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David Builes
New York University
  1. The World Just Is the Way It Is.David Builes - 2021 - The Monist 104 (1):1-27.
    What is the relationship between objects and properties? According to a standard view, there are primitive individuals that ‘instantiate’ or ‘have’ various properties. According to a rival view, objects are mere ‘bundles’ of properties. While there are a number of reasons to be skeptical of primitive individuals, there are also a number of challenges that the bundle theorist faces. The goal of this paper is to formulate a view about the relationship between objects and properties that avoids many of the (...)
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  2. A Paradox of Evidential Equivalence.David Builes - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):113-127.
    Our evidence can be about different subject matters. In fact, necessarily equivalent pieces of evidence can be about different subject matters. Does the hyperintensionality of ‘aboutness’ engender any hyperintensionality at the level of rational credence? In this paper, I present a case which seems to suggest that the answer is ‘yes’. In particular, I argue that our intuitive notions of independent evidence and inadmissible evidence are sensitive to aboutness in a hyperintensional way. We are thus left with a paradox. While (...)
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  3. A puzzle about rates of change.David Builes & Trevor Teitel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3155-3169.
    Most of our best scientific descriptions of the world employ rates of change of some continuous quantity with respect to some other continuous quantity. For instance, in classical physics we arrive at a particle’s velocity by taking the time-derivative of its position, and we arrive at a particle’s acceleration by taking the time-derivative of its velocity. Because rates of change are defined in terms of other continuous quantities, most think that facts about some rate of change obtain in virtue of (...)
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  4. Time-Slice Rationality and Self-Locating Belief.David Builes - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3033-3049.
    The epistemology of self-locating belief concerns itself with how rational agents ought to respond to certain kinds of indexical information. I argue that those who endorse the thesis of Time-Slice Rationality ought to endorse a particular view about the epistemology of self-locating belief, according to which ‘essentially indexical’ information is never evidentially relevant to non-indexical matters. I close by offering some independent motivations for endorsing Time-Slice Rationality in the context of the epistemology of self-locating belief.
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  5. Dilating and Contracting Arbitrarily.David Builes, Sophie Horowitz & Miriam Schoenfield - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Standard accuracy-based approaches to imprecise credences have the consequence that it is rational to move between precise and imprecise credences arbitrarily, without gaining any new evidence. Building on the Educated Guessing Framework of Horowitz (2019), we develop an alternative accuracy-based approach to imprecise credences that does not have this shortcoming. We argue that it is always irrational to move from a precise state to an imprecise state arbitrarily, however it can be rational to move from an imprecise state to a (...)
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  6. Derivatives and Consciousness.David Builes - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):87-103.
    Many philosophers of physics think that physical rates of change, like velocity or acceleration in classical physics, are extrinsic. Many philosophers of mind think that phenomenal properties, which characterize what it’s like to be an agent at a time, are intrinsic. I will argue that these two views can’t both be true. Given that these two views are in tension, we face an explanatory challenge. Why should there be any interesting connection between these physical quantities and consciousness in the first (...)
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  7. Look At The Time!David Builes - forthcoming - Analysis.
    I argue that we can get evidence for the temporal ontology of the universe simply by looking at the time. The argument is an extension of the ‘epistemic objection’ towards Growing Block theories.
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  8. Ontology and Arbitrariness.David Builes - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    In many different ontological debates, anti-arbitrariness considerations push one towards two opposing extremes. For example, in debates about mereology, one may be pushed towards a maximal ontology (mereological universalism) or a minimal ontology (mereological nihilism), because any intermediate view seems objectionably arbitrary. However, it is usually thought that anti-arbitrariness considerations on their own cannot decide between these maximal or minimal views. I will argue that this is a mistake. Anti-arbitrariness arguments may be used to motivate a certain popular thesis in (...)
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  9. The Ineffability of Induction.David Builes - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    My first goal is to motivate a distinctively metaphysical approach to the problem of induction. I argue that there is a precise sense in which the only way that orthodox Humean and non-Humean views can justify induction is by appealing to extremely strong and unmotivated probabilistic biases. My second goal is to sketch what such a metaphysical approach could possibly look like. After sketching such an approach, I consider a toy case that illustrates the way in which such a metaphysics (...)
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  10. Why Can't There Be Numbers?David Builes - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Platonists affirm the existence of abstract mathematical objects, and Nominalists deny the existence of abstract mathematical objects. While there are standard arguments in favor of Nominalism, these arguments fail to account for the necessity of Nominalism. Furthermore, these arguments do nothing to explain why Nominalism is true. They only point to certain theoretical vices that might befall the Platonist. The goal of this paper is to formulate and defend a simple, valid argument for the necessity of Nominalism that seeks to (...)
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