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Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity

New York: Routledge (2022)

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  1. The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1950 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 1 (4):328-332.
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  • Meaning and Reference.Hilary Putnam - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 299-308.
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  • The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language.Rudolf Carnap - 1966 - In Alfred Jules Ayer (ed.), Logical positivism. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. pp. 60-81.
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  • The foundations of arithmetic.Gottlob Frege - 1884/1950 - Evanston, Ill.,: Northwestern University Press.
    In arithmetic, if only because many of its methods and concepts originated in India, it has been the tradition to reason less strictly than in geometry, ...
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  • Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms (...)
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  • Aboutness.Stephen Yablo - 2014 - Oxford: Princeton University Press.
    Aboutness has been studied from any number of angles. Brentano made it the defining feature of the mental. Phenomenologists try to pin down the aboutness-features of particular mental states. Materialists sometimes claim to have grounded aboutness in natural regularities. Attempts have even been made, in library science and information theory, to operationalize the notion. But it has played no real role in philosophical semantics. This is surprising; sentences have aboutness-properties if anything does. Aboutness is the first book to examine through (...)
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  • Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: metaphysics, logic, and epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
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  • Two dogmas of empiricism.Willard van Orman Quine - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing about language. New York: Routledge. pp. 20--43.
    Modern empiricism has been conditioned in large part by two dogmas. One is a belief in some fundamental cleavage between truths which are analytic, or grounded in meanings independently of matters of fact and truths which are synthetic, or grounded in fact. The other dogma is reductionism: the belief that each meaningful statement is equivalent to some logical construct upon terms which refer to immediate experience. Both dogmas, I shall argue, are ill founded. One effect of abandoning them is, as (...)
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  • On referring.Peter F. Strawson - 1950 - Mind 59 (235):320-344.
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  • Presentism.David Ingram & Jonathan Tallant - 2022 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Presentism is the view that only present things exist. So understood, presentism is primarily an ontological doctrine; it’s a view about what exists, absolutely and unrestrictedly. The view is the subject of extensive discussion in the literature on time and change, with much of it focused on the problems that presentism allegedly faces. Thus, most of the literature that frames the development of presentism has grown up either in formulating objections to the view (e.g., Sider 2001: 11–52), or in response (...)
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  • Wittgenstein on rules and private language: an elementary exposition.Saul A. Kripke - 1982 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    In this book Saul Kripke brings his powerful philosophical intelligence to bear on Wittgenstein's analysis of the notion of following a rule.
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  • Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
    In the course of the discussion, Professor Quine pinpoints the difficulties involved in translation, brings to light the anomalies and conflicts implicit in our ...
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
    This book is a defense of modal realism; the thesis that our world is but one of a plurality of worlds, and that the individuals that inhabit our world are only a few out of all the inhabitants of all the worlds. Lewis argues that the philosophical utility of modal realism is a good reason for believing that it is true.
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  • Critique of pure reason.Immanuel Kant - 2007 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late modern philosophy: essential readings with commentary. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 449-451.
    One of the cornerstone books of Western philosophy, Critique of Pure Reason is Kant's seminal treatise, where he seeks to define the nature of reason itself and builds his own unique system of philosophical thought with an approach known as transcendental idealism. He argues that human knowledge is limited by the capacity for perception and attempts a logical designation of two varieties of knowledge: a posteriori, the knowledge acquired through experience; and a priori, knowledge not derived through experience. This accurate (...)
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  • The logical syntax of language.Rudolf Carnap - 1937 - London,: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co.. Edited by Amethe Smeaton.
    Available for the first time in 20 years, here is the Rudolf Carnap's famous principle of tolerance by which everyone is free to mix and match the rules of ...
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  • Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. One must also use the right concepts - including the right logical concepts. One must use concepts that "carve at the joints", that give the world's "structure". There is an objectively correct way to "write the book of the world". Much of metaphysics, as traditionally conceived, is about the fundamental nature of reality; in the present terms, this is about the world's structure. Metametaphysics - inquiry into (...)
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  • Propositions.Trenton Merricks - 2015 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Trenton Merricks presents an original argument for the existence of propositions, and defends an account of their nature. He draws a variety of controversial conclusions, for instance about supervaluationism, the nature of possible worlds, truths about non-existent entities, and whether and how logical consequence depends on modal facts.
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  • Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
    A number of philosophers have recently become receptive to the idea that, in addition to scientific or causal explanation, there may be a distinctive kind of metaphysical explanation, in which explanans and explanandum are connected, not through some sort of causal mechanism, but through some constitutive form of determination. I myself have long been sympathetic to this idea of constitutive determination or ‘ontological ground’; and it is the aim of the present paper to help put the idea on a firmer (...)
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  • Ways a world might be: metaphysical and anti-metaphysical essays.Robert Stalnaker - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Robert Stalnaker draws together in this volume his seminal work in metaphysics. The central theme is the role of possible worlds in articulating our various metaphysical commitments. The book begins with reflections on the general idea of a possible world, and then uses the framework of possible worlds to formulate and clarify some questions about properties and individuals, reference, thought, and experience. The essays also reflect on the nature of metaphysics, and on the relation between questions about what there is (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    The second volume in the _Blackwell Brown Lectures in Philosophy_, this volume offers an original and provocative take on the nature and methodology of philosophy. Based on public lectures at Brown University, given by the pre-eminent philosopher, Timothy Williamson Rejects the ideology of the 'linguistic turn', the most distinctive trend of 20th century philosophy Explains the method of philosophy as a development from non-philosophical ways of thinking Suggests new ways of understanding what contemporary and past philosophers are doing.
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  • Realism with a human face.Hilary Putnam - 1990 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Edited by James Conant.
    Putnam's goal is to embed philosophy in social life. The first part of this book is dedicated to metaphysical questions.
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  • Imaginary Foundations.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    Our senses provide us with information about the world, but what exactly do they tell us? I argue that in order to optimally respond to sensory stimulations, an agent’s doxastic space may have an extra, “imaginary” dimension of possibility; perceptual experiences confer certainty on propositions in this dimension. To some extent, the resulting picture vindicates the old-fashioned empiricist idea that all empirical knowledge is based on a solid foundation of sense-datum propositions, but it avoids most of the problems traditionally associated (...)
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  • Williamson on Counterpossibles.Berto Francesco, David Ripley, Graham Priest & Rohan French - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4):693-713.
    A counterpossible conditional is a counterfactual with an impossible antecedent. Common sense delivers the view that some such conditionals are true, and some are false. In recent publications, Timothy Williamson has defended the view that all are true. In this paper we defend the common sense view against Williamson’s objections.
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  • On a Priori Knowledge of Necessity.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Margot Strohminger - 2018
    The idea that the epistemology of modality is in some sense a priori is a popular one, but it has turned out to be difficult to precisify in a way that does not expose it to decisive counterexamples. The most common precisifications follow Kripke’s suggestion that cases of necessary a posteriori truth that can be known a priori to be necessary if true ‘may give a clue to a general characterization of a posteriori knowledge of necessary truths’. The idea is (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):825-838.
    This article surveys recent developments in the epistemology of modality.
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  • Frege’s puzzle is about identity after all.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):628-643.
    Many philosophers have argued or taken for granted that Frege's puzzle has little or nothing to do with identity statements. I show that this is wrong, arguing that the puzzle can only be motivated relative to a thinker's beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the relevant object. The result is important, as it suggests that the puzzle can be solved, not by a semantic theory of names or referring expressions as such, but simply by a theory of identity statements. (...)
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  • Causality and Properties.Sydney Shoemaker - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: a guide and anthology. Oxford University Press UK.
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  • Conceptual Role Semantics.Ned Block - 1998 - In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Genealogy to Iqbal. Routledge. pp. 242-256.
    According to Conceptual Role Semantics, the meaning of a representation is the role of that representation in the cognitive life of the agent, e.g. in perception, thought and decision-making. It is an extension of the well known "use" theory of meaning, according to which the meaning of a word is its use in communication and more generally, in social interaction. CRS supplements external use by including the role of a symbol inside a computer or a brain. The uses appealed to (...)
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  • Two notions of necessity.Martin Davies & Lloyd Humberstone - 1980 - Philosophical Studies 38 (1):1-31.
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  • Why propositions have no structure.M. J. Cresswell - 2002 - Noûs 36 (4):643–662.
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  • Modal Objectivity.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - Noûs 53 (2):266-295.
    It is widely agreed that the intelligibility of modal metaphysics has been vindicated. Quine's arguments to the contrary supposedly confused analyticity with metaphysical necessity, and rigid with non-rigid designators.2 But even if modal metaphysics is intelligible, it could be misconceived. It could be that metaphysical necessity is not absolute necessity – the strictest real notion of necessity – and that no proposition of traditional metaphysical interest is necessary in every real sense. If there were nothing otherwise “uniquely metaphysically significant” about (...)
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  • Metaphysical and absolute possibility.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1861-1872.
    It is widely alleged that metaphysical possibility is “absolute” possibility Conceivability and possibility, Clarendon, Oxford, 2002, p 16; Stalnaker, in: Stalnaker Ways a world might be: metaphysical and anti-metaphysical essays, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003, pp 201–215; Williamson in Can J Philos 46:453–492, 2016). Kripke calls metaphysical necessity “necessity in the highest degree”. Van Inwagen claims that if P is metaphysically possible, then it is possible “tout court. Possible simpliciter. Possible period…. possib without qualification.” And Stalnaker writes, “we can agree (...)
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  • Perceiving: A Philosophical Study.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1957 - Ithaca,: Cornell University Press.
    The purpose of this book is to develop a terminological structure in which private perceptions can be discussed publicly without bringing into existence the usual unnecessary philosophical problems of confused usage of language. chisholm displays an appraisive, quasi-ethical use of language, whereby he claims that a thing has some particular sensible property is to have adequate evidence that it actually does have that property. (staff).
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  • The nature of epistemic space.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - In Andy Egan & Brian Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    A natural way to think about epistemic possibility is as follows. When it is epistemically possible (for a subject) that p, there is an epistemically possible scenario (for that subject) in which p. The epistemic scenarios together constitute epistemic space. It is surprisingly difficult to make the intuitive picture precise. What sort of possibilities are we dealing with here? In particular, what is a scenario? And what is the relationship between scenarios and items of knowledge and belief? This chapter tries (...)
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  • Epistemic Two-Dimensional Semantics.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):153-226.
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  • Modal Empiricism: What is the Problem.Albert Casullo - 2019 - Oxford Studies in Epistemology 6.
    Kant contends that necessity is a criterion of the a priori—that is, that all knowledge of necessary propositions is a priori. This contention, together with two others that Kant took to be evident—we know some mathematical propositions and such propositions are necessary—leads directly to the conclusion that some knowledge is a priori. Although many contemporary philosophers endorse Kant’s criterion, supporting arguments are hard to come by. Gordon Barnes provides one of the few examples. My purpose in this chapter is to (...)
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  • Supposing for the Sake of Argument.James Cargile - 1995 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 15 (1):76-79.
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  • In Defense of Donnellan on Proper Names.Antonio Capuano - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1289-1312.
    Kripke’s picture of how people use names to refer to things has been the dominant view in contemporary philosophy of language. When it is mentioned at all, Donnellan’s view of proper names is considered the same as Kripke’s. It is certainly true that both Donnellan and Kripke rejected descriptivism about proper names and appealed to historical facts to determine whom a speaker is referring to by using a proper name. However, the relevant historical facts Kripke and Donnellan appeal to are (...)
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  • Individualism and the mental.Tyler Burge - 1979 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4 (1):73-122.
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  • Troubles with Theoretical Virtues: Resisting Theoretical Utility Arguments in Metaphysics.OtÁvio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):456-469.
    In this paper we examine theoretical utility arguments in metaphysics. While philosophers claim a procedural continuity with science when using such arguments, we argue that examining famous instances from the history of science expose their fundamental flaws. We find that arguments from theoretical utility invoke considerations that are not truth conducive and that justifications for claims that a theory possesses theoretical virtues often assume the truth of the theory such virtues are supposed to support. We conclude that theoretical utility arguments (...)
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  • Granularity problems.Jens Christian Bjerring & Wolfgang Schwarz - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (266):22-37.
    Possible-worlds accounts of mental or linguistic content are often criticized for being too coarse-grained. To make room for more fine-grained distinctions among contents, several authors have recently proposed extending the space of possible worlds by "impossible worlds". We argue that this strategy comes with serious costs: we would effectively have to abandon most of the features that make the possible-worlds framework attractive. More generally, we argue that while there are intuitive and theoretical considerations against overly coarse-grained notions of content, the (...)
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  • Remarks on our knowledge of modal facts.Alexander Bird - 2008 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 43 (1):54--60.
    Can we have a posteriori knowledge of modal facts? And if so, is that knowledge fundamentally a posteriori, or does a priori intuition provide the modal component of what is known? Though the latter view seems more straightforward, there are also reasons for taking the first option seriously.
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  • What numbers could not be.Paul Benacerraf - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):47-73.
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  • On What is Effable.Delia Belleri - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):341-349.
    The Effability thesis has it that all propositions can be encoded by a sentence. By contrast, the Ineffability thesis has it that no proposition can be encoded by a sentence. In this article, I undermine an important motivation for the Ineffability thesis and advance a proposal concerning what is effable and what is not. My strategy will be as follows: First, I'll note that the Ineffability thesis assumes that propositions/thoughts are determinate. I'll point out that propositions/thoughts qua the things we (...)
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  • Propositions.George Bealer - 1998 - Mind 107 (425):1-32.
    Recent work in philosophy of language has raised significant problems for the traditional theory of propositions, engendering serious skepticism about its general workability. These problems are, I believe, tied to fundamental misconceptions about how the theory should be developed. The goal of this paper is to show how to develop the traditional theory in a way which solves the problems and puts this skepticism to rest. The problems fall into two groups. The first has to do with reductionism, specifically attempts (...)
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  • Modal Epistemology and the Rationalist Renaissance.George Bealer - 2002 - In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 71-125.
    The paper begins with a clarification of the notions of intuition (and, in particular, modal intuition), modal error, conceivability, metaphysical possibility, and epistemic possibility. It is argued that two-dimensionalism is the wrong framework for modal epistemology and that a certain nonreductionist approach to the theory of concepts and propositions is required instead. Finally, there is an examination of moderate rationalism’s impact on modal arguments in the philosophy of mind -- for example, Yablo’s disembodiment argument and Chalmers’s zombie argument. A less (...)
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  • Logical pluralism.Jc Beall & Greg Restall - 2000 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 78 (4):475 – 493.
    Consequence is at the heart of logic; an account of consequence, of what follows from what, offers a vital tool in the evaluation of arguments. Since philosophy itself proceeds by way of argument and inference, a clear view of what logical consequence amounts to is of central importance to the whole discipline. In this book JC Beall and Greg Restall present and defend what thay call logical pluralism, the view that there is more than one genuine deductive consequence relation, a (...)
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  • Is there a fact of the matter between direct reference theory and (neo-)Fregeanism?Mark Balaguer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):53-78.
    It is argued here that there is no fact of the matter between direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism. To get a more precise idea of the central thesis of this paper, consider the following two claims: (i) While direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism can be developed in numerous ways, they can be developed in essentially parallel ways; that is, for any (plausible) way of developing direct reference theory, there is an essentially parallel way of developing neo-Fregeanism, and vice versa. And (...)
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  • Toward a Logic of A Priori Knowledge.C. Anthony Anderson - 1993 - Philosophical Topics 21 (2):1-20.
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  • A Note on Subjunctive and Counterfactual Conditionals.Alan Ross Anderson - 1951 - Analysis 12 (2):35 - 38.
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