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  1. A Relation as the Unifier of States of Affairs.Bo Meinertsen - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):1–19.
    This paper is concerned with what I call the ‘problem of unity’ . This is the puzzle of how Armstrong‐like states of affairs are unified. The general approach is ‘relational internalism’: the unifier of such a state of affairs is a relation of some sort in it. A view commonly associated with relational internalism is that if such a relation satisfies a certain ‘naive’ expectation to a relation – that it is related to its relata – then Bradley's regress results. (...)
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  • The Nonexistence of Determinables: Or, a World of Absolute Determinates as Default Hypothesis.Carl Gillett & Bradley Rives - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):483–504.
    An electron clearly has the property of having a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs, but does it also have the property of being charged ? Philosophers have worried whether so-called ‘determinable’ predicates, such as ‘is charged’, actually refer to determinable properties in the way they are happy to say that determinate predicates, such as ‘has a charge of þ1.6 10 19 coulombs’, refer to determinate properties. The distinction between determinates and determinables is itself fairly new, dating only to its (...)
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  • Reading the Book of the World.Thomas Donaldson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1051-1077.
    In Writing the Book of the World, Ted Sider argues that David Lewis’s distinction between those predicates which are ‘perfectly natural’ and those which are not can be extended so that it applies to words of all semantic types. Just as there are perfectly natural predicates, there may be perfectly natural connectives, operators, singular terms and so on. According to Sider, one of our goals as metaphysicians should be to identify the perfectly natural words. Sider claims that there is a (...)
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  • In Defense of Quine’s Ostrich Nominalism.Guido Imaguire - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 89 (1):185-203.
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  • Can the Eleatic Principle Be Justified?Mark Colyvan - 1998 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):313-335.
    The Eleatic Principle or causal criterion is a causal test that entities must pass in order to gain admission to some philosophers’ ontology.1 This principle justifies belief in only those entities to which causal power can be attributed, that is, to those entities which can bring about changes in the world. The idea of such a test is rather important in modern ontology, since it is neither without intuitive appeal nor without influential supporters. Its supporters have included David Armstrong (1978, (...)
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  • DE NATURA RERUM - Scripta in Honorem Professoris Olli Koistinen Sexagesimum Annum Complentis.Hemmo Laiho & Arto Repo (eds.) - 2016 - Turku: University of Turku.
  • Being and Almost Nothingness.Kris McDaniel - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):628-649.
    I am attracted to ontological pluralism, the doctrine that some things exist in a different way than other things.1 For the ontological pluralist, there is more to learn about an object’s existential status than merely whether it is or is not: there is still the question of how that entity exists. By contrast, according to the ontological monist, either something is or it isn’t, and that’s all there is say about a thing’s existential status. We appear to be to be (...)
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  • The Case Against Powers.Walter Ott - 2021 - In Stathis Psillos, Benjamin Hill & Henrik Lagerlund (eds.), Causal Powers in Science: Blending Historical and Conceptual Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 149-167.
    Powers ontologies are currently enjoying a resurgence. This would be dispiriting news for the moderns; in their eyes, to imbue bodies with powers is to slide back into the scholastic slime from which they helped philosophy crawl. I focus on Descartes’s ‘little souls’ argument, which points to a genuine and, I think persisting, defect in powers theories. The problem is that an Aristotelian power is intrinsic to whatever has it. Once this move is accepted, it becomes very hard to see (...)
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  • Kinds of Tropes Without Kinds.Markku Keinänen, Jani Hakkarainen & Antti Keskinen - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (4):571-596.
    In this article, we propose a new trope nominalist conception of determinate and determinable kinds of quantitative tropes. The conception is developed as follows. First, we formulate a new account of tropes falling under the same determinates and determinables in terms of internal relations of proportion and order. Our account is a considerable improvement on the current standard account (Campbell 1990; Maurin 2002; Simons 2003) because it does not rely on primitive internal relations of exact similarity or quantitative distance. The (...)
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  • Writing the Book of the World. [REVIEW]Jonathan Schaffer - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (1):125-129.
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  • Social Structures and the Ontology of Social Groups.Katherine Ritchie - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):402-424.
    Social groups—like teams, committees, gender groups, and racial groups—play a central role in our lives and in philosophical inquiry. Here I develop and motivate a structuralist ontology of social groups centered on social structures (i.e., networks of relations that are constitutively dependent on social factors). The view delivers a picture that encompasses a diverse range of social groups, while maintaining important metaphysical and normative distinctions between groups of different kinds. It also meets the constraint that not every arbitrary collection of (...)
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  • Review: Armstrong's Theory of Universals. [REVIEW]David H. Sanford - 1980 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 31 (1):69 - 79.
  • Negative Properties.Nick Zangwill - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):528-556.
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  • The Metaphysical Necessity of Natural Laws.Quentin Smith - 1996 - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 18:104-23.
    I begin by defending condition (i) against five objections (section 2). Following this, I show that the theory that laws obtain contingently encounters three problems that are solved by the theory that laws are metaphysically necessary (section 3). In section 3, I criticize the regularity theory of natural laws and the universals theory of Armstrong, Dretske and Tooley, and also show how the metaphysical theory solves the “inference problem” that Van Fraassen (1989) posed for any theory of natural laws.
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  • Upward Grounding.T. Scott Dixon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):48-78.
    Realists about universals face a question about grounding. Are things how they are because they instantiate the universals they do? Or do they instantiate those universals because they are how they are? Take Ebenezer Scrooge. You can say that Scrooge is greedy because he instantiates greediness, or you can say that Scrooge instantiates greediness because he is greedy. I argue that there is reason to prefer the latter to the former. I develop two arguments for the view. I also respond (...)
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  • Ontological Parsimony, Erosion, and Conservatism.Thomas Metcalf - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (4-5):700-718.
    This article presents a novel argument against a common principle of parsimony in philosophy. First, it identifies a widely employed principle of positive ontological parsimony, according to which we should, ceteris paribus, prefer smaller ontologies to larger ontologies. Next, it shows how this principle is used as part of a strategy by which to argue for antirealist positions in many subfields of philosophy: the ockhamistic antirealist strategy. Third, it argues that this principle commits its adherents to an implausible epistemological thesis—the (...)
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  • Framework for Formal Ontology.Barry Smith & Kevin Mulligan - 1983 - Topoi 2 (1):73-85.
    The discussions which follow rest on a distinction, first expounded by Husserl, between formal logic and formal ontology. The former concerns itself with (formal) meaning-structures; the latter with formal structures amongst objects and their parts. The paper attempts to show how, when formal ontological considerations are brought into play, contemporary extensionalist theories of part and whole, and above all the mereology of Leniewski, can be generalised to embrace not only relations between concrete objects and object-pieces, but also relations between what (...)
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  • What we can do.Katherine Ritchie - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):865-882.
    Plural first-person pronouns have often been ignored in the literature on indexicals and pronouns. The assumption seems to be that we is just the plural of I. So, we can focus on theorizing about singular indexicals and about non-indexical plurals then combine the results to yield a theory of plural indexicals. Here I argue that the “divide and conquer” strategy fails. By considering data involving plurals, generics, and complex demonstratives, I argue for a referential semantics on which we can refer (...)
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  • Truth, Grounding & Dependence.Robin Stenwall - 2015 - Dissertation, Lund University
    The subjects of this thesis are truth, grounding and dependence. The thesis consists of an introduction and five free-standing essays. The purpose of the introduction is not merely to summarize the papers, but to provide a general background to the discussions in the essays. The introduction is divided into four chapters, each of which splits into a number of sections and/or subsections. Chapter 1. concerns the notion of ontological dependence. I start by making a distinction between two different types of (...)
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  • Ontological Realism: A Methodology for Coordinated Evolution of Scientific Ontologies.Barry Smith & Werner Ceusters - 2010 - Applied ontology 5 (3):139-188.
    Since 2002 we have been testing and refining a methodology for ontology development that is now being used by multiple groups of researchers in different life science domains. Gary Merrill, in a recent paper in this journal, describes some of the reasons why this methodology has been found attractive by researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences. At the same time he assails the methodology on philosophical grounds, focusing specifically on our recommendation that ontologies developed for scientific purposes should be (...)
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  • Scientific Models and Metalinguistic Negotiation.Mirco Sambrotta - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):277.
    The aim of this paper is to explore the possibility that, at least, some metaphysical debates are ‘metalinguistic negotiations’. I will take the dispute between the dominant approaches of realism and the anti-realism ones about the ontological status of scientific models as a case-study. I will argue that such a debate may be better understood as a disagreement, at bottom normatively, motivated, insofar as a normative and non-factual question may be involved in it: how the relevant piece of language ought (...)
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  • A Scientific Metaphysical Naturalisation of Information.Bruce Long - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    The objective of this thesis is to present a naturalised metaphysics of information, or to naturalise information, by way of deploying a scientific metaphysics according to which contingency is privileged and a-priori conceptual analysis is excluded (or at least greatly diminished) in favour of contingent and defeasible metaphysics. The ontology of information is established according to the premises and mandate of the scientific metaphysics by inference to the best explanation, and in accordance with the idea that the primacy of physics (...)
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  • Indispensability, Causation and Explanation.Sorin Bangu - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):219-232.
    When considering mathematical realism, some scientific realists reject it, and express sympathy for the opposite view, mathematical nominalism; moreover, many justify this option by invoking the causal inertness of mathematical objects. The main aim of this note is to show that the scientific realists’ endorsement of this causal mathematical nominalism is in tension with another position some of them also accept, the doctrine of methodological naturalism. By highlighting this conflict, I intend to tip the balance in favor of a rival (...)
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  • Teoria praw przyrody Armstronga wobec problemów identyfikacji i inferencji.Joanna Luc - 2018 - Diametros 55:132-157.
    One of the modern approaches to the laws of nature regards them as relations between universals. The most advanced version of such an approach has been presented by D. M. Armstrong. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct and interpret Armstrong’s conception but also to evaluate his theory and to point out what expectations from it are inadequate. My point of reference are two objections to Armstrong’s ideas, namely the problems of identification and inference. I claim that Armstrong’s theory (...)
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  • Bergmann's Universal Realism: With and Without Fundamental Tie.Erwin Tegtmeier - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2):121-130.
    Bergmann advocated a universal realism different from that of Plato. His universals are different, and the fundamental tie connecting universals to particulars is also in many respects different from Plato's participation. Since Bergmann takes universals to be perceptible, it makes sense to argue empirically for the existence of the fundamental tie of exemplification. He holds that exemplification ties universals and particulars together into facts. However, finally he drops fundamental ties and attributes to diads of diversity the togetherness of universals and (...)
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  • Combining Minds: A Defence of the Possibility of Experiential Combination.Luke Roelofs - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    This thesis explores the possibility of composite consciousness: phenomenally conscious states belonging to a composite being in virtue of the consciousness of, and relations among, its parts. We have no trouble accepting that a composite being has physical properties entirely in virtue of the physical properties of, and relations among, its parts. But a long­standing intuition holds that consciousness is different: my consciousness cannot be understood as a complex of interacting component consciousnesses belonging to parts of me. I ask why: (...)
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  • La natura e l'identità degli oggetti materiali.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - In Annalisa Coliva (ed.), Filosofia analitica. Temi e problemi. Carocci Editore. pp. 17–56.
    A critical survey of the main metaphysical theories concerning the nature of material objects (substratum theories, bundle theories, substance theories, stuff theories) and their identity conditions, both synchronic (monist vs. pluralist theories) and diachronic (three-dimensionalism, four-dimensionalism, sequentialism).
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  • How to Be Omnipresent.Sam Cowling & Wesley D. Cray - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (3):223-234.
    Attributions of omnipresence, most familiar within the philosophy of religion, typically take the omnipresence of an entity to either consist in that entity's occupation of certain regions or be dependent upon other of that entity's attributes, such as omnipotence or omniscience. This paper defends an alternative conception of omnipresence that is independent of other purported divine attributes and dispenses with occupation. The resulting view repurposes the metaphysics of necessitism and permanentism, taking omnipresent entities to be those entities that exist at (...)
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  • Theories of Properties and Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay in Metaontology.Christopher Gibilisco - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation argues that we have no good reason to accept any one theory of properties as correct. To show this, I present three possible bases for theory-choice in the properties debate: coherence, explanatory adequacy, and explanatory value. Then I argue that none of these bases resolve the underdetermination of our choice between theories of properties. First, I argue considerations about coherence cannot resolve the underdetermination, because no traditional theory of properties is obviously incoherent. Second, I argue considerations of explanatory (...)
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  • Pluralism and the Absence of Truth.Jeremy Wyatt - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Connecticut
    In this dissertation, I argue that we should be pluralists about truth and in turn, eliminativists about the property Truth. Traditional deflationists were right to suspect that there is no such property as Truth. Yet there is a plurality of pluralities of properties which enjoy defining features that Truth would have, were it to exist. So although, in this sense, truth is plural, Truth is non-existent. The resulting account of truth is indebted to deflationism as the provenance of the suspicion (...)
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  • Ficta as Contingently Nonconcrete.Lightfield Ceth - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (4):431-457.
    Fictional realism allows direct reference theorists to provide a straightfor- ward analysis of the semantics of fictional discourse by admitting into their ontology a set of objects (ficta) that serve as the referents of fictional names. Ficta may be modeled using an axiomatic object theory, but actualist interpretations of the formalism have been the subject of recent objections. In this paper, I provide an interpretation of object theory’s formalism that is consistent with actualism and avoids these objections. Drawing on insights (...)
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  • How to Save Naturalism From Plantinga?Daniel D. Novotný - 2007 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 14 (1):32-48.
    I argue that Plantinga’s Proper Function and Evolutionary arguments fail against liberal naturalism defined in a broad sense as the view that „there aren’t any supernatural beings”. The former argument can be interpreted in at least three ways: deductively, inductively and theistically. None of these, however, is successful. The latter argument suffers from several deficiencies of which two major ones are: The unlikelihood of the reliability of our cognitive faculties, given naturalism and evolutionism, is not shown. Agnosticism with respect to (...)
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  • SNAP and SPAN: Towards Dynamic Spatial Ontology.Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith - 2004 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 4 (1):69–103.
    We propose a modular ontology of the dynamic features of reality. This amounts, on the one hand, to a purely spatial ontology supporting snapshot views of the world at successive instants of time and, on the other hand, to a purely spatiotemporal ontology of change and process. We argue that dynamic spatial ontology must combine these two distinct types of inventory of the entities and relationships in reality, and we provide characterizations of spatiotemporal reasoning in the light of the interconnections (...)
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  • Instantiation as Partial Identity.José Tomás Alvarado Marambio - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (4):459-487.
    This work presents and discusses the conception of instantiation as ‘partial identity’. The theory has been previously proposed in two different guises by Baxter and Armstrong . Attention will be paid mostly to Baxter’s presentation, which seems the best de veloped, and where instantiation is understood as identity of ‘aspects’ of a universal and a particular. The theory seems to offer a solution to the vexed question of Bradley’s Regress, because instantiation is no longer conceived as a relation between numerically (...)
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  • Intrinsic Properties of Properties.Cowling Sam - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):241-262.
    Do properties have intrinsic properties of their own? If so, which second-order properties are intrinsic? This paper introduces two competing views about second-order intrinsicality: generalism, according to which the intrinsic–extrinsic distinction cuts across all orders of properties and applies to the properties of properties as well as the properties of objects, and objectualism, according to which intrinsicality is a feature exclusive to the properties of objects. The case for generalism is then surveyed along with some proposals for distinguishing intrinsic second-order (...)
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  • Colour Vision and Seeing Colours.Will Davies - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):657-690.
    Colour vision plays a foundational explanatory role in the philosophy of colour, and serves as perennial quarry in the wider philosophy of perception. I present two contributions to our understanding of this notion. The first is to develop a constitutive approach to characterizing colour vision. This approach seeks to comprehend the nature of colour vision qua psychological kind, as contrasted with traditional experiential approaches, which prioritize descriptions of our ordinary visual experience of colour. The second contribution is to argue that (...)
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  • The Razor Argument of Metaphysics A.9.José Edgar González-Varela - 2018 - Phronesis 63 (4):408-448.
    I discuss Aristotle’s opening argument against Platonic Forms in _Metaphysics_ A.9, ‘the Razor’, which criticizes the introduction of Forms on the basis of an analogy with a hypothetical case of counting things. I argue for a new interpretation of this argument, and show that it involves two interesting objections against the introduction of Forms as formal causes: one concerns the completeness and the other the adequacy of such an explanatory project.
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  • The Metaphysics of Propositional Constituency.Lorraine Juliano Keller - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):655-678.
    In this paper, I criticize Structured Propositionalism, the most widely held theory of the nature of propositions according to which they are structured entities with constituents. I argue that the proponents of Structured Propositionalism have paid insufficient attention to the metaphysical presuppositions of the view – most egregiously, to the notion of propositional constituency. This is somewhat ironic, since the friends of structured propositions tend to argue as if the appeal to constituency gives their view a dialectical advantage. I criticize (...)
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  • Stage Universalism, Voints and Sorts.Marta Campdelacreu - 2010 - Disputatio 3 (28):293-307.
    In the current debate on how ordinary objects persist through time, more than one philosopher has endorsed the following two theses: stage theory and diachronic universalism. In this paper, I would like to offer a solution to the problem that Balashov poses to the joint acceptance of these theses. I will also offer a number of reasons why, even if it is not necessary to undermine Balashov’s counterexamples, stage theorists can, without making their theory less appealing, reject Balashov’s understanding of (...)
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  • Causal Cognition and Causal Realism.Riccardo Viale - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):151 – 167.
    Recent research on “causal cognition” in adults and infants shows that we can perceive singular causal relations not previously experienced. In particular, infants that are able to perceive causality seem to rely on innate beliefs and principles that allow a priori inference of a connection between cause and effect. Can causal cognition in infants justify the thesis of causal realism? On the one hand, it weakens the central pillar of the Humean arguments: the impossibility of a synthetic a priori causal (...)
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  • Ontological Relativity and Meaning‐Variance: A Critical‐Constructive Review.Christopher Norris - 1997 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):139 – 173.
    This article offers a critical review of various ontological-relativist arguments, mostly deriving from the work of W. V. Quine and Thomas K hn. I maintain that these arguments are (1) internally contradictory, (2) incapable of accounting for our knowledge of the growth of scientific knowledge, and (3) shown up as fallacious from the standpoint of a causal-realist approach to issues of truth, meaning, and interpretation. Moreover, they have often been viewed as lending support to such programmes as the 'strong' sociology (...)
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  • Actuality and Essence.William G. Lycan & Stewart Shapiro - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):343-377.
  • Is Truth Made, and If So, What Do We Mean by That? Redefining Truthmaker Realism.Catherine Legg - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (2):587-606.
    Philosophical discussion of truthmaking has flourished in recent times, but what exactly does it mean to ‘make’ a truth-bearer true? I argue that ‘making’ is a concept with modal force, and this renders it a problematic deployment for truthmaker theorists with nominalist sympathies, which characterises most current theories. I sketch the outlines of what I argue is a more genuinely realist truthmaker theory, which is capable of answering the explanatory question: In virtue of what does each particular truthmaker make its (...)
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  • El argumento de sustracción para universales trascendentes.Marambio José Tomás Alvarado - 2012 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 53 (125):263-279.
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  • Tooley's Theory of Laws of Nature.Stephen C. Hetherington - 1983 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):101 - 106.
    This paper contains a discussion of a theory of laws of nature formulated recently by Michael Tooley. He sees the truth-makers for laws of nature as consisting of particular sorts of contingent relations between universals. He is not alone in this idea; it has also been advanced by Fred Dretske and D.M. Armstrong. However, its most thorough and detailed presentation is by Tooley. Being a challenging and stimulating idea, it merits investigation.
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  • Tooley's Theory of Laws of Nature.Stephen C. Hetherington - 1983 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):101-114.
    This paper contains a discussion of a theory of laws of nature formulated recently by Michael Tooley. He sees the truth-makers for laws of nature as consisting of particular sorts of contingent relations between universals. He is not alone in this idea; it has also been advanced by Fred Dretske and D.M. Armstrong. However, its most thorough and detailed presentation is by Tooley. Being a challenging and stimulating idea, it merits investigation.
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  • What Good Are Counterexamples?Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (1):1-31.
    Intuitively, Gettier cases are instances of justified true beliefs that are not cases of knowledge. Should we therefore conclude that knowledge is not justified true belief? Only if we have reason to trust intuition here. But intuitions are unreliable in a wide range of cases. And it can be argued that the Gettier intuitions have a greater resemblance to unreliable intuitions than to reliable intuitions. Whats distinctive about the faulty intuitions, I argue, is that respecting them would mean abandoning a (...)
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  • What in the World Are the Ways Things Might Have Been? [REVIEW]Jeffrey C. King - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):443 - 453.
    Robert Stalnaker is an actualist who holds that merely possible worlds are uninstantiated properties that might have been instantiated. Stalnaker also holds that there are no metaphysically impossible worlds: uninstantiated properties that couldn't have been instantiated. These views motivate Stalnaker's "two dimensional" account of the necessary a posteriori on which there is no single proposition that is both necessary and a posteriori. For a (metaphysically) necessary proposition is true in all (metaphysically) possible worlds. If there were necessary a posteriori propositions, (...)
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  • Scientific Theory as Partially Interpreted Calculus II.Brent Mundy - 1988 - Erkenntnis 28 (2):165 - 183.
  • Introduction: What is Ontology For.Katherine Munn - 2008 - In Munn Katherine & Smith Barry (eds.), Applied Ontology: An Introduction. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 7-19.
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