Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

5 Comments

  1. Roman
    April 24, 2015 @ 6:57 am

    I love how, Dr. Vallicella pointed out the obvioius and Clear flaw in Daniel Dennets account of consciousness, if something is an illusion, it requires a subject of that illusion, it’s such an obvious flaw I kick myself for not realize it right away when I heard of Daniel Dennets account.

  2. John B
    April 23, 2015 @ 3:08 am

    Do aliens exist?

    I may be way off the pace here, but it seemed to me during the discussion on the concept of horses and the horse Harry, that maybe we could argue for existence as a property.

    Within the concept of aliens we do not yet have any kind of access to reality behind the concept, just its possibility.

    Could horses have some kind of phenomenologically-shown (or not-solely-conceptual) existence property that aliens do not yet have?

    In theory, if we managed to explore the whole universe and look under every rock and find absolutely no aliens, we might have to deduce that the concept of alien existed without it ever being attached to any kind of phenomenological reality.

    Is that right?

    So can concepts exist without the object existing? Yes.

    Can subjects/objects exist without us having any concept of them doing so? Yes.

    Can subjects/objects belong to both these categories? Yes.

    Can subjects/objects belong to neither of these categories? No.

    • Dale Tuggy
      April 24, 2015 @ 7:46 am

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Yes, I think all of what you say is correct.

      “Could horses have some kind of phenomenologically-shown (or not-solely-conceptual) existence property that aliens do not yet have?” Yes, we do know that horses exist,and we don’t know that aliens exist. We have actually interacted with (caused changes in, and have had changes caused in us by) horses. Bill is thinking, like a Platonist, that similarities between things can’t go unexplained. So A and B are horses because within them both is a universal property, horseness. And then, he is thinking, there must be something present within all beings, a thing called “Being itself”, which is like a property, but if I understand him, he thinks it is more basic or fundamental than properties… perhaps the source the them. Me, I just think it is better to stay with unexplained similarities between things, because of which the same concept applies to them.

      • John B
        April 24, 2015 @ 8:45 am

        Hi Dale (I will never call you a pinhead by the way. What is a pinhead?)
        Thanks for your response.
        “So A and B are horses because within them both is a universal property, horseness”.

        Is he saying this horseness exists outside of our conception (i.e. horseness is not the same thing as saying your average concept of a horse)? I am guessing so with “universal property”.
        When we speak of “similarity”, is that not a subjective statement?
        A horse is a fairly clear phenomenon, like you say with interaction and so on. What about McIntosh’s whole Person thing? It seems to me like the being-ness or person-ness idea is quite obscure, with a much less fixed (or universal) starting point than horseness, or possibly even alienness!
        Ok time to shut up before I say anything truly pinheady.

        • Dale
          April 24, 2015 @ 10:07 am

          “Pinhead” is just one of very many English slang words that mean “idiot.” 🙂

          “So A and B are horses because within them both is a universal property, horseness”.

          Yes, on the Platonic theory, I would say dominant in the history of western Philosophy, horseness is mind-independent, and would exist even if there were no horses. (Aristotelians disagree, but let’s not get into their view.)

          We all believe, I think, in objective similarity. It’s not just that the one thing reminds us of the other, and vice-versa. Rather, we think that various things are alike in various ways, whether anyone thinks about them or not. And the Platonists think that this is explained by the presence of a universal within both of the similar things.

          “person-ness idea is quite obscure”

          Yes, concepts can be more and less clear. e.g. bachelor is very clear. But concepts like hipster, bald, or fat person are fairly unclear.