Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Impossible Worlds and the Intensional Sense of ‘And’ [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Luis Estrada-González
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical logic

In this paper I show that the ‘and’ in an argument like Lewis’ against concrete impossible worlds cannot be simply assumed to be extensional. An allegedly ‘and’-free argument against impossible worlds employing an alternative definition of ‘contradiction’ can be presented, but besides falling prey of the usual objections to the negation involved in it, such ‘and’-free argument is not quite so since it still needs some sort of premise-binding, thus intensional ‘and’ is needed and that suffices to block the argument at a stage prior to the steps about negation.

S4 to 5D [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Takayashi Yagisawa
Topics: Philosophical logic

The modal logical axiom 4 is widely accepted. It is the characteristic axiom of the modal logical system S4, which is subsumed under the most popular modal logical system S5. Axiom 4 is equivalent to ◇◇P → ◇P (“If possibly possibly P, then possibly P”), which requires that the accessibility relation between worlds be transitive. There is a powerful argument (Hugh Chandler 1976, Nathan Salmon 1981, 1989) against axiom 4. It rests on the thought that an ordinary object could have had a slightly different origin from its actual origin but…

World Stories and Maximality [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Vittorio Morato
Topics: Philosophical logic

According to many actualist conceptions of modality, talk about possible worlds should be reduced to talk about world stories. Intuitively, a world story is a complete description of how things could be. In this paper, I will claim that the world story approach not only suffers from the well-known, expressive problem of representing the thesis of the possible existence of non-actual objects, but it has troubles in representing, in an actualistically acceptable way, the apparently more tractable thesis of the possible non-existence of actual objects. To solve this problem, I…

Natural Properties Do Not Support Essentialism in Counterpart Theory: A Reflection on Buras’s Proposal [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Cristina Nencha
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical logic

David Lewis may be regarded as an antiessentialist. The reason is that he is said to believe that individuals do not have essential properties independent of the ways they are represented. According to him, indeed, the properties that are determined to be essential to individuals are a matter of which similarity relations among individuals are salient, and salience, in turn, is a contextual matter also determined to some extent by the ways individuals are represented. Todd Buras argues that the acknowledgment of natural properties in counterpart theoretic ontology affects Lewis’s…

Propositions as Truthmaker Conditions [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Mark Jago
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

Propositions are often aligned with truth-conditions. The view is mistaken, since propositions discriminate where truth conditions do not. Propositions are hyperintensional: they are sensitive to necessarily equivalent differences. I investigate an alternative view on which propositions are truthmaker conditions, understood as sets of possible truthmakers. This requires making metaphysical sense of merely possible states of affairs. The theory that emerges illuminates the semantic phenomena of samesaying, subject matter, and aboutness.

Husserlian Intentionality and Contingent Universals [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Nicola Spinelli
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language

Can one hold both that universals exist in the strongest sense (i.e., neither in language nor in thought, nor in their instances) and that they exist contingently—and still make sense? Edmund Husserl thought so. In this paper I present a version of his view regimented in terms of modal logic cum possible-world semantics. Crucial to the picture is the distinction between two accessibility relations with different structural properties. These relations are cashed out in terms of two Husserlian notions of imagination: world-bound and free. After briefly presenting the Husserlian framework—his…

Intentional Relations [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 04 • Author/s: Mark Sainsbury
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophical logic

Thinking about Obama and thinking about Pegasus seem to be the same kind of thing: both are cases of thinking about something. But they also seem to be different kinds of thing, in that one is relational and the other not. This paper aims to show a way out of the impasse by distinguishing varieties of relationality, concluding that what matters is the two-term relational nature of all intentional states, regardless of whether or not the representations they involve have referents.

One Hundred Years of Donald Davidson. Introduction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Maria Cristina Amoretti, Mario De Caro, Francesca Ervas
Topics: Introduction

Donald Davidson (1917-2003) is one of the few contemporary philosophers of the analytic tradition who offered significant contentious contributions to many different areas of philosophy while preserving a semi-systematic character in his writings. His output was huge, ranging from decision theory to philosophy of  language, from metaphysics to philosophy of action, from philosophy of mind to epistemology.

Truth-theoretic Semantics and Its Limits [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Kirk Ludwig
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

This paper takes up some limitations of truth-theoretic semantics connected with the requirement that knowledge of a compositional meaning theory for a language put one in a position to understand any potential utterance in the language. I argue that associating entities, such as properties, relations, and propositions, with natural language expressions is neither necessary nor sufficient to meet this requirement. I develop an account of how a meaning theory may be formulated in terms of a body of knowledge about a recursive truth theory for a language. I consider two…

Davidson: Decision and Interpretation [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Pol-Vincent Harnay, Pétronille Rème
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

Decision theory plays a central role in Davidson’s work. Based on the experimentations led in Stanford during the 1950s, it is possible to track down the origins and the foundations of the unified theory of thought, meaning and action. The‘wording effect’ and the omission of meanings undermine decision theory as a whole, hence the need to enlarge the basis of decision theory by integrating an interpretation theory that reflects mental holism more accurately.
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