Categories and De Interpretatione (Clarendon Aristotle by Aristotle

By Aristotle

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Additional resources for Categories and De Interpretatione (Clarendon Aristotle Series)

Example text

Then the fact that the term ‘Emma’ represents Emma is given, according to the fundamental schema, by the fact that actual and possible actions based upon the vehicle ‘Emma . ’ are typically successful, when they are, because of something about Emma. Notice that among these examples of success we can number the very occasion under discussion: the agent’s success on this occasion arose because Emma was in the university library. Faced with this, it is not very clear how damaging Papineau’s problem is.

Thus, arguments which necessarily preserve truth, necessarily preserve probability in the sense that there can be no more improbability in the conclusion than there is in all the premises together. So, in a twopremise valid argument each of whose premises gets a probability of 99%, the worst-case scenario for the conclusion is that it gets 98%. This vindicates the use of deduction from uncertain premises, provided that they are not too uncertain, and provided that there are not too many such premises.

This way of looking at it is not the most basic way, for two reasons. First, you can have a degree of belief in B on the supposition that A without having a degree of belief in A (and hence without having degrees of belief in A&B and A&¬B). Ramsey noted this, considering conditionals like ‘If I do p, q will probably result’. e. the material implication) but a degree of belief in q given p, which it is evidently possible to have without a definite degree of belief in p, p not being an intellectual problem’ (1929a: 154).

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