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)
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.
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)
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)
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.
A philosophy might take its general inspiration from (1) commonsense; (2) careful observation; (3) philosophical argumentation; (4) the sciences; (5) "higher" sources of illumination. It is argued in this paper that it is bedrock commonsense, and the sciences, which are the most reliable foundations for a philosophy. This result is applied to the discussion and defense of a materialist theory of the mind.
This classic work of recent philosophy was first published in 1968, and remains the most compelling and comprehensive statement of the view that the mind is material or physical. In A Materialist Theory of the Mind , D. M. Armstrong provided insight into the debate surrounding the relationship of the mind and body. He put forth a detailed materialist account of all the main mental phenomena, including perception, sensation, belief, the will, introspection, mental images, and consciousness. This causal analysis of (...) mental concepts, along with the similar theory by David Lewis, has come to dominate all subsequent debates in the philosophy of mind. In the preface to this updated edition, Armstrong reflects on the impact of the book, and places it in the context of subsequent developments. A full bibliography of all the key writings that have appeared in the materialist debate is also provided. (shrink)