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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)
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".
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)
Here’s a false generalization with manifestly false consequences: all people who differ by one millimeter in height from a short person are themselves short. Why are we inclined to believe it? Boundary-shifters, usually lumped together under the heading “contextualists”, say that we believe the false generalization because when we consider any instance, that instance is true at the time of our consideration. Critics complain that the explanation is no good, for (i) if it were, then fallacious inferences would be rampant; (...) (ii) if it were, then we would always generalize from instances that we knew to be true at the time we considered them. But, they say, fallacious inferences are not rampant and we do not always generalize from the instances. Responses: (i) boundary-shifters require only that weakly fallacious inferences are rampant, and indeed they are; (ii) generalizing from the instances is both natural and explanatory, albeit defeasible. (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)
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.
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.
The medical journal Medicinische Reform. Eine Wochenschrift edited by Rudolf Virchow and Rudolf Leubuscher in Berlin from July 1848 to June 1849 was in spite of its short life-time one of the most important and influential periodicals during the time of German revolution and medical reforms in the middle of the 19th century. The paper gives a view of the history of edition of this ephemeral but outstanding journal as an essential source for our knowledge of the development (...) of social medicine in Germany. Moreover it can be seen as an example for a new kind of modern scientific journals. Printing the Medicinische Reform through the years of revolution in 1848/49 was on the merits of the publishing house of Georg Reimer. In 1849 Virchow himself stopped editing the paper. Several reprints show the importance of the periodical for the history of siences (1879 Berlin, partial by Virchow; 1975 Hildesheim; 1983 Berlin). The article ends with a first complete publication of the correspondence between Virchow and Reimer about the weekly Medicinische Reform. (shrink)
Professor Strawson was interviewed on video on location at King's College, London during the Spring of 1992. Professor Strawson discusses his thoughts on a variety of topics on which he has written previously, providing some illuminating insights into how his thoughts has progressed. The text published here is en excerpt from this interview, translated with kind permission of Mr Rudolf V. Fara, the producer, in which prof. Strawson discusses his philosophical views with Martin Davies, Wilde Reader in Mental (...) Philosophy at Oxford University, and Mark Sainsbury, Susan Stebbing Professor of Philosophy at King's College, University of London. (shrink)
"Homage to Rudolph Carnap."--Hempel, C. G. Rudolf Carnap, logical empiricist.--Wedberg, A. How Carnap built the world in 1928.--Eberle, R. A construction of quality classes improved upon the Aufbau.--Carnap, R. Observation language and theoretical language.--Kaplan, D. Significance and analyticity: a comment of some recent proposals of Carnap.--Wójcicki, R. The factual content of empirical theories.--Williams, P. M. On the conservative extensions of semantical systems: a contribution to the problem of analyticity.--Winnie, J. A. Theoretical analyticity.--Wedberg, A. Decision and belief in science.--Bohnert, H. (...) G. Carnap's logicism.--Hintikka, J. Carnap's heritage in logical semantics.--Partee, B. H. The semantics of belief-sentences.--Kasher, A. Pragmatic representations and language-games.--Carnap, R. Notes on probability and induction.--Jeffrey, R. C. Carnap's inductive logic.--Hilpinen, R. Carnap's new system of inductive logic.--Kuipers, T. A. F. A generalization of Carnap's inductive logic. Essler, W. K. Hintikka versus Carnap.--Hintikka, J. Carnap and Essler versus inductive generalization.--Shimony, A. Carnap on entropy, introduction to "Two essays on entropy" by Rudolf Carnap. (shrink)
This collection, with essays by Graham H. Bird, Jaakko Hintikka, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Jan Wolenski, will interest graduate students of the philosophy of language and logic, as well as professional philosophers, historians of analytic philosophy, and philosophically inclined logicians. Language, Truth and Knowledge brings together 11 new essays that offer a wealth of insights on a number of Carnap's concerns and ideas. The volume arose out of a symposium on Carnap's work at an international conference held in Vienna in 2001. The (...) essays are written from a variety of perspectives: -some essays aim at rebutting influential criticisms directed at Carnap's views; -others examine and assess his thought in the light of recent developments in the neurosciences; -still others are historical and describe the development of Carnap's thought; -they all shed light on the relation of this thought and different philosophical traditions. These essays form a collection that will prove a valuable resource for our understanding of the historic Carnap and the living philosophical issues with which he grappled. (shrink)
Hermann Lotze was a key figure in the philosophy of the second half of the nineteenth century, influencing practically all the leading philosophical schools of the late nineteenth and the coming twentieth century, including (i) the neo-Kantians; (ii) Brentano and his school; (iii) The British idealists; (iv) William James’s pragmatism; (v) Husserl’s phenomenology; (vi) Dilthey’s philosophy of life; (vii) Frege’s new logic; (viii) the early Cambridge analytic philosophy.
This paper considers George A. Reisch’s account of the role of Cold War political forces in shaping the apolitical stance that came to dominate philosophy of science in the late 1940s and 1950s. It argues that at least as early as the 1930s, Logical Empiricists such as Rudolf Carnap already held that philosophy of science could not properly have political aims, and further suggests that political forces alone cannot explain this view’s rise to dominance during the Cold War, since (...) political forces cannot explain why a philosophy of science with liberal democratic, anti-communist aims did not flourish. The paper then argues that if professionalization is understood in the right way, it might point toward an explanation of the apolitical stance of Cold War philosophy of science. (shrink)
Using Jakob Fries's epistemological scheme of Wissen, Glaube, and Ahndung, "Understanding, Belief, and Aesthetic Sense," (to use Kent Richter's translation), Ruldolf Otto expands the meaning of Ahndung beyond the merely aesthetic by introducing the category of numinosity, which is the quality of sacred or holy objects, persons, or experiences in religion. Although Otto is often classified as a theoretician of mysticism, "numinosity" is not fundamentally a theory of mystical experiences, because every practionier of any religion experiences certain things as sacred (...) to that religion. The "sacred" and the "holy," and the "unclean" or "polluted," are categories that apply (non-metaphorically) to peculiarly religious objects in an entirely universal and cross-cultural manner. (shrink)