|Annotation:||Pavel Tichý was one of the philosophers and logicians who, coming from Czechoslovakia, succeeded in the international academic forum. His ambitious project was to analyse the whole conceptual scheme, as related to both natural and formal languages. Given this aim, he devised an impressively complex framework of Transparent Intensional Logic (TIL). The framework has been subsequently elaborated by what can be now called the community of TIL (philosophers, logicians, computer scientists, linguists). Despite this, Tichýʼs work has not received an in-depth analysis in main philosophical journals and TIL has exhausted neither its potential for analysis nor its potential for (academic and public) impact and outreach.
Being led by this observation, we aim to extend both of these potentials. In particular, we believe that this framework can provide interesting insights on the Big Questions and on the Ian Ramsey Centre’s special focus. The present project focuses on notions of individuals, roles, and God. TIL has its own peculiar conception of bare individuals (as opposed to, for instance, Lewisian counterpart theories or Meinongian object-based theories) and while Tichý has not provided an explicit analysis of persons and minds, we expect that this research would help shed light on Tichý’s views concerning persons and minds as well. Tichý provided his own ontological proof of the existence of God, which employs the notion of roles (offices). This notion is intriguing on its own right, since it opens several important questions (what kinds of roles there are, what are roles and how are they related to essential properties) and has non-trivial applications in analytic aesthetics (role realism). Another notion relevant to individuals, roles, as well as to Tichýʼs proof is that of requisites. TIL employs the notion of requisites rather than essences.
One of the most pressing research questions related to the above issues is whether the extensional, intensional, or hyperintensional level of analysis is required. In TIL, individuals are analysed extensionally; roles and requisites are analysed intensionally. New findings, however, support the view that at least some roles and requisites require stepping one level up, and providing a hyperintensional analysis of roles, requisites, and essences (Miloš Kosterec, ‘On the Essence of Empty Properties’, forthcoming in Synthese; Marie Duží, Bjørn Jespersen and Daniela Glavaničová, ‘Impossible Individuals as Necessarily Empty Individual Concepts’, Forthcoming in Logic in High Definition: Developing Fine-Grained Semantics, Studia Logica Series, Springer.).
The above findings provide a starting point for the present project. One of our aims is to explore the connection between requisites and essences, and to develop a plausible account of essences within TIL. As indicated, we will also revisit Tichýʼs conception of the core notions: individuals, roles, and God, and explore how these can be informed by new results related to roles, requisites, and essences. The third issue we will focus on is how Tichýʼs views fare and compare to contemporary discussions in analytic metaphysics. Notably, Tichý corresponded with one of the fathers of conemporary metaphysics, David Lewis, and Lewis' thousands of correspondences are now being published 'in bulk'. It would be worth investigating how these exchanges went, noting that three members of the research team have worked on the philosophy of David Lewis. The fourth crucial aim will be to explore the applications of Tichýʼs roles in analytic aesthetics.
While we have used the jargon of TIL in this project description, topics we aim to research are familiar to everyone, as soon as we describe them in ordinary language: individuals find their common examples in persons; roles have their commonplace examples in institutional roles (such as the President of Slovakia, the Queen of the United Kingdom, the Mayor of London, and so forth) and many other roles generated by definite descriptions (such as the humblest person, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the longest novel, and so forth); the familiarity of the notion of God goes probably without saying, but the route from God as construed by Tichý towards the ordinary notion(s) of God is by no means straightforward.|