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Mark Ressler
University of Melbourne (PhD)
  1. Relativism and Tolerance Revisited.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    This paper reviews arguments concerning the relation between relativism and tolerance, both whether tolerance entails relativism, and whether relativism entails tolerance. Two new arguments are offered to support the contention that there is no necessary relation between relativism and tolerance. In particular, building on the classic argument by Geoffrey Harrison, this paper argues that even if there is no strict dichotomy between facts and values, as Harrison had assumed, relativism still does not entail tolerance for every relativized perspective.
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  2. Pegasus Explained Away.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    The consequences of Quine's criterion of ontological commitment epitomized in his treatment of the term 'Pegasus' in "On What There Is" are evaluated in terms of Quine's own work, in particular in "The Variable" and "Variables Explained Away". There is a cost to maintaining this criterion with regard to the empirical consequences of some non-existent objects, given considerations prompted by Quine's holism. This cost can be reduced by adopting a noneist position according to which non-existent objects can be values of (...)
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  3. Dual Categorization and the Role of Aristotle’s Categories.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    In the Categories, Aristotle addresses two different cases of dual categorization, cases in which the same thing might appear in two different categories: relatives and secondary substances in the first case, qualities and relatives in the second. His treatment of these two cases is markedly different. Ackrill thinks dual categorization poses a dilemma for Aristotle’s project as a whole, but I argue that there is a dilemma only on particular understandings of Aristotle’s purpose in compiling the list of categories. I (...)
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  4. The Value of Apparently Incoherent Positions.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    Incoherence arguments are intended to demonstrate that some philosophical position should be rejected because it is fatally flawed. I review the kinds of fatal flaws targeted in incoherence arguments, and argue that such arguments are not conclusive against the position they target, but merely pose challenges that require greater imagination. Furthermore, I claim that apparently incoherent positions have an instrumental value in expanding the intellectual resources of philosophy.
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  5.  95
    X and the Politics of y, for Some X and Y.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    Inauthenticity can be understood as following the herd, in line with a metaphor from Nietzsche. The idea of inauthentic philosophy is explored in an analysis of the titles of articles in philosophy journals, particularly those following the general pattern of 'x and the Politics of y'.
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  6.  94
    Seven Theses Concerning Hume’s Skepticism with Regard to Reason.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    There is a controversy concerning whether to give Section 1.4.1 of Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature a skeptical or naturalistic reading. I divide the overall interpretation of this section into seven smaller interpretative theses, none of which alone determine either a skeptical or naturalistic reading, but which together better support what has been called the naturalistic interpretation.
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  7.  79
    Possibility in a Single World.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    In response to suspicions concerning the use of possible worlds in philosophy, this brief paper proposes an analysis of possibility that requires only a single world, using a combination of temporal logic and a potentiality operator.
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  8.  79
    Perspectival Methods in Metaphysics.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    There seems to be a difficulty in the practice of metaphysics, in that any methodology used in metaphysical study relies on certain presuppositions, whereby it seems that metaphysical results are relative to those presuppositions. What is needed is a methodology that can yield objective metaphysical results that are not limited by the presuppositions of that methodology. This paper argues for a way to triangulate on stable metaphysical results by using existing methodologies as perspectives on metaphysical topics, and by reducing the (...)
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  9.  96
    Connectionism and the Intentionality of the Programmer.Mark Ressler - 2003 - Dissertation, San Diego State University
    Connectionism seems to avoid many of the problems of classical artificial intelligence, but has it avoided all of them? In this thesis I examine the problem that Intentionality, the directedness of thought to an object, raises for connectionism. As a preliminary approach, I consider the role of Intentionality in classical artificial intelligence from the programmer’s point of view. In this investigation, one problem I identify with classical artificial intelligence is that the Intentionality of the programmer seems to be projected onto (...)
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  10.  21
    The Logic of Relativism.Mark Ressler - 2013 - Increasingly Skeptical Publications.
    This in-depth study aims to develop a rigorous analysis of the nature and the logic of relativism in general as a basis for evaluating the charge of self-refutation against relativism. It develops a general definition of relativism that distinguishes relativism from structurally similar notions such as conventionalism and contextualism. On the basis of this definition, it formulates a series of logical systems that each might be presented as candidates for the logic of relativism. Each system is evaluated to see whether (...)
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  11.  19
    Thoroughly Relativistic Perspectives.Mark Ressler - 2012 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 53 (1):89-112.
    This article formulates five relative systems to evaluate the charge of self-refutation with regard to global relativism. It is demonstrated that all five of these systems support models with at least one thoroughly relativistic perspective. However, when these systems are extended to include an operator expressing the valuation of statements in a perspective, only one relative system, based on a nonnormal modal logic, supports a thoroughly relativistic perspective.
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