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  1. Metaphysical Language, Ordinary Language and Peter van Inwagen's Material Beings.Daniel Nolan - 2010 - Humana Mente 4 (13):237-246.
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  • Ontological Pluralism.Jason Turner - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (1):5-34.
    Ontological Pluralism is the view that there are different modes, ways, or kinds of being. In this paper, I characterize the view more fully (drawing on some recent work by Kris McDaniel) and then defend the view against a number of arguments. (All of the arguments I can think of against it, anyway.).
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  • Parts of Classes.David K. Lewis - 1991 - Blackwell.
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  • How Things Persist.Katherine Hawley - unknown
    The world is remarkably stable -- amidst the flux, physical objects continue to persist. But how do things persist? Are they spread out through time as they are spread out through space? Or is persistence very different from spatial extension? These ancient metaphysical questions are at the forefront of contemporary debate once more. Katherine Hawley provides a wide-ranging yet accessible study of this key issue. She also makes a major contribution to current debates about change, vagueness, and language.
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  • New Work For a Theory of Universals.David K. Lewis - 1997 - In D. H. Mellor & Alex Oliver (eds.), Properties. Oxford University Press.
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  • Ordinary Objects.Amie Thomasson (ed.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common and increasingly prominent. Some are based on demands for parsimony or for a non-arbitrary answer to the special composition question; others arise from prohibitions against causal redundancy, ontological vagueness, or co-location; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. Until now, little has been done to address these arguments (...)
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  • New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
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  • Words and Objects.Achille C. Varzi - 2002 - In Andrea Bottani, Massimiliano Carrara & Daniele Giaretta (eds.), Individuals, Essence, and Identity. Themes of Analytic Metaphysics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 49–75.
    A lot of work in metaphysics relies on linguistic analysis and intuitions. Do we want to know what sort of things there are or could be? Then let’s see what sort of things there must be in order for what we truthfully say to be true. Do we want to see whether x is distinct from y? Then let’s see whether there is any statement that is true of x but not of y. And so on. In this paper I (...)
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  • Why Constitution is Not Identity.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):599-621.
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  • Neo-Fregeanism and Quantifier Variance.Theodore Sider - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):201–232.
    NeoFregeanism is an intriguing but elusive philosophy of mathematical existence. At crucial points, it goes cryptic and metaphorical. I want to put forward an interpretation of neoFregeanism—perhaps not one that actual neoFregeans will embrace—that makes sense of much of what they say. NeoFregeans should embrace quantifier variance.
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  • Ontological Nihilism.Jason Turner - 2011 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 3-54.
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  • Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
    According to standard, pre-philosophical intuitions, there are many composite objects in the physical universe. There is, for example, my bicycle, which is composed of various parts - wheels, handlebars, molecules, atoms, etc. Recently, a growing body of philosophical literature has concerned itself with questions about the nature of composition.1 The main question that has been raised about composition is, roughly, this: Under what circumstances do some things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? It turns out that (...)
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  • Ontological Realism.Theodore Sider - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 384--423.
    In , Peter van Inwagen asked a good question. (Asking the right question is often the hardest part.) He asked: what do you have to do to some objects to get them to compose something---to bring into existence some further thing made up of those objects? Glue them together or what?1 Some said that you don’t have to do anything.2 No matter what you do to the objects, they’ll always compose something further, no matter how they are arranged. Thus we (...)
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  • Against Vague Existence.Theodore Sider - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):135 - 146.
    In my book Four-dimensionalism (chapter 4, section 9), I argued that fourdimensionalism – the doctrine of temporal parts – follows from several other premises, chief among which is the premise that existence is never vague. Kathrin Koslicki (preceding article) claims that the argument fails since its crucial premise is unsupported, and is dialectically inappropriate to assume in the context of arguing for four-dimensionalism. Since the relationship between four-dimensionalism and the non-vagueness of existence is not perfectly transparent, I think the argument (...)
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  • What Are We?Eric T. Olson - 2007 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (5-6):37-55.
    This paper is about the neglected question of what sort of things we are metaphysically speaking. It is different from the mind-body problem and from familiar questions of personal identity. After explaining what the question means and how it differs from others, the paper tries to show how difficult it is to give a satisfying answer.
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  • Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
    Consider a circle and a pair of its semicircles. Which is prior, the whole or its parts? Are the semicircles dependent abstractions from their whole, or is the circle a derivative construction from its parts? Now in place of the circle consider the entire cosmos (the ultimate concrete whole), and in place of the pair of semicircles consider the myriad particles (the ultimate concrete parts). Which if either is ultimately prior, the one ultimate whole or its many ultimate parts?
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  • Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):727-744.
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  • Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Objects and Persons presents an original theory about what kinds of things exist. Trenton Merricks argues that there are no non-living inanimate macrophysical objects -- no statues or rocks or chairs or stars -- because they would have no causal role over and above the causal role of their microphysical parts. Humans do exist: we have non-redundant causal powers. Along the way, Merricks has interesting things to say about mental causation, free will, and various philosophical puzzles. Anyone working in metaphysics (...)
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  • Parts of Classes.David LEWIS - 1991 - Mind 100 (3):394-397.
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  • On The Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (151):222-240.
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  • Material Beings.Peter VAN INWAGEN - 1990 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):701-708.
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  • Replies to Gallois, Hirsch and Markosian. [REVIEW]Theodore Sider - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):674–687.
    I thank my commentators for their kind words, and for their close reading and challenging criticisms of my book. I have chosen selective and substantive replies. Those criticisms I ignore, I ignore because I have little more to say, not because they are unworthy of discussion.
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  • “Bamboozled by Our Own Words”: Semantic Blindness and Some Arguments Against Contextualism.Keith Derose - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (2):316 - 338.
    The best grounds for accepting contextualism concerning knowledge attributions are to be found in how knowledge-attributing (and knowledge-denying) sentences are used in ordinary, nonphilosophical talk: What ordinary speakers will count as “knowledge” in some non-philosophical contexts they will deny is such in others. Contextualists typically appeal to pairs of cases that forcefully display the variability in the epistemic standards that govern ordinary usage: A “low standards” case (henceforth, “LOW”) in which a speaker seems quite appropriately and truthfully to ascribe knowledge (...)
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  • Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Four- Dimensionalism defends the thesis that the material world is composed of temporal as well as spatial parts. This defense includes a novel account of persistence over time, new arguments in favour of the four-dimensional ontology, and responses to the challenges four- dimensionalism faces." "Theodore Sider pays particular attention to the philosophy of time, including a strong series of arguments against presentism, the thesis that only the present is real. Arguments offered in favour of four- dimensionalism include novel arguments based (...)
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  • Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time.Theodore Sider - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):642-647.
    Precis of my book by this title, for a symposium.
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  • Substance: Its Nature and Existence.Joshua Hoffman & Gary S. Rosenkrantz - 1997 - Mind 107 (428):886-889.
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  • Substance: Its Nature and Existence.Joshua Hoffman & Gary S. Rosenkrantz - 1997 - Routledge.
    Substance has been a leading idea in the history of Western philosophy. _Joshua Hoffman and Gary S. Rosenkrantz_ explain the nature and existence of individual substances, including both living things and inanimate objects. Specifically written for students new to this important and often complex subject, _Substance_ provides both the historical and contemporary overview of the debate. Great Philosophers of the past, such as Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Locke, and Berkeley were profoundly interested in the concept of substance. And, the authors (...)
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  • XIII—Contextualist Solutions to Scepticism.Stephen Schiffer - 1996 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 96 (1):317-334.
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  • Hirsch's Attack on Ontologese.Theodore Sider - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):565-572.
    Eli Hirsch has argued in many places that non-commonsensical ontological claims just couldn't be true, since there is strong metasemantic pressure to charitably interpret natural language---correct interpretations must, unless all else is highly unequal, count a sentence (especially a perceptual sentence) as true if ordinary speakers regard it as being obviously true. In previous work I replied that ontologists can stipulatively introduce a new language, "Ontologese", that is exempt from this pressure toward charity. Hirsch has recently objected to this proposal; (...)
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  • No Objects, No Problem?Matthew McGrath - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):457 – 486.
    One familiar form of argument for rejecting entities of a certain kind is that, by rejecting them, we avoid certain difficult problems associated with them. Such problem-avoidance arguments backfire if the problems cited survive the elimination of the rejected entities. In particular, we examine one way problems can survive: a question for the realist about which of a set of inconsistent statements is false may give way to an equally difficult question for the eliminativist about which of a set of (...)
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  • Four Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 2003 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Four-Dimensionalism defends the thesis that the material world is composed of temporal as well as spatial parts. This defense includes a novel account of persistence over time, new arguments in favour of the four-dimensional ontology, and responses to the challenges four-dimensionalism faces. Theodore Sider pays particular attention to the philosophy of time, including a strong series of arguments against presentism, the thesis that only the present is real. Arguments offered in favour of four-dimensionalism include novel arguments based on time travel, (...)
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  • Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (1):211-226.
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  • Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge and Lotteries is organized around an epistemological puzzle: in many cases, we seem consistently inclined to deny that we know a certain class of propositions, while crediting ourselves with knowledge of propositions that imply them. In its starkest form, the puzzle is this: we do not think we know that a given lottery ticket will be a loser, yet we normally count ourselves as knowing all sorts of ordinary things that entail that its holder will not suddenly acquire a (...)
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  • Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology.Ryan Wasserman, David Manley & David Chalmers (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume concerns the status and ambitions of metaphysics as a discipline.
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  • On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
    On the now dominant Quinean view, metaphysics is about what there is. Metaphysics so conceived is concerned with such questions as whether properties exist, whether meanings exist, and whether numbers exist. I will argue for the revival of a more traditional Aristotelian view, on which metaphysics is about what grounds what. Metaphysics so revived does not bother asking whether properties, meanings, and numbers exist (of course they do!) The question is whether or not they are fundamental.
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  • On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time.David Wiggins - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (1):90-95.
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  • Ontological Anti-Realism.David J. Chalmers - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    The basic question of ontology is “What exists?”. The basic question of metaontology is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ontology? Here ontological realists say yes, and ontological anti-realists say no. (Compare: The basic question of ethics is “What is right?”. The basic question of metaethics is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ethics? Here moral realists say yes, and moral anti-realists say no.) For example, the ontologist may ask: Do numbers exist? The Platonist (...)
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  • Eliminativism and the Challenge From Folk Belief.Daniel Z. Korman - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):242-264.
    Virtually everyone agrees that, even after having presented the arguments for their positions, proponents of revisionary philosophical theories are required to provide some sort of account of the conflict between their theories and what the folk believe. I examine various strategies for answering the challenge from folk belief. The examination proceeds as a case study, whose focus is eliminativism about ordinary material objects. I critically assess eliminativist attempts to explain folk belief by appeal to paraphrase, experience, and intuition.
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  • Unrestricted Composition and Restricted Quantification.Daniel Z. Korman - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):319-334.
    Many of those who accept the universalist thesis that mereological composition is unrestricted also maintain that the folk typically restrict their quantifiers in such a way as to exclude strange fusions when they say things that appear to conflict with universalism. Despite its prima facie implausibility, there are powerful arguments for universalism. By contrast, there is remarkably little evidence for the thesis that strange fusions are excluded from the ordinary domain of quantification. Furthermore, this reconciliatory strategy seems hopeless when applied (...)
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  • Against Parthood.Theodore Sider - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 8:237–293.
    Mereological nihilism says that there do not exist (in the fundamental sense) any objects with proper parts. A reason to accept it is that we can thereby eliminate 'part' from fundamental ideology. Many purported reasons to reject it - based on common sense, perception, and the possibility of gunk, for example - are weak. A more powerful reason is that composite objects seem needed for spacetime physics; but sets suffice instead.
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  • Why I Am Not a Nominalist.John P. Burgess - 1983 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 24 (1):93-105.
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  • Peter Van Inwagen on Material Beings.Matti Eklund - 2002 - Ratio 15 (3):245–256.
    Peter van Inwagen's book Material Beings is centered on the special composition question: the question of when some simples constitute a complex object. Van Inwagen's answer to this question is that simples only constitute a complex object when they constitute an organism. I argue that van Inwagen's reasoning in favor of this conclusion is unconvincing, and also that the significance of the special composition question itself is doubtful.
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  • 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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  • How Things Persist.Katherine Hawley - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Katherine Hawley explores and compares three theories of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and stage theories - investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, she concludes by advocating stage theory.
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  • How to Have a Radically Minimal Ontology.Ross P. Cameron - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):249 - 264.
    In this paper I further elucidate and defend a metaontological position that allows you to have a minimal ontology without embracing an error-theory of ordinary talk. On this view 'there are Fs' can be strictly and literally true without bringing an ontological commitment to Fs. Instead of a sentence S committing you to the things that must be amongst the values of the variables if it is true, I argue that S commits you to the things that must exist as (...)
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  • Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - 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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  • Ways of Being.Kris McDaniel - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    There are different ways to be. This paper explicates and defends this controversial thesis. Special attention is given to the meta-ontology of Martin Heidegger. -/- .
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  • Person and Object.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1978 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 39 (2):281-283.
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  • Getting Priority Straight.Louis deRosset - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (1):73-97.
    Consider the kinds of macroscopic concrete objects that common sense and the sciences allege to exist: tables, raindrops, tectonic plates, galaxies, and the rest. Are there any such things? Opinions differ. Ontological liberals say they do; ontological radicals say they don't. Liberalism seems favored by its plausible acquiescence to the dictates of common sense abetted by science; radicalism by its ontological parsimony. Priority theorists claim we can have the virtues of both views. They hold that tables, raindrops, etc., exist, but (...)
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  • Truthmakers and Ontological Commitment: Or How to Deal with Complex Objects and Mathematical Ontology Without Getting Into Trouble.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (1):1 - 18.
    What are the ontological commitments of a sentence? In this paper I offer an answer from the perspective of the truthmaker theorist that contrasts with the familiar Quinean criterion. I detail some of the benefits of thinking of things this way: they include making the composition debate tractable without appealing to a neo-Carnapian metaontology, making sense of neo-Fregeanism, and dispensing with some otherwise recalcitrant necessary connections.
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