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Profile: Antony Eagle (University of Adelaide)
  1. Antony Eagle, Betting on Death.
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  2. Antony Eagle, Frequency, Laws, and Time-Dependent Chances.
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  3. Antony Eagle, Knowledge: Internalism and Externalism.
    There will be a surprise party for Mark tonight. He loves surprise parties, because he loves the surprise—but he'll feel terrible if the surprise is spoiled, and not want to go. He has a reason to go to the party—the surprise—; but if he knew or even believed what that reason was, he would have a reason not to go. It looks like in this case there can be really good reasons for someone without the person being aware of what (...)
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  4. Antony Eagle, Mind and Body.
    Characteristic mental states including thinking about going on holiday, desiring to eat a peach, feeling sad, and believing that that Australia will win the world cup. Mental states are intentional (about other things) and we have privileged access to them.
     
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  5. Antony Eagle, §5 Primary and Secondary Qualities.
    QUESTIONS Objects seem to have some properties in themselves (like shape), and some other properties that depend on other things around them (like being alone or accompanied). The distinction between primary and secondary qualities is a special case of this more general contrast: what, according to Locke, is the basis for the distinction? Is there more than one way to understand Locke’s argument: what is the best reading of Locke? What wider significance does the distinction between primary and secondary qualities (...)
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  6. Antony Eagle, Randomness and Probability.
    Von Mises thought that an adequate account of objective probability required a condition of randomness. For frequentists, some such condition is needed to rule out those sequences where the relative frequencies converge towards definite limiting values, and where it is nevertheless not appropriate to speak of probability … [because such a sequence] obeys an easily recognizable law (von Mises, Probability, Statistics, and Truth). But is a condition of randomness required for an adequate account of probability, given the existence of decisive (...)
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  7. Antony Eagle, The Open Future.
    Consider also what I shall call the asymmetry of openness: the obscure contrast we draw between the ‘open future’ and the ‘fixed past.’ We tend to regard the future as a multitude of alternative possibilities, a ‘garden of forking paths’ in Borges’ phrase, whereas we regard the past as a unique, settled, immutable actuality. These descriptions scarcely wear their meaning on their sleeves, yet do seem to capture some genuine and important difference between past and future. What can it be? (...)
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  8. Antony Eagle, Can We Read Metaphysics Off Physics? Or, What Presentists Should Say About Special Relativity.
    Metaphysics, having long since recovered the logical positivist/empiricist objections that were supposed to signal its death, is once again coming under sustained criticism, and from a similar direction. Once it was realised that speculative systematic metaphysics needn’t be abandoned in light of empiricist scruples, metaphysics flourished. But it’s become increasingly clear that, even if the logical empiricists didn’t exactly get their objections right, there is something worrying about the evidential basis for contemporary metaphysics. Not that metaphysicians are unaware of this. (...)
     
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  9. Antony Eagle, Can We Read Metaphysics Off Physics? Or, What Presentists Should Say About Str.
    What is metaphysics? I’m not going to offer a definition. But work on ontology, causation, persistence, time, and necessity should surely count. Ladyman (2007) distinguishes ‘naturalistic’ from ‘autonomous’ metaphysics. The former is work on these metaphysical topics guided by best current science; the latter, metaphysics done ‘from the armchair’, or at least, done primarily using arguments and techniques not drawn from the empirical sciences most closely associated with their topic (so perhaps using the tools of logic and formal semantics, not (...)
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  10. Antony Eagle, Determinism, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility: Hume and Frankfurt.
    Hume begins his discussion of ‘liberty and necessity’ with some philosophical methodology that it is wise to keep in mind—namely, that in philosophical discussions it is of the first importance to get clear on what the terms under discussion mean, if we are to avoid ‘obscure sophistry’ or ‘beat[ing] the air in. . . fruitless contests’ (¶1–2).1 Hume’s hope in this particular instance is that with intelligible definitions, the controversy over the compatibility of free will and determinism will dissipate. Hume, (...)
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  11. Antony Eagle, Elements of Deductive Logic.
    This is a textbook covering the basics of formal logic and elementary metatheory. Its distinguishing feature is that it has more emphasis on metatheory than comparable introductory textbooks. It was originally written to accompany lectures in an introductory to intermediate logic course at the University of Oxford, but it is designed to be used independently.
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  12. Antony Eagle, Fictionalism: Modality.
    and argue that (2) is similarly not true, but a convention: we use talk of pos• sibility to capture claims about consistency, or whatever. (This is merely an example; I don't suppose that (2) appeals to anyone particularly as a neces• sary truth about possibility or consistency.) Again, the kind of thing that is in..
     
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  13. Antony Eagle, Generic Causation.
    A generic quantification, like dogs have tails, has a distinctive semantics; it is certainly not synonymous with the universal quantification all dogs have tails. A generic causal claim, like smoking causes cancer, is similarly not synonymous with all smoking causes cancer. Many philosophers of science have taken this difference in meaning to demand radical treatments of causal generics, invoking such exotica as causation between properties or causation at ‘different levels’. A more sober treatment is possible, making use of a..
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  14. Antony Eagle, Hume and Locke on Personal Identity.
    • But this is not all: since organisms differ from aggregates (maybe tables do too?). The difference: organisation, indeed, organisation that constitutes ‘vegetable life’.
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  15. Antony Eagle, Locke on Essences and Kinds.
    Given Locke’s views on primary and secondary qualities, it seems he is committed to there being real underlying properties in objects, the arrangement and disposition of which underlies and produces the observed properties of that object. It might be natural to think that these primary qualities provide a general system for classifying objects into classes: that we could delineate the real kinds of objects in nature by looking at what their real primary qualities were. A list of the particular qualities (...)
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  16. Antony Eagle, Locke on Primary and Secondary Qualities.
    For Locke, an idea is ‘the immediate object of perception, thought, or understanding’ (§8).1 Perhaps this is something like a concept: he goes on to give examples of white, cold, and round, which look like they have some representational content. What do these ideas represent? Locke defines a quality: ‘the power to produce any idea in our mind, I call quality of the subject wherein that power is’ (§8). The natural thought is that these ideas represent some quality of the (...)
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  17. Antony Eagle, 'Might' Counterfactuals.
    A ‘might’ counterfactual is a sentence of the form ‘If it had been the case that A, it might have been the case that C’. Recently, John Hawthorne has argued that the truth of many ‘might’ counterfactuals precludes the truth of most ‘would’ counterfactuals. I examine the semantics of ‘might’ counterfactuals, with one eye towards defusing this argument, but mostly with the aim of understanding this interesting class of sentences better.
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  18. Antony Eagle, Paradox and the Norms of Belief.
    Some philosophers have been attracted to the idea that the norm of belief is truth that is, a belief that p is correct i p is true. But this idea is problematic in view of some very common• place re ections on what one should believe about paradoxical sentences like the Truthteller. Interestingly, these re ections don't seem to trouble the rival knowledge norm for belief, and this may provide indirect support for that alternative norm.
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  19. Antony Eagle, Primer on Probability Theory.
    In this chapter, I’ll provide an introduction to the mathematics of probability theory.1 The philosophy of probability doesn’t require much mathematical sophistication, at least not to get a good grip on the main problems and views. Nothing in this chapter is particularly complicated, and even the mathematically shy should, with a little effort, find it easy to follow. I do assume familiarity with the basics of an elementary logic course, and some basic facility with the notion of a set.
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  20. Antony Eagle, The KK Principle.
    relevant alternatives: I take it that a process is reliable in the actual world iff, in the actual set of outcomes (i.e. beliefs being formed), the frequency of successes (those beliefs being true) is much greater than the frequency of failures (those beliefs being false). One may wish to run a more sophisticated kind of reliabilism, where one demands that a reliable process also be reliable in counterfactual situations, but one need not, and I won’t here. If perception is a (...)
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  21. Antony Eagle (forthcoming). Is the Past a Matter of Chance? In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press.
  22. Antony Eagle (2013). A Metaphysics For Freedom, by Helen Steward. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):833-833.
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  23. Antony Eagle (2011). Deterministic Chance. Noûs 45 (2):269 - 299.
    I sketch a new constraint on chance, which connects chance ascriptions closely with ascriptions of ability, and more specifically with 'CAN'-claims. This connection between chance and ability has some claim to be a platitude; moreover, it exposes the debate over deterministic chance to the extensive literature on (in)compatibilism about free will. The upshot is that a prima facie case for the tenability of deterministic chance can be made. But the main thrust of the paper is to draw attention to the (...)
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  24. Antony Eagle, Chance Versus Randomness. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article explores the connection between objective chance and the randomness of a sequence of outcomes. Discussion is focussed around the claim that something happens by chance iff it is random. This claim is subject to many objections. Attempts to save it by providing alternative theories of chance and randomness, involving indeterminism, unpredictability, and reductionism about chance, are canvassed. The article is largely expository, with particular attention being paid to the details of algorithmic randomness, a topic relatively unfamiliar to philosophers.
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  25. Antony Eagle (2010). Duration in Relativistic Spacetime. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 5. Oxford University Press. 113-17.
    In ‘Location and Perdurance’ (2010), I argued that there are no compelling mereological or sortal grounds requiring the perdurantist to distinguish the molecule Abel from the atom Abel in Gilmore’s original case (2007). The remaining issue Gilmore originally raised concerned the ‘mass history’ of Adam and Abel, the distribution of ‘their’ mass over spacetime. My response to this issue was to admit that mass histories needed to be relativised to a way of partitioning the location of Adam/Abel, but that did (...)
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  26. Antony Eagle (2010). Location and Perdurance. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 5. Oxford Univerity Press. 53-94.
    Recently, Cody Gilmore has deployed an ingenious case involving backwards time travel to highlight an apparent conflict between the theory that objects persist by perduring, and the thesis that wholly coincident objects are impossible. However, careful attention to the concepts of location and parthood that Gilmore’s cases involve shows that the perdurantist faces no genuine objection from these cases, and that the perdurantist has a number of plausible and dialectically appropriate ways to avoid the supposed conflict.
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  27. Antony Eagle (ed.) (2010). Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge.
    Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings is the first anthology to collect essential readings in this important area of philosophy. Featuring the work of leading philosophers in the field such as Carnap, Hájek, Jeffrey, Joyce, Lewis, Loewer, Popper, Ramsey, van Fraassen, von Mises, and many others, the book looks in depth at the following key topics: subjective probability and credence probability updating: conditionalization and reflection Bayesian confirmation theory classical, logical, and evidential probability frequentism physical probability: propensities and objective chances. The book (...)
     
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  28. Antony Eagle (2009). Causal Structuralism, Dispositional Actualism, and Counterfactual Conditionals. In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press. 65--99.
    Dispositional essentialists are typically committed to two claims: that properties are individuated by their causal role (‘causal structuralism’), and that natural necessity is to be explained by appeal to these causal roles (‘dispositional actualism’). I argue that these two claims cannot be simultaneously maintained; and that the correct response is to deny dispositional actualism. Causal structuralism remains an attractive position, but doesn’t in fact provide much support for dispositional essentialism.
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  29. Antony Eagle (2008). Mathematics and Conceptual Analysis. Synthese 161 (1):67–88.
    Gödel argued that intuition has an important role to play in mathematical epistemology, and despite the infamy of his own position, this opinion still has much to recommend it. Intuitions and folk platitudes play a central role in philosophical enquiry too, and have recently been elevated to a central position in one project for understanding philosophical methodology: the so-called ‘Canberra Plan’. This philosophical role for intuitions suggests an analogous epistemology for some fundamental parts of mathematics, which casts a number of (...)
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  30. Antony Eagle (2007). Pragmatic Causation. In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press.
    Russell famously argued that causation should be dispensed with. He gave two explicit arguments for this conclusion, both of which can be defused if we loosen the ties between causation and determinism. I show that we can define a concept of causation which meets Russell’s conditions but does not reduce to triviality. Unfortunately, a further serious problem is implicit beneath the details of Russell’s arguments, which I call the causal exclusion problem. Meeting this problem involves deploying a minimalist pragmatic account (...)
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  31. Antony Eagle (2007). Reply to Stone on Counterpart Theory and Four-Dimensionalism. Analysis 67 (2):159 - 162.
    Recently, Jim Stone has argued that counterpart theory is incompatible with the existence of temporal parts. I demonstrate that there is no such incompatibility.
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  32. Antony Eagle (2007). Telling Tales. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2):125 - 147.
    Utterances within the context of telling fictional tales that appear to be assertions are nevertheless not to be taken at face value. The present paper attempts to explain exactly what such 'pseudo-assertions' are, and how they behave. Many pseudo-assertions can take on multiple roles, both within fictions and in what I call 'participatory criticism' of a fiction, especially when they occur discourse-initially. This fact, taken together with problems for replacement accounts of pseudo-assertion based on the implicit prefixing of an 'in (...)
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  33. James W. McAllister, Leonard Angel, Jonathan Bain, Craig Callender, Tian Yu Cao, Lisa Dolling, Gerald D. Doppelt, Antony Eagle, Henry Folse & Mélanie Frappier (2006). Editor's Report, 2005. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2).
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  34. Antony Eagle (2005). A Note on Dolby and Gull on Radar Time and the Twin 'Paradox'. American Journal of Physics 73:976–979.
    Recently a suggestion has been made that standard textbook representations of hypersurfaces of simultaneity for the travelling twin in the twin 'paradox' are incorrect. This suggestion is false: the standard textbooks are in agreement with a proper understanding of the relativity of simultaneity.
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  35. Antony Eagle (2005). Randomness Is Unpredictability. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):749-790.
    The concept of randomness has been unjustly neglected in recent philosophical literature, and when philosophers have thought about it, they have usually acquiesced in views about the concept that are fundamentally flawed. After indicating the ways in which these accounts are flawed, I propose that randomness is to be understood as a special case of the epistemic concept of the unpredictability of a process. This proposal arguably captures the intuitive desiderata for the concept of randomness; at least it should suggest (...)
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  36. Antony Eagle (2004). A Causal Theory of Chance? [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (4):883-890.
    An essay review of Richard Johns "A Theory of Physical Probability" (University of Toronto Press, 2002). Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.
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  37. Antony Eagle (2004). Twenty-One Arguments Against Propensity Analyses of Probability. Erkenntnis 60 (3):371–416.
    I argue that any broadly dispositional analysis of probability will either fail to give an adequate explication of probability, or else will fail to provide an explication that can be gainfully employed elsewhere (for instance, in empirical science or in the regulation of credence). The diversity and number of arguments suggests that there is little prospect of any successful analysis along these lines.
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  38. Antony Eagle, Feminist Epistemology.
    true (but not conversely); if someone is lucky in truly believing \x{D835}\x{DC5D}, their belief is not knowledge; if someone truly believes that \x{D835}\x{DC5D}, but cannot justify their belief with evidence, it is not knowledge; and so on.
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