Ontic structural realism (hereafter OSR) is one of the most significant ontological attitudes toward modern physics. On close examination, OSR can be classified into several versions in terms of the relative ontological status of objects and relations. Previous studies have not carefully dealt with the differences among the several versions of OSR, mainly because the meanings of some metaphysical concepts are ambiguous. Among them, one way to formulate OSR is to appeal to the idea of identity. However, “identity” can be regarded as either numerical identity or essence. In this article, the derivations of OSR’s minimal statements from the cases in quantum theory give a clear-cut explanation about relationships between metaphysical and scientific statements and show that the formulation of OSR should be based on essence.
It is a common view in formal semantic theories that the compositional semantic values of sentences in contexts are identical to the assertoric contents expressed by these sentences. Recently, however,there have been challenges to this simple view on the basis of difficulties in theorizing various ‘shifty’ phenomena. In this paper, I argue that these difficulties can be ‘explained away’ by introducing a revised notion of compositionality which allows an expression to have different semantic values in different environments. I then claim that the proposed framework can be not only compatible with the identity but also plausible as a natural language semantics.
Intention-based semantics (IBS) serves as the paradigm in the field of speaker meaning analysis. However, it has grappled with a well-known problem: the infinite regress of a speaker’s intentions. Theorists such as Grice, Schiffer, Davis, and Green have tried to remedy the situation; however, no one has found any solutions until now. The present paper claims that the inability of IBS theorists to resolve the regress problem may be attributed to the conflict between two basic assumptions that they espouse: representationalism and the transparency of speaker meaning. When both are adopted alongside each other, as the current paper shows, the regress problem immediately emerges. It follows, then, that it would be prudent to reject IBS to sufficiently analyze speaker meaning.
Most life scientists and philosophers would agree that molecular biology has produced reductionistic explanations which consist of physico-chemical terms. According to Sarkar, this means that informational terms are merely metaphors which have misled scientists and eventually ought to be discarded. However, the actual situation is the opposite; informational concepts are intensively used in the life sciences. In this paper, I will argue that informational concepts become indispensable elements which work as epistemic resources, enabling a schematic understanding of life phenomena; thus, informational terms are necessary in order for the theory of molecular biology to provide such resources.
Sometimes an utterance of a (logically) double negative sentence conveys the content of the corresponding positive sentence, and moreover communicates an additional content (e.g., one “weakening” or “strengthening” it) or plays an additional role. Leading accounts of such utterances－Horn's and Levinson's－have some serious problems mainly because they assume that such utterances depend on it that those of the corresponding positive sentence often convey some typical meaning. In this paper I attempt to analyze additional roles of utterances of double negative sentences without such assumption. The analysis seems more adequate than Horn's and Levinson's also in the light of a certain general feature of negative sentences.
In this paper, I aim to clarify and vindicate Anscombe's concept of practical knowledge by way of suggesting that some intentional actions are artifacts - i.e. artificial events. Like other artifacts, actions are ontologically dependent upon agents' intention and hence agents can know what they are intentionally doing without any evidence. However, this view comes under attack from skepticism about the reality of artifacts themselves. If artifact kinds are mind-dependent, doesn't it follow that they are nothing but nominal, arbitrary groupings? In reply, I shall argue that artifacts, including actions, are still real in the world we live in because they have characteristic built-in normativity.
In series of her works, Amie Thomasson has claimed that the revisionary ontology about works of arts is methodologically untenable. Interestingly, her conclusion is drawn from the reflection on the theory of reference of art kind terms. She argues that the “qua problem,” which is known as a problem for the causal theory of reference, undermine the possibility of revisionary ontology. The aim of this paper is to critically examine her argument. I argue that even if Thomassonʼs view about the reference of our art kind terms is correct, revisionary metaphysics is still possible.
In his recent book, Takayuki Suzuki proposes a novel physicalist solution toward the hard problem of consciousness, wherein the representationalist analysis of qualia is advanced via incorporating the intrinsic notion of representation. In this review, I critically examine the metaphysical character of his resultant position and present some questions on to what extent it satisfies the core theses of physicalism. The moral to be drawn is the significant tension between physicalism and the phenomenal principle, whose endorsement could misdirect us into troublesome positions in an unexpected manner.