Writing the Book of the World

A.W. Moore writes:

The world, according to Ted Sider, has a basic structure. An optimal description of the world must capture this structure. It must also consist of truths. But these are two distinct requirements. We can produce more and more truths about the world and still not come any closer to capturing its structure. To do the latter we need to produce not just truths, but truths of the right sort. The concepts we use to couch the truth – the properties to which we advert, the sorts of thing we recognise as instantiating these properties, even the connectives we use to conjoin claims about such things – need to reflect the world’s basic structure. In the course of defending this vision, Sider works through an impressive list of philosophical problems and shows in each case how the idea of basic structure can help us address them.

(LRB 30 August 2012)

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