I used to think of the connection between a particular and a universal that it instantiates as a contingent one. Now I think that this is not quite right. This revision, as I now see it, is not a very large one. I still think that the states of affairs (Russell’s facts in his great Lectures on Logical Atomism) that unite particulars and universals are contingent beings. But the connection within states of affairs is, in a certain way, necessary.
The mental: [I] The unconscious: A totally unconscious man has a mind and the mind is in various states. ___ He does not lack knowledge and beliefs. ___ He may be credited with memories and skills. ___ He may be credited with likes and dislikes, attitudes and emotions, current desires and current aims and purposes. He may be said to have certain traits of character and temperament. He may be said to be in certain moods..... [The mental states of a (...) totally unconscious person are thus "causally quiescent": ___ knowledge and beliefs may be said to be causally quiescent while they are not producing any mental effect in the person.]. (shrink)
'With this scheme, John Anderson joins a very distinguished line of philosophers who have presented us with a set of categories. We have first Plato (the doctrine of Highest Kinds in his dialogue The Sophist), then Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Samuel Alexander.' - D. M. Armstrong, from the introduction. Space, Time and the Categories presents a unique record of personal influence and inspiration over three generations of philosophers in Australia, England and Scotland. This work is a vitally important text in (...) the history of the development of realist philosophy in Australian universities. With an introduction by Emeritus Professor D M Armstrong whose own student notes are the basis for the text used, this book brings together three of the major figures in the history of Australian philosophy. (shrink)
This paper argues that the foundations of our knowledge are the bed-rock certainties of ordinary life, what may be called the Moorean truths. Beyond that are the well-established results within the empirical sciences, and whatever has been proved in the rational sciences of mathematics and logic. Otherwise there is only belief, which may be more or less rational. A moral drawn from this is that dogmatism should be moderated on all sides.
In considering the nature of properties four controversial decisions must be made. (1) Are properties universals or tropes? (2) Are properties attributes of particulars, or are particulars just bundles of properties? (3) Are properties categorical (qualitative) in nature, or are they powers? (4) If a property attaches to a particular, is this predication contingent, or is it necessary? These choices seem to be in a great degree independent of each other. The author indicates his own choices.
Truths are determined not by what we believe, but by the way the world is. Or so realists about truth believe. Philosophers call such theories correspondence theories of truth. Truthmaking theory, which now has many adherents among contemporary philosophers, is the most recent development of a realist theory of truth, and in this book D. M. Armstrong offers the first full-length study of this theory. He examines its applications to different sorts of truth, including contingent truths, modal truths, truths about (...) the past and the future, and mathematical truths. In a clear, even-handed and non-technical discussion he makes a compelling case for truthmaking and its importance in philosophy. His book marks a significant contribution to the debate and will be of interest to a wide range of readers working in analytical philosophy. (shrink)
The object of this paper is to argue once again for the combinatorial account of possibility defended in earlier work (Armstrong, 1989, 1997). But there I failed fully to realise the dialectical advantages that accrue once one begins by assuming the hypothesis of logical atomism, the hypothesis that postulates simple particulars and simple universals (properties and relations) at the bottom of the world. Logical atomism is, I incline to think, no better than ‘speculative cosmology’ as opposed to ‘analytic ontology’, to (...) use Donald Williams’ terminology (Williams, 1966, p.74). It is, however, not an implausible hypothesis given the current state of quantum physics. More important for our purposes here, the strictly combinatorial theory that flows rather naturally from the atomist metaphysics shows some promise of continuing to hold (perhaps with a little mutatis mutandis) in a world that is not an atomist world. (shrink)
The Epicurean teacher and poet Philodemus of Gadara (c. 110-c. 40/35 BC) exercised significant literary and philosophical influence on Roman writers of the Augustan Age, most notably the poets Vergil and Horace. Yet a modern appreciation for Philodemus' place in Roman intellectual history has had to wait on the decipherment of the charred remains of Philodemus' library, which was buried in Herculaneum by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. As improved texts and translations of Philodemus' writings have become available (...) since the 1970s, scholars have taken a keen interest in his relations with leading Latin poets. The essays in this book, derived from papers presented at the First International Symposium on Philodemus, Vergil, and the Augustans held in 2000, offer a new baseline for understanding the effect of Philodemus and Epicureanism on both the thought and poetic practices of Vergil, Horace, and other Augustan writers. Sixteen leading scholars trace his influence on Vergil's early writings, the Eclogues and the Georgics, and on the Aeneid, as well as on the writings of Horace and others. The volume editors also provide a substantial introduction to Philodemus' philosophical ideas for all classicists seeking a fuller understanding of this pivotal figure. (shrink)
Book Information Essays on Realism and Rationalism. Essays on Realism and Rationalism Alan Musgrave , Amsterdam & Atlanta: Rodopi , 1999 , pp. xi + 367 , US$83 . By Alan Musgrave. Amsterdam & Atlanta: Rodopi. Pp. xi + 367. US$83.
Corballis presents a plausible evolutionary mechanism to explain the tight linkage between cerebral lateralization for language and for handedness in humans. This argument may be bolstered by invoking Stokoe's notion of semantic phonology to explain the role of Broca's area in grammatical functions.
This paper points to the need in ape language research to shift from experimentation to ethnography. We cannot determine what goes on inside the head of an ape when it communicates with a human being, but we can learn about the nature and content of the communication that occurs in such face-to-face interaction. This information is fundamental for establishing a baseline for the abilities of an ape-human common ancestor.
Revenant sur la question des vérifacteurs, D. Armstrong demande ici d'abord comment concilier le maximalisme (toute vérité a un vérifacteur) et la relation de nécessitation (toute vérité contingente peut servir de vérifacteur pour une vérité nécessaire quelconque). L'A. examine quel sens métaphysique donner à la notion d'implication, et s'il y a un sens à admettre une contingence de re. Il traite à ce niveau des possibilités pures, examine le cas des aliens chez <span class='Hi'>David</span> Lewis, puis pose la question de (...) savoir s'il est contingent de dire qu'il y a de l'être plutôt que rien. L'exposé le conduit à traiter du cas des vérifacteurs pour les vérités nécessaires, mais adopte une thèse possibiliste pour les sujets de la science démonstrative. Il se clôt par un examen du genre de nécessité transcatégorielle (et métaphysique) qui est implicite à la généralisation des vérifacteurs. The A. wants to reconcile maximalisme about truthmakers (every truth has a truthmaker) and the relation of necessitation (every contingent truth can be used in a truthmaker for a necessary truth). He investigates the metaphysical sense of the implication and whether one can admit de re contingency. He examines the pure possibilities and the case of alien properties according with <span class='Hi'>David</span> Lewis and studies whether it is contingent that there is something rather than nothing. He analyses the truthmakers of necessary truths and adopts a possibilist thesis for matters of demonstrative science. He concludes with the transcategorial (and metaphysical) necessity which is implicit in the generalization of truthmakers. (shrink)
Analyzes difficult case in the theory of truthmaking. Account on the notion of a truthmaker by philosopher Bertrand Russell; Context of the correspondence theory of truth; Requisites of a truthmaker; Discussion on negative truths, universally quantified truths and modal truths.
Dispositions are essential to our understanding of the world. IDispositions: A Debate is an extended dialogue between three distinguished philosophers - D.M. Armstrong, C.B. Martin and U.T. Place - on the many problems associated with dispositions, which reveals their own distinctive accounts of the nature of dispositions. These are then linked to other issues such as the nature of mind, matter, universals, existence, laws of nature and (...) causation. (shrink)
1. Some reasons are given for rejecting the view that there are entities that do not exist. 2. It is suggested, nevertheless, that this view has some plausibility when we consider unrealized empirical possibilities. 3. Even if non-existent entities are rejected, there remains Meinong's distinction between object and objectives, roughly: things and facts. The author would analyze objects in terms of objectives, yielding a world of facts.
D.M. Armstrong is an eminent Australian philosopher whose work over many years has dealt with such subjects as: the nature of possibility, concepts of the particular and the general, causes and laws of nature, and the nature of human consciousness. This collection of essays, all specially written for this volume, explore the many facets of Armstrong's work, concentrating on his more recent interests. There are four sections to the book: possibility and identity, universals, laws and causality, philosophy of mind. The (...) contributors comprise an international group of philosophers from the United States, England, and Australia. An interesting feature of the volume is that Armstrong himself has written responses to each of the essays. There is also a complete bibliography of Armstrong's writings. (shrink)
This major new work by David Armstrong is a contribution to recent philosophical discussions about possible worlds. Taking Wittgenstein's Tractatus as his point of departure, Armstrong argues that non-actual possibilities and possible worlds are recombinations of actually existing elements and as such are useful fictions. Included is an extended criticism of the alternative possible worlds approach championed by the American philosopher David Lewis.
In this short text, a distinguished philosopher turns his attention to one of the oldest and most fundamental philosophical problems of all: How it is that we are able to sort and classify different things as being of the same natural class? Professor Armstrong carefully sets out six major theories—ancient, modern, and contemporary—and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each. Recognizing that there are no final victories or defeats in metaphysics, Armstrong nonetheless defends a traditional account of universals as the (...) most satisfactory theory we have.This study is written for advanced students, but as Armstrong goes considerably beyond his earlier work on this topic, it will interest professional scholars as well. Carefully plotted and clearly written, Universals is both a paradigm of exposition and a case study on the value of careful analysis of fundamental issues in philosophy. (shrink)
This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on the orthodox and (...) sceptical view deriving from Hume that laws assert no more than a regularity of coincidence between instances of properties. In doing so he presents what may become the definitive statement of the case against this position. Professor Armstrong then goes on to establish his own theory in a systematic manner defending it against the most likely objections, and extending both it and the related theory of universals to cover functional and statistical laws. This treatment of the subject is refreshingly concise and vivid: it will both stimulate vigorous professional debate and make an excellent student text. (shrink)