Ideas of Cynthia Macdonald, by Theme

[New Zealand, b.1951, Professor at the University of Canterybury, New Zealand.]

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / d. Philosophy as puzzles
Philosophy tries to explain how the actual is possible, given that it seems impossible
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Linguistic Analysis
'Did it for the sake of x' doesn't involve a sake, so how can ontological commitments be inferred?
2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 5. Fallacy of Composition
Don't assume that a thing has all the properties of its parts
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
Reduce by bridge laws (plus property identities?), by elimination, or by reducing talk
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 2. Internal Relations
Relational properties are clearly not essential to substances
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 4. Formal Relations / a. Types of relation
Being taller is an external relation, but properties and substances have internal relations
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 12. Denial of Properties
Does the knowledge of each property require an infinity of accompanying knowledge?
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
Properties are sets of exactly resembling property-particulars
Tropes are abstract particulars, not concrete particulars, so the theory is not nominalist
Tropes are abstract (two can occupy the same place), but not universals (they have locations)
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / b. Critique of tropes
How do a group of resembling tropes all resemble one another in the same way?
Trope Nominalism is the only nominalism to introduce new entities, inviting Ockham's Razor
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Numerical sameness is explained by theories of identity, but what explains qualitative identity?
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / b. Partaking
How can universals connect instances, if they are nothing like them?
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / c. Nominalism about abstracta
Real Nominalism is only committed to concrete particulars, word-tokens, and (possibly) sets
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Resemblance Nominalism cannot explain either new resemblances, or absence of resemblances
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / c. Individuation by location
A 'thing' cannot be in two places at once, and two things cannot be in the same place at once
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
We 'individuate' kinds of object, and 'identify' particular specimens
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
Unlike bundles of properties, substances have an intrinsic unity
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / d. Substance defined
The bundle theory of substance implies the identity of indiscernibles
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique
A phenomenalist cannot distinguish substance from attribute, so must accept the bundle view
When we ascribe a property to a substance, the bundle theory will make that a tautology
Substances persist through change, but the bundle theory says they can't
A substance might be a sequence of bundles, rather than a single bundle
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
A statue and its matter have different persistence conditions, so they are not identical
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 7. Substratum
A substance is either a bundle of properties, or a bare substratum, or an essence
Each substance contains a non-property, which is its substratum or bare particular
The substratum theory explains the unity of substances, and their survival through change
A substratum has the quality of being bare, and they are useless because indiscernible
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 7. Indiscernible Objects
At different times Leibniz articulated three different versions of his so-called Law
The Identity of Indiscernibles is false, because it is not necessarily true
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / b. Self as mental continuity
In continuity, what matters is not just the beginning and end states, but the process itself