Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Readings for Monday

For Monday, please read Plantinga, "On Existentialism" and "Reply to Pollock" (copies available in the philosophy department). There are some issues not directly relevant to our main concern in these papers. Look at them with an eye toward extracting Plantinga's two arguments for seriousness (serious actualism, in particular). Next it is worth looking at Bergmann's short paper, "A New Argument from Actualism to Serious Actualism" and Hudson's reply, "On A New Argument from Actualism to Serious Actualism". Then, if you haven't had enough, a good next stop would be Yagisawa's recent paper, "A New Argument Against the Existence Requirement" (an argument against seriousness) and Caplan's reply, "A New Defence of the Modal Existence Requirement". I'm putting a copy of another recent reply to Yagisawa in the department box: McCarthy and Phillips, "No New Argument Against the Existence Requirement".

This is a lot of stuff to work through. I don't expect everyone to read it all. The main objective is to try to distill some arguments for/against seriousness from the above. So it is not necessary to read every word of every paper. Also, this issue is hard. So don't be surprised if the reading is difficult. It's better for you to have a good grasp of one argument than a poor grasp of several.


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