Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Barry Smith, J. Alberto Coffa and Jonathan Schaffer

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61 ideas

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Modern Quinean metaphysics is about what exists, but Aristotelian metaphysics asks about grounding [Schaffer,J]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
If you tore the metaphysics out of philosophy, the whole enterprise would collapse [Schaffer,J]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 3. Analysis of Preconditions
Analysis aims at secure necessary and sufficient conditions [Schaffer,J]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
We should not multiply basic entities, but we can have as many derivative entities as we like [Schaffer,J]
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 1. Fallacy
'Reification' occurs if we mistake a concept for a thing [Schaffer,J]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 2. Truthmaker Relation
Maybe truth-making is an unanalysable primitive, but we can specify principles for it [Smith,B]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 4. Truthmaker Necessitarianism
God might necessitate that something happen, but He is not the truth-maker for it [Smith,B]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 3. Modal Logic Systems / d. System T
T adds □p→p for reflexivity, and is ideal for modeling lawhood [Schaffer,J]
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / j. Axiom of Choice IX
Choice suggests that intensions are not needed to ensure classes [Coffa]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
Logical form can't dictate metaphysics, as it may propose an undesirable property [Schaffer,J]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / a. For mathematical platonism
If 'there are red roses' implies 'there are roses', then 'there are prime numbers' implies 'there are numbers' [Schaffer,J]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / b. Indispensability of mathematics
If a notion is ontologically basic, it should be needed in our best attempt at science [Schaffer,J]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / a. Nature of grounding
Grounding is unanalysable and primitive, and is the basic structuring concept in metaphysics [Schaffer,J]
If ground is transitive and irreflexive, it has a strict partial ordering, giving structure [Schaffer,J]
As causation links across time, grounding links the world across levels [Schaffer,J]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
Three types of reduction: Theoretical (of terms), Definitional (of concepts), Ontological (of reality) [Schaffer,J]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / a. Nature of supervenience
Supervenience is just modal correlation [Schaffer,J]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 7. Abstract/Concrete / a. Abstract/concrete
The cosmos is the only fundamental entity, from which all else exists by abstraction [Schaffer,J]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / b. Types of fact
There is only one fact - the True [Schaffer,J]
7. Existence / E. Categories / 4. Category Realism
Maybe categories are just the different ways that things depend on basic substances [Schaffer,J]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
Tropes are the same as events [Schaffer,J]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
Individuation aims to count entities, by saying when there is one [Schaffer,J]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
No sortal could ever exactly pin down which set of particles count as this 'cup' [Schaffer,J]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
There exist heaps with no integral unity, so we should accept arbitrary composites in the same way [Schaffer,J]
The notion of 'grounding' can explain integrated wholes in a way that mere aggregates can't [Schaffer,J]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects
Identities can be true despite indeterminate reference, if true under all interpretations [Schaffer,J]
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Only ideal conceivability could indicate what is possible [Schaffer,J]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / b. Impossible worlds
Belief in impossible worlds may require dialetheism [Schaffer,J]
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 2. Common Sense Certainty
'Moorean certainties' are more credible than any sceptical argument [Schaffer,J]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
The semantic tradition aimed to explain the a priori semantically, not by Kantian intuition [Coffa]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 11. Denying the A Priori
Platonism defines the a priori in a way that makes it unknowable [Coffa]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / b. Contrastive explanations
Explaining 'Adam ate the apple' depends on emphasis, and thus implies a contrast [Schaffer,J]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
Mathematics generalises by using variables [Coffa]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 1. Nature
I take what is fundamental to be the whole spatiotemporal manifold and its fields [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation
In causation there are three problems of relata, and three metaphysical problems [Schaffer,J]
Causation may not be transitive; the last event may follow from the first, but not be caused by it [Schaffer,J]
There are at least ten theories about causal connections [Schaffer,J]
Nowadays causation is usually understood in terms of equations and variable ranges [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 4. Naturalised causation
Causation transcends nature, because absences can cause things [Schaffer,J]
Causation may not be a process, if a crucial part of the process is 'disconnected' [Schaffer,J]
A causal process needs to be connected to the effect in the right way [Schaffer,J]
Causation can't be a process, because a process needs causation as a primitive [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 5. Direction of causation
At least four rivals have challenged the view that causal direction is time direction [Schaffer,J]
Causal order must be temporal, or else causes could be blocked, and time couldn't be explained [Schaffer,J]
Causal order is not temporal, because of time travel, and simultanous, joint or backward causes [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 6. Causation as primitive
Causation is primitive; it is too intractable and central to be reduced; all explanations require it [Schaffer,J]
If causation is just observables, or part of common sense, or vacuous, it can't be primitive [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 7. Eliminating causation
Causation is utterly essential for numerous philosophical explanations [Schaffer,J]
The notion of causation allows understanding of science, without appearing in equations [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / a. Observation of causation
If causation is primitive, it can be experienced in ourselves, or inferred as best explanation [Schaffer,J]
If two different causes are possible in one set of circumstances, causation is primitive [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
Events are fairly course-grained (just saying 'hello'), unlike facts (like saying 'hello' loudly) [Schaffer,J]
Causal relata are events - or facts, features, tropes, states, situations or aspects [Schaffer,J]
One may defend three or four causal relata, as in 'c causes e rather than e*' [Schaffer,J]
If causal relata must be in nature and fine-grained, neither facts nor events will do [Schaffer,J]
The relata of causation (such as events) need properties as explanation, which need causation! [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / d. Selecting the cause
Our selection of 'the' cause is very predictable, so must have a basis [Schaffer,J]
Selecting 'the' cause must have a basis; there is no causation without such a selection [Schaffer,J]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / e. Probabilistic causation
The actual cause may make an event less likely than a possible more effective cause [Schaffer,J]
All four probability versions of causation may need causation to be primitive [Schaffer,J]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 1. Nature of Time / a. Absolute time
Relativity is as absolutist about space-time as Newton was about space [Coffa]