Rather, Lewis follows Grice among others in taking mental content to be metaphysically primary, and linguistic content to be determined by mental states see the section on meaning in the entry on Grice. There are two related reasons why we might care.
For instance, the location of nearby parked cars influences the smashing of a window by a rock in virtue of small gravitational effects of the cars on the flight of the rock. Sections 5 and 6 are on his metaphysics, looking in turn at Humean Supervenience and modal realism.
Conventions are formed by agreement, agreements are made in language, so language must precede convention, not be grounded in convention. Rather, when Lewis says that it is common knowledge that p, he means that everyone has a reason to believe that p, and everyone has a reason to believe everyone has a reason to believe that p, and everyone has a reason to believe that everyone has a reason to believe everyone has a reason to believe that p, and so on.
The second category is his interpretationist theory of mental content. He still held that the particular measure of similarity in use on an occasion is context-sensitive, so there is no one true measure of similarity.
Many of Lewis's attempted reductions of nomic or mental concepts would be either directly in terms of counterfactuals, or in terms of concepts such as causation that he in turn defined in terms of counterfactuals.
Notably, they are two parts where Lewis refined his views several times on the details of the location. Arguably we do not trust speakers who utter very long sentences to have uttered truths, under the ordinary English interpretation of their sentences.
Some laws don't say what will happen, but what will have a chance of happening. How much A influences B depends on how big this family is, how much variation there is in the way B changes, and how systematic the influence of A on B is.
Since the Principal Principle is neither false nor useless, Lewis concluded in these s papers that the best systems theory of laws and chances was false. But they give priority to the Major's orders, due to the Major's higher rank.
So the conclusion is contingent, since modern physics is contingent, but it is well-grounded. So as well as positing perfectly natural properties, Lewis posits a relation of more and less natural on properties.
It is of the first importance to avoid big, widespread, diverse violations of law. In that case we still want to say that the theory manages to provide denotations for its new terms. And the convention can be established, and persist, without anyone agreeing to it.
Lewis had some disagreements with Davidson and others over the details of interpretationism, but we won't focus on those here.
He needed to say more about the nature of events. A pure functionalist may say that such a person has no desires, since desires, by definition, are states that agents attempt to satisfy. In the latter case the gain we get in similarity is only an expansion of the spatio-temporal region throughout which perfect match of particular fact prevails, but that doesn't help in getting us closer to actuality if we've added a big miracle.
Although science is in the business of discovering which natural properties are instantiated, when Lewis talks about natural properties he doesn't mean properties given a special role by nature.
Of course, Lewis changed the details of many of his views, in response to criticism and further thought. It isn't at all obvious that this suggestion will capture the intuitive idea, and Lewis does not defend it at any length.
In particular, he offered an algorithm for determining similarity in standard contexts. So someone who knows that the chance of A is 1 in 2n knows that A won't happen.
Indeed, there is a sense in which he thinks narrow content is primary. And he was a compatibilist about most nomic, intentional and normative concepts.Acknowledgments.
I've learned a lot over the years from talking about Lewis's philosophy with Wolfgang Schwarz. I trust his book () is excellent on all these topics, but unfortunately it's only out in German so far, which I don't read. David Lewis (–) was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century.
He made significant contributions to philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of science, decision theory, epistemology, meta-ethics and aesthetics.Download