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Material Beings

Cornell University Press (1990)

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  1. Epistemic Modality and Hyperintensionality in Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2021 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...)
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  • A Minimalist Theory of Appropriation.Gabriele Contessa - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (2):319-335.
    This paper offers a conditional defence of a minimalist theory of appropriation. The conclusion of its main argument is that, if people do enjoy a natural right to appropriate unappropriated resources, then that right is best understood as a derivative right that stems from a more fundamental natural right to self-preservation. If this conclusion is correct, then insofar as people have a natural right to appropriation, it is much more limited than it is usually assumed, as the minimalist theory places (...)
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  • A Reply to Anders’ ‘Mind, Mortality and Material Being: Van Inwagen and the Dilemma of Material Survival of Death’.Thomas Atkinson - 2015 - Sophia 54 (4):577-592.
    In his paper ‘Mind, Mortality and Material Being’ Paul Anders attempts to show that Peter van Inwagen’s materialist metaphysics of the human person, combined with the belief that human persons survive death, faces a dilemma. Either, on the one hand, van Inwagen has to accept an account of the survival of human persons across death that cannot escape the duplication objection, or, on the other hand, van Inwagen has to accept an account of the survival of human persons across death (...)
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  • On the Carroll–Chen Model.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (1):97-124.
    I argue that the Carroll-Chen cosmogonic model does not provide a plausible scientific explanation of the past hypothesis (the thesis that our universe began in an extremely low-entropy state). I suggest that this counts as a welcomed result for those who adopt a Mill-Ramsey-Lewis best systems account of laws and maintain that the past hypothesis is a brute fact that is a non-dynamical law.
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  • Overdetermination and Elimination.Steinvör Thöll Árnadóttir - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (4):479-503.
    I focus on two arguments, due to Jaegwon Kim and Trenton Merricks, that move from claims about the sufficiency of one class of causes to the reduction or elimination of another class of entity, via claims about overdetermination. I argue that in order to validate their move from sufficiency to reduction or elimination, both Kim and Merricks must assume that there can be no ‘weak overdetermination’; i.e., that no single effect can have numerically distinct but dependently sufficient causes occurring at (...)
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  • Against Parthood.Theodore Sider - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 8:237–293.
    Mereological nihilism says that there do not exist (in the fundamental sense) any objects with proper parts. A reason to accept it is that we can thereby eliminate 'part' from fundamental ideology. Many purported reasons to reject it - based on common sense, perception, and the possibility of gunk, for example - are weak. A more powerful reason is that composite objects seem needed for spacetime physics; but sets suffice instead.
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  • Vague Existence.Alessandro Torza - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10.
    Ted Sider has famously argued that existence, in the unrestricted sense of ontology, cannot be vague, as long as vagueness is modeled by means of precisifications. The first section of Chapter 9 exposes some controversial assumptions underlying Sider’s alleged reductio of vague existence. The upshot of the discussion is that, although existence cannot be vague, it can be super-vague, i.e. higher-order vague, for all orders. The second section develops and defends a novel framework, dubbed negative supervaluationary semantics, which makes room (...)
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  • Strange Kinds, Familiar Kinds, and the Charge of Arbitrariness.Daniel Z. Korman - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics:119-144.
    Particularists in material-object metaphysics hold that our intuitive judgments about which kinds of things there are and are not are largely correct. One common argument against particularism is the argument from arbitrariness, which turns on the claim that there is no ontologically significant difference between certain of the familiar kinds that we intuitively judge to exist (snowballs, islands, statues, solar systems) and certain of the strange kinds that we intuitively judge not to exist (snowdiscalls, incars, gollyswoggles, the fusion of the (...)
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  • Not All Killings Are Equally Wrong.Todd Karhu - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (4):378–394.
    Many people believe that the wrongness of killing a person does not depend on factors like her age, condition, or how much she has to lose by dying – a view Jeff McMahan calls the ‘Equal Wrongness Thesis’. This article argues that we should reject the Equal Wrongness Thesis on the basis of the moral equivalence between killing a person and knocking her unconscious.
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  • The Moral Parody Argument Against Panpsychism.Zach Blaesi - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):1821–1852.
    I exploit parallel considerations in the philosophy of mind and metaethics to argue that the reasoning employed in an important argument for panpsychism overgeneralizes to support an analogous position in metaethics: panmoralism. Next, I raise a number of problems for panmoralism and thereby build a case for taking the metaethical parallel to be a reductio ad absurdum of the argument for panpsychism. Finally, I contrast panmoralism with a position recently defended by Einar Duenger Bohn and argue that the two suffer (...)
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  • Biological Parts.Marie I. Kaiser - 2017 - In H. Burkhardt, J. Seibt & G. Imaguire (eds.), Handbook of Mereology. München: Philosophia Verlag GmbH. pp. 97-100.
  • Can the Future-Like-Ours Argument Survive Ontological Scrutiny.Matthew Adams & Nicholas Rimell - forthcoming - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.
    We argue that the future-like-ours argument against abortion rests on an important assumption. Namely, in the first trimester of an aborted pregnancy, there exists something that would have gone on to enjoy conscious mental states, had the abortion not occurred. To accommodate this assumption, we argue, a proponent of the future-like-ours argument must presuppose that there is ontic vagueness. We anticipate the objection that our argument achieves “too much” because it also applies mutatis mutandis to conscious humans. We respond by (...)
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  • The Dual Nature of Properties: The Powerful Qualities View Reconsidered.Joaquim Giannotti - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    Metaphysical orthodoxy holds that a privileged minority of properties carve reality at its joints. These are the so-called fundamental properties. This thesis concerns the contemporary philosophical debate about the nature of fundamental properties. In particular, it aims to answer two questions: What is the most adequate conception of fundamental properties? What is the “big picture” world-view that emerges by adopting such a conception? I argue that a satisfactory answer to both questions requires us to embrace a novel conception of powerful (...)
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  • Lightweight and Heavyweight Anti-physicalism.Damian Aleksiev - 2022 - Synthese 200 (112):1-23.
    I define two metaphysical positions that anti-physicalists can take in response to Jonathan Schaffer’s ground functionalism. Ground functionalism is a version of physicalism where explanatory gaps are everywhere. If ground functionalism is true, arguments against physicalism based on the explanatory gap between the physical and experiential facts fail. In response, first, I argue that some anti-physicalists are already safe from Schaffer’s challenge. These anti-physicalists reject an underlying assumption of ground functionalism: the assumption that macrophysical entities are something over and above (...)
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  • The Structuralist Approach to Underdetermination.Chanwoo Lee - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    This paper provides an exposition of the structuralist approach to underdetermination, which aims to resolve the underdetermination of theories by identifying their common theoretical structure. Applications of the structuralist approach can be found in many areas of philosophy. I present a schema of the structuralist approach, which conceptually unifies such applications in different subject matters. It is argued that two classic arguments in the literature, Paul Benacerraf’s argument on natural numbers and W. V. O. Quine’s argument for the indeterminacy of (...)
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  • Against Vague and Unnatural Existence: Reply to Liebesman and Eklund.Theodore Sider - 2009 - Noûs 43 (3):557 - 567.
    In "Sider on Existence" (Noužs, 2007), David Liebesman and Matti Eklund argue that my "indeterminacy argument", according to which quantifiers are never vague, clashes with my "naturalness argument", according to which quantifiers "carve at the joints". There is, I argue, no outright inconsistency. But Liebesman and Eklund have shown that my arguments are not as independent as it may have appeared. The best defense of the indeterminacy argument is via the naturalness argument.
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  • Vague Composition Without Vague Existence.Chad Carmichael - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
    David Lewis (1986) criticizes moderate views of composition on the grounds that a restriction on composition must be vague, and vague composition leads, via a precisificational theory of vagueness, to an absurd vagueness of existence. I show how to resist this argument. Unlike the usual resistance, however, I do not jettison precisificational views of vagueness. Instead, I blur the connection between composition and existence that Lewis assumes. On the resulting view, in troublesome cases of vague composition, there is an object, (...)
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  • Parts as Counterparts.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):228-241.
    Mereological nihilists are faced with a difficult challenge: explaining ordinary talk about material objects. Popular paraphrase strategies involve plurals, arrangements of particles, or fictions. In this paper, a new paraphrase strategy is put forward that has distinct advantages over its rivals: it is compatible with gunk and emergent properties of macro-objects. The only assumption is a commitment to a liberal view of the nature of simples; the nihilist must be willing to accept the possibility of heterogeneous extended simples. The author (...)
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  • Space Emergence in Contemporary Physics: Why We Do Not Need Fundamentality, Layers of Reality and Emergence.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (49):71-95.
    ‘Space does not exist fundamentally: it emerges from a more fundamental non-spatial structure.’ This intriguing claim appears in various research programs in contemporary physics. Philosophers of physics tend to believe that this claim entails either that spacetime does not exist, or that it is derivatively real. In this article, I introduce and defend a third metaphysical interpretation of the claim: reductionism about space. I argue that, as a result, there is no need to subscribe to fundamentality, layers of reality and (...)
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  • Multi-Descriptional Physicalism, Level(s) of Being, and the Mind-Body Problem.Savvas Ioannou - 2022 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews
    The main idea of this thesis is multi-descriptional physicalism. According to it, only physical entities are elements of our ontology, and there are different ways to describe them. Higher-level vocabularies (e.g., mental, neurological, biological) truly describe reality. Sentences about higher-level entities are made true by physical entities. Every chapter will develop multi-descriptional physicalism or defend it from objections. In chapter 1, I will propose a new conceptual reductive account that conceptually reduces higher-level entities to physical entities. This conceptual reductive account (...)
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  • Eliminativism and Evolutionary Debunking.Jeffrey N. Bagwell - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:496-522.
    Eliminativists sometimes invoke evolutionary debunking arguments against ordinary object beliefs, either to help them establish object skepticism or to soften the appeal of commonsense ontology. I argue that object debunkers face a self-defeat problem: their conclusion undermines the scientific support for one of their premises, because evolutionary biology depends on our object beliefs. Using work on reductionism and multiple realizability from the philosophy of science, I argue that it will not suffice for an eliminativist debunker to simply appeal to some (...)
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  • A naturalist response to Kingma’s critique of naturalist accounts of disease.David B. Hershenov - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 41 (2):83-97.
    Elselijn Kingma maintains that Christopher Boorse and other naturalists in the philosophy of medicine cannot deliver the value-free account of disease that they promise. Even if disease is understood as dysfunction and that notion can be applied in a value-free manner, values still manifest themselves in the justification for picking one particular operationalization of dysfunction over a number of competing alternatives. Disease determinations depend upon comparisons within a reference class vis-à-vis reaching organism goals. Boorse considers reference classes for a species (...)
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  • Why Psychological Accounts of Personal Identity Can Accept a Brain Death Criterion and Biological Definition of Death.David B. Hershenov - 2019 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 40 (5):403-418.
    Psychological accounts of personal identity claim that the human person is not identical to the human animal. Advocates of such accounts maintain that the definition and criterion of death for a human person should differ from the definition and criterion of death for a human animal. My contention is instead that psychological accounts of personal identity should have human persons dying deaths that are defined biologically, just like the deaths of human animals. Moreover, if brain death is the correct criterion (...)
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  • Mass Nouns and Plural Logic.David Nicolas - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2):211-244.
    A dilemma put forward by Schein (1993) and Rayo (2002) suggests that, in order to characterize the semantics of plurals, we should not use predicate logic, but non-singular logic, a formal language whose terms may refer to several things at once. We show that a similar dilemma applies to mass nouns. If we use predicate logic and sets, we arrive at a Russellian paradox when characterizing the semantics of mass nouns. Likewise, a semantics of mass nouns based upon predicate logic (...)
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  • Animals, Advance Directives, and Prudence: Should We Let the Cheerfully Demented Die?David Limbaugh - 2016 - Ethics, Medicine and Public Health 2 (4):481-489.
    A high level of confidence in the identity of individuals is required to let them die as ordered by an advance directive. Thus, if we are animalists, then we should lack the confidence required to apply lethal advance directives to the cheerfully demented, or so I argue. In short, there is consensus among animalists that the best way to avoid serious objections to their account is to adopt an ontology that denies the existence of brains, hands, tables, chairs, iced-tea, and (...)
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  • One or two? A Process View of pregnancy.Anne Sophie Meincke - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1495-1521.
    How many individuals are present where we see a pregnant individual? Within a substance ontological framework, there are exactly two possible answers to this question. The standard answer—two individuals—is typically championed by scholars endorsing the predominant Containment View of pregnancy, according to which the foetus resides in the gestating organism like in a container. The alternative answer—one individual—has recently found support in the Parthood View, according to which the foetus is a part of the gestating organism. Here I propose a (...)
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  • Identity and Distinctness in Online Interaction: Encountering a Problem for Narrative Accounts of Self.Alexander D. Carruth & David W. Hill - 2015 - Ethics and Information Technology 17 (2):103-112.
    This paper examines the prevalent assumption that when people interact online via proxies—avatars—they encounter each other. Through an exploration of the ontology of users and their avatars we argue that, contrary to the trend within current discussions of interaction online, this cannot be unproblematically assumed. If users could be considered in some sense identical to their avatars, then it would be clear how an encounter with an avatar could ground an encounter with another user. We therefore engage in a systematic (...)
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  • How to Be an Uncompromising Revisionary Ontologist.David Mark Kovacs - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2129-2152.
    Revisionary ontologies seem to go against our common sense convictions about which material objects exist. These views face the so-called Problem of Reasonableness: they have to explain why reasonable people don’t seem to accept the true ontology. Most approaches to this problem treat the mismatch between the ontological truth and ordinary belief as superficial or not even real. By contrast, I propose what I call the “uncompromising solution”. First, I argue that our beliefs about material objects were influenced by evolutionary (...)
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  • Who Doesn't Have a Problem of Too Many Thinkers?David B. Hershenov - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2):203.
    Animalists accuse the advocates of psychological approaches of identity of having to suffer a Problem of Too Many Thinkers. Eric Olson, for instance, is an animalist who maintains that if the person is spatially coincident but numerically distinct from the animal, then provided that the person can use its brain to think, so too can the physically indistinguishable animal. However, not all defenders of psychological views of identity assume the spatial coincidence of the person and the animal. Jeff McMahan and (...)
     
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  • A challenge to the new metaphysics: deRosset, Priority, and explanation.David Fisher, Hao Hong & Timothy Perrine - 2021 - Synthese 198 (7):6403-6433.
    Priority Theory is an increasingly popular view in metaphysics. By seeing metaphysical questions as primarily concerned with what explains what, instead of merely what exists, it promises not only an interesting approach to traditional metaphysical issues but also the resolution of some outstanding disputes. In a recent paper, Louis deRosset argues that Priority Theory isn’t up to the task: Priority Theory is committed to there being explanations that violate a formal constraint on any adequate explanation. This paper critically examines deRosset’s (...)
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  • Fission and Confusion.David Hershenov & Rose Koch-Hershenov - 2006 - Christian Bioethics 12 (3):237-254.
    Catholic opponents of abortion and embryonic stem cell research usually base their position on a hylomorphic account of ensoulment at fertilization. They maintain that we each started out as one-cell ensouled organisms. Critics of this position argue that it is plagued by a number of intractable problems due to fission (twinning) and fusion. We're unconvinced that such objections to early ensoulment provide any reason to doubt the coherence of the hylomorphic account. However, we do maintain that a defense of ensoulment (...)
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  • Dorr on the Language of Ontology.Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3301-3315.
    In the ‘ordinary business of life’, everyone makes claims about what there is. For instance, we say things like: ‘There are some beautiful chairs in my favourite furniture shop’. Within the context of philosophical debate, some philosophers also make claims about what there is. For instance, some ontologists claim that there are chairs; other ontologists claim that there are no chairs. What is the relation between ontologists’ philosophical claims about what there is and ordinary claims about what there is? According (...)
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  • Taking Monism Seriously.David Michael Cornell - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2397-2415.
    Monism is the view that there is only a single material object in existence: the world. According to this view, therefore, the ordinary objects of common sense—cats and hats, cars and stars, and so on—do not actually exist; there is only the world. Because of this, monism is routinely dismissed in the contemporary literature as being absurd and obviously false. It is simply obvious that there is a plurality of material things, thus it is simply obvious that monism is false, (...)
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  • Thinking Animals or Thinking Brains?David Hershenov - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (1):11-24.
    Animalism offers a more attractive account of the human person than the Embodied Mind Account. If people are not animals, but small proper parts of animals, then there is a threat of spatially coincident thinkers. This will likely have to be avoided at the cost of the sparsest of ontologies, one in which there are no larger entities that can become reduced to the size of the brain or cerebrum-size thinker. This will be a rather implausible ontology as such thinkers (...)
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  • Thinking Animals and the Thinking Parts Problem.Joshua L. Watson - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):323-340.
    There is a thinking animal in your chair and you are the only thinking thing in your chair; therefore, you are an animal. So goes the main argument for animalism, the Thinking Animal Argument. But notice that there are many other things that might do our thinking: heads, brains, upper halves, left-hand complements, right-hand complements, and any other object that has our brain as a part. The abundance of candidates for the things that do our thinking is known as the (...)
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  • Living Words: Meaning Underdetermination and the Dynamic Lexicon.Peter Ludlow - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Peter Ludlow shows how word meanings are much more dynamic than we might have supposed, and explores how they are modulated even during everyday conversation. The resulting view is radical, and has far-reaching consequences for our political and legal discourse, and for enduring puzzles in the foundations of semantics, epistemology, and logic.
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  • Getting the Big Picture: A Question on Composition and Photography.Eli Pitcovski - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    Suppose we take a picture containing a full image of a duck and slice it right through, leaving some of the duck image on one slice and some of it on the other. How many duck images will we be left with? Received theories of pictorial representation presuppose that a surface cannot come to contain new images just by changing its physical relations with other surfaces, such as physical continuity. But as it turns out, this is in tension with received (...)
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  • Mereological Essentialism, Composition, and Stuff: A Reply to Kristie Miller.David Nicolas - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):425-429.
    In ‘Essential stuff' (2008) and ‘Stuff' (2009), Kristie Miller argues that two generally accepted theses, often formulated as follows, are incompatible: - (Temporal) mereological essentialism for stuff (or matter), the thesis that any portion of stuff has the same parts at every time it exists. - Stuff composition, the thesis that for any two portions of stuff, there exists a portion of stuff that is their mereological sum (or fusion). She does this by considering competing hypotheses about stuff, trying to (...)
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  • Split Brains: No Headache for the Soul Theorist.David B. Hershenov & Adam P. Taylor - 2014 - Religious Studies 50 (4):487-503.
    Split brains that result in two simultaneous streams of consciousness cut off from each other are wrongly held to be grounds for doubting the existence of the divinely created soul. The mistake is based on two related errors: first, a failure to appreciate the soul's dependence upon neurological functioning; second, a fallacious belief that if the soul is simple, i.e. without parts, then there must be a unity to its thought, all of its thoughts being potentially accessible to reflection or (...)
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  • Persistence Through Function Preservation.David Rose - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):97-146.
    When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a debunking (...)
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  • Folk Mereology is Teleological.David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):238-270.
    When do the folk think that mereological composition occurs? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view of composition that fits with folk intuitions, and yet there has been little agreement about what the folk intuit. We aim to put the tools of experimental philosophy to constructive use. Our studies suggest that folk mereology is teleological: people tend to intuit that composition occurs when the result serves a purpose. We thus conclude that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions, as tied into a benighted (...)
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  • Can Thought Experiments Solve Problems of Personal Identity?Lukas J. Meier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    Good physical experiments conform to the basic methodological standards of experimental design: they are objective, reliable, and valid. But is this also true of thought experiments? Especially problems of personal identity have engendered hypothetical scenarios that are very distant from the actual world. These imagined situations have been conspicuously ineffective at resolving conflicting intuitions and deciding between the different accounts of personal identity. Using prominent examples from the literature, I argue that this is due to many of these thought experiments (...)
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  • Fiction and Indeterminate Identity.David Friedell - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):221-229.
    In ‘Against fictional realism’ Anthony Everett argues that fictional realism leads to indeterminate identity. He concludes that we should reject fictional realism. Everett’s paper and much of the ensuing literature does not discuss what exactly fictional characters are. This is a mistake. I argue that some versions of abstract creationism about fictional characters lead to indeterminate identity, and that some versions of Platonism about fictional characters lead only to indeterminate reference. In doing so I show that Everett’s argument poses a (...)
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  • Towards a Philosophy of Chemical Reactivity Through the Molecule in Atoms-of Concept.Saturnino Calvo-Losada & José Joaquín Quirante - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (1):1-41.
    A novel non-classical mereological concept built up by blending the Metaphysics of Xavier Zubiri and the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules of R. F. W. Bader is proposed. It is argued that this philosophical concept is necessary to properly account for what happens in a chemical reaction. From the topology of the gradient of the laplacian of the electronic charge density, \\) within the QTAIM framework, different “atomic graphs” are found for each atom depending on the molecular context, reflecting (...)
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  • On the Incompatibility of Enduring and Perduring Entities.Trenton Merricks - 1995 - Mind 104 (415):521-531.
  • The Right Stuff.Ned Markosian - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):665-687.
    This paper argues for including stuff in one's ontology. The distinction between things and stuff is first clarified, and then three different ontologies of the physical universe are spelled out: a pure thing ontology, a pure stuff ontology, and a mixed ontology of both things and stuff. Eleven different reasons for including stuff in one's ontology are given. Then five objections to positing stuff are considered and rejected.
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  • Nihilism Without Self-Contradiction.David Liggins - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:177-196.
    in Robin Le Poidevin (ed.) Being: Developments in Contemporary Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Peter van Inwagen claims that there are no tables or chairs. He also claims that sentences such as ‘There are chairs here’, which seem to imply their existence, are often true. This combination of views opens van Inwagen to a charge of self-contradiction. I explain the charge, and van Inwagen’s response to it, which involves the claim that sentences like ‘There are tables’ shift their truth-conditions between (...)
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  • In Defence of Error Theory.Chris Daly & David Liggins - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):209-230.
    Many contemporary philosophers rate error theories poorly. We identify the arguments these philosophers invoke, and expose their deficiencies. We thereby show that the prospects for error theory have been systematically underestimated. By undermining general arguments against all error theories, we leave it open whether any more particular arguments against particular error theories are more successful. The merits of error theories need to be settled on a case-by-case basis: there is no good general argument against error theories.
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  • The Constitution of the Human Embryo as Substantial Change.David Alvargonzález - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (2):172-191.
    This paper analyzes the transformation from the human zygote to the implanted embryo under the prism of substantial change. After a brief introduction, it vindicates the Aristotelian ideas of substance and accident, and those of substantial and accidental change. It then claims that the transformation from the multicelled zygote to the implanted embryo amounts to a substantial change. Pushing further, it contends that this substantial change cannot be explained following patterns of genetic reductionism, emergence, and self-organization, and proposes Gustavo Bueno’s (...)
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  • An elegant universe.Claudio Calosi - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):4767-4782.
    David Lewis famously endorsed Unrestricted Composition. His defense of such a controversial principle builds on the alleged innocence of mereology. This innocence defense has come under different attacks in the last decades. In this paper I pursue another line of defense, that stems from some early remarks by van Inwagen. I argue that Unrestricted Composition leads to a better metaphysics. In particular I provide new arguments for the following claims: Unrestricted Composition entails extensionality of composition, functionality of location and four-dimensionalism (...)
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