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Jonah Goldwater [13]Jonah P. B. Goldwater [2]
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Jonah Goldwater
College of William and Mary
  1. No Composition, No Problem: Ordinary Objects as Arrangements.Jonah P. B. Goldwater - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):367-379.
    On the grounds that there are no mereological composites, mereological nihilists deny that ordinary objects exist. Even if nihilism is true, however, I argue that tables and chairs exist anyway: for I deny that ordinary objects are the mereological sums the nihilist rejects. Instead, I argue, ordinary objects have a different nature; they are arrangements, not composites. My argument runs as follows. First, I defend realism about ordinary objects by showing that there is something that plays the role of ordinary (...)
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  2.  73
    Ryle, the Double Counting Problem, and the Logical Form of Category Mistakes.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (2):337-359.
    Gilbert Ryle is most famous for accusing the Cartesian dualist of committing a category mistake. Yet the nature of this accusation, and the idea of a category mistake more generally, remains woefully misunderstood. The aim of this paper is to rectify this misunderstanding. I show that Ryle does not conceive of category mistakes as mistakes of predication, as is so widely believed. Instead I show category mistakes are mistakes of conjunction and quantification. This thesis uniquely unifies and explains the wide (...)
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  3.  96
    Physicalism and the Sortalist Conception of Objects.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5497-5519.
    The central claim of this paper is that the Aristotelian metaphysics of objects is incompatible with physicalism. This includes the contemporary variant of Aristotelianism I call ‘sortalism’. The core reason is that an object’s identity as an instance of a (natural) kind, as well as its consequent persistence conditions, is neither physically fundamental nor determined by what is physically fundamental. The argument for the latter appeals to what is commonly known as ‘the grounding problem’; in particular I argue that the (...)
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  4.  70
    Existence and Strong Uncountability.Jonah Goldwater - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (3):321-331.
    On the standard view for something to exist is for one thing to exist: in slogan form, to be is to be countable. E.J. Lowe argues something can exist without being countable as one, however. His primary example is homogenous “stuff,” i.e., qualitatively uniform and infinitely divisible matter. Lacking nonarbitrary boundaries and being everywhere the same, homogenous stuff lacks a principle of individuation that would yield countably distinct constituents. So, for Lowe, homogenous stuff is strongly uncountable. Olson rejects Lowe’s view (...)
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  5.  84
    Sider's Third Realm.Jonah Goldwater - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (1):99-112.
    Sider (2011; Writing the Book of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press) argues it is not only predicates that carve reality at its joints, but expressions of any logical or grammatical category – including quantifiers, operators, and sentential connectives. Even so, he denies these expressions pick out entities in the world; instead, they only represent the world’s “structure”. I argue that this distinction is not viable, and that Sider’s ambitious programme requires an exotic ontology – and even a Fregean “third (...)
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  6.  38
    Authority and Natural Kind Essence.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (1):1-12.
    If natural kinds have microstructural essences they have them independently of rules for the application of kind terms. This suggests that what those rules are should make no difference to the essences being discoverable. I present two thought-experiments that suggest otherwise, however. Each shows an authority’s application of rules creates the appearance of there being kind essences; absent those rules, the appearance vanishes. This suggests natural kind essences are not independent of authority-sanctioned rules.
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  7.  35
    Freedom and Actual Interference.Jonah Goldwater - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2).
    Liberal and republican conceptions of freedom differ as to whether freedom consists in noninterference or non-domination. Pettit defends the republican non-domination conception on the grounds that one can be unfree without being interfered with if one is dominated, and that one can be interfered with yet free if not dominated. I show that these claims mistake the scope of actual interference. In particular, I show that cases said to involve unfreedom without interference do involve interference, and that cases said to (...)
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  8.  54
    How Many there Are Isn’t.Jonah P. B. Goldwater - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1037-1057.
    A world where there exists n concrete things is a count-determinate world. The orthodox view is count-determinacy is necessary; if to be is to be the value of a variable and the domain of quantification is enumerable, count-determinacy follows. Yet I argue how many there are can be indeterminate; count-indeterminacy is metaphysically possible and even likely actual. Notably, my argument includes rebuttals of Evans’ reductio of indeterminate identity and the Lewis/Sider ‘argument from vagueness’. Count-indeterminacy should therefore be recognized as another (...)
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  9.  5
    Paraphrase, Categories, and Ontology.Jonah Goldwater - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  10.  29
    Paraphrase, Categories, and Ontology.Jonah Goldwater - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Analytic Philosophy, EarlyView. The method of paraphrasing away apparent ontological commitments is a familiar tool for trimming one's ontology. Even so, I argue that aiming to avoid commitment via paraphrase is unjustified. The reason is the standard motivations for paraphrase rest on implicit yet faulty principles regarding ontological categories and categorization- or so I argue. These results also provide indirect support for a permissivist approach to ontology.
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  11.  1
    Paraphrase, Categories, and Ontology.Jonah Goldwater - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  12.  3
    Paraphrase, Categories, and Ontology.Jonah Goldwater - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  13.  52
    Six Arguments Against ‘Ought Implies Can’.Jonah Goldwater - 2020 - Southwest Philosophy Review 36 (1):45-54.
    Opponents of ‘ought implies can’ (OIC) often proceed via cases or counterexamples; hypothetical situations are described in which one is unable to do what one intuitively ought to do. I proceed differently. I offer six arguments against OIC via general principles; no cases. Though each argument would suffice to refute OIC if sound, redundancy is always a failsafe.
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  14.  53
    The Lump and the Ledger: Material Coincidence at Little-to-No Cost.Jonah Goldwater - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):789-812.
    This paper aims to make headway on two related issues—one methodological, the other substantive. The former concerns cost–benefit analyses when applied to metaphysical theory choice. The latter concerns material coincidence, i.e., multiple objects occupying the same space at the same time, such as the statue and the clay from which it’s made. The issues are entwined as many reject coincidence on the grounds that it’s costly. I argue this judgment is unjustified. More generally, I set out and defend a framework (...)
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  15.  85
    Uploads, Faxes, and You: Can Personal Identity Be Transmitted?Jonah Goldwater - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (3):233–250.
    Abstract. Could a person or mind be uploaded—transmitted to a computer or network—and thereby survive bodily death? I argue ‘mind uploading’ is possible only if a mind is an abstract object rather than a concrete particular. Two implications are notable. One, if someone can be uploaded someone can be multiply-instantiated, such that there could be as many instances of a person as copies of a book. Second, mind uploading’s possibility is incompatible with the leading theories of personal identity, insofar as (...)
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