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 / 5. 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
Bad theories of the self see it as abstract, or as a bundle, or as a process
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
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Undetectable Self
Sartre says the ego is 'opaque'; I prefer to say that it is 'transparent'
16. Persons / F. 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 / F. Free Will / 1. Free Will / c. Free will critique
If free will miraculously interrupts causation, animals might do that; why would we want to do it?
For Hobbes (but not for Kant) a person's actions can be deduced from their desires and beliefs
16. Persons / F. Free Will / 2. Free Will Theories / b. Determinism
Determinism claims that every event has a sufficient causal pre-condition
20. Action / A. Definition of Action / 1. Action Theory
If a desire leads to a satisfactory result by an odd route, the causal theory looks wrong
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / c. Agent causation
There has to be a brain event which is not caused by another event, but by the agent
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
Responsibility seems to conflict with events being either caused or not caused
Desires may rule us, but are we responsible for our desires?
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