Ideas of Scott Soames, by Theme

[American, fl. 1987, Professor at Princeton University, then University of Southern California.]

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1. Philosophy / C. History of Philosophy / 5. Modern Philosophy / c. Modern philosophy mid-period
Analytic philosophy loved the necessary a priori analytic, linguistic modality, and rigour
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Ordinary Language
If philosophy is analysis of meaning, available to all competent speakers, what's left for philosophers?
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 1. Modal Logic
The interest of quantified modal logic is its metaphysical necessity and essentialism
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / a. Descriptions
Indefinite descriptions are quantificational in subject position, but not in predicate position
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / c. Theory of definite descriptions
Recognising the definite description 'the man' as a quantifier phrase, not a singular term, is a real insight
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 7. Unorthodox Quantification
The universal and existential quantifiers were chosen to suit mathematics
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / a. Essence as necessary properties
Kripkean essential properties and relations are necessary, in all genuinely possible worlds
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 14. Knowledge of Essences
Kripke claims that some properties, only knowable posteriori, are known a priori to be essential
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
There are more metaphysically than logically necessary truths
We understand metaphysical necessity intuitively, from ordinary life
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 3. Necessity by Convention
A key achievement of Kripke is showing that important modalities are not linguistic in source
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Kripke's essentialist necessary a posteriori opened the gap between conceivable and really possible
Kripke gets to the necessary a posteriori by only allowing conceivability when combined with actuality
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / a. Nature of possible worlds
Kripkean possible worlds are abstract maximal states in which the real world could have been
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
Kripke was more successful in illuminating necessity than a priority (and their relations to analyticity)
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 4. Meaning as Truth-Conditions
Tarski's account of truth-conditions is too weak to determine meanings
To study meaning, study truth conditions, on the basis of syntax, and representation by the parts
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 2. Semantics
Semantics as theory of meaning and semantics as truth-based logical consequence are very different
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 6. Truth-Conditions Semantics
Semantic content is a proposition made of sentence constituents (not some set of circumstances)
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 10. Two-Dimensional Semantics
Two-dimensionalism reinstates descriptivism, and reconnects necessity and apriority to analyticity
19. Language / D. Propositions / 4. Mental Propositions
We should use cognitive states to explain representational propositions, not vice versa