Ideas from 'New work for a theory of universals' by David Lewis [1983], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology' by Lewis,David [CUP 1999,0-521-58787-5]].

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 2. Conceptual Analysis
In addition to analysis of a concept, one can deny it, or accept it as primitive
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
Supervenience is reduction without existence denials, ontological priorities, or translatability
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / c. Significance of supervenience
A supervenience thesis is a denial of independent variation
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 5. Physicalism
Materialism is (roughly) that two worlds cannot differ without differing physically
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 1. Nature of Properties
Universals are wholly present in their instances, whereas properties are spread around
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 5. Natural Properties
Natural properties figure in the analysis of similarity in intrinsic respects
Reference partly concerns thought and language, partly eligibility of referent by natural properties
Objects are demarcated by density and chemistry, and natural properties belong in what is well demarcated
Natural properties tend to belong to well-demarcated things, typically loci of causal chains
For us, a property being natural is just an aspect of its featuring in the contents of our attitudes
All perfectly natural properties are intrinsic
Natural properties fix resemblance and powers, and are picked out by universals
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Lewis says properties are sets of actual and possible objects
Any class of things is a property, no matter how whimsical or irrelevant
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
There are far more properties than any brain could ever encodify
We need properties as semantic values for linguistic expressions
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 11. Properties as Sets
Properties are classes of possible and actual concrete particulars
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived
Lewisian properties have powers because of their relationships to other properties
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 7. Against Powers
Most properties are causally irrelevant, and we can't spot the relevant ones.
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
I suspend judgements about universals, but their work must done
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
The One over Many problem (in predication terms) deserves to be neglected (by ostriches)
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 5. Class Nominalism
To have a property is to be a member of a class, usually a class of things
Class Nominalism and Resemblance Nominalism are pretty much the same
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 1. Physicalism
Psychophysical identity implies the possibility of idealism or panpsychism
19. Language / G. Interpretation / 3. Charity
We need natural properties in order to motivate the principle of charity
A sophisticated principle of charity sometimes imputes error as well as truth
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 1. Basis of Nature
Physics aim for a list of natural properties
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / c. Counterfactual causation
Counterfactuals 'backtrack' if a different present implies a different past
Causal counterfactuals must avoid backtracking, to avoid epiphenomena and preemption
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 1. Laws of Nature
Physics discovers laws and causal explanations, and also the natural properties required
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / b. Best system theory
A law of nature is any regularity that earns inclusion in the ideal system