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Constructing the World

Oxford University Press (2012)

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  1. Truth Serum, Liar Serum, and Some Problems About Saying What You Think is False.Jessica Pepp - forthcoming - In Eliot Michaelson Andreas Stokke (ed.), Lying: Language, Knowledge, Ethics, Politics. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter investigates the conflict between thought and speech that is inherent in lying. This is the conflict of saying what you think is false. The chapter shows how stubbornly saying what you think is false resists analysis. In traditional analyses of lying, saying what you think is false is analyzed in terms of saying something and believing that it is false. But standard cases of unconscious or divided belief challenge these analyses. Classic puzzles about belief from Gottlob Frege and (...)
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  • Thinking About Spacetime.David Yates - forthcoming - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Several different quantum gravity research programmes suggest, for various reasons, that spacetime is not part of the fundamental ontology of physics. This gives rise to the problem of empirical coherence: if fundamental physical entities do not occupy spacetime or instantiate spatiotemporal properties, how can fundamental theories concerning those entities be justified by observation of spatiotemporally located things like meters, pointers and dials? I frame the problem of empirical coherence in terms of entailment: how could a non-spatiotemporal fundamental theory entail spatiotemporal (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):825-838.
    This article surveys recent developments in the epistemology of modality.
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  • In Defence of Narrow Content.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):539-550.
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  • Kant Meets Cyberpunk.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2019 - Disputatio.
    I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian transcen- dental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are ar- tificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very dif- ferent than we suppose. Indeed, since computation does not require spatial properties, spatiality might not be a feature of things as they are in themselves but instead only the way (...)
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  • Spacetime is as Spacetime Does.Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:39-51.
    Theories of quantum gravity generically presuppose or predict that the reality underlying relativistic spacetimes they are describing is significantly non-spatiotemporal. On pain of empirical incoherence, approaches to quantum gravity must establish how relativistic spacetime emerges from their non-spatiotemporal structures. We argue that in order to secure this emergence, it is sufficient to establish that only those features of relativistic spacetimes functionally relevant in producing empirical evidence must be recovered. In order to complete this task, an account must be given of (...)
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  • Lowe on Modal Knowledge.Joachim Horvath - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):208-217.
    In recent work, E. J. Lowe presents an essence-based account of our knowledge of metaphysical modality that he claims to be superior to its main competitors. I argue that knowledge of essences alone, without knowledge of a suitable bridge principle, is insufficient for knowing that something is metaphysically necessary or metaphysically possible. Yet given Lowe's other theoretical commitments, he cannot account for our knowledge of the needed bridge principle, and so his essence-based modal epistemology remains incomplete. In addition to that, (...)
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  • Impossible Worlds and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3433-3458.
    One response to the problem of logical omniscience in standard possible worlds models of belief is to extend the space of worlds so as to include impossible worlds. It is natural to think that essentially the same strategy can be applied to probabilistic models of partial belief, for which parallel problems also arise. In this paper, I note a difficulty with the inclusion of impossible worlds into probabilistic models. Under weak assumptions about the space of worlds, most of the propositions (...)
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  • On Phenomenal Functionalism About the Properties of Virtual and Non-Virtual Objects.Alyssa Ney - 2019 - Disputatio.
    According to phenomenal functionalism, whether some object or event has a given property is determined by the kinds of sensory expe- riences such objects or events typically cause in normal perceivers in normal viewing conditions. This paper challenges this position and, more specifically, David Chalmers’s use of it in arguing for what he calls virtual realism.
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  • Prospects for Experimental Philosophical Logic.Jeremiah Joven Joaquin - 2019 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 26 (2):265–286.
    This paper focuses on two interrelated issues about the prospects for research projects in experimental philosophical logic. The first issue is about the role that logic plays in such projects; the second involves the role that experimental results from the cognitive sciences play in them. I argue that some notion of logic plays a crucial role in these research projects, and, in turn, the results of these projects might inform substantive debates in the philosophy of logic.
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  • De Se Thoughts and Immunity to Error Through Misidentification.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3311-3333.
    I discuss an aspect of the relation between accounts of de se thought and the phenomenon of immunity to error through misidentification. I will argue that a deflationary account of the latter—the Simple Account, due to Evans —will not do; a more robust one based on an account of de se thoughts is required. I will then sketch such an alternative account, based on a more general view on singular thoughts, and show how it can deal with the problems I (...)
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  • Philosophy as Total Axiomatics: Serious Metaphysics, Scrutability Bases, and Aesthetic Evaluation.Uriah Kriegel - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):272-290.
    What is the aim of philosophy? There may be too many philosophical branches, traditions, practices, and programs to admit of a single overarching aim. Here I focus on a fairly traditional philosophical project that has recently received increasingly sophisticated articulation, especially by Frank Jackson (1998) and David Chalmers (2012). In §1, I present the project and suggest that it is usefully thought of as ‘total axiomatics’: the project of attempting to axiomatize the total theory of the world. In §2, I (...)
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  • Questions of Ontology.Kathrin Koslicki - 2015 - In Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.), Ontology After Carnap. Oxford University Press.
    Following W.V. Quine’s lead, many metaphysicians consider ontology to be concerned primarily with existential questions of the form, “What is there?”. Moreover, if the position advanced by Rudolf Carnap, in his seminal essay, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology ”, is correct, then many of these existential ontological questions ought to be classified as either trivially answerable or as “pseudo-questions”. One may justifiably wonder, however, whether the Quinean and Carnapian perspective on ontology really does justice to many of the most central concerns (...)
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  • Epistemicism and Modality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):803-835.
    What kind of semantics should someone who accepts the epistemicist theory of vagueness defended in Timothy Williamson’s Vagueness (1994) give a definiteness operator? To impose some interesting constraints on acceptable answers to this question, I will assume that the object language also contains a metaphysical necessity operator and a metaphysical actuality operator. I will suggest that the answer is to be found by working within a three-dimensional model theory. I will provide sketches of two ways of extracting an epistemicist semantics (...)
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  • Combining Minds: A Defence of the Possibility of Experiential Combination.Luke Roelofs - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    This thesis explores the possibility of composite consciousness: phenomenally conscious states belonging to a composite being in virtue of the consciousness of, and relations among, its parts. We have no trouble accepting that a composite being has physical properties entirely in virtue of the physical properties of, and relations among, its parts. But a long­standing intuition holds that consciousness is different: my consciousness cannot be understood as a complex of interacting component consciousnesses belonging to parts of me. I ask why: (...)
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  • From a Necessary Being to a Perfect Being.T. Ryan Byerly - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):10-17.
    Cosmological arguments for the existence of God face a gap problem. This is the problem of convincingly arguing that their intermediate conclusions that some first cause or necessary being exists provide evidence for their main conclusion that God exists. This paper develops a simple and innovative approach to solving this problem, applicable to many cosmological arguments. According to the proposal, the best explanation for why the necessary being is found to have necessary existence is that it is a perfect being. (...)
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  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Probability 1.Daniel Greco - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):179-201.
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  • Inferentialism.Florian Steinberger & Julien Murzi - 2017 - In Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Language. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 197-224.
    This article offers an overview of inferential role semantics. We aim to provide a map of the terrain as well as challenging some of the inferentialist’s standard commitments. We begin by introducing inferentialism and placing it into the wider context of contemporary philosophy of language. §2 focuses on what is standardly considered both the most important test case for and the most natural application of inferential role semantics: the case of the logical constants. We discuss some of the (alleged) benefits (...)
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  • Kumārila and Knows-Knows.Daniel Immerman - 2018 - Philosophy East and West 68 (2):408-422.
    This essay defends a principle that promises to help illuminate the nature of reflective knowledge. The principle in question belongs to a broader category called knows-knows principles, or KK principles for short. Such principles say that if you know some proposition, then you're in a position to know that you know it.KK principles were prominent among various historical philosophers and can be fruitfully integrated with many views in contemporary epistemology and beyond—and yet almost every contemporary analytic epistemologist thinks that they (...)
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  • Can Russellian Monism Solve the Mind-Body Problem?Adam Pautz - manuscript
    I develop a new argument against Russellian Monism about consciousness.
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  • Modal Cognitivism and Modal Expressivism.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper aims to provide a mathematically tractable background against which to model both modal cognitivism and modal expressivism. I argue that epistemic modal algebras comprise a materially adequate fragment of the language of thought, and endeavor to show how such algebras provide the resources necessary to resolve Russell's paradox of propositions. I demonstrate, then, how modal expressivism can be regimented by modal coalgebraic automata, to which the above epistemic modal algebras are dually isomorphic. I examine, in particular, the virtues (...)
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  • Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  • Phenomenal, Normative, and Other Explanatory Gaps: A General Diagnosis.Neil Mehta - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):567-591.
    I assume that there exists a general phenomenon, the phenomenon of the explanatory gap, surrounding consciousness, normativity, intentionality, and more. Explanatory gaps are often thought to foreclose reductive possibilities wherever they appear. In response, reductivists who grant the existence of these gaps have offered countless local solutions. But typically such reductivist responses have had a serious shortcoming: because they appeal to essentially domain-specific features, they cannot be fully generalized, and in this sense these responses have been not just local but (...)
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  • Group Agents Are Not Expressive, Pragmatic or Theoretical Fictions.Philip Pettit - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S9):1641-1662.
    Group agents have been represented as expressive fictions by those who treat ascriptions of agency to groups as metaphorical; as pragmatic fictions by those who think that the agency ascribed to groups belongs in the first place to a distinct individual or set of individuals; and as theoretical fictions by those who think that postulating group agents serves no indispensable role in our theory of the social world. This paper identifies, criticizes and rejects each of these views, defending a strong (...)
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  • Idealism and the Mind-Body Problem.David Chalmers - forthcoming - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
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  • Physics and Fundamentality.Ney Alyssa - manuscript
    What justifies the allocation of funding to research in physics when many would argue research in the life and social sciences may have more immediate impact in transforming our world for the better? Many of the justifications for such spending depend on the claim that physics enjoys a kind of special status vis-a-vis the other sciences, that physics or at least some branches of physics exhibit a form of fundamentality. The goal of this paper is to articulate a conception of (...)
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  • Mind, Modality, and Meaning: Toward a Rationalist Physicalism.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2013 - Dissertation, University of California Los Angeles
    This dissertation contains four independent essays addressing a cluster of related topics in the philosophy of mind. Chapter 1: “Fundamentality Physicalism” argues that physicalism can usefully be conceived of as a thesis about fundamentality. The chapter explores a variety of other potential formulations of physicalism (particularly modal formulations), contrasts fundamentality physicalism with these theses, and offers reasons to prefer fundamentality physicalism over these rivals. Chapter 2:“Modal Rationalism and the Demonstrative Reply to the Master Argument Against Physicalism” introduces the Master Argument (...)
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  • Almost Ideal: Computational Epistemology and the Limits of Rationality for Finite Reasoners.Danilo Fraga Dantas - 2016 - Dissertation, University of California, Davis
    The notion of an ideal reasoner has several uses in epistemology. Often, ideal reasoners are used as a parameter of (maximum) rationality for finite reasoners (e.g. humans). However, the notion of an ideal reasoner is normally construed in such a high degree of idealization (e.g. infinite/unbounded memory) that this use is unadvised. In this dissertation, I investigate the conditions under which an ideal reasoner may be used as a parameter of rationality for finite reasoners. In addition, I present and justify (...)
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  • Ideal Reasoners Don’T Believe in Zombies.Danilo Fraga Dantas - 2017 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 21 (1):41-59.
    The negative zombie argument concludes that physicalism is false from the premises that p ∧¬q is ideally negatively conceivable and that what is ideally negatively conceivable is possible, where p is the conjunction of the fundamental physical truths and laws and q is a phenomenal truth (Chalmers 2002; 2010). A sentence φ is ideally negatively conceivable iff φ is not ruled out a priori on ideal rational reflection. In this paper, I argue that the negative zombie argument is neither a (...)
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  • Conceivability, Plural Quantification, and Haecceitism.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This essay aims to redress the contention that epistemic possibility cannot be a guide to the principles of modal metaphysics. I argue that the interaction between the multi-dimensional intensional framework and intensional plural quantification enables epistemic possibilities to target the haecceitistic properties of individuals. I outline the elements of plural logic, and I specify, then, a multi-dimensional intensional formula encoding the relation between the epistemic possibility of haecceity comprehension and its metaphysical possibility. I conclude by addressing objections from the indeterminacy (...)
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  • The Eightfold Way: Why Analyticity, Apriority and Necessity Are Independent.Douglas Ian Campbell - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17:1-17.
    This paper concerns the three great modal dichotomies: (i) the necessary/contingent dichotomy; (ii) the a priori/empirical dichotomy; and (iii) the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. These can be combined to produce a tri-dichotomy of eight modal categories. The question as to which of the eight categories house statements and which do not is a pivotal battleground in the history of analytic philosophy, with key protagonists including Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kripke, Putnam and Kaplan. All parties to the debate have accepted that some categories are (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Valid Inference – A Model-Theoretic Approach.Constantin C. Brîncuș - 2015 - In Sorin Costreie & Mircea Dumitru (eds.), Meaning and Truth. Bucharest: PRO Universitaria Publishing. pp. 11-36.
    The problem analysed in this paper is whether we can gain knowledge by using valid inferences, and how we can explain this process from a model-theoretic perspective. According to the paradox of inference (Cohen & Nagel 1936/1998, 173), it is logically impossible for an inference to be both valid and its conclusion to possess novelty with respect to the premises. I argue in this paper that valid inference has an epistemic significance, i.e., it can be used by an agent to (...)
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  • Embodied Knowledge, Conceptual Change, and the A Priori; or, Justification, Revision, and the Ways Life Could Go.Robert D. Rupert - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):169-192.
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  • Dispositional and Categorical Properties, and Russellian Monism.Eric Hiddleston - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):65-92.
    This paper has two main aims. The first is to present a general approach for understanding “dispositional” and “categorical” properties; the second aim is to use this approach to criticize Russellian Monism. On the approach I suggest, what are usually thought of as “dispositional” and “categorical” properties are really just the extreme ends of a spectrum of options. The approach allows for a number of options between these extremes, and it is plausible, I suggest, that just about everything of scientific (...)
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  • A New Epistemic Argument for Idealism.Robert Smithson - 2018 - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth Pearce (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 17-33.
    Many idealists have thought that realism raises epistemological problems. The worry is that, if it is possible for truths about ordinary objects to outstrip our experiences in the ways that realists typically suppose, we could never be justified in our beliefs about objects. Few contemporary theorists find this argument convincing; philosophers have offered a variety of responses to defend the epistemology of our object judgments under the assumption of realism. But in this paper, I offer a new type of epistemic (...)
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  • The Significance Argument for the Irreducibility of Consciousness.Adam Pautz - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):349-407.
    The Significance Argument (SA) for the irreducibility of consciousness is based on a series of new puzzle-cases that I call multiple candidate cases. In these cases, there is a multiplicity of physical-functional properties or relations that are candidates to be identified with the sensible qualities and our consciousness of them, where those candidates are not significantly different. I will argue that these cases show that reductive materialists cannot accommodate the various ways in which consciousness is significant. I also will argue (...)
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  • Knowing How Things Might Have Been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese:1-19.
    I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essencess, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to (...)
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  • Metaphysical and Conceptual Grounding.Robert Smithson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-25.
    Recently, many philosophers have claimed that the world has an ordered, hierarchical structure, where entities at lower ontological levels are said to metaphysically ground entities at higher ontological levels. Other philosophers have recently claimed that our language has an ordered, hierarchical structure. Semantically primitive sentences are said to conceptually ground less primitive sentences. It’s often emphasized that metaphysical grounding is a relation between things out in the world, not a relation between our sentences. But conflating these relations is easy to (...)
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  • Chalmersin argumentti materialismia vastaan.Panu Raatikainen - forthcoming - Ajatus 75.
    Artikkelissa tarkastellaan perusteellisesti ja kriittisesti David Chalmersin vaikutusvaltaista fenomenaaliseen tietoisuuden liittyvää argumenttia materialismia vastaan. Argumentissa tunnistetaan useampikin kuin yksi heikko lenkki.
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  • Structuralism as a Response to Skepticism.David J. Chalmers - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (12):625-660.
    Cartesian arguments for global skepticism about the external world start from the premise that we cannot know that we are not in a Cartesian scenario such as an evil-demon scenario, and infer that because most of our empirical beliefs are false in such a scenario, these beliefs do not constitute knowledge. Veridicalist responses to global skepticism respond that arguments fail because in Cartesian scenarios, many or most of our empirical beliefs are true. Some veridicalist responses have been motivated using verificationism, (...)
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  • Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers traditionally recognize two main features of mental states: intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. To a first approximation, intentionality is the aboutness of mental states, and phenomenal consciousness is the felt, experiential, qualitative, or "what it's like" aspect of mental states. In the past few decades, these features have been widely assumed to be distinct and independent. But several philosophers have recently challenged this assumption, arguing that intentionality and consciousness are importantly related. This article overviews the key views on the relationship (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Theories of Reference: What Was the Question?Panu Raatikainen - forthcoming - In Andrea Bianchi (ed.), Language and Reality From a Naturalistic Perspective: Themes From Michael Devitt. Springer.
    The new theory of reference has won popularity. However, a number of noted philosophers have also attempted to reply to the critical arguments of Kripke and others, and aimed to vindicate the description theory of reference. Such responses are often based on ingenious novel kinds of descriptions, such as rigidified descriptions, causal descriptions, and metalinguistic descriptions. This prolonged debate raises the doubt whether different parties really have any shared understanding of what the central question of the philosophical theory of reference (...)
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  • Why Determinism in Physics has No Implications for Free Will.Michael Esfeld - unknown
    This paper argues for the following three theses: There is a clear reason to prefer physical theories with deterministic dynamical equations: such theories are both maximally simple and maximally rich in information, since given an initial configuration of matter and the dynamical equations, the whole evolution of the configuration of matter is fixed. There is a clear way how to introduce probabilities in a deterministic physical theory, namely as answer to the question of what evolution of a specific system we (...)
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  • The Puzzle of Pure Moral Motivation.Adam Lerner - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    People engage in pure moral inquiry whenever they inquire into the moral features of some act, agent, or state of affairs without inquiring into the non-moral features of that act, agent, or state of affairs. This chapter argues that ordinary people act rationally when they engage in pure moral inquiry, and so any adequate view in metaethics ought to be able to explain this fact. The Puzzle of Pure Moral Motivation is to provide such an explanation. This chapter argues that (...)
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  • Referentialism and the Objects of Credence: A Reply to Braun.David J. Chalmers - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):499-510.
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  • Semantic Deference Versus Semantic Coordination.Laura Schroeter & François Schroeter - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):193-210.
    It's widely accepted that social facts about an individual's linguistic community can affect both the reference of her words and the concepts those words express. Theorists sympathetic to the internalist tradition have sought to accommodate these social dependence phenomena without altering their core theoretical commitments by positing deferential reference-fixing criteria. In this paper, we sketch a different explanation of social dependence phenomena, according to which all concepts are individuated in part by causal-historical relations linking token elements of thought.
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  • Quinean Holism, Analyticity, and Diachronic Rational Norms.Brett Topey - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3143-3171.
    I argue that Quinean naturalists’ holism-based arguments against analyticity and apriority are more difficult to resist than is generally supposed, for two reasons. First, although opponents of naturalism sometimes dismiss these arguments on the grounds that the holistic premises on which they depend are unacceptably radical, it turns out that the sort of holism required by these arguments is actually quite minimal. And second, although it’s true, as Grice and Strawson pointed out long ago, that these arguments can succeed only (...)
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  • The Dual Nature of Properties: The Powerful Qualities View Reconsidered.Joaquim Giannotti - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    Metaphysical orthodoxy holds that a privileged minority of properties carve reality at its joints. These are the so-called fundamental properties. This thesis concerns the contemporary philosophical debate about the nature of fundamental properties. In particular, it aims to answer two questions: What is the most adequate conception of fundamental properties? What is the “big picture” world-view that emerges by adopting such a conception? I argue that a satisfactory answer to both questions requires us to embrace a novel conception of powerful (...)
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  • Mental Graphs.James Pryor - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):309-341.
    I argue that Frege Problems in thought are best modeled using graph-theoretic machinery; and that these problems can arise even when subjects associate all the same qualitative properties to the object they’re thinking of twice. I compare the proposed treatment to similar ideas by Heck, Ninan, Recanati, Kamp and Asher, Fodor, and others.
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