Weatherson argues that whoever accepts classical logic, standard mereology and the difference between vague objects and any others, should conclude that there are no vague objects. Barnes and Williams claim that a supporter of vague objects who accepts classical logic and standard mereology should recognize that the existence of vague objects implies indeterminate identity. Even though it is not clearly stated, they all seem to be committed to the assumption that reality is ultimately constituted by mereological atoms. This assumption is (...) not granted by standard mereology which instead remains silent on whether reality is atomic or gunky; therefore, I contend that whoever maintains classical logic, standard mereology and the difference between vague objects and any others, is not forced to conclude with Weatherson that there are no vague objects; nor is she compelled to revise her point of view according to Barnes and Williams’s proposal and to accept that the existence of vague objects implies indeterminate identity. (shrink)
The supporter of vague objects has been long challenged by the following ‘Argument from Identity’: 1) if there are vague objects, then there is ontically indeterminate identity; 2) there is no ontically indeterminate identity; therefore, 3) there are no vague objects. Some supporters of vague objects have argued that 1) is false. Noonan (Analysis 68: 174–176, 2008) grants that 1) does not hold in general, but claims that ontically indeterminate identity is indeed implied by the assumption that there are vague (...) objects of a certain special kind (i.e. vague objects*). One can therefore formulate a ‘New Argument from Identity’: 1′) if there are vague objects*, then there is ontically indeterminate identity; 2) there is no ontically indeterminate identity; therefore, 3′) there are no vague objects*. Noonan’s strategy is to argue that premiss 1′) is inescapable, and, as a consequence, that Evans’s alleged defence of 2) is a real challenge for any supporter of vague objects. I object that a supporter of vague objects who grants the validity of Evans’s argument allegedly in favour of 2) should reject premiss 1′). The threat of the New Argument from Identity is thus avoided. (shrink)
Suppose that fictional objects are abstract objects dependent for their existence and their identity on the creative intentions of their authors. Is an author who intends to create indeterminately identical fictional objects committed to incoherent created objects? My claim is that she is not so committed. I argue that indeterminate identity is an ambiguous notion, allowing for an incoherent interpretation and for at least three coherent ones; and I show that if an author of fiction applies coherent indeterminate identity when (...) creating fictional objects, she succeeds in creating coherent objects, whereas she fails to create fictional objects when she tries to apply incoherent indeterminate identity in her creation. In so doing, I offer a reply to a challenge first raised by Everett against realist philosophers on fictional objects and more recently reproposed by Friedell, allowing for the creation of fictional objects along the lines proposed by Evnine. (shrink)
It is usually taken for granted that a necessary condition for knowing that P is the truth of P. It may therefore be claimed that if we assume that we gain some kind of knowledge through fiction (let us call it fictional knowledge) of P*, then P* should be true—in at least a certain sense. My hypothesis is that this assumption grounds the different ways adopted by philosophers for attributing truth-conditions to fictional sentences. My claim in this work is that (...) fictional sentences do not have truth-values and truth-conditions, but I want to maintain that we gain some kind of knowledge through fiction: to this aim, I will characterize the objective content of fictional sentences not in terms of truth-conditions (which are usually described by appealing to rules of the language or rules of interpretation of language independent of the actual users), but in dispositional terms and I will define a necessary condition for fictional knowledge accordingly. (shrink)
Frege's puzzle about identity sentences has long challenged many philosophers to find a solution to it but also led other philosophers to object that the evidential datum it is grounded on is false. The present work is an elaboration of this second kind of reaction: it explains why Frege's puzzle seems to resist the traditional objection, giving voice to different and more elaborated presentations of the evidential datum, faithful to the spirit but not to the letter of Frege's puzzle. The (...) final outcome is negative, no satisfactory formulation of the evidential datum is found and Frege's puzzle is challenged until a better formulation of it is found. (shrink)
ABSTRACTI propose a different account of fictional objects from the ones already present in the literature. According to my account, fictional objects are culturally created abstract objects dependent for their existence on the pretence attitude adopted by a group of people towards a single fictional content. My work is divided into three parts: in the first one, I present how fictional objects come into existence according to my proposal; in the second part, I illustrate how the existence of fictional objects (...) so conceived may be ontically indeterminate; in the last part, I consider what happens when vague existence and indeterminate identity are claimed within fictional texts. (shrink)
Vagueness manifests itself (among other things) in our inability to find boundaries to the extension of vague predicates. A semantic theory of vagueness plans to justify this inability in terms of the vague semantic rules governing language and thought. According to a supporter of semantic theory, the inability to find such a boundary is not dependent on epistemic limits and an omniscient being like God would be equally unable. Williamson (Vagueness, 1994 ) argued that cooperative omniscient beings adequately instructed would (...) find a precise boundary in a sorites series and that, for this reason, the semantic theory misses its target, while Hawthorne (Philosophical Studies 122:1–25, 2005 ) stood with the semantic theorists and argued that the linguistic behaviour of a cooperative omniscient being like God would clearly demonstrate that he does not find a precise boundary in the sorites series. I argue that Hawthorne’s definition of God’s cooperative behaviour cannot be accepted and that, contrary to what has been assumed by both Williamson and Hawthorne, an omniscient being like God cannot be a cooperative evaluator of a semantic theory of vagueness. (shrink)
Cosa sono i personaggi e gli oggetti fittizi? E soprattutto: esistono almeno in un qualche senso? Per rispondere a queste domande i filosofi, dalla metà del ‘900 fino ai nostri giorni, hanno proposto teorie interessanti e originali. Il libro si propone di ripercorrere questo dibattito con un atteggiamento critico e di proporre alla fine una caratterizzazione delle entità fittizie diversa da quelle presenti nella letteratura filosofica.
Vague predicates and cognitive coherence I intend to offer an analysis of vagueness and of the sorites paradox, adopting the notion of cognitive coherence and arguing in disfavour of semantic coherence which has been frequently adopted by philosophers as a relevant criterion to approach the sorites paradox. According to the semantic method what is relevant is what determines the truth value of assertions with vague predicates, while according to the cognitive method it is essential to consider the rules which govern (...) the application and the non-application of such predicates. In this work, I propose to substitute the notion of minimal semantic coherence with the notion of minimal cognitive coherence. My presentation is divided into the following sections: (1) after presenting the sorites paradox, I explain what I mean by minimal semantic coherence; (2) I introduce the notion of cognitive coherence and argue in disfavour of semantic coherence; (3) I compare the cognitive approach with the verificationist approach and I present Wright’s argument for the incoherence of vague predicates if the latter approach is adopted; (4) I present a revision of Wright’s assumptions and I defend the idea that minimal cognitive coherence is relevant. (shrink)
Università degli Studi di Milano.I propose to consider the paradox of temporal becoming using conceptual instruments derived from Lewis’ definition of intrinsic change. I will show that there are two possible solutions to this paradox, that the two solutions are conceptually incompatible and that they both solve the paradox at the cost of doing without temporal becoming. The problem I want to raise is: how should we consider temporal becoming? I suppose that, given these premises, the most obvious answer is (...) that temporal becoming is unreal: the paradox of temporal becoming is a demonstration of the impossibility of temporal becoming; there are, of course, two different and competing models of the nature of time , but they both exclude the reality of temporal change. I propose a different answer: temporal becoming is conceptually inaccessible, the paradox concerns our conceptual abilities, not reality in itself and the two possible solutions to the paradox of time reveal two possible conceptual attitudes towards a conceptually unattainable reality. (shrink)
Dean Zimmerman focuses on the debate between a serious‐tenser B‐theorist and an eternalist A‐theorist concerning truth and truth‐conditions of tensed propositions. According to Zimmerman, the only way for the A‐theorist to distinguish herself from the B‐theorist is to argue for the non‐relative truth of tensed propositions denying some aspects of the doctrine of temporal parts. I claim instead that the A‐theorist can argue for the non‐relative truth of tensed propositions adopting tensed truth‐conditions incompatible with the B‐theorist's hypotheses.
A couple of doubts are raised concerning Hofweber’s internalist view of our talk about properties. The first doubt relates to the argument used in support of the internalist view of talk about properties: I suspect that one of the premises of the argument is not granted and therefore that the argument’s conclusion is undermined. My second doubt concerns a claimed consequence of Hofweber’s internalist view, i.e. conceptual idealism. It seems to me that conceptual idealism is incompatible with the internalist view (...) of talk about properties. (shrink)
Most philosophers who had the opportunity to meet Paolo Casalegno (1952-2009) have been impressed by his sharp acumen, his passion for discussing philosophy and his human and intellectual generosity. I had the chance more than others to appreciate his qualities and benefit from them: we worked in the same university in Milan for many years and we had many occasions to discuss philosophy and other non-philosophical topics. I owe a debt of gratitude to him and, together with Paolo’s friends and (...) colleagues, I look for opportunities to remember his work and to continue to discuss it. One of them is the conference 'Good Points. Paolo Casalegno’s criticisms of some analytic philosophers' held in Milan in April 2011; the present special issue of dialectica collects the contributions on Paolo’s work presented on this occasion together with the reviews of two books published posthumously. (shrink)
McTaggart’s Paradox has been considered a special case of Lewis’s Problem of Temporary Intrinsics (see Craig (1998), Rea (2003) and Rettler (2012)). I argue instead that the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics cannot simply be applied to the Problem of the passage of time and therefore that McTaggart’s Paradox cannot be a special case of the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics. This observation is relevant in order to point out the difference between the change in objects or events over time (i.e. the (...) subject of Lewis’s Problem) and the change (or passage) of time (i.e. the subject of McTaggart’s Paradox). (shrink)
Quanti granelli di sabbia ci vogliono per fare un mucchio? In che istante si cessa di essere bambini? Quanti soldi ha il meno povero tra i poveri? E' ovvio che a domande del genere non siamo in grado di dare una risposta precisa. E in questo fatto ovvio e apparentemente innocuo si annida il germe di un paradosso, noto fin dall’antichità e chiamato Sorite. Oggi i filosofi sono tornati a occuparsi del problema e, nel tentativo di venirne a capo, hanno (...) scoperto di dover affrontare alcune profonde questioni relative alla natura del linguaggio e della logica. Il libro di Elisa Paganini offre una presentazione articolata di questa avvincente problematica. (shrink)
Ontic vagueness is defended by appealing to a realist and objectivist perspective. First, ontic vagueness is distinguished from epistemic vagueness and semantic vagueness. Subsequently, the realist approach to semantics adopted by David Lewis and more recently by Theodor Sider is presented. It is argued that, contrary to what has been maintained by both Lewis and Sider, ontic vagueness is compatible with the realist perspective they endorse.
Williams (2012) recently proposed the Normative Silence model of Indeterminacy in order to account for a single phenomenon running through all cases of indeterminacy and to reach consensus on the correct epistemic attitude to adopt towards borderline cases of paradigmatically vague predicates. Williams’s Normative Silence model says there is no general normative rule governing God’s and humans’ belief attitudes towards indeterminacies. I claim instead that human rationality and philosophical inquiry require general normative rules leading our belief attitudes towards indeterminacies and (...) that God’s belief attitudes are more difficult to define than Williams assumes. (shrink)
We commonly recognize vague predicates when we do not find boundaries to their extension. Would an omniscient being find it equally impossible to establish such boundaries? I will argue that if a semantic theory of vagueness like supervaluationism is correct, we cannot answer the question. The reason is that, under this assumption, cooperative behaviour is not possible for an omniscient being.