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The Concept of Identity

Noûs 18 (3):541-548 (1984)

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  1. Four-Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231.
    Persistence through time is like extension through space. A road has spatial parts in the subregions of the region of space it occupies; likewise, an object that exists in time has temporal parts in the various subregions of the total region of time it occupies. This view — known variously as four dimensionalism, the doctrine of temporal parts, and the theory that objects “perdure” — is opposed to “three dimensionalism”, the doctrine that things “endure”, or are “wholly present”.1 I will (...)
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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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  • Object Persistence in Philosophy and Psychology.Brian J. Scholl - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (5):563–591.
    What makes an object the same persisting individual over time? Philosophers and psychologists have both grappled with this question, but from different perspectives—philosophers conceptually analyzing the criteria for object persistence, and psychologists exploring the mental mechanisms that lead us to experience the world in terms of persisting objects. It is striking that the same themes populate explorations of persistence in these two very different fields—e.g. the roles of spatiotemporal continuity, persistence through property change, and cohesion violations. Such similarities may reflect (...)
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  • Why I Have No Hands.Eric Olson - 1995 - Theoria 61 (2):182-197.
    Trust me: my chair isn't big enough for two. You may doubt that every rational, conscious being is a person; perhaps there are beings that mistakenly believe themselves to be people. If so, read ‘rational, conscious being’ or the like for 'person'.
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  • Self-Made People.David Mark Kovacs - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1071-1099.
    The Problem of Overlappers is a puzzle about what makes it the case, and how we can know, that we have the parts we intuitively think we have. In this paper, I develop and motivate an overlooked solution to this puzzle. According to what I call the self-making view it is within our power to decide what we refer to with the personal pronoun ‘I’, so the truth of most of our beliefs about our parts is ensured by the very (...)
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  • The Endurance/Perdurance Controversy is No Storm in a Teacup.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):463-482.
    Several philosophers have maintained in recent years that the endurance/perdurance debate is merely verbal: these prima facie distinct theories of objects’ persistence are in fact metaphysically equivalent, they claim. The present paper challenges this view. Three proposed translation schemes are examined; all are shown to be faulty. In the process, constructive reasons for regarding the debate as a substantive one are provided. It is also suggested that the theories may have differing practical implications.
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  • The Ship of Theseus Puzzle.David Rose, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Florian Cova, Vilius Dranseika, Angeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Min-Woo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Alejandro Rosas, Carlos Romero, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez Del Vázquez Del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang & Jing Zhu - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 3.
    Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...)
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  • Part-Time Objects.Paolo Dau - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):459-474.
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  • Objects in Time: Studies of Persistence in B-Time.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2009 - Dissertation, Lund University
    This thesis is about the conceptualization of persistence of physical, middle-sized objects within the theoretical framework of the revisionary ‘B-theory’ of time. According to the B-theory, time does not flow, but is an extended and inherently directed fourth dimension along which the history of the universe is ‘laid out’ once and for all. It is a widespread view among philosophers that if we accept the B-theory, the commonsensical ‘endurance theory’ of persistence will have to be rejected. The endurance theory says (...)
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  • Quantification and Paradox.Edward Ferrier - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    I argue that absolutism, the view that absolutely unrestricted quantification is possible, is to blame for both the paradoxes that arise in naive set theory and variants of these paradoxes that arise in plural logic and in semantics. The solution is restrictivism, the view that absolutely unrestricted quantification is not possible. -/- It is generally thought that absolutism is true and that restrictivism is not only false, but inexpressible. As a result, the paradoxes are blamed, not on illicit quantification, but (...)
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  • Keeping Up Appearances: A Reducer's Guide.David Manley - manuscript
    Metaphysicians with reductive theories of reality like to say how those theories account for ordinary usage and belief. A typical strategy is to offer theoretical sentences, often called ‘paraphrases’, to serve in place of various sentences that occur in ordinary talk. But how should we measure success in this endeavor? Those of us who undertake it usually have a vague set of theoretical desiderata in mind, but we rarely discuss them in detail. My purpose in this paper is to say (...)
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  • Structure and Transition: Towards an Accretivist Theory of Time.David Preston Taylor - unknown
    This dissertation is a defense of a particular theory of the metaphysics of time which I call "accretivism", but which is popularly known in a form usually called the "Growing Block Theory". The goal of a metaphysics of time is to incorporate the various aspects of our temporal experience into a single, comprehensive whole. To this end I delineate five aspects of our ordinary experience of time: 1) The Tensed Aspect, in virtue of which objects are presented to us as (...)
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  • Neurociencia, Naturalismo y Teología.Edmund Runggaldier - 2013 - Teología y Vida 54 (4):763-779.
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  • The Direct Relational Model of Object Perception.Nicolas J. Bullot - unknown
    This text aims at presenting a general characterization of the act of perceiving a particular object, in a framework in which perception is conceived of as a mental and cognitive faculty having specific functions that other faculties such as imagination and memory do not possess. I introduce the problem of determining the occurrence of singular perception of a physical object, as opposed to the occurrence of other mental states or attitudes. I propose that clarifying this occurrence problem requires making explicit (...)
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  • The Empirical Case for Bare Demonstratives in Vision.Zenon Pylyshyn - unknown
    1. Background: Representation in language and vision ................................................ 1 2. Some parallels between the study of vision and language......................................... 3..
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  • Perception, Representation and the World: The FINST That Binds.Zenon Pylyshyn - unknown
    I recently discovered that work I was doing in the laboratory and in theoretical writings was implicitly taking a position on a set of questions that philosophers had been worrying about for much of the past 30 or more years. My clandestine involvement in philosophical issues began when a computer science colleague and I were trying to build a model of geometrical reasoning that would draw a diagram and notice things in the diagram as it drew it (Pylyshyn, Elcock, Marmor, (...)
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  • Do Infants Reach for Perceived Objects? A Reply to Stiles-Davis.Elizabeth S. Spelke & Claes von Hofsten - 1986 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 115 (1):98-100.
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  • Symposium on Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):751-770.
    This is a symposium on my book, Writing the Book of the World, containing a precis from me, criticisms from Contessa, Merricks, and Schaffer, and replies by me.
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  • Ontological Realism.Theodore Sider - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 384--423.
    In , Peter van Inwagen asked a good question. (Asking the right question is often the hardest part.) He asked: what do you have to do to some objects to get them to compose something---to bring into existence some further thing made up of those objects? Glue them together or what?1 Some said that you don’t have to do anything.2 No matter what you do to the objects, they’ll always compose something further, no matter how they are arranged. Thus we (...)
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  • Relativism and Persistence.Eric T. Olson - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 88 (2):141-162.
    Philosophers often talk as if what it takes for a person to persist through time were up to us, as individuals or as a linguistic community, to decide. In most ordinary situations it might be fully determinate whether someone has survived or perished: barring some unforeseen catastrophe, it is clear enough that you will still exist ten minutes from now, for example. But there is no shortage of actual and imaginary situations where it is not so clear whether one survives. (...)
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  • The Subjects of Natural Generations in Aristotle’s Physics I.7.Scott O'Connor - 2015 - Apeiron 48 (1):45-75.
    In 'Physics' I.7, Aristotle claims that plants and animals are generated from sperma. Since most understood sperma to be an ovum, this claim threatens to undermine the standard view that, for Aristotle, the matter natural beings are generated from persists through their generation. By focusing on Aristotle’s discussion of sperma in the first book of the 'Generation of Animals', I show that, for Aristotle, sperma in the female is surplus blood collected in the uterus and not an ovum. I subsequently (...)
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  • Objects and Attention: The State of the Art.Brian J. Scholl - 2001 - Cognition 80 (1-2):1-46.
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  • Conventionalism and the World as Bare Sense-Data.Crawford L. Elder - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):261 – 275.
    We are confident of many of the judgements we make as to what sorts of alterations the members of nature's kinds can survive, and what sorts of events mark the ends of their existences. But is our confidence based on empirical observation of nature's kinds and their members? Conventionalists deny that we can learn empirically which properties are essential to the members of nature's kinds. Judgements of sameness in kind between members, and of numerical sameness of a member across time, (...)
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  • Personal Identity and the Radiation Argument.Eric T. Olson - 2001 - Analysis 61 (1):38-44.
    Sydney Shoemaker has argued that, because we can imagine a people who take themselves to survive a 'brain-state-transfer' procedure, cerebrum transplant, or the like, we ought to conclude that we could survive such a thing. I claim that the argument faces two objections, and can be defended only by depriving it any real interest.
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  • Transforming Celebrity Objects: Implications for an Account of Psychological Contagion.Kristan A. Marchak & D. Geoffrey Hall - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 17 (1-2):51-72.
    The celebrity effect is the well-documented phenomenon in which people ascribe an enhanced worth to artefacts owned by famous individuals. This effect has been attributed to a belief in psychological contagion, the transmission of a person’s essence to an object via contact. We examined people’s judgments of the persisting worth of celebrity-owned artefacts following transformations of their parts/material and found that the celebrity effect was evident only for post-transformation artefacts that were composed of parts/material that had direct physical contact with (...)
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  • Modality and Anti-Metaphysics.Stephen K. McLeod - 2001 - Ashgate.
    Modality and Anti-Metaphysics critically examines the most prominent approaches to modality among analytic philosophers in the twentieth century, including essentialism. Defending both the project of metaphysics and the essentialist position that metaphysical modality is conceptually and ontologically primitive, Stephen McLeod argues that the logical positivists did not succeed in banishing metaphysical modality from their own theoretical apparatus and he offers an original defence of metaphysics against their advocacy of its elimination. -/- Seeking to assuage the sceptical worries which underlie modal (...)
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  • Riferimento, predicazione, e cambiamento.Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - In Claudia Bianchi & Andrea Bottani (eds.), Significato e ontologia. Franco Angeli. pp. 221–249.
    This paper focuses on the semantics of statements of the form ‘x is P at t’ vis-à-vis its metaphysical underpinnings. I begin by considering four main readings, corresponding to the four basic parsings of the temporal modifier ‘at t’: (1) at-t x is P, (2) x-at-t is P, (3) x is-at-t P, and (4) x is P-at-t. Each of these readings—which correspond to different metaphysical conceptions of the nature of temporal change—is found inadequate or otherwise problematic. In the second part (...)
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  • Time, Objects, and Identity.Ian Gibson - unknown
    This is a copy of my DPhil thesis, the abstract for which is as follows: The first third of this thesis argues for a B-theoretic conception of time according to which all times exist equally and the present is in no way privileged. I distinguish "ontological" A-theories from "non-ontological" ones, arguing that the latter are experientially unmotivated and barely coherent. With regard to the former, I focus mainly on presentism. After some remarks on how to formulate this (and eternalism) non-trivially, (...)
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  • Against Psychological Sequentialism.Huiyuhl Yi - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (2):247-262.
    Psychological Sequentialism holds that no causal constraint is necessary for the preservation of what matters in survival; rather, it is sufficient for preservation if two groups of mental states are similar enough and temporally close enough. Suppose that one’s body is instantaneously dematerialized and subsequently, by an amazing coincidence, a collection of molecules is configured to form a qualitatively identical human body. According to Psychological Sequentialism, these events preserve what matters in survival. In this article, I examine some of the (...)
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  • From Brain to Cosmos (Preliminary Revised Edition).Mark Sharlow - manuscript
    This is a draft for a revised edition of Mark Sharlow's book "From Brain to Cosmos." It includes most of the material from the first edition, two shorter pieces pertaining to the book, and a detailed new introduction.
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  • Identidad y discriminación en el contenido no conceptual.Justina Díaz Legaspe - 2009 - Critica 41 (123):65-93.
    En The Varieties of Reference, Evans sostiene que el contenido perceptual posee una naturaleza no conceptual. Precisamente, los vínculos informacionales entre sujeto y objeto habilitan el pensamiento singular, al permitir la localización del objeto en un entorno egocéntrico. Anclados en algunos casos en estos vínculos, los pensamientos singulares contienen Ideas adecuadas del objeto, dependientes de una determinada clasificación del mismo. Nada en el contenido perceptual equivale a este recorte conceptual del objeto en el pensamiento. Sostendré entonces la necesidad de introducir (...)
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  • Transplantation, Chemical Inheritance, and the Identity of Organs.Stephen R. Munzer - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (2):555-570.
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  • The Necessity of Metaphysics.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2008 - Dissertation, Durham University
    The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate that metaphysics is a necessary discipline -- necessary in the sense that all areas of philosophy, all areas of science, and in fact any type of rational activity at all would be impossible without a metaphysical background or metaphysical presuppositions. Because of the extremely strong nature of this claim, it is not possible to put forward a very simple argument, although I will attempt to construct one. A crucial issue here is what (...)
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  • Is Dialetheism an Idealism? The Russellian Fallacy and the Dialetheist’s Dilemma.Francesco Berto - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (2):235–263.
    In his famous work on vagueness, Russell named “fallacy of verbalism” the fallacy that consists in mistaking the properties of words for the properties of things. In this paper, I examine two (clusters of) mainstream paraconsistent logical theories – the non-adjunctive and relevant approaches –, and show that, if they are given a strongly paraconsistent or dialetheic reading, the charge of committing the Russellian Fallacy can be raised against them in a sophisticated way, by appealing to the intuitive reading of (...)
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  • Learning That There is Life After Death.L. Harris Paul & Astuti Rita - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):475-476.
    Bering's argument that human beings are endowed with a cognitive system dedicated to forming illusory representations of psychological immortality relies on the claim that children's beliefs in the afterlife are not the result of religious teaching. We suggest four reasons why this claim is unsatisfactory.
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  • Why and How Not to Be a Sortalist About Thought.Rachel Goodman - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):77-112.
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  • A Study in the Cognition of Individuals' Identity: Solving the Problem of Singular Cognition in Object and Agent Tracking.Nicolas Bullot - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):276-293.
    This article compares the ability to track individuals lacking mental states with the ability to track intentional agents. It explains why reference to individuals raises the problem of explaining how cognitive agents track unique individuals and in what sense reference is based on procedures of perceptual-motor and epistemic tracking. We suggest applying the notion of singular-files from theories in perception and semantics to the problem of tracking intentional agents. In order to elucidate the nature of agent-files, three views of the (...)
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  • Visual Indexes, Preconceptual Objects, and Situated Vision.Zenon W. Pylyshyn - 2001 - Cognition 80 (1-2):127-158.
    This paper argues that a theory of situated vision, suited for the dual purposes of object recognition and the control of action, will have to provide something more than a system that constructs a conceptual representation from visual stimuli: it will also need to provide a special kind of direct (preconceptual, unmediated) connection between elements of a visual representation and certain elements in the world. Like natural language demonstratives (such as `this' or `that') this direct connection allows entities to be (...)
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  • Conscious Subjects in Detail: Readings in From Brain to Cosmos.Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of excerpts (chapters 5 and 10-12) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. These excerpts address several traditional problems about the histories of conscious subjects, using the concept of subjective fact that the author developed earlier in the book. Topics include the persistence of conscious subjects through time, the unity or disunity of the self, and the possibility of splitting conscious subjects. (These excerpts depend heavily upon the author’s concept of subjective fact as developed in (...)
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  • Which Systems Are Conscious?Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of an excerpt (chapter 14) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. In that excerpt, the author uses the concept of subjective fact developed earlier in the book to address a question about consciousness: which physical systems (organisms or machines) are conscious? (This document depends heavily upon the concept of subjective fact developed in From Brain to Cosmos. Readers unfamiliar with that concept are strongly advised to read chapters 2 and 3 of From Brain to (...)
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  • Time and Subjective Facts: Readings in From Brain to Cosmos.Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of excerpts (chapters 5 and 7-9) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. These excerpts address some traditional philosophical problems about temporal flux and identity through time, using the concept of subjective fact that the author developed earlier in the book. (Readers unfamiliar with that concept are strongly advised to read chapters 2 and 3 of From Brain to Cosmos first. See the last page of this document for details on how to obtain those chapters.).
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  • Beyond Physicalism and Idealism: Readings in From Brain to Cosmos.Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of an excerpt (chapter 13) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. In that excerpt, the author presents a study of the notion of truth using the concept of subjective fact developed earlier in the book. The author argues that mind-body materialism is compatible with certain forms of metaphysical idealism. The chapter closes with some remarks on relativism with regard to truth. (This document depends heavily upon the concept of subjective fact developed in From Brain (...)
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  • Subjective Facts and Other Minds: Readings in From Brain to Cosmos.Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of an excerpt (chapter 6) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. That excerpt presents an analysis of the problem of knowledge of other minds, using the concept of subjective fact that the author developed earlier in the book. (Readers unfamiliar with that concept are strongly advised to read chapters 2 and 3 of From Brain to Cosmos first. See the last page of this document for details on how to obtain those chapters.).
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  • Personal Identity and Subjective Time: Readings in From Brain to Cosmos.Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of an excerpt (chapter 5) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. That excerpt presents an analysis of personal identity through time, using the concept of subjective fact that the author developed earlier in the book. (Readers unfamiliar with that concept are strongly advised to read chapters 2 and 3 of From Brain to Cosmos first. See the last page of this document for details on how to obtain those chapters.).
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  • Knowledge of How Things Seem to You: Readings in From Brain to Cosmos.Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This document consists primarily of an excerpt (chapter 4) from the author’s book From Brain to Cosmos. That excerpt presents a study of a specific problem about knowledge: the logical justification of one’s knowledge of the immediate past. (This document depends heavily upon the concept of subjective fact that the author developed in chapters 2 and 3 of From Brain to Cosmos. Readers unfamiliar with that concept are strongly advised to read those chapters first. See the last page of this (...)
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  • An Introduction to Subjective Facts: Readings in From Brain to Cosmos.Mark F. Sharlow - manuscript
    This collection serves as an introduction to the concept of subjective fact, which plays a central role in some of the author's philosophical writings. The collection contains two book chapters and a paper. The first chapter (Chapter 2 of From Brain to Cosmos) begins with an informal characterization of the concept of subjective fact. Then it fleshes out this concept with examples, gives a more precise characterization, and addresses some potential weaknesses of the concept. This chapter shows how subjective fact (...)
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  • Specious Individuals.Kristin Guyot - 1986 - Philosophica 37.
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  • Multiple Constitution.Nicholas K. Jones - 2015 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmer (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9. Oxford: OUP. pp. 217-261.
    This paper outlines a novel solution to the problem of the many and a conception of ordinary objects that implies it. The solution is that many collections of particles can simultaneously constitute a single object. The proposed conception of ordinary objects maintains that they are fundamentally subjects of change: the changes an object is able to survive explain its constitution.
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  • Identity and Becoming.Robert Allen - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):527-548.
    A material object is constituted by a sum of parts all of which are essential to the sum but some of which seem inessential to the object itself. Such object/sum of parts pairs include my body/its torso and appendages and my desk/its top, drawers, and legs. In these instances, we are dealing with objects and their components. But, fundamentally, we may also speak, as Locke does, of an object and its constitutive matter—a “mass of particles”—or even of that aggregate and (...)
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  • Sharing Space: The Synchronic Identity of Social Groups.Paul Sheehy - 2006 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 36 (2):131-148.
    Taking ontological realism about social groups as the thesis that groups are composite material objects constituted by their members, this paper considers a challenge to the very possibility that groups be regarded as material entities. Ordinarily we believe that two groups can have synchronic co-extensive memberships—for example, the choir and the rugby team—while preserving their distinctive identity conditions. We also doubt that two objects of the same kind can be in the same place at the same time, which would appear (...)
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