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Profile: Andrea Borghini (College of the Holy Cross)
  1. Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando (2011). Natural Properties, Supervenience, and Mereology. Humana.Mente 19:79-104.
    The interpretation of Lewis‘s doctrine of natural properties is difficult and controversial, especially when it comes to the bearers of natural properties. According to the prevailing reading – the minimalist view – perfectly natural properties pertain to the micro-physical realm and are instantiated by entities without proper parts or point-like. This paper argues that there are reasons internal to a broadly Lewisian kind of metaphysics to think that the minimalist view is fundamentally flawed and that a liberal view, according to (...)
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  2.  59
    Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando (2015). Natural Properties and Atomicity in Modal Realism. Metaphysica 16 (1):103-122.
    The paper pinpoints certain unrecognized difficulties that surface for recombination and duplication in modal realism when we ask whether the following inter-world fixity claims hold true: 1) A property is perfectly natural in a world iff it is perfectly natural in every world where it is instantiated; 2) Something is mereologically atomic in a world iff all of its duplicates in every world are atomic. In connection to 1), the hypothesis of idlers prompts four variants of Lewis’s doctrine of perfectly (...)
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  3.  13
    Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando (forthcoming). Mereological Monism and Humean Supervenience. Synthese:1-21.
    According to Lewis, mereology is the general and exhaustive theory of ontological composition, and every contingent feature of the world supervenes upon some fundamental properties instantiated by minimal entities. A profound analogy can be drawn between these two basic contentions of his metaphysics, namely that both can be intended as a denial of emergentism. In this essay, we study the relationships between Humean supervenience and two philosophical spin-offs of mereological monism: the possibility of gunk and the thesis of composition as (...)
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  4. Andrea Borghini & Neil E. Williams (2008). A Dispositional Theory of Possibility. Dialectica 62 (1):21–41.
    – The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...)
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  5.  24
    Andrea Borghini (2015). What Is a Recipe? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (4):719-738.
    The ontology of recipes is by and large unexplored. In this paper, I offer a three-steps account. After introducing some key terminology, I distinguish four main options for a theory of recipes: realism, constructivism, existentialism, and the naïve approach. Hence, I first argue that recipes are social entities whose identity depends on a process of identification, typically performed by means of a performative utterance on the part of a cook ; thus, the best theoretical framework for a theory of recipes (...)
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  6.  4
    Andrea Borghini (2016). Recombination for Combinatorialists. In Francesco Federico Calemi (ed.), Metaphysics and Scientific Realism: Essays in Honour of David Malet Armstrong. De Gruyter 177-192.
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  7.  15
    Andrea Borghini (2012). On Being the Same Wine. Rivista di Estetica 52 (51):175-192.
    Philosophers have been quarrelling for ages over the correct understanding of the identity relation and its applications, but seldom have they discussed the identity of foods, including beverages under this herd. Taking wine as a working example, the present study shows that foods call attention over unnoticed metaphysical difficulties, most importantly the role of authenticity in ascertaining the identity of an individual and the possibility of identity being determined by a collectivity of people. More in details, the paper examines the (...)
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  8. Andrea Borghini & Giuliano Torrengo (2013). The Metaphysics of the Thin Red Line. In F. Correia & A. Iacona (eds.), Around the Tree. Semantical and Metaphysical Issues Concerning Branching and the Open Future. Kluwer 105-125.
    There seems to be a minimal core that every theory wishing to accommodate the intuition that the future is open must contain: a denial of physical determinism (i.e. the thesis that what future states the universe will be in is implied by what states it has been in), and a denial of strong fatalism (i.e. the thesis that, at every time, what will subsequently be the case is metaphysically necessary).1 Those two requirements are often associated with the idea of an (...)
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  9.  25
    Matthew H. Slater & Andrea Borghini (forthcoming). Introduction: Lessons From the Scientific Butchery. In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 8. MIT Press
    Good chefs know the importance of maintaining sharp knives in the kitchen. What’s their secret? A well-worn Taoist allegory offers some advice. The king asks about his butcher’s impressive knifework. “Ordinary butchers,” he replied “hack their way through the animal. Thus their knife always needs sharpening. My father taught me the Taoist way. I merely lay the knife by the natural openings and let it find its own way through. Thus it never needs sharpening” (Kahn 1995, vii; see also Watson (...)
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  10.  21
    Andrea Borghini (2014). I confini di un taglio. In Elena Casetta & Valeria Giardino (eds.), Mettere a fuoco il mondo. ISONOMIA - Epistemologica Series Editor, University of Urbino 14-22.
    Che gli esseri umani esperiscano e rappresentino il mondo come un dominio ricco di confini è piuttosto ovvio. Tuttavia, Achille Varzi ha sottolineato a più riprese nelle sue opere che, dal punto di vista metafisico, è interessante chiedersi se i confini siano tutti dello stesso tipo. Tale domanda ci permette, infatti, di affrontare con un registro intuitivo una serie di questioni classiche circa la natura del mondo. In queste poche pagine vorrei considerare il tema dei confini da un’angolatura specifica, quella (...)
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  11.  60
    Andrea Borghini (2008). Why I Am Not a Tropist. In M. Okada & B. Smith (eds.), Proceedings of the First Interdisciplinary Ontology Meeting (InterOntology 2008). Keio University Press 93-98.
    A major division among ontologists has always been the one between those who believe that all entities are particular, and those who believe that at least some entities are universal. I find myself with the latter, and in this paper I offer part of the reasons why this is so. More precisely, I offer a reason why we ought to reject tropism, due to the failure of this view to account for the similarities we experience among entities. In the paper, (...)
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  12. Andrea Borghini & Achille C. Varzi (2006). Event Location and Vagueness. Philosophical Studies 128 (2):313-336.
    Most event-referring expressions are vague; it is utterly difficult, if not impossible, to specify the exact spatiotemporal location of an event from the words that we use to refer to it. We argue that in spite of certain prima facie obstacles, such vagueness can be given a purely semantic (broadly supervaluational) account.
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  13.  68
    Andrea Borghini (2005). Counterpart Theory Vindicated: A Reply to Merricks. Dialectica 59 (1):67–73.
    The paper shows – contra what has been argued by Trenton Merricks – that counterpart theory, when conjoined with composition as identity, does not entail mereological essentialism. What Merrick’s argument overlooks is that contingent identity is but one of the effects of grounding identity across possible worlds on similarity.
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  14.  12
    Andrea Borghini & Elena Casetta (2012). Quel che resta dei generi naturali. Rivista di Estetica 52 (49):247-271.
    If natural kinds were defined on the basis of fixed and immutable essences, then––with the end of essentialism in life sciences––their end, at least for those kinds confined to the living realm, would ensue as well (1-2). If appropriately revised and adapted, however, natural kinds may still play an important theoretical role, not only for the sake of philosophical speculation, but also in accomodating scientific practices and in providing an adequate rendering of human reasoning. The proposal outlined in this paper (...)
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  15.  38
    Marco J. Nathan & Andrea Borghini (2014). Development and Natural Kinds. Synthese 191 (3):539-556.
    While philosophers tend to consider a single type of causal history, biologists distinguish between two kinds of causal history: evolutionary history and developmental history. This essay studies the peculiarity of development as a criterion for the individuation of biological traits and its relation to form, function, and evolution. By focusing on examples involving serial homologies and genetic reprogramming, we argue that morphology (form) and function, even when supplemented with evolutionary history, are sometimes insufficient to individuate traits. Developmental mechanisms bring in (...)
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  16.  46
    Andrea Borghini (2012). The Adverbial Theory of Properties. Metaphysica 13 (2):107-123.
    The paper presents a novel version of universalism—the thesis according to which there are only universals, no individuals—which is cashed out in terms of an adverbial analysis of predication. According to the theory, every spatiotemporal occurrence of a universal U can be expressed by a sentence which asserts the existence of U adverbially modified by the spatiotemporal region at which it exists. After some preliminary remarks on the interpretation of natural language, a formal semantics for the theory is first provided, (...)
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  17.  14
    Andrea Borghini (2014). A Critical Introduction to Skepticism by Allan Hazlett. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):408-409.
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  18.  10
    Andrea Borghini (2010). Esistono Proprieta Intrinseche? Rivista di Estetica 50 (43):231-245.
    In this paper I raise a number of objections to the claim that there are intrinsic properties. I first show that, by functioning as realizers of all other properties, intrinsic properties ground one of the most popular methods for counting individuals. I, then, introduce the five main definitions of intrinsicness (all appealing to a certain form of independency). Hence, I question the claim that there are intrinsic properties on two grounds: first by raising three objections to the thesis that we (...)
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  19.  70
    Andrea Borghini (2009). Dispositions and Their Intentions. In G. Damschen, R. Schnepf & K. Stueber (eds.), Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Mind. De Gruyter 204-219.
    Dispositional Realism is the view according to which some denizens of reality – i.e., dispositions – are properties, that may exist in the natural world and have an irreducible modal character. Among Dispositional Realists, Charlie Martin, Ullin Place and George Molnar most notably argued that the modal character of dispositions should be understood in terms of their intentionality. Other Dispositional Realists, most notably Stephen Mumford, challenged this understanding of the modal character of dispositions. In this paper, I defend a fresh (...)
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  20.  57
    Andrea Borghini (2006). Counting Individuals with Leibniz. In H. Berger, J. Herbst & S. Erdner (eds.), VIII Internazionaler Leibniz Kongress: Einheit in Der Vielheit, Vol. 1. 76-83.
    For most early Medieval and Scholastic philosophers working in the Aristotelian tradition, knowledge of any specific subject is knowledge of its causes and principles. Knowledge of individuals was no exception. As Jorge Gracia has written "To know individuality [for early Medieval and Scholastic philosophers] is to be able to determine the causes and principles that are responsible for it."1 The achievement of such ability is also known as the problem of individuation. This paper will be concerned with the solution to (...)
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  21.  48
    Andrea Borghini & Nicola Ciprotti (2007). Introduzione: perché i mondi possibili? Annali Del Dipartimento di Filosofia di Firenze 12:173-180.
    Il problema di fondo da cui la discussione sui mondi possibili scaturisce è quello di fornire una teoria circa l’interpretazione delle espressioni modali. È quindi da un’analisi di queste espressioni che partiremo per la nostra discussione sui mondi possibili. Nel linguaggio naturale il discorso modale è segnalato da una molteplicità di espressioni come avverbi, modi verbali ed operatori enunciativi: 'potere', 'dovere', 'avere la capacità', 'avere l’opportunità', 'possibilmente', 'doverosamente', et coetera. In seguito ad una semplificazione non priva di conseguenze, si è (...)
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  22.  44
    Andrea Borghini (2002). Oggetti Possibili E Oggetti Esistenti: La Teoria di David K. Lewis. Kykeyon 2:67-77.
    Quasi al termine della seconda guerra mondiale, alcuni ufficiali tedeschi diedero l’ordine di abbattere le storiche torri di San Gimignano; tutto pareva ormai deciso, quando un gruppo di civili riuscì con successo a ritardare l’esecuzione fino all’arrivo delle truppe alleate. Grazie a quei civili, le torri di San Gimignano sono ancora ben visibili a tutti, meta ogni anno di numerosi turisti; ma che cosa dire della possibilità che oggi esistessero soltanto le loro macerie? Esse rientrano in quella classe di cose (...)
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  23.  38
    Andrea Borghini & Andrea Baldini (2010). When a Soccer Club Becomes a Mirror. In E. Richards (ed.), Soccer and Philosophy. Open Court 302-316.
    This quote from Silvio Berlusconi is part of the speech he held on April 18, 1994 during the celebrations for AC Milan’s third consecutive scudetto under his management. Suppose we take this claim seriously: what is the logic at play when soccer is linked to other spheres of life? In particular, in what ways is a team a metaphor for its patrons?
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  24.  25
    Andrea Borghini (2006). Chattando sulle e-mail filosofiche. Rivista di Estetica 32 (2):129.
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  25.  23
    Andrea Borghini (2006). Virtù e vizi del concretismo. Annali Del Dipartimento di Filosofia 12:181-193.
    Concretism is the ontological thesis according to which possibilia are concrete entities. The paper first outlines concretism, arguing that its sole founding thesis is that individuals across possible worlds are individuated by similitude. Among other things, this means that there is no need to postulate that there is no overlap among worlds. The main virtues and vices of concretism are then reviewed, and a novel vice is put forward: a failure in the reduction of modality due to the modal character (...)
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  26.  3
    Andrea Borghini (2009). Time and Realism - Yuval Dolev. [REVIEW] Humana.Mente 8.
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  27.  19
    Andrea Borghini, I Marchi Di Origine E I Miraggi Del Nominalismo Legislativo.
    È una credenza diffusa che i marchi di origine (DOCG, DOC, DOP, IGT, IGP e PAT, rispettivamente: di origine controllata e garantita; di origine controllata; di origine protetta; indicazione geografica tipica; indicazione geografica protetta; prodotti agroalimentari tradizionali) siano di grande utilità sia per i consumatori che per i produttori: certificando l’origine e il metodo di produzione di un prodotto, essi ne garantiscono una certa qualità di fronte al consumatore. Ma è proprio così? Che cosa giustifica l’introduzione di un marchio di (...)
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  28.  20
    Andrea Borghini (2004). Un mondo di possibilità. Realismo modale senza mondi possibili. Rivista di Estetica 26 (2):87-100.
    While preparing my suitcase for Padua, I took care to put my favorite cds in a secured spot since they could have broken along the way. Which (non-mental) fact, if any, could possibly justify my action – i.e. what, if anything, makes it the case that my cds could have broken? The paper explores the nature of possibility. The three theories most widely endorsed thus far – fictionism, actualism, and modal realism – are introduced, with a particular attention to their (...)
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  29.  18
    Andrea Borghini (2008). La durata naturale di un genere naturale. Rivista di Estetica 48 (39):89-101.
    Natural kind realists believe that the world is carved out into kinds of things. Critiques addressed towards natural kind realism aimed at showing the difficulties in discerning a universal spatial structure and behavior common to all the members of an alleged kind. Little or no attention, however, has been given to the temporal structure of a natural kind. After showing (in the first section) that some kinds are indeed temporally extended, the second section of the paper argues that there is (...)
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  30.  13
    Andrea Borghini, Generale E Particolare.
    Is it true that some entities are general, while others are particular? Ramsey famously challenged this distinction, and more recently Fraser McBride has revived the challenge. In this paper I argue that there are at least five substantial distinctions among entities, and that the distinction between general and particular entities should be made to correspond to one or more of those substantial distinctions.
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  31. Andrea Borghini & Elena Casetta (2012). Fondamenti ontologici per una scienza dei servizi. Rivista di Estetica 52 (1).
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  32.  15
    Andrea Borghini (ed.) (2010). Il Genio Compreso: La Filosofia di Saul Kripke. Carocci.
  33. Andrea Borghini (2010). Ci Sono Proprietà Intrinseche? Rivista di Estetica 50 (1):231-245.
     
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  34. Andrea Borghini (2006). Quale utopia? Il controverso contributo di Karl Popper [What utopia? The discussed contribution of Karl Popper]. la Società Degli Individui 27:83-96.
    Il saggio tratta della critica di Popper al concetto di utopia e dei limiti di tale critica. Le opere politiche del filosofo viennese rivelano come l’utopia costituisca una pericolosa modalità di ritorno a forme di società chiusa e di totalitarismo. Sennonché non è chiaro quale utopia venga criticata da Popper, l’utopia dei grandi movimenti totalitari del Novecento, oppure ogni forma di costruzione ideale di una società diversa e migliore. Il non aver chiarito a sufficienza tali aspetti indebolisce la portata delle (...)
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  35.  22
    Elena Casetta, Valeria Giardino, Andrea Borghini, Patrizia Pedrini, Francesco Calemi, Daniele Santoro, Giuliano Torrengo, Claudio Calosi, Pierluigi Graziani & Achille Varzi (eds.) (2014). Mettere a Fuoco Il Mondo. Conversazioni sulla Filosofia di Achille Varzi (Special Issue of Isonomia – Epistemologica). ISONOMIA – Epistemologica. University of Urbino.
    Achille Varzi è uno dei maggiori metafisici viventi. Nel corso degli anni ha scritto testi fondamentali di logica, metafisica, mereologia, filosofia del linguaggio. Ha sconfinato nella topologia, nella geografia, nella matematica, ha ragionato di mostri e confini, percezione e buchi, viaggi nel tempo, nicchie, eventi e ciambelle; e non ha disdegnato di dialogare con gli abitanti di Flatlandia, con Neo e con Terminator. Tra le sue opere principali: Holes and Other Superficialities e Parts and Places. The Structures of Spatial Representation, (...)
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