Ideas of Roderick Chisholm, by Theme

[American, 1916 - 1999, Taught at Brown University, Long Island.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 5. Metaphysics as Conceptual
Many philosophers aim to understand metaphysics by studying ourselves
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
I use variables to show that each item remains the same entity throughout
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / a. Nature of events
Events are states of affairs that occur at certain places and times
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 8. States of Affairs
A state of affairs pertains to a thing if it implies that it has some property
I propose that events and propositions are two types of states of affairs
The mark of a state of affairs is that it is capable of being accepted
7. Existence / E. Categories / 3. Proposed Categories
Chisholm divides things into contingent and necessary, and then individuals, states and non-states
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
Some properties, such as 'being a widow', can be seen as 'rooted outside the time they are had'
Some properties can never be had, like being a round square
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
If some dogs are brown, that entails the properties of 'being brown' and 'being canine'
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / a. Individuation
Maybe we can only individuate things by relating them to ourselves
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / d. Individuation by haecceity
Being the tallest man is an 'individual concept', but not a haecceity
A haecceity is a property had necessarily, and strictly confined to one entity
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 7. Substratum
A peach is sweet and fuzzy, but it doesn't 'have' those qualities
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / b. Sums of parts
If x is ever part of y, then y is necessarily such that x is part of y at any time that y exists
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 3. Individual Essences
A traditional individual essence includes all of a thing's necessary characteristics
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 14. Knowledge of Essences
If there are essential properties, how do you find out what they are?
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 7. Intermittent Objects
Intermittence is seen in a toy fort, which is dismantled then rebuilt with the same bricks
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
The property of being identical with me is an individual concept
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 9. Sameness
There is 'loose' identity between things if their properties, or truths about them, might differ
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity
Could possible Adams gradually transform into Noah, and vice versa?
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Aiming at Truth
We have a basic epistemic duty to believe truth and avoid error
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 4. Sense Data / d. Sense-data problems
Do sense-data have structure, location, weight, and constituting matter?
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 8. Adverbial Theory
If we can say a man senses 'redly', why not also 'rectangularly'?
'I feel depressed' is more like 'he runs slowly' than like 'he has a red book'
So called 'sense-data' are best seen as 'modifications' of the person experiencing them
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / a. Foundationalism
The 'doctrine of the given' is correct; some beliefs or statements are self-justifying
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / a. Explanation
Explanations have states of affairs as their objects
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 1. Essential Self
I am picked out uniquely by my individual essence, which is 'being identical with myself'
People use 'I' to refer to themselves, with the meaning of their own individual essence
Bad theories of the self see it as abstract, or as a bundle, or as a process
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Undetectable Self
Sartre says the ego is 'opaque'; I prefer to say that it is 'transparent'
16. Persons / G. Free Will / 1. Free Will / b. Pro-free will
If actions are not caused by other events, and are not causeless, they must be caused by the person
16. Persons / G. Free Will / 1. Free Will / c. Free will critique
For Hobbes (but not for Kant) a person's actions can be deduced from their desires and beliefs
If free will miraculously interrupts causation, animals might do that; why would we want to do it?
16. Persons / G. Free Will / 2. Free Will Theories / b. Determinism
Determinism claims that every event as a sufficient causal pre-condition
20. Action / D. Explaining an Action / 5. Responsbility for Actions
Desires may rule us, but are we responsible for our desires?
Responsibility seems to conflict with events being either caused or not caused
24. Applied Ethics / A. Decision Conflicts / 5. Omissions
There are mere omissions (through ignorance, perhaps), and people can 'commit an omission'
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 1. Nature
The concept of physical necessity is basic to both causation, and to the concept of nature
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / b. Types of cause
Some propose a distinct 'agent causation', as well as 'event causation'
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / b. Causal relata
Causation among objects relates either events or states
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 7. Strictness of Laws
A 'law of nature' is just something which is physically necessary