The Spring 2015 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Jason Turner, Saint Louis University. The title of Professor Turner's talk is "Towards A (Broadly) Tractarian Theory Of Modality." (Abstract below.)
Friday, Feb 13, 2015, 3-5pm, Social Sciences 224 (1145 E South Campus Drive 85721).
In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein suggests a combinatorial theory of possibility whereby the possibilities are identified with recombinations of facts. Historically, this suggestion faced two problems: Russell's worry that it made everything that could exist do so of necessity, and Wittgenstein's own 'colour exclusion problem', which suggested that the theory ruled as possible some situations that were clearly impossible. In this talk, after describing a particular, broadly neo-Tractarian ontology that gives pride of place to facts, I examine the prospects of a combinatorial theory of modality built from this ontology, with special consideration to how it fares against Russell's and Wittgenstein's original worries.