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Metaphysics

Edited by Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers University)
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  1. added 2015-04-20
    Jonathan Tallant & David Ingram (forthcoming). Nefarious Presentism. Philosophical Quarterly.
    Presentists, who believe that only present objects exist, face a problem concerning truths about the past. Presentists should (but cannot) locate truth-makers for truths about the past. What can presentists say in response? We identify two rival factions ‘upstanding’ and ‘nefarious’ presentists. Upstanding presentists aim to meet the challenge, positing presently existing truth-makers for truths about the past; nefarious presentists aim to shirk their responsibilities, using the language of truth-maker theory but without paying any ontological price. We argue that presentists (...)
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  2. added 2015-04-18
    Max Cresswell (2005). 1. Even Modal Realists Should Do The Best They Can. Logique Et Analyse 48.
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  3. added 2015-04-18
    W. S. Croddy (1985). Quine and de dicto modal substitution. Logique Et Analyse 28 (12):395.
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  4. added 2015-04-18
    M. Corrado (1974). Plantinga on necessity De Re. Logique Et Analyse 17 (67):445.
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  5. added 2015-04-18
    M. J. Cresswell (1973). Physical theories and possible worlds. Logique Et Analyse 16 (63):495.
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  6. added 2015-04-17
    Umut Baysan (forthcoming). Realization Relations in Metaphysics. Minds and Machines.
    “Realization” is a technical term that is used by metaphysicians, philosophers of mind, and philosophers of science to denote some dependence relation that is thought to obtain between higher-level properties and lower-level properties. It is said that mental properties are realized by physical properties; functional and computational properties are realized by first-order properties that occupy certain causal/functional roles; dispositional properties are realized by categorical properties; so on and so forth. Given this wide usage of the term “realization”, it would be (...)
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  7. added 2015-04-17
    Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer (2015). Introduction. In John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.), Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge. Oxford University Press. 01-38.
    This Introduction has three sections, on "logical fatalism," "theological fatalism," and the problem of future contingents, respectively. In the first two sections, we focus on the crucial idea of "dependence" and the role it plays it fatalistic arguments. Arguably, the primary response to the problems of logical and theological fatalism invokes the claim that the relevant past truths or divine beliefs depend on what we do, and therefore needn't be held fixed when evaluating what we can do. We call the (...)
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  8. added 2015-04-17
    John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.) (2015). Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge. Oxford University Press.
    We typically think we have free will. But how could we have free will, if for anything we do, it was already true in the distant past that we would do that thing? Or how could we have free will, if God already knows in advance all the details of our lives? Such issues raise the specter of "fatalism". This book collects sixteen previously published articles on fatalism, truths about the future, and the relationship between divine foreknowledge and human freedom, (...)
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  9. added 2015-04-17
    Guy Rohrbaugh (2012). Must Ontological Pragmatism Be Self-Defeating? In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press. 29-48.
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  10. added 2015-04-17
    Nino Cocchiarella (1977). Sortals, natural kinds and re-identification. Logique Et Analyse 20 (80):439.
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  11. added 2015-04-16
    Laura Felline (forthcoming). Mechanistic Causality and the Bottoming-Out Problem. In New Developments in Logic and Philosophy of Science.
    The so-called bottoming-out problem is considered one of the most serious problems in Stuart Glennan's mechanistic theory of causality. It is usually argued that such a problem cannot be overcome with the acknowledgement of the non-causal character of fundamental phenomena. According to such a widespread view, in the mechanistic account causation must go all the way down to the bottom level; a solution to the bottoming-out problem, therefore, requires an appeal to an ancillary account of causation that covers fundamental phenomena. (...)
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  12. added 2015-04-15
    Amy Kind (ed.) (forthcoming). Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge.
  13. added 2015-04-15
    H. Orri Stefánsson & Richard Bradley (forthcoming). How Valuable Are Chances? Philosophy of Science.
  14. added 2015-04-14
    Elanor Taylor (forthcoming). Collapsing Emergence. Philosophical Quarterly.
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  15. added 2015-04-14
    Andrew Naylor (forthcoming). Psychological Deprogramming-Reprogramming and the Right Kind of Cause. Philosophical Papers.
    This article makes use of an example of Williams’s (1970), an example involving so-called psychological deprogramming–reprogramming, in arguing that procedures such as Teletransportation would not provide what matters to us in our self-interested concern for the future. This is so because the beliefs and other psychological states of a resultant person would not be appropriately causally dependent on any beliefs or other psychological states of the original person.
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  16. added 2015-04-14
    Liran Shia Gordon (2015). Reconstructing Aquinas's Process of Abstraction. Heythrop Journal 56 (3).
    Aquinas’s process of abstraction of the particular thing into a universal concept is of pivotal importance for grounding his philosophy and theology in a natural framework. Much has been said and written regarding Aquinas’s doctrine of abstraction, yet recent studies still consider it to be ‘nothing more than a kind of magic.’ This problematic claim is not without foundation, for in trying to understand exactly how this process works, we are constantly faced with an unbridgeable abyss and the repeated vague (...)
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  17. added 2015-04-13
    Steve Clarke (1998). Metaphysics and the Disunity of Scientific Knowledge. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  18. added 2015-04-13
    Jeffrey Bub (1985). Nancy Cartwright, How The Laws of Physics Lie. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 5:104-107.
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  19. added 2015-04-12
    Bryan Frances (forthcoming). Rationally Held 'P, but I Fully Believe ~P and I Am Not Equivocating'. Philosophical Studies.
    One of Moore’s Paradoxical sentence types is ‘P, but I believe ~P’. Mooreans have assumed that all tokens of that sentence type are absurd in some way: epistemically, pragmatically, semantically, or assertively. And then they proceed to debate what the absurdity really is. I argue that if one has the appropriate philosophical views, then one can rationally assert tokens of that sentence type, and one can be epistemically reasonable in the corresponding belief as well.
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  20. added 2015-04-12
    Calvin O. Schrag (1983). The Challenge of Philosophical Anthropology. Analecta Husserliana 14:411.
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  21. added 2015-04-12
    James F. Sheridan (1979). Once More: From the Middle, a Philosophical Anthropology. Human Studies 2 (1):77-85.
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  22. added 2015-04-12
    Michael Stock (1967). J. F. Donceel, S. J., "Philosophical Anthropology". [REVIEW] The Thomist 31 (3):364.
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  23. added 2015-04-11
    Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando (forthcoming). Composition, Indiscernibility, Coreferentiality. Erkenntnis:1-24.
    According to strong composition as identity , the logical principles of one–one and plural identity can and should be extended to the relation between a whole and its parts. Otherwise, composition would not be legitimately regarded as an identity relation. In particular, several defenders of strong CAI have attempted to extend Leibniz’s Law to composition. However, much less attention has been paid to another, not less important feature of standard identity: a standard identity statement is true iff its terms are (...)
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  24. added 2015-04-11
    Giorgio Lando & Giuseppe Spolaore (2014). Transcendental Disagreement. The Monist 97 (4):592-620.
    In metaphysical theorizing, it is common to use expressions whose function is that of denoting or being true of absolutely everything. Adopting a scolastic term, these may be called ‘transcendentals’. Different metaphysical theories may adopt different transcendentals, the most usual candidates being ‘thing’, ‘entity’, ‘object’, ‘be’, ‘exist’, and their counterparts in various languages dead or alive. We call ‘transcendental disagreement’ any dissent between philosophical theories or traditions that may be described as a disagreement in the choice of transcendentals. Examples of (...)
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  25. added 2015-04-11
    D. G. Witmer (2003). Rea, Michael, World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):603.
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  26. added 2015-04-11
    Holly Gail Thomas (1989). Possibility, Explanation, and Justification of Belief. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
    The theme of the dissertation is that we should not be too cautious about engaging in metaphysics of modality; what may appear to be a refusal to engage in metaphysical speculation may instead involve a commitment to epistemic consequences that we should not accept. In Part I, I argue that David Lewis's modal realism implies that scepticism towards induction is rationally unavoidable. I conclude that his theory must be rejected. ;While not endorsing Lewis's account of the nature of possible worlds, (...)
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  27. added 2015-04-09
    Martin Lin (forthcoming). Leibniz on the Modal Status of Absolute Space. Noûs.
  28. added 2015-04-09
    Phillip Bricker (forthcoming). Composition as a Kind of Identity. Inquiry.
    Composition as identity, as I understand it, is a theory of the composite structure of reality. The theory’s underlying logic is irreducibly plural; its fundamental primitive is a generalized identity relation that takes either plural or singular arguments. Strong versions of the theory that incorporate a generalized version of the indiscernibility of identicals are incompatible with the framework of plural logic, and should be rejected. Weak versions of the theory that are based on the idea that composition is merely analogous (...)
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  29. added 2015-04-09
    Phillip Bricker (forthcoming). Composition as a Kind of Identity. Inquiry.
    Composition as identity, as I understand it, is a theory of the composite structure of reality. The theory’s underlying logic is irreducibly plural; its fundamental primitive is a generalized identity relation that takes either plural or singular arguments. Strong versions of the theory that incorporate a generalized version of the indiscernibility of identicals are incompatible with the framework of plural logic, and should be rejected. Weak versions of the theory that are based on the idea that composition is merely analogous (...)
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  30. added 2015-04-09
    Piotr Szalek (2014). Does Lewis’ View on Possibilia Imply the Meinongian Ontology? In Marian David & Mauro Antonelli (eds.), Logical, Ontological, and Historical Contributions on the Philosophy of Alexius Meinong. De Gruyter. 83-102.
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  31. added 2015-04-09
    Tom Stoneham David Efird (2008). What is the Principle of Recombination? Dialectica 62 (4):483-494.
    In this paper, we give a precise characterization of the principle of recombination and argue that it need not be subject to any restrictions.
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  32. added 2015-04-09
    Howard Nelson Tuttle (2005). Human Life is Radical Reality: An Idea Developed From the Conceptions of Dilthey, Heidegger, and Ortega y Gasset. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc..
    The twenty-first century needs a new paradigm for philosophy, because both Anglo-American and Continental philosophy have ended in analytic sterility and deconstructive nihilism. They have ignored the radical reality of human life, which all other realities must presuppose. Three European philosophers in the twentieth century ―Dilthey, Heidegger, and Ortega y Gasset― began to develop this idea, but never before has it been systematically conceptualized and adequately expounded. With reference to the works of these philosophers. This book examines the major categories (...)
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  33. added 2015-04-08
    Neil McDonnell, Events and Their Counterparts.
    In this paper I will argue that a particular approach to individuating events can help us account for the context-sensitivity found within our causal discourse. I will also argue that this way of understanding the context-sensitivity of our causal talk has two further benefits: it allows us to highlight a problem with well known counterexamples to the transitivity of causation and it may help resolve the problem of late pre-emption for counterfactual theories of causation. I’ll first introduce a counterpart-theory of (...)
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  34. added 2015-04-08
    William Sweet (2004). Approaches to Metaphysics. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  35. added 2015-04-07
    Neil McDonnell, The Deviance in Deviant Causal Chains.
    Causal theories of action, perception and knowledge are each beset by problems of so-called ‘deviant’ causal chains. For each such theory, counterexamples are formed using odd or co-incidental causal chains to establish that the theory is committed to unpalatable claims about some intentional action, about a case of veridical perception or about the acquisition of genuine knowledge. In this paper I will argue that three well-known examples of a deviant causal chain have something in common: they each violate Yablos proportionality (...)
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  36. added 2015-04-07
    Neil McDonnell, Transitivity and Proportion in Causation.
    Is the relation of causation transitive? If c is a cause of d, and d is a cause of e does it follow of necessity that c is a cause of e? To many the transitivity of causation seems like a fundamental part of our causal concept and yet in recent years there have been several counterexamples which purport to show failures of transitivity in fairly ordinary cases. In this paper I will offer a novel treatment of these cases. First (...)
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  37. added 2015-04-07
    Leonard Angel (2015). Since Physical Formulas Are Not Violated, No Soul Controls the Body. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. 377-391.
    This paper provides evidence from the history of the natural sciences in philosophy (particularly mathematical physics, chemistry, and biology) that a “piloting” soul would have to make physical changes in human beings violating well-established physical laws. But, among other things, it has been discovered that there can be no such changes, and thus that there is no piloting soul.
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  38. added 2015-04-07
    David L. Wilson (2015). Nonphysical Souls Would Violate Physical Laws. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. 349-367.
    This paper argues that nonphysical souls would violate fundamental physical laws if they were able to influence brain events. Though we have no idea how nonphysical souls might operate, we know quite a bit about how brains work, so we can consider each of the ways that an external force could interrupt brain processes enough to control one’s body. It concludes that there is no way that a nonphysical soul could interact with the brain—neither by introducing new energy into the (...)
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  39. added 2015-04-07
    Theodore M. Drange (2015). Conceptual Problems Confronting a Totally Disembodied Afterlife. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife. Rowman & Littlefield. 329-333.
    This paper presents and defends an argument for the conclusion that a personal afterlife in the absence of any sort of body at all is not conceptually possible. The main idea behind the argument is that there would be no way for the identities of people in a bodiless state to be established, either by others or by themselves. The argument raises a significant challenge to explaining just how someone in a totally disembodied afterlife could ever be identified—a challenge that (...)
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  40. added 2015-04-07
    Theodore M. Drange (2015). The Pluralizability Objection to a New-Body Afterlife. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. 405-408.
    This paper presents and defends that an afterlife in which a person receives a new body after his or her old body is destroyed (as it is on some notions of bodily resurrection) is conceptually impossible. The main idea behind this argument is that such an afterlife would conceptually require that a person be a kind of thing that could be rendered plural. But since persons are not that type of thing, such an afterlife is not conceptually possible.
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  41. added 2015-04-07
    David Papineau (2015). There is No Trace of Any Soul Linked to the Body. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. 369-376.
    This paper argues that all apparently special forces characteristically reduce to a few fundamental physical forces which conserve energy and operate throughout nature. Consequently, there are probably no special mental forces originating from souls and acting upon bodies and brains in addition to the basic, energy-conserving physical forces. Moreover, physiological and biochemical research have failed to uncover any evidence of forces over and above the basic physical forces acting on living bodies. It is as if all organic processes can be (...)
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  42. added 2015-04-07
    Simon Bostock (2005). Nomic Inversion And The Contingency Of Laws. Philosophical Writings 30 (3).
    According to the Contingency Theory of Laws, if there are possible worlds in which it is a law that all Fs are G, there are also possible F-containing worlds in which it is not. I argue here that the theory is forced to accept the possibility of nomic inversion: i.e. pairs of properties that have their actual nomic roles swapped in some possible world. Such inversions cannot be ruled out on grounds of logical or metaphysical inconsistency, and therefore – since (...)
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  43. added 2015-04-06
    Matthias Egg (unknown). What Is Kitcher’s Real Realist Really a Realist About? Conceptus 94:107-120.
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  44. added 2015-04-06
    Dale Hample & Amanda L. Irions (forthcoming). Arguing to Display Identity. Argumentation:1-28.
    A rarely studied motive for engaging in face-to-face arguing is to display one’s identity. One way people can manage their impressions is to give reasons for their commitments. This appears to be the first study to focus on this reason for arguing. 461 undergraduates recalled an episode in which they had argued to display own identity. They filled out trait measures as well as instruments describing the episode. Identity display arguments do not require controversy, are not very emotional episodes, can (...)
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  45. added 2015-04-06
    Dan Marshall (forthcoming). Humean Laws and Explanation. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which Humeans should (...)
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  46. added 2015-04-06
    Jeroen Smid (forthcoming). The Ontological Parsimony of Mereology. Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    Lewis famously argued that mereology is ontologically innocent. Many who have considered this claim believe he was mistaken. Mereology is not innocent, because its acceptance entails the acceptance of sums, new objects that were not previously part of one’s ontology. This argument, the argument from ontological parsimony, has two versions: a qualitative and a quantitative one. I argue that the defender of mereology can neutralize both arguments by holding that, given mereology, a commitment to the parts of an object is (...)
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  47. added 2015-04-06
    Wlodek Rabinowicz (forthcoming). From Values to Probabilities. Synthese:1-29.
    According to the fitting-attitude analysis of value , to be valuable is to be a fitting object of a pro-attitude. In earlier publications, setting off from this format of analysis, I proposed a modelling of value relations which makes room for incommensurability in value. In this paper, I first recapitulate the value modelling and then move on to suggest adopting a structurally similar analysis of probability. Indeed, many probability theorists from Poisson onwards did adopt an analysis of this kind. This (...)
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  48. added 2015-04-06
    Felipe Romero (forthcoming). Why There Isn’T Inter-Level Causation in Mechanisms. Synthese:1-25.
    The experimental interventions that provide evidence of causal relations are notably similar to those that provide evidence of constitutive relevance relations. In the first two sections, I show that this similarity creates a tension: there is an inconsistent triad between Woodward’s popular interventionist theory of causation, Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance in mechanisms, and a variety of arguments for the incoherence of inter-level causation. I argue for an interpretation of the views in which the tension is merely apparent. (...)
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  49. added 2015-04-06
    Jonah P. B. Goldwater (forthcoming). No Composition, No Problem: Ordinary Objects as Arrangements. Philosophia:1-13.
    On the grounds that there are no mereological composites, mereological nihilists deny that ordinary objects exist. Even if nihilism is true, however, I argue that tables and chairs exist anyway: for I deny that ordinary objects are the mereological sums the nihilist rejects. Instead, I argue, ordinary objects have a different nature; they are arrangements, not composites. My argument runs as follows. First, I defend realism about ordinary objects by showing that there is something that plays the role of ordinary (...)
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  50. added 2015-04-06
    Timothy Pawl (forthcoming). A Review “Beyond the Control of God? Six Views on the Problem of God and Abstract Objects”, Ed. Gould, Paul M. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-1.
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