Ideas from 'Writing the Book of the World' by Theodore Sider [2011], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Writing the Book of the World' by Sider,Theodore [OUP 2011,978-0-19-969790-8]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 2. Possibility of Metaphysics
Your metaphysics is 'cheating' if your ontology won't support the beliefs you accept
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 3. Metaphysics as Science
Metaphysics is not about what exists or is true or essential; it is about the structure of reality
Extreme doubts about metaphysics also threaten to undermine the science of unobservables
1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 5. Metaphysics as Conceptual
It seems unlikely that the way we speak will give insights into the universe
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 2. Conceptual Analysis
Conceptual analysts trust particular intuitions much more than general ones
2. Reason / D. Definition / 12. Against Definition
It seems possible for a correct definition to be factually incorrect, as in defining 'contact'
Philosophical concepts are rarely defined, and are not understood by means of definitions
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 3. Value of Truth
We don't care about plain truth, but truth in joint-carving terms
3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 5. What Makes Truths / b. Objects make truths
Orthodox truthmaker theories make entities fundamental, but that is poor for explanation
4. Formal Logic / D. Modal Logic ML / 7. Barcan Formula
The Barcan schema implies if X might have fathered something, there is something X might have fathered
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 1. Mereology
'Gunk' is an object in which proper parts all endlessly have further proper parts
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 3. Axioms of Mereology
Which should be primitive in mereology - part, or overlap?
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 1. Overview of Logic
There is a real issue over what is the 'correct' logic
'It is raining' and 'it is not raining' can't be legislated, so we can't legislate 'p or p'
5. Theory of Logic / A. Overview of Logic / 6. Classical Logic
Classical logic is good for mathematics and science, but less good for natural language
5. Theory of Logic / B. Logical Consequence / 1. Logical Consequence
Modal accounts of logical consequence are simple necessity, or essential use of logical words
5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 2. Logical Connectives / a. Logical connectives
Define logical constants by role in proofs, or as fixed in meaning, or as topic-neutral
5. Theory of Logic / H. Proof Systems / 4. Natural Deduction
'Tonk' is supposed to follow the elimination and introduction rules, but it can't be so interpreted
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 5. Supervenience / a. Nature of supervenience
Supervenience is a modal connection
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 6. Fundamentals / b. Types of fundamental
Is fundamentality in whole propositions (and holistic), or in concepts (and atomic)?
Tables and chairs have fundamental existence, but not fundamental natures
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / a. Pure stuff
Unlike things, stuff obeys unrestricted composition and mereological essentialism
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 8. States of Affairs
We must distinguish 'concrete' from 'abstract' and necessary states of affairs.
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / d. Commitment of theories
Accept the ontology of your best theory - and also that it carves nature at the joints
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 3. Types of Properties
A property is intrinsic if an object alone in the world can instantiate it
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 10. Properties as Predicates
Predicates can be 'sparse' if there is a universal, or if there is a natural property or relation
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 15. Against Essentialism
Essence (even if nonmodal) is not fundamental in metaphysics
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 1. Sources of Necessity
Humeans say that we decide what is necessary
Modal terms in English are entirely contextual, with no modality outside the language
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 3. Necessity by Convention
Conventionalism doesn't seem to apply to examples of the necessary a posteriori
If truths are necessary 'by convention', that seems to make them contingent
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 4. Necessity from Concepts
Humeans says mathematics and logic are necessary because that is how our concept of necessity works
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 5. Modality from Actuality
The world does not contain necessity and possibility - merely how things are
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 2. Aim of Science
A theory which doesn't fit nature is unexplanatory, even if it is true
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 8. Ramsey Sentences
If I used ramsey sentences to eliminate fundamentality from my theory, that would be a real loss
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
Two applications of 'grue' do not guarantee a similarity between two things
Problem predicates in induction don't reflect the structure of nature
14. Science / C. Induction / 6. Bayes's Theorem
Bayes produces weird results if the prior probabilities are bizarre
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / a. Explanation
Explanations must cite generalisations
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / b. Ultimate explanation
If the ultimate explanation is a list of entities, no laws, patterns or mechanisms can be cited
15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 4. Intentionality / a. Nature of intentionality
Intentionality is too superficial to appear in the catalogue of ultimate physics
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 6. Meaning as Use
Prior to conventions, not all green things were green?
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 2. Analytic Truths
Conventions are contingent and analytic truths are necessary, so that isn't their explanation
19. Language / E. Analyticity / 4. Analytic/Synthetic Critique
Analyticity has lost its traditional role, which relied on truth by convention
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / c. Substantival space
Space has real betweenness and congruence structure (though it is not the Euclidean concepts)
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / a. Time
The central question in the philosophy of time is: How alike are time and space?
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / g. Eternalism
The spotlight theorists accepts eternal time, but with a spotlight of the present moving across it
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 12. Against Laws of Nature
The notion of law doesn't seem to enhance physical theories
Many of the key theories of modern physics do not appear to be 'laws'