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Boris Kment
Princeton University
  1. Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Boris Kment - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
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    Decision, Causality, and Predetermination.Boris Kment - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Evidential decision theory (EDT) says that the choiceworthiness of an option depends on its evidential connections to possible outcomes. Causal decision theory (CDT) holds that it depends on your beliefs about its causal connections. While Newcomb cases support CDT, Arif Ahmed has described examples that support EDT. A new account is needed to get all cases right. I argue that an option A’s choiceworthiness is determined by the probability that a good outcome ensues at possible A-worlds that match actuality in (...)
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  3. Counterfactuals and the Analysis of Necessity.Boris Kment - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):237–302.
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  4. Counterfactuals and Explanation.Boris Kment - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):261-310.
    On the received view, counterfactuals are analysed using the concept of closeness between possible worlds: the counterfactual 'If it had been the case that p, then it would have been the case that q' is true at a world w just in case q is true at all the possible p-worlds closest to w. The degree of closeness between two worlds is usually thought to be determined by weighting different respects of similarity between them. The question I consider in the (...)
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  5. Essence and Modal Knowledge.Boris Kment - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1957-1979.
    During the last quarter of a century, a number of philosophers have become attracted to the idea that necessity can be analyzed in terms of a hyperintensional notion of essence. One challenge for proponents of this view is to give a plausible explanation of our modal knowledge. The goal of this paper is to develop a strategy for meeting this challenge. My approach rests on an account of modality that I developed in previous work, and which analyzes modal properties in (...)
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  6. Causation: Determination and Difference-Making.Boris Kment - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):80-111.
    Much of the modern philosophy of causation has been governed by two ideas: (i) causes make their effects inevitable; (ii) a cause is something that makes a difference to whether its effect occurs. I focus on explaining the origin of idea (ii) and its connection to (i). On my view, the frequent attempts to turn (ii) into an analysis of causation are wrongheaded. Patterns of difference-making aren't what makes causal claims true. They merely provide a useful test for causal claims. (...)
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  7. Free Will and Ultimate Explanation.Boris Kment - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):114-130.
    Many philosophers and non-philosophers who reflect on the causal antecedents of human action get the impression that no agent can have morally relevant freedom. Call this the ‘non-existence impression.’ The paper aims to understand the (often implicit) reasoning underlying this impression. On the most popular reconstructions, the reasoning relies on the assumption that either an action is the outcome of a chance process, or it is determined by factors that are beyond the agent’s control or which she did not bring (...)
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  8. Chance and the Structure of Modal Space.Boris Kment - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):633-665.
    The sample space of the chance distribution at a given time is a class of possible worlds. Thanks to this connection between chance and modality, one’s views about modal space can have significant consequences in the theory of chance and can be evaluated in part by how plausible these implications are. I apply this methodology to evaluate certain forms of modal contingentism, the thesis that some facts about what is possible are contingent. Any modal contingentist view that meets certain conditions (...)
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  9. Russell–Myhill and Grounding.Boris Kment - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):49-60.
    The Russell-Myhill paradox puts pressure on the Russellian structured view of propositions by showing that it conflicts with certain prima facie attractive ontological and logical principles. I describe several versions of RMP and argue that structurists can appeal to natural assumptions about metaphysical grounding to provide independent reasons for rejecting the ontological principles used in these paradoxes. It remains a task for future work to extend this grounding-based approach to all variants of RMP.
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  10. Model Theory and Contingent Existence.Boris Kment - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):172-190.
    Contingentism is the view that it is possible for there to be contingent existents. Timothy Williamson has argued that contingentists cannot provide a satisfactory interpretation of the possible-world semantics for modal logic. This paper aims to provide such an interpretation on behalf of contingentists.
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