On What There Actually Is
This is currently set to be
the second chapter of my dissertation. Here,
argue that a negative existential such as 'Pegasus does not exist' is
satisfied in the actual world by an actual object created in the
imagination. (However, I
deny that this object is the idea
of Pegasus.) As one
objection, the view apparently implies that Pegasus exists after all. I
argue in reply
that 'actual' is ambiguous between a noncommissive and a commissive
reading--so that one can consistently say Pegasus is an actual object
of the imagination which is not actual
in the way that tables and chairs are.
Nonetheless, I claim that there can be no extensionally adequate,
disambiguation of 'actual,' though a speaker can implicitly
understand which reading is intended in a context. The chapter ends by
these considerations to a new criterion of ontological commitment.
Apr 2007. pp. 411-424.
ABSTRACT: Descartes held the view that a
has infallible beliefs about the contents of her thoughts. Here, I
examine a popular contemporary defense of this claim, given by Burge
and find it lacking. I then offer my own defense, appealing to a
version of the language of thought hypothesis. The argument here has
virtue of refraining from any semantic premises; thus, it is congenial
to both internalists and externalists about semantics. The argument
illuminates how a subject may have an a priori and privileged
to her own thoughts.
Quine and Logical Truth Erkenntnis
Jan 2008. pp. 103-112
ABSTRACT: It is a consequence of Quine’s
holism that the logical laws are in principle revisable. Some have
this is at odds with another dictum in Quine, viz., that any
which construes speakers as systematically illogical is ipso facto
inadequate. In this paper, I try to formulate exactly what the problem
is here, and offer a solution to it by (1) disambiguating the term ‘logic,’
and (2) appealing to a Quinean understanding of ‘necessity.’ The result
is that different theses in Quine’s philosopy of logic are to be
within different contexts of inquiry.
Exchange on Logical Form between myself and William