…will be online or
There will be one short paper (1000-1250 words), due
on September 19, and a term paper due December 5. Topics
will be of your own choosing.
August 22: Mere
possibilia. Modal logic and possible
worlds. Reading: A. Meinong,
excerpt from “The Theory of Objects”; S. Kripke,
“Semantical Considerations on Modal Logic”; W.V. Quine,
“On What There Is.”
August 29: The usual suspects. Reading: Excerpt
from S. Kripke, “Naming and
Necessity”; excerpt from Kripke, “Identity and Necessity”; excerpt from
Hintikka, “Semantics for Propositional Attitudes”; R.M.
Actuality”; W. Lycan, Modality and
Meaning, Chs. 1, 2.
5: Lewis’ Concretism.
Lewis, On the Plurality of Worlds, Chs.
1, 3; R.
Stalnaker, “Possible Worlds”; W. Lycan,
Modality and Meaning, Chs. 3, 4.
September 12: Fictionalism.
Rosen, “Modal Fictionalism”;
September 19: Essentialism. Reading:
W.V. Quine, “Reference and Modality”; L.
Linsky, “Reference, Essentialism, and Modality”; excerpt from
“Naming and Necessity”; N. Salmon, Reference
and Essence, Ch.
Lycan, Modality and Meaning,
September 26: Relative modalities (and
free will secured!).
and Meaning, Ch. 8; M.
Slote, “Selective Necessity and the
October 3: Impossibilia.
Reading: R. Stalnaker, “Impossibilities.”
Ontological commitment: Quine vs. Carnap and
“Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology”; W.V. Quine, Word
and Object, §§ 33, 34, 49, 50; T.
Hofweber, “A Puzzle about Ontology.”
October 17 (notice that Fall
Break does not now include the
Wednesday afternoon): Ontological
commitment: Azzouni. Reading:
J. Azzouni, Deflating
Existential Consequence, Chs. 3, 4;
Commitment in the Vernacular.”
October 24: Counterfactuals: the
Similarity theory. Reading: D.K.
Lewis, Counterfactuals, Ch.
1; J. Bennett, A Philosophical Guide to
Conditionals, Chs. 10-13.
October 31: Counterfactuals: two shocking views. Reading:
Hájek, “Most Counterfactuals are
False”; D. Edgington, “Do
Counterfactuals Have Truth Conditions?”
November 7: Two classics on fictional
truth and fictional
S. Kripke, “Reference and Existence”
(1973 John Locke Lectures); D.K. Lewis, “Truth in Fiction.”
November 14: Fiction and essence. Reading: P.
van Inwagen, “Creatures of Fiction”; W.
Lycan, Modality and Meaning, Ch. 6;
A. Thomasson, Fiction and
Metaphysics, Chs. 1, 3-5.
November 28: More recent work on fiction. Reading: S.
Brock, “Fictionalism about Fictional
Characters”; D. Proudfoot, “Possible Worlds Semantics and Fiction.”
December 5: Zany contextualism about
fiction vs. reality. Reading:
P. Ludlow, “From Sherlock and Buffy to
and Norrathian Platinum Pieces: Pretense, Contextualism, and the Myth
Fiction.” Term paper