Mind: Vol. 126, No. 502, April 2017.
This paper argues that a number of recent Russell interpreters, including Evans, Davidson, Campbell, and Proops, mistakenly attribute to Russell the received view of acquaintance, that is, the view that acquaintance safeguards us from misidentifying the objects of our acquaintance. This paper contends that Russell's discussions of phenomenal continua cases show that he does not accept the received view of acquaintance. The paper also shows that the possibility of misidentifying the objects of acquaintance should be unsurprising given underappreciated aspects of Russell's overall theory of knowledge and acquaintance. Finally, the paper considers the radical impact that Russell's actual views on acquaintance have for our understanding of his well-known George IV case in "On Denoting." In particular, the paper argues that Russell's treatment of the George IV case is not a one-size-fits-all solution to Frege's Puzzle and provides no support for the received view of acquaintance.
Maximally Consistent Sets of Instances of Naive Comprehension, LUCA INCURVATI and JULIEN MURZI
Paul Horwich once suggested restricting the T-schema to the maximally consistent set of its instances. But Vann McGee proved that there are multiple incompatible such sets, none of which, given minimal assumptions, is recursively axiomatizable. The analogous view for set theory--that Naive Comprehension should be restricted according to consistency maxims--has recently been defended by Laurence Goldstein. It can be traced back to W. V. Quine, who held that Naive Comprehension embodies the only really intuitive conception of set and should be restricted as little as possible. The view might even have been held by Ernst Zermelo, who, according to Penelope Maddy, subscribed to a one-step-back-from-disaster rule of thumb: if a natural principle leads to contradiction, the principle should be weakened just enough to block the contradiction. This article proves a generalization of McGee's Theorem, and uses it to show that the situation for set theory is the same as that for truth: there are multiple incompatible sets of instances of Naive Comprehension, none of which, given minimal assumptions, is recursively axiomatizable. This shows that the view adumbrated by Goldstein, Quine, and perhaps Zermelo is untenable.
What Verities May Be, IGOR DOUVEN and LIEVEN DECOCK
Edgington has proposed a solution to the sorites paradox in terms of verities, which she defines as degrees of closeness to clear truth. Central to her solution is the assumption that verities are formally probabilities. She is silent on what verities might derive from and on why they should be probabilities. This paper places Edgington's solution in the framework of a spatial approach to conceptualization, arguing that verities may be conceived of as deriving from how our concepts relate to each other. Building on work by Kamp and Partee, this paper further shows how verities, thus conceived of, may plausibly be assumed to have probabilistic structure. The new interpretation of verities is argued to also help answer the question of what the verities of indicative conditionals are, a question Edgington leaves open. Finally, the question of how to accommodate higher-order vagueness, given this interpretation, is addressed.
Deflationism, Arithmetic, and the Argument from Conservativeness, DANIEL WAXMAN
Many philosophers believe that a deflationist theory of truth must conservatively extend any base theory to which it is added (roughly, talking about truth should not allow us to establish any new claims about subject-matters not involving truth). But when applied to arithmetic, it is argued, the imposition of a conservativeness requirement leads to a serious objection to deflationism, for the Godel sentence for Peano Arithmetic (PA) is not a theorem of PA, but becomes one when PA is extended by adding plausible principles governing truth. This paper argues that no such objection succeeds. The issue turns on how we understand the notion of logical consequence implicit in any conservativeness requirement, and whether we possess a categorical conception of the natural numbers (that is, whether we can rule out so-called nonstandard models). This paper offers a disjunctive response: if we possess a categorical conception of arithmetic, then deflationists have principled reason to accept a rich notion of logical consequence according to which the Godel sentence follows from PA. But if we do not, then the reasons for requiring the derivation of the Godel sentence lapse, and deflationists are free to accept a conservativeness requirement stated proof-theoretically. Either way, deflationism is in the clear.
Able to Do the Impossible, JACK SPENCER
According to a widely held principle--the poss-ability principle--an agent, S, is able to forumla only if it is metaphysically possible for S to formula. This paper argues against the poss-ability principle by developing a novel class of counterexamples. The paper then argues that the consequences of rejecting the poss-ability principle are interesting and far-reaching.
Everything, and Then Some, STEPHAN KRAMER
On its intended interpretation, logical, mathematical, and metaphysical discourse sometimes seems to involve absolutely unrestricted quantification. Yet our standard semantic theories do not allow for interpretations of a language as expressing absolute generality. A prominent strategy for defending absolute generality, influentially proposed by Timothy Williamson in his paper "Everything," avails itself of a hierarchy of quantifiers of ever increasing orders to develop nonstandard semantic theories that do provide for such interpretations. However, as emphasized by 0ystein Linnebo and Agustin Rayo, there is pressure on this view to extend the quantificational hierarchy beyond the finite level, and, relatedly, to allow for a cumulative conception of the hierarchy. In his recent book, Modal Logic as Metaphysic, Williamson yields to that pressure. This paper shows that the emerging cumulative higher-orderist theory has implications of a strongly generality-relativist flavor, and consequently undermines much of the spirit of generality absolutism that Williamson set out to defend.
Naive Realism In Kantian Phrase, ANIL GOMES
Early twentieth-century philosophers of perception presented their naive realist views of perceptual experience in anti-Kantian terms. For they took naive realism about perceptual experience to be incompatible with Kant's claims about the way the understanding is necessarily involved in perceptual consciousness. This essay seeks to situate a naive realist account of visual experience within a recognizably Kantian framework by arguing that a naive realist account of visual experience is compatible with the claim that the understanding is necessarily involved in the perceptual experience of those rational beings with discursive intellects. The resultant view is midway between recent conceptualist and nonconceptualist interpretations of Kant, holding that the understanding is necessarily involved in the kind of perceptual consciousness that we, as rational beings, enjoy while allowing that the relations of apprehension which constitute perceptual consciousness are independent of acts of the understanding.
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|Title Annotation:||PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS|
|Publication:||The Review of Metaphysics|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2017|
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