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Metaphysics

Edited by Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers University - New Brunswick)
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  1. added 2015-07-04
    Michela Massimi & Angela Breitenbach (eds.) (forthcoming). Kant and the Laws of Nature. Cambridge University Press.
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  2. added 2015-07-04
    Siegfried Jaag, Explaining Laws of Nature: A Metaphysical Investigation Into the Natural Principles Governing the Universe.
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  3. added 2015-07-04
    Heather Demarest (2015). Fundamental Properties and the Laws of Nature. Philosophy Compass 10 (5):334-344.
    Fundamental properties and the laws of nature go hand in hand: mass and gravitation, charge and electromagnetism, spin and quantum mechanics. So, it is unsurprising that one's account of fundamental properties affects one's view of the laws of nature and vice versa. In this essay, I will survey a variety of recent attempts to provide a joint account of the fundamental properties and the laws of nature. Many of these accounts are new and unexplored. Some of them posit surprising entities, (...)
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  4. added 2015-07-04
    Douglas Kutach (2014). Causation. Polity.
    In most academic and non-academic circles throughout history, the world and its operation have been viewed in terms of cause and effect. The principles of causation have been applied, fruitfully, across the sciences, law, medicine, and in everyday life, despite the lack of any agreed-upon framework for understanding what causation ultimately amounts to. In this engaging and accessible introduction to the topic, Douglas Kutach explains and analyses the most prominent theories and examples in the philosophy of causation. The book is (...)
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  5. added 2015-07-04
    Domingos Faria (2013). Será a Semelhança Das Maçãs Vermelhas Uma Entidade Adicional Às Maçãs? ARGUMENTOS - Revista de Filosofia 5.
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  6. added 2015-07-04
    Robert J. Rovetto (2013). Shaping Up: The Phenotypic Quality Ontology and Cross Sections. In Oliver Kutz, Mehul Bhatt, Stefano Borgo & Paulo Santos (eds.), CEUR Workshop Procecedings Vol-1007.
    pplied ontology, philosophical ontology, biomedical ontology, artifacts, cross section, philosophy of mathematics, Phenotypic Quality Ontology, PATO , ontology of shape.
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  7. added 2015-07-04
    Robert Rovetto (2011). The Shape of Shapes: An Ontological Exploration. In Janna Hastings, Oliver Kutz, Mehul Bhatt & Stefano Borgo (eds.), CEUR Workshop Proceedings Vol-812. Editors.
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  8. added 2015-07-04
    Robert Rovetto (2011). Misidentification and the Self. In Rienti Jr, Jennifer L. Faux, Laura A. LeVon & Caitlin L. Curtis (eds.), Proceedings of the 2011 Anthropology Graduate Student Association Interdisciplinary Graduate Symposium. University at Buffalo - The State University of New York. 68-80.
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  9. added 2015-07-04
    Paul Weingartner (2006). Are the Laws of Nature Time Reversal Symmetric?: The Arrow of Time, or Better: The Arrow of Directional Processes. In Michael Stöltzner & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), Time and History: Proceedings of the 28. International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium, Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria 2005. De Gruyter. 289-300.
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  10. added 2015-07-03
    Roberto Loss (forthcoming). Grounding, Contingentism and Transitivity. Ratio.
    Grounding contingentism is the doctrine according to which grounds are not guaranteed to necessitate what they ground. In this paper I will argue that the most plausible version of contingentism (which I will label ‘serious contingentism’) is incompatible with the idea that the grounding relation is transitive, unless either ‘priority monism’ or ‘contrastivism’ are assumed.
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  11. added 2015-07-02
    Brian Embry (2015). Truth and Truthmakers in Early Modern Scholasticism. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):196-216.
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  12. added 2015-07-02
    David B. Kitts (1978). Theoretics and Systematics: A Reply to Cracraft, Nelson, and Patterson. Systematic Zoology 27 (2):222-224.
  13. added 2015-07-02
    David B. Kitts (1977). Karl Popper, Verifiability, and Systematic Zoology. Systematic Zoology 26 (2):185-194.
  14. added 2015-07-01
    Robert K. Garcia (2015). Is Trope Theory a Divided House? In Gabriele Galluzzo Michael Loux (ed.), The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 133-155.
    In this paper I explore Michael Loux’s important distinction between “tropes” and “tropers”. First, I argue that the distinction throws into relief an ambiguity and discrepancy in the literature, revealing two fundamentally different versions of trope theory. Second, I argue that the distinction brings into focus unique challenges facing each of the resulting trope theories, thus calling into question an alleged advantage of trope theory—that by uniquely occupying the middle ground between its rivals, trope theory is able to recover and (...)
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  15. added 2015-07-01
    Kit Fine (2015). Unified Foundations for Essence and Ground. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):296-311.
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  16. added 2015-07-01
    Alejandro Pérez (2014). Le problème des universaux chez Thomas d'Aquin, vu avec des lunettes analytiques. Praxis Filosófica 40:113-135.
    In this paper, we propose to study the problem of universals in Thomas Aquinas with ‘’analytic glasses’’ (according to the famous phrase of Jonathan Barnes). Starting with the semantic criteria of Peirce used by Armstrong, we propose to present a new reading of the position of Thomas, especially of the De ente et essentia . We introduce the thesis of Thomas Aquinas in contemporary discussions highlighting the difficulty of classifying Thomas Aquinas as a realist or as a universalist. Our main (...)
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  17. added 2015-06-30
    Shari Stone-Mediatore (2002). Postmodernism, Realism, and the Problem of Identity. Diaspora 11 (1):125-138.
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  18. added 2015-06-28
    Chris F. Taylor, Dawn Field, Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Jan Aerts, Rolf Apweiler, Michael Ashburner, Catherine A. Ball, Pierre-Alain Binz, Molly Bogue, Tim Booth, Alvis Brazma, Ryan R. Brinkman, Adam Michael Clark, Eric W. Deutsch, Oliver Fiehn & Jennifer Fostel, Promoting Coherent Minimum Reporting Guidelines for Biological and Biomedical Investigations: The MIBBI Project.
    Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental corroboration and reuse of data sets, facilitating the extraction of maximum value from data sets (...)
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  19. added 2015-06-27
    Robert J. Rovetto (forthcoming). Presentism and the Problem of Singular Propositions About Non-Present Objects – Limitations of a Proposed Solution. Polish Journal of Philosophy 8 (1).
    In “A Defense of Presentism”, Ned Markosian addresses the problem of singular propositions about non-present objects. The proposed solution uses a paraphrasing strategy that differentiates between two kinds of meaning in declarative sentences, and also distinguishes between two truth-conditions for singular propositions. The solution, however, is unsatisfactory. I demonstrate that the both truth-conditions suffer from the same problems in spite of the examples used to support the claim that one is a proper treatment for singular propositions. Part of the difficulty (...)
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  20. added 2015-06-27
    Marco Dees (2015). Maudlin on the Triangle Inequality. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):124-130.
    Tim Maudlin argues that we should take facts about distance to be analyzed in terms of facts about path lengths. His reason is that if we take distances to be fundamental, we must stipulate that constraints like the triangle inequality hold, but we get these constraints for free if we take path lengths to be prior. I argue that Maudlin is mistaken. Even if we take path lengths as primitive, the triangle inequality follows only if we stipulate that the fundamental (...)
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  21. added 2015-06-26
    David Torrijos-Castrillejo (2015). La metafísica de Platón según san Alberto Magno. In Oscar Mauricio Donato (ed.), En torno a Platón. Universidad Libre de Colombia. 17-64.
    Although St. Albert the Great is known for his assimilation of Aristotle’s thought, he holds Plato in high regard. Yet Aristotle largely guides Albert’s understanding of Plato and Aristotelian criticism against him is repeated along Albert’s work. The objections raised in the first book of the Metaphysics are especially recurrent. Therefore to study Albert’s commentary on such objections in some detail, as we do in these pages, has considerable interest. Criticism against Plato focuses on his conception of the universal and (...)
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  22. added 2015-06-25
    Benjamin T. H. Smart & Karim P. Y. Thebault, Dispositions and the Principle of Least Action Revisited (Preprint - Forthcoming in Analysis).
    Some time ago, Joel Katzav (2004; 2005) and Brian Ellis (2005) debated the compatibility of dispositional essentialism with the principle of least action. Surprisingly, very little has been said on the matter since, even by the most naturalistically inclined metaphysicians. Here we revisit the Katzav-Ellis arguments of 2004-2005. We outline the two problems for the dispositionalist identified by Katzav in his 2004 (we call these the ‘contingent action-quantities’ and ‘explanatory’ objections), and claim they are not as problematic for the dispositional (...)
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  23. added 2015-06-24
    Edward P. Butler (2015). Transformation and Individuation in Giordano Bruno's Monadology. SOCRATES 3 (2).
    The essay explores the systematic relationship in the work of Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) between his monadology, his metaphysics as presented in works such as De la causa, principio et uno, the mythopoeic cosmology of Lo spaccio de la bestia trionfante, and practical works like De vinculis in genere. Bruno subverts the conceptual regime of the Aristotelian substantial forms and its accompanying cosmology with a metaphysics of individuality that privileges individual unity (singularity) over formal unity and particulars over substantial forms without (...)
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  24. added 2015-06-23
    Vera Hoffmann-Kolss (forthcoming). On a Sufficient Condition for Hyperintensionality. Philosophical Quarterly.
    Let an X/Y distinction be a distinction between kinds of properties, such as the distinctions between qualitative and non-qualitative, intrinsic and extrinsic, perfectly natural and less-than-perfectly natural or dispositional and categorical properties. An X/Y distinction is hyperintensional iff there are cointensional properties P and Q , such that P is an X-property, whereas Q is a Y-property. Many accounts of metaphysical distinctions among properties presuppose that such distinctions are non-hyperintensional. In this paper, I call this presupposition into question. I develop (...)
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  25. added 2015-06-23
    Robert Arp, Barry Smith & Andrew Spear (forthcoming). Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology. MIT Press, August 7, 2015.
    In the era of “big data,” science is increasingly information driven, and the potential for computers to store, manage, and integrate massive amounts of data has given rise to such new disciplinary fields as biomedical informatics. Applied ontology offers a strategy for the organization of scientific information in computer-tractable form, drawing on concepts not only from computer and information science but also from linguistics, logic, and philosophy. This book provides an introduction to the field of applied ontology that is of (...)
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  26. added 2015-06-23
    Inga Nayding (2015). Names of Attitudes and Norms for Attitudes. Disputatio 7 (40):1-24.
    Fictionalists claim that instead of believing certain controversial propositions they accept them nonseriously, as useful make-believe. In this way they present themselves as having an austere ontology despite the apparent ontological commitments of their discourse. Some philosophers object that this plays on a distinction without a difference: the fictionalist’s would-be nonserious acceptance is the most we can do for the relevant content acceptance-wise, hence such acceptance is no different from what we ordinarily call ‘belief’ and should be so called. They (...)
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  27. added 2015-06-23
    Abraham J. Palakudy (ed.) (2015). Many Doors of New Knowledge That Mankind yet to Knock-At. Amazon.com.
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  28. added 2015-06-22
    Aaron M. Feeney, Understanding Future-Viewing Machines and Time Travel.
    This is the full text of the article that was published as a Kindle book on April 6th, 2014. It has since been surpassed by "Future-Viewing Machines and the Conduct of Civilization," which is in its preprint stage and is currently available here in this repository (completed on June 17th, 2015). Nevertheless, it addresses minutia and a number of interesting considerations that do not appear in the latest work, and it contains a prodigious bibliography, so it remains very useful for (...)
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  29. added 2015-06-22
    Harjit Bhogal & Zee R. Perry (2015). What the Humean Should Say About Entanglement. Noûs 49 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Tim Maudlin has influentially argued that Humeanism about laws of nature stands in conflict with quantum mechanics. Specifically Humeanism implies the principle Separability: the complete physical state of a world is determined by the intrinsic physical state of each space-time point. Maudlin argues Separability is violated by the entangled states posited by QM. We argue that Maudlin only establishes that a stronger principle, which we call Strong Separability, is in tension with QM. Separability is not in tension with QM. Moreover, (...)
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  30. added 2015-06-21
    Christopher Menzel (forthcoming). Logic, Essence, and Modality — A Critical Review of Hale's Necessary Beings. Philosophia Mathematica 23.
    Bob Hale’s distinguished record of research places him among the most important and influential contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In his deep, wide ranging, yet highly readable book Necessary Beings, Hale draws upon, but substantially integrates and extends, a good deal his past research to produce a sustained and richly textured essay on — as promised in the subtitle — ontology, modality, and the relations between them. I’ve set myself two tasks in this review: first, to provide a reasonably thorough (if not (...)
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  31. added 2015-06-21
    Marina Folescu (2015). Thinking About Different Nonexistents of the Same Kind. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):n/a-n/a.
    How is it that, as fiction readers, we are nonplussed by J. K. Rowling's prescription to imagine Ronan, Bane, and Magorian, three different centaurs of the Forbidden Forrest at Hogwarts? It is usually held in the philosophical literature on fictional discourse that singular imaginings of fictional objects are impossible, given the blatant nonexistence of such objects. In this paper, I have a dual purpose: on the one hand, to show that, without being committed to Meinongeanism, we can explain the phenomenon (...)
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  32. added 2015-06-18
    Marius Stan (forthcoming). Kant and the Object of Determinate Experience. Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    An influential view has it that the paradigm application of Kant’s categories is Newton’s dynamics. Though cogent, the claim makes the categories too narrow, because Newton’s laws had explanatory limits known well before the 1780s. I show here that the categories are broad enough to avoid that problem: I prove that Kant can ground basic laws for all classical mechanics, which is demonstrably more general than Newton’s theory. To make my case, I survey three brands of Enlightenment dynamics, based respectively (...)
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  33. added 2015-06-17
    Joachim Horvath (forthcoming). Conceptual Analysis and Natural Kinds: The Case of Knowledge. Synthese:1-18.
    There is a line of reasoning in metaepistemology that is congenial to naturalism and hard to resist, yet ultimately misguided: that knowledge might be a natural kind, and that this would undermine the use of conceptual analysis in the theory of knowledge. In this paper, I first bring out various problems with Hilary Kornblith’s argument from the causal–explanatory indispensability of knowledge to the natural kindhood of knowledge. I then criticize the argument from the natural kindhood of knowledge against the method (...)
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  34. added 2015-06-17
    Nils Kürbis (2015). Review of Bob Hale's Necessary Beings. [REVIEW] Disputatio (40).
    Review of Bob Hale's "Necessary Beings: An Essay on Ontology, Modality, and the Relations Between Them". Oxford: Oxford University Press 2013, ISBN 9780199669578.
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  35. added 2015-06-16
    Gregor Flock, Four Arguments For Universal Relativism.
    In the academic literature and elsewhere, specific relativisms are often a hotly debated topic. In this paper, I considerably up the ante by proposing an across the board ʻuniversal relativism’ that is supported by four arguments: the inductive argument, the argument from causality, the argument from elimination, and the counterargument against self-refutation.
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  36. added 2015-06-16
    Aaron M. Feeney, Future-Viewing Machines and the Conduct of Civilization.
    The introduction of new scientific instruments has always played a vital role in the advancement of science and society. All scientific instruments to date have only been able to gain information pertaining to events of our immediate and distant past. Concerning our attempts to gain information about future events, thus far our sciences have been limited to prediction. However, what if we could develop instruments that would enable us, in a wide range of circumstances, to achieve direct empirical access to (...)
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  37. added 2015-06-16
    Ray Scott Percival (1994). Natural Selections. [REVIEW] Nature 371 (6499):666-667.
    How do you put both physicists and biologists on their guard? Answer: propound a philosophical theory that ignores Darwin's demolition of essentialism in species and brands any physicist who denies your theory of natural kinds as an anti-realist. A traditional division in philosophy is between metaphysics (what sorts of things exist) and epistemology (what and how we know). Some think that the core of realism is the metaphysical assumption that there is a world independent of our minds. But this core (...)
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  38. added 2015-06-15
    Guy Bennett-Hunter (forthcoming). Emergence, Emergentism and Pragmatism. Theology and Science.
    In this paper, I argue for the usefulness of pragmatism as a framework within which to develop the theological application of emergentist theory. I consider some philosophical issues relevant to the recent revival of interest, across various disciplines, in the concept of emergence and clarify some of the conceptual issues at stake in the attempts to formulate the philosophical position of emergentism and to apply it theologically. After highlighting some major problems arising from the main existing ways of formulating emergentism, (...)
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  39. added 2015-06-15
    Ray Scott Percival (2012). THE NECESSITY OF EXOSOMATIC KNOWLEDGE FOR CIVILIZATION AND A REVISION TO OUR EPISTEMOLOGY. In Norbert-Bertrand Barbe (ed.), LE NÉANT DANS LA PENSÉE CONTEMPORAINE. 136-150.
    The traditional conception of knowledge is justified, true belief. This located knowledge within the person's mind. I argue that due to the explosive growth of what I like to call "exosomatic knowledge," knowledge outside the mind, the traditional conception has outlived its relevance. On the other hand, Karl Popper's (1934) Falsificationism, with its emphasis on the objective character of knowledge, is not only a sounder, but also a more appropriate theory of knowledge for understanding the nature and growth of civilization. (...)
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  40. added 2015-06-15
    Ray Scott Percival (2012). The Necessity of Exosomatic Knowledge for Civilization and a Revision to Our Epistemology. In Norbert-Bertrand Barbe (ed.), LE NÉANT DANS LA PENSÉE CONTEMPORAINE. 136-150.
    The traditional conception of knowledge is justified, true belief. This located knowledge within the person's mind. I argue that due to the explosive growth of what I like to call "exosomatic knowledge," knowledge outside the mind, the traditional conception has outlived its relevance. On the other hand, Karl Popper's (1934) Falsificationism, with its emphasis on the objective character of knowledge, is not only a sounder, but also a more appropriate theory of knowledge for understanding the nature and growth of civilization. (...)
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  41. added 2015-06-15
    Ray Scott Percival (2012). THE NECESSITY OF EXOSOMATIC KNOWLEDGE FOR CIVILIZATION AND A REVISION TO OUR EPISTEMOLOGY. In Norbert-Bertrand Barbe (ed.), LE NÉANT DANS LA PENSÉE CONTEMPORAINE. 136-150.
    The traditional conception of knowledge is justified, true belief. This located knowledge within the person's mind. I argue that due to the explosive growth of what I like to call "exosomatic knowledge," knowledge outside the mind, the traditional conception has outlived its relevance. On the other hand, Karl Popper's (1934) Falsificationism, with its emphasis on the objective character of knowledge, is not only a sounder, but also a more appropriate theory of knowledge for understanding the nature and growth of civilization. (...)
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  42. added 2015-06-15
    Ray Scott Percival (2004). Persons and Popper's World 3: Do Humans Dream of Electric Sheep? In Jeffrey A. Schaler (ed.), Szasz Under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces His Critics. Open Court Publishers. 119-130.
    In the film classic Blade Runner, the story explores the notion of personal identity through that of carefully crafted androids. Can an android have a personality; can androids be persons? The title of the original story by Philip K. Dick is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The story suggests that our sense of being a person depends on our having memories that connect us with our childhood. In the movie, the androids are only a couple of years old, but (...)
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  43. added 2015-06-13
    Daniel Groll & Micah Lott (forthcoming). Is There a Role for ‘Human Nature’ in Debates About Human Enhancement? Philosophy.
    In discussions about the ethics of enhancement, it is often claimed that the concept of ‘human nature’ has no helpful role to play. There are two ideas behind this thought. The first is that nature, human nature included, is a mixed bag. Some parts of our nature are good for us and some are bad for us. The ‘mixed bag’ idea leads naturally to the second idea, namely that the fact that something is part of our nature is, by itself, (...)
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  44. added 2015-06-12
    Tim Klaassen, Why Am I Me and Not Someone Else?
    In this article I discuss the seeming contingency of the fact that one is the specific person that one is. Here, I propose that this contingency is illusory.
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  45. added 2015-06-12
    Tim Klaassen, Wittgenstein as a Kantian Philosopher.
    After giving a short outline and interpretation of the Tractatus, I give reasons why we should view the Wittgenstein of the Tracatus as a kind of Kantian philosopher.
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  46. added 2015-06-12
    Daniel Nolan (forthcoming). It's a Kind of Magic: Lewis, Magic and Properties. Synthese.
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  47. added 2015-06-12
    Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.) (2015). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 9. Oup Oxford.
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is the forum for the best new work in this flourishing field. Much of the most interesting work in philosophy today is metaphysical in character: this series is a much-needed focus for it.
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  48. added 2015-06-12
    Daniel Nolan (2015). The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Abstract Metaphysics. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9:61-88.
  49. added 2015-06-12
    Daniel Nolan (2014). Balls and All. In S. Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press. 91-116.
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  50. added 2015-06-11
    Omar Fakhri (2015). "Physicalism, Bodily Resurrection, and the Constitution Account". In Joshua R. Farris & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Theological Anthropology. Ashgate Publishing Company. 103-112.
    This chapter is about bodily resurrection. More specifically, it is about whether bodily resurrection is feasible according to a physicalist account of human beings. I argue that bodily resurrection is less plausible given mainstream physicalism, but it is not less plausible given the constitution account. In the first section, I criticize different options mainstream physicalism can take to make sense of bodily resurrection. All these options seem less than plausible. I spend more space on the first option, reassembly, because it (...)
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