This paper is a defense of John Duns Scotus’s theory of individuation against one of William of Ockham’s objections. In the Ordinatio II. D.3. P. 1, John Duns Scotus argues for the existence of haecceity, a positive, indivisible distinction which makes an individual an individual rather than a kind of thing. He argues for the existence of haecceity by arguing for a form which is a “real less than numerical unity” and is neither universal nor singular. In the Summa Logicae, (...) William of Ockham objects to Scotus’s theory of haecceity by attacking his theory of universals, claiming that the same thing would be proper and common simultaneously. The basis of Ockham’s objections is that only a real distinction is possible: if things are distinct, then they can exist separately. Without universals, a principle of individuation is unnecessary. To defend Scotus’s principle of individuation, an account and defense of the formal distinction is necessary. Without the formal distinction, metaphysical categories, such as being and one, are incoherent or contradictory. The formal distinction gives rise to a new law of contradiction:two or more entities are formally distinct if and only if contradiction or non-being results from their separation and the properties of one being do not match theproperties of the other being(s). (shrink)
Colin McGinn has written on a wide range of philosophical issues and is best known for his argument that the human mind is incapable of understanding itself, and that therefore attempts to understand the nature of consciousness are doomed. He has written a novel and a memoir, and has recently turned his attention to the cinema and Shakespeare. He is professor of philosophy at Miami University.
In this paper, I discuss Colin McGinn’s claim that the mind is not miraculous but merely mysterious, and that this mystery is due to the limits of our cognitive faculties. To adequately present the flow and unity of McGinn’s overall argument, I offer an extended and uninterrupted précis of his case, followed by a critique. I will argue that McGinn’s argument is unsuccessful if it is intended to persuade non-naturalists, but nevertheless may be a plausible position for a naturalist, (...) qua naturalist, to take on the mind. (shrink)
Resenha do livro de McGinn, Colin. Shakespeare’s Philosophy : Discovering the meaning Behind the Plays [A filosofia de Shakespeare: descobrindo o significado atrás das peças]. New York: Harper, 2008. 230 páginas.
Rationis Defensor is a volume of previously unpublished essays celebrating the life and work of Colin Cheyne. It celebrates his dedication to rational enquiry and his philosophical style. It also celebrates the distinctive brand of naturalistic philosophy for which Otago has become known. Contributors to the volume include a wide variety of philosophers, all with a personal connection to Colin, and all of whom are, in their own way, defenders of rationality.
‘Quantified pure existentials’ are sentences (e.g., ‘Some things do not exist’) which meet these conditions: (i) the verb EXIST is contained in, and is, apart from quantificational BE, the only full (as against auxiliary) verb in the sentence; (ii) no (other) logical predicate features in the sentence; (iii) no name or other sub-sentential referring expression features in the sentence; (iv) the sentence contains a quantifier that is not an occurrence of EXIST. Colin McGinn and Rod Girle have alleged that (...) standard first-order logic cannot adequately deal with some such existentials. The article defends the view that it can. (shrink)