The consensus is that musical works and other ‘multiple’ artworks are abstract objects of some sort. According to the standard objections to musical materialism, multiple artworks cannot be identified with any concrete manifestation since concrete manifestations are many, and one thing cannot be identical to many. Multiple artworks are particularly good, while particular concrete manifestations are particularly bad, at surviving the destruction of particular concrete manifestations. Finally, multiple artworks cannot be identified with a particular sum of concrete manifestations since sums (...) and works differ modally. This paper aims to show that by appealing to recent work on the metaphysics of material objects, musical materialists avoid the standard objections. (shrink)
In Parts of Classes and "Mathematics is Megethology" David Lewis shows how the ideology of set membership can be dispensed with in favor of parthood and plural quantification. Lewis's theory has it that singletons are mereologically simple and leaves the relationship between a thing and its singleton unexplained. We show how, by exploiting Kit Fine's mereology, we can resolve Lewis's mysteries about the singleton relation and vindicate the claim that a thing is a part of its singleton.
It is plausible that the universe exists: a thing such that absolutely everything is a part of it. It is also plausible that singular, structured propositions exist: propositions that literally have individuals as parts. Furthermore, it is plausible that for each thing, there is a singular, structured proposition that has it as a part. Finally, it is plausible that parthood is a partial ordering: reflexive, transitive, and anti-symmetric. These plausible claims cannot all be correct. We canvass some costs of denying (...) each claim and conclude that parthood is not a partial ordering. Provided that the relevant entities exist, parthood is not anti-symmetric and proper parthood is neither asymmetric nor transitive. (shrink)
Kit Fine and Gideon Rosen propose to define constitutive essence in terms of ground-theoretic notions and some form of consequential essence. But we think that the Fine–Rosen proposal is a mistake. On the Fine–Rosen proposal, constitutive essence ends up including properties that, on the central notion of essence, are necessary but not essential. This is because consequential essence is closed under logical consequence, and the ability of logical consequence to add properties to an object’s consequential essence outstrips the ability of (...) ground-theoretic notions, as used in the Fine–Rosen proposal, to take those properties out. The necessary-but-not-essential properties that, on the Fine–Rosen proposal, end up in constitutive essence include the sorts of necessary-but-not-essential properties that, others have noted, end up in consequential essence. (shrink)
In recent work, Peter Hanks and Scott Soames argue that propositions are types whose tokens are acts, states, or events. Let’s call this view the type view. Hanks and Soames think that one of the virtues of the type view is that it allows them to explain why propositions have semantic properties. But, in this paper, we argue that their explanations aren’t satisfactory. In Section 2, we present the type view. In Section 3, we present one explanation—due to Hanks (2007, (...) 2011) and Soames (2010)—of why propositions have semantic properties. We criticize this first explanation in Section 4. In Section 5, we present another explanation—due to Soames (2104)—of why propositions have semantic properties. We criticize this second explanation in Section 6. (shrink)
In a series of recent publications, Jeffrey King (The nature and structure of content, 2007; Proc Aristot Soc 109(3):257–277, 2009; Philos Stud, 2012) argues for a view on which propositions are facts. He also argues against views on which propositions are set-theoretical objects, in part because such views face Benacerraf problems. In this paper, we argue that, when it comes to Benacerraf problems, King’s view doesn’t fare any better than its set-theoretical rivals do. Finally, we argue that his view faces (...) a further Benacerraf problem, one that threatens to undercut his explanation of why propositions have truth-conditions. If correct, our arguments undercut King’s main motivation for accepting his view over its rivals. (shrink)
Recent work on the problem of truth in serial fiction has focused on the semantics of certain sentences used to talk about serial fictions, as in Ross Cameron’s (2012) “How to Be a Nominalist and a Fictional Realist” and Andrew McGonigal’s (2013) “Truth, Relativism, and Serial Fiction,” or semantic properties of works themselves, as in Ben Caplan’s (2014) “Serial Fiction, Continued.” Here I argue that these proposed solutions are mistaken, and, more importantly, that the general approach to the problem is (...) mistaken: the problem of truth in serial fiction is an instance of the problem of change. Fictions can undergo change, much like you and me in certain respects. As a result, what is true in or according to them changes as well. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe Necessity of Origins is the thesis that, necessarily, if a material object wholly originates from some particular material, then it could not have wholly originated from any significantly non-overlapping material. Several philosophers have argued for this thesis using as a premise a principle that we call ‘Single Origin Necessity’. However, we argue that Single Origin Necessity is false. So any arguments for The Necessity of Origins that rely on Single Origin Necessity are unsound. We also argue that the Necessity (...) of Origins itself is false. Our arguments rely on a thesis in the ontology of art that we find plausible: Multi-Work Materialism. It is the thesis that works of art that have multiple concrete manifestations are co-located with those manifestations. (shrink)
At first pass, internalism about justification is the view that there is no justificatory difference without an internal difference. Externalism about mental content is the view that there are differences in mental content without an internal difference. Assuming mental contents are the primary bearers of justificatory features, the two views are in obvious tension. The goal of this paper is to determine how the tension is best resolved. The paper proceeds as follows. In §1 I explain the threat to justificatory (...) internalism from content externalism in more detail. In §2 I present Earl Conee and Richard Feldman’s “counterpart propositions” reply to the problem of content externalism. §3 criticizes the counterpart propositions reply. §4 presents a view in the metaphysics of belief that is widely adopted by content externalists: one that appeals to vehicles of content, modes of presentation of content, or ways of believing propositions. §5 exploits this metaphysics of belief in order to better accommodate justificatory internalist insights in light of content externalism. §6 shows how the new view can be used to address problems that face Conee and Feldman’s account. Finally, §7 provides a new argument from the Vehicle View for the language of thought hypothesis. (shrink)
Provides a comprehensive overview of the philosophy of propositions, from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Comprising 33 original chapters by an international team of scholars, the volume addresses both traditional and emerging questions concerning the nature of propositions.
Kripke's discussion in Naming and Necessity strongly suggests that semantic stipulation allows us to have new de re thoughts and make new de re claims. For example, it seems we could name the winning ticket in the next lottery 'Tickie' and thereby come to have singular thoughts about Tickie as opposed to merely general thoughts about the winning ticket (whichever one that is). This, in turn, seems to put us into a position to know that Tickie is the winning ticket. (...) If so, it seems we now know which ticket will win the lottery. So it seems semantic stipulation puts us in a position to have all sorts of knowledge that, intuitively, we don't have. We argue that semantic stipulation does put you in a position to have new singular thoughts, though those thoughts will usually be informationally isolated. We think you also typically know these singular propositions, but it is misleading for you to say that you do since you typically cannot act on your knowledge in the expected way. On the other hand, since you can't act on the information in the right way, perhaps your knowledge is thwarted. If so, you don't know Tickie will win since you can't act on that information in order to (e.g.) buy Tickie and no other ticket. We develop both views and argue that they are preferable to the alternatives. (shrink)