Combining Texts

All the ideas for 'Posthumous notes', 'A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility' and 'The Theory of Transfinite Numbers'

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5 ideas

3. Truth / B. Truthmakers / 6. Making Negative Truths
Negative existentials have 'totality facts' as truthmakers [Armstrong, by Lewis]
     Full Idea: Armstrong offers 'totality facts' (complete states of affairs) as truthmakers for negative existentials, and for negated predications.
     From: report of David M. Armstrong (A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility [1989]) by David Lewis - Armstrong on combinatorial possibility 'The demand'
4. Formal Logic / F. Set Theory ST / 1. Set Theory
A set is a collection into a whole of distinct objects of our intuition or thought [Cantor]
     Full Idea: A set is any collection into a whole M of definite, distinct objects m ... of our intuition or thought.
     From: George Cantor (The Theory of Transfinite Numbers [1897], p.85), quoted by James Robert Brown - Philosophy of Mathematics Ch.2
     A reaction: This is the original conception of a set, which hit trouble with Russell's Paradox. Cantor's original definition immediately invites thoughts about the status of vague objects.
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. The Infinite / f. Uncountable infinities
Cantor needed Power Set for the reals, but then couldn't count the new collections [Cantor, by Lavine]
     Full Idea: Cantor grafted the Power Set axiom onto his theory when he needed it to incorporate the real numbers, ...but his theory was supposed to be theory of collections that can be counted, but he didn't know how to count the new collections.
     From: report of George Cantor (The Theory of Transfinite Numbers [1897]) by Shaughan Lavine - Understanding the Infinite I
     A reaction: I take this to refer to the countability of the sets, rather than the members of the sets. Lavine notes that counting was Cantor's key principle, but he now had to abandon it. Zermelo came to the rescue.
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 1. Possibility
All possibilities are recombinations of properties in the actual world [Armstrong, by Lewis]
     Full Idea: Armstrong's thesis is that recombination gives all the possibilities there are. There is no 'outer sphere' of possibilities wherein are found new and different universals alien to the actual world. No extra fundamental properties of fundamental particles.
     From: report of David M. Armstrong (A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility [1989]) by David Lewis - Armstrong on combinatorial possibility 'Combinatorialism'
     A reaction: I can't grasp what Armstrong's basis would be for such a claim. I surmise that current fundamental particles can only have the properties they currently have, but I can't see the impossibility of new stuff with new properties.
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / d. Absolute idealism
Transcendental philosophy is the subject becoming the originator of unified reality [Kant]
     Full Idea: Transcendental philosophy is the act of consciousness whereby the subject becomes the originator of itself and, thereby, of the whole object of technical-practical and moral-practical reason in one system - ordering all things in God
     From: Immanuel Kant (Posthumous notes [1799], 21:78, p.245), quoted by A.W. Moore - The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics 06 App
     A reaction: This is evidently Kant's last word on the matter (c.1799), and Moore says he was drifting close to Fichte's idealism, in which reality is actually (sort of) created by our own minds. Disappointing! God's role here is unclear.