Results for 'Stephen Laurence'

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Stephen Laurence
University of Sheffield
  1. Abstraction and the Origin of General Ideas.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12:1-22.
    Philosophers have often claimed that general ideas or representations have their origin in abstraction, but it remains unclear exactly what abstraction as a psychological process consists in. We argue that the Lockean aspiration of using abstraction to explain the origins of all general representations cannot work and that at least some general representations have to be innate. We then offer an explicit framework for understanding abstraction, one that treats abstraction as a computational process that operates over an innate quality space (...)
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  2. Defending the Martian Argument.Steffen Borge - 2006 - Disputatio 1 (20):1 - 9.
    The Chomskian holds that the grammars that linguists produce are about human psycholinguistic structures, i.e. our mastery of a grammar, our linguistic competence. But if we encountered Martians whose psycholinguistic processes differed from ours, but who nevertheless produced sentences that are extensionally equivalent to the set of sentences in our English and shared our judgements on the grammaticality of various English sentences, then we would count them as being competent in English. A grammar of English is about what the Martians (...)
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  3. Epistemic Justification: Internalism Vs. Externalism, Foundations Vs. Virtues.Laurence BonJour & Ernest Sosa - 2003 - Oxford, England and Malden, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    Ever since Plato it has been thought that one knows only if one's belief hits the mark of truth and does so with adequate justification. The issues debated by Laurence BonJour and Ernest Sosa concern mostly the nature and conditions of such epistemic justification, and its place in our understanding of human knowledge. Presents central issues pertaining to internalism vs. externalism and foundationalism vs. virtue epistemology in the form of a philosophical debate. Introduces students to fundamental questions within epistemology (...)
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  4. Value and Implicature.Stephen Finlay - 2005 - Philosophers' Imprint 5:1-20.
    Moral assertions express attitudes, but it is unclear how. This paper examines proposals by David Copp, Stephen Barker, and myself that moral attitudes are expressed as implicature (Grice), and Copp's and Barker's claim that this supports expressivism about moral speech acts. I reject this claim on the ground that implicatures of attitude are more plausibly conversational than conventional. I argue that Copp's and my own relational theory of moral assertions is superior to the indexical theory offered by Barker and (...)
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  5. Does Ontology Rest on a Mistake?Stephen Yablo & Andre Gallois - 1998 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 72:229-283.
    [Stephen Yablo] The usual charge against Carnap's internal/external distinction is one of 'guilt by association with analytic/synthetic'. But it can be freed of this association, to become the distinction between statements made within make-believe games and those made outside them-or, rather, a special case of it with some claim to be called the metaphorical/literal distinction. Not even Quine considers figurative speech committal, so this turns the tables somewhat. To determine our ontological commitments, we have to ferret out all traces (...)
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  6. Reasons as Evidence.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 4:215-42.
    In this paper, we argue for a particular informative and unified analysis of normative reasons. According to this analysis, a fact F is a reason to act in a certain way just in case it is evidence that one ought to act in that way. Similarly, F is a reason to believe a certain proposition just in case it is evidence for the truth of this proposition. Putting the relatively uncontroversial claim about reasons for belief to one side, we present (...)
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  7. The Reasons That Matter.Stephen Finlay - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
    Bernard Williams's motivational reasons-internalism fails to capture our first-order reasons judgements, while Derek Parfit's nonnaturalistic reasons-externalism cannot explain the nature or normative authority of reasons. This paper offers an intermediary view, reformulating scepticism about external reasons as the claim not that they don't exist but rather that they don't matter. The end-relational theory of normative reasons is proposed, according to which a reason for an action is a fact that explains why the action would be good relative to some end, (...)
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  8. Paradox Without Self-Reference.Stephen Yablo - 1993 - Analysis 53 (4):251.
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  9. Free Energy: A User's Guide.Stephen Francis Mann, Ross Alexander Pain & Michael Kirchhoff - manuscript
    Over the last fifteen years, an ambitious explanatory framework has been proposed to unify explanations across biology and cognitive science. Active inference, whose most famous tenet is the free energy principle, has inspired excitement and confusion in equal measure. Here, we lay the ground for proper critical analysis of active inference, in three ways. First, we give simplified versions of its core mathematical models. Second, we outline the historical development of active inference and its relationship to other theoretical approaches. Third, (...)
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  10. Defining Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2019 - In Kevin Toh, David Plunkett & Scott Shapiro (eds.), Dimensions of Normativity: New Essays on Metaethics and Jurisprudence. Oxford University Press. pp. 62-104.
    This paper investigates whether different philosophers’ claims about “normativity” are about the same subject or (as recently argued by Derek Parfit) theorists who appear to disagree are really using the term with different meanings, in order to cast disambiguating light on the debates over at least the nature, existence, extension, and analyzability of normativity. While I suggest the term may be multiply ambiguous, I also find reasons for optimism about a common subject-matter for metanormative theory. This is supported partly by (...)
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  11. The Barber, Russell's Paradox, Catch-22, God, Contradiction, and More.Laurence Goldstein - 2004 - In Graham Priest, J. C. Beall & Bradley Armour-Garb (eds.), The Law of Non-Contradiction. Clarendon Press. pp. 295--313.
    outrageous remarks about contradictions. Perhaps the most striking remark he makes is that they are not false. This claim first appears in his early notebooks (Wittgenstein 1960, p.108). In the Tractatus, Wittgenstein argued that contradictions (like tautologies) are not statements (Sätze) and hence are not false (or true). This is a consequence of his theory that genuine statements are pictures.
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  12. Wisdom.Stephen R. Grimm - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):1-16.
    What is it that makes someone wise, or one person wiser than another? I argue that wisdom consists in knowledge of how to live well, and that this knowledge of how to live well is constituted by various further kinds of knowledge. One concern for this view is that knowledge is not needed for wisdom but rather some state short of knowledge, such as having rational or justified beliefs about various topics. Another concern is that the emphasis on knowing how (...)
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  13. A Powerful Theory of Causation.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2010 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge. pp. 143--159.
    Hume thought that if you believed in powers, you believed in necessary connections in nature. He was then able to argue that there were none such because anything could follow anything else. But Hume wrong-footed his opponents. A power does not necessitate its manifestations: rather, it disposes towards them in a way that is less than necessary but more than purely contingent. -/- In this paper a dispositional theory of causation is offered. Causes dispose towards their effects and often produce (...)
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  14. Epistemic Normativity.Stephen R. Grimm - 2009 - In Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 243-264.
    In this article, from the 2009 Oxford University Press collection Epistemic Value, I criticize existing accounts of epistemic normativity by Alston, Goldman, and Sosa, and then offer a new view.
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  15. Non-Catastrophic Presupposition Failure.Stephen Yablo - 2006 - In Judith Jarvis Thomson & Alex Byrne (eds.), Content and Modality: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Stalnaker. Oxford University Press.
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  16. Understanding.Stephen R. Grimm - 2011 - In D. Pritchard S. Berneker (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge.
    This entry offers a critical overview of the contemporary literature on understanding, especially in epistemology and the philosophy of science.
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  17. Ifs, Ands, and Buts: An Incremental Truthmaker Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Stephen Yablo - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):175-213.
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  18. Weighing Reasons.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (1):70-86.
    This paper is a response to two sets of published criticisms of the 'Reasons as Evidence’ thesis concerning normative reasons, proposed and defended in earlier papers. According to this thesis, a fact is a normative reason for an agent to Φ just in case this fact is evidence that this agent ought to Φ. John Broome and John Brunero have presented a number of challenging criticisms of this thesis which focus, for the most part, on problems that it appears to (...)
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  19. 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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  20. Knowledge, Practical Interests, and Rising Tides.Stephen R. Grimm - 2015 - In John Greco & David Henderson (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Defenders of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology (or what I call practicalism) need to address two main problems. First, the view seems to imply, absurdly, that knowledge can come and go quite easily—in particular, that it might come and go along with our variable practical interests. We can call this the stability problem. Second, there seems to be no fully satisfying way of explaining whose practical interests matter. We can call this the “whose stakes?” problem. I argue that both problems can (...)
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  21. Disagreement Lost and Found.Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 12. Oxford University Press. pp. 187-205.
    According to content-relativist theories of moral language, different speakers use the same moral sentences to say different things. Content-relativism faces a well-known problem of lost disagreement. Recently, numerous content-relativists (including the author) have proposed to solve this problem by appeal to various kinds of non-content-based, or broadly pragmatic, disagreement. This presents content-relativists with a new problem—of found agreement. Which (if any) of these newly identified kinds of conflict is correctly identified as the lost moral disagreement we were looking for? This (...)
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  22. The Error in the Error Theory.Stephen Finlay - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):347-369.
    Moral error theory of the kind defended by J. L. Mackie and Richard Joyce is premised on two claims: (1) that moral judgements essentially presuppose that moral value has absolute authority, and (2) that this presupposition is false, because nothing has absolute authority. This paper accepts (2) but rejects (1). It is argued first that (1) is not the best explanation of the evidence from moral practice, and second that even if it were, the error theory would still be mistaken, (...)
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  23. The Conversational Practicality of Value Judgement.Stephen Finlay - 2004 - The Journal of Ethics 8 (3):205-223.
    Analyses of moral value judgements must meet a practicality requirement: moral speech acts characteristically express pro- or con-attitudes, indicate that speakers are motivated in certain ways, and exert influence on others' motivations. Nondescriptivists including Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard claim that no descriptivist analysis can satisfy this requirement. I argue first that while the practicality requirement is defeasible, it indeed demands a connection between value judgement and motivation that resembles a semantic or conceptual rather than merely contingent psychological link. I (...)
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  24. Anti-Exceptionalism About Logic.Stephen Read - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Logic 16 (7):298.
    Anti-exceptionalism about logic is the doctrine that logic does not require its own epistemology, for its methods are continuous with those of science. Although most recently urged by Williamson, the idea goes back at least to Lakatos, who wanted to adapt Popper's falsicationism and extend it not only to mathematics but to logic as well. But one needs to be careful here to distinguish the empirical from the a posteriori. Lakatos coined the term 'quasi-empirical' `for the counterinstances to putative mathematical (...)
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  25. Transmitting Understanding and Know-How.Stephen Grimm - 2020 - In Stephen Hetherington & Nicholas D. Smith (eds.), What the Ancients Offer to Contemporary Epistemology. New York, USA: Routledge.
    Among contemporary epistemologists and scholars of ancient philosophy, one often hears that transmitting propositional knowledge by testimony is usually easy and straightforward, but transmitting understanding and know-how by testimony is usually difficult or simply impossible. Further provocative conclusions are then sometimes drawn from these claims: for instance, that know-how and understanding are not types of propositional knowledge. In contrast, I argue that transmitting propositional knowledge is sometimes easy and sometimes hard, just as transmitting know how and understanding is sometimes easy (...)
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  26. The Emotional Mind: The Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition.Stephen Asma & Rami Gabriel - 2019 - Harvard University Press.
    Tracing the leading role of emotions in the evolution of the mind, a philosopher and a psychologist pair up to reveal how thought and culture owe less to our faculty for reason than to our capacity to feel. Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain’s computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only the day before yesterday. For nearly 200 million years before humans developed a capacity to reason, the emotional centers of the brain were (...)
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  27. Against Fairness.Stephen T. Asma - 2012 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    From the school yard to the workplace, there’s no charge more damning than “you’re being unfair!” Born out of democracy and raised in open markets, fairness has become our de facto modern creed. The very symbol of American ethics—Lady Justice—wears a blindfold as she weighs the law on her impartial scale. In our zealous pursuit of fairness, we have banished our urges to like one person more than another, one thing over another, hiding them away as dirty secrets of our (...)
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  28. Must Existence-Questions Have Answers?Stephen Yablo - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 507-525.
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  29. Textbook Kripkeanism and the Open Texture of Concepts.Stephen Yablo - 2000 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):98–122.
    Kripke, argued like this: it seems possible that E; the appearance can't be explained away as really pertaining to a "presentation" of E; so, pending a different explanation, it is possible that E. Textbook Kripkeans see in the contrast between E and its presentation intimations of a quite general distinction between two sorts of meaning. E's secondary or a posteriori meaning is the set of all worlds w which E, as employed here, truly describes. Its primary or a priori meaning (...)
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  30. Interacting Mindreaders.Stephen Andrew Butterfill - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):841-863.
    Could interacting mindreaders be in a position to know things which they would be unable to know if they were manifestly passive observers? This paper argues that they could. Mindreading is sometimes reciprocal: the mindreader’s target reciprocates by taking the mindreader as a target for mindreading. The paper explains how such reciprocity can significantly narrow the range of possible interpretations of behaviour where mindreaders are, or appear to be, in a position to interact. A consequence is that revisions and extensions (...)
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  31. Double Prevention and Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2009 - Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):277-293.
    Does A cause B simply if A prevents what would have prevented B? Such a case is known as double prevention: where we have the prevention of a prevention. One theory of causation is that A causes B when B counterfactually depends on A and, as there is such a dependence, proponents of the view must rule that double prevention is causation.<br><br>However, if double prevention is causation, it means that causation can be an extrinsic matter, that the cause and effect (...)
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  32. On Intellectualism in Epistemology.Stephen R. Grimm - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):705-733.
    According to ‘orthodox’ epistemology, it has recently been said, whether or not a true belief amounts to knowledge depends exclusively on truth-related factors: for example, on whether the true belief was formed in a reliable way, or was supported by good evidence, and so on. Jason Stanley refers to this as the ‘intellectualist’ component of orthodox epistemology, and Jeremy Fantl and Matthew McGrath describe it as orthodox epistemology’s commitment to a ‘purely epistemic’ account of knowledge — that is, an account (...)
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  33. The Ultimate Argument Against Dispositional Monist Accounts of Laws.Stephen Barker & Benjamin Smart - 2012 - Analysis 72 (4):714-722.
    Bird argues that Armstrong’s necessitarian conception of physical modality and laws of nature generates a vicious regress with respect to necessitation. We show that precisely the same regress afflicts Bird’s dispositional-monist theory, and indeed, related views, such as that of Mumford & Anjum. We argue that dispositional monism is basically Armstrongian necessitarianism modified to allow for a thesis about property identity.
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    The Whiteness of AI.Stephen Cave & Kanta Dihal - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology 33 (4):685-703.
    This paper focuses on the fact that AI is predominantly portrayed as white—in colour, ethnicity, or both. We first illustrate the prevalent Whiteness of real and imagined intelligent machines in four categories: humanoid robots, chatbots and virtual assistants, stock images of AI, and portrayals of AI in film and television. We then offer three interpretations of the Whiteness of AI, drawing on critical race theory, particularly the idea of the White racial frame. First, we examine the extent to which this (...)
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  35. A Priority and Existence.Stephen Yablo - 2000 - In Paul Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.), New Essays on the a Priori. Oxford University Press. pp. 197.
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  36. Responding to Normativity.Stephen Finlay - 2007 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 2. Clarendon Press. pp. 220--39.
    I believe that normative force depends on desire. This view faces serious difficulties, however, and has yet to be vindicated. This paper sketches an Argument from Voluntary Response, attempting to establish this dependence of normativity on desire by appeal to the autonomous character of our experience of normative authority, and the voluntary character of our responses to it. I first offer an account of desiring as mentally aiming intrinsically at some end. I then argue that behaviour is only voluntary if (...)
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  37. Do Different Groups Have Different Epistemic Intuitions? A Reply to Jennifer Nagel.Stephen Stich - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):151-178.
    Intuitions play an important role in contemporary epistemology. Over the last decade, however, experimental philosophers have published a number of studies suggesting that epistemic intuitions may vary in ways that challenge the widespread reliance on intuitions in epistemology. In a recent paper, Jennifer Nagel offers a pair of arguments aimed at showing that epistemic intuitions do not, in fact, vary in problematic ways. One of these arguments relies on a number of claims defended by appeal to the psychological literature on (...)
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  38. Aborting the Zygote Argument.Stephen Kearns - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (3):379-389.
    Alfred Mele’s zygote argument for incompatibilism is based on a case involving an agent in a deterministic world whose entire life is planned by someone else. Mele’s contention is that Ernie (the agent) is unfree and that normal determined agents are relevantly similar to him with regards to free will. In this paper, I examine four different ways of understanding this argument and then criticize each interpretation. I then extend my criticism to manipulation arguments in general. I conclude that the (...)
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  39. What is Philosophy as a Way of Life? Why Philosophy as a Way of Life?Stephen R. Grimm & Caleb Cohoe - 2021 - Wiley: European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):236-251.
    Despite a recent surge of interest in philosophy as a way of life, it is not clear what it might mean for philosophy to guide one's life, or how a “philosophical” way of life might differ from a life guided by religion, tradition, or some other source. We argue against John Cooper that spiritual exercises figure crucially in the idea of philosophy as a way of life—not just in the ancient world but also today, at least if the idea is (...)
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  40. Quasi-Expressivism About Statements of Law: A Hartian Theory.Stephen Finlay & David Plunkett - 2018 - In John Gardner, Leslie Green & Brian Leiter (eds.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law, vol. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-86.
    Speech and thought about what the law is commonly function in practical ways, to guide or assess behavior. These functions have often been seen as problematic for legal positivism in the tradition of H.L.A. Hart. One recent response is to advance an expressivist analysis of legal statements (Toh), which faces its own, familiar problems. This paper advances a rival, positivist-friendly account of legal statements which we call “quasi-expressivist”, explicitly modeled after Finlay’s metaethical theory of moral statements. This consists in a (...)
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  41. Ordinary Morality Implies Atheism.Stephen Maitzen - 2009 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):107 - 126.
    I present a "moral argument" for the nonexistence of God. Theism, I argue, can’t accommodate an ordinary and fundamental moral obligation acknowledged by many people, including many theists. My argument turns on a principle that a number of philosophers already accept as a constraint on God’s treatment of human beings. I defend the principle against objections from those inclined to reject it.
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    Rights and Consent in Mixed Martial Arts.Stephen Kershnar & Robert Kelly - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 47 (1):105-120.
    MMA fighting in a competition is not necessarily wrong and is often, as far as we can tell, permissible. Our argument has two premises. First, if an act does not infringe on anyone’s moral right or violate another side-constraint, then it is morally permissible. Second, MMA-violence does not infringe on anyone’s moral right or violate another side-constraint. The first premise rested on two assumptions. First, if a person does a wrong act, then he wrongs someone. Second, if one person wrongs (...)
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  43. Meaning and Formal Semantics in Generative Grammar.Stephen Schiffer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):61-87.
    A generative grammar for a language L generates one or more syntactic structures for each sentence of L and interprets those structures both phonologically and semantically. A widely accepted assumption in generative linguistics dating from the mid-60s, the Generative Grammar Hypothesis , is that the ability of a speaker to understand sentences of her language requires her to have tacit knowledge of a generative grammar of it, and the task of linguistic semantics in those early days was taken to be (...)
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  44. De Facto Dependence.Stephen Yablo - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):130.
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  45. 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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  46. The Importance of Models in Theorizing: A Deflationary Semantic View.Stephen M. Downes - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:142 - 153.
    I critically examine the semantic view of theories to reveal the following results. First, models in science are not the same as models in mathematics, as holders of the semantic view claim. Second, when several examples of the semantic approach are examined in detail no common thread is found between them, except their close attention to the details of model building in each particular science. These results lead me to propose a deflationary semantic view, which is simply that model construction (...)
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  47. 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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  48. How in the World?Stephen Yablo - 1996 - In Christopher Hill (ed.), Philosophical Topics. University of Arkansas Press. pp. 255--86.
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  49. The Real Distinction Between Mind and Body.Stephen Yablo - 1990 - In David Copp (ed.), Canadian Journal of Philosophy. pp. 149--201.
    Descartes's "conceivability argument" for substance-dualism is defended against Arnauld's criticism that, for all he knows, Descartes can conceive himself without a body only because he underestimates his true essence; one could suggest with equal plausibility that it is only for ignorance of his essential hairiness that Descartes can conceive himself as bald. Conceivability intuitions are defeasible but special reasons are required; a model for such defeat is offered, and various potential defeaters of Descartes's intuition are considered and rejected. At best (...)
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  50. Why We Need Religion.Stephen T. Asma - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    How we feel is as vital to our survival as how we think. This claim, based on the premise that emotions are largely adaptive, serves as the organizing theme of Why We Need Religion. This book is a novel pathway in a well-trodden field of religious studies and philosophy of religion. Stephen Asma argues that, like art, religion has direct access to our emotional lives in ways that science does not. Yes, science can give us emotional feelings of wonder (...)
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