Ideas of C.B. Martin, by Theme

[American, 1924 - 2008, Based in Australia. Later at the University of Calgary.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysics as Science
Ontology is highly abstract physics, containing placeholders and exclusions
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 1. Truth
Truth is a relation between a representation ('bearer') and part of the world ('truthmaker')
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 9. Qualities
A property is a combination of a disposition and a quality
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 11. Properties as Sets
Properties are the respects in which objects resemble, which places them in classes
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
Properties are ways particular things are, and so they are tied to the identity of their possessor
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / b. Critique of tropes
Objects are not bundles of tropes (which are ways things are, not parts of things)
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers
A property that cannot interact is worse than inert - it isn't there at all
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
If unmanifested partnerless dispositions are still real, and are not just qualities, they can explain properties
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 5. Powers and Properties
Properties endow a ball with qualities, and with powers or dispositions
Qualities and dispositions are aspects of properties - what it exhibits, and what it does
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
Dispositions in action can be destroyed, be recovered, or remain unchanged
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / c. Dispositions as conditional
Powers depend on circumstances, so can't be given a conditional analysis
'The wire is live' can't be analysed as a conditional, because a wire can change its powers
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 1. Structure of an Object
Structural properties involve dispositionality, so cannot be used to explain it
Structures don't explain dispositions, because they consist of dispositions
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 7. Substratum
I favour the idea of a substratum for properties; spacetime seems to be just a bearer of properties
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
Properly understood, wholes do no more causal work than their parts
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
The concept of 'identity' must allow for some changes in properties or parts
Only abstract things can have specific and full identity specifications
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / c. Possible worlds realism
It is pointless to say possible worlds are truthmakers, and then deny that possible worlds exist
14. Science / D. Explanation / 4. Explanation Doubts / a. Explanation as pragmatic
Explanations are mind-dependent, theory-laden, and interest-relative
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 4. Other Minds / d. Other minds by analogy
Analogy works, as when we eat food which others seem to be relishing
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Memory requires abstraction, as reminders of what cannot be fully remembered
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 5. Space-Time
We can't think of space-time as empty and propertyless, and it seems to be a substratum
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
Instead of a cause followed by an effect, we have dispositions in reciprocal manifestation
Causation should be explained in terms of dispositions and manifestations
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
Causal counterfactuals are just clumsy linguistic attempts to indicate dispositions
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / c. Essence and laws
Causal laws are summaries of powers