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Alexander Skiles
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? Can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts, even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and show that grounding (...)
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  2. Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):642-670.
    Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with antecedently plausible (...)
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  3. Essence in Abundance.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):100-112.
    Fine is widely thought to have refuted the simple modal account of essence, which takes the essential properties of a thing to be those it cannot exist without exemplifying. Yet, a number of philosophers have suggested resuscitating the simple modal account by appealing to distinctions akin to the distinction Lewis draws between sparse and abundant properties, treating only those in the former class as candidates for essentiality. I argue that ‘sparse modalism’ succumbs to counterexamples similar to those originally posed by (...)
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  4. There is No Haecceitic Euthyphro Problem.Alexander Skiles - forthcoming - Analysis:any061.
    Jason Bowers and Meg Wallace have recently argued that those who hold that every individual instantiates a ‘haecceity’ are caught up in a Euthyphro-style dilemma when confronted with familiar cases of fission and fusion. Key to Bowers and Wallace’s dilemma are certain assumptions about the nature of metaphysical explanation and the explanatory commitments of belief in haecceities. However, I argue that the dilemma only arises due to a failure to distinguish between providing a metaphysical explanation of why a fact holds (...)
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  5. Primitivism About Intrinsicality.Alexander Skiles - 2014 - In Robert Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter. pp. 221-252.
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  6. Time, Modality, and the Unbearable Lightness of Being.Akiko M. Frischhut & Alexander Skiles - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):264-273.
    We develop a theory about the metaphysics of time and modality that combines the conceptual resources devised in recent sympathetic work on ontological pluralism (the thesis that there are fundamentally distinct kinds of being) with the thought that what is past, future, and merely possible is less real than what is present and actual (albeit real enough to serve as truthmakers for statements about the past, future, and merely possible). However, we also show that despite being a coherent, distinctive, and (...)
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  7. Is There a Dilemma for the Truthmaker Non-Maximalist?Alexander Skiles - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3649-3659.
    Mark Jago has presented a dilemma for truthmaker non-maximalism—the thesis that some but not all truths require truthmakers. The dilemma arises because some truths that do not require truthmakers by the non-maximalist’s lights (e.g., that Santa Claus does not exist) are necessitated by truths that do (e.g., that Barack Obama knows that Santa Claus does not exist). According to Jago, the non-maximalist can supply a truthmaker for such a truth only by conceding the primary motivation for the view: that it (...)
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