Ideas of Gideon Rosen, by Theme

[British, fl. 2002, Professor at Princeton University.]

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
Philosophers are often too fussy about words, dismissing perfectly useful ordinary terms
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
Figuring in the definition of a thing doesn't make it a part of that thing
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / c. Axiom of Pairing II
Pairing (with Extensionality) guarantees an infinity of sets, just from a single element
5. Theory of Logic / K. Features of Logics / 10. Monotonicity
Explanations fail to be monotonic
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / d. Non-being
A Meinongian principle might say that there is an object for any modest class of properties
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Abstract Existence
If abstracta are non-mental, quarks are abstracta, and yet chess and God's thoughts are mental
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / a. Nature of grounding
Things could be true 'in virtue of' others as relations between truths, or between truths and items
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / a. Facts
Facts are structures of worldly items, rather like sentences, individuated by their ingredients
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 4. Intrinsic Properties
An 'intrinsic' property is one that depends on a thing and its parts, and not on its relations
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / d. Problems with abstracta
How we refer to abstractions is much less clear than how we refer to other things
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
The excellent notion of metaphysical 'necessity' cannot be defined
Metaphysical necessity is absolute and universal; metaphysical possibility is very tolerant
'Metaphysical' modality is the one that makes the necessity or contingency of laws of nature interesting
Sets, universals and aggregates may be metaphysically necessary in one sense, but not another
Standard Metaphysical Necessity: P holds wherever the actual form of the world holds
Non-Standard Metaphysical Necessity: when P is incompatible with the nature of things
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Something may be necessary because of logic, but is that therefore a special sort of necessity?
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 3. Combinatorial possibility
Combinatorial theories of possibility assume the principles of combination don't change across worlds
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 1. Sources of Necessity
Are necessary truths rooted in essences, or also in basic grounding laws?
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
A proposition is 'correctly' conceivable if an ominiscient being could conceive it
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 2. Abstracta by Selection
The Way of Abstraction used to say an abstraction is an idea that was formed by abstracting
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 5. Abstracta by Negation
Nowadays abstractions are defined as non-spatial, causally inert things
Chess may be abstract, but it has existed in specific space and time
Sets are said to be abstract and non-spatial, but a set of books can be on a shelf
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 6. Abstracta by Conflation
Conflating abstractions with either sets or universals is a big claim, needing a big defence
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 7. Abstracta by Equivalence
Abstraction by equivalence relationships might prove that a train is an abstract entity
Functional terms can pick out abstractions by asserting an equivalence relation
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 1. Analytic Propositions
'Bachelor' consists in or reduces to 'unmarried' male, but not the other way around
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / b. Best system theory
The MRL view says laws are the theorems of the simplest and strongest account of the world
27. Natural Reality / B. Chemistry / 1. Chemistry
An acid is just a proton donor