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Deflating Existential Consequence

Author: Jody Azzouni
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198036241
Size: 30.80 MB
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If we must take mathematical statements to be true, must we also believe in the existence of abstracta eternal invisible mathematical objects accessible only by the power of pure thought? Jody Azzouni says no, and he claims that the way to escape such commitments is to accept (as an essential part of scientific doctrine) true statements which are about objects that don't exist in any sense at all. Azzouni illustrates what the metaphysical landscape looks like once we avoid a militant Realism which forces our commitment to anything that our theories quantify. Escaping metaphysical straitjackets (such as the correspondence theory of truth), while retaining the insight that some truths are about objects that do exist, Azzouni says that we can sort scientifically-given objects into two categories: ones which exist, and to which we forge instrumental access in order to learn their properties, and ones which do not, that is, which are made up in exactly the same sense that fictional objects are. He offers as a case study a small portion of Newtonian physics, and one result of his classification of its ontological commitments, is that it does not commit us to absolute space and time.

Deflating Existential Consequence

Author: Jody Azzouni
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780199834990
Size: 12.75 MB
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If we take mathematical statements to be true, must we also believe in the existence of abstract invisible mathematical objects? This text claims that the way to escape such a commitment is to accept true statements which are about objects that don't exist in any sense at all.

The Indispensability Of Mathematics

Author: Mark Colyvan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198031444
Size: 16.82 MB
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The Quine-Putnam indispensability argument in the philosophy of mathematics urges us to place mathematical entities on the same ontological footing as other theoretical entities essential to our best scientific theories. Recently, the argument has come under serious scrutiny, with many influential philosophers unconvinced of its cogency. This book not only outlines the indispensability argument in considerable detail but also defends it against various challenges.

American Philosophy An Encyclopedia

Author: Centennial Professor of Philosophy John Lachs, PH.D
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135948879
Size: 56.68 MB
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The Encyclopedia of American Philosophy provides coverage of the major figures, concepts, historical periods and traditions in American philosophical thought. Containing over 600 entries written by scholars who are experts in the field, this Encyclopedia is the first of its kind. It is a scholarly reference work that is accessible to the ordinary reader by explaining complex ideas in simple terms and providing ample cross-references to facilitate further study. The Encyclopedia of American Philosophy contains a thorough analytical index and will serve as a standard, comprehensive reference work for universities and colleges. Topics covered include: Great philosophers: Emerson, Dewey, James, Royce, Peirce, Santayana Subjects: Pragmatism, Progress, the Future, Knowledge, Democracy, Growth, Truth Influences on American Philosophy: Hegel, Aristotle, Plato, British Enlightenment, Reformation Self-Assessments: Joe Margolis, Donald Davidson, Susan Haack, Peter Hare, John McDermott, Stanley Cavell Ethics: Value, Pleasure, Happiness, Duty, Judgment, Growth Political Philosophy: Declaration of Independence, Democracy, Freedom, Liberalism, Community, Identity

Nominalism About Properties

Author: Ghislain Guigon
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317532260
Size: 63.94 MB
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Nominalism, which has its origins in the Middle Ages and continues into the Twenty-First Century, is the doctrine that there are no universals. This book is unique in bringing together essays on the history of nominalism and essays that present a systematic discussion of nominalism. It introduces the reader to the distinction between particulars and universals, to the difficulties posed by this distinction, and to the main motivations for the rejection of universals. It also describes the main varieties of nominalism about properties and provides tools to understand how they developed in the history of Western Philosophy. All essays are new and are written by experts on the topic, and they advance the discussion about nominalism to a new level.

Existence

Author: Peter van Inwagen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139868047
Size: 80.71 MB
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The problem of the nature of being was central to ancient and medieval philosophy, and continues to be relevant today. In this collection of thirteen recent essays, Peter van Inwagen applies the techniques of analytical philosophy to a wide variety of problems in ontology and meta-ontology. Topics discussed include the nature of being, the meaning of the existential quantifier, ontological commitment, recent attacks on metaphysics and ontology, the concept of ontological structure, fictional entities, mereological sums, and the ontology of mental states. Van Inwagen adopts a generally 'Quinean' position in meta-ontology, yet reaches ontological conclusions very different from Quine's. The volume includes two previously unpublished essays, one of which is an introductory essay where van Inwagen explains his conception of the relation between the language of 'the ordinary business of life' and that of 'the ontology room'. The volume will be an important collection for students and scholars of metaphysics.

Ontology Without Borders

Author: Jody Azzouni
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190622571
Size: 31.86 MB
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Our experience of objects (and consequently our theorizing about them) is very rich. We perceive objects as possessing individuation conditions. They appear to have boundaries in space and time, for example, and they appear to move independently of a background of other objects or a landscape. In Ontology Without Boundaries Jody Azzouni undertakes an analysis of our concept of object, and shows what about that notion is truly due to the world and what about it is a projection onto the world of our senses and thinking. Location and individuation conditions are our product: there is no echo of them in the world. Features, the ways that objects seem to be, aren't projections. Azzouni shows how the resulting austere metaphysics tames a host of ancient philosophical problems about constitution ("Ship of Theseus," "Sorities"), as well as contemporary puzzles about reductionism. In addition, it's shown that the same sorts of individuation conditions for properties, which philosophers use to distinguish between various kinds of odd abstracta-universals, tropes, and so on, are also projections. Accompanying our notion of an object is a background logic that makes cogent ontological debate about anything from Platonic objects to Bigfoot. Contemporary views about this background logic ("quantifier variance") make ontological debate incoherent. Azzouni shows how a neutral interpretation of quantifiers and quantifier domains makes sense of both philosophical and pre-philosophical ontological debates. Azzouni also shows how the same apparatus makes sense of our speaking about a host of items--Mickey Mouse, unicorns, Martians--that nearly all of us deny exist. It's allowed by what Azzouni shows about the background logic of our ontological debates, as well as the semantics of the language of those debates that we can disagree over the existence of things, like unicorns, without that background logic and semantics forcing ontological commitments onto speakers that they don't have.

Philosophy Of Mathematics Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide

Author: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199808939
Size: 78.29 MB
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This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of social work find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated related. This ebook is a static version of an article from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Philosophy, a dynamic, continuously updated, online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through scholarship and other materials relevant to the study Philosophy. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.oxfordbibligraphies.com.

Properties Powers And Structures

Author: Alexander Bird
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113634571X
Size: 56.30 MB
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While the phrase "metaphysics of science" has been used from time to time, it has only recently begun to denote a specific research area where metaphysics meets philosophy of science—and the sciences themselves. The essays in this volume demonstrate that metaphysics of science is an innovative field of research in its own right. The principle areas covered are: The modal metaphysics of properties: What is the essential nature of natural properties? Are all properties essentially categorical? Are they all essentially dispositions, or are some categorical and others dispositional? Realism in mathematics and its relation to science: What does a naturalistic commitment of scientific realism tell us about our commitments to mathematical entities? Can this question be framed in something other than a Quinean philosophy? Dispositions and their relation to causation: Can we generate an account of causation that takes dispositionality as fundamental? And if we take dispositions as fundamental (and hence not having a categorical causal basis), what is the ontological ground of dispositions? Pandispositionalism: Could all properties be dispositional in nature? Natural kinds: Are there natural kinds, and if so what account of their nature should we give? For example, do they have essences? Here we consider how these issues may be illuminated by considering examples from reals science, in particular biochemistry and neurobiology.