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  1. U. W. E. Aleixner (2009). The Non-Physicalness of Material Objects. In Ludger Honnefelder, Benedikt Schick & Edmund Runggaldier (eds.), Unity and Time in Metaphysics. Walter de Gruyter Inc 46.
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  2. Leslie Allan, The Existence of Mind-Independent Physical Objects.
    The author challenges both the eliminative idealist's contention that physical objects do not exist and the phenomenalist idealist's view that statements about physical objects are translatable into statements about private mental experiences. Firstly, he details how phenomenalist translations are parasitic on the realist assumption that physical objects exist independently of experience. Secondly, the author confronts eliminative idealism head on by exposing its heuristic sterility in contrast with realism's predictive success.
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  3. By Amie L. Thomasson (2006). Metaphysical Arguments Against Ordinary Objects. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224):340–359.
    Several prominent attacks on the objects of 'folk ontology' argue that these would be omitted from a scientific ontology, or would be 'rivals' of scientific objects for their claims to be efficacious, occupy space, be composed of parts, or possess a range of other properties. I examine causal redundancy and overdetermination arguments, 'nothing over and above' appeals, and arguments based on problems with collocation and with property additivity. I argue that these share a common problem: applying conjunctive principles to cases (...)
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  4. Istvan Aranyosi (2007). Shadows of Constitution. The Monist 90 (3):415-431.
    The old puzzle of material constitution has benefited from a lot of thorough discussion from the part of metaphysicians in the last thirty-odd years. The available solution options and their problems are by now familiar. They involve particular views on mainstream entities and relations of metaphysical inquiry, like objects, properties, events, causation, identity, supervenience, and so on. However, one might want to hope, together with some contemporary ontologists, most notably Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi (1994), that dealing with more peripheral (...)
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  5. Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia, On Composition.
    I can make no sense of a true, literal application of the notion of proper (nontemporal) components or parts to things that occupy no space. Others apparently can, and some construct elaborate theories of propositional structure… Perhaps I am blind to a possibility that other, cognitively better endowed philosophers see. From my unseeing perspective, though, it is more likely that the appearance of sight deceives.
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  6. Michael Ayers (1997). Is Physical Object a Sortal Concept? A Reply to Xu. Mind and Language 12 (3&4):393–405.
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  7. Andrew M. Bailey (forthcoming). Composition and the Cases. Inquiry:1-14.
    Some strange cases have gripped philosophers of mind. They have been deployed against materialism about human persons, functionalism about mentality, the possibility of artificial intelligence, and more. In this paper, I cry “foul”. It’s not hard to think that there’s something wrong with the cases. But what? My proposal: their proponents ignore questions about composition. And ignoring composition is a mistake. Indeed, materialists about human persons, functionalists about mentality, and believers in the possibility of artificial intelligence can plausibly deploy moderate (...)
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  8. Lynne Rudder Baker, Amie Thomasson on Ordinary Objects.
    Amie Thomasson has won well-deserved praise for her book, Ordinary Objects. She defends a commonsense world view and gives us “reason to think that there are fundamental particles, plants and animals, sticks and stones, tables and chairs, and even marriages and mortgages.” (p. 181) Ordinary objects comprise a vast array of things—natural objects both scientific and commonsensical, artifacts, organisms, abstract social objects.
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  9. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). A Metaphysics of Ordinary Things and Why We Need It. Philosophy 83 (1):5-24.
    Metaphysics has enjoyed a vigorous revival in the last few decades. Even so, there has been little ontological interest in the things that we interact with everyday—trees, tables, other people.1 It is not that metaphysicians ignore ordinary things altogether. Indeed, they are happy to say that sentences like ‘The daffodils are out early this year’ or ‘My computer crashed again’ are true. But they take the truth of such sentences not to require that a full description of reality mention daffodils (...)
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  10. Lynne Rudder Baker, Philosophy in Mediis Rebus.
    So, let us begin in the middle of things. There are two senses in which I think that philosophy must begin in the middle of things: The first is epistemological: I think that the Cartesian ideal of finding an absolute starting point without any presuppositions is illusory. The most that we can do is to be aware of our presuppositions; we cannot eliminate them. Wherever we choose to start, we are in the middle of things epistemologically. The second way in (...)
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  11. David Barnett, This Wooden Table Could Have Been Made From Plastic.
    In defense of de re necessity, Saul Kripke proposes that a material object could not have originated in a substance different in kind from the substance in which it actually originated. I give a counterexample to this proposal.
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  12. A. H. Basson (1946). The Existence of Material Objects. Mind 55 (220):308-318.
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  13. Helen Beebee & Michael Rush (2003). Non-Paradoxical Multi-Location. Analysis 63 (4):311–317.
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  14. Karen Bennett (2011). Koslicki on Formal Proper Parts. Analysis 71 (2):286-290.
    Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14850 kb383@cornell.eduWhat are motorcycles made of? Presumably the answer is something like ‘wheels, pistons, fuel lines …’ or perhaps ‘metal, leather, plastic …’. Whatever precisely the parts of a motorcycle are, surely they are all material. Kathrin Koslicki disagrees. She has recently argued that ordinary material objects like motorcycles not only have material proper parts, but also have formal proper parts . On her view, an accurate list of the proper parts of a motorcycle must include (...)
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  15. Jiri Benovsky (2016). Eliminativism and Gunk. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (1):59-66.
    Eliminativism about macroscopic material objects claims that we do not need to include tables in our ontology, and that any job – practical or theoretical – they have to do can be done by 'atoms arranged tablewise'. This way of introducing eliminativism faces the worry that if there are no 'atoms', that is, if there are no simples and the world is 'gunky', there are no suitable entities to be 'arranged tablewise'. In this article, I discuss various strategies the eliminativist (...)
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  16. Jiri Benovsky (2009). The Self : A Humean Bundle and/or a Cartesian Substance ? European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 5 (1):7 - 19.
    Is the self a substance, as Descartes thought, or is it 'only' a bundle of perceptions, as Hume thought ? In this paper I will examine these two views, especially with respect to two central features that have played a central role in the discussion, both of which can be quickly and usefully explained if one puts them as an objection to the bundle view. First, friends of the substance view have insisted that only if one conceives of the self (...)
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  17. Gustav Bergmann (1977). Some Comments on Professor Oaklander's "Particulars, Positional Qualities, and Individuation". Philosophy of Science 44 (3):491-493.
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  18. R. B. Braithwaite (1937). Propositions About Material Objects. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 38:269 - 290.
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  19. B. A. Brody (1971). On the Ontological Priority of Physical Objects. Noûs 5 (2):139-155.
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  20. Jeffrey E. Brower (2014). Aquinas's Ontology of the Material World: Change, Hylomorphism, and Material Objects. Oxford University Press.
    Jeffrey E. Brower presents and explains the hylomorphic conception of the material world developed by Thomas Aquinas, according to which material objects are composed of both matter and form. In addition to presenting and explaining Aquinas's views, Brower seeks wherever possible to bring them into dialogue with the best recent literature on related topics. Along the way, he highlights the contribution that Aquinas's views make to a host of contemporary metaphysical debates, including the nature of change, composition, material constitution, the (...)
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  21. Christopher Byrne (1995). Prime Matter and Actuality. Journal of the History of Philosophy 33 (2):197-224.
    In the context of Aristotle's metaphysics and natural philosophy, 'prime matter' refers to that material cause which is both the proximate material cause of the four sublunary elements and the ultimate material cause of all perishable substances. On the traditional view, prime matter is pure potentiality, without any determinate nature of its own. Against this view, I argue that prime matter must be physical, extended, and movable matter if it is to fulfil its role as the substratum persisting through the (...)
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  22. Ross Cameron (2007). Subtractability and Concreteness. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):273 - 279.
    I consider David Efird and Tom Stoneham's recent version of the subtraction argument for metaphysical nihilism, the view that there could have been no concrete objects at all. I argue that the two premises of their argument are only jointly acceptable if the quantifiers in one range over a different set of objects from those which the quantifiers in the other range over, in which case the argument is invalid. So either the argument is invalid or we should not accept (...)
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  23. Chad Carmichael (2015). Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
    The special composition question is the question, ‘When do some things compose something?’ The answers to this question in the literature have largely been at odds with common sense, either by allowing that any two things compose something, or by denying the existence of most ordinary composite objects. I propose a new ‘series-style’ answer to the special composition question that accords much more closely with common sense, and I defend this answer from van Inwagen's objections. Specifically, I will argue that (...)
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  24. Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi, Holes. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A brief introduction to the main philosophical problems and theories about the nature of holes and such-like nothingnesses.
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  25. Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi (1997). Spatial Entities. In Oliviero Stock (ed.), Spatial and Temporal Reasoning. Kluwer 73–96.
    Ordinary reasoning about space—we argue—is first and foremost reasoning about things or events located in space. Accordingly, any theory concerned with the construction of a general model of our spatial competence must be grounded on a general account of the sort of entities that may enter into the scope of the theory. Moreover, on the methodological side the emphasis on spatial entities (as opposed to purely geometrical items such as points or regions) calls for a reexamination of the conceptual categories (...)
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  26. Patrick Chiso, Heidegger, Levinas: Being a Face in the Real World.
    The universe is full of beings. Throughout the history of philosophy and of human thought many have sought ways to articulate this multiplicity and unity of being. The result, in western philosophy at least, was the birth of Metaphysics in general, and Ontology in particular. In the past, the discourse on being became very abstract such that it had no resemblance to being as encountered every day. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), set out to re-orient being towards the lived experience. He called (...)
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  27. Nino Cocchiarella (2008). Infinity in Ontology and Mind. Axiomathes 18 (1):1-24.
    Two fundamental categories of any ontology are the category of objects and the category of universals. We discuss the question whether either of these categories can be infinite or not. In the category of objects, the subcategory of physical objects is examined within the context of different cosmological theories regarding the different kinds of fundamental objects in the universe. Abstract objects are discussed in terms of sets and the intensional objects of conceptual realism. The category of universals is discussed in (...)
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  28. Mark Colyvan & Kenny Easwaran (2008). Mathematical and Physical Continuity. Australasian Journal of Logic 6:87-93.
    In his paper [2], Hud Hudson presents an interesting argument to the conclusion that two temporally–continuous, spatially–unextended material objects can travel together for all but the last moment of their existences and yet end up one metre apart. What is surprising about this is that Hudson argues that it can be achieved without either object changing in size or moving discontinuously. This would be quite a trick were it to work, but it is far from clear that it does. The (...)
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  29. Rafael De Clercq (2008). Lopes on the Ontology of Japanese Shrines. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (2):193–194.
    This article is a reply to Dominic McIver Lopes, 'Shikinen Sengu and the Ontology of Architecture in Japan,' published in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2007). The reply explains how the standard ontology of architecture is able to accommodate Japanese shrines such as Ise Jingu.
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  30. Mauro Dorato & Matteo Morganti (2013). Grades of Individuality. A Pluralistic View of Identity in Quantum Mechanics and in the Sciences. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):591-610.
    This paper offers a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the identity and individuality of material objects. Its main aim, in particular, is to show that, in a sense to be carefully specified, the opposition between the Leibnizian ‘reductionist’ tradition, based on discernibility, and the sort of ‘primitivism’ that denies that facts of identity and individuality must be analysable has become outdated. In particular, it is argued that—contrary to a widespread consensus—‘naturalised’ metaphysics supports both the acceptability (...)
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  31. Brian Epstein (2013). Social Objects Without Intentions. In Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology. 53-68.
    It is often seen as a truism that social objects and facts are the product of human intentions. I argue that the role of intentions in social ontology is commonly overestimated. I introduce a distinction that is implicit in much discussion of social ontology, but is often overlooked: between a social entity’s “grounds” and its “anchors.” For both, I argue that intentions, either individual or collective, are less essential than many theorists have assumed. Instead, I propose a more worldly – (...)
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  32. Brian Epstein (2012). Sortals and Criteria of Identity. Analysis 72 (3):474-478.
    In a recent article, Harold Noonan argues that application conditions and criteria of identity are not distinct from one another. This seems to threaten the standard approach to distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I propose that his observation, while correct, does not have this consequence. I present a simple scheme for distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I also propose an amended version of the standard canonical form of criteria of identity.
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  33. Montgomery Furth (1988). Substance, Form, and Psyche: An Aristotelean Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a complete re-thinking of Aristotle's metaphysical theory of material substances. The view of the author is that the 'substances' are the living things, the organisms: chiefly, the animals. There are three main parts to the book: Part I, a treatment of the concepts of substance and nonsubstance in Aristotle's Categories; Part III, which discusses some important features of biological objects as Aristotelian substances, as analysed in Aristotle's biological treatises and the de Anima; and Part V, which attempts (...)
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  34. Susan A. Gelman (2013). Artifacts and Essentialism. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (3):449-463.
    Psychological essentialism is an intuitive folk belief positing that certain categories have a non-obvious inner “essence” that gives rise to observable features. Although this belief most commonly characterizes natural kind categories, I argue that psychological essentialism can also be extended in important ways to artifact concepts. Specifically, concepts of individual artifacts include the non-obvious feature of object history, which is evident when making judgments regarding authenticity and ownership. Classic examples include famous works of art (e.g., the Mona Lisa is authentic (...)
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  35. Daniel Giberman (2012). Against Zero-Dimensional Material Objects (and Other Bare Particulars). Philosophical Studies 160 (2):305-321.
    A modus tollens against zero-dimensional material objects is presented from the premises (i) that if there are zero-dimensional material objects then there are bare particulars, and (ii) that there are no bare particulars. The argument for the first premise proceeds by elimination. First, bare particular theory and bundle theory are motivated as the most appealing theories of property exemplification. It is then argued that the bundle theorist’s Ockhamism ought to lead her to reject spatiotemporally located zero-dimensional property instances. Finally, it (...)
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  36. Cody Gilmore (2012). Keep in Touch. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):85-111.
    I introduce a puzzle about contact and de re temporal predication in relativistic spacetime. In particular, I describe an apparent counterexample to the following principle, roughly stated: if B is never in a position to say ‘I was touching A, I am touching A, and I will be touching A’, then (time travel aside) A is never in a position to say ‘I was touching B, I am touching B, and I will be touching B’. In the case I present, (...)
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  37. Cody Sinclair Gilmore (2004). Material Objects: Metaphysical Issues. Dissertation, Princeton University
    My dissertation divides into four parts, each of which consists of two chapters. ;Part I sets up the issues to be dealt with in the remainder of the dissertation. Chapter One introduces the central presuppositions and primitive notions upon which I rely thereafter. Chapter Two offers a new taxonomy of views about persistence. Whereas the traditional taxonomy recognizes just one distinction---namely, the 3D v. 4D distinction---my new taxonomy recognizes two quite separate distinctions: the distinction between objects that persist by being (...)
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  38. P. Goggans (1999). How Not to Have an Ontology of Physical OBJECTS. Philosophical Studies 94 (3):295-308.
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  39. Gary Hatfield (2009). Getting Objects for Free (Or Not): The Philosophy and Psychology of Object Perception. In Perception and Cognition: Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology. Clarendon Press 212-255.
  40. Gary Hatfield (2004). Seeing-Dretske. Philosophical Studies 120 (1-3):19 - 35.
    A commentary on Dretske, "Change Blindness" (same journal issue). Dretske analyzes standard cases of change blindness as properly being difference blindness, since the eye is in saccade when the change occurs and so the change itself (the event of the change) is not seen. He considers two models of the phenomenon, the object model and the fact model, preferring the latter. In previous work, he had affirmed the object model. I reconsider its merits, first looking more closely at the notion (...)
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  41. Aviv Hoffmann (2011). It's Not the End of the World: When a Subtraction Argument for Metaphysical Nihilism Fails. Analysis 71 (1):44-53.
    Metaphysical nihilism is the thesis that there could have been no concrete objects. Thomas Baldwin (1996) offers an argument for metaphysical nihilism. The premisses of the argument purport to provide a procedure of subtraction that can be iterated until we reach a world where no concrete objects exist. Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (1997) finds fault with Baldwin’s argument, modifies it, and claims to have proved metaphysical nihilism. My primary aim is to show that Rodriguez-Pereyra’s alleged proof rests on a false assumption. The (...)
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  42. Takashi Iida (2013). Towards an Ontology of the Rainbow. Politics and Society (Central China Normal University) 1 (1):59-84.
    There are some objects of perception that are either too far from us to touch or that cannot be touched at all. Typical examples are the sky and the various phenomena that appear in the sky such as rainbows and sunsets. This paper is concerned with the ontological status of the rainbow. Does it exist when it is not actually perceived? Does it exist even when it is not possibly perceived? My conclusion is that a rainbow is a physical event, (...)
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  43. Shieva Kleinschmidt (2015). Shaping Up Location: Against the Humean Argument for the Extrinsicality of Shape. Philosophical Studies 172 (8):1973-1983.
    Recently, we have been presented with an argument against the intrinsicality of shape that appeals to a plausible Humean principle. According to the argument, if shape is intrinsic and the location relation is fundamental, then we cannot explain the necessary correlation between an object’s shape and the shape of its location. And, it is claimed, the Humean principle tells us that an unexplained necessary correlation like this one is unacceptable. In this paper I respond to this argument by rejecting the (...)
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  44. Kathrin Koslicki (2008). The Structure of Objects. Oxford University Press.
    The objects we encounter in ordinary life and scientific practice - cars, trees, people, houses, molecules, galaxies, and the like - have long been a fruitful source of perplexity for metaphysicians. The Structure of Objects gives an original analysis of those material objects to which we take ourselves to be committed in our ordinary, scientifically informed discourse. Koslicki focuses on material objects in particular, or, as metaphysicians like to call them "concrete particulars", i.e., objects which occupy a single region of (...)
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  45. Kathrin Koslicki (2007). Review of Henry Laycock, Words Without Objects: Semantics, Ontology, and Logic for Non-Singularity. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):160-163.
  46. Kathrin Koslicki (2007). Towards a Neo-Aristotelian Mereology. Dialectica 61 (1):127–159.
    This paper provides a detailed examination of Kit Fine’s sizeable contribution to the development of a neo-Aristotelian alternative to standard mereology; I focus especially on the theory of ‘rigid’ and ‘variable embodiments’, as defended in Fine 1999. Section 2 briefly describes the system I call ‘standard mereology’. Section 3 lays out some of the main principles and consequences of Aristotle’s own mereology, in order to be able to compare Fine’s system with its historical precursor. Section 4 gives an exposition of (...)
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  47. Kathrin Koslicki (2005). Almost Indiscernible Objects and the Suspect Strategy. Journal of Philosophy 102 (2):55 - 77.
    This paper examines a variety of contexts in metaphysics which employ a strategy I consider to be suspect. In each of these contexts, ‘The Suspect Strategy’ (TSS) aims at excluding a series of troublesome contexts from a general principle whose truth the philosopher in question wishes to preserve. We see (TSS) implemented with respect to Leibniz’s Law (LL) in the context of Gibbard’s defense of contingent identity, Myro and Gallois’ defense of temporary identity, as well as Terence Parsons’ defense of (...)
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  48. Kathrin Koslicki (2004). Constitution and Similarity. Philosophical Studies 117 (3):327-363.
    Whenever an object constitutes, makes up or composes another object, the objects in question share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of what might account for the intimate relation and striking similarity between constitutionally related objects. According to my account, the similarities between constitutionally related objects are captured at least in part by means of a principle akin to that of strong supervenience. My paper addresses two main issues. First, I propose independently plausible principles (...)
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  49. David Mark Kovacs (2010). Is There a Conservative Solution to the Many Thinkers Problem? Ratio 23 (3):275-290.
    On a widely shared assumption, our mental states supervene on our microphysical properties – that is, microphysical supervenience is true. When this thesis is combined with the apparent truism that human persons have proper parts, a grave difficulty arises: what prevents some of these proper parts from being themselves thinkers as well? How can I know that I am a human person and not a smaller thinker enclosed in a human person? Most solutions to this puzzle make radical, if not (...)
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  50. Matt Leonard (2014). Locating Gunky Water and Wine. Ratio 27 (3):306-315.
    Can material objects be weakly located at regions of spacetime and yet fail to be exactly located anywhere? In this paper, I discuss a case which, at least according to one interpretation, answers affirmatively: the case of blending gunky water and wine, in gunky space. Perhaps after such a blend, the water and wine aren't exactly located anywhere while being weakly located at the location of the blend and any region which overlaps it. I show that the case is interesting (...)
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