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Profile: Ben Caplan (Ohio State University)
  1. Ben Caplan & Kris McDaniel, Mereological Myths.
     
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  2. Ben Caplan, Chris Tillman, Brian McLean & Adam Murray (2014). Not the Optimistic Type. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):575-589.
    (2013). Not the optimistic type. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 43, Essays on the Nature of Propositions, pp. 575-589.
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  3. Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman (2013). Benacerraf's Revenge. Philosophical Studies 166 (1):111-129.
    In a series of recent publications, Jeffrey King (The nature and structure of content, 2007; Proc Aristot Soc 109(3):257–277, 2009; Philos Stud, 2012) argues for a view on which propositions are facts. He also argues against views on which propositions are set-theoretical objects, in part because such views face Benacerraf problems. In this paper, we argue that, when it comes to Benacerraf problems, King’s view doesn’t fare any better than its set-theoretical rivals do. Finally, we argue that his view faces (...)
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  4. Ben Caplan (2011). Ontological Superpluralism. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):79-114.
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  5. Ben Caplan & David Sanson (2011). Presentism and Truthmaking. Philosophy Compass 6 (3):196-208.
    Three plausible views—Presentism, Truthmaking, and Independence—form an inconsistent triad. By Presentism, all being is present being. By Truthmaking, all truth supervenes on, and is explained in terms of, being. By Independence, some past truths do not supervene on, or are not explained in terms of, present being. We survey and assess some responses to this.
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  6. Andrew Cullison & Ben Caplan (2011). Descriptivism, Scope, and Apparently Empty Names. Philosophical Studies 156 (2):283-288.
  7. Ben Caplan & David Sanson (2010). The Way Things Were. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):24-39.
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  8. Ben Caplan, Chris Tillman & Patrick Reeder (2010). Parts of Singletons. Journal of Philosophy 107 (10):501-533.
  9. Carl Matheson & Ben Caplan (2009). Modality, Individuation, and the Ontology of Art. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):491-517.
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  10. Ben Caplan (2008). Review of Trenton Merricks, Truth and Ontology. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (2).
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  11. Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson (2008). Defending 'Defending Musical Perdurantism'. British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (1):80-85.
    British Journal of Aesthetics (forthcoming Jan. 2008).
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  12. Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson (2008). Modality, Individuation, and the Ontology of Art. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):491-517.
    In 1988, Michael Nyman composed the score for Peter Greenaway’s film Drowning by Numbers (or did something that we would ordinarily think of as composing that score). We can think of Nyman’s compositional activity as a “generative performance” and of the sound structure that Nyman indicated (or of some other abstract object that is appropriately related to that sound structure) as the product generated by that performance (ix).1 According to one view, Nyman’s score for Drowning by the Numbers—the musical work—is (...)
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  13. Melissa Barry, John Bishop, Benjamin Bradley, Sarah Buss, Ben Caplan, Erik Carlson, John Carriero, Peter Carruthers, C. A. J. Coady & Marian David (2007). The Editors of Philosophy and Phenomenological Research Thank the Members of the Editorial Board and the Following Scholars, Who Have Served as Referees During the Period of October 2006 Through July 2007. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3).
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  14. Ben Caplan (2007). Review of Julian Dodd, Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology. [REVIEW] British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (4):445-446.
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  15. Ben Caplan (2007). A New Defence of the Modal Existence Requirement. Synthese 154 (2):335 - 343.
    In this paper, I defend the claim that an object can have a property only if it exists from two arguments, both of which turn on how to understand Plantinga’s notion of the α-transform of a property.
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  16. Ben Caplan (2007). Millian Descriptivism. Philosophical Studies 133 (2):181-198.
    In this paper, I argue against Millian Descriptivism: that is, the view that, although sentences that contain names express singular propositions, when they use those sentences speakers communicate descriptive propositions. More precisely, I argue that Millian Descriptivism fares no better (or worse) than Fregean Descriptivism: that is, the view that sentences express descriptive propositions. This is bad news for Millian Descriptivists who think that Fregean Descriptivism is dead.
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  17. Ben Caplan (2007). On the Content of Experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):590-611.
    The intentionalist about consciousness holds that the qualitative character of experience, “what it's like,” is determined by the contents of a select group of special intentional states of the subject. Fred Dretske (1995), Mike Thau (2002), Michael Tye (1995) and many others have embraced intentionalism, but these philosophers have not generally appreciated that, since we are intimately familiar with the qualitative character of experience, we thereby have special access to the nature of these contents. In this paper, we take advantage (...)
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  18. Ben Caplan (2007). Review of Works of Music, by Julian Dodd. [REVIEW] British Journal of Aesthetics 47:445-6.
     
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  19. Ben Caplan (2007). Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology. British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (4):445-446.
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  20. Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson (2007). Fine Individuation. British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):113-137.
    Levinson argues that musical works are individuated by their context of origin. But one could just as well argue that musical works are individuated by their context of reception. Moderate contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated by context of origin but not by context of reception, thus appears to be an unstable position. And, although a more thoroughgoing contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated both by context of origin and by context of reception, faces a number (...)
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  21. Carl Matheson & Ben Caplan (2007). Fine Individuation. British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):113-137.
    Jerrold Levinson argues that musical works are individuated by their context of origin. But one could just as well argue that musical works are individuated by their context of reception. Moderate contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated by context of origin but not by context of reception, thus appears to be an unstable position. And, although a more thoroughgoing contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated both by context of origin and by context of reception, faces a (...)
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  22. Timothy Schroeder & Ben Caplan (2007). On the Content of Experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):590–611.
    The intentionalist about consciousness holds that the qualitative character of experience.
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  23. Ben Caplan (2006). On Sense and Direct Reference. Philosophy Compass 1 (2):171-185.
  24. Ben Caplan (2006). Review of Stefano Predelli, Contexts: Meaning, Truth, and the Use of Language. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (11).
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  25. Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson (2006). Defending Musical Perdurantism. British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (1):59-69.
    If musical works are abstract objects, which cannot enter into causal relations, then how can we refer to musical works or know anything about them? Worse, how can any of our musical experiences be experiences of musical works? It would be nice to be able to sidestep these questions altogether. One way to do that would be to take musical works to be concrete objects. In this paper, we defend a theory according to which musical works are concrete objects. In (...)
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  26. Ben Caplan (2005). Against Widescopism. Philosophical Studies 125 (2):167-190.
    Descriptivists say that every name is synonymous with some definite description, and Descriptivists who are Widescopers say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs such as “necessarily”. In this paper, I argue against Widescopism. Widescopers should be Super Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to complementizers such as “that”. Super Widescopers should be (...)
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  27. Ben Caplan (2005). Review of Jerrold Katz, Sense, Reference, and Philosophy. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (1).
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  28. Ben Caplan (2005). Why So Tense About the Copula? Mind 114 (455):703 - 708.
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  29. Ben Caplan & Bob Bright (2005). Fusions and Ordinary Physical Objects. Philosophical Studies 125 (1):61-83.
    In “Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects”, Kris McDaniel argues that ordinary physical objects are fusions of monadic and polyadic tropes. McDaniel calls his view “TOPO”—for “Theory of Ordinary Physical Objects”. He argues that we should accept TOPO because of the philosophical work that it allows us to do. Among other things, TOPO is supposed to allow endurantists to reply to Mark Heller’s argument for <span class='Hi'>perdurantism</span>. But, we argue in this paper, TOPO does not help endurantists do that; indeed, we (...)
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  30. Ben Caplan (2004). Creatures of Fiction, Myth, and Imagination. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (4):331-337.
    In the nineteenth century, astronomers thought that a planet between Mercury and the Sun was causing perturbations in the orbit of Mercury, and they introduced ‘Vulcan’ as a name for such a planet. But they were wrong: there was, and is, no intra-Mercurial planet. Still, these astronomers went around saying things like (2) Vulcan is a planet between Mercury and the Sun. Some philosophers think that, when nineteenth-century astronomers were theorizing about an intra-Mercurial planet, they created a hypothetical planet.
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  31. Ben Caplan (2004). Terms and Truth: Reference Direct and Anaphoric. Dialogue 43 (3):617-619.
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  32. Ben Caplan (2004). Review of Alan Berger, Terms and Truth: Reference Direct and Anaphoric. [REVIEW] Dialogue 43 (03):617-619.
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  33. Ben Caplan (2004). Terms and Truth: Reference Direct and Anaphoric Alan Berger Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002, Xvii + 234 Pp. [REVIEW] Dialogue 43 (3):617-619.
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  34. Ben Caplan & Carl Matheson (2004). Can a Musical Work Be Created? British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2):113-134.
    Can a musical work be created? Some say ‘no’. But, we argue, there is no handbook of universally accepted metaphysical truths that they can use to justify their answer. Others say ‘yes’. They have to find abstract objects that can plausibly be identified with musical works, show that abstract objects of this sort can be created, and show that such abstract objects can persist. But, we argue, none of the standard views about what a musical work is allows musical works (...)
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  35. Ben Caplan (2003). Putting Things in Contexts. Philosophical Review 112 (2):191-214.
    Thanks to David Kaplan (1989a, 1989b), we all know how to handle indexicals like ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t refer to an object simpliciter; rather, it refers to an object only relative to a context. In particular, relative to a context C, ‘I’ refers to the agent of C. Since different contexts can have different agents, ‘I’ can refer to different objects relative to different contexts. For example, relative to a context cwhose agent is Gottlob Frege, ‘I’ refers to Frege; relative to (...)
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  36. Ben Caplan (2002). Empty Names. Dissertation, UCLA
    In my dissertation (UCLA 2002), I argue that, by appropriating Fregean resources, Millians can solve the problems that empty names pose. As a result, the debate between Millians and Fregeans should be understood, not as a debate about whether there are senses, but rather as a debate about where there are senses.
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  37. Ben Caplan (2002). Quotation and Demonstration. Philosophical Studies 111 (1):69-80.
    In "Demonstratives or Demonstrations", Marga Reimer argues that quotation marks are demonstrations and that expressions enclosed with them are demonstratives. In this paper, I argue against her view. There are two objections. The first objection is that Reimer''s view has unattractive consequences: there is more ambiguity, there are more demonstratives, and there are more English expressions than we thought. The second objection is that, unlike other ambiguous expressions, some expressions that are ambiguous on Reimer''s view can''t be disambiguated by using (...)
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  38. Mike Thau & Ben Caplan (2001). What's Puzzling Gottlob Frege? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):159-200.
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  39. Ben Caplan, Review of Terms and Truth. [REVIEW]
    Alan Berger’s Terms and Truth covers various expressionsparticularly names and anaphoric pronouns, but also demonstratives and general termsas they occur in various linguistic contexts, including identity sentences, belief ascriptions, and negative existentials. A central thesis of Berger’s book is that all of these expressions are rigid designators. (So I assume that Berger would say, contrary to what the subtitle might suggest, that anaphoric reference is direct reference.).
     
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