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Ideas of Theodore Sider, by Text

[American, fl. 2001, Professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey, then New York University.]

2001 Four Dimensionalism
p.162 Artists 'create' statues because they are essentially statues, and so lack identity with the lump of clay
Intro p.-8 Metaphysical enquiry can survive if its conclusions are tentative
2.1 p.12 Between presentism and eternalism is the 'growing block' view - the past is real, the future is not
2.1 p.13 Talk using tenses can be eliminated, by reducing it to indexical connections for an utterance
2.2 p.25 Presentists must deny truths about multiple times
2.2 p.34 Maybe motion is a dynamical quantity intrinsic to a thing at a particular time
2.3 p.41 Proper ontology should only use categorical (actual) properties, not hypothetical ones
3 p.53 Three-dimensionalists assert 'enduring', being wholly present at each moment, and deny 'temporal parts'
3 p.53 Four-dimensionalists assert 'temporal parts', 'perduring', and being spread out over time
3.2 p.56 4D says intrinsic change is difference between successive parts
3.2 p.59 4D says each spatiotemporal object must have a temporal part at every moment at which it exists
3.2 p.60 Temporal parts are instantaneous
3.2 p.60 Temporal parts exist, but are not prior building blocks for objects
4.2 p.76 The B-series involves eternalism, and the reduction of tense
4.5 p.87 Space is 3D and lacks a direction; time seems connected to causation
4.6 p.94 The B-theory is adequate, except that it omits to say which time is present
5.1 p.142 If Tib is all of Tibbles bar her tail, when Tibbles loses her tail, two different things become one
5.1 p.145 The ship undergoes 'asymmetric' fission, where one candidate is seen as stronger
5.1 p.152 The stage view of objects is best for dealing with coincident entities
5.3 p.156 If sortal terms fix the kind and the persistence conditions, we need to know what kinds there are
5.3 p.159 'Composition as identity' says that an object just is the objects which compose it
5.5 p.166 If you say Leibniz's Law doesn't apply to 'timebound' properties, you are no longer discussing identity
5.5 p.172 For Presentists there must always be a temporal vantage point for any description
5.7 p.181 Mereological essentialism says an object's parts are necessary for its existence
5.8 p.197 How can an instantaneous stage believe anything, if beliefs take time?
6.1 p.211 Four-dimensionalism sees things and processes as belonging in the same category
6.3 p.217 Four-dimensionalism says temporal parts are caused (through laws of motion) by previous temporal parts
6.4 p.223 Counterparts rest on similarity, so there are many such relations in different contexts
7.2 p.106 Some might say that its inconsistency with time travel is a reason to favour three-dimensionalism
7.2 p.108 'Water' is two-dimensionally inconstant, with different intensions in different worlds
2003 Reductive Theories of Modality
1 p.183 Maybe what distinguishes philosophy from science is its pursuit of necessary truths
2010 Logic for Philosophy
1.5 p.8 Maybe logical consequence is more a matter of provability than of truth-preservation
1.5 p.8 The most popular account of logical consequence is the semantic or model-theoretic one
1.5 p.9 Maybe logical consequence is impossibility of the premises being true and the consequent false
1.5 p.9 Maybe logical consequence is a primitive notion
1.8 p.13 A relation is a feature of multiple objects taken together
10.1 p.254 In model theory, first define truth, then validity as truth in all models, and consequence as truth-preservation
2.3 p.33 The semantical notion of a logical truth is validity, being true in all interpretations
2.5 p.37 Natural deduction helpfully allows reasoning with assumptions
2.5.1 p.39 We can build proofs just from conclusions, rather than from plain formulae
2.6 p.46 No assumptions in axiomatic proofs, so no conditional proof or reductio
2.6 p.46 Good axioms should be indisputable logical truths
2.6 p.47 'Theorems' are formulas provable from no premises at all
2.7 p.52 Proof by induction 'on the length of the formula' deconstructs a formula into its accepted atoms
2.7 p.53 Induction has a 'base case', then an 'inductive hypothesis', and then the 'inductive step'
3.4.5 p.83 A 'precisification' of a trivalent interpretation reduces it to a bivalent interpretation
3.4.5 p.83 A 'supervaluation' assigns further Ts and Fs, if they have been assigned in every precisification
3.4.5 p.84 We can 'sharpen' vague terms, and then define truth as true-on-all-sharpenings
3.4.5 p.85 Supervaluational logic is classical, except when it adds the 'Definitely' operator
4.2 p.92 When a variable is 'free' of the quantifier, the result seems incapable of truth or falsity
4.2 p.94 Valuations in PC assign truth values to formulas relative to variable assignments
4.5 p.105 In a complete logic you can avoid axiomatic proofs, by using models to show consequences
4.5 p.105 Compactness surprisingly says that no contradictions can emerge when the set goes infinite
5.2 p.112 A 'total' function must always produce an output for a given domain
5.4.3 p.124 A single second-order sentence validates all of arithmetic - but this can't be proved axiomatically
5.4.3 p.125 The identity of indiscernibles is necessarily true, if being a member of some set counts as a property
5.5 p.127 λ can treat 'is cold and hungry' as a single predicate
6.3 p.137 It is hard to say which are the logical truths in modal logic, especially for iterated modal operators
6.3 p.138 Truth tables assume truth functionality, and are just pictures of truth functions
6.3.1 p.142 Intuitively, deontic accessibility seems not to be reflexive, but to be serial
6.3.1 p.142 Maybe metaphysical accessibility is intransitive, if a world in which I am a frog is impossible
6.3.2 p.145 S5 is the strongest system, since it has the most valid formulas, because it is easy to be S5-valid
6.4 p.165 Logical truths must be necessary if anything is
6.4.2 p.166 In D we add that 'what is necessary is possible'; then tautologies are possible, and contradictions not necessary
6.4.4 p.168 System B introduces iterated modalities
7.2 p.185 Epistemic accessibility is reflexive, and allows positive and negative introspection (KK and KK)
7.3.3 p.189 We can treat modal worlds as different times
7.4.1 p.193 You can employ intuitionist logic without intuitionism about mathematics
8 p.199 'If B hadn't shot L someone else would have' if false; 'If B didn't shoot L, someone else did' is true
9.2 p.229 Transworld identity is not a problem in de dicto sentences, which needn't identify an individual
9.5.2 p.238 The Barcan Formula ∀x□Fx→□∀xFx may be a defect in modal logic
9.5.2 p.239 Barcan Formula problem: there might have been a ghost, despite nothing existing which could be a ghost
9.5.2 p.240 Converse Barcan Formula: □∀αφ→∀α□φ
9.6.3 p.248 'Strong' necessity in all possible worlds; 'weak' necessity in the worlds where the relevant objects exist
9.7 p.250 System B is needed to prove the Barcan Formula
9.7 p.250 A 'theorem' is an axiom, or the last line of a legitimate proof
2011 Writing the Book of the World
01 p.1 Metaphysics is not about what exists or is true or essential; it is about the structure of reality
01.2 p.4 A property is intrinsic if an object alone in the world can instantiate it
01.3 p.8 There is a real issue over what is the 'correct' logic
02.1 p.9 Philosophical concepts are rarely defined, and are not understood by means of definitions
02.2 n2 p.11 If I used ramsey sentences to eliminate fundamentality from my theory, that would be a real loss
02.3 p.12 Accept the ontology of your best theory - and also that it carves nature at the joints
02.3 p.13 Which should be primitive in mereology - part, or overlap?
02.4 p.15 The notion of law doesn't seem to enhance physical theories
02.4 n7 p.16 Conceptual analysts trust particular intuitions much more than general ones
03.1 p.22 Many of the key theories of modern physics do not appear to be 'laws'
03.1 p.23 A theory which doesn't fit nature is unexplanatory, even if it is true
03.3 p.35 Problem predicates in induction don't reflect the structure of nature
03.3 p.36 Bayes produces weird results if the prior probabilities are bizarre
03.4 p.42 Space has real betweenness and congruence structure (though it is not the Euclidean concepts)
04.5 p.63 We don't care about plain truth, but truth in joint-carving terms
05.1 p.67 Extreme doubts about metaphysics also threaten to undermine the science of unobservables
06 p.85 Predicates can be 'sparse' if there is a universal, or if there is a natural property or relation
06.2 p.89 Two applications of 'grue' do not guarantee a similarity between two things
06.5 p.101 Conventions are contingent and analytic truths are necessary, so that isn't their explanation
06.5 p.102 Prior to conventions, not all green things were green?
06.5 p.103 'Tonk' is supposed to follow the elimination and introduction rules, but it can't be so interpreted
06.5 p.104 'It is raining' and 'it is not raining' can't be legislated, so we can't legislate 'p or p'
07.11.2 p.133 'Gunk' is an object in which proper parts all endlessly have further proper parts
07.13 p.139 Explanations must cite generalisations
07.8 p.123 It seems unlikely that the way we speak will give insights into the universe
08.3 p.147 Is fundamentality in whole propositions (and holistic), or in concepts (and atomic)?
08.4 p.154 We must distinguish 'concrete' from 'abstract' and necessary states of affairs.
08.4 p.154 Your metaphysics is 'cheating' if your ontology won't support the beliefs you accept
08.5 p.160 Orthodox truthmaker theories make entities fundamental, but that is poor for explanation
08.5 p.160 If the ultimate explanation is a list of entities, no laws, patterns or mechanisms can be cited
08.7 p.165 Tables and chairs have fundamental existence, but not fundamental natures
09.10 p.198 Supervenience is a modal connection
09.6.2 p.184 Unlike things, stuff obeys unrestricted composition and mereological essentialism
09.8 p.192 It seems possible for a correct definition to be factually incorrect, as in defining 'contact'
09.8 p.194 Analyticity has lost its traditional role, which relied on truth by convention
10.3 p.223 Define logical constants by role in proofs, or as fixed in meaning, or as topic-neutral
10.6 p.231 Classical logic is good for mathematics and science, but less good for natural language
11.1 p.239 The central question in the philosophy of time is: How alike are time and space?
11.9 p.258 The Barcan schema implies if X might have fathered something, there is something X might have fathered
11.9 p.259 The spotlight theorists accepts eternal time, but with a spotlight of the present moving across it
12 p.266 The world does not contain necessity and possibility - merely how things are
12.1 p.267 Essence (even if nonmodal) is not fundamental in metaphysics
12.1 p.268 If truths are necessary 'by convention', that seems to make them contingent
12.1 p.268 Conventionalism doesn't seem to apply to examples of the necessary a posteriori
12.11 p.288 Humeans says mathematics and logic are necessary because that is how our concept of necessity works
12.3 p.272 Modal accounts of logical consequence are simple necessity, or essential use of logical words
12.3 p.274 Humeans say that we decide what is necessary
12.7 p.281 Modal terms in English are entirely contextual, with no modality outside the language
4 Intro p.97 Intentionality is too superficial to appear in the catalogue of ultimate physics