Ideas of Gareth Evans, by Theme

[British, 1946 - 1980, Wilde Reader at Oxford University. Died of cancer.]

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5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / a. Names
How can an expression be a name, if names can change their denotation?
We must distinguish what the speaker denotes by a name, from what the name denotes
A private intention won't give a name a denotation; the practice needs it to be made public
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / c. Names as referential
The Causal Theory of Names is wrong, since the name 'Madagascar' actually changed denotation
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / a. Vagueness of reality
Evans argues (falsely!) that a contradiction follows from treating objects as vague
Is it coherent that reality is vague, identities can be vague, and objects can have fuzzy boundaries?
Evans assumes there can be vague identity statements, and that his proof cannot be right
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / c. Vagueness as semantic
There clearly are vague identity statements, and Evans's argument has a false conclusion
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / e. Vague objects
If a=b is indeterminate, then a=/=b, and so there cannot be indeterminate identity
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 6. Identity between Objects
There can't be vague identity; a and b must differ, since a, unlike b, is only vaguely the same as b
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 5. Contingency
'Superficial' contingency: false in some world; 'Deep' contingency: no obvious verification
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / b. Rigid designation
Rigid designators can be meaningful even if empty
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / d. Sense-data problems
The Homunculus Fallacy explains a subject perceiving objects by repeating the problem internally
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 6. Inference in Perception
Experiences have no conceptual content
We have far fewer colour concepts than we have discriminations of colour
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 1. Concepts / a. Nature of concepts
The Generality Constraint says if you can think a predicate you can apply it to anything
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 3. Ontology of Concepts / b. Concepts as abilities
Concepts have a 'Generality Constraint', that we must know how predicates apply to them
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
Speakers intend to refer to items that are the source of their information
The intended referent of a name needs to be the cause of the speaker's information about it
19. Language / B. Reference / 4. Descriptive Reference / b. Reference by description
If descriptions are sufficient for reference, then I must accept a false reference if the descriptions fit
19. Language / F. Communication / 5. Pragmatics / b. Implicature
We use expressions 'deferentially', to conform to the use of other people
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / c. Principle of charity
Charity should minimize inexplicable error, rather than maximising true beliefs