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.
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.
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)
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.
This is part of a three-volume collection of most of David Lewis' papers in philosophy, except for those that previously appeared in his Philosophical Papers (Oxford University Press, 1983 and 1986). They are now offered in a readily accessible form. This second volume is devoted to Lewis' work in metaphysics and epistemology. The purpose of this collection, and the volumes that precede and follow it, is to disseminate more widely the work of an eminent and influential contemporary philosopher. The volume (...) will serve as a useful work of reference for teachers and students of philosophy. (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.
Totality states of affairs (Russell's 'general facts') are defended against Martin's criticisms. Although higher-order, they are not 'abstract in Quine's sense. If space-time is the whole of being, and if it can be seen as a vast conjunction of states of affairs, then the state of affairs that this is the totality of lower-order states of affairs is not additional to, but completes, space-times. If totality states of affairs are admitted, then there seems no need for any further negative states (...) of affairs additional to totality states of affairs. (shrink)
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)
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)
Arda Denkel, in "Real Resemblances," argues for a moderate Nominalism where substances objectively have properties and relations, the latter being particulars, but dependent particulars, grouped into classes by objective relations of resemblance. This view is contrasted unfavorably with the view that properties and relations are universals instantiated by particulars. It is conceded that Denkel's scheme has much to commend it. But it is argued that the universals view has much more to be said for it than Denkel allows, and that (...) it is indeed, on balance, the superior view. (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)