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)
In "Supervenience, Necessary Coextension, and Reducibility" (Philosophical Studies 49, 1986, 163-176), among other results, I showed that weak or ordinary supervenience is equivalent to Jaegwon Kim's strong supervenience, given certain assumptions: S4 modality, the usual modal conception of properties as class-concepts, and diagonal closure or resplicing of the set of base properties. This last means that any mapping of possible worlds into extensions of base properties counts itself as a base property. James Van Cleve attacks the modal conception of property (...) and diagonal closure. To me it seems desperate to reject diagonal closure merely in order to save supervenience-materialism. But I concede that it may be unacceptable in the context of a sparser theory of properties. (shrink)
My aim has been to adapt Quine's criterion of the ontological commitment of theories couched in standard quantificational idiom to a much broader class of theories by focusing on the set-theoretic structure of the models of those theories. For standard first-order theories, the two criteria coincide on simple entities. Divergences appear as they are applied to higher-order theories and as composite entities are taken into account. In support of the extended criterion, I appeal to its fruits in treating the various (...) examples considered above and to the healthy intuitions of the non-noneists among us. Don't O(m) and E(m) comprise just the things we should have though existed according to a particular interpretation m of a language or a theory? Whatever the answer (and it will hardly be unanimous), I hope to have pointed the way towards a recognition of ontology as a worthwhile branch of modern theory. (shrink)
Supervenience in most of its guises entails necessary coextension. Thus theoretical supervenience entails nomically necessary coextension. Kim's result, thus strengthened, has yet to hit home. I suspect that many supervenience enthusiasts would cool at necessary coextension: they didn't mean to be saying anything quite so strong. Furthermore, nomically necessary coextension can be a good reason for property identification, leading to reducibility in principle. This again is more than many supervenience theorists bargained for. They wanted supervenience without reducibility. It is not (...) always available for this mediating role. (shrink)
The perceptual logic of j hintikka and r thomason is imbedded in a more general framework of quantification over individual-concepts. two intensional predicates for physical individuation and perceptual individuation are required in place of thomason's two variable-sorts. objectual perception of x by s is then definable as "for some y there is a perceptually individuated object z, in fact identical with x, such that s perceives that y is z.".