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Many many problems

Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):481–501 (2003)

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  1. Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An encyclopedia entry which covers various revisionary conceptions of which macroscopic objects there are, and the puzzles and arguments that motivate these conceptions: sorites arguments, the argument from vagueness, the puzzles of material constitution, arguments against indeterminate identity, arguments from arbitrariness, debunking arguments, the overdetermination argument, and the problem of the many.
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  • Indeterminate Comprehension.Jonathan A. Simon - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):39-48.
    Can we solve the Problem of the Many, and give a general account of the indeterminacy in definite descriptions that give rise to it, by appealing to metaphysically indeterminate entities? I argue that we cannot. I identify a feature common to the relevant class of definite descriptions, and derive a contradiction from the claim that each such description is satisfied by a metaphysically indeterminate entity.
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  • In Defence of the Sensible Theory of Indeterminacy.Harold W. Noonan - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):239-252.
    Can the world itself be vague, so that rather than vagueness be a deficiency in our mode of describing the world, it is a necessary feature of any true description of it? Gareth Evans famously poses this question in his paper ‘Can There Be Vague Objects’ :208, 1978). In his recent paper ‘Indeterminacy and Vagueness: Logic and Metaphysics’, Peter van Inwagen elaborates the account of vagueness and, in particular, in the case of sentences, consequent indeterminacy in truth value, to which (...)
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  • Gavagai Again.John Robert Gareth Williams - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):235-259.
    Quine (1960, Word and object. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. ‘Rabbit’ might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous ‘argument from below’ to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the matter (...)
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  • Plurivaluationism, Supersententialism and the Problem of the Many Languages.Rohan Sud - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    According to the plurivaluationist, our vague discourse doesn’t have a single meaning. Instead, it has many meanings, each of which is precise—and it is this plurality of meanings that is the source of vagueness. I believe plurivaluationist positions are underdeveloped and for this reason unpopular. This paper attempts to correct this situation by offering a particular development of plurivaluationism that I call supersententialism. The supersententialist leverages lessons from another area of research—the Problem of the Many—in service of the plurivaluationist position. (...)
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  • Vague Parts and Vague Identity.Elizabeth Barnes & J. R. G. Williams - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):176-187.
    We discuss arguments against the thesis that the world itself can be vague. The first section of the paper distinguishes dialectically effective from ineffective arguments against metaphysical vagueness. The second section constructs an argument against metaphysical vagueness that promises to be of the dialectically effective sort: an argument against objects with vague parts. Firstly, cases of vague parthood commit one to cases of vague identity. But we argue that Evans' famous argument against will not on its own enable one to (...)
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  • Ontic Vagueness and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.J. Robert G. Williams - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):763-788.
    Might it be that world itself, independently of what we know about it or how we represent it, is metaphysically indeterminate? This article tackles in turn a series of questions: In what sorts of cases might we posit metaphysical indeterminacy? What is it for a given case of indefiniteness to be 'metaphysical'? How does the phenomenon relate to 'ontic vagueness', the existence of 'vague objects', 'de re indeterminacy' and the like? How might the logic work? Are there reasons for postulating (...)
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  • Vague Objects and the Problem of the Many.Thomas Sattig - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):211-223.
    The problem of the many poses the task of explaining mereological indeterminacy of ordinary objects in a way that sustains our familiar practice of counting these objects. The aim of this essay is to develop a solution to the problem of the many that is based on an account of mereological indeterminacy as having its source in how ordinary objects are, independently of how we represent them. At the center of the account stands a quasi-hylomorphic ontology of ordinary objects as (...)
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  • Is the Problem of the Many a Problem in Metaphysics?Dan López de Sa - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):746-752.
    Kilimanjaro is a paradigmatic mountain, if any is. Consider atom Sparky, which is neither determinately part of Kilimanjaro nor determinately not part of it. Let Kilimanjaro(+) be the body of land constituted, in the way mountains are constituted by their constituent atoms, by the atoms that make up Kilimanjaro together with Sparky, and Kilimanjaro(–) the one constituted by those other than Sparky. On the one hand, there seems to be just one mountain in the vicinity of Kilimanjaro. On the other (...)
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  • Vagueness and Naturalness.Ross P. Cameron - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (2):281-293.
    I attempt to accommodate the phenomenon of vagueness with classical logic and bivalence. I hold that for any vague predicate there is a sharp cut-off between the things that satisfy it and the things that do not; I claim that this is due to the greater naturalness of one of the candidate meanings of that predicate. I extend the thought to the problem of the many and Benacerraf cases. I go on to explore the idea that it is ontically indeterminate (...)
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  • Vagueness: Supervaluationism.Rosanna Keefe - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (2):315–324.
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  • A Defense of Indeterminate Distinctness.Ken Akiba - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3557-3573.
    On the one hand, philosophers have presented numerous apparent examples of indeterminate individuation, i.e., examples in which two things are neither determinately identical nor determinately distinct. On the other hand, some have argued against even the coherence of the very idea of indeterminate individuation. This paper defends the possibility of indeterminate individuation against Evans’s argument and some other arguments. The Determinacy of Identity—the thesis that identical things are determinately identical—is distinguished from the Determinacy of Distinctness—the thesis that distinct things are (...)
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  • The Hard Problem of the Many.Jonathan A. Simon - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):449-468.
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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.
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  • Arguments Against Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vagueness.Elizabeth Barnes - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (11):953-964.
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  • Deconstructing Ontological Vagueness.Matti Eklund - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):117-140.
    I will here present a number of problems concerning the idea that there is ontological vagueness, and the related claim that appeal to this idea can help solve some vagueness-related problems. A theme underlying the discussion will be the distinction between vagueness specifically and indeterminacy more generally (and, relatedly, the distinction between ontological vagueness and ontological indeterminacy). Even if the world is somehow ontologically indeterminate it by no means follows that it is, properly speaking, ontologically vague.1..
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  • Centrality and Marginalisation.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):517-533.
    A contribution to a symposium on Herman Cappelen's Philosophy without Intuitions.
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  • Supervaluational Propositional Content.Benjamin Rohrs - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    It’s not clear what supervaluationists should say about propositional content. Does a vague sentence, e.g., ‘Harry is bald’, express one proposition, or a barrage of propositions, or none at all? Or is the matter indeterminate? The supervaluationist canon is not decisive on the issue; authoritative passages can be cited in favor of each of the proposals just mentioned. Furthermore, some detractors have argued that supervaluationism is incapable of providing any coherent account of propositional content. This paper considers each of the (...)
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  • Indeterminacy, Identity and Counterparts: Evans Reconsidered.Elizabeth Barnes - 2009 - Synthese 168 (1):81 - 96.
    In this paper I argue that Gareth Evans’ famous proof of the impossibility of de re indeterminate identity fails on a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of the determinacy operators. I attempt to motivate a counterpart-theoretic reading of the determinacy operators and then show that, understood counterpart-theoretically, Evans’ argument is straightforwardly invalid.
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