The identity conception of truth holds that a thinkable is true just in case it is a fact. As such, it sets itself against correspondence theories of truth, while respecting the substantive role played by truth in respect of enquiry. In this article, I motivate and develop that view, and, in so doing, promote a particular conception of sense. This allows me to defend the view from two substantial criticisms. First, that the identity conception of truth is incoherent in respect (...) of its treatment of objects in the realm of reference, and, second, that it is committed to a view of the world in which ordinary objects have no place. (shrink)
This book attempts to explicate and expand upon Frank Ramsey's notion of the realistic spirit. In so doing, it provides a systematic reading of his work, and demonstrates the extent of Ramsey's genius as evinced by both his responses to the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , and the impact he had on Wittgenstein's later philosophical insights.
Cora Diamond has recently criticised as mere legend the interpretation of a quip of Ramsey's, contained in the epigraph below, which takes him to be objecting to or rejecting Wittgenstein's Tractarian distinction between saying and showing. Whilst I agree with Diamond's discussion of the legend, I argue that her interpretation of the quip has little evidential support, and runs foul of a criticism sometimes made against intuitionism. Rather than seeing Ramsey as making a claim about the nature of propositions, as (...) Diamond does, we should understand him as making a claim about the grammar of the logical connectives. Such a view coheres with the extant evidence of the nature of Wittgenstein's and Ramsey's 1929 philosophical encounters. It is also compatible with attributing to Ramsey a recognition of Wittgenstein's distinction and with denying that criticising it is the lesson of the quip. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn ‘Universals’, Ramsey declares that we do not, and cannot, know the forms of atomic propositions. A year later, in a symposium with Braithwaite and Joseph, he announces a change of mind: atomic propositions may, after all, be discoverable by analysis. It is clear from the 1926 paper that Ramsey intends this to be a revision of the 1925 claim. Puzzlingly, however, Ramsey does not mention analysis in 1925. My task in this article is to provide a justification for that (...) change of mind. My argument consists of two parts. I first show what relation holds between the negative 1925 assertion and the more positive 1926 assertion which allows us to read the latter claim as a retraction of the former, as Ramsey appears to have intended it. Then I shall argue that the retraction of the 1925 claim is forced upon Ramsey by reflection on the fact that three theses, all of which he held in or around the relevant period, are, rather surprisingly, revealed to be inconsistent. (shrink)
1. Introduction The policy of deterrence, at least to avert nuclear war between the superpowers, has been a controversial one. The main controversy arises from the threat of each side to visit destruction on the other in response to an initial attack. This threat would seem irrational if carrying it out would lead to a nuclear holocaust – the worst outcome for both sides. Instead, it would seem better for the side attacked to suffer some destruction rather than to retaliate (...) in kind and, in the process of devastating the other side, seal its own doom in an all-out nuclear exchange. Yet, the superpowers persist in their adherence to deterrence, by which we mean a policy of threatening to retaliate to an attack by the other side in order to deter such an attack in the first place. To be sure, nuclear doctrine for implementing deterrence has evolved over the years, with such appellations as “massive retaliation,” “flexible response,” “mutual assured destruction”, and “counterforce” giving some flavor of the changes in United States strategic thinking. All such doctrines, however, entail some kind of response to a Soviet nuclear attack. They are operationalized in terms of preselected targets to be hit, depending on the perceived nature and magnitude of the attack. Thus, whether U.S. strategic policy at any time stresses a retaliatory attack on cities and industrial centers or on weapons systems and armed forces, the certainty of a response of some kind to an attack is not the issue. (shrink)
In this response to Steven Jensen’s ACPQ review essay of Martin Rhonheimer’s The Perspective of Morality, its author argues that Jensen failed to understand the proper subject matter, the inner logic, and the methodology of the book. As a result, he misread key passages while passing over others, with the result that his criticisms miss the mark. Correcting these misreadings provides the occasion to explain some key features of the book, namely its idea of integrating in a single ethical (...) theory eudaimonistic ethics and its theory of happiness with action theory, anthropology of action, a theory of practical reason, an account of the moral virtues, a doctrine of natural law, of prudence, of conscience, and of moral norms, disproving thereby Jensen’s misleading claim that the book rejects nature as a standard of ethics. (shrink)