Ideas from 'The Universe as We Find It' by John Heil [2012], by Theme Structure

[found in 'The Universe as We Find It' by Heil,John [OUP 2012,978-0-19-959620-1]].

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1. Philosophy / A. Wisdom / 2. Wise People
The best philosophers I know are the best people I know
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 7. Despair over Philosophy
Using a technical vocabulary actually prevents discussion of the presuppositions
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
Questions of explanation should not be confused with metaphyics
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 4. Uses of Truth
Truth relates truthbearers to truthmakers
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 1. For Truthmakers
Philosophers of the past took the truthmaking idea for granted
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 3. Truthmaker Maximalism
Not all truths need truthmakers - mathematics and logic seem to be just true
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / a. The Infinite
Infinite numbers are qualitatively different - they are not just very large numbers
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 6. Mathematical Structuralism / e. Structuralism critique
How could structures be mathematical truthmakers? Maths is just true, without truthmakers
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
Our categories lack the neat arrangement needed for reduction
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / d. Commitment of theories
Fundamental ontology aims at the preconditions for any true theory
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
Our quantifications only reveal the truths we accept; the ontology and truthmakers are another matter
7. Existence / E. Categories / 4. Category Realism
Ontology aims to give the fundamental categories of being
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
Most philosophers now (absurdly) believe that relations fully exist
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 2. Internal Relations
If causal relations are power manifestations, that makes them internal relations
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 2. Need for Properties
We need properties to explain how the world works
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 6. Categorical Properties
Categorical properties were introduced by philosophers as actual properties, not if-then properties
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 7. Emergent Properties
Emergent properties will need emergent substances to bear them
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
Predicates only match properties at the level of fundamentals
In Fa, F may not be a property of a, but a determinable, satisfied by some determinate
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 11. Properties as Sets
Properties have causal roles which sets can't possibly have
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 5. Powers and Properties
Are all properties powers, or are there also qualities, or do qualities have the powers?
Properties are both qualitative and dispositional - they are powerful qualities
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 2. Abstract Objects / d. Problems with abstracta
Abstract objects wouldn't be very popular without the implicit idea of truthmakers
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
Substances bear properties, so must be simple, and not consist of further substances
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects
Spatial parts are just regions, but objects depend on and are made up of substantial parts
A 'gunky' universe would literally have no parts at all
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
Many wholes can survive replacement of their parts
Dunes depend on sand grains, but line segments depend on the whole line
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 6. Necessity from Essence
If basic physics has natures, then why not reality itself? That would then found the deepest necessities
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / e. Against possible worlds
If possible worlds are just fictions, they can't be truthmakers for modal judgements
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 3. Abstraction by mind
Mental abstraction does not make what is abstracted mind-dependent
Without abstraction we couldn't think systematically
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 5. Generalisation by mind
Only particulars exist, and generality is our mode of presentation
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 1. Thought
You can think of tomatoes without grasping what they are
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 8. Human Thought
Linguistic thought is just as imagistic as non-linguistic thought
Non-conscious thought may be unlike conscious thought
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
The subject-predicate form reflects reality
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / f. Ethical non-cognitivism
Many reject 'moral realism' because they can't see any truthmakers for normative judgements
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 5. Infinite in Nature
If there were infinite electrons, they could vanish without affecting total mass-energy
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / a. Observation of causation
We should focus on actual causings, rather than on laws and causal sequences
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / e. Probabilistic causation
Probabilistic causation is not a weak type of cause; it is just a probability of there being a cause
27. Natural Reality / B. Modern Physics / 2. Electrodynamics / c. Electrons
Electrons are treated as particles, but they lose their individuality in relations
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 9. Fine-Tuned Universe
Maybe the universe is fine-tuned because it had to be, despite plans by God or Nature?