Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Wittgenstein on Truth

Issue: Issue 3 • Author/s: Paul Horwich
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

The topic is Wittgenstein’s eventual abandonment of his Tractatus idea that a sentence is true if and only if it depicts a possible fact that obtains, and his coming (in the Investigations) to replace this with a deflationary view of truth. Three objection to the initial idea that will be discussed here are: (i) that its theory of ‘depiction’ relies on an unexplicated concept of word-object reference; (ii) that its notion of a possible fact obtaining (or existing, or being actual, or agreeing with reality) is also left mysterious; and…

Russellian Diagonal Arguments and Other Logico-Mathematical Tools in Metaphysics

Issue: Issue 3 • Author/s: Laureano Luna
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

In its most general form, a diagonal argument is an argument intending to show that not all objects of a certain class C are in a certain set S, and does so by constructing a diagonal object, that is to say, an object of the class C so defined as to be other than all the objects in S. We revise three arguments inspired by the Russell paradox (an argument against Computationalism, an argument against Physicalism, and a counterargument to the Platonic One Over Many argument), extract its underlying structure,…

The Contemporary Relevance of Peirce’s Views on the Logic and Metaphysics of Relations

Issue: Issue 3 • Author/s: Claudine Tiercelin
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy

Independently of Frege or Russell, C.S. Peirce made major contributions to the history of the logic and metaphysics of relations. After presenting his metaphysical interpretation of relations and his emphasis on the reality and irreducibility of relations, the paper shows how Peirce’s views are tied to the dispositional realism he defends within a scientific realistic metaphysics, and why they are still relevant for assessing the logical and ontological status of relations, and insightful for the meta-physical agenda to pursue today.

Thinking the Impossible [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • Author/s: Graham Priest
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophical logic

The article looks at the structure of impossible worlds, and their deployment in the analysis of some intentional notions. In particular, it is argued that one can, in fact, conceive anything, whether or not it is impossible. Thus a semantics of conceivability requires impossible worlds.

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

Issue: Issue 4 • 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.

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

Issue: Issue 4 • 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…

Husserlian Intentionality and Contingent Universals [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 4 • 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…

Truth-theoretic Semantics and Its Limits [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 5 • 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 5 • 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.

Davidson on the Objectivity of Values and Reasons [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 5 • Author/s: Pascal Engel
Topics: Ethics, History of Analytic Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

Although he did not write on ethics, Davidson wrote a few papers on the objectivity of values. His argument rests on his holistic conception of interpretation of desires. I examine whether this argument can be sufficient for his objectivism about values. And supposing that the argument were correct, would it entail a form of realism about normativity and reasons? I argue that it falls short of giving us a genuine form of moral realism. My case will rest on an examination of Davidson’s conception of value in relation to what…
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