Friday, February 03, 2012

Indexical facts and materialism

The Maverick as ever has come out with a characteristically challenging post here asking whether 'indexical facts' are a threat to materialism.  He concludes that they are.  More later, but I have a brief prologemena here

Meanwhile, some preliminary ideas from Buridan, in his fifth question on the first book of his Questions on the Prior Analytics.  What is signified by the expression 'for a man to drink wine'?  He lists out some opinions. According to some it signifies the the sentence (propositio) 'a man drinks wine'.  According to others, it is a sort of signifiable complex entity on the side of reality (a parte rei), corresponding to the proposition 'a man drinks wine'.  Others say that for a man to drink wine is simply the man as he is related in that way to wine.  Yet others say that it is a sort of accident inhering in the man as he is related in that way to wine. More later.

Ockham himself is not drinking wine, as he has an attack of the gout, due to his habit of slouching comfortably in the corner like an eighteenth century gentleman, squinting at the assembled company through a glass of red wine or port, passing trollish and mischievous comments.  This behaviour needs to stop, according to his wife.  Or he could obtain a gout stool, but unfortunately there is no Wikipedia article about it.

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