Ideas of Gideon Rosen, by Theme

[British, fl. 2002, Professor at Princeton University.]

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
Philosophers are often too fussy about words, dismissing perfectly useful ordinary terms
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
Figuring in the definition of a thing doesn't make it a part of that thing
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 4. Axioms for Sets / c. Axiom of Pairing II
Pairing (with Extensionality) guarantees an infinity of sets, just from a single element
5. Theory of Logic / K. Features of Logics / 10. Monotonicity
Explanations fail to be monotonic
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / d. Non-being
A Meinongian principle might say that there is an object for any modest class of properties
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Abstract Existence
If abstracta are non-mental, quarks are abstracta, and yet chess and God's thoughts are mental
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / a. Nature of grounding
Things could be true 'in virtue of' others as relations between truths, or between truths and items
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 7. Facts / a. Facts
Facts are structures of worldly items, rather like sentences, individuated by their ingredients
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 4. Intrinsic Properties
An 'intrinsic' property is one that depends on a thing and its parts, and not on its relations
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / d. Problems with abstracta
How we refer to abstractions is much less clear than how we refer to other things
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 5. Metaphysical Necessity
The excellent notion of metaphysical 'necessity' cannot be defined
Metaphysical necessity is absolute and universal; metaphysical possibility is very tolerant
'Metaphysical' modality is the one that makes the necessity or contingency of laws of nature interesting
Standard Metaphysical Necessity: P holds wherever the actual form of the world holds
Sets, universals and aggregates may be metaphysically necessary in one sense, but not another
Non-Standard Metaphysical Necessity: when P is incompatible with the nature of things
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Something may be necessary because of logic, but is that therefore a special sort of necessity?
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 3. Combinatorial possibility
Combinatorial theories of possibility assume the principles of combination don't change across worlds
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 1. Sources of Necessity
Are necessary truths rooted in essences, or also in basic grounding laws?
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
A proposition is 'correctly' conceivable if an ominiscient being could conceive it
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / b. Abstracta from selection
The Way of Abstraction used to say an abstraction is an idea that was formed by abstracting
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / e. Abstracta by negation
Nowadays abstractions are defined as non-spatial, causally inert things
Chess may be abstract, but it has existed in specific space and time
Sets are said to be abstract and non-spatial, but a set of books can be on a shelf
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / f. Abstracta by conflation
Conflating abstractions with either sets or universals is a big claim, needing a big defence
18. Thought / D. Concepts / 6. Abstract Concepts / g. Abstracta by equivalence
Functional terms can pick out abstractions by asserting an equivalence relation
Abstraction by equivalence relationships might prove that a train is an abstract entity
19. Language / F. Analytic/Synthetic / 2. Analytic Propositions
'Bachelor' consists in or reduces to 'unmarried' male, but not the other way around
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / b. Best system theory
The MRL view says laws are the theorems of the simplest and strongest account of the world
27. Natural Reality / B. Chemistry / 1. Chemistry
An acid is just a proton donor