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  1. On Specifying Truth-Conditions.A. Rayo - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (3):385-443.
    This essay is a study of ontological commitment, focused on the special case of arithmetical discourse. It tries to get clear about what would be involved in a defense of the claim that arithmetical assertions are ontologically innocent and about why ontological innocence matters. The essay proceeds by questioning traditional assumptions about the connection between the objects that are used to specify the truth-conditions of a sentence, on the one hand, and the objects whose existence is required in order for (...)
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  • Neutral Relations.Kit Fine - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (1):1-33.
    There is a standard view of relations, held by philosophers and logicians alike, according to which we may meaningfully talk of a relation holding of several objects in a given order. Thus it is supposed that we may meaningfully—indeed, correctly—talk of the relation loves holding of Anthony and Cleopatra or of the relation between holding of New York, Washington, and Boston. But innocuous as this view might appear to be, it cannot be accepted as applying to all relations whatever. For (...)
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  • The Nature of Laws.Michael Tooley - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):667-98.
    This paper is concerned with the question of the truth conditions of nomological statements. My fundamental thesis is that it is possible to set out an acceptable, noncircular account of the truth conditions of laws and nomological statements if and only if relations among universals - that is, among properties and relations, construed realistically - are taken as the truth-makers for such statements. My discussion will be restricted to strictly universal, nonstatistical laws. The reason for this limitation is not that (...)
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  • The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    A modest proposal concerning laws, counterfactuals, and explanations - - Why be Humean? -- Suggestions from physics for deep metaphysics -- On the passing of time -- Causation, counterfactuals, and the third factor -- The whole ball of wax -- Epilogue : a remark on the method of metaphysics.
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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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  • What is a Law of Nature?David M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    First published in 1985, D. M. Armstrong's original work on what laws of nature are has continued to be influential in the areas of metaphysics and philosophy of science. Presenting a definitive attack on the sceptical Humean view, that laws are no more than a regularity of coincidence between stances of properties, Armstrong establishes his own theory and defends it concisely and systematically against objections. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Marc (...)
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  • Natural Kind Essentialism Revisited.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):795-822.
    Recent work on Natural Kind Essentialism has taken a deflationary turn. The assumptions about the grounds of essentialist truths concerning natural kinds familiar from the Kripke-Putnam framework are now considered questionable. The source of the problem, however, has not been sufficiently explicated. The paper focuses on the Twin Earth scenario, and it will be demonstrated that the essentialist principle at its core (which I call IDENT)—that necessarily, a sample of a chemical substance, A, is of the same kind as another (...)
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  • From an Ontological Point of View.John Heil - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    From an Ontological Point of View is a highly original and accessible exploration of fundamental questions about what there is. John Heil discusses such issues as whether the world includes levels of reality; the nature of objects and properties; the demands of realism; what makes things true; qualities, powers, and the relation these bear to one another. He advances an account of the fundamental constituents of the world around us, and applies this account to problems that have plagued recent work (...)
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  • New Work For a Theory of Universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - In D. H. Mellor & Alex Oliver (eds.), Properties. Oxford University Press.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - 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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  • Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
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  • The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
    This book, one of the first full-length studies of the modalities to emerge from the debate to which Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Ruth Marcus, and others are contributing, is an exploration and defense of the notion of modality de re, the idea that objects have both essential and accidental properties. Plantinga develops his argument by means of the notion of possible worlds and ranges over such key problems as the nature of essence, transworld identity, negative existential propositions, and the existence (...)
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  • Parts of Classes.David K. Lewis - 1991 - Mind 100 (3):394-397.
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  • 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 (...)
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  • Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1974 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.
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  • Humean Supervenience Debugged.David K. Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
    Tn this paper I explore and to an extent defend HS. The main philosophical challenges to HS come from philosophical views that say that nomic concepts-laws, chance, and causation-denote features of the world that fail to supervene on non-nomic features. Lewis rejects these views and has labored mightily to construct HS accounts of nomic concepts. His account of laws is fundamental to his program, since his accounts of the other nomic notions rely on it. Recently, a number of philosophers have (...)
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  • Introduction to Semantics.Rudolf Carnap - 1942 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
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  • Possible Worlds.Robert Stalnaker - 1976 - Noûs 10 (1):65-75.
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  • A System of Logic.John Stuart Mill - 1874 - Longman.
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  • 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 (...)
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  • The Proper Treatment of Predication in Fine-Grained Intensional Logic.Christopher Menzel - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:61-87.
    In this paper I rehearse two central failings of traditional possible world semantics. I then present a much more robust framework for intensional logic and semantics based liberally on the work of George Bealer in his book Quality and Concept. Certain expressive limitations of Bealer's approach, however, lead me to extend the framework in a particularly natural and useful way. This extension, in turn, brings to light associated limitations of Bealer's account of predication. In response, I develop a more general (...)
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  • Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology.Rudolf Carnap - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 249-264.
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  • On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
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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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  • Is Metaphysical Dependence Irreflexive?C. Jenkins - 2011 - The Monist 94 (2):267-276.
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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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  • Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
    In his new foreword to this edition, Hilary Putnam forcefully rejects these nativist claims.
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  • Towards a Hyperintensional Theory of Intrinsicality.Ralf M. Bader - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (10):525-563.
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  • Towards a Theory of Part.Kit Fine - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (11):559-589.
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  • Introduction to Semantics.Ernest Nagel - 1942 - Journal of Philosophy 39 (17):468-473.
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  • Laws and Natural Properties.Barry Loewer - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):313-328.
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  • The Composition of Fregean Thoughts.Harold T. Hodes - 1982 - Philosophical Studies 41 (2):161 - 178.
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  • Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language.Saul A. Kripke - 1982 - 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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  • A Better Best System Account of Lawhood.Jonathan Cohen & Craig Callender - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):1 - 34.
    Perhaps the most significant contemporary theory of lawhood is the Best System (/MRL) view on which laws are true generalizations that best systematize knowledge. Our question in this paper will be how best to formulate a theory of this kind. We’ll argue that an acceptable MRL should (i) avoid inter-system comparisons of simplicity, strength, and balance, (ii) make lawhood epistemically accessible, and (iii) allow for laws in the special sciences. Attention to these problems will bring into focus a useful menu (...)
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  • Eligibility and Inscrutability.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):361-399.
    Inscrutability arguments threaten to reduce interpretationist metasemantic theories to absurdity. Can we find some way to block the arguments? A highly influential proposal in this regard is David Lewis’ ‘ eligibility ’ response: some theories are better than others, not because they fit the data better, but because they are framed in terms of more natural properties. The purposes of this paper are to outline the nature of the eligibility proposal, making the case that it is not ad hoc, but (...)
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  • Generic Essence, Objectual Essence, and Modality.Fabrice Correia - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):753–767.
    When thinking about the notion of essence or of an essential feature, philosophers typically focus on what I will call the notion of objectual essence. The main aim of this paper is to argue that beside this familiar notion stands another one, the notion of generic essence, which contrary to appearance cannot be understood in terms of the familiar notion, and which also fails to be correctly characterized by certain other accounts which naturally come to mind as well. Some of (...)
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  • Newman's Objection.Peter M. Ainsworth - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):135-171.
    This paper is a review of work on Newman's objection to epistemic structural realism (ESR). In Section 2, a brief statement of ESR is provided. In Section 3, Newman's objection and its recent variants are outlined. In Section 4, two responses that argue that the objection can be evaded by abandoning the Ramsey-sentence approach to ESR are considered. In Section 5, three responses that have been put forward specifically to rescue the Ramsey-sentence approach to ESR from the modern versions of (...)
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  • Naturalness.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2013 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 1.
    Lewis's notion of a "natural" property has proved divisive: some have taken to the notion with enthusiasm, while others have been sceptical. However, it is far from obvious what the enthusiasts and the sceptics are disagreeing about. This paper attempts to articulate what is at stake in this debate.
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  • Intrinsicality and Hyperintensionality.M. Eddon - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):314-336.
    The standard counterexamples to David Lewis’s account of intrinsicality involve two sorts of properties: identity properties and necessary properties. Proponents of the account have attempted to deflect these counterexamples in a number of ways. This paper argues that none of these moves are legitimate. Furthermore, this paper argues that no account along the lines of Lewis’s can succeed, for an adequate account of intrinsicality must be sensitive to hyperintensional distinctions among properties.
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  • The Coarse-Grainedness of Grounding.Kathrin Koslicki - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9:306-344.
    After many years of enduring the drought and famine of Quinean ontology and Carnapian meta-ontology, the notion of ground, with its distinctively philosophical flavor, finally promises to give metaphysicians something they can believe in again and around which they can rally: their very own metaphysical explanatory connection which apparently cannot be reduced to, or analyzed in terms of, other familiar idioms such as identity, modality, parthood, supervenience, realization, causation or counterfactual dependence. Often, phenomena such as the following are cited as (...)
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  • 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? (...)
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  • Redefining 'Intrinsic'.David Lewis - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):381-398.
    Several alleged counterexamples to the definition of ‘intrinsic’ proposed in Rae Langton and David Lewis, ‘Defining “Intrinsic”’, are unconvincing. Yet there are reasons for dissatisfaction, and room for improvement. One desirable change is to raise the standard of non-disjunctiveness, thereby putting less burden on contentious judgements of comparative naturalness. A second is to deal with spurious independence by throwing out just the disjunctive troublemakers, instead of throwing out disjunctive properties wholesale, and afterward reinstating those impeccably intrinsic disjunctive properties that are (...)
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  • Names for Relations.Peter van Inwagen - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):453–477.
    A proper presentation of this theory [sc. of properties] would treat properties as a special kind of relation. And it would treat propositions as a special kind of relation: it would treat properties as monadic relations and propositions as 0-adic relations. But I will not attempt to discuss relations within the confines of this paper.[ii].
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  • Possibility.Ian Hacking - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (2):143-168.
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  • Hyperintensional Metaphysics.Daniel Nolan - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (1):149-160.
    In the last few decades of the twentieth century there was a revolution in metaphysics: the intensional revolution. Many metaphysicians rejected the doctrine, associated with Quine and Davidson, that extensional analyses and theoretical resources were the only acceptable ones. Metaphysicians embraced tools like modal and counterfactual analyses, claims of modal and counterfactual dependence, and entities such as possible worlds and intensionally individuated properties and relations. The twenty-first century is seeing a hypterintensional revolution. Theoretical tools in common use carve more finely (...)
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  • The Nature of Necessity.Desmond Paul Henry - 1975 - Philosophical Quarterly 25 (99):178-180.
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  • Parts of Classes.Michael Potter - 1993 - Philosophical Quarterly 43 (172):362-366.
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  • Laws of Nature.John W. Carroll - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    John Carroll undertakes a careful philosophical examination of laws of nature, causation, and other related topics. He argues that laws of nature are not susceptible to the sort of philosophical treatment preferred by empiricists. Indeed he shows that emperically pure matters of fact need not even determine what the laws are. Similar, even stronger, conclusions are drawn about causation. Replacing the traditional view of laws and causation requiring some kind of foundational legitimacy, the author argues that these phenomena are inextricably (...)
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  • The Particular–Universal Distinction: A Dogma of Metaphysics?Fraser MacBride - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):565-614.
    Is the assumption of a fundamental distinction between particulars and universals another unsupported dogma of metaphysics? F. P. Ramsey famously rejected the particular – universal distinction but neglected to consider the many different conceptions of the distinction that have been advanced. As a contribution to the piecemeal investigation of this issue three interrelated conceptions of the particular – universal distinction are examined: universals, by contrast to particulars, are unigrade; particulars are related to universals by an asymmetric tie of exemplification; universals (...)
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  • A Puzzle About 'Because'.Benjamin Schnieder - 2010 - Logique Et Analyse 53.
    The essay is a partial investigation into the semantics of the explanatory connective ‘because’. After three independently plausible assumptions about ‘because’ are presented in some detail, it is shown how their interaction generates a puzzle about ‘because’, once they are combined with a common view on conceptual analysis. Four possible solutions to the puzzle are considered.
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