Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Michael Burke, R Keefe / P Smith and Robert Pasnau

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78 ideas

1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 1. History of Philosophy
Original philosophers invariably seek inspiration from past thinkers [Pasnau]
Philosophy consists of choosing between Plato, Aristotle and Democritus [Pasnau]
1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 3. Earlier European Philosophy / b. Early medieval philosophy
The commentaries of Averroes were the leading guide to Aristotle [Pasnau]
Modernity begins in the late 12th century, with Averroes's commentaries on Aristotle [Pasnau]
1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 3. Earlier European Philosophy / c. Later medieval philosophy
Once accidents were seen as real, 'Categories' became the major text for ontology [Pasnau]
In 1347, the Church effectively stopped philosophy for the next 300 years [Pasnau]
1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 3. Earlier European Philosophy / d. Renaissance philosophy
After c.1450 all of Plato was available. Before that, only the first half of 'Timaeus' was known [Pasnau]
Renaissance Platonism is peripheral [Pasnau]
Plato only made an impact locally in 15th century Italy [Pasnau]
1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 4. Later European Philosophy / b. Seventeenth century philosophy
Philosophy could easily have died in 17th century, if it weren't for Descartes [Pasnau]
The 17th century is a metaphysical train wreck [Pasnau]
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
Anti-Razor: if you can't account for a truth, keep positing things until you can [Pasnau]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 3. Modal Logic Systems / h. System S5
S5 collapses iterated modalities (◊□P→□P, and ◊◊P→◊P) [Keefe/Smith]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / a. Nature of grounding
Priority was a major topic of dispute for scholastics [Pasnau]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / b. Mixtures
In mixtures, the four elements ceased to exist, replaced by a mixed body with a form [Pasnau]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / b. Vagueness of reality
Objects such as a cloud or Mount Everest seem to have fuzzy boundaries in nature [Keefe/Smith]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / c. Vagueness as ignorance
If someone is borderline tall, no further information is likely to resolve the question [Keefe/Smith]
The simplest approach, that vagueness is just ignorance, retains classical logic and semantics [Keefe/Smith]
The epistemic view of vagueness must explain why we don't know the predicate boundary [Keefe/Smith]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / f. Supervaluation for vagueness
Supervaluationism keeps true-or-false where precision can be produced, but not otherwise [Keefe/Smith]
Vague statements lack truth value if attempts to make them precise fail [Keefe/Smith]
Some of the principles of classical logic still fail with supervaluationism [Keefe/Smith]
The semantics of supervaluation (e.g. disjunction and quantification) is not classical [Keefe/Smith]
Supervaluation misunderstands vagueness, treating it as a failure to make things precise [Keefe/Smith]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / g. Degrees of vagueness
A third truth-value at borderlines might be 'indeterminate', or a value somewhere between 0 and 1 [Keefe/Smith]
People can't be placed in a precise order according to how 'nice' they are [Keefe/Smith]
If truth-values for vagueness range from 0 to 1, there must be someone who is 'completely tall' [Keefe/Smith]
How do we decide if my coat is red to degree 0.322 or 0.321? [Keefe/Smith]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
17th C qualities are either microphysical, or phenomenal, or powers [Pasnau]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
17th century authors only recognised categorical properties, never dispositions [Pasnau]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 8. Properties as Modes
The biggest question for scholastics is whether properties are real, or modes of substances [Pasnau]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 4. Powers as Essence
There is no centralised power, but we still need essence for a metaphysical understanding [Pasnau]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
Instead of adding Aristotelian forms to physical stuff, one could add dispositions [Pasnau]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / b. Dispositions and powers
Scholastics reject dispositions, because they are not actual, as forms require [Pasnau]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
Scholastics say there is a genuine thing if it is 'separable' [Pasnau]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / b. Individuation by properties
If you reject essences, questions of individuation become extremely difficult [Pasnau]
Scholastics thought Quantity could be the principle of individuation [Pasnau]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Persistence conditions cannot contradict, so there must be a 'dominant sortal' [Burke,M, by Hawley]
The 'dominant' of two coinciding sortals is the one that entails the widest range of properties [Burke,M, by Sider]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / b. Unifying aggregates
'The rock' either refers to an object, or to a collection of parts, or to some stuff [Burke,M, by Wasserman]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
Corpuscularian critics of scholasticism say only substances exist [Pasnau]
Scholastics wanted to treat Aristotelianism as physics, rather than as metaphysics [Pasnau]
If crowds are things at all, they seem to be Substances, since they bear properties [Pasnau]
Corpuscularianism promised a decent account of substance [Pasnau]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / c. Types of substance
Scholastics use 'substantia' for thick concrete entities, and for thin metaphysical ones [Pasnau]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique
For corpuscularians, a substance is just its integral parts [Pasnau]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / b. Cat and its tail
Tib goes out of existence when the tail is lost, because Tib was never the 'cat' [Burke,M, by Sider]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Sculpting a lump of clay destroys one object, and replaces it with another one [Burke,M, by Wasserman]
Burke says when two object coincide, one of them is destroyed in the process [Burke,M, by Hawley]
Maybe the clay becomes a different lump when it becomes a statue [Burke,M, by Koslicki]
If clay survives destruction of the statue, the statue wasn't a substance, but a mere accident [Pasnau]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
Two entities can coincide as one, but only one of them (the dominant sortal) fixes persistence conditions [Burke,M, by Sider]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / e. Vague objects
Vague predicates involve uncertain properties, uncertain objects, and paradoxes of gradual change [Keefe/Smith]
Many vague predicates are multi-dimensional; 'big' involves height and volume; heaps include arrangement [Keefe/Smith]
If there is a precise borderline area, that is not a case of vagueness [Keefe/Smith]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / a. Hylomorphism
Corpuscularianism rejected not only form, but also the dependence of matter on form [Pasnau]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / b. Form as principle
Hylomorphism may not be a rival to science, but an abstract account of unity and endurance [Pasnau]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / c. Form as causal
Hylomorphism declined because scholastics made it into a testable physical theory [Pasnau]
Scholastics made forms substantial, in a way unintended by Aristotle [Pasnau]
Scholastics began to see substantial form more as Aristotle's 'efficient' cause [Pasnau]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / d. Form as unifier
Aquinas says a substance has one form; Scotists say it has many forms [Pasnau]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 4. Quantity of an Object
Scholastic Quantity either gives a body parts, or spreads them out in a unified way [Pasnau]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 7. Substratum
A substrate may be 'prime matter', which endures through every change [Pasnau]
A substratum can't be 'bare', because it has a job to do [Pasnau]
There may be different types of substrate, or temporary substrates [Pasnau]
If a substrate gives causal support for change, quite a lot of the ingredients must endure [Pasnau]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / b. Essence not necessities
Aristotelians deny that all necessary properties are essential [Pasnau]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 6. Successive Things
Typical successive things are time and motion [Pasnau]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 10. Beginning of an Object
Weak ex nihilo says it all comes from something; strong version says the old must partly endure [Pasnau]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / k. Explanations by essence
Essences must explain, so we can infer them causally from the accidents [Pasnau]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / g. Atomism
Atomists say causation is mechanical collisions, and all true qualities are microscopic [Pasnau]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / a. Early Modern matter
In the 17th C matter became body, and was then studied by science [Pasnau]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / b. Corpuscles
Atomism is the commonest version of corpuscularianism, but isn't required by it [Pasnau]
If there are just arrangements of corpuscles, where are the boundaries between substances? [Pasnau]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Types of cause
Scholastic causation is by changes in the primary qualities of hot, cold, wet, dry [Pasnau]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / a. Scientific essentialism
Substantial forms were a step towards scientific essentialism [Pasnau]
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 3. The Beginning
Scholastic authors agree that matter was created by God, out of nothing [Pasnau]
29. Religion / B. Monotheistic Religion / 4. Christianity / b. Transubstantiation
Transubstantion says accidents of bread and wine don't inhere in the substance [Pasnau]