Alexander Skiles University of Neuchatel

  • Postdoc, University of Neuchatel
  • PhD, University of Notre Dame, 2013.

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11 items found.
  1.  17
    Alexander Skiles (forthcoming). Emergence Reinflated. Philosophical Quarterly.
    In ‘Collapsing Emergence’, Elanor Taylor argues that all accounts of emergence face a common problem: excluding ‘collapse-inducing’ features—features encoding information about macro-level phenomena—from the micro-level bases of putatively emergent phenomena in a metaphysically principled way. I argue that Taylor's solution to ‘the collapse problem’, which utilizes an explanation-based account of emergence she develops in recent work, does not succeed, as it relies on a false principle about the requirements for explanation. I then propose a better solution, one that presupposes no (...)
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  2.  31
    Alexander Skiles (2016). In Defense of the Disjunctive. Inquiry 59 (5):471-487.
    Are there any disjunctive properties—features of things such as being either red or round, or Nelson Goodman’s infamous example of being grue? As esoteric as the question may seem at first, central issues about the metaphysics of properties hinge upon its answer, such as whether reductive views about special science properties can handle the phenomenon of multiple realizability. A familiar argument for a negative answer is that disjunctive properties fail to guarantee that their instances are similar in some genuine respect. (...)
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  3. Alexander Skiles (2015). Against Grounding Necessitarianism. Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? 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 show that grounding (...)
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  4. Alexander Skiles (2015). Essence in Abundance. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):100-112.
    Fine is widely thought to have refuted the simple modal account of essence, which takes the essential properties of a thing to be those it cannot exist without exemplifying. Yet, a number of philosophers have suggested resuscitating the simple modal account by appealing to distinctions akin to the distinction Lewis draws between sparse and abundant properties, treating only those in the former class as candidates for essentiality. I argue that ‘sparse modalism’ succumbs to counterexamples similar to those originally posed by (...)
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  5.  99
    Alexander Skiles (2014). Is There a Dilemma for the Truthmaker Non-Maximalist? Synthese 191 (15):3649-3659.
    Mark Jago has presented a dilemma for truthmaker non-maximalism—the thesis that some but not all truths require truthmakers. The dilemma arises because some truths that do not require truthmakers by the non-maximalist’s lights (e.g., that Santa Claus does not exist) are necessitated by truths that do (e.g., that Barack Obama knows that Santa Claus does not exist). According to Jago, the non-maximalist can supply a truthmaker for such a truth only by conceding the primary motivation for the view: that it (...)
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  6.  73
    Alexander Skiles (2014). Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality Edited by Fabrice Correia and Benjamin Schnieder. Analysis 74 (3):543-546.
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  7. Alexander Skiles (2014). Primitivism About Intrinsicality. In Robert Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter 221-252.
  8. Akiko M. Frischhut & Alexander Skiles (2013). Time, Modality, and the Unbearable Lightness of Being. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):264-273.
    We develop a theory about the metaphysics of time and modality that combines the conceptual resources devised in recent sympathetic work on ontological pluralism (the thesis that there are fundamentally distinct kinds of being) with the thought that what is past, future, and merely possible is less real than what is present and actual (albeit real enough to serve as truthmakers for statements about the past, future, and merely possible). However, we also show that despite being a coherent, distinctive, and (...)
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  9. Alexander Skiles (2013). Getting Grounded: Essays in the Metaphysics of Fundamentality. Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    When doing metaphysics, it is frequently convenient and sometimes essential to rely upon various notions of fundamentality when articulating the problems, positions, and arguments at issue. But what it is, exactly, the relevant notions are supposed to track remains obscure. The goal of this dissertation is to develop and defend a theory about the metaphysics of fundamentality; by doing so, I clarify and vindicate the roles that notions of fundamentality play in metaphysics. At the theory’s core are two notions particularly (...)
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  10.  88
    Katherine Brading & Alexander Skiles (2012). Underdetermination as a Path to Structural Realism. In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer
  11.  86
    Alexander Skiles (2009). Trogdon on Monism and Intrinsicality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):149 – 154.
    Kelly Trogdon [2009] argues that priority monism—here, the view that only the world as a whole has fundamental properties—conflicts with the best extant accounts of intrinsicality. He then proposes an alternative account that is designed to be not only compatible with this view, but also independently plausible. But his account conflicts with priority monism as well, and incorrectly classifies various non-intrinsic properties.
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