Ideas of Alan Sidelle, by Theme

[American, fl. 2002, Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.]

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1. Philosophy / E. Nature of Metaphysics / 6. Metaphysics as Conceptual
Metaphysics is clarifying how we speak and think (and possibly improving it)
2. Reason / E. Argument / 7. Thought Experiments
We seem to base necessities on thought experiments and imagination
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 6. Dispositions / d. Dispositions as occurrent
There doesn't seem to be anything in the actual world that can determine modal facts
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 2. Types of Essence
Causal reference presupposes essentialism if it refers to modally extended entities
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / c. Essentials are necessary
Clearly, essential predications express necessary properties
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
Being a deepest explanatory feature is an actual, not a modal property
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 15. Against Essentialism
That the essence of water is its microstructure is a convention, not a discovery
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 3. Relative Identity
We aren't clear about 'same stuff as this', so a principle of individuation is needed to identify it
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 4. De re / De dicto modality
Evaluation of de dicto modalities does not depend on the identity of its objects
10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 3. Necessity by Convention
Necessary a posteriori is conventional for necessity and nonmodal for a posteriority [Sider]
To know empirical necessities, we need empirical facts, plus conventions about which are necessary
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 3. A Posteriori Necessary
The necessary a posteriori is statements either of identity or of essence
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible
Empiricism explores necessities and concept-limits by imagining negations of truths
Contradictoriness limits what is possible and what is imaginable
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity
The individuals and kinds involved in modality are also a matter of convention
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / b. Rigid designation
A thing doesn't need transworld identity prior to rigid reference - that could be a convention of the reference
'Dthat' operates to make a singular term into a rigid term
12. Knowledge Sources / A. A Priori Knowledge / 8. A Priori as Analytic
A priori knowledge is entirely of analytic truths
18. Thought / C. Content / 5. Twin Earth
That water is essentially H2O in some way concerns how we use 'water'
19. Language / B. Reference / 3. Direct Reference / b. Causal reference
Causal reference seems to get directly at the object, thus leaving its nature open
19. Language / B. Reference / 5. Speaker's Reference
Because some entities overlap, reference must have analytic individuation principles
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / e. Anti scientific essentialism
Can anything in science reveal the necessity of what it discovers?