Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Michael Burke, John Kekes and Colin McGinn

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93 ideas

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 5. Metaphysics beyond Science
Philosophy is a magnificent failure in its attempt to overstep the limits of our knowledge [McGinn]
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
Definitions identify two concepts, so they presuppose identity [McGinn]
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 2. Infinite Regress
Regresses are only vicious in the context of an explanation [McGinn]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 4. Uses of Truth
Truth is a method of deducing facts from propositions [McGinn]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 3. Correspondence Truth critique
'Snow does not fall' corresponds to snow does fall [McGinn]
The idea of truth is built into the idea of correspondence [McGinn]
3. Truth / D. Coherence Truth / 2. Coherence Truth Critique
The coherence theory of truth implies idealism, because facts are just coherent beliefs [McGinn]
3. Truth / H. Deflationary Truth / 3. Minimalist Truth
Truth is the property of propositions that makes it possible to deduce facts [McGinn]
Without the disquotation device for truth, you could never form beliefs from others' testimony [McGinn]
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 4. Identity in Logic
In 'x is F and x is G' we must assume the identity of x in the two statements [McGinn]
Both non-contradiction and excluded middle need identity in their formulation [McGinn]
Identity is unitary, indefinable, fundamental and a genuine relation [McGinn]
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 1. Logical Form
Thoughts have a dual aspect: as they seem to introspection, and their underlying logical reality [McGinn]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 1. Quantification
Existential quantifiers just express the quantity of things, leaving existence to the predicate 'exists' [McGinn]
The quantifier is overrated as an analytical tool [McGinn]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 3. Objectual Quantification
'Partial quantifier' would be a better name than 'existential quantifier', as no existence would be implied [McGinn]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 7. Unorthodox Quantification
We need an Intentional Quantifier ("some of the things we talk about.."), so existence goes into the proposition [McGinn]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
Existence is a primary quality, non-existence a secondary quality [McGinn]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
Existence can't be analysed as instantiating a property, as instantiation requires existence [McGinn]
We can't analyse the sentence 'something exists' in terms of instantiated properties [McGinn]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 2. Reality
If causal power is the test for reality, that will exclude necessities and possibilities [McGinn]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / b. Types of fact
Facts are object-plus-extension, or property-plus-set-of-properties, or object-plus-property [McGinn]
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 / E. Objects over Time / 10. Beginning of an Object
Suppose a world where I'm from different gametes; add my gametes; which one is more me? [McGinn]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
McGinn falsely claims necessity of origin is a special case of the necessity of identity [Forbes,G on McGinn]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Identity propositions are not always tautological, and have a key epistemic role [McGinn]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 2. Defining Identity
Identity is as basic as any concept could ever be [McGinn]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 4. Type Identity
Qualitative identity is really numerical identity of properties [McGinn]
Type-identity is close similarity in qualities [McGinn]
Qualitative identity can be analysed into numerical identity of the type involved [McGinn]
It is best to drop types of identity, and speak of 'identity' or 'resemblance' [McGinn]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
Sherlock Holmes does not exist, but he is self-identical [McGinn]
Existence is a property of all objects, but less universal than self-identity, which covers even conceivable objects [McGinn]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects
All identity is necessary, though identity statements can be contingently true [McGinn]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 8. Leibniz's Law
Leibniz's Law presupposes the notion of property identity [McGinn]
Leibniz's Law says 'x = y iff for all P, Px iff Py' [McGinn]
Leibniz's Law is so fundamental that it almost defines the concept of identity [McGinn]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 7. Chance
'Luck' is the unpredictable and inexplicable intersection of causal chains [Kekes]
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 5. Modality from Actuality
Modality is not objects or properties, but the type of binding of objects to properties [McGinn]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / b. Impossible worlds
If 'possible' is explained as quantification across worlds, there must be possible worlds [McGinn]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / b. Elements of beliefs
Beliefs are states of the head that explain behaviour, and also items with referential truth-conditions [McGinn]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 3. Representation
We see objects 'directly' by representing them [McGinn]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
Necessity and possibility are big threats to the empiricist view of knowledge [McGinn]
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 1. Scepticism
Scepticism about reality is possible because existence isn't part of appearances [McGinn]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 2. Unconscious Mind
If all mental life were conscious, we would be unable to see things, or to process speech [McGinn]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 1. Faculties
Mental modules for language, social, action, theory, space, emotion [McGinn]
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 1. Nature of Free Will
Free will is mental causation in action [McGinn]
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 3. Panpsychism
Brains aren't made of anything special, suggesting panpsychism [McGinn]
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 6. Mysterianism
McGinn invites surrender, by saying it is hopeless trying to imagine conscious machines [Dennett on McGinn]
Examining mind sees no brain; examining brain sees no mind [McGinn]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
Multiple realisability rules out hidden essences and experts as the source of water- and gold-concepts [McGinn]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 9. Indexical Thought
Indexical thought is in relation to my self-consciousness [McGinn]
Indexical concepts are indispensable, as we need them for the power to act [McGinn]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 3. Meaning as Speaker's Intention
If meaning is speaker's intentions, it can be reduced to propositional attitudes, and philosophy of mind [McGinn]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 5. Fregean Semantics
Semantics should not be based on set-membership, but on instantiation of properties in objects [McGinn]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 6. Truth-Conditions Semantics
There is information if there are symbols which refer, and which can combine into a truth or falsehood [McGinn]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 7. Extensional Semantics
Clearly predicates have extensions (applicable objects), but are the extensions part of their meaning? [McGinn]
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
Well-being needs correct attitudes and well-ordered commitments to local values [Kekes]
Control is the key to well-being [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 / C. Causation / 4. Naturalised causation
Causation in the material world is energy-transfer, of motion, electricity or gravity [McGinn]
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
If Satan is the most imperfect conceivable being, he must have non-existence [McGinn]
I think the fault of the Ontological Argument is taking the original idea to be well-defined [McGinn]