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PHL232H1 (2)
Midterm

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL232H1
Professor
Franz Huber
Semester
Winter

Description
Knowledge and reality- midterm  Universals: properties, qualities, attributes (e.g. redness, tallness, solubility in water)  Contrasted with particulars: things which the universals embody or instantiate (e.g. a red apple)  While the universal “red” can be observed on an apple, can it exist on its own?  Yes, as an abstract object: red is a thing, which is a property  Abstract objects exist but they cannot execute causal power, as they are not connected to space and time – contrasted with concrete objects (you and me)  Platonic realists: claim that abstract objects exist in rebus or ante res  Rebus: in the things that show them- in the particulars – Ante res: on their own- outside of or prior to particulars  Bundle and substrata:  Bundle theory: a thing is nothing but the bundle of its properties- if the apple if the bundle of its redness and sweetness, then two objects that have the same properties are identical  Substratum theory: a thing exists beyond its properties- if there is an underlying substratum, a particular that carries the apple‟s properties, then two objects with the same properties may be (numerically) different  Leibniz‟ law of the indiscernibility of identical and the identity of indiscernible- L: for all properties F and objects o x,y, (Fx Fy) x=y o helps discern what is identical or not o only mike is identical to mike  Intrinsic: properties an object has exclusively in virtue of the way it is (a‟s mass) and extrinsic properties: properties an object has partly in virtue of the way it interacts with the world (a‟s weight, which depends on a‟s mass and the gravitational forces acting on a)  Impure properties: analyzed in terms of a relation with a particular substance (living on the surface of the Earth) and Pure properties: are not (living on the surface of a planet) => What L claims also depends on whether it holds for all objects or just all substances (things which have properties, but are not themselves properties).  Nominalism: Universals do not exist  Okham‟s razor: one should not multiply entities unnecessarily  If we “can do” everything with particulars that we can do with universals, but not the other way around, then particulars are all we “need”  Trope theory: particularized universals (e.g. red apples a and c- a‟s redness is a trope and c‟s redness is another trope- a and c are red, because they posses two different though similar tropes, but not because they instantiate the same universal redness)  Resemblance nominalism: what makes a red apple red is that it resembles other red things  Reification: if a (differs, but) resembles b, then there is a third thing viz. he resemblance of a to be  Resemblance Regress: a; b; c are three red apples. Therefore a; b; c – or the three tropes: a‟s redness a, b‟s redness rb, c‟s redness c – resemble each other.- By resemblance reification, there are the resemblance of a to b (orato rb), res (a; b), and the resemblance of b to c (brto c), res (b; c), and, presumably, the resemblance of a to c (oato c), res (a; c). But then, since res (a; b) and res (b; c) also resemble each other, there is the resemblance of the resemblance of a to b to the resemblance of b to c, res (res (a; b) ; res (b; c)). And so on ad infinitum. => Infinite regress (vicious: if we think it is a problem)  Predicate/Concept nominalism: there is no redness; the apple is red because it falls under the predicate/concept redness  “Ostrich nominalism” (Quine): there is nothing in virtue of which the apple is red; the apple is just red.  Mereological nominalism: redness is the mereological sum of red things (and mereological sums of particulars are particulars)  Class nominalism: redness is the class of all red things (and classes are particulars)  Propositions:  Russellian propositions: complex entities with a particular structure whose constituents are particulars or properties  Freagian propositions: complex entities with a particular structure whose constituents are senses (meanings)  Propositions beings abstract objects depends on what the particular structure is (e.g. ordered sets)  Nominalist strategy: understand propositions as particulars and show that we can do everything with them so understood that we can do with them in general. E.g. Quine (1960), Word and Object: eternal sentences are all we need. (type/token)  Eternal Sentences: types are somehow eternal. The type of the word „Vienna‟ does not disappear once I erase it from blackboard. The token, however, does.  Vienna Vienna: how many words? Only 1 type of word. But 2 tokens .  Ontological commitment:  Quine (1948), “On What There Is”, observed that scientific theories, if recast in the “canonical notation of first- order logic”, carry ontological commitment to objects such as numbers that are incompatible with nominalism.  There are concrete, material objects o for which F (o) = m(o) _ a (o) entails that there are abstract objects x; y; z such that x = y _ z.  Nominalists therefore must reject that claim, or else show that we can formulate it in a way that is compatible with nominalism.  (Field‟s mathematical) fictionalism: mathematical claims purport to be about abstract mathematical objects, but there are no abstract objects, and so these claims are not true.  Substances:  Generic sense (deriving from Greek ousia and Latin substantia): the fundamental entities of reality Specific sense: basic entities or objects or things, as opposed to properties and events Aristotle’s Categories: primary substances (Mia the cat) vs secondary substances (catness) and other predicables (thin) Essences are what makes something a thing of that kind or secondary substance.  Substances are ontologically basic, relatively independent and durable, the subjects of predication or the bearer of properties, the subjects of change, typified by kinds of objects, typified by kinds of stuff, those enduring particulars that give unity to our spatio temporal framework, and the individuation and re-identification of which enables us to locate ourselves in that framework (an idea prominent in Kant)  Democrit: atoms are the substance of the universe  Plato: non material forms which material objects attempt to copy are the driving principles that give structure and purpose to everything (substances in the sense of ontological building blocks)  Aristotle‟s Metaphysics Z: analyzes substance in terms of form (what kind of thing the object is) and matter (what the object is made of: flesh in humans, iron in axes)  Substance is matter (nope), substance is form (maybe), substance is form individualized in matter (probably).  Rationalists and…  Continental Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz  British Empiricists: Berkeley, Locke, Hume  Descartes: material bodies defined by extension and mental substances defined by thought are the only s.s  Spinoza patheism: there is only one substance (call it God) that exists necessarily and of which everything else is a mode  Leibniz: the uncreated monad (God) produces created monads continuously by a kind of emanation (just as we continuously by produce thoughts), and they all reflect the whole world (though from different perspectives) Empiricists:  Locke: there is a notion of pure substance in general, something like a characterless substratum, and there are ideas of particular sorts of substances, sortals, such as gold and water whose real essence is an (unknown, maybe even unknowable) atomic constitution and which we define in terms of observable properties (nominal essences)  Hume, as always, is skeptical: our belief in substance is the result of an illusion  Kant: only by understanding the world as possessing enduring spatio- temporal objects (substances) entering into causal relationships with each other are we able to have experiences (the categories of substance and causation are necessary for the possibility of experience)  Substances, events and properties:  A property instance could not exist without particular substance (or event) it is property of, but a particular substance (or event) could exist without that property instance- unless it is an essential property of that substance- the redness of apple a (or the loudness of a particular song) could not exist without a (or that song), but a (or that song) could exist without being red (or of that particular loudness)  The different between substances and events could be that temporal parts of events are events, but that temporal parts of objects are not objects (Lewis thinks so, though)  The first part of the song is still an event, but yesterday‟s time slice of me is not a substance (but Lewis thinks it is) Recall : Bundles and Substrata  Substances are identical to, or can be analyzed in terms of, properties (universals) or property instances (tropes).  Substances are more than collections of properties:  Deflationary version: a substance is not composed of properties plus a “thingy” thing, it just is a thing which has properties (cf. deflationary theories of truth: “Snow is white” is true just in case snow is white, and that‟s it)  Substantive version: there is an additional element called substratum or thin particular (Armstrong: the particular in abstraction of its properties, “thick particular” when considered with its properties) (cf. correspondence theory of truth: correspondence to some fact, i.e. state of affair that obtains).  Modality  The modality of a statement or proposition S is the way or mode in which S is true  Statements can be necessarily true, possibly true, contingently true, probably true, true with probability ….  E.g. Vienna is the capital of Austria” is (actually) true, but it is merely contingently true: it is neither necessarily true nor necessarily false- Wittgenstein is identical to Wittgenstein is (actually) true, and necessarily so: it could not be false, i.e. it is not the case that it is possibly false, it is impossibly false.***  The modality of a (predicate or) property P is the mode in which P is had by an object  some objects have some properties essentially, others have them merely accidentally  Wittgenstein is human essentially- he could not have not been human (it would not be Wittgenstein anymore)  Necessity and possibility are duals: S is necessarily true just in case it is not the case that the negation of S, :S is possibly true, i.e. just in case :S is impossibly true  We distinguish between epistemical, doxastic, logical, conceptual, metaphysical, mathematical, physical m.s.  Modality de re (of the thing) and modality de dicto (of the said)  Some philosophers (Quine) think only the latter modality is meaningful, other (Kripke) do not think so. Cf. The Barcan formula.  E.g. 9 is such that it is necessarily greater than 7- „ 9 is greater than 7‟ is necessarily true * Controversial characterizations  S is epistemically (doxastically) necessary for an epistemic subject just in case S is true in all worlds that are epistemically possible for the subject, i.e. not known (believed) to be not actual.  S is logically necessary in a logical system just in case S is true in all logically possible worlds S is conceptually necessary just in case S is implied by all conceptual truths (true in all conceptually possible worlds).  S is metaphysically just in case S is true in all metaphysically possible worlds  S is physically necessary just in case S is implied by the laws of physics (true in all physically possible worlds)  S is mathematically necessary just in case S is implied by all mathematical truths (true in all mathematically possible worlds)  Realism about metaphysical modality: statements of metaphysical modality are true or false; they must be taken at face value  Anti realism about metaphysical modality: statements of metaphysical modality are true or false, they must not be taken at face value Epistemology of modality  Knowledge of (metaphysical) modality is knowledge of (metaphysically) possible worlds (“way a world might be”)  Descartes‟ Meditations: clear and distinct perception that S is possible entails that S is (metaphysically?) possible  Arnauld‟s objection: is what seems to be a clear and distinct perception really a clear and distinct perception?  While Descartes is a rationalist and realist about modality, Hume is an empiricist and anti realist: possibility = conceivability, but it merely exists in the minds, not in the objects  Kant‟s critique of Pure reason:  Three important distinctions from Ep, Met, Semantics: 1) S is a priori just in case S can be known independently of sense experience – S is a posteriori just in case S cannot be known independently of sense experience 2) S is necessarily true just in case S is true in all possible worlds – S is contingently true just in case S is true in some, but not all possible worlds 3) S is analytically true just in case S is true in virtue of its meaning (the predicate is contained in the subject) – S is synthetically true just in case the truth value of S also depends on what the world is like Kant‟s claims:  S is a priori ( a posteriori) just in case S is necessary (contingent)  If S is analytic, then S is a priori ( and necessary) If S is synthetic, then S is a priori or posteriori  Some truths S (such as Newton‟s three laws of motion) are synthetic a priori 20 century  Backgroynd: Einstein‟s theory of relativity just falsified Newton‟s three laws of motions  Carnap‟s Meaning and Necessity: S is analytic (synthetic) just in case S is necessary (contingent) and so there are no synthetic a priori truths, where necessiry is L-truth in a semantic system  Quine‟s Two Dogmas of Empiricism: Carnap presupposes a distinction between analytic and synthetic statements, but all attempts at distinguishing between them are (viciously) circular  Quine‟s Reference and Modality: modality de re is incoherent, for modal operators create intentional contexts in which substitutivity of identity does not preserve truth: necessarily 9 is greater than 7; 9 = the number planets; hence: necessarily the number of planets is greater than 7.  Kripke‟s Naming and Necessity: a term t is a
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