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Nathaniel Goldberg [38]Nathaniel Jason Goldberg [4]Nathaniel Gavaler Goldberg [1]
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Nathaniel Goldberg
Washington and Lee University
  1. E Pluribus Unum: Arguments Against Conceptual Schemes and Empirical Content.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2004 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):411-438.
    The idea that there are conceptual schemes, relative to which we conceptualize experience, and empirical content, the “raw” data of experience that get conceptualized through our conceptual schemes into beliefs or sentences, is not new. The idea that there are neither conceptual schemes nor empirical content, however, is. Moreover, it is so new, that only four arguments have so far been given against this dualism, with Donald Davidson himself presenting versions of all four. In this paper, I show that in (...)
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  2.  24
    Tension Within Triangulation.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):363-383.
    Philosophers disagree about how meaning connects with history. Donald Davidson, who helped deepen our understanding of meaning, even disagreed with himself. As Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig note, Davidson’s account of radical interpretation treats meaning as ahistorical; his Swampman thought experiment treats it as historical. Here I show that while Lepore and Ludwig are right that Davidson’s views are in tension, they are wrong about its extent. Unbeknownst to them, Davidson’s account of radical interpretation and Swampman thought experiment both rely—in (...)
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  3. Superhero Thought Experiments: Comic Book Philosophy.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2019 - Iowa City, IA, USA: University of Iowa.
    What would happen if lightning struck a tree in a swamp and transformed it into The Swampman, or if saving billions of lives required sacrificing millions first? The first is a philosophical thought experiment devised by Donald Davidson, the second a theme from a comic written by Alan Moore. I argue that that comics can be read as containing thought experiments and that such philosophical devises should be shared with students of all ages.
  4. Triangulation, Untranslatability, and Reconciliation.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (2):261-280.
    Donald Davidson used triangulation to do everything from explicate psychological and semantic externalism, to attack relativism and skepticism, to propose conditions necessary for thought and talk. At one point Davidson tried to bring order to these remarks by identifying three kinds of triangulation, each operative in a different situation. Here I take seriously Davidson’s talk of triangular situations and extend it. I start by describing Davidson’s situations. Next I establish the surprising result that considerations from one situation entail the possibility (...)
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  5.  72
    Universal and Relative Rationality.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (1):67-84.
    In this paper I illustrate how a basic kind of universal rationality can be profitably combined with undeniable instances of relativism. I do so by engaging Michael Friedman’s recent response to a challenge from Thomas Kuhn.
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  6.  97
    Do Principles of Reason Have Objective but Indeterminate Validity?Nathaniel Jason Goldberg - 2004 - Kant Studien 95 (4):405-425.
    Reason is precariously positioned in the Critique of Pure Reason. The Transcendental Analytic leaves no entry for reason in the cognitive process, and the Transcendental Dialectic restricts reason to noncognitive roles. Yet, in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic, Kant contends that the ideas of reason can be used in empirical investigation and eventually knowledge acquisition. Given what Kant has said, how is this possible? Kant attempts to answer this in A663–A666/B691–B694 in the Appendix, where he argues that principles of (...)
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  7. Kantian Conceptual Geography.Nathaniel Jason Goldberg - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a work in Kantian conceptual geography. It explores issues in analytic epistemology, philosophy of language, and metaphysics by appealing to theses drawn from Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.
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  8. Psychological Eudaimonism and Interpretation in Greek Ethics.Mark Lebar & Nathaniel Goldberg - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy:287-319.
    Plato extends a bold, confident, and surprising empirical challenge. It is implicitly a claim about the psychological — more specifically motivational — economies of human beings, asserting that within each such economy there is a desire to live well. Call this claim ‘psychological eudaimonism’ (‘PE’). Further, the context makes clear that Plato thinks that this desire dominates in those who have it. In other words, the desire to live well can reliably be counted on (when accompanied with correct beliefs about (...)
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  9. Davidson, Dualism, and Truth.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2012 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (7).
    Happy accidents happen even in philosophy. Sometimes our arguments yield insights despite missing their target, though when they do others can often spot it more easily. Consider the work of Donald Davidson. Few did more to explore connections among mind, language, and world. Now that we have critical distance from his views, however, we can see that Davidson’s accomplishments are not quite what they seem. First, while Davidson attacked the dualism of conceptual scheme and empirical content, he in fact illustrated (...)
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  10. Historicism, Entrenchment, and Conventionalism.Nathaniel Jason Goldberg - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):259-276.
    W. V. Quine famously argues that though all knowledge is empirical, mathematics is entrenched relative to physics and the special sciences. Further, entrenchment accounts for the necessity of mathematics relative to these other disciplines. Michael Friedman challenges Quine’s view by appealing to historicism, the thesis that the nature of science is illuminated by taking into account its historical development. Friedman argues on historicist grounds that mathematical claims serve as principles constitutive of languages within which empirical claims in physics and the (...)
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  11.  81
    Response‐Dependence, Noumenalism, and Ontological Mystery.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (4):469-488.
    Philip Pettit has argued that all semantically basic terms are learned in response to ostended examples and all non-basic terms are defined via them. Michael Smith and Daniel Stoljar maintain that this “global response-dependence” entails noumenalism, the thesis that reality possesses an unknowable, intrinsic nature. Surprisingly Pettit acknowledges this, contending instead that his noumenalism, like Kant’s, can be construed ontologically or epistemically. Moreover, Pettit insists, construing his noumenalism epistemically renders it unproblematic. The article shows that construing noumenalism epistemically prevents Pettit (...)
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  12.  6
    Universal and Relative Rationality.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2009 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 13 (1):67-84.
    I illustrate how a basic kind of universal rationality can be profitably combined with undeniable instances of relativism. I do so by engaging Michael Friedman’s recent response to a challenge from Thomas Kuhn.
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  13.  77
    Incommensurability, Relativism, Scepticism: Reflections on Acquiring a Concept.Nathaniel Goldberg & Matthew Rellihan - 2008 - Ratio 21 (2):147–167.
    Some opponents of the incommensurability thesis, such as Davidson and Rorty, have argued that the very idea of incommensurability is incoherent and that the existence of alternative and incommensurable conceptual schemes is a conceptual impossibility. If true, this refutes Kuhnian relativism and Kantian scepticism in one fell swoop. For Kuhnian relativism depends on the possibility of alternative, humanly accessible conceptual schemes that are incommensurable with one another, and the Kantian notion of a realm of unknowable things-in-themselves gives rise to the (...)
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  14. The Principle of Charity.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2004 - Dialogue 43 (4):671-683.
    RésuméLa parution récente du troisième recueil d'articles de Donald Davidson, lequel devrait être suivi de deux autres, incite à examiner les thèmes qui traversent tousses travaux. Parmices thèmes se trouve leprincipe de charité. Considerant tout le parti que Davidson a tiré du PC, je me propose d'en faire un examen attentif. Dans la première partie, j'examine diverses formulations du PC par Davidson. Dans la seconde partie, je montre que la formulation qu'exigent ses travaux d'epistémologie est intenable étant donné ce qu'il (...)
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  15.  57
    Interpreting Thomas Kuhn as a Response-Dependence Theorist.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2011 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (5):729 - 752.
    Abstract Thomas Kuhn is the most famous historian and philosopher of science of the last century. He is also among the most controversial. Since Kuhn's death, his corpus has been interpreted, systematized, and defended. Here I add to this endeavor in a novel way by arguing that Kuhn can be interpreted as a global response-dependence theorist. He can be understood as connecting all concepts and terms in an a priori manner to responses of suitably situated subjects to objects in the (...)
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  16.  42
    History of Philosophy and Conceptual Cartography.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (2):119-138.
    I articulate and argue for a modest use to which philosophers who are not historians of philosophy might put the history of philosophy. That use is in conceptual cartography. I understand conceptual cartography to be the practice of mapping how concepts, including those as complex as philosophical views, relate. Using the history of philosophy in conceptual cartography uses that history to situate landmarks on a conceptual map, and then situates other views (historical or contemporary) relative to those landmarks. After articulating (...)
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  17.  70
    Possibly V. Actually the Case: Davidson’s Omniscient Interpreter at Twenty.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2003 - Acta Analytica 18 (1-2):143-160.
    The publication of Davidson 2001, anthologizing articles from the 1980s and 1990s, encourages reconsidering arguments contained in them. One such argument is Davidson's omniscient-interpreter argument ('€˜OIA'€™) in Davidson 1983. The OIA allegedly establishes that it is necessary that most beliefs are true. Thus the omniscient interpreter, revived in 2001 and now 20 years old, was born to answer the skeptic. In Part I of this paper, I consider charges that the OIA establishes only that it is possible that most beliefs (...)
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  18. Swampman, Response-Dependence, and Meaning.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2012 - In Gerhard Preyer (ed.), Donald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the Mental. Oxford University Press.
    Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig correctly observe that Donald Davidson’s account of radical interpretation is in tension with his Swampman thought experiment. Nonetheless, I argue, they fail to see the extent of Davidson’s tension—and so do not handle it adequately—because they fail to appreciate that the thought experiment pits two incompatible response-dependent accounts of meaning against one another. I take an account of meaning to be response-dependent just in case it links the meaning of terms in an a priori manner (...)
     
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  19.  5
    Henry E. Allison, "An Introduction to the Philosophy of Spinoza.".Nathaniel Goldberg - 2022 - Philosophy in Review 42 (3):1-3.
    Review of Henry E. Allison's "An Introduction the Philosophy of Spinoza".
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  20.  15
    Kant on Demarcation and Discovery.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2017 - Kant Yearbook 9 (1):43-62.
    Kant makes two claims in the Critique of Pure Reason that anticipate concerns of twentieth-century philosophy of science. The first, that the understanding and sensibility are constitutive of knowledge, while reason is responsible for transcendental illusion, amounts to his solution to Karl Popper’s “problem” of demarcating science from pseudoscience. The second, that besides these constitutive roles of the understanding and sensibility, reason is itself needed to discover new empirical knowledge, anticipates Hans Reichenbach’s distinction between the “contexts” of justification and discovery. (...)
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  21. Political Myths in Plato and Asimov.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2019 - Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy 2:1-19.
    Works of science fiction tend to describe hypothetical futures, or counterfactual pasts or presents, to entertain their readers. Philosophical thought experiments tend to describe counterfactual situations to test their readers’ philosophical intuitions. Indeed, works of science fiction can sometimes be read as containing thought experiments. I compare one especially famous thought experiment from Plato’s Republic with what I read as two thought experiments from Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy. All three thought experiments concern myths used in political contexts, and comparing them (...)
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  22.  8
    How Should Philosophers Approach the History of Philosophy?Nathaniel Goldberg - 2022 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 16 (2):139-158.
    Philosophers’ attitudes toward the history of philosophy are mixed. Regardless, likely all philosophers interact with the history of philosophy through research, teaching, or professional life. How should they approach it? I answer by analyzing the notion of ‘history of philosophy’. I then consider prominent recent answers given by others converging with mine. I conclude that philosophers should be guided by preference and project to approach the history of philosophy by emphasizing history, philosophy, something intermediate, or both.
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  23.  3
    Possibly V. Actually the Case: Davidson’s Omniscient Interpreter at Twenty.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2003 - Acta Analytica 18 (1-2):143 - 60.
    Recent anthologizing of Davidson’s articles from the 1980s and 1990s encourages us to reconsider arguments contained in them. One such argument is Davidson’s omniscient-interpreter argument (“OIA”) in “A Coherence Theory of Truth and Knowledge,” first published 20 years ago. The OIA allegedly establishes that it is necessary that most beliefs are true. Thus the omniscient interpreter, now 20 years old, was born to answer the skeptic. In §1 of this paper, I consider charges that the OIA establishes only that it (...)
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  24.  3
    The Systematicity of Davidson’s Anti-Skeptical Arguments.Nathaniel Goldberg - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    Donald Davidson contributed more deeply to our understanding of language, thought, and reality than perhaps any other recent philosopher. His discussions of skepticism are sometimes seen as peripheral to those contributions. As I read him, Davidson argued against three skeptical worries. First, beliefs are true or false relative to a conceptual scheme. Second, beliefs generally are false. Third, other minds and an external world do not exist. Call those worries ‘conceptual relativism’, ‘falsidicalism’, and ‘solipsism’, respectively. I investigate how Davidson’s arguments (...)
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  25. Albert Casullo, Essays on A Priori Knowledge and Justification. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2015 - Philosophy in Review 35 (1):1-3.
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  26.  84
    Buzaglo, Meir. The Logic of Concept Expansion. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2003 - Review of Metaphysics 57 (1):141-143.
  27.  60
    McTaggart on Time.Nathaniel Goldberg - 2004 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 13:71-76.
    Contemporary discussions on the nature of time begin with McTaggart, who introduces the distinction between what he takes to be the only two possible realist theories of time: the A-theory, maintaining that past, present, and future are absolute; and the B-theory, maintaining that they are relative. McTaggart argues against both theories to conclude that time is not real. In this paper, I reconstruct his argument against the A-theory. Then, I show that this argument is flawed. Finally, I draw a lesson (...)
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  28. Intuition Pumps by Daniel C. Dennett. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2014 - Philosophy Now 101:39-40.
  29. Perceiving Images and Styles.Nathaniel Goldberg & Chris Gavaler - 2021 - JOLMA. The Journal for the Philosophy of Language, Mind and the Arts 2 (1):132-146.
     
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  30. Davidson, Analyticity, and Theory Confirmation.Nathaniel Jason Goldberg - 2003 - Dissertation, Georgetown University
    In this dissertation, I explore the work of Donald Davidson, reveal an inconsistency in it, and resolve that inconsistency in a way that complements a debate in philosophy of science. In Part One, I explicate Davidson's extensional account of meaning; though not defending Davidson from all objections, I nonetheless present his seemingly disparate views as a coherent whole. In Part Two, I explicate Davidson's views on the dualism between conceptual schemes and empirical content, isolating four seemingly different arguments that Davidson (...)
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  31. Helen De Cruz, Johan De Smedt, and Eric Schwitzgebel, (Eds.) "Philosophy Through Science Fiction Stories: Exploring the Boundaries of the Possible.".Nathaniel Goldberg - 2022 - Philosophy in Review 42 (4):11-13.
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  32.  31
    R. Lanier Anderson, The Poverty of Conceptual Truth: Kant’s Analytic/Synthetic Distinction and the Limits of Metaphysics New York: Oxford University Press, 2015 Pp. 384 ISBN 9780198724575 £50.00. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2016 - Kantian Review 21 (1):146-151.
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  33.  30
    Braine, David., Language and Human Understanding: The Roots of Creativity in Speech and Thought. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2014 - Review of Metaphysics 68 (1):158-159.
  34.  19
    Beyond Bullshit.Chris Gavaler & Nathaniel Goldberg - 2017 - Philosophy Now 121:22-23.
    Applying Grice's account of conventional and conversational implicature, and Frankfurt's account of bullshit, shows that Donald J. Trump's language falls into a category beyond Frankfurt's own.
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  35.  10
    Huaping Lu-Adler, "Kant and the Science of Logic: A Historical and Philosophical Reconstruction." Reviewed By. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2019 - Philosophy in Review 39 (4):191-193.
  36.  22
    Between Truth and Illusion: Kant at the Crossroads of Modernity. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2004 - Review of Metaphysics 57 (4):832-833.
    Cicovacki traces postmodernism’s subjectivism, relativism, and nihilism to Kant’s “Copernican revolution,” which granted the subject epistemic priority over the object. Nonetheless Cicovacki insists that Kant also offered an inchoate view according to which neither subject nor object has epistemic priority. Instead, on this view, truth itself becomes the harmonious interaction between subject and object. Cicovacki’s project is to flesh out and improve upon this inchoate view, offering it as an alternative to postmodernism.
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  37.  22
    The Cambridge Companion to Quine. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2005 - Review of Metaphysics 58 (3):660-662.
    W. V. Quine was arguably the most influential analytic philosopher of the twentieth century, and Roger Gibson is arguably Quine’s most accomplished commentator. These two volumes contribute to the growing work on Quine’s philosophy and its place in twentieth and now twenty-first century thought. Nonetheless, as this review makes clear, the first volume is more useful than the second.
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  38.  14
    Lucy Allais, Manifest Reality: Kant’s Idealism and His Realism. Reviewed By. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2016 - Philosophy in Review 36 (6):238-240.
  39.  14
    Margaret Cameron and Robert J. Stainton, Eds., Linguistic Content: New Essays on the History of Philosophy of Language. Reviewed By. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2016 - Philosophy in Review 36 (4):154-156.
  40.  17
    An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics: Locality Fields, Energy, and Mass. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2004 - Review of Metaphysics 57 (3):631-633.
    That theme is that effects should be spatiotemporally local to their causes, and so electromagnetic and strong nuclear forces in particular cannot act at a distance. Lange’s key step in arguing for spatiotemporal locality is to argue that fields produced by these forces are ontologically real, contacting the objects causing, and affected by, those fields. In the process of his argument, Lange discusses classical, special-relativistic, and quantum mechanics, as well as metaphysical topics such as realism and causality. Lange also provides (...)
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  41.  4
    The Logic of Concept Expansion. [REVIEW]Nathaniel Goldberg - 2003 - Review of Metaphysics 57 (1):141-142.
    Buzaglo offers a systematic account of nonarbitrary concept expansion in mathematics. Roughly, such expansion involves taking a concept, based upon its rules of application, to apply to objects beyond its intended domain. Buzaglo’s book is directed primarily at philosophers of mathematics, though it should equally interest philosophers of science and philosophers of language and logic. It should also interest logicians and mathematicians. Though Buzaglo does not always fully rebut opposing views, he is clear that his book is meant to lay (...)
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  42.  1
    Comico, Ergo Sum.Nathaniel Goldberg & Chris Gavaler - 2020 - Philosophy Now 140:34-35.
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