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M. Oreste Fiocco
University of California, Irvine
  1. Each Thing Is Fundamental: Against Hylomorphism and Hierarchical Structure.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):289-301.
    Each thing is fundamental. Not only is no thing any more or less real than any other, but no thing is prior to another in any robust ontological sense. Thus, no thing can explain the very existence of another, nor account for how another is what it is. I reach this surprising conclusion by undermining two important positions in contemporary metaphysics: hylomorphism and hierarchical views employing so-called building relations, such as grounding. The paper has three main parts. First, I observe (...)
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  2. What Is a Thing?M. Oreste Fiocco - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (5):649-669.
    ‘Thing’ in the titular question should be construed as having the utmost generality. In the relevant sense, a thing just is an entity, an existent, a being. The present task is to say what a thing of any category is. This task is, I believe, the primary one of any comprehensive and systematic metaphysics. Indeed, an answer provides the means for resolving perennial disputes concerning the integrity of the structure in reality—whether some of the relations among things are necessary merely (...)
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  3. Conceivability, Imagination and Modal Knowledge.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):364–380.
    The notion of conceivability has traditionally been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. Despite its importance to modal epistemology, there is no received explication of conceivability. One purpose of this paper is to argue that the notion is not fruitfully explicated in terms of the imagination. The most natural way of presenting a notion of conceivability qua imaginability is open to cogent criticism. In order to avoid such criticism, an advocate of the modal insightfulness of the imagination (...)
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  4. Knowing Things in Themselves.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (3):332-358.
    A perennial epistemological question is whether things can be known just as they are in the absence of any awareness of them. This epistemological question is posterior to ontological considerations and more specific ones pertaining to mind. In light of such considerations, the author propounds a naïve realist, foundationalist account of knowledge of things in themselves, one that makes crucial use of the work of Brentano. After introducing the resources provided by Brentano’s study of mind, the author reveals the ontological (...)
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  5. A Quandary of Wokeness.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2022 - Journal of Controversial Ideas 2 (1).
    Being woke, that is, being aware of the appalling injustices borne by many in American society because of certain identities or features and wanting to act to redress these injustices, seems to put one in a quandary: either one can accept a role in the struggle against injustice that seems obviously inefficacious or, if one insists on doing more, one must, it seems, engage in epistemic imperialism, thereby wronging some of those one is endeavoring to help.
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  6. An Absolute Principle of Truthmaking.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2013 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 88 (1):1-31.
    The purpose of this paper is to propose and defend an absolute principle of truthmaking, a maximalist one according to which every truth is made true by something in the world beyond itself. I maintain that an absolute principle must be true, that any weakened version is straightforwardly contradictory or incoherent. I criticize one principle of truthmaking (in terms of bald necessity) and articulate one in terms of the relation in virtue of. I then criticize other principles of truthmaking in (...)
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  7. A Defense of Transient Presentism.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (3):191 - 212.
    Presentism is a controversial and much discussed position in the metaphysics of time. The position is often glossed as simply the view that everything that exists is present. This gloss, however, does not in itself characterize a single view. In this paper, I first propound the variety of presentist views, characterizing the primary dimensions along which the views differ. I then present the version of presentism I deem optimal. The variety among presentist views is so great that the version that (...)
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  8. Williamson's Anti-Luminosity Argument.Anthony Brueckner & M. Oreste Fiocco - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 110 (3):285–293.
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  9. Becoming: Temporal, Absolute, and Atemporal.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2014 - In L. Nathan Oaklander (ed.), Debates in the Metaphysics of Time. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 87-107.
    There are two conspicuous and inescapable features of this world in which time is real. One experiences a world in flux, a transient world in which things constantly come into existence, change and cease to be. One also experiences a stable world, one in which how things are at any given moment is permanent, unchangeable. Thus, there is transience and permanence. Yet these two features of the world seem incompatible. The primary purpose of this paper is to sketch a metaphysics (...)
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  10. Intentionality and Realism.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):219-237.
    In this paper, I argue that how a mind can come to be about an object and how the world is independently of the workings of any mind are inextricably linked. Hence, epistemology, at its most basic, and metaphysics are systematically related. In order to demonstrate the primary thesis of the paper, I first articulate two contrary accounts of the nature of reality and then two contradictory general views of intentionality. I argue that these positions can be combined in only (...)
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  11. Temporary Intrinsics and Relativization.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):64-77.
    Some have concluded that the only appropriate response to the problem of temporary intrinsics is the view that familiar, concrete objects persist through time by perduring, that is, by having temporal parts. Many, including myself, believe this view of persistence is false, and so reject this conclusion. However, the most common attempts to resolve the problem and yet defend the view that familiar, concrete objects endure are self-defeating. This has heretofore gone unnoticed. I consider the most familiar such attempts, based (...)
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  12. There is Nothing to Identity.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7321-7337.
    Several have denied that there is, specifically, a criterion of identity for persons and some deny that there are, for any kind, diachronic criteria of identity. I argue, however, that there are no criteria of identity, either synchronic or diachronic, for any kind whatsoever. I begin by elaborating the notion of a criterion of identity in order to clarify what exactly is being denied when I maintain there are none. I examine the motivation of those who qualify in some way (...)
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  13. The Epistemic Idleness of Conceivability.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2021 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 167-179.
    One’s involvement with the world seems limited merely to things as they are; hence, modal knowledge—knowledge of what could be or must be simpliciter—should be perplexing. Traditionally, the notion of conceivability has been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. I believe one has a good deal of such knowledge (though perhaps less than others presume one has). I maintain, however, that conceiving is utterly idle in acquiring modal knowledge: the conceivability of a proposition can provide no evidence (...)
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  14. What Is Time?M. Oreste Fiocco - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (1):43-65.
    In this paper, I answer the question of what time is. First, however, I consider why one might ask this question and what exactly it is asking. The latter consideration reveals that in order to answer the question, one must first engage in a more basic investigation of what a thing, anything at all, is. Such radical investigation requires a special methodology. After briefly characterizing this methodology, I show how it can be employed to answer the titular question. This answer (...)
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    Consequentialism and the World in Time.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2013 - Ratio 26 (2):212-224.
    Consequentialism is a general approach to understanding the nature of morality that seems to entail a certain view of the world in time. This entailment raises specific problems for the approach. The first seems to lead to the conclusion that every actual act is right – an unacceptable result for any moral theory. The second calls into question the idea that consequentialism is an approach to morality, for it leads to the conclusion that this approach produces a theory whose truth (...)
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  16. Passage, Becoming and the Nature of Temporal Reality.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (1):1-21.
    I first distinguish several notions that have traditionally been conflated (or otherwise neglected) in discussions of the metaphysics of time. Thus, for example, I distinguish between the passage of time and temporal becoming. The former is, I maintain, a confused notion that does not represent a feature of the world; whereas a proper understanding of the latter provides the key for a plausible and comprehensive account of the nature of temporal reality. There are two general classes of views of the (...)
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    On Simple Facts.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):287-313.
    It is plausible that every true representation is made true by something in the world beyond itself. I believe that a simple fact is the truthmaker of each true proposition. Simple facts are not familiar entities. This lack of familiarity might lead many to regard them with suspicion, to think that including them in one’s ontology is an ad hoc maneuver. Although such suspicion is warranted initially, it is, I believe, ultimately unfounded. In this paper, I first present what I (...)
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  18. Fatalism and the Metaphysics of Contingency.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2015 - In Steven M. Cahn & Maureen Eckert (eds.), Freedom and the Self: Essays on the Philosophy of David Foster Wallace. Columbia University Press. pp. 57-92.
    Contingency is the presence of non-actualized possibility in the world. Fatalism is a view of reality on which there is no contingency. Since it is contingency that permits agency, there has traditionally been much interest in contingency. This interest has long been embarrassed by the contention that simple and plausible assumptions about the world lead to fatalism. I begin with an Aristotelian argument as presented by Richard Taylor. Appreciation of this argument has been stultified by a question pertaining to the (...)
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  19. Is There a Right to Respect?M. Oreste Fiocco - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (4):502-524.
    Many moral philosophers assume that a person is entitled to respect; this suggests that there is a right to respect. I argue, however, that there is no such right. There can be no right to respect because of what respect is, in conjunction with what a right demands and certain limitations of human agency. In this paper, I first examine the nature and ontological basis of rights. I next consider the notion of respect in general; I adduce several varieties of (...)
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  20. Structure, Intentionality and the Given.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2019 - In Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. pp. 95-118.
    The given is the state of a mind in its primary engagement with the world. A satisfactory epistemology—one, it turns out, that is foundationalist and includes a naïve realist view of perception—requires a certain account of the given. Moreover, knowledge based on the given requires both a particular view of the world itself and a heterodox account of judgment. These admittedly controversial claims are supported by basic ontological considerations. I begin, then, with two contradictory views of the world per se (...)
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  21. Conceivability and Epistemic Possibility.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):387-399.
    The notion of conceivability has traditionally been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. Despite its importance to modal epistemology, there is no received explication of conceivability. In recent discussions, some have attempted to explicate the notion in terms of epistemic possibility. There are, however, two notions of epistemic possibility, a more familiar one and a novel one. I argue that these two notions are independent of one another. Both are irrelevant to an account of modal knowledge on (...)
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