6 de junho de 2013

Peter van Inwagen em Lisboa

LanCog Lectures in Metaphysics 2013 
Peter van InwagenUniversity of Notre Dame

Lecture 1: Modes of Being and Quantification
12 June 2013, 15:00, Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, Room 5.2

AbstractModes of Being and Quantification. Many philosophers have held that being comes in various kinds or sorts or “modes.” Existenz and Bestand (Meinong), for example, or existence and subsistence (Russell), or être-en-soi and être-pour-soi (Sartre), or Vorhandenheit, Zuhandenheit, and Existenz (Heidegger). But if that is the case, what is the relation between these modes and the existential (or particular) quantifier? Kris McDaniel, who is friendly to the idea of modes of being, has recently suggested that each mode of being requires its own “specific” primitive and irreducible quantificational apparatus. Suppose, for example, that the modes of being are existence and subsistence. Then McDaniel’s position implies that we must recognize two independent specific quantifiers, the “existential quantifier” and the “subsistential quantifier” (each with its specific dual, its associated “version” of the universal quantifier). These two quantifiers are not to be thought of as restricted versions of the “generic” ‘∃’ of the logic texts; ‘∃’ is rather to be regarded as a “derived” abstraction, a “mere disjunction” of the existential and subsistential quantifiers. But McDaniel’s position must somehow come to terms with the fact that quantifiers of both sorts may occur in the same statement and a fortiori in the same argument. (Consider an argument whose premises and conclusion involve quantification over both mathematicians—who exist—and mathematical problems—which subsist.) This paper explores the following question: What rules of inference govern the formal validity of such “mixed” arguments? Various answers to this question are considered, none of which seems to be satisfactory. It is suggested that the absence of a satisfactory solution to this “problem of mixed inferences” casts doubt on the idea of modes of being.
Lecture 2: Dispensing with Ontological Levels
14 June 2013, 15:00, Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, Room 5.2
Abstract: Dispensing with Ontological Levels: An Illustration. The following concepts are very closely related and perhaps even interdefinable: “ontological level”; “ontologically more/less fundamental than”; “ontologically grounded in”; “ontological status.” Have these concepts a place in metaphysics? It is suggested in this paper that there is a Bad Way to approach this question and a Good Way. The Bad Way is to propose examples of things to which these concepts are alleged to apply. (E.g., the unit set of Socrates is on a lower ontological level than, is ontologically less fundamental than, is ontologically grounded in, and does not enjoy the special ontological status of, Socrates.) The Good Way is to consider both well-worked-out metaphysical systems that make use of these concepts and well-worked-out systems that do not, and (assuming that there are systems of both sorts) to ask whether, in general, the better systems employ these concepts or the better systems eschew them. Before any such comparative evaluation can be carried out, however, we must have the competing systems on the table. This paper is intended only to accomplish one part of that preliminary undertaking—to put one metaphysical system on to the table and to formulate it in a way that brings the fact that there is no place in it for the concept “ontological level” (etc.) into sharp focus.

Sem comentários: