Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Trenton Merricks, Michael J. Loux and Crispin Wright

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117 ideas

1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 1. History of Philosophy
We can only learn from philosophers of the past if we accept the risk of major misrepresentation [Wright,C]
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
Empirical investigation can't discover if holes exist, or if two things share a colour [Merricks]
2. Reason / C. Styles of Reason / 1. Dialectic
The best way to understand a philosophical idea is to defend it [Wright,C]
2. Reason / D. Definition / 7. Contextual Definition
The attempt to define numbers by contextual definition has been revived [Wright,C, by Fine,K]
2. Reason / E. Argument / 1. Argument
Arguers often turn the opponent's modus ponens into their own modus tollens [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 2. Truthmaker Relation
A ground must be about its truth, and not just necessitate it [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / a. What makes truths
Truthmaker needs truths to be 'about' something, and that is often unclear [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / b. Objects make truths
If a ball changes from red to white, Truthmaker says some thing must make the change true [Merricks]
Truthmaker says if an entity is removed, some nonexistence truthmaker must replace it [Merricks]
If Truthmaker says each truth is made by the existence of something, the theory had de re modality at is core [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / c. States of affairs make truths
Truthmaker demands not just a predication, but an existing state of affairs with essential ingredients [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / d. Being makes truths
If 'truth supervenes on being', worlds with the same entities, properties and relations have the same truths [Merricks]
If truth supervenes on being, that won't explain why truth depends on being [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 6. Making Negative Truths
It is implausible that claims about non-existence are about existing things [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 11. Truthmaking and Correspondence
Truthmaker isn't the correspondence theory, because it offers no analysis of truth [Merricks]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 12. Rejecting Truthmakers
I am a truthmaker for 'that a human exists', but is it about me? [Merricks]
Speculations about non-existent things are not about existent things, so Truthmaker is false [Merricks]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 3. Correspondence Truth critique
Being true is not a relation, it is a primitive monadic property [Merricks]
If the correspondence theory is right, then necessary truths must correspond to something [Merricks]
3. Truth / F. Semantic Truth / 2. Semantic Truth
'Snow is white' only contingently expresses the proposition that snow is white [Merricks]
3. Truth / H. Deflationary Truth / 2. Deflationary Truth
Deflationism just says there is no property of being truth [Merricks]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 1. Modal Logic
Simple Quantified Modal Logc doesn't work, because the Converse Barcan is a theorem [Merricks]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 7. Barcan Formula
The Converse Barcan implies 'everything exists necessarily' is a consequence of 'necessarily, everything exists' [Merricks]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / d. Singular terms
An expression refers if it is a singular term in some true sentences [Wright,C, by Dummett]
5. Theory of Logic / J. Model Theory in Logic / 1. Logical Models
Sentence logic maps truth values; predicate logic maps objects and sets [Merricks]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / a. Numbers
Number theory aims at the essence of natural numbers, giving their nature, and the epistemology [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Nature of Numbers / c. Priority of numbers
One could grasp numbers, and name sizes with them, without grasping ordering [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. Using Numbers / d. Counting via concepts
Instances of a non-sortal concept can only be counted relative to a sortal concept [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 4. Axioms for Number / d. Peano arithmetic
Wright thinks Hume's Principle is more fundamental to cardinals than the Peano Axioms are [Wright,C, by Heck]
There are five Peano axioms, which can be expressed informally [Wright,C]
Number truths are said to be the consequence of PA - but it needs semantic consequence [Wright,C]
What facts underpin the truths of the Peano axioms? [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / c. Fregean numbers
Sameness of number is fundamental, not counting, despite children learning that first [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / d. Hume's Principle
We derive Hume's Law from Law V, then discard the latter in deriving arithmetic [Wright,C, by Fine,K]
Frege has a good system if his 'number principle' replaces his basic law V [Wright,C, by Friend]
Wright says Hume's Principle is analytic of cardinal numbers, like a definition [Wright,C, by Heck]
It is 1-1 correlation of concepts, and not progression, which distinguishes natural number [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / e. Caesar problem
If numbers are extensions, Frege must first solve the Caesar problem for extensions [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / a. For mathematical platonism
Number platonism says that natural number is a sortal concept [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / a. Mathematical empiricism
We can't use empiricism to dismiss numbers, if numbers are our main evidence against empiricism [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 5. Numbers as Adjectival
Treating numbers adjectivally is treating them as quantifiers [Wright,C]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / c. Neo-logicism
The Peano Axioms, and infinity of cardinal numbers, are logical consequences of how we explain cardinals [Wright,C]
The aim is to follow Frege's strategy to derive the Peano Axioms, but without invoking classes [Wright,C]
Wright has revived Frege's discredited logicism [Wright,C, by Benardete,JA]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / d. Logicism critique
Logicism seemed to fail by Russell's paradox, Gödel's theorems, and non-logical axioms [Wright,C]
The standard objections are Russell's Paradox, non-logical axioms, and Gödel's theorems [Wright,C]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence
The idea that 'exist' has multiple senses is not coherent [Wright,C]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / d. Non-being
The totality state is the most plausible truthmaker for negative existential truths [Merricks]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / a. Nature of events
Prolonged events don't seem to endure or exist at any particular time [Merricks]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / b. Vagueness of reality
A crumbling statue can't become vague, because vagueness is incoherent [Merricks]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / b. Commitment of quantifiers
Singular terms in true sentences must refer to objects; there is no further question about their existence [Wright,C]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
Some properties seem to be primitive, but others can be analysed [Merricks]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 4. Intrinsic Properties
Intrinsic properties are those an object still has even if only that object exists [Merricks]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / b. Critique of tropes
If abstract terms are sets of tropes, 'being a unicorn' and 'being a griffin' turn out identical [Loux]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / c. Dispositions as conditional
An object can have a disposition when the revelant conditional is false [Merricks]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
Austere nominalists insist that the realist's universals lack the requisite independent identifiability [Loux]
Universals come in hierarchies of generality [Loux]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / a. Nominalism
Austere nominalism has to take a host of things (like being red, or human) as primitive [Loux]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / c. Nominalism about abstracta
Nominalism needs to account for abstract singular terms like 'circularity'. [Loux]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
I say that most of the objects of folk ontology do not exist [Merricks]
Is swimming pool water an object, composed of its mass or parts? [Merricks]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / c. Modern abstracta
Contextually defined abstract terms genuinely refer to objects [Wright,C, by Dummett]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Impossible objects
Fregeans say 'hobbits do not exist' is just 'being a hobbit' is not exemplified [Merricks]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Simples
We can eliminate objects without a commitment to simples [Merricks]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / c. Individuation by location
Times and places are identified by objects, so cannot be used in a theory of object-identity [Loux]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Sortal concepts cannot require that things don't survive their loss, because of phase sortals [Wright,C]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
Merricks agrees that there are no composite objects, but offers a different semantics [Merricks, by Liggins]
The 'folk' way of carving up the world is not intrinsically better than quite arbitrary ways [Merricks]
If atoms 'arranged baseballwise' break a window, that analytically entails that a baseball did it [Merricks, by Thomasson]
Overdetermination: the atoms do all the causing, so the baseball causes no breakage [Merricks]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Clay does not 'constitute' a statue, as they have different persistence conditions (flaking, squashing) [Merricks]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
'Unrestricted composition' says any two things can make up a third thing [Merricks]
Composition as identity is false, as identity is never between a single thing and many things [Merricks]
Composition as identity is false, as it implies that things never change their parts [Merricks]
There is no visible difference between statues, and atoms arranged statuewise [Merricks]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 6. Constitution of an Object
'Composition' says things are their parts; 'constitution' says a whole substance is an object [Merricks]
It seems wrong that constitution entails that two objects are wholly co-located [Merricks]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects
Objects decompose (it seems) into non-overlapping parts that fill its whole region [Merricks]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 5. Temporal Parts
You believe you existed last year, but your segment doesn't, so they have different beliefs [Merricks]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
In twinning, one person has the same origin as another person [Merricks]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 13. No Identity over Time
Eliminativism about objects gives the best understanding of the Sorites paradox [Merricks]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Logical necessity involves a decision about usage, and is non-realist and non-cognitive [Wright,C, by McFetridge]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
Counterfactuals aren't about actuality, so they lack truthmakers or a supervenience base [Merricks]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / c. Counterparts
If my counterpart is happy, that is irrelevant to whether I 'could' have been happy [Merricks]
If 'Fido is possibly black' depends on Fido's counterparts, then it has no actual truthmaker [Merricks]
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / a. Justification issues
The 'warrant' for a belief is what turns a true belief into knowledge [Merricks]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / a. Self needs body
You hold a child in your arms, so it is not mental substance, or mental state, or software [Merricks]
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 3. Reference of 'I'
Maybe the word 'I' can only refer to persons [Merricks]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 7. Compatibilism
Free will and determinism are incompatible, since determinism destroys human choice [Merricks]
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 4. Emergentism
Human organisms can exercise downward causation [Merricks]
18. Thought / C. Content / 7. Narrow Content
The hypothesis of solipsism doesn't seem to be made incoherent by the nature of mental properties [Merricks]
Before Creation it is assumed that God still had many many mental properties [Merricks]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts
A concept is only a sortal if it gives genuine identity [Wright,C]
'Sortal' concepts show kinds, use indefinite articles, and require grasping identities [Wright,C]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 4. Structure of Concepts / b. Analysis of concepts
Entities fall under a sortal concept if they can be used to explain identity statements concerning them [Wright,C]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 7. Abstracta by Equivalence
If we can establish directions from lines and parallelism, we were already committed to directions [Wright,C]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 1. Meaning
I don't accept that if a proposition is directly about an entity, it has a relation to the entity [Merricks]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 4. Meaning as Truth-Conditions
A sentence's truth conditions depend on context [Merricks]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 5. Meaning as Verification
A milder claim is that understanding requires some evidence of that understanding [Wright,C]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / b. Language holism
Holism cannot give a coherent account of scientific methodology [Wright,C, by Miller,A]
19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories
If apparent reference can mislead, then so can apparent lack of reference [Wright,C]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
We can accept Frege's idea of object without assuming that predicates have a reference [Wright,C]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 1. Propositions
Propositions are standardly treated as possible worlds, or as structured [Merricks]
'Cicero is an orator' represents the same situation as 'Tully is an orator', so they are one proposition [Merricks]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 2. Abstract Propositions / a. Propositions as sense
Propositions are necessary existents which essentially (but inexplicably) represent things [Merricks]
True propositions existed prior to their being thought, and might never be thought [Merricks]
The standard view of propositions says they never change their truth-value [Merricks]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 3. Concrete Propositions
Propositions can be 'about' an entity, but that doesn't make the entity a constituent of it [Merricks]
Early Russell says a proposition is identical with its truthmaking state of affairs [Merricks]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 5. Unity of Propositions
Unity of the proposition questions: what unites them? can the same constituents make different ones? [Merricks]
We want to explain not just what unites the constituents, but what unites them into a proposition [Merricks]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / f. Eternalism
Eternalism says all times are equally real, and future and past objects and properties are real [Merricks]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / g. Growing block
Growing block has a subjective present and a growing edge - but these could come apart [Merricks, by PG]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / h. Presentism
Presentists say that things have existed and will exist, not that they are instantaneous [Merricks]
Presentist should deny there is a present time, and just say that things 'exist' [Merricks]
Maybe only presentism allows change, by now having a property, and then lacking it [Merricks]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / k. Temporal truths
How can a presentist explain an object's having existed? [Merricks]