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Metaphysics

Edited by Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)
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  1. added 2016-09-24
    Timothy Williamson (2016). Abductive Philosophy. Philosophical Forum 47 (3-4):263-280.
  2. added 2016-09-23
    Vera Hoffmann-Kolss (forthcoming). Intrinsische und extrinsische Eigenschaften. In Markus Schrenk (ed.), Handbuch Metaphysik. J.B. Metzler
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  3. added 2016-09-23
    Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma & David Rose (forthcoming). Following the FAD: Folk Attributions and Theories of Actual Causation. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-22.
    In the last decade, several researchers have proposed theories of actual causation that make use of structural equations and directed graphs. Many of these researchers are committed to a widely-endorsed folk attribution desideratum, according to which an important constraint on the acceptability of a theory of actual causation is agreement between the deliverances of the theory with respect to specific cases and the reports of untutored individuals about those same cases. In the present article, we consider a small collection of (...)
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  4. added 2016-09-22
    David Torrijos-Castrillejo (2016). Identidad religiosa e innovación filosófica en la Atenas del siglo V a.C. In Juana Torres Silvia Acerbi (ed.), La religión como factor de identidad. Escolar y Mayo 11-20.
    The fifth century BC is one of the most brilliant of Greek history. Pericles, as the leader of a splendid Athens, promoted the entry into his polis of the new scientific movement that until then had developed primarily in Ionia and in the Italian peninsula. However, their research raised suspicions among the Athenians, who regarded it as a risk for traditional religion. In spite of the somewhat flexible and plural character of the Greek religion, in this period three famous trials (...)
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  5. added 2016-09-22
    Martin Pickup (2016). A Situationalist Solution to the Ship of Theseus Puzzle. Erkenntnis 81 (5):973-992.
    This paper outlines a novel solution to the Ship of Theseus puzzle. The solution relies on situations, a philosophical tool used in natural language semantics among other places. The core idea is that what is true is always relative to the situation under consideration. I begin by outlining the problem before briefly introducing situations. I then present the solution: in smaller situations the candidate is identical to Theseus’s ship. But in larger situations containing both candidates these identities are neither true (...)
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  6. added 2016-09-22
    James Bardis (2016). It Was the 15th of December. Jpeg Cover-Dubai2016 ISSN: 2189-1036 – The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Dubai – 2016 Official Conference Proceedings.
    A reflection on the merits of an a priori poeto-epistemology in relation to tacitly held assumptions about the a fortiori validity of computational logic to transcend the limits of contradiction and infinite regression and establish a valid ontology.
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  7. added 2016-09-21
    Reutlinger Alexander & Andersen Holly (forthcoming). Abstract Versus Causal Explanations? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
    In the recent literature on causal and non-causal scientific explanations, there is an intuitive assumption (which we call the ‘abstractness assumption’) according to which an explanation is non-causal by virtue of being abstract. In this context, to be “abstract” means that the explanans in question leaves out many or almost all causal microphysical details of the target system. After motivating this assumption, we argue that the abstractness assumption, in placing the abstract and the causal character of an explanation in tension, (...)
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  8. added 2016-09-21
    T. Scott Dixon & Cody Gilmore (forthcoming). Speaks's Reduction of Propositions to Properties: A Benacerraf Problem. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    Jeff Speaks (2014) has recently defended the view that propositions are properties: the proposition that grass is green is the property being such that grass is green, the proposition that snow is white is being such that snow is white, and so on. We argue that there is no reason to prefer Speaks’s theory to analogous but competing theories that identify propositions with, say, 2-adic or 17-adic relations of the relevant sort, and we conclude that none of these theories is (...)
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  9. added 2016-09-21
    Matteo Benocci (forthcoming). Priority Monism and Essentiality of Fundamentality: A Reply to Steinberg. Philosophical Studies:1-8.
    Steinberg has recently proposed an argument against Schaffer’s priority monism. The argument assumes the principle of Necessity of Monism, which states that if priority monism is true, then it is necessarily true. In this paper, I argue that Steinberg’s objection can be eluded by giving up Necessity of Monism for an alternative principle, that I call Essentiality of Fundamentality, and that such a principle is to be preferred to Necessity of Monism on other grounds as well.
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  10. added 2016-09-21
    Timothy Williamson (2016). Reply to Fine. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):571-583.
  11. added 2016-09-21
    Timothy Williamson (2016). Reply to Sider. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):699-708.
  12. added 2016-09-21
    Timothy Williamson (2016). Reply to Vetter. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):796-802.
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  13. added 2016-09-21
    Timothy Williamson (2016). Reply to Linnebo. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):677-682.
  14. added 2016-09-21
    Timothy Williamson (2016). Modal Science. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
    This paper explains and defends the idea that metaphysical necessity is the strongest kind of objective necessity. Plausible closure conditions on the family of objective modalities are shown to entail that the logic of metaphysical necessity is S5. Evidence is provided that some objective modalities are studied in the natural sciences. In particular, the modal assumptions implicit in physical applications of dynamical systems theory are made explicit by using such systems to define models of a modal temporal logic. Those assumptions (...)
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  15. added 2016-09-21
    Timothy Williamson (2016). Reply to Sullivan. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):759-765.
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  16. added 2016-09-21
    Ferdinand Fellmann (2012). Schopenhauer aktuell: Sexualität, Individualität und Freiheit. In E. W. Orth (ed.), Schopenhauer und die Kultur. K&N 41-50.
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  17. added 2016-09-21
    Casimir Lewy (2009). Meaning and Modality. Cambridge University Press.
    A study of various central and connected topics in philosophical logic and the theory of meaning. There are important sections on the relation between linguistic and abstract entities, on necessity and convention, on meaning, sense and reference, and on entailment. Dr Lewy proposes a number of original solutions to problems which have been widely discussed in literature, and there is in particular a sharp and sustained criticism of conventionalism and reductionism. These are among the most difficult and intricate issues in (...)
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  18. added 2016-09-19
    Mesay Kebede (forthcoming). Bergsonian Intuition: Moving the Critique of Reason Toward the Unmaking of Reason. Journal of Philosophical Research.
    Recourse to intuition to tackle philosophical issues brought the charge of irrationalism on Bergson. The charge overlooks that Bergsonian intuition has nothing to do with a sudden and mysterious illumination. Rather, it is a methodic procedure resulting in an outcome that it is effectively produced, and not a spark that falls from the sky. This paper shows that the misconception has its source in the neglect of two interrelated factors: (1) philosophical intuition is a method specifically invented to get past (...)
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  19. added 2016-09-19
    Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri (forthcoming). Moderate Modal Skepticism. In Matthew A. Benton, John Hawthorne & Dani Rabinowitz (eds.), Knowledge, Belief, and God: New Insights in Religious Epistemology. Oxford University Press
    This paper examines "moderate modal skepticism", a form of skepticism about metaphysical modality defended by Peter van Inwagen in order to blunt the force of certain modal arguments in the philosophy of religion. Van Inwagen’s argument for moderate modal skepticism assumes Yablo's (1993) influential world-based epistemology of possibility. We raise two problems for this epistemology of possibility, which undermine van Inwagen's argument. We then consider how one might motivate moderate modal skepticism by relying on a different epistemology of possibility, which (...)
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  20. added 2016-09-19
    Matteo Morganti (forthcoming). Relationism About Time and Temporal Vacua. Philosophy.
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  21. added 2016-09-19
    Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & Ausonio Marras (2008). The Supervenience Argument. In S. Gozzano & F. Oralia (eds.), Tropes, Universals, and the Philosophy of Mind. Ontos Verlag 101-132.
  22. added 2016-09-19
    A. P. Hazen (1991). Intensional Logic and the Metaphysics of Intentionality. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 100 (3):474.
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  23. added 2016-09-15
    Kenneth L. Pearce (forthcoming). Counterpossible Dependence and the Efficacy of the Divine Will. Faith and Philosophy.
    The will of an omnipotent being would be perfectly efficacious. Alexander Pruss and I have provided an analysis of perfect efficacy that relies on non-trivial counterpossible conditionals. Scott Hill has objected that not all of the required counterpossibles are true of God. Sarah Adams has objected that perfect efficacy of will (on any analysis) would be an extrinsic property and so is not suitable as a divine attribute. I argue that both of these objections can be answered if the divine (...)
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  24. added 2016-09-15
    Helen De Cruz (2016). Numerical Cognition and Mathematical Realism. Philosophers' Imprint 16 (16).
    Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose that they prima (...)
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  25. added 2016-09-15
    Rick Grush, Some Puzzles Concerning Relations Between Minds, Brains, and Bodies.
    In this article I explore a number of questions that have not been adequately investigated in philosophy of mind circles: are minds located in the same place as the brains (or other computing machinery) supporting them? Must they exist at the same location as the body? Must they exist at the same time? Could a single mind be implemented in multiple brains, or multiple minds in a single brain? Under what conditions might a single mind persist despite being implemented successively (...)
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  26. added 2016-09-15
    Julio Groppa Aquino (2016). Nothing but a Game of Cards: Experience, Archive, Childhood. Childhood and Philosophy 12 (23).
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  27. added 2016-09-14
    Brian G. Henning (2016). Unearthing the Process Roots of Environment Ethics: Whitehead, Leopold, and the Land Ethic. Balkan Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):3-12.
    The aim of this essay is twofold. First, I examine the role of Alfred North Whitehead and process thinkers in bringing about and shaping the field of environmental ethics. As we will see, our job is not so much to develop the connections between Whitehead and environmental thought as to recover them. Second, given this genealogical work, I invite process scholars to reconsider their generally hostile reception of Aldo Leopold and his land ethic. I suggest that a version of the (...)
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  28. added 2016-09-14
    Niels Grewe, Ludger Jansen & Barry Smith (2016). Permanent Generic Relatedness and Silent Change. In Formal Ontology and Information Systems. CEUR, Vol. 1060 1-5.
    Given the assertion of a relation between two types, like: “Epidermis has part some Keratinocyte”, we define silent change as any kind of change of the instance-relata of the relation in question that does not change the truth-value of the respective type-level assertion. Such assertions are notoriously difficult to model in OWL 2. To address this problem, we distinguish different modes of type-level relatedness giving rise to this problem and describe a conservative extension to the BFO top-level ontology that allows (...)
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  29. added 2016-09-14
    Brian G. Henning (2015). Creative Love: Eros and Agape in Whitehead and Peirce. In Brian G. Henning, William T. Myers & Joseph John (eds.), Thinking with Whitehead and the American Pragmatists. Lexington Books 149-164.
    The kernel of this chapter has been lodged in my mind since I was a graduate student at Fordham. As I studied the work of Charles Sanders Peirce and Alfred North Whitehead I was continually struck by the numerous points of conver-gence between their respective projects. Unlike other pragmatists, both of these mathematically trained philosophers were interested in constructing a specula-tive philosophy that rejected the reductive, mechanistic accounts of nature. Instead, both Peirce and Whitehead described an emergent, evolutionary cos-mos that (...)
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  30. added 2016-09-14
    Brian G. Henning (2015). Stewardship and the Roots of the Ecological Crisis: Reflections on Laudato Si’. In Cobb Jr & Ignacio Castuera (eds.), For Our Common Home: Process-Relational Responses to Laudato Si’. Process Century Press 41-51.
    My goal in this brief essay is not so much to defend White's controversial thesis, but to use it as a context for appreciating the significance of Pope Francis's new encyclical Laudato Si’. Considering it in the context of White’s thesis, will bring certain salient features into relief.
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  31. added 2016-09-13
    Theodore Sider (forthcoming). Substantivity in Feminist Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies:1-12.
    Elizabeth Barnes and Mari Mikkola raise the important question of whether certain recent approaches to metaphysics exclude feminist metaphysics. My own approach does not, or so I argue. I do define “substantive” questions in terms of fundamentality; and the concepts of feminist metaphysics are nonfundamental. But my definition does not count a question as being nonsubstantive simply because it involves nonfundamental concepts. Questions about the causal structure of the world, including the causal structure of the social world, are generally substantive (...)
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  32. added 2016-09-13
    Robert Rovetto (2016). Ontology Archtecures for the Orbital Space Enironment and Space Situational Awareness Domain. In Stefano Borgo, Loris Bozzato, Chiara Del Vescovo & Martin Homola (eds.), Proceedings of the Joint Ontology Workshops 2016 at 9th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems. CEUR
    This paper applies some ontology architectures to the space domain, specifically the orbital and near-earth space environment and the space situational awareness domain. I briefly summarize local, single and hybrid ontology architectures, and offer potential space ontology architectures for each by showing how actual space data sources and space organizations would be involved.
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  33. added 2016-09-13
    Emmanuel Alloa (2016). Le monde existe-t-il sans nous? Le perspectivisme selon HUsserl. Philosophie:3-19.
  34. added 2016-09-12
    Fabrice Correia (forthcoming). An Impure Logic of Representational Grounding. Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-32.
    I give a semantic characterization of a system for the logic of grounding similar to the system introduced by Kit Fine in his “Guide to Ground”, as well as a semantic characterization of a variant of that system which excludes the possibility of what Fine calls ‘zero-grounding’.
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  35. added 2016-09-12
    Jacob Blumenfeld (2013). The Abolition of Time in Hegel's "Absolute Knowing". Idealistic Studies 43 (1):111-119.
    In the history of interpretations of Hegel, how one reads the chapter on ‘Absolute Knowing’ in the Phenomenology of Spirit deter­mines one’s whole perspective. In fact, Marx’s only comments on the Phenomenology concern this final chapter, taking it as the very “secret” of Hegel’s philosophy. But what is the secret hidden within the thicket of this impenetrable prose? My suggestion is that it turns on a very specific meaning of the “abolition of time” that Hegel describes in the very last (...)
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  36. added 2016-09-11
    Bob Fischer (forthcoming). The Moral Objection to Modal Realism. Erkenntnis.
    If David Lewis's modal realism is true, then there are many, many people. According to Mark Heller, this is bad news. He takes modal realism (MR) to imply that "there are at least some cases in which it is permissible to let drowning children drown when it would be easy to save them." But since he holds the reasonable view that this is never permissible, he thinks that MR is false. Here, I argue that Lewis needn't be troubled by this (...)
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  37. added 2016-09-11
    Bob Fischer (forthcoming). Modal Justification Via Theories. Springer.
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  38. added 2016-09-11
    David Ingram (forthcoming). Thisnesses, Propositions, and Truth. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Presentists, who believe that only present objects exist, should accept a thisness ontology, since it can do considerable work in defence of presentism. In this paper, I propose a version of presentism that involves thisnesses of past and present entities and I argue this view solves important problems facing standard versions of presentism.
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  39. added 2016-09-11
    Richard Patterson (2002). Aristotle's Modal Logic: Essence and Entailment in the Organon. Cambridge University Press.
    Aristotle's Modal Logic, first published in 1995, presents an interpretation of Aristotle's logic by arguing that a proper understanding of the system depends on an appreciation of its connection to the metaphysics. Richard Patterson develops three striking theses in the book. First, there is a fundamental connection between Aristotle's logic of possibility and necessity, and his metaphysics, and that this connection extends far beyond the widely recognised tie to scientific demonstration and relates to the more basic distinction between the essential (...)
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  40. added 2016-09-10
    Nicholas Maxwell (forthcoming). Relativity Theory May Not Have the Last Word on the Nature of Time: Quantum Theory and Probabilism. In G. Ghirardi & S. Wuppuluri (eds.), Space, Time and the Limits of Human Understanding. Springer
    Two radically different views about time are possible. According to the first, the universe is three dimensional. It has a past and a future, but that does not mean it is spread out in time as it is spread out in the three dimensions of space. This view requires that there is an unambiguous, absolute, cosmic-wide "now" at each instant. According to the second view about time, the universe is four dimensional. It is spread out in both space and time (...)
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  41. added 2016-09-09
    Richard Fumerton, Phenomenalism (Encyclopedia Entry). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  42. added 2016-09-08
    Pierre Saint-Germier (forthcoming). Conceivability, Inconceivability and Cartesian Modal Epistemology. Synthese:1-32.
    In various arguments, Descartes relies on the principles that conceivability implies possibility and that inconceivability implies impossibility. Those principles are in tension with another Cartesian view about the source of modality, i.e. the doctrine of the free creation of eternal truths. In this paper, I develop a ‘two-modality’ interpretation of the doctrine of eternal truths which resolves the tension and I discuss how the resulting modal epistemology can still be relevant for the contemporary discussion.
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  43. added 2016-09-08
    Martin Pickup (forthcoming). Unextended Complexes. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    Extended simples are fruitfully discussed in metaphysics. They are entities which are located in a complex region of space but do not themselves have parts. In this paper I will discuss unextended complexes, entities which are not located at a complex region of space but do themselves have parts. In particular, I focus on one type of unextended complex: pointy complexes (entities that have parts but are located at a single point of space). Four areas are indicated where pointy complexes (...)
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  44. added 2016-09-08
    Karl Egerton (2016). Getting Off the Inwagen: A Critique of Quinean Metaontology. Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 4 (6).
    Much contemporary ontological inquiry takes place within the so-called ‘Quinean tradition’ but, given that some aspects of Quine’s project have been widely abandoned even by those who consider themselves Quineans, it is unclear what this amounts to. Fortunately recent work in metaontology has produced two relevant results here: a clearer characterisation of the metaontology uniting the aforementioned Quineans, most notably undertaken by Peter van Inwagen, and a raft of criticisms of that metaontology. In this paper I critique van Inwagen’s Quinean (...)
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  45. added 2016-09-08
    Karl Egerton (2016). Found Guilty by Association: In Defence of the Quinean Criterion. Ratio 29 (3):n/a-n/a.
    Much recent work in metaontology challenges the so-called ‘Quinean tradition’ in metaphysics. Especially prominently, Amie Thomasson argues for a highly permissive ontology over ontologies which eliminate many entities. I am concerned with disputing not her ontological claim, but the methodology behind her rejection of eliminativism – I focus on ordinary objects. Thomasson thinks that by endorsing the Quinean criterion of ontological commitment eliminativism goes wrong; a theory eschewing quantification over a kind may nonetheless be committed to its existence. I argue (...)
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  46. added 2016-09-08
    Kathy Behrendt (2007). Reasons to Be Fearful: Strawson, Death and Narrative. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 60:133-154.
    I compare and assess two significant and opposing approaches to the self with respect to what they have to say about death: the anti-narrativist, as articulated by Galen Strawson, and the narrativist, as pieced together from a variety of accounts. Neither party fares particularly well on the matter of death. Both are unable to point towards a view of death that is clearly consistent with their views on the self. In the narrativist’s case this inconsistency is perhaps not as explicit (...)
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  47. added 2016-09-07
    Ben Blumson, Similarity Spaces.
    In this paper I argue that the analysis of natural properties as convex subsets of a metric space in which the distances are degrees of dissimilarity is incompatible with both the definition of degree of dissimilarity as number of natural properties not in common and the definition of degree of dissimilarity as proportion of natural properties not in common, since in combination with either it entails that every property is a natural property, which is absurd. I suggest it follows that (...)
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  48. added 2016-09-07
    Mirza Mehmedovic (2016). Possible Worlds, Zombies, and Truth Machines. Giornale di Metafisica 1:262-283.
    The subject of zombies is one of the most discussed and controversial topics of philosophy of mind. In this paper I will first examine the main argument of zombies, providing a summary of the current discussion. Then I will introduce a thought experiment, an epistemic window on a metaphysical scenario. By the thought experiment I will argue that zombies are logically impossible. Further I will discuss another recent epistemic window. Finally I will provide some other logical consideration to prove that (...)
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  49. added 2016-09-07
    Adam Stewart-Wallace (2015). In Search of the Spectacular: Travis' Critique of Dummett. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (1):37-53.
    According to Charles Travis our language is occasion-sensitive. The truth- conditions of all our sentences, and their correctness-conditions more generally, vary depending on the occasions on which they are used. This is part of a broader view of language as unshadowed. This paper develops objections Travis has made from this viewpoint against Michael Dummett’s anti-realism. It aims to show that the arguments are suggestive but inconclusive. For all it shows unshadowed anti-realism is a possibility.
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  50. added 2016-09-06
    Christopher J. Austin (2016). The Ontology of Organisms: Mechanistic Modules or Patterned Processes? Biology and Philosophy 31 (5):639-662.
    Though the realm of biology has long been under the philosophical rule of the mechanistic magisterium, recent years have seen a surprisingly steady rise in the usurping prowess of process ontology. According to its proponents, theoretical advances in the contemporary science of evo-devo have afforded that ontology a particularly powerful claim to the throne: in that increasingly empirically confirmed discipline, emergently autonomous, higher-order entities are the reigning explanantia. If we are to accept the election of evo-devo as our best conceptualisation (...)
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