Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

American Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 46, No. 1, January 2009

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

American Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 46, No. 1, January 2009

Article excerpt


Linguistically, we distinguish between thing terms and stuff terms, where, roughly, "thing" is a count noun, and "stuff" is a mass noun. Syntactically, "thing" functions as a singular referring term, that is, a term that refers to a single "entity" and hence takes "a" and "every" and is subject to pluralization, while "stuff" functions as a plural referring term, that is, it refers to a plurality of "entities" and hence takes "some" and is not subject to pluralization. There exists a thing and some stuff.

Contextual Adaptation, JAMES ROSS

The question is about contextual adaptation of meaning, a matter of philosophy of language, occasioned here by a disagreement among philosophers of religion about whether words, like "knows," "wills," "loves," "commands," "does," used for common attributes of humans and the divine, and even "exists" as applied to both, mean the same or acquire divergences of meaning from the discourse contexts. I call the first group "reformers" and the other "analogists." Analogists think the reformers are anthropomorphic, contributing to popular naive imaginings about God as "a person like us," while the reformers think the analogists are grafting Hellenic ideas onto biblical faith. That is not a new dispute, of course. But there is a separable linguistic facet of it, examined here, that has wider applications to philosophy in general.

Some New Monadic Value Predicates, NICOLAS ESPINOZA

Some things have positive value and some things have negative value. The things with positive value are good and the things with negative value are bad. There are also things in-between that are neither good nor bad, which are neutral. All in all, then, there are three monadic value predicates: "good," "bad," and "neutral."

Love, Identification, and the Emotions, BENNETT W. HELM

Recently there has been a resurgence of philosophical interest in love, resulting in a wide variety of accounts. Central to most accounts of love is the notion of caring about your beloved for his sake. Yet such a notion needs to be carefully articulated in the context of providing an account of love, for it is clear that the kind of caring involved in love must be carefully distinguished from impersonal modes of concern for particular others for their sakes, such as moral concern or concern grounded in compassion. …

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