This is an investigation into the fundamental connections between the referential use of language and our rich human experience. All types of experience — perceptual, practical, scientific, literary, esthetic, ludic, ... — are tightly unified into one total experience by the structure of reference to real or possible items. Singular reference is essential for locating ourselves in our own corner of the world. General reference, by means of quantifiers, is our main tool in ascertaining the accessible patterns of the world. (...) Both are primitive and mutually irreducible. (Often this has been denied.) The unity of total experience is constructed through the biographical unity of a person, and the sociological unity of the communications across a community. This unity of experience is wrought out by an underlying unitary system of reference. We need, therefore, a comprehensive theory of individuation, existence, predication, and truth. One such a theory is Guise Theory. (shrink)
I have shown (to my satisfaction) that Leibniz's final attempt at a generalized syllogistico-propositional calculus in the Generales Inquisitiones was pretty successful. The calculus includes the truth-table semantics for the propositional calculus. It contains an unorthodox view of conjunction. It offers a plethora of very important logical principles. These deserve to be called a set of fundamentals of logical form. Aside from some imprecisions and redundancies the system is a good systematization of propositional logic, its semantics, and a correct account (...) of general syllogistics. For 1686 it was quite an accomplishment. It is a pity that Leibniz himself did not fully appreciate what he had achieved. It does seem to me that this was due in part, as the Kneales urge (Note 4), to his having kept the focus of his attention on traditional syllogistics. It is a great pity that he did not polish GI 195–200 for publication. The publication of GI 195, 198, and 200 would have most likely promoted further research. MAJR- Humanities, Social Sciences and Law. (shrink)
To come to know what to do is to have a thought which itself consists of an awareness of its bringing about an action, or a rearrangement of one’s causal powers...The causal dimension of practical thinking is the coalescence of contemplation and the causation of that contemplation, and the contemplation of that causation.
This is a multifaceted semantico-ontological investigation of different types of families of concepts and properties. One major result is that contrast between: (a) the ontologically egalitarian or democratic, but epistemologically hierarchical family of colors, and (b) the ontologically hierarchical or pyramidal familiy of negations. The different negations (of propositions, imperatives, properties, predication) are studied, and the unity of the whole family under a genus reveals the pyramidal structure of the family. The negation or properties has a powerful bearing on Russell’s (...) paradox -- which shows different strands in negation. The connections between existence and negation provides an introduction to Guise Theory and reveals some limitations in Bertrand Russell’s analysis of definite descriptions. (shrink)
Here are crucial data for any theory of the self, self-consciousness or the structure of experience. We discuss the fundamental structure of both indexical reference, especially first-term reference, and quasi-indexical reference, used in attributing first-person reference to others. Chisholm's ingenious account of direct awareness of self is tested against the two sets of data. It satisfies neither. Chisholm's definitions raise serious questions both about philosophical methodology and about the underlying ontology of individuation, identity, and predication. Chisholm's adverbial account of non-physical (...) contents of consciousness is also examined; several questions are raised about the possible success of the linguistic technique of ontological reduction by hyphenation and creation of grammatical devices. (shrink)
Studies in Wilfrid Sellars' philosophy: Aune, B. Sellars on practical reason.--Castañeda, H.-N. Some reflections on Wilfrid Sellars' theory of intentions.--Donagan, A. Determinism and freedom: Sellars and the reconciliationist thesis.--Robinson, W. S. The legend of the given.--Clark, R. The sensuous content of perception.--Grossmann, R. Perceptual objects, elementary particles, and emergent properties.--Rosenberg, J. F. The elusiveness of categories, the Archimedean dilemma, and the nature of man: a study in Sellarsian metaphysics.--Turnbull, R. G. Things, natures, and properties.--Wells, R. The indispensable word "now."--Van Fraassen, (...) B. C. Theories and counterfactuals.--Harman, G. H. Wilfrid Sellars' Theory of induction.--Sellarsiana: Sellars, W. Autobiographical reflections.--Sellars, W. The structure of knowledge. Lecture I, perception. Lecture II, minds. Lecture III, epistemic principles.--Wilfrid Sellars' Philosophical bibliography. (p. 349-353). (shrink)