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Metaphysics

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  1. added 2014-10-25
    Daniel Deasy (forthcoming). The Moving Spotlight Theory. Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    The aim of this paper is to describe and defend the moving spotlight theory of time. I characterise the moving spotlight theory as the conjunction of two theses: permanentism, the thesis that everything exists forever, and the A-theory, the thesis that there is an absolute, objective present time. I begin in Sect. 2 by clearing up some common misconceptions about the moving spotlight theory, focusing on the discussion of the theory in Sider (Writing the book of the world, Oxford University (...)
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  2. added 2014-10-22
    Fabrice Correia & Christine Tappolet (2014). Plus on Monte Plus on S'amuse : Introduction. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):149-151.
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  3. added 2014-10-20
    Graham Oddie, An Argument Against Commensurate Truthmakers.
    The core of the truthmaker research program is that true propositions are made true by appropriate parts of the actual world. This idea seems to give realists their best shot at capturing a robust account of the dependence of truth on the world. For a part of the world to be a truthmaker for a particular it must suffice for, or necessitate, the truth of the proposition. There are two extreme and unsatisfactory truthmaker theories. At one extreme any part of (...)
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  4. added 2014-10-20
    Mary Jean Walker (2012). Neuroscience, Self-Understanding, and Narrative Truth. AJOB Neuroscience 3 (4):63-74.
    Recent evidence from the neurosciences and cognitive sciences provides some support for a narrative theory of self-understanding. However, it also suggests that narrative self-understanding is unlikely to be accurate, and challenges its claims to truth. This article examines a range of this empirical evidence, explaining how it supports a narrative theory of self-understanding while raising questions of these narrative's accuracy and veridicality. I argue that this evidence does not provide sufficient reason to dismiss the possibility of truth in narrative self-understanding. (...)
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  5. added 2014-10-19
    Thibaut Giraud (2014). Sémantique formelle et engagement ontologique. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):205-218.
    Je montrerai en premier lieu comment et pourquoi la sémantique formelle peut être employée comme un outil pour déterminer l’engagement ontologique d’une théorie : je soutiendrai d’une part que la sémantique doit être prise au sérieux comme apte à décrire la vérifaction des formules du langage; d’autre part, que les engagements ontologiques d’une théorie sont déterminés par ses vérifacteurs. De là, j’exposerai une méthode générale permettant, étant donné un certain type d’ontologie, de construire une sémantique dont les engagements ontologiques sont (...)
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  6. added 2014-10-18
    Steven M. Duncan, In Defense of Temporal Passage.
    In this paper, I endorse and defend the Common Sense View of Time (CSVT), i.e. Presentism plus the A-theory of time, by arguing for the objective reality of temporal passage.
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  7. added 2014-10-18
    Steven M. Duncan, The Present.
    While the nature of the past and the future have received a lot of attention from recent analytic philosophers, the present has been somewhat neglected. I think the notion of the present is somewhat misunderstood and hope to rectify some of those misunderstandings in this essay. It is high time that this was done. Let's do it now!
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  8. added 2014-10-18
    Pablo Carnino (2014). Essence et fondation. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):190-204.
    L’orthodoxie dans la littérature florissante au sujet de la fondation (grounding) suggère que cette notion ne peut être analysée ou exprimée en terme d’aucune autre. Par ailleurs, le primitivisme à propos de l’essence est considéré comme très plausible depuis l’article influent de Kit Fine à ce sujet. Cela contraint les philosophes qui emploient ces deux notions à accepter une position doublement primitiviste. Mon objectif principal est de proposer une définition de la fondation en terme d’essence. Je commencerai par présenter la (...)
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  9. added 2014-10-17
    David Ellerman, Partitions and Objective Indefiniteness.
    Classical physics and quantum physics suggest two meta-physical types of reality: the classical notion of a objectively definite reality with properties "all the way down," and the quantum notion of an objectively indefinite type of reality. The problem of interpreting quantum mechanics (QM) is essentially the problem of making sense out of an objectively indefinite reality. These two types of reality can be respectively associated with the two mathematical concepts of subsets and quotient sets (or partitions) which are category-theoretically dual (...)
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  10. added 2014-10-16
    David Ellerman, On Classical Finite Probability Theory as a Quantum Probability Calculus.
    This paper shows how the classical finite probability theory (with equiprobable outcomes) can be reinterpreted and recast as the quantum probability calculus of a pedagogical or "toy" model of quantum mechanics over sets (QM/sets). There are two parts. The notion of an "event" is reinterpreted from being an epistemological state of indefiniteness to being an objective state of indefiniteness. And the mathematical framework of finite probability theory is recast as the quantum probability calculus for QM/sets. The point is not to (...)
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  11. added 2014-10-16
    David Ellerman (forthcoming). On Concrete Universals: A Modern Treatment Using Category Theory. AL-MUKHATABAT.
    Today it would be considered "bad Platonic metaphysics" to think that among all the concrete instances of a property there could be a universal instance so that all instances had the property by virtue of participating in that concrete universal. Yet there is a mathematical theory, category theory, dating from the mid-20th century that shows how to precisely model concrete universals within the "Platonic Heaven" of mathematics. This paper, written for the philosophical logician, develops this category-theoretic treatment of concrete universals (...)
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  12. added 2014-10-16
    Cian Dorr (forthcoming). Quantifier Variance and the Collapse Theorems. The Monist.
  13. added 2014-10-16
    Cian Dorr (2014). Review of The Construction of Logical Space by Agustín Rayo. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201406.
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  14. added 2014-10-14
    Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker (forthcoming). Probability and Typicality in Deterministic Physics. Erkenntnis:1-12.
    In this paper we analyze the relation between the notion of typicality and the notion of probability and the related question of how the choice of measure in deterministic theories in physics may be justified. Recently it has been argued that although the notion of typicality is not a probabilistic notion, it plays a crucial role in underwriting probabilistic statements in classical statistical mechanics and in Bohm’s theory. We argue that even in theories with deterministic dynamics, like classical statistical mechanics (...)
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  15. added 2014-10-11
    Andrea Sauchelli (forthcoming). Buddhist Reductionism, Fictionalism About the Self, and Buddhist Fictionalism. Philosophy East and West 67 (2).
    I discuss an interpretation, recently proposed by Mark Siderits, of the claim that within the Buddhist tradition the self is a convenient fiction. I subsequently propose a novel approach to fictionalism in contemporary metaphysics, outline an application of such an approach to the case of the self and then specify one version of fictionalism combined with some basic tenets of Buddhism.
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  16. added 2014-10-11
    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (forthcoming). World Navels. Cartouche of the Canadian Cartographic Association.
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  17. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi & Claudio Calosi (forthcoming). De li accidiosi che son avversi al possibile. Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior.
    This is a supplement to our book "Le tribolazioni del filosofare. Comedia metaphysica ne la quale si tratta de li errori & de le pene de l’Infero". It features an entirely new canto of the poem (originally thought to be lost) along with an extensive commentary. The canto covers the first ring of the circle of the Sullen, which hosts the Adverse to the Possible, and deals with several philosophical questions concerning the metaphysics of modality.
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  18. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi (2014). Because. In Anne Reboul (ed.), Mind, Values, and Metaphysics. Philosophical Essays in Honor of Kevin Mulligan, Volume 1. Springer-Verlag. 253–256.
    There is a natural philosophical impulse (and, correspondingly, a great deal of pressure) to always ask for explanations, for example, explanations of why we act as we do. Kevin Mulligan has gone a very long way in disentangling the many different because’s, and the many senses of ‘because’, that tend to clutter our efforts to manage that impulse. This short dialogue is meant as a humble tribute to his work in this area.
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  19. added 2014-10-09
    Marion Haemmerli & Achille C. Varzi (2014). Adding Convexity to Mereotopology. In Pawel Garbacz & Oliver Kutz (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference. IOS Press. 65–78.
    Convexity predicates and the convex hull operator continue to play an important role in theories of spatial representation and reasoning, yet their first-order axiomatization is still a matter of controversy. In this paper, we present a new approach to adding convexity to mereotopological theory with boundary elements by specifying first-order axioms for a binary segment operator s. We show that our axioms yields a convex hull operator h that supports, not only the basic properties of convex regions, but also complex (...)
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  20. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi (2014). Del fuoco che non brucia: risposte, riflessioni, ringraziamenti. In Elena Casetta & Valeria Giardino (eds.), Mettere a Fuoco Il Mondo. Conversazioni sulla Filosofia di Achille Varzi (Special Issue of Isonomia – Epistemologica). University of Urbino. 111–153.
    An overview of the way I picture the amorphous world we live in, built around my comments and responses to nine festschrift essays by A. Borghini (on the Fedro metaphor and the art of butchery), F. Calemi (on the predication principle and metalinguistic nominalism), C. Calosi (on the argument from mereological universalism to extensonality), E. Casetta (on the role of “monsters” in the realism/antirealism debate), V. Giardino (on inductive reasoning, spatial representation, and problem solving), P. Graziani (on mereological notation), P. (...)
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  21. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi (2014). Realism in the Desert. In Massimo Dell’Utri, Fabio Bacchini & Stefano Caputo (eds.), Realism and Ontology without Myths. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 16–31.
    Quine’s desert is generally contrasted with Meinong’s jungle, as a sober ontological alternative to the exuberant luxuriance that comes with the latter. Here I focus instead on the desert as a sober metaphysical alternative to the Aristotelian garden, with its tidily organized varieties of flora and fauna neatly governed by fundamental laws that reflect the essence of things and the way they can be, or the way they must be. In the desert there are no “natural joints”; all the boundaries (...)
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  22. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi & Claudio Calosi (2014). Le Tribolazioni Del Filosofare. Comedia Metaphysica Ne la Quale Si Tratta de Li Errori & de le Pene de L’Infero. Laterza.
    A scholarly annotated epic poem on the pitfalls and tribulations of “good philosophizing”. Divided into twenty-eight cantos (in medieval Italian hendecasyllabic terza rima), the poem tells of an allegorical journey through the downward spiral of the philosophers’ hell, where all sorts of thinkers are punished for their faults and mistakes, in the endeavor to reach a way out of the condition of intellectual impasse in which the narrator has found himself. The affinities with Dante’s Inferno are apparent. Whereas Dante’s poem (...)
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  23. added 2014-10-09
    Claudio Calosi & Achille C. Varzi (2014). Back to Black. Ratio 27 (3).
    This is a brief sequel to Max Black's classic dialogue on the Identity of Indiscernibles. Interlocutor A defends the bundle theory by endorsing the (by now popular) view according to which Black's world does not contain two indiscernible spheres but rather a single, bi-located sphere. His opponent, B, objects that A cannot distinguish such a world from a world with a single, uniquely located sphere, hence that the view in question adds nothing to A's original response to Black's challenge. A (...)
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  24. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi (2014). Formal Theories of Parthood. In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences: Parts and Wholes in the Contemporary Scientific Context. Springer-Verlag. 359–370.
    A compact overview of the main formal theories of parthood and of their mutual relationships, up to Classical Extensional Mereology. Written as an Appendix to the other essays included in the volume.
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  25. added 2014-10-09
    Achille C. Varzi (2013). Livelli di realtà e descrizioni del mondo. Giornale di Metafisica 35 (2/3).
    I articulate and the defend the following two claims: (i) it is a mistake to think that the structure of the world should mirror the structure of the theories by which we represent it, and through which we try to decipher it, simply because those theories appear to work; (ii) among the most deplorable consequences of this mistake is the widespread tendency to think that there must be a plurality of realities, or several different and irreducible levels of a stratified (...)
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  26. added 2014-10-08
    Patrick Todd (forthcoming). Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future. Mind.
    There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial (and unnoticed) connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent (...)
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  27. added 2014-10-07
    Antonio Vassallo (forthcoming). General Covariance, Diffeomorphism Invariance, and Background Independence in 5 Dimensions. In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wüthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Rodopi.
    The paper considers the "GR-desideratum", that is, the way general relativity implements general covariance, diffeomorphism invariance, and background independence. Two cases are discussed where 5-dimensional generalizations of general relativity run into interpretational troubles when the GR-desideratum is forced upon them. It is shown how the conceptual problems dissolve when such a desideratum is relaxed. In the end, it is suggested that a similar strategy might mitigate some major issues such as the problem of time or the embedding of quantum non-locality (...)
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  28. added 2014-10-04
    Uriah Kriegel (forthcoming). How to Speak of Existence. Grazer Philosophische Studien.
    To a first approximation, ontology is concerned with what exists, metaontology with what it means to say that something exists. So understood, metaontology has been dominated by three views: (i) existence as a substantive first-order property that some things have and some do not, (ii) existence as a formal first-order property that everything has, and (iii) existence as a second-order property of existents’ distinctive properties. Each of these faces well-documented difficulties. In this chapter, I want to expound a fourth theoretical (...)
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  29. added 2014-10-02
    Leszek Wroński (forthcoming). Reichenbach's Paradise. De Gruyter Open.
    Since its introduction by Hans Reichenbach, many philosophers have claimed to refute the idea – known as the common cause principle – that any surprising correlation between any two factors that do not directly influence one another is due to some common cause. For example, falsity of the principle is frequently inferred from falsifiability of Bell’s inequalities. The author demonstrates, however, that the situation is not so straightforward. There is more than one version of the principle formulated with the use (...)
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  30. added 2014-10-01
    Timothy Perrine (forthcoming). Undermining Truthmaker Theory. Synthese:1-16.
    Truthmaker theorists hold that there is a metaphysically explanatory relation that holds between true claims and what exists. While some critics (e.g. Merricks 2007) try to provide counterexamples to truthmaker theory, that response quickly leads to a dialectical standoff. The aim of this paper is to move beyond that standoff by attempting to undermine some standard arguments for truthmaker theory. Using realism about truth and a more pragmatic account of explanation, I show how some of those arguments can be undermined.
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  31. added 2014-09-29
    Julia R. Bursten (forthcoming). Microstructure Without Essentialism: A New Perspective on Chemical Classification. 81 (4):633-653,.
    Recently, macroscopic accounts of chemical kind individuation have been proposed as alternatives to the microstructural essentialist account advocated by Kripke, Putnam, and others. These accounts argue that individuation of chemical kinds is based on macroscopic criteria such as reactivity or thermodynamics, and they challenge the essentialism that grounds the Kripke-Putnam view. Using a variety of chemical examples, I argue that microstructure grounds these macroscopic accounts, but that this grounding need not imply essentialism. Instead, kinds are individuated on the basis of (...)
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  32. added 2014-09-29
    Joachim Horvath (2014). Lowe on Modal Knowledge. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):208-217.
    In recent work, E. J. Lowe presents an essence-based account of our knowledge of metaphysical modality that he claims to be superior to its main competitors. I argue that knowledge of essences alone, without knowledge of a suitable bridge principle, is insufficient for knowing that something is metaphysically necessary or metaphysically possible. Yet given Lowe's other theoretical commitments, he cannot account for our knowledge of the needed bridge principle, and so his essence-based modal epistemology remains incomplete. In addition to that, (...)
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  33. added 2014-09-28
    Philip Goff (2012). There is More Than One Thing. In , Spinoza on Monism. Palgrave Macmillan. 113-22.
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  34. added 2014-09-27
    Dean Zimmerman (forthcoming). A Recent Defense of Monism Based Upon the Internal Relatedness of All Things. In Francois Clementz & Jean-Maurice Monnoye (eds.), The Metaphysics of Relations. Ontos Verlag.
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  35. added 2014-09-27
    David Liebesman (forthcoming). Relations and Order-Sensitivity. Metaphysica.
    I ate my broccoli, though my broccoli did not eat me. The eating relation, like many other relations, differentiates between its arguments. The fact that eating holds between a and b does not entail that it holds between b and a. How are we to make sense of this? The standard view is that relations are sensitive to the order of their arguments. As natural as this view is, it has been the target of a powerful objection from Kit Fine. (...)
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  36. added 2014-09-27
    David Liebesman (2014). We Do Not Count by Identity. :1-22.
    We do not count by identity. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/00048402.2014.936023.
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  37. added 2014-09-27
    Mark Kulstad (2012). Spinoza's Demonstration of Monism: A New Line of Defense. In Philip Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  38. added 2014-09-27
    Richard Healey (2012). The World As We Know It. In Philip Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism.
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  39. added 2014-09-26
    Alex Steinberg (forthcoming). Priority Monism and Part/Whole Dependence. Philosophical Studies.
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  40. added 2014-09-26
    Alex Steinberg (forthcoming). Priority Monism and Part/Whole Dependence. Philosophical Studies.
    Priority monism is the view that the cosmos is the only independent concrete object. The paper argues that, pace its proponents, Priority monism is in conflict with the dependence of any whole on any of its parts: if the cosmos does not depend on its parts, neither does any smaller composite.
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  41. added 2014-09-25
    Andras Szigeti (2014). Collective Responsibility and Group-Control. In Julie Zahle & Finn Collin (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate. Springer. 97-116.
  42. added 2014-09-24
    Alexander Gebharter, Addendum to "A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?&Quot;.
    In (Gebharter 2014) I suggested a framework for modeling the hierarchical organization of mechanisms. In this short addendum I want to highlight some connections of my approach to the statistics and machine learning literature and some of its limitations not mentioned in the paper.
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  43. added 2014-09-23
    Thomas Pradeu (forthcoming). Galatea of the Microbes: Biological Identity as a Composite Reality. The Philosophers' Magazine.
    This paper shows that the identity of living things is a composite reality. It also suggests that the immune system constitutes a unifying process for the organism.
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  44. added 2014-09-22
    Mauro Dorato, Presentism and the Experience of Time.
    Presentists have typically argued that the Block View is incapable of explaining our experience of time. In this paper I argue that the phenomenology of our experience of time is, on the contrary, against presentism. My argument is based on a dilemma: presentists must either assume that the metaphysical present has no temporal extension, or that it is temporally extended. The former horn leads to phenomenological problems. The latter renders presentism metaphysically incoherent, unless one posits a discrete present that, however, (...)
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  45. added 2014-09-22
    John W. Carroll, Steven Carpenter, Beth Ehrlich Slater, Gray Maddrey, Kevin Martell, Stuart Miller, Nathan Sasser, Stephen Sutton, Robert Todd, Diana Tysinger & Laura Wingler (2014). A Time Travel Dialogue. Open Book Publishers.
    Is time travel just a confusing plot device deployed by science fiction authors and Hollywood filmmakers to amaze and amuse? Or might empirical data prompt a scientific hypothesis of time travel? Structured on a fascinating dialogue involving  ...
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  46. added 2014-09-22
    Brannon McDaniel (2014). A Defense of Lucretianism. American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (4):373-385.
    According to the presentist, it is always the case that the only existing objects are those that exist at the present time, and the only properties and relations that are instantiated are those that are instantiated at the present time. The truth-supervenes-on-being thesis (TSB) is that there can be no difference in what is true without a corresponding difference in what exists and in what properties and relations are instantiated. The truth-supervenes-on-being objection says that presentism cannot accommodate TSB. Lucretianism is (...)
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  47. added 2014-09-20
    Heidi Savage, On Diachronic, Synchronic, and Logical Necessity.
    According to EJ Lowe, diachronic necessity and synchronic necessity are logically independent. Diachronic possibility concerns what could happen to an object over time and therefore concerns future possibilities for that object given its past history. Synchronic possibility concerns what is possible for an object in the present or at a past present moment. These are logically independent, given certain assumptions. While it may true that because I am 38, it is impossible diachronically for me to be 30 (at least once (...)
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  48. added 2014-09-19
    Bertrand Russell (1919). The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Lectures 5-6. The Monist 29 (2):190-222.
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  49. added 2014-09-19
    Bertrand Rusell (1919). The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Lectures 7-8. The Monist 29 (3):345-380.
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  50. added 2014-09-19
    Bertrand Russell (1919). The Philosophy of Logical Atomism, Lectures 3-4. The Monist 29 (1):32-63.
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