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The Letter on the Soul is interesting and significant; it attempts to tackle fundamental problems that fall on the borderlines of psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and logic. The consensus among Avicenna scholars is that The Letter is Avicenna’s. In this paper, I will argue against this consensus. I will examine the philosophical and logical content of The Letter, as well as Avicenna’s view on the impossible forms in his authentic works, and construct a content-based argument against the authenticity of The Letter. This study, I hope, sheds some light on Avicenna’s view on the impossibilia, what they are, and how they can be apprehended.
Recently, in a series of papers, Joshua Spencer has introduced, defended, and developed a modified version of Neo-Russellianism (NR), namely Plenitudinous Russellianism (PR), according to which there are structurally identical but numerically distinct singular Russellian propositions (SRPs). PR claims to provide novel semantic solutions to all the major problems that NR faces with no radical revision in NR. In this paper, I introduce a semantic puzzle for PR: the view leads to the violation of the principle of substitutivity of co-referential proper names within simple (predicative) ‘that’-clauses (PS1). I consider different responses to my argument, and show that none of them is fully satisfactory for the Russellian. I conclude that PR needs to depart from NR more radically.
After introducing Millianism and touching on two problems raised by genuinely empty names for Millianism (section I), I provide a brief exposition of the Gappy Proposition View (GPV) and of how different versions of this view can reply to the problems in question (section II). In the following sections I develop my reasons against the GPV. First, I will try to argue that apparently promising arguments for the claim that gappy propositions are propositions are not successful (section III). Then, I will develop two arguments against GPs via demonstrating two odd consequences of the GPV: (a) that there can be an atomic proposition which contains other propositions that are not the semantic contents of any part of the sentence expressing that atomic proposition, and (b) that propositional structures are propositions (section IV). And finally, I will attempt to show that if any of these views can provide a successful defense of Millianism, it can do so without GPs, given some slight changes (section V). I will conclude that GPs should be avoided (section VI).
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