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Metaphysics

Edited by Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers University)
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  1. added 2014-07-28
    Brian Embry (forthcoming). Counterfactuals Without Possible Worlds? A Difficulty for Fine’s Exact Semantics for Counterfactuals. Journal of Philosophy.
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  2. added 2014-07-28
    Stephen Puryear (forthcoming). Finitism and the Beginning of the Universe. Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Many philosophers have argued that the past must be finite in duration because otherwise reaching the present moment would have involved something impossible, namely, the sequential occurrence of an actual infinity of events. In reply, some philosophers have objected that there can be nothing amiss in such an occurrence, since actually infinite sequences are ‘traversed’ all the time in nature, for example, whenever an object moves from one location in space to another. This essay focuses on one of the two (...)
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  3. added 2014-07-28
    Vera Hoffmann-Kolss (2014). Is the Intrinsic/Extrinsic Distinction Hyperintensional? In Robert Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. de Gruyter. 157-173.
    Several authors have recently claimed that the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties is hyperintensional, i.e., that there are cointensional properties P and Q, such that P is intrinsic, while Q is extrinsic. In this paper, I aim to defend the classical view that whenever P and Q are cointensional properties, then P and Q are either both intrinsic or both extrinsic. I first argue that the standard characterization of the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction involves dependence claims: intrinsic properties are those properties (...)
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  4. added 2014-07-26
    Alexander Reutlinger (forthcoming). Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-Level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation. Synthese.
    In their Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross defend a novel version of Neo- Russellian metaphysics of causation, which falls into three claims: (1) there are no fundamental physical causal facts (orthodox Russellian claim), (2) there are higher-level causal facts of the special sciences, and (3) higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent. While accepting claims (1) and (2), I attack claim (3). Ladyman and Ross argue that higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent, because (a) certain aspects of these higher-level (...)
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  5. added 2014-07-25
    John Russell Roberts (forthcoming). Axiarchism and Selectors. Faith and Philosophy.
    This essay offers a defense of Axiarchism's answer to the question, "Why does the world exit?" against prominent objections leveled against it by Derek Parfit. Parfit rejects the Axiarchist answer while abstracting from it his own Selector strategy. I argue that the abstraction fails, and that even if we were to regard Axiarchism as an instance of a Selector hypothesis, we should regard it as the only viable one. I also argue that Parfit's abstraction leads him to mistake the nature (...)
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  6. added 2014-07-25
    Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi (1997). Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries: Towards an Ontology of Spatially Extended Objects. In Spatial Information Theory. International Conference COSIT ‘97. Springer. 103–119.
    Human cognitive acts are directed towards objects extended in space of a wide range of different types. What follows is a new proposal for bringing order into this typological clutter. The theory of spatially extended objects should make room not only for the objects of physics but also for objects at higher levels, including the objects of geography and of related disciplines. It should leave room for different types of boundaries, including both the bona fide boundaries which we find in (...)
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  7. added 2014-07-24
    Uriah Kriegel (forthcoming). L'empirisme introspectif: un coup d’œil sous le voile des phénomènes. Philosophie 2015.
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  8. added 2014-07-24
    Andreas Hüttemann (forthcoming). Physicalism and the Part-Whole Relation. In Christian Wüthrich & Tomasz Bigaj (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics.
    In this paper I intend to analyse whether a certain kind of physicalism (part-wholephysicalism)is supported by what classical mechanics and quantum mechanics have to say about the part whole relation. I will argue that not even the most likely candidates – namely cases of microexplanation of the dynamics of compound systems – provide evidence for part whole-physicalism, i.e. the thesis that the behaviour of the compound obtains in virtue of the behaviour of the parts. Physics does not dictate part-whole-physicalism.
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  9. added 2014-07-23
    Alejandro Pérez Carballo (2014). Structuring Logical Space. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1).
  10. added 2014-07-22
    Brian Epstein (2015). The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences. Oxford.
    We live in a world of crowds and corporations, artworks and artifacts, legislatures and languages, money and markets. These are all social objects — they are made, at least in part, by people and by communities. But what exactly are these things? How are they made, and what is the role of people in making them? In The Ant Trap, Brian Epstein rewrites our understanding of the nature of the social world and the foundations of the social sciences. Epstein explains (...)
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  11. added 2014-07-20
    Nurbay Irmak (2014). Purpose-Relativity and Ontology. Dissertation, University of Miami
  12. added 2014-07-18
    Kristina Musholt (2014). Review of "The Self in Question" by Andy Hamilton. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014 (7).
  13. added 2014-07-18
    George E. Newman, Julian De Freitas & Joshua Knobe (2014). Beliefs About the True Self Explain Asymmetries Based on Moral Judgment. Cognitive Science 38 (5):n/a-n/a.
    Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about (a) what a person values, (b) whether a person is happy, (c) whether a person has shown weakness of will, and (d) whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true (...)
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  14. added 2014-07-18
    Erik Baldwin (2013). Putting Uninstantiated Human Person Essences to Work: A Comment on Davis and Craig on The Grounding Objection. Philosophia Christi 15 (2):221-225.
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  15. added 2014-07-17
    Friederike Moltmann (forthcoming). The Ontology of 'Cases'. In Proceedings of Formal Ontology and Information Systems (FOIS), 2014.
    This paper gives an account of constructions with the noun 'case' based on truthmaking and argues that 'cases' form their own ontological category.
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  16. added 2014-07-17
    Brian Epstein (2015). How Many Kinds of Glue Hold the Social World Together? In Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (eds.), Social Ontology and Social Cognition.
    In recent years, theorists have debated how we introduce new social objects and kinds into the world. Searle, for instance, proposes that they are introduced by collective acceptance of a constitutive rule; Millikan and Elder that they are the products of reproduction processes; Thomasson that they result from creator intentions and subsequent intentional reproduction; and so on. In this chapter, I argue against the idea that there is a single generic method or set of requirements for doing so. Instead, there (...)
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  17. added 2014-07-17
    Mark Balaguer (2014). Anti‐Metaphysicalism, Necessity, and Temporal Ontology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):n/a-n/a.
    This paper argues for a certain kind of anti-metaphysicalism about the temporal ontology debate, i.e., the debate between presentists and eternalists over the existence of past and future objects. Three different kinds of anti-metaphysicalism are defined—namely, non-factualism, physical-empiricism, and trivialism. The paper argues for the disjunction of these three views. It is then argued that trivialism is false, so that either non-factualism or physical-empiricism is true. Finally, the paper ends with a discussion of whether we should endorse non-factualism or physical-empiricism. (...)
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  18. added 2014-07-17
    Brian Epstein (2014). What is Individualism in Social Ontology? Ontological Individualism Vs. Anchor Individualism. In Finn Collin & Julie Zahle (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism/Holism Debate: Essays in the Philosophy of Social Science.
    Individualists about social ontology hold that social facts are “built out of” facts about individuals. In this paper, I argue that there are two distinct kinds of individualism about social ontology, two different ways individual people might be the metaphysical “builders” of the social world. The familiar kind is ontological individualism. This is the thesis that social facts supervene on, or are exhaustively grounded by, facts about individual people. What I call anchor individualism is the alternative thesis that facts about (...)
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  19. added 2014-07-17
    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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  20. added 2014-07-15
    Baptiste Le Bihan (forthcoming). The Unrealities of Time. Dialogue 1.
    Is time flowing? A-theorists say yes, B-theorists say no. But both take time to be real. It means that B-theorists accept that time might be real, even if lacking a property usually ascribed to it. In this paper, I want to ask what are the different properties usually ascribed to time in order to draw the list of different possible kinds of realism and anti-realism about time. As we will see, there are three main kinds of anti-realism. I will claim (...)
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  21. added 2014-07-15
    Leo Obrst, Werner Ceusters, Inderjeet Mani, Steve Ray & Barry Smith (2006). The Evaluation of Ontologies: Toward Improved Semantic Interoperability. In Chris Baker & Kei H. Cheung (eds.), Semantic Web: Revolutionizing Knowledge Discovery in the Life Sciences. Springer. 139-158.
    Recent years have seen rapid progress in the development of ontologies as semantic models intended to capture and represent aspects of the real world. There is, however, great variation in the quality of ontologies. If ontologies are to become progressively better in the future, more rigorously developed, and more appropriately compared, then a systematic discipline of ontology evaluation must be created to ensure quality of content and methodology. Systematic methods for ontology evaluation will take into account representation of individual ontologies, (...)
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  22. added 2014-07-14
    Elizabeth Miller (forthcoming). Humean Scientific Explanation. Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    In a recent paper, Barry Loewer attempts to defend Humeanism about laws of nature from a charge that Humean laws are not adequately explanatory. Central to his defense is a distinction between metaphysical and scientific explanations: even if Humeans cannot offer further metaphysical explanations of particular features of their “mosaic,” that does not preclude them from offering scientific explanations of these features. According to Marc Lange, however, Loewer’s distinction is of no avail. Defending a transitivity principle linking scientific explanantia to (...)
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  23. added 2014-07-13
    Bradley Armour-Garb (forthcoming). New Problems for Modal Fictionalism. Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    In this paper, after clarifying certain features of Gideon Rosen’s Modal Fictionalism, I raise two problems for that view and argue that these problems strongly suggest that advocates of a “Deflationist Strategy” ought not to endorse, or adopt Rosen-style Modal Fictionalism.
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  24. added 2014-07-09
    Kenneth Noe (forthcoming). Intensive Magnitudes, Temporality, and Sensus Communis in Kant’s Aesthetics. International Philosophical Quarterly 55.
  25. added 2014-07-08
    Tim Button (forthcoming). Brains in Vats and Model Theory. In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Brain in a Vat. Cambridge University Press.
    Hilary Putnam’s BIV argument first occurred to him when ‘thinking about a theorem in modern logic, the “Skolem–Löwenheim Theorem”’ (Putnam 1981: 7). One of my aims in this paper is to explore the connection between the argument and the Theorem. But I also want to draw some further connections. In particular, I think that Putnam’s BIV argument provides us with an impressively versatile template for dealing with sceptical challenges. Indeed, this template allows us to unify some of Putnam’s most enduring (...)
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  26. added 2014-07-04
    Lucas P. Halpin, Analyticity, Identity and Presupposition.
    First, I will sketch an account of identity sentences according to which identity is a device for achieving semantic change. Specifically, it changes which sentences are analytic. Second, I will sketch an account of presupposition according to which presupposition triggers are devices for logical change. More precisely, they change the logic of the language (not the logical form of the sentences in which they occur). The purpose is to sketch a general strategy of appealing to change within a language to (...)
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  27. added 2014-07-02
    Charles M. Hermes, Scientific Essentialism and the Lewis/Ramsey Account of Laws of Nature.
    Humean interpretations claim that laws of nature merely summarize events. Non-Humean interpretations claim that laws force events to occur in certain patterns. First, I show that the Lewis/Ramsey account of lawhood, which claims that laws are axioms or theorems of the simplest strongest summary of events, provides the best Humean interpretation of laws. The strongest non-Humean account, the scientific essentialist position, grounds laws of nature in essential non-reducible dispositional properties held by natural kinds. The scientific essentialist account entails that laws (...)
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  28. added 2014-07-01
    Gustavo Picazo (forthcoming). Truths and Processes: A Critical Approach to Truthmaker Theory. Philosophia:1-27.
    The starting point of this paper is the idea that linguistic representation is the result of a global process: a process of interaction of a community of cognitive-linguistic agents, with one another and with the environment. I maintain that the study of truth, meaning and related notions should be addressed without losing perspective of this process, and I oppose the ‘static’ or ‘analytic’ approach, which is fundamentally based on our own knowledge of the conventional meaning of words and sentences, and (...)
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  29. added 2014-07-01
    James Miller, Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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  30. added 2014-06-27
    Katharina Nieswandt & Ulf Hlobil (eds.) (forthcoming). G. E. M. Anscombe: Aufsätze. Suhrkamp.
    Die Wittgenstein-Schülerin Elizabeth Anscombe zählt zu den einflussreichsten Philosophinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Mit der Monographie Absicht begründete sie die analytische Handlungstheorie, viele ihrer Abhandlungen gelten als Klassiker, aber nur wenige liegen bislang in deutscher Übersetzung vor. Der vorliegende Band füllt diese Lücke: Er versammelt zwölf von Anscombes wichtigsten Aufsätzen, die thematisch von der praktischen Philosophie über die Metaphysik und die Philosophie des Geistes bis hin zu Aristoteles- und Wittgenstein-Interpretationen reichen, also das ganze Spektrum ihres Denkens repräsentieren. Die Anmerkungen und Erläuterungen (...)
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  31. added 2014-06-27
    Mahrad Almotahari (2014). The Identity of a Material Thing and its Matter. Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):387-406.
    I have both a smaller and a larger aim. The smaller aim is polemical. Kit Fine believes that a material thing—a Romanesque statue, for example, or an open door—can be distinguished from its constituent matter—a piece of alloy, say, or a hunk of plastic—without recourse to modal or temporal considerations. The statue is Romanesque; the piece of alloy is not Romanesque. The door is open; the hunk of plastic is not open. I argue that these considerations, when combined with a (...)
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  32. added 2014-06-26
    Ruth Boeker (forthcoming). The Moral Dimension in Locke's Account of Persons and Personal Identity. History of Philosophy Quarterly 31.
    I offer an interpretation of John Locke’s account of persons and personal identity that gives full credit to Locke’s claim that “person” is a forensic term, sheds new light on the relation between Locke’s characterizations of a person in sections 9 and 26, and explains how Locke links his moral and legal account of personhood to his account of personal identity in terms of sameness of consciousness. I show that Locke’s claim that sameness of consciousness is necessary for personal identity (...)
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  33. added 2014-06-26
    Timothy Pawl (forthcoming). Temporary Intrinsics and Christological Predication. In Jon Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, VII. Oxford.
    In this paper I show that the problem of temporary intrinsics and a fundamental philosophical problem concerning the doctrine of the incarnation are isomorphic. To do so, I present the problem of temporary intrinsics, along with five responses to the problem. I then present the fundamental problem for Christology, which I call the problem of natural intrinsics. I present six responses to that problem, all but the last analogous to a response to the problem of temporary intrinsics. My goal is (...)
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  34. added 2014-06-26
    Ruth Boeker, John Locke: Identity, Persons, and Personal Identity. Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
  35. added 2014-06-25
    Anne Schulherr Waters, Syllabi: Native Studies 436-001: Environmental Practice and Ethics in Native America, Spring 2005, University of New Mexico. American Philosophical Association Newsletter On American Indians in Philosophy.
    This syllabus explores complex ways that Native peoples form relationships with environments. Topics include Native American environmental thought, ethics, technology, and aesthetics of practice. A comparative approach shows differences and similarities of Native and Western templates of understanding that frame relations in our human environment. Texts discuses understanding of traditional and contemporary indigenous philosophical frameworks of environmental practices, and why they collide with technology. Required text authors include Gregory Cajete, J. Baird Caldicott, Michael P. Nelson, Donald Grinde, and Bruce E. (...)
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  36. added 2014-06-24
    de Libera Alain & Massin Olivier (2014). Qu'est-ce qu'une fondue ? [What is a fondue?]. In Massin Olivier & Meylan Anne (eds.), Aristote chez les Helvètes. Ithaque.
    We review the history of the philosophy of fondue since Aristotle so as to arrive at the formulation of the paradox of Swiss fondue. Either the wine and the cheese cease to exist (Buridan), but then the fondue is not really a mixture of wine and cheese. Or the wine and the cheese continue to exist. If they do, then either they continue to exist in different places (the chemists), but then a fondue can never be perfectly homogenous (it is (...)
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  37. added 2014-06-22
    Alexander Skiles (forthcoming). Against Grounding Necessitarianism. Erkenntnis.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? That is, can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and then (...)
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  38. added 2014-06-20
    María G. Navarro (2014). Fotografía de un método. Revista Cronopio 51 (12 june).
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  39. added 2014-06-17
    Simon van Rysewyk, A Neurobehavioral-Polyvagal Theory of Pain Facial Expression.
  40. added 2014-06-16
    Howard D. Kelly (2014). Heidegger the Metaphysician: Modes‐of‐Being and Grundbegriffe. European Journal of Philosophy 22 (2).
    Modes-of-being (Seinsarten) figure centrally in Heidegger's masterwork 'Being and Time'. Testimony to this is Heidegger's characterisation of two of his most celebrated enquiries—the Existential analytic and the Zeug analysis—as investigations into the respective modes-of-being of the entities concerned. Yet despite the importance of this concept, commentators disagree widely about what a mode-of-being is. In this paper, I systematically outline and defend a novel and exegetically grounded interpretation of this concept. Strongly opposed to Kantian readings, such as those advocated by Taylor (...)
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  41. added 2014-06-16
    Constantine Sandis & Giuseppina D'Oro (2013). Reasons and Causes. Palgrave Macmillan.
  42. added 2014-06-14
    Alexander Reutlinger & Marius Backmann (forthcoming). Better Best Systems - Too Good To Be True. Dialectica.
    Craig Callender, Jonathan Cohen and Markus Schrenk have recently argued for an amended version of the best system account of laws – the better best system account (BBSA). This account of lawhood is supposed to account for laws in the special sciences, among other desiderata. Unlike David Lewis’s original best system account of laws, the BBSA does not rely on a privileged class of natural predicates, in terms of which the best system is formulated. According to the BBSA, a contingently (...)
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  43. added 2014-06-11
    Sara Bernstein (forthcoming). Two Problems for Proportionality About Omissions. Dialectica 70 (1).
    The problem of profligate omissions is as follows: suppose that the gardener promises to water your plant while you are out of town, the gardener fails to water it, and the plant dies. Intuitively, the gardener's failing to water the plant is a cause of the plant's death. But the Queen of England also failed to water the plant, and the counterfactual "Had the Queen of England not failed to water the plant, the plant would not have died" is true. (...)
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  44. added 2014-06-11
    Uriah Kriegel (forthcoming). Thought and Thing: Brentano's Reism as Truthmaker Nominalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    The ontological theory of the later Franz Brentano is often referred to as ‘reism.’ But what exactly is reism, and how is it related to modern-day nominalism? In this paper, I offer an interpretation of Brentano’s reism as a specific variety of nominalism. This variety, although motivated by distinctly modern concerns about truthmakers, adopts a strategy for providing such truthmakers that is completely foreign to modern nominalism. The strategy rests on proliferation of coincident concrete particulars. For example, ‘Socrates is wise’ (...)
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  45. added 2014-06-10
    Christoph Hoerl (forthcoming). Time and the Domain of Consciousness. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
    It is often thought that there is little that seems more obvious from experience than that time objectively passes, and that time is, in this respect, quite unlike space. Yet nothing in the physical picture of the world seems to correspond to the idea of such an objective passage of time. In this paper, I discuss some attempts to explain this apparent conflict between appearance and reality. I argue that existing attempts to explain the conflict as the result of a (...)
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  46. added 2014-06-10
    Philippe Gagnon (forthcoming). "Le dernier état d'un finalisme contemporain – À propos d'un inédit majeur de Raymond Ruyer" [The final status of a contemporary finalism–Concerning a major unpublished draft of Raymond Ruyer]. [REVIEW] Laval Théologique Et Philosophique.
    This is a critical notice/review essay on *L'embryogenèse du monde et le Dieu silencieux*, a manuscript completed by Raymond Ruyer in the early 1980s. It came out as a monograph in November 2013, with the Éditions Klincksieck in Paris. It offers a presentation in an organized fashion of many aspects of his thought. Ruyer considered that a book about God could only be churned into a series of chapters on the unachievable character of our knowledge in different domains of human (...)
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  47. added 2014-06-10
    Luca Moretti (2014). Interview with Berit Broogard. The Reasoner 8 (8):86-87.
  48. added 2014-06-10
    Jonah Goldwater (2014). Sider's Third Realm. Metaphysica 15 (1):99-112.
    Sider (2011; Writing the Book of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press) argues it is not only predicates that carve reality at its joints, but expressions of any logical or grammatical category – including quantifiers, operators, and sentential connectives. Even so, he denies these expressions pick out entities in the world; instead, they only represent the world’s “structure”. I argue that this distinction is not viable, and that Sider’s ambitious programme requires an exotic ontology – and even a Fregean “third (...)
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  49. added 2014-06-10
    Benjamin Smart (2014). On the Classification of Diseases. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):251-269.
    Identifying the necessary and sufficient conditions for individuating and classifying diseases is a matter of great importance in the fields of law, ethics, epidemiology, and of course, medicine. In this paper, I first propose a means of achieving this goal, ensuring that no two distinct disease-types could correctly be ascribed to the same disease-token. I then posit a metaphysical ontology of diseases—that is, I give an account of what a disease is. This is essential to providing the most effective means (...)
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  50. added 2014-06-10
    Amy M. Schmitter (2004). On the Eternal Truths: A Commentary on Papers by G. Walski, I. Agostini, and L. Devillairs. In G. Belgioiso (ed.), Descartes e i Suoi Avverari: incontri Cartesiani II. Le Monnier Università. 61-70.
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