RbJ's Undergraduate Philosophy Essays

Why would anyone want to read my undergraduate philosophy essays? Can't imagine.

The essays are presented in three phases:

I've mentioned the titles of the essays I intend to transcribe ahead of their availability. They are in roughly chronological order.

The Classical Phase
Late 1974OntologyThe criteria of existence, what exists, and the consequences of ontological commitment. This is one's not bad, so far as it goes, but it doesn't reach the issues I would now regard as important.
Late 1974The Status of Logical PrinciplesOstensibly about the linguistic-conventionalist position, but mainly a discussion about propositions. No much here that I would endorse today.

The Incomplete Phase
Early 1975DeterminismA fragment handed in with the (following) mind-brain identity essay. In formulating hypotheses about a universe in which the mind-brain identity hypothesis is most compelling I was drawn into a discussion of determinism, and started this separate essay on that topic.
Early 1975Mind-brain identity The intent here was to consider substantive conditions under which the mind-brain identity hypothesis would be most plausible and then duck the verbal question of whether the hypothesis would in those circumstances be 'true'. I never got as far as ducking.
Mid 1975Is Morality Necessary?This is really an attempt to get at a discussion of anarchy as a moral position, but it doesn't make it. My most embarrassing essay, with impressively temperate comments by David McNaughton.
Mid 1975Logic, Mathematics and PhilosophyThe idea here was to use Post production systems both to provide a more precise account of logical systems such as Russell's theory of types and to effect a reduction to a more primitive level than that accomplished by Russell. A pain to type in and a pain to read, so it probably won't happen. (also an idea which may be entertaining but isn't the best way to improve foundations)
Mid 1975LibertyAn attempt to do political philosophy without being totally swallowed up by language. Mainly methodological discussion. Received with a narrow minded intolerance which completed my disillusion with philosophy at Keele.

The Final Fill-in
Late 1975Wittgenstein's private language argumentAn unsympathetic commentary on some paragraphs from the Philosophical Investigations on the possibility of "private languages".
Early 1976What, if any, is the point of a philosophical appeal to ordinary language? This essay is more about how to avoid appeal to ordinary language when studying substantive rather than verbal philosophical problems.

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