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Profile: Amie Thomasson (University of Miami)
  1.  91
    Amie L. Thomasson (2007). Ordinary Objects. Oxford University Press.
    Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common and increasingly prominent. Some are based on demands for parsimony or for a non-arbitrary answer to the special composition question; others arise from prohibitions against causal redundancy, ontological vagueness, or co-location; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. Until now, little has been done to address these arguments (...)
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  2. Amie L. Thomasson (1999). Fiction and Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
    This challenging study places fiction squarely at the center of the discussion of metaphysics. Philosophers have traditionally treated fiction as involving a set of narrow problems in logic or the philosophy of language. By contrast Amie Thomasson argues that fiction has far-reaching implications for central problems of metaphysics. The book develops an 'artifactual' theory of fiction, whereby fictional characters are abstract artifacts as ordinary as laws or symphonies or works of literature. By understanding fictional characters we come to understand how (...)
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  3.  29
    Amie L. Thomasson (2015). Ontology Made Easy. OUP Usa.
    Existence questions have been topics for heated debates in metaphysics, but this book argues that they can often be answered easily, by trivial inferences from uncontroversial premises. This 'easy' approach to ontology leads to realism about disputed entities, and to the view that metaphysical disputes about existence questions are misguided.
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  4. Amie L. Thomasson (2003). Speaking of Fictional Characters. Dialectica 57 (2):205–223.
    The challenge of handling fictional discourse is to find the best way to resolve the apparent inconsistencies in our ways of speaking about fiction. A promising approach is to take at least some such discourse to involve pretense, but does all fictional discourse involve pretense? I will argue that a better, less revisionary, solution is to take internal and fictionalizing discourse to involve pretense, while allowing that in external critical discourse, fictional names are used seriously to refer to fictional characters. (...)
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  5.  53
    Amie L. Thomasson (2014). Quizzical Ontology and Easy Ontology. Journal of Philosophy 111 (9/10):502-528.
    This paper examines what’s at stake in which form of metaontological deflationism we adopt. Stephen Yablo has argued for a ‘quizzicalist’ approach, holding that many ontological questions are ‘moot’ in the sense that there is simply nothing to settle them. Defenders of the ‘easy approach’ to ontology, by contrast, think not that these questions are unsettled, but that they are very easily settled by trivial inferences from uncontroversial premises—so obviously and easily settled that there is no point debating them. The (...)
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  6. Amie L. Thomasson (2006). Self-Awareness and Self-Knowledge. Psyche 12 (2).
    Higher-order theories and neo-Brentanian theories of consciousness both consider conscious states to be states of which we have some sort of.
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  7. Amie L. Thomasson (2003). Fictional Characters and Literary Practices. British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (2):138-157.
    I argue that the ontological status of fictional characters is determined by the beliefs and practices of those who competently deal with works of literature, and draw out three important consequences of this. First, heavily revisionary theories cannot be considered as ‘discoveries’ about the ‘true nature’ of fictional characters; any acceptable realist theory of fiction must preserve all or most of the common conception of fictional characters. Second, once we note that the existence conditions for fictional characters are extremely minimal, (...)
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  8.  88
    Amie L. Thomasson (2003). Realism and Human Kinds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):580–609.
    It is often noted that institutional objects and artifacts depend on human beliefs and intentions and so fail to meet the realist paradigm of mind-independent objects. In this paper I draw out exactly in what ways the thesis of mind-independence fails, and show that it has some surprising consequences. For the specific forms of mind-dependence involved entail that we have certain forms of epistemic privilege with regard to our own institutional and artifactual kinds, protecting us from certain possibilities of ignorance (...)
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  9.  97
    David Woodruff Smith & Amie Lynn Thomasson (eds.) (2005). Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    Philosophical work on the mind flowed in two streams through the 20th century: phenomenology and analytic philosophy. This volume aims to bring them together again, by demonstrating how work in phenomenology may lead to significant progress on problems central to current analytic research, and how analytical philosophy of mind may shed light on phenomenological concerns. Leading figures from both traditions contribute specially written essays on such central topics as consciousness, intentionality, perception, action, self-knowledge, temporal awareness, and mental content. Phenomenology and (...)
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  10.  97
    Amie L. Thomasson (2000). After Brentano: A One-Level Theory of Consciousness. European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):190-210.
  11. Amie L. Thomasson (2008). Existence Questions. Philosophical Studies 141 (1):63 - 78.
    I argue that thinking of existence questions as deep questions to be resolved by a distinctively philosophical discipline of ontology is misguided. I begin by examining how to understand the truth-conditions of existence claims, by way of understanding the rules of use for ‘exists’ and for general noun terms. This yields a straightforward method for resolving existence questions by a combination of conceptual analysis and empirical enquiry. It also provides a blueprint for arguing against most common proposals for uniform substantive (...)
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  12. Amie L. Thomasson (2010). The Controversy Over the Existence of Ordinary Objects. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):591-601.
    The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the 'obvious' sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against (...)
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  13. Amie Thomasson (2012). Research Problems and Methods in Metaphysics. In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. Continuum International
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  14. Amie L. Thomasson (2007). Modal Normativism and the Methods of Metaphysics. Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):135-160.
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  15. Amie L. Thomasson (2009). The Easy Approach to Ontology. Axiomathes 19 (1):1-15.
    This paper defends the view that ontological questions (properly understood) are easy—too easy, in fact, to be subjects of substantive and distinctively philosophical debates. They are easy, roughly, in the sense that they may be resolved straightforwardly—generally by a combination of conceptual and empirical enquiries. After briefly outlining the view and some of its virtues, I turn to examine two central lines of objection. The first is that this ‘easy’ approach is itself committed to substantive ontological views, including an implausibly (...)
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  16.  65
    Amie L. Thomasson (2013). Norms and Necessity. Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):143-160.
    Modality presents notorious philosophical problems, including the epistemic problem of how we could come to know modal facts and metaphysical problems about how to place modal facts in the natural world. These problems arise from thinking of modal claims as attempts to describe modal features of this world that explain what makes them true. Here I propose a different view of modal discourse in which talk about what is “metaphysically necessary” does not aim to describe modal features of the world, (...)
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  17.  80
    Amie Thomasson (2001). Ontological Minimalism. American Philosophical Quarterly 38 (4):319 - 331.
    A minimalist or “pleonastic” ontology is supposed to provide a “cheap ontology” of languagecreated entities to serve as relatively innocuous referents for singular terms for such entities as properties, propositions, events, meanings, and fictional characters. This paper investigates the very idea of ontological minimalism, its source, and its potential applications. Certain puzzles and paradoxes arise in the idea of ontological minimalism; the article argues that these result from the fact that minimal entities divide into three different cases with importantly different (...)
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  18.  73
    Amie Thomasson (2006). Metaphysical Arguments Against Ordinary Objects. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224):340 - 359.
    Several prominent attacks on the objects of 'folk ontology' argue that these would be omitted from a scientific ontology, or would be 'rivals' of scientific objects for their claims to be efficacious, occupy space, be composed of parts, or possess a range of other properties. I examine causal redundancy and overdetermination arguments, 'nothing over and above' appeals, and arguments based on problems with collocation and with property additivity. I argue that these share a common problem: applying conjunctive principles to cases (...)
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  19. Amie Thomasson (2003). Foundation for a Social Ontology. ProtoSociology 18.
     
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  20.  86
    Amie L. Thomasson (2006). Debates About the Ontology of Art: What Are We Doing Here? Philosophy Compass 1 (3):245-255.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 1. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.
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  21.  65
    Amie L. Thomasson (2013). Fictionalism Versus Deflationism. Mind 122 (488):1023-1051.
    Fictionalism has long presented an attractive alternative to both heavy-duty realist and simple eliminativist views about entities such as properties, propositions, numbers, and possible worlds. More recently, a different alternative to these traditional views has been gaining popularity: a form of deflationism that holds that trivial arguments may lead us from uncontroversial premisses to conclude that the relevant entities exist — but where commitment to the entities is a trivial consequence of other claims we accept, not a posit to explain (...)
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  22. Amie L. Thomasson (1998). A Nonreductivist Solution to Mental Causation. Philosophical Studies 89 (2-3):181-95.
    Nonreductive physicalism provides an appealing solution to the nature of mental properties. But its success as a theory of mental properties has been called into doubt by claims that it cannot adequately handle the problems of mental causation, as it leads either to epiphenomenalism or to thoroughgoing overdetermination. I argue that these apparent problems for the nonreductivist are based in fundamental confusion about causation and explanation. I distinguish two different types of explanation and two different relations to which they appeal: (...)
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  23. Amie Thomasson (2007). Artifacts and Human Concepts. In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Creations of the Mind: Theories of Artifacts and Their Representation. Oxford University Press 52--73.
     
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  24.  28
    Amie L. Thomasson (2016). Structural Explanations and Norms: Comments on Haslanger. Philosophical Studies 173 (1):131-139.
    Sally Haslanger undertakes groundbreaking work in developing an account of structural explanations and the social structures that figure in them. A chief virtue of the account is that it can show the importance of structural explanations while also respecting the role of individual autonomy in explaining many decisions, by demonstrating the way in which social structures may set up a ‘choice architecture’ in which these choices are made. This paper gives an overview of this achievement, and goes on to consider (...)
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  25.  86
    Amie L. Thomasson (2005). The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (3):221–229.
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  26. Amie L. Thomasson (2005). First-Person Knowledge in Phenomenology. In David Woodruff Smith & Amie L. Thomasson (eds.), Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press 115--138.
    An account of the source of first-person knowledge is essential not just for phenomenology, but for anyone who takes seriously the apparent evidence that we each have a distinctive access to knowing what we experience. One standard way to account for the source of first-person knowledge is by appeal to a kind of inner observation of the passing contents of one’s own mind, and phenomenology is often thought to rely on introspection. I argue, however, that Husserl’s method of phenomenological reduction (...)
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  27. Amie L. Thomasson (2004). The Ontology of Art. In Peter Kivy (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics. Blackwell Pub.
     
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  28.  49
    Amie L. Thomasson (2012). Experimental Philosophy and the Methods of Ontology. The Monist 95 (2):175-199.
    Those working in experimental philosophy have raised a number of arguments against the use of conceptual analysis in philosophical inquiries. But they have typically focused on a model that pursues conceptual analysis by taking intuitions as a kind of (defeasible) evidence for philosophical hypotheses. Little attention has been given to the constitutivist alternative, which sees metaphysical modal facts as reflections of constitutive semantic rules. I begin with a brief overview of the constitutivist approach and argue that we can defend a (...)
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  29.  57
    Amie L. Thomasson (2002). Phenomenology and the Development of Analytic Philosophy. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (S1):115-142.
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  30.  55
    Amie L. Thomasson (2013). The Ontological Significance of Constitution. The Monist 96 (1):54-72.
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  31. Amie Thomasson (2009). Answerable and Unanswerable Questions. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press
    While fights about ontology rage on in the ring, there’s long been a suspicion whispered in certain corners of the stadium that some of the fights aren’t real. Granted the disputants all think they are really disagreeing—it’s not the sincerity of the serious ontologists that’s in question, but rather their judgment that they are engaged in a real debate about genuine issues of substance.
     
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  32.  30
    Amie Thomasson (2009). Non-Descriptivism About Modality. A Brief History And Revival. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 4 (1):8.
    Despite the otherwise-dominant trends towards physicalism and naturalism in philosophy, it has become increasingly common for metaphysicians to accept the existence either of modal facts and properties, or of Lewisian possible worlds. This paper raises the historical question: why did these heavyweight realist views come into prominence? The answer is that they have arisen in response to the demand to find truthmakers for our modal statements. But this demand presupposes that modal statements are descriptive claims in need of truthmakers. This (...)
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  33.  69
    Amie L. Thomasson (2003). Introspection and Phenomenological Method. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (3):239-54.
    It is argued that the work of Husserl offers a model for self-knowledge that avoids the disadvantages of standard introspectionist accounts and of a Sellarsian view of the relation between our perceptual judgements and derived judgements about appearances. Self-knowledge is based on externally directed knowledge of the world that is then subjected to a cognitive transformation analogous to the move from a statement to the activity of stating. Appearance talk is (contra Sellars) not an epistemically non-committal form of speech, but (...)
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  34. Amie Thomasson, Fictional Entities.
    The first question to be addressed about fictional entities is: are there any? The usual grounds given for accepting or rejecting the view that there are fictional entities come from linguistic considerations. We make many different sorts of claims about fictional characters in our literary discussions. How can we account for their apparent truth? Does doing so require that we allow that there are fictional characters we can refer to, or can we offer equally good analyses while denying that there (...)
     
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  35.  77
    Amie Thomasson (2008). Phenomenal Consciousness and the Phenomenal World. The Monist 91 (2):191-214.
    One-level accounts of consciousness have become increasingly popular (Dretske 1995, Tye 1995, Siewert 1998, Thomasson 2000 and 2005, Lurz 2006, McGinn, this volume). By a ‘onelevel’ account I mean an account according to which consciousness is fundamentally a matter of awareness of a world —and does not require awareness of our own minds, mental states, or the phenomenal character of these. As Fred Dretske puts it “Experiences and beliefs are conscious, not because you are conscious of them, but because, so (...)
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  36.  63
    Amie L. Thomasson (1996). Fiction, Modality and Dependent Abstracta. Philosophical Studies 84 (2-3):295 - 320.
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  37.  65
    Amie L. Thomasson (2007). 15 Conceptual Analysis in Phenomenology and Ordinary Language Philosophy. In Micahel Beaney (ed.), The Analytic Turn. Routledge 270.
    Phenomenology and analytic philosophy were born out of the same historical problem---the growing crisis about how to characterize the proper methods and role of philosophy, given the increasing success and separation of the natural sciences. A common 18th and 19th century solution that reached its height with John Stuart Mill’s psychologism was to hold that the while natural science was concerned with “external, physical phenomena”, philosophy was concerned with “internal, mental phenomena”, and thus proceeded by turning our observational gaze inward (...)
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  38.  64
    Amie L. Thomasson (2010). Ontological Innovation in Art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (2):119-130.
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  39.  34
    Amie Thomasson, Categories. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A system of categories is a complete list of highest kinds or genera. Traditionally, following Aristotle, these have been thought of as highest genera of entities (in the widest sense of the term), so that a system of categories undertaken in this realist spirit would ideally provide an inventory of everything there is, thus answering the most basic of metaphysical questions: “What is there?”. Skepticism about the possibilities for discerning the different categories of ‘reality itself’ has led others to approach (...)
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  40. Amie Thomasson, Ingarden and the Ontology of Cultural Objects.
    While Roman Ingarden is well known for his work in aesthetics and studies in ontology, one of his most important and lasting contributions has been largely overlooked: his approach to a general ontology of social and cultural objects. Ingarden himself discusses cultural objects other than works of art directly in the first section of “The Architectural Work”1, where he develops a particularly penetrating view of the ontology of buildings, flags, and churches. This text provides the core insight into how his (...)
     
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  41. Amie Thomasson (2007). Ordinary Objects. Oxford University Press Usa.
    Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common and increasingly prominent. Some are based on demands for parsimony or for a non-arbitrary answer to the special composition question; others arise from prohibitions against causal redundancy, ontological vagueness, or co-location; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. Until now, little has been done to address these arguments (...)
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  42.  47
    Amie L. Thomasson (2007). In What Sense Is Phenomenology Transcendental? Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (S1):85-92.
    Dan Zahavi raises doubts about the prospects for combining phenomenological and analytical approaches to the mind, based chiefly on the claim that phenomenology is a form of transcendental philosophy. I argue that there are two ways in which one might understand the claim that phenomenology is transcendental: (1) as the claim that the methods of phenomenology essentially involve addressing transcendental questions or making transcendental arguments, or (2) as the claim that phenomenology is committed to substantive theses of antirealism and the (...)
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  43.  38
    Amie L. Thomasson (2001). Geographic Objects and the Science of Geography. Topoi 20 (2):149-159.
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  44.  48
    Amie L. Thomasson (1996). Fiction and Intentionality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2):277-298.
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  45.  25
    Amie L. Thomasson (2000). Denying Existence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):233-235.
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  46. Amie L. Thomasson (2001). Two Puzzles for a New Theory of Consciousness. Psyche 8 (3).
    In _The Significance of Consciousness_ , Charles Siewert proposes a novel understanding of consciousness by arguing against higher-order views of consciousness and rejecting the traditional taxonomy of the mental into qualitative and intentional aspects. I discuss two puzzles that arise from these changes: first, how to account for first-person knowledge of our conscious states while denying that these are typically accompanied by higher-order states directed towards them; second, how to understand his claim that phenomenal features are intentional features without either (...)
     
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  47. Amie L. Thomasson (2009). Social Entities. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge
     
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  48.  31
    Amie Thomasson, Roman Ingarden. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Roman Ingarden (1893 -- 1970) was a Polish phenomenologist, ontologist and aesthetician. A student of Edmund Husserl's from the Göttingen period, Ingarden was a realist phenomenologist who spent much of his career working against what he took to be Husserl's turn to transcendental idealism. As preparatory work for narrowing down possible solutions to the realism/idealism problem, Ingarden developed ontological studies unmatched in scope and detail, distinguishing different kinds of dependence and different modes of being. He is best known, however, for (...)
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  49.  25
    Amie L. Thomasson (2007). Real Natures and Familiar Objects. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):518–523.
    Crawford Elder’s Real Natures and Familiar Objects promises to give naturalistically inclined metaphysicians reason to accept an ontology that includes many common sense objects, including persons, organisms, and at least many artifacts, behaviors, customs, and so on. This is a brave book, running against the current of trends towards austerity in ontology, tackling centuries old problems about how modal facts may be empirically discovered, and defending a commonsense ontology from a strictly naturalistic approach rather than via traditional appeals to ordinary (...)
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  50.  13
    Amie L. Thomasson (1998). Moderate Realism and Its Logic. Philosophical Review 107 (3):474-477.
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