Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Trenton Merricks, Baron de Montesquieu and David H. Sanford

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131 ideas

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 / 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 Truthmaker says each truth is made by the existence of something, the theory had de re modality at is core [Merricks]
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]
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, that won't explain why truth depends on being [Merricks]
If 'truth supervenes on being', worlds with the same entities, properties and relations have the same truths [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 / J. Model Theory in Logic / 1. Logical Models
Sentence logic maps truth values; predicate logic maps objects and sets [Merricks]
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]
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 / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / c. Dispositions as conditional
An object can have a disposition when the revelant conditional is false [Merricks]
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 / 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 / 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 / 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]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations
Not all explanations are causal, but if a thing can be explained at all, it can be explained causally [Sanford]
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
Before Creation it is assumed that God still had many many mental properties [Merricks]
The hypothesis of solipsism doesn't seem to be made incoherent by the nature of mental properties [Merricks]
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 / 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]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention
True goodness is political, and consists of love of and submission to the laws [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 1. A People / b. The natural life
Men do not desire to subjugate one another; domination is a complex and advanced idea [Montesquieu]
Primitive people would be too vulnerable and timid to attack anyone, so peace would reign [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 1. A People / c. A unified people
People are drawn into society by needs, shared fears, pleasure, and knowledge [Montesquieu]
People are guided by a multitude of influences, from which the spirit of a nation emerges [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 2. Population / b. State population
In a large republic there is too much wealth for individuals to manage it [Montesquieu]
In small republics citizens identify with the public good, and abuses are fewer [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 4. Original Position / b. Veil of ignorance
The rich would never submit to a lottery deciding which part of their society should be slaves [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 1. Purpose of a State
All states aim at preservation, and then have distinctive individual purposes [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 2. Leaders / a. Autocracy
The natural power of a father suggests rule by one person, but that authority can be spread [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 2. Leaders / b. Monarchy
Monarchies can act more quickly, because one person is in charge [Montesquieu]
The nobility are an indispensable part of a monarchy [Montesquieu]
Monarchs must not just have links to the people; they need a body which maintains the laws [Montesquieu]
Ambition is good in a monarchy, because the monarch can always restrain it [Montesquieu]
In monarchies, men's actions are judged by their grand appearance, not their virtues [Montesquieu]
In a monarchy, the nobility must be hereditary, to bind them together [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 2. Leaders / c. Despotism
The will of a despot is an enigma, so magistrates can only follow their own will [Montesquieu]
A despot's agents must be given power, so they inevitably become corrupt [Montesquieu]
Despots are always lazy and ignorant, so they always delegate their power to a vizier [Montesquieu]
Despotism and honour are incompatible, because honour scorns his power, and lives by rules [Montesquieu]
Tyranny is either real violence, or the imposition of unpopular legislation [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 2. Leaders / d. Elites
If the nobility is numerous, the senate is the artistocracy, and the nobles are a democracy [Montesquieu]
Aristocracy is democratic if they resemble the people, but not if they resemble the monarch [Montesquieu]
Great inequality between aristocrats and the rest is bad - and also among aristocrats themselves [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 3. Government / a. Government
If a government is to be preserved, it must first be loved [Montesquieu]
A government has a legislature, an international executive, and a domestic executive [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / C. Ruling a State / 3. Government / b. Legislature
The judiciary must be separate from the legislature, to avoid arbitrary power [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 5. Democracy / b. Consultation
The fundamental laws of a democracy decide who can vote [Montesquieu]
It is basic to a democracy that the people themselves must name their ministers [Montesquieu]
Voting should be public, so the lower classes can be influenced by the example of notable people [Montesquieu]
All citizens (apart from the very humble poor) should choose their representatives [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 5. Democracy / c. Direct democracy
In a democracy the people should manage themselves, and only delegate what they can't do [Montesquieu]
A democratic assembly must have a fixed number, to see whether everyone has spoken [Montesquieu]
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
If deputies represent people, they are accountable, but less so if they represent places [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 1. Slavery
Slavery is entirely bad; the master abandons the virtues, and they are pointless in the slave [Montesquieu]
Slaves are not members of the society, so no law can forbid them to run away [Montesquieu]
The demand for slavery is just the masters' demand for luxury [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 3. Free speech
Freedom of speech and writing, within the law, is essential to preserve liberty [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 5. Freedom of lifestyle
Freedom in society is ability to do what is right, and not having to do what is wrong [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 1. Grounds of equality
No one even thinks of equality in monarchies and despotism; they all want superiority [Montesquieu]
Equality is not command by everyone or no one, but command and obedience among equals [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 2. Political equality
Democracy is corrupted by lack of equality, or by extreme equality (between rulers and ruled) [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / B. Equalities / 4. Economic equality
Some equality can be achieved by social categories, combined with taxes and poor relief [Montesquieu]
Democracies may sometimes need to restrict equality [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 2. The Law / c. Natural law
Prior to positive laws there is natural equity, of obedience, gratitude, dependence and merit [Montesquieu]
Sensation gives animals natural laws, but knowledge can make them break them [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / D. Justice / 3. Punishment / a. Right to punish
The death penalty is permissible, because its victims enjoyed the protection of that law [Montesquieu]
If religion teaches determinism, penalties must be severe; if free will, then that is different [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 1. War
The only right victors have over captives is the protection of the former [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 2. Religion in Society
The clergy are essential to a monarchy, but dangerous in a republic [Montesquieu]
Religion has the most influence in despotic states, and reinforces veneration for the ruler [Montesquieu]
French slavery was accepted because it was the best method of religious conversion [Montesquieu]
Religion can support the state when the law fails to do so [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 5. Education / a. Aims of education
In monarchies education ennobles people, and in despotisms it debases them [Montesquieu]
25. Social Practice / E. Policies / 5. Education / c. Teaching
Teaching is the best practice of the general virtue that leads us to love everyone [Montesquieu]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation
A totality of conditions necessary for an occurrence is usually held to be jointly sufficient for it [Sanford]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / c. Essence and laws
Laws are the necessary relations that derive from the nature of things [Montesquieu]
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]