Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Sebastian Gardner, David Lewis and Chistoph Scheibler

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335 ideas

1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 4. Later European Philosophy / c. Eighteenth century philosophy
Hamann, Herder and Jacobi were key opponents of the Enlightenment [Gardner]
Kant halted rationalism, and forced empiricists to worry about foundations [Gardner]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Honesty requires philosophical theories we can commit to with our ordinary commonsense [Lewis]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
I tried to be unsystematic and piecemeal, but failed; my papers presuppose my other views [Lewis]
Only Kant and Hegel have united nature, morals, politics, aesthetics and religion [Gardner]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Nature of Analysis
Analysis reduces primitives and makes understanding explicit (without adding new knowledge) [Lewis]
Armstrong's analysis seeks truthmakers rather than definitions [Lewis]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Conceptual Analysis
In addition to analysis of a concept, one can deny it, or accept it as primitive [Lewis]
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
Interdefinition is useless by itself, but if we grasp one separately, we have them both [Lewis]
2. Reason / D. Definition / 2. Aims of Definition
Defining terms either enables elimination, or shows that they don't require elimination [Lewis]
2. Reason / E. Argument / 1. Argument
Arguments are nearly always open to challenge, but they help to explain a position rather than force people to believe [Lewis]
2. Reason / E. Argument / 2. Transcendental Argument
Transcendental proofs derive necessities from possibilities (e.g. possibility of experiencing objects) [Gardner]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 5. Truth Bearers
To be true a sentence must express a proposition, and not be ambiguous or vague or just expressive [Lewis]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 6. Verisimilitude
Verisimilitude might be explained as being close to the possible world where the truth is exact [Lewis]
Verisimilitude has proved hard to analyse, and seems to have several components [Lewis]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 2. Truthmaker Relation
Truthmakers are about existential grounding, not about truth [Lewis]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / a. What makes truths
Predications aren't true because of what exists, but of how it exists [Lewis]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / d. Being makes truths
Say 'truth is supervenient on being', but construe 'being' broadly [Lewis]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 6. Making Negative Truths
If it were true that nothing at all existed, would that have a truthmaker? [Lewis]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 9. Making Past Truths
Presentism says only the present exists, so there is nothing for tensed truths to supervene on [Lewis]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 11. Truthmaking and Correspondence
Truthmaker is correspondence, but without the requirement to be one-to-one [Lewis]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 4. Alethic Modal Logic
For modality Lewis rejected boxes and diamonds, preferring worlds, and an index for the actual one [Lewis, by Stalnaker]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 1. Set Theory
Sets are mereological sums of the singletons of their members [Lewis, by Armstrong]
We can build set theory on singletons: classes are then fusions of subclasses, membership is the singleton [Lewis]
Mathematics reduces to set theory, which reduces, with some mereology, to the singleton function [Lewis]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 2. Mechanics of Set Theory / b. Terminology of ST
Classes divide into subclasses in many ways, but into members in only one way [Lewis]
A subclass of a subclass is itself a subclass; a member of a member is not in general a member [Lewis]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 3. Types of Set / b. Empty (Null) Set
We needn't accept this speck of nothingness, this black hole in the fabric of Reality! [Lewis]
We can accept the null set, but there is no null class of anything [Lewis]
There are four main reasons for asserting that there is an empty set [Lewis]
We can accept the null set, but not a null class, a class lacking members [Lewis]
The null set plays the role of last resort, for class abstracts and for existence [Lewis]
The null set is not a little speck of sheer nothingness, a black hole in Reality [Lewis]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 3. Types of Set / c. Unit (Singleton) Sets
If we don't understand the singleton, then we don't understand classes [Lewis]
We can replace the membership relation with the member-singleton relation (plus mereology) [Lewis]
If singleton membership is external, why is an object a member of one rather than another? [Lewis]
Maybe singletons have a structure, of a thing and a lasso? [Lewis]
What on earth is the relationship between a singleton and an element? [Lewis]
Are all singletons exact intrinsic duplicates? [Lewis]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / a. Axioms for sets
Set theory has some unofficial axioms, generalisations about how to understand it [Lewis]
Set theory reduces to a mereological theory with singletons as the only atoms [Lewis, by MacBride]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 5. Conceptions of Set / a. Sets as existing
If singletons are where their members are, then so are all sets [Lewis]
A huge part of Reality is only accepted as existing if you have accepted set theory [Lewis]
Set theory isn't innocent; it generates infinities from a single thing; but mathematics needs it [Lewis]
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 1. Mereology
Megethology is the result of adding plural quantification to mereology [Lewis]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 6. Relations in Logic
We can use mereology to simulate quantification over relations [Lewis]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 4. Substitutional Quantification
We can quantify over fictions by quantifying for real over their names [Lewis]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 6. Plural Quantification
Quantification sometimes commits to 'sets', but sometimes just to pluralities (or 'classes') [Lewis]
Plural quantification lacks a complete axiom system [Lewis]
I like plural quantification, but am not convinced of its connection with second-order logic [Lewis]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 7. Unorthodox Quantification
We could quantify over impossible objects - as bundles of properties [Lewis]
5. Theory of Logic / J. Model Theory in Logic / 2. Isomorphisms
A consistent theory just needs one model; isomorphic versions will do too, and large domains provide those [Lewis]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 2. Geometry
Modern geoemtry is either 'pure' (and formal), or 'applied' (and a posteriori) [Gardner]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 4. Axioms for Number / a. Axioms for numbers
Mathematics is generalisations about singleton functions [Lewis]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / f. Zermelo numbers
Zermelo's model of arithmetic is distinctive because it rests on a primitive of set theory [Lewis]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 6. Mathematics as Set Theory / a. Mathematics is set theory
Giving up classes means giving up successful mathematics because of dubious philosophy [Lewis]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 7. Mathematical Structuralism / a. Structuralism
To be a structuralist, you quantify over relations [Lewis]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 7. Mathematical Structuralism / e. Structuralism critique
We don't need 'abstract structures' to have structural truths about successor functions [Lewis]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
'Allists' embrace the existence of all controversial entities; 'noneists' reject all but the obvious ones [Lewis]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence
We can't accept a use of 'existence' that says only some of the things there are actually exist [Lewis]
Lewis's distinction of 'existing' from 'being actual' is Meinong's between 'existing' and 'subsisting' [Lycan on Lewis]
There are only two kinds: sets, and possibilia (actual and possible particulars) [Lewis, by Oliver]
Existence doesn't come in degrees; once asserted, it can't then be qualified [Lewis]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / a. Nature of Being
Every proposition is entirely about being [Lewis]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
You can't deny temporary intrinsic properties by saying the properties are relations (to times) [Lewis]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / a. Nature of events
The events that suit semantics may not be the events that suit causation [Lewis]
Events have inbuilt essences, as necessary conditions for their occurrence [Lewis]
Events are classes, and so there is a mereology of their parts [Lewis]
Some events involve no change; they must, because causal histories involve unchanges [Lewis]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / c. Reduction of events
An event is a property of a unique space-time region [Lewis]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
Supervenience is reduction without existence denials, ontological priorities, or translatability [Lewis]
The whole truth supervenes on the physical truth [Lewis]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / a. Nature of supervenience
Supervenience concerns whether things could differ, so it is a modal notion [Lewis]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / b. Types of supervenience
Where pixels make up a picture, supervenience is reduction [Lewis]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / c. Significance of supervenience
A supervenience thesis is a denial of independent variation [Lewis]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / d. Humean supervenience
Humean supervenience says the world is just a vast mosaic of qualities in space-time [Lewis]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / c. Monads
Leibnizian monads qualify as Kantian noumena [Gardner]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / a. Pure stuff
A composite is a true unity if all of its parts fall under one essence [Scheibler]
We have no idea of a third sort of thing, that isn't an individual, a class, or their mixture [Lewis]
Atomless gunk is an individual whose parts all have further proper parts [Lewis]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 4. Anti-realism
Anti-realists see the world as imaginary, or lacking joints, or beyond reference, or beyond truth [Lewis]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 6. Physicalism
Materialism is (roughly) that two worlds cannot differ without differing physically [Lewis]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Fictionalism
Abstractions may well be verbal fictions, in which we ignore some features of an object [Lewis]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. States of Affairs
How do things combine to make states of affairs? Constituents can repeat, and fail to combine [Lewis]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Vagueness / d. Vagueness as linguistic
Semantic vagueness involves alternative and equal precisifications of the language [Lewis]
Vagueness is semantic indecision: we haven't settled quite what our words are meant to express [Lewis]
Whether or not France is hexagonal depends on your standards of precision [Lewis]
Semantic indecision explains vagueness (if we have precisifications to be undecided about) [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
Surely 'slept in by Washington' is a property of some bed? [Lewis]
Universals are wholly present in their instances, whereas properties are spread around [Lewis]
Properties don't have degree; they are determinate, and things have varying relations to them [Lewis]
The 'abundant' properties are just any bizarre property you fancy [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 2. Need for Properties
To be a 'property' is to suit a theoretical role [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 4. Intrinsic Properties
Being alone doesn't guarantee intrinsic properties; 'being alone' is itself extrinsic [Lewis, by Sider]
Extrinsic properties come in degrees, with 'brother' less extrinsic than 'sibling' [Lewis]
A disjunctive property can be unnatural, but intrinsic if its disjuncts are intrinsic [Lewis]
If a global intrinsic never varies between possible duplicates, all necessary properties are intrinsic [Cameron on Lewis]
Global intrinsic may make necessarily coextensive properties both intrinsic or both extrinsic [Cameron on Lewis]
If you think universals are immanent, you must believe them to be sparse, and not every related predicate [Lewis]
We must avoid circularity between what is intrinsic and what is natural [Lewis, by Cameron]
A property is 'intrinsic' iff it can never differ between duplicates [Lewis]
Ellipsoidal stars seem to have an intrinsic property which depends on other objects [Lewis]
All of the natural properties are included among the intrinsic properties [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties
We might try defining the natural properties by a short list of them [Lewis]
Natural properties figure in the analysis of similarity in intrinsic respects [Lewis, by Oliver]
Lewisian natural properties fix reference of predicates, through a principle of charity [Lewis, by Hawley]
Objects are demarcated by density and chemistry, and natural properties belong in what is well demarcated [Lewis]
Reference partly concerns thought and language, partly eligibility of referent by natural properties [Lewis]
Natural properties tend to belong to well-demarcated things, typically loci of causal chains [Lewis]
For us, a property being natural is just an aspect of its featuring in the contents of our attitudes [Lewis]
All perfectly natural properties are intrinsic [Lewis, by Lewis]
Natural properties fix resemblance and powers, and are picked out by universals [Lewis]
Natural properties give similarity, joint carving, intrinsicness, specificity, homogeneity... [Lewis]
We can't define natural properties by resemblance, if they are used to explain resemblance [Lewis]
Defining natural properties by means of laws of nature is potentially circular [Lewis]
I don't take 'natural' properties to be fixed by the nature of one possible world [Lewis]
Sparse properties rest either on universals, or on tropes, or on primitive naturalness [Lewis, by Maudlin]
I assume there could be natural properties that are not instantiated in our world [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Lewis says properties are sets of actual and possible objects [Lewis, by Heil]
Any class of things is a property, no matter how whimsical or irrelevant [Lewis]
The distinction between dispositional and 'categorical' properties leads to confusion [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
There are far more properties than any brain could ever encodify [Lewis]
We need properties as semantic values for linguistic expressions [Lewis]
There is the property of belonging to a set, so abundant properties are as numerous as the sets [Lewis]
Properties are very abundant (unlike universals), and are used for semantics and higher-order variables [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 11. Properties as Sets
A property is the set of its actual and possible instances [Lewis, by Oliver]
Properties are classes of possible and actual concrete particulars [Lewis, by Koslicki]
Properties are sets of their possible instances (which separates 'renate' from 'cordate') [Lewis, by Mellor/Oliver]
The property of being F is identical with the set of objects, in all possible worlds, which are F [Lewis, by Cameron]
Properties don't seem to be sets, because different properties can have the same set [Lewis]
Accidentally coextensive properties come apart when we include their possible instances [Lewis]
If a property is relative, such as being a father or son, then set membership seems relative too [Lewis]
A property is any class of possibilia [Lewis]
Trilateral and triangular seem to be coextensive sets in all possible worlds [Lewis]
I believe in properties, which are sets of possible individuals [Lewis]
It would be easiest to take a property as the set of its instances [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
You must accept primitive similarity to like tropes, but tropes give a good account of it [Lewis]
Tropes are particular properties, which cannot recur, but can be exact duplicates [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / b. Critique of tropes
Tropes need a similarity primitive, so they cannot be used to explain similarity [Lewis]
Trope theory (unlike universals) needs a primitive notion of being duplicates [Lewis]
Trope theory needs a primitive notion for what unites some tropes [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
If dispositions are more fundamental than causes, then they won't conceptually reduce to them [Bird on Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived
All dispositions must have causal bases [Lewis]
Lewisian properties have powers because of their relationships to other properties [Lewis, by Hawthorne]
A disposition needs a causal basis, a property in a certain causal role. Could the disposition be the property? [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / c. Dispositions as conditional
A 'finkish' disposition is real, but disappears when the stimulus occurs [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 7. Against Powers
Most properties are causally irrelevant, and we can't spot the relevant ones. [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
I suspend judgements about universals, but their work must be done [Lewis]
Universals recur, are multiply located, wholly present, make things overlap, and are held in common [Lewis]
The main rivals to universals are resemblance or natural-class nominalism, or sparse trope theory [Lewis]
If particles were just made of universals, similar particles would be the same particle [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Universals are meant to give an account of resemblance [Lewis]
Physics aims to discover which universals actually exist [Lewis, by Moore,AW]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
Universals aren't parts of things, because that relationship is transitive, and universals need not be [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
The One over Many problem (in predication terms) deserves to be neglected (by ostriches) [Lewis]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 5. Class Nominalism
We can add a primitive natural/unnatural distinction to class nominalism [Lewis]
To have a property is to be a member of a class, usually a class of things [Lewis]
Class Nominalism and Resemblance Nominalism are pretty much the same [Lewis]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / b. Individuation by properties
Total intrinsic properties give us what a thing is [Lewis]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / b. Cat and its tail
If cats are vague, we deny that the many cats are one, or deny that the one cat is many [Lewis]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / e. Vague objects
We have one cloud, but many possible boundaries and aggregates for it [Lewis]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 1. Structure of an Object
We could not uphold a truthmaker for 'Fa' without structures [Lewis]
The 'magical' view of structural universals says they are atoms, even though they have parts [Lewis]
If 'methane' is an atomic structural universal, it has nothing to connect it to its carbon universals [Lewis]
The 'pictorial' view of structural universals says they are wholes made of universals as parts [Lewis]
The structural universal 'methane' needs the universal 'hydrogen' four times over [Lewis]
Butane and Isobutane have the same atoms, but different structures [Lewis]
Structural universals have a necessary connection to the universals forming its parts [Lewis]
We can't get rid of structural universals if there are no simple universals [Lewis]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
Composition is not just making new things from old; there are too many counterexamples [Lewis]
The many are many and the one is one, so they can't be identical [Lewis]
Lewis affirms 'composition as identity' - that an object is no more than its parts [Lewis, by Merricks]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / b. Sums of parts
A gerrymandered mereological sum can be a mess, but still have natural joints [Lewis]
In mereology no two things consist of the same atoms [Lewis]
Trout-turkeys exist, despite lacking cohesion, natural joints and united causal power [Lewis]
Given cats, a fusion of cats adds nothing further to reality [Lewis]
The one has different truths from the many; it is one rather than many, one rather than six [Lewis]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
Lewis only uses fusions to create unities, but fusions notoriously flatten our distinctions [Oliver/Smiley on Lewis]
A commitment to cat-fusions is not a further commitment; it is them and they are it [Lewis]
I say that absolutely any things can have a mereological fusion [Lewis]
Mereological composition is unrestricted: any class of things has a mereological sum [Lewis]
There are no restrictions on composition, because they would be vague, and composition can't be vague [Lewis, by Sider]
A whole is distinct from its parts, but is not a further addition in ontology [Lewis]
Different things (a toy house and toy car) can be made of the same parts at different times [Lewis]
Lewis prefers giving up singletons to giving up sums [Lewis, by Fine,K]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 1. Essences of Objects
Aristotelian essentialism says essences are not relative to specification [Lewis]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / a. Essence as necessary properties
An essential property is one possessed by all counterparts [Lewis, by Elder]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
A thing 'perdures' if it has separate temporal parts, and 'endures' if it is wholly present at different times [Lewis]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 2. Objects that Change
Properties cannot be relations to times, if there are temporary properties which are intrinsic [Lewis, by Sider]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 3. Three-Dimensionalism
Endurance is the wrong account, because things change intrinsic properties like shape [Lewis]
There are three responses to the problem that intrinsic shapes do not endure [Lewis]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
I can ask questions which create a context in which origin ceases to be essential [Lewis]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
Identity is simple - absolutely everything is self-identical, and nothing is identical to another thing [Lewis]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects
Two things can never be identical, so there is no problem [Lewis]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 4. De re / De dicto modality
De re modal predicates are ambiguous [Lewis, by Rudder Baker]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 7. Natural Necessity
Causal necessities hold in all worlds compatible with the laws of nature [Lewis]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 7. Chance
We can explain a chance event, but can never show why some other outcome did not occur [Lewis]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / a. Conditionals
A conditional probability does not measure the probability of the truth of any proposition [Lewis, by Edgington]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / c. Truth-function conditionals
Lewis says indicative conditionals are truth-functional [Lewis, by Jackson]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
In good counterfactuals the consequent holds in world like ours except that the antecedent is true [Lewis, by Horwich]
For true counterfactuals, both antecedent and consequent true is closest to actuality [Lewis]
Backtracking counterfactuals go from supposed events to their required causal antecedents [Lewis]
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / b. Conceivable but impossible
The impossible can be imagined as long as it is a bit vague [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / a. Possible worlds
There are no free-floating possibilia; they have mates in a world, giving them extrinsic properties [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / b. Impossible worlds
Possible worlds can contain contradictions if such worlds are seen as fictions [Lewis]
On mountains or in worlds, reporting contradictions is contradictory, so no such truths can be reported [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / c. Possible worlds realism
For me, all worlds are equal, with each being actual relative to itself [Lewis]
For Lewis there is no real possibility, since all possibilities are actual [Oderberg on Lewis]
Lewis posits possible worlds just as Quine says that physics needs numbers and sets [Lewis, by Sider]
If possible worlds really exist, then they are part of actuality [Sider on Lewis]
A world is a maximal mereological sum of spatiotemporally interrelated things [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / d. Possible worlds actualism
Lewis can't know possible worlds without first knowing what is possible or impossible [Lycan on Lewis]
The actual world is just the world you are in [Lewis, by Cappelen/Dever]
What are the ontological grounds for grouping possibilia into worlds? [Lycan on Lewis]
Lewis rejects actualism because he identifies properties with sets [Lewis, by Stalnaker]
Ersatzers say we have one world, and abstract representations of how it might have been [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / a. Nature of possible worlds
Ersatz worlds represent either through language, or by models, or magically [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / b. Worlds as fictions
Linguistic possible worlds need a complete supply of unique names for each thing [Lewis]
Maximal consistency for a world seems a modal distinction, concerning what could be true together [Lewis]
Linguistic possible worlds have problems of inconsistencies, no indiscernibles, and vocabulary [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / c. Worlds as propositions
If sets exist, then defining worlds as proposition sets implies an odd distinction between existing and actual [Jacquette on Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / b. Rigid designation
It doesn't take the whole of a possible Humphrey to win the election [Lewis]
A logically determinate name names the same thing in every possible world [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / c. Counterparts
Counterpart theory is bizarre, as no one cares what happens to a mere counterpart [Kripke on Lewis]
Counterparts are not the original thing, but resemble it more than other things do [Lewis]
If the closest resembler to you is in fact quite unlike you, then you have no counterpart [Lewis]
Essential attributes are those shared with all the counterparts [Lewis]
The counterpart relation is sortal-relative, so objects need not be a certain way [Lewis, by Merricks]
A counterpart in a possible world is sufficiently similar, and more similar than anything else [Lewis, by Mautner]
Why should statements about what my 'counterpart' could have done interest me? [Mautner on Lewis]
In counterpart theory 'Humphrey' doesn't name one being, but a mereological sum of many beings [Lewis]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / d. Haecceitism
Extreme haecceitists could say I might have been a poached egg, but it is too remote to consider [Lewis, by Mackie,P]
Haecceitism implies de re differences but qualitative identity [Lewis]
Extreme haecceitism says you might possibly be a poached egg [Lewis]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs
A content is a property, and believing it is self-ascribing that property [Lewis, by Recanati]
The timid student has knowledge without belief, lacking confidence in their correct answer [Lewis]
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 3. Fallibilism
To say S knows P, but cannot eliminate not-P, sounds like a contradiction [Lewis]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / a. Qualities in perception
Some say qualities are parts of things - as repeatable universals, or as particulars [Lewis]
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / b. Need for justification
Justification is neither sufficient nor necessary for knowledge [Lewis]
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 2. Causal Justification
General causal theories of knowledge are refuted by mathematics [Lewis]
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 6. Contextual Justification / a. Contextualism
Knowing is context-sensitive because the domain of quantification varies [Lewis, by Cohen,S]
We have knowledge if alternatives are eliminated, but appropriate alternatives depend on context [Lewis, by Cohen,S]
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 8. Ramsey Sentences
The Ramsey sentence of a theory says that it has at least one realisation [Lewis]
A Ramsey sentence just asserts that a theory can be realised, without saying by what [Lewis]
There is a method for defining new scientific terms just using the terms we already understand [Lewis]
It is better to have one realisation of a theory than many - but it may not always be possible [Lewis]
14. Science / C. Induction / 2. Aims of Induction
Induction is just reasonable methods of inferring the unobserved from the observed [Lewis]
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
To just expect unexamined emeralds to be grue would be totally unreasonable [Lewis]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
Does a good explanation produce understanding? That claim is just empty [Lewis]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations
Science may well pursue generalised explanation, rather than laws [Lewis]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / f. Necessity in explanations
A good explanation is supposed to show that the event had to happen [Lewis]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations
An explanation tells us how an event was caused [Lewis]
Lewis endorses the thesis that all explanation of singular events is causal explanation [Lewis, by Psillos]
Often explanaton seeks fundamental laws, rather than causal histories [Lewis]
To explain an event is to provide some information about its causal history [Lewis]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / l. Probabilistic explanations
If the well-ordering of a pack of cards was by shuffling, the explanation would make it more surprising [Lewis]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / b. Purpose of mind
A mind is an organ of representation [Lewis]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 5. Qualia / a. Nature of qualia
Part of the folk concept of qualia is what makes recognition and comparison possible [Lewis]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Maybe abstraction is just mereological subtraction [Lewis]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 6. Determinism / a. Determinism
Determinism says there can't be two identical worlds up to a time, with identical laws, which then differ [Lewis]
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 4. Causal Functionalism
Experiences are defined by their causal role, and causal roles belong to physical states [Lewis]
'Pain' contingently names the state that occupies the causal role of pain [Lewis]
Type-type psychophysical identity is combined with a functional characterisation of pain [Lewis]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
The application of 'pain' to physical states is non-rigid and contingent [Lewis]
Human pain might be one thing; Martian pain might be something else [Lewis]
Psychophysical identity implies the possibility of idealism or panpsychism [Lewis]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 2. Reduction of Mind
I am a reductionist about mind because I am an a priori reductionist about everything [Lewis]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
A theory must be mixed, to cover qualia without behaviour, and behaviour without qualia [Lewis, by PG]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 2. Propositional Attitudes
Attitudes involve properties (not propositions), and belief is self-ascribing the properties [Lewis, by Solomon]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 4. Folk Psychology
Folk psychology makes good predictions, by associating mental states with causal roles [Lewis]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 9. Indexical Thought
Lewis's popular centred worlds approach gives an attitude an index of world, subject and time [Lewis, by Recanati]
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 4. Language of Thought
Folk psychology doesn't say that there is a language of thought [Lewis]
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
If you don't share an external world with a brain-in-a-vat, then externalism says you don't share any beliefs [Lewis]
Nothing shows that all content is 'wide', or that wide content has logical priority [Lewis]
A spontaneous duplicate of you would have your brain states but no experience, so externalism would deny him any beliefs [Lewis]
Wide content derives from narrow content and relationships with external things [Lewis]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought
Abstraction is usually explained either by example, or conflation, or abstraction, or negatively [Lewis]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 3. Abstracta by Ignoring
The Way of Abstraction says an incomplete description of a concrete entity is the complete abstraction [Lewis]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 4. Abstracta by Example
The Way of Example compares donkeys and numbers, but what is the difference, and what are numbers? [Lewis]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 6. Abstracta by Conflation
Abstracta can be causal: sets can be causes or effects; there can be universal effects; events may be sets [Lewis]
If abstractions are non-spatial, then both sets and universals seem to have locations [Lewis]
If universals or tropes are parts of things, then abstraction picks out those parts [Lewis]
If we can abstract the extrinsic relations and features of objects, abstraction isn't universals or tropes [Lewis]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 7. Abstracta by Equivalence
The abstract direction of a line is the equivalence class of it and all lines parallel to it [Lewis]
For most sets, the concept of equivalence is too artificial to explain abstraction [Lewis]
Mathematicians abstract by equivalence classes, but that doesn't turn a many into one [Lewis]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 8. Abstractionism Critique
We can't account for an abstraction as 'from' something if the something doesn't exist [Lewis]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 4. Meaning as Truth-Conditions
A theory of perspectival de se content gives truth conditions relative to an agent [Lewis, by Cappelen/Dever]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / c. Meaning by Role
A particular functional role is what gives content to a thought [Lewis]
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
Causal theories of reference make errors in reference easy [Lewis]
19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / b. Reference by description
Descriptive theories remain part of the theory of reference (with seven mild modifications) [Lewis]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 2. Abstract Propositions / b. Propositions as possible worlds
A proposition is a set of possible worlds where it is true [Lewis]
A proposition is a set of entire possible worlds which instantiate a particular property [Lewis]
A proposition is the property of being a possible world where it holds true [Lewis]
Propositions can't have syntactic structure if they are just sets of worlds [Lewis]
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / c. Principle of charity
A sophisticated principle of charity sometimes imputes error as well as truth [Lewis]
We need natural properties in order to motivate the principle of charity [Lewis]
Basic to pragmatics is taking a message in a way that makes sense of it [Lewis]
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 1. Aesthetics
Aesthetics presupposes a distinctive sort of experience, and a unified essence for art [Gardner]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 7. Ontology of Art
Art works originate in the artist's mind, and appreciation is re-creating this mental object [Gardner]
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 5. Objectivism in Art
Aesthetic objectivists must explain pleasure being essential, but not in the object [Gardner]
22. Metaethics / B. Value / 1. Nature of Value / d. Subjective value
Aesthetic judgements necessarily require first-hand experience, unlike moral judgements [Gardner]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation
Causation is a general relation derived from instances of causal dependence [Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Types of cause
Explaining match lighting in general is like explaining one lighting of a match [Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 5. Direction of causation
A theory of causation should explain why cause precedes effect, not take it for granted [Lewis, by Field,H]
I reject making the direction of causation axiomatic, since that takes too much for granted [Lewis]
There are few traces of an event before it happens, but many afterwards [Lewis, by Horwich]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / d. Selecting the cause
It is just individious discrimination to pick out one cause and label it as 'the' cause [Lewis]
The modern regularity view says a cause is a member of a minimal set of sufficient conditions [Lewis]
Ways of carving causes may be natural, but never 'right' [Lewis]
We only pick 'the' cause for the purposes of some particular enquiry. [Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / a. Constant conjunction
Regularity analyses could make c an effect of e, or an epiphenomenon, or inefficacious, or pre-empted [Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
The counterfactual view says causes are necessary (rather than sufficient) for their effects [Lewis, by Bird]
Lewis has basic causation, counterfactuals, and a general ancestral (thus handling pre-emption) [Lewis, by Bird]
Counterfactual causation implies all laws are causal, which they aren't [Tooley on Lewis]
My counterfactual analysis applies to particular cases, not generalisations [Lewis]
One event causes another iff there is a causal chain from first to second [Lewis]
Causal dependence is counterfactual dependence between events [Lewis]
Counterfactuals 'backtrack' if a different present implies a different past [Lewis]
Causal counterfactuals must avoid backtracking, to avoid epiphenomena and preemption [Lewis]
Causation is when at the closest world without the cause, there is no effect either [Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Physics discovers laws and causal explanations, and also the natural properties required [Lewis]
Physics aims for a list of natural properties [Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / b. Best system theory
Laws are the best axiomatization of the total history of world events or facts [Lewis, by Mumford]
If simplicity and strength are criteria for laws of nature, that introduces a subjective element [Mumford on Lewis]
A number of systematizations might tie as the best and most coherent system [Mumford on Lewis]
A law of nature is a general axiom of the deductive system that is best for simplicity and strength [Lewis]
Lewis later proposed the axioms at the intersection of the best theories (which may be few) [Mumford on Lewis]
A law of nature is any regularity that earns inclusion in the ideal system [Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 9. Counterfactual Claims
An event causes another just if the second event would not have happened without the first [Lewis, by Psillos]
Lewis's account of counterfactuals is fine if we know what a law of nature is, but it won't explain the latter [Cohen,LJ on Lewis]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 11. Against Laws of Nature
The world is just a vast mosaic of little matters of local particular fact [Lewis]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / g. Growing block
It is quite implausible that the future is unreal, as that would terminate everything [Lewis]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / j. Time travel
The interesting time travel is when personal and external time come apart [Lewis, by Baron/Miller]
Lewis said it might just be that travellers to the past can't kill their grandfathers [Lewis, by Baron/Miller]