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Michael Deigan
Rutgers - New Brunswick
  1.  76
    A plea for inexact truthmaking.Michael Deigan - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (5):515-536.
    Kit Fine distinguishes between inexact and exact truthmaking. He argues that the former can be defined from the latter, but not vice versa, and so concludes that truthmaker semanticists should treat the exact variety of truthmaking as primitive. I argue that this gets things backwards. We can define exact truthmaking in terms of inexact truthmaking and we can’t define inexact truthmaking in terms of exact truthmaking. I conclude that it’s inexact truthmaking, rather than exact truthmaking, that truthmaker semanticists should treat (...)
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  2. Don't trust Fodor's guide in Monte Carlo: Learning concepts by hypothesis testing without circularity.Michael Deigan - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Fodor argued that learning a concept by hypothesis testing would involve an impossible circularity. I show that Fodor's argument implicitly relies on the assumption that actually φ-ing entails an ability to φ. But this assumption is false in cases of φ-ing by luck, and just such luck is involved in testing hypotheses with the kinds of generative random sampling methods that many cognitive scientists take our minds to use. Concepts thus can be learned by hypothesis testing without circularity, and it (...)
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  3.  66
    Offsetting Harm.Michael Deigan - forthcoming - In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 12.
    It is typically wrong to act in a way that foreseeably makes some impending harm worse. Sometimes it is permissible to do so, however, if one also offsets the harm increasing action by doing something that decreases the badness of the same harm by at least as much. This chapter argues that the standard deontological constraint against doing harm is not compatible with the permissibility of harm increases that have been offset. Offsetting neither prevents one's other actions from doing harm (...)
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  4. Counterfactual Double Lives.Michael Deigan - 2017 - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium:215--224.
    Expressions typically thought to be rigid designators can refer to distinct individuals in the consequents of counterfactuals. This occurs in counteridenticals, such as “If I were you, I would arrest me”, as well as more ordinary counterfactuals with clearly possible antecedents, like “If I were a police officer, I would arrest me”. I argue that in response we should drop rigidity and deal with de re modal predication using something more flexible, such as counterpart theory.
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    A plea for inexact truthmaking.Michael Deigan - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (5):515-536.
    Kit Fine distinguishes between inexact and exact truthmaking. He argues that the former can be defined from the latter, but not vice versa, and so concludes that truthmaker semanticists should treat the exact variety of truthmaking as primitive. I argue that this gets things backwards. We can define exact truthmaking in terms of inexact truthmaking and we can’t define inexact truthmaking in terms of exact truthmaking. I conclude that it’s inexact truthmaking, rather than exact truthmaking, that truthmaker semanticists should treat (...)
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  6.  11
    Stupefying.Michael Deigan - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (1).
    Assertions are often accepted without being understood, a phenomenon I call stupefying. I argue that stupefying can be a means for conversational manipulation that works through at-issue content, in contrast with the not-at-issue and back-door speech act routes identified by others. This shows that we should reject a widely assumed connection between attention and at-issue content. In exploring why stupefying happens, it also emerges that stupefying has important cooperative uses, in addition to its manipulative ones, and so should not be (...)
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  7. Counterfactual donkeys don't get high.Michael Deigan - 2018 - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 22 1:367--384.
    I present data that suggest the universal entailments of counterfactual donkey sentences aren’t as universal as some have claimed. I argue that this favors the strategy of attributing these entailments to a special property of the similarity ordering on worlds provided by some contexts, rather than to a semantically encoded sensitivity to assignment.
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  8. Bad Concepts, Bilateral Contents.Michael Deigan - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
    I argue that one need not be an inferentialist in order to model inconsistent concepts, contrary to what some have thought. Representationalists can do so by adopting a form of bilateralism about contents. It remains unclear, however, why conceptual inconsistency would constitute a defect to be eliminated, rather than a vindication of dialetheism to be embraced. I suggest some answers to explore that involve accepting a descriptive form of dialetheism but denying its normative forms.
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