104 found
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  1. Choosing Normative Concepts.Matti Eklund - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The concepts we use to value and prescribe are historically contingent, and we could have found ourselves with others. But what does it mean to say that some concepts are better than others for purposes of action-guiding and deliberation? What is it to choose between different normative conceptual frameworks?
  2. Making sense of logical pluralism.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (3-4):433-454.
    The article is centered on the question of how best to understand the logical pluralism/logical monism debate. A number of suggestions are brought up and rejected on the ground that they re...
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  3. Conceptual Engineering in Philosophy.Matti Eklund - 2021 - In Rebecca Mason (ed.), Hermeneutical Injustice. Routledge.
  4. Carnap and ontological pluralism.Matti Eklund - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 130--56.
    My focus here will be Rudolf Carnap’s views on ontology, as these are presented in the seminal “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology” (1950). I will first describe how I think Carnap’s distinction between external and internal questions is best understood. Then I will turn to broader issues regarding Carnap’s views on ontology. With certain reservations, I will ascribe to Carnap an ontological pluralist position roughly similar to the positions of Eli Hirsch and the later Hilary Putnam. Then I turn to some (...)
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  5. Inconsistent Languages.Matti Eklund - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):251-275.
    The main thesis of this paper is that we sometimes are disposed to accept false and even jointly inconsistent claims by virtue of our semantic competence, and that this comes to light in the sorites and liar paradoxes. Among the subsidiary theses are that this is an important source of indeterminacy in truth conditions, that we must revise basic assumptions about semantic competence, and that classical logic and bivalence can be upheld in the face of the sorites paradox.
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  6. Intuitions, Conceptual Engineering, and Conceptual Fixed Points.Matti Eklund - 2015 - In Christopher Daly (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on Philosophical Methods. Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. Neo-Fregean ontology.Matti Eklund - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):95-121.
    Neo-Fregeanism in the philosophy of mathematics consists of two main parts: the logicist thesis, that mathematics (or at least branches thereof, like arithmetic) all but reduce to logic, and the platonist thesis, that there are abstract, mathematical objects. I will here focus on the ontological thesis, platonism. Neo-Fregeanism has been widely discussed in recent years. Mostly the discussion has focused on issues specific to mathematics. I will here single out for special attention the view on ontology which underlies the neo-Fregeans’ (...)
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  8. Fictionalism.Matti Eklund - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  9. The picture of reality as an amorphous lump.Matti Eklund - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 382--96.
    (1) Abstract objects. The nominalist (as the label is used today) denies that there exist abstract objects. The platonist holds that there are abstract objects. One example is numbers. The nominalist denies that there are numbers; the platonist typically affirms it.
     
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  10. What are Thick Concepts?Matti Eklund - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):25-49.
    Many theorists hold that there is, among value concepts, a fundamental distinction between thin ones and thick ones. Among thin ones are concepts like good and right. Among concepts that have been regarded as thick are discretion, caution, enterprise, industry, assiduity, frugality, economy, good sense, prudence, discernment, treachery, promise, brutality, courage, coward, lie, gratitude, lewd, perverted, rude, glorious, graceful, exploited, and, of course, many others. Roughly speaking, thick concepts are value concepts with significant descriptive content. I will discuss a number (...)
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  11. Carnapian Frameworks Revisited.Matti Eklund - 2023 - In Panu Raatikainen (ed.), _Essays in the Philosophy of Language._ Acta Philosophica Fennica Vol. 100. Helsinki: Societas Philosophica Fennica. pp. 91–113.
    In his recent article "Carnapian Frameworks" (Synthese, 2021), Gabriel Broughton criticizes my discussions of Carnap on ontology and puts forward his own interpretation of what Carnap’s external/internal distinction amounts to. I here first argue that Broughton’s main claims about me are based on a misinterpretation. Then I turn to some issues of broader interest. I argue that Broughton’s own, potentially interesting interpretation of Carnap’s external/internal distinction does not work. And in light of Broughton’s discussion I present a sharpened version of (...)
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  12. Inconsistency and replacement.Matti Eklund - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):387-402.
    The article is an extended critical discussion of Kevin Scharp’s Replacing Truth. Scharp’s case for the claim that the concept of truth is inconsistent is criticized, and so is his case for the claim that the concept of truth must be replaced because of its inconsistency.
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  13. What Vagueness Consists In.Matti Eklund - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 125 (1):27-60.
    The main question of the paper is that ofwhat vagueness consists in. This question must be distinguished from other questions about vagueness discussed in the literature. It is argued that familiar accounts of vagueness for general reasons failto answer the question ofwhat vagueness consists in. A positive view is defended, according to which, roughly, the vagueness of an expression consists in it being part ofsemantic competence to accept a tolerance principle for the expression. Since tolerance principles are inconsistent, this is (...)
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  14. The existence of personites.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2051-2071.
    Mark Johnston and Eric Olson have both pressed what Johnston has dubbed the personite problem. Personites, if they exist, are person-like entities whose lives extend over a continuous proper part of a person’s life. They are so person-like that they seem to have moral status if persons do. But this threatens to wreak havoc with ordinary moral thinking. For example, simple decisions to suffer some short-term hardship for long-term benefits become problematic. And ordinary punishment is always also punishment of the (...)
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  15. Carnap's Metaontology.Matti Eklund - 2011 - Noûs 47 (2):229-249.
  16. What is deflationism about truth?Matti Eklund - 2017 - Synthese 198 (2):631-645.
    What is deflationism about truth? There are many questions that can be raised about this, given the numerous different characterizations of deflationism in the literature. Here I attend to questions about the characterization of deflationism that arise when we carefully distinguish between issues pertaining to concepts and issues pertaining to properties.
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  17. Metaontology.Matti Eklund - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (3):317-334.
    Metaontology – the study of the nature of ontological issues – has flourished in recent years. The focus of this summary will be on some views and arguments that are central to today’s debate. One theme will be that of how seriously to take ontology: whether there is reason to take a skeptical or deflationary attitude toward ontological claims, as theorists like Rudolf Carnap, Hilary Putnam, and Eli Hirsch in different ways have urged. The other theme will be that of (...)
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  18. Replacing Truth?Matti Eklund - 2014 - In Brett Sherman & Alexis Burgess (eds.), Metasemantics.
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    The Normative Pluriverse.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2).
    According to a certain pluralist view in philosophy of mathematics, there are as many mathematical objects as there can coherently be. Recently, Justin Clarke-Doane has explored what consequences the analogous view on normative properties would have. What if there is a normative pluriverse? Here I address this same question. The challenge is best seen as a challenge to an important form of normative realism. I criticize the way Clarke-Doane presents the challenge. An improved challenge is presented, and the role of (...)
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  20. Meaning‐Constitutivity.Matti Eklund - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):559-574.
    I discuss some problems faced by the meaning‐inconsistency view on the liar and sorites paradoxes which I have elsewhere defended. Most of the discussion is devoted to the question of what a defender of the meaning‐inconsistency view should say about semantic competence.
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    Thin entities.Matti Eklund - 2023 - Theoria 89 (3):356-365.
    Oystein Linnebo's book Thin Objects is partly devoted to defending the view that some objects are “thin” in that their existence does not impose any substantive demands on the world. In this paper, I discuss the concern that the defense relies on there being entities that serve as the referents of predicates. Linnebo thus seems to assume the thinness of those entities. In the course of my discussion, I also discuss what Linnebo says about the role of criteria of identity (...)
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  22. Regress, unity, facts, and propositions.Matti Eklund - 2019 - Synthese 196 (4):1225-1247.
    The problem, or cluster of problems, of the unity of the proposition, along with the cluster of problems that tend to go under the name of Bradley’s regress, has recently again become a going concern for philosophers, after having for some time been regarded as primarily of historical interest. In this paper, I distinguish between the different problems that tend to be brought up under the heading of the unity of the proposition, and between different related regress arguments. I present (...)
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  23. Being Metaphysically Unsettled: Barnes and Williams on Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vagueness.Matti Eklund - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 6:6.
    This chapter discusses the defence of metaphysical indeterminacy by Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams and discusses a classical and bivalent theory of such indeterminacy. Even if metaphysical indeterminacy arguably is intelligible, Barnes and Williams argue in favour of it being so and this faces important problems. As for classical logic and bivalence, the chapter problematizes what exactly is at issue in this debate. Can reality not be adequately described using different languages, some classical and some not? Moreover, it is argued (...)
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  24. Collapse and the Varieties of Quantifier Variance.Matti Eklund - 2021 - In James Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology.
    The aim of the paper is to bring clarity regarding the doctrine of quantifier variance (due to Eli Hirsch), and two prominent arguments against this doctrine, the collapse argument and the Eklund-Hawthorne argument. Different versions of the doctrine of quantifier variance are distinguished, and it is shown that the effectiveness of the arguments against it depends on what version of the doctrine is at issue. The metaontological significance of the different versions of the doctrine are also assessed. Roughly, quantifier variance (...)
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  25. Fiction, indifference, and ontology.Matti Eklund - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):557–579.
    In this paper I outline an alternative to hermeneutic fictionalism, an alternative I call indifferentism, with the same advantages as hermeneutic fictionalism with respect to ontological issues but avoiding some of the problems that face fictionalism. The difference between indifferentism and fictionalism is this. The fictionalist about ordinary utterances of a sentence S holds, with more orthodox views, that the speaker in some sense commits herself to the truth of S. It is only that for the fictionalist this is truth (...)
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  26. Hale and Wright on the Metaontology of Neo-Fregeanism.Matti Eklund - 2016 - In Philip A. Ebert & Marcus Rossberg (eds.), Abstractionism: Essays in Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
  27. Variance Theses in Ontology and Metaethics.Matti Eklund - 2019 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
  28. Deconstructing Ontological Vagueness.Matti Eklund - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):117-140.
    I will here present a number of problems concerning the idea that there is ontological vagueness, and the related claim that appeal to this idea can help solve some vagueness-related problems. A theme underlying the discussion will be the distinction between vagueness specifically and indeterminacy more generally (and, relatedly, the distinction between ontological vagueness and ontological indeterminacy). Even if the world is somehow ontologically indeterminate it by no means follows that it is, properly speaking, ontologically vague.1..
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  29. Deep Inconsistency.Matti Eklund - 2002 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (3):321-331.
  30. Carnap's Legacy for the Contemporary Metaontological Debate.Matti Eklund - 2016 - In Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.), Ontology After Carnap.
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    Edwards on truth pluralism.Matti Eklund - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (8):1481-1493.
    I critically discuss Douglas Edwards' construal of the debate over truth, and his case for truth pluralism. Toward the end I present a constructive suggestion on Edwards' behalf. This suggestion avoids the problems I have presented, whatever in the end its fate.
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  32. Reply to critics.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):535-561.
    Reply to Stephanie Leary’s, Kris McDaniel’s, Tristram McPherson’s and David Plunkett’s articles on Choosing Normative Concepts (OUP, 2017) in book symposium in Inquiry.
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  33. AI and Alien Languages.Matti Eklund - manuscript
    In this paper, I focus on AIs as very different, or at least potentially very different, kinds of language users from what humans are. Is the metasemantics for AI language use different, in the way Cappelen and Dever argue? Is it reasonable to think that AIs will come to use languages importantly different from human languages, what I call alien languages?
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  34. Personal identity, concerns, and indeterminacy.Matti Eklund - 2004 - The Monist 87 (4):489-511.
    Let the moral question of personal identity be the following: what is the nature of the entities we should focus our prudential concerns and ascriptions of responsibility around? (If indeed we should structure these things around any entities at all.) Let the semantic question of personal identity be the question of what is the nature of the entities that ‘person’ is true of. A naive (in the sense of simple and intuitive) view would have it that the two questions are (...)
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  35. Alternative normative concepts.Matti Eklund - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (2):139-157.
  36. Carnap, Language Pluralism, and Rationality.Matti Eklund - manuscript
    Forthcoming in Darren Bradley (ed.), Carnap and Contemporary Philosophy. -/- This paper is centered on Carnap’s views on rationality. More specifically, much of the focus is on a puzzle regarding Carnap’s view on rationality that Florian Steinberger has recently discussed. Not only is Steinberger’s discussion of significant intrinsic interest: his discussion also raises general questions about Carnap interpretation. As I have discussed in earlier work, there are two very different ways of interpreting Carnap’s talk of “frameworks” – and, relatedly, different (...)
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  37. Should moral intuitionism go social?Marvin Backes, Matti Eklund & Eliot Michaelson - 2022 - Noûs 57 (4):973-985.
    In recent work, Bengson, Cuneo, and Shafer‐Landau (2020) develop a new social version of moral intuitionism that promises to explain why our moral intuitions are trustworthy. In this paper, we raise several worries for their account and present some general challenges for the broader class of views we call Social Moral Intuitionism. We close by reflecting on Bengson, Cuneo, and Shafer‐Landau's comparison between what they call the “perceptual practice” and the “moral intuition practice”, which we take to raise some difficult (...)
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  38. Book Review: Oystein Linnebo, Thin Objects.Matti Eklund - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (2):330-335.
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  39. Sider on existence.David Liebesman & Matti Eklund - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):519–528.
    In (2001), (2003), and elsewhere, Ted Sider presents two arguments concerning the existential quantifier which are justly central to the recent discussion of metaontology. What we will call Sider's indeterminacy argument is an attempted reductio of the suggestion that the existential quantifier might be semantically indeterminate. What we will call Sider's naturalness argument is an argument for the claim that the semantic value of the existential quantifier is the most eligible existence-like meaning there is, à la David Lewis' eligibility theory (...)
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  40. Being Metaphysically Unsettled: Barnes and Williams on Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vagueness.Matti Eklund - 2011 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 6. Oxford University Press UK.
     
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  41. Bad company and neo-Fregean philosophy.Matti Eklund - 2009 - Synthese 170 (3):393-414.
    A central element in neo-Fregean philosophy of mathematics is the focus on abstraction principles, and the use of abstraction principles to ground various areas of mathematics. But as is well known, not all abstraction principles are in good standing. Various proposals for singling out the acceptable abstraction principles have been presented. Here I investigate what philosophical underpinnings can be provided for these proposals; specifically, underpinnings that fit the neo-Fregean's general outlook. Among the philosophical ideas I consider are: general views on (...)
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  42. The Frege–Geach problem and Kalderon's moral fictionalism.Matti Eklund - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):705-712.
    Mark Eli Kalderon has argued for a fictionalist variant of non-cognitivism. On his view, what the Frege–Geach problem shows is that standard non-cognitivism proceeds uncritically from claims about use to claims about meaning; if non-cognitivism's claims were solely about use it would be on safe ground as far as the Frege–Geach problem is concerned. I argue that Kalderon's diagnosis is mistaken: the problem concerns the non-cognitivist's account of the use of moral sentences too.
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  43. Metaphysical Vagueness and Metaphysical Indeterminacy.Matti Eklund - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):165-179.
    The topic of this paper is whether there is metaphysical vagueness. It is shown that it is important to distinguish between the general phenomenon of indeterminacy and the more narrow phenomenon of vagueness (the phenomenon that paradigmatically rears its head in sorites reasoning). Relatedly, it is important to distinguish between metaphysical indeterminacy and metaphysical vagueness. One can wish to allow metaphysical indeterminacy but rule out metaphysical vagueness. As is discussed in the paper, central argument against metaphysical vagueness, like those of (...)
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  44. Thickness and Evaluation.Matti Eklund - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (1):89-104.
    This is a review essay devoted to Pekka Väyrynen’s The Lewd, the Rude and the Nasty. Väyrynen’s book, concerned with thick terms and thick concepts, argues for a pragmatic view on the evaluativeness associated with these terms and concepts. The essay raises a number of critical questions regarding what Väyrynen’s arguments for his view actually show. It deals with, for example, thick properties, the fact-value distinction, what it is for terms and concepts to be (semantically) evaluative, and whether Väyrynen’s arguments (...)
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  45. Thomasson on Modal Language.Matti Eklund - 2023 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez (ed.), Thomasson on Ontology. Springer Verlag. pp. 137-161.
    In recent work, Amie Thomasson has defended what she calls normativism about metaphysical modality. She claims that discourse about metaphysical modality primarily serves a non-descriptive function, and builds a theory of such discourse around this claim. In this text, I critically discuss Thomasson’s view. Chief among the problems I go on to discuss is that Thomasson’s account of the meanings of modal expressions does not solve the problems she intends it to solve (among them solving the Frege-Geach problem), that there (...)
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  46. Trends and Progress in Philosophy.Matti Eklund - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (3):276-292.
    This article is in three parts. The first discusses trends in philosophy. The second defends reliance on intuitions in philosophy from some doubts that have recently been raised. The third discusses Philip Kitcher's contention that contemporary analytic philosophy does not have its priorities straight. While the three parts are independent, there is a common theme. Each part defends what is regarded as orthodoxy from attacks. Of course there are other reasonable challenges to philosophical methodology. The article's aim is just to (...)
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  47. Rayo’s Metametaphysics.Matti Eklund - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (4):483-497.
    In his important book The Construction of Logical Space, Agustín Rayo lays out a distinctive metametaphysical view and applies it fruitfully to disputes concerning ontology and concerning modality. In this article, I present a number of criticisms of the view developed, mostly focusing on the underlying metametaphysics and Rayo’s claims on its behalf.
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  48. Personal identity and conceptual incoherence.Matti Eklund - 2002 - Noûs 36 (3):465-485.
  49. Replies to Festschrift Contributors.Matti Eklund - 2024 - Festschrift for Matti Eklund.
    In Andreas Stokke (ed.), Festschrift for Matti Eklund, 2024. -/- Replies to Katharina Felka and Nils Franzén, Eli Hirsch, Dan Korman, David Liebesman, Øystein Linnebo, Anna-Sofia Maurin and Debbie Roberts. Topics discussed concern metaethics, metaphysics and philosophy of language. More specifically, issues discussed are thick concepts (Felka and Franzén; Roberts), ontology (Hirsch, Linnebo), indifferentism and fictionalism (Korman), alien languages and alien metaphysics (Liebesman), and Bradley's regress (Maurin).
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  50. Normative concepts.Matti Eklund - forthcoming - In David Copp & Connie Rosati (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaethics. Oxford University Press.
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