NEH Institute Proofs that P

Proofs that P overheard at the NEH Summer Institute on Consciousness and Intentionality, in summer 2002. These originate in a T-shirt design by Amy Schmitter (midway through the institute), refined by Amy Kind. Further proofs were added later.

T-shirt (back view, with proofs)

T-shirt (front view, with banana slug design by Cheryl Chen)

TOP TEN ARGUMENTS FOR P HEARD AT THE NEH INSTITUTE (T-shirt list, with attributions to arguer added).

1. You don't think that phenomenology supports that P? Look haaaarder! Therefore P. [Charles Siewert, others]

2. To think that not-P is to over-intellectualize. Therefore P. [Brian Loar]

3. It's completely implausible and a violation of common-sense intuition to think that not-P. Therefore P. [various]

4. P is a bold and controversial claim that shatters common-sense intuition. Therefore P. [various]

5. Only philosophers would think that not-P. Therefore P. [Galen Strawson, Aaron Zimmerman]

6. Not-P entails that there are sense-data. Therefore P. [various]

7. Not-P is true from the transparent perspective. But I take the oblique perspective. Therefore P. [Brian Loar]

8. See my "..." where I argued for P. Therefore P. [Bill Lycan]

9. I know that P is true because I teach it to my undergraduates. Therefore P. [John Searle]

10. Representationalism entails P & not-P. Therefore P & not-P. [Bill Lycan]


No amount of tub-thumping by dualists (including my past self) carries any weight in establishing that not-P. Therefore P. [Frank Jackson]

Sellars has established to McDowell's and my satisfaction that P. Therefore P. [Bob Brandom]

Sellars argues that P. (Actually, Sellars argues that not-P, but that was wearing his black hat.) Therefore P. [Bob Brandom]

Most philosophers think it is a priori that not-P. Therefore P. [Susan Hurley]

P gives me an "aha!" reaction. Therefore P. [Susan Hurley]

Someday someone might discover that P, and I want to get the credit. Therefore P. [Colin McGinn]

Anyone who says that not-P is using the terms differently from me. Therefore P. [Galen Strawson]

The argument for not-P has seven steps, and I'm way too old for that. Therefore P. [John Searle]

I've considered and rejected one possible defense of a key premise in one possible argument for not-P. Therefore P. [Susanna Siegel]

Not-P? That just doesn't work for me. Therefore P. [Brad Thompson]

I have a lot of arguments for P, though none of them are very good. Therefore P. [Amy Schmitter]

I'm tired, I went surfing, therefore P&~P. [by Becko Copenhaver, attributed to unnamed presenter]

The folk think that not-P. But I just called them "the folk". Therefore P. [attributed to Frank Jackson]

P* and representationalism holds. Therefore P. [by Amy Schmitter, attributed to unnamed presenter.]

These considerations tend to suggest something in the vicinity of the ballpark of P. Therefore P. [David Chalmers]

Now that I've taken you on this little journey, I'm beginning to lose my grip on what it means to say that not-P. Therefore P. [Charles Siewert]