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  1. Counterexamples and Common Sense: When (Not) to Tollens a Ponens.Meg Wallace - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):544-558.
    Most ordinary folks think that there are ordinary objects such as trees and frogs. They do not think there are extraordinary objects such as the mereological sum of trees and frogs, as the permissivist does. Nor do they deny the existence of ordinary composite objects such as tables, as the eliminativist does. In his recent book, Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary, Korman positions himself alongside ordinary folk. He deftly defends the common sense view of ordinary objects, and argues against (...)
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  • Double-Counting and the Problem of the Many.David Liebesman - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):209-234.
    There is a defeasible constraint against double counting. When I count colours, for instance, I can’t freely count both a colour and its shades. Once we properly grasp this constraint, we can solve the problem of the many. Unlike other solutions, this solution requires us to reject neither our counting judgments, nor the metaphysical principles that seemingly conflict with them. The key is recognizing that the judgments and principles are compatible due to the targeted effects of the defeasible constraint.
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  • Theories as Recipes: Third-Order Virtue and Vice.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):391-411.
    A basic way of evaluating metaphysical theories is to ask whether they give satisfying answers to the questions they set out to resolve. I propose an account of “third-order” virtue that tells us what it takes for certain kinds of metaphysical theories to do so. We should think of these theories as recipes. I identify three good-making features of recipes and show that they translate to third-order theoretical virtues. I apply the view to two theories—mereological universalism and plenitudinous platonism—and draw (...)
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  • Explication as a Strategy for Revisionary Philosophy.Eve Kitsik - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1035-1056.
    I will defend explication, in a Carnapian sense, as a strategy for revisionary ontologists and radical sceptics. The idea is that these revisionary philosophers should explicitly commit to using expressions like “S knows that p” and “Fs exist” differently from how these expressions are used in everyday contexts. I will first motivate this commitment for these revisionary philosophers. Then, I will address the main worries that arise for this strategy: the unintelligibility worry and the topic shift worry. I will focus (...)
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  • Why the Debate About Composition is Factually Empty.Mark Balaguer - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3975-4008.
    I argue in this paper that the debate over composition is factually empty; in other words, I argue that there’s no fact of the matter whether there are any composite objects like tables and rocks and cats. Moreover, at the end of the paper, I explain how my argument is suggestive of a much more general conclusion, namely, that there’s no fact of the matter whether there are any material objects at all. Roughly speaking, the paper proceeds by arguing that (...)
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  • Dorr on the Language of Ontology.Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3301-3315.
    In the ‘ordinary business of life’, everyone makes claims about what there is. For instance, we say things like: ‘There are some beautiful chairs in my favourite furniture shop’. Within the context of philosophical debate, some philosophers also make claims about what there is. For instance, some ontologists claim that there are chairs; other ontologists claim that there are no chairs. What is the relation between ontologists’ philosophical claims about what there is and ordinary claims about what there is? According (...)
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  • Vague Fictional Objects.Elisa Paganini - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (2):158-184.
    ABSTRACTI propose a different account of fictional objects from the ones already present in the literature. According to my account, fictional objects are culturally created abstract objects dependent for their existence on the pretence attitude adopted by a group of people towards a single fictional content. My work is divided into three parts: in the first one, I present how fictional objects come into existence according to my proposal; in the second part, I illustrate how the existence of fictional objects (...)
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  • How to Solve the Puzzle of Dion and Theon Without Losing Your Head.Chad Carmichael - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):205-224.
    The ancient puzzle of Dion and Theon has given rise to a surprising array of apparently implausible views. For example, in order to solve the puzzle, several philosophers have been led to deny the existence of their own feet, others have denied that objects can gain and lose parts, and large numbers of philosophers have embraced the thesis that distinct objects can occupy the same space, having all their material parts in common. In this paper, I argue for an alternative (...)
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  • Ways of Thinking About Ways of Being.Bradley Rettler - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):712-722.
    Monism about being says that there is one way to be. Pluralism about being says that there are many ways to be. Recently, Trenton Merricks and David Builes have offered arguments against Pluralism. In this paper, I show how Pluralists who appeal to the relative naturalness of quantifiers can respond to these arguments.
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  • Arbitrariness and the Long Road to Permissivism.Maegan Fairchild - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Radically permissive ontologies like mereological universalism and material plenitude are typically motivated by concerns about arbitrariness or anthropocentrism: it would be objectionably arbitrary, the thought goes, to countenance only those objects that we ordinarily take there to be. Despite the prevalence of this idea, it isn't at all clear what it is for a theory to be “objectionably arbitrary,” or what follows from a commitment to avoiding arbitrariness in metaphysics. This paper aims to clarify both questions, and examines whether arguments (...)
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  • Who Are We? And How Do We Manage to Construct All These Objects? On Nietzsche’s Metaphysics of Material Objects. [REVIEW]Mark Migotti - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (2):545-554.
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  • Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles About Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...)
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  • Should Metaphysics Care About Linguistics?Tobias Rosefeldt - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (2):161-178.
    Naturalized metaphysics is based on the idea that philosophy should be guided by the sciences. The paradigmatic science that is relevant for metaphysics is physics because physics tells us what fundamental reality is ultimately like. There are other sciences, however, that de facto play a role in philosophical inquiries about what there is, one of them being the science of language, i.e. linguistics. In this paper I will be concerned with the question what role linguistics should and does play for (...)
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  • Easy Ontology Without Deflationary Metaontology.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):236-243.
    This is a contribution to a symposium on Amie Thomasson’s Ontology Made Easy (2015). Thomasson defends two deflationary theses: that philosophical questions about the existence of numbers, tables, properties, and other disputed entities can all easily be answered, and that there is something wrong with prolonged debates about whether such objects exist. I argue that the first thesis (properly understood) does not by itself entail the second. Rather, the case for deflationary metaontology rests largely on a controversial doctrine about the (...)
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  • A puzzle about Moorean metaphysics.Louis Doulas - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):493-513.
    Some metaphysicians believe that existence debates are easily resolved by trivial inferences from Moorean premises. This paper considers how the introduction of negative Moorean facts—negative existentials that command Moorean certainty—complicates this picture. In particular, it shows how such facts, when combined with certain plausible metaontological principles, generate a puzzle that commits the proponents of this method to a contradiction.
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  • Could a middle level be the most fundamental?Sara Bernstein - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1065-1078.
    Debates over what is fundamental assume that what is most fundamental must be either a “top” level (roughly, the biggest or highest-level thing), or a “bottom” level (roughly, the smallest or lowest-level things). Here I sketch an alternative to top-ism and bottom-ism, the view that a middle level could be the most fundamental, and argue for its plausibility. I then suggest that the view satisfies the desiderata of asymmetry, irreflexivity, transitivity, and well-foundedness of fundamentality, that the view has explanatory power (...)
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  • Authorship and Creation.Nurbay Irmak - 2021 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (2):175-185.
    Artworks have authors. According to Christy Mag Uidhir, this simple assumption has significant consequences for the ontology of artworks. One such consequence is that artworks cannot be identified with abstract entities: if there are works of art, they are concrete entities. Therefore, one cannot create an abstract work of art. Mag Uidhir presents a novel challenge against abstract creationism, the view that certain kinds of art objects are abstract artifacts. This article has two aims. First, it provides a defense of (...)
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  • Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    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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  • Persistence Egalitarianism.Irem Kurtsal - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (1):63-88.
    Modal Plenitude—the view that, for every empirically adequate modal profile, there is an object whose modal profile it is—is held to be consistent with each of endurantist and perdurantist views of persistence. Here I show that, because “endurer” and “perdurer” are two substantially different kinds of entity, compossible with each other and consistent with empirical data, Modal Plenitude actually entails a third view about persistence that I call “Persistence Egalitarianism.” In every non-empty spacetime region there are two persisting objects: one (...)
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  • Why Composition Matters.Andrew M. Bailey & Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (8):934-949.
    Many say that ontological disputes are defective because they are unimportant or without substance. In this paper, we defend ontological disputes from the charge, with a special focus on disputes over the existence of composite objects. Disputes over the existence of composite objects, we argue, have a number of substantive implications across a variety of topics in metaphysics, science, philosophical theology, philosophy of mind, and ethics. Since the disputes over the existence of composite objects have these substantive implications, they are (...)
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  • The Barest Flutter of the Smallest Leaf: Understanding Material Plenitude.Maegan Fairchild - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (2):143-178.
    According to material plenitude, every material object coincides with an abundance of other material objects that differ in the properties they have essentially and accidentally. Although this kind of plenitude is becoming increasingly popular, it isn't clear how to make sense of the view beyond its slogan form. As I argue, it turns out to be extraordinarily difficult to do so: straightforward attempts are either inconsistent or fail to capture the target idea. Making progress requires us to engage in more (...)
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  • Multilocation and Parsimony.Justin Mooney - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (3):153-160.
    One objection to the thesis that multilocation is possible claims that, when combined with a preference for parsimonious theories, it leads to the absurd result that we ought to believe the material universe is composed of just one simple particle. I argue that this objection fails.
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  • Music and Vague Existence.David Friedell - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (4):437-449.
    I explain a tension between musical creationism and the view that there is no vague existence. I then suggest ways to reconcile these views. My central conclusion is that, although some versions of musical creationism imply vague existence, others do not. I discuss versions of musical creationism held by Jerrold Levinson, Simon Evnine, and Kit Fine. I also present two new versions. I close by considering whether the tension is merely an instance of a general problem raised by artifacts, both (...)
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  • Composition and Relative Counting.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (4):489-529.
    According to the so-called strong variant of Composition as Identity (CAI), the Principle of Indiscernibility of Identicals can be extended to composition, by resorting to broadly Fregean relativizations of cardinality ascriptions. In this paper we analyze various ways in which this relativization could be achieved. According to one broad variety of relativization, cardinality ascriptions are about objects, while concepts occupy an additional argument place. It should be possible to paraphrase the cardinality ascriptions in plural logic and, as a consequence, relative (...)
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  • Counting Experiments.Jonathan Livengood - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):175-195.
    In this paper, I show how one might resist two influential arguments for the Likelihood Principle by appealing to the ontological significance of creative intentions. The first argument for the Likelihood Principle that I consider is the argument from intentions. After clarifying the argument, I show how the key premiss in the argument may be resisted by maintaining that creative intentions sometimes independently matter to what experiments exist. The second argument that I consider is Gandenberger’s :475–503, 2015) rehabilitation of Birnbaum’s (...)
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  • The Double Lives of Objects: An Essay in the Metaphysics of the Ordinary World. [REVIEW]Michael J. Raven - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (1):140-144.
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  • A Paradox of Matter and Form.Maegan Fairchild - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):33-42.
    In the face of the puzzles of material constitution, some philosophers have been moved to posit a distinction between an object's matter and its form. A familiar difficulty for contemporary hylomorphism is to say which properties are eligible as forms: for example, it seems that it would be intolerably arbitrary to say that being statue shaped is embodied by some material object, but that other complex shape properties aren't. Anti-arbitrariness concerns lead quickly to a plenitudinous ontology. The usual complaint is (...)
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