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The Objective Conception of Context and Its Logic
 Minds and Machines 9(1
, 1999
"... Abstract. In this paper, an “objective ” conception of contexts based loosely upon situation theory is developed and formalized. Unlike “subjective ” conceptions, which take contexts to be something like sets of beliefs, contexts on the objective conception are taken to be complex, structured pieces ..."
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Abstract. In this paper, an “objective ” conception of contexts based loosely upon situation theory is developed and formalized. Unlike “subjective ” conceptions, which take contexts to be something like sets of beliefs, contexts on the objective conception are taken to be complex, structured pieces of the world that (in general) contain individuals, other contexts, and propositions about them. An extended firstorder language for this account is developed. The language contains complex terms for propositions, and the standard predicate ‘ist ’ that expresses the relation that holds between a context and a proposition just in case the latter is true in the former. The logic for the objective conception features a “global ” classical predicate calculus, a “local ” logic for reasoning within contexts, and axioms for propositions. The specter of paradox is banished from the logic by allowing ‘ist ’ tobe nonbivalent in problematic cases: it is not in general the case, for any context c and proposition p, that either ist(c,p) or ist(c, ¬p). An important representational capability of the logic is illustrated by proving an appropriately modified version of an illustrative theorem from McCarthy’s classic Blocks World example. Key words: context, situation theory, proposition
Quantificational logic and empty names
"... In a number of recent articles Timothy Williamson has built a strong case for the claim that everything necessarily exists. His argument rests on a combination of the derivability of this claim from quantificational logic, with standard modal principles and a robust understanding of the Kripke seman ..."
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In a number of recent articles Timothy Williamson has built a strong case for the claim that everything necessarily exists. His argument rests on a combination of the derivability of this claim from quantificational logic, with standard modal principles and a robust understanding of the Kripke semantics for quantified modal logic. In this paper I defend a contingentist, nonMeinongian metaphysics within a positive free logic. It is argued that although certain names and free variables do not actually denote anything they might have actually done so, allowing one to interpret the contingentist claims without quantifying over nonexistent possibilia. 1 The classical theory of quantification is subject to a number of difficulties relating to contingent existence and to the treatment of both empty and nonempty names. In this paper I propose and defend a modal metaphysics, couched in a weakening of classical logic, that avoids these objections. It is well known that classical quantification theory does not provide a
Nonexistence, Vague Existence, Merely Possible Existence
"... This paper explores a new nondeflationary approach to the puzzle of nonexistence and its cousins. On this approach, we can, under a plausible assumption, express true de re propositions about certain objects that don't exist, exist indeterminately or exist merely possibly. The defense involves ..."
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This paper explores a new nondeflationary approach to the puzzle of nonexistence and its cousins. On this approach, we can, under a plausible assumption, express true de re propositions about certain objects that don't exist, exist indeterminately or exist merely possibly. The defense involves two steps: First, to argue that if we can actually designate what individuates a nonexistent target object with respect to possible worlds in which that object does exist, then we can express a de re proposition about "it". Second, to adapt the concept of outer truth with respect to a possible world – a concept familiar from actualist modal semantics – for use in representing the actual world. 1 Three Puzzles Nonexistence, vague existence and merely possible existence might be seen to generate three puzzles that run in parallel. Nonexistence. To assert that something does not exists, it appears, we must refer to that something and say of it that it does not exist. But we can only refer to what exists. So we cannot correctly assert that something does not exist. * [Acknowledgments] Iris did not have time to add acknowledgements to this paper but she would certainly have thanked those who commented on it or who discussed its topic with her. In her response to the referee's comments she wrote: “Thanks for an excellent set of comments! They helped prevent a rather serious problem. ” (Peter Koellner) �Iris Einheuser's article had been accepted for some months before she died. She did not have time to send us the revised proofs, nor the acknowledgments. Peter Koellner has kindly agreed to revise the proofs and write a thank you note on her behalf. (The Editors)
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"... Timothy Williamson in his article \Necessary Existents", presents a proof of the claim that everything necessarily exists using just three seemingly uncontroversial principles relating the notions of proposition with that of truth and existence. The argument, however, may be easily blocked onc ..."
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Timothy Williamson in his article \Necessary Existents", presents a proof of the claim that everything necessarily exists using just three seemingly uncontroversial principles relating the notions of proposition with that of truth and existence. The argument, however, may be easily blocked once the distinction, introduced by R. M. Adams, between the notions of a proposition being true in a world and of a world is introduced. In this paper I defend the plausibility of the notion of a proposition's true of a world by rejecting two criticisms to it raised by Williamson; in the nal section, I present a conception of propositions for which at least one of the principles comes out as false. 1
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you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, noncommercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at.
The Relation of Compresence in the Bundle Theory: Four Problems
"... There are many things that the bundle theory of objects is thought to accomplish—an explication of the more exact “composition ” or makeup of existent substances, the truthmaking scheme for propositions and perhaps even an ontological foundation for property theory. The aim of this paper is to car ..."
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There are many things that the bundle theory of objects is thought to accomplish—an explication of the more exact “composition ” or makeup of existent substances, the truthmaking scheme for propositions and perhaps even an ontological foundation for property theory. The aim of this paper is to carefully examine certain issues which follow from the independence of properties and the nature of compresence to see whether or not these two axioms can be held simultaneously. For if properties are independent entities, compresence is required. Likewise, if compresence is a fact about the metaphysical makeup of entities, the primacy of properties must be maintained. This paper will examine four distinct potential problems for the bundle theory of substance by focusing on the compresence relation— these are what I will term the founding problem, the de re problem, the character problem and the agential aspect problem. After laying out each problem, this paper will offer some putative defenses from the bundle theory and lend rejoinders to them. This paper will conclude that no version of the bundle theory so far advanced is able to successfully answer all four of these objections and that therefore either the theory must be conceptually expanded and revised or rejected.