Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Peter B. Lewis, Ullin T. Place and Timothy Williamson

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100 ideas

1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / e. Philosophy as reason
Progress in philosophy is incremental, not an immature seeking after drama [Williamson]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Conceptual Analysis
We can't presume that all interesting concepts can be analysed [Williamson]
1. Philosophy / H. Continental Philosophy / 1. Continental Philosophy
Analytic philosophy has much higher standards of thinking than continental philosophy [Williamson]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 5. Truth Bearers
Truth and falsity apply to suppositions as well as to assertions [Williamson]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 7. Falsehood
True and false are not symmetrical; false is more complex, involving negation [Williamson]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / b. Objects make truths
The truthmaker principle requires some specific named thing to make the difference [Williamson]
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 7. Making Modal Truths
The converse Barcan formula will not allow contingent truths to have truthmakers [Williamson]
Truthmaker is incompatible with modal semantics of varying domains [Williamson]
3. Truth / C. Correspondence Truth / 3. Correspondence Truth critique
Correspondence to the facts is a bad account of analytic truth [Williamson]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 3. Modal Logic Systems / h. System S5
In S5 matters of possibility and necessity are non-contingent [Williamson]
If metaphysical possibility is not a contingent matter, then S5 seems to suit it best [Williamson]
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 7. Barcan Formula
If the domain of propositional quantification is constant, the Barcan formulas hold [Williamson]
Converse Barcan: could something fail to meet a condition, if everything meets that condition? [Williamson]
If a property is possible, there is something which can have it [Williamson]
4. Formal Logic / E. Nonclassical Logics / 3. Many-Valued Logic
Many-valued logics don't solve vagueness; its presence at the meta-level is ignored [Williamson]
4. Formal Logic / E. Nonclassical Logics / 4. Fuzzy Logic
Fuzzy logic uses a continuum of truth, but it implies contradictions [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 3. Value of Logic
Formal logic struck me as exactly the language I wanted to think in [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 4. Semantic Consequence |=
Formal semantics defines validity as truth preserved in every model [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 1. Bivalence
'Bivalence' is the meta-linguistic principle that 'A' in the object language is true or false [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 2. Excluded Middle
Excluded Middle is 'A or not A' in the object language [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 1. Quantification
Not all quantification is either objectual or substitutional [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 4. Substitutional Quantification
Substitutional quantification is metaphysical neutral, and equivalent to a disjunction of instances [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 7. Unorthodox Quantification
Not all quantification is objectual or substitutional [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / H. Proof Systems / 4. Natural Deduction
Or-elimination is 'Argument by Cases'; it shows how to derive C from 'A or B' [Williamson]
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 6. Paradoxes in Language / b. The Heap paradox ('Sorites')
A sorites stops when it collides with an opposite sorites [Williamson]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 1. Mathematical Platonism / a. For mathematical platonism
Platonism claims that some true assertions have singular terms denoting abstractions, so abstractions exist [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism
The realist/anti-realist debate is notoriously obscure and fruitless [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / a. Facts
If 'fact' is a noun, can we name the fact that dogs bark 'Mary'? [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / a. Problem of vagueness
When bivalence is rejected because of vagueness, we lose classical logic [Williamson]
Vagueness undermines the stable references needed by logic [Williamson]
A vague term can refer to very precise elements [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / b. Vagueness of reality
Equally fuzzy objects can be identical, so fuzziness doesn't entail vagueness [Williamson]
There cannot be vague objects, so there may be no such thing as a mountain [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / c. Vagueness as ignorance
Vagueness is epistemic. Statements are true or false, but we often don't know which [Williamson]
If a heap has a real boundary, omniscient speakers would agree where it is [Williamson]
The epistemic view says that the essence of vagueness is ignorance [Williamson]
If there is a true borderline of which we are ignorant, this drives a wedge between meaning and use [Williamson]
Vagueness in a concept is its indiscriminability from other possible concepts [Williamson]
Close to conceptual boundaries judgement is too unreliable to give knowledge [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / d. Vagueness as linguistic
The vagueness of 'heap' can remain even when the context is fixed [Williamson]
The 'nihilist' view of vagueness says that 'heap' is not a legitimate concept [Williamson]
We can say propositions are bivalent, but vague utterances don't express a proposition [Williamson]
If the vague 'TW is thin' says nothing, what does 'TW is thin if his perfect twin is thin' say? [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / e. Higher-order vagueness
Asking when someone is 'clearly' old is higher-order vagueness [Williamson]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / f. Supervaluation for vagueness
Supervaluation keeps classical logic, but changes the truth in classical semantics [Williamson]
You can't give a precise description of a language which is intrinsically vague [Williamson]
Supervaluation assigns truth when all the facts are respected [Williamson]
Supervaluation has excluded middle but not bivalence; 'A or not-A' is true, even when A is undecided [Williamson]
Truth-functionality for compound statements fails in supervaluation [Williamson]
Supervaluationism defines 'supertruth', but neglects it when defining 'valid' [Williamson]
Supervaluation adds a 'definitely' operator to classical logic [Williamson]
Supervaluationism cannot eliminate higher-order vagueness [Williamson]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / a. Nominalism
Nominalists suspect that properties etc are our projections, and could have been different [Williamson]
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
'Blue' is not a family resemblance, because all the blues resemble in some respect [Williamson]
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / e. Vague objects
What sort of logic is needed for vague concepts, and what sort of concept of truth? [Williamson]
Common sense and classical logic are often simultaneously abandoned in debates on vagueness [Williamson]
If fuzzy edges are fine, then why not fuzzy temporal, modal or mereological boundaries? [Williamson]
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 8. Continuity of Rivers
A river is not just event; it needs actual and counterfactual boundaries [Williamson]
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 1. Types of Modality
Necessity is counterfactually implied by its negation; possibility does not counterfactually imply its negation [Williamson]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / a. Conditionals
Strict conditionals imply counterfactual conditionals: □(A⊃B)⊃(A□→B) [Williamson]
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
Counterfactual conditionals transmit possibility: (A□→B)⊃(◊A⊃◊B) [Williamson]
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 1. Sources of Necessity
Rather than define counterfactuals using necessity, maybe necessity is a special case of counterfactuals [Williamson, by Hale/Hoffmann,A]
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 1. A Priori Necessary
We can't infer metaphysical necessities to be a priori knowable - or indeed knowable in any way [Williamson]
Modal thinking isn't a special intuition; it is part of ordinary counterfactual thinking [Williamson]
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Williamson can't base metaphysical necessity on the psychology of causal counterfactuals [Lowe on Williamson]
We scorn imagination as a test of possibility, forgetting its role in counterfactuals [Williamson]
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / e. Possible Objects
Our ability to count objects across possibilities favours the Barcan formulas [Williamson]
If talking donkeys are possible, something exists which could be a talking donkey [Williamson, by Cameron]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 1. Knowledge
We have inexact knowledge when we include margins of error [Williamson]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / c. Aim of beliefs
Belief aims at knowledge (rather than truth), and mere believing is a kind of botched knowing [Williamson]
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 7. Knowledge First
Don't analyse knowledge; use knowledge to analyse other concepts in epistemology [Williamson, by DeRose]
We don't acquire evidence and then derive some knowledge, because evidence IS knowledge [Williamson]
Knowledge-first says your total evidence IS your knowledge [Williamson]
Knowledge is prior to believing, just as doing is prior to trying to do [Williamson]
Belief explains justification, and knowledge explains belief, so knowledge explains justification [Williamson]
A neutral state of experience, between error and knowledge, is not basic; the successful state is basic [Williamson]
Internalism about mind is an obsolete view, and knowledge-first epistemology develops externalism [Williamson]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / b. Direct realism
Surely I am acquainted with physical objects, not with appearances? [Williamson]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / d. Absolute idealism
Fichte, Schelling and Hegel rejected transcendental idealism [Lewis,PB]
Fichte, Hegel and Schelling developed versions of Absolute Idealism [Lewis,PB]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 2. Self-Evidence
There are 'armchair' truths which are not a priori, because experience was involved [Williamson]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 1. Perception
How can one discriminate yellow from red, but not the colours in between? [Williamson]
12. Knowledge Sources / E. Direct Knowledge / 2. Intuition
Intuition is neither powerful nor vacuous, but reveals linguistic or conceptual competence [Williamson]
When analytic philosophers run out of arguments, they present intuitions as their evidence [Williamson]
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / a. Justification issues
Knowing you know (KK) is usually denied if the knowledge concept is missing, or not considered [Williamson]
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories
Intentionality is the mark of dispositions, not of the mental [Place]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 2. Imagination
Imagination is important, in evaluating possibility and necessity, via counterfactuals [Williamson]
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 2. Propositional Attitudes
To know, believe, hope or fear, one must grasp the thought, but not when you fail to do them [Williamson]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 6. Meaning as Use
You might know that the word 'gob' meant 'mouth', but not be competent to use it [Williamson]
19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories
References to the 'greatest prime number' have no reference, but are meaningful [Williamson]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 2. Semantics
The 't' and 'f' of formal semantics has no philosophical interest, and may not refer to true and false [Williamson]
Internalist inferentialism has trouble explaining how meaning and reference relate [Williamson]
Inferentialist semantics relies on internal inference relations, not on external references [Williamson]
How does inferentialism distinguish the patterns of inference that are essential to meaning? [Williamson]
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 7. Extensional Semantics
Truth-conditional referential semantics is externalist, referring to worldly items [Williamson]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 2. Abstract Propositions / b. Propositions as possible worlds
It is known that there is a cognitive loss in identifying propositions with possible worlds [Williamson]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 3. Concrete Propositions
Propositions (such as 'that dog is barking') only exist if their items exist [Williamson]
25. Society / B. The State / 8. Culture
If languages are intertranslatable, and cognition is innate, then cultures are all similar [Williamson]
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / c. Essence and laws
Dispositions are not general laws, but laws of the natures of individual entities [Place]
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
A thing can't be the only necessary existent, because its singleton set would be as well [Williamson]