The aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term. Under 'things in the broadest possible sense' I include such radically different items as not only 'cabbages and kings', but numbers and duties, possibilities and finger snaps, aesthetic experience and death. To achieve success in philosophy would be, to use a contemporary turn of phrase, to 'know one's way around' with respect (...) to all these things, not in that unreflective way in which the centipede of the story knew its way around before it faced the question, 'how do I walk?', but in that reflective way which means that no intellectual holds are barred. (shrink)
1. It seems plausible to say that a language is a system of expressions the use of which is subject to certain rules. It would seem, thus, that learning to use a language is learning to obey the rules for the use of its expressions. However, taken as it stands, this thesis is subject to an obvious and devastating refutation. After formulating this refutation, I shall turn to the constructive task of attempting to restate the thesis in a way which (...) avoids it. In doing so, I shall draw certain distinctions the theoretical elaboration of which will, I believe, yield new insight into the psychology of language and of what might be called “norm conforming behavior” generally. The present paper contains an initial attempt along these lines. (shrink)
Studies in Wilfrid Sellars' philosophy: Aune, B. Sellars on practical reason.--Castañeda, H.-N. Some reflections on Wilfrid Sellars' theory of intentions.--Donagan, A. Determinism and freedom: Sellars and the reconciliationist thesis.--Robinson, W. S. The legend of the given.--Clark, R. The sensuous content of perception.--Grossmann, R. Perceptual objects, elementary particles, and emergent properties.--Rosenberg, J. F. The elusiveness of categories, the Archimedean dilemma, and the nature of man: a study in Sellarsian metaphysics.--Turnbull, R. G. Things, natures, and properties.--Wells, R. The indispensable word "now."--Van Fraassen, (...) B. C. Theories and counterfactuals.--Harman, G. H. Wilfrid Sellars' Theory of induction.--Sellarsiana: Sellars, W. Autobiographical reflections.--Sellars, W. The structure of knowledge. Lecture I, perception. Lecture II, minds. Lecture III, epistemic principles.--Wilfrid Sellars' Philosophical bibliography. (p. 349-353). (shrink)
1. The lever in question is, of course, that with which, provided that an appropriate fulcrum could be found, Archimedes could move the world. In the analogy I have in mind, the fulcrum is the given, by virtue of which the mind gets leverage on the world of knowledge.
Formal implication is usually represented by symbolization such as ‘ φx ⊃ Ψx,’ which may be read, “for all values of ‘x’, φx implies Ψx.” If the values of the variable ‘x’, in ‘φx’ and ‘Ψx’ be ‘x1’ ‘x2’ ‘x3’, etc., then … ‘φx’ formally implies ‘Ψx’ if and only if, whatever values of ‘x’, ‘xn’, be chosen, ‘φxn’ materially implies ‘Ψxn’ …However, this still leaves it doubtful which of two possible interpretations of expressions having the form ‘ φx ⊃ (...) Ψx’ is to be taken as correct. … It means one thing to say, “Every existent having the property φ … has also the property Ψ,” and it means quite a different thing to say, “Every thinkable thing which should have the property φ must also have the property Ψ.” The second of these holds only when having the properly φ logically entails having the property Ψ; when ‘Ψx’ is deductible from ‘φx’. … The first of them, however, holds not only in such cases … but also in every case where among existent things, one property is universally accompanied by another. (shrink)
Inference and meaning -- Some reflections on language games -- Language as thought and as communication -- Meaning as functional classification : a perspective on the relation of syntax to semantics -- Naming and saying -- Grammar and existence : a preface to ontology -- Abstract entities -- Being and being known -- The lever of Archimedes -- Some reflections on thoughts and things -- Mental events -- Phenomenalism -- The identity approach to the mind-body problem -- Philosophy and the (...) scientific image of man -- "...this I or he or it (the thing) which thinks..." -- Some remarks on Kant's theory of experience -- The role of imagination in Kant's theory of experience. (shrink)
Now the thesis that the universal redness is the linguistic type ⋅red⋅ has the ring of absurdity. There are several ways in which this discomfort can be expressed I shall open my argument by formulating an objection which, by cutting deeper than most, leads to a firm foundation for a restatement and defense of the thesis.
[p.225] Introduction (i) Although the following essay attempts to deal in a connected way with a number of connected conceptual tangles, it is by no means monolithic in design. It divides roughly in two, with the first half (Parts I and II) devoted to certain puzzles which have their source in a misunderstanding of the more specific structure of the language in which we describe and explain natural phenomena; while the second half (Parts III and IV) attempts to resolve the (...) more sweeping controversy over the nature of the connection between 'cause' and 'effect,' or, in modem dress, the logical status of 'lawlike statements.' (ii) The essay begins with a case analysis of a puzzle, taken from recent philosophical literature, relating to the analysis of counterfactual conditionals, statements of the form "If that lump of salt had been put in water, it would have dissolved." The diagnosis of this puzzle, which occupies the whole of Part I, shows it to rest on a misunderstanding of the conceptual framework in terms of which we speak of what things do when acted upon in certain ways in certain kinds of circumstance. Although the puzzle is initially posed in terms of examples taken from everyday life, the logical features of these examples which, misunderstood, generate the puzzle, are to be found in even the more theoretical levels of the language of science, and the puzzle is as much at home in the one place as in the other. For the framework in which things of various kinds (e.g. matches, white rats) behave ('respond') in various ways (catch fire, leap at a door) when acted upon ('submitted to such and such stimuli') under given conditions (presence of oxygen, 24 hours of food deprivation) is far more basic than the distinctions between metrical and non-metrical concepts, molar and micro-things, [p.226] observable and unobservable.. (shrink)
A survey of the literature on the problem of the synthetic a priori soon reveals that the term “analytic” is used in a narrower and a broader sense. In the narrower sense, a proposition is analytic if it is either a truth of logic or is logically true. By saying of a proposition that it is logically true, I mean, roughly, and with an eye on the problem of the relation of logical categories to natural languages, that when defined terms (...) are replaced by their definientia, it becomes a substitution instance of a truth of logic. And a truth of logic can be adequately characterized for present purposes as a proposition which occurs in the body of Principia Mathematica, or which would properly occur in a vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage of this already monumental work. If we now agree to extend the convenient phrase “logically true” to cover truths of logic as well as propositions which are logically true in the sense just defined, we can say that an analytic proposition in the narrower sense is a proposition which is logically true. (shrink)
1. My primary aim in this paper is to set the stage for a discussion of some of the central themes in the so-called "identity" approach to the mind-body problem. I have particularly in mind Herbert Feigl's elaborate statement and defense of this approach in Volume II of the Minnesota Studies. A secondary, but more constructive, purpose is to bring out some of the reasons which incline me to think that the theory is either very exciting but false, or true (...) but relatively uninteresting. (shrink)
The essay adopts the Tractarian view that configurations of objects are expressed by configurations of names. Two alternatives are considered: The objects in atomic facts are (1) without exception particulars; (2) one or more particulars plus a universal (Gustav Bergmann). On (1) a mode of configuration is always an empirical relation: on (2) it is the logical nexus of 'exemplification.' It is argued that (1) is both Wittgenstein's view in the Tractatus and correct. It is also argued that exemplification is (...) a 'quasi-semantical' relation, and that it (and universals) are "in the world" only in that broad sense in which the 'world' includes linguistic norms and roles viewed (thus in translating) from the standpoint of a fellow participant. (shrink)
1. I shall attempt in this paper to give a rounded, if schematic, account of the concept of probability. My central concern will be to clarify the sense in which law-like statements (including 'statistical' law-like statements) are made probable by observational data which, in a sense equally demanding analysis, 'accord' with them.