This paper is an informal presentation of the ideas presented formally in (”Relative-Sameness Counterpart Theory”. Relative-sameness relations -- such as being the same person as -- are like David Lewis’s “counterpart” relations in the following respects: (i) they may hold over time or across worlds between objects that aren’t cross-time or cross-world identical (I propose), and (ii) there are a multiplicity of them, different ones of which may be variously invoked in different contexts. They differ from his counterpart relations, however, (...) in that they are weak equivalence relations (transitive, symmetric and weakly reflexive). The likenesses to counterpart relations make them suitable for an analysis of de-re temporal and modal predications. The difference renders the resulting counterpart theory immune to standard criticisms of Lewis’s Counterpart Theory (e.g., in Hazen 1979, and Fara and Williamson 2005). The use of sameness as opposed to similarity relations in the analysis of de-re temporal and modal predication renders the resulting truth conditions as statable in terms that proponents of Kripke’s identity-based analysis can accept. (shrink)
Here I propose a coherent way of preserving the identity of material objects with the matter that constitutes them. The presentation is formal, and intended for RSL. An informal presentation is in preliminary draft! -/- Relative-sameness relations—such as being the same person as—are like David Lewis's "counterpart" relations in the following respects: (i) they may hold between objects that aren't identical (I propose), and (ii) there are a multiplicity of them, different ones of which may be variously invoked in different (...) contexts. They differ from counterpart relations, however, in that they are weak equivalence relations (transitive, symmetric and weakly reflexive). The likenesses to counterpart relations make them suitable for an analysis of de-re temporal and modal predications. The difference renders the resulting counterpart theory immune to standard criticisms of Lewis's Counterpart Theory (e.g., in Hazen 1979, and Fara and Williamson 2005). (shrink)
In “Descriptions as Predicates” (Fara 2001) I argued that definite and indefinite descriptions should be given a uniform semantic treatment as predicates rather than as quantifier phrases. The aim of the current paper is to clarify and elaborate one of the arguments for the descriptions-aspredicates view, one that concerns the interaction of descriptions with adverbs of quantification.
Tyler Burge convinced us that names are predicates in at least some of their occurrences: -/- There are relatively few Alfreds in Princeton. -/- Names, when predicates, satisfy the being-called condition: schematically, a name "N" is true of a thing just in case that thing is called N. This paper defends the unified view that names are predicates in all of their occurrences. I follow Clarence Sloat, Paul Elbourne, and Ora Matushansky in saying that when a name seems to occur (...) bare in an argument position of a predicate, it is really occurring in the predicate position of a definite description with an unpronounced "the". I call these "denuded definite descriptions". There are good linguistic reasons for defending the denuded-definites view. For example, it explains why "the" cannot be dropped in a sentence like the following: -/- The ever-popular Bill will be speaking this afternoon; The taller Maria is downstairs. -/- The definite article occuring before a name doesn't get pronounced when it's right next to the name. In technical terms, it gets smushed together with it. But the smushing can't happen when another phrase intervenes. The view survives philosophical objections. Denuded definite descriptions with names are incomplete definite descriptions since most names have mutliple bearers. Incomplete definite descriptions are in general rigid, though. So the view survives Kripke's modal argument. (shrink)
An object's disposition to A in circumstances C is masked if circumstances C obtain without the object Aing. This paper explores an analogous sense in which abilities can be masked, and it uses the results of this exploration to motivate an analysis of agents' abilities in terms of dispositions. This analysis is then shown to provide the resources to defend a version of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities against Frankfurt-style counterexamples. Although this principle is often taken to be congenial to (...) incompatibilism concerning free action and determinism, the paper concludes by using the dispositional analysis of abilities to argue for compatibilism, and to show why the 'master argument' for incompatibilism is unsound. (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)
If a counterpart theorist's understanding of the counterpart relation precludes haecceitist differences between possible worlds, as David Lewis's does, how can he admit haecceitist possibilities, as Lewis wants to? Lewis (Philosophical Review 3-32, 1983; On the Plurality of Worlds, 1986) devised what he called a 'cheap substitute for haecceitism,' which would allow for haecceitist possibilities while preserving the counterpart relation as a purely qualitative one. The solution involved lifting an earlier (Journal of Philosophy 65(5): 113-126, 1968; 68(7): 203-211, 1971) ban (...) on there being multiple intra-world counterparts. I argue here that serious problems for 'cheap haecceitism' lurk very close to its surface, and they emerge when we consider the effect of using an actuality operator in our language. Among the most serious of the problems is the result that being the case in some possible world does not always suffice for possibly being the case. The result applies to any counterpart theory that employs a purely qualitative counterpart relation. The upshot is that if we are to admit haecceitist possibilities, as we should, then we must reject any purely qualitative relation as the one involved in the analysis of what might have been for an individual. (shrink)
Objects have dispositions. As Nelson Goodman put it, “a thing is full of threats and promises” (Goodman 1954, p. 40). But sometimes those threats go unfulﬁlled, and the promises unkept. Sometimes the dispositions of objects fail to manifest themselves, even when their conditions of manifestation obtain. Pieces of wood, disposed to burn when heated, do not burn when heated in a vacuum chamber. And pastries, disposed to go bad when left lying around too long, won’t do so if coated with (...) lacquer and put on display in a baker’s window. Any account of what a disposition is, or of what it takes for an object to have a disposition, should be compatible with these commonplace observations. To date, I believe, no adequate account of dispositions has been given, and the aim of this paper is to defend one. (shrink)
This paper presents a generalized form of Fitch's paradox of knowability, with the aim of showing that the questions it raises are not peculiar to the topics of knowledge, belief, or other epistemic notions. Drawing lessons from the generalization, the paper offers a solution to Fitch's paradox that exploits an understanding of modal talk about what could be known in terms of capacities to know. It is argued that, in rare cases, one might have the capacity to know that p (...) even if it is metaphysically impossible for anyone to know that p, and that recognizing this fact provides the resources to solve Fitch's paradox. (shrink)
I propose that the meanings of vague expressions render the truth conditions of utterances of sentences containing them sensitive to our interests. For example, 'expensive' is analyzed as meaning 'costs a lot', which in turn is analyzed as meaning 'costs significantly greater than the norm'. Whether a difference is a significant difference depends on what our interests are. Appeal to the proposal is shown to provide an attractive resolution of the sorites paradox that is compatible with classical logic and semantics.
According to James McCawley (1981) and Richard Larson and Gabriel Segal (1995), the following sentence is three-ways ambiguous: -/- Harry wants to be the mayor of Kenai. -/- According to them also, the three-way ambiguity cannot be accommodated on the Russellian view that definite descriptions are quantified noun phrases. In order to capture the three-way ambiguity of the sentence, these authors propose that definite descriptions must be ambiguous: sometimes they are predicate expressions; sometimes they are Russellian quantified noun phrases. After (...) explaining why the McCawley-Larson-Segal solution contains an obvious flaw, I discuss how an effort to correct the flaw brings to light certain puzzles about the individuation of desires, about quantifying in, and about the disambiguation of desire ascriptions. (shrink)
The glass vase on my desk is fragile. It should be handled with care because it it is likely to shatter or crack if it is knocked, dropped, or otherwise treated roughly. The vase has certain dispositions, for example the disposition to shatter when dropped. But what is this disposition? It seems on the one hand to be a perfectly real property, a genuine respect of similarity common to glass vases, china cups, ancient manuscripts, and anything else fragile. Yet on (...) the other hand my vase's disposition seems mysterious, "ethereal" (as Nelson Goodman (1954) put it) in a way that, say, its size and shape properties are not. For my vase's disposition, it seems, has to do only with its possibly shattering in certain conditions, conditions which I hope will never be realized. In general, it seems that nothing about the actual behavior of an object is ever necessary for it to have the dispositions it has. Many objects differ from each other with respect to their dispositions in virtue of their merely possible behavior, and this is a mysterious way for objects to differ. (shrink)
I argue that, contrary to widespread philosophical opinion, phenomenal indiscriminability is transitive. For if it were not transitive, we would be precluded from accepting the truisms that if two things look the same then the way they look is the same and that if two things look the same then if one looks red, so does the other. Nevertheless, it has seemed obvious to many philosophers (e.g. Goodman, Armstrong and Dummett) that phenomenal indiscriminability is not transitive; and, moreover, that this (...) non-transitivity is straightforwardly revealed to us in experience. I show this thought to be wrong. All inferences from the character of our experience to the non-transitivity of indiscriminability involve either a misunderstanding of continuity, a mistaken interpretation of the idea that we have limited powers of discrimination, or tendentious claims about what our experience is really like; or such inferences are based on inadequately supported premisses, which though individually plausible are jointly implausible. (shrink)
In this paper I trace Quine's early development of his treatment of names, first as abbreviations for definite descriptions with "Frege-Rusell" style substantive content, then as abbreviations for definite descriptions containing simple predicative content, through to a treatment of names themselves as predicates rather than as abbreviations for this or that type of more complex expression. Along the way, I explain why—despite ubiquitous claims and suggestions to the contrary—Quine never actually uses the verbized name "Socratizes".
In this paper I argue that names are predicates when they occur in the appellation position of 'called'-predications. This includes not only proper names, but all names -- including quote-names of proper names and quote-names of other words or phrases. Thus in "You can call me Al", the proper name 'Al' is a predicate. And in "You can call me 'Al'," the quote-name of 'Al' -- namely ' 'Al' ' -- is also a predicate.
A report of a person's desire can be true even if its embedded clause underspecifies the content of the desire that makes the report true. It is true that Fiona wants to catch a fish even if she has no desire that is satisfied if she catches a poisoned minnow. Her desire is satisfied only if she catches an edible, meal-sized fish. The content of her desire is more specific than the propositional content of the embedded clause in our true (...) report of her desires. Standard semantic accounts of belief reports require, however, that the embedded clause of a true belief report specify precisely the content of the belief that makes it true. Such accounts of belief reports therefore face what I call "the problem of underspecification" if they are extended to desire reports. Such standard accounts are sometimes refined by requiring that a belief report can be true not only if its subject has a belief with precisely the propositional content specified by its embedded clause, but also only if its subject grasps that content in a particular way. Such refinements do not, however, help to address the problem of underspecification for desire reports. (shrink)
One afternoon in 1939, G. E. Moore held up his hands. He proceeded to make a certain gesture, first with his right hand and next with his left, while uttering the words, “Here is one hand and here is another.” Moore famously claimed to have thereby proved the existence of external things.
In this paper I criticize a version of supervaluation semantics. This version is called "Region-Valuation" semantics. It's developed by Pablo Cobreros. I argue that all supervaluationists, regionalists in particular, and truth-value gap theorists of vagueness more generally, are commited to the validity of D-intro, the principle that every sentence entails its definitization (the truth of "Paul is tall" guarantees the truth of "Paul is definitely tall"). The principle embroils one in a paradox that's distinct from, but related to, the sorites (...) paradox. I call it the "gap-principles paradox". -/- . (shrink)
ABSTRACT: If an event of one kind does not always lead to an event of a second given kind, it does not follow (of course) that the occurrence of an event of the first kind can never explain the occurrence of an event of the second kind. I’m concerned here with cases of belief. In the service of defending a plausible “boundary-shifting” solution to the sorites paradox, I argue that a certain paradoxical belief(in the universally-generalized premise of the sorites paradox) (...) can be explained by our having reasonable beliefs that entail it (beliefs in the instances of that generalization). Some have argued against boundary-shifting solutions on the grounds that beliefs in instances do not always lead to beliefs in generalizations over those instances. I argue that the objection flounders. An event of one kind can explain an event of another kind even if events of the first kind do not always lead to events of the second kind. One does not impugn an explanation merely by pointing to its defeasibility. (shrink)
Consider a superagent, a being with extraordinary rational capactities. Not only are a superagent’s beliefs closed under entailment, but a superagent also has a wonderful kind of introspective awareness: whenever she believes that she doesn’t believe something, she is right—she doesn’t believe it. A superagent, then, is a being who satisfies the following two principles: (I) If p entails q, and if S believes p, then S believes q. (II) If S believes that she doesn’t believe p, then S doesn’t (...) believe p. I don’t suppose anyone thinks that there is such a thing as a superagent, or that there ever will be. But I do suppose that there could be a superagent, in the sense that it’s not conceptually impossible for a superagent to exist. Our concept of belief, whatever it is, should not be such as to rule out the possibility of a being of this kind. In this paper I expose a paradox: although our concept of belief shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a being of this kind, it apparently does.1 I end the paper by arguing that the key to solving this paradox lies in the recognition that the question of whether an agent could believe so-and-so can sometimes diverge from the question of whether it is possible that she believes so-and-so. (shrink)
The very influential theoretical concepts proposed by Rudolf Otto in his 1917 classic The Idea of the Holy are often seen as examples of properly religious content that cannot be approached by any other means except religious. This conclusion is challenged by closer readings of Otto’s writings on naturalism and religion where he, despite of being at times critical of some versions of naturalism, expresses his thorough commitment to naturalist ic explanations. Otto’s views are presented as compatible with recent (...) cognitive-scientific theories of religion and as a constructive contribution to the scientific study of religion. Otto’s theological position, because it is based on his naturalism, is a possible methodological framework for further studies in religion and science in general and cognitive science of religion in particular. (shrink)
This paper discusses Fara's so-called 'Paradox of Higher-Order Vagueness' concerning supervaluationism. In the paper I argue that supervaluationism is not committed to global validity, as it is largely assumed in the literature, but to a weaker notion of logical consequence I call 'regional validity'. Then I show that the supervaluationist might solve Fara's paradox making use of this weaker notion of logical consequence. The paper is discussed by Delia Fara in the same volume.
In this paper, we propose an examination of the shared connections between the French philosopher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the Austro-Hungarian movement theorist, Rudolf Laban.In many ways Merleau-Ponty''s philosophy demonstrates a synthesis of the best in existen-tialism and phenomenology. In like manner, Rudolf Laban was a synthesizer of experiences and theories of movement.
Consciousness, Reductionism and the Explanatory Gap: Investigations in Honor of Rudolf Carnap Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11406-010-9272-7 Authors Leon de Bruin, Institut für Philosophie II, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Albert Newen, Institut für Philosophie II, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany Journal Philosophia Online ISSN 1574-9274 Print ISSN 0048-3893 Journal Volume Volume 39 Journal Issue Volume 39, Number 1.
Two names often grouped together in the study of religion are Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1884) and Rudolf Otto (1869–1937). Central to their understanding of religion is the idea that religious experience, characterized in terms of feeling, lies at the heart of all genuine religion. In his book On Religion, Schleiermacher speaks of religion as a “sense and taste for the Infinite.” In The Christian Faith, Schleiermacher grounds religion in the immediate self-consciousness and the “feeling of absolute dependence.” Influenced by Schleiermacher, (...) Otto also grounds religion in an original experience of what he calls “the numinous,” which can only be grasped through states of feeling. This article discusses the views of Otto and Schleiermacher on religion as feeling. It examines how both men conceived of feeling, the reasons they believed religion had to be understood in its terms, and the common threads linking their perspectives. It also considers Schleiermacher's interpretation of religious feeling as transcendental experience. (shrink)
Wilhelm Dilthey: Selected Works, Volume II: Understanding the Human World. Edited with Introduction by Rudolf A. Makkreel and Frithjof Rodi Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 471-474 DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9197-6 Authors Eric S. Nelson, Department of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548 Journal Volume Volume 34 Journal Issue Volume 34, Number 4.
Rudolf Carnap delivered the hitherto unpublished lecture ‘Theoretical Concepts in Science’ at the meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Paciﬁc Division, at Santa Barbara, California, on 29 December 1959. It was part of a symposium on ‘Carnap’s views on Theoretical Concepts in Science’. In the bibliography that appears in the end of the volume, ‘The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap’, edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp, a revised version of this address appears to be among Carnap’s forthcoming papers. But although (...) Carnap started to revise it, he never ﬁnished the revision,1 and never published the unrevised transcript. Perhaps this is because variants of the approach to theoretical concepts presented for the ﬁrst time in the Santa Barbara lecture have appeared in other papers of his (cf. the editorial footnotes in Carnap’s lecture). Still, I think, the Santa Barbara address is a little philosophical gem that needs to see the light of day. The document that follows is the unrevised transcript of Carnap’s lecture.2 Its style, then, is that of an oral presentation. I decided to leave it as it is, making only very minor stylistic changes—which, except those related to punctuation, are indicated by curly brackets.3 I think that reading this lecture is a rewarding experience, punctuated as the lecture is with odd remarks and autobiographical points. One can almost envisage.. (shrink)
Rudolf Bernet, Conscience et Existence. Perspectives Phénoménologiques , Coll. Epiméthée. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2004, 299 pages. ISBN 2130541674 Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-009-9065-7 Authors Pol Vandevelde, Marquette University Department of Philosophy Coughlin Hall P.O. Box 1881 Milwaukee WI 53201-1881 USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 1.
It has been noted before in the history of logic that some of Frege's logical and semantic views were anticipated in Stoicism. In particular, there seems to be a parallel between Frege's Gedanke (thought) and Stoic lekton; and the distinction between complete and incomplete lekta has an equivalent in Frege's logic. However, nobody has so far claimed that Frege was actually influenced by Stoic logic; and there has until now been no indication of such a causal connection. In this essay, (...) we attempt, for the first time, to provide detailed evidence for the existence of this connection. In the course of our argumentation, further analogies between the positions of Frege and the Stoics will be revealed. The classical philologist Rudolf Hirzel will be brought into play as the one who links Frege with Stoicism. The renowned expert on Stoic philosophy was Frege's tenant and lived in the same house as the logician for many years. In der Geschichte der Logik ist häufig bemerkt worden, dass einige der logischen und semantischen Auffassungen Freges in der Stoa antizipiert worden sind. Genannt wurden insbesondere die Parallelen zwischen dem Fregeschen Gedanken und dem stoischen Lekton sowie die Unterscheidung zwischen vollständigen und unvollständigen Lekta, die bei Frege ihre Entsprechung hat. Ein Wirkungszusammenhang ist allerdings nicht behauptet worden. Dazu gab es bislang auch keinen Anlass. Der vorliegende Beitrag versucht erstmalig, einen detaillierten Indizienbeweis für das Bestehen eines solchen Zusammenhangs vorzulegen. Dabei werden weitere charakteristische Übereinstimmungen zwischen Frege und der Stoa aufgewiesen. Als Mittelsmann wird der Altphilologe Rudolf Hirzel vorgestellt. Er wohnte lange Jahre als Mieter zusammen mit Frege im selben Haus und war ein anerkannter Experte der stoischen Philosophie. (shrink)
The following four articles were awarded the Rudolf-Carnap-Essay Prize during an international graduate conference we organized at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) in February 2008. We received many excellent submissions not only from graduate students in Germany and other European countries, but also from the USA and Canada. All submissions were subjected to a double-blind review process. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the scholars who supported us in this endeavour.