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. 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)
19. Language / C. Assigning Meanings / 10. Two-Dimensional Semantics
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'?
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)