Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Michael Burke, Paul Audi and Crates (Theb)

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22 ideas

1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 2. Ancient Philosophy / c. Classical philosophy
Crates lived in poverty, and treated his whole life as a joke [Crates of Thebes, by Plutarch]
     Full Idea: Crates, with his bag and threadbare cloak, spent his whole life laughing and joking as though he were on holiday.
     From: report of Crates (Theb) (fragments/reports [c.325 BCE]) by Plutarch - 30: Quiet of Mind 266e
     A reaction: Crates sounds a little less alarming than Diogenes, while living a similar life. Was Crates the first ancestor of post-modernism?
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / a. Philosophy as worldly
Everyone should study philosophy until they see all people in the same light [Crates of Thebes, by Diog. Laertius]
     Full Idea: A man should study philosophy up to the point of looking on generals and donkey-drivers in the same light.
     From: report of Crates (Theb) (fragments/reports [c.325 BCE]) by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 06.Cr.9
     A reaction: This seems to reject Aristote's idea that some people are clearly superior to others.
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / a. Nature of grounding
Avoid 'in virtue of' for grounding, since it might imply a reflexive relation such as identity [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: We should not use 'in virtue of' where it might express a reflexive relation, such as identity. Since grounding is a relation of determination, and closely linked to the concept of explanation, it is irreflexive and asymmetric.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.2)
     A reaction: E.g. he says someone isn't a bachelor in virtue of being an unmarried man, since a bachelor just is an unmarried man. I can't disagree. 'Determination' looks like the magic word, even if we don't know how it cashes out.
Ground relations depend on the properties [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: On my view, grounding relations depend on the natures of the properties involved in them.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.2)
     A reaction: I'm cautious about this if we don't find out more exactly what properties are (and they had better not just be predicates). Maybe properties are the only apparatus we have here, though I prefer 'powers' for the fundamentals.
A ball's being spherical non-causally determines its power to roll [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: The fact that a given thing is spherical non-causally determines the fact that it has the power to roll.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.3)
     A reaction: Quine won't accept this, because you have added something called a 'power' to the ball (intrinsically, it seems), over and above its observable sphericity. Does being a ball 'determine' that it can't be in two places at once? Order of explanation?
Ground is irreflexive, asymmetric, transitive, non-monotonic etc. [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: The logical principles about grounding include irreflexivity, asymmetry, transitivity, non-monotonicity, and so forth.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.8)
     A reaction: [It can't ground itself, there is no mutual grounding, grounds of grounds ground, and grounding judgements are not fixed]
The best critique of grounding says it is actually either identity or elimination [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: I think the most promising skeptical strategy is to insist on either identity or elimination wherever grounding is alleged to hold.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.9)
     A reaction: This comes after an assessment of the critiques of grounding by Oliver, Hofweber and Daly. So we don't say chemistry grounds biology, we either say biology is chemistry, or that there is no biology. Everything is just simples. Not for me.
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / b. Relata of grounding
Grounding is a singular relation between worldly facts [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: On my view, grounding is a singular relation between facts. ...Facts, on this view, are obtaining states of affairs.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.2)
     A reaction: He rest this claim on his 'worldly' view of facts, Idea 17293. I seem to be agreeing with him. Note that it is not between types of fact, even if there are such general truths, such as in chemistry.
If grounding relates facts, properties must be included, as well as objects [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: Taking facts to be the relata of grounding has the interesting consequence that it does not relate ordinary particulars, objects, considered apart from their properties.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.4)
     A reaction: It will depend on what you mean by properties, and it seems to me that something like 'powers' must be invoked, to get the active character that seems to be involved in grounding.
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / c. Grounding and explanation
We must accept grounding, for our important explanations [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: The reason we must countenance grounding is that it is indispensible to certain important explanations.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.3)
     A reaction: I like this a lot. The first given of all philosophy is the drive to exlain. However, we mustn't go inventing features of the world, simply to give us the possibility of explaining it. The objective fact seems to be the without-which-not relation.
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / d. Grounding and reduction
Reduction is just identity, so the two things are the same fact, so reduction isn't grounding [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: I deny that when p grounds q, q thereby reduces to p, and I deny that if q reduces to p, then p grounds q. ...On my view, reduction is nothing other than identity, so p is the same fact as q.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.5)
     A reaction: Very good. I can't disagree with any of it, and it is crystal clear. Philosophical heaven.
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / b. Types of fact
Worldly facts are obtaining states of affairs, with constituents; conceptual facts also depend on concepts [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: The 'worldly' view of facts says they are obtaining states of affairs, individuated by their constituents and their combination. On the 'conceptual' view, facts will differ if they pick out an object or property via different concepts.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.2)
     A reaction: Might it be that conceptual differences between facts are supervenient on worldly differences (with the worldly facts in charge)?
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]
     Full Idea: Burke says a single object cannot have incompatible persistence conditions, for this would entail that there are events in which the object would both survive and perish. He says one sortal 'dominates' the other (sweater dominates thread).
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Katherine Hawley - How Things Persist 5.3
     A reaction: This I take to be the most extreme version of sortal essentialism, and strikes me as incredibly gerrymandered and unacceptable. It is just too anthropocentric to count as genuine metaphysics. I may care more about the thread.
The 'dominant' of two coinciding sortals is the one that entails the widest range of properties [Burke,M, by Sider]
     Full Idea: Burke claims that the 'dominant' sortal is the one whose satisfaction entails possession of the widest range of properties. For example, the statue (unlike the lump of clay) also possesses aesthetic properties, and hence is dominant.
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Theodore Sider - Four Dimensionalism 5.4
     A reaction: [there are three papers by Burke on this; see all the quotations from Burke] Presumably one sortal could entail a single very important property, and the other sortal entail a huge range of trivial properties. What does being a 'thing' entail?
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]
     Full Idea: Burke distinguishes three different readings of 'the rock'. It can be a singular description denoting an object, or a plural description denoting all the little pieces of rock, or a mass description the relevant rocky stuff.
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Ryan Wasserman - Material Constitution 5
     A reaction: Idea 16068 is an objection to the second reading. Only the first reading seems plausible, so we must just get over all the difficulties philosophers have unearthed about knowing exactly what an 'object' is. I offer you essentialism. Rocks have unity.
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]
     Full Idea: Burke argues that Tib (the whole cat apart from its tail) goes out of existence when the tail is lost. His essentialist principle is that if something is ever of a particular sort (such as 'cat') then it is always of that sort. Tib is not initially a cat.
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Theodore Sider - Four Dimensionalism 5.4
     A reaction: This I take to be a souped up version of Wiggins, and I just don't buy that identity conditions are decided by sortals, when it seems obvious that sortals are parasitic on identities.
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]
     Full Idea: On Burke's view, the process of sculpting a lump of clay into a statue destroys one object (a mere lump of clay) and replaces it with another (a statue).
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Ryan Wasserman - Material Constitution 5
     A reaction: There is something right about this, but how many intermediate objects are created during the transition. It seems to make the notion of an object very conventional.
Burke says when two object coincide, one of them is destroyed in the process [Burke,M, by Hawley]
     Full Idea: Michael Burke argues that a sweater is identical with the thread that consitutes it, that both were created at the moment when they began to coincide, and that the original thread was destroyed in the process.
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Katherine Hawley - How Things Persist 5.3
     A reaction: [Burke's ideas are spread over three articles] It is the thread which is destroyed, because the sweater is the 'dominant sortal' (which strikes me as a particularlyd desperate concept).
Maybe the clay becomes a different lump when it becomes a statue [Burke,M, by Koslicki]
     Full Idea: Burke has argued in a series of papers that the lump of clay which constitutes the statue is numerically distinct from the lump of clay which exists before or after the statue exists. The first is a statue, while the second is merely a lump of clay.
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Kathrin Koslicki - The Structure of Objects
     A reaction: Koslicki objects that this introduces radically different persistence conditions from normal. It would mean that a pile of sugar was a different pile of sugar every time a grain moved (even slightly). You couldn't step into the same sugar twice.
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]
     Full Idea: Michael Burke has given an account that avoids distinguishing coinciding entities. ...The statue/lump satisfies both 'lump' and 'statue', but only the latter determines that object's persistence conditions, and so is that object's 'dominant sortal'.
     From: report of Michael Burke (Dion and Theon: an essentialist solution [1994]) by Theodore Sider - Four Dimensionalism 5.4
     A reaction: Presumably a lump on its own can have its own persistance conditions (as a 'lump'), but those would presumably be lost if you shaped it into a statue. Burke concedes that. Can of worms. Using a book as a doorstop...
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
Two things being identical (like water and H2O) is not an explanation [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: If there is identity between water and H2O, we have neither the asymmetry nor the irreflexivity that explanations require.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.3)
     A reaction: Once you realise it is H2O, you understand its deeper features, which will open up new explanations. He's right, though.
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / g. Causal explanations
There are plenty of examples of non-causal explanation [Audi,P]
     Full Idea: There are a number of explanations where it seems clear that causation is not involved at all: normative grounded in non-normative, disposition grounded in categorical, aesthetic grounded in non-aesthetic, semantic in social and psychological.
     From: Paul Audi (Clarification and Defense of Grounding [2012], 3.3)
     A reaction: Apart from dispositions, perhaps, these all seem to be experienced phenomena grounded in the physical world. 'Determination' is the preferred term for non-causal grounding.