• Broome on Reasons and Normative Requirements

      Broome 1999 (‘Normative Requirements’. Ratio. Vol. 11. pp. 398-419) argues that normativity cannot be fully explained in terms of reasons. In addition, there is a normative relation which Broome calls “normative requirement”. If p normatively requires q, then one ought to ensure that the conditional (if p then q) is true. This post suggests(...)

  • Generalised Conjunction, Quantification, and Reference

    In this post, I want to consider an idea that occurred to me a while back. I haven't really thought it through – I'm sure there are many problems with it – but I think it's at least interesting. I assume that there are referring expressions, both singular and plural. Singular referring expressions refer to one(...)

  • Modal Logic and Logical Truth

     Some models for modal logic – pointed models – make use of a designated point with respect to which truth in a model is determined – and a fortiori also logical truth and logical consequence, understood respectively as truth in every model and preservation of truth in every model. The difference between having truth in a(...)

  • Arché Life

    In addition to posts with philosophical content, we thought we might also try a series of pictures that capture various aspects of life in Arché.  So here is the first of those, a picture of the Arché sign in the snow.

  • Postgraduate Conference on the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics at Bristol

      On February 22-23, Bruno Jacinto and Alex Yates of Arché were invited to give talks at a postgraduate conference on philosophy of logic and math in Bristol. Other speakers were from the universities of Bristol, Birkbeck, Oslo, Oxford, and Princeton. The talks were very diverse, and much was done by the organizers to strike a nice(...)

  • On the Value of History of Philosophy

    Scott Soames begins his book Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century: The Dawn of Analysis, with this comment on our relationship to the originators of analytic philosophy: […] the philosophy done in this period is still close enough to speak to us in terms we can understand without a great deal of interpretation. However, it(...)

  • A referential treatment of some non-specific indefinites

     1 Indefinite descriptions - expressions like a man - have something like a referential use (following the literature, we'll call indefinites used in this way specific indefinites). Imagine John woke me up this morning, and I wish to report this interesting fact, so I utter 1 to someone who knows who John is, and 2 to someone who does(...)

  • On the claim that perdurantism is at odds with the appearance of change.

    It is often said that four-dimensionalist theories of persistence cannot account for 'genuine change'. 'Genuine change' of an object, on this usage, presupposes the strict identity of the changing object over time. According to four-dimensionalist theories such as perdurantism, objects are extended over time by having numerically distinct temporal parts, one for each time contained(...)

  • Stalnaker on the Possibility of an Absolute Conception

    Bernard Williams posed a dilemma for the possibility of what he called ‘an absolute conception’ of reality. Stalnaker offers a solution to this dilemma that, I’ll argue, is unsatisfying.   Williams on the Absolute Conception. Let’s start with Williams [see his 1978; reprint 2005]. We arrive at his notion of an absolute conception in a few(...)

  • Useless advice: Kelly’s total evidence view and peer disagreement

    Most readers will be familiar with the debate about peer disagreement. Two persons S1 and S2 are epistemic peers concerning a proposition p iff (i)   S1 and S2 have the same evidence relevant to p, (ii) S1 and S2 are, in general, equally good in evaluating evidence concerning p’s subject domain, i.e., they are roughly(...)