Download Content and Modality: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert by Alex Byrne, Judith Thomson PDF

By Alex Byrne, Judith Thomson

Judith Thomson, Alex Byrne (eds.)

Eleven amazing philosophers have contributed in particular written essays on a suite of themes a lot debated in recent times, together with physicalism, qualia, semantic competence, conditionals, presuppositions, two-dimensional semantics, and the relation among common sense and metaphysics. a lot of these issues are well-liked within the paintings of Robert Stalnaker, a tremendous presence in modern philosophy, in honor of whom the quantity is released. It additionally encompasses a vast new essay within which Stalnaker replies to his critics, and units out his present perspectives at the subject matters discussed.


The 11 unique essays during this assortment correctly disguise a variety of Robert Stalnaker's philosophical paintings, and Stalnaker's replies to them are transparent, well-thought out, and informative. somebody drawn to Stalnaker's philosophy or the parts lined during this quantity is easily recommended to learn it. Takashi Yagisawa, brain

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Extra resources for Content and Modality: Themes from the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker

Sample text

I offer additional examples in section three. But at this point, we need to sharpen the terminology. Let’s say that a language is a system for associating signals with interpretations. A human language is one that normal human children can acquire in an environment not atypical for members of our species. In so far as ‘system’ is ambiguous, between a set of abstract rules and a mechanism that instantiates such rules, ‘language’ is ambiguous. So following Chomsky (1986), let’s use ‘I-language’ to talk about the relevant aspects of human minds/brains: each speaker of a human language has an I-language, by virtue of which she can associate endlessly many linguistic signals—like Japanese sounds, or ASL signs —with interpretations.

But one can allow for them without accepting the Frege–Schlick view. Holding that qualitative similarity and difference can hold interpersonally does not commit one to holding that there is always a determinate fact of the matter whether experiences belonging to different persons are qualitatively alike. On a view like mine, such indeterminacies would stem from indeterminacies as to whether different physical properties are realizers of the same quale—this would yield in the first instance indeterminacies as to whether experiences of the same person at different times instantiating these properties are qualitatively alike, but it would also yield indeterminacies as to whether instantiations of these properties in experiences of different persons are qualitatively alike.

The functional theory provides a criterion for intrapersonal identities in terms of discriminatory capacities, and identity of physical realization properties provides a criterion for interpersonal qualia identities. One cannot assume that the two equivalence relations can coherently be put together . ’’ (p. 235). I think it is a bit misleading to speak of two different criteria here. The claim that qualitative properties having the same realizers are identical is not a separate criterion of qualitative identity, but just an analytic consequence of the notion of realization—the instantiation of a realizer is sufficient for the instantiation of the property realized, and properties having the same sets of (possible) realizers cannot help but be identical.

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