Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for William Paley, Chilo and A.J. Ayer

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90 ideas

1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 3. Philosophy Defined
Philosophy is a department of logic [Ayer]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / e. Philosophy as reason
Philosophers should abandon speculation, as philosophy is wholly critical [Ayer]
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 7. Against Metaphysics
Humeans rejected the a priori synthetic, and so rejected even Kantian metaphysics [Ayer, by Macdonald,C]
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 7. Limitations of Analysis
Critics say analysis can only show the parts, and not their distinctive configuration [Ayer]
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
Philosophy deals with the questions that scientists do not wish to handle [Ayer]
2. Reason / E. Argument / 3. Analogy
You can't infer that because you have a hidden birth-mark, everybody else does [Ayer]
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 1. Fallacy
Induction assumes some uniformity in nature, or that in some respects the future is like the past [Ayer]
3. Truth / H. Deflationary Truth / 2. Deflationary Truth
We cannot analyse the concept of 'truth', because it is simply a mark that a sentence is asserted [Ayer]
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / a. Early logicism
Maths and logic are true universally because they are analytic or tautological [Ayer]
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
Positivists regard ontology as either meaningless or stipulated [Ayer, by Robinson,H]
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / b. Commitment of quantifiers
It is currently held that quantifying over something implies belief in its existence [Ayer]
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
We see properties necessary for a kind (in the definition), but not for an individual [Ayer]
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 1. Certainty
Only tautologies can be certain; other propositions can only be probable [Ayer]
11. Knowledge Aims / B. Certain Knowledge / 5. Cogito Critique
To say 'I am not thinking' must be false, but it might have been true, so it isn't self-contradictory [Ayer]
Knowing I exist reveals nothing at all about my nature [Ayer]
'I know I exist' has no counterevidence, so it may be meaningless [Ayer]
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
Modern phenomenalism holds that objects are logical constructions out of sense-data [Ayer]
Logical positivists could never give the sense-data equivalent of 'there is a table next door' [Robinson,H on Ayer]
Material things are constructions from actual and possible occurrences of sense-contents [Ayer]
No one has defended translational phenomenalism since Ayer in 1940 [Ayer, by Kim]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 4. A Priori as Necessities
We could verify 'a thing can't be in two places at once' by destroying one of the things [Ierubino on Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 5. A Priori Synthetic
Whether geometry can be applied to reality is an empirical question outside of geometry [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 7. A Priori from Convention
By changing definitions we could make 'a thing can't be in two places at once' a contradiction [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
To say that a proposition is true a priori is to say that it is a tautology [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / a. Sense-data theory
Positivists prefer sense-data to objects, because the vocabulary covers both illusions and perceptions [Ayer, by Robinson,H]
The concept of sense-data allows us to discuss appearances without worrying about reality [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 7. Causal Perception
Causal and representative theories of perception are wrong as they refer to unobservables [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / C. Rationalism / 1. Rationalism
The main claim of rationalism is that thought is an independent source of knowledge [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 1. Empiricism
Empiricism lacked a decent account of the a priori, until Ayer said it was entirely analytic [O'Grady on Ayer]
All propositions (especially 'metaphysics') must begin with the senses [Ayer]
My empiricism logically distinguishes analytic and synthetic propositions, and metaphysical verbiage [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. Pro-Empiricism
It is further sense-experience which informs us of the mistakes that arise out of sense-experience [Ayer]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
Empiricism, it is said, cannot account for our knowledge of necessary truths [Ayer]
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / c. Empirical foundations
Basic propositions refer to a single experience, are incorrigible, and conclusively verifiable [Ayer]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 6. Falsification
We only discard a hypothesis after one failure if it appears likely to keep on failing [Ayer]
14. Science / C. Induction / 2. Aims of Induction
The induction problem is to prove generalisations about the future based on the past [Ayer]
Induction passes from particular facts to other particulars, or to general laws, non-deductively [Ayer]
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
We can't use the uniformity of nature to prove induction, as that would be circular [Ayer]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / b. Scepticism of other minds
Other minds are 'metaphysical' objects, because I can never observe their experiences [Ayer]
Maybe induction could never prove the existence of something unobservable [Ayer]
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / c. Knowing other minds
A conscious object is by definition one that behaves in a certain way, so behaviour proves consciousness [Ayer]
The argument from analogy fails, so the best account of other minds is behaviouristic [Ayer]
The theory of other minds has no rival [Ayer]
Originally I combined a mentalistic view of introspection with a behaviouristic view of other minds [Ayer]
Physicalism undercuts the other mind problem, by equating experience with 'public' brain events [Ayer]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 1. Self and Consciousness
Consciousness must involve a subject, and only bodies identify subjects [Ayer]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 5. Self as Associations
If the self is meaningful, it must be constructed from sense-experiences [Ayer]
Qualia must be united by a subject, because they lead to concepts and judgements [Ayer]
Is something an 'experience' because it relates to other experiences, or because it relates to a subject? [Ayer]
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / a. Self needs body
Bodily identity and memory work together to establish personal identity [Ayer]
Two experiences belong to one self if their contents belong with one body [Ayer]
Empiricists can define personal identity as bodily identity, which consists of sense-contents [Ayer]
People own conscious states because they are causally related to the identifying body [Ayer]
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 2. Knowing the Self
Self-consciousness is not basic, because experiences are not instrinsically marked with ownership [Ayer]
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
We identify experiences by their owners, so we can't define owners by their experiences [Ayer]
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / a. Memory is Self
Memory is the best proposal as what unites bundles of experiences [Ayer]
Not all exerience can be remembered, as this would produce an infinite regress [Ayer]
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / c. Inadequacy of mental continuity
Temporal gaps in the consciousness of a spirit could not be bridged by memories [Ayer]
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 6. Body sustains Self
Personal identity can't just be relations of experiences, because the body is needed to identify them [Ayer]
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 8. Dualism of Mind Critique
The supposed 'gulf' between mind and matter is based on the senseless concept of 'substances' [Ayer]
17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind
Why shouldn't we say brain depends on mind? Better explanation! [Ayer]
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 5. Meaning as Verification
A sentence is factually significant to someone if they know how to verify its proposition [Ayer]
Factual propositions imply (in conjunction with a few other premises) possible experiences [Ayer]
Tautologies and empirical hypotheses form the entire class of significant propositions [Ayer]
A statement is meaningful if observation statements can be deduced from it [Ayer]
Directly verifiable statements must entail at least one new observation statement [Ayer]
The principle of verification is not an empirical hypothesis, but a definition [Ayer]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 1. Propositions
Sentences only express propositions if they are meaningful; otherwise they are 'statements' [Ayer]
19. Language / D. Propositions / 6. Propositions Critique
Talk of propositions is just shorthand for talking about equivalent sentences [Ayer]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / b. Defining ethics
Some people think there are ethical facts, but of a 'queer' sort [Ayer]
A right attitude is just an attitude one is prepared to stand by [Ayer]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / d. Ethical theory
Moral theories are all meta-ethical, and are neutral as regards actual conduct [Ayer]
Moral judgements cannot be the logical consequence of a moral philosophy [Ayer]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / c. Ethical intuitionism
Moral intuition is worthless if there is no criterion to decide between intuitions [Ayer]
I would describe intuitions of good as feelings of approval [Ayer]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / h. Expressivism
To say an act is wrong makes no further statement about it, but merely expresses disapproval [Ayer]
Approval of historical or fictional murders gives us leave to imitate them [Ayer]
Moral judgements are not expressions, but are elements in a behaviour pattern [Ayer]
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / i. Prescriptivism
Moral approval and disapproval concerns classes of actions, rather than particular actions [Ayer]
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 3. Virtues / a. Virtues
The virtue of man is thoughtful foresight of future events [Chilo, by Diog. Laertius]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
The attribution of necessity to causation is either primitive animism, or confusion with logical necessity [Ayer]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 4. Divine Contradictions
A person with non-empirical attributes is unintelligible. [Ayer]
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
When we ascribe an attribute to a thing, we covertly assert that it exists [Ayer]
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / b. Teleological Proof
All the signs of design found in a watch are also found in nature [Paley]
Even an imperfect machine can exhibit obvious design [Paley]
Unlike a stone, the parts of a watch are obviously assembled in order to show the time [Paley]
From the obvious purpose and structure of a watch we must infer that it was designed [Paley]
No organ shows purpose more obviously than the eyelid [Paley]
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 5. Atheism
If theism is non-sensical, then so is atheism. [Ayer]
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 1. Religious Commitment / c. Religious Verification
The 'truths' expressed by theists are not literally significant [Ayer]