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  1. On Uncertainty.Brian Weatherson - 1998 - Dissertation, Monash University
    This dissertation looks at a set of interconnected questions concerning the foundations of probability, and gives a series of interconnected answers. At its core is a piece of old-fashioned philosophical analysis, working out what probability is. Or equivalently, investigating the semantic question of what is the meaning of ‘probability’? Like Keynes and Carnap, I say that probability is degree of reasonable belief. This immediately raises an epistemological question, which degrees count as reasonable? To solve that in its full generality would (...)
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  • Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited.Peter Https://Orcidorg288X Schulte - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):669-685.
    The compatibilism debate revolves around the question whether moral responsibility and free will are compatible with determinism. Prima facie, this seems to be a substantial issue. But according to the triviality objection, the disagreement is merely verbal: compatibilists and incompatibilists, it is maintained, are talking past each other, since they use the terms “free will” and “moral responsibility” in different senses. In this paper I argue, first, that the triviality objection is indeed a formidable one and that the standard replies (...)
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  • Foreknowledge requires determinism.Patrick Todd - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):125-146.
    There is a longstanding argument that purports to show that divine foreknowledge is inconsistent with human freedom to do otherwise. Proponents of this argument, however, have for some time been met with the following reply: the argument posits what would have to be a mysterious non-causal constraint on freedom. In this paper, I argue that this objection is misguided – not because after all there can indeed be non-causal constraints on freedom (as in Pike, Fischer, and Hunt), but because the (...)
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  • B-theory, fixity, and fatalism.Joseph Diekemper - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):429–452.
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  • An inexplicably good argument for causal finitism.Ibrahim Dagher - 2023 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 94 (2):199-211.
    Causal finitism, the view that the causal history of any event must be finite, has garnered much philosophical interest recently—especially because of its applicability to the Kalām cosmological argument. The most prominent argument for causal finitism is the Grim Reaper argument, which attempts to show that, if infinite causal histories are possible, then other paradoxical states of affairs must also be possible. However, this style of argument has been criticized on the grounds of (i) relying on controversial modal principles, and (...)
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  • Irresistible Nudges, Inevitable Nudges, and the Freedom to Choose.Jens Kipper - 2021 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 8 (2):285-303.
    In this paper, I examine how nudges affect the autonomy and freedom of those nudged. I consider two arguments put forth by Thaler and Sunstein for the claim that these effects can only be minor. According to the first of these arguments, nudges cannot significantly restrict a person’s autonomy or freedom since they are easy to resist. According to the second argument, the existence of nudges is inevitable, and thus, pursuing libertarian paternalism by nudging people doesn’t make a relevant difference (...)
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  • A mereological challenge to endurantism.Nikk Effingham & Jon Robson - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):633 – 640.
    In this paper, we argue that time travel is problematic for the endurantist. For it appears to be possible, given time travel, to construct a wall out of a single time travelling brick. This commits the endurantist to one of the following: (a) the wall is composed of the time travelling brick many times over; (b) the wall does not in fact exist at all; (c) the wall is identical to the brick. We argue that each of these options is (...)
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  • The A-Theory of Time, The B-Theory of Time, and ‘Taking Tense Seriously’.Dean W. Zimmerman - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (4):401-457.
    The paper has two parts: First, I describe a relatively popular thesis in the philosophy of propositional attitudes, worthy of the name ‘taking tense seriously’; and I distinguish it from a family of views in the metaphysics of time, namely, the A-theories (or what are sometimes called ‘tensed theories of time’). Once the distinction is in focus, a skeptical worry arises. Some A-theorists maintain that the difference between past, present, and future, is to be drawn in terms of what exists: (...)
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  • Being in a position to know.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1323-1339.
    The concept of being in a position to know is an increasingly popular member of the epistemologist’s toolkit. Some have used it as a basis for an account of propositional justification. Others, following Timothy Williamson, have used it as a vehicle for articulating interesting luminosity and anti-luminosity theses. It is tempting to think that while knowledge itself does not obey any closure principles, being in a position to know does. For example, if one knows both p and ‘If p then (...)
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  • Counterfactuals all the way down?: Marc Lange: Laws and lawmakers: Science, metaphysics, and the laws of nature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009, 280 pp, $99 HB, $24.95 PB.Jim Woodward, Barry Loewer, John W. Carroll & Marc Lange - 2011 - Metascience 20 (1):27-52.
    Counterfactuals all the way down? Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9437-9 Authors Jim Woodward, History and Philosophy of Science, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA Barry Loewer, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA John W. Carroll, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8103, USA Marc Lange, Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB#3125—Caldwell Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3125, USA Journal Metascience Online (...)
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  • General relativity and the conceivability of time travel.Robert Weingard - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):328-332.
    It has been suggested by several philosophers that many of the so-called paradoxes of backward time travel can be resolved if we conceive of the backward time traveller as having a zig-zag or N-shaped world line in spacetime. In this I am in general agreement. But there is still a problem in conceiving of backward time travel this way. In this note I will show how we can solve this problem by conceiving of backward time travel in terms of the (...)
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  • Time Travel, Ability, and Arguments by Analogy.Ryan Wasserman - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):17-23.
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  • Time Travel, Freedom, and Incompatibilism.Ryan Wasserman - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    This is a paper about time travel and what it teaches us about freedom. I argue that cases of time travel bring out an important difference between two ways of thinking about “the past”—either in terms of time itself, or in terms of causation. This ambiguity naturally transfers over to our talk about things like fixity, determinism, and incompatibilism. Moreover, certain cases of time travel suggest that our freedom is not constrained by the temporal past _per se_, but by our (...)
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  • The Independence Solution to the Problem of Theological Fatalism.Ryan Wasserman - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):66-77.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • The Independence Solution to the Problem of Theological Fatalism.Ryan Wasserman - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):66-77.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 104, Issue 1, Page 66-77, January 2022.
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  • Lewis on Backward Causation.Ryan Wasserman - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):141-150.
    David Lewis famously defends a counterfactual theory of causation and a non-causal, similarity-based theory of counterfactuals. Lewis also famously defends the possibility of backward causation. I argue that this combination of views is untenable—given the possibility of backward causation, one ought to reject Lewis's theories of causation and counterfactuals.
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  • Freedom, foreknowledge, and dependence.Ryan Wasserman - 2019 - Noûs 55 (3):603-622.
    The idea that some of God's past beliefs depend on our future actions has a long history, going back to Origen in the third century CE. However, it is not always clear what this idea amounts to, since it is not always clear what kind of dependence is at issue. This paper surveys five different interpretations of dependence and, in each case, considers the implications for the debate over theological fatalism. Along the way, we discuss a number of related issues, (...)
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  • What time travelers may be able to do.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):115 - 121.
    Kadri Vihvelin, in "What time travelers cannot do" (Philos Stud 81: 315-330, 1996), argued that "no time traveler can kill the baby who in fact is her younger self, because (V1) "if someone would fail to do something, no matter how hard or how many times she tried, then she cannot do it", and (V2) if a time traveler tried to kill her baby self, she would always fail. Theodore Sider (Philos Stud 110: 115-138, 2002) criticized Vihvelin's argument, and Ira (...)
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  • Can I kill my younger self? Time travel and the retrosuicide paradox.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (4):520-534.
    If time travel is possible, presumably so is my shooting my younger self ; then apparently I can kill him – I can commit retrosuicide. But if I were to kill him I would not exist to shoot him, so how can I kill him? The standard solution to this paradox understands ability as compossibility with the relevant facts and points to an equivocation about which facts are relevant: my killing YS is compossible with his proximity but not with his (...)
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  • Gretchenfragen an den Naturalisten.Gerhard Vollmer - 2012 - Philosophia Naturalis 49 (2):239-291.
    A philosophical position may be characterized in different ways. Here we try to say how the naturalist answers certain . The questions come from very different areas; the spectrum of subjects is therefore quite mixed. There are, however, aspects of order: We start with (questions about) abstract subjects like logic, mathematics, metaphysics, then turn to problems of realism. And since in general naturalists are realists, the following questions on truth, laws of nature, origin of the universe, cosmology, evolution, body-mind-problem, freedom (...)
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  • Killing Time Again.Kadri Vihvelin - 2020 - The Monist 103 (3):312-327.
    I have argued that even if time travel is metaphysically possible, there are some things a time traveler would not be able to do. I reply here to critics who have argued that my account entails fatalism about the past or entails that the time traveler is unfree or that she is bound by “strange shackles.” My argument does not entail any sort of fatalism. The time traveler is able to do many of the things that everyone else can do (...)
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  • Freedom, Foreknowledge, and the Principle of Alternate Possibilities.Kadri Vihvelin - 2000 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):1-23.
    The traditional debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists was based on the assumption that if determinism deprives us of free will and moral responsibility, it does so by making it true that we can never do other than what we actually do. All parties to the debate took for granted the truth of a claim now widely known as "the principle of alternate possibilities": someone is morally responsible only if he could have done otherwise. In a famous paper, Harry Frankfurt argued (...)
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  • Feeling the past: beyond causal content.Gerardo Viera - 2021 - Estudios de Filosofía (Universidad de Antioquia) 64:173-188.
    Memories often come with a feeling of pastness. The events we remember strike us as having occurred in our past. What accounts for this feeling of pastness? In his recent book, Memory: A self-referential account, Jordi Fernández argues that the feeling of pastness cannot be grounded in an explicit representation of the pastness of the remembered event. Instead, he argues that the feeling of pastness is grounded in the self-referential causal content of memory. In this paper, I argue that this (...)
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  • Williamsonian modal epistemology, possibility-based.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):766-795.
    Williamsonian modal epistemology is characterized by two commitments: realism about modality, and anti-exceptionalism about our modal knowledge. Williamson’s own counterfactual-based modal epistemology is the best known implementation of WME, but not the only option that is available. I sketch and defend an alternative implementation which takes our knowledge of metaphysical modality to arise, not from knowledge of counterfactuals, but from our knowledge of ordinary possibility statements of the form ‘x can F’. I defend this view against a criticism indicated in (...)
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  • Dispositions without Conditionals.Barbara Vetter - 2014 - Mind 123 (489):129-156.
    Dispositions are modal properties. The standard conception of dispositions holds that each disposition is individuated by its stimulus condition(s) and its manifestation(s), and that their modality is best captured by some conditional construction that relates stimulus to manifestation as antecedent to consequent. I propose an alternative conception of dispositions: each disposition is individuated by its manifestation alone, and its modality is closest to that of possibility — a fragile vase, for instance, is one that can break easily. The view is (...)
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  • Counterpart theories for everyone.Achille C. Varzi - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):4691-4715.
    David Lewis’s counterpart theory is often seen as involving a radical departure from the standard, Kripke-style semantics for modal logic, suggesting that we are dealing with deeply divergent accounts of our modal talk. However, CT captures but one version of the relevant semantic intuition, and does so on the basis of metaphysical assumptions that are ostensibly discretionary. Just as ML can be translated into a language that quantifies explicitly over worlds, CT may be formulated as a semantic theory in which (...)
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  • Lewis and Taylor as Partners in Sin.James Van Cleve - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (2):165-175.
    David Lewis’s analysis of “can” in “The Paradoxes of Time Travel” has been widely accepted both as a definitive analysis of “can” and as a successful resolution of the Grandfather Paradox for time travel. I argue that the central feature of his analysis puts it on all fours with a fallacy frequently imputed to fatalists such as Richard Taylor. I go on to consider two moves that might be made to avoid the fallacy, arguing that one of them leads to (...)
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  • The Irrevocability of Being.J. J. Valberg - 2012 - Philosophy 87 (1):65-77.
    This paper aims first, to introduce and elaborate upon a certain principle about being (existence), roughly, that once something exists or has being, it cannot lose it: what is cannot, in this sense, unbe; and second, to apply this principle to a well-known issue in the philosophy of time, viz., that of whether future events, like past events, though of course not now occurring, nonetheless have being.
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  • Knowledge attributions in iterated fake barn cases.John Turri - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):104-115.
    In a single-iteration fake barn case, the agent correctly identifies an object of interest on the first try, despite the presence of nearby lookalikes that could have mislead her. In a multiple-iteration fake barn case, the agent first encounters several fakes, misidentifies each of them, and then encounters and correctly identifies a genuine item of interest. Prior work has established that people tend to attribute knowledge in single-iteration fake barn cases, but multiple-iteration cases have not been tested. However, some theorists (...)
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  • Law, the Digital and Time: The Legal Emblems of Doctor Who.Kieran Tranter - 2017 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 30 (3):515-532.
    This article is about time. It is about time, or more precisely, about the absence of time in law’s digital future. It is also about time travelling and the seemingly ever-popular BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. Further, it is about law’s timefullness; about law’s pictorial past and the ‘visual baroque’ of its chronological fused future. Ultimately, it is about a time paradox of seeing time run to a time when time runs ‘No More!’ This ‘timey-wimey’ article is in (...)
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  • Yet Another Confusion About Time Travel.Giuliano Torrengo - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (35):49-56.
    I argue that, contrary to an idea to be found in popularizations of time travel, one cannot more easily multiply oneself by taking younger versions of oneself back in time than by travelling back in time on one’s own. The reason is that the suggested multiplication of the traveller is, from a global perspective, only apparent.
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  • Time travel and coincidence-free local dynamical theories.Giuliano Torrengo - 2020 - Synthese (11):4835-4846.
    I criticize Lockwood’s solution to the “paradoxes” of time travel, thus endorsing Lewis’s more conservative position. Lockwood argues that only in the context of a 5D space-time-actuality manifold is the possibility of time travel compatible with the Autonomy Principle (according to which global constraints cannot override what is physically possible locally). I argue that shifting from 4D space-time to 5D space-time-actuality does not change the situation with respect to the Autonomy Principle, since the shift does not allow us to have (...)
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  • Time, Truth, Actuality, and Causation: On the Impossibility of Divine Foreknowledge.Michael Tooley - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):143 - 163.
    In this essay, my goal is, first, to describe the most important contemporary philosophical approaches to the nature of time, and then, secondly, to discuss the ways in which those different accounts bear upon the question of the possibility of divine foreknowledge. I shall argue that different accounts of the nature of time give rise to different objections to the idea of divine foreknowledge, but that, in addition, there is a general argument for the impossibility of divine foreknowledge that is (...)
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  • Backward causation and the Stalnaker-Lewis approach to counterfactuals.Michael Tooley - 2002 - Analysis 62 (3):191-197.
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  • How Counterpart Theory Saves Nonreductive Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):139-174.
    Nonreductive physicalism faces serious problems regarding causal exclusion, causal heterogeneity, and the nature of realization. In this paper I advance solutions to each of those problems. The proposed solutions all depend crucially on embracing modal counterpart theory. Hence, the paper’s thesis: counterpart theory saves nonreductive physicalism. I take as my inspiration the view that mental tokens are constituted by physical tokens in the same way statues are constituted by lumps of clay. I break from other philosophers who have pursued this (...)
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  • Theological fatalism and modal confusion.Thomas Talbott - 1993 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 33 (2):65-88.
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  • Ability, Foreknowledge, and Explanatory Dependence.Philip Swenson - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):658-671.
    Many philosophers maintain that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with comprehensive divine foreknowledge but incompatible with the truth of causal determinism. But the Fixity of the Past principle underlying the rejection of compatibilism about the ability to do otherwise and determinism appears to generate an argument also for the incompatibility of the ability to do otherwise and divine foreknowledge. By developing an account of ability that appeals to the notion of explanatory dependence, we can replace the Fixity of (...)
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  • Perceptual Knowledge of Nonactual Possibilities.Margot Strohminger - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):363-375.
    It is widely assumed that sense perception cannot deliver knowledge of nonactual (metaphysical) possibilities. We are not supposed to be able to know that a proposition p is necessary or that p is possible (if p is false) by sense perception. This paper aims to establish that the role of sense perception is not so limited. It argues that we can know lots of modal facts by perception. While the most straightforward examples concern possibility and contingency, others concern necessity and (...)
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  • Crossing the bridge: the first-person and time.Patrick Stokes - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (2):295-312.
    Personal identity theory has become increasingly sensitive to the importance of the first-person perspective. However, certain ways of speaking about that perspective do not allow the full temporal aspects of first-person perspectives on the self to come into view. In this paper I consider two recent phenomenologically-informed discussions of personal identity that end up yielding metaphysically divergent views of the self: those of Barry Dainton and Galen Strawson. I argue that when we take a properly temporally indexical view of the (...)
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  • Jarrett’s Locality Condition and Causal Paradox.Allen Stairs - 1988 - PSA Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988 (1):318-325.
    In this paper, I want to present a family of results that may seem to add up to a new proof of the impossibility of hidden variables. In fact, I very much doubt that that’s really what really emerges, but I think the results are nonetheless interesting because they help to sharpen the discussion of Jon Jarrett’s very useful decompostion theorem, in particular, of the condition he calls locality. Jarrett (1984) and Ballentine and Jarrett (1987) have suggested that the so-called (...)
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  • What time travelers cannot not do (but are responsible for anyway).Joshua Spencer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):149-162.
    The Principle of Alternative Possibilities is the intuitive idea that someone is morally responsible for an action only if she could have done otherwise. Harry Frankfurt has famously presented putative counterexamples to this intuitive principle. In this paper, I formulate a simple version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities that invokes a course-grained notion of actions. After warming up with a Frankfurt-Style Counterexample to this principle, I introduce a new kind of counterexample based on the possibility of time travel. At (...)
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  • Able to Do the Impossible.Jack Spencer - 2017 - Mind 126 (502):466-497.
    According to a widely held principle—the poss-ability principle—an agent, S, is able to only if it is metaphysically possible for S to. I argue against the poss-ability principle by developing a novel class of counterexamples. I then argue that the consequences of rejecting the poss-ability principle are interesting and far-reaching.
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  • Philosophy and literature: The no‐gap theory.Stefán Snævarr - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (4):404-417.
    The concepts of philosophy and imaginative literature have unclear boundaries and blurred edges; they can hardly be defined essentially in any fruitful manner. But we can talk of indicators of a text being philosophical or literary. The concepts of philosophy and literature are contestable. Further, there are no clear‐cut signs of cognitive progress in philosophy and literature. It is also far from certain that there are any philosophical or literary truths. Actually, works of philosophy and literature deal more in possibilities (...)
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  • Semantic Regularity and the Liar Paradox.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2006 - The Monist 89 (1):178 - 202.
    My task here is the first one. I do present a consistent formal system and claim that it provides a perfect model of natural languages such as English, but this system involves no surprises. It is none other than the standard framework of classical logic and model theory. The real weight of the argument lies in the claim that the classical framework—without alteration or addition—contains the resources to model what happens when we say in English ‘This sentence is not true’.
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  • I’d Do Anything to Change the Past (But I Can’t Do ‘That').Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (2):153-168.
    This paper addresses a worry about backwards time travel. The worry is that there is something mysteriously inexplicable about the combination of commonplace events that will inevitably conspire to prevent the time traveler from doing something impossible such as killing her younger self. The worry is first distinguished from other problems for backwards time travel concerning its alleged impossibility or improbability. It is then shown that the worry is misplaced: there is in fact no real problem here. Yet the worry (...)
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  • Bananas enough for time travel.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):363-389.
    This paper argues that the most famous objection to backward time travel can carry no weight. In its classic form, the objection is that backward time travel entails the occurrence of impossible things, such as auto-infanticide—and hence is itself impossible. David Lewis has rebutted the classic version of the objection: auto-infanticide is prevented by coincidences, such as time travellers slipping on banana peels as they attempt to murder their younger selves. I focus on Paul Horwich‘s more recent version of the (...)
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  • Agency and Practical Abilities.Will Small - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80:235-264.
    Though everyday life accords a great deal of significance to practical abilities—such as the ability to walk, to speak French, to play the piano—philosophers of action pay surprisingly little attention to them. By contrast, abilities are discussed in various other philosophical projects. From these discussions, a partial theory of abilities emerges. If the partial theory—which is at best adequate only to a few examples of practical abilities—were correct, then philosophers of action would be right to ignore practical abilities, because they (...)
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  • Causal Time Loops and the Immaculate Conception.Jeremy Skrzypek - 2020 - Journal of Analytic Theology 8 (1):321-343.
    The doctrine of the immaculate conception, which is a dogma binding on all Roman Catholics and also held by members of some other Christian denominations, holds that Mary the mother of Jesus Christ was conceived without the stain of original sin as a result of the redeeming effects of Christ’s later life, passion, death, and resurrection. In this paper I argue first that, even on an orthodox reading of this doctrine, the immaculate conception seems to result in a kind of (...)
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  • No work for a theory of epistemic dispositions.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2021 - Synthese 198 (4):3477-3498.
    Externalists about epistemic justification have long emphasized the connection between truth and justification, with this coupling finding explicit expression in process reliabilism. Process reliabilism, however, faces a number of severe difficulties, leading disenchanted process reliabilists to find a new theoretical home. The conceptual flag under which such epistemologists have preferred to gather is that of dispositions. Just as reliabilism is determined by the frequency of a particular outcome, making it possible to characterize justification in terms of a particular relationship to (...)
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  • Basic knowledge and the normativity of knowledge: The awareness‐first solution.Paul Silva - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (3):564-586.
    [Significantly updated in Chapter 7 of Awareness and the Substructure of Knowledge] Many have found it plausible that knowledge is a constitutively normative state, i.e. a state that is grounded in the possession of reasons. Many have also found it plausible that certain cases of proprioceptive knowledge, memorial knowledge, and self-evident knowledge are cases of knowledge that are not grounded in the possession of reasons. I refer to these as cases of basic knowledge. The existence of basic knowledge forms a (...)
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