Ideas from 'Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity' by Robert C. Stalnaker [2003], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Ways a World Might Be' by Stalnaker,Robert C. [OUP 2003,0-19-925149-5]].

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10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 4. Necessity from Concepts
Conceptual possibilities are metaphysical possibilities we can conceive of
                        Full Idea: Conceptual possibilities are just (metaphysical) possibilities that we can conceive of.
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 1)
The necessity of a proposition concerns reality, not our words or concepts
                        Full Idea: The necessity or contingency of a proposition has nothing to do with our concepts or the meanings of our words. The possibilities would have been the same even if we had never conceived of them.
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 1)
                        A reaction: This sounds in need of qualification, since some of the propositions will be explicitly about words and concepts. Still, I like this idea.
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 3. A Posteriori Necessary
Critics say there are just an a priori necessary part, and an a posteriori contingent part
                        Full Idea: Critics say there are no irreducible a posteriori truths. They can be factored into a part that is necessary, but knowable a priori through conceptual analysis, and a part knowable only a posteriori, but contingent. 2-D semantics makes this precise.
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 1)
                        A reaction: [Critics are Sidelle, Jackson and Chalmers] Interesting. If gold is necessarily atomic number 79, or it wouldn't be gold, that sounds like an analytic truth about gold. Discovering the 79 wasn't a discovery of a necessity. Stalnaker rejects this idea.
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / a. Possible worlds
A 'centred' world is an ordered triple of world, individual and time
                        Full Idea: A 'centred' possible world is an ordered triple consisting of a possible world, an individual in the domain of that world, and a time.
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 2)
18. Thought / C. Content / 6. Broad Content
Meanings aren't in the head, but that is because they are abstract
                        Full Idea: Meanings ain't in the head. Putnam's famous slogan actually fits Frege's anti-psychologism better than it fits Purnam's and Burge's anti-individualism. The point is that intensions of any kind are abstract objects.
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 2)
                        A reaction: If intensions are abstract, that leaves (for me) the question of what they are abstracted from. I take it that there are specific brain events that are being abstractly characterised. What do we call those?
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 10. Two-Dimensional Semantics
In one view, the secondary intension is metasemantic, about how the thinker relates to the content
                        Full Idea: On the metasemantic interpretation of the two-dimensional framework, the second dimension is used to represent the metasemantic facts about the relation between a thinker or speaker and the contents of her thoughts or utterances.
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 4)
Two-D says that a posteriori is primary and contingent, and the necessity is the secondary intension
                        Full Idea: Two-dimensionalism says the necessity of a statement is constituted by the fact that the secondary intensions is a necessary proposition, and their a posteriori character is constituted by the fact that the associated primary intension is contingent.
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 2)
                        A reaction: This view is found in Sidelle 1989, and then formalised by Jackson and Chalmers. I like metaphysical necessity, but I have some sympathy with the approach. The question must always be 'where does this necessity derive from'?
19. Language / C. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
One view says the causal story is built into the description that is the name's content
                        Full Idea: In 'causal descriptivism' the causal story is built into the description that is the content of the name (and also incorporates a rigidifying operator to ensure that the descriptions that names abbreviate have wide scope).
                        From: Robert C. Stalnaker (Conceptual truth and metaphysical necessity [2003], 5)