Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Michael Burke, John Kekes and Barbara Vetter

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77 ideas

2. Reason / E. Argument / 1. Argument
Slippery slope arguments are challenges to show where a non-arbitrary boundary lies [Vetter]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 3. Modal Logic Systems / c. System D
Deontic modalities are 'ought-to-be', for sentences, and 'ought-to-do' for predicates [Vetter]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 3. Modal Logic Systems / h. System S5
S5 is undesirable, as it prevents necessities from having contingent grounds [Vetter]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 7. Barcan Formula
The Barcan formula endorses either merely possible things, or makes the unactualised impossible [Vetter]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
The world is either a whole made of its parts, or a container which contains its parts [Vetter]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / b. Relata of grounding
Grounding can be between objects ('relational'), or between sentences ('operational') [Vetter]
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / d. Humean supervenience
The Humean supervenience base entirely excludes modality [Vetter]
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
A determinate property must be a unique instance of the determinable class [Vetter]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 4. Powers as Essence
Essence is a thing's necessities, but what about its possibilities (which may not be realised)? [Vetter]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
I have an 'iterated ability' to learn the violin - that is, the ability to acquire that ability [Vetter]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / c. Dispositions as conditional
We should think of dispositions as 'to do' something, not as 'to do something, if ....' [Vetter]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / d. Dispositions as occurrent
Nomological dispositions (unlike ordinary ones) have to be continually realised [Vetter]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 7. Against Powers
How can spatiotemporal relations be understood in dispositional terms? [Vetter]
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 / 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]
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 / D. Essence of Objects / 4. Essence as Definition
Real definition fits abstracta, but not individual concrete objects like Socrates [Vetter]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / a. Essence as necessary properties
Modal accounts make essence less mysterious, by basing them on the clearer necessity [Vetter]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
Why does origin matter more than development; why are some features of origin more important? [Vetter]
We take origin to be necessary because we see possibilities as branches from actuality [Vetter]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
The modern revival of necessity and possibility treated them as special cases of quantification [Vetter]
It is necessary that p means that nothing has the potentiality for not-p [Vetter]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
Metaphysical necessity is even more deeply empirical than Kripke has argued [Vetter]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
Maybe possibility is constituted by potentiality [Vetter]
Possibilities are potentialities of actual things, but abstracted from their location [Vetter]
All possibility is anchored in the potentiality of individual objects [Vetter]
Possibility is a generalised abstraction from the potentiality of its bearer [Vetter]
Possible worlds allow us to talk about degrees of possibility [Vetter]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 4. Potentiality
Potentiality does the explaining in metaphysics; we don't explain it away or reduce it [Vetter]
Potentiality is the common genus of dispositions, abilities, and similar properties [Vetter]
Water has a potentiality to acquire a potentiality to break (by freezing) [Vetter]
Potentiality logic is modal system T. Stronger systems collapse iterations, and necessitate potentials [Vetter]
There are potentialities 'to ...', but possibilities are 'that ....'. [Vetter]
Potentialities may be too weak to count as 'dispositions' [Vetter]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 7. Chance
'Luck' is the unpredictable and inexplicable intersection of causal chains [Kekes]
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / c. Possible but inconceivable
The apparently metaphysically possible may only be epistemically possible [Vetter]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / a. Possible worlds
Closeness of worlds should be determined by the intrinsic nature of relevant objects [Vetter]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / c. Worlds as propositions
If worlds are sets of propositions, how do we know which propositions are genuinely possible? [Vetter]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / e. Possible Objects
Are there possible objects which nothing has ever had the potentiality to produce? [Vetter]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
Explanations by disposition are more stable and reliable than those be external circumstances [Vetter]
Grounding is a kind of explanation, suited to metaphysics [Vetter]
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 1. Intention to Act / a. Nature of intentions
An action may be intended under one description, but not under another [Kekes]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 2. Acting on Beliefs / a. Acting on beliefs
To control our actions better, make them result from our attitudes, not from circumstances [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / a. Nature of value
There are far more values than we can pursue, so they are optional possibilities [Kekes]
We are bound to regret some values we never aspired to [Kekes]
Innumerable values arise for us, from our humanity, our culture, and our individuality [Kekes]
Cultural values are interpretations of humanity, conduct, institutions, and evaluations [Kekes]
The big value problems are evil (humanity), disenchantment (cultures), and boredom (individuals) [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / f. Ultimate value
Our attitudes include what possibilities we value, and also what is allowable, and unthinkable [Kekes]
Unconditional commitments are our most basic convictions, saying what must never be done [Kekes]
Doing the unthinkable damages ourselves, so it is more basic than any value [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
Control is the key to well-being [Kekes]
Well-being needs correct attitudes and well-ordered commitments to local values [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / c. Purpose of ethics
Values help us to control life, by connecting it to what is stable and manageable [Kekes]
Values are an attempt to achieve well-being by bringing contingencies under control [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility
Responsibility is unprovoked foreseeable harm, against society, arising from vicious character [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / b. Rational ethics
Reason and morality do not coincide; immorality can be reasonable, with an ideology [Kekes]
Practical reason is not universal and impersonal, because it depends on what success is [Kekes]
If morality has to be rational, then moral conflicts need us to be irrational and immoral [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature
Evil isn't explained by nature, by monsters, by uncharacteristic actions, or by society [Kekes]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention
Relativists say all values are relative; pluralists concede much of that, but not 'human' values [Kekes]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 4. Boredom
Boredom destroys our ability to evaluate [Kekes]
Boredom is apathy and restlessness, yearning for something interesting [Kekes]
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / c. A unified people
Society is alienating if it lacks our values, and its values repel us [Kekes]
25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
The ideal of an ideology is embodied in a text, a role model, a law of history, a dream of the past... [Kekes]
Ideologies have beliefs about reality, ideals, a gap with actuality, and a program [Kekes]
25. Society / C. Social Justice / 3. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
Equal distribution is no good in a shortage, because there might be no one satisfied [Kekes]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 5. Laws from Universals
The view that laws are grounded in substance plus external necessity doesn't suit dispositionalism [Vetter]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
Dispositional essentialism allows laws to be different, but only if the supporting properties differ [Vetter]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / c. Essence and laws
Laws are relations of kinds, quantities and qualities, supervening on the essences of a domain [Vetter]
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 2. Time / f. Presentism
Presentists explain cross-temporal relations using surrogate descriptions [Vetter]
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 2. Time / g. Eternalism
If time is symmetrical between past and future, why do they look so different? [Vetter]