Ideas from 'Nature's Metaphysics' by Alexander Bird [2007], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Nature's Metaphysics' by Bird,Alexander [OUP 2007,978-0-19-922701-3]].

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4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 7. Barcan Formula
The plausible Barcan formula implies modality in the actual world
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 7. Criterion for Existence
If all existents are causally active, that excludes abstracta and causally isolated objects
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / c. Significance of supervenience
If naturalism refers to supervenience, that leaves necessary entities untouched
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
There might be just one fundamental natural property
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Even if all properties are categorical, they may be denoted by dispositional predicates
Categorical properties are not modally fixed, but change across possible worlds
The categoricalist idea is that a property is only individuated by being itself
If we abstractly define a property, that doesn't mean some object could possess it
Categoricalists take properties to be quiddities, with no essential difference between them
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
To name an abundant property is either a Fregean concept, or a simple predicate
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
Only real powers are fundamental [Mumford/Anjum]
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived
If all properties are potencies, and stimuli and manifestation characterise them, there is a regress
The essence of a potency involves relations, e.g. mass, to impressed force and acceleration
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / c. Dispositions as conditional
A disposition is finkish if a time delay might mean the manifestation fizzles out
A robust pot attached to a sensitive bomb is not fragile, but if struck it will easily break
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / d. Dispositions as occurrent
Megarian actualists deny unmanifested dispositions
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 3. Instantiated Universals
Why should a universal's existence depend on instantiation in an existing particular?
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Resemblance itself needs explanation, presumably in terms of something held in common
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 3. Types of Necessity
If the laws necessarily imply p, that doesn't give a new 'nomological' necessity
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 6. Logical Necessity
Logical necessitation is not a kind of necessity; George Orwell not being Eric Blair is not a real possibility
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Empiricist saw imaginability and possibility as close, but now they seem remote
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / d. Haecceitism
Haecceitism says identity is independent of qualities and without essence
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
We can't reject all explanations because of a regress; inexplicable A can still explain B
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 4. Naturalised causation
We should explain causation by powers, not powers by causation
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / b. Nomological causation
Singularism about causes is wrong, as the universals involved imply laws
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Laws are explanatory relationships of things, which supervene on their essences
Laws are either disposition regularities, or relations between properties
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / a. Regularity theory
That other diamonds are hard does not explain why this one is
Dispositional essentialism says laws (and laws about laws) are guaranteed regularities
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 5. Laws from Universals
Laws cannot offer unified explanations if they don't involve universals
If the universals for laws must be instantiated, a vanishing particular could destroy a law
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
Salt necessarily dissolves in water, because of the law which makes the existence of salt possible
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 9. Counterfactual Claims
Essentialism can't use conditionals to explain regularities, because of possible interventions
27. Natural Reality / C. Space-Time / 3. Space-Time
The relational view of space-time doesn't cover times and places where things could be