На новой машине — старым путём?
This reply to Oleg Domanov’s target paper is not concerned with the technicalities of the proposed approach. Rather, I discuss the fruitfulness of the underlying ideas in dealing with Quine’s famous “double vision” scenario, for which the approach is designed. I point out some key ingredients of Domanov’s proposal: (a) context dependence of propositional attitude ascription (and ascribability); (b) replacement of individuals with finer-grained entities for reference and quantification, such as Kaplan’s “vivid names”, Frege and Yalcin’s senses or Percus and Sauerland’s concept generators; and (c) using the apparatus of cross-identification functions. I show that those ingredients were already present in a body of work preceding the target paper. On the other hand, there are known problems related to the fact that sometimes the choice of the pertinent mode of presentation depends on the choices associated with quantifiers higher in the syntactic tree. No account based on manipulations with the global context, such as Domanov’s in its current form, can handle them.
The article deals with the Malcolm’s version of the ontological argument and its variation proposed by Hartshorne. It also highlights some "eternal" problems which are to be faced by everyone who wish to consider the ontological argument as a purely logical proof.
Contemporary research in the field of developmental psychology confirms one of the main theses of W. Quine that human thinking, that deals with the ontology of everyday experience, needs not only individual, but also in general terms, based on a divided reference. Moreover, our learning of common concepts ensures contact not only with the everyday reality of the surrounding objects and events, as well as the transition to abstract concepts that are characteristic of scientific ontology. A necessary condition for comprehending general concepts about objects is the notions of a stable identity of objects in changing contexts and of not directly perceived parts of the surrounding world. For example, a child in the course of her or his development, can comprehend general concepts about objects, learning to refer not only to individual perceived objects, but also to an unobserved set of similar objects.
However, the main prerequisite for reference to objects with the help of single or general concepts is the knowledge that others also refer to the same objects and their properties, using the same words. It turns out, therefore, that the condition of objective reference is the intersubjective experience of perception of objects and events.This, however, does not imply a relativistic view of the world, but only that the perception of the surrounding world necessarily requires that other people's minds be perceived (however abstractly) as other view of the same situation of the world. According to D. Davidson, such intersubjective triangulation is the core of the concepts of truth and objectivity, without which thinking and language learning would be impossible. Hence it follows that such intersubjectivity assumes a common experience shared with other people only if from a certain age we have some knowledge of these people’s mental states. However, psychologists have not yet advanced beyond establishing a correlation between the ways a child grasps the concepts of the identity of objects and of other people’s mental states.The article proposes a solution of the problem of causal dependence between these concepts. It consists in the fact that knowledge of others’ mental states not only gives reference its intersubjective character, but is also a condition of objective reference to the objects around us in general. In other words, the perception of other people's mental states is not secondary or additional to the perception of objects, it is not a primitive theorizing or predicting someone else's behavior. On the contrary, our reaction to other minds is in fact a primary phenomenon of our perception. To substantiate this solution, the article introduces the notion of verbal gestures to unobservable objects and events. Such verbal gestures not only characterize our perception of other people's mental states, but ultimately permeate our perception of the world as a whole. In this case, all of our speech can be regarded as a verbal gesture and, accordingly, one of the essentially human modes of perceptions of the world.
In the article the author seeks to demonstrate the place of specific beings (like God) in possible worlds semantics. The general idea is an idea of multilevel ontology for possible worlds. It is effective to presuppose a special level for such being, for instance, in case the construction of the proof of the necessary existence.
A paralogism seems to occur in Aristotle's demonstration of the psychological principle of non-contradiction; from a performative principle of assertion, viz. saying something amounts to believe it, a modern approach leads us to claim that Aristotle assumes a referential transparency of belief opaque contexts in order to correlate the psychological and logical versions of non-contradiction. We attempt to reconstruct the proof of the principle (I). By means of the modern formalization, we apply this explanation to a couple of paradoxes (II). We conclude from this the nature of non-contradictoriness (III), before proposing a syntactic "dissolution" of the problem of referential opacity in the context of propositional attitudes. Such a dissolution leads to a skeptic stance towards the formal treatments of intentionality.
In this paper I briefly consider the following questions: 1) the actual ontology of states of affairs as it is given in Plantinga’s semantics; 2) the problem of transworld identity; 3) the redundancy of the concept of «object» as A. Plantinga postulates it. A philosophical analysis of this concept, as well as the concepts of «I» and of «actual world» within the framework of «states of affairs semantics» is provided.
In the present paper we continue our analysis of some problems related to different ontologies. We focus on possible worlds semantics (PWS) as a framework for analyzing basic theological questions as they are put by contemporary analytic theologians (e.g. A. Plantinga). The article upholds some ideas that are key for successful research in the field of contemporary analytic theology, namely: 1) the need to clarify the ontology before investigating its particalar issues; 2) the importance of distinguishing between modalities de dicto and de re; 3) recognition of untranslatability between different ontologies as a starting point of contemporary research for "scholastic" questions.