Dictionary of Arguments


Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute
 
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The author or concept searched is found in the following 4 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Entry
Reference
Counterfactual Conditionals Field I 220
Counterfactual Conditional/FieldVsCounterfactual Conditional: It is too vague for physical theories or geometric concepts. - DummettVsCounterfactual Conditionals: they cannot be "barely true". - They need (without counterfactual conditionals) ascertainable facts as truth makers. Substantivalism/Field: can guarantee that situations where distances differ also differ in non-counterfactual aspects.
FieldVsRelationism: it cannot.
FieldVsCounterfactual Conditionals: no theory about counterfactually defined relations works if these relations cannot be defined non-counterfactually as well. - (This is why they cannot be "barely true").
Counterfactual conditionals cannot be derived from counterfactual statements about points in the plane. - Therefore, we must take them as the naked truth. - That would be no problem if you only needed a few of them.
I 233
Counterfactual Conditional/explanation/Lewis: nothing can counterfactually depend on the non-contigent. - E.g. counterfactually depend on which mathematical entities there are. - Nothing sensible can be said about which of our opinions would be different if the number 17 did not exist. - Since mathematics consists of necessary truths, there can be no explanation problem here. FieldVsLewis: not all facts in mathematics are necessary - e.g. number of planets.

Field I
H. Field
Realism, Mathematics and Modality Oxford New York 1989

Field II
H. Field
Truth and the Absence of Fact Oxford New York 2001

Field III
H. Field
Science without numbers Princeton New Jersey 1980

Field IV
Hartry Field
"Realism and Relativism", The Journal of Philosophy, 76 (1982), pp. 553-67
In
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994

Counterfactual Conditionals Fraassen I 13
Counterfactual conditional/Fraassen: objectively neither true nor false.
I 115f
Counterfactual conditionals/Fraassen: truth conditions use similarities between possible worlds: "If A, then B" is true in possible world w iff B is true in most similar world to w in which A is also true. - Similarity: is again context-dependent E.g. "Three Barbers"/Carroll: one in three must always be there - 1) if A is ill, B must accompany him, but 2) if C is gone as well, B has to stay there - contradiction: if A is ill, B must be there and gone. - VsCarroll: 1) and 2) are not in contradiction - material conditional: "either B or not A". - Solution/Fraassen: everyday language: not material conditional - Solution/Fraassen: Context Dependency: 1) is true if we only consider the illness, 2) is true if we only consider the shop - general: what situation is more like ours? -> Lewis: E. g. Bizet/Verdi, Similarity Metrics.
I 118
FraassenVsCounterfactual conditionals: but they are no solution here: scientific statements are not context-dependent. Therefore science implies no counterfactual conditionals (if they, as I believe, are context-dependent)Counterfactual Conditionals/Laws of Nature/Reichenbach/E. Goodman: only laws, not general statements imply counterfactual conditionals - Therefore they are a criterion for laws - FraassenVsGoodman: conversely: if laws imply counterfactual conditionals, it is because they are context-dependent.

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980

Counterfactual Conditionals Wright I 154
WrightVsCounterfactual Conditionals: E.g. a chameleon sits in the dark on a green billiards table: it cannot a priori apply that the truth conditions for the corresponding sentence are covered by the statement to be analyzed - (Conditional Fallacy) - Wright: but we are keen on an equivalence (projectivist?) that can be valid a priori. - Solution: provisional equation: e.g. chameleon: could not have happened if we had determined that it was about its color under standard conditions and with a standard observer - provisional equation: If competing statement, then (it would be the case that P iff would S judged that p) (competing statement: no alternative circumstances for competing statement) - provisional equation: at best true a posteriori - loss of universality, no statement about of non-standard conditions.

WrightCr I
Crispin Wright
Truth and Objectivity, Cambridge 1992
German Edition:
Wahrheit und Objektivität Frankfurt 2001

WrightCr II
Crispin Wright
"Language-Mastery and Sorites Paradox"
In
Truth and Meaning, G. Evans/J. McDowell Oxford 1976

WrightGH I
Georg Henrik von Wright
Explanation and Understanding, New York 1971
German Edition:
Erklären und Verstehen Hamburg 2008

Universals Lewis Armstrong II 18
Universals/Lewis/Armstrong: economical theory: only postulate those properties and relations that are needed a posteriori for a scientific approach.
Armstrong II 181
Universals/Lewis/Armstrong: I am not set on them. - More neutral: truth supervenes on what things there are and what completely natural properties and relations they instantiate. - Negative existence theorems and = predications are innocent- LewisVsphenomenalistic counterfactual conditionals (VsCounterfactual conditionals). - ((s) my perception would have been somewhat different.) ---
Lewis V 244
Universal/Armstrong/Lewis: properties are not universals, - and not a substitute for universals. - And vice versa, properties are probably not a substitute for universals. - Lewis: I am committed to properties - If universals, then only a few. - Which there are, is important for the sciences. - Universals are not divisible. - Otherwise, they lead to exact duplicates. - None of this applies to properties. >Properties/Lewis.

Lewis I
David K. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

Lewis I (a)
David K. Lewis
An Argument for the Identity Theory, in: Journal of Philosophy 63 (1966)
In
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (b)
David K. Lewis
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, in: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1972)
In
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (c)
David K. Lewis
Mad Pain and Martian Pain, Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard University Press, 1980
In
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis II
David K. Lewis
"Languages and Language", in: K. Gunderson (Ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. VII, Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minneapolis 1975, pp. 3-35
In
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle Frankfurt/M. 1979

Lewis IV
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

Lewis V
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

Lewis VI
David K. Lewis
Convention. A Philosophical Study, Cambridge/MA 1969
German Edition:
Konventionen Berlin 1975

LewisCl
Clarence Irving Lewis
Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis Stanford 1970

LewisCl I
Clarence Irving Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991


Armstrong I
David M. Armstrong
Meaning and Communication, The Philosophical Review 80, 1971, pp. 427-447
In
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle Frankfurt/M. 1979

Armstrong II (a)
David M. Armstrong
Dispositions as Categorical States
In
Dispositions, Tim Crane London New York 1996

Armstrong II (b)
David M. Armstrong
Place’ s and Armstrong’ s Views Compared and Contrasted
In
Dispositions, Tim Crane London New York 1996

Armstrong II (c)
David M. Armstrong
Reply to Martin
In
Dispositions, Tim Crane London New York 1996

Armstrong II (d)
David M. Armstrong
Second Reply to Martin London New York 1996

Armstrong III
D. Armstrong
What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge 1983

The author or concept searched is found in the following 3 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Entry
Reference
Armstrong, D. Wright Vs Armstrong, D. I 153
VsBasis Equations/WrightVsLewis/WrightVsArmstrong/WrightVsCounterfactual Conditionals: counterfactual conditionals have hardly been conspicuously successful in the history of philosophy. Problem: the following sentence can always be nullified if it is possible that the realization of Q could causally interfere with a fact that actually exerts influence on the truth value of P itself:
P then and only if (would it be the case that Q), it would be the case that R
(P = statement, Q = "light on", R = reaction).
Example Johnston: a chameleon sits in the dark on a green billiard table. Then the creation of "standard" conditions can cause a change, which we can see from the skin color of the chameleon.
But if the truth conditions were correctly captured by the subjunctive conditional, then we would have to say, "The chameleon is green until the lights go on".
I 154
Conditional fallacy: here the class of judgments in which we are interested participates in the causal order. It cannot therefore apply a priori that the truth conditions for P are captured by the statement to be analysed.
Vs: when we consider a counterfactual conditional sentence, we certainly only have to consider relevant, not absurd possible situations!
VsVs: but that is so, in the case of the e.g. chameleon. The objection misses the point: the kind of equivalence we are interested in must be valid a priori.
I 155
It must be possible to know a priori that the implementation of antecedence will not materially affect those relationships that may affect the actual truth values of the analysandum. But how could one know this without collateral empirical information about the peculiarity of the world one actually finds oneself in?
Thus: a priori correct subjunctive conditional markings of the conditions of truth (in the discourse that interests us) are not to be obtained. The basic equation is to be rejected.
Instead:
"Provisional Equations"/Wright: the problem with the e.g. chameleon could not have happened if we had determined that its color is at stake under standard conditions that a standard observer has to check. Changing the truth values should not be a problem if it is the truth value of P under C conditions (no other circumstances) that S is to judge under C conditions.
Provisional Equation:
If CS, then (It would be the case that P then and only if S would judge that P).
So we do not concentrate on bi-conditionals with conditional parts to the right, but on conditionals with bi-conditional consequences.

WrightCr I
Crispin Wright
Truth and Objectivity, Cambridge 1992
German Edition:
Wahrheit und Objektivität Frankfurt 2001

WrightCr II
Crispin Wright
"Language-Mastery and Sorites Paradox"
In
Truth and Meaning, G. Evans/J. McDowell Oxford 1976

WrightGH I
Georg Henrik von Wright
Explanation and Understanding, New York 1971
German Edition:
Erklären und Verstehen Hamburg 2008
Counterfactual Conditional Field Vs Counterfactual Conditional I 220
Problem of Quantities/PoQ/Modality/Field: but this does not exclude a possible modal solution to the PoQ: perhaps other operators can help? Anyway, I do not know how that could be excluded, even if I do not know what these operators should look like.
I 221
Counterfactual Conditional/Co.Co./PoQ/Field: one suggestion is to use Counterfactual Conditional to solve the PoQ: FieldVsCounterfactual Conditional: 1) they are known to be extremely vague. Therefore, you should not rely on them when formulating a physical theory. Neither should we use Counterfactual Conditional for the development of geometrical concepts.
2) DummettVsCounterfactual conditionals: They cannot be "barely true": if a Counterfactual Conditional is supposed to be true, then there must be some facts (known or unknown facts) that can be determined without Counterfactual Conditional, and by virtue of which the Counterfactual Conditional are true. (Dummett, 1976, p.89).
Then the relationism cannot use the Counterfactual Conditional for the PoQ, because in that case the principle requires: if distance relations are counterfactually defined, then situations that differ in their distance relations (like situations A and B) must also differ in non-counterfactual respects!.
Substantivalism: can guarantee that.
Relationism: cannot, and if it could, it would need no Counterfactual Conditional.
3) VsCounterfactual conditionals: does not work for very similar reasons for which the version with impredicative properties (P3) did not work: no theory about counterfactually defined relations works if these relations cannot also be counterfactually defined, (This is the formal reason for the metaphysical argument of Dummett, for why Counterfactual Conditional cannot be "barely true").
E.g. In order to prove the incompatibility of "double distance" and "triple distance" (given that z and w do not occupy the same point, i.e. given that zw is not congruent with zz - (logical form: local equality) - then you would need the incompatibility of the following:
a) if there were a point u in the middle between x and y, then uy would be congruent with zw.
b) if there were a point s between x and y, and a point t between s and y, so that xs, st and ty were all congruent, then ty would be congruent with zw.
If these Counterfactual Conditional were somehow derivable from non-counterfactual statements, E.g. statements about spacetime points (ST points), then you could probably, and by way of derivation.
I 222
Together with the demonstrable relations between the non-counterfactual statements win an argument for the incompatibility of (a) and (b). But if we have no non-counterfactual support, we would have to consider them as bare facts. That would not be so bad if you only needed a small amount of them, but we would need a very large number of them.

Field I
H. Field
Realism, Mathematics and Modality Oxford New York 1989

Field II
H. Field
Truth and the Absence of Fact Oxford New York 2001

Field III
H. Field
Science without numbers Princeton New Jersey 1980

Field IV
Hartry Field
"Realism and Relativism", The Journal of Philosophy, 76 (1982), pp. 553-67
In
Theories of Truth, Paul Horwich Aldershot 1994
Counterfactual Conditional Fraassen Vs Counterfactual Conditional I 115
Counterfactual Conditional/Co.co./Causation/Cause/Lewis/Fraassen: Under certain circumstances, after all, it is logically correct to say: whenever "A is the cause of B" is true, it is also true that if A had not existed, B would not have existed either. FraassenVsCounterfactual Conditionals/FraassenVsLewis: Problem: E.g. Assuming, if the alarm had not gone off, David would have not woken up; we will concede that, however: if he had not slept the night before, he would not have woken up! Problem: it should not be the cause of his awakening that he went to sleep. Solution/Lewis: Counterfactual conditional sorts out the nodes in the causal network, while "because" points to specific factors. Relevance: E.g. falling asleep is not relevant for waking up at a certain time, even though it is a necessary condition. Not every necessary condition is relevant. Context-Dependent/Fraassen: every theory of causality must explain what is discarded as unimportant. And this is done in relation to context. This, in turn, is objective. That much context dependency must always be. Problem: there is still much more of it if we are dealing with counterfactual conditionals. FraassenVsCounterfactual Conditionals/FrassenVsLewis: in science, there is nothing that corresponds to counterfactual conditionals with their extreme context dependence: Science is not context-dependent. Ceteris Paribus/Fraassen: the factors that are held fixed are in the mind of the speaker! They are speaker-dependent! And it depends on the broader context, whether what I silently presume collides with the situation or not. E.g. The match is dry.
I 118
E.g. Danny is interested in women. Would he be a lesbian if he were a woman? Solution: the content of "ceteris paribus" is not only determined by the one sentence and the specific situation, but also by factors of context. FraassenVsCounterfactual conditionals: they are no solution here: scientific statements are not context-dependent. Therefore science implies no counterfactual conditional (if they are, as I believe, context-dependent). Counterfactual Conditionals/Laws of Nature/LoN/Reichenbach/Goodman/Hempel: Thesis: Counterfactual conditionals provide an objective criterion for what a law is or at least a law-like statement. Because only laws, but not general truths, imply counterfactual conditionals. FraassenVsCounterfactual Conditionals/FraassenVsGoodman: this idea needs to be reversed: if laws imply counterfactual conditionals, then, because they are context-dependent. Law/LoN/Fraassen: the concept of law does not point to any objective distinction in nature. Counterfactual Conditionals/Explanation/Fraassen: nevertheless, I believe that counterfactual conditionals are suitable for explanations, but that means that explanations are crucially context-dependent.

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980