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  1. Frankfurt cases and the Newcomb Problem.Arif Ahmed - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3391-3408.
    A standard argument for one-boxing in Newcomb’s Problem is ‘Why Ain’cha Rich?’, which emphasizes that one-boxers typically make a million dollars compared to the thousand dollars that two-boxers can expect. A standard reply is the ‘opportunity defence’: the two-boxers who made a thousand never had an opportunity to make more. The paper argues that the opportunity defence is unavailable to anyone who grants that in another case—a Frankfurt case—the agent is deprived of opportunities in the way that advocates of Frankfurt (...)
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  • On quantum entanglement, counterfactuals, causality and dispositions.Tomasz Bigaj - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4161-4185.
    The existence of non-local correlations between outcomes of measurements in quantum entangled systems strongly suggests that we are dealing with some form of causation here. An assessment of this conjecture in the context of the collapse interpretation of quantum mechanics is the primary goal of this paper. Following the counterfactual approach to causation, I argue that the details of the underlying causal mechanism which could explain the non-local correlations in entangled states strongly depend on the adopted semantics for counterfactuals. Several (...)
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  • An Improved Probabilistic Account of Counterfactual Reasoning.Christopher G. Lucas & Charles Kemp - 2015 - Psychological Review 122 (4):700-734.
    When people want to identify the causes of an event, assign credit or blame, or learn from their mistakes, they often reflect on how things could have gone differently. In this kind of reasoning, one considers a counterfactual world in which some events are different from their real-world counterparts and considers what else would have changed. Researchers have recently proposed several probabilistic models that aim to capture how people do (or should) reason about counterfactuals. We present a new model and (...)
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  • Reply to Huemer on the Consequence Argument.Helen Beebee - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (2):235-241.
    In a recent paper, Michael Huemer provides a new interpretation for ‘N’, the operator that occurs in Peter van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument, and argues that, given that interpretation, the Consequence Argument is sound. I have no quarrel with Huemer’s claim that the Consequence Argument is valid. I shall argue instead that his defense of its premises—a defense that allegedly involves refuting David Lewis’s response to van Inwagen—is unsuccessful.
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  • Backtracking Analysis and Causal Ascription of Singular Historicals.Richard Wei Tzu Hou - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1447-1467.
    One task of historians is to construct causal ascription of singular historicals between eminent historical events. For instance, the controversy resulting from the confusing butterfly ballot of Florida’s year 2000 presidential election cost Gore his presidency. However, to research into these matters is inevitably to appeal to counterfactual deliberation in an epistemic fashion because the past is fixed. One standard idea is Max Weber’s, Weber causation: “f was a cause of φ” is assertable iff “¬f □→ ¬φ” is assertable. Reiss (...)
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  • Are We Free to Break the Laws of Providence?Kenneth L. Pearce - forthcoming - Faith and Philosophy 37 (2):158-180.
    Can I be free to perform an action if God has decided to ensure that I do not choose that action? I show that Molinists and simple foreknowledge theorists are committed to answering in the affirmative. This is problematic for their status as theological incompatibilists. I suggest that strategies for preserving their theological incompatibilism in light of this result should be based on sourcehood. However, the path is not easy here either, since Leibniz has shown how theological determinists can offer (...)
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  • Testing Times: Regularities in the Historical Sciences.Ben Jeffares - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (4):469-475.
    The historical sciences, such as geology, evolutionary biology, and archaeology, appear to have no means to test hypotheses. However, on closer examination, reasoning in the historical sciences relies upon regularities, regularities that can be tested. I outline the role of regularities in the historical sciences, and in the process, blur the distinction between the historical sciences and the experimental sciences: all sciences deploy theories about the world in their investigations.
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  • Testing Times: Regularities in the Historical Sciences.Ben Jeffares - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (4):469-475.
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  • From Allostatic Agents to Counterfactual Cognisers: Active Inference, Biological Regulation, and the Origins of Cognition.Andrew W. Corcoran, Giovanni Pezzulo & Jakob Hohwy - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (3):1-45.
    What is the function of cognition? On one influential account, cognition evolved to co-ordinate behaviour with environmental change or complexity. Liberal interpretations of this view ascribe cognition to an extraordinarily broad set of biological systems—even bacteria, which modulate their activity in response to salient external cues, would seem to qualify as cognitive agents. However, equating cognition with adaptive flexibility per se glosses over important distinctions in the way biological organisms deal with environmental complexity. Drawing on contemporary advances in theoretical biology (...)
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  • The Past Hypothesis and the Nature of Physical Laws.Eddy Keming Chen - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Time's Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Harvard University Press.
    If the Past Hypothesis underlies the arrows of time, what is the status of the Past Hypothesis? In this paper, I examine the role of the Past Hypothesis in the Boltzmannian account and defend the view that the Past Hypothesis is a candidate fundamental law of nature. Such a view is known to be compatible with Humeanism about laws, but as I argue it is also supported by a minimal non-Humean "governing'' view. Some worries arise from the non-dynamical and time-dependent (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Double Prevention: Trouble for the Causal Independence Thesis.David Turon - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):198-206.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • An Informational Theory of Counterfactuals.Danilo Dantas - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):525-538.
    Backtracking counterfactuals are problem cases for the standard, similarity based, theories of counterfactuals e.g., Lewis. These theories usually need to employ extra-assumptions to deal with those cases. Hiddleston, 632–657, 2005) proposes a causal theory of counterfactuals that, supposedly, deals well with backtracking. The main advantage of the causal theory is that it provides a unified account for backtracking and non-backtracking counterfactuals. In this paper, I present a backtracking counterfactual that is a problem case for Hiddleston’s account. Then I propose an (...)
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  • Still Going Strong.Kai von Fintel & Anthony S. Gillies - manuscript
    In "*Must* ...stay ...strong!" (von Fintel & Gillies 2010) we set out to slay a dragon, or rather what we called The Mantra: that epistemic *must* has a modal force weaker than expected from standard modal logic, that it doesn't entail its prejacent, and that the best explanation for the evidential feel of *must* is a pragmatic explanation. We argued that all three sub-mantras are wrong and offered an explanation according to which *must* is strong, entailing, and the felt indirectness (...)
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  • A Defense of Liberalism in the Epistemology of Perception.Megan Feeney - 2019 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
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  • Dennett and Taylor’s Alleged Refutation of the Consequence Argument.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):426-433.
    Daniel C. Dennett has long maintained that the Consequence Argument for incompatibilism is confused. In a joint work with Christopher Taylor, he claims to have shown that the argument is based on a failure to understand Logic 101. Given a fairly plausible account of having the power to cause something, they claim that the argument relies on an invalid inference rule. In this paper, I show that Dennett and Taylor’s refutation does not work against a better, more standard version of (...)
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  • More Problems for the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm and Benefit.Erik Carlson - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (4):795-807.
    The counterfactual comparative account of harm and benefit has several virtues, but it also faces serious problems. I argue that CCA is incompatible with the prudential and moral relevance of harm and benefit. Some possible ways to revise or restrict CCA, in order to avoid this conclusion, are discussed and found wanting. Finally, I try to show that appealing to the context-sensitivity of counterfactuals, or to the alleged contrastive nature of harm and benefit, does not provide a solution.
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  • Quiddistic Knowledge.Jonathan Schaffer - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2):1-32.
    Is the relation between properties and the causal powers they confer necessary, or contingent? Necessary, says Sydney Shoemaker, on pain of skepticism about the properties. Contingent, says David Lewis, swallowing the skeptical conclusion. I shall argue that Lewis is right about the metaphysics, but that Shoemaker and Lewis are wrong about the epistemology. Properties have intrinsic natures (quiddities), which we can know.
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  • Humean Laws and Explanation.Dan Marshall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3145-3165.
    A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which Humeans should (...)
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  • Morgenbesser’s Coin, Counterfactuals, and Causal Versus Probabilistic Independence.Chiwook Won - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):345 - 354.
    It is widely held that, as Morgenbesser’s case is usually taken to show, considerations of causal or probabilistic dependence should enter into the evaluation of counterfactuals. This paper challenges that idea. I present a modified version of Morgenbesser’s case and show how probabilistic approaches to counterfactuals are in serious trouble. Specifically, I show how probabilistic approaches run into a dilemma in characterizing probabilistic independence. The modified case also illustrates a difficulty in defining causal independence. I close with a suggestion for (...)
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  • Interventionism and Mental Surgery.Alex Kaiserman - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):919-935.
    John Campbell has claimed that the interventionist account of causation must be amended if it is to be applied to causation in psychology. The problem, he argues, is that it follows from the so-called ‘surgical’ constraint that intervening on psychological states requires the suspension of the agent’s rational autonomy. In this paper, I argue that the problem Campbell identifies is in fact an instance of a wider problem for interventionism, extending beyond psychology, which I call the problem of ‘abrupt transitions’. (...)
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  • Non-metric Propositional Similarity.A. C. Paseau - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    The idea that sentences can be closer or further apart in meaning is highly intuitive. Not only that, it is also a pillar of logic, semantic theory and the philosophy of science, and follows from other commitments about similarity. The present paper proposes a novel way of comparing the ‘distance’ between two pairs of propositions. We define ‘\ is closer in meaning to \ than \ is to \’ and thereby give a precise account of comparative propositional similarity facts. Notably, (...)
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  • Skeptical Success.Troy Cross - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 3:35-62.
    The following is not a successful skeptical scenario: you think you know you have hands, but maybe you don't! Why is that a failure, when it's far more likely than, say, the evil genius hypothesis? That's the question.<br><br>This is an earlier draft.
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  • Knowledge, justification, and (a sort of) safe belief.Daniel Whiting - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3593-3609.
    An influential proposal is that knowledge involves safe belief. A belief is safe, in the relevant sense, just in case it is true in nearby metaphysically possible worlds. In this paper, I introduce a distinct but complementary notion of safety, understood in terms of epistemically possible worlds. The main aim, in doing so, is to add to the epistemologist’s tool-kit. To demonstrate the usefulness of the tool, I use it to advance and assess substantive proposals concerning knowledge and justification.
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  • Back to the (Branching) Future.Giacomo Andreoletti - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (2):181-194.
    The future is different from the past. What is past is fixed and set in stone. The future, on the other hand, is open insofar as it holds numerous possibilities. Branching-tree models of time account for this asymmetry by positing an ontological difference between the past and the future. Given a time t, a unique unified past lies behind t, whereas multiple alternative existing futures lie ahead of t. My goal in this paper is to show that there is an (...)
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  • Epidemiological Evidence in Proof of Specific Causation.Alex Broadbent - 2011 - Legal Theory 17 (4):237-278.
    This paper seeks to determine the significance, if any, of epidemiological evidence to prove the specific causation element of liability in negligence or other relevant torts—in particular, what importance can be attached to a relative risk > 2, where that figure represents a sound causal inference at the general level. The paper discusses increased risk approaches to epidemiological evidence and concludes that they are a last resort. The paper also criticizes the proposal that the probability of causation can be estimated (...)
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  • Sex By Deception.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In John M. Doris & Manuel Vargas (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I will use sex by deception as a case study for highlighting some of the most tricky concepts around sexuality and moral psychology, including rape, consensual sex, sexual rights, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, and disrespectful sex. I begin with a discussion of morally wrong sex as rooted in the breach of five sexual liberty rights that are derived from our fundamental human liberty rights: sexual self-possession, sexual autonomy, sexual individuality, sexual dignity and sexual privacy. I then argue (...)
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  • A Probabilistic Semantics for Counterfactuals. Part B.Hannes Leitgeb - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):85-121.
    This is part B of a paper in which we defend a semantics for counterfactuals which is probabilistic in the sense that the truth condition for counterfactuals refers to a probability measure. Because of its probabilistic nature, it allows a counterfactual to be true even in the presence of relevant -worlds, as long such exceptions are not too widely spread. The semantics is made precise and studied in different versions which are related to each other by representation theorems. Despite its (...)
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  • Conditionals and Inferential Connections: Toward a New Semantics.Igor Douven, Shira Elqayam, Henrik Singmann & Janneke van Wijnbergen-Huitink - 2019 - Thinking and Reasoning 26 (3):311-351.
    In previous published research, we investigated experimentally what role the presence and...
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  • Avoiding Late Preemption with the Right Kind of Influence.Kenneth Silver - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1297-1312.
    David Lewis championed a counterfactual account of causation, but counterfactual accounts have a notoriously difficult time handling cases of late preemption. These are cases in which we still count one event as the cause of another although the effect does not depend on the cause in the way taken to be necessary by the account. Lewis recognized these cases, but they have been shown to be problematic even for his final analysis of causation, the Influence Account. In this paper, I (...)
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  • Agency as Difference-Making: Causal Foundations of Moral Responsibility.Johannes Himmelreich - 2015 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    We are responsible for some things but not for others. In this thesis, I investigate what it takes for an entity to be responsible for something. This question has two components: agents and actions. I argue for a permissive view about agents. Entities such as groups or artificially intelligent systems may be agents in the sense required for responsibility. With respect to actions, I argue for a causal view. The relation in virtue of which agents are responsible for actions is (...)
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  • Causal Exclusion and Physical Causal Completeness.Dwayne Moore - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (4):479-505.
    Nonreductive physicalists endorse the principle of mental causation, according to which some events have mental causes: Sid climbs the hill because he wants to. Nonreductive physicalists also endorse the principle of physical causal completeness, according to which physical events have sufficient physical causes: Sid climbs the hill because a complex neural process in his brain triggered his climbing. Critics typically level the causal exclusion problem against this nonreductive physicalist model, according to which the physical cause is a sufficient cause of (...)
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  • The Entropy Theory of Counterfactuals.Douglas Kutach - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):82-104.
    I assess the thesis that counterfactual asymmetries are explained by an asymmetry of the global entropy at the temporal boundaries of the universe, by developing a method of evaluating counterfactuals that includes, as a background assumption, the low entropy of the early universe. The resulting theory attempts to vindicate the common practice of holding the past mostly fixed under counterfactual supposition while at the same time allowing the counterfactual's antecedent to obtain by a natural physical development. Although the theory has (...)
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  • Mental Time Travel and Disjunctivism.István Aranyosi - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):367-384.
    The paper discusses radical constructivism about episodic memory as developed by Kourken Michaelian under the name of “simulationism”, a view that equates episodic memory with mental time travel. An alternative, direct realist view is defended, which implies disjunctivism about the appearance of remembering. While admitting the importance of mental time travel as an underlying cognitive mechanism in episodic memory, as well as the prima facie reasonableness of the simulationist’s critique of disjunctivism, I formulate three arguments in defense of disjunctivism, which (...)
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  • Nomic Vagueness.Eddy Keming Chen - manuscript
    If there are fundamental laws of nature, can they fail to be exact? In this paper, I consider the possibility that some fundamental laws are vague. I call this phenomenon nomic vagueness. I propose to characterize nomic vagueness as the existence of borderline lawful worlds. The existence of nomic vagueness raises interesting questions about the mathematical expressibility and metaphysical status of fundamental laws. For a case study, we turn to the Past Hypothesis, a postulate that (partially) explains the direction of (...)
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  • Time, Flies, and Why We Can't Control the Past.Alison Fernandes - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer, Eric Winsberg & Brad Weslake (eds.), Time’s Arrows and the Probability Structure of the World. Cambridge, Mass.:
    David Albert explains why we can typically influence the future but not the past by appealing to an initial low-entropy state of the universe. And he argues that in the rare cases where we can influence the past, we cannot use this influence to knowingly gain future rewards: so it does not constitute control. I introduce an important new case in which Albert's account implies we can not only influence the past but control it: a case where our actions in (...)
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  • Predetermination and Tense Probabilism.Stephen J. Barker - 1998 - Analysis 58 (4):290-296.
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  • Conditioning, Intervening, and Decision.Christopher Hitchcock - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4).
    Clark Glymour, together with his students Peter Spirtes and Richard Scheines, did pioneering work on graphical causal models . One of the central advances provided by these models is the ability to simply represent the effects of interventions. In an elegant paper , Glymour and his student Christopher Meek applied these methods to problems in decision theory. One of the morals they drew was that causal decision theory should be understood in terms of interventions. I revisit their proposal, and extend (...)
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  • What is the 'Cause' in Causal Decision Theory?Christopher Hitchcock - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):129-146.
    A simple counterfactual theory of causation fails because of problems with cases of preemption. This might lead us to expect that preemption will raise problems for counterfactual theories of other concepts that have a causal dimension. Indeed, examples are easy to find. But there is one case where we do not find this. Several versions of causal decision theory are formulated using counterfactuals. This might lead us to expect that these theories will yield the wrong recommendations in cases of preemption. (...)
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  • A Causal Theory of Counterfactuals.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):632–657.
    I develop an account of counterfactual conditionals using “causal models”, and argue that this account is preferable to the currently standard account in terms of “similarity of possible worlds” due to David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker. I diagnose the attraction of counterfactual theories of causation, and argue that it is illusory.
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  • Modern and Medieval Modal Spaces.Arif Ahmed - 2020 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 94 (1):255-273.
    The interesting question about modality is not about its extension, but about its point. Everyone can agree that the past is necessary in the Ockhamist sense but not in some ‘modern’ senses, and that the present is necessary in the Ockhamist sense but not in the Scotist sense. But why should it matter? These comments on Pasnau first set out a simple-minded explication in modern terms of some of these fourteenth-century ideas. Then I take issue with Pasnau’s claim that the (...)
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  • No Work For a Theory of Universals.M. Eddon & Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2015 - In Jonathan Schaffer & Barry Loewer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 116-137.
    Several variants of Lewis's Best System Account of Lawhood have been proposed that avoid its commitment to perfectly natural properties. There has been little discussion of the relative merits of these proposals, and little discussion of how one might extend this strategy to provide natural property-free variants of Lewis's other accounts, such as his accounts of duplication, intrinsicality, causation, counterfactuals, and reference. We undertake these projects in this paper. We begin by providing a framework for classifying and assessing the variants (...)
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  • The Open Future.Stephan Torre - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (5):360-373.
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  • Conditional Excluded Middle Without the Limit Assumption.Eric Swanson - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):301-321.
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  • Bayesian Generic Priors for Causal Learning.Hongjing Lu, Alan L. Yuille, Mimi Liljeholm, Patricia W. Cheng & Keith J. Holyoak - 2008 - Psychological Review 115 (4):955-984.
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  • Ontology, Epistemology, and Multimethod Research in Political Science.Abhishek Chatterjee - 2013 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (1):73-99.
    Epistemologies and research methods are not free of metaphysics. This is to say that they are both, supported by (or presumed by), and support (or presume) fundamental ontologies. A discussion of the epistemological foundations of "multimethod" research in the social sciences—in as much as such research claims to unearth "causal" relations—therefore cannot avoid the ontological presuppositions or implications of such a discussion. But though there isn’t necessarily a perfect correspondence between ontology, epistemology, and methodology, they do constrain each other. As (...)
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  • From Isolation to Skepticism.Scott Hill - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):649-668.
    If moral properties lacked causal powers, would moral skepticism be true? I argue that it would. Along the way I respond to various arguments that it would not.
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  • In Defence of Influence?Paul Noordhof - 2001 - Analysis 61 (4):323–327.
    there is a substantial range of C1, C2, … of different not-too- distant alterations of C and a range E1, E2, of alterations of E, at least some of which differ, such that if C1 had occurred, E1 would have occurred, if C2 had occurred, E2 would have occurred and so on (Lewis 2000).
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  • Fictionalism, the Safety Result and Counterpossibles.Lukas Skiba - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):647-658.
    Fictionalists maintain that possible worlds, numbers or composite objects exist only according to theories which are useful but false. Hale, Divers and Woodward have provided arguments which threaten to show that fictionalists must be prepared to regard the theories in question as contingently, rather than necessarily, false. If warranted, this conclusion would significantly limit the appeal of the fictionalist strategy rendering it unavailable to anyone antecedently convinced that mathematics and metaphysics concern non-contingent matters. I try to show that their arguments (...)
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  • A Troublesome Case of Backward Causation for Lewis’s Counterfactual Theory.George Seli - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  • David Lewis (1941-2001).T. Scott Dixon - 2020 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    David Lewis David Lewis is an American philosopher and one of the last generalists, in the sense that he was one of the last philosophers who contributed to the great majority of sub-fields of the discipline. He made central contributions in metaphysics, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, and probabilistic and practical … Continue reading David Lewis →.
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