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Ideas of Robert C. Stalnaker, by Text

[American, b.1940, Professor at Cornell University, then at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.]

1968 A Theory of Conditionals
p.34 p.18 In nearby worlds where A is true, 'if A,B' is true or false if B is true or false
p.34 p.18 A possible world is the ontological analogue of hypothetical beliefs
1970 works
p.82 Conditionals are true if minimal revision of the antecedent verifies the consequent
1976 Possible Worlds
p.303 We can take 'ways things might have been' as irreducible elements in our ontology
1978 Assertion
p.37 An assertion is an attempt to rule out certain possibilities, narrowing things down for good planning
p.126 An assertion aims to add to the content of a context
1979 Anti-essentialism
p.71 p.71 An essential property is one had in all the possible worlds where a thing exists
p.71 p.72 Bare particular anti-essentialism makes no sense within modal logic semantics
p.73 p.73 Necessarily self-identical, or being what it is, or its world-indexed properties, aren't essential
p.76 p.76 For the bare particular view, properties must be features, not just groups of objects
p.79 p.79 Why imagine that Babe Ruth might be a billiard ball; nothing useful could be said about the ball
p.85 p.85 Logical space is abstracted from the actual world
1987 Counterparts and Identity
1 p.112 Unlike Lewis, I defend an actualist version of counterpart theory
2 p.113 Extensional semantics has individuals and sets; modal semantics has intensions, functions of world to extension
2 p.114 If possible worlds really differ, I can't be in more than one at a time
2 p.118 If counterparts exist strictly in one world only, this seems to be extreme invariant essentialism
1997 Reference and Necessity
Intro p.166 Kripke's possible worlds are methodological, not metaphysical
1 p.166 'Descriptive' semantics gives a system for a language; 'foundational' semantics give underlying facts
2 p.170 If it might be true, it might be true in particular ways, and possible worlds describe such ways
2 p.171 Possible worlds allow discussion of modality without controversial modal auxiliaries
2 p.171 Possible worlds are ontologically neutral, but a commitment to possibilities remains
3 p.172 To understand an utterance, you must understand what the world would be like if it is true.
4 p.175 In the use of a name, many individuals are causally involved, but they aren't all the referent
4 p.176 If you don't know what you say you can't mean it; what people say usually fits what they mean
4 p.176 To understand a name (unlike a description) picking the thing out is sufficient?
5 p.182 Possible worlds allow separating all the properties, without hitting a bare particular
5 p.185 Rigid designation seems to presuppose that differing worlds contain the same individuals
2003 Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity
1 p.202 Critics say there are just an a priori necessary part, and an a posteriori contingent part
1 p.203 The necessity of a proposition concerns reality, not our words or concepts
1 p.203 Conceptual possibilities are metaphysical possibilities we can conceive of
2 p.204 Meanings aren't in the head, but that is because they are abstract
2 p.205 Two-D says that a posteriori is primary and contingent, and the necessity is the secondary intension
2 p.205 A 'centred' world is an ordered triple of world, individual and time
4 p.209 In one view, the secondary intension is metasemantic, about how the thinker relates to the content
5 p.211 One view says the causal story is built into the description that is the name's content
2010 Merely Possible Propositions
p.22 p.22 A 'Russellian proposition' is an ordered sequence of individual, properties and relations
p.28 p.28 Predicates can't apply to what doesn't exist
2012 Mere Possibilities
Pref p.-6 Given actualism, how can there be possible individuals, other than the actual ones?
1 p.1 Some say what exists must do so, and nothing else could possible exist
1 p.2 Modal concepts are central to the actual world, and shouldn't need extravagant metaphysics
1 p.3 Possible worlds are properties
1.1 p.4 Necessity and possibiliy are fundamental, and there can be no reductive analysis of them
1.1 p.4 A nominalist view says existence is having spatio-temporal location
1.1 p.5 I don't think Lewis's cost-benefit reflective equilibrium approach offers enough guidance
1.2 p.11 Properties are modal, involving possible situations where they are exemplified
1.2 p.11 Possible worlds don't reduce modality, they regiment it to reveal its structure
1.2 p.11 I take propositions to be truth conditions
1.2 p.13 I think of worlds as cells (rather than points) in logical space
2 p.22 Propositions presumably don't exist if the things they refer to don't exist
2 p.24 A theory of propositions at least needs primitive properties of consistency and of truth
2.2 p.30 Possible world semantics may not reduce modality, but it can explain it
2.4 p.38 In modal theory, sets only exist in a possible world if that world contains all of its members
3 p.52 Anti-haecceitism says there is no more to an individual than meeting some qualitative conditions
3.4 p.60 Dispositions have modal properties, of which properties things would have counterfactually
3.6 p.71 The bundle theory makes the identity of indiscernibles a necessity, since the thing is the properties
3.6 p.71 Modal properties depend on the choice of a counterpart, which is unconstrained by metaphysics
4 p.91 We still lack an agreed semantics for quantifiers in natural language
4.2 p.98 We regiment to get semantic structure, for evaluating arguments, and understanding complexities
4.2 p.100 In 'S was F or some other than S was F', the disjuncts need S, but the whole disjunction doesn't
4.3 p.103 Strong necessity is always true; weak necessity is cannot be false
4.3 p.111 'Socrates is essentially human' seems to say nothing could be Socrates if it was not human
4.3 n17 p.112 Non-S5 can talk of contingent or necessary necessities
4.4 p.118 I accept a hierarchy of properties of properties of properties
5 p.133 How can we know what we are thinking, if content depends on something we don't know?