« BEATific October Again | Main | Saturday Night at the Oldies: More Messages, Letters, etc. »

Friday, October 01, 2021

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I think you have a point there. Both usages are surely 'ontologically serioues'. The world is different when Jane is friendly, from how it is when she is frowny and hostile.

Not that I see any challenge to nominalism in what you say.

What does the 'something' in 'There is something that Jane is, namely, friendly' commit one to?

>What does the 'something' in 'There is something that Jane is, namely, friendly' commit one to?

Being friendly.

Note also my email. You haven't characterised Sainsbury's position correctly.

I don't know what you are saying. You need to explain how a nominalist can be ontologically committed to being friendly (friendliness, the property of being friendly). Are you a trope theorist?

Consider these two sentences

1) If I kick a ball, then something is such that I kick it.

2) If I hallucinate a ball, then something is such that I hallucinate it.

Now we presumably agree that one cannot kick what does not exist, and that whatever one hallucinates does not exist. And I take it that we agree that both sentences are true.

Now explain to me how both occurrences of 'something' are ontologically unserious, i.e., ontologically noncommittal.

Is this valid?

Venus is a planet
ergo
Something is a planet.

If that is a valid inference, and 'Venus' is ontologically committal, then 'something' in the conclusion must also be.

>If I hallucinate a ball, then something is such that I hallucinate it.

The Sainsbury position is that ‘something’ is never serious, but requires ‘markers’. Sainsbury mentions the terms ‘object’ and ‘entity’. On my version of the Sainsbury theory, the relevant markers include putting ‘something’ in the grammatical subject position, plus ‘is such that’, which is the ‘marker’.

Hence the move from “I hallucinate something” to “Something is such that I hallucinate it” is fallacious, since it moves from a nonserious context, to a serious one. Sainsbury’s point (and mine) is that the marking is not done by ‘something’, but rather by other terms.

I set all this out at length in previous posts on the subject. You remember ‘the Intentionalist fallacy’?

Re your 'Venus' example, note that 'something' occurs as a grammatical subject. You could strengthen the conclusion by adding 'is such that'.

Sainsbury didn't mention markers in his article. So I don't know what you are saying above.

Active voice: I kicked something.
Passive voice: Something was kicked by me.

Both can be true.

Active voice: I hallucinated something.
Passive voice: Something was hallucinated by me.

Only the first can be true.

It follows that 'something' has both ontologically serious and unserious uses. Is that not blindingly evident?

>Sainsbury didn't mention markers in his article. So I don't know what you are saying above.

Sainsbury writes, and is quoted by you, saying “expressions like 'object' and 'entity are used in philosophical discourse TO MARK ontological commitment”. My emphasis in bold caps.

>Active voice: I hallucinated something. / Passive voice: Something was hallucinated by me. / Only the first can be true.

The active versus passive sense is discuss on p.125 of my Reference and Identity.

> It follows that 'something' has both ontologically serious and unserious uses. Is that not blindingly evident?

Sainsbury does not deny that ‘something’ can be used in both ontologically serious and unserious contexts. However his argument is that it is the context, not the word ‘something’, that determines the seriousness.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2008

Categories

Categories

October 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Blog powered by Typepad