Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Alexander, Ryan Wasserman and J.J.C. Smart

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24 ideas

1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 1. Nature of Metaphysics
Metaphysics should avoid talk of past, present or future [Smart]
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 6. Coherence
We need comprehensiveness, as well as self-coherence [Smart]
Coherence is consilience, simplicity, analogy, and fitting into a web of belief [Smart]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 6. Constitution of an Object
Constitution is identity (being in the same place), or it isn't (having different possibilities) [Wasserman]
Constitution is not identity, because it is an asymmetric dependence relation [Wasserman]
There are three main objections to seeing constitution as different from identity [Wasserman]
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects
The weight of a wall is not the weight of its parts, since that would involve double-counting [Wasserman]
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity
Relative identity may reject transitivity, but that suggests that it isn't about 'identity' [Wasserman]
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 3. Evidentialism / a. Evidence
I simply reject evidence, if it is totally contrary to my web of belief [Smart]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / c. Direction of explanation
The height of a flagpole could be fixed by its angle of shadow, but that would be very unusual [Smart]
Universe expansion explains the red shift, but not vice versa [Smart]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / c. Explanations by coherence
Deducing from laws is one possible way to achieve a coherent explanation [Smart]
Explanation of a fact is fitting it into a system of beliefs [Smart]
Explanations are bad by fitting badly with a web of beliefs, or fitting well into a bad web [Smart]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Consilience
An explanation is better if it also explains phenomena from a different field [Smart]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations
If scientific explanation is causal, that rules out mathematical explanation [Smart]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / j. Explanations by reduction
Scientific explanation tends to reduce things to the unfamiliar (not the familiar) [Smart]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism
Negative utilitarianism implies that the world should be destroyed, to avoid future misery [Smart]
23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 3. Motivation for Altruism
Any group interested in ethics must surely have a sentiment of generalised benevolence [Smart]
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / g. Atomism
How can things without weight compose weight? [Alexander]
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 1. Relativity / a. Special relativity
Special relativity won't determine a preferred frame, but we can pick one externally [Smart]
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 1. Relativity / b. General relativity
Unlike Newton, Einstein's general theory explains the perihelion of Mercury [Smart]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / b. Rate of time
If time flows, then 'how fast does it flow?' is a tricky question [Smart]
27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 2. Passage of Time / e. Tensed (A) series
The past, present, future and tenses of A-theory are too weird, and should be analysed indexically [Smart]