Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Barry Smith, E.J. Lowe and Rosalind Hursthouse

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231 ideas

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Metaphysics is the mapping of possibilities [Lowe, by Mumford]
Science needs metaphysics to weed out its presuppositions [Lowe, by Hofweber]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
Metaphysics aims to identify categories of being, and show their interdependency [Lowe]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 4. Metaphysics as Science
Metaphysics is concerned with the fundamental structure of reality as a whole [Lowe]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 5. Metaphysics beyond Science
Only metaphysics can decide whether identity survives through change [Lowe]
Metaphysics tells us what there could be, rather than what there is [Lowe]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 6. Metaphysics as Conceptual
Maybe such concepts as causation, identity and existence are primitive and irreducible [Lowe]
Philosophy aims not at the 'analysis of concepts', but at understanding the essences of things [Lowe]
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 2. Positivism
If all that exists is what is being measured, what about the people and instruments doing the measuring? [Lowe]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
It is more extravagant, in general, to revise one's logic than to augment one's ontology [Lowe]
2. Reason / D. Definition / 6. Definition by Essence
A definition of a circle will show what it is, and show its generating principle [Lowe]
Defining an ellipse by conic sections reveals necessities, but not the essence of an ellipse [Lowe]
An essence is what an entity is, revealed by a real definition; this is not an entity in its own right [Lowe]
2. Reason / D. Definition / 11. Ostensive Definition
Simple things like 'red' can be given real ostensive definitions [Lowe]
2. Reason / D. Definition / 12. Paraphrase
How can a theory of meaning show the ontological commitments of two paraphrases of one idea? [Lowe]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 2. Truthmaker Relation
Maybe truth-making is an unanalysable primitive, but we can specify principles for it [Smith,B]
Propositions are made true, in virtue of something which explains its truth [Lowe]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 4. Truthmaker Necessitarianism
God might necessitate that something happen, but He is not the truth-maker for it [Smith,B]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 2. Correspondence to Facts
Maybe facts are just true propositions [Lowe]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 3. Correspondence Truth critique
One-to-one correspondence would need countable, individuable items [Lowe]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 1. Set Theory
A set is a 'number of things', not a 'collection', because nothing actually collects the members [Lowe]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 3. Types of Set / b. Empty (Null) Set
I don't believe in the empty set, because (lacking members) it lacks identity-conditions [Lowe]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 3. Objectual Quantification
It is better if the existential quantifier refers to 'something', rather than a 'thing' which needs individuation [Lowe]
5. Theory of Logic / I. Semantics of Logic / 1. Semantics of Logic
Syntactical methods of proof need only structure, where semantic methods (truth-tables) need truth [Lowe]
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 4. Paradoxes in Logic / a. Achilles paradox
An infinite series of tasks can't be completed because it has no last member [Lowe]
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 1. Mathematics
It might be argued that mathematics does not, or should not, aim at truth [Lowe]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / c. Fregean numbers
Numbers are universals, being sets whose instances are sets of appropriate cardinality [Lowe]
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / d. Hume's Principle
Simple counting is more basic than spotting that one-to-one correlation makes sets equinumerous [Lowe]
Fs and Gs are identical in number if they one-to-one correlate with one another [Lowe]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / a. For mathematical platonism
Sets are instances of numbers (rather than 'collections'); numbers explain sets, not vice versa [Lowe]
If 2 is a particular, then adding particulars to themselves does nothing, and 2+2=2 [Lowe]
If there are infinite numbers and finite concrete objects, this implies that numbers are abstract objects [Lowe]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / b. Against mathematical platonism
Does the existence of numbers matter, in the way space, time and persons do? [Lowe]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
All possible worlds contain abstracta (e.g. numbers), which means they contain concrete objects [Lowe]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 4. Abstract Existence
Nominalists deny abstract objects, because we can have no reason to believe in their existence [Lowe]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
Perhaps possession of causal power is the hallmark of existence (and a reason to deny the void) [Lowe]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
Maybe particles are unchanging, and intrinsic change in things is their rearrangement [Lowe, by Lewis]
Heraclitus says change is new creation, and Spinoza that it is just phases of the one substance [Lowe]
Four theories of qualitative change are 'a is F now', or 'a is F-at-t', or 'a-at-t is F', or 'a is-at-t F' [Lowe, by PG]
Change can be of composition (the component parts), or quality (properties), or substance [Lowe]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / a. Nature of events
Numerically distinct events of the same kind (like two battles) can coincide in space and time [Lowe]
Events are changes or non-changes in properties and relations of persisting objects [Lowe]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / b. Events as primitive
Maybe modern physics requires an event-ontology, rather than a thing-ontology [Lowe]
Events are ontologically indispensable for singular causal explanations [Lowe]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / c. Reduction of events
Maybe an event is the exemplification of a property at a time [Lowe]
Events are changes in the properties of or relations between things [Lowe]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / a. Facts
Are facts wholly abstract, or can they contain some concrete constituents? [Lowe]
Facts cannot be wholly abstract if they enter into causal relations [Lowe]
The problem with the structured complex view of facts is what binds the constituents [Lowe]
It is whimsical to try to count facts - how many facts did I learn before breakfast? [Lowe]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / e. Facts rejected
Facts are needed for truth-making and causation, but they seem to lack identity criteria [Lowe]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / a. Ontological commitment
Two of the main rivals for the foundations of ontology are substances, and facts or states-of-affairs [Lowe]
Some abstractions exist despite lacking causal powers, because explanation needs them [Lowe]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 1. Categories
Ontological categories are not natural kinds: the latter can only be distinguished using the former [Lowe]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
The top division of categories is either abstract/concrete, or universal/particular, or necessary/contingent [Lowe]
Lowe divides things into universals and particulars, then kinds and properties, and abstract/concrete [Lowe, by Westerhoff]
The main categories of existence are either universal and particular, or abstract and concrete [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 8. Properties as Modes
Modes are beings that are related both to substances and to universals [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
Is 'the Thames is broad in London' relational, or adverbial, or segmental? [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
I prefer 'modes' to 'tropes', because it emphasises their dependence [Lowe]
Trope theory says blueness is a real feature of objects, but not the same as an identical blue found elsewhere [Lowe]
Maybe a cushion is just a bundle of tropes, such as roundness, blueness and softness [Lowe]
Tropes seem to be abstract entities, because they can't exist alone, but must come in bundles [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / b. Critique of tropes
Tropes cannot have clear identity-conditions, so they are not objects [Lowe]
How can tropes depend on objects for their identity, if objects are just bundles of tropes? [Lowe]
Why cannot a trope float off and join another bundle? [Lowe]
Does a ball snug in plaster have one trope, or two which coincide? [Lowe]
Tropes have existence independently of any entities [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
The category of universals can be sub-divided into properties and relations [Lowe]
Sortal terms for universals involve a substance, whereas adjectival terms do not [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Real universals are needed to explain laws of nature [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 4. Uninstantiated Universals
Particulars are instantiations, and universals are instantiables [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
Nominalists believe that only particulars exist [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Two things can only resemble one another in some respect, and that may reintroduce a universal [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 3. Predicate Nominalism
'Is non-self-exemplifying' is a predicate which cannot denote a property (as it would be a contradiction) [Lowe]
Not all predicates can be properties - 'is non-self-exemplifying', for example [Lowe]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 5. Class Nominalism
If 'blueness' is a set of particulars, there is danger of circularity, or using universals, in identifying the set [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
To be an object at all requires identity-conditions [Lowe]
Perhaps concrete objects are entities which are in space-time and subject to causality [Lowe]
Our commitment to the existence of objects should depend on their explanatory value [Lowe]
Objects are entities with full identity-conditions, but there are entities other than objects [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / c. Modern abstracta
Bodies, properties, relations, events, numbers, sets and propositions are 'things' if they exist [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 3. Objects in Thought
An object is an entity which has identity-conditions [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
Some things (such as electrons) can be countable, while lacking proper identity [Lowe]
Neither mere matter nor pure form can individuate a sphere, so it must be a combination [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / b. Individuation by properties
Criteria of identity cannot individuate objects, because they are shared among different types [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / c. Individuation by location
Diversity of two tigers is their difference in space-time; difference of matter is a consequence [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Individuation principles identify what kind it is; identity criteria distinguish items of the same kind [Lowe]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
Conventionalists see the world as an amorphous lump without identities, but are we part of the lump? [Lowe]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
A 'substance' is an object which doesn't depend for existence on other objects [Lowe]
On substances, Leibniz emphasises unity, Spinoza independence, Locke relations to qualities [Lowe]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Statues can't survive much change to their shape, unlike lumps of bronze, which must retain material [Lowe]
The essence of lumps and statues shows that two objects coincide but are numerically distinct [Lowe]
The essence of a bronze statue shows that it could be made of different bronze [Lowe]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
Holes, shadows and spots of light can coincide without being identical [Lowe]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
The identity of composite objects isn't fixed by original composition, because how do you identify the origin? [Lowe]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 4. Essence as Definition
Grasping an essence is just grasping a real definition [Lowe]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
All things must have an essence (a 'what it is'), or we would be unable to think about them [Lowe]
Explanation can't give an account of essence, because it is too multi-faceted [Lowe]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 14. Knowledge of Essences
Knowing an essence is just knowing what the thing is, not knowing some further thing [Lowe]
If we must know some entity to know an essence, we lack a faculty to do that [Lowe]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 2. Objects that Change
A 'substance' is a thing that remains the same when its properties change [Lowe]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 3. Three-Dimensionalism
An object 'endures' if it is always wholly present, and 'perdures' if different parts exist at different times [Lowe]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 4. Four-Dimensionalism
How can you identify temporal parts of tomatoes without referring to tomatoes? [Lowe]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 9. Ship of Theseus
If 5% replacement preserves a ship, we can replace 4% and 4% again, and still retain the ship [Lowe]
A renovation or a reconstruction of an original ship would be accepted, as long as the other one didn't exist [Lowe]
If old parts are stored and then appropriated, they are no longer part of the original (which is the renovated ship). [Lowe]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity
A clear idea of the kind of an object must precede a criterion of identity for it [Lowe]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 4. Type Identity
One view is that two objects of the same type are only distinguished by differing in matter [Lowe]
Each thing has to be of a general kind, because it belongs to some category [Lowe]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
Identity of Indiscernibles (same properties, same thing) ) is not Leibniz's Law (same thing, same properties) [Lowe]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 3. Types of Necessity
'Conceptual' necessity is narrow logical necessity, true because of concepts and logical laws [Lowe]
Logical necessities, based on laws of logic, are a proper sub-class of metaphysical necessities [Lowe]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
Metaphysical necessity is logical necessity 'broadly construed' [Lowe, by Lynch/Glasgow]
'Metaphysical' necessity is absolute and objective - the strongest kind of necessity [Lowe]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Logical necessity can be 'strict' (laws), or 'narrow' (laws and definitions), or 'broad' (all logical worlds) [Lowe]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
The metaphysically possible is what acceptable principles and categories will permit [Lowe]
It is impossible to reach a valid false conclusion from true premises, so reason itself depends on possibility [Lowe]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 2. Epistemic possibility
'Epistemic' necessity is better called 'certainty' [Lowe]
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 6. Necessity from Essence
If an essence implies p, then p is an essential truth, and hence metaphysically necessary [Lowe]
Metaphysical necessity is either an essential truth, or rests on essential truths [Lowe]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / a. Possible worlds
We might eliminate 'possible' and 'necessary' in favour of quantification over possible worlds [Lowe]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / e. Against possible worlds
Does every abstract possible world exist in every possible world? [Lowe]
We could give up possible worlds if we based necessity on essences [Lowe]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / d. Cause of beliefs
Causal theories of belief make all beliefs true, and can't explain belief about the future [Lowe]
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 5. Cogito Critique
Perhaps 'I' no more refers than the 'it' in 'it is raining' [Lowe]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
'Ecological' approaches say we don't infer information, but pick it up directly from reality [Lowe]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / a. Idealism
While space may just be appearance, time and change can't be, because the appearances change [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / a. Qualities in perception
Properties or qualities are essentially adjectival, not objectual [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 3. Representation
One must be able to visually recognise a table, as well as knowing its form [Lowe]
Computationalists object that the 'ecological' approach can't tell us how we get the information [Lowe]
Comparing shapes is proportional in time to the angle of rotation [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / d. Sense-data problems
The 'disjunctive' theory of perception says true perceptions and hallucinations need have nothing in common [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 6. Inference in Perception
Perception is a mode of belief-acquisition, and does not involve sensation [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 7. Causal Perception
Science requires a causal theory - perception of an object must be an experience caused by the object [Lowe]
A causal theorist can be a direct realist, if all objects of perception are external [Lowe]
If blindsight shows we don't need perceptual experiences, the causal theory is wrong [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 8. Adverbial Theory
How could one paraphrase very complex sense-data reports adverbially? [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 2. Intuition
'Intuitions' are just unreliable 'hunches'; over centuries intuitions change enormously [Lowe]
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 4. Memory
There are memories of facts, memories of practical skills, and autobiographical memory [Lowe]
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 3. Illusion Scepticism
Psychologists say illusions only occur in unnatural and passive situations [Lowe]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 6. Falsification
Unfalsifiability may be a failure in an empirical theory, but it is a virtue in metaphysics [Lowe]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / c. Direction of explanation
If the flagpole causally explains the shadow, the shadow cannot explain the flagpole [Lowe]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / d. Explaining people
The behaviour of persons and social groups seems to need rational rather than causal explanation [Lowe]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / d. Location of mind
Externalists say minds depend on environment for their very existence and identity [Lowe]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 1. Mind / e. Questions about mind
The main questions are: is mind distinct from body, and does it have unique properties? [Lowe]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / c. Parts of consciousness
'Phenomenal' consciousness is of qualities; 'apperceptive' consciousness includes beliefs and desires [Lowe]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 7. Blindsight
The brain may have two systems for vision, with only the older one intact in blindsight [Lowe]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Properties are facets of objects, only discussable separately by an act of abstraction [Lowe]
16. Persons / A. Concept of a Person / 1. Existence of Persons
Persons are selves - subjects of experience, with reflexive self-knowledge [Lowe]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 2. Ethical Self
The word 'person' is useless in ethics, because what counts as a good or bad self-conscious being? [Hursthouse]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / b. Self as brain
If my brain could survive on its own, I cannot be identical with my whole body [Lowe]
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
It seems impossible to get generally applicable mental concepts from self-observation [Lowe]
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 1. Identity and the Self
Personal identity is a problem across time (diachronic) and at an instant (synchronic) [Lowe]
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 3. Reference of 'I'
All human languages have an equivalent of the word 'I' [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 1. Dualism
The idea that Cartesian souls are made of some ghostly 'immaterial' stuff is quite unwarranted [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 6. Epiphenomenalism
If qualia are causally inert, how can we even know about them? [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / B. Behaviourism / 4. Behaviourism Critique
You can only identify behaviour by ascribing belief, so the behaviour can't explain the belief [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 7. Chinese Room
A computer program is equivalent to the person AND the manual [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 8. Functionalism critique
Functionalism can't distinguish our experiences in spectrum inversion [Lowe]
Functionalism only discusses relational properties of mental states, not intrinsic properties [Lowe]
Functionalism commits us to bizarre possibilities, such as 'zombies' [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 3. Property Dualism
Non-reductive physicalism accepts token-token identity (not type-type) and asserts 'supervenience' of mind and brain [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
Physicalists must believe in narrow content (because thoughts are merely the brain states) [Lowe]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 3. Eliminativism
Eliminativism is incoherent if it eliminates reason and truth as well as propositional attitudes [Lowe]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought
Some behaviourists believe thought is just suppressed speech [Lowe]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 5. Rationality / b. Human rationality
People are wildly inaccurate in estimating probabilities about an observed event [Lowe]
'Base rate neglect' makes people favour the evidence over its background [Lowe]
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 4. Language of Thought
Mentalese isn't a language, because it isn't conventional, or a means of public communication [Lowe]
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / a. Artificial Intelligence
Computers can't be rational, because they lack motivation and curiosity [Lowe]
The 'Frame Problem' is how to program the appropriate application of general knowledge [Lowe]
18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / c. Turing Test
The Turing test is too behaviourist, and too verbal in its methods [Lowe]
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
The naturalistic views of how content is created are the causal theory and the teleological theory [Lowe]
18. Thought / C. Content / 5. Twin Earth
Twin Earth cases imply that even beliefs about kinds of stuff are indexical [Lowe]
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts
A concept is a way of thinking of things or kinds, whether or not they exist [Lowe]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 1. Abstract Thought
Abstractions are non-spatial, or dependent, or derived from concepts [Lowe]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 5. Abstracta by Negation
The centre of mass of the solar system is a non-causal abstract object, despite having a location [Lowe]
Concrete and abstract objects are distinct because the former have causal powers and relations [Lowe]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 7. Abstracta by Equivalence
You can think of a direction without a line, but a direction existing with no lines is inconceivable [Lowe]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 2. Meaning as Mental
If meaning is mental pictures, explain "the cat (or dog!) is NOT on the mat" [Lowe]
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / a. Direct reference
Direct reference doesn't seem to require that thinkers know what it is they are thinking about [Lowe]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 4. Mental Propositions
The same proposition provides contents for the that-clause of an utterance and a belief [Lowe]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 6. Propositions Critique
If propositions are abstract entities, how can minds depend on their causal powers? [Lowe]
20. Action / A. Definition of Action / 1. Action Theory
The three main theories of action involve the will, or belief-plus-desire, or an agent [Lowe]
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / a. Will to Act
Libet gives empirical support for the will, as a kind of 'executive' mental operation [Lowe]
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / d. Weakness of will
There may be inverse akrasia, where the agent's action is better than their judgement recommends [Hursthouse]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 2. Acting on Beliefs / a. Acting on beliefs
Must all actions be caused in part by a desire, or can a belief on its own be sufficient? [Hursthouse]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism
It is a fantasy that only through the study of philosophy can one become virtuous [Hursthouse]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / c. Reasons as causes
We feel belief and desire as reasons for choice, not causes of choice [Lowe]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
People's actions are explained either by their motives, or their reasons, or the causes [Lowe]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 5. Action Dilemmas / a. Dilemmas
Involuntary actions performed in tragic dilemmas are bad because they mar a good life [Hursthouse]
After a moral dilemma is resolved there is still a 'remainder', requiring (say) regret [Hursthouse]
Deontologists resolve moral dilemmas by saying the rule conflict is merely apparent [Hursthouse]
You are not a dishonest person if a tragic dilemma forces you to do something dishonest [Hursthouse]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / d. Good as virtue
Virtue may be neither sufficient nor necessary for eudaimonia [Hursthouse]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / g. Consequentialism
Teenagers are often quite wise about ideals, but rather stupid about consequences [Hursthouse]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / b. Eudaimonia
Animals and plants can 'flourish', but only rational beings can have eudaimonia [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue
When it comes to bringing up children, most of us think that the virtues are the best bet [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / b. Basis of virtue
Eudaimonia first; virtue is a trait which promotes it; right acts are what virtues produce [Hursthouse, by Zagzebski]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / c. Particularism
Any strict ranking of virtues or rules gets abandoned when faced with particular cases [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / d. Virtue theory critique
Virtue ethics is open to the objection that it fails to show priority among the virtues [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / a. Natural virtue
Good animals can survive, breed, feel characteristic pleasure and pain, and contribute to the group [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / c. Motivation for virtue
Virtuous people may not be fully clear about their reasons for action [Hursthouse]
Performing an act simply because it is virtuous is sufficient to be 'morally motivated' or 'dutiful' [Hursthouse]
If moral motivation is an all-or-nothing sense of duty, how can children act morally? [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / h. Right feelings
The emotions of sympathy, compassion and love are no guarantee of right action or acting well [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / i. Absolute virtues
According to virtue ethics, two agents may respond differently, and yet both be right [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / j. Unity of virtue
Maybe in a deeply poisoned character none of their milder character traits could ever be a virtue [Hursthouse]
Being unusually virtuous in some areas may entail being less virtuous in others [Hursthouse]
We are puzzled by a person who can show an exceptional virtue and also behave very badly [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 1. Deontology
Deontologists do consider consequences, because they reveal when a rule might apply [Hursthouse]
'Codifiable' morality give rules for decisions which don't require wisdom [Hursthouse]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Deontologists usually accuse utilitarians of oversimplifying hard cases [Hursthouse]
Preference utilitarianism aims to be completely value-free, or empirical [Hursthouse]
We are torn between utilitarian and deontological views of lying, depending on the examples [Hursthouse]
24. Political Theory / A. Basis of a State / 1. A People / a. Human distinctiveness
We are distinct from other animals in behaving rationally - pursuing something as good, for reasons [Hursthouse]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 5. Direction of causation
If the concept of a cause says it precedes its effect, that rules out backward causation by definition [Lowe]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
It seems proper to say that only substances (rather than events) have causal powers [Lowe]
The theories of fact causation and event causation are both worth serious consideration [Lowe]
To cite facts as the elements in causation is to confuse states of affairs with states of objects [Lowe]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation
Causal overdetermination is either actual overdetermination, or pre-emption, or the fail-safe case [Lowe]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / b. Nomological causation
Causation may be instances of laws (seen either as constant conjunctions, or as necessities) [Lowe]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
Hume showed that causation could at most be natural necessity, never metaphysical necessity [Lowe]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
The normative view says laws show the natural behaviour of natural kind members [Lowe, by Mumford/Anjum]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
H2O isn't necessary, because different laws of nature might affect how O and H combine [Lowe]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 9. Counterfactual Claims
'If he wasn't born he wouldn't have died' doesn't mean birth causes death, so causation isn't counterfactual [Lowe]
27. Natural Reality / A. Classical Physics / 1. Mechanics / a. Explaining movement
If motion is change of distance between objects, it involves no intrinsic change in the objects [Lowe]
27. Natural Reality / C. Space / 3. Points in Space
Points are limits of parts of space, so parts of space cannot be aggregates of them [Lowe]
Surfaces, lines and points are not, strictly speaking, parts of space, but 'limits', which are abstract [Lowe]
27. Natural Reality / C. Space / 5. Relational Space
If space is entirely relational, what makes a boundary, or a place unoccupied by physical objects? [Lowe]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / b. Euthyphro question
If people are virtuous in obedience to God, would they become wicked if they lost their faith? [Hursthouse]