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Ideas of Ruth Barcan Marcus, by Text

[American, 1921 - 2012, Professor at Yale University. Famous for the 'Barcan Formula'.]

1971 Essential Attribution
p.188 p.188 Essentialist sentences are not theorems of modal logic, and can even be false
p.189 p.189 Aristotelian essentialism involves a 'natural' or 'causal' interpretation of modal operators
p.192 p.192 If essences are objects with only essential properties, they are elusive in possible worlds
p.192 p.192 The use of possible worlds is to sort properties (not to individuate objects)
p.193 p.193 'Is essentially' has a different meaning from 'is necessarily', as they often cannot be substituted
p.193 p.193 'Essentially' won't replace 'necessarily' for vacuous properties like snub-nosed or self-identical
p.193 p.193 Aristotelian essentialism is about shared properties, individuating essentialism about distinctive properties
p.194 p.194 In possible worlds, names are just neutral unvarying pegs for truths and predicates
p.202 p.202 Dispositional essences are special, as if an object loses them they cease to exist
1978 Nominalism and Substitutional Quantifiers
p.161 p.161 Maybe a substitutional semantics for quantification lends itself to nominalism
p.162 p.162 Anything which refers tends to be called a 'name', even if it isn't a noun
p.162 p.162 Nominalists see proper names as a main vehicle of reference
p.162 p.162 Is being just referent of the verb 'to be'?
p.163 p.163 Nominalists say predication is relations between individuals, or deny that it refers
p.164 p.164 Quantifiers are needed to refer to infinitely many objects
p.165 p.165 Substitutional semantics has no domain of objects, but place-markers for substitutions
p.166 p.166 The nominalist is tied by standard semantics to first-order, denying higher-order abstracta
p.166 p.166 Substitutional language has no ontology, and is just a way of speaking
p.166 p.166 If objects are thoughts, aren't we back to psychologism?
p.167 p.167 Substitutivity won't fix identity, because expressions may be substitutable, but not refer at all
p.167 p.167 A true universal sentence might be substitutionally refuted, by an unnamed denumerable object
p.167 p.167 Nominalists should quantify existentially at first-order, and substitutionally when higher