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Constructing the World

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  1. Ideal Rationality and Logical Omniscience.Declan Smithies - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2769-2793.
    Does rationality require logical omniscience? Our best formal theories of rationality imply that it does, but our ordinary evaluations of rationality seem to suggest otherwise. This paper aims to resolve the tension by arguing that our ordinary evaluations of rationality are not only consistent with the thesis that rationality requires logical omniscience, but also provide a compelling rationale for accepting this thesis in the first place. This paper also defends an account of apriori justification for logical beliefs that is designed (...)
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  • Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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  • Belief Without Credence.J. Adam Carter, Benjamin W. Jarvis & Katherine Rubin - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2323-2351.
    One of the deepest ideological divides in contemporary epistemology concerns the relative importance of belief versus credence. A prominent consideration in favor of credence-based epistemology is the ease with which it appears to account for rational action. In contrast, cases with risky payoff structures threaten to break the link between rational belief and rational action. This threat poses a challenge to traditional epistemology, which maintains the theoretical prominence of belief. The core problem, we suggest, is that belief may not be (...)
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  • Ontological Commitment and Quantifiers.T. Parent - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York: Routledge.
    This is a slightly opinionated review of three main factions in metaontology: Quineans, Carnapians, and Meinongians. Emphasis is given to the last camp, as the metaontological aspect of Meinongianism has been underappreciated. The final section then offers some general remarks about the legitimacy of ontology, touching on ideas I have developed in other publications.
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2017 - Gutenberg.
    This book 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 book demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The book demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status (...)
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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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  • Idealism and the Mind-Body Problem.David Chalmers - 2019 - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. New York: Routledge. pp. 353-373.
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  • Consciousness and the Limits of Objectivity: The Case for Subjective Physicalism, by Robert J. Howell. [REVIEW]Daniel Stoljar - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):608-611.
    Review of Howell's *Consciousness and the Limits of Objectivity: The Case for Subjective Physicalism*.
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  • Kant Meets Cyberpunk.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55).
    I defend a how-possibly argument for Kantian transcendental idealism, drawing on concepts from David Chalmers, Nick Bostrom, and the cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction. If we are artificial intelligences living in a virtual reality instantiated on a giant computer, then the fundamental structure of reality might be very different 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 that things necessarily (...)
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  • SI: Chalmers on Virtual Reality Introduction.David Yates & Ricardo Santos - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):291-296.
    In June 2016, David Chalmers delivered the Petrus Hispanus Lectures at the LanCog research group, University of Lisbon, on the subject of objects, properties, and perception in virtual reality environments. The paper resulting from these lectures was subsequently published in Disputatio as “The Virtual and the Real”. In it, Chalmers defends virtual realism, according to which virtual objects are bona fide digital objects with virtual counterparts of perceptible properties such as colour and shape, and perception in virtual reality environments is (...)
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  • On Phenomenal Functionalism About the Properties of Virtual and Non-Virtual Objects.Alyssa Ney - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):399-410.
    According to phenomenal functionalism, whether some object or event has a given property is determined by the kinds of sensory experiences 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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  • The A Posteriori Armchair.Daniel Nolan - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):211-231.
    A lot of good philosophy is done in the armchair, but is nevertheless a posteriori. This paper clarifies and then defends that claim. Among the a posteriori activities done in the armchair are assembling and evaluating commonplaces; formulating theoretical alternatives; and integrating well-known past a posteriori discoveries. The activity that receives the most discussion, however, is the application of theoretical virtues to choose philosophical theories: the paper argues that much of this is properly seen as a posteriori.
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  • Raum and ‘Room’: Comments on Anton Marty on Space Perception.Clare Mac Cumhaill - 2019 - In Giuliano Bacigalupo & Hélène Leblanc (eds.), Anton Marty and Contemporary Philosophy. Palgrave. pp. 121-152.
    I consider the first part of Marty’s Raum und Zeit, which treats of both the nature of space and spatial perception. I begin by sketching two charges that Marty raises against Kantian and Brentanian conceptions of space (and spatial perception) respectively, before detailing what I take to be a characteristically Martyan picture of space perception, though set against the backdrop of contemporary philosophy of perception. Marty has it that spatial relations are non-real but existent, causally inert relations that are grounded (...)
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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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  • Conceptual Mastery and the Knowledge Argument.Gabriel Rabin - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):125-147.
    According to Frank Jackson’s famous knowledge argument, Mary, a brilliant neuroscientist raised in a black and white room and bestowed with complete physical knowledge, cannot know certain truths about phenomenal experience. This claim about knowledge, in turn, implies that physicalism is false. I argue that the knowledge argument founders on a dilemma. Either (i) Mary cannot know the relevant experiential truths because of trivial obstacles that have no bearing on the truth of physicalism or (ii) once the obstacles have been (...)
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  • Two-Dimensional Semantics.Laura Schroeter - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Two-dimensional (2D) semantics is a formal framework that is used to characterize the meaning of certain linguistic expressions and the entailment relations among sentences containing them. 2D semantics has also been applied to thought contents. In contrast with standard possible worlds semantics, 2D semantics assigns extensions and truth-values to expressions relative to two possible world parameters, rather than just one. So a 2D semantic framework provides finer-grained semantic values than those available within standard possible world semantics, while using the same (...)
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  • Intensions and Indeterminacy: Reply to Soames, Turner, and Wilson.David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):249-269.
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  • Panpsychism and Panprotopsychism.David Chalmers - 2013 - Amherst Lecture in Philosophy 8.
    I present an argument for panpsychism: the thesis that everything is conscious, or at least that fundamental physical entities are conscious. The argument takes a Hegelian dialectical form. Panpsychism emerges as a synthesis of the thesis of materalism and the antithesis of dualism. In particular, the key premises of the causal argument for materialism and the conceivability argument for dualism are all accommodated by a certain version of panpsychism. This synthesis has its own antithesis in turn: panprotopsychism, the thesis that (...)
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  • Gunk Mountains: A Puzzle.Sharon E. Berry - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):3-10.
    This note points out a conflict between some common intuitions about metaphysical possibility. On the one hand, it is appealing to deny that there are robust counterfactuals about how various physically impossible substances would interact with the matter that exists at our world. On the other hand, our intuitions about how concepts like MOUNTAIN apply at other metaphysically possible worlds seem to presuppose facts about ‘solidity’ which cash out in terms of these counterfactuals. I consider several simple attempts to resolve (...)
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  • Inconceivable Physicalism.Jonathon VandenHombergh - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):116-125.
    Using his two-dimensional semantics, I demonstrate that David Chalmers’s 2010 ‘two-dimensional argument against materialism’ is sound only if a wide swath of reductive physicalist theses – crucially, those involving identity and other intrinsic reductive relations – are inconceivable. 2DA therefore begs the question against its opponents and undermines its argumentative relevance. Comparisons are drawn to similar arguments in Marton and Sturgeon; the present account differs in its formal and philosophical simplicity, as well as its specific application to reductivist doctrines beyond (...)
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  • Naturalism.David Papineau - 2007 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The term ‘naturalism’ has no very precise meaning in contemporary philosophy. Its current usage derives from debates in America in the first half of the last century. The self-proclaimed ‘naturalists’ from that period included John Dewey, Ernest Nagel, Sidney Hook and Roy Wood Sellars. These philosophers aimed to ally philosophy more closely with science. They urged that reality is exhausted by nature, containing nothing ‘supernatural’, and that the scientific method should be used to investigate all areas of reality, including the (...)
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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 Combination Problem for Panpsychism.David Chalmers - 2016 - In Godehard Brüntrup & Ludwig Jaskolla (eds.), Panpsychism. Oxford University Press.
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  • Fitch's Paradox and Level-Bridging Principles.Weng Kin San - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (1):5-29.
    Fitch’s Paradox shows that if every truth is knowable, then every truth is known. Standard diagnoses identify the factivity/negative infallibility of the knowledge operator and Moorean contradictions as the root source of the result. This paper generalises Fitch’s result to show that such diagnoses are mistaken. In place of factivity/negative infallibility, the weaker assumption of any ‘level-bridging principle’ suffices. A consequence is that the result holds for some logics in which the “Moorean contradiction” commonly thought to underlie the result is (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Summary.Sarah Moss - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):313-315.
    _ Probabilistic Knowledge _1 1 By MossSarahOxford University Press, 2014. viii – 278 pp.
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  • Algebraic Metaphysical Semantics.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper argues that metaphysically fundamental truths ought to be defined within an algebraic language. In the first part of the paper, I provide examples of the algebraic structures used to define models of physical ontology (namely, quantum mechanics and field theory); the mathematical universe (set-theory); modal logic; and the metaphysics of consciousness. I outline, then, some explanatory desiderata concerning the relation between fundamental and derivative truths. I argue that a relation of apriori material implication, i.e. 'scrutability', cannot satisfy the (...)
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  • Metaphysical and Conceptual Grounding.Robert Smithson - 2018 - Erkenntnis 1:1-25.
    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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  • 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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  • Objectivity and Understanding: A New Reading of Carnap’s Aufbau.Iulian D. Toader - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1543-1557.
    This paper argues that Carnap's epistemological project in the Aufbau is to determine the conditions for both objectivity and understanding, thus aiming at refuting the skeptical contention that objectivity and understanding are incompossible ideals of science.
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  • A Dilemma for Russellian Monists About Consciousness.Adam Pautz - manuscript
    I develop a new argument against Russellian Monism about consciousness.
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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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  • 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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  • Frege's Principle.Richard Heck - 1995 - In J. Hintikka (ed.), From Dedekind to Gödel: Essays on the Development of the Foundations of Mathematics. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    This paper explores the relationship between Hume's Prinicple and Basic Law V, investigating the question whether we really do need to suppose that, already in Die Grundlagen, Frege intended that HP should be justified by its derivation from Law V.
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  • The World as I Found It. A Subjectivist Metaphysics of the Mental.Giovanni Merlo - 2015 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    The first part of this thesis articulates and defends the Subjectivist View of the Mental. According to this view, my mental states are essentially different from the mental states of everyone else, but the fact that they are is a subjective fact, rather than an objective one. Chapter 1 explains what it takes for a fact to be subjective, what kind of difference holds between my mental states and everyone else's mental states and what kind of intuitions lead me to (...)
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  • How Can Brains in Vats Experience a Spatial World? A Puzzle for Internalists.Adam Pautz - 2019 - In Blockheads!
    In this chapter, Pautz raises a puzzle about spatial experience for phenomenal internalists like Ned Block. If an accidental, lifelong brain-in-the-void (BIV) should have all the same experiences as you, it would have an experience as of items having various shapes, and be able to acquire concepts of those shapes, despite being cut off from real things with the shapes. Internalists cannot explain this by saying that BIV is presented with Peacocke-style visual field regions having various shapes, because these would (...)
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  • The Absentminded Professor.Justin Tiehen - manuscript
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  • Philosophy as Conceptual Engineering: Inductive Logic in Rudolf Carnap's Scientific Philosophy.Christopher F. French - 2015 - Dissertation, University of British Columbia
    My dissertation explores the ways in which Rudolf Carnap sought to make philosophy scientific by further developing recent interpretive efforts to explain Carnap’s mature philosophical work as a form of engineering. It does this by looking in detail at his philosophical practice in his most sustained mature project, his work on pure and applied inductive logic. I, first, specify the sort of engineering Carnap is engaged in as involving an engineering design problem and then draw out the complications of design (...)
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  • The Canberra Plan Neglects Ground.Ned Block - 2015 - In Terence Horgan, Marcelo Sabates & David Sosa (eds.), Qualia and Mental Causation in a Physical World: Themes from the Philosophy of Jaegwon Kim,. Cambridge University Press. pp. 105-133.
    This paper argues that the “Canberra Plan” picture of physicalistic reduction of mind--a picture shared by both its proponents and opponents, philosophers as diverse as David Armstrong, David Chalmers Frank Jackson, Jaegwon Kim, Joe Levine and David Lewis--neglects ground (Fine, 2001, 2012). To the extent that the point of view endorsed by the Canberra Plan has an account of the physical/functional ground of mind at all, it is in one version trivial and in another version implausible. In its most general (...)
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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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  • From the Ultimate God to the Virtual God: Post-Ontotheological Perspectives on the Divine in Heidegger, Badiou, and Meillassoux.Jussi Backman - 2014 - Meta:113-142.
    The Heideggerian account of the ontotheological constitution of Western metaphysics has been extremely influential for contemporary philosophy of religion and for philosophical perspectives on theology and the divine. This paper introduces and contrasts two central strategies for approaching the question of the divine in a non- or post-ontotheological manner. The first and more established approach is that of post-Heideggerian hermeneutics and deconstruction, inspired by Heidegger’s suggestion of a “theology without the word ‘being’” and by his later notions of an “ultimate (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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