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Francesco Berto [37]Franz Berto [7]F. Berto [1]
  1. Knowability Relative to Information.Peter Hawke & Franz Berto - 2021 - Mind 130 (517):1-33.
    We present a formal semantics for epistemic logic, capturing the notion of knowability relative to information (KRI). Like Dretske, we move from the platitude that what an agent can know depends on her (empirical) information. We treat operators of the form K_AB (‘B is knowable on the basis of information A’) as variably strict quantifiers over worlds with a topic- or aboutness- preservation constraint. Variable strictness models the non-monotonicity of knowledge acquisition while allowing knowledge to be intrinsically stable. Aboutness-preservation models (...)
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  2. Impossible Worlds and the Logic of Imagination.Francesco Berto - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1277-1297.
    I want to model a finite, fallible cognitive agent who imagines that p in the sense of mentally representing a scenario—a configuration of objects and properties—correctly described by p. I propose to capture imagination, so understood, via variably strict world quantifiers, in a modal framework including both possible and so-called impossible worlds. The latter secure lack of classical logical closure for the relevant mental states, while the variability of strictness captures how the agent imports information from actuality in the imagined (...)
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  3. Topics of Thought. The Logic of Knowledge, Belief, Imagination.Franz Berto, Peter Hawke & Aybüke Özgün - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    When one thinks—knows, believes, imagines—that something is the case, one’s thought has a topic: it is about something, towards which one’s mind is directed. What is the logic of thought, so understood? This book begins to explore the idea that, to answer the question, we should take topics seriously. It proposes a hyperintensional account of the propositional contents of thought, arguing that these are individuated not only by the set of possible worlds at which they are true, but also by (...)
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  4. Negation on the Australian Plan.Francesco Berto & Greg Restall - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (6):1119-1144.
    We present and defend the Australian Plan semantics for negation. This is a comprehensive account, suitable for a variety of different logics. It is based on two ideas. The first is that negation is an exclusion-expressing device: we utter negations to express incompatibilities. The second is that, because incompatibility is modal, negation is a modal operator as well. It can, then, be modelled as a quantifier over points in frames, restricted by accessibility relations representing compatibilities and incompatibilities between such points. (...)
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  5. Simple Hyperintensional Belief Revision.F. Berto - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (3):559-575.
    I present a possible worlds semantics for a hyperintensional belief revision operator, which reduces the logical idealization of cognitive agents affecting similar operators in doxastic and epistemic logics, as well as in standard AGM belief revision theory. (Revised) belief states are not closed under classical logical consequence; revising by inconsistent information does not perforce lead to trivialization; and revision can be subject to ‘framing effects’: logically or necessarily equivalent contents can lead to different revisions. Such results are obtained without resorting (...)
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  6. Dynamic Hyperintensional Belief Revision.Aybüke Özgün & Francesco Berto - 2021 - Review of Symbolic Logic (3):766-811.
    We propose a dynamic hyperintensional logic of belief revision for non-omniscient agents, reducing the logical omniscience phenomena affecting standard doxastic/epistemic logic as well as AGM belief revision theory. Our agents don’t know all a priori truths; their belief states are not closed under classical logical consequence; and their belief update policies are such that logically or necessarily equivalent contents can lead to different revisions. We model both plain and conditional belief, then focus on dynamic belief revision. The key idea we (...)
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  7. Truth in Fiction, Impossible Worlds, and Belief Revision.Francesco Berto & Christopher Badura - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):178-193.
    We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's [1978] ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
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  8. Aboutness in Imagination.Franz Berto - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1871-1886.
    I present a formal theory of the logic and aboutness of imagination. Aboutness is understood as the relation between meaningful items and what they concern, as per Yablo and Fine’s works on the notion. Imagination is understood as per Chalmers’ positive conceivability: the intentional state of a subject who conceives that p by imagining a situation—a configuration of objects and properties—verifying p. So far aboutness theory has been developed mainly for linguistic representation, but it is natural to extend it to (...)
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  9. Voluntary Imagination: A Fine-Grained Analysis.Ilaria Canavotto, Francesco Berto & Alessandro Giordani - 2020 - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-26.
    We study imagination as reality-oriented mental simulation : the activity of simulating nonactual scenarios in one’s mind, to investigate what would happen if they were realized. Three connected questions concerning ROMS are: What is the logic, if there is one, of such an activity? How can we gain new knowledge via it? What is voluntary in it and what is not? We address them by building a list of core features of imagination as ROMS, drawing on research in cognitive psychology (...)
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  10. Indicative Conditionals: Probabilities and Relevance.Franz Berto & Aybüke Özgün - 2021 - Philosophical Studies (11):3697-3730.
    We propose a new account of indicative conditionals, giving acceptability and logical closure conditions for them. We start from Adams’ Thesis: the claim that the acceptability of a simple indicative equals the corresponding conditional probability. The Thesis is widely endorsed, but arguably false and refuted by empirical research. To fix it, we submit, we need a relevance constraint: we accept a simple conditional 'If φ, then ψ' to the extent that (i) the conditional probability p(ψ|φ) is high, provided that (ii) (...)
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  11. Conceivability and possibility: some dilemmas for Humeans.Francesco Berto & Tom Schoonen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2697-2715.
    The Humean view that conceivability entails possibility can be criticized via input from cognitive psychology. A mainstream view here has it that there are two candidate codings for mental representations (one of them being, according to some, reducible to the other): the linguistic and the pictorial, the difference between the two consisting in the degree of arbitrariness of the representation relation. If the conceivability of P at issue for Humeans involves the having of a linguistic mental representation, then it is (...)
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  12. The Fundamental Problem of Logical Omniscience.Peter Hawke, Aybüke Özgün & Francesco Berto - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (4):727-766.
    We propose a solution to the problem of logical omniscience in what we take to be its fundamental version: as concerning arbitrary agents and the knowledge attitude per se. Our logic of knowledge is a spin-off from a general theory of thick content, whereby the content of a sentence has two components: an intension, taking care of truth conditions; and a topic, taking care of subject matter. We present a list of plausible logical validities and invalidities for the logic of (...)
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  13. 'Logic Will Get You From A to B, Imagination Will Take You Anywhere'.Francesco Berto - 2023 - Noûs.
    There is some consensus on the claim that imagination as suppositional thinking can have epistemic value insofar as it’s constrained by a principle of minimal alteration of how we know or believe reality to be – compatibly with the need to accommodate the supposition initiating the imaginative exercise. But in the philosophy of imagination there is no formally precise account of how exactly such minimal alteration is to work. I propose one. I focus on counterfactual imagination, arguing that this can (...)
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  14. Hyperintensionality.Francesco Berto & Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of hyperintensionality is provided. Hyperintensional languages have expressions with meanings that are more fine-grained than necessary equivalence. That is, the expressions may necessarily co-apply and yet be distinct in meaning. Adequately accounting for theories cast in hyperintensional languages is important in the philosophy of language; the philosophy of mind; metaphysics; and elsewhere. This entry presents a number of areas in which hyperintensionality is important; a range of approaches to theorising about hyperintensional matters; and a range of debates that (...)
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  15. The Logic of Framing Effects.Francesco Berto & Aybüke Özgün - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (3):939-962.
    _Framing effects_ concern the having of different attitudes towards logically or necessarily equivalent contents. Framing is of crucial importance for cognitive science, behavioral economics, decision theory, and the social sciences at large. We model a typical kind of framing, grounded in (i) the structural distinction between beliefs activated in working memory and beliefs left inactive in long term memory, and (ii) the topic- or subject matter-sensitivity of belief: a feature of propositional attitudes which is attracting growing research attention. We introduce (...)
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  16. Existence as a Real Property: The Ontology of Meinongianism.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Dordrecht: Synthèse Library, Springer.
    This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...)
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  17. Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide.Francesco Berto & Matteo Plebani - 2015 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Edited by Matteo Plebani.
    'Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide' is a clear and accessible survey of ontology, focussing on the most recent trends in the discipline. -/- Divided into parts, the first half characterizes metaontology: the discourse on the methodology of ontological inquiry, covering the main concepts, tools, and methods of the discipline, exploring the notions of being and existence, ontological commitment, paraphrase strategies, fictionalist strategies, and other metaontological questions. The second half considers a series of case studies, introducing and familiarizing the reader (...)
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  18. A Modality Called ‘Negation’.Francesco Berto - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):761-793.
    I propose a comprehensive account of negation as a modal operator, vindicating a moderate logical pluralism. Negation is taken as a quantifier on worlds, restricted by an accessibility relation encoding the basic concept of compatibility. This latter captures the core meaning of the operator. While some candidate negations are then ruled out as violating plausible constraints on compatibility, different specifications of the notion of world support different logical conducts for negations. The approach unifies in a philosophically motivated picture the following (...)
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  19. Modal meinongianism and fiction: The best of three worlds.Francesco Berto - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):313-35.
    We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...)
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  20. On Conceiving the Inconsistent.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (1pt1):103-121.
    I present an approach to our conceiving absolute impossibilities—things which obtain at no possible world—in terms of ceteris paribus intentional operators: variably restricted quantifiers on possible and impossible worlds based on world similarity. The explicit content of a representation plays a role similar in some respects to the one of a ceteris paribus conditional antecedent. I discuss how such operators invalidate logical closure for conceivability, and how similarity works when impossible worlds are around. Unlike what happens with ceteris paribus counterfactual (...)
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  21. Impossible worlds and propositions: Against the parity thesis.Francesco Berto - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):471-486.
    Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian worlds, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions (...)
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  22. Truth, Topicality, and Transparency: One-Component Versus Two-Component Semantics.Peter Hawke, Levin Hornischer & Franz Berto - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    When do two sentences say the same thing, that is, express the same content? We defend two-component (2C) semantics: the view that propositional contents comprise (at least) two irreducibly distinct constituents, (1) truth-conditions, and (2) subject-matter. We contrast 2C with one-component (1C) semantics, focusing on the view that subject-matter is reducible to truth- conditions. We identify exponents of this view and argue in favor of 2C. An appendix proposes a general formal template for propositional 2C semantics.
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  23. Williamson on Indicatives and Suppositional Heuristics.Franz Berto - 2022 - Synthese (1):1-12.
    Timothy Williamson has defended the claim that the semantics of the indicative ‘if’ is given by the material conditional. Putative counterexamples can be handled by better understanding the role played in our assessment of indicatives by a fallible cognitive heuristic, called the Suppositional Procedure. Williamson’s Suppositional Conjecture has it that the Suppositional Procedure is humans’ primary way of prospectively assessing conditionals. This paper raises some doubts on the Suppositional Procedure and Conjecture.
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  24. Paraconsistency: Logic and Applications.Francesco Berto, Edwin Mares, Koji Tanaka & Francesco Paoli (eds.) - 2013 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    A logic is called 'paraconsistent' if it rejects the rule called 'ex contradictione quodlibet', according to which any conclusion follows from inconsistent premises. While logicians have proposed many technically developed paraconsistent logical systems and contemporary philosophers like Graham Priest have advanced the view that some contradictions can be true, and advocated a paraconsistent logic to deal with them, until recent times these systems have been little understood by philosophers. This book presents a comprehensive overview on paraconsistent logical systems to change (...)
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  25. Modal Meinongianism and Object Theory.Francesco Berto, Filippo Casati, Naoya Fujikawa & Graham Priest - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Logic 17 (1):1-21.
    We reply to various arguments by Otavio Bueno and Edward Zalta (‘Object Theory and Modal Meinongianism’) against Modal Meinongianism, including that it presupposes, but cannot maintain, a unique denotation for names of fictional characters, and that it is not generalizable to higher-order objects. We individuate the crucial difference between Modal Meinongianism and Object Theory in the former’s resorting to an apparatus of worlds, possible and impossible, for the representational purposes for which the latter resorts to a distinction between two kinds (...)
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  26. Absolute Contradiction, Dialetheism, and Revenge.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (2):193-207.
    Is there a notion of contradiction—let us call it, for dramatic effect, “absolute”—making all contradictions, so understood, unacceptable also for dialetheists? It is argued in this paper that there is, and that spelling it out brings some theoretical benefits. First it gives us a foothold on undisputed ground in the methodologically difficult debate on dialetheism. Second, we can use it to express, without begging questions, the disagreement between dialetheists and their rivals on the nature of truth. Third, dialetheism has an (...)
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  27. Άδύνατον and material exclusion 1.Francesco Berto - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):165 – 190.
    Philosophical dialetheism, whose main exponent is Graham Priest, claims that some contradictions hold, are true, and it is rational to accept and assert them. Such a position is naturally portrayed as a challenge to the Law of Non-Contradiction (LNC). But all the classic formulations of the LNC are, in a sense, not questioned by a typical dialetheist, since she is (cheerfully) required to accept them by her own theory. The goal of this paper is to develop a formulation of the (...)
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  28. The world is either digital or analogue.Francesco Berto & Jacopo Tagliabue - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3):481-497.
    We address an argument by Floridi (Synthese 168(1):151–178, 2009; 2011a), to the effect that digital and analogue are not features of reality, only of modes of presentation of reality. One can therefore have an informational ontology, like Floridi’s Informational Structural Realism, without commitment to a supposedly digital or analogue world. After introducing the topic in Sect. 1, in Sect. 2 we explain what the proposition expressed by the title of our paper means. In Sect. 3, we describe Floridi’s argument. In (...)
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  29. The gödel paradox and Wittgenstein's reasons.Francesco Berto - 2009 - Philosophia Mathematica 17 (2):208-219.
    An interpretation of Wittgenstein’s much criticized remarks on Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem is provided in the light of paraconsistent arithmetic: in taking Gödel’s proof as a paradoxical derivation, Wittgenstein was drawing the consequences of his deliberate rejection of the standard distinction between theory and metatheory. The reasoning behind the proof of the truth of the Gödel sentence is then performed within the formal system itself, which turns out to be inconsistent. It is shown that the features of paraconsistent arithmetics match (...)
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  30. The Logic of Fast and Slow Thinking.Anthia Solaki, Francesco Berto & Sonja Smets - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):733-762.
    We present a framework for epistemic logic, modeling the logical aspects of System 1 and System 2 cognitive processes, as per dual process theories of reasoning. The framework combines non-normal worlds semantics with the techniques of Dynamic Epistemic Logic. It models non-logically-omniscient, but moderately rational agents: their System 1 makes fast sense of incoming information by integrating it on the basis of their background knowledge and beliefs. Their System 2 allows them to slowly, step-wise unpack some of the logical consequences (...)
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  31. Cognitive synonymy: a dead parrot?Francesco Berto & Levin Hornischer - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2727-2752.
    Sentences \(\varphi\) and \(\psi\) are _cognitive synonyms_ for one when they play the same role in one’s cognitive life. The notion is pervasive (Sect. 1 ), but elusive: it is bound to be hyperintensional (Sect. 2 ), but excessive fine-graining would trivialize it and there are reasons for some coarse-graining (Sect. 2.1 ). Conceptual limitations stand in the way of a natural algebra (Sect. 2.2 ), and it should be sensitive to subject matters (Sect. 2.3 ). A cognitively adequate individuation (...)
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  32. Modal Meinongianism and Characterization.Francesco Berto & Graham Priest - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):183-200.
    In this paper we reply to arguments of Kroon (“Characterization and Existence in Modal Meinongianism”. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86, 23–34) to the effect that Modal Meinongianism cannot do justice to Meinongian claims such as that the golden mountain is golden, and that it does not exist.
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  33. Adding 4.0241 to TLP.Franz Berto - 2019 - In Gabriele Mras, Paul Weingartner & Bernhard Ritter (eds.), Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics: Proceedings of the 41st International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 415-428.
    Tractatus 4.024 inspired the dominant semantics of our time: truth-conditional semantics. Such semantics is focused on possible worlds: the content of p is the set of worlds where p is true. It has become increasingly clear that such an account is, at best, defective: we need an ‘independent factor in meaning, constrained but not determined by truth-conditions’ (Yablo 2014, p. 2), because sentences can be differently true at the same possible worlds. I suggest a missing comment which, had it been (...)
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  34. Is Dialetheism an Idealism? The Russellian Fallacy and the Dialetheist’s Dilemma.Francesco Berto - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (2):235–263.
    In his famous work on vagueness, Russell named “fallacy of verbalism” the fallacy that consists in mistaking the properties of words for the properties of things. In this paper, I examine two (clusters of) mainstream paraconsistent logical theories – the non-adjunctive and relevant approaches –, and show that, if they are given a strongly paraconsistent or dialetheic reading, the charge of committing the Russellian Fallacy can be raised against them in a sophisticated way, by appealing to the intuitive reading of (...)
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  35. To exist and to count: A note on the minimalist view.Francesco Berto & Massimiliano Carrara - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):343-356.
    Sometimes mereologists have problems with counting. We often don't want to count the parts of maximally connected objects as full-fledged objects themselves, and we don't want to count discontinuous objects as parts of further, full-fledged objects. But whatever one takes "full-fledged object" to mean, the axioms and theorems of classical, extensional mereology commit us to the existence both of parts and of wholes – all on a par, included in the domain of quantification – and this makes mereology look counterintuitive (...)
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  36. Hegel's dialectics as a semantic theory: An analytic reading.Francesco Berto - 2007 - European Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):19–39.
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  37. Teorie dell'assurdo: i rivali del principio di non-contraddizione.Francesco Berto - 2006 - Roma: Carocci.
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  38. There’s Plenty of Boole at the Bottom: A Reversible CA Against Information Entropy.Francesco Berto, Jacopo Tagliabue & Gabriele Rossi - 2016 - Minds and Machines 26 (4):341-357.
    “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom”, said the title of Richard Feynman’s 1959 seminal conference at the California Institute of Technology. Fifty years on, nanotechnologies have led computer scientists to pay close attention to the links between physical reality and information processing. Not all the physical requirements of optimal computation are captured by traditional models—one still largely missing is reversibility. The dynamic laws of physics are reversible at microphysical level, distinct initial states of a system leading to distinct final (...)
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  39. Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: an Issue in Meta-Ontology.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  40. The Selection Problem.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 262 (4):519-537.
    In 'Fiction and Fictionalism', Mark Sainsbury has recently dubbed “Selection Problem” a serious trouble for Meinongian object theories. Typically, Meinongianism has been phrased as a kind of realism on nonexistent objects : these are mind-independent things, not mental simulacra, having the properties they have independently from the activity of any cognitive agent. But how can one single out an object we have no causal acquaintance with, and which is devoid of spatiotemporal location, picking it out from a pre-determined, mind-independent set (...)
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  41. The Firmest of All Principles.Francesco Berto - 2015 - In Channa van Dijk, Eva van der Graaf, Michiel den Haan, Rosa de Jong, Christiaan Roodenburg, Dyane Til & Deva Waal (eds.), Under Influence - Philosophical Festival Drift (2014). Omnia. pp. 82-93.
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  42. Non-Normal Worlds and Representation.Francesco Berto - 2012 - In Michal Peliš & Vít Punčochář (eds.), The Logica Yearbook. College Publications.
    World semantics for relevant logics include so-called non-normal or impossible worlds providing model-theoretic counterexamples to such irrelevant entailments as (A ∧ ¬A) → B, A → (B∨¬B), or A → (B → B). Some well-known views interpret non-normal worlds as information states. If so, they can plausibly model our ability of conceiving or representing logical impossibilities. The phenomenon is explored by combining a formal setting with philosophical discussion. I take Priest’s basic relevant logic N4 and extend it, on the syntactic (...)
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