In "How Do We Know It Is Now Now?" David Braddon-Mitchell (Analysis 2004) develops an objection to the thesis that the past is real but the future is not. He notes my response to this, namely that the past, although real, is lifeless and (a fortiori?) lacking in sentience. He argues, however, that this response, which I call 'the past is dead hypothesis', is not tenable if combined with 'special relativity'. My purpose in this reply is to argue that, on (...) the contrary, 'special relativity' supports the thesis that the future is unreal. (shrink)
This study provides an evaluation of ethical business perception of busIness students from three countries: Australia, Taiwan and the United States. Although statistically significant differences do exist there is significant agreement with the way students perceive ethical/unethical practices in business. The findings of this paper indicate a universality of business ethical perceptions.
Introduction -- Overview -- Theism, simplicity, and properly anthropocentric metaphysics -- Materialism and dualism -- The power, knowledge, and motives of the primordial God -- The existence of the primordial God -- God changes -- Understanding evil -- The Trinity -- The Incarnation -- Concluding remarks.
Mereotopology is that branch of the theory of regions concerned with topological properties such as connectedness. It is usually developed by considering the parthood relation that characterizes the, perhaps non-classical, mereology of Space (or Spacetime, or a substance filling Space or Spacetime) and then considering an extra primitive relation. My preferred choice of mereotopological primitive is interior parthood . This choice will have the advantage that filters may be defined with respect to it, constructing “points”, as Peter Roeper has done (...) (“Region-based topology”, Journal of Philosophical Logic , 26 (1997), 25–309). This paper generalizes Roeper’s result, relying only on mereotopological axioms, not requiring an underlying classical mereology, and not assuming the Axiom of Choice. I call the resulting mathematical system an approximate lattice , because although meets and joins are not assumed they are approximated. Theorems are proven establishing the existence and uniqueness of representations of approximate lattices, in which their members, the regions, are represented by sets of “points” in a topological “space”. (shrink)
In this chapter I assume that we accept, perhaps reluctantly, general facts, that is states of affairs corresponding to universal generalizations. I then argue that, without any addition, this ontology provides us with physical necessities, and moreover with various grades of physical necessity, including the strongest grade, which I call absolute physical necessity. In addition there are consequences for our understanding of time. For this account, which I call the Mortmain Theory, provides a defence of No Futurism against an otherwise (...) serious objection due to David Armstrong. In addition the Mortmain theory enables me to argue against the ‘‘Parmenidean’’ or Block Universe position that future and past are both real. (shrink)
As a preliminary, I shall clarify the kenotic position by arguing that a position which is often called kenotic is actually a quasi-kenotic version of the classical account, according to which Jesus had normal divine powers but chose not to exercise them. After this preliminary, I discuss three problems with the strict kenotic account. The first is that kenosis conflicts with the standard list of attributes considered essential to God. The second problem is posed by the Exaltation, namely the resumption (...) by Jesus of normal divine powers after his life on Earth. Finally there is the problem of how it was possible for Jesus to be the same person as the pre-incarnate Word. My solutions to these problems constitute my defence of a strict kenotic account of the Incarnation. (shrink)
Part One of this paper is a case against classical mereology and for Heyting mereology. This case proceeds by first undermining the appeal of classical mereology and then showing how it fails to cohere with our intuitions about a measure of quantity. Part Two shows how Heyting mereology provides an account of sets and classes without resort to any nonmereological primitive.
In this paper I present the Discrete Space-Time Thesis, in a way which enables me to defend it against various well-known objections, and which extends to the discrete versions of Special and General Relativity with only minor difficulties. The point of this presentation is not to convince readers that space-time really is discrete but rather to convince them that we do not yet know whether or not it is. Having argued that it is an open question whether or not space-time (...) is discrete, I then turn to some possible empirical evidence, which we do not yet have. This evidence is based on some slight differences between commonly occurring differential equations and their discrete analogs. (shrink)
While the Phase Space formulation of quantum mechanics has received considerable attention it has seldom been defended as a viable interpretation. In this paper I expound the Phase Space Picture, use it to provide a quasi-classical 'hidden variables' interpretation of quantum mechanics and offer a defence of it against various objections.
According to a number of popular intentionalist theories in philosophy of mind, phenomenology is essentially and intrinsically intentional: phenomenal properties are identical to intentional properties of a certain type, or at least, the phenomenal character of an experience necessarily fixes a type of intentional content. These views are attractive, but it is questionable whether the reasons for accepting them generalize from sensory-perceptual experience to other kinds of experience: for example, agentive, moral, aesthetic, or cognitive experience. Meanwhile, a number of philosophers (...) have argued for the existence of a proprietary phenomenology of thought, so-called cognitive phenomenology. There are different ways of understanding the relevant sense of “proprietary,” but on one natural interpretation, phenomenology is proprietary to thought just in case enjoying an experience with that phenomenal character is inseparable from thinking an occurrent, conscious thought. While one may have instances of thought without CP experience, one will never find CP independent of thought. So the former justifiably can be said to “belong to” the latter. The purpose of this paper is to argue that these intentionalist and cognitive phenomenology views make surprisingly uncomfortable bedfellows. I contend that the combination of the two views is incompatible with our best theories of how our concepts are structured. So cognitive phenomenology cannot determine the contents of our thoughts. (shrink)
Armstrong holds the Supervenience Theory of instantiation, namely that the instantiation of universals by particulars supervenes upon what particulars and what universals there are, where supervenience is stipulated to be explanatory or dependent supervenience. I begin by rejecting the Supervenience Theory of instantiation. Having done so it is then tempting to take instantiation as primitive. This has, however, an awkward consequence, undermining one of the main advantages universals have over tropes. So I examine another account hinted at by Armstrong. This (...) is the Operator Theory of instantiation, by which I mean the theory that universals are operators, and that a particular instantiates a monadic universal because the universal operates on the particular, resulting in the state of affairs. On this theory the state of affairs supervenes on the instantiation rather than vice versa. In the second part of the paper I develop this theory of universals as operators, including an account of structural universals, which are useful for accounts of modality and of mathematics. (shrink)
This paper is a contribution to the programme of moderating Social Trinitarianism to achieve a fairly orthodox result. I follow Swinburne in relying heavily on divine thisnessless and in the important speculation that the Trinity arose from a primordial 'unitarian' God. In this paper I explain why I disagree with Swinburnes's account of how the Trinity came into being and I propose an alternative in which the primordial God fissions into three divine persons for the sake of a loving community.
This paper concerns the structure of appearances. I argue that to be appeared to in a certain way is to be aware of one or more universals. Universals therefore function like the sense-data, once highly favoured but now out of fashion. For instance, to be appeared to treely, in a visual way, is to be aware of the complex relation, being tree-shaped and tree-coloured and being in front of, a relation of a kind which could be instantiated by a material (...) object and a perceiver, which is thus instantiated in the veridical case but not in the non-veridical. (shrink)
Several authors, including Stephen Law in this journal, have argued that the case for an evil God is (about) as strong as for a good God. In this article I take up the challenge on behalf of theists who, like Richard Swinburne, argue for an agent of unrestricted power and knowledge as the ultimate explanation of all contingent truths. I shall argue that an evil God is much less probable than a good one. I do so by (1) distinguishing the (...) analogical predication of 'good' or 'evil' of God from the literal predication, (2) interpreting 'acting in a morally good way' to mean 'acting like a good consequentialist', and (3) relying on an axiarchist thesis about agency that is congenial to theists and perhaps even presupposed by theism. (shrink)
Theism can be defended against the Philosophical Problem of Evil, provided one rejects the Principle of Perfectionism, without relying on the Greater Good Defence or, unless one is a libertarian, the Free-Will Defence.A corollary of the All Good Possible Worlds Defence and the No Best Possible World Defence, is that God’s goodness need not determine God’s choice to create. The reasons, if any, which God has are relevant to the Theological Problem of Evil but not to the Philosophical Problem of (...) Evil. (shrink)
In his recent paper in Sophia , ‘Theodicy: The Solution to the Problem of Evil, or Part of the Problem?’ Nick Trakakis endorses the position that theodicy, whether intellectually successful or not, is a morally obnoxious enterprise. My aim in this paper is to defend theodicy from this accusation. I concede that God the Creator is a moral monster by human standards and neither to be likened to a loving parent nor imitated. Nonetheless, God is morally perfect. What is abhorrent (...) is not tough-minded theodicy but the hubris of imitating God. I further claim that it is no accident that the same sort of objection is made to act utilitarianism as to tough-minded theodicy if the latter is misinterpreted as implying a guide for human action. (shrink)
In this paper I provide an ontology for the co‐variant vectors, contra‐variant vectors and tensors that are familiar from General Relativity. This ontology is developed in response to a problem that Timothy Maudlin uses to argue against universals in the interpretation of physics. The problem is that if vector quantities are universals then there should be a way of identifying the same vector quantity at two different places, but there is no absolute identification of vector quantities, merely a path‐relative one.My (...) solution to the problem is to use the mathematical characterization of vectors as differential operators on scalar fields. On the proposed hypothesis a scalar field is a conjunctive state of affairs, and vector and tensor fields are relations instantiated by scalar fields. (shrink)
The book comprises an enquiry into what quantum theory shows us about the world. Its aim is to sort out which metaphysical speculations are tenable and which are not. After an initial discussion of realism, the author provides a non-technical exposition of quantum theory and a criticism of the proposal that quantum theory should make us revise our beliefs about logic. He then discusses the various problems and puzzles which make quantum theory both interesting and perplexing. The text defends three (...) markedly different speculations. The first of them, the "determinate particle speculation", is shown to involve both a view which proposes determinate locations and velocities for particles and the opposite. With the "wave speculation" particles are seen as different again: here the professor proposes a radically original view of particles as polywaves. In the final chapter, he compares the competing particle theories and shows that two ostensibly opposing views are in fact compatible. He goes on to discuss the implications of quantum theory for our understanding of persons. The work assumes no prior knowledge of quantum theory and confines the necessary mathematical details to end-notes. (shrink)
This chapter is a case for the pantheist conception considered as a species of theism, rather than a rival to it. The starting point, the premise of the argument, is properly anthropomorphic metaphysics, which I propose as a rival to scientific naturalism; I begin, then, by stating my version of pantheism, by expounding PAM, and by sketching my argument.
THE ARTICLE IS AN ATTACK ON THE MYSTERY OR REDUCTION DILEMMA FOR SUPERVENIENCE. THIS IS THE DILEMMA THAT EITHER SUPERVENIENCE IS MYSTERIOUS OR THE SUPERVENIENT IS REDUCIBLE TO THE SUBVENIENT. A NONMYSTERIOUS, NONREDUCTIVE ACCOUNT OF SUPERVENIENCE IS PROPOSED, BASED ON THE METAPHYSICAL SPECULATION THAT SUPERVENIENT TERMS AND PHRASES APPLY TO OBJECTS WHOSE INTRINSIC NATURES THEMSELVES HAVE AN APPROPRIATE PROPERTY. SINCE THIS IS A PROPERTY OF A NATURE IT IS A PROPERTY OF A PROPERTY, THAT IS, A GRAND-PROPERTY. SUPERVENIENCE FOLLOWS FROM (...) THIS HYPOTHESIS QUITE NONMYSTERIOUSLY, BY APPEAL TO THE INDISCERNIBILITY OF IDENTICALS. THE METAPHYSICAL SPECULATIONS REQUIRED MIGHT SEEM EXTRAVAGANT. A LARGE PART OF THE PAPER IS DESIGNED TO SHOW THAT THEY ARE NOT EXTRAVAGANT. (shrink)
Reality and Humean Supervenience confronts the reader with central aspects in the philosophy of David Lewis, whose work in ontology, metaphysics, logic, probability, philosophy of mind, and language articulates a unique and systematic foundation for modern physicalism.
Conceivability is, I say, prima facie evidence for possibility. Hence, we may count the cost of theories about possibility by listing the ways in which, according to the theory in question, something conceivable is said nonetheless to be impossible. More succinctly we may state a principle, Hume's razor to put alongside Ockham's. Hume's razor says that necessities are not to be multiplied more than necessary. In this paper I count the cost of David Lewis's modal realism, showing that many of (...) the objections are replied to by Lewis only at the cost of multiplying necessities. (shrink)
In this paper I have had two aims. One was to describe a number of pantheist or near pantheist religious attitudes, including the influence of many worlds theories. The other was to indicate some of the ways we might arrive at Pantheism.One final remark: when assessing religious positions the intellectual grounds for accepting or rejecting them should, I suggest, be whether they make sense of things, that is, enable us to understand. The ways to Pantheism, or to near Pantheism, should (...) therefore be interpreted as part of a comparison between ways of understanding. (shrink)