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  1. Value-Based Accounts of Normative Powers and the Wishful Thinking Objection.Daniele Bruno - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    Normative powers like promising allow agents to effect changes to their reasons, permissions and rights by the means of communicative actions whose function is to effect just those changes. An attractive view of the normativity of such powers combines a non-reductive account of their bindingness with a value-based grounding story of why we have them. This value-based view of normative powers however invites a charge of wishful thinking: Is it not bad reasoning to think that we have a given power (...)
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  • Plenitude and Necessarily Unmanifested Dispositions.Jonas Werner - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):169-177.
    The principle of plenitude says that every material object coincides with abundantly many further objects that differ in their modal profiles. A necessarily unmanifested disposition is a disposition that necessarily does not manifest. This paper argues that if the principle of plenitude holds, then there are some necessarily unmanifested dispositions. These necessarily unmanifested dispositions will be argued to evade some objections against the cases of necessarily unmanifested dispositions put forward by Carrie Jenkins and Daniel Nolan.
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  • Counterfactuals of Ontological Dependence.Sam Baron - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (2):278-299.
    A great deal has been written about 'would' counterfactuals of causal dependence. Comparatively little has been said regarding 'would' counterfactuals of ontological dependence. The standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics is inadequate for handling such counterfactuals. That's because some of these counterfactuals are counterpossibles, and the standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics trivializes for counterpossibles. Fortunately, there is a straightforward extension of the Lewis-Stalnaker semantics available that handles counterpossibles: simply take Lewis's closeness relation that orders possible worlds and unleash it across impossible worlds. To apply the (...)
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  • Katharina Felka, Talking About Numbers: Easy Arguments for Mathematical Realism, Studies in Theoretical Philosophy, Vol. 3, Frankfurt Am Main: Vittorio Klostermann Verlag, 2016, 188 Pp., €49.00. ISBN 978‐3‐465‐03879‐5. [REVIEW]Matteo Plebani - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (3):473-479.
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  • The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli‐Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Noûs 52.
    Some have argued for a division of epistemic labor in which mathematicians supply truths and philosophers supply their necessity. We argue that this is wrong: mathematics is committed to its own necessity. Counterfactuals play a starring role.
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  • On Williamson’s Armchair Philosophical Knowledge.Cong Wang & Wen-Fang Wang - forthcoming - Sophia:1-20.
    Williamson argues that philosophers acquire no philosophical knowledge at all by semantic understanding alone. He further argues that the most important method used for achieving philosophical knowledge is through the ‘imaginative simulation’ process some of whose products are neither a priori nor a posteriori but ‘armchair’ knowledge. We argue in this paper that the way Williamson argues against the claim that semantic understanding alone is enough to achieve philosophical knowledge can be paralleled by an exactly similar argument against his view (...)
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  • Logic Talk.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13661-13688.
    Sentences about logic are often used to show that certain embedding expressions are hyperintensional. Yet it is not clear how to regiment “logic talk” in the object language so that it can be compositionally embedded under such expressions. In this paper, I develop a formal system called hyperlogic that is designed to do just that. I provide a hyperintensional semantics for hyperlogic that doesn’t appeal to logically impossible worlds, as traditionally understood, but instead uses a shiftable parameter that determines the (...)
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  • On the Substitution of Identicals in Counterfactual Reasoning.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):600-631.
    It is widely held that counterfactuals, unlike attitude ascriptions, preserve the referential transparency of their constituents, i.e., that counterfactuals validate the substitution of identicals when their constituents do. The only putative counterexamples in the literature come from counterpossibles, i.e., counterfactuals with impossible antecedents. Advocates of counterpossibilism, i.e., the view that counterpossibles are not all vacuous, argue that counterpossibles can generate referential opacity. But in order to explain why most substitution inferences into counterfactuals seem valid, counterpossibilists also often maintain that counterfactuals (...)
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  • Counterpossibles.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (11):e12787.
  • The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):549-577.
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  • Realism, Reliability, and Epistemic Possibility: On Modally Interpreting the Benacerraf–Field Challenge.Brett Topey - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4415-4436.
    A Benacerraf–Field challenge is an argument intended to show that common realist theories of a given domain are untenable: such theories make it impossible to explain how we’ve arrived at the truth in that domain, and insofar as a theory makes our reliability in a domain inexplicable, we must either reject that theory or give up the relevant beliefs. But there’s no consensus about what would count here as a satisfactory explanation of our reliability. It’s sometimes suggested that giving such (...)
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  • Calculus and Counterpossibles in Science.Brian McLoone - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):12153-12174.
    A mathematical model in science can be formulated as a counterfactual conditional, with the model’s assumptions in the antecedent and its predictions in the consequent. Interestingly, some of these models appear to have assumptions that are metaphysically impossible. Consider models in ecology that use differential equations to track the dynamics of some population of organisms. For the math to work, the model must assume that population size is a continuous quantity, despite that many organisms are necessarily discrete. This means our (...)
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  • Counterfactuals Versus Conceivability as a Guide to Modal Knowledge.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3637-3659.
    I compare two prominent approaches to knowledge of metaphysical modality, the more traditional approach via conceiving viz. imagining a scenario and a more recent approach via counterfactual reasoning. In particular, Timothy Williamson has claimed that the proper context for a modal exercise of imagination is a counterfactual supposition. I critically assess this claim, arguing that a purely conceivability/imaginability-based approach has a key advantage compared to a counterfactual-based one. It can take on board Williamson’s insights about the structure of modal imagination (...)
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  • Modal Empiricism Made Difficult: An Essay in the Meta-Epistemology of Modality.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    Philosophers have always taken an interest not only in what is actually the case, but in what is necessarily the case and what could possibly be the case. These are questions of modality. Epistemologists of modality enquire into how we can know what is necessary and what is possible. This dissertation concerns the meta-epistemology of modality. It engages with the rules that govern construction and evaluation of theories in the epistemology of modality, by using modal empiricism – a form of (...)
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  • Hyperintensionality.Francesco Berto & Daniel Nolan - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of hyperintensionality is provided. Hyperintensional languages have expressions with meanings that are more fine-grained than necessary equivalence. That is, the expressions may necessarily co-apply and yet be distinct in meaning. Adequately accounting for theories cast in hyperintensional languages is important in the philosophy of language; the philosophy of mind; metaphysics; and elsewhere. This entry presents a number of areas in which hyperintensionality is important; a range of approaches to theorising about hyperintensional matters; and a range of debates that (...)
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  • 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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  • Intrinsicality and the Classification of Uninstantiable Properties.Dan Marshall - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):731-753.
    It is often held that identity properties like the property of being identical to Paris are intrinsic. It is also often held that, while some logically uninstantiable properties are intrinsic, some logically uninstantiable properties are non-intrinsic. The combination of these views, however, raises a problem, since virtually every existing account of intrinsicality fails to analyse a notion of intrinsicality on which both these views are true. In this paper, I argue that, given the orthodox theory of counterlogicals, there is no (...)
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  • Explanation impossible.Sam Baron & Mark Colyvan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):559-576.
    We argue that explanations appealing to logical impossibilities are genuine explanations. Our defense is based on a certain picture of impossibility. Namely, that there are impossibilities and that the impossibilities have structure. Assuming this broad picture of impossibility we defend the genuineness of explanations that appeal to logical impossibilities against three objections. First, that such explanations are at odds with the perceived conceptual connection between explanation and counterfactual dependence. Second, that there are no genuinely contrastive why-questions that involve logical impossibilities (...)
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  • Counterfactual Scheming.Sam Baron - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):535-562.
    Mathematics appears to play a genuine explanatory role in science. But how do mathematical explanations work? Recently, a counterfactual approach to mathematical explanation has been suggested. I argue that such a view fails to differentiate the explanatory uses of mathematics within science from the non-explanatory uses. I go on to offer a solution to this problem by combining elements of the counterfactual theory of explanation with elements of a unification theory of explanation. The result is a theory according to which (...)
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  • The Moving Spotlight.Giuseppe Spolaore & Giuliano Torrengo - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (7):754-771.
    The moving spotlight account (MS) is a view that combines an eternalist ontology and an A-theoretic metaphysics. The intuition underlying MS is that the present time is somehow privileged and experientially vivid, as if it were illuminated by a moving spotlight. According to MS-theorists, a key reason to prefer MS to B-theoretic eternalism is that our experience of time supports it. We argue that this is false. To this end, we formulate a new family of positions in the philosophy of (...)
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  • Quick Completeness for the Evidential Conditional.Eric Raidl - unknown
    Proves Completeness for the Evidential Conditional.
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  • A Counterfactual Approach to Explanation in Mathematics.Sam Baron, Mark Colyvan & David Ripley - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (1):1-34.
    ABSTRACT Our goal in this paper is to extend counterfactual accounts of scientific explanation to mathematics. Our focus, in particular, is on intra-mathematical explanations: explanations of one mathematical fact in terms of another. We offer a basic counterfactual theory of intra-mathematical explanations, before modelling the explanatory structure of a test case using counterfactual machinery. We finish by considering the application of counterpossibles to mathematical explanation, and explore a second test case along these lines.
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  • Should God Believe the Liar? A Non-Dialetheist Paraconsistent Approach to God’s Omniscience.Guilherme Araújo Cardoso & Sérgio Ricardo Neves de Miranda - 2021 - Manuscrito 44 (4):518-563.
    In this paper, we discuss a family of arguments that show the inconsistency of the concept of omniscience, which is one of the central attributes of the theistic God. We introduce three member of this family: Grim’s Divine Liar Paradox, Milne’s Paradox and our own Divine Curry. They can be seen as theological counterparts of well-known semantic paradoxes. We argue that the very simple dialetheist response to these paradoxes doesn’t work well and then introduce our own response based on a (...)
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  • Wierenga on Theism and Counterpossibles.Fabio Lampert - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):693-707.
    Several theists, including Linda Zagzebski, have claimed that theism is somehow committed to nonvacuism about counterpossibles. Even though Zagzebski herself has rejected vacuism, she has offered an argument in favour of it, which Edward Wierenga has defended as providing strong support for vacuism that is independent of the orthodox semantics for counterfactuals, mainly developed by David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker. In this paper I show that argument to be sound only relative to the orthodox semantics, which entails vacuism, and give (...)
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  • Counteridenticals.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2018 - The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369.
    A counteridentical is a counterfactual with an identity statement in the antecedent. While counteridenticals generally seem non-trivial, most semantic theories for counterfactuals, when combined with the necessity of identity and distinctness, attribute vacuous truth conditions to such counterfactuals. In light of this, one could try to save the orthodox theories either by appealing to pragmatics or by denying that the antecedents of alleged counteridenticals really contain identity claims. Or one could reject the orthodox theory of counterfactuals in favor of a (...)
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  • Knowing How Things Might Have Been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-19.
    I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essencess, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to (...)
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  • Definable Conditionals.Eric Raidl - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):87-105.
    The variably strict analysis of conditionals does not only largely dominate the philosophical literature, since its invention by Stalnaker and Lewis, it also found its way into linguistics and psychology. Yet, the shortcomings of Lewis–Stalnaker’s account initiated a plethora of modifications, such as non-vacuist conditionals, presuppositional indicatives, perfect conditionals, or other conditional constructions, for example: reason relations, difference-making conditionals, counterfactual dependency, or probabilistic relevance. Many of these new connectives can be treated as strengthened or weakened conditionals. They are definable conditionals. (...)
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  • Counterfactuals, counteractuals, and free choice.Fabio Lampert & Pedro Merlussi - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):445-469.
    In a recent paper, Pruss proves the validity of the rule beta-2 relative to Lewis’s semantics for counterfactuals, which is a significant step forward in the debate about the consequence argument. Yet, we believe there remain intuitive counter-examples to beta-2 formulated with the actuality operator and rigidified descriptions. We offer a novel and two-dimensional formulation of the Lewisian semantics for counterfactuals and prove the validity of a new transfer rule according to which a new version of the consequence argument can (...)
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  • Fictionalism, the Safety Result and Counterpossibles.Lukas Skiba - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):647-658.
    Fictionalists maintain that possible worlds, numbers or composite objects exist only according to theories which are useful but false. Hale, Divers and Woodward have provided arguments which threaten to show that fictionalists must be prepared to regard the theories in question as contingently, rather than necessarily, false. If warranted, this conclusion would significantly limit the appeal of the fictionalist strategy rendering it unavailable to anyone antecedently convinced that mathematics and metaphysics concern non-contingent matters. I try to show that their arguments (...)
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  • The Consequence of the Consequence Argument.Marco Hausmann - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):45-70.
    The aim of my paper is to compare three alternative formal reconstructions of van Inwagen’s famous argument for incompatibilism. In the first part of my paper, I examine van Inwagen’s own reconstruction within a propositional modal logic. I point out that, due to the expressive limitations of his propositional modal logic, van Inwagen is unable to argue directly (that is, within his formal framework) for incompatibilism. In the second part of my paper, I suggest to reconstruct van Inwagen’s argument within (...)
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  • Completeness for Counter-Doxa Conditionals – Using Ranking Semantics.Eric Raidl - 2019 - Review of Symbolic Logic 12 (4):861-891.
    Standard conditionals $\varphi > \psi$, by which I roughly mean variably strict conditionals à la Stalnaker and Lewis, are trivially true for impossible antecedents. This article investigates three modifications in a doxastic setting. For the neutral conditional, all impossible-antecedent conditionals are false, for the doxastic conditional they are only true if the consequent is absolutely necessary, and for the metaphysical conditional only if the consequent is ‘model-implied’ by the antecedent. I motivate these conditionals logically, and also doxastically by properties of (...)
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  • Counterpossibles and Normal Defaults in the Filioque Controversy.Jacob Archambault - 2019 - Logica Universalis 13 (4):443-455.
    A counterpossible conditional, or counterpossible for short, is a conditional proposition whose antecedent is impossible. The filioque doctrine is a dogma of western Christian Trinitarian theology according to which the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The filioque doctrine was the principal theological reason for the Great Schism, the split between Eastern Orthodoxy and western Christianity, which continues today. In the paper, I review one of the earliest medieval defenses of the doctrine in Anselm of Canterbury, and (...)
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  • Knowledge of Objective Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1155-1175.
    The epistemology of modality has focused on metaphysical modality and, more recently, counterfactual conditionals. Knowledge of kinds of modality that are not metaphysical has so far gone largely unexplored. Yet other theoretically interesting kinds of modality, such as nomic, practical, and ‘easy’ possibility, are no less puzzling epistemologically. Could Clinton easily have won the 2016 presidential election—was it an easy possibility? Given that she didn’t in fact win the election, how, if at all, can we know whether she easily could (...)
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