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Michael B. Burke
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
  1. Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
    This article offers a novel, conservative account of material constitution, one that incorporates sortal essentialism and features a theory of dominant sortals. It avoids coinciding objects, temporal parts, relativizations of identity, mereological essentialism, anti-essentialism, denials of the reality of the objects of our ordinary ontology, and other departures from the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. Defenses of the account against important objections are found in Burke 1997, 2003, and 2004, as well as in the often neglected six paragraphs (...)
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  2. Copper Statues and Pieces of Copper: A Challenge to the Standard Account.Michael B. Burke - 1992 - Analysis 52 (1):12 - 17.
    On the most popular account of material constitution, it is common for a material object to coincide precisely with one or more other material objects, ones that are composed of just the same matter but differ from it in sort. I argue that there is nothing that could ground the alleged difference in sort and that the account must be rejected.
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    Liberated Presentism.Michael B. Burke - forthcoming - Review of Metaphysics.
    The article gives a novel argument to show that there is sense of 'exists' suitable for posing a substantive issue between presentists and eternalists. It then seeks to invigorate a neglected variety of presentism. There are seven doctrines, widely accepted even among presentists, that create problems for presentism. Without distinguishing existence and being, presentists can comfortably reject all seven. Doing so would dispose of the majority of presentism’s problems. Further, it would enable presentists to reduce A-judgments to B-judgments, thereby insulating (...)
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  4. Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):129-139.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defend a surprising answer last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. For replies to critics, see my publications of 1997 and (especially) 2004.
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  5. Is My Head a Person?Michael B. Burke - 2003 - In K. Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag. pp. 107-125.
    It is hard to see why the head and other brain-containing parts of a person are not themselves persons, or at least thinking, conscious beings. Some theorists have sought to reconcile us to the existence of thinking person-parts. Others have sought ways to avoid them, but have relied on radical theories at odds with the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. This paper offers a novel, conservative solution, one on which the heads and other brain-containing parts of persons do (...)
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  6. Dion, Theon, and the Many-Thinkers Problem.Michael B. Burke - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):242–250.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? In Burke 1994, employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defended a surprising position last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. This paper defends that position against objections by Stone, Carter, Olson, and others. Most notably, it offers a novel, conservative solution (...)
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  7. Hume and Edwards on 'Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?'.Michael B. Burke - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):355–362.
    Suppose that five minutes ago, to our astonishment, a healthy, full-grown duck suddenly popped into existence on the table in front of us. Suppose further that there was no first time at which the duck existed but rather a last time, T, at which it had yet to exist. Then for each time t at which the duck has existed, there is an explanation of why the duck existed at t: there was a time t’ earlier than t but later (...)
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