Friday, January 26, 2007

Composition and war

In a recent interview, the historian Niall Ferguson is asked what his thesis is re the 2nd world war, and he says

"That there was no such thing. There were multiple conflicts that we choose to lump together."

I'm not sure what the point is here: a denial of unrestricted composition over events? I mean, everyone agrees that the 2nd world war was composed of many distinct conflicts, don't they? Surely we can just lump them together and name that 'the second world war'. What's the content of this thesis then?

Other news regarding composition: I've just found out that my paper 'The Contingency of Composition' will be coming out in a special issue of Philosophical Studies devoted to papers from the 2006 BSPC at WWU. This makes me happy - this was the first paper I wrote whose content didn't overlap at all with that of my thesis, so getting it published makes me feel all grown up!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

structure etc

An update on CMMs upcoming workshop: Structure in Metaphysics.

Leeds' own Robbie Williams has agreed to join Julian Dodd, Katherine Hawley and Kris McDaniel as a speaker. He will be talking on 'Semantics for Nihilists' and Hawley will be talking on 'Magic and Mereology'. Watch this space for details of Dodd and McDaniel's talks.

Registration will be on the day, although please let us know in advance if you would like to join us for dinner in the evening. There will be a £15 registration fee (only £5 for students), which will include lunch and tea/coffee.

apropos of nothing:

Many truthmaker theorists think that necessary truths don't need truthmakers, or that they are trivially made true by every thing. Many truthmaker theorists also think that if p entails q, q is made true by what makes p true. I don't agree with either claim, but certainly one shouldn't hold both, given that 'actually, p' is necessary and entails p.