October 27, 2005
Essence. Nowadays this is analyzed modally as just de re necessity.
x is essentially iff x is necessarily , that is, at all possible worlds w containing x, x is
Aristotle had a different view.
x is essentially iff it i
There is life on earth.
All planets are under 106 miles in diameter.
There are nine planets in the solar system.
true as it happens contingently true
October 20, 2005
There is life on earth or there isnt.
All planets are over 10-6 in di
October 18, 2005
Contingent identity. On the one hand, we have the intuition that things can be either necessarily
identical (a thing and itself) or contingently identical (a thing and another thing). Examples? On the
other hand, we hav
October 13, 2005
Time was when something called "contingent identity" was a staple of analytic metaphysics. The idea was
that you could have an entity y and an entity z that were identical in fact, but not necessarily. This was the
Thursday, Oct 6, 2005
Indiscernibility and Identity Distinguish these. "Leibniz's Law" used confusingly
for implication in either direction: indiscernibility of identicals and identity of
indiscernibles. Consider these in turn.
Tuesday, Sept 27, 2005
As-if existence Freges view on negative singular existentials: when we seem to be ascribing a
first-order property of nonexistence to a particular putative object, say Zeus, really we are ascribing to
Tuesday, Sept 27, 2005
Non-existence Problem thinking of (non-)existence as a property.
(1) 'x is BLAH' has meaning only if x exists.
(2) 'x exists/doesn't exist' has meaning only if x exists.
(3) 'x exists' is true if meaningful, 'x do
Thursday, Sept 22, 2005
Properties at Work Armstrongs universals are supposed to explain naturalness, that
is, why some classes would be more natural than others. Lewis thinks thats an
explanation we can do without; some properties just
Tuesday, Sept 20, 2005
Properties = (Special) Particulars Lewiss ontology: possible worlds, and
possibilia. Properties are sets of possibilia. So two properties are the same if
necessarily, whatever has the one has the other. How do the
Thursday, Sept 14, 2005
Properties = Universals. Universals differ from particulars in two main ways. They are not just characterizable but characterizers they specify how things are. And they are (potentially) wholly present at two or
Tuesday, Sept 12, 2005
Introduction to properties. Why believe in them? The world contains
general phenomena: phenomena that look problematic or inexplicable unless
youve got more going for you than particular things.
(1) Predication: W
Thursday, Sept 8, 2005
What is a metaphysician? They talk a lot about THE WORLD. This course
is no exception. Our main questions:
What does THE WORLD contain? (Ontology.)
What holds THE WORLD together? (Properties, Causation.)
Thursday, Sept 29, 2005
Existence Quine starts with ontological debate. Existence-denier in a tight spot. Denying that X
exists I seem to cut off branch Im sitting on. For my statement (A) requires that there is such a
thing as X (other