26 found
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  1. Multiple actualities and ontically vague identity.Robert Williams - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):134-154.
    Although the Evans argument against vague identity has been much discussed, proposah for blocking it have not so far satisfied general conditions which any solution ought to meet. Moreover, the relation between ontically vague identity and ontic vagueness more generally has not yet been satisfactorily addressed. I advocate a way of resisting the Evans argument which satisfies the conditions. To show how this approach can vindicate particular cases of ontically vague identity, I develop a framework for describing ontic vagueness in (...)
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  2. Chances, Counterfactuals, and Similarity.Robert Williams - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):385-420.
    John Hawthorne in a recent paper takes issue with Lewisian accounts of counterfactuals, when relevant laws of nature are chancy. I respond to his arguments on behalf of the Lewisian, and conclude that while some can be rebutted, the case against the original Lewisian account is strong.I develop a neo-Lewisian account of what makes for closeness of worlds. I argue that my revised version avoids Hawthorne’s challenges. I argue that this is closer to the spirit of Lewis’s first (non-chancy) proposal (...)
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  3. An Argument for Conjunction Conditionalization.Lee Walters & Robert Williams - 2013 - Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (4):573-588.
    Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certain semifactuals. Denying Conjunction Conditionalization, then, requires (...)
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  4. Probability and nonclassical logic.Robert Williams - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  5. Counterfactual Triviality: A Lewis-Impossibility Argument for Counterfactuals.Robert Williams - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):648-670.
    I formulate a counterfactual version of the notorious 'Ramsey Test'. Whereas the Ramsey Test for indicative conditionals links credence in indicatives to conditional credences, the counterfactual version links credence in counterfactuals to expected conditional chance. I outline two forms: a Ramsey Identity on which the probability of the conditional should be identical to the corresponding conditional probabihty/expectation of chance; and a Ramsey Bound on which credence in the conditional should never exceed the latter.Even in the weaker, bound, form, the counterfactual (...)
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  6. An argument for the many.Robert Williams - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (1):411-419.
    If one believes that vagueness is an exclusively representational phenomenon, one faces the problem of the many. In the vicinity of Kilimanjaro, there are many many ‘mountain candidates’ all, apparently, with more-or-less equal claim to be mountains. David Lewis has defended a radical claim: that all the billions of mountain candidates are mountains. This paper argues that the supervaluationist about vagueness should adopt Lewis’ proposal, on pain of losing their best explanation of the seductiveness of the sorites.
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  7. Angst, Indeterminacy and Conflicting Values.Robert Williams - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4):412-433.
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  8. Indeterminacy and Triviality.Paolo Santorio & Robert Williams - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Suppose that you're certain that a certain sentence, e.g. "Frida is tall", lacks a determinate truth value. What cognitive attitude should you take towards it—reject it, suspend judgment, or what else? We show that, by adopting a seemingly plausible principle connecting credence in A and Determinately A, we can prove a very implausible answer to this question: i.e., all indeterminate claims should be assigned credence zero. The result is striking similar to so-called triviality results in the literature on modals and (...)
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  9. Affect, desire and interpretation.Robert Williams - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Are interpersonal comparisons of desire possible? Can we give an account of how facts about desires are grounded, that underpins such comparisons? This paper supposes the answer to the first question is yes, and provides an account of the nature of desire that explains how this is so. The account is a modification of the interpretationist metaphysics of representation that the author has recently been developing. The modification is to allow phenomenological affective valence into the “base facts” on which correct (...)
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  10. Words by convention.Gail Leckie & Robert Williams - 2019 - In Ernie Lepore & David Sosa (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Language, Volume 1. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Existing metasemantic projects presuppose that word- (or sentence-) types are part of the non-semantic base. We propose a new strategy: an endogenous account of word types, that is, one where word types are fixed as part of the metasemantics. On this view, it is the conventions of truthfulness and trust that ground not only the meaning of the words (meaning by convention) but also what the word type is of each particular token utterance (words by convention). The same treatment extends (...)
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  11. Working parts: Reply to Mellor.Robert Williams - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:81-106.
    Two kinds of explanation might be put forward. The first goes like this: the necessary connection between the location of a whole and the location of its parts holds because the location of the whole is nothing but the collective location of its parts. The second style of explanation goes like this: the connection holds because what it is for a material whole to have something as a part, is (perhaps among other things) for the whole to contain the part.
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  12. Consequences of Calibration.Robert Williams & Richard Pettigrew - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:14.
    Drawing on a passage from Ramsey's Truth and Probability, we formulate a simple, plausible constraint on evaluating the accuracy of credences: the Calibration Test. We show that any additive, continuous accuracy measure that passes the Calibration Test will be strictly proper. Strictly proper accuracy measures are known to support the touchstone results of accuracy-first epistemology, for example vindications of probabilism and conditionalization. We show that our use of Calibration is an improvement on previous such appeals by showing how it answers (...)
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  13. Vagueness, conditionals and probability.Robert Williams - 2009 - Erkenntnis 70 (2):151 - 171.
    This paper explores the interaction of well-motivated (if controversial) principles governing the probability conditionals, with accounts of what it is for a sentence to be indefinite. The conclusion can be played in a variety of ways. It could be regarded as a new reason to be suspicious of the intuitive data about the probability of conditionals; or, holding fixed the data, it could be used to give traction on the philosophical analysis of a contentious notion—indefiniteness. The paper outlines the various (...)
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  14. Aristotelian indeterminacy and the open future.Robert Williams - manuscript
    I explore the thesis that the future is open, in the sense that future contingents are neither true nor false. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first, I survey how the thesis arises on a variety of contemporary views on the metaphysics of time. In the second, I explore the consequences for rational belief of the ‘Aristotelian’ view that indeterminacy is characterized by truth-value gaps. In the third, I outline one line of defence for the Aristotelian against (...)
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  15. Commitment Problems in the naive theory of belief.Robert Williams - forthcoming - In Dirk Kindermann, Peter van Elswyk, Andy Egan & Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini (eds.), Unstructured Content. Oxford University Press.
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  16. Davidson on Reference.Robert Williams - 2013 - In Ernie Lepore & Kurt Ludwig (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Donald Davidson. Blackwell.
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  17. Gavagai Again.Robert Williams - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):235 - 259.
    Quine (1960, "Word and object". Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. 'Rabbit' might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous 'argument from below' to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the (...)
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  18. Vagueness.Robert Williams - 2011 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Graff Fara (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. New York, USA: Routledge.
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  19. Logical norms, accuracy and degree of belief.Robert Williams - 2015 - In Colin R. Caret & Ole T. Hjortland (eds.), Foundations of Logical Consequence. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
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  20. On Sider on naturalness.Robert Williams - manuscript
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  21. Suppositions, Revisions and Decisions.Daniel Y. Elstein & Robert Williams - manuscript
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  22. Classical indeterminacy.Robert Williams - manuscript
    This is an old draft of a paper that seeks to find the minimum cognitive/practical role for indeterminacy that we get if we assume a fully classical logic and semantics, but reject epistemicism. The ambition is to connect that classical setting to the framework for rational belief and decision I described in "Decision Making under Indeterminacy".
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  23. Metaphysical indeterminacy, supervenience, and emergence.Robert Williams - manuscript
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  24. A non-pragmatic dominance argument for conditionalization.Robert Williams - manuscript
    In this paper, I provide an accuracy-based argument for conditionalization (via reflection) that does not rely on norms of maximizing expected accuracy. -/- (This is a draft of a paper that I wrote in 2013. It stalled for no very good reason. I still believe the content is right).
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  25. 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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  26. Vagueness and Degrees of Truth, by Nicholas J. J. Smith. [REVIEW]Robert Williams - 2011 - Mind 120 (480):1297-1305.
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