Results for 'Naturalness'

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  1. Analyses of Intrinsicality in Terms of Naturalness.Daniel Graham Marshall - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (8):531-542.
    Over the last thirty years there have been a number of attempts to analyse the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties in terms of the facts about naturalness. This article discusses the three most influential of these attempts, each of which involve David Lewis. These are Lewis's 1983 analysis, his 1986 analysis, and his joint 1998 analysis with Rae Langton.
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  2.  96
    Epistemological Naturalness: What is a Good Heuristic Strategy Good For?Matej Drobňák - 2018 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 27 (1):85-104.
    According to the standard interpretation of Lewis’s theory of predicate meaning (the U&N theory), the naturalness of meaning candidates should be stated metaphysically - as a length of definition in terms of fundamental properties. Recently, Weatherson has criticized the U&N theory and argued that the criterion of naturalness should be stated epistemologically - as the amount of evidence needed to form a belief. Despite the criticism, his attitude towards the U&N theory is quite relaxed. According to Weatherson, the (...)
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  3. Naturalness: Beyond Animal Welfare.Albert W. Musschenga - 2002 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 15 (2):171-186.
    There is an ongoing debate in animalethics on the meaning and scope of animalwelfare. In certain broader views, leading anatural life through the development of naturalcapabilities is also headed under the conceptof animal welfare. I argue that a concern forthe development of natural capabilities of ananimal such as expressed when living freelyshould be distinguished from the preservationof the naturalness of its behavior andappearance. However, it is not always clearwhere a plea for natural living changes overinto a plea for the (...)
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  4. Is Naturalness Natural?Thompson Naomi - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):381-396.
    Abstract -/- The perfectly natural properties and relations are special—they are all and only those that "carve nature at its joints." They act as reference magnets, form a minimal supervenience base, figure in fundamental physics and in the laws of nature, and never divide duplicates within or between worlds. If the perfectly natural properties are the (metaphysically) important ones, we should expect being a perfectly natural property to itself be one of the (perfectly) natural properties. This paper argues that being (...)
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  5.  25
    Naturalness of Properties and Simplicity of Theories.Matej Drobňák - 2019 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 41 (1):3-19.
    In this paper, I discuss a specific approach to measuring and comparing the simplicity of theories that is based on Lewis’s notion of fundamental properties. In particular, I discuss the criterion of simplicity as stated by Williams. According to Williams, the best candidate for a theory is the one which has the shortest definition in terms of fundamental properties. The aim of this paper is to show that the criterion thus specified has two constraints. First, the criterion is not applicable (...)
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  6. Naturalness as a Constraint on Priors.Darren Bradley - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):179-203.
    Many epistemological problems can be solved by the objective Bayesian view that there are rationality constraints on priors, that is, inductive probabilities. But attempts to work out these constraints have run into such serious problems that many have rejected objective Bayesianism altogether. I argue that the epistemologist should borrow the metaphysician’s concept of naturalness and assign higher priors to more natural hypotheses.
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  7. Intrinsicality Without Naturalness.D. Gene Witmer, William Butchard & Kelly Trogdon - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):326–350.
    Defense of an account of intrinsic properties in terms of (what is now called) grounding rather than naturalness.
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  8. Parthood and Naturalness.M. Eddon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3163-3180.
    Is part of a perfectly natural, or fundamental, relation? Philosophers have been hesitant to take a stand on this issue. One reason for this hesitancy is the worry that, if parthood is perfectly natural, then the perfectly natural properties and relations are not suitably “independent” of one another. In this paper, I argue that parthood is a perfectly natural relation. In so doing, I argue that this “independence” worry is unfounded. I conclude by noting some consequences of the naturalness (...)
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  9. Naturalness and Artificiality in Bioethics.Gregor Schiemann - 2012 - In S. Schleidgen (ed.), Human Nature and Self Design. Mentis.
    I emphasize the difference between bioethics and sciences that are relevant to bioethics on the one hand and the lifeworld on the other hand, to which problems of bioethics apply. The difference between types of experience in the scientific realm and in the lifeworld is reflected by the different definitions of nature they tend to favor. Against this background, I will claim that the object domains of the natural and the artificial are indeed better separated in the context of everyday (...)
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  10. Naturalness.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2013 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 1.
    Lewis's notion of a "natural" property has proved divisive: some have taken to the notion with enthusiasm, while others have been sceptical. However, it is far from obvious what the enthusiasts and the sceptics are disagreeing about. This paper attempts to articulate what is at stake in this debate.
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  11. The Role of Naturalness in Lewis's Theory of Meaning.Brian Weatherson - 2013 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (10).
    Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...)
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  12. The Naturalness of the Naturalistic Fallacy and the Ethics of Nanotechnology.Mauro Dorato - 2013 - In The Role of Technology in Science: Philosophical Perspectives. Springer Verlag.
    In the first part of this paper, I try to clear the ground from frequent misconceptions about the relationship between fact and value by examining some uses of the adjective “natural” in ethical controversies. Such uses bear evidence to our “natural” tendency to regard nature (considered in a descriptive sense, as the complex of physical and biological regularities) as the source of ethical norms. I then try to account for the origin of this tendency by offering three related explanations, the (...)
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  13. Excellent Beauty: The Naturalness of Religion and the Unnaturalness of the World.Eric Dietrich - 2015 - Columbia University Press.
    Flipping convention on its head, Eric Dietrich argues that science uncovers awe-inspiring, enduring mysteries, while religion, regarded as the source for such mysteries, is a biological phenomenon. Just like spoken language, Dietrich shows that religion is an evolutionary adaptation. Science is the source of perplexing yet beautiful mysteries, however natural the search for answers may be to human existence. _Excellent Beauty_ undoes our misconception of scientific inquiry as an executioner of beauty, making the case that science has won the battle (...)
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  14. Naturalness and Convex Class Nominalism.Ben Blumson - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (1-2):65-81.
    In this paper I argue that the analysis of natural properties as convex subsets of a metric space in which the distances are degrees of dissimilarity is incompatible with both the definition of degree of dissimilarity as number of natural properties not in common and the definition of degree of dissimilarity as proportion of natural properties not in common, since in combination with either of these definitions it entails that every property is a natural property, which is absurd. I suggest (...)
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  15. On Sider on Naturalness.Robert Williams - manuscript
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  16.  46
    Erratum To: Parthood and Naturalness.M. Eddon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3181-3181.
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  17. Structure.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 387-395.
    An exploration of ground’s connections to structure (joint-carving, naturalness). The notion of structure is often invoked in connection to ground, because grounding is understood to impose constraints on the ‘structure of reality’. There is another, technical sense of structure, sometimes captured with reference to the notion of ‘joint-carving’. Both of these senses of structure as well as their potential connections are discussed.
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  18. Logically Simple Properties and Relations.Jan Plate - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16:1-40.
    This paper presents an account of what it is for a property or relation (or ‘attribute’ for short) to be logically simple. Based on this account, it is shown, among other things, that the logically simple attributes are in at least one important way sparse. This in turn lends support to the view that the concept of a logically simple attribute can be regarded as a promising substitute for Lewis’s concept of a perfectly natural attribute. At least in part, the (...)
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  19. Conceptual Evaluation: Epistemic.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Ethics and Conceptual Engineering. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 304-332.
    On a view implicitly endorsed by many, a concept is epistemically better than another if and because it does a better job at ‘carving at the joints', or if the property corresponding to it is ‘more natural' than the one corresponding to another. This chapter offers an argument against this seemingly plausible thought, starting from three key observations about the way we use and evaluate concepts from en epistemic perspective: that we look for concepts that play a role in explanations (...)
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  20. Reading ‘Writing the Book of the World’.Cian Dorr - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):717-724.
    This paper is a response to Theodore Sider's book, Writing the Book of the World. It raises some puzzles about Sider's favoured methodology for finding out about naturalness (or 'structure').
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  21. Normative Appeals to the Natural.Pekka Väyrynen - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):279 - 314.
    Surprisingly, many ethical realists and anti-realists, naturalists and not, all accept some version of the following normative appeal to the natural (NAN): evaluative and normative facts hold solely in virtue of natural facts, where their naturalness is part of what fits them for the job. This paper argues not that NAN is false but that NAN has no adequate non-parochial justification (a justification that relies only on premises which can be accepted by more or less everyone who accepts NAN) (...)
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  22.  60
    Modality.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 348-360.
    A survey of the connection between grounding and modality, in particular supervenience. The survey explores three possible connections between grounding and supervenience: (1) supervenience can be analyzed in terms of grounding, (2) grounded facts supervene on their grounds, and (3) grounding and supervenience overlap in their theoretical roles.
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  23.  46
    Disjunction and the Logic of Grounding.Giovanni Merlo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Many philosophers have been attracted to the idea of using the logical form of a true sentence as a guide to the metaphysical grounds of the fact stated by that sentence. This paper looks at a particular instance of that idea: the widely accepted principle that disjunctions are grounded in their true disjuncts. I will argue that an unrestricted version of this principle has several problematic consequences and that it’s not obvious how the principle might be restricted in order to (...)
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  24. The Inscrutability of Reference.Robert Williams - 2005 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    The metaphysics of representation poses questions such as: in virtue of what does a sentence, picture, or mental state represent that the world is a certain way? In the first instance, I have focused on the semantic properties of language: for example, what is it for a name such as ‘London’ to refer to something? Interpretationism concerning what it is for linguistic expressions to have meaning, says that constitutively, semantic facts are fixed by best semantic theory. As here developed, it (...)
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  25. The Natural Definition of Reality.Jonathan Ochs - 2013 - Aporia 23 (2):13-23.
    The problem with ontological commitment is that when we symbolize the statements that we make about what 'exists' or what is 'real', they do not always translate to exactly that which we intend to express. In this essay, I explore the relation between 'Reality' and how we describe reality. I evaluate the accounts of three prominent philosophers on the topic, address their shortcomings, and introduce my own account; which I call "The Natural Definition of Reality".
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  26.  95
    Ways of Thinking About Ways of Being.Bradley Rettler - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Monism about being says that there is one way to be. Pluralism about being says that there are many ways to be. Recently, Trenton Merricks and David Builes have offered arguments against Pluralism. In this paper, I show how Pluralists who appeal to the relative naturalness of quantifiers can respond to these arguments.
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  27. Where Philosophical Intuitions Come From.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):233-249.
    Intuitions play a central role in analytic philosophy, but their psychological basis is little understood. This paper provides an empirically-informed, psychological char- acterization of philosophical intuitions. Drawing on McCauley’s distinction between maturational and practiced naturalness, I argue that philosophical intuitions originate from several early-developed, specialized domains of core knowledge (maturational naturalness). Eliciting and deploying such intuitions in argumentative contexts is the domain of philosophical expertise, thus philosophical intuitions are also practiced nat- ural. This characterization has implications for the (...)
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  28. Darwin and the Problem of Natural Nonbelief.Jason Marsh - 2013 - The Monist 96 (3):349-376.
    Problem one: why, if God designed the human mind, did it take so long for humans to develop theistic concepts and beliefs? Problem two: why would God use evolution to design the living world when the discovery of evolution would predictably contribute to so much nonbelief in God? Darwin was aware of such questions but failed to see their evidential significance for theism. This paper explores this significance. Problem one introduces something I call natural nonbelief, which is significant because it (...)
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  29. Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
    This paper develops and motivates a unification theory of metaphysical explanation, or as I will call it, Metaphysical Unificationism. The theory’s main inspiration is the unification account of scientific explanation, according to which explanatoriness is a holistic feature of theories that derive a large number of explananda from a meager set of explanantia, using a small number of argument patterns. In developing Metaphysical Unificationism, I will point out that it has a number of interesting consequences. The view offers a novel (...)
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  30. Fundamental Properties of Fundamental Properties.M. Eddon - 2013 - In Karen Bennett Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 8. pp. 78-104.
    Since the publication of David Lewis's ''New Work for a Theory of Universals,'' the distinction between properties that are fundamental – or perfectly natural – and those that are not has become a staple of mainstream metaphysics. Plausible candidates for perfect naturalness include the quantitative properties posited by fundamental physics. This paper argues for two claims: (1) the most satisfying account of quantitative properties employs higher-order relations, and (2) these relations must be perfectly natural, for otherwise the perfectly natural (...)
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  31.  18
    Skill and Expertise in Three Schools of Classical Chinese Thought.Hagop Sarkissian - forthcoming - In Ellen Fridland & Carlotta Pavese (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Skill and Expertise. Routledge.
    The classical Chinese philosophical tradition (ca. 6th to 3rd centuries BCE) contains rich discussion of skill and expertise. Various texts exalt skilled exemplars (whether historical persons or fictional figures) who guide and inspire those seeking virtuosity within a particular dao (guiding teaching or way of life). These texts share a preoccupation with flourishing, or uncovering and articulating the constituents of an exemplary life. Some core features thought requisite to leading such a life included spontaneity, naturalness, and effortless ease. However, (...)
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  32. Letting Go of “Natural Kind”: Toward a Multidimensional Framework of Nonarbitrary Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):31-52.
    This article uses the case study of ethnobiological classification to develop a positive and a negative thesis about the state of natural kind debates. On the one hand, I argue that current accounts of natural kinds can be integrated in a multidimensional framework that advances understanding of classificatory practices in ethnobiology. On the other hand, I argue that such a multidimensional framework does not leave any substantial work for the notion “natural kind” and that attempts to formulate a general account (...)
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  33. Revamping the Metaphysics of Ethnobiological Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Current Anthropology 59 (4):415-438.
    Ethnobiology has a long tradition of metaphysical debates about the “naturalness,” “objectivity”, “reality”, and “universality” of classifications. Especially the work of Brent Berlin has been influential in developing a “convergence metaphysics” that explains cross-cultural similarities of knowledge systems through shared recognition of objective discontinuities in nature. Despite its influence on the development of the field, convergence metaphysics has largely fallen out of favor as contemporary ethnobiologists tend to emphasize the locality and diversity of classificatory practices. The aim of this (...)
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  34. Second Nature and Recognition: Hegel and the Social Space.Italo Testa - 2009 - Critical Horizons 10 (3):341-370.
    In this article I intend to show the strict relation between the notions of “second nature” and “recognition”. To do so I begin with a problem (circularity) proper to the theory of Hegelian and post- Hegelian Anerkennung. The solution strategy I propose is signifi cant also in terms of bringing into focus the problems connected with a notion of “space of reasons” that stems from the Hegelian concept of “Spirit”. I thus broach the notion of “second nature” as a bridgeconcept (...)
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  35. Overall Similarity, Natural Properties, and Paraphrases.Ghislain Guigon - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):387-399.
    I call anti-resemblism the thesis that independently of any contextual specification there is no determinate fact of the matter about the comparative overall similarity of things. Anti-resemblism plays crucial roles in the philosophy of David Lewis. For instance, Lewis has argued that his counterpart theory is anti-essentialist on the grounds that counterpart relations are relations of comparative overall similarity and that anti-resemblism is true. After Lewis committed himself to a form of realism about natural properties he maintained that anti-resemblism is (...)
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  36. Natural Kinds.Zdenka Brzović - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, one group is privileged. Philosophy refers to such categories as natural kinds. Standard examples of such kinds include fundamental physical particles, chemical elements, and biological species. The term (...)
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  37.  46
    Rethinking Incest Avoidance: Beyond the Disciplinary Groove of Culture-First Views.Robert A. Wilson - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-14.
    In Wilson (2019), I articulated and defended a version of the Westermarck Effect by developing a phylogenetic argument that has purchase within primatology but that has had more limited appeal for cultural anthropologists due to their commitment to conventionalist or culture-first accounts of incest avoidance. Here I look to advance the discussion of incest and incest avoidance beyond culture-first accounts in two ways. First, I shall dig deeper into the disciplinary grooves within cultural anthropology that make attractive the view that (...)
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  38. Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories?Alexander Franklin - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Effective Quantum Field Theories (EFTs) are effective insofar as they apply within a prescribed range of length-scales, but within that range they predict and describe with extremely high accuracy and precision. The effectiveness of EFTs is explained by identifying the features – the scaling behaviour of the parameters – which lead to effectiveness. The explanation relies on distinguishing autonomy with respect to changes in microstates, from autonomy with respect to changes in microlaws, and relating these, respectively, to renormalisability and (...). It is claimed that the effectiveness of EFTs is a consequence of each theory’s microstate-autonomy rather than its microlaw-autonomy. (shrink)
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  39. Germ-Line Enhancement of Humans and Nonhumans.J. Robert Loftis - 2005 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15 (1):57-76.
    : The current difference in attitude toward germ-line enhancement in humans and nonhumans is unjustified. Society should be more cautious in modifying the genes of nonhumans and more bold in thinking about modifying our own genome. I identify four classes of arguments pertaining to germ-line enhancement: safety arguments, justice arguments, trust arguments, and naturalness arguments. The first three types are compelling, but do not distinguish between human and nonhuman cases. The final class of argument would justify a distinction between (...)
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  40. Re-Evaluating Reid's Response to Skepticism.Blake McAllister - 2016 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (3):317-339.
    I argue that some of the most prominent interpretations of Reid's response to skepticism marginalize a crucial aspect of his thought: namely, that our common sense beliefs meet whatever normative standards of rationality the skeptic might fairly demand of them. This should be seen as supplementary to reliabilist or proper functionalist interpretations of Reid, which often ignore this half of the story. I also show how Reid defends the rationality of believing first principles by appealing to their naturalness and (...)
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  41. The Mathematical Theory of Categories in Biology and the Concept of Natural Equivalence in Robert Rosen.Franck Varenne - 2013 - Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 66 (1):167-197.
    The aim of this paper is to describe and analyze the epistemological justification of a proposal initially made by the biomathematician Robert Rosen in 1958. In this theoretical proposal, Rosen suggests using the mathematical concept of “category” and the correlative concept of “natural equivalence” in mathematical modeling applied to living beings. Our questions are the following: According to Rosen, to what extent does the mathematical notion of category give access to more “natural” formalisms in the modeling of living beings? Is (...)
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  42. John S. Wilkins and Malte C. Ebach: The Nature of Classification: Relationships and Kinds in the Natural Sciences: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2014, Pp., Vii + 197, Price £60/$100.00.Catherine Kendig - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):477-479.
    John Wilkins and Malte Ebach respond to the dismissal of classification as something we need not concern ourselves with because it is, as Ernest Rutherford suggested, mere ‘‘stamp collecting.’’ They contend that classification is neither derivative of explanation or of hypothesis-making but is necessarily prior and prerequisite to it. Classification comes first and causal explanations are dependent upon it. As such it is an important (but neglected) area of philosophical study. Wilkins and Ebach reject Norwood Russell Hanson’s thesis that classification (...)
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  43.  38
    The Epistemology of Schelling's Philosophy of Nature.Naomi Fisher - 2017 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 34 (3):271-290.
    The philosophy of nature operates as one complete and systematic aspect of Schelling’s philosophy in the years 1797-1801 and as complement to Schelling’s transcendental philosophy at this time. The philosophy of nature comes with its own, naturalistic epistemology, according to which human natural productivity provides the basis for human access to nature’s own productive laws. On the basis of one’s natural productivity, one can consciously formulate principles which match nature’s own lawful principles. One refines these principles through a process of (...)
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  44. Reference Magnetism and the Reduction of Reference.J. R. G. Williams - manuscript
    *This work has turned into a bigger project, and some of it is published in "Lewis on reference".* Some things, argues Lewis, are just better candidates to be referents than others. Even at the cost of attributing false beliefs, we interpret people as referring to the most interesting kinds in their vicinity. How should this be accounted for? In section 1, I look at Lewis’s interpretationism, and the reference magnetism it builds in (not just for ‘perfectly natural’ properties, but for (...)
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  45. Review of Erik J. Wielenberg’s “Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism”. [REVIEW]Thomas Pölzler - 2015 - Ethical Perspectives 22 (3):509-513.
    Erik Wielenberg’s new book Robust Ethics: The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Godless Normative Realism aims at defending a non-theistic of ‘robust normative realism’: the metaethical view that normative properties exist, and have four features: (1) objectivity, (2) non-naturalness, (3) irreducibility, and (4) causal inertness. In my review I criticize that Wielenberg does not address semantic issues which are crucial both to defending robust normative realism, and to assessing the empirical claims he makes. Moreover, and relatedly, I suggest that Wielenberg’s (...)
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  46. The Metaphysical Significance of the Ugly-Duckling Theorem.Ben Blumson - manuscript
    According to Satosi Watanabe's "theorem of the ugly duckling", the number of predicates satisfied by any two different particulars is a constant, which does not depend on the choice of the two particulars. If the number of predicates satisfied by two particulars is their number of properties in common, and the degree of resemblance between two particulars is a function of their number of properties in common, then it follows that the degree of resemblance between any two different particulars is (...)
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  47.  99
    Identity Logics.John Corcoran & Stanley Ziewacz - 1979 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 20 (4):777-784.
    In this paper we prove the completeness of three logical systems I LI, IL2 and IL3. IL1 deals solely with identities {a = b), and its deductions are the direct deductions constructed with the three traditional rules: (T) from a = b and b = c infer a = c, (S) from a = b infer b = a and (A) infer a = a(from anything). IL2 deals solely with identities and inidentities {a ± b) and its deductions include both (...)
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  48.  47
    Die Beste Staatsverfassung Zwischen Komik Und Ernst.Jakub Jinek - 2016 - In J. Jinek – V. Konrádová (ed.), For Friends, All Is Shared. Prague: Oikúmené. pp. 44-59.
    The chapter, while exploring the interconnections between Plato’s Republic and Aristophanes’ Ecclesiazusae, postulates the existence of a third common source, which was presumably Hippodamus’ project of the best constitution. Hippodamus embraced the Pythagorean idea that the leading role in the polis should pertain to a group of morally and intellectually perfect philosophers who live on a communist basis; on this background, he proposed a tripartite functional division of the city. Aristophanes had adopted this model and reformulated it comically by identifying (...)
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