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Ideas of William Lycan, by Text

[American, b.1945, Professor at the University of North Carolina.]

1979 The Trouble with Possible Worlds
02 p.279 The Razor seems irrelevant for Meinongians, who allow absolutely everything to exist
02 p.281 Maybe Ockham's Razor is a purely aesthetic principle
09 p.302 Maybe non-existent objects are sets of properties
09 p.302 If 'worlds' are sentences, and possibility their consistency, consistency may rely on possibility
09 p.304 Treating possible worlds as mental needs more actual mental events
12 p.312 Possible worlds must be made of intensional objects like propositions or properties
1987 Consciousness
1.1 p.2 If energy in the brain disappears into thin air, this breaches physical conservation laws
1.1 p.3 In lower animals, psychology is continuous with chemistry, and humans are continuous with animals
4.0 p.37 I see the 'role'/'occupant' distinction as fundamental to metaphysics
4.3 p.42 Institutions are not reducible as types, but they are as tokens
4.3 p.42 Types cannot be reduced, but levels of reduction are varied groupings of the same tokens
4.3 p.42 We reduce the mind through homuncular groups, described abstractly by purpose
4.3 p.43 Teleological characterisations shade off smoothly into brutely physical ones
4.3 p.43 Mental types are a subclass of teleological types at a high level of functional abstraction
4.3 p.43 One location may contain molecules, a metal strip, a key, an opener of doors, and a human tragedy
4.4 p.45 Teleological functionalism helps us to understand psycho-biological laws
4.4 p.45 Teleological views allow for false intentional content, unlike causal and nomological theories
4.4 p.45 We need a notion of teleology that comes in degrees
4.4 p.46 The distinction between software and hardware is not clear in computing
5.4 p.54 Functionalism must not be too abstract to allow inverted spectrum, or so structural that it becomes chauvinistic
5.4 p.57 A Martian may exhibit human-like behaviour while having very different sensations
5.4 p.57 Intentionality comes in degrees
5.4 p.59 Identity theory is functionalism, but located at the lowest level of abstraction
5.4 p.60 If functionalism focuses on folk psychology, it ignores lower levels of function
5.5 p.62 Pain is composed of urges, desires, impulses etc, at different levels of abstraction
5.6 p.69 The right 'level' for qualia is uncertain, though top (behaviourism) and bottom (particles) are false
8.4 p.90 Physicalism requires the naturalisation or rejection of set theory
8.4 p.91 I think greenness is a complex microphysical property of green objects
8.5 p.96 'Physical' means either figuring in physics descriptions, or just located in space-time
n1.6 p.131 Two behaviourists meet. The first says,"You're fine; how am I?"
1999 Introduction - Ontology
p.10 p.10 People are trying to explain biological teleology in naturalistic causal terms
p.5 p.5 'Lightning is electric discharge' and 'Phosphorus is Venus' are synthetic a posteriori identities
p.6 p.6 Functionalism has three linked levels: physical, functional, and mental
p.9 p.9 A mental state is a functional realisation of a brain state when it serves the purpose of the organism
p.9 p.9 Biologists see many organic levels, 'abstract' if seen from below, 'structural' if seen from above
2000 Philosophy of Language
Ch. 1 p.13 Singular terms refer, using proper names, definite descriptions, singular personal pronouns, demonstratives, etc.
Ch. 6 p.94 It is hard to state a rule of use for a proper name
Ch. 6 p.94 Could I successfully use an expression, without actually understanding it?
Ch. 8 p.120 Meaning must be known before we can consider verification
Ch. 9 p.136 The truth conditions theory sees meaning as representation
Ch. 9 p.142 Truth conditions will come out the same for sentences with 'renate' or 'cordate'
Ch.10 p.150 A sentence's truth conditions is the set of possible worlds in which the sentence is true
Ch.10 p.153 Possible worlds explain aspects of meaning neatly - entailment, for example, is the subset relation