I defend a slightly modified version of geach's rule r, I.E., That although both a and b are g, It is possible for a to be the same f as b and a different h than b, Provided that the question whether a and b are the same g is undecidable. Answering those who object to relative identity I claim that they tacitly adhere to a false fregean view, I.E., That one cannot use a singular term to denote an entity (...) x if it is not true that for every y, X=y or not x=y. I show, However, That such terms are, And must be, Used by every empirically oriented language with finite or infinite predicative arsenal, And hence relative identity is more handy than absolute identity. Finally I give a version of leibniz's law for relative identity. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s first account of meaning was that sentences are pictures: the meaning of a sentence is a state of affairs it portrays. States of affairs are arrangements of some basic entities, the Objects. Sentences consist of names of Objects; an arrangement of such names, i.e., a sentence, shows how the named Objects are arranged. A sentence says that the state of affairs it thus pictures exists, hence it is true or false. That theory of meaning as picturing is based on (...) a primitive relation of naming, but what it is for an item to name another the Tractatus does not say. (shrink)
Like frege, I claim that any singular term (a name, A definite description, Or an indexical) has a sense, And it refers to what satisfies that sense. Unlike frege, I say that this referent is the real world entity that satisfies the said sense in some belief world, Usually, The utterer's. Reference is a function from senses to transworld heirlines. Thus, My token of 'plato' may have a different sense than your token of 'plato', Yet both may refer to plato. (...) My token of 'the f' may have the same sense as your token of 'the f', Yet they may have different referents. My semantics constitutes, I believe, A new argument for the tenability of metaphysical realism. (shrink)
It would have been petty to chide Columbus for not finding a sea route to India; what he did find was so important that his failure to achieve his stated goal pales in comparison. Thomasson’s book, I think, is like that: I doubt that it achieves its goal, yet it opens up a whole range of subjects for further investigation. It is an inspiring, thought-provoking, innovative book.
It has been persuasively argued that music refers. For example, a passage that resembles the demeanour of people under the sway of emotion E is seen as itself being E and, thus, as referring to E. Yet what is the purpose of such reference? Serious music, I say, works as a proof. A passage that refers to E is cast as a well-formed formula in a calculus. That formula is then creatively developed in accordance with the rules of that calculus (...) (e.g. harmony and counterpoint in classical music). As in scientific proofs, intermediary generated formulae need not have external meaning over and above the character they have due to their role in the formal sequence. Yet finally a formula is derived that does have external meaning; for example, it refers to emotion F. The composer has thus fictionally proved that E is equal to F, e.g. that hope is futile or that love conquers all. (shrink)
IT IS POSSIBLE to discern three main types of answers commonly given to the question about the nature of sensations. The first is the classical "private access" theory, according to which I can sense my own pain, while the pains of others can never be subject to direct inspection by me. The presence of overt pain behavior may inductively confirm the hypothesis that the body thus behaving is besouled [[sic]] and subject to a sensation of pain, but I can never (...) be sure that such pain really exists. I can feel only my own pain, and every pain I feel is necessarily my own. One token of this view is Cartesian dualism, but it is also adopted by most kinds of interactionism, epiphenomenalism, and their ilk. One of the notorious consequences of this theory is, that it makes the problem of Other Minds practically insoluble. Do the other humanoids have minds like my own, do they experience raw feelings similar to mine? The question remains logically unanswerable. The argument from analogy was often shown to be very tenuous, and one is therefore driven to accept the conclusion that sensation words must mean one thing in the context of egocentric sentences and quite another thing when the subject of the sentence is other than I. But if this is the case, mentalistic attributes proper are only I-ascriptive: that is, it would be a logical howler to apply them to anything other than myself; grammar thus forces me to adopt a position similar to that of the solipsist. (shrink)
CAN ONE SEE THE GIRL ONE LOVES, or one's deceased mother, in one's dreams? When one presses one's finger against one's eyeball, or when one has consumed large quantities of alcohol, does saying that one is seeing double correctly describe the experience? Then again, can one really see an approaching vessel on the radar screen, or hear Maria Callas on a record, or see the President on T.V.?
According to the 'axiom of existence', Adopted in this article, Terms which do not denote existent entities do not denote at all. 'past entities', 'future entities', 'possible entities', 'fictional entities', Etc. Do not exist. The class of denoting terms has, Therefore, A changing membership. 'nixon' denotes now, But will fail to denote one hundred years from now. The same is true for terms indicating properties (e.G., '... Is a missile'). A theory of meaning and truth is developed on the basis (...) of this axiom. A denotationless term may still be meaningful. 'x' means, In english, 'the entity which ...' where the dots stand for a certain conjunction of open sentences known to speakers of english in various degrees, Found in reference books of authority, Etc. A statement can be true through either correspondence or analyticity. Thus 'nixon is the u.S. President' is (now) true in both ways. 'socrates was a philosopher', '2+2=4', And 'hamlet killed polonius' are only analytically true. 'polonius killed hamlet' is false. (shrink)
Contemporary thinkers either hold that meanings cannot be mental states, or that they are patterns of brain functions. But patterns of social, or brain, interactions cannot be that which we understand. Wittgenstein had another answer (not the one attributed to him by writers who ignore his work in psychology): understanding, he said, is seeing an item as embodying a type Q, thus constraining what items will be seen as the same. Those who cannot see things under an aspect are meaning-blind.That (...) idea is expanded in this article. Its ontology consists of types only: entities that recur in space, time, and possible worlds. Types (Socrates, Man, Red, On, etc.) overlap; Socrates = Bald at some index and not in another. The logic used is thus that of contingent identity. Now some possible worlds are mentally represented; the entities that occur in them are meanings. But such entities may also recur in the real world. Thus the entities we experience, the phenomena, which serve as our meanings, may be identical in the real world with real things. A correspondence theory of truth is thus developed: a sentence is true iff its meaning constitutes, in a specified way, a real situation. (shrink)
IntroductionEddy M. Zemach was born in Jerusalem in 1935. His mother, Helena, was a dentist as well as a poet, and his father, Shimon, was a dentist as well as a political figure. Eddy completed B.A. and M.A. degrees in both Hebrew literature and philosophy at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem. He studied for a doctoral degree in philosophy at Yale University. In 1965 he completed his dissertation on the boundaries of the aesthetic, supervised by Paul Weiss. Another of his (...) teachers at Yale was Wilfrid Sellars, who influenced his philosophical views on mind and language. Aesthetics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language formed the center of his philosophical interest, though this interest was extended to other philosophical areas, such as metaphysics and epistemology.Eddy published extensively in both philosophy and Hebrew literature, and also wrote many short stories . He wrote some two hundred papers, and twelve scholarly books .. (shrink)