Mind: Vol. 125, No. 499, July 2016.
The author presents an internal problem for David Lewis's genuine modal realism. His aim is to show that his analysis of modality is inconsistent with his metaphysics. He considers several ways of modifying the Lewisian analysis of modality, but argues that none is successful. He argues that the problem also affects theories related to genuine modal realism, including the stage theory of persistence and modal fictionalism.
Being Something: Properties and Predicative Quantification, MICHAEL RIEPPEL
If one says that Alice is everything Oscar hopes to be (healthy, wealthy, wise, and so on), one seems to be quantifying over properties. That suggestion faces an immediate difficulty, however: though Alice may be wise, she surely is not the property of being wise. This problem can be framed in terms of a substitution failure: if a predicate like "happy" denoted a property, we would expect pairs like "Oscar is happy" and "Oscar is the property of being happy" to be equivalent, which they clearly are not. The author argues that a Fregean response that draws a distinction between objects and concepts faces serious difficulties, and that a syntactic solution to the substitution problem likewise fails. He proposes to account for the substitution failure by instead distinguishing different ways that expressions can stand for properties: whereas "the property of being happy" refers to a property, "happy" expresses or ascribes that property. The author goes on to compare this view to proposals made by Wright (1998) and Liebesman (2015), and ends by drawing out a consequence his proposal has for a debate about the ontological commitments of predicatively quantified sentences.
Desire, Expectation, and Invariance, RICHARD BRADLEY and H. ORRI STEFANSSON
The Desire-as-Belief thesis (DAB) states that any rational person desires a proposition exactly to the degree that he believes or expects the proposition to be good. Many people take David Lewis to have shown the thesis to be inconsistent with Bayesian decision theory. However, as the authors show, Lewis's argument was based on an Invariance condition that itself is inconsistent with the (standard formulation of the) version of Bayesian decision theory that he assumed in his arguments against DAB. The aim of this paper is to explore what impact the rejection of Invariance has on the DAB thesis. Without assuming Invariance, the authors first refute all versions of DAB that entail that there are only two levels of goodness. They next consider two theses according to which rational desires are intimately connected to expectations of (multi-levelled) goodness, and show that these are consistent with Bayesian decision theory as long as we assume that the contents of "value propositions" are not fixed. They explain why this conclusion is independently plausible, and show how to construct such propositions.
A Proof-Theoretic Defence of Meaning-Invariant Logical Pluralism, BOGDAN DICHER
This paper offers a proof-theoretic defense of meaning-invariant logical pluralism. It argues that there is a relation of codetermination between the operational and structural aspects of a logic. As a result, some features of the consequence relation are induced by the connectives. The paper proposes that a connective is defined by those rules which are conservative and unique, while at the same time expressing only connective-induced structural information. This is the key to stabilizing the meaning of the connectives across multiple determinations of the consequence relation.
Probabilities Cannot Be Rationally Neglected, YOAAV ISAACS
In response to Smith (2014), the author argues that probabilities cannot be rationally neglected, and shows that Smith's proposal for ignoring low-probability outcomes must, on pain of violating dominance reasoning, license taking arbitrarily high risk for arbitrarily little reward.
It Ain't Easy: Fictionalism, Deflationism, and Easy Arguments in Ontology, GABRIELE CONTESSA
Fictionalism and deflationism are two moderate metaontological positions that occupy a middle ground between the extremes of heavy-duty realism and hard-line eliminativism. Deflationists believe that the existence of certain entities (for example, numbers) can be established by means of "easy" arguments--arguments that, supposedly, rely solely on uncontroversial premises and trivial inferences. Fictionalists, however, find easy arguments unconvincing. Amie Thomasson has recently argued that the fictionalist's objections to easy arguments beg the question against deflationism and that the fictionalist's alternative interpretation of easy arguments is untenable. In this paper, the author argues that both charges are unsubstantiated. Properly understood, the fictionalist's objection to "easy" arguments takes the form of a dilemma--either the premises of "easy" arguments are not truly uncontroversial or the inferences on which they rely are not truly trivial. Moreover, the author argues not only that the fictionalist's interpretation of easy arguments is tenable (contrary to what Thomasson claims) but also that the fictionalist might, in fact, have a better explanation of the seemingly trivial nature of the inferences involved in easy arguments than the explanation offered by the deflationist.
Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future, PATRICK TODD
There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and "the present King of France." According to the Strawsonian view, "The present King of France is bald" is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, the author develops what he takes to be a crucial (and unnoticed) connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar Aristotelian view, future contingent propositions are neither true nor false. However, the author argues that, just as there is a Russellian alternative to the Strawsonian view concerning "the present King of France," according to which the relevant class of propositions all turn out false, so there is a Russellian alternative to the Aristotelian view, according to which future contingents all turn out false, not neither true nor false. The result: contrary to millennia of philosophical tradition, we can be open futurists without denying bivalence.
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|Title Annotation:||PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS|
|Publication:||The Review of Metaphysics|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2016|
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