Ideas of Stephen Yablo, by Theme

[American, fl. 1996, Student of Donald Davidson. Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.]

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2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 3. Pure Reason
Thoughts have a natural order, to which human thinking is drawn.
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 5. Truth Bearers
A statement S is 'partly true' if it has some wholly true parts
4. Formal Logic / A. Syllogistic Logic / 2. Syllogistic Logic
An 'enthymeme' is an argument with an indispensable unstated assumption
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 4. Alethic Modal Logic
The main modal logics disagree over three key formulae
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 3. Axioms of Mereology
y is only a proper part of x if there is a z which 'makes up the difference' between them
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / e. Empty names
'Pegasus doesn't exist' is false without Pegasus, yet the absence of Pegasus is its truthmaker
5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 6. Paradoxes in Language / a. The Liar paradox
An infinite series of sentences asserting falsehood produces the paradox without self-reference
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 3. Numbers / a. Numbers
If 'the number of Democrats is on the rise', does that mean that 50 million is on the rise?
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 3. Mathematical Nominalism
A nominalist can assert statements about mathematical objects, as being partly true
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / b. Indispensability of mathematics
We must treat numbers as existing in order to express ourselves about the arrangement of planets
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / c. Neo-logicism
Mathematics is both necessary and a priori because it really consists of logical truths
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 9. Fictional Mathematics
Platonic objects are really created as existential metaphors
Putting numbers in quantifiable position (rather than many quantifiers) makes expression easier
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 7. Abstract/Concrete / a. Abstract/concrete
We are thought to know concreta a posteriori, and many abstracta a priori
Concrete objects have few essential properties, but properties of abstractions are mostly essential
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 6. Fictionalism
For me, fictions are internally true, without a significant internal or external truth-value
Make-believe can help us to reason about facts and scientific procedures
'The clouds are angry' can only mean '...if one were attributing emotions to clouds'
We quantify over events, worlds, etc. in order to make logical possibilities clearer
Fictionalism allows that simulated beliefs may be tracking real facts
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
Quine is hopeless circular, deriving ontology from what is literal, and 'literal' from good ontology
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / c. Nominalism about abstracta
Philosophers keep finding unexpected objects, like models, worlds, functions, numbers, events, sets, properties
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
A statue is essentially the statue, but its lump is not essentially a statue, so statue isn't lump
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects
Parthood lacks the restriction of kind which most relations have
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / b. Worlds as fictions
Governing possible worlds theory is the fiction that if something possible, it happens in a world
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 2. Justification Challenges / b. Gettier problem
Gettier says you don't know if you are confused about how it is true
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 2. Aim of Science
A theory need not be true to be good; it should just be true about its physical aspects
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / b. Raven paradox
If sentences point to different evidence, they must have different subject-matter
Most people say nonblack nonravens do confirm 'all ravens are black', but only a tiny bit
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 7. Abstracta by Equivalence
Frege's 'parallel' and 'direction' don't have the same content, as we grasp 'parallel' first
A sentence should be recarved to reveal its content or implication relations
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 4. Meaning as Truth-Conditions
Sentence-meaning is the truth-conditions - plus factors responsible for them
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 4. Compositionality
The content of an assertion can be quite different from compositional content
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 6. Truth-Conditions Semantics
Truth-conditions as subject-matter has problems of relevance, short cut, and reversal
19. Language / F. Communication / 3. Denial
Not-A is too strong to just erase an improper assertion, because it actually reverses A
19. Language / F. Communication / 6. Interpreting Language / d. Metaphor
Hardly a word in the language is devoid of metaphorical potential