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The problem of the essential indexical

Noûs 13 (1):3-21 (1979)

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  1. Operators Solve the Many Categories Problem with Universals.Peter Forrest - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (5):747-762.
    ABSTRACTBy the Many Categories problem, I mean the prima facie violation of Ockham’s Razor by realists about universals: there is, it might seem, just too much variety. Thus, David Armstrong posits both properties and relations. He also theorises about determinates of determinables. Another influential realist, E. J. Lowe distinguishes non-substantial from substantial universals. Yet again, both Armstrong and Lowe include in their ontology abstract particulars in addition to universals. My aim in this paper is to offer a unification of these (...)
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  • Egocentric Space.Joel Smith - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3):409-433.
    I discuss the relation between egocentric spatial representation and the capacity for bodily activity, with specific reference to Merleau-Ponty.
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  • First-Person Awareness of Intentions and Immunity to Error Through Misidentification.Komarine Romdenh-Romluc - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (4):493-514.
    Each of us enjoys a special awareness of (some) of her mental states. The adverbial model of first-person awareness claims that to be aware of a mental state is for it to be conscious, where ‘conscious’ describes the kind of state it is, rather than denoting a form of awareness directed at it. Here, I present an argument for construing first-person awareness of intentions adverbially, by showing that this model can meet a serious challenge posed by the simulation hypothesis, which (...)
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  • Expressivism and I‐Beliefs in Brandom’s Making It Explicit.Steven Levine - 2009 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (1):95 – 114.
  • In Defense of De Se Content.Stephan Torre - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):172-189.
    There is currently disagreement about whether the phenomenon of first-person, or de se, thought motivates a move towards special kinds of contents. Some take the conclusion that traditional propositions are unable to serve as the content of de se belief to be old news, successfully argued for in a number of influential works several decades ago.1 Recently, some philosophers have challenged the view that there exist uniquely de se contents, claiming that most of the philosophical community has been under the (...)
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  • Understanding Belief Reports.David Braun - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):555-595.
    In this paper, I defend a well-known theory of belief reports from an important objection. The theory is Russellianism, sometimes also called `neo-Russellianism', `Millianism', `the direct reference theory', `the "Fido"-Fido theory', or `the naive theory'. The objection concernssubstitution of co-referring names in belief sentences. Russellianism implies that any two belief sentences, that differ only in containing distinct co-referring names, express the same proposition (in any given context). Since `Hesperus' and `Phosphorus' both refer to the planet Venus, this view implies that (...)
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  • Symmetries, Indexicality and the Perspectivist Stance.Quentin Ruyant - 2021 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 34 (1):21-39.
    I critically examine the assumption that the theoretical structure that varies under theoretical symmetries is redundant and should be eliminated from a metaphysical picture of the universe, follow...
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  • How to Prove Hume’s Law.Gillian Russell - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (3):603-632.
    This paper proves a precisification of Hume’s Law—the thesis that one cannot get an ought from an is—as an instance of a more general theorem which establishes several other philosophically interesting, though less controversial, barriers to logical consequence.
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  • Two Pictures of Communication: From Content Identity to Coordination.Andrea Onofri - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-20.
    In this paper, I discuss two influential pictures of communication and the relation between them. One picture holds that successful communication requires identity of content: The speaker has a belief that she expresses with her utterance, and the hearer acquires a belief with the same content by understanding the utterance. The second picture was proposed by Lewis in his classic work Convention and then refined in “Languages and Language.” It sees communication as coordination among speakers—a technical notion that Lewis draws (...)
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  • The Time of Our Lives.David Hugh Mellor - 2001 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 48:45-59.
    The article shows how McTaggart’s distinction between A- and B-series ways of locating events in time prompted and enabled the twentieth century’s most important advances in the philosophy of time. It argues that, even if the B-series represents time as it really is, because having A-series beliefs when they are true is indispensable to the causation of timely action, the A-series represents ‘the time of our lives ’.
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  • The Nature of Truth.M. J. Frapolli - 2013 - Springer.
    The book offers a proposal on how to define truth in all its complexity, without reductionism, showing at the same time which questions a theory of truth has to answer and which questions, although related to truth, do not belong within the scope of such a theory. Just like any other theory, a theory of truth has its structure and limits. The semantic core of the position is that truth-ascriptions are pro-forms, i.e. natural language propositional variables. The book also offers (...)
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  • Towards Collective Self-Knowledge.Lukas Schwengerer - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1153-1173.
    We seem to ascribe mental states and agency to groups. We say ‘Google knows such-and-such,’ or ‘Amazon intends to do such-and-such.’ This observation of ordinary parlance also found its way into philosophical accounts of social groups and collective intentionality. However, these discussions are usually quiet about how groups self-ascribe their own beliefs and intentions. Apple might explain to its shareholders that it intends to bring a new iPhone to the market next year. But how does Apple know what it intends? (...)
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  • Self-Consciousness, Self-Ascription, and the Mental Self.Chieh-Ling Cheng - unknown
    Galen Strawson argues that we have a sense of mental selves, which are entities that have mental features but do not have bodily features. In particular, he argues that there is a form of self-consciousness that involves a conception of the mental self. His mental self view is opposed to the embodied self view, the view that the self must be conceived of as an entity that has both mental and bodily features. In this paper, I will argue against Strawson’s (...)
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  • Putnam, Context, and Ontology.Steven Gross - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):507 - 553.
    When a debate seems intractable, with little agreement as to how one might proceed towards a resolution, it is understandable that philosophers should consider whether something might be amiss with the debate itself. Famously in the last century, philosophers of various stripes explored in various ways the possibility that at least certain philosophical debates are in some manner deficient in sense. Such moves are no longer so much in vogue. For one thing, the particular ways they have been made have (...)
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  • Mental Files: An Introduction.Michael Murez & François Recanati - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):265-281.
  • A Puzzle About Communication.Matheus Valente & Andrea Onofri - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    It seems plausible that successfully communicating with our peers requires entertaining the same thoughts as they do. We argue that this view is incompatible with other, independently plausible principles of thought individuation. Our argument is based on a puzzle inspired by the Kripkean story of Peter and Paderewski: having developed several variations of the original story, we conclude that understanding and communication cannot be modeled as a process of thought transfer between speaker and hearer. While we are not the first (...)
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  • About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication.Manuel García-Carpintero & Stephan Torre (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    Inspired by Castañeda (1966, 1968), Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979) showed that a specific variety of singular thoughts, thoughts about oneself “as oneself” – de se thoughts, as Lewis called them – raise special issues, and they advanced rival accounts. Their suggestive examples raise the problem of de se thought – to wit, how to characterize it so as to give an accurate account of the data, tracing its relations to singular thoughts in general. After rehearsing the main tenets of (...)
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  • What is Special About Indexical Attitudes?Matheus Valente - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):692-712.
    In this paper, I assess whether indexical attitudes, e.g. beliefs and desires, have any special properties or present any special challenge to theories of propositional attitudes. I being by investigating the claim that allegedly problematic indexical cases are just instances of the familiar phenomenon of referential opacity. Regardless of endorsing that claim, I provide an argument to the effect that indexical attitudes do have a special property. My argument relies on the fact that one cannot account for what is it (...)
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  • Mental Files: Replies to My Critics.François Recanati - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (36):207-242.
    My responses to seven critical reviews of my book *Mental Files* published in a special issue of the journal Disputatio, edited by F. Salis. The reviewers are: Keith Hall, David Papineau, Annalisa Coliva and Delia Belleri, Peter Pagin, Thea Goodsell, Krista Lawlor and Manuel Garcia-Carpintero.
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  • Propositions as (Flexible) Types of Possibilities.Nate Charlow - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman & Adam Russell Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
    This chapter is about type-theoretic approaches to propositional content. Type-theoretic approaches to propositional content originate with Hintikka, Stalnaker, and Lewis, and involve treating attitude environments (e.g. "Nate thinks") as universal quantifiers over domains of "doxastic possibilities" -- ways things could be, given what the subject thinks. -/- This chapter introduces and motivates a line of a type-theoretic theorizing about content that is an outgrowth of the recent literature on epistemic modality, according to which contentful thought is broadly "informational" in its (...)
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  • Max Black's Objection to Mind-Body Identity.Ned Block - 2006 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 2:3-78.
    considered an objection that he says he thought was first put to him by Max Black. He says.
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  • Advertisement for a Semantics for Psychology.Ned Block - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10 (1):615-678.
  • What is the Structure of Self-Consciousness and Conscious Mental States?Rocco J. Gennaro - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-15.
    I believe that there is a ubiquitous pre-reflective self-awareness accompanying first-order conscious states. However, I do not think that such self-awareness is itself typically conscious. On my view, conscious self-awareness enters the picture during what is sometimes called “introspection” which is a more sophisticated form of self-consciousness. I argue that there is a very close connection between consciousness and self-consciousness and, more specifically, between the structure of all conscious states and self-consciousness partly based on the higher-order thought theory of consciousness. (...)
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  • Rationality and the Structure of the Self Volume II: A Kantian Conception.Adrian M. S. Piper - 2013 - APRA Foundation.
    Adrian Piper argues that the Humean conception can be made to work only if it is placed in the context of a wider and genuinely universal conception of the self, whose origins are to be found in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This conception comprises the basic canons of classical logic, which provide both a model of motivation and a model of rationality. These supply necessary conditions both for the coherence and integrity of the self and also for unified agency. (...)
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  • Mary and the Two Gods: Trying Out an Ability Hypothesis.Hongwoo Kwon - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (2):191-217.
    There are close parallels between Frank Jackson's case of black-and-white Mary and David Lewis's case of the two omniscient gods. This essay develops and defends what may be called “the ability hypothesis” about the knowledge that the gods lack, by adapting Lewis's ability hypothesis about the knowledge that Mary acquires. What the gods might lack despite their propositional omniscience is not any distinctive kind of information, but certain abilities of introspection. The motivating idea is that knowledge one acquires by exercising (...)
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  • Prior’s Thank-Goodness Argument Reconsidered.Matt La Vine - 2016 - Synthese 193 (11).
    Arthur Prior’s argument for the A-theory of time in “Thank Goodness That’s Over” is perhaps his most famous and well-known non-logical work. Still, I think that this paper is one of his most misunderstood works. Because of this, much of its brilliance has yet to be properly appreciated. In this paper, I suggest that the explanation of this is that it has been treated as though it were following the standard model for a piece of Analytic philosophy. That is, it (...)
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  • The Interactivist Model.Mark H. Bickhard - 2009 - Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
    A shift from a metaphysical framework of substance to one of process enables an integrated account of the emergence of normative phenomena. I show how substance assumptions block genuine ontological emergence, especially the emergence of normativity, and how a process framework permits a thermodynamic-based account of normative emergence. The focus is on two foundational forms of normativity, that of normative function and of representation as emergent in a particular kind of function. This process model of representation, called interactivism, compels changes (...)
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  • The Hardness of the Iconic Must: Can Peirce’s Existential Graphs Assist Modal Epistemology.Catherine Legg - 2012 - Philosophia Mathematica 20 (1):1-24.
    Charles Peirce's diagrammatic logic — the Existential Graphs — is presented as a tool for illuminating how we know necessity, in answer to Benacerraf's famous challenge that most ‘semantics for mathematics’ do not ‘fit an acceptable epistemology’. It is suggested that necessary reasoning is in essence a recognition that a certain structure has the particular structure that it has. This means that, contra Hume and his contemporary heirs, necessity is observable. One just needs to pay attention, not merely to individual (...)
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  • Secondary Belief Content, What is It Good For?Alexander Sandgren - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1467-1476.
    Some use the need to explain communication, agreement, and disagreement to argue for two-dimensional conceptions of belief content. One prominent defender of an account of this sort is David Chalmers. Chalmers claims that beliefs have two kinds of content. The second dimension of belief content, which is tied to what beliefs pick out in the actual world, is supposed to help explain communication, agreement, and disagreement. I argue that it does not. Since the need to explain these phenomena is the (...)
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  • The Conversational Role of Centered Contents.Max Kölbel - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (2-3):97-121.
    Some philosophers, for example David Lewis, have argued for the need to introduce de se contents or centered contents, i.e. contents of thought and speech the correctness of believing which depends not only on the possible world one inhabits, but also on the location one occupies. Independently, philosophers like Robert Stalnaker (and also David Lewis) have developed the conversational score model of linguistic communication. This conversational model usually relies on a more standard conception of content according to which the correctness (...)
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  • On What is Effable.Delia Belleri - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):341-349.
    The Effability thesis has it that all propositions can be encoded by a sentence. By contrast, the Ineffability thesis has it that no proposition can be encoded by a sentence. In this article, I undermine an important motivation for the Ineffability thesis and advance a proposal concerning what is effable and what is not. My strategy will be as follows: First, I'll note that the Ineffability thesis assumes that propositions/thoughts are determinate. I'll point out that propositions/thoughts qua the things we (...)
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  • La Pensée Sans Sujet Pensant.Paul Bernier - 2010 - Dialogue 49 (4):589-602.
    Since Hume, some philosophers deny that conscious thinking requires the existence of a thinking subject. This claim is well illustrated by LichtenbergI thinkThinking is going on” (Es denkt). Bernard Williams has argued that the claim that there can be thinking without a thinking subject is incoherent. My purpose, in this paper, is to suggest an interpretation of that claim which overcomes the problem raised by Williams.
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  • What Are Centered Worlds?Shen-yi Liao - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):294-316.
    David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self-locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. In this paper, I raise a problem for centered worlds and discuss the costs and benefits of different solutions. My investigation into the nature of centered worlds brings out potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...)
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  • Consequentialism and the Agent’s Point of View.Nathan Robert Howard - 2022 - Ethics 132 (4):787-816.
    I propose and defend a novel view called “de se consequentialism,” which is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it demonstrates—contra Doug Portmore, Mark Schroeder, Campbell Brown, and Michael Smith, among others—that agent-neutral consequentialism is consistent with agent-centered constraints. Second, it clarifies the nature of agent-centered constraints, thereby meriting attention from even dedicated nonconsequentialists. Scrutiny reveals that moral theories in general, whether consequentialist or not, incorporate constraints by assessing states in a first-personal guise. Consequently, de se consequentialism enacts constraints through the (...)
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  • Higher-Order Evidence and the Dynamics of Self-Location: An Accuracy-Based Argument for Calibrationism.Brett Topey - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    The thesis that agents should calibrate their beliefs in the face of higher-order evidence—i.e., should adjust their first-order beliefs in response to evidence suggesting that the reasoning underlying those beliefs is faulty—is sometimes thought to be in tension with Bayesian approaches to belief update: in order to obey Bayesian norms, it's claimed, agents must remain steadfast in the face of higher-order evidence. But I argue that this claim is incorrect. In particular, I motivate a minimal constraint on a reasonable treatment (...)
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  • Rationality Among the Friends of Truth: The Gassendi-Descartes Controversy.Lynn S. Joy - 1995 - Perspectives on Science 3 (4):429-449.
    The philosopher Donald Davidson has argued in an influential article, “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme,” that there is no intelligible basis on which to distinguish between conceptual schemes that Kuhn and Feyerabend have treated as incommensurable or incompatible. He concludes that, given the underlying methodology of interpretation of speech behavior, we cannot be in a position to judge that others have concepts or beliefs radically different from our own. Thus, he adds, we cannot talk meaningfully about the (...)
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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  • Rationality and Puzzling Beliefs.Neil Feit - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):29 - 55.
    The author presents and defends a general view about belief. and certain attributions of belief, with the intention of providing a solution to Saul Kripke’s puzzle about belief. According to the position developed in the paper, there are two senses in which one could be said to have contradictory beliefs. Just one of these senses threatens the rationality of the believer; but Kripke’s puzzle concerns only the other one. The general solution is then extended to certain variants of Kripke’s original (...)
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  • A Theory of Propositions.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2016 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 25 (1):83-125.
    In this paper I present a new theory of propositions, according to which propositions are abstract mathematical objects: well-formed formulas together with models. I distinguish the theory from a number of existing views and explain some of its advantages  chief amongst which are the following. On this view, propositions are unified and intrinsically truth-bearing. They are mind- and language-independent and they are governed by logic. The theory of propositions is ontologically innocent. It makes room for an appropriate interface with (...)
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  • Gruesome Diagonals.Laura Schroeter - 2003 - Philosophers' Imprint 3:1-23.
    Frank Jackson and David Chalmers have suggested that the diagonal intensions defined by their two-dimensional framework can play the two key roles of Fregean senses: they provide a priori accessible extension conditions for a representation and they provide the identity conditions for meanings and thought contents. In this paper, I clarify the nature of the psychological abilities that are needed to underwrite the first role. I then argue that these psychological abilities are not sufficiently stable or cognitively salient to individuate (...)
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  • Why We Need A - Intensions.Frank Jackson - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (1-2):257-277.
    I think recent discussions of content and reference have not paid enough attention to the role of language as a convention-governed system of communication. With this as a background theme, I explain the role of A-intensions in elucidating one important notion of content and correlative notions of reference.
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  • Is There a Fact of the Matter Between Direct Reference Theory and (Neo-)Fregeanism?Mark Balaguer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):53-78.
    It is argued here that there is no fact of the matter between direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism. To get a more precise idea of the central thesis of this paper, consider the following two claims: (i) While direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism can be developed in numerous ways, they can be developed in essentially parallel ways; that is, for any (plausible) way of developing direct reference theory, there is an essentially parallel way of developing neo-Fregeanism, and vice versa. And (...)
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  • Now‐Thoughts.Komarine Romdenh-Romluc - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):623-638.
    European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 30, Issue 2, Page 623-638, June 2022.
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  • What's the Meaning of "This"?: A Puzzle About Demonstrative Belief.David F. Austin - 1985 - Cornell University Press.
    In recent literature in the philosophy of mind and language, one finds a variety of examples that raise serious problems for the traditional analysis of belief as a two-term relation between a believer and a proposition. My main purpose in this essay is to provide a critical test case for any theory of the propositional attitudes, and to demonstrate that this case really does present an unsolved puzzle. Chapter I defines the traditional, propositional analysis of belief, and then introduces a (...)
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  • Just Kidding: Stand-Up, Speech Acts and Slurs.Peter Alward - 2021 - Disputatio 13 (60):1-25.
    People respond to moral criticism of their speech by claiming that they were joking. In this paper, I develop a speech act analysis of the humor excuse consisting of a negative stage, in which the speaker denies he or she was making an assertion, and a positive stage, in which the speaker claims she or he was engaged in non-serious/humorous speech instead. This analysis, however, runs afoul of the group identity objection, according to which there is a moral distinction between (...)
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  • Impersonal Identity and Corrupting Concepts.Kathy Behrendt - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):159-188.
    How does the concept of a person affect our beliefs about ourselves and the world? In an intriguing recent addition to his established Reductionist view of personal identity, Derek Parfit speculates that there could be beings who do not possess the concept of a person. Where we talk and think about persons, selves, subjects, or agents, they talk and think about sequences of thoughts and experiences related to a particular brain and body. Nevertheless their knowledge and experience of the world (...)
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  • Explanation and the A-Theory.David Storrs-Fox - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178:4239-4259.
    Propositional temporalism is the view that there are temporary propositions: propositions that are true, but not always true. Factual futurism is the view that there are futurist facts: facts that obtain, but that will at some point not obtain. Most A-theoretic views in the philosophy of time are committed both to propositional temporalism and to factual futurism. Mark Richard, Jeffrey King and others have argued that temporary propositions are not fit to be the contents of propositional attitudes, or to be (...)
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  • Egalitarians, Sufficientarians, and Mathematicians: A Critical Notice of Harry Frankfurt’s On Inequality.David Rondel - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):145-162.
    This critical notice provides an overview of Harry Frankfurt’s On Inequality and assesses whether Frankfurt is right to argue that equality is merely formal and empty. I counter-argue that egalitarianism, properly tweaked and circumscribed, can be defended against Frankfurt’s repudiation. After surveying the main arguments in Frankfurt’s book, I argue that whatever plausibility the ‘doctrine of sufficiency’ defended by Frankfurt may have, it does not strike a fatal blow against egalitarianism. There is nothing in egalitarianism that forbids acceptance of the (...)
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  • René Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy.David Rosenthal - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):541-548.
    The major goal of René Descartes’s rich and penetrating recent book, Meditations on First Philosophy, is to develop a methodology for the discovery of the truth, more specifically, a methodology that accommodates the dictates of a mathematical physics for our view of physical reality. Such a methodology must accordingly deal with and seek to defuse the apparent conflict between a mathematical physics and our commonsense picture of things, a conflict that continues to pose difficult challenges. Though much in the book (...)
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  • Close Enough to Reference.David B. Martens - 1993 - Synthese 95 (3):357 - 377.
    This paper proposes a response to the duplication objection to the descriptive theory of singular mental reference. This objection involves hypothetical cases in each of which there are a pair of qualitatively indistinguishable objects and a thought that apparently refers to only one of the pair, despite the descriptive indistinguishability of the two objects. I identify a concept of reference-likeness or closeness to reference, which is related to the concept of genuine singular reference as the concept of truthlikeness or closeness (...)
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