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Bradley Monton
Wuhan University
Bradley Monton
Wuhan University
  1. Presentism and the Objection From Being-Supervenience.Brian Kierland & Bradley Monton - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):485-497.
    In this paper, we show that presentism -- the view that the way things are is the way things presently are -- is not undermined by the objection from being-supervenience. This objection claims, roughly, that presentism has trouble accounting for the truth-value of past-tense claims. Our demonstration amounts to the articulation and defence of a novel version of presentism. This is brute past presentism, according to which the truth-value of past-tense claims is determined by the past understood as a fundamental (...)
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  2. God, Fine-Tuning, and the Problem of Old Evidence.Bradley Monton - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):405-424.
    The fundamental constants that are involved in the laws of physics which describe our universe are finely-tuned for life, in the sense that if some of the constants had slightly different values life could not exist. Some people hold that this provides evidence for the existence of God. I will present a probabilistic version of this fine-tuning argument which is stronger than all other versions in the literature. Nevertheless, I will show that one can have reasonable opinions such that the (...)
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  3. Minimizing Inaccuracy for Self-Locating Beliefs.Brian Kierland & Bradley Monton - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):384-395.
    One's inaccuracy for a proposition is defined as the squared difference between the truth value (1 or 0) of the proposition and the credence (or subjective probability, or degree of belief) assigned to the proposition. One should have the epistemic goal of minimizing the expected inaccuracies of one's credences. We show that the method of minimizing expected inaccuracy can be used to solve certain probability problems involving information loss and self-locating beliefs (where a self-locating belief of a temporal part of (...)
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  4. Wave Function Ontology.Bradley Monton - 2002 - Synthese 130 (2):265-277.
    I argue that the wave function ontology for quantum mechanics is an undesirable ontology. This ontology holds that the fundamental space in which entities evolve is not three-dimensional, but instead 3N-dimensional, where N is the number of particles standardly thought to exist in three-dimensional space. I show that the state of three-dimensional objects does not supervene on the state of objects in 3N-dimensional space. I also show that the only way to guarantee the existence of the appropriate mental states in (...)
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  5. Quantum Mechanics and 3N‐Dimensional Space.Bradley Monton - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):778-789.
    I maintain that quantum mechanics is fundamentally about a system of N particles evolving in three-dimensional space, not the wave function evolving in 3N-dimensional space.
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  6. Sleeping Beauty and the Forgetful Bayesian.Bradley Monton - 2002 - Analysis 62 (1):47–53.
    Adam Elga takes the Sleeping Beauty example to provide a counter-example to Reflection, since on Sunday Beauty assigns probability 1/2 to H, and she is certain that on Monday she will assign probability 1/3. I will show that there is a natural way for Bas van Fraassen to defend Reflection in the case of Sleeping Beauty, building on van Fraassen’s treatment of forgetting. This will allow me to identify a lacuna in Elga’s argument for 1/3. I will then argue, however, (...)
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  7.  42
    Pseudoscience.Bradley Monton - 2013 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science, Second Edition. Routledge. pp. 468-479.
    I insightfully discuss the question: what is pseudoscience?
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  8. God Acts in the Quantum World.Bradley Monton - 2014 - In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Volume 5. Oxford University Press.
    Suppose that God exists, and that God does not violate the laws of nature he created for the world. God can nevertheless act in the world, by acting at the indeterministic quantum level. This chapter makes two specific points about God’s quantum action. First, on some ways of understanding quantum mechanics (specifically, the GRW theory, and the associated Continuous Spontaneous Localization theories), God’s actions are almost unlimited, contrary to those who say that God would be quite constrained in his action, (...)
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  9. Against Multiverse Theodicies.Bradley Monton - 2010 - Philo 13 (2):113-135.
    In reply to the problem of evil, some suggest that God created an infinite number of universes—for example, that God created every universe that contains more good than evil. I offer two objections to these multiverse theodicies. First, I argue that, for any number of universes God creates, he could have created more, because he could have created duplicates of universes. Next, I argue that multiverse theodicies can’t adequately account for why God would create universes with pointless suffering, and hence (...)
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  10.  70
    The Doomsday Argument Without Knowledge of Birth Rank.Bradley Monton - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):79–82.
    The Carter-Leslie Doomsday argument, as standardly presented, relies on the assumption that you have knowledge of your approximate birth rank. I demonstrate that the Doomsday argument can still be given in a situation where you have no knowledge of your birth rank. This allows one to reply to Bostrom's defense of the Doomsday argument against the refutation based on the idea that your existence makes it more likely that many observers exist.
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  11. Against 3N-Dimensional Space.Bradley Monton - 2013 - In David Albert Alyssa Ney (ed.), The Wave Function: Essays in the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.
    I argue that space has three dimensions, and quantum mechanics does not show otherwise. Specifically, I argue that the mathematical wave function of quantum mechanics corresponds to a property that an N-particle system has in three-dimensional space.
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  12. Prolegomena to Any Future Physics-Based Metaphysics.Bradley Monton - 2008 - In Jon Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion Volume III. Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysicians sometimes appeal to physics to establish claims about the fundamental nature of the world. But given the current state of inquiry in physics, where there are two most fundamental theories that are incompatible, such arguments of physics-based metaphysics are problematic. I support this line of thought by focussing on two sorts of problematic arguments, special-relativity-based arguments against presentism and big-bang-based arguments in favor of the existence of God. I am not arguing that physics-based metaphysics can’t be done; I am (...)
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  13. Mixed Strategies Can't Evade Pascal's Wager.Bradley Monton - 2011 - Analysis 71 (4):642-645.
    I defend Pascal's Wager from a particular way of evading it, the mixed strategy approach. The mixed strategies approach suggests that Pascal's Wager does not obligate one to believe in God, because one can get the same infinite expected utility from other strategies besides the strategy of believing in God. I will show that while there's nothing technically wrong with the mixed strategy approach, rationality requires it to be applied in such a way that Pascal's Wager doesn't lose any force.
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  14.  47
    Atheistic Induction by Boltzmann Brains.Bradley Monton - forthcoming - In Jerry Walls & Trent Dougherty (eds.), Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God: The Plantinga Project. Oxford University Press.
    I present a new thermodynamic argument for the existence of God. Naturalistic physics provides evidence for the failure of induction, because it provides evidence that the past is not at all what you think it is, and your existence is just a momentary fluctuation. The fact that you are not a momentary fluctuation thus provides evidence for the existence of God – God would ensure that the past is roughly what we think it is, and you have been in existence (...)
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  15. Alvin Plantinga: Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. [REVIEW]Bradley Monton & Logan Paul Gage - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (1):53-57.
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  16. Presentism and Quantum Gravity.Bradley Monton - 2001 - In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime.
    There is a philosophical tradition of arguing against presentism, the thesis that only presently existing things exist, on the basis of its incompatibility with fundamental physics. I grant that presentism is incompatible with special and general relativity, but argue that presentism is not incompatible with quantum gravity, because there are some theories of quantum gravity that utilize a fixed foliation of spacetime. I reply to various objections to this defense of presentism, and point out a flaw in Gödel's modal argument (...)
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  17. Time Travel Without Causal Loops.Bradley Monton - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):54-67.
    It has sometimes been suggested that backwards time travel always incurs causal loops. I show that this is mistaken, by describing worlds where backwards time travel occurs and yet no causal loops occur. Arguments that backwards time travel can occur without causal loops have been given before in the literature, but I show that those arguments are unconvincing.
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  18.  13
    The Bare Theory Has No Clothes.Jeffrey Bub, Rob Clifton & Bradley Monton - 1998 - In Richard Healey & Geoffrey Hellman (eds.), Quantum Measurement: Beyond Paradox. Minneapolis, USA: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 32-51.
    We criticize the bare theory of quantum mechanics -- a theory on which the Schrödinger equation is universally valid, and standard way of thinking about superpositions is correct.
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  19.  50
    Morality Grounds Personal Identity.Bradley Monton - 2014 - Philosophical Analysis 31:1-26.
    There is a connection between moral facts and personal identity facts: morality grounds personal identity. If, for example, old Sally enters a teletransporter, and new Sally emerges, the fundamental question to ask is: is new Sally morally responsible for actions (and omissions) of old Sally? If the moral facts are such that she is morally responsible, then Sally persisted through the teletransporter event, and if not, Sally ceased to exist.
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  20.  48
    How to Predict Future Duration From Present Age.Bradley Monton & Brian Kierland - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):16-38.
    The physicist J. Richard Gott has given an argument which, if good, allows one to make accurate predictions for the future longevity of a process, based solely on its present age. We show that there are problems with some of the details of Gott's argument, but we defend the core thesis: in many circumstances, the greater the present age of a process, the more likely a longer future duration.
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  21.  10
    Quantum-Mechanical Self-Measurement.Bradley Monton - 1998 - In D. Dieks & P. Vermaas (eds.), The Modal Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 307-318.
    The idea of self-measurement by a quantum-mechanical automaton is presented, and the conclusions that are typically reached about what we can come to know from doing self-measurements are shown to be mistaken. Specifically, it is shown that, while we are capable of _predicting_ and _measuring_ the values of two incompatible observables, we are incapable of _knowing_ both these values simultaneously. This is an example of the interesting limitations quantum mechanics places on knowledge.
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  22. Mixed Strategies, Uncountable Times, and Pascal's Wager: A Reply to Robertson.Kenny Easwaran & Bradley Monton - 2012 - Analysis 72 (4):681-685.
    Pascal’s Wager holds that one has pragmatic reason to believe in God, since that course of action has infinite expected utility. The mixed strategy objection holds that one could just as well follow a course of action that has infinite expected utility but is unlikely to end with one believing in God. Monton (2011. Mixed strategies can’t evade Pascal’s Wager. Analysis 71: 642–45.) has argued that mixed strategies can’t evade Pascal’s Wager, while Robertson (2012. Some mixed strategies can evade Pascal’s (...)
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  23. Anthropic Reasoning Does Not Conflict with Observation.Dien Ho & Bradley Monton - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):42–45.
    We grant that anthropic reasoning yields the result that we should not expect to be in a small civilization. However, regardless of what civilization one finds oneself in, one can use anthropic reasoning to get the result that one should not expect to be in that sort of civilization. Hence, contra Ken Olum, anthropic reasoning does not conflict with observation.
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  24. McTaggart and Modern Physics.Bradley Monton - 2009 - Philosophia 38 (2):257-264.
    This paper delves into McTaggart’s metaphysical account of reality without time, and compares and contrasts McTaggart’s account with the account of reality given by modern physics. This comparison is of interest, because there are suggestions from contemporary physics that there is no time at the fundamental level. Physicists and philosophers of physics recognize that we do not have a good understanding of how the world could be such that time is unreal. I argue that, from the perspective of one who (...)
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  25.  81
    Common-Sense Realism and the Unimaginable Otherness of Science.Bradley Monton - 2007 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 11 (2):117-126.
    Bas van Fraassen endorses both common-sense realism — the view, roughly, that the ordinary macroscopic objects that we take to exist actually do exist — and constructive empiricism — the view, roughly, that the aim of science is truth about the observable world. But what happens if common-sense realism and science come into conflict? I argue that it is reasonable to think that they could come into conflict, by giving some motivation for a mental monist solution to the measurement problem (...)
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  26.  66
    The Problem of the Many Minds.Bradley Monton & Sanford Goldberg - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (4):463-470.
    It is argued that, given certain reasonable premises, an infinite number of qualitatively identical but numerically distinct minds exist per functioning brain. The three main premises are (1) mental properties supervene on brain properties; (2) the universe is composed of particles with nonzero extension; and (3) each particle is composed of continuum-many point-sized bits of particle-stuff, and these points of particle-stuff persist through time.
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  27. Design Inferences in an Infinite Universe.Bradley Monton - 2007 - In Jon Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, Volume 2. Oxford University Press.
    How are inferences to design affected when one makes the (plausible) assumption that the universe is spatially infinite? I will show that arguments for the existence of God based on the improbable development of life don’t go through. I will also show that the model of design inferences promulgated by William Dembski is flawed. My model for design inferences has the (desirable) consequence that there are circumstances where a seeming miracle can count as evidence for the existence of God, even (...)
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  28. Avoiding Certain Frustration, Reflection, and the Cable Guy Paradox.Brian Kierland, Bradley Monton & Samuel Ruhmkorff - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (3):317 - 333.
    We discuss the cable guy paradox, both as an object of interest in its own right and as something which can be used to illuminate certain issues in the theories of rational choice and belief. We argue that a crucial principle—The Avoid Certain Frustration (ACF) principle—which is used in stating the paradox is false, thus resolving the paradox. We also explain how the paradox gives us new insight into issues related to the Reflection principle. Our general thesis is that principles (...)
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  29.  17
    Evan Fales, Divine Intervention: Metaphysical and Epistemological Puzzles.Bradley Monton - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (4):259--263.
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  30.  52
    An Empiricist Regarding Science, an Empiricist Regarding Representation. [REVIEW]Bradley Monton - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):413-417.
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  31.  33
    Van Fraassen and Ruetsche on Preparation and Measurement.Bradley Monton - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):91.
    Ruetsche (1996) has argued that van Fraassen's (1991) Copenhagen Variant of the Modal Interpretation (CVMI) gives unsatisfactory accounts of measurement and of state preparation. I defend the CVMI against Ruetsche's first argument by using decoherence to show that the CVMI does not need to account for the measurement scenario which Ruetsche poses. I then show, however, that there is a problem concerning preparation, and the problem is more serious than the one Ruetsche focuses on. The CVMI makes no substantive predictions (...)
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