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Ideas of David Lewis, by Text

[American, 1941 - 2001, Pupil of Willard Quine. Professor at Princeton University.]

1966 An Argument for the Identity Theory
žI p.100 Experiences are defined by their causal role, and causal roles belong to physical states
žII n6 p.101 'Pain' contingently names the state that occupies the causal role of pain
1968 Counterpart theory and Quant. Modal Logic
p.45 Counterpart theory is bizarre, as no one cares what happens to a mere counterpart [Kripke]
I p.28 Counterparts are not the original thing, but resemble it more than other things do
I p.29 If the closest resembler to you is in fact quite unlike you, then you have no counterpart
III p.32 Aristotelian essentialism says essences are not relative to specification
III p.35 Essential attributes are those shared with all the counterparts
Post B p.41 It doesn't take the whole of a possible Humphrey to win the election
V p.37 Causal necessities hold in all worlds compatible with the laws of nature
1970 Anselm and Actuality
p.83 For modality Lewis rejected boxes and diamonds, preferring worlds, and an index for the actual one [Stalnaker]
1970 How to Define Theoretical Terms
Intro p.78 Defining terms either enables elimination, or shows that they don't require elimination
Intro p.78 There is a method for defining new scientific terms just using the terms we already understand
II p.81 A Ramsey sentence just asserts that a theory can be realised, without saying by what
III p.83 It is better to have one realisation of a theory than many - but it may not always be possible
III p.86 A logically determinate name names the same thing in every possible world
V p.89 The Ramsey sentence of a theory says that it has at least one realisation
1972 Psychophysical and theoretical identifications
p.9 Laws are the best axiomatization of the total history of world events or facts [Mumford]
p.45 If simplicity and strength are criteria for laws of nature, that introduces a subjective element [Mumford]
p.45 A number of systematizations might tie as the best and most coherent system [Mumford]
1973 Causation
p.37 If dispositions are more fundamental than causes, then they won't conceptually reduce to them [Bird]
p.148 Lewis's account of counterfactuals is fine if we know what a law of nature is, but it won't explain the latter [Cohen,LJ]
p.161 Lewis has basic causation, counterfactuals, and a general ancestral (thus handling pre-emption) [Bird]
p.162 The counterfactual view says causes are necessary (rather than sufficient) for their effects [Bird]
p.162 It is just individious discrimination to pick out one cause and label it as 'the' cause
p.409 Counterfactual causation implies all laws are causal, which they aren't [Tooley]
p.454 A theory of causation should explain why cause precedes effect, not take it for granted [Field,H]
p.193 p.193 A proposition is a set of possible worlds where it is true
p.193 p.193 The modern regularity view says a cause is a member of a minimal set of sufficient conditions
p.194 p.194 Regularity analyses could make c an effect of e, or an epiphenomenon, or inefficacious, or pre-empted
p.195 p.195 My counterfactual analysis applies to particular cases, not generalisations
p.196 p.196 Determinism says there can't be two identical worlds up to a time, with identical laws, which then differ
p.197 p.197 For true counterfactuals, both antecedent and consequent true is closest to actuality
p.200 p.200 One event causes another iff there is a causal chain from first to second
p.203 p.203 I reject making the direction of causation axiomatic, since that takes too much for granted
1973 Counterfactuals
p.213 In good counterfactuals the consequent holds in world like ours except that the antecedent is true [Horwich]
p.224 Lewis says indicative conditionals are truth-functional [Jackson]
3.3 p.73 A law of nature is a general axiom of the deductive system that is best for simplicity and strength
1973 Possible Worlds
p.288 Lewis's distinction of 'existing' from 'being actual' is Meinong's between 'existing' and 'subsisting' [Lycan]
p.295 Lewis can't know possible worlds without first knowing what is possible or impossible [Lycan]
p.297 What are the ontological grounds for grouping possibilia into worlds? [Lycan]
1973 works
p.5 An event causes another just if the second event would not have happened without the first [Psillos]
1976 The paradoxes of time travel
p.194 The interesting time travel is when personal and external time come apart [Baron/Miller]
p.202 Lewis said it might just be that travellers to the past can't kill their grandfathers [Baron/Miller]
1976 Probabilities of Conditionals
p.14 A conditional probability does not measure the probability of the truth of any proposition [Edgington]
1979 Attitudes De Dicto and De Se
p.89 The actual world is just the world you are in [Cappelen/Dever]
p.90 Attitudes involve properties (not propositions), and belief is self-ascribing the properties [Solomon]
p.108 A theory of perspectival de se content gives truth conditions relative to an agent [Cappelen/Dever]
p.249 Lewis's popular centred worlds approach gives an attitude an index of world, subject and time [Recanati]
p.255 A content is a property, and believing it is self-ascribing that property [Recanati]
1979 Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow
p.209 There are few traces of an event before it happens, but many afterwards [Horwich]
1980 Mad Pain and Martian Pain
žII p.123 A theory must be mixed, to cover qualia without behaviour, and behaviour without qualia [PG]
žIII p.124 Type-type psychophysical identity is combined with a functional characterisation of pain
žIII p.125 The application of 'pain' to physical states is non-rigid and contingent
1980 Subjectivist's Guide to Objective Chance
p.124 p.46 Lewis later proposed the axioms at the intersection of the best theories (which may be few) [Mumford]
1983 Extrinsic Properties
p.4 Being alone doesn't guarantee intrinsic properties; 'being alone' is itself extrinsic [Sider]
I p.111 Extrinsic properties come in degrees, with 'brother' less extrinsic than 'sibling'
I p.112 Total intrinsic properties give us what a thing is
1983 Introduction to Philosophical Papers I
p.1 p.-5 I tried to be unsystematic and piecemeal, but failed; my papers presuppose my other views
1983 Survival and Identity, with postscript
p.610 De re modal predicates are ambiguous [Rudder Baker]
1983 New work for a theory of universals
p.18 Physics aims to discover which universals actually exist [Moore,AW]
p.18 Natural properties figure in the analysis of similarity in intrinsic respects [Oliver]
p.29 Properties are classes of possible and actual concrete particulars [Koslicki]
p.98 Lewisian natural properties fix reference of predicates, through a principle of charity [Hawley]
p.128 Lewis says properties are sets of actual and possible objects [Heil]
p.211 Lewisian properties have powers because of their relationships to other properties [Hawthorne]
'1 Ov Many' p.198 In addition to analysis of a concept, one can deny it, or accept it as primitive
'1 Ov Many' p.199 The One over Many problem (in predication terms) deserves to be neglected (by ostriches)
'Cont of L' p.220 Reference partly concerns thought and language, partly eligibility of referent by natural properties
'Cont of L' p.220 Objects are demarcated by density and chemistry, and natural properties belong in what is well demarcated
'Cont of L' p.221 Natural properties tend to belong to well-demarcated things, typically loci of causal chains
'Cont of L' p.224 We need natural properties in order to motivate the principle of charity
'Cont of L' p.224 A sophisticated principle of charity sometimes imputes error as well as truth
'Cont of L' p.227 For us, a property being natural is just an aspect of its featuring in the contents of our attitudes
'Dup,Sup,Div' p.203 Physics aims for a list of natural properties
'Dup,Sup,Div' p.205 Supervenience is reduction without existence denials, ontological priorities, or translatability
'Dup,Sup,Div' p.205 A supervenience thesis is a denial of independent variation
'Dup,Sup,Div' p.208 Counterfactuals 'backtrack' if a different present implies a different past
'Intro' p.188 I suspend judgements about universals, but their work must be done
'Laws and C' p.215 A law of nature is any regularity that earns inclusion in the ideal system
'Laws and C' p.217 Causal counterfactuals must avoid backtracking, to avoid epiphenomena and preemption
'Min Mat' p.210 Psychophysical identity implies the possibility of idealism or panpsychism
'Min Mat' p.212 Materialism is (roughly) that two worlds cannot differ without differing physically
'Min Mat' p.212 Physics discovers laws and causal explanations, and also the natural properties required
p.355-7 p.130 All perfectly natural properties are intrinsic [Lewis]
'Un and Prop' p.189 To have a property is to be a member of a class, usually a class of things
'Un and Prop' p.190 Universals are wholly present in their instances, whereas properties are spread around
'Un and Prop' p.191 Any class of things is a property, no matter how whimsical or irrelevant
'Un and Prop' p.192 Natural properties fix resemblance and powers, and are picked out by universals
'Un and Prop' p.192 Most properties are causally irrelevant, and we can't spot the relevant ones.
'Un and Prop' p.192 There are far more properties than any brain could ever encodify
'Un and Prop' p.194 We need properties as semantic values for linguistic expressions
'Un and Prop' n9 p.194 Class Nominalism and Resemblance Nominalism are pretty much the same
1984 Putnam's Paradox
'Glob Desc' p.60 Descriptive theories remain part of the theory of reference (with seven mild modifications)
'What Is' p.77 Causal theories of reference make errors in reference easy
'What Might' p.65 A gerrymandered mereological sum can be a mess, but still have natural joints
'Why Anti-R' p.71 Anti-realists see the world as imaginary, or lacking joints, or beyond reference, or beyond truth
'Why Model' p.68 A consistent theory just needs one model; isomorphic versions will do too, and large domains provide those
1986 Causal Explanation
p.237 Lewis endorses the thesis that all explanation of singular events is causal explanation [Psillos]
I p.215 We only pick 'the' cause for the purposes of some particular enquiry.
I p.215 Ways of carving causes may be natural, but never 'right'
I p.216 Causal dependence is counterfactual dependence between events
II p.217 To explain an event is to provide some information about its causal history
III p.223 A disposition needs a causal basis, a property in a certain causal role. Could the disposition be the property?
IV p.225 Science may well pursue generalised explanation, rather than laws
IV p.225 Explaining match lighting in general is like explaining one lighting of a match
V p.228 A good explanation is supposed to show that the event had to happen
V p.228 Does a good explanation produce understanding? That claim is just empty
V n7 p.226 Verisimilitude has proved hard to analyse, and seems to have several components
VI p.230 We can explain a chance event, but can never show why some other outcome did not occur
1986 Events
I p.241 The events that suit semantics may not be the events that suit causation
I p.242 Causation is a general relation derived from instances of causal dependence
II p.245 An event is a property of a unique space-time region
II n2 p.244 Properties are very abundant (unlike universals), and are used for semantics and higher-order variables
III p.247 Events have inbuilt essences, as necessary conditions for their occurrence
V p.258 Events are classes, and so there is a mereology of their parts
VI p.261 Some events involve no change; they must, because causal histories involve unchanges
1986 Introduction to Philosophical Papers II
p.-10 The world is just a vast mosaic of little matters of local particular fact
p.ix-x p.-10 Humean supervenience says the world is just a vast mosaic of qualities in space-time
1986 Comment on Armstrong and Forrest
p.109 p.109 We could not uphold a truthmaker for 'Fa' without structures
p.110 p.110 The main rivals to universals are resemblance or natural-class nominalism, or sparse trope theory
1986 On the Plurality of Worlds
p.7 There are only two kinds: sets, and possibilia (actual and possible particulars) [Oliver]
p.7 Lewis rejects actualism because he identifies properties with sets [Stalnaker]
p.79 If sets exist, then defining worlds as proposition sets implies an odd distinction between existing and actual [Jacquette]
p.112 The counterpart relation is sortal-relative, so objects need not be a certain way [Merricks]
p.115 Why should statements about what my 'counterpart' could have done interest me? [Mautner]
p.115 A counterpart in a possible world is sufficiently similar, and more similar than anything else [Mautner]
p.127 For Lewis there is no real possibility, since all possibilities are actual [Oderberg]
p.194 Lewis posits possible worlds just as Quine says that physics needs numbers and sets [Sider]
p.248 If possible worlds really exist, then they are part of actuality [Sider]
ž1.5 p.269 The property of being F is identical with the set of objects, in all possible worlds, which are F [Cameron]
1.2 p.15 Supervenience concerns whether things could differ, so it is a modal notion
1.2 n3 p.7 On mountains or in worlds, reporting contradictions is contradictory, so no such truths can be reported
1.2 n3 p.7 Possible worlds can contain contradictions if such worlds are seen as fictions
1.3 p.24 Verisimilitude might be explained as being close to the possible world where the truth is exact
1.4 p.38 To just expect unexamined emeralds to be grue would be totally unreasonable
1.5 p.22 A property is the set of its actual and possible instances [Oliver]
1.5 p.50 It would be easiest to take a property as the set of its instances
1.5 p.51 Accidentally coextensive properties come apart when we include their possible instances
1.5 p.51 Properties don't seem to be sets, because different properties can have the same set
1.5 p.52 If a property is relative, such as being a father or son, then set membership seems relative too
1.5 p.53 Properties don't have degree; they are determinate, and things have varying relations to them
1.5 p.53 A proposition is a set of entire possible worlds which instantiate a particular property
1.5 p.53 A proposition is the property of being a possible world where it holds true
1.5 p.55 To be a 'property' is to suit a theoretical role
1.5 p.55 Trilateral and triangular seem to be coextensive sets in all possible worlds
1.5 p.57 Propositions can't have syntactic structure if they are just sets of worlds
1.5 p.59 There is the property of belonging to a set, so abundant properties are as numerous as the sets
1.5 p.59 The 'abundant' properties are just any bizarre property you fancy
1.5 p.60 Natural properties give similarity, joint carving, intrinsicness, specificity, homogeneity...
1.5 p.61 All of the natural properties are included among the intrinsic properties
1.5 p.61 A disjunctive property can be unnatural, but intrinsic if its disjuncts are intrinsic
1.5 p.63 Defining natural properties by means of laws of nature is potentially circular
1.5 p.63 We can't define natural properties by resemblance, if they are used to explain resemblance
1.5 p.64 Universals recur, are multiply located, wholly present, make things overlap, and are held in common
1.5 p.65 If particles were just made of universals, similar particles would be the same particle
1.5 p.65 Trope theory needs a primitive notion for what unites some tropes
1.5 p.65 Trope theory (unlike universals) needs a primitive notion of being duplicates
1.5 p.65 Tropes need a similarity primitive, so they cannot be used to explain similarity
1.5 p.65 Universals aren't parts of things, because that relationship is transitive, and universals need not be
1.5 p.66 You must accept primitive similarity to like tropes, but tropes give a good account of it
1.5 p.67 Surely 'slept in by Washington' is a property of some bed?
1.5 p.73 An explanation tells us how an event was caused
1.5 n37 p.51 Quantification sometimes commits to 'sets', but sometimes just to pluralities (or 'classes')
1.5 n44 p.60 I don't take 'natural' properties to be fixed by the nature of one possible world
1.5 n47 p.67 We might try defining the natural properties by a short list of them
1.6 p.73 A world is a maximal mereological sum of spatiotemporally interrelated things
1.6 p.78 Causation is when at the closest world without the cause, there is no effect either
1.7 p.82 Abstraction is usually explained either by example, or conflation, or abstraction, or negatively
1.7 p.82 The Way of Example compares donkeys and numbers, but what is the difference, and what are numbers?
1.7 p.83 Abstracta can be causal: sets can be causes or effects; there can be universal effects; events may be sets
1.7 p.83 If abstractions are non-spatial, then both sets and universals seem to have locations
1.7 p.84 The Way of Abstraction says an incomplete description of a concrete entity is the complete abstraction
1.7 p.85 If we can abstract the extrinsic relations and features of objects, abstraction isn't universals or tropes
1.7 p.85 If universals or tropes are parts of things, then abstraction picks out those parts
1.7 p.85 For most sets, the concept of equivalence is too artificial to explain abstraction
1.7 p.85 The abstract direction of a line is the equivalence class of it and all lines parallel to it
1.7 p.86 Abstractions may well be verbal fictions, in which we ignore some features of an object
1.8 p.90 The impossible can be imagined as long as it is a bit vague
2.3 p.106 A particular functional role is what gives content to a thought
2.4 p.109 General causal theories of knowledge are refuted by mathematics
2.5 p.116 Induction is just reasonable methods of inferring the unobserved from the observed
2.7 p.131 Often explanaton seeks fundamental laws, rather than causal histories
2.7 p.133 If the well-ordering of a pack of cards was by shuffling, the explanation would make it more surprising
2.8 p.135 Honesty requires philosophical theories we can commit to with our ordinary commonsense
239- p.155 Extreme haecceitists could say I might have been a poached egg, but it is too remote to consider [Mackie,P]
248-263 p.18 An essential property is one possessed by all counterparts [Elder]
3.1 p.136 Ersatzers say we have one world, and abstract representations of how it might have been
3.1 p.138 For me, all worlds are equal, with each being actual relative to itself
3.1 p.141 Ersatz worlds represent either through language, or by models, or magically
3.2 p.145 Linguistic possible worlds need a complete supply of unique names for each thing
3.2 p.151 Maximal consistency for a world seems a modal distinction, concerning what could be true together
3.2 p.154 Analysis reduces primitives and makes understanding explicit (without adding new knowledge)
3.2 p.165 Linguistic possible worlds have problems of inconsistencies, no indiscernibles, and vocabulary
3.3 p.173 We can't account for an abstraction as 'from' something if the something doesn't exist
3.4 p.189 I believe in properties, which are sets of possible individuals
4.1 p.192 Identity is simple - absolutely everything is self-identical, and nothing is identical to another thing
4.1 p.193 Two things can never be identical, so there is no problem
4.1 p.197 In counterpart theory 'Humphrey' doesn't name one being, but a mereological sum of many beings
4.2 p.202 A thing 'perdures' if it has separate temporal parts, and 'endures' if it is wholly present at different times
4.2 p.203 Endurance is the wrong account, because things change intrinsic properties like shape
4.2 p.204 There are three responses to the problem that intrinsic shapes do not endure
4.2 p.207 It is quite implausible that the future is unreal, as that would terminate everything
4.3 p.211 Mereological composition is unrestricted: any class of things has a mereological sum
4.4 p.221 Haecceitism implies de re differences but qualitative identity
4.4 p.230 There are no free-floating possibilia; they have mates in a world, giving them extrinsic properties
4.4 p.239 Extreme haecceitism says you might possibly be a poached egg
4.4 n32 p.244 Vagueness is semantic indecision: we haven't settled quite what our words are meant to express
4.5 p.251 Whether or not France is hexagonal depends on your standards of precision
4.5 p.252 I can ask questions which create a context in which origin ceases to be essential
p.202-4 p.95 Properties cannot be relations to times, if there are temporary properties which are intrinsic [Sider]
p.212-3 p.121 There are no restrictions on composition, because they would be vague, and composition can't be vague [Sider]
p.60- p.85 Sparse properties rest either on universals, or on tropes, or on primitive naturalness [Maudlin]
p.61-2 p.268 If a global intrinsic never varies between possible duplicates, all necessary properties are intrinsic [Cameron]
p.61-2 p.268 Global intrinsic may make necessarily coextensive properties both intrinsic or both extrinsic [Cameron]
1986 Modal Realism at Work: Properties
p.23 Properties are sets of their possible instances (which separates 'renate' from 'cordate') [Mellor/Oliver]
1986 Against Structural Universals
'Intro' p.79 Tropes are particular properties, which cannot recur, but can be exact duplicates
'The magical' p.100 The 'magical' view of structural universals says they are atoms, even though they have parts
'The magical' p.101 If 'methane' is an atomic structural universal, it has nothing to connect it to its carbon universals
'The pictorial' p.90 The 'pictorial' view of structural universals says they are wholes made of universals as parts
'The pictorial' p.91 The structural universal 'methane' needs the universal 'hydrogen' four times over
'The pictorial' p.91 A whole is distinct from its parts, but is not a further addition in ontology
'The pictorial' p.93 Mathematicians abstract by equivalence classes, but that doesn't turn a many into one
'Uninstantiated' p.103 Maybe abstraction is just mereological subtraction
'Uninstantiated' p.107 I assume there could be natural properties that are not instantiated in our world
'Variants' p.95 Different things (a toy house and toy car) can be made of the same parts at different times
'Variants' p.96 Butane and Isobutane have the same atoms, but different structures
'Variants' p.97 Composition is not just making new things from old; there are too many counterexamples
'What are' p.81 Structural universals have a necessary connection to the universals forming its parts
'Why believe' p.82 If you think universals are immanent, you must believe them to be sparse, and not every related predicate
'Why believe' p.82 Universals are meant to give an account of resemblance
'Why believe' p.85 We can't get rid of structural universals if there are no simple universals
'Why believe' p.86 We can add a primitive natural/unnatural distinction to class nominalism
1988 Rearrangement of Particles
1 p.188 You can't deny temporary intrinsic properties by saying the properties are relations (to times)
1988 Vague Identity: Evans misunderstood
p.318 p.318 Semantic vagueness involves alternative and equal precisifications of the language
1990 Noneism or Allism?
p.152 p.152 'Allists' embrace the existence of all controversial entities; 'noneists' reject all but the obvious ones
p.159 p.159 We can quantify over fictions by quantifying for real over their names
p.159 p.159 We could quantify over impossible objects - as bundles of properties
p.163 p.163 We can't accept a use of 'existence' that says only some of the things there are actually exist
1991 Parts of Classes
p.80 Set theory reduces to a mereological theory with singletons as the only atoms [MacBride]
p.118 Sets are mereological sums of the singletons of their members [Armstrong]
p.137 Lewis only uses fusions to create unities, but fusions notoriously flatten our distinctions [Oliver/Smiley]
p.372 Lewis prefers giving up singletons to giving up sums [Fine,K]
Pref p.-4 We can build set theory on singletons: classes are then fusions of subclasses, membership is the singleton
Pref p.-3 We can replace the membership relation with the member-singleton relation (plus mereology)
1.2 p.4 We can accept the null set, but there is no null class of anything
1.2 p.5 Classes divide into subclasses in many ways, but into members in only one way
1.2 p.5 A subclass of a subclass is itself a subclass; a member of a member is not in general a member
1.2 p.8 We have no idea of a third sort of thing, that isn't an individual, a class, or their mixture
1.4 p.11 There are four main reasons for asserting that there is an empty set
1.4 p.13 We needn't accept this speck of nothingness, this black hole in the fabric of Reality!
1.8 p.20 Atomless gunk is an individual whose parts all have further proper parts
2.1 p.31 Set theory has some unofficial axioms, generalisations about how to understand it
2.1 p.31 If we don't understand the singleton, then we don't understand classes
2.1 p.32 If singletons are where their members are, then so are all sets
2.1 n2 p.33 Some say qualities are parts of things - as repeatable universals, or as particulars
2.2 p.37 If singleton membership is external, why is an object a member of one rather than another?
2.3 p.39 In mereology no two things consist of the same atoms
2.5 p.43 Maybe singletons have a structure, of a thing and a lasso?
2.6 p.50 A huge part of Reality is only accepted as existing if you have accepted set theory
2.6 p.53 To be a structuralist, you quantify over relations
2.7 p.55 A property is any class of possibilia
2.8 p.58 Giving up classes means giving up successful mathematics because of dubious philosophy
3.2 n2 p.63 I like plural quantification, but am not convinced of its connection with second-order logic
3.5 p.80 Existence doesn't come in degrees; once asserted, it can't then be qualified
3.5 p.80 Trout-turkeys exist, despite lacking cohesion, natural joints and united causal power
3.6 p.81 Given cats, a fusion of cats adds nothing further to reality
3.6 p.87 The one has different truths from the many; it is one rather than many, one rather than six
3.6 p.87 The many are many and the one is one, so they can't be identical
3.6 p.87 Set theory isn't innocent; it generates infinities from a single thing; but mathematics needs it
4.6 p.111 Zermelo's model of arithmetic is distinctive because it rests on a primitive of set theory
4.7 p.120 Plural quantification lacks a complete axiom system
p.81 p.17 A commitment to cat-fusions is not a further commitment; it is them and they are it
p.84-7 p.20 Lewis affirms 'composition as identity' - that an object is no more than its parts [Merricks]
1992 Armstrong on combinatorial possibility
p.207 p.207 Presentism says only the present exists, so there is nothing for tensed truths to supervene on
'The demand' p.203 Armstrong's analysis seeks truthmakers rather than definitions
'The demand' p.204 Predications aren't true because of what exists, but of how it exists
'Truth' p.206 Say 'truth is supervenient on being', but construe 'being' broadly
'What is there' p.200 How do things combine to make states of affairs? Constituents can repeat, and fail to combine
1993 Many, but almost one
'A better solution' p.174 Basic to pragmatics is taking a message in a way that makes sense of it
'The paradox' p.167 If cats are vague, we deny that the many cats are one, or deny that the one cat is many
'The problem' p.164 We have one cloud, but many possible boundaries and aggregates for it
'Two solutions' p.170 Semantic indecision explains vagueness (if we have precisifications to be undecided about)
1993 Mathematics is Megethology
p.03 p.3 Mathematics reduces to set theory, which reduces, with some mereology, to the singleton function
p.03 p.3 Megethology is the result of adding plural quantification to mereology
p.03 p.3 Mathematics is generalisations about singleton functions
p.05 p.5 We can accept the null set, but not a null class, a class lacking members
p.07 p.7 I say that absolutely any things can have a mereological fusion
p.09 p.9 The null set is not a little speck of sheer nothingness, a black hole in Reality
p.09 p.9 The null set plays the role of last resort, for class abstracts and for existence
p.12 p.12 What on earth is the relationship between a singleton and an element?
p.13 p.13 Are all singletons exact intrinsic duplicates?
p.16 p.16 We don't need 'abstract structures' to have structural truths about successor functions
p.18 p.18 We can use mereology to simulate quantification over relations
1994 Lewis: reduction of mind (on himself)
p.412 p.412 The whole truth supervenes on the physical truth
p.412 p.412 I am a reductionist about mind because I am an a priori reductionist about everything
p.414 p.414 Where pixels make up a picture, supervenience is reduction
p.416 p.416 Folk psychology makes good predictions, by associating mental states with causal roles
p.419 p.419 Arguments are nearly always open to challenge, but they help to explain a position rather than force people to believe
p.420 p.420 Human pain might be one thing; Martian pain might be something else
p.421 p.421 A mind is an organ of representation
p.422 p.422 Folk psychology doesn't say that there is a language of thought
p.424 p.424 If you don't share an external world with a brain-in-a-vat, then externalism says you don't share any beliefs
p.424 p.424 Nothing shows that all content is 'wide', or that wide content has logical priority
p.425 p.425 A spontaneous duplicate of you would have your brain states but no experience, so externalism would deny him any beliefs
p.430 p.430 Wide content derives from narrow content and relationships with external things
1995 Should a materialist believe in qualia?
p.327 p.327 Part of the folk concept of qualia is what makes recognition and comparison possible
1996 Elusive Knowledge
p.68 Knowing is context-sensitive because the domain of quantification varies [Cohen,S]
p.80 We have knowledge if alternatives are eliminated, but appropriate alternatives depend on context [Cohen,S]
p.421 Justification is neither sufficient nor necessary for knowledge
p.419 p.419 To say S knows P, but cannot eliminate not-P, sounds like a contradiction
p.429 p.429 The timid student has knowledge without belief, lacking confidence in their correct answer
1997 Finkish dispositions
I p.134 A 'finkish' disposition is real, but disappears when the stimulus occurs
I p.136 Backtracking counterfactuals go from supposed events to their required causal antecedents
II p.140 All dispositions must have causal bases
II p.144 The distinction between dispositional and 'categorical' properties leads to confusion
1998 Defining 'Intrinsic' (with Rae Langton)
p.272 We must avoid circularity between what is intrinsic and what is natural [Cameron]
IV p.121 A property is 'intrinsic' iff it can never differ between duplicates
IV p.121 Interdefinition is useless by itself, but if we grasp one separately, we have them both
V p.122 Ellipsoidal stars seem to have an intrinsic property which depends on other objects
1998 A world of truthmakers?
p.220 p.220 If it were true that nothing at all existed, would that have a truthmaker?
2001 Forget the 'correspondence theory of truth'
p.279 Truthmakers are about existential grounding, not about truth
p.276 p.276 To be true a sentence must express a proposition, and not be ambiguous or vague or just expressive
p.277 p.277 Truthmaker is correspondence, but without the requirement to be one-to-one
2003 Things qua Truthmakers
p.26 p.91 Every proposition is entirely about being