David Lewis (1941-2001) was Class of 1943 University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His contributions spanned philosophical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and epistemology. In On the Plurality of Worlds, he defended his challenging metaphysical position, "modal realism." He was also the author of the books Convention, Counterfactuals, Parts of Classes, and several volumes of collected papers.
It is advisable to treat some sorts of discourse about fiction with the aid of an intensional operator "in such-And-Such fiction...." the operator may appear either explicitly or tacitly. It may be analyzed in terms of similarity of worlds, As follows: "in the fiction f, A" means that a is true in those of the worlds where f is told as known fact rather than fiction that differ least from our world, Or from the belief worlds of the community in (...) which the fiction originated. (shrink)
Many years ago, C.B. Martin drew our attention to the possibility of ‘finkish’ dispositions: dispositions which, if put to the test would not be manifested, but rather would disappear. Thus if x if finkishly disposed to give response r to stimulus s, it is not so that if x were subjected to stimulus r, x would give response z; so finkish dispositions afford a counter‐example to the simplest conditional analysis of dispositions. Martin went on to suggest that finkish dispositions required (...) a theory of primitive causal powers; there, I think, he was mistaken. All that they require is an improved conditional analysis, and this improved analysis can be built upon whatever treatments of properties and of laws we may favour on other grounds. (shrink)
The void is deadly. If you were cast into a void, it would cause you to die in just a few minutes. It would suck the air from your lungs. It would boil your blood. It would drain the warmth from your body. And it would inflate enclosures in your body until they burst}.
A solution to the problem of intrinsic change for enduring things should meet three conditions. It should not replace monadic intrinsic properties by relations. It should not replace the having simpliciter of properties by standing in some relation to them. It should not rely on an unexplained notion of having an intrinsic property at a time. Johnston's solution satisfies the first condition at the expense of the second. Haslanger's solution satisfies the first and second at the expense of the third.
In his note "can there be vague objects?" ("analysis", 1978), Gareth evans presents a purported proof that there can be no vague identity statements. Some readers think that evans endorses the proof and its false conclusion. Not so. His point is that those who put vagueness in the world, Rather than in language, Will have no way to fault the proof and no way to escape the false conclusion.
is the second-order theory of the part-whole relation. It can express such hypotheses about the size of Reality as that there are inaccessibly many atoms. Take a non-empty class to have exactly its non-empty subclasses as parts; hence, its singleton subclasses as atomic parts. Then standard set theory becomes the theory of the member-singleton function—better, the theory of all singleton functions—within the framework of megethology. Given inaccessibly many atoms and a specification of which atoms are urelements, a singleton function exists, (...) unique up to isomorphism. (This article is partly abridged from my Parts of Classes, partly a sequel.). (shrink)
Henderson and Horgan set out a broad new approach to epistemology. They defend the roles of the a priori and conceptual analysis, but with an essential empirical dimension. 'Transglobal reliability' is the key to epistemic justification. The question of which cognitive processes are reliable depends on contingent facts about human capacities.
Albert Schweitzer preached a message of reverence for life - all life - that touched the hearts of a generation. As a medical doctor in French Equatorial Africa who selflessly helped those in need, Schweitzer was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in the wake of two world wars. But less than fifty years since the time of his death, the great humanitarian and scholar has faded from public awareness. In The New Rationalism, David Goodin explores the underlying philosophy (...) behind Schweitzer's ethic of compassion, presenting it as a response to contemporary questions in social justice, economic equality, and environmental action. For the first time, the political, sociological, and philosophical contexts supporting the development of Schweitzer's ethic are examined in order to bring his timeless message of elemental morality to new life for the modern world. Inspired by Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche, Schweitzer built his ethic to create an elemental nature philosophy compatible with empirical science, and to support a new ontological understanding of the human person - a project he termed the New Rationalism. Goodin recovers and analyzes Schweitzer's arguments and shows where his theories can provide a framework for both environmental and civic ethics today. (shrink)
Epistemic Evaluation aims to explore and apply a particular methodology in epistemology. The methodology is to consider the point or purpose of our epistemic evaluations, and to pursue epistemological theory in light of such matters. Call this purposeful epistemology. The idea is that considerations about the point and purpose of epistemic evaluation might fruitfully constrain epistemological theory and yield insights for epistemological reflection. Several contributions to this volume explicitly address this general methodology, or some version of it. Others focus on (...) advancing some application of the methodology rather than on theorizing about it. The papers go on to explore the idea that purposes allow one to understand the conceptual demands on knowing, examine how purposeful epistemology might shed light on the debate between internalist and externalist epistemologies, and further develop the idea of purposeful epistemology. (shrink)
Refutes the methodological separatists who hold that the logic of explanation and testing in the human sciences is fundamentally different than in the natural sciences, and develops complementary accounts for interpretation and explanation, ...
This is the second volume of philosophical essays by one of the most innovative and influential philosophers now writing in English. Containing thirteen papers in all, the book includes both new essays and previously published papers, some of them with extensive new postscripts reflecting Lewis's current thinking. The papers in Volume II focus on causation and several other closely related topics, including counterfactual and indicative conditionals, the direction of time, subjective and objective probability, causation, explanation, perception, free will, and rational (...) decision. Throughout, Lewis analyzes global features of the world in such a way as to show that they might turn out to supervene on the spatiotemporal arrangement of local qualities. (shrink)