40 found
Order:
Disambiguations
Bryan Frances [45]B. Frances [1]
See also
Bryan Frances
University of Tartu
  1. Why the Vagueness Paradox is Amazing.Bryan Frances - 2018 - Think 17 (50):27-38.
    One of the hardest problems in philosophy, one that has been around for over two thousand years without generating any significant consensus on its solution, involves the concept of vagueness: a word or concept that doesn't have a perfectly precise meaning. There is an argument that seems to show that the word or concept simply must have a perfectly precise meaning, as violently counterintuitive as that is. Unfortunately, the argument is usually so compressed that it is difficult to see why (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. The Reflective Epistemic Renegade.Bryan Frances - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):419 - 463.
    Philosophers often find themselves in disagreement with contemporary philosophers they know full well to be their epistemic superiors on the topics relevant to the disagreement. This looks epistemically irresponsible. I offer a detailed investigation of this problem of the reflective epistemic renegade. I argue that although in some cases the renegade is not epistemically blameworthy, and the renegade situation is significantly less common than most would think, in a troublesome number of cases in which the situation arises the renegade is (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   20 citations  
  3. The Rationality of Religious Beliefs.Bryan Frances - 2015 - Think 14 (40):109-117.
    Many highly educated people think religious belief is irrational and unscientific. If you ask a philosopher, however, you'll likely get two answers: most religious belief is rational in some respects and irrational in other respects. In this essay I explain why they think religious belief is rational. In a sequel essay I explain why they think the very same beliefs are irrational.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. Worrisome Skepticism About Philosophy.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Episteme 13 (3):289-303.
    A new kind of skepticism about philosophy is articulated and argued for. The key premise is the claim that many of us are well aware that in the past we failed to have good responses to substantive objections to our philosophical beliefs. The conclusion is disjunctive: either we are irrational in sticking with our philosophical beliefs, or we commit some other epistemic sin in having those beliefs.Export citation Request permission.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  5. Plato's Response to the Third Man Argument in the Paradoxical Exercise of the Parmenides.Bryan Frances - 1996 - Ancient Philosophy 16 (1):47-64.
    An analysis of the Third Man Argument, especially in light of Constance Meinwald's book Plato's Parmenides. I argue that her solution to the TMA fails. Then I present my own theory as to what Plato's solution was.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  6. Religious Disagreement.Bryan Frances - 2015 - In Graham Oppy (ed.), Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion. Routledge.
    In this essay I try to motivate and formulate the main epistemological questions to ask about the phenomenon of religious disagreement. I will not spend much time going over proposed answers to those questions. I address the relevance of the recent literature on the epistemology of disagreement. I start with some fiction and then, hopefully, proceed with something that has at least a passing acquaintance with truth.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  7. Justifying a Large Part of Philosophy.Bryan Frances - 2019 - Think 18 (51):93-99.
    I explain why research in non-applied, non-interdisciplinary, non-historical philosophy is worthwhile. The key move in the explanation is the realization that many philosophical problems can be put in the form of a set of highly plausible yet apparently jointly inconsistent claims regarding a fundamental notion.Export citation.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8. When a Skeptical Hypothesis is Live.Bryan Frances - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):559–595.
    I’m going to argue for a set of restricted skeptical results: roughly put, we don’t know that fire engines are red, we don’t know that we sometimes have pains in our lower backs, we don’t know that John Rawls was kind, and we don’t even know that we believe any of those truths. However, people unfamiliar with philosophy and cognitive science do know all those things. The skeptical argument is traditional in form: here’s a skeptical hypothesis; you can’t epistemically neutralize (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  9. How to Write a Good, or Really Bad, Philosophy Essay.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay written for students regarding how to write a philosophy paper.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  10. The Irrationality of Religious Belief.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Think 15 (42):15-33.
    Many highly educated people think religious belief is irrational and unscientific. If you ask a philosopher, however, you'll likely get two answers: most religious belief is rational in some respects and irrational in other respects. In my previous essay I explained why they think so many religious beliefs are rational. In this essay I explain why they think those same beliefs are irrational.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11. A Test for Theories of Belief Ascription.B. Frances - 2002 - Analysis 62 (2):116-125.
    These days the two most popular approaches to belief ascription are Millianism and Contextualism. The former approach is inconsistent with the existence of ordinary Frege cases, such as Lois believing that Superman flies while failing to believe that Clark Kent flies. The Millian holds that the only truth-conditionally relevant aspect of a proper name is its referent or extension. Contextualism, as I will define it for the purposes of this essay, includes all theories according to which ascriptions of the form (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  12. Philosophical Renegades.Bryan Frances - 2013 - In Jennifer Lackey & David Christensen (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 121-166.
    If you retain your belief upon learning that a large number and percentage of your recognized epistemic superiors disagree with you, then what happens to the epistemic status of your belief? I investigate that theoretical question as well has the applied case of philosophical disagreement—especially disagreement regarding purely philosophical error theories, theories that do not have much empirical support and that reject large swaths of our most commonsensical beliefs. I argue that even if all those error theories are false, either (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  13. Rationally Held ‘P, but I Fully Believe ~P and I Am Not Equivocating’.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):309-313.
    One of Moore’s paradoxical sentence types is ‘P, but I believe ~P’. Mooreans have assumed that all tokens of that sentence type are absurd in some way: epistemically, pragmatically, semantically, or assertively. And then they proceed to debate what the absurdity really is. I argue that if one has the appropriate philosophical views, then one can rationally assert tokens of that sentence type, and one can be epistemically reasonable in the corresponding compound belief as well.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. Presentism: Foreigner-Friendly or Xenophobic?Bryan Frances - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):479-488.
    I argue that, for all we know, there are perfectly ordinary actual entities that are temporal in the usual sense and yet never present, past, or future. This epistemic fact requires us to modify the theses of presentism and eternalism. More importantly, it generates three new and quite serious objections to presentism, which I formulate and partially evaluate in this paper.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. The Dual Concepts Objection to Content Externalism.Bryan Frances - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (2):123-138.
    Many philosophers have used premises about concepts and rationality to argue that the protagonists in the various Twin Earth thought experiments do not have the concepts that content externalists say they have. This essay argues that this popular internalist argument is flawed in many different ways, and more importantly it cannot be repaired in order to cast doubt on externalism.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16. Disagreement.Bryan Frances - 2010 - In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge.
    This is a short essay that presents what I take to be the main questions regarding the epistemology of disagreement.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  17. Extensive Philosophical Progress and Agreement.Bryan Frances - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (1-2):47-57.
    I first argue that there is plenty of agreement among philosophers on philosophically substantive claims, which fall into three categories. This agreement suggests that there is important philosophical progress. I then argue that although it’s easy to list several potential kinds of philosophical progress, it is much harder to determine whether the potential is actual. Then I attempt to articulate the truth that the deniers of philosophical progress are latching on to. Finally, I comment on the significance of the agreement (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18. Discovering Disagreeing Epistemic Peers and Superiors.Bryan Frances - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (1):1 - 21.
    Suppose you know that someone is your epistemic peer regarding some topic. You admit that you cannot think of any relevant epistemic advantage you have over her when it comes to that topic; you admit that she is just as likely as you to get P's truth-value right. Alternatively, you might know that she is your epistemic superior regarding the topic. And then after learning this about her you find out that she disagrees with you about P. In those situations (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  19. Ontology, Composition, Quantification and Action.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):137-142.
    The literature on material composition has largely ignored the composition of actions and events. I argue that this is a mistake. I present a set of individually plausible yet jointly inconsistent claims regarding the connection between quantification and existence, the composition of physical entities and the logical forms of action sentences.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20. The Atheistic Argument From Outrageousness.Bryan Frances - 2018 - Think 17 (48):107-116.
    When pressed, many atheists offer three reasons why they reject theism: there is strong evidence against theism, there is no strong evidence for theism, and theism is so outrageous that it needs a great deal of support in order for us to believe it in a reasonable manner. I examine the third reason, arguing that it fails.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  21. Defending Millian Theories.Bryan Frances - 1998 - Mind 107 (428):703-728.
    In this article I offer a three-pronged defense of Millian theories, all of which share the rough idea that all there is to a proper name is its referent, so it has no additional sense. I first give what I believe to be the first correct analysis of Kripke’s puzzle and its anti-Fregean lessons. The main lesson is that the Fregean’s arguments against Millianism and for the existence of semantically relevant senses (that is, individuative elements of propositions or belief contents (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  22. Live Skeptical Hypotheses.Bryan Frances - 2008 - In John Greco (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Skepticism. Oxford University Press. pp. 225-245.
    Those of us who take skepticism seriously typically have two relevant beliefs: (a) it’s plausible (even if false) that in order to know that I have hands I have to be able to epistemically neutralize, to some significant degree, some skeptical hypotheses, such as the brain-in-a-vat (BIV) one; and (b) it’s also plausible (even if false) that I can’t so neutralize those hypotheses. There is no reason for us to also think (c) that the BIV hypothesis, for instance, is plausible (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  23. The New Leibniz's Law Arguments for Pluralism.Bryan Frances - 2006 - Mind 115 (460):1007-1022.
    For years philosophers argued for the existence of distinct yet materially coincident things by appealing to modal and temporal properties. For instance, the statue was made on Monday and could not survive being flattened; the lump of clay was made months before and can survive flattening. Such arguments have been thoroughly examined. Kit Fine has proposed a new set of arguments using the same template. I offer a critical evaluation of what I take to be his central lines of reasoning.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  24. Spirituality, Expertise, and Philosophers.Bryan Frances - 2008 - In Jon Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press. pp. 44-81.
    We all can identify many contemporary philosophy professors we know to be theists of some type or other. We also know that often enough their nontheistic beliefs are as epistemically upstanding as the non-theistic beliefs of philosophy professors who aren’t theists. In fact, the epistemic-andnon-theistic lives of philosophers who are theists are just as epistemically upstanding as the epistemic-and-non-theistic lives of philosophers who aren’t theists. Given these and other, similar, facts, there is good reason to think that the pro-theistic beliefs (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  25. Disquotation and Substitutivity.Bryan Frances - 2000 - Mind 109 (435):519-25.
    Millianism is reasonable; that is, it is reasonable to think that all there is to the semantic value of a proper name is its referent. But Millianism appears to be undermined by the falsehood of Substitutivity, the principle that interchanging coreferential proper names in an intentional context cannot change the truth value of the resulting belief report. Mary might be perfectly rational in assenting to ‘Twain was a great writer’ as well as ‘Clemens was not a great writer’. Her confusion (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  26. Contradictory Belief and Epistemic Closure Principles.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Mind and Language 14 (2):203–226.
    Kripke’s puzzle has puts pressure on the intuitive idea that one can believe that Superman can fly without believing that Clark Kent can fly. If this idea is wrong then many theories of belief and belief ascription are built from faulty data. I argue that part of the proper analysis of Kripke’s puzzle refutes the closure principles that show up in many important arguments in epistemology, e.g., if S is rational and knows that P and that P entails Q, then (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  27. Kripke.Bryan Frances - 2011 - In Barry Lee (ed.), Key Thinkers in the Philosophy of Language. Continuum. pp. 249-267.
    This chapter introduces Kripke's work to advanced undergraduates, mainly focussing on his "A Puzzle About Belief" and "Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language".
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  28. “Please Explain What a Rigid Designator Is”.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay written for undergraduates who are confused about what a rigid designator is.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  29. Why I Think Research in Non-Applied, Non-Interdisciplinary, Non-Historical Philosophy is Worthwhile.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    On occasion, someone will ask you why you’re a philosopher and not a scientist or some other, more obviously respectable, intellectual. Or a high and mighty philosopher will dismiss all of philosophy with the exception of the history of philosophy. Others will restrict philosophy’s importance to applied philosophy or philosophy with obvious interdisciplinary features. Or someone from a different discipline might be respectful of the philosophical profession but in need of an explanation of why research in philosophy that is not (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  30. The Material Composition Problem.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay for undergraduates. I set out the statue/clay problem and Tibbles/Tib in rich detail. I also present, with less detail, some other puzzles about material composition.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  31. On the Explanatory Deficiencies of Linguistic Content.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 93 (1):45-75.
    The Burge-Putnam thought experiments have generated the thesis that beliefs are not fixed by the constitution of the body. However, many philosophers have thought that if this is true then there must be another content-like property. Even if the contents of our attitudes such as the one in ‘believes that aluminum is a light metal’, do not supervene on our physical makeups, nevertheless people who are physical duplicates must be the same when it comes to evaluating their rationality and explaining (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  32. A Philosophically Inexpensive Introduction to Twin-Earth.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    I say that it’s philosophically inexpensive because I think it is more convincing than any other Twin-Earth thought experiment in that it sidesteps many of the standard objections to the usual thought experiments. I also discuss narrow contents and give an analysis of Putnam’s original argument.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  33. Externalism, Physicalism, Statues, and Hunks.Bryan Frances - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (2):199-232.
    Content externalism is the dominant view in the philosophy of mind. Content essentialism, the thesis that thought tokens have their contents essentially, is also popular. And many externalists are supporters of such essentialism. However, endorsing the conjunction of those views either (i) commits one to a counterintuitive view of the underlying physical nature of thought tokens or (ii) commits one to a slightly different but still counterintuitive view of the relation of thought tokens to physical tokens as well as a (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  34. Defending the Defense.Bryan Frances - 1999 - Mind 108 (431):563-566.
    My hunch has always been that in the end, Fregeanism will defeat Millianism. So I suspect that my (1998) arguments on behalf of Millianism are flawed. Peter Graham (1999) is confident he has found the flaws, but he has not. I hope that some clarification will encourage others to reveal the errors.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35. Introduction to the Semantic Paradoxes.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    In this essay (for undergraduates) I introduce three of the famous semantic paradoxes: the Liar, Grelling’s, and the No-No. Collectively, they seem to show that the notion of truth is highly paradoxical, perhaps even contradictory. They seem to show that the concept of truth is a bit akin to the concept of a married bachelor—it just makes no sense at all. But in order to really understand those paradoxes one needs to be very comfortable thinking about how lots of interesting (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  36. The Four Puzzles of Reference.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay for undergraduates. I present the basic problems of reference for descriptions and names.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  37. Arguing for Frege's Fundamental Principle.Bryan Frances - 1998 - Mind and Language 13 (3):341–346.
    Saul Kripke's puzzle about belief demonstrates the lack of soundness of the traditional argument for the Fregean fundamental principle that the sentences 'S believes that a is F' and 'S believes that b is F' can differ in truth value even if a = b. This principle is a crucial premise in the traditional Fregean argument for the existence of semantically relevant senses, individuative elements of beliefs that are sensitive to our varying conceptions of what the beliefs are about. Joseph (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  38. Skeptical Stories: Introduction to Live Skepticism.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    The epistemological consequences of paradox are paradoxical. They can be usefully generated by telling a series of once-upon-a-time stories that make various philosophical points, starting out innocent and ending up, well, paradoxical. This is an introduction to my Live Skepticism, defended in Skepticism Comes Alive.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  39.  94
    The Offer Paradox.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is one of those "fun" examples of a semantic paradox, written for undergraduates.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  40.  90
    Preface & Chp 1 of 'Scepticism Comes Alive'.Bryan Frances - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
    The preface and chapter 1 of my book Scepticism Comes Alive, 2005 OUP.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark