Ideas from 'From an Ontological Point of View' by John Heil [2003], by Theme Structure

[found in 'From an Ontological Point of View' by Heil,John [OUP 2005,0-19-928698-1]].

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 4. Ordinary Language
If you begin philosophy with language, you find yourself trapped in it
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 6. Ockham's Razor
Parsimony does not imply the world is simple, but that our theories should try to be
A theory with few fundamental principles might still posit a lot of entities
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 4. Truthmaker Necessitarianism
The view that truth making is entailment is misguided and misleading
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 8. Critique of Set Theory
God does not create the world, and then add the classes
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 2. Reduction
The reductionist programme dispenses with levels of reality
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 3. Levels of Reality
There are levels of organisation, complexity, description and explanation, but not of reality
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Realism
Realism says some of our concepts 'cut nature at the joints'
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism
Anti-realists who reduce reality to language must explain the existence of language
7. Existence / E. Categories / 5. Category Anti-Realism
Concepts don't carve up the world, which has endless overlooked or ignored divisions
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 9. Qualities
I think of properties as simultaneously dispositional and qualitative
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
A predicate applies truly if it picks out a real property of objects
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 13. Tropes / a. Nature of tropes
A theory of universals says similarity is identity of parts; for modes, similarity is primitive
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 3. Powers as Derived
Powers or dispositions are usually seen as caused by lower-level qualities
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / a. Dispositions
Are a property's dispositions built in, or contingently added?
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 2. Need for Universals
Universals explain one-over-many relations, and similar qualities, and similar behaviour
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / d. Forms critiques
How could you tell if the universals were missing from a world of instances?
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Similarity among modes will explain everthing universals were for
Similar objects have similar properties; properties are directly similar
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 5. Class Nominalism
Objects join sets because of properties; the property is not bestowed by set membership
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
Trope theorists usually see objects as 'bundles' of tropes
Objects are substances, which are objects considered as the bearer of properties
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / c. Types of substance
Maybe there is only one substance, space-time or a quantum field
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique
Rather than 'substance' I use 'objects', which have properties
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Statues and bronze lumps have discernible differences, so can't be identical
Do we reduce statues to bronze, or eliminate statues, or allow statues and bronze?
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / a. Qualities in perception
If properties were qualities without dispositions, they would be undetectable
Can we distinguish the way a property is from the property?
Properties don't possess ways they are, because that just is the property
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / d. Secondary qualities
Secondary qualities are just primary qualities considered in the light of their effect on us
Objects only have secondary qualities because they have primary qualities
Colours aren't surface properties, because of radiant sources and the colour of the sky
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / e. Primary/secondary critique
Treating colour as light radiation has the implausible result that tomatoes are not red
13. Knowledge Criteria / E. Relativism / 6. Relativism Critique
If the world is just texts or social constructs, what are texts and social constructs?
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory
If the world is theory-dependent, the theories themselves can't be theory-dependent
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 2. Aim of Science
Science is sometimes said to classify powers, neglecting qualities
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / i. Explanations by reduction
One form of explanation is by decomposition
15. Nature of Minds / B. Properties of Minds / 4. Intentionality / b. Intentionality theories
Dispositionality provides the grounding for intentionality
Intentionality now has internalist (intrinsic to thinkers) and externalist (environment or community) views
15. Nature of Minds / B. Properties of Minds / 5. Qualia / c. Explaining qualia
Qualia are not extra appendages, but intrinsic ingredients of material states and processes
17. Mind and Body / A. Mind-Body Dualism / 7. Zombies
Philosophers' zombies aim to show consciousness is over and above the physical world
Zombies are based on the idea that consciousness relates contingently to the physical
Functionalists deny zombies, since identity of functional state means identity of mental state
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 1. Functionalism
Functionalists say objects can be the same in disposition but differ in quality
17. Mind and Body / C. Functionalism / 8. Functionalism critique
Functionalism cannot explain consciousness just by functional organisation
17. Mind and Body / D. Property Dualism / 6. Mysterianism
The 'explanatory gap' is used to say consciousness is inexplicable, at least with current concepts
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 5. Causal Argument
If a car is a higher-level entity, distinct from its parts, how could it ever do anything?
17. Mind and Body / E. Physicalism / 7. Anti-Physicalism / b. Multiple realisability
Multiple realisability is actually one predicate applying to a diverse range of properties
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Externalism is causal-historical, or social, or biological
18. Thought / C. Content / 7. Narrow Content
Intentionality is based in dispositions, which are intrinsic to agents, suggesting internalism
19. Language / A. Language / 1. Language
The Picture Theory claims we can read reality from our ways of speaking about it
19. Language / E. Propositions / 5. Propositions Critique
If propositions are states of affairs or sets of possible worlds, these lack truth values
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / b. Nomological causation
The standard view is that causal sequences are backed by laws, and between particular events
27. Natural Reality / B. Chemistry / 2. Modern elements
The real natural properties are sparse, but there are many complex properties