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  1. The package deal account of laws and properties.Barry Loewer - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1065-1089.
    This paper develops an account of the metaphysics of fundamental laws I call “the Package Deal Account ” that is a descendent of Lewis’ BSA but differs from it in a number of significant ways. It also rejects some elements of the metaphysics in which Lewis develops his BSA. First, Lewis proposed a metaphysical thesis about fundamental properties he calls “Humean Supervenience” according to which all fundamental properties are instantiated by points or point sized individuals and the only fundamental relations (...)
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  • Social kinds are essentially mind-dependent.Rebecca Mason - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):3975-3994.
    I defend a novel view of how social kinds (e.g., money, women, permanent residents) depend on our mental states. In particular, I argue that social kinds depend on our mental states in the following sense: it is essential to them that they exist (partially) because certain mental states exist. This analysis is meant to capture the very general way in which all social kinds depend on our mental states. However, my view is that particular social kinds also depend on our (...)
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  • Naturalness by Law.Verónica Gómez Sánchez - forthcoming - Noûs.
    The intuitive distinction between natural and unnatural properties (e.g., green vs. grue) informs our theorizing not only in fundamental physics, but also in non-fundamental domains. This paper develops a reductive account of this broad notion of naturalness that covers non-fundamental properties: for a property to be natural, I propose, is for it to figure in a law of nature. After motivating the account, I defend it from a potential circularity charge. I argue that a suitably broad notion of lawhood can (...)
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  • Normative concepts and the return to Eden.Preston J. Werner - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (7):2259-2283.
    Imagine coming across an alternative community such that, while they have normative terms like 'ought' with the same action-guiding roles and relationships to each other, their normative terms come to pick out different properties. When we come across such a community, or even just imagine it, those of us who strive to be moral and rational want to ask something like the following: Further Question: Which set of concepts ought we use—theirs or ours? The problem, first raised by Eklund, is (...)
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  • Against Schmought.Matthew Vermaire - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (9):465-485.
    Matti Eklund has argued that a new problem in metanormative theory arises when we consider the possibility of "normative counterparts"—normative concepts with the same normative roles as OUGHT and RIGHT, but with different extensions. I distinguish two versions of the problem, and propose a solution: when we attend to the attitudinal commitments involved in the possession and application of some normative concepts, we find that tolerance for the possibility of normative counterparts is rationally ruled out.
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  • Laws of Nature and Theory Choice.Alessandro Torza - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-28.
    I articulate a Global Best-System Account (GBSA) of laws of nature along broadly Mill–Ramsey–Lewis lines. The guiding idea is that the job of laws is to capture real patterns across time—where a pattern is real if it allows to compress information about matters of particular fact. The GBSA’s key ingredient is a definition of ‘best system’ in terms of a ranking method that meets a number of desiderata: it is rigorously defined; it outputs the ranking based on the candidate systems’ (...)
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  • Whales, fish and Alaskan bears: interest-relative taxonomy and kind pluralism in biology.Henry Taylor - 2019 - Synthese 198 (4):3369-3387.
    This paper uses two case studies to explore an interest-relative view of taxonomy and how it complements kind pluralism in biology. First, I consider the ABC island bear, which can be correctly classified into more than one species. I argue that this classificatory pluralism can be explained by reference to the range of alternative explanatory interests in biology. In the second half of the paper, I pursue an interest-relative view of classification more generally. I then apply the resultant view to (...)
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  • Meta‐Skepticism.Olle Risberg - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    The epistemological debate about radical skepticism has focused on whether our beliefs in apparently obvious claims, such as the claim that we have hands, amount to knowledge. Arguably, however, our concept of knowledge is only one of many knowledge-like concepts that there are. If this is correct, it follows that even if our beliefs satisfy our concept of knowledge, there are many other relevantly similar concepts that they fail to satisfy. And this might give us pause. After all, we might (...)
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  • Nominalism, contingency, and natural structure.M. Joshua Mozersky - 2019 - Synthese (6):1-16.
    Ian Hacking’s wide-ranging and penetrating analysis of science contains two well-developed lines of thought. The first emphasizes the contingent history of our inquiries into nature, focusing on the various ways in which our concepts and styles of reasoning evolve through time, how their current application is constrained by the conditions under which they arose, and how they might have evolved differently. The second is the mistrust of the idea that the world contains mind-independent natural kinds, preferring nominalism to ‘inherent structurism’. (...)
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  • Naturalness is Not an Aim of Belief.Geoffrey Hall - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    Recently some philosophers have defended the thesis that naturalness, or joint-carvingness, is an aim of belief. This paper argues that there is an important class of counterexamples to this thesis. In particular, it is argued that naturalness is not an aim of our beliefs concerning what is joint carving and what is not.
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  • Seek the Joints! Avoid the Gruesome! Fidelity as an Epistemic Value.Peter Finocchiaro - forthcoming - Episteme:1-17.
    A belief is valuable when it "gets it right". This "getting it right" is often understood solely as a matter of truth. But there is a second sense of "getting it right" worth exploring. According to this second sense, a belief "gets it right" when its concepts accurately match the way the world is objectively organized -- that is, when its concepts are joint-carving, or have fidelity. In this paper, I explore the relationship between fidelity and epistemic value. While many (...)
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  • Privilege in the Construction Industry.Shamik Dasgupta - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):489-496.
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  • From Non-Usability to Non-Factualism.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2022 - Analysis 81 (4):747-758.
    Holly Smith has done more than anyone to explore and defend the importance of usability for moral theories. In Making Morality Work, she develops a moral theory that is almost universally usable. But not quite. In this article, I argue that no moral theory is universally usable, in the sense that is most immediately relevant to action, even by agents who know all the normative facts. There is no moral theory knowledge of which suffices to settle deliberation about what to (...)
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  • From Nomic Humeanism to Normative Relativism.Veronica Gomez Sanchez - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    It is commonly thought that that the best system account of lawhood ((Mill (1843), Ramsey (1978)[fp. 1928], Lewis (1973)) makes available a nice explanation for why laws are ‘distinctively appropriate targets of scientific inquiry’ (Hall, 2015). The explanation takes the following general form: laws are especially valuable for agents like us because they efficiently encode a lot of valuable (non-nomic) information in a tractable format. The goal of this paper is to challenge this style of explanation: I argue that the (...)
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  • Dasgupta's Detonation.Theodore Sider - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    Shamik Dasgupta has argued that realists about natural properties (and laws, grounding, etc.) cannot account for their epistemic value. For "properties are cheap": in addition to natural properties and any value the realist might attach to them, there are also "shmatural" properties (standing to natural properties like charge and mass as Goodman's grue and bleen stand to green and blue) and a corresponding "shmvalue" of theorizing in terms of them. Dasgupta's challenge is one of objectivity: the existence of the "shmamiked" (...)
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  • Objectivity and Evaluation.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In Christopher Cowie & Richard Rowland (eds.), Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics.
    I this article, I introduce the notion of pluralism about an area, and use it to argue that the questions at the center of our normative lives are not settled by the facts -- even the normative facts. One upshot of the discussion is that the concepts of realism and objectivity, which are widely identified, are actually in tension. Another is that the concept of objectivity, not realism, should take center stage.
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  • Realism, Objectivity, and Evaluation.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In David Kaspar (ed.), Explorations in Ethics.
    I discuss Benacerraf's epistemological challenge for realism about areas like mathematics, metalogic, and modality, and describe the pluralist response to it. I explain why normative pluralism is peculiarly unsatisfactory, and use this explanation to formulate a radicalization of Moore's Open Question Argument. According to the argument, the facts -- even the normative facts -- fail to settle the practical questions at the center of our normative lives. One lesson is that the concepts of realism and objectivity, which are widely identified, (...)
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  • The Duality of Moral Language : On Hybrid Theories in Metaethics.Stina Björkholm - 2022 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    Moral language displays a characteristic duality. On the one hand, moral claims seem to be similar to descriptive claims: To say that an act is right seems to be a matter of making an assertion, thus indicating that the speaker has a moral belief about which she can be correct or mistaken. On the other hand, moral claims seem to be different from descriptive claims: There is a sense in which, by claiming that an act is right, a speaker indicates (...)
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  • Problems for Propositions.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    This paper consists of an investigation of three debates concerning propositional identity: the tension between structured propositions and higher-order logic, the principle Only Logical Circles, and Kaplan’s Paradox. The literature at large has mistaken the consequences of each of these debates. Structuralists are not committed to the claim that identical properties have different extensions; rather, they are committed to existence monism. Only Logical Circles does not preclude the identification of green in terms of grue; some further (and, as of yet, (...)
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  • Logical Form and the Limits of Thought.Manish Oza - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    What is the relation of logic to thinking? My dissertation offers a new argument for the claim that logic is constitutive of thinking in the following sense: representational activity counts as thinking only if it manifests sensitivity to logical rules. In short, thinking has to be minimally logical. An account of thinking has to allow for our freedom to question or revise our commitments – even seemingly obvious conceptual connections – without loss of understanding. This freedom, I argue, requires that (...)
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  • Conceptual evaluation: epistemic.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 304-332.
    On a view implicitly endorsed by many, a concept is epistemically better than another if and because it does a better job at ‘carving at the joints', or if the property corresponding to it is ‘more natural' than the one corresponding to another. This chapter offers an argument against this seemingly plausible thought, starting from three key observations about the way we use and evaluate concepts from en epistemic perspective: that we look for concepts that play a role in explanations (...)
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  • The value of thinking and the normativity of logic.Manish Oza - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (25):1-23.
    (1) This paper is about how to build an account of the normativity of logic around the claim that logic is constitutive of thinking. I take the claim that logic is constitutive of thinking to mean that representational activity must tend to conform to logic to count as thinking. (2) I develop a natural line of thought about how to develop the constitutive position into an account of logical normativity by drawing on constitutivism in metaethics. (3) I argue that, while (...)
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