Saturday, November 11, 2006

What kind of thing is the 3D/4D debate?

For a little while, Marta, Manolo, Pablo and myself—and I guess many others as well—have been worrying about which is the status of some apparent disputes in ontology—paradigmatically exemplified in the 3D/4D debate. Are they genuine metaphysical disputes? Or are they genuine all the same, but disputes of a semantic character? Or rather they are merely apparent disputes, and the views turn out to be, in a certain sense (love these hedges ;-)!), notational variants of each other, as it were (here again ;-)!).

There is a huge literature on this issue, particularly in the last couple of years. We thought that one other purpose bLOGOS might serve is to allow a sort of e-reading group on this, suggesting readings and then discussing them here.

How about starting with Karen Bennett’s ‘Composition, Colocation, and Metaontology’? A very cool draft in progress!

18 comments:

manolo g-c said...

Vry good idea. Should we fix a common deadline for starting the e-discussion? How does one proceed with this?

Dan López de Sa said...

One idea would be to add comments to this thread, one other that people post independently and comments discuss these posts...

As to setting a date for it, I think it's actually a very good idea, so that interested people would keep an eye on it on the same days, and have the paper fresh in their minds. What would you suggest?

Andi said...

I think it would be nicer to have single posts instead of burying the discussion in the comments to a single one, just to give the blog more flesh on first sight. this, however, makes sense only if we can figure out how to make categories (e.g. "RG 3D/4D") such that all relevant posts can be seen at a glance. I haven't looked further, but on the weekend I tried to find out how to do this and didn't succeed...
As for dates, it seems to me to be the most practical to have someone for each group taking charge of deciding that. The nice thing is that it can be quite fuzzy, like "around November 20th", as it doesn't matter whether you post your comment a day earlier or later; the main thing is to establish a general rhythm.
As a concrete proposal, every two or three weeks seems good to me, as an e-reading group necessarily takes more time for discussion than a 'live' one, just because typing is slower than talking (for me at least).
One other question is whether one should sign up for these groups or not, i.e. anyone can just comment whenever he likes. Both seems appealing, so maybe a mixed strategy might be best, with a core of people who decide what to read etc. and also commit themselves to contributing to the discussion, and everyone else chipping in whenever they feel like it.

Sanna Hirvonen said...

As a "neo-Carnapian" (to borrow Bennett's terminology) I'd be happy to join the reading group. I'm sure you all love to know there is one amongst you who thinks that metaphysical questions really are a waste of time! ;) So when do we start?

Dan López de Sa said...

Andi,

I agree that it's probably nicer to have different posts for substantial contributions on the paper we are discussing, and then comments for these. These might be unified by sharing the initial segment of the title, f.i. '3D/4D Bennett Blah Blah.'

Just checked that blogger now allows for classification with labels, but I would suggest not to multiply them "beyond necessity", or they cease to be handy. How about having them just for main fields within LOGOS? 'metaphysics', 'language', 'mind', 'knowledge', 'metaethics'... Or perhaps just for the main LOGOS research projects…

It would be nice to keep some sort of record of the infrastructural questions we are encountering in this provisional stage and the tentative solutions we are adopting, so that you can discuss about this in the appropriate LOGOS-meeting, and decide the features of the eventual official bLOGOS.

Re dates, should we make it around 20 November for 3D/4D Bennett?

Sanna,

Actually, those who do not have neo-Carnapian sympathies, at least wrt some of these debates, seem to be in the minority around ;-)!

marta campdelacreu said...

Hi all,

I would like to join the group.
When do we start? Dan, what about cheering this first blogos reading group? It seems to me it is important somebody does it. I think you are the perfect first one (je,je!!). Would you accept to do it if all (or a majority of) the others are ok with that?

Dan López de Sa said...

Yeah, sure, cool about that. But besides sending a reminder to LOGOS and perhaps opening the discussion, what else would we need from an e-convenor?

marta campdelacreu said...

I think this would be o.k. for now. Perhaps, if nobody does this, the e-convenor should propose new papers on the topic. Anyway, I think this will not be necessary.
So, it is nice to see the e-reading group has started.

Dan López de Sa said...

May I suggest that we make a rota for e-convening this e-reading group? More specifically, I would suggest that after each e-session, each e-convenor e-nominates the new one who—unless s/he explicitly e-refuses (ok, enough ‘e-’s!)—is in charge of sending a reminder to LOGOS one or so week in advance, and gets sure that during the first two or three days there are one or two posts on the paper. (The benefits being that it is less time- and energy- consuming to each of us, we maximize the number of people posting, and so on.)

If my suggestion was accepted, and we were to go for one of the candidate papers already mentioned—i.e., McCall & Lowe 2006 and Sider 2001— I would hereby (can you do this??) nominate Pablo, for obvious reasons—i.e., he already has things to say wrt each of these—. Besides, we might want to keep an eye on those mentioned by Gabriel for his eventual course—i.e., those by Dorr, Eklund and Sider—. Any other suggestions so far?

Besides, it has been suggested that we leave a bit more time before each session, which makes perfectly good sense, more given that session might take more than one day… So should we make it after Thanks Giving? After La Immaculada Concepción de María? After X-mas? I would go for the second of these…

marta campdelacreu said...

o.k. I agree. In fact, I thought we would make comments about Bennet next week. I have not prepared my comments yet. So, I would rather prefer to keep on Bennet at least one week more and then leave like 15 days for reading Lowe. I agree about Pablo.

Dan López de Sa said...

Yeah, actually I take it that, with this e-format, discussion will keep open for good, so that people can post and comment as long as they have things to post and comment, no?

Pablo Rychter said...

I agree with you. Let us say that posts on the second reading will be around december 11. I would like to discuss Lowe and McCall, but I have the impression that there is other material that would be more relevant for the kind of discussions we had so far. Allow me a couple of days to check this out.
On the other hand, there soon will be a page for this RG in the logos website, as it is the case for the other RGs. I think it will be good for publicity. I hope you are ok wiht this. If not, we can always go back. I also took the liberty of proposing some other readings so that the web page does not look like a desert landscape. I am not completely serious about this suggestion....I only tried to be sure that the papers listed were worth reading...we can discuss later if we are interested in those or others, or decide as we go...

Dan López de Sa said...

The only worry that I have is that The bLOGOS is supposed to be merely a provisional stage of the blog of LOGOS, so that people in the group should at some point discuss and eventually endorse (or change) the things we are already deciding more or less arbitrarily. After becoming "official," I would certainly applaud that the blog is linked via the LOGOS website, and so on.

What would poeple think about this? It would be useful to know if there is any LOGOS organizational meeting forthcoming soon. Can any "local" LOGOSian help with this?

(Maybe this is not a big deal, and people are already more or less happy with how things are going, it is only that from the other side of the ocean, and given that participation is as of yet only moderate, it is hard to guess... ;-).)

Dan López de Sa said...

As to the date, I just realize that on Dec 11 this new born bLOGOS will be exactly one-month old :'-{)}!

Pablo Rychter said...

I was somehow aware about the potential worries Dan mentions and for that reason I am not linking the Blogos from the Links-section in the logos site. But I thoght it was fair and appropiate to add the e-RG in the list of RGs, and that it would be good for promoting the e-RG. I cannot think of a reason why this would be a problem, and in any case we can always go back.

Dan López de Sa said...

Fine with me.

Dan López de Sa said...

BTW, cool your pic! Why don't people upload them more often to their blogger profiles? It's so much more personal ;-{)}!

Dan López de Sa said...

The next paper we will discussed is finally Ted Sider's 'Criteria of Personal Identity and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis', published e-version available here (on subsrciption) and with another format here (free).

Posts expected around 11 Dec, following the 'MM Sider XXX' convention.