Switch to: References

Add citations

You must login to add citations.
  1. Logically Simple Properties and Relations.Jan Plate - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16:1-40.
    This paper presents an account of what it is for a property or relation (or ‘attribute’ for short) to be logically simple. Based on this account, it is shown, among other things, that the logically simple attributes are in at least one important way sparse. This in turn lends support to the view that the concept of a logically simple attribute can be regarded as a promising substitute for Lewis’s concept of a perfectly natural attribute. At least in part, the (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  • A Reconsideration of the Harsanyi–Sen–Weymark Debate on Utilitarianism.Hilary Greaves - 2016 - Utilitas:1-39.
    Harsanyi claimed that his Aggregation and Impartial Observer Theorems provide a justification for utilitarianism. This claim has been strongly resisted, notably by Sen and Weymark, who argue that while Harsanyi has perhaps shown that overall good is a linear sum of individuals’ von Neumann-Morgenstern utilities, he has done nothing to establish any con- nection between the notion of von Neumann-Morgenstern utility and that of well-being, and hence that utilitarianism does not follow. The present article defends Harsanyi against the Sen-Weymark cri- (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Epistemological Naturalness: What is a Good Heuristic Strategy Good For?Matej Drobňák - 2018 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 27 (1):85-104.
    According to the standard interpretation of Lewis’s theory of predicate meaning (the U&N theory), the naturalness of meaning candidates should be stated metaphysically - as a length of definition in terms of fundamental properties. Recently, Weatherson has criticized the U&N theory and argued that the criterion of naturalness should be stated epistemologically - as the amount of evidence needed to form a belief. Despite the criticism, his attitude towards the U&N theory is quite relaxed. According to Weatherson, the U&N theory (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Is Kant's Critique of Metaphysics Obsolete?Nicholas Stang - manuscript
    I raise a problem about the possibility of metaphysics originally raised by Kant: what explains the fact that the terms in our metaphysical theories (e.g. “property”) refer to entities and structures (e.g. properties) in the world? I distinguish a meta-metaphysical view that can easily answer such questions (“deflationism”) from a meta-metaphysical view for which this explanatory task is more difficult (which I call the “substantive” view of metaphysics). I then canvass responses that the substantive metaphysician can give to this Kantian (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • The Inscrutability of Reference.Robert Williams - 2005 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    The metaphysics of representation poses questions such as: in virtue of what does a sentence, picture, or mental state represent that the world is a certain way? In the first instance, I have focused on the semantic properties of language: for example, what is it for a name such as ‘London’ to refer to something? Interpretationism concerning what it is for linguistic expressions to have meaning, says that constitutively, semantic facts are fixed by best semantic theory. As here developed, it (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Representational Scepticism: The Bubble Puzzle.J. Robert G. Williams - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):419-442.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Requirements on Reality.J. Robert G. Williams - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia Benjamin Schnieder (ed.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 165-185.
    There are advantages to thrift over honest toil. If we can make do without numbers we avoid challenging questions over the metaphysics and epistemology of such entities; and we have a good idea, I think, of what a nominalistic metaphysics should look like. But minimizing ontology brings its own problems; for it seems to lead to error theory— saying that large swathes of common-sense and best science are false. Should recherche philosophical arguments really convince us to give all this up? (...)
    Download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  • Degree Supervaluational Logic.J. Robert G. Williams - 2011 - Review of Symbolic Logic 4 (1):130-149.
    Supervaluationism is often described as the most popular semantic treatment of indeterminacy. There???s little consensus, however, about how to fill out the bare-bones idea to include a characterization of logical consequence. The paper explores one methodology for choosing between the logics: pick a logic that norms belief as classical consequence is standardly thought to do. The main focus of the paper considers a variant of standard supervaluational, on which we can characterize degrees of determinacy. It applies the methodology above to (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  • Fundamental and Derivative Truths.J. R. G. Williams - 2010 - Mind 119 (473):103 - 141.
    This article investigates the claim that some truths are fundamentally or really true — and that other truths are not. Such a distinction can help us reconcile radically minimal metaphysical views with the verities of common sense. I develop an understanding of the distinction whereby Fundamentality is not itself a metaphysical distinction, but rather a device that must be presupposed to express metaphysical distinctions. Drawing on recent work by Rayo on anti-Quinean theories of ontological commitments, I formulate a rigourous theory (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   26 citations  
  • Gavagai Again.Robert 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • The Price of Inscrutability.J. R. G. Williams - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):600 - 641.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  • Lewis on Reference and Eligibility.J. R. G. Williams - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 367-382.
    This paper outlines Lewis’s favoured foundational account of linguistic representation, and outlines and briefly evaluates variations and modifications. Section 1 gives an opinionated exegesis of Lewis’ work on the foundations of reference—his interpretationism. I look at the way that the metaphysical distinction between natural and non-natural properties came to play a central role in his thinking about language. Lewis’s own deployment of this notion has implausible commitments, so in section 2 I consider variations and alternatives. Section 3 briefly considers a (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • The Possibility of Onion Worlds: Rebutting an Argument for Structural Universals.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):193 – 203.
    Some argue that theories of universals should incorporate structural universals, in order to allow for the metaphysical possibility of worlds of 'infinite descending complexity' ('onion worlds'). I argue that the possibility of such worlds does not establish the need for structural universals. So long as we admit the metaphysical possibility of emergent universals, there is an attractive alternative description of such cases.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  • On Sider on Naturalness.Robert Williams - manuscript
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Davidson on Reference.Robert Williams - 2013 - In Ernie LePore & Kurt Ludwig (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Donald Davidson. Blackwell.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Reference Magnetism and the Reduction of Reference.J. R. G. Williams - manuscript
    *This work has turned into a bigger project, and some of it is published in "Lewis on reference".* Some things, argues Lewis, are just better candidates to be referents than others. Even at the cost of attributing false beliefs, we interpret people as referring to the most interesting kinds in their vicinity. How should this be accounted for? In section 1, I look at Lewis’s interpretationism, and the reference magnetism it builds in (not just for ‘perfectly natural’ properties, but for (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Abstraction Reconceived.J. P. Studd - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):579-615.
    Neologicists have sought to ground mathematical knowledge in abstraction. One especially obstinate problem for this account is the bad company problem. The leading neologicist strategy for resolving this problem is to attempt to sift the good abstraction principles from the bad. This response faces a dilemma: the system of ‘good’ abstraction principles either falls foul of the Scylla of inconsistency or the Charybdis of being unable to recover a modest portion of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory with its intended generality. This article (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  • Metasemantics and Singular Reference.Ori Simchen - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):175-195.
    I consider two competing approaches to metasemantics: productivism, whereby endowment with semantic significance emerges directly from conditions surrounding the production or employment of the items semantically endowed; and interpretationism, whereby endowment with semantic significance emerges directly from conditions surrounding the interpretive consumption of such items. Focusing on the version of interpretationism developed by Lewis and his followers, I present a novel argument to the conclusion that such an approach cannot secure determinacy for singular reference. I then draw a larger moral (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Moral Realism and Semantic Plasticity.David Manley - manuscript
    Are moral terms semantically plastic—that is, would very slight changes in our patterns of use have shifted their meanings? This is a delicate question for moral realists. A 'yes' answer seems to conflict with the sorts of intuitions that support realism; but a 'no' answer seems to require a semantics that involves hefty metaphysical commitments. This tension can be illustrated by thinking about how standard accounts of vagueness can be applied to the case of moral terms, and also by considering (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • The Role of Naturalness in Lewis's Theory of Meaning.Brian Weatherson - 2013 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (10).
    Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   20 citations  
  • How to Find an Attractive Solution to the Liar Paradox.Mark Pinder - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1661-1680.
    The general thesis of this paper is that metasemantic theories can play a central role in determining the correct solution to the liar paradox. I argue for the thesis by providing a specific example. I show how Lewis’s reference-magnetic metasemantic theory may decide between two of the most influential solutions to the liar paradox: Kripke’s minimal fixed point theory of truth and Gupta and Belnap’s revision theory of truth. In particular, I suggest that Lewis’s metasemantic theory favours Kripke’s solution to (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Stage Universalism, Voints and Sorts.Marta Campdelacreu - 2010 - Disputatio 3 (28):293-307.
    In the current debate on how ordinary objects persist through time, more than one philosopher has endorsed the following two theses: stage theory and diachronic universalism. In this paper, I would like to offer a solution to the problem that Balashov poses to the joint acceptance of these theses. I will also offer a number of reasons why, even if it is not necessary to undermine Balashov’s counterexamples, stage theorists can, without making their theory less appealing, reject Balashov’s understanding of (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Dimensions: A New Ontology of Properties.Xi-Yang Guo - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    This thesis advances and defends a novel two-category ontology of objects and dimensions, latterly conceived as respects of comparability. The proposed 'dimensionist' ontology is set out and brought to bear on discussions of determinables and determinates, the problem of universals, fact ontologies, and nomic governance. Dimensionism is argued to fare well in comparison to a range of rival ontological accounts of property possession. A metametaphysical framework is set out to undergird the discussion, which draws on both realist and pragmatist resources.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • On the Indeterminacy of the Meter.Kevin Scharp - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2487-2517.
    In the International System of Units, ‘meter’ is defined in terms of seconds and the speed of light, and ‘second’ is defined in terms of properties of cesium 133 atoms. I show that one consequence of these definitions is that: if there is a minimal length, then the chances that ‘meter’ is completely determinate are only 1 in 21,413,747. Moreover, we have good reason to believe that there is a minimal length. Thus, it is highly probable that ‘meter’ is indeterminate. (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Semantic Deflationism Deflated.Mahrad Almotahari - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2435-2454.
    Deflationism is the view that certain metaphysical debates are defective, leaving it open whether the defect is best explained in semantic, conceptual, or epistemic terms. Local semantic deflationism is the thesis that familiar metaphysical debates, which appear to be about the existence and identity of material objects, are merely verbal. It’s a form of local deflationism because it restricts itself to one particular area of metaphysics. It’s a form of semantic deflationism because the defect it purports to identify in these (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Radical Interpretation and The Aggregation Problem.Anandi Hattiangadi - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Non-Naturalism and Reference.Jussi Suikkanen - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaethical realists disagree about the nature of normative properties. Naturalists think that they are ordinary natural properties: causally efficacious, a posteriori knowable, and usable in the best explanations of natural and social sciences. Non-naturalist realists, in contrast, argue that they are sui generis: causally inert, a priori knowable and not a part of the subject matter of sciences. It has been assumed so far that naturalists can explain causally how the normative predicates manage to refer to normative properties, whereas non-naturalists (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Semantic Sovereignty.Stephen Kearns & Ofra Magidor - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):322-350.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  • The Role of Structure: A Critical Notice of Sider's Writing the Book of the World. [REVIEW]Dana Goswick - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):129-147.
    I critically evaluate the notion of structure Ted Sider presents in Writing the Book of the World. A prerequisite to understanding Sider's notion of structure is understanding Sider's take on ideology and ontology. In Section II, I discuss this. In Section III, I consider arguments in favor of structure. In Section IV, I examine one debate that is considered by Sider to be nonsubstantive: the debate over modality. I conclude, in Section V, by examining the reception Writing the Book of (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Against Magnetism.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):17-36.
    Magnetism in meta-semantics is the view that the meaning of our words is determined in part by their use and in part by the objective naturalness of candidate meanings. This hypothesis is commonly attributed to David Lewis, and has been put to philosophical work by Brian Weatherson, Ted Sider and others. I argue that there is no evidence that Lewis ever endorsed the view, and that his actual account of language reveals good reasons against it.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   23 citations  
  • Structuring Reality.Naomi Margaret Claire Thompson - unknown
    This thesis explores attempts to characterise the structure of reality. Three notions stand out: Lewisian naturalness, Sider’s ‘structure’, and grounding, where the latter has become the most popular way to characterise the structure of reality in the contemporary literature. I argue that none of these notions, as they are currently understood, are suited for limning the metaphysical structure of reality. In the first part of the thesis I argue that, by the lights of the relevant theories, both naturalness and structure (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  • Inscrutability and Ontological Commitment.Berit Brogaard - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (1):21 - 42.
    There are two doctrines for which Quine is particularly well known: the doctrine of ontological commitment and the inscrutability thesis—the thesis that reference and quantification are inscrutable. At first glance, the two doctrines are squarely at odds. If there is no fact of the matter as to what our expressions refer to, then it would appear that no determinate commitments can be read off of our best theories. We argue here that the appearance of a clash between the two doctrines (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  • Realism and the Absence of Value.Shamik Dasgupta - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (3):279-322.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • The Problem with Charlie: Some Remarks on Putnam, Lewis, and Williams.T. Bays - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):401-425.
    In his new paper, “Eligibility and Inscrutability,” J. R. G. Williams presents a surprising new challenge to David Lewis’ theory of interpretation. Although Williams frames this challenge primarily as a response to Lewis’ criticisms of Putnam’s model-theoretic argument, the challenge itself goes to the heart of Lewis’ own account of interpretation. Further, and leaving Lewis’ project aside for a moment, Williams’ argument highlights some important—and some fairly general—points concerning the relationship between model theory and semantic determinacy.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Rule-Following and Charity : Wittgenstein and Davidson on Meaning Determination.Kathrin Glüer-Pagin - 2017 - In Claudine Verheggen (ed.), Wittgenstein and Davidson on Thought, Language, and Action. Cambridge, U.K: Cambridge University Press. pp. 69-96.
    The project of this chapter is to explore some relations between the rule-following considerations and radical interpretation. I spell out the sense in which the rule-following considerations are about meaning determination, and investigate whether the principle of meaning determination used in the early Davidson's account of meaning determination - the principle of charity - provides an answer to what I shall call "Wittgenstein's paradox". More precisely, I am interested in one aspect of the paradox: the "problem of objectivity". My question (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Metasemantics Out of Economics?Hattiangadi Anandi - unknown
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • 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.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   18 citations  
  • Jody Azzouni, The Rule-Following Paradox and Its Implications for Metaphysics, Springer , 2017, Pp. $$Hbox {Viii} + 124$$, ISBN: 978-3-319-49060-1 $99.99; $89.99; $69.99. [REVIEW]Juan J. Colomina - 2019 - Studia Logica 107 (2):445-450.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • On the Indeterminacy of the Meter.Kevin Scharp - 2017 - Synthese:1-31.
    In the International System of Units, ‘meter’ is defined in terms of seconds and the speed of light, and ‘second’ is defined in terms of properties of cesium 133 atoms. I show that one consequence of these definitions is that: if there is a minimal length, then the chances that ‘meter’ is completely determinate are only 1 in 21,413,747. Moreover, we have good reason to believe that there is a minimal length. Thus, it is highly probable that ‘meter’ is indeterminate. (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • Converse and Identity.David Liebesman - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (2):137-155.
    Necessarily, if I ate a slice of pizza, then that slice of pizza was eaten by me. More generally, it is necessarily true that if a relation holds between two objects in some order, its converse holds of the same objects in reverse order. What is the intimate relationship that guarantees such necessary connections? Timothy Williamson argues that the relationship between converses must be identity, on pain of the massive and systematic indeterminacy of relational predicates. If sound, Williamson’s argument overturns (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Justification Magnets.C. S. I. Jenkins - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):93-111.
    David Lewis is associated with the controversial thesis that some properties are more eligible than others to be the referents of our predicates solely in virtue of those properties’ being more natural; independently, that is, of anything to do with our patterns of usage of the relevant predicates. On such a view, the natural properties act as ‘reference magnets’. In this paper I explore (though I do not endorse) a related thesis in epistemology: that some propositions are ‘justification magnets’. According (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • The Eligibility of Ethical Naturalism.Douglas Edwards - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):1-18.
    Perhaps the two main contemporary formulations of ethical naturalism – Synthetic Ethical Naturalism (SEN) and Analytical Descriptivism – seem to conflict with plausible views about cases where moral debate and disagreement is possible. Both lack safeguards to avoid divergence of reference across different communities, which can scupper the prospects for genuine moral disagreement. I explore the prospects for supplementing both views with Lewis's notion of eligibility, arguing that this can solve the problem for a modified form of analytical descriptivism, and (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Lewis’s Synthesis.Andrew Jorgensen - 2008 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (1):77 – 84.
    This article criticises David Lewis's attempt to use his philosophical analysis of convention to reconcile the picture of languages as model-theoretic objects and the picture of languages as human social activity.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark