The distinct existences argument revisited

  • The aim of this paper is to take a fresh look at a discussion about the distinct existences argument that took place between David Armstrong and Frank Jackson more than 50 years ago. I will try to show that Armstrong’s argument can be successfully defended against Jackson’s objections (albeit at the price of certain concessions concerning Armstrong’s view on the meaning of psychological terms as well as his conception of universals). Focusing on two counterexamples that Jackson put forward against Hume’s principle (which is central to Armstrong’s argument), I will argue that they are either compatible with Hume’s principle, or imply a false claim. I will also look at several other considerations that go against Hume’s principle, such as, for example, Kripke’s origin essentialism and counterexamples from aposteriori necessity.

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Author:Wolfgang BarzORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Synthese <Dordrecht>
Publisher:Springer Science + Business Media B.V
Place of publication:Dordrecht [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/04/30
Date of first Publication:2021/04/30
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/10/20
Tag:Armstrong; Hume’s principle; Incorrigibility; Jackson; Natural laws; Necessity
Page Number:21
First Page:8443
Last Page:8463
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Institutes:Philosophie und Geschichtswissenschaften / Philosophie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 10 Philosophie / 100 Philosophie und Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0