The second thesis from Armstrong is that a relation and its converse are identical, so that the instantiation of the converse relation represents no increase in being. This is the identity thesis for converse relations. In the context of Armstrong’s notion of..
Newton’s laws of motion imply that any plurality of particles whatsoever considered as a whole obeys Newton’s laws. Nevertheless, I define a Newtonian composite object as an object for the purposes of Newtonian mechanics in which the atoms act in casual dependence on one another in such a way that the whole is structurally stable in many interactions. An elastic solid object is a type of a Newtonian composite object in which each atom is in stable spatial equilibrium (...) relative to the others — it can only move slightly relative to its position in the lattice of inter-atomic spatial relations. It is easy to generalize the notion of Newtonian composite object and define a general composite object. (shrink)
1 See for example, E. J. Lowe, The Possibility of Metaphysics, pp. 51-3, 210-220, and David Lewis, The Plurality of Worlds on the notion of concrete object. 2 The properties that are constituents of a particular should be intrinsic properties, though it need not be assumed that all its intrinsic properties are constituents. The notion of intrinsic property is easier if a sparse view (as opposed to an abundant view) of properties is assumed. A sparse view requires a criterion for (...) being a property, such as a causal principle (Shoemaker) or the related Eleatic principle (Armstrong). Intrinsic properties should be real properties. Such a criterion should rule out conjunctive properties, disjunctive properties, and negated properties. On the hand, it could be stipulated that these are not intrinsic properties. Those that believe in abundant properties should use the criterion to divide properties into two classes (natural and non-natural); intrinsic properties would then be located in the first class. Extrinsic properties are properties that an object possesses in virtue of other objects, their properties, and relations that involve them. If these other objects were to disappear all intrinsic properties would be unaffected. Intrinsic properties are non-relational in the sense that an object does not possesses them in virtue of other objects, their properties, and relations between them. However, intrinsic properties can be relational when an object possesses a (monadic) property in virtue of relations between its parts. Paradigmatic intrinsic properties are the mass, charge, magnetic moment, and spin of the electron as normally understood. (shrink)
Newton’s laws of motion imply that any plurality of particles whatsoever considered as a whole obeys Newton’s laws. Nevertheless, I define a Newtonian composite object as an object for the purposes of Newtonian mechanics in which the atoms act in casual dependence on one another in such a way that the whole is structurally stable in many interactions. An elastic solid object is a type of a Newtonian composite object in which each atom is in stable spatial equilibrium relative to (...) the others — it can only move slightly relative to its position in the lattice of inter-atomic spatial relations. It is easy to generalize the notion of Newtonian composite object and define a general composite object. (shrink)
1 A particular may have other particulars as parts, but according to the bundle theory its ultimate constituents are confined to universals. Parts are different from constituents or components. A part is a type of constituent, but there are constituents that are not parts. Parts belong to the same general category as the whole: if a concrete particular has parts, those parts will themselves be concrete particulars. This is not always the case with constituents: the constituents of a fact do (...) not have to be facts and the constituents (or members) of a set do not have to be sets. The relation of “being a part of” is also transitive, whereas the relation of “being a constituent of” is not always transitive. If a particular has parts, such as atoms, then its constituents include its intrinsic properties, its atoms, and the arrangement relation. If an atom has parts, such as subatomic particles, then the constituents of the atom include its properties, the subatomic particles, and the arrangement universal. If it is like this all the way down without any termination (no bedrock), then the bundle theory says that at each stage there are only universals and ordinary particulars with parts, in other words there are no bare particulars. This approach should also work if there were arbitrary undetached parts that are real entities. The alternative to no bedrock is metaphysical atomism. There are two ways that metaphysical atomism could be true in classical mechanics: (1) if the ultimate constituents of matter are point particles — perhaps electrons are point particles, (2) if matter is continuously divisible and arbitrary undetached parts are not real entities or real parts. But it would be rash to say that these were the only two options for all theories. Point particles are a convenient kind of particular to think about when discussing the bundle theory. There could be just three properties bundled together, a certain mass, a certain charge, and the property of being point like.. (shrink)
My aim is to make some comments on the ontology of the correspondence theory of truth. First I shall give reasons for rejecting a Platonic view of propositions. This motivates locating propositions in the world. I then present a version of Russell’s theory of truth, which if it locates propositions anywhere locates them in the world. I consider some of the advantages of this theory, not least among being that it does not need facts as entities.
Internalism about mental content holds that microphysical duplicates must be mental duplicates full-stop. Anyone particle-for-particle indiscernible from someone who believes that Aristotle was wise, for instance, must share that same belief. Externalism instead contends that many perfectly ordinary propositional attitudes can be had only in certain sorts of physical, sociolinguistic, or historical context. To have a belief about Aristotle, for instance, a person must have been causally impacted in the right way by Aristotle himself (e.g., by hearing about him, or (...) reading some of his works).An interesting third view, which I call. (shrink)
Recent philosophy of psychology has seen the rise of so-called "dual-component" and "two-dimensional" theories of mental content as what I call a "Middle Way" between internalism (the view that contents of states like belief are "narrow") and externalism (the view that by and large, such contents are "wide"). On these Middle Way views, mental states are supposed to have two kinds of content: the "folk-psychological" kind, which we ordinarily talk about and which is wide; and some non-folk-psychological kind which is (...) narrow. Jerry Fodor is responsible for one of the most influential arguments that we need to believe in some such non-folk-psychological kind of content. In this paper I argue that the ideas behind Fodor's premises are mutually inconsistent - so it would be irrational to believe in a Middle Way theory of mental content no matter how many of Fodor's premises you find plausible. Common opinion notwithstanding, we have to choose between internalism and externalism, full-stop. (shrink)
This work presents a version of the correspondence theory of truth based on Wittgenstein's Tractatus and Russell's theory of truth and discusses related metaphysical issues such as predication, facts, and propositions. Like Russell and one prominent interpretation of the Tractatus it assumes a realist view of universals. Part of the aim is to avoid Platonic propositions, and although sympathy with facts is maintained in the early chapters, the book argues that facts as real entities are not needed. It (...) includes discussion of contemporary philosophers such as David Armstrong, William Alston, and Paul Horwich, as well as those who write about propositions and facts, and a number of recent students of Bertrand Russell. It will interest teachers and advanced students of philosophy who are interested in the realistic conception of truth and in issues in metaphysics related to the correspondence theory of truth, and those interested in Russell and the Tractatus. (shrink)
This is a book about some of the basic concepts of metaphysics: universals, particulars, causality, and possibility. Its aim is to give an account of the real constituents of the world. The author defends a realistic view of universals, characterizing the notion of universal by considering language and logic, possibility, hierarchies of universals, and causation. On the other hand, he argues that logic and language are not reliable guides to the nature of reality. All assertions and predications about the natural (...) world are ultimately founded on "basic universals," which are the fundamental type of universal and central to causation. A distinction is drawn between unified particulars (which have a natural principle of unity) and arbitrary particulars (which lack such a principle); unified particulars are the terms of causal relations and thus real constituents of the world. Arbitrary particulars such as events, states of affairs, and sets have no ontological significance. (shrink)
Immanent realism is a justly popular theory of universals which is incomplete. It is not good enough to say that all universals are equally real and all equally inhere in objects. Concepts come in hierarchies, For example: "colored," "red" and "claret," where "claret" is a shade of red. Only those at the very bottom of the hierarchy exist in objects, And are rightly called properties. Only properties have causality as a criterion of identity. Frege's functional account of concepts can be (...) adapted to explain how higher level concepts apply to objects. Between two concepts at different levels there is a relationship called 'essential subordination', Which is different from all other relationships. That a person is said to possess a concept of a property is to be explained in terms of a person possessing certain mental capacity, Which enables him to make certain judgments. Properties are concepts which exist in objects. (shrink)