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To Be F Is To Be G

Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134 (2016)

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  1. Physicalism and the Identity of Identity Theories.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    Type-identity theorists interpret physicalism as the claim that every property is identical to a physical property. Token-identity theorists interpret it as the claim that every particular is identical to a physical particular. The end of this paper is to undermine the distinction between the two. Drawing on recent work on generalized identities and truth-maker semantics, I demonstrate that these formulations of physicalism are logically equivalent. I then argue that each formulation has the resources to resolve problems that the other encounters.
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  • Two Sorts of Constitutivism.Jeremy David Fix - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Some things, but only some things, are by nature subject to standards. Why? I explain a constitutivist answer to this question in terms of certain genera possessing essential properties which their particulars can possess or lack. When something is by nature subject to a standard, it is so subject because it is a particular of a genus with such properties, and it is subject to a standard with respect to those very properties. I then explain the account of the nature (...)
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  • Perspectivism.Jeremy Goodman & Harvey Lederman - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Consider the sentence “Lois knows that Superman flies, but she doesn’t know that Clark flies”. In this paper we defend a Millian contextualist semantics for propositional attitude ascriptions, according to which ordinary uses of this sentence are true but involve a mid-sentence shift in context. Absent any constraints on the relevant parameters of context sensitivity, such a semantics would be untenable: it would undermine the good standing of systematic theorizing about the propositional attitudes, trivializing many of the central questions of (...)
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  • Radical Anti‐Disquotationalism.Andrew Bacon - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):41-107.
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  • Ground Grounded.Theodore Sider - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Most facts of grounding involve nonfundamental concepts, and thus must themselves be grounded. But how? The leading approaches—due to Bennett, deRosset, and Dagupta—are subject to objections. The way forward is to deny a presupposition common to the leading approaches, that there must be some simple formula governing how grounding facts are grounded. Everyone agrees that facts about cities might be grounded in some complex way about which we know little; we should say the same about the facts of grounding themselves. (...)
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  • Intrinsic Properties and Relations.Jan Plate - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (8):783-853.
    This paper provides an analysis of the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction, as applied both to properties and to relations. In contrast to other accounts, the approach taken here locates the source of a property’s intrinsicality or extrinsicality in the manner in which that property is ‘logically constituted’, and thus – plausibly – in its nature or essence, rather than in e.g. its modal profile. Another respect in which the present proposal differs from many extant analyses lies in the fact that it does (...)
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  • A Simple Proof of Grounding Internality.Adam Lovett - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):154-166.
    Some people think that grounding is a type of identity. And some people think that grounding connections hold necessarily. I show that, under plausible assumptions, if grounding is a type of identity, then grounding connections hold necessarily.
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  • Constitutive and Consequentialist Essence.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):190-199.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • The Semantic Foundations of Philosophical Analysis.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    I provide an analysis of sentences of the form ‘To be F is to be G’ in terms of exact truth-maker semantics—an approach that identifies the meanings of sentences with the states of the world directly responsible for their truth-values. Roughly, I argue that these sentences hold just in case that which makes something F is that which makes it G. This approach is hyperintensional, and possesses desirable logical and modal features. These sentences are reflexive, transitive and symmetric, and, if (...)
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  • Contingent Existence and the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):39-68.
    This paper first argues that we can bring out a tension between the following three popular doctrines: (i) the canonical reduction of metaphysical modality to essence, due to Fine, (ii) contingentism, which says that possibly something could have failed to be something, and (iii) the doctrine that metaphysical modality obeys the modal logic S5. After presenting two such arguments (one from the theorems of S4 and another from the theorems of B), I turn to exploring various conclusions we might draw (...)
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  • Unrestricted Quantification and the Structure of Type Theory.Nicholas K. Jones & Salvatore Florio - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Semantic theories based on a hierarchy of types have prominently been used to defend the possibility of unrestricted quantification. However, they also pose a prima facie problem for it: each quantifier ranges over at most one level of the hierarchy and is therefore not unrestricted. It is difficult to evaluate this problem without a principled account of what it is for a quantifier to be unrestricted. Drawing on an insight of Russell’s about the relationship between quantification and the structure of (...)
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  • Propositions and Cognitive Relations.Nicholas K. Jones - 2019 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (2):157-178.
    There are two broad approaches to theorizing about ontological categories. Quineans use first-order quantifiers to generalize over entities of each category, whereas type theorists use quantification on variables of different semantic types to generalize over different categories. Does anything of import turn on the difference between these approaches? If so, are there good reasons to go type-theoretic? I argue for positive answers to both questions concerning the category of propositions. I also discuss two prominent arguments for a Quinean conception of (...)
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  • The Puzzles of Ground.Adam Lovett - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-24.
    I outline and provide a solution to some paradoxes of ground.
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  • How Fine-Grained is Reality?Peter Fritz - 2017 - Filosofisk Supplement 13 (2):52-57.
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  • Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):642-670.
    Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with antecedently plausible (...)
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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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  • Essence and Cause: Making Something Be What It Is.Riin Sirkel - 2018 - Discipline Filosofiche 28 (1):89-112.
    Aristotle frequently describes essence as a “cause” or “explanation”, thus ascribing to essence some sort of causal or explanatory role. This explanatory role is often explicated by scholars in terms of essence “making the thing be what it is” or “making it the very thing that it is”. I argue that this is problematic, at least on the assumption that “making” expresses an explanatory relation, since it violates certain formal features of explanation. I then consider whether Aristotle is vulnerable to (...)
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  • Modality is Not Explainable by Essence.Carlos Romero - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):121-141.
    Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in terms of Fine's (...)
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  • The Logic of Opacity.Andrew Bacon & Jeffrey Sanford Russell - forthcoming - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research.
    We explore the view that Frege's puzzle is a source of straightforward counterexamples to Leibniz's law. Taking this seriously requires us to revise the classical logic of quantifiers and identity; we work out the options, in the context of higher-order logic. The logics we arrive at provide the resources for a straightforward semantics of attitude reports that is consistent with the Millian thesis that the meaning of a name is just the thing it stands for. We provide models to show (...)
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  • The Opacity of Definition.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    This paper is concerned with logical attributes of (real) definition. In particular, I argue that substitution principles give rise to reflexive definitions: cases in which something is directly and exclusively defined in terms of itself. Many maintain that definition is both substitutable and irreflexive, so these standard commitments are at odds. As a corollary, I demonstrate that the claims in ‘Real Definition’ Rosen (2015) are logically inconsistent. I close with a brief discussion of the implications this has for the opacity (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Identity.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    The subject of this paper is the epistemology of identity: a general theory of knowledge, evidence and justification for the claim that one thing is identical to another. Although identity figures significantly in our epistemic lives, this is a topic that, to the best of my knowledge, has gone entirely unexplored. Initial attempts to integrate such an epistemology into existing theories of evidence---many of which are tailor-made for contingent propositions---are confounded by the necessity of identity. I defend a restricted form (...)
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  • Knowledge of Objective Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1155-1175.
    The epistemology of modality has focused on metaphysical modality and, more recently, counterfactual conditionals. Knowledge of kinds of modality that are not metaphysical has so far gone largely unexplored. Yet other theoretically interesting kinds of modality, such as nomic, practical, and ‘easy’ possibility, are no less puzzling epistemologically. Could Clinton easily have won the 2016 presidential election—was it an easy possibility? Given that she didn’t in fact win the election, how, if at all, can we know whether she easily could (...)
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  • Essence Without Fundamentality.Agustín Rayo - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (3):349-363.
    I argue for a conception of essence that does not rely on distinctions of metaphysical fundamentality.
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  • Classical Opacity.Michael Caie, Jeremy Goodman & Harvey Lederman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used by certain (...)
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  • How to Unify.Nicholas K. Jones - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    This paper evaluates the argument for the contradictoriness of unity, that be- gins Priest’s recent book One. The argument is seen to fail because it does not adequately differentiate between different forms of unity. This diagnosis of the argument’s failure is used as a basis for two consistent accounts of unity. The paper concludes by arguing that reality contains two absolutely fundamental and unanalysable forms of unity, which are in principle presupposed by any theory of anything. These fundamental forms of (...)
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  • Unified Foundations for Essence and Ground.Kit Fine - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):296-311.
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  • Essence Without Fundamentality.Agustin Rayo - 2015 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 30 (3):349-363.
    I argue for a conception of essence that does not rely on distinctions of metaphysical fundamentality.
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  • An Argument For Necessitism.Jeremy Goodman - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):160-182.
    This paper presents a new argument for necessitism, the claim that necessarily everything is necessarily something. The argument appeals to principles about the metaphysics of quantification and predication which are best seen as constraints on reality’s fineness of grain. I give this argument in section 4; the impatient reader may skip directly there. Sections 1-3 set the stage by surveying three other arguments for necessitism. I argue that none of them are persuasive, but I think it is illuminating to consider (...)
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  • Is Reality Fundamentally Qualitative?Andrew Bacon - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):259-295.
    Individuals play a prominent role in many metaphysical theories. According to an individualistic metaphysics, reality is determined by the pattern of properties and relations that hold between individuals. A number of philosophers have recently brought to attention alternative views in which individuals do not play such a prominent role; in this paper I will investigate one of these alternatives.
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  • Real Definitions.Fabrice Correia - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):52-73.
    I offer and defend an account of real definitions. I put forward two versions of the account, one formulated in terms of the notion of generalised identity and of a suitable notion of grounding, and the other one formulated in terms of the former notion and of a suitable notion of comparative joint-carvingness. Given a plausible assumption, and turn out to be equivalent. I give a sketch of a unified account of the three notions involved in and from which the (...)
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  • Philosophical Analysis: The Concept Grounding View.Joachim Horvath - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):724-750.
    Philosophical analysis was the central preoccupation of 20th-century analytic philosophy. In the contemporary methodological debate, however, it faces a number of pressing external and internal challenges. While external challenges, like those from experimental philosophy or semantic externalism, have been extensively discussed, internal challenges to philosophical analysis have received much less attention. One especially vexing internal challenge is that the success conditions of philosophical analysis are deeply unclear. According to the standard textbook view, a philosophical analysis aims at a strict biconditional (...)
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  • Pure Logic of Iterated Full Ground.Jon Erling Litland - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (3):411-435.
    This article develops the Pure Logic of Iterated Full Ground (PLIFG), a logic of ground that can deal with claims of the form “ϕ grounds that (ψ grounds θ)”—what we call iterated grounding claims. The core idea is that some truths Γ ground a truth ϕ when there is an explanatory argument (of a certain sort) from premisses Γ to conclusion ϕ. By developing a deductive system that distinguishes between explanatory and nonexplanatory arguments we can give introduction rules for operators (...)
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