Ideas of Anand Vaidya, by Theme

[American, fl. 2015, San Jose State University, California]

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Conceptual Analysis
If 2-D conceivability can a priori show possibilities, this is a defence of conceptual analysis
     Full Idea: Chalmers' two-dimensional conceivability account of possibility offers a defence of a priori conceptual analysis, and foundations on which a priori philosophy can be furthered.
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], Intro)
     A reaction: I think I prefer Williamson's more scientific account of possibility through counterfactual conceivability, rather than Chalmers' optimistic a priori account. Deep topic, though, and the jury is still out.
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / c. Essentials are necessary
Essential properties are necessary, but necessary properties may not be essential
     Full Idea: When P is an essence of O it follows that P is a necessary property of O. However, P can be a necessary property of O without being an essence of O.
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], 'Knowledge')
     A reaction: This summarises the Kit Fine view with which I sympathise. However, I dislike presenting essence as a mere list of properties, which is only done for the convenience of logicians. But was Jessie Owens a great athlete after he lost his speed?
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Define conceivable; how reliable is it; does inconceivability help; and what type of possibility results?
     Full Idea: Conceivability as evidence for possibility needs four interpretations. How is 'conceivable' defined or explained? How strongly is the idea endorsed? How does inconceivability fit in? And what kind of possibility (logical, physical etc) is implied?
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], 'Application')
     A reaction: [some compression] Williamson's counterfactual account helps with the first one. The strength largely depends on whether your conceptions are well informed. Inconceivability may be your own failure. All types of possibility can be implied.
How do you know you have conceived a thing deeply enough to assess its possibility?
     Full Idea: The main issue with learning possibility from conceivability concerns how we can be confident that we have conceived things to the relevant level of depth required for the scenario to actually be a presentation or manifestation of a genuine possibility.
     From: Anand Vaidya (The Epistemology of Modality [2015], 1.2.2)
     A reaction: [He cites Van Inwagen 1998 for this idea] The point is that ignorant imagination can conceive of all sorts of absurd things which are seen to be impossible when enough information is available. We can hardly demand a criterion for this.
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / c. Possible but inconceivable
Inconceivability (implying impossibility) may be failure to conceive, or incoherence
     Full Idea: If we aim to derive impossibility from inconceivability, we may either face a failure to conceive something, or arrive at a state of incoherence in conceiving.
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], 'Application')
     A reaction: [summary] Thus I can't manage to conceive a multi-dimensional hypercube, but I don't even try to conceive a circular square. In both cases, we must consider whether the inconceivability results from our own inadequacy, rather than from the facts.
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 2. Understanding
Can you possess objective understanding without realising it?
     Full Idea: Is it possible for an individual to possess objectual understanding without knowing they possess the objectual understanding?
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], 'Objections')
     A reaction: Hm. A nice new question to loose sleep over. We can't demand a regress of meta-understandings, so at some point you just understand. Birds understand nests. Equivalent: can you understand P, but can't explain P? Skilled, but inarticulate.
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 2. Justification Challenges / b. Gettier problem
Gettier deductive justifications split the justification from the truthmaker
     Full Idea: In the Gettier case of deductive justification, what we have is a separation between the source of the justification and the truthmaker for the belief.
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], 'Distinction')
     A reaction: A very illuminating insight into the Gettier problem. As a fan of truthmakers, I'm wondering if this might quickly solve it.
In a disjunctive case, the justification comes from one side, and the truth from the other
     Full Idea: The disjunctive belief that 'either Jones owns a Ford or Brown is in Barcelona', which Smith believes, derives its justification from the left disjunct, and its truth from the right disjunct.
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], 'Application')
     A reaction: The example is from Gettier's original article. Have we finally got a decent account of the original Gettier problem, after fifty years of debate? Philosophical moves with delightful slowness.
18. Thought / C. Content / 1. Content
Aboutness is always intended, and cannot be accidental
     Full Idea: A representation cannot accidentally be about an object. Aboutness is in general an intentional relation.
     From: Anand Vaidya (Understanding and Essence [2010], 'Objections')
     A reaction: 'Intentional' with a 't', not with an 's'. This strikes me as important. Critics dislike the idea of 'representation' because if you passively place a representation and its subject together, what makes the image do the representing job? Answer: I do!