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[Graeme Forbes] In I, I summarize the semantics for the relational/notional distinction for intensional transitives developed in Forbes (2000b). In II-V I pursue issues about logical consequence which were either unsatisfactorily dealt with in that paper or, more often, not raised at all. I argue that weakening inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a gorgon', are valid, but that disjunction inferences, such as 'Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon, therefore Perseus seeks a mortal gorgon or (...) an immortal gorgon', are invalid. Since 'a gorgon' and 'a mortal gorgon or an immortal gorgon' are extensionally and intensionally the same quantifier, it is not completely trivial to arrange the semantics of intensional transitives so that this classification of the inferences is obtained. (This paper is an abridged version of Forbes (2001a); the latter will be incorporated into a forthcoming monograph, Attitude Problems.) /// [Jennifer Saul] This paper discusses the question of which verbs are intensional transitives. In particular, I ask which verbs Forbes should take to be intensional transitives. I argue that it is very difficult to arrive at a clear and plausible understanding of what an intensional transitive is-making it difficult to answer these questions. I end by briefly raising some questions about the usefulness of the category of intensional transitives. (shrink)
The Enlightenment and its legacy are still actively debated, with the Enlightenment acting as a key organizing concept in philosophy, social theory and the history of ideas. Counter-Enlightenments is the first full-length study to deal with the history and development of the Counter-Enlightenment thought from its inception in the eighteenth century right through to the present. Engaging in a critical dialogue with Isiah Berlin's work, this book analyses the concept of Counter-Enlightenment and some of the most important conceptual issues and (...) problems it raises. Graeme Garrard explores the diverse forms of Counter-Enlightenment thought, with a wide-ranging review of the principle figures of the past two hundred and fifty years, and he assesses the persuasiveness of the most common and important criticisms of the Enlightenment. (shrink)
In a recent article in Analysis, Graeme Hunter and William Seager (1981) attempt to rescue counterpart theory (CT) from some objections of Hazen 1979. They see these objections as arising from ‘uncritical use of the translation scheme originally proposed by Lewis’, and intend to meet them by refraining from use of that scheme. But they do not offer a new scheme; they say ‘…it is no more necessary to have one to capture the sense of modal idiom than it (...) is to capture the sense of quantificational idiom…Appeal to truth value is the single most important criterion of correct translation’ (Hunter and Seager 1981:72). Thus, where the scheme of Lewis (1968) translates a truth by a falsehood or conversely, Hunter and Seager simply produce a sentence which they claim to be a better translation, without articulating any structural principles they employ to arrive at their candidate. A friend of CT should not be happy with this procedure. Let Lm be first-order modal language and Lc be the language of counterpart theory. Sentences of Lc are intended to interpret or elucidate the meanings of Lm-sentences in the strong sense that they should be the outputs of an adequate theory of meaning, which we can formulate as a model theory, for Lm, written in Lc plus set theory. The interest of CT resides in its potential to provide an alternative approach to the model theory of modal logic, and from the clauses of any such alternative model theory we should be able to read off a translation scheme for Lm into Lc, just as we can in the standard case. If CT’s motivation is sound, which Hunter and Seager do not dispute, yet there is no translation scheme and so no counterpart-theoretic model theory, one might suspect some defect in the original language Lm. And in fact, Hunter and Seager find certain Lm-sentences multiply ambiguous with respect to Lc; but if a counterpart-theoretic model theory is possible, to say.. (shrink)
In this particularly well written volume Graeme Hirst presents a theoretically motivated foundation for semantic interpretation (conceptual analysis) by computer, and shows how this framework facilitates the resolution of both lexical and syntactic ambiguities.
Analytic philosophy has recently demonstrated a revived interest in metaphysical problems about possibility and necessity. Graeme Forbes here provides a careful description of the logical background of recent work in this area for those who may be unfamiliar with it, moving on to d discuss the distinction between modality de re and modality de dicto and the ontological commitments of possible worlds semantics. In addition, Forbes offers a unified theory of the essential properties of sets, organisms, artefacts, substances, and (...) events, based on the doctrine that identity facts must be intrinsically grounded, and analyzes and rejects apparent counterexamples to this doctrine. (shrink)
Many philosophers, following David Lewis, believe that we should look to counterpart theory, not quantified modal logic, as a means of understanding modal discourse. We argue that this is a mistake. Significant parts of modal discourse involve either implicit or explicit reference to what is actually the case, raising the question of how talk about actuality is to be represented counterpart-theoretically. By considering possible modifications of Lewis's counterpart theory, including actual modifications due to Graeme Forbes and Murali Ramachandran, we (...) argue that no coherent version of counterpart theory can provide a plausible representation of talk about actuality, and so, we conclude, counterpart theory should be rejected. (shrink)
Growing-Block theorists hold that past and present things are real, while future things do not yet exist. This generates a puzzle: how can Growing-Block theorists explain the fact that some sentences about the future appear to be true? Briggs and Forbes develop a modal ersatzist framework, on which the concrete actual world is associated with a branching-time structure of ersatz possible worlds. They then show how this branching structure might be used to determine the truth values of future contingents. They (...) point out three different ways of interpreting the logical connectives, which give rise to three different logics of the open future: one supervaluationist, one corresponding to Lukasiewicz's strong Kleene logic, and one intuitionist. (shrink)
ln "Possibilities and the Arguments for Origin Essentialism" Teresa Robertson (1998) contends that the best-known arguments in favour of origin essentialism can succeed only at the cost of violating modal common sense—by denying that any variation in constitution or process of assembly is possible. Focusing on the (Kripke-style) arguments of Nathan Salmon and Graeme Forbes, Robertson shows that both founder in the face of sophisticated Ship of Theseus style considerations. While Robertson is right that neither of the arguments is (...) compelling as formulated, each can be modified to fend off her particular counterexamples; these modifications do not differ in kind from those already needed to deal with ordinary Theseus cases, requiring only a further narrowing of the sufficiency clause from which the necessity of origins is derived. (shrink)
In this critical review I discuss the main themes of the papers in Kit Fine's Modality and Tense: Philosophical Papers. These themes are that modal operators are intelligible in their own right and that actualist quantifiers are to be taken as basic with respect to possibilist quantifiers. I also discuss a previously unpublished paper of Fine's on modality and existence.
Graeme Forbes (2011) raises some problems for two-dimensional semantic theories. The problems concern nested environments: linguistic environments where sentences are nested under both modal and epistemic operators. Closely related problems involving nested environments have been raised by Scott Soames (2005) and Josh Dever (2007). Soames (forthcoming) goes so far as to say that nested environments pose the “chief technical problem” for strong two-dimensionalism. We might call the problem of handling nested environments within two-dimensional semantics the nesting problem. We first (...) lay out the basic principles of two-dimensional semantics and a simple treatment of necessity and apriority operators, and spell out how Forbes' puzzle arises within this framework. We then show how a generalized version of the puzzle arises independently of two-dimensional semantics. We go on to spell out a two-dimensional treatment of attitude verbs and spell out a two-dimensional treatment of the apriority operator that fits the two-dimensional treatment of attitude verbs and show how these handle Forbes' puzzles. (shrink)
In Attitude Problems, I gave an account of opacity in the complement of intensional transitive verbs that combined neo-Davidsonian event-semantics with a hidden-indexical account of substitution failure. In this paper, I extend the account to clausal verbs.
We analyse aspects of the Big Bang program in modern cosmology, with special focus on the strategies employed by its adherents both in defending the theory against anomalous data and in dismissing rival accounts. We illustrate this by critically examining four aspects of Big Bang cosmology: the interpretation of the cosmic red-shift, the explanation of the cosmic background radiation, the inflation hypothesis and the search for dark matter. We conclude that the Big Bang's dominance of contemporary cosmology is not justified (...) by the degree of experimental support it receives relative to rival theories. (shrink)
Current conceptions of the nature of human reasoning make it no longer tenable to assess children's inference by reference to the norms of logical inference. Alternatively, the complexity of the mental models employed in children's inferences can be analysed. This approach is applied to transitive inference, class inclusion, categorical induction, theory of mind, oddity, categorical syllogisms, analogy, and reasoning deficits. It is argued that a coherent account of children's reasoning emerges in that there is correspondence between tasks at the same (...) level of complexity across different domains, and that the inferences of younger children, while impressive and important, are consistently simpler than those of older children. (shrink)
In a review of Frege's Puzzle1, Graeme Forbes makes the claim that Salmon's account of belief might be seen, under certain conditions, as a mere notational variant of a neo-Fregean theory; and thus that such an account might be reduced to a neo-Fregean one simply by rewriting it in terms of Fregean terminology. With a view to supporting his claim, Forbes offers an outline of an account of belief which, according to him, would satisfy the following conditions: (i) it (...) could be directly obtained from Salmon's own analysis by means of a certain set of substitutions, which presumably would not affect the essential features of Salmon's view; (ii) it could naturally be described as Fregean, in the sense that it would preserve, (at least) the spirit of Frege's doctrines, especially his fundamental intuitions about belief. Of course, the upshot of Forbes's argument is that Salmon's theory would not, at bottom, constitute a genuine alternative to a Fregean semantics for belief ascriptions. In this paper I argue to the effect that Forbes's claim is not in general sound. It seems to me that the sort of indirect argument used by Forbes - that of trying to undermine Salmon's theory by showing that it is just a version of a neo-Fregean account - does not provide someone working within a Fregean framework with an adequate strategy to counter Salmon's neo-Russellian views. It would perhaps be better to concentrate a Fregean attack on certain apparently dubious and highly controversial theses and results which are constitutive of Salmon's view, e.g. the counterintuitive character of a substantial set of consequences which follow from his theory of belief, as well as the associated revisionist stand he is forced to take towards our current patterns of speaking about belief. (shrink)
A verb is transitive iff it usually occurs with a direct object, and in such occurrences it is said to occur transitively . Thus ‘ate’ occurs transitively in ‘I ate the meat and left the vegetables’, but not in ‘I ate then left’ (perhaps it is not the same verb ‘left’ in these two examples, but it seems to be the same ‘ate’). A verb is intensional if the verb phrase (VP) it forms with its complement is anomalous in at (...) least one of three ways: (i) interchanging expressions in the complement referring to the same entity can change the truth-value of the sentence embedding the VP; (ii) the VP admits of a special “unspecific” reading if it contains a quantifier, or a certain type of quantifier; and (iii) the normal existential commitments of names and existential quantifiers in the complement are suspended even when the embedding sentence is negation-free. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine the case that has been made for origin essentialism and find it wanting. I focus on the arguments of Nathan Salmon and Graeme Forbes. Like most origin essentialists, Salmon and Forbes have been concerned to respect the intuition that slight variation in the origin of an artifact or organism is possible. But, I argue, both of their arguments fail to respect this intuition. Salmon's argument depends on a sufficiency principle for cross-world identity, which should (...) be rejected, if - as Salmon concedes - a given artifact might have been originally made from slightly different material. Similarly, Forbes's argument succeeds only if essentially the same argument can be used to establish a claim that - by his own admission - is too strong, namely that no variation, however slight, in an organism's origin is possible. (shrink)
Keith Donnellan has advanced an interpretation of Kripke's well-known "Puzzle About Belief" according to which the puzzle concerns the true nature of beliefs. In this paper I argue that the puzzle merely concerns problems that others can have in "reporting" a confused individual's beliefs. I conclude that a new-Fregean account of belief- ascription is best- equipped to solve the puzzle.
A New Route to the Necessity of Origin’ (2004, henceforth ‘NR’), we offered an argument for the thesis that there are necessary connections between material things and their material origins. Much of the philosophical interest lay in our claim that the argument did not depend on so-called sufficiency principles for crossworld identity. It has been the verdict of much recent work on the necessity of origin that valid arguments for the thesis require some such sufficiency principle as a premise but (...) that such principles are deeply problematic.1 Finding an argument free of such principles would advance both our understanding and the plausibility of that thesis. These claims are now the subject of a pair of insightful critiques by Teresa Robertson and Graeme Forbes (2006, henceforth ‘RF’) and by Ross Cameron and Sonia Roca (2006, henceforth ‘CR’), and we welcome the opportunity to clarify and improve our account of the matter. (shrink)
In several publications Graeme Forbes has developed and defended one of the strongest arguments for essentialism about biological origins. I attempt to show that there are deep, as yet unrecognized, problems with this argument. The problems with Forbes’s argument suggest that a range of other arguments for various forms of origin essentialism are also likely to be flawed, and that we should abandon the seemingly plausible general metaphysical thesis that concrete entities that share all intrinsic properties are identical.
This paper is about two puzzles, or two versions of a single puzzle, which deserve to be called paradoxes, and develops some apparatus in terms of which the apparently conflicting principles which generate the puzzles can be rendered consistent. However, the apparatus itself is somewhat controversial: the puzzles are modal ones, and the resolution to be advocated requires the adoption of a counterpart theoretic semantics of essentially the kind proposed by David Lewis, which in turn requires qualified rejection of certain (...) modal theses about identity which are valid in S5. (shrink)