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  1. De Se Beliefs, Self-Ascription, and Primitiveness.Florian L. Wüstholz - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (46):401-422.
    De se beliefs typically pose a problem for propositional theories of content. The Property Theory of content tries to overcome the problem of de se beliefs by taking properties to be the objects of our beliefs. I argue that the concept of self-ascription plays a crucial role in the Property Theory while being virtually unexplained. I then offer different possibilities of illuminating that concept and argue that the most common ones are either circular, question-begging, or epistemically problematic. Finally, I argue (...)
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  • An Evolutionary Argument for a Self-Explanatory, Benevolent Metaphysics.Ward Blondé - 2015 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 2 (2):143-166.
    In this paper, a metaphysics is proposed that includes everything that can be represented by a well-founded multiset. It is shown that this metaphysics, apart from being self-explanatory, is also benevolent. Paradoxically, it turns out that the probability that we were born in another life than our own is zero. More insights are gained by inducing properties from a metaphysics that is not self-explanatory. In particular, digital metaphysics is analyzed, which claims that only computable things exist. First of all, it (...)
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  • Geometry, Fields, and Spacetime.James Binkoski - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1097-1117.
    I present an argument against a relational theory of spacetime that regards spacetime as a ‘structural quality of the field’. The argument takes the form of a trilemma. To make the argument, I focus on relativistic worlds in which there exist just two fields, an electromagnetic field and a gravitational field. Then there are three options: either spacetime is a structural quality of each field separately, both fields together, or one field but not the other. I argue that the first (...)
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  • Active Powers and Passive Powers – Do Causal Interactions Require Both?Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1603-1612.
    Many powers metaphysicians postulate both active and passive powers, understood as distinct kinds of intrinsic causal properties of objects. I argue that the category of passive power is superfluous. I also offer a diagnosis of how philosophers are misled to postulate passive powers.
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  • Counterpossibles in Science: The Case of Relative Computability.Matthias Jenny - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):530-560.
    I develop a theory of counterfactuals about relative computability, i.e. counterfactuals such as 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then the halting problem would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is true, and 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then arithmetical truth would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is false. These counterfactuals are counterpossibles, i.e. they have metaphysically impossible antecedents. They thus pose a challenge to the orthodoxy about counterfactuals, which would treat them as uniformly true. What’s more, I (...)
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  • The Modal View of Essence.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):248-266.
    According to the modal view, essence admits of reductive analysis in exclusively modal terms. Fine (1994) argues that modal view delivers an inadequate analysis of essence. This paper defends the modal view from Fine's challenge. This defense proceeds by examining the disagreement between Finean primitivists and Quinean eliminativists about essence. In order to model this disagreement, a distinction between essence and a separable concept, nature, is required. This distinction is then used to show that Fine's challenge is misdirected and therefore (...)
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  • Metaphysical Vagueness Without Vague Objects.Ali Abasnezhad & C. S. I. Jenkins - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):278-283.
    Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams have developed a theory of metaphysical indeterminacy, via which they defend the theoretical legitimacy of vague objects. In this paper, we argue that while the Barnes–Williams theory supplies a viable account of genuine metaphysical vagueness, it cannot underwrite an account of genuinely vague objects. First we clarify the distinction between these two key theses. Then we argue that the Barnes–Williams theory of metaphysical vagueness not only fails to deliver genuinely vague objects, it in fact provides (...)
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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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  • Presentism and Modal Realism.Michael De - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):259-282.
    David Lewis sells modal realism as a package that includes an eternalist view of time. There is, of course, nothing that ties together the thesis that modality should be analyzed in terms of "concrete" possibilia with the view that non-present things exist. In this paper I develop a theory I call \emph{modal realist presentism} that is a combination of modal realism and presentism, and argue that is has compelling answers to some of the main objections to presentism, including the arguments (...)
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  • Building the World From its Fundamental Constituents.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):221-256.
    In this paper, I argue that the spatiotemporalist approach way of modeling the fundamental constituents, structure, and composition of the world has taken a wrong turn. Spatiotemporalist approaches to fundamental structure take the fundamental nature of the world to be spatiotemporal: they take the category of spatiotemporal to be fundamental. I argue that the debates over the nature of the fundamental space in the physics show us that (i) the fact that it is conceivable that the manifest world could be (...)
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  • Facts: Particulars or Information Units?Angelika Kratzer - 2002 - Linguistics and Philosophy 25 (5-6):655-670.
    What are facts, situations, or events? When Situation Semantics was born in the eighties, I objected because I could not swallow the idea that situations might be chunks of information. For me, they had to be particulars like sticks or bricks. I could not imagine otherwise. The first manuscript of “An Investigation of the Lumps of Thought” that I submitted to Linguistics and Philosophy had a footnote where I distanced myself from all those who took possible situations to be units (...)
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  • Actualism Without Presentism? Not by Way of the Relativity Objection.Nina Emery - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):963-986.
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  • Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.Christian List - 2016 - Noûs (4):852-883.
    Scientists and philosophers frequently speak about levels of description, levels of explanation, and ontological levels. In this paper, I propose a unified framework for modelling levels. I give a general definition of a system of levels and show that it can accommodate descriptive, explanatory, and ontological notions of levels. I further illustrate the usefulness of this framework by applying it to some salient philosophical questions: (1) Is there a linear hierarchy of levels, with a fundamental level at the bottom? And (...)
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  • The Creation of Institutional Reality, Special Theory of Relativity, and Mere Cambridge Change.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - unknown
    Saying so can make it so, J. L. Austin taught us long ago. Famously, John Searle has developed this Austinian insight in an account of the construction of institutional reality. Searle maintains that so-called Status Function Declarations, allegedly having a “double direction of fit”, synchronically create worldly institutional facts, corresponding to the propositional content of the declarations. I argue that Searle’s account of the making of institutional reality is in tension with the special theory of relativity – irrespective of whether (...)
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  • Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.
    Are grounding claims fully general in character? If an object a is F in virtue of being G, does it follow that anything that’s G is F for that reason? According to the thesis of Weak Formality, the answer here is ‘yes’. In this paper, however, I argue that there is philosophical utility in rejecting this thesis. More exactly, I argue that two currently unresolved problems in contemporary metaphysics can be dealt with if we hold that there can be cases (...)
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  • Can Hardcore Actualism Validate S5?Samuel Kimpton‐Nye - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Hardcore actualism (HA) grounds all modal truths in the concrete constituents of the actual world (see, e.g., Borghini and Williams (2008), Jacobs (2010), Vetter (2015)). I bolster HA, and elucidate the very nature of possibility (and necessity) according to HA, by considering if it can validate S5 modal logic. Interestingly, different considerations pull in different directions on this issue. To resolve the tension, we are forced to think hard about the nature of the hardcore actualist’s modal reality and how radically (...)
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  • Maudlin's Mathematical Maneuver: A Case Study in the Metaphysical Implications of Mathematical Representations.Robbie Hirsch - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):170-210.
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  • Many, but One.Evan T. Woods - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    The problem of the many threatens to show that, in general, there are far more ordinary objects than you might have thought. I present and motivate a solution to this problem using many-one identity. According to this solution, the many things that seem to have what it takes to be, say, a cat, are collectively identical to that single cat.
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  • Evidence for Single-Type Semantics—An Alternative To $E$/$T$-Based Dual-Type Semantics.Kristina Liefke & Markus Werning - forthcoming - Journal of Semantics.
    Partee (2009) conjectures a formal semantics for natural language (hereafter, single-type semantics) that interprets CPs and referential DPs in the same semantic type: properties of situations. Partee’s semantics contrasts with Montague semantics and its recent contenders (dubbed dual- or multi-type semantics) which assume distinct basic types for the semantic values of referential DPs (i.e. individuals) and CPs (i.e. propositions, truth-values, or sets of assignment functions). Partee’s conjecture is motivated by results in event semantics and discourse representation theory, which support the (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Super‐Substantivalism.Dennis Lehmkuhl - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):24-46.
    Recent decades have seen a revived interest in super-substantivalism, the idea that spacetime is the only fundamental substance and matter some kind of aspect, property or consequence of spacetime structure. However, the metaphysical debate so far has misidentified a particular variant of super-substantivalism with the position per se. I distinguish between a super-substantival core commitment and different ways of fleshing it out. I then investigate how general relativity and alternative spacetime theories square with the different variants of super-substantivalism.
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  • On Christian Theism and Unrestricted Composition.Ross Inman & Alexander Pruss - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (4):345-360.
    Our aim in this paper is to bring to light two sources of tension for Christian theists who endorse the principle of unrestricted composition, that necessarily, for any objects, the xs, there exists an object, y, such that the xs compose y. In Value, we argue that a composite object made of wholly valuable parts is at least as valuable as its most valuable part, and so the mereological sum of God and a wholly valuable part would be at least (...)
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  • Formal Ontology of Space, Time, and Physical Entities in Classical Mechanics.Thomas Bittner - 2018 - Applied Ontology 13 (2):135-179.
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  • Indeterminate Perception and Colour Relationism.Brian Cutter - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):25-34.
    One of the most important objections to sense data theory comes from the phenomenon of indeterminate perception, as when an object in the periphery of one’s visual field looks red without looking to have any determinate shade of red. As sense data are supposed to have precisely the properties that sensibly appear to us, sense data theory evidently has the implausible consequence that a sense datum can have a determinable property without having any of its determinates. In this article, I (...)
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  • Is Ontological Revisionism Uncharitable?Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):405-425.
    Some philosophers deny the existence of composite material objects. Other philosophers hold that whenever there are some things, they compose something. The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize an objection to these revisionary views: the objection that nihilism and universalism are both unacceptably uncharitable because each of them implies that a great deal of what we ordinarily believe is false. Our main business is to show how nihilism and universalism can be defended against the objection. A secondary point is (...)
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  • Gunk Mountains: A Puzzle.Sharon E. Berry - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):3-10.
    This note points out a conflict between some common intuitions about metaphysical possibility. On the one hand, it is appealing to deny that there are robust counterfactuals about how various physically impossible substances would interact with the matter that exists at our world. On the other hand, our intuitions about how concepts like MOUNTAIN apply at other metaphysically possible worlds seem to presuppose facts about ‘solidity’ which cash out in terms of these counterfactuals. I consider several simple attempts to resolve (...)
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  • Imprecise Quantification.Alexander Roberts - 2019 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119 (3):357-367.
    Following David Lewis, Ted Sider has famously argued that unrestricted first-order quantification cannot be vague. His argument was intended as a type of reductio: its strategy was to show that the mere hypothesis of unrestricted quantifier vagueness collapses into the claim that unrestricted quantification is precise. However, this short article considers two natural reconstructions of the argument, and shows that each can be resisted. The theme will be that each reconstruction of the argument involves assumptions which advocates of vague quantification (...)
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  • Quidditism and Contingent Laws.Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    According to contingentism, laws of nature hold contingently. An objection to contingentism is that it implies quidditism, and therefore inherits its implausible consequences. This paper argues that this objection is misguided. Understood one way, quidditism is not an implication of contingentism, hence even if it has implausible consequences, these are not relevant to contingentism. Understood another way, quidditism is implied by contingentism, but it is less clear if this version of quidditism has the same implausible consequences. Whatever the merits of (...)
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  • Motivating Reductionism About Sets.Alexander Paseau - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):295 – 307.
    The paper raises some difficulties for the typical motivations behind set reductionism, the view that sets are reducible to entities identified independently of set theory.
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  • Characterising Theories of Time and Modality.Daniel Deasy - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (3):283-305.
    Recently, some authors – call them Reformists – have argued that the traditional Presentism-Eternalism and Actualism-Possibilism debates in the metaphysics of time and modality respectively are unclear or insubstantial, and should therefore give way to the newer Temporaryism-Permanentism and Contingentism- Necessitism debates. In ‘On characterising the presentism/eternalism and actualism/possibilism debates’ (2016, Analytic Philosophy 57: 110-140), Ross Cameron defends the Conservative position that the traditional debates are both substantial and distinct from the Temporaryism-Permanentism and Contingentism- Necessitism debates. In this paper I (...)
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  • Occupy Wall: A Mereological Puzzle and the Burdens of Endurantism.Paul Richard Daniels - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):91-101.
    Endurantists have recently faced a mereological puzzle in various forms. Here I argue that, instead of presenting a genuine worry, the puzzle actually reveals a common misunderstanding about the endurantist ontology. Furthermore, through this discussion of the alleged problem and the misunderstanding which motivates it, I reveal metaphysical commitments the endurantist has that may not be widely recognized. For instance, she is committed to interesting and perhaps controversial views about shape and location. I highlight these commitments and what they mean (...)
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  • Fifty Million Elvis Fans Can’T Be Wrong.Gordon Belot - 2018 - Noûs:946-981.
    This essay revisits some classic problems in the philosophy of space and time concerning the counting of possibilities. I argue that we should think that two Newtonian worlds can differ only as to when or where things happen and that general relativistic worlds can differ in something like the same way—the first of these theses being quaintly heterodox, the second baldly heretical, according to the mores of contemporary philosophy of physics.
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  • Transitivity of Visual Sameness.Błażej Skrzypulec - forthcoming - Synthese.
    The way in which vision represents objects as being the same despite movement and qualitative changes has been extensively investigated in contemporary psychology. However, the formal properties of the visual sameness relation are still unclear, for example, whether it is an identity-like, equivalence relation. The paper concerns one aspect of this problem: the transitivity of visual sameness. Results obtained by using different experimental paradigms are analysed, in particular studies using streaming/bouncing stimuli, multiple object tracking experiments and investigations concerning object-specific preview (...)
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  • Perceiving Potentiality: A Metaphysics for Affordances.Barbara Vetter - forthcoming - Topoi:1-15.
    According to ecological psychology, animals perceive not just the qualities of things in their environment, but their affordances: in James Gibson’s words, ’what things furnish, for good or ill’. I propose a metaphysics for affordances that fits into a contemporary anti-Humean metaphysics of powers or potentialities. The goal is to connect two debates, one in the philosophy of perception and one in metaphysics, that stand to gain much from each other.
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  • Personal Identity: The Simple and Complex Views Revisited.Harold Noonan - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (52):9-22.
    Eric Olson has argued, startlingly, that no coherent account can be giv- en of the distinction made in the personal identity literature between ‘complex views’ and ‘simple views’. ‘We tell our students,’ he writes, ‘that accounts of personal identity over time fall into [these] two broad categories’. But ‘it is impossible to characterize this distinction in any satisfactory way. The debate has been systematically misdescribed’. I argue, first, that, for all Olson has said, a recent account by Noonan provides the (...)
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  • Design Hypotheses Behave Like Skeptical Hypotheses.René van Woudenberg & Jeroen de Ridder - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (2):69-90.
    _ Source: _Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 69 - 90 It is often claimed that, as a result of scientific progress, we now _know_ that the natural world displays no design. Although we have no interest in defending design hypotheses, we will argue that establishing claims to the effect that we know the denials of design hypotheses is more difficult than it seems. We do so by issuing two skeptical challenges to design-deniers. The first challenge draws inspiration from radical skepticism (...)
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  • Material Constitution is Ad Hoc.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):305-325.
    The idea that two objects can coincide—by sharing all their proper parts, or matter—yet be non-identical, results in the “Problem of Coincident Objects”: in what relation do objects stand if they are not identical but share all their proper parts? One solution is to introduce material constitution. In this paper, I argue that this is ad hoc since, first, this solution cannot be generalized to solve similar problems, and, second, there are pseudo cases of coincidence that should not trigger the (...)
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  • The Problem of Empty Names and Russellian Plenitude.Joshua Spencer - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):1-18.
    ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express different propositions, even though neither ‘Ahab’ nor ‘Holmes’ has a referent. This seems to constitute a theoretical puzzle for the Russellian view of propositions. In this paper, I develop a variant of the Russellian view, Plenitudinous Russellianism. I claim that ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express distinct gappy propositions. I discuss key metaphysical and semantic differences between Plenitudinous Russellianism and Traditional Russellianism and respond to objections that (...)
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  • Stage Theory and the Personite Problem.Alex Kaiserman - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):215-222.
    Mark Johnston has recently argued that four-dimensionalist theories of persistence are incompatible with some of our most basic ethical and prudential principles. I argue that although Johnston’s arguments succeed on a worm-theoretic account of persistence, they fail on a stage-theoretic account. So much the worse, I conclude, for the worm theory.
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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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  • Mathematical and Moral Disagreement.Silvia Jonas - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    The existence of fundamental moral disagreements is a central problem for moral realism and has often been contrasted with an alleged absence of disagreement in mathematics. However, mathematicians do in fact disagree on fundamental questions, for example on which set-theoretic axioms are true, and some philosophers have argued that this increases the plausibility of moral vis-à-vis mathematical realism. I argue that the analogy between mathemat- ical and moral disagreement is not as straightforward as those arguments present it. In particular, I (...)
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  • Composition as Identity: A Study in Ontology and Philosophical Logic.Einar Bohn - unknown
    In this work I first develop, motivate, and defend the view that mereological composition, the relation between an object and all its parts collectively, is a relation of identity. I argue that this view implies and hence can explain the logical necessity of classical mereology, the formal study of the part-whole relation. I then critically discuss four contemporary views of the same kind. Finally, I employ my thesis in a recent discussion of whether the world is fundamentally one in number.
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  • The Modal Ontological Argument Meets Modal Fictionalism.Ted Parent - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (4):338-352.
    This paper attacks the modal ontological argument, as advocated by Plantinga among others. Whereas other criticisms in the literature reject one of its premises, the present line is that the argument is invalid. This becomes apparent once we run the argument assuming fictionalism about possible worlds. Broadly speaking, the problem is that if one defines “x” as something that exists, it does not follow that there is anything satisfying the definition. Yet unlike non-modal ontological arguments, the modal argument commits this (...)
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  • Preface.Raphael van Riel & Albert Newen - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):5-8.
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  • A Closer Look at Closure Scepticism.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Paperback) 106 (3):381-390.
    The most prominent arguments for scepticism in modern epistemology employ closure principles of some kind. To begin my discussion of such arguments, consider Simple Knowledge Closure (SKC): (SKC) (Kxt[p] ∧ (p → q)) → Kxt[q].1 Assuming its truth for the time being, the sceptic can use (SKC) to reason from the two assumptions that, firstly, we don’t know ¬sh and that, secondly, op entails ¬sh to the conclusion that we don’t know op, where ‘op’ and ‘sh’ are shorthand for ‘ordinary (...)
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  • X*-Imperfect Identity.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (2):247-264.
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  • Imperfect Identity.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (2):81-98.
    Questions of identity over time are often hard to answer. A long tradition has it that such questions are somehow soft: they have no unique, determinate answer, and disagreements about them are merely verbal. I argue that this claim is not the truism it is taken to be. Depending on how it is understood, it turns out either to be false or to presuppose a highly contentious metaphysical claim.
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  • Normative Appeals to the Natural.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
    Surprisingly, many ethical realists and anti-realists, naturalists and not, all accept some version of the following normative appeal to the natural (NAN): evaluative and normative facts hold solely in virtue of natural facts, where their naturalness is part of what fits them for the job. This paper argues not that NAN is false but that NAN has no adequate non-parochial justification (a justification that relies only on premises which can be accepted by more or less everyone who accepts NAN) to (...)
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  • Necessitism, Contingentism, and Plural Quantification.Timothy Williamson - 2010 - Mind 119 (475):657-748.
    Necessitism is the view that necessarily everything is necessarily something; contingentism is the negation of necessitism. The dispute between them is reminiscent of, but clearer than, the more familiar one between possibilism and actualism. A mapping often used to ‘translate’ actualist discourse into possibilist discourse is adapted to map every sentence of a first-order modal language to a sentence the contingentist (but not the necessitist) may regard as equivalent to it but which is neutral in the dispute. This mapping enables (...)
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  • A Dispositional Theory of Possibility.Andrea Borghini & Neil E. Williams - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):21–41.
    – The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...)
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  • An Alternative Semantics for Modal Predicate-Logic.Uwe Meixner - 1992 - Erkenntnis 37 (3):377 - 400.
    The semantical framework is fundamentally intensional: neither possible worlds nor sets as basic entities, but rather, besides individuals, propositions, properties and relations (in intension). Logical truth is defined in terms of logical form (without mentioning this notion) without employing sets of models and the concept of truth in a model. Truth itself is explicitly defined (without recursion); the truth-conditions for the logical constants of the object-language become theorems derivable from the axioms for "to intend"--the basic semantical relation.
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