Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for David Wiggins, J. Alberto Coffa and Lawrence M. Krauss

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97 ideas

1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Conceptual Analysis
We learn a concept's relations by using it, without reducing it to anything [Wiggins]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Linguistic Analysis
Semantic facts are preferable to transcendental philosophical fiction [Wiggins]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / j. Axiom of Choice IX
Choice suggests that intensions are not needed to ensure classes [Coffa]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 3. Property (λ-) Abstraction
(λx)[Man x] means 'the property x has iff x is a man'. [Wiggins]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. Using Numbers / d. Counting via concepts
Maybe the concept needed under which things coincide must also yield a principle of counting [Wiggins]
The sortal needed for identities may not always be sufficient to support counting [Wiggins]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
What exists can't depend on our conceptual scheme, and using all conceptual schemes is too liberal [Sider on Wiggins]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
An understanding of the most basic physics should explain all of the subject's mysteries [Krauss]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / c. Monads
In 1676 it was discovered that water is teeming with life [Krauss]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Realism
Realist Conceptualists accept that our interests affect our concepts [Wiggins]
Conceptualism says we must use our individuating concepts to grasp reality [Wiggins]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
Animal classifications: the Emperor's, fabulous, innumerable, like flies, stray dogs, embalmed…. [Wiggins]
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 4. Formal Relations / c. Ancestral relation
An ancestral relation is either direct or transitively indirect [Wiggins]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 4. Powers as Essence
Substances contain a source of change or principle of activity [Wiggins]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
Individuation needs accounts of identity, of change, and of singling out [Wiggins]
Individuation can only be understood by the relation between things and thinkers [Wiggins]
We can accept criteria of distinctness and persistence, without making the counterfactual claims [Mackie,P on Wiggins]
Activity individuates natural things, functions do artefacts, and intentions do artworks [Wiggins]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / c. Individuation by location
Singling out extends back and forward in time [Wiggins]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / d. Individuation by haecceity
The idea of 'thisness' is better expressed with designation/predication and particular/universal [Wiggins]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
A river may change constantly, but not in respect of being a river [Wiggins]
We never single out just 'this', but always 'this something-or-other' [Wiggins]
Sortal classification becomes science, with cross reference clarifying individuals [Wiggins]
If the kinds are divided realistically, they fall into substances [Wiggins]
'Human being' is a better answer to 'what is it?' than 'poet', as the latter comes in degrees [Wiggins]
Secondary substances correctly divide primary substances by activity-principles and relations [Wiggins]
A sortal essence is a thing's principle of individuation [Wiggins, by Mackie,P]
Wiggins's sortal essentialism rests on a thing's principle of individuation [Wiggins, by Mackie,P]
The evening star is the same planet but not the same star as the morning star, since it is not a star [Wiggins]
'Sortalism' says parts only compose a whole if it falls under a sort or kind [Wiggins, by Hossack]
Identity a=b is only possible with some concept to give persistence and existence conditions [Wiggins, by Strawson,P]
A thing is necessarily its highest sortal kind, which entails an essential constitution [Wiggins, by Strawson,P]
Many predicates are purely generic, or pure determiners, rather than sortals [Wiggins]
The possibility of a property needs an essential sortal concept to conceive it [Wiggins]
'Ultimate sortals' cannot explain ontological categories [Westerhoff on Wiggins]
The only singling out is singling out 'as' something [Wiggins]
In Aristotle's sense, saying x falls under f is to say what x is [Wiggins]
Every determinate thing falls under a sortal, which fixes its persistence [Wiggins]
Sortal predications are answers to the question 'what is x?' [Wiggins]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
We refer to persisting substances, in perception and in thought, and they aid understanding [Wiggins]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
Objects can only coincide if they are of different kinds; trees can't coincide with other trees [Wiggins, by Sider]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / e. Vague objects
Is the Pope's crown one crown, if it is made of many crowns? [Wiggins]
Boundaries are not crucial to mountains, so they are determinate without a determinate extent [Wiggins]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 3. Matter of an Object
Matter underlies things, composes things, and brings them to be [Wiggins]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
Identity is an atemporal relation, but composition is relative to times [Wiggins, by Sider]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
If I destroy an item, I do not destroy each part of it [Wiggins]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
We can forget about individual or particularized essences [Wiggins]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
Natural kinds are well suited to be the sortals which fix substances [Wiggins]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
Essences are not explanations, but individuations [Wiggins]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
Essentialism is best represented as a predicate-modifier: □(a exists → a is F) [Wiggins, by Mackie,P]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 11. Essence of Artefacts
Artefacts are individuated by some matter having a certain function [Wiggins]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 13. Nominal Essence
Nominal essences don't fix membership, ignore evolution, and aren't contextual [Wiggins]
The nominal essence is the idea behind a name used for sorting [Wiggins]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
'What is it?' gives the kind, nature, persistence conditions and identity over time of a thing [Wiggins]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 4. Four-Dimensionalism
It is easier to go from horses to horse-stages than from horse-stages to horses [Wiggins]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 7. Intermittent Objects
A restored church is the same 'church', but not the same 'building' or 'brickwork' [Wiggins]
A thing begins only once; for a clock, it is when its making is first completed [Wiggins]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 9. Ship of Theseus
Priests prefer the working ship; antiquarians prefer the reconstruction [Wiggins]
The question is not what gets the title 'Theseus' Ship', but what is identical with the original [Wiggins]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Identity over a time and at a time aren't different concepts [Wiggins]
Hesperus=Hesperus, and Phosphorus=Hesperus, so necessarily Phosphorus=Hesperus [Wiggins]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 2. Defining Identity
Leibniz's Law (not transitivity, symmetry, reflexivity) marks what is peculiar to identity [Wiggins]
Identity cannot be defined, because definitions are identities [Wiggins]
Identity is primitive [Wiggins]
The formal properties of identity are reflexivity and Leibniz's Law [Wiggins]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity
Relative Identity is incompatible with the Indiscernibility of Identicals [Wiggins, by Strawson,P]
Relativity of Identity makes identity entirely depend on a category [Wiggins]
To identify two items, we must have a common sort for them [Wiggins]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects
A is necessarily A, so if B is A, then B is also necessarily A [Wiggins]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
By the principle of Indiscernibility, a symmetrical object could only be half of itself! [Wiggins]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 8. Leibniz's Law
Do both 'same f as' and '=' support Leibniz's Law? [Wiggins]
Substitutivity, and hence most reasoning, needs Leibniz's Law [Wiggins]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 9. Sameness
We want to explain sameness as coincidence of substance, not as anything qualitative [Wiggins]
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
It is hard or impossible to think of Caesar as not human [Wiggins]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / d. Possible worlds actualism
Possible worlds rest on the objects about which we have suppositions [Wiggins]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / b. Worlds as fictions
Not every story corresponds to a possible world [Wiggins]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
The semantic tradition aimed to explain the a priori semantically, not by Kantian intuition [Coffa]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 11. Denying the A Priori
Platonism defines the a priori in a way that makes it unknowable [Coffa]
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 5. Language Relativism
Our sortal concepts fix what we find in experience [Wiggins]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Explanations by essence
The category of substance is more important for epistemology than for ontology [Wiggins]
Naming the secondary substance provides a mass of general information [Wiggins]
Asking 'what is it?' nicely points us to the persistence of a continuing entity [Wiggins]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 4. Objectification
Seeing a group of soldiers as an army is irresistible, in ontology and explanation [Wiggins]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
Mathematics generalises by using variables [Coffa]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / a. Origin of concepts
The mind conceptualizes objects; yet objects impinge upon the mind [Wiggins]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / b. Empirical concepts
We conceptualise objects, but they impinge on us [Wiggins]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Ontology of Concepts / c. Fregean concepts
We can use 'concept' for the reference, and 'conception' for sense [Wiggins]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / f. Theory theory of concepts
A 'conception' of a horse is a full theory of what it is (and not just the 'concept') [Wiggins]
26. Natural Theory / B. Natural Kinds / 3. Knowing Kinds
Lawlike propensities are enough to individuate natural kinds [Wiggins]
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 1. Relativity / a. Special relativity
Space itself can expand (and separate its contents) at faster than light speeds [Krauss]
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 1. Relativity / b. General relativity
General Relativity: the density of energy and matter determines curvature and gravity [Krauss]
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 2. Electrodynamics / d. Quantum mechanics
Uncertainty says that energy can be very high over very short time periods [Krauss]
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 4. Standard Model / e. Protons
Most of the mass of a proton is the energy in virtual particles (rather than the quarks) [Krauss]
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 1. Space / b. Space
Empty space contains a continual flux of brief virtual particles [Krauss]
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 3. Space-Time
Relativity is as absolutist about space-time as Newton was about space [Coffa]
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 3. The Beginning
The universe is precisely 13.72 billion years old [Krauss]
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 10. Multiverse
It seems likely that cosmic inflation is eternal, and this would make a multiverse inevitable [Krauss]