Ideas of Graeme Forbes, by Theme

[American, fl. 1995, Professor at Tulane University.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
There must be a plausible epistemological theory alongside any metaphysical theory
4. Formal Logic / B. Propositional Logic PL / 2. Tools of Propositional Logic / a. Symbols of PL
The symbol 'ι' forms definite descriptions; (ιx)F(x) says 'the x which is such that F(x)'
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / d. and
Is the meaning of 'and' given by its truth table, or by its introduction and elimination rules?
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / c. Theory of definite descriptions
Denying definite description sentences are subject-predicate in form blocks two big problems
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 9. Vagueness / c. Vagueness as semantic
Vagueness problems arise from applying sharp semantics to vague languages
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / a. Individuation
In all instances of identity, there must be some facts to ensure the identity
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
If we combined two clocks, it seems that two clocks may have become one clock.
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
Only individual essences will ground identities across worlds in other properties
An individual essence is a set of essential properties which only that object can have
Non-trivial individual essence is properties other than de dicto, or universal, or relational
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
Essential properties depend on a category, and perhaps also on particular facts
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 6. Essence as Unifier
A property is essential iff the object would not exist if it lacked that property
Properties are trivially essential if they are not grounded in a thing's specific nature
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / a. Essence as necessary properties
Essential properties are those without which an object could not exist
A relation is essential to two items if it holds in every world where they exist
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / c. Essentials are necessary
Trivially essential properties are existence, self-identity, and de dicto necessities
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 9. Essence and Properties
A property is 'extraneously essential' if it is had only because of the properties of other objects
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 11. Essence of Artefacts
Artefacts have fuzzy essences
Same parts does not ensure same artefact, if those parts could constitute a different artefact
One might be essentialist about the original bronze from which a statue was made
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
An individual might change their sex in a world, but couldn't have differed in sex at origin
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Identities must hold because of other facts, which must be instrinsic
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 4. De re / De dicto modality
De re modal formulae, unlike de dicto, are sensitive to transworld identities
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 4. Necessity from Concepts
De re necessity is a form of conceptual necessity, just as de dicto necessity is
The source of de dicto necessity is not concepts, but the actual properties of the thing
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / c. Possible worlds realism
Unlike places and times, we cannot separate possible worlds from what is true at them
The problem with possible worlds realism is epistemological; we can't know properties of possible objects
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 2. Nature of Possible Worlds / a. Nature of possible worlds
Possible worlds are points of logical space, rather like other times than our own
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity
Transworld identity concerns the limits of possibility for ordinary things
The problem of transworld identity can be solved by individual essences
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / c. Counterparts
Counterpart theory is not good at handling the logic of identity
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / d. Haecceitism
Haecceitism attributes to each individual a primitive identity or thisness
We believe in thisnesses, because we reject bizarre possibilities as not being about that individual