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Stephen Barker [11]Stephen J. Barker [3]
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Stephen Barker
Nottingham University
  1. Being Positive About Negative Facts.Mark Jago & Stephen Barker - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):117-138.
    Negative facts get a bad press. One reason for this is that it is not clear what negative facts are. We provide a theory of negative facts on which they are no stranger than positive atomic facts. We show that none of the usual arguments hold water against this account. Negative facts exist in the usual sense of existence and conform to an acceptable Eleatic principle. Furthermore, there are good reasons to want them around, including their roles in causation, chance-making (...)
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  2. VIII-Cognitive Expressivism, Faultless Disagreement, and Absolute but Non-Objective Truth.Stephen J. Barker - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (2pt2):183-199.
    I offer a new theory of faultless disagreement, according to which truth is absolute (non-relative) but can still be non-objective. What's relative is truth-aptness: a sentence like ‘Vegemite is tasty’ (V) can be truth-accessible and bivalent in one context but not in another. Within a context in which V fails to be bivalent, we can affirm that there is no issue of truth or falsity about V, still disputants, affirming and denying V, were not at fault, since, in their context (...)
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  3. The Emperor's New Metaphysics of Powers.Stephen Barker - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):605-653.
    This paper argues that the new metaphysics of powers, also known as dispositional essentialism or causal structuralism, is an illusory metaphysics. I argue for this in the following way. I begin by distinguishing three fundamental ways of seeing how facts of physical modality — facts about physical necessitation and possibility, causation, disposition, and chance — are grounded in the world. The first way, call it the first degree, is that the actual world or all worlds, in their entirety, are the (...)
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  4. Irony and the Dogma of Force and Sense.Stephen J. Barker & Mihaela Popa-Wyatt - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):9-16.
    Frege’s distinction between force and sense is a central pillar of modern thinking about meaning. This is the idea that a self-standing utterance of a sentence S can be divided into two components. One is the proposition P that S’s linguistic meaning and context associates with it. The other is S’s illocutionary force. The force/sense distinction is associated with another thesis, the embedding principle, that implies that the only content that embeds in compound sentences is propositional content. We argue that (...)
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  5. Material Objects and Essential Bundle Theory.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2969-2986.
    In this paper we present a new metaphysical theory of material objects. On our theory, objects are bundles of property instances, where those properties give the nature or essence of that object. We call the theory essential bundle theory. Property possession is not analysed as bundle-membership, as in traditional bundle theories, since accidental properties are not included in the object’s bundle. We have a different story to tell about accidental property possession. This move reaps many benefits. Essential bundle theory delivers (...)
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  6. Monism and Material Constitution.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):189-204.
    Are the sculpture and the mass of gold which permanently makes it up one object or two? In this article, we argue that the monist, who answers ‘one object’, cannot accommodate the asymmetry of material constitution. To say ‘the mass of gold materially constitutes the sculpture, whereas the sculpture does not materially constitute the mass of gold’, the monist must treat ‘materially constitutes’ as an Abelardian predicate, whose denotation is sensitive to the linguistic context in which it appears. We motivate (...)
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  7. Pure Versus Hybrid Expressivism and the Enigma of Conventional Implicature.Stephen Barker - 2014 - In Guy Fletcher & Mike Ridge (eds.), Having it Both Ways: Hybrid Theories and Modern
Metaethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 199-222.
    Can hybridism about moral claims be made to work? I argue it can if we accept the conventional implicature approach developed in Barker (Analysis 2000). However, this kind of hybrid expressivism is only acceptable if we can make sense of conventional implicature, the kind of meaning carried by operators like ‘even’, ‘but’, etc. Conventional implictures are a form of pragmatic presupposition, which involves an unsaid mode of delivery of content. I argue that we can make sense of conventional implicatures, but (...)
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  8. Semantics Without the Distinction Between Sense and Force.Stephen J. Barker - 2007 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning, and Mind. Cambridge University Press.
    At the heart of semantics in the 20th century is Frege’s distinction between sense and force. This is the idea that the content of a self-standing utterance of a sentence S can be divided into two components. One part, the sense, is the proposition that S’s linguistic meaning and context associates with it as its semantic interpretation. The second component is S’s illocutionary force. Illocutionary forces correspond to the three basic kinds of sentential speech acts: assertions, orders, and questions. Forces (...)
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  9. Can Counterfactuals Really Be About Possible Worlds?Stephen Barker - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):557-576.
    The standard view about counterfactuals is that a counterfactual (A > C) is true if and only if the A-worlds most similar to the actual world @ are C-worlds. I argue that the worlds conception of counterfactuals is wrong. I assume that counterfactuals have non-trivial truth-values under physical determinism. I show that the possible-worlds approach cannot explain many embeddings of the form (P > (Q > R)), which intuitively are perfectly assertable, and which must be true if the contingent falsity (...)
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  10. Expressivism About Making and Truth-Making.Stephen Barker - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 272-293.
    My goal is to illuminate truth-making by way of illuminating the relation of making. My strategy is not to ask what making is, in the hope of a metaphysical theory about is nature. It's rather to look first to the language of making. The metaphor behind making refers to agency. It would be absurd to suggest that claims about making are claims about agency. It is not absurd, however, to propose that the concept of making somehow emerges from some feature (...)
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  11. Semantic Paradox and Alethic Undecidability.Stephen Barker - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):201-209.
    I use the principle of truth-maker maximalism to provide a new solution to the semantic paradoxes. According to the solution, AUS, its undecidable whether paradoxical sentences are grounded or ungrounded. From this it follows that their alethic status is undecidable. We cannot assert, in principle, whether paradoxical sentences are true, false, either true or false, neither true nor false, both true and false, and so on. AUS involves no ad hoc modification of logic, denial of the T-schema's validity, or obvious (...)
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  12. Expressivism About Reference and Quantification Over the Non-Existent Without Meinongian Metaphysics.Stephen Barker - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):215-234.
    Can we believe that there are non-existent entities without commitment to the Meinongian metaphysics? This paper argues we can. What leads us from quantification over non-existent beings to Meinongianism is a general metaphysical assumption about reality at large, and not merely quantification over the non-existent. Broadly speaking, the assumption is that every being we talk about must have a real definition. It’s this assumption that drives us to enquire into the nature of beings like Pegasus, and what our relationship as (...)
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  13. Counterfactual Analyses of Causation: The Problem of Effects and Epiphenomena Revisited.Stephen Barker - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):133–150.
    I argue that Lewis's counterfactual theory of causation, given his treatment of counterfactuals in terms of world-comparative similarity faces insuperable problems in the form of the problem of effects and the problem of epiphenomena.
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  14. Truth-Bearers and the Unsaid.Stephen Barker - 2011 - In Ken Turner (ed.), Making Semantics Pragmatic. Cambridge University Press.
    I argue that conventional implicatures embed in logical compounds, and are non-truth-conditional contributors to sentence meaning. This, I argue has significant implications for how we understand truth, truth-conditional content, and truth-bearers.
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