Dictionary of Arguments

Philosophical and Scientific Issues in Dispute

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The author or concept searched is found in the following 9 entries.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Causal Explanation Lewis V 214
Causal story/causal explanation/Lewis: not everything in a causal story is a cause - E.g. sharp curve is not a cause in itself - it causes uncontrolled turning of the steering wheel) - there are several, convergent causal chains - they can have a tree structure. - Causal chains are dense. Cause/everyday language: unclear - depending on the context. - Overall cause/Mill: Lewis Pro: is a cause. ---
V 217
Closed: everything on which an event in the (pre-)history depends is itself an event in (pre-)history - but not vice versa: a causal history needs not to be closed - explanation: Information about causal story. ---
V 230f
Causal explanation/explanation/coincidence/why-question/Lewis: both are legitimate: a) explaining random events - b) denying that we can explain why this provides one result instead of another - this is not about relative probability - the actual causal story is not different from the unactual one which would have had the other result, if it had happened - there are no properties that distinguish the actual story from the unactual one. ---
V 327
Causal counterfactual conditionals/Lewis: can belong to patterns of causal dependence or independence - we get them when we pass from language to propositions. ---
Bigelow I 320
Explanation/Hempel/Lewis/Bigelow/Pargetter: pro: Hempel's explanations are generally correct but do not exhaust all cases. Individual case causation/individual event/Lewis: (1986e) need not be explained according to Hempel's style.
Probabilistic explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: here applies that a cause does not necessarily increase the probability of the effect. If one assumes the opposite, one must assume that the explanation itself is the cause. This is because the explanation makes the result more likely.
BigelowVsProbabilistic Statement. Instead: Approach by Lewis:

Causation/Lewis/Bigelow/Pargetter: (1986e) 5 stages:
1. Natural laws as input for a theory of counterfactual conditionals.
I 321
2. Uses contrafactual conditionals to define a relation between events, namely, counterfactual dependency. 3. Uses contrafactual dependency to explain causation by two principles:
(1) Thesis: Contrafactual dependency is causation
(2) The cause of a cause is a cause.

Causation/Lewis: is transitive.
4. Lewis constructs a causal history of an event. (Tree structure, it may be that more distant causes are not connected by counterfactual dependency, i.e. another cause could have taken the place, but in fact it is the cause.
5. Definition Causal explanation/Lewis: is everything that provides information about the causal history. This can also be partial. E.g. maternal line, paternal line. E.g. Information about a temporal section of the tree: this corresponds to the explanation by Hempel.
I 322
Causal Explanation/BigelowVsLewis/Bigelow/Pargetter: our theory is similar but also has differences. See Causal Explanation/Bigelow.

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)
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)
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
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
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

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

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990
Dependence Bigelow I 312
Functional dependence/Counterfactual conditional/Lewis/Bigelow/Pargetter: For example, an icon on the screen obeys the movements of a joystick. We formulate this with counterfactual conditionals. Counterfactual dependence: is expressed by a series of counterfactual conditionals:
p1 would> be q1
p2 would be> q2 ...
pi would be > would be qi
E.g. Joystick: the four directions p1 - p4. There can also be an infinite series of alternatives. E.g. Acceleration.
Logical form:
Px would be > would be q f(x)
Natural laws/Bigelow/Pargetter. Many are in reality equations, which together with initial conditions contain series of counterfactual conditionals expressing counterfactual dependence.
I 313
Counterfactual conditionals/natural laws/Bigelow/Pargetter: the counterfactual conditionals are thus in a connection with the laws of nature. It may be that e.g. the joystick does not work properly. Nobody would come to the idea to say that the movement of the icon is legally related to the stick. This only happens when the device is in good condition. Solution/Bigelow/Pargetter: With the establishment of the series of counterfactual conditionals, we set up only conditions for laws.
Counterfactual dependence/Bigelow/Pargetter: (series of counterfactual conditionals) provides indirect information about laws. And thus provide information about causes. And ultimately, why explanations.
I 314
E.g. p1 would be > would be q1
p2 would be > would be q2
p3 would be > would be q3
p4 would be > would be q4
Let p3 be true and q3 true. Then we can say that q3 is true because p3 is true. The icon moves in this direction because the stick has been moved in this direction.
In the context of the alternatives we can also say q3 is true instead of q1, q2, or q4.
Why Explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: E.g. a priest asked a bank robber why he was robbing banks - "Because there is the money".
Explanations: often serve to exclude alternatives.
Objectivity/explanation/objective/Bigelow/Pargetter: what is objective is whether counterfactual conditionals are true or false in a given row (expressing the counterfactual dependence).
Why-Questions/Context/Counterfactual dependence/Explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: thus, the counterfactual dependence also takes into account the context dependency in the case of why explanations.
I 315
Why explanation: but is limited to prominent possibilities. Counterfactual Conditional/Bigelow/Pargetter: restrict the laws
Laws: restrict the causes.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

Explanation Vollmer I 228
Explanation / Vollmer: misconception: each cognitive system would have to be more complex than the object that it explains.
I 278
Explanation / "too much" / "too little" / Vollmer: a tautological explanation explains too little, an untestable explanation explains too much.
I 279
Questions / Science / Biology / Evolution / Vollmer: the question "Why?" is in biology always welcome - even if it does not always find an answer.
II 58
Why-questions / Science / VollmerVsFeynman / Vollmer: why questions must always be asked - when they are unanswerable, they are therefore not illegitimate - This shows the relational character of explanations.

Vollmer I
G. Vollmer
Was können wir wissen? Bd. I Die Natur der Erkenntnis. Beiträge zur Evolutionären Erkenntnistheorie Stuttgart 1988

Vollmer II
G. Vollmer
Was können wir wissen? Bd II Die Erkenntnis der Natur. Beiträge zur modernen Naturphilosophie Stuttgart 1988

Explanation Gould I 321
Explanation/Why-questions/Gould: Evolutionary biology is always concerned with the question "why?" (> purposes).
II 61
Explanation/Tradition/Gould: Isn't it extremely unlikely that haplodiploidism, a prerequisite for the evolution of hymenoter societies, was probably first developed as an adaptation to an almost completely contradictory lifestyle? GouldVsTradition: But this is not unusual at all, but a basic principle that distinguishes evolutionary biology from a common stereotype about science in general.
Frequent error: that the instantaneous usefulness of a property would allow to deduce the reasons for its origin.
Origin and current usefulness, however, are two very different subjects.
Complex properties are full of possibilities: their conceivable uses are not limited to their original functions. For example, the fish's fins of equilibrium became the driving elements. >Misuse.
II 150
Explanation/Causality/Purpose/Gould: The question "What is it for?" often distracts us from the more earthly but often instructive question: "How is it built?"
II 152
We tend to view each structure as if it were created for a specific purpose.
II 166
Explanation/Causality/Causal explanation/chart of knowledge/Methods/Gould: A hotly debated topic is the occurrence of transposable elements of DNA, so-called jumping genes. These sequences can repeat themselves and then move independently to other parts of the bacterial chromosome.
II 167
Conventional arguments for the existence of DNA repeating itself on average follow traditional Darwinian viewpoints. Primary characteristics of organisms: about 25% of the genetic material cannot be secondary - they must exist in order to secure an advantage for the organisms in the fight for survival.
Therefore, we would have to explain the advantage for the supporting body resulting from the DNA, which is repeating itself on average.
Wrong answer: If you assume that all functioning genes could only exist in one copy, any possibility of alteration would be blocked. So that must be the reason! Doubling provides the material for evolution.
II 168
GouldVs: this is causality in the wrong direction: it cannot move backwards in time, the resulting flexibility cannot be the reason why a doubling of genes occurs in the first place. Future usefulness can only be the beneficial effect of other direct reasons for an immediate advantage. E. g. feathers are excellent for flying, but the ancestors of the birds must have developed them for other reasons, probably to control the temperature as a few feathers on the arms of a reptile do not make it fly.
II 169
Definition Adaptations/Gould: are limited exclusively to those structures that have developed because of their current usefulness. Definition Exaptations/Gould: We call adaptations structures that have developed for other reasons or without any reason, but are still usable.
If the repeating DNA is transposable, why do we need an adaptive explanation at all for it?
II 170
It can simply distribute itself from chromosome to chromosome on its own, making copies of itself while "stuck" genes cannot. Solution/Gould: These additional copies must not continue to exist because they are useful, but because the body does not notice them at all!

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

Method Darwin Gould I 189
Darwin took the view that the fossil finds were extremely incomplete. The history of most fossil species includes two characteristics which are especially difficult to reconcile with the theory of gradual change.
I 190
1) Stasis: Most species show little change in one or another direction during their presence on Earth. 2) Sudden Appearance: In all spheres of life, species do not appear on the basis of incessant changes in their predecessors, but suddenly and "fully developed".
Mayr I 160
How-Questions/Mayr: immediate function led to the discovery of most natural laws.
Why-Questions/Darwin/Mayr: historical, evolutionary, indirect. Why-questions were only scientifically legitimized by Darwin. He thus introduced the entire natural history into science.
Dennett I 293
"Why"-Questions/Dennett: Need to be asked. Darwin showed us how to answer them.
Dennett I 421
Extrapolation/DennettVsGould: the extrapolationism is not represented as foolishly "pure" as Gould assumes. It was also represented by Darwin himself, but he was eager to distinguish himself from those kinds of catastrophic theories that were in the way of the theory of evolution e.g. flood. ---
Gould II 122
Method/Darwin/Gould: How can we be scientific about the past? Darwin's book on worms makes that clear.
Gould II 123
Darwin made above all two statements about the worms (1): 1. The impact on the design of the soil is directional. They crush the soil, which can then be better distributed by erosion. Therefore, gently undulated areas tend to be signs of worm activity.
2. They form the humus, the uppermost layer of the soil and thus form a constancy in the midst of other permanent changes.
The humus layer does not become thicker and thicker because it is compressed by pressure downwards. This is about continuous change within apparent consistency: the humus always seems the same, but is constantly renewed. There's a cycle. Darwin: we don't notice how our own soil is pulled away from us under our feet.
Gould II 129
Gould: What if the evidence is limited to the static object itself? If we cannot observe the process of formation, can we still find several stages of the process? Darwin's answer: we deduce the history of imperfections that capture the constraints of descent. If God had applied orchids to the purpose from the very beginning, which their complex organs now hold, he would certainly have made them much easier.

1. Charles Darwin: The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms, with observations on their habits. London: John Murray, 1881

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

Mayr I
Ernst Mayr
This is Biology, Cambridge/MA 1997
German Edition:
Das ist Biologie Heidelberg 1998

Dennett I
D. Dennett
Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, New York 1995
German Edition:
Darwins gefährliches Erbe Hamburg 1997

Dennett II
D. Dennett
Kinds of Minds, New York 1996
German Edition:
Spielarten des Geistes Gütersloh 1999

Dennett III
Daniel Dennett
"COG: Steps towards consciousness in robots"
Bewusstein, Thomas Metzinger Paderborn/München/Wien/Zürich 1996

Dennett IV
Daniel Dennett
"Animal Consciousness. What Matters and Why?", in: D. C. Dennett, Brainchildren. Essays on Designing Minds, Cambridge/MA 1998, pp. 337-350
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild Frankfurt/M. 2005
Omniscience Fraassen I 129
Why-question/Fraassen: context-dependent - (> Relevance). - An omniscient being does not have an explanation, because there are no why questions for it - If it has no specific interests - because they are for it just as context-dependent as for us - Information: is not by itself an explanation. - It has to be screened only by relevance considerations - i.e. an omniscient being cannot use its information if it does not restrict these - screening of information also solves the problem of asymmetry.
I 134
Explanation: Response to Why-questions.

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980

Questions Mayr I 160
How-questions/Mayr: immediate function led to the discovery of most natural laws.
Why-questions/Darwin/Mayr: historical, evolutionary, indirect. Why-questions were scientifically legitimized by Darwin. He thus introduced the entire natural history into science.
I 179
Why-questions: Why do we not find in nature a continuum of similar or different individuals, which can all reproduce together? Answer: Investigation of the hybrids: e.g. mule: lower viability. Selection advantage for all mechanisms that prevent such a pairing.

Mayr I
Ernst Mayr
This is Biology, Cambridge/MA 1997
German Edition:
Das ist Biologie Heidelberg 1998

Questions Bigelow I 298
Why-questions/Bigelow/Pargetter: this is mostly about certain events. The answers must contain information about causes in order to be considered explanations.
Purpose/Explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: involves the same causal relations as the efficient cause (relations to the environment).

Why-Explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: Laws (natural laws) and species are not themselves events, therefore they are not in the appropriate category to serve as an explanation.
Solution: through individual events falling under a species or laws.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

Social Darwinism Gould II 42
Social Darwinism/GouldVsSocial Darwinism/Gould: if nature is not moral, evolution cannot teach any moral theory. The notion that it could, has caused a long series of social evils, such as "race doctrines" and the wrongly named "social Darwinism".
II 43
Gould: We cannot ask the question at all why nature poses such ingenious traps with cruel consequences. (>Why-questions, >Science/Gould).

Gould I
Stephen Jay Gould
The Panda’s Thumb. More Reflections in Natural History, New York 1980
German Edition:
Der Daumen des Panda Frankfurt 2009

Gould II
Stephen Jay Gould
Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes. Further Reflections in Natural History, New York 1983
German Edition:
Wie das Zebra zu seinen Streifen kommt Frankfurt 1991

Gould III
Stephen Jay Gould
Full House. The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, New York 1996
German Edition:
Illusion Fortschritt Frankfurt 2004

Gould IV
Stephen Jay Gould
The Flamingo’s Smile. Reflections in Natural History, New York 1985
German Edition:
Das Lächeln des Flamingos Basel 1989

The author or concept searched is found in the following 4 controversies.
Disputed term/author/ism Author Vs Author
Carnap, R. Stroud Vs Carnap, R. I 182
External/internal/Carnap/Quine/Stroud: Quine seems to interpret Carnap this way. That the distinction between "category questions" and "subsets questions" corresponds to the distinction. External/QuineVsCarnap: this is nothing more than two ways of formalizing the language. If we have only one kind of bound variable for all things, it will be an external question: "Is there such and such?" if the variable goes over the whole range. (This is a question of category).
Internally: if there is a variable for every kind of thing, it will be a subset question. Then the question does not refer to all the things that can exist.
I 183
Philosophy/QuineVsCarnap: differs from the sciences only in the range of its categories. (Quine, Word and Object, p. 275). External/internal/QuineVsCarnap: Category questions differ from internal questions only in their generality from subset questions. We can get to the generality by letting some kind of variable go over all things.
I 191
StroudVsCarnap: this introduces a "we", and something that happens to us, called "experience". That we exist and have experience cannot simply be seen as an "internal" truth of the thing language.
One cannot then see the meaning of experience as the common goal of all "real alternatives", because then it is assumed that there are external things.
Problem: the question of the common goal of all genuine alternatives cannot be regarded as an external question of all reference systems either, because then it becomes meaningless.
But if it were "internal", what would be the difference if one were to switch from one reference system to another that does not even contain this goal?
Carnap does not answer that.
I 192
This makes it difficult to grasp his positive approach. CarnapVsSkepticism: misunderstands the relation between linguistic frame of expression about external objects and the truths expressed within this system of reference.
StroudVsCarnap: but what exactly is his own non-sceptical approach to this relation?
1. To which system does Carnap's thesis belong that assertions of existence in the language of things are neither true nor false?
2. What does the thesis express at all then?
Knowledge/internal/Carnap: for example the geometer in Africa really comes to knowledge about the mountain.
StroudVsCarnap: but what does it mean in addition to the fact that this is not a truth that is independent of a reference system?
Suppose for some reason we did not have the thing language and could freely choose another language. Does it follow from this that, for example, the sentence about the mountain in Africa would no longer be true?
Surely we would express something completely different in a completely different language without thing expressions. But would the sentence we can make now not be true in this other language?
I 193
And could it never be true if we had never accidentally adopted the thing language. Existence/Language/Skepticism/StroudVsCarnap: that cannot be right and it leads to an extreme idealism that Carnap just rejects. It is absurd because we already know enough about mountains to see that they are not influenced by a chosen language.
Language/object/Stroud: things were there long before language came into being in the world. And that again is something we know "internally" in the thing language.
StroudVsCarnap: then his thesis, understood as "internal" to the language, is wrong. It contradicts what we already assume it as knowledge about ourselves and external things.
Empirically speaking, it leads to idealism that contradicts the known facts.
CarnapVsVs: would say that of course one must not understand his thesis "empirically" and not the thing language "internally".
StroudVsCarnap: but within some reference system it must be internal, otherwise it is meaningless.
Problem: but this is a statement about the relation between a chosen framework and the internal statements within that framework. And if that implies that these internal statements would have been neither true nor false, if a different frame of reference had been chosen, it is still idealism, whether empirical or non empirical idealism.
Truth Value/tr.v./Convention/StroudVsCarnap: the truth value of the internal sentences would depend on the choice of language (of the reference system).
I 194
StroudVsCarnap: it is important to see that if this did not follow, Carnap's thesis would not be different from traditional skepticism! There would then be room for the possibility that statements about things would remain true, even if we abandoned the thing language and truth would again be independent of language. Problem: that would again lead to our choice of a linguistic framework being necessary only to formulate or recognize something that would be true anyway ((s) > metaphysical realism) independently of that framework.
Theoretically: according to Carnap this would then be a "theoretical" question about the acceptability of the thing language as a whole. But in terms of objectivity, which we then presuppose.
CarnapVsTradition: it is precisely the incomprehensibility of such theoretical questions that is important in Carnap. Because
Problem: then it could be that even if we carefully apply our best procedures (> Best explanation), things could still be different from what we think they are. This is equivalent to skepticism.
"Conditional Correctness"/Skepticism/Carnap/Stroud: Carnap accepts what I have called the "conditional correctness" of skepticism: if the skeptic could ask a meaningful question, he would prevail.
StroudVsCarnap: if he now would not deny that the "internal" sentences remain true or false when changing the reference system, his approach would be just as tolerant of skepticism as tradition. ((s) So both denial and non-denial would become a problem.)
Kant/Stroud: he also accepts the "conditional correctness" of skepticism. If Descartes' description of experience and its relation to external things were correct, we could never know anything about these things.
Carnap/Stroud: his thesis is a version of Kant's "Copernican Turn". And he obtains it for the same reasons as Kant: without it we would have no explanation, how is it possible that we know anything at all?
Reference system/frame/StroudVsCarnap: a gap opens up between the frame and what is true independently of it. ((s) If a choice between different frames is to be possible).
StroudVsCarnap: in this respect, Carnap's approach is entirely Kantian.
I 196
And he also inherits all the obscurity and idealism of Kant. There are parallels everywhere: for both there can be a kind of distancing from our belief. We can do a philosophical study of everyday life (as far as the conditions of knowledge are concerned).
I 197
Reference system/framework/StroudVsCarnap: to which framework does Carnap's thesis belong that no propositions about external objects are true or false regardless of the choice of a reference system (language)? And is this thesis - analytical or not - itself "internal" in any framework? And whether it is or not, is it not merely an expression of Kantian Transcendental Idealism? Skepticism/StroudVsCarnap: the basic mistake is to develop any competing theory at all to tradition.
I 198
A purely negative approach or deflationary use of the verification principle would simply eliminate skepticism as pointless. If that were possible, scepticism would no longer need to be undermined. But: Verification Principle/StroudVsCarnap: Problem: the status of the verification principle itself, or its acceptability. We can only use it to refute Descartes if we have a good reason to accept it as necessary. But that depends on how it is introduced.
It should serve to prevent the excesses of senseless philosophical speculation.
StroudVsCarnap: 1. Then we can only watch and see how far the principle can lead to a distinction that we have already made before! The only test would be sentences, which we would have recognized as senseless before!
2. But even assuming that the principle would be adequately proven as extensional and descriptive, i.e. it would distinguish between meaningful and senseless, as we do,
I 199
it would not allow us to eliminate something as senseless that we had not already recognized as senseless by other means. Verification Principle/StroudVsCarnap: was incorrectly introduced ((s) with the ulterior motive of producing a result that was already fully known). Early Carnap sketches show that general laws of nature were initially wrongly excluded.
Verification principle/VP/StroudVsCarnap: a correct introduction would provide a strong destructive tool that Kant was already looking for: it would have to explain why the verfication principle is correct. This would probably be identical to an explanation of how knowledge of external things is possible.
Verification Principle/Hempel/Carnap/Stroud: the early representatives had in mind that
1. a sentence is meaningful only if it expresses an "actual content",
2. that understanding a sentence means knowing what would happen if the sentence were true.
Verificationism/Stroud: There is nothing particularly original about this approach. What gives it the verificationist twist is the idea that we cannot even understand anything that cannot be known as true or false, or
weaker: at least to believe as more rational than its opposite.
StroudVsCarnap: that failed, even as an attempt to extract empirically verifiable sentences.
I 205
SkepticismVsVerificationism/StroudVsVerificationism/StroudVsCarnap: even if verificationism is true, we still need an explanation of how and why traditional philosophical ((s) non-empirical) inquiry fails. ((s) should correspond here to skepticism). (>Why-question).
I 207
StroudVsVerificationism/StroudVsCarnap/StroudVsHempel: it is more plausible to reject the verification principle ((s) > empiricist sense criterion) than to claim that Descartes never said anything meaningful. StroudVsVerification Principle: it will remain implausible as long as it is not understood why the traditional distinction internal/external should not be correct.
I 214
Formal manner of speaking: ""Wombat" applies to (is true of) some living beings in Tasmania". QuineVsCarnap: misunderstands the semantic ascent when he speaks of external issues. But this does not reject Carnap's pragmatic approach to simplicity and fertility of theories.

Stroud I
B. Stroud
The Significance of philosophical scepticism Oxford 1984
Correspondence Theory Fraassen Vs Correspondence Theory I 39
Science/Fraassen: Thesis: is a biological phenomenon: an activity of a type of organisms that facilitates their interaction with the environment. And that leads me to the fact that we need a completely different kind of explanation here. E.g. Augustinus: explains the fleeing of mouse before the cat by the fact that the mouse perceives the enemy.
VsAugustinus/VsKCorrespondence Theory/Animal: Problem: then it is again about the appropriateness ("adequacy") of ​​the mouse’s thoughts about the order of nature.
Why-Questions/DarwinismVsWhy-Question: instead: the mice with the right strategies survive without justifying the reasons.
I 40
Science/Success/Explanation/Fraassen: Thesis: Similarly, I believe that the successful theories are those that survive. I.e. we do not need to explain why a theory is successful. It’s just not surprising.
I 219
Of course, you can also explain the survival of the mouse by the structure of its brain and its environment. Theories/Survival/Balmer/Fraassen: he would say the line spectrum of hydrogen survived as a successful hypothesis.
RealismVsAnti-Realism: it cannot assert either without admitting that both underlying theories are true.

Fr I
B. van Fraassen
The Scientific Image Oxford 1980
Nagel, Th. Stalnaker Vs Nagel, Th. I 20
Objective Self/Nagel/Stalnaker: Nagel begins with the expression of a general sense of confusion about one's place in an impersonal world. I: if somebody says "I am RS" it seems that the person expresses a fact.
I 21
Important argument: it is an objective fact whether such a statement is true or false, regardless of what the speaker thinks. Problem: our concept of the objective world seems to leave no place for such a fact! A full representation of the world as it is in itself will not pick out any particular person as me. (single out). It will not tell me who I am.
Semantic diagnosis: attempts a representation of index words or self-localization as a solution.
NagelVsSemantic diagnosis: that does not get to the heart of the matter.
StalnakerVsNagel: a particular variant can solve our particular problem here but many others remain with regard to the relation between a person and the world they inhabited, namely what exactly the subjective facts about the experience tell us how the world in itself is
Self-identification/Self-localisation/belief/Stalnaker: nothing could be easier: if EA says on June 5, 1953 "I am a philosopher" then that is true iff EA is a philosopher on June 5, 1953.
Problem: what is the content of the statement?
Content/truth conditions/tr.cond./Self-identification/I/Stalnaker: the content, the information is not recognized through tr.cond. if the tr.cond. are made timeless and impersonal.
((s) The truth conditions for self-identification or self-localization are not homophonic! That means they are not the repetition of "I'm sick" but they need to be complemented by place, date and information about the person so that they are timeless and capable of truth.
Problem/Stalnaker: the speaker could have believed what he said, without even knowing the date and place at all or his audience could understand the statement without knowing the date, etc..
Solution: semantic diagnosis needs a representation of subjective or contextual content.
Nagel: is in any case certain that he rejects the reverse solution: an ontological perspective that objectifies the self-.properties.
Stalnaker: that would be something like the assertion that each of us has a certain irreducible self-property with which he is known. ((s) >bug example, Wittgenstein dito), tentatively I suppose that that could be exemplified in the objectification of the phenomenal character of experience.

I 253
Self/Thomas Nagel/Stalnaker: Nagel finds it surprising that he of all people must be from all Thomas Nagel. Self/subjective/objective/Stalnaker: general problem: to accommodate the position of a person in a non-centered idea of an objective world. It is not clear how to represent this relation.
Self/I/Nagel/Stalnaker: e.g. "I am TN".
Problem: it is not clear why our world has space for such facts.
Dilemma: a) such facts must exist because otherwise things would be incomplete
b) they cannot exist because the way things are they do not contain such facts. (Nagel 1986, 57).
Self/semantic diagnosis/Nagel/Stalnaker: NagelVsSemantic diagnosis: unsatisfactory:
NagelVsOntological solution: wants to enrich the objective, centerless world in a wrong way.
Nagel: center position thesis: There is an objective self.
StalnakerVsNagel: this is difficult to grasp and neither necessary nor helpful.
I 254
Semantic diagnosis/StalnakerVsNagel: has more potential than Nagel assumes. My plan is:
1. semantic diagnosis
2. sketch of a metaphysical solution 3. objective self is a mistake
4. general problem of subjective viewpoints
5. context-dependent or subjective information - simple solution for qualitative experiences.
Self/subjective/objective/semantic diagnosis/Nagel/Stalnaker: (in Stalnaker's version):
This does not include that
"I am TN" is supposedly without content.
StalnakerVsNagel: the identity of the first person is not "automatically and therefore uninteresting".
semantic diagnosis: starts with the tr.cond.
WB: "I am F" expressed by XY is true iff XY is F.
What information is transmitted with it?
I 255
Content/information/self/identity/Stalnaker: a solution: if the following is true: Belief/conviction/Stalnaker: are sets of non-centered poss.w.
Content/self-ascription/Stalnaker: is then a set of centered poss.w.
E.g. I am TN is true iff it is expressed by TN,
Content: is represented by the set of centered poss.w. that have TN as their marked object.
Content/conviction/Lewis/Stalnaker: with Lewis belief contents can also be regarded as properties. (Lewis 1979).

I 257
Semantic diagnosis/NagelVsSemantic diagnosis/Stalnaker: "It does not make the problem go away". Stalnaker: What is the problem then?
Problem/Nagel: an appropriate solution would have to bring the subjective and objective concepts into harmony.
I 258
StalnakerVsNagel: for that you would have to better articulate the problem's sources than Nagel does. Analogy. E.g. suppose a far too simple skeptic says: "Knowledge implies truth so you can only know necessary truths".
Vs: which is a confusion of different ranges of modality.
VsVs: the skeptic might then reply "This diagnosis is not satisfactory because it does not make the problem go away".
Problem/Stalnaker: general: a problem may turn out to be more sophisticated, but even then it can only be a linguistic trick.
Illusion/explanation/problem/Stalnaker: it is not enough to realize that an illusion is at the root of the problem. Some illusions are persistent, we feel their existence even after they are explained. But that again does not imply that it is a problem.
I 259
Why-questions/Stalnaker: e.g. "Why should it be possible that..." (e.g. that physical brain states cause qualia). Such questions only make sense if it is more likely that the underlying is not possible.
I 260
Self-deception/memory loss/self/error/Stalnaker: e.g. suppose TN is mistaken about who he is, then he does not know that TN itself has the property to be TN even though he knows that TN has the self-property of TN! (He does not know that he himself is TN.) He does not know that he has the property which he calls "to be me". ((s) "to be me" is to refer here only to TN not to any speaker). objective/non-centered world/self/Stalnaker: this is a fact about the objective, non-centered world and if he knows it he knows who he is. Thus the representative of the ontological perspective says.
Ontological perspective/StalnakerVsNagel/StalnakerVsVs: the strategy is interesting: first, the self is objectified - by transforming self-localizing properties into characteristics of the non-centered world.
Then you try to keep the essential subjective character by the subjective ability of detecting.
I 263
Nagel: thesis: because the objective representation has a subject there is also its possible presence in the world and that allows me to bring together the subjective and objective view. StalnakerVsNagel: I do not see how that is concluded from it. Why should from the fact that I can think of a possible situation be concluded that I could be in it?
Fiction: here there are both, participating narrator and the narrator from outside, omniscient or not.
I 264
Semantic diagnosis/Stalnaker: may be sufficient for normal self-localization. But Nagel wants more: a philosophical thought. StalnakerVsNagel: I do not think there is more to a philosophical thought here than to the normal. Perhaps there is a different attitude (approach) but that requires no difference in the content!
Subjective content/Stalnaker: (as it is identified by the semantic diagnosis) seems to be a plausible candidate to me.

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003
Verificationism Stroud Vs Verificationism I 201
Verificationism/Knowledge/Stroud: this draws attention to a little-noticed problem of the relation between the verification principle and traditional skepticism: one usually only sees a one-sided competition between them: the principle implies that the skeptical conclusion is meaningless. Asymmetry: so the whole problem is meaningless.
Verification Principle/VP/Skepticism/Stroud: but in reality have the same task to solve: to explain how our belief is empirically confirmed.
SkepticismVsVerificationism: its standards of confirmation are not fulfilled at all.
Stroud: this is a dispute about what our standards are and if anything fulfils them. No side is in a better position, they share the problem.
I 202
Skepticism/Stroud: is not refuted by the verification principle: if we do not know whether we are dreaming, we also do not know whether the confirmation by evidence does not only take place in the dream. ((s) The argument of empirical verification is something quite different from the argument about the use of language.) Confirmation/StroudVsVerificationism/StroudVsCarnap: there is already a conflict about how the verification principle (VP) should be formulated at all, or about what can be considered a confirmation. If the verification principle is to be adequate, it must imply that there can be no meaningful difficulty of the kind that the traditional skeptic puts forward.
Problem: when formulating the principle, the principle itself cannot yet be applied to the decisive concept of confirmation. ((s) Otherwise circular).
Empirical confirmation/confirmability/Stroud: their definition would need an explanation of how and why the traditional concept of our everyday practice should be wrong.
I 203
Skepticism/Stroud: cannot simply be rejected without showing the relationship between "internal" and "external" (distanced) access as incoherent. StroudVsVerificationism: in everyday life, the conditions of the verification principle are never completely fulfilled. A successful theory of empirical confirmation must therefore show what is wrong with the concept of confirmation.
It could nevertheless be that verificationism is on the right track.
I 204
Confirmation/Tradition/Stroud: it is generally true that the problem of the outside world (skepticism) is empirically undecidable, no matter what concept of empirical confirmability one chooses. This is the common problem that scepticism and verificationism must share. So it seems reasonable that the verification principle must first be formulated precisely before it can be used.
SkepticismVsVerificationism/StroudVsVerificationism: as long as lack of verifiability is connected with futility, our speech about the world around us will be condemned to futility if skepticism is right.
StroudVsRational Reconstruction/StroudVsCarnap: we can leave the rational reconstruction aside and simply ask how plausible it is to make sense of verifiability. And apparently we cannot do that without trying to assess the plausibility of skepticism ((s) and not dismissing it as meaningless ourselves).
I 205
SkepticismVsVerificationism/StroudVsVerificationism/StroudVsCarnap: even if verificationism is true, we still need an explanation of how and why traditional philosophical ((s) non-empirical) inquiry fails. ((s) should correspond here to skepticism). (>Why Question). Verification Principle/Stroud: to accept it, we need an understandable diagnosis of why and how skepticism is wrong. ((s) quasi circular, one presupposes the other).
StroudVsVerificationism/DescartesVsVerificationism/StroudVsCarnap: Descartes' example "I don't know if I'm really sitting by the fireplace with a piece of paper in my hand" is a perfectly sensible sentence! We understand it well enough to know what would be the case if it were true. And it can be true or false.
It would be nonsense to claim that sentences like "Here is a human hand" or "There are mountains in Africa" would be meaningless.
Verificationism/Stroud: but only claims that they are meaningless in connection with the traditional conclusion that their truth can never be known (skeptical conclusion).
I 206
Verification Principle/Stroud: we would have to show that there is nothing to fear from scepticism.

Stroud I
B. Stroud
The Significance of philosophical scepticism Oxford 1984

The author or concept searched is found in the following 3 theses of the more related field of specialization.
Disputed term/author/ism Author
Why-Question Fraassen, B. van I 112
Why-Question/Theory/Fraassen: Thesis: not everything in a theory is a legitimate object for why questions. (This corresponds to Kuhn's paradigms). And what is one is not a priori fixed.
I 134
Def Explanation/Fraassen: Thesis: an explanation is not the same as a proposition or list of propositions, not an argument either, but an answer to a why-question. Even if explanations are propositions, of course. A theory of explanation must therefore be a theory of why-questions.
I 139
Question/C. L. Hamblin: (1958). Thesis: A question is clearly identified by its answers. Fraassen: this can be seen as a simplistic hypothesis similar to the propositions. Then a
Def question/Hamblin/Fraassen: is the set of possible answers.
Explanation Fraassen, B. van I 23
Explanatory Power/criterion/theory/Fraassen: how good is explanatory power as a criterion for choosing a theory? In any case, it is one. Fraassen: thesis: the unlimited demand for explanation leads to the inevitable demand for hidden variables. (VsReichenbach/VsSmart/VsSalmon/VsSellars).
Science/Explanation/Sellars/Smart/(Salmon/Reichenbach: thesis: it is imperfect as long as any regularity remains unexplained. (FraassenVs).
I 100
Thesis: explanation is not an additional property beyond empirical adequacy.
I 134
Def Explanation/Fraassen: Thesis: An explanation is not the same as a proposition or list of propositions, nor an argument, but an answer to a why-question. Even if explanations are propositions, of course. A theory of explanation must therefore be a theory of why-questions.
I 213
Explanation/Regularity/Fraassen: Thesis: are only regularities of observable phenomena that must be explained!
Identity Theory Papineau, D. Metzinger II 305
Papineau: per Identity Theory. My goal is to explain away the intuitions VsIdentity Theory.
II 310
Identity / explanation / Papineau: identity need not be explained! Identities are no answers to why-questions.

Metz I
Th. Metzinger (Hrsg.)
Bewusstsein Paderborn 1996