There are various entities which, if they exist, would be candidates for necessary beings: God, propositions, relations, properties, states of affairs, possible worlds, and numbers, among others. Note that the first entity in this list is a concrete entity , while the rest are abstract entities. Many interesting philosophical questions arise when one inquires about necessary beings: What makes it the case that they exist necessarily? Is there a grounding for their necessary existence? Do some of them depend on others? (...) If so, how might one understand the dependence relation? (shrink)
Belief in propositions no longer brings about the sorts of looks it did when Quine's affinity for desert landscapes held sway in the Anglo-American philosophical scene. People are doing work in the metaphysics of propositions, trying to figure out what sorts of creatures propositions are. In philosophers like Frege, Russell, and Moore we have strong shoulders upon which to stand. But, there is much more work that needs to be done. I will try to do a bit of that work (...) here. In the paper, I will probe the notion that propositions are structured entities, and that it is useful to think of their structure as resembling the structure of the sentences which express them. First, I will speak briefly to the issue of why one might find it rational to believe that propositions exist. In the second part of the paper, I will argue that we should think of propositions as having structure. In the last section, I will examine the nature of the structure of propositions. I will consider a recent account given by Jeffrey King of the nature of the relation that unifies constituents. I conclude by sketching my own view of the relation that holds between propositional constituents in virtue of which they compose a proposition. 1 I Why Believe in Propositions? Propositions are taken to be abstract entities that are a) the primary bearers of truth and falsity, b) the objects of our propositional attitudes, and c) the referents of "that-. (shrink)
Roderick M. Chisholm (1916-1999) was one of the most important philosophical thinkers of the 20th century. His influence on epistemology (the theory of knowledge) and metaphysics cannot be understated; indeed, it is difficult to conceive of what these fields would be like today without the impact of Chisholm. Were there a Nobel Prize in philosophy, Chisholm surely would have won it.
metaphysics of modality. So, we read David Kaplan in 1967: I'll even let you peep through my Jules Verne-o-scope [into another possible world G]. Carefully examine each individual, check his fingerprints, etc. The problem is: which one is our Bobby Dylan—of course he may be somewhat changed, just as he will be in our world in a few years…Our problem is [to] locate him in G (if he exists there). The task of locating individuals in other worlds is the problem (...) of determining transworld heir lines. I will flatly assert that this problem is the central problem of philosophical interest in the development of intensional logic. The clearest statements of the "problem" came from those who thought that, ultimately. (shrink)
For the past 30 years, Alvin Plantinga's work in the metaphysics of modality has been both insightful and innovative; it is high time that his papers in this area be collected together in a single volume. This book contains 11 pieces of Plantinga's work in modal metaphysics, arranged in chronological order so one can trace the development of his thought on matters modal. In what follows I will lay out the principal concepts and arguments in these papers.
In this paper I argue that presentism has a problem accounting forthe truth of statements whose truth conditions seem to require therebe relations that hold between present and non-present objects. Imotivate the problem and then examine several strategies for dealingwith the problem. I argue that no solution is forthcoming, and thispresents a prima facie problem for presentism.
Most direct reference theorists about indexicals and proper names have adopted the thesis that singular propositions about physical objects are composed of physical objects and properties (and/or relations—I will use "properties" for brevity's sake).1 There have been a number of recent proponents of such a view, including Scott Soames, Nathan Salmon, John Perry, Howard Wettstein, and David Kaplan.2 Since Kaplan is the individual who (at least recently) is best known for holding such a view, let's call a proposition that (...) is composed of objects and properties a K-proposition. In this paper, I will attempt to show that (given some fairly plausible assumptions) a direct reference view about the content of proper names and indexicals leads very naturally to the position that all singular propositions about physical objects are K-propositions.3 Then, I will attempt to show that this view of propositions is false. I will spend the bulk of the paper on this latter task. My goal in the paper, then, is to show that adopting the direct reference thesis comes at a cost (or for those who thought it already came at a cost because of (alleged) problems the view has with problems such as opacity and the significance of some identity statements; it comes at even more of a cost). (shrink)