SORITES ISSN 1135-1349
Issue #07. November 1996. Pp. 4-5.

Abstracts of the Papers

Copyright © by SORITES and the authors

Abstracts of the Papers

The validity of indexical arguments
S.H. Elkatip

The paper is concerned with the validity of the first version of indexical arguments as put forth in «`He': A Study in the Logic of Self-Consciousness» in 1966 and is in defence of the view that logical structure of statements containing personal pronouns alone does not account for personal identity. Castañeda's 1966 analysis does not establish that the S-use characterises some usages of the personal pronoun better than the F-use or the E-use. While the major problem with F-use, which involves de re belief, is its conflict with the doctrine of propositions as transmitted from Frege, Castañeda's rejection of body or E-use is based on common sense. But, the argument against E-use has no persuasive force against physicalism. It is, also, absurd to maintain that persons could speak an actual language or produce actual sentences the logic of which Castañeda claims to study objectively without bodies.

Van Inwagen and Gunk: A Response to Sider

Kelly J. Salsbery

In a recent article, Theodore Sider raises an interesting objection to some of the ontological views of Peter van Inwagen. In van Inwagen's view, all material things are either mereological atoms or living things composed of such mereological atoms. Sider claims that it is possible for there to be worlds at which matter consists of atomless gunk. He argues that the possible existence of atomless gunk undermines van Inwagen's claims (along with any sort of atomism). I argue that the possible existence of atomless gunk does not undermine van Inwagen's position, and that Sider's claims concerning gunk are unwarranted.

Graham Priest's «Dialetheism» -- Is It Althogether True?

Lorenzo Peña

Graham Priest's book In Contradiction is a bold defense of the existence of true contradictions. Although Priest's case is impressive, and many of his arguments are correct, his approach is not the only one allowing for true contradictions. As against Priest's, there is at least one contradictorialist approach which establishes a link between true contradictions and degrees of truth. All in all, such an alternative is more conservative, closer to mainstream analytical philosophy. The two approaches differ as regards the floodgate problem. Priest espouses a confinement policy banning contradictions except in a few special domains, particularly those of pure semantics and set-theory (and perhaps arithmetics), whereas the alternative approach admits two negations -- natural or weak negation and strong negation, the latter being classical; accordingly, the alternative approach prohibits any contradiction involving strong negation, thus providing a syntactic test of what contradictions have to be rejected.