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Profile: Phil Corkum (University of Alberta)
  1. Phil Corkum, Aristotle on Logical Consequence.
    Compare two conceptions of validity: under an example of a modal conception, an argument is valid just in case it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false; under an example of a topic-neutral conception, an argument is valid just in case there are no arguments of the same logical form with true premises and a false conclusion. This taxonomy of positions suggests a project in the philosophy of logic: the reductive analysis of the modal conception (...)
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  2. Phil Corkum (forthcoming). Is Aristotle's Syllogistic a Logic? History and Philosophy of Logic.
    Much of the last fifty years of scholarship on Aristotle’s syllogistic suggests a conceptual framework under which the syllogistic is a logic, a system of inferential reasoning, only if it is not a theory or formal ontology, a system concerned with general features of the world. In this paper, I will argue that this a misleading interpretative framework. The syllogistic is something sui generis: by our lights, it is neither clearly a logic, nor clearly a theory, but rather exhibits certain (...)
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  3. Phil Corkum (forthcoming). Ontological Dependence and Grounding in Aristotle. Oxford Handbooks Online in Philosophy.
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  4. Phil Corkum (2014). Presentism, Truthmakers and Distributional Properties. Synthese 191:3427-46.
    Presentists face a challenge from truthmaker theory: if you hold both that the only existing objects are presently existing and that truth supervenes on being, then you will be hard pressed to identify some existent on which a given true but traceless claim about the past supervenes. One reconciliation strategy, advocated by Cameron (2011), is to appeal to distributional properties so to serve as presently existing truthmakers for past truths. I argue that a presentist ought to deny that distributional properties (...)
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  5. Phil Corkum (2014). Review of Daniel D. Novotný and Lukáš Novák (Eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201408:1.
     
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  6. Phil Corkum (2013). Aristotle on Predication. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):n/a-n/a.
    A predicate logic typically has a heterogeneous semantic theory. Subjects and predicates have distinct semantic roles: subjects refer; predicates characterize. A sentence expresses a truth if the object to which the subject refers is correctly characterized by the predicate. Traditional term logic, by contrast, has a homogeneous theory: both subjects and predicates refer; and a sentence is true if the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In this paper, I will examine evidence for ascribing to Aristotle the (...)
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  7. Phil Corkum (2013). Critical Notice of Michail Peramatzis, Priority in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, Oxford University Press, 2011. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (1):136-156.
    I discuss Peramatzis's (2011) argument that the form of a natural substance is essentially enmattered and so contains a material component.
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  8. Phil Corkum (2013). Substance and Independence in Aristotle. In B. Schnieder, A. Steinberg & M. Hoeltje (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Supervenience, and Response-Dependence. Basic Philosophical Concepts Series, Philosophia Verlag. 36-67.
    Individual substances are the ground of Aristotle’s ontology. Taking a liberal approach to existence, Aristotle accepts among existents entities in such categories other than substance as quality, quantity and relation; and, within each category, individuals and universals. As I will argue, individual substances are ontologically independent from all these other entities, while all other entities are ontologically dependent on individual substances. The association of substance with independence has a long history and several contemporary metaphysicians have pursued the connection. In this (...)
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  9. Phil Corkum (2012). Aristotle on Mathematical Truth. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1057-1076.
    Both literalism, the view that mathematical objects simply exist in the empirical world, and fictionalism, the view that mathematical objects do not exist but are rather harmless fictions, have been both ascribed to Aristotle. The ascription of literalism to Aristotle, however, commits Aristotle to the unattractive view that mathematics studies but a small fragment of the physical world; and there is evidence that Aristotle would deny the literalist position that mathematical objects are perceivable. The ascription of fictionalism also faces a (...)
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  10. Phil Corkum (2012). Meta-Conceivability. Essays in Philosophy 13 (1):12.
    In addition to conceiving of such imaginary scenarios as those involving philosophical zombies, we may conceive of such things being conceived. Call these higher order conceptions ‘meta-conceptions’. Sorensen (2006) holds that one can entertain a meta-conception without thereby conceiving of the embedded lower-order conception. So it seems that I can meta-conceive possibilities which I cannot conceive. If this is correct, then meta-conceptions provide a counter-example to the claim that possibility entails conceivability. Moreover, some of Sorensen’s discussion suggests the following argument: (...)
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  11. Phil Corkum (2010). Attention, Perception, and Thought in Aristotle. Dialogue 49 (02):199-222.
    In the first part of the paper, I’ll rehearse an argument that perceiving that we see and hear isn’t a special case of perception in Aristotle but is rather a necessary condition for any perception whatsoever: the turning of one’s attention to the affection of the sense organs. In the second part of the paper, I’ll consider the thesis that the activity of the active intellect is analogous to perceiving that we see and hear.
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  12. Phil Corkum (2010). (C.) Kahn Essays on Being. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. 240. £30. 9780199534897. Journal of Hellenic Studies 130:285-286.
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  13. Phil Corkum (2010). Prior Analytics, Book I (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (2):pp. 236-237.
  14. Phil Corkum (2010). Essays on Being (Review). [REVIEW] Journal of Hellenic Studies 130:285-86.
    This volume collects eight of Kahn’s articles from 1966 to 2004, with a 15-page introduction and a previously unpublished 12-page postscript to one article, concerning a variety of issues on Parmenides unrelated to the titular topic. Kahn’s work on the interpretation of being in Greek philosophy and literature is seminal, and it is most welcome to have these articles in one volume. It is partly because Kahn’s contribution is important, partly because the issue is thorny and partly because his thought (...)
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  15. Phil Corkum (2009). Aristotle on Nonsubstantial Individuals. Ancient Philosophy 29 (2):289-310.
    As a first stab, call a property recurrent if it can be possessed by more than one object, and nonrecurrent if it can be possessed by at most one object. The question whether Aristotle holds that there are nonrecurrent properties has spawned a lively and ongoing debate among commentators over the last forty-five years. One source of textual evidence in the Categories, drawn on in this debate, is Aristotle’s claim that certain properties are inseparable from what they are in. Here (...)
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  16. Phil Corkum (2008). Aristotle on Ontological Dependence. Phronesis 53 (1):65 - 92.
    Aristotle holds that individual substances are ontologically independent from nonsubstances and universal substances but that non-substances and universal substances are ontologically dependent on substances. There is then an asymmetry between individual substances and other kinds of beings with respect to ontological dependence. Under what could plausibly be called the standard interpretation, the ontological independence ascribed to individual substances and denied of non-substances and universal substances is a capacity for independent existence. There is, however, a tension between this interpretation and the (...)
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