinite stochastic physical systems) merely securing determinate reference to physical possibility suffices to rule out nonstandard models of our talk about number theory. So anyone who accepts realist reference to physical possibility faces pressure to also accept such reference to (at least) the standard model of the natural numbers.
This note points out a conflict between some common intuitions about metaphysical possibility. On the one hand, it is appealing to deny that there are robust counterfactuals about how various physically impossible substances would interact with the matter that exists at our world. On the other hand, our intuitions about how concepts like MOUNTAIN apply at other metaphysically possible worlds seem to presuppose facts about ‘solidity’ which cash out in terms of these counterfactuals. I consider several simple attempts to resolve this conflict and note they all fall short.
Many bricks, when configured appropriately, constitute one house. How is it possible for plurality to yield unity? This is the metaphysical problem of unity. Introducing another thing, say, the configuration of the bricks, into the picture would not solve it, for the bricks plus the configuration are still plurality. This is the famous Bradley’s regress, as applied to the problem of unity. Something must unify the bricks, but it cannot be any additional thing on pain of Bradley’s regress. Therefore, Graham Priest (2014) infers, the metaphysical glue – called ‘gluon’ by Priest – that unifies the bricks must be one of the bricks. I would like to offer a modest critique of Priest’s gluon theory.
The following line of thought is commonly found in analytic philosophy of mind: the reason calcluators, for instance, are not minds is that the symbols they manipulate in order to solve mathematical problems to not mean anything to them (the calculators). …
Monism about being (monism for short) says that everything enjoys the same way of being. So monism implies, for example, that if there are pure sets and if there are mountains, then pure sets exist in just the way that mountains do. Monism can be contrasted with pluralism about being (pluralism for short). Pluralism says that some entities enjoy one way of being but others enjoy another way, or other ways, of being. This paper argues that we should reject pluralism, and endorse monism. In what follows, I shall assume that monists take the existential quantifier, ∃, to capture (what they say is) the one and only way of being (cf., e.g., van Inwagen, 1998, 237-241). That is, I shall assume that monists take the existential quantifier to range over all and only those entities that enjoy (what they say is) the one and only way of being. And I shall assume that pluralists take various existential-like quantifiers—∃1, ∃2, etc.— to capture (what they say are) the various ways of being (cf., e.g., McDaniel, 2009; Turner, 2010). I shall use these sorts of quantifiers in this paper’s arguments because they deliver concision and precision.
Matti Eklund (this volume) raises interesting and important issues for our account of metaphysical indeterminacy. Eklund’s criticisms are wide-ranging, and we’ll be unable to address them comprehensively. Instead, we’ll focus our reply on a few key points, taking the opportunity to remark on the background methodology and assumptions that inform our view and, where appropriate, indicating how these may differ from Eklund’s. We begin our account of metaphysical indeterminacy by defending the intelligibility of indeterminacy. Eklund finds this defence unpersuasive, so it seems fitting to begin our reply by addressing these criticisms. We’ll then move on to discuss Eklund’s remarks on vagueness and indeterminacy. We’ll close by briefly addressing the role of classical logic in our approach to indeterminacy.
My topic is a certain view about mental images: namely, the ‘Multiple Use Thesis’. On this view, at least some mental image-types, individuated in terms of the sum total of their representational content, are potentially multifunctional: a given mental image-type, individuated as indicated, can serve in a variety of imaginative-event-types. As such, the presence of an image is insufficient to individuate the content of those imagination-events in which it may feature. This picture is argued for, or (more usually) just assumed to be true, by Christopher Peacocke, Michael Martin, Paul Noordhof, Bernard Williams, Alan White, and Tyler Burge. It is also presupposed by more recent authors on imagination such as Amy Kind, Peter Kung and Neil Van Leeuwen. I reject various arguments for the Multiple Use Thesis, and conclude that instead we should endorse SINGLE: a single image-type, individuated in terms of the sum total of its intrinsic representational content, can serve in only one imagination event-type, whose content coincides exactly with its own, and is wholly determined by it. Plausibility aside, the interest of this thesis is also in its iconoclasm, as well as the challenge it poses for the diverse theories that rest on the truth of the Multiple Use Thesis.
According to philosophers who ground your anticipation of future experiences in psychological continuity and connectedness, it is rational to anticipate the experiences of someone other than yourself, such as a self that is the product of fission or of replication. In this article, I concur that it is rational to anticipate the experiences of the product of fission while denying the rationality of anticipating the experiences of a replica. In defending my position, I offer the following explanation of why you have good reason to anticipate the experiences of your post-fission successor but not your replica: in the former case, you become (i.e., substantially change into) somebody else, whereas, in the latter case, you are merely replaced by somebody else.
The paper is an exploration in the field of Aquinas’s metaphysics of form. The overall aim is to see how certain features that Thomas attributes to form, as form, fit together and present themselves at various levels and in various modes: substantial and accidental, material and immaterial, cognitive and physical, intentional and real, and created and divine. Particular attention is given to two essential properties of form, perfection and determinacy, and to how these relate to a characteristic that Thomas ascribes to forms considered absolutely or just in themselves; namely, their being, in one way or another, common to many and even somehow infinite. The paper concludes with a conjecture about the community of substantial form in a bodily substance.
In September, 2016, I replied to an earlier draft of Oaklander’s Critique of my view of time for Manuscrito. Now he has published an extremely complex 50-page expanded version. There is no way that a reply in a journal could cover all the topics Oaklander discusses. So, I will stick mainly to my own view to which Oaklander was responding. My reply is in two parts. In the first, directed at Oaklander’s earlier draft, I say what I want to do in philosophy in general, and in the philosophy of time in particular. In the second part, I mention some places where he (apparently) misunderstands my view.
An “analytic” sentence, such as “Ophthalmologists
are doctors,” has historically been characterized as one whose
truth depends upon the meanings of its constituent terms (and how
they’re combined) alone, as opposed to a more usual
“synthetic” sentence, such as “Ophthalmologists are
rich,” whose truth depends also upon the facts about the world
that the sentence represents, e.g., that ophthalmologists are rich. This is sometimes called the “metaphysical”
characterization of the distinction, concerned with the source of the
truth of the sentences. A more cautious,
epistemological characterization is that analytic sentences
are those whose truth can be known merely by knowing the
meanings of the constituent terms, as opposed to having also to know
something about the represented world.
Henri Poincaré was a mathematician, theoretical physicist and a
philosopher of science famous for discoveries in several fields and
referred to as the last polymath, one who could make significant
contributions in multiple areas of mathematics and the physical
sciences. This survey will focus on Poincaré’s
philosophy. Concerning Poincaré’s scientific legacy, see
Browder (1983) and Charpentier, Ghys, Lesne (2010). Poincaré’s philosophy is primarily that of a scientist
originating in his own daily practice of science and in the scientific
debates of his time. As such, it is strongly influenced by the
reflections of Ernst Mach, James Maxwell and Hermann von Helmholtz.
The Einsteinian research programme can be summarized in the following way: Physical theories are attempts at saying how things are. The world is comprehensible. The above statement is a very general one, indeed this statement seems to be not enough to characterize uniquely Einstein’s programme. In fact, that state- ment is also perfectly adaptable to the Galilean, Cartesian, Newtonian, Leibnizian, Maxwellian and several other scientific programmes. According to Einstein, quan- tum objects are concrete entities existing in a space-time where causality holds. In the following statement the Einstein’s thought is more precise: Physical theories (including QM) are attempts at saying how things are (including quantum objects). The objective world is comprehensible. By the simultaneous help of space-time and causal conceptual categories we can study this comprehensible world.
Some theoreticians argue that nonlocality has a role in interpreting quantum phenomena. Others suggest that quantum nonlocality may be interpreted as a holis- tic, nonseparable relational issue.
It is argued that quantum theory is best understood as requiring an ontological duality of res extensa and res potentia, where the latter is understood per Heisenberg’s original proposal, and the former is roughly equivalent to Descartes’ ‘extended substance.’ However, this is not a dualism of mutually exclusive substances in the classical Cartesian sense, and therefore does not inherit the infamous ‘mind-body’ problem. Rather, res potentia and res extensa are proposed as mutually implicative ontological extants that serve to explain the key conceptual challenges of quantum theory; in particular, nonlocality, entanglement, null measurements, and wave function collapse. It is shown that a natural account of these quantum perplexities emerges, along with a need to reassess our usual ontological commitments involving the nature of space and time.
Why do we think in moral and evaluative terms (i.e., have moral and evaluative beliefs)? According to some philosophers, it is just because such thinking conferred a fitness advantage on our ancestors (i.e., helped them to survive and reproduce) and we have inherited this disposition. It is not because the things that we morally or evaluatively believe are ever true and we are apprehending or otherwise responding to these truths.1
The Univalent Foundations (UF) of mathematics take the point of view that spatial notions (e.g. “point” and “path”) are fundamental, rather than derived, and that all of mathematics can be encoded in terms of them. We will argue that this new point of view has important implications for philosophy, and especially for those parts of analytic philosophy that take set theory and first-order logic as their benchmark of rigor. To do so, we will explore the connection between foundations and philosophy, outline what is distinctive about the logic of UF, and then describe new philosophical theses one can express in terms of this new logic.
If mathematics is regarded as a science, then the philosophy of
mathematics can be regarded as a branch of the philosophy of science,
next to disciplines such as the philosophy of physics and the
philosophy of biology. However, because of its subject matter, the
philosophy of mathematics occupies a special place in the philosophy of
science. Whereas the natural sciences investigate entities that are
located in space in time, it is not at all obvious that this also the
case of the objects that are studied in mathematics. In addition to
that, the methods of investigation of mathematics differ markedly from
the methods of investigation in the natural sciences.
The Neapolitan Benedetto Croce (1860–1952) was a dominant figure
in the first half of the twentieth century in aesthetics and literary
criticism, as well as philosophy generally. But his fame did not
last, either in Italy or in the English speaking world. He did not
lack promulgators and willing translators into English: H. Carr was an
early example of the former, R. G. Collingwood was both, and
D. Ainslie did the latter service for most of Croce’s principal
works. But his star rapidly declined after the Second World
War. Indeed it is hard to find a figure whose reputation has fallen so
far and so quickly; this is somewhat unfair not least because
Collingwood’s aesthetics is still studied, when its main ideas
are mostly borrowed from Croce.
Although empiricism is often thought to be a modern doctrine, it has
ancient roots, and its modern forms are built on late medieval
developments. This article will begin by outlining three different
forms of empiricism. It will examine the Presocratic and Hippocratic
origins of the empiricist attitude, and discuss its development in the
work of Aristotle, the Hellenistic medical writers, sceptics, and
Epicureans. It will then examine the combination of Aristotelian and
Augustinian views in the work of thirteenth and fourteenth-century
thinkers, the connection between the study of magic and empiricism, the
eclipse of the doctrine of divine illumination, and the gradual
downplaying of the role of the intellect in the acquisition of
Mathematicians, physicists, and philosophers of physics often look to the symmetries of an object for insight into the structure or constitution of the object. My aim in this paper is to explain why this practice is successful. In order to do so, I prove two theorems that are closely related to (and in a sense, generalizations of) Beth’s and Svenonius’ theorems.
Several advocates of the lively field of “metaphysics of science” have recently argued that a naturalistic metaphysics should be based solely on current science, and that it should replace more traditional, intuition-based, forms of metaphysics. The aim of the present paper is to assess that claim by examining the relations between metaphysics of science and general metaphysics. We show that the current metaphysical battlefield is richer and more complex than a simple dichotomy between “metaphysics of science” and “traditional metaphysics”, and that it should instead be understood as a three dimensional “box”, with one axis distinguishing “descriptive metaphysics” from “revisionary metaphysics,” a second axis distinguishing a priori from a posteriori metaphysics, and a third axis distinguishing “commonsense metaphysics”, “traditional metaphysics” and “metaphysics of science.” We use this three-dimensional figure to shed light on the project of current metaphysics of science, and to demonstrate that, in many instances, the target of that project is not defined with enough precision and clarity.
ARISTOTLE’s project in the first book of the Physics is to develop a theory of the principles of natural beings. According to this theory, as set out in Physics 1. 7, the generation of a natural substance is a process whereby an underlying substratum (the matter) goes from having a certain privation to having the relevant form. The result— ing substance is a composite of the substratum and the form. These three items—the substratum, the form, and the privation—are the principles of natural beings.
IN Metaphysics A 9 Aristotle explains why none of the arguments for Platonic Forms is successful: 671 56 K116 oug Tponovs 56LKVU,U.6V on 6071 7a 6L57], Kar ov06va (pawn-cu TOUTwV‘ 6E 61/va p.61! yap OUK (wag/K77 'yLyV600aL (xv/\Aoywlwv, 6E 61/va 56 Km 011x wv , , I \ \ 3 , I I I , , I ‘ x 3 I oio’p60a 7'01?er 61,51] 'yt’yva'aL, Kan-Ci T6 ydp 700$ Adj/GUS 7003 6K 7131/ 6’mo7'7],u<£w 61,51] é’oraL 77111!er 50w]! éflLarfiuaL 6501', Kai Karel 7'6 6‘]! 6775 77'0/\)\c?)v Kai 7121]! c2770— (fiao6wv, KCLTG. 56 7'0 v06w 7'L ¢0ap6v70s raw ¢0aprww (fiavraoua yap TL 7'01}er €0'7'LV. 671 56 0L aKpLB60'7'6p0L va Aoywv 0L [JIEV va WPOS TL 770LOUO'LV @603, «W 011 ,I .I \ I , I A I I ‘ A I . , I I ,I (pal/.612 631204 Kafi’ a157'6 'y6'1/os, of 56 7'61» 7'pL'7'ov Eivfipwn'ov /\6"you0'w. (ggobS—I7)I Further, of the ways in which we prove that the Forms exist, none brings them to light; for from some the conclusion does not necessarily follow, while from others it follows that there are also Forms of things of which we do not think there are Forms. For according to the arguments from the sciences there will be Forms of all things of which there are sciences; and according to the one over many there will also be Forms of negations; and according to the argument from thinking of something when it has perished there will be Forms of perishable things, since there is an appearance of these. Further, of the more accurate arguments, some make Forms of relatives, of which we say there is no by-itself kind, while others speak of the third man.
The second and third chapters of Physics I contain an extensive critique of Eleatic monism, the theory of Parmenides and Melissus that ‘what is is one’. In the second chapter Aristotle argues that this theory is impossible, and in the third chapter he explains why the Eleatics’ arguments do not succeed.
Carnap suggests that philosophy can be construed as being engaged solely in conceptual engineering. I argue that since many results of the sciences can be construed as stemming from conceptual engineering as well, Carnap’s account of philosophy can be methodologically naturalistic. This is also how he conceived of his account. That the sciences can be construed as relying heavily on conceptual engineering is supported by empirical investigations into scientific methodology, but also by a number of conceptual considerations. I present a new conceptual consideration that generalizes Carnap’s conditions of adequacy for analytic-synthetic distinctions and thus widens the realm in which conceptual engineering can be used to choose analytic sentences. I apply these generalized conditions of adequacy to a recent analysis of scientific theories and defend the relevance of the analytic-synthetic distinction against criticisms by Quine, Demopoulos, and Papineau.
Many interpreters of the Critique of Pure Reason ignore Kant's anti-rationalist program or present it as much less significant than his attack on empiricism. YetKant probably thought of Leibnizian rationalism as the more pressing threat; the title of the work provides evidence for this. In this paper I will explore an important component of Kant's anti-rationalism, the argument of the Amphiboly of Concepts of Reflection. This argument has received little attention by the commentators, although G. H. R. Parkinson is a notable exception. At the heart of this argument is Kant's criticism of Leibniz's view that the nature of any substance consists solely of intrinsic (i.e. non-relational) properties. I shall contend that Kant is not simply concerned to provide reasons for rejecting a peculiarity of Leibniz's metaphysics, but that his attack on intrinsicality aims at a conception that lies at the root of the Leibnizian position.
Mathematical Platonists say that sets and numbers exist. But there is a standard epistemological problem: How do we have epistemic access to the sets to the extent of knowing some of the axioms they satisfy? …