•  551
    What Truth is there in Psychological Egoism?
    Facta Philosophica 8 (1-2): 145-159. 2006.
    Psychological egoism says that a purposive action is self-interested in a certain sense. The trick is to say in what sense. On the one hand, the psychological egoist wants to avoid a thesis that can be falsified by trivial examples. On the other hand, what is wanted is a thesis that lacks vacuity. The paper’s purpose is to arrive at such a thesis and show that it is a reasonable guess with empirical content.
  •  528
    Quine and his Critics on Truth-Functionality and Extensionality
    Logic and Logical Philosophy 16 (1): 45-63. 2007.
    Quine argues that if sentences that are set theoretically equivalent are interchangeable salva veritate, then all transparent operators are truth-functional. Criticisms of this argument fail to take into account the conditional character of the conclusion. Quine also argues that, for any person P with minimal logical acuity, if ‘belief’ has a sense in which it is a transparent operator, then, in that sense of the word, P believes everything if P believes anything. The suggestion is made that he …Read more
  •  484
    Null Sentences
    Iyyun, The Jewish Philosophical Quarterly 48 23-36. 1999.
    In Tractatus, Wittgenstein held that there are null sentences – prominently including logical truths and the truths of mathematics. He says that such sentences are without sense (sinnlos), that they say nothing; he also denies that they are nonsensical (unsinning). Surely it is what a sentence says which is true or false. So if a sentence says nothing, how can it be true or false? The paper discusses the issue.
  •  480
    Has Nozick Justified the State?
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 62 (4): 411-415. 1981.
    In ANARCY, STATE AND UTOPIA Robert Nozick says that the fundamental question of political philosophy, one that precedes questions about how the state should be organized, is whether there should be any state at all. In the first part of his book he attempts to justify the state. We argue that he is not successful.
  •  417
    Fundamental to Quine’s philosophy of logic is the thesis that substitutional quantification does not express existence. This paper considers the content of this claim and the reasons for thinking it is true.
  •  339
    Are All Tautologies True?
    Logique Et Analyse 125 (125-126): 3-14. 1989.
    The paper asks: are all tautologies true in a language with truth-value gaps? It answers that they are not. No tautology is false, of course, but not all are true. It also contends that not all contradictions are false in a language with truth-value gaps, though none are true.
  •  312
    The Internal/External Question
    Grazier Philosophishe Studien 47 31-41. 1994.
    For Rudolf Carnap the question ‘Do numbers exist?’ does not have just one sense. Asked from within mathematics, it has a trivial answer that could not possibly divide philosophers of mathematics. Asked from outside of mathematics, it lacks meaning. This paper discusses Carnap ’s distinction and defends much of what he has to say
  •  309
    Strawson on Categories
    Journal of Critical Analysis 7 (3): 83-87. 1978.
    A type theory constructed with reference to a particular language will associate with each monadic predicate P of that language a class of individuals C(P) of which it is categorically significant to predicate P (or which P spans, for short). The extension of P is a subset of C(P), which is a subset of the language’s universe of discourse. The set C(P) is a category discriminated by the language. The relation 'is spanned by the same predicates as' divides the language’s universe of discourse int…Read more
  •  301
    A Wittgensteinian Philosophy of Mathematics
    Logic and Logical Philosophy 15 (2): 55-69. 2005.
    Three theses are gleaned from Wittgenstein’s writing. First, extra-mathematical uses of mathematical expressions are not referential uses. Second, the senses of the expressions of pure mathematics are to be found in their uses outside of mathematics. Third, mathematical truth is fixed by mathematical proof. These theses are defended. The philosophy of mathematics defined by the three theses is compared with realism, nominalism, and formalism.
  •  292
    Is Moral Relativism Consistent?
    Analysis 45 (1): 40-44. 1985.
    Let C1 and C2 be distinct moral codes formulated in English. Let C1 contain a norm N and C2 its negation. The paper construes the moral relativist as saying that if both codes are consistent, then, in the strongest sense of correctness applicable to moral norms, they are also both correct in the sense that they contain only correct moral norms. If we believe that the physical statements of English are true (false) in English, we will reject an analogous statement made of physical theories. We wi…Read more
  •  286
    What is the Logic of Propositional Identity?
    Logic and Logical Philosophy 15 (1): 3-15. 2006.
    Propositional identity is not expressed by a predicate. So its logic is not given by the ordinary first order axioms for identity. What are the logical axioms governing this concept, then? Some axioms in addition to those proposed by Arthur Prior are proposed.
  •  271
    Bound Variables and Schematic Letters
    Logique Et Analyse 95 (95): 425-429. 1981.
    The paper purports to show, against Quine, that one can construct a language , which results from the extension of the theory of truth functions by introducing sentence letter quantification. Next a semantics is provided for this language. It is argued that the quantification is neither substitutional nor requires one to consider the sentence letters as taking entities as values.
  •  259
    What’s So Special About Sentences?
    Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 28 (4): 409-25. 1995.
    This paper is a discussion of Frege's maxim that it is only in the context of a sentence that a word has a meaning. Quine reads the maxim as saying that the sentence is the fundamental unit of significance. Dummett rejects this as a truism. But it is not a truism since it stands in opposition to a conception of meaning held by John Locke and others. The maxim denies that a word has a sense independently of any sentence in which it occurs. Dummett says this denial is inconsistent with the fact th…Read more
  •  236
    Pragmatics and indexicality
    Pragmatics Microfiche 1 (4). 1975.
    A conception of pragmatics distinguishes pragmatics from semantics proper in terms of indexicality: semantics is conceived as the quest for a truth definition for languages without indexical expressions; pragmatics is conceived as a quest for a truth definition for languages with indexical expressions. I argue that indexicality is not a feature that can be used to capture anything like what Morris and Carnap had in mind.
  •  229
    Mark Steiner criticizes some remarks Wittgenstein makes about Gödel. Steiner takes Wittgenstein to be disputing a mathematical result. The paper argues that Wittgenstein does no such thing. The contrast between the realist and the demonstrativist concerning mathematical truth is examined. Wittgenstein is held to side with neither camp. Rather, his point is that a realist argument is inconclusive
  •  219
    Applying the concept of pain
    Iyyun 52 (July): 290-300. 2003.
    This paper reaches the conclusion that, while there are ordinary cases in which the pretending possibility is reasonable, these cases always contain some element that makes it reasonable. This will be the element we ask for when we ask why pretending possibility is raised. Knowledge that someone else is in pain is a matter of eliminating the proposed element or neutralizing its pain-negating aspect.
  •  219
    Propositions and eternal sentences
    Mind 77 (308): 537-542. 1968.
    Two different uses of ‘proposition’ are distinguished: the meaning of an eternal sentence is distinguished from that which can be asserted, believed, conjectured, and so on. It is argued that, in the second sense of ‘proposition’, it is not the case that every proposition can be expressed by an eternal sentence.
  •  191
    Kripke on necessity and identity
    Philosophical Papers 27 (3): 151-159. 1998.
    It may be that all that matters for the modalities, possibility and necessity, is the object named by the proper name, not which proper name names it. An influential defender of this view is Saul Kripke. Kripke’s defense is criticized in the paper.
  •  189
    Must Synonymous Predicates be Coextensive?
    Logique Et Analyse 95 (95): 430-435. 1981.
    Two cases are distinguished. In one case two predicates belong to distinct languages. A straight-forward argument is presented that the predicates might be synonymous without being coextensive. In the second case the predicates belong to the same language. Here the issue is more involved, but the same conclusion is reached.
  •  184
    The structure of type theory
    with Stephen H. Voss
    Journal of Philosophy 77 (5): 241-259. 1980.
    Formal principals are isolated to reveal a structure embedded in a wide range of studies, each of which partitions a domain of individuals into types and categories. It is thought that any reasonable theory of types should include these principles.
  •  176
    Expressing Propositions
    Proceedings of the 1979 Mid America Linguistics Conference 10 93-100. 1980.
    The paper’s purpose is to get clearer on what it is to express a proposition. A proposition is understood as anything that can be asserted, assumed, conjectured, stated, believed, and so on. It is not something that can be asked, ordered, requested, and so on. The paper tries to provide groundwork for a successful analysis by making distinctions and clarifying problems.
  •  175
    Domains of Discourse
    Logique Et Analyse 117 (17): 173-176. 1987.
    Suppose there is a domain of discourse of English, then everything of which any predicate is true is a member of that domain. If English has a domain of discourse, then, since ‘is a domain of discourse of English’ is itself a predicate of English and true of that domain, that domain is a member of itself. But nothing is a member of itself. Thus English has no domain of discourse. We defend this argument and go on to argue to the same conclusion without relying on the supposition that English is …Read more
  •  172
    True Propositions: A Reply to C.J.F. Williams
    Analysis 32 (3): 101-106. 1972.
    This paper replies to points Williams makes to his reply to Sayward’s criticism of Williams’s proposal of ‘for some p ___ states that p & p’ as an analysis of ‘___ is true’.
  •  153
    Offices and God
    Sophia 29 (3): 29-34. 1990.
    Pavel Tichy presents an interpretation of Anselm’s Proslogion III argument. Tichy presents an interpretation of this argument and raises doubts about one of the premises. The authors contend that Tichy’s interpretation of Anselm is wrong. The argument Tichy comes to raise doubts about is not Anselm’s.
  •  147
    A problem about conversational implicature
    Linguistics and Philosophy 3 (1). 1979.
    Conversational implicatures are easy to grasp for the most part. But it is another matter to give a rational reconstruction of how they are grasped. We argue that Grice's attempt to do this fails. We distinguish two sorts of cases: (1) those in which we grasp the implicature by asking ourselves what would the speaker have to believe given that what he said is such as is required by the talk exchange; (2) those in which we grasp the implicature by asking ourselves why it is that what the speaker …Read more
  •  144
    Tarski and Proper Classes
    Analysis 40 (4): 6-11. 1980.
    In this paper the authors argue that if Tarski’s definition of truth for the calculus of classes is correct, then set theories which assert the existence of proper classes (classes which are not the member of anything) are incorrect.
  •  142
    Quine’s way of dealing with the semantical paradoxes (Ways of Paradox, pp. 9-10) is criticized. The criticism is based on three premises: (1) no learnable language has infinitely many semantical primitives; (2) any language of which Quine’s theory is true has infinitely many semantical primitives; (3) English is a learnable language. The conclusion drawn is that Quine’s theory is not true of English.
  •  142
    Whereas arithmetical quantification is substitutional in the sense that a some-quantification is true only if some instance of it is true, it does not follow (and, in fact, is not true) that an account of the truth-conditions of the sentences of the language of arithmetic can be given by a substitutional semantics. A substitutional semantics fails in a most fundamental fashion: it fails to articulate the truth-conditions of the quantifications with which it is concerned. This is what is defended…Read more
  •  134
    Convention T and basic law V
    Analysis 62 (4). 2002.
    It is argued that Convention T and Basic Law V of Frege’s Grungesetze share three striking similarities. First, they are universal generalizations that are intuitively plausible because they have so many obvious instances. Second, both are false because they yield contradictions. Third, neither gives rise to a paradox.
  •  131
    Do Moral Explanations Matter?
    Philosophy Research Archives 14 137-142. 1988.
    Nicholas Sturgeon has claimed that moral explanations constitute one area of disagreement between moral realists and noncognitivists. He claims that the correctness of such explanation is consistent with moral realism but not with noncognitivism. Does this difference characterize all other anti-realist views. This paper argues that it does not. Moral relativism is a distinct anti-realist view. And the correctness of moral explanation is consistent with moral relativism.