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Summary Local debunking arguments in metaphysics allege that, for some putative type of metaphysical phenomenon F, there is a complete etiological explanation of our reasons for believing that there are Fs that does not involve the mind-independent existence of the Fs themselves. Once we realize this, the local debunker alleges, our F-beliefs thereby lose whatever initial justification they may have enjoyed. Belief about composite material objects, abstract objects, modal facts, temporal facts, causation, grounding facts, essence, consciousness, and race and gender facts have all been the targets of local debunking arguments. Global debunking arguments target our justification for engaging in any sort of metaphysical or ontological theorizing at all. For example, some global debunkers argue that empirical results from experimental philosophy demonstrate that a priori intuition, which is arguably the basis for most contemporary metaphysical theorizing, is systematically unreliable.
Key works Debunking arguments targeting perceptual beliefs about ordinary composite objects have received extensive discussion. See especially Korman 2014, Rose & Schaffer 2017, and Merricks 2014. For debunking in other areas of metaphysics, see Rea 2002 on modal facts, Paul 2010 on temporal facts, Chalmers 2020 on consciousness, Haslanger 2003 on race and gender facts, and Miller & Norton 2017 on grounding facts. 
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  1. Proper Names, Rigidity, and Empirical Studies on Judgments of Identity Across Transformations.Vilius Dranseika, Jonas Dagys & Renatas Berniūnas - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):381-388.
    The question of transtemporal identity of objects in general and persons in particular is an important issue in both philosophy and psychology. While the focus of philosophers traditionally was on questions of the nature of identity relation and criteria that allow to settle ontological issues about identity, psychologists are mostly concerned with how people think about identity, and how they track identity of objects and people through time. In this article, we critically engage with widespread use of inferring folk judgments (...)
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  2. James Ladyman und Don Ross. Every Thing Must Go - Metaphysics Naturalized (2007) [Rezension].Johannes Heinle - manuscript
    Eine Rezension des Buches "Every Thing Must Go - Metaphysics Naturalized" von James Ladyman und Don Ross.
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  3. Judgements of Metaphysical Explanations are Context Sensitive.Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - manuscript
    Empirical investigation of the conditions under which people prefer, or disprefer, causal explanation, has suggested to many that our judgements about what causally explains what are context sensitive in a number of ways. This has led many to suppose that whether or not a causal explanation obtains depends on various contextual factors, and that said explanations can obtain in one context, and not in another: they are both subjective and agent-relative. Surprisingly, most accounts of metaphysical explanation suppose there to be (...)
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  4. How to be a compatibilist in metaphysics: The epistemic strategy.Massimiliano Carrara & Vittorio Morato - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-25.
    Conflicts between our best philosophical theories (BPTs) and our common beliefs are widespread. For example, if eliminativism is our BPT, then our BPT conflicts with common beliefs about the existence of middle-sized composite artifacts. “Compatibilism” is the name usually given to a theoretical attitude, according to which, in the case of a conflict between BPT and a common belief P, we should try to find a reconciliation. The two major variants of compatibilism are “semantic compatibilism” (SC) and “cognitive compatibilism” (CC). (...)
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  5. What is Logical Monism?Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In Christopher Peacocke & Paul Boghossian (eds.), Normative Realism.
    Logical monism is the view that there is ‘One True Logic’. This is the default position, against which pluralists react. If there were not ‘One True Logic’, it is hard to see how there could be one true theory of anything. A theory is closed under a logic! But what is logical monism? In this article, I consider semantic, logical, modal, scientific, and metaphysical proposals. I argue that, on no ‘factualist’ analysis (according to which ‘there is One True Logic’ expresses (...)
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  6. An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality.Derek Lam - forthcoming - In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge.
    Imagination is a source of evidence for objective modality. It is through this epistemic connection that the idea of modality first gains traction in our intellectual life. A proper theory of modality should be able to explain our imagination’s modal epistemic behaviors. This chapter highlights a peculiar asymmetry regarding epistemic defeat for imagination-based modal justification. Whereas imagination-based evidence for possibility cannot be undermined by information about the causal origin of our imaginings, unimaginability-based evidence for impossibility can be undermined by information (...)
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  7. Cognitive Science for the Revisionary Metaphysician.David Rose - forthcoming - In Alvin Goldman & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Cognitive Science and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    Many philosophers insist that the revisionary metaphysician—i.e., the metaphysician who offers a metaphysical theory which conflicts with folk intuitions—bears a special burden to explain why certain folk intuitions are mistaken. I show how evidence from cognitive science can help revisionist discharge this explanatory burden. Focusing on composition and persistence, I argue that empirical evidence indicates that the folk operate with a promiscuous teleomentalist view of composition and persistence. The folk view, I argue, deserves to be debunked. In this way, I (...)
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  8. Mentalizing Objects.David Rose - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 4.
    We have a mentalistic view of objects. This is due to the interdependence of folk psychology and folk physics, where these are interconnected by what I call Teleological Commingling. When considering events that don’t involve agents, we naturally default to tracking intentions, goal-directed processes, despite the fact that agents aren’t involved. We have a deep-seated intentionality bias which is the result of the pervasive detection of agency cues, such as order or non-randomness. And this gives rise to the Agentive Worldview: (...)
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  9. The true self: A psychological concept distinct from the self.Nina Strohminger, Joshua Knobe & George Newman - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    A long tradition of psychological research has explored the distinction between characteristics that are part of the self and those that lie outside of it. Recently, a surge of research has begun examining a further distinction. Even among characteristics that are internal to the self, people pick out a subset as belonging to the true self. These factors are judged as making people who they really are, deep down. In this paper, we introduce the concept of the true self and (...)
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  10. Kalām and Cognition.Mahrad Almotahari - 2023 - In Mohammad Saleh Zarepour (ed.), Islamic philosophy of religion: analytic perspectives. New York: Routledge. pp. 41-63.
    An application of some recent work on the science of generic thought.
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  11. Debunking Interface Theory: Why Hoffman's Skepticism (Really) is Self-Defeating.Jeffrey N. Bagwell - 2023 - Synthese 201 (25):1-23.
    Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman and others have recently advanced an evolutionary debunking argument aimed at our perceptual beliefs in ordinary objects, based on the Interface Theory of Perception. In contrast with most recent criticisms of Interface Theory, which have targeted its characterizations of perception and veridicality, I raise a broad dialectical problem for Hoffman’s debunking argument. I show that the argument is self-defeating, and that responding to this problem by appealing to Universal Darwinism leads to a fatal dilemma for the (...)
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  12. Genealogical Defeat and Ontological Sparsity.Jonathan Barker - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47:1-23.
    When and why does awareness of a belief's genealogy render it irrational to continue holding that belief? According to explanationism, awareness of a belief’s genealogy gives rise to an epistemic defeater when and because it reveals that the belief is not explanatorily connected to the relevant worldly facts. I argue that an influential recent version of explanationism, due to Korman and Locke, incorrectly implies that it is not rationally permissible to adopt a “sparse” ontology of worldly facts or states of (...)
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  13. On Moving Past the ABCs.Natalja Deng - 2023 - Metaphysica 24 (2):445-454.
    Craig Callender’s What Makes Time Special? (OUP 2017) advocates and practices an innovative, thoroughly interdisciplinary approach to philosophical questions about time and temporal features of our lives. Grappling with it is of intrinsic philosophical interest; it is also part of responding to the methodological invitation the book issues to philosophers of time. This paper is motivated by the wish to clarify WMTS’s philosophical underpinnings. The main claim of the paper is that WMTS relies on an ambiguity between rejecting the A-theory (...)
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  14. How You Know You’re Conscious: Illusionism and Knowledge of Things.Matt Duncan - 2023 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 14 (1):185-205.
    Most people believe that consciousness is real. But illusionists say it isn’t—they say consciousness is an illusion. One common illusionist strategy for defending their view involves a debunking argument. They explain why people _believe_ that consciousness exists in a way that doesn’t imply that it _does_ exist; and, in so doing, they aim to show that that belief is unjustified. In this paper I argue that we can know consciousness exists even if these debunking arguments are sound. To do this, (...)
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  15. Naturalism, Functionalism and Chance: Not a Best Fit for the Humean.Alison Fernandes - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    How should we give accounts of scientific modal relations? According to the Humean, we should do so by considering the role of such relations in our lives and scientific theorizing. For example, to give a Humean account of chance, we need to identity a non-modal relation that can play the ‘role’ of chance—typically that of guiding credences and scientifically explaining events. Defenders of Humean accounts claim to be uniquely well placed to meet this aim. Humean chances are objective, and so (...)
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  16. Why is Presentism Intuitive?Ernesto Graziani - 2023 - Metaphysica 24 (2):181-201.
    Presentism is, roughly, the ontological view that only the present exists. Among the philosophers engaged in the metaphysics of time there is wide agreement that presentism is intuitive (or commonsensical) and that its intuitiveness counts as evidence in its favour. My contribution has two purposes: first, defending the view that presentism is intuitive from some recent criticisms; second, putting forth a genealogical (or debunking) argument aimed at depriving presentism’s intuitiveness of the evidential value commonly granted to it.
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  17. Un-debunking Ordinary Objects with the Help of Predictive Processing.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (4):1047-1068.
    Debunking arguments aim to undermine common sense beliefs by showing that they are not explanatorily or causally linked to the entities they are purportedly about. Rarely are facts about the aetiology of common sense beliefs invoked for the opposite aim, that is, to support the reality of entities that furnish our manifest image of the world. Here I undertake this sort of un-debunking project. My focus is on the metaphysics of ordinary physical objects. I use the view of perception as (...)
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  18. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology.Diego E. Machuca (ed.) - 2023 - New York: Routledge.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in evolutionary debunking arguments directed against certain types of belief, particularly moral and religious beliefs. According to those arguments, the evolutionary origins of the cognitive mechanisms that produce the targeted beliefs render these beliefs epistemically unjustified. The reason is that natural selection cares for reproduction and survival rather than truth, and false beliefs can in principle be as evolutionarily advantageous as true beliefs. The present volume brings together fourteen essays that examine evolutionary (...)
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  19. Introduction.Diego E. Machuca - 2023 - In Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-12.
  20. Who’s Afraid of Conceptual Analysis?James Miller - 2023 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez (ed.), Thomasson on Ontology. Springer Verlag. pp. 85-108.
    Amie Thomasson’s work provides numerous ways to rethink and improve our approach to metaphysics. This chapter is my attempt to begin to sketch why I still think the easy approach leaves room for substantive metaphysical work, and why I do not think that metaphysics need rely on any ‘epistemically metaphysical’ knowledge. After distinguishing two possible forms of deflationism, I argue that the easy ontologist needs to accept (implicitly or explicitly) that there are worldly constraints on what sorts of entities could (...)
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  21. Debunking Concepts.Matthieu Queloz - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47 (1):195-225.
    Genealogies of belief have dominated recent philosophical discussions of genealogical debunking at the expense of genealogies of concepts, which has in turn focused attention on genealogical debunking in an epistemological key. As I argue in this paper, however, this double focus encourages an overly narrow understanding of genealogical debunking. First, not all genealogical debunking can be reduced to the debunking of beliefs—concepts can be debunked without debunking any particular belief, just as beliefs can be debunked without debunking the concepts in (...)
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  22. Explanatory Optimism about the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Josh Weisberg - 2023 - Routledge. Edited by Josh Weisberg.
    Explanatory Optimism about the Hard Problem of Consciousness argues that despite the worries of explanatory pessimists, consciousness can be fully explained in “easy” scientific terms. The widespread intuition that consciousness poses a hard problem is plausibly based on how consciousness appears to us in first-person access. The book offers a debunking argument to undercut the justificatory link between the first-person appearances and our hard problem intuitions. -/- The key step in the debunking argument involves the development and defense of an (...)
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  23. On Debunking Color Realism.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2022 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 257-277.
    You see a cherry and you experience it as red. A textbook explanation for why you have this sort of experience is going to cite such things as the cherry’s chemical surface properties and the distinctive mixture wavelengths of light it is disposed to reflect. What does not show up in this explanation is the redness of the cherry. Many allege that the availability of color-free explanations of color experience somehow calls into question our beliefs about the colors of objects (...)
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  24. Are the Folk Functionalists About Time?Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - 2022 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 60 (2):221-248.
    This paper empirically investigates the contention that the folk concept of time is a functional concept: a concept according to which time is whatever plays a certain functional role or roles. This hypothesis could explain why, in previous research, surprisingly large percentages of participants judge that there is time at worlds that contain no one-dimensional substructure of ordered instants. If it seems to participants that even in those worlds the relevant functional role is played, then this could explain why they (...)
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  25. Eliminativism and Evolutionary Debunking.Jeffrey N. Bagwell - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:496-522.
    Eliminativists sometimes invoke evolutionary debunking arguments against ordinary object beliefs, either to help them establish object skepticism or to soften the appeal of commonsense ontology. I argue that object debunkers face a self-defeat problem: their conclusion undermines the scientific support for one of their premises, because evolutionary biology depends on our object beliefs. Using work on reductionism and multiple realizability from the philosophy of science, I argue that it will not suffice for an eliminativist debunker to simply appeal to some (...)
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  26. Ontological disagreements, reliability, and standoffs: The pluralist option.Delia Belleri - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (3-4):348-362.
    The reliability challenge to ontology can be summarized as the complaint that no satisfying explanation is available of how one can have true ontological beliefs, given that the relevant belief-forming methods are noncausal (for example, not perception based or memory based). This paper first presents a version of the reliability challenge against realist approaches to ontology, put forward by Jared Warren. It then explores a response to the challenge on behalf of the realist that appeals to the use of abduction. (...)
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  27. An epistemological problem for minimalist views about composition.Dean Da Vee - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):9649-9668.
    Some philosophers accept what I call minimalist views about composition. They either deny that composition ever occurs, or they only allow that composition occurs when some things are taken up into a life. While minimalists often take their views to be somewhat revisionary, they usually want to distinguish their views from truly radical views such as the view that there is no external world at all. They often do this by noting that, although they don’t believe that there are tables, (...)
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  28. Intuitions about Objects: From Teleology to Elimination.David Mark Kovacs - 2021 - Mind 130 (517):199-213.
    In a series of recent papers, David Rose and Jonathan Schaffer use a number of experiments to show that folk intuitions about composition and persistence are driven by pre-scientific teleological tendencies. They argue that these intuitions are fit for debunking and that the playing field for competing accounts of composition and persistence should therefore be considered even: no view draws more support from folk intuitions than its rivals, and the choice between them should be made exclusively on the basis of (...)
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  29. An Empirical Investigation of the Role of Direction in our Concept of Time.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (1):25-47.
    This paper empirically investigates one aspect of the folk concept of time by testing how the presence or absence of directedness impacts judgements about whether there is time in a world. Experiment 1 found that dynamists, showed significantly higher levels of agreement that there is time in dynamically directed worlds than in non-dynamical non-directed worlds. Comparing our results to those we describe in Latham et al., we report that while ~ 70% of dynamists say there is time in B-theory worlds, (...)
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  30. Is our naïve theory of time dynamical?Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4251-4271.
    We investigated, experimentally, the contention that the folk view, or naïve theory, of time, amongst the population we investigated is dynamical. We found that amongst that population, ~ 70% have an extant theory of time that is more similar to a dynamical than a non-dynamical theory, and ~ 70% of those who deploy a naïve theory of time deploy a naïve theory that is more similar to a dynamical than a non-dynamical theory. Interestingly, while we found stable results across our (...)
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  31. What are empirical consequences? On dispensability and composite objects.Alex LeBrun - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13201-13223.
    Philosophers sometimes give arguments that presuppose the following principle: two theories can fail to be empirically equivalent on the sole basis that they present different “thick” metaphysical pictures of the world. Recently, a version of this principle has been invoked to respond to the argument that composite objects are dispensable to our best scientific theories. This response claims that our empirical evidence distinguishes between ordinary and composite-free theories, and it empirically favors the ordinary ones. In this paper, I ask whether (...)
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  32. Sensitivity, safety, and impossible worlds.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):713-729.
    Modal knowledge accounts that are based on standards possible-worlds semantics face well-known problems when it comes to knowledge of necessities. Beliefs in necessities are trivially sensitive and safe and, therefore, trivially constitute knowledge according to these accounts. In this paper, I will first argue that existing solutions to this necessity problem, which accept standard possible-worlds semantics, are unsatisfactory. In order to solve the necessity problem, I will utilize an unorthodox account of counterfactuals, as proposed by Nolan, on which we also (...)
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  33. What Counts as a ‘Good’ Metaphysical Language?J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - In James Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 102-118.
    The objectively best language is intended to refer to some metaphysically privileged language that ‘carves reality at its joints’ perfectly. That is, it is the kind of language that various ‘metaphysical deflationists’ have argued is impossible. One common line of argument amongst deflationists is that we have no means to compare languages that all express true facts about the world in such a way to decide which is ‘better’. For example, the language is physics is not objectively better than the (...)
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  34. Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used by certain (...)
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  35. Coincidence Avoidance and Formulating the Access Problem.Sharon Berry - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):687-701.
    In this article, I discuss a trivialization worry for Hartry Field’s official formulation of the access problem for mathematical realists, which was pointed out by Øystein Linnebo. I argue that various attempted reformulations of the Benacerraf problem fail to block trivialization, but that access worriers can better defend themselves by sticking closer to Hartry Field’s initial informal characterization of the access problem in terms of general epistemic norms of coincidence avoidance.
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  36. Justin Clarke-Doane* Morality and Mathematics.Michael Bevan & A. C. Paseau - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (3):442-446.
    _Justin Clarke-Doane* * Morality and Mathematics. _ Oxford University Press, 2020. Pp. xx + 208. ISBN: 978-0-19-882366-7 ; 978-0-19-2556806.† †.
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  37. Deflationary metaphysics and ordinary language.Tim Button - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):33-57.
    Amie Thomasson and Eli Hirsch have both attempted to deflate metaphysics, by combining Carnapian ideas with an appeal to ordinary language. My main aim in this paper is to critique such deflationary appeals to ordinary language. Focussing on Thomasson, I draw two very general conclusions. First: ordinary language is a wildly complicated phenomenon. Its implicit ontological commitments can only be tackled by invoking a context principle; but this will mean that ordinary language ontology is not a trivial enterprise. Second: ordinary (...)
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  38. A Humean modal epistemology.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1701-1725.
    I present an exemplary Humean modal epistemology. My version takes inspiration from but incurs no commitment to both Hume’s historical position and Lewis’s Humeanism. Modal epistemology should meet two challenges: the Integration challenge of integrating metaphysics and epistemology and the Reliability challenge of giving an account of how our epistemic capacities can be reliable in detecting modal truth. According to Lewis, modal reasoning starts from certain Humean principles: there is only the vast mosaic of spatiotemporally distributed local matters of fact. (...)
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  39. Conservatism, Counterexamples and Debunking.Daniel Z. Korman - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):558-574.
    A symposium on my *Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary* (2015). In response to Wallace, I attempt to clarify the dialectical and epistemic role that my arguments from counterexamples were meant to play, I provide a limited defense of the comparison to the Gettier examples, and I embrace the comparison to Moorean anti-skeptical arguments. In response to deRosset, I provide a clearer formulation of conservatism, explain how a conservative should think about the interaction between intuition and science, and discuss what (...)
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  40. Being pessimistic about the objective present.Derek Lam - 2020 - Synthese (12):1-16.
    Some philosophers argue that non-presentist A-theories problematically imply that we cannot know that this moment is present. The problem is usually presented as arising from the combination of the A-theoretic ideology of a privileged presentness and a non-presentist ontology. The goal of this essay is to show that the epistemic problem can be rephrased as a pessimistic induction. By doing so, I will show that the epistemic problem, in fact, stems from the A-theoretic ideology alone. Hence, once it is properly (...)
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  41. Quantum gravity, timelessness, and the folk concept of time.Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9453-9478.
    What it would take to vindicate folk temporal error theory? This question is significant against a backdrop of new views in quantum gravity—so-called timeless physical theories—that claim to eliminate time by eliminating a one-dimensional substructure of ordered temporal instants. Ought we to conclude that if these views are correct, nothing satisfies the folk concept of time and hence that folk temporal error theory is true? In light of evidence we gathered, we argue that physical theories that entirely eliminate an ordered (...)
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  42. Do the Folk Represent Time as Essentially Dynamical?Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1.
    Recent research (Latham, Miller and Norton, forthcoming) reveals that a majority of people represent actual time as dynamical. But do they, as suggested by McTaggart and Gödel, represent time as essentially dynamical? This paper distinguishes three interrelated questions. We ask (a) whether the folk representation of time is sensitive or insensitive: i.e., does what satisfies the folk representation of time in counterfactual worlds depend on what satisfies it actually—sensitive—or does is not depend on what satisfies it actually—insensitive, and (b) do (...)
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  43. Debunking Logical Ground: Distinguishing Metaphysics from Semantics.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):156-170.
    Many philosophers take purportedly logical cases of ground ) to be obvious cases, and indeed such cases have been used to motivate the existence of and importance of ground. I argue against this. I do so by motivating two kinds of semantic determination relations. Intuitions of logical ground track these semantic relations. Moreover, our knowledge of semantics for first order logic can explain why we have such intuitions. And, I argue, neither semantic relation can be a species of ground even (...)
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  44. The Ship of Theseus Puzzle.David Rose, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Florian Cova, Vilius Dranseika, Angeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Min-Woo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Alejandro Rosas, Carlos Romero, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez Del Vázquez Del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang & Jing Zhu - 2020 - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1. Oxford University Press. pp. 158-174.
    Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...)
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  45. Teleological Essentialism: Generalized.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (3):e12818.
    Natural/social kind essentialism is the view that natural kind categories, both living and non-living natural kinds, as well as social kinds (e.g., race, gender), are essentialized. On this view, artifactual kinds are not essentialized. Our view—teleological essentialism—is that a broad range of categories are essentialized in terms of teleology, including artifacts. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments typically used to provide evidence of essentialist thinking—involving superficial change (study 1), transformation of insides (study 2) and inferences about offspring (study 3)—we find (...)
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  46. Folk teleology drives persistence judgments.David Rose, Jonathan Schaffer & Kevin Tobia - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5491-5509.
    Two separate research programs have revealed two different factors that feature in our judgments of whether some entity persists. One program—inspired by Knobe—has found that normative considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when the changes it undergoes lead to improvements. The other program—inspired by Kelemen—has found that teleological considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when it preserves its purpose. Our goal (...)
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  47. Undermining Belief in Consciousness.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2019 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 26 (9-10):34-47.
    Does consciousness exist? In “The Meta-Problem of Consciousness” (MPC) David Chalmers sketches an argument for illusionism, i.e., the view that it does not. The key premise is that it would be a coincidence if our beliefs about consciousness were true, given that the explanation of those beliefs is independent of their truth. In this article, I clarify and assess this argument. I argue that our beliefs about consciousness are peculiarly invulnerable to undermining, whether or not their contents are indubitable or (...)
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  48. Unbunking Arguments: A Case Study in Metaphysics and Cognitive Science.Christopher Fruge - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. pp. 384-402.
    This chapter develops a style of argument that realists can use to defend the methodological propriety of appealing to a given range of intuitions. Unbunking arguments are an epistemically positive analogue of debunking arguments, and they revolve around the claim that the processes dominantly responsible for beliefs about a given domain are reliable. However, processes cannot always be assessed for accuracy with respect to the relevant domain, so this chapter also develops the cross-domain strategy, which involves arguing that processes known (...)
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  49. Metaphysics and Cognitive Science.Alvin I. Goldman & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.) - 2019 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    This volume illustrates how the methodology of metaphysics can be enriched with the help of cognitive science. Few philosophers nowadays would dispute the relevance of cognitive science to the metaphysics of mind, but this volume mainly concerns the relevance of metaphysics to phenomena that are not themselves mental. The volume is thus a departure from standard analytical metaphysics. Among the issues to which results from cognitive science are brought to bear are the metaphysics of time, of morality, of meaning, of (...)
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  50. Metaphysics and social justice.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (6).
    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that aims to give a theoretical account of what there is and what it is like. Social justice movements seek to bring about justice in a society by changing policy, law, practice, and culture. Evidently, these activities are very different from one another. The goal of this article is to identify some positive connections between recent work in metaphysics and social justice movements. I outline three ways in which metaphysical work on social reality can (...)
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