It is my aim in this paper to show that the contemporary assimilation of essence to modality is fundamentally misguided and that, as a consequence, the corresponding conception of metaphysics should be given up. It is not my view that the modal account fails to capture anything which might reasonably be called a concept of essence. My point, rather, is that the notion of essence which is of central importance to the metaphysics of identity is not to be understood in (...) modal terms or even to be regarded as extensionally equivalent to a modal notion. The one notion is, if I am right, a highly refined version of the other; it is like a sieve which performs a similar function but with a much finer mesh. (shrink)
This paper distinguishes two kinds of realist issue -- the issue of whether the propositions of a given domain are factual and the issue of whether they are fundamental. It criticizes previous accounts of what these issues come to and suggests that they are to be understood in terms of a basic metaphysical concept of reality. This leaves open the question of how such issues are to be resolved; and it is argued that this may be done through consideration of (...) what grounds the facts of a given domain, when fundamentality is in question, and what grounds our engagement with the putative facts, when factuality is in question. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have recently become receptive to the idea that, in addition to scientific or causal explanation, there may be a distinctive kind of metaphysical explanation, in which explanans and explanandum are connected, not through some sort of causal mechanism, but through some constitutive form of determination. I myself have long been sympathetic to this idea of constitutive determination or ‘ontological ground’; and it is the aim of the present paper to help put the idea on a firmer (...) footing - to explain how it is to be understood, how it relates to other ideas, and how it might be of use in philosophy. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to apply the truthmaker approach, recently developed by a number of authors, to the problem of providing an adequate formulation of the is–ought gap. I begin by setting up the problem and criticizing some other accounts of how the problem should be stated; I then introduce the basic apparatus of truth-making and show how it may be extended to include both descriptive and normative truth-makers; I next consider how the gap principle should be formulated, attempting (...) to deal as systematically as possible with the ‘harmless’ counter-examples; I also consider the relationship between the gap principle and various other doctrines concerning the separation between the normative and descriptive realms; and I conclude this part of the paper with some general remarks in favor of adopting the truth-maker approach over some of the alternative approaches. The paper concludes with a formal appendix, which gives precise expression to some of claims made in the previous informal part of the paper. (shrink)
This paper deals with the truth-Conditions and the logic for vague languages. The use of supervaluations and of classical logic is defended; and other approaches are criticized. The truth-Conditions are extended to a language that contains a definitely-Operator and that is subject to higher order vagueness.
Introducing a new and ambitious position in the field, Kit Fine’s _Semantic Relationism_ is a major contribution to the philosophy of language. Written by one of today’s most respected philosophers Argues for a fundamentally new approach to the study of representation in language and thought Proposes that there may be representational relationships between expressions or elements of thought that are not grounded in the intrinsic representational features of the expressions or elements themselves Forms part of the prestigious new _Blackwell/Brown Lectures (...) in Philosophy_ series, based on an ongoing series of lectures by today’s leading philosophers. (shrink)
There is a well-known argument from Leibniz's Law for the view that coincident material things may be distinct. For given that they differ in their properties, then how can they be the same? However, many philosophers have suggested that this apparent difference in properties is the product of a linguistic illusion; there is just one thing out there, but different sorts or guises under which it may be described. I attempt to show that this ‘opacity’ defence has intolerable consequences for (...) the functioning of our language and that the original argument should therefore be allowed to stand. (shrink)
I propose a new semantics for intuitionistic logic, which is a cross between the construction-oriented semantics of Brouwer-Heyting-Kolmogorov and the condition-oriented semantics of Kripke. The new semantics shows how there might be a common semantical underpinning for intuitionistic and classical logic and how intuitionistic logic might thereby be tied to a realist conception of the relationship between language and the world.
In this new edition, Arthur Fine looks at Einstein's philosophy of science and develops his own views on realism. A new Afterword discusses the reaction to Fine's own theory. "What really led Einstein . . . to renounce the new quantum order? For those interested in this question, this book is compulsory reading."--Harvey R. Brown, American Journal of Physics "Fine has successfully combined a historical account of Einstein's philosophical views on quantum mechanics and a discussion of some of the philosophical (...) problems associated with the interpretation of quantum theory with a discussion of some of the contemporary questions concerning realism and antirealism. . . . Clear, thoughtful, [and] well-written."--Allan Franklin, Annals of Science "Attempts, from Einstein's published works and unpublished correspondence, to piece together a coherent picture of 'Einstein realism.' Especially illuminating are the letters between Einstein and fellow realist Schrodinger, as the latter was composing his famous 'Schrodinger-Cat' paper."--Nick Herbert, New Scientist "Beautifully clear. . . . Fine's analysis is penetrating, his own results original and important. . . . The book is a splendid combination of new ways to think about quantum mechanics, about realism, and about Einstein's views of both."--Nancy Cartwright, Isis. (shrink)
An exact truthmaker for A is a state which, as well as guaranteeing A’s truth, is wholly relevant to it. States with parts irrelevant to whether A is true do not count as exact truthmakers for A. Giving semantics in this way produces a very unusual consequence relation, on which conjunctions do not entail their conjuncts. This feature makes the resulting logic highly unusual. In this paper, we set out formal semantics for exact truthmaking and characterise the resulting notion of (...) entailment, showing that it is compact and decidable. We then investigate the effect of various restrictions on the semantics. We also formulate a sequent-style proof system for exact entailment and give soundness and completeness results. (shrink)
I develop a basic theory of content within the framework of truthmaker semantics and, in the second part, consider some of the applications to subject matter, common content, logical subtraction and ground.
Kit Fine develops a Fregean theory of abstraction, and suggests that it may yield a new philosophical foundation for mathematics, one that can account for both our reference to various mathematical objects and our knowledge of various mathematical truths. The Limits ofion breaks new ground both technically and philosophically.
How can a statue and a piece of alloy be coincident at any time at which they exist and yet differ in their modal properties? I argue that this question demands an answer and that the only plausible answer is one that posits a difference in the form of the two objects.
The recent, influential Social Intuitionist Model of moral judgment (Haidt, Psychological Review 108, 814–834, 2001) proposes a primary role for fast, automatic and affectively charged moral intuitions in the formation of moral judgments. Haidt’s research challenges our normative conception of ourselves as agents capable of grasping and responding to reasons. We argue that there can be no ‘real’ moral judgments in the absence of a capacity for reflective shaping and endorsement of moral judgments. However, we suggest that the empirical literature (...) indicates a complex interplay between automatic and deliberative mental processes in moral judgment formation, with the latter constraining the expression and influence of moral intuitions. We therefore conclude that the psychological literature supports a normative conception of agency. (shrink)
It is argued that there are three main forms of necessity --the metaphysical, the natural and the normative--and that none of them is reducible to the others or to any other form of necessity. In arguing for a distinctive form of natural necessity, it is necessary to refute a version of the doctrine of scientific essentialism; and in arguing for a distinctive form of normative necessity, it is necessary to refute certain traditional and contemporary versions of ethical naturalism.
There is a common form of problem, to be found in many areas of philosophy, concerning the relationship between our perspective on reality and reality itself. We make statements (or form judgements) about how things are from a given standpoint or perspective. We make the statement ‘it is raining’ from the standpoint of the present time, for example, or the statement‘it is here’ from the standpoint of where we are, or the statement ‘I am glad’ from the standpoint of a (...) subject. In each of these cases, the statement has a certain ‘aspect’ or perspectival character in virtue of which its truth is capable of varying from one standpoint to another. Thus the statement ‘it is raining’ is tensed, the statement ‘it is here’ is ‘spatiocentric’ and the statement ‘I am glad’ is first-personal. The problem we then face is to determine whether this aspect is a feature of the reality which is described or merely a feature of the statement by which it is described. Is reality itself somehow tensed or spatiocentric or firstpersonal or is it merely that we describe a tenseless or spatially uncentered or impersonal reality from a tensed or spatiocentric or first-personal point of view? (shrink)
Form.Kit Fine - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (10):509-535.details
We pose a puzzle for forms and show how it might be solved by appeal to the theory of arbitrary objects. We also discuss how the resulting account of forms relates to issues concerning structural universals and the nature of abstraction.
According to Haidt's (2001) social intuitionist model (SIM), an individual's moral judgment normally arises from automatic 'moral intuitions'. Private moral reasoning - when it occurs - is biased and post hoc, serving to justify the moral judgment determined by the individual's intuitions. It is argued here, however, that moral reasoning is not inevitably subserviant to moral intuitions in the formation of moral judgments. Social cognitive research shows that moral reasoning may sometimes disrupt the automatic process of judgment formation described by (...) the SIM. Furthermore, it seems that automatic judgments may reflect the 'automatization' of judgment goals based on prior moral reasoning. In line with this role for private moral reasoning in judgment formation, it is argued that moral reasoning can, under the right circumstances, be sufficiently unbiased to effectively challenge an individual's moral beliefs. Thus the social cognitive literature indicates a greater and more direct role for private moral reasoning than the SIM allows. (shrink)
The realist programme has degenerated by now to the point where it is quite beyond salvage. A token of this degeneration is that there are altogether too many realisms. It is as though by splitting into a confusing array of types and kinds, realism has hoped that some one variety might yet escape extinct. I shall survey the debate, and some of these realisms, below. Here I would just point out the obvious; that in so far as the successes of (...) science mount while realism continues to decline we must conclude that scientific success lends no support to realism. Since it is unlikely to support anti-realism, we have some reason to suspect that the philosophical debate over realism does not concern issues that can be settled by developments in the sciences, no matter how successful science may be. Further, since that success grounds a culture of acceptance for science and its entities, we have reason to believe that the existence of those entities is also not actually the issue that concerns realism. Afortiori, it is not the issue that concerns anti-realism either; nor, I might add, is anti-realism the winner in the philosophical debate that realism has lost. (shrink)
Preface : twenty theses on cosmopolitan social theory -- Taking the "ism" out of cosmopolitanism : the equivocations of the new cosmopolitanism -- Confronting reputations : Kant's cosmopolitanism and Hegel's critique -- Cosmopolitanism and political community : the equivocations of constitutional patriotism -- Cosmopolitanism and international law : from the law of peoples to the constitutionalisation of international law -- Cosmopolitanism and humanitarian military intervention : war, peace and human rights -- Cosmopolitanism and punishment : prosecuting crimes against humanity -- (...) Cosmopolitanism and the life of the mind : the critique of reason. (shrink)
Many of us take it for granted that states have a right to control the entry and settlement of non‐citizens in their territories, and hardly pause to consider or evaluate the moral justifications for immigration controls. For a long time, very few political philosophers showed a great deal of interest in the subject. However, it is now attracting much more attention in the discipline. This article aims to show that we most certainly should not take it for granted that states (...) enjoy a moral right to exclude would‐be immigrants. It is neither obvious nor uncontroversial. And if we cannot find adequate justifications for the existence of such a right, then we need to re‐evaluate the very backbone of current approaches to immigration policy. The paper begins with an overview of the existing academic debate about the extent of the right to freedom of movement. Next it introduces three arguments in support of the state’s right to exclude would‐be immigrants which draw on claims about the collective right to self‐determination. Finally it outlines three important challenges faced by these arguments in support of the state’s right to exclude. (shrink)
This paper provides a possible worlds semantics for the system of the author's previous paper 'The Logic of Essence '. The basic idea behind the semantics is that a statement should be taken to be true in virtue of the nature of certain objects just in case it is true in any possible world compatible with the nature of those objects. It is shown that a slight variant of the original system is sound and complete under the proposed semantics.
There are four broad grounds upon which the intelligibility of quantification over absolutely everything has been questioned—one based upon the existence of semantic indeterminacy, another on the relativity of ontology to a conceptual scheme, a third upon the necessity of sortal restriction, and the last upon the possibility of indefinite extendibility. The argument from semantic indeterminacy derives from general philosophical considerations concerning our understanding of language. For the Skolem–Lowenheim Theorem appears to show that an understanding of quanti- fication over absolutely (...) everything (assuming a suitably infinite domain) is semantically indistinguishable from the understanding of quantification over something less than absolutely everything; the same first-order sentences are true and even the same first-order conditions will be satisfied by objects from the narrower domain. From this it is then argued that the two kinds of understanding are indistinguishable tout court and that nothing could count as having the one kind of understanding as opposed to the other. (shrink)