Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Michael Burke, Peter Simons and Daniel Statman

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94 ideas

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysical Systems
Metaphysics attempts to give an account of everything, in terms of categories and principles [Simons]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Nature of Analysis
Analytic philosophers may prefer formal systems because natural language is such mess [Simons]
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 1. Mereology
Classical mereology doesn't apply well to the objects around us [Simons]
Complement: the rest of the Universe apart from some individual, written x-bar [Simons]
Criticisms of mereology: parts? transitivity? sums? identity? four-dimensional? [Simons]
A 'part' has different meanings for individuals, classes, and masses [Simons]
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 2. Terminology of Mereology
Product: the product of two individuals is the sum of all of their overlaps, written 'x y' [Simons]
Sum: the sum of individuals is what is overlapped if either of them are, written 'x + y' [Simons]
General product: the nucleus of all objects satisfying a predicate, written πx(Fx) [Simons]
General sum: the sum of objects satisfying some predicate, written σx(Fx) [Simons]
Universe: the mereological sum of all objects whatever, written 'U' [Simons]
Atom: an individual with no proper parts, written 'At x' [Simons]
Dissective: stuff is dissective if parts of the stuff are always the stuff [Simons]
Proper or improper part: x < y, 'x is (a) part of y' [Simons]
Overlap: two parts overlap iff they have a part in common, expressed as 'x o y' [Simons]
Disjoint: two individuals are disjoint iff they do not overlap, written 'x | y' [Simons]
Difference: the difference of individuals is the remainder of an overlap, written 'x - y' [Simons]
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 3. Axioms of Mereology
Two standard formalisations of part-whole theory are the Calculus of Individuals, and Mereology [Simons]
Classical mereology doesn't handle temporal or modal notions very well [Simons]
The part-relation is transitive and asymmetric (and thus irreflexive) [Simons]
Each wheel is part of a car, but the four wheels are not a further part [Simons]
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 4. Groups
A 'group' is a collection with a condition which constitutes their being united [Simons]
'The wolves' are the matter of 'the pack'; the latter is a group, with different identity conditions [Simons]
The same members may form two groups [Simons]
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / a. Names
Philosophy is stuck on the Fregean view that an individual is anything with a proper name [Simons]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 6. Plural Quantification
Some natural languages don't distinguish between singular and plural [Simons]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
There are real relational changes, as well as bogus 'Cambridge changes' [Simons]
Four-dimensional ontology has no change, since that needs an object, and time to pass [Simons]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
I don't believe in processes [Simons]
Fans of process ontology cheat, since river-stages refer to 'rivers' [Simons]
Slow and continuous events (like balding or tree-growth) are called 'processes', not 'events' [Simons]
Maybe processes behave like stuff-nouns, and events like count-nouns [Simons]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 3. Moments
Moments are things like smiles or skids, which are founded on other things [Simons]
A smiling is an event with causes, but the smile is a continuant without causes [Simons]
Moving disturbances are are moments which continuously change their basis [Simons]
A wave is maintained by a process, but it isn't a process [Simons]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / a. Nature of events
I do not think there is a general identity condition for events [Simons]
Einstein's relativity brought events into ontology, as the terms of a simultaneity relationships [Simons]
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / b. Events as primitive
Relativity has an ontology of things and events, not on space-time diagrams [Simons]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 4. Ontological Dependence
Independent objects can exist apart, and maybe even entirely alone [Simons]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / a. Pure stuff
Mass nouns admit 'much' and 'a little', and resist 'many' and 'few'. [Simons]
Mass terms (unlike plurals) are used with indifference to whether they can exist in units [Simons]
Gold is not its atoms, because the atoms must be all gold, but gold contains neutrons [Simons]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / b. Mixtures
Mixtures disappear if nearly all of the mixture is one ingredient [Simons]
A mixture can have different qualities from its ingredients. [Simons]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
Internal relations combine some tropes into a nucleus, which bears the non-essential tropes [Simons, by Edwards]
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
To individuate something we must pick it out, but also know its limits of variation [Simons]
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]
Sortal nouns for continuants tell you their continuance- and cessation-conditions [Simons]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
A whole requires some unique relation which binds together all of the parts [Simons]
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 / 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]
Does Tibbles remain the same cat when it loses its tail? [Simons]
Tibbles isn't Tib-plus-tail, because Tibbles can survive its loss, but the sum can't [Simons]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Maybe the clay becomes a different lump when it becomes a statue [Burke,M, by Koslicki]
Burke says when two object coincide, one of them is destroyed in the process [Burke,M, by Hawley]
Sculpting a lump of clay destroys one object, and replaces it with another one [Burke,M, by Wasserman]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
Without extensional mereology two objects can occupy the same position [Simons]
Two entities can coincide as one, but only one of them (the dominant sortal) fixes persistence conditions [Burke,M, by Sider]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
Composition is asymmetric and transitive [Simons]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 6. Constitution of an Object
A hand constitutes a fist (when clenched), but a fist is not composed of an augmented hand [Simons]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects
We say 'b is part of a', 'b is a part of a', 'b are a part of a', or 'b are parts of a'. [Simons]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / b. Sums of parts
Classical mereology says there are 'sums', for whose existence there is no other evidence [Simons]
'Mereological extensionality' says objects with the same parts are identical [Simons]
If there are c atoms, this gives 2^c - 1 individuals, so there can't be just 2 or 12 individuals [Simons]
Sums are more plausible for pluralities and masses than they are for individuals [Simons]
Sums of things in different categories are found within philosophy. [Simons]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
The wholeness of a melody seems conventional, but of an explosion it seems natural [Simons]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
Objects have their essential properties because of the kind of objects they are [Simons]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / b. Essence not necessities
We must distinguish the de dicto 'must' of propositions from the de re 'must' of essence [Simons]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 11. Essence of Artefacts
Original parts are the best candidates for being essential to artefacts [Simons]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 12. Essential Parts
An essential part of an essential part is an essential part of the whole [Simons]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 4. Four-Dimensionalism
Four dimensional-objects are stranger than most people think [Simons]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 7. Intermittent Objects
Intermittent objects would be respectable if they occurred in nature, as well as in artefacts [Simons]
Objects like chess games, with gaps in them, are thereby less unified [Simons]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 9. Ship of Theseus
An entrepreneur and a museum curator would each be happy with their ship at the end [Simons]
The 'best candidate' theories mistakenly assume there is one answer to 'Which is the real ship?' [Simons]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
The zygote is an essential initial part, for a sexually reproduced organism [Simons]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity
The limits of change for an individual depend on the kind of individual [Simons]
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 7. Abstracta by Equivalence
Any equivalence relation among similar things allows the creation of an abstractum [Simons]
Abstraction is usually seen as producing universals and numbers, but it can do more [Simons]
20. Action / A. Definition of Action / 2. Duration of an Action
With activities if you are doing it you've done it, with performances you must finish to have done it [Simons]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
We may still admire a person's character even if the traits are involuntary [Statman]
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 8. The Arts / a. Music
One false note doesn't make it a performance of a different work [Simons]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / b. Eudaimonia
With a broad concept of flourishing, it might be possible without the virtues [Statman]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / d. Ethical theory
There is a new sort of moral scepticism, about the possibility of moral theories [Statman]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / d. Virtue theory critique
Virtue theory isn't a genuine ethical theory, because it doesn't have universal application [Statman]
Promises create moral duties that have nothing to do with character [Statman]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / d. Teaching virtue
Moral education is better by concrete example than abstract principle [Statman]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 4. External Goods / d. Friendship
Friends express friendship even when no utility is involved [Statman]
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 2. Duty
Behaviour may be disgusting or inhumane, but violate no duty [Statman]
The ancients recognised imperfect duties, but we have added perfect duties like justice [Statman]
24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 3. Abortion
Abortion issues focus on the mother's right over her body, and the status of the foetus [Statman]