Tuesday, September 09, 2008

On being modally promiscuous.

In class I attempted to defend the notion that I could have been a female born to the parents that Aristotle had in this world (the actual world).

My professor, Dr. Speak, proceeds to explain to the class: “Some of us, like Derek, are more modally promiscuous than others.”

Me: “I prefer to call it modally aware.”

Dr. Speak: “Yeah, sluts like to call it that too.”


Friday, September 05, 2008

refuting Holism in 250 words or less... successfully!

"Holism can’t be true because it’s incompatible with the PUBLICITY of concept possession; viz. with the possibility—indeed, the dead certainty—that lots of concepts are shared by lots of people. Suppose that everything I believe about Cs is ipso facto a possession condition for my concept C. Then, surely, you don’t share my concept C and nobody else does either. The point generalizes; since practically everybody has some eccentric beliefs about practically everything, holism has it that nobody shares any concepts with anybody else. Or even, come to think of it, with other time-slices of themselves, since one’s beliefs change by the millisecond. Related embarrassments: Nobody ever (dis)agreed with anybody about anything; modus ponens is a fallacy of ambiguity (because accepting the conclusion alters the content of the concepts in the premises); nobody can remember what he used to believe; and so, horribly, on. (There are those who think this situation can be remedied by supposing that the fundamental content relation among thoughts can be defined in terms of concept similarity rather than concept identity. But it can’t (see Fodor and Lepore, 2002, ch.8.) The sum and substance is surely a reductio of holism. And, in fact, people who are holists about concept possession are often hard to distinguish from people who are eliminativists about concept possession. It’s unsurprising that some philosophers seem unable todecide, from day to day, which of these they are. Paul Churchland is a paradigm."

Jerry Fodor, "Having Concepts: A Brief Refutation of the Twentieth Century", pg. 35.

Suck it, Quine, et al.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.