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Derek Lam
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  1. Is Imagination Too Liberal for Modal Epistemology?Derek Lam - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2155-2174.
    Appealing to imagination for modal justification is very common. But not everyone thinks that all imaginings provide modal justification. Recently, Gregory and Kung :620–663, 2010) have independently argued that, whereas imaginings with sensory imageries can justify modal beliefs, those without sensory imageries don’t because of such imaginings’ extreme liberty. In this essay, I defend the general modal epistemological relevance of imagining. I argue, first, that when the objections that target the liberal nature of non-sensory imaginings are adequately developed, those objections (...)
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  2.  50
    Stipulative Agency.Derek Lam - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility.
    An agent’s knowledge of her own intentional actions (agential knowledge) is non-observational. Yet, intentional actions typically consist of happenings external to the agents. A theory is needed to explain how agents are warranted to form such beliefs independent of observation. This paper first argues for three desirable features of an ideal theory about agential knowledge. After showing that no existing theories possess all three, a novel theory that does is presented. According to this theory, agential knowledge is the same kind (...)
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  3.  93
    An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality.Derek Lam - forthcoming - In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge.
    Imagination is a source of evidence for objective modality. It is through this epistemic connection that the idea of modality first gains traction in our intellectual life. A proper theory of modality should be able to explain our imagination’s modal epistemic behaviors. This chapter highlights a peculiar asymmetry regarding epistemic defeat for imagination-based modal justification. Whereas imagination-based evidence for possibility cannot be undermined by information about the causal origin of our imaginings, unimaginability-based evidence for impossibility can be undermined by information (...)
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  4.  34
    Being Pessimistic About the Objective Present.Derek Lam - 2020 - Synthese (12):1-16.
    Some philosophers argue that non-presentist A-theories problematically imply that we cannot know that this moment is present. The problem is usually presented as arising from the combination of the A-theoretic ideology of a privileged presentness and a non-presentist ontology. The goal of this essay is to show that the epistemic problem can be rephrased as a pessimistic induction. By doing so, I will show that the epistemic problem, in fact, stems from the A-theoretic ideology alone. Hence, once it is properly (...)
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  5. Metaphysics of Quantity and the Limit of Phenomenal Concepts.Derek Lam - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (3):1-20.
    Quantities like mass and temperature are properties that come in degrees. And those degrees (e.g. 5 kg) are properties that are called the magnitudes of the quantities. Some philosophers (e.g., Byrne 2003; Byrne & Hilbert 2003; Schroer 2010) talk about magnitudes of phenomenal qualities as if some of our phenomenal qualities are quantities. The goal of this essay is to explore the anti-physicalist implication of this apparently innocent way of conceptualizing phenomenal quantities. I will first argue for a metaphysical thesis (...)
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  6. The Phenomenology and Metaphysics of the Open Future.Derek Lam - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    Intuitively, the future is open and the past fixed: there is something we can do about the future but not the past. Some metaphysicians believe that a proper metaphysics of time must vindicate this intuition. Whereas philosophers have focused on the future and the past, the status of the present remains relatively unexplored. Drawing on resources from action theory, I argue that there is something we can do about the present just like there is something we can do about the (...)
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