Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Eucleides, Lynne Rudder Baker and Carl Friedrich Gauss

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9 ideas

6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. The Infinite / d. Actual infinite
Actual infinities are not allowed in mathematics - only limits which may increase without bound [Gauss]
     Full Idea: I protest against the use of an infinite quantity as an actual entity; this is never allowed in mathematics. The infinite is only a manner of speaking, in which one properly speaks of limits ...which are permitted to increase without bound.
     From: Carl Friedrich Gauss (Letter to Shumacher [1831]), quoted by Brian Clegg - Infinity: Quest to Think the Unthinkable Ch.7
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Clay is intrinsically and atomically the same as statue (and that lacks 'modal properties') [Rudder Baker]
     Full Idea: Arguments for statue being the clay are: that the clay is intrinsically like the statue, that the clay has the same atoms as the statue', that objects don't have modal properties such as being necessarily F, and the reference of 'property' changes.
     From: Lynne Rudder Baker (Why Constitution is not Identity [1997], II)
     A reaction: [my summary of the arguments she identifies - see text for details] Rudder Baker attempts to refute all four of these arguments, in defence of constitution as different from identity.
The clay is not a statue - it borrows that property from the statue it constitutes [Rudder Baker]
     Full Idea: I argue that a lump of clay borrows the property of being a statue from the statue. The lump is a statue because, and only because, there is something that the lump constitutes that is a statue.
     From: Lynne Rudder Baker (Why Constitution is not Identity [1997], n9)
     A reaction: It is skating on very thin metaphysical ice to introduce the concept of 'borrowing' a property. I've spent the last ten minutes trying to 'borrow' some properties, but without luck.
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
Is it possible for two things that are identical to become two separate things? [Rudder Baker]
     Full Idea: A strong intuition shared by many philosophers is that some things that are in fact identical might not have been identical.
     From: Lynne Rudder Baker (Why Constitution is not Identity [1997], IV)
     A reaction: This flies in the face of the Kripkean view that if Hesperus=Phosphorus then the identity is necessary. I don't think I have an intuition that some given thing might have been two things - indeed the thought seems totally weird. Amoeba? Statue/clay?
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 6. Constitution of an Object
Constitution is not identity, as consideration of essential predicates shows [Rudder Baker]
     Full Idea: I want to resuscitate an essentialist argument against the view that constitution is identity, of the form 'x is essentially F, y is not essentially F, so x is not y'.
     From: Lynne Rudder Baker (Why Constitution is not Identity [1997], Intro)
     A reaction: The point is that x might be essentially F and y only accidentally F. Thus a statue is essentially so, but a lump if clay is not essentially a statue. Another case where 'necessary' would do instead of 'essentially'.
The constitution view gives a unified account of the relation of persons/bodies, statues/bronze etc [Rudder Baker]
     Full Idea: Constitution-without-identity is superior to constitution-as-identity in that it provides a unified view of the relation between persons and bodies, statues and pieces of bronze, and so on.
     From: Lynne Rudder Baker (Why Constitution is not Identity [1997], IV)
     A reaction: I have a problem with the intrinsic dualism of this whole picture. Clay needs shape, statues need matter - there aren't two 'things' here which have a 'relation'.
Statues essentially have relational properties lacked by lumps [Rudder Baker]
     Full Idea: The statue has relational properties which the lump of clay does not have essentially.
     From: Lynne Rudder Baker (Why Constitution is not Identity [1997], V)
     A reaction: She has in mind relations to the community of artistic life. I don't think this is convincing. Is something only a statue if it is validated by an artistic community? That sounds like relative identity, which she doesn't like.
19. Language / B. Reference / 1. Reference theories
The Electra: she knows this man, but not that he is her brother [Eucleides, by Diog. Laertius]
     Full Idea: The 'Electra': Electra knows that Orestes is her brother, but not that this man is Orestes, so she knows and does not know her brother simultaneously.
     From: report of Eucleides (fragments/reports [c.410 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 02.Eu.4
     A reaction: Hence we distinguish 'know of', 'know that' and 'know how'. Hence Russell makes 'knowledge by acquaintance' fundamental, and descriptions come later.
22. Metaethics / C. The Good / 1. Goodness / b. Types of good
The chief good is unity, sometimes seen as prudence, or God, or intellect [Eucleides]
     Full Idea: The chief good is unity, which is known by several names, for at one time people call it prudence, at another time God, at another intellect, and so on.
     From: Eucleides (fragments/reports [c.410 BCE]), quoted by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 02.9.2
     A reaction: So the chief good is what unites and focuses our moral actions. Kant calls that 'the will'.