Millianism and the Problem of Empty Descriptions
Issue: Issue 02 • Author/s: Frederick Kroon
Topics: Philosophy of language
Empty names present Millianism with a well-known problem: it implies that sentences containing such names fail to express (fully determinate) propositions. The present paper argues that empty descriptions present Millianism with another problem. The paper describes this problem, shows why Millians should be worried, and provides a Millian-friendly solution. The concluding section draws some lessons about how all this affects Millianism and the problem of empty names.
Fiction, Models and the Problem of the Gap [Special Issue]
Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Frederick Kroon
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science
An increasingly popular view holds that scientific modeling involves something akin to the imaginative construction of a fictional story along with its cast of fictional characters, not just the positing of entities (models) that yield a false but useful representation of their targets. The present paper focuses on the following problem for this view of models. If a model is a fiction how can it possibly be said to represent some aspect of the real world? How can the unreal represent the real, and in a way that allows modelers to…