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Profile: Daniel Nolan (Australian National University)
Profile: Dawn Nolan (University of Otago)
  1. Daniel Nolan, Is Stalnaker Inconsistent About Indicative Conditionals?
    Robert Stalnaker’s formal semantics for his indicative conditional (which his 1975 paper takes over from his 1968 paper and Stalnaker and Thomason 1968) validate modus ponens, as one might expect. But they do so at the cost of a tension between his philosophical remarks in his 1975 paper and his formal constraints. Stalnaker commits himself to the following: he defines a “context set” as “the possible worlds not ruled out by the presupposed background information” (Stalnaker 1975 p 142). He later (...)
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  2. Daniel Nolan, Lewis's Philosophical Method.
    Lewis is famous as a contemporary philosophical system-builder. The most obvious way his philosophy exhibited a system was in its content: Lewis’s metaphysics, for example, provided answers to many metaphysical puzzles in an integrated way, and there are illuminating connections to be drawn between his general metaphysical views and, for example, his various views about the mind and its place in nature.
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  3. Daniel Nolan, Method in Analytic Metaphysics.
    There is no one agreed method in contemporary metaphysics. Methodological disputes in contemporary metaphysics run deep: each of the main methods discussed in this article will be denounced as worthless or pernicious by at least some writers. Despite this, generalisations about contemporary methods are possible, provided that these generalisations are not treated as describing every practising metaphysician's work. The vast majority of contemporary metaphysicians in the broadly “analytic” tradition will identify some of the methods discussed in this article as important (...)
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  4. Ishani Maitra & Daniel Nolan, Why Take Our Word for It?
    We find out a lot about the world through people telling us things. And we can (and do) come to know many of these things that people tell us, without running background checks to make sure that the tellers are reliable (in the sense that they are likely to know what they are talking about), or trustworthy (in the sense that they are likely to tell us what they know, rather than just whatever is easiest to say, or whatever would (...)
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  5. Daniel Nolan, Comments on John Divers's “on the Significance of the Question of the Function of Modal Judgment”.
    The question of the function of modal judgement is an interesting philosophical issue, and John Divers's paper (this volume) has persuaded me that it has not received the attention it deserves. I think it is an important and interesting question even apart from any more ambitious claims that are made about its role in settling other issues about modality. Even if we became convinced that the story about function put no constraints whatsoever, epistemologically or metaphysically, on a theory of modality, (...)
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  6. Daniel Nolan, Hale's Dilemma.
    Bob Hale in Hale 1995b posed a dilemma for modal fictionalism (more specifically, Rosen's version of modal fictionalism). A modal fictionalist who maintains the version outlined in Rosen 1990 believes that the fiction of possible worlds (PW, to use Rosen and Hale's abbreviation) is not literally true. The question arises, however, about its modal status. Is it necessarily false, or contingently false? In either case, Hale argues, the modal fictionalist is in trouble. Should the modal fictionalist claim that the story (...)
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  7. Daniel Nolan, Individuals Enough for Classes.
    This paper builds on the system of David Lewis’s “Parts of Classes” to provide a foundation for mathematics that arguably requires not only no distinctively mathematical ideological commitments (in the sense of Quine), but also no distinctively mathematical ontological commitments. Provided only that there are enough individual atoms, the devices of plural quantification and mereology can be employed to simulate quantification over classes, while at the same time allowing all of the atoms (and most of their fusions with which we (...)
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  8. Daniel Nolan, The Varieties of Flirtatious Experience.
    In Jenkins’s groundbreaking analysis of flirtation (Jenkins 2006), she suggests that an act is an act of flirtation if, and only if, the following two conditions are satisfied: “First, the flirter should act with the intention to raise flirter/flirtee romance and/or sex to salience, in a knowing yet playful way. Second, he or she should believe that the flirtee can respond is in some significant way”. Jenkins also draws the useful distinction between flirtation proper and “flirtatious behaviour”: there is behaviour (...)
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  9. Daniel Nolan, What Would Teleological Causation Be?
    As is well known, Aristotelian natural philosophy, and many other systems of natural philosophy since, have relied heavily on teleology and teleological causation. Somehow, the purpose or end of an object can be used to predict and explain what that object does: once you know that the end of an acorn is to become an oak, and a few things about what sorts of circumstances are conducive to the attainment of this end, you can predict a lot about the sprouting (...)
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  10. Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall & Caroline West, Moral Fictionalism.
    What would morality have to be like in order to answer to our everyday moral concepts'? What are we committed to when we make moral claims such as "female infibulation is wrong"; or "we ought give money to famine relief"; or "we have a duty to not to harm others", and when we go on to argue about these sorts of claims'? It has seemed to many — and it seems plausible to us — that when we assert and argue (...)
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  11. Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan (forthcoming). Utility Monsters for the Fission Age. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
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  12. T. Clark & D. Nolan (forthcoming). A Critique of Chester V Afshar. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies.
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  13. Daniel Nolan (2014). Hyperintensional Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies 171 (1):149-160.
    In the last few decades of the twentieth century there was a revolution in metaphysics: the intensional revolution. Many metaphysicians rejected the doctrine, associated with Quine and Davidson, that extensional analyses and theoretical resources were the only acceptable ones. Metaphysicians embraced tools like modal and counterfactual analyses, claims of modal and counterfactual dependence, and entities such as possible worlds and intensionally individuated properties and relations. The twenty-first century is seeing a hypterintensional revolution. Theoretical tools in common use carve more finely (...)
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  14. Daniel Nolan & Alexander Sandgren (2014). Creationism and Cardinality. Analysis:anu089.
    Creationism about fictional entities requires a principle connecting what fictions say exist with which fictional entities really exist. The most natural way of spelling out such a principle yields inconsistent verdicts about how many fictional entities are generated by certain inconsistent fictions. Avoiding inconsistency without compromising the attractions of creationism will not be easy.
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  15. Daniel Nolan (2013). Why Historians (and Everyone Else) Should Care About Counterfactuals. Philosophical Studies 163 (2):317-335.
    Abstract There are at least eight good reasons practicing historians should concern themselves with counterfactual claims. Furthermore, four of these reasons do not even require that we are able to tell which historical counterfactuals are true and which are false. This paper defends the claim that these reasons to be concerned with counterfactuals are good ones, and discusses how each can contribute to the practice of history. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9817-z Authors Daniel Nolan, School of Philosophy, (...)
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  16. Daniel P. Nolan (2013). Impossible Worlds. Philosophy Compass 8 (4):360-372.
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  17. Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan (2012). Epistemic Dispositions. Logos and Episteme 3 (4):629-636.
  18. Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan (2012). Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know. Analysis 72 (2):314-316.
    Tracking accounts of knowledge formulated in terms of counterfactuals suffer from well known problems. Examples are provided, and it is shown that moving to a dispositional tracking theory of knowledge avoids three of these problems.
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  19. Rachel Briggs & Daniel Nolan, Epistemic Dispositions. Reply to Turri and Bronner.
    We reply to recent papers by John Turri and Ben Bronner, who criticise the dispositionalised Nozickian tracking account we discuss in “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know.” We argue that the account we suggested can handle the problems raised by Turri and Bronner. In the course of responding to Turri and Bronner’s objections, we draw three general lessons for theories of epistemic dispositions: that epistemic dispositions are to some extent extrinsic, that epistemic dispositions can have manifestation conditions concerning circumstances where (...)
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  20. C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan (2012). Disposition Impossible. Noûs 46 (4):732-753.
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  21. Donal Nolan (2012). A Tort Against Land' : Private Nuisance as a Property Tort. In Donal Nolan & Andrew Robertson (eds.), Rights and Private Law. Hart Pub..
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  22. Donal Nolan & Andrew Robertson (eds.) (2012). Rights and Private Law. Hart Pub..
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  23. Daniel Nolan (2011). Categories and Ontological Dependence. The Monist 94 (2):277-301.
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  24. Daniel Nolan (2011). The Extent of Metaphysical Necessity. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):313-339.
    A lot of philosophers engage in debates about what claims are “metaphysically necessary”, and a lot more assume with little argument that some classes of claims have the status of “metaphysical necessity”. I think we can usefully replace questions about metaphysical necessity with five other questions which each capture some of what people may have had in mind when talking about metaphysical necessity. This paper explains these five other questions, and then discusses the question “how much of metaphysics is metaphysically (...)
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  25. C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan (2010). Maximising, Satisficing and Context. Noûs 44 (3):451-468.
  26. Daniel Nolan (2010). Fearing Spouses in Aristotle's Ta Oikonomika. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (1):1-8.
    The work which the Loeb Classical Library classifies as book 3 of the Oikonomika attributed to Aristotle is a curious piece. It has come down to us only via medieval translations into Latin. (I will be quoting the Loeb text and translation except where noted.) It is not certain that it is by Aristotle: and it is not certain whether it is even a part of the work attributed to Aristotle in ancient times. For want of a better name, let (...)
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  27. Daniel P. Nolan (2010). Metaphysical Language, Ordinary and Peter van Inwagen's Material Beings. Humana.Mente 13:237-246.
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  28. Daniel Nolan (2009). Consequentialism and Side Constraints. Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (1):5-22.
    Many people are inclined to think that consequences of actions, or perhaps reasonably expected consequences of those actions, have moral weight. Firing off shotguns in crowded areas is typically wrong, at least in part, because of the people who get maimed and killed. Committed consequentialists think that consequences (either actual consequences, or expected consequences, or intended consequences, or reasonably expected consequences, or maybe some other different shade) are all that matters, morally speaking. Lying and stealing are wrong, when they are (...)
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  29. Daniel Nolan (2009). Modality. In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. 95--106.
  30. Daniel Nolan (2009). Platitudes and Metaphysics. In David Braddon-Mitchell & Robert Nola (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism. Mit Press.
    One increasingly popular technique in philosophy might be called the "platitudes analysis": a set of widely accepted claims about a given subject matter are collected, adjustments are made to the body of claims, and this is taken to specify a “role” for the phenomenon in question. (Perhaps the best-known example is analytic functionalism about mental states, where platitudes about belief, desire, intention etc. are together taken to give us a "role" for states to fill if they are to count as (...)
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  31. Daniel Nolan (2009). The Infinite. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge.
  32. Donal Nolan (2009). Causation and the Goals of Tort Law. In Andrew Robertson & Hang Wu Tang (eds.), The Goals of Private Law. Hart Pub..
     
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  33. C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan (2008). Backwards Explanation. Philosophical Studies 140 (1):103 - 115.
    We discuss explanation of an earlier event by a later event, and argue that prima facie cases of backwards event explanation are ubiquitous. Some examples: (1) I am tidying my flat because my brother is coming to visit tomorrow. (2) The scarlet pimpernels are closing because it is about to rain. (3) The volcano is smoking because it is going to erupt soon. We then look at various ways people might attempt to explain away these prima facie cases by arguing (...)
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  34. C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan (2008). Liar-Like Paradox and Object Language Features. American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1):67 - 73.
    forthcoming in American Philosophical Quarterly. We argue that it would seem to be a mistake to blame Liar-like paradox on certain features of the object language, since the effect can be created with very minimal object languages that contain none of the usual suspects (truth-like predicates, reference to their own truth-bearers, negation, etc.).
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  35. Daniel Nolan (2008). Finite Quantities. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part1):23-42.
    Quantum Mechanics, and apparently its successors, claim that there are minimum quantities by which objects can differ, at least in some situations: electrons can have various “energy levels” in an atom, but to move from one to another they must jump rather than move via continuous variation: and an electron in a hydrogen atom going from -13.6 eV of energy to -3.4 eV does not pass through states of -10eV or -5.1eV, let along -11.1111115637 eV or -4.89712384 eV.
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  36. Daniel Nolan, Modal Fictionalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Questions about necessity (or what has to be, or what cannot be otherwise) and possibility (or what can be, or what could be otherwise) are questions about modality. Fictionalism is an approach to theoretical matters in a given area which treats the claims in that area as being in some sense analogous to fictional claims: claims we do not literally accept at face value, but which we nevertheless think serve some useful function. However, despite its name, “Modal Fictionalism” in its (...)
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  37. Daniel Nolan (2008). Non-Factivity About Knowledge: A Defensive Move. The Reasoner 2 (11):6-7.
     
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  38. Daniel Nolan (2008). Properties and Paradox in Graham Priest's "Towards Non-Being". [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):191 - 198.
    forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  39. Daniel Nolan (2008). Truthmakers and Predication. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 4:171-192.
    To what extent do true predications correspond to truthmakers in virtue of which those predications are true? One sort of predicate which is often thought to not be susceptible to an ontological treatment is a predicate for instantiation, or some corresponding predication (trope-similarity or set-membership, for example). This paper discusses this question, and argues that an "ontological" approach is possible here too: where this ontological approach goes beyond merely finding a truthmaker for claims about instantiation. Along the way a version (...)
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  40. Daniel Nolan (2007). Review: Modality. [REVIEW] Mind 116 (461):187-190.
  41. Daniel Nolan (2007). A Consistent Reading of "Sylvan's Box". Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):667 - 673.
    I argue that Graham Priest's story 'Sylvan's Box' has an attractive consistent reading. Priest's hope that this story can be used as an example of a non-trivial 'essentially inconsistent' story is thus threatened. I then make some observations about the role 'Sylvan's Box' might play in a theory of unreliable narrators.
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  42. Daniel Nolan (2007). Contemporary Metaphysicians and Their Traditions. Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):1-18.
    When invited to consider the methodology of contemporary metaphysics, quite a number of procedures spring to mind as part of the metaphysician's toolkit. These include: eliciting and relying on intuitions; solving location problems and using “conceptual analysis”; inference to the best theory, both on internal metaphysical grounds and drawing from the theoretical reaches of the sciences; working on topics clearly close to, or even overlapping, those of other areas of inquiry using techniques of those other areas; achieving coherence with other (...)
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  43. John Hawthorne & Daniel Nolan (2006). What Would Teleological Causation Be? In , Metaphysical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    As is well known, Aristotelian natural philosophy, and many other systems of natural philosophy since, have relied heavily on teleology and teleological causation. Somehow, the purpose or end of an obj ect can be used to predict and explain what that object does: once you know that the end of an acorn is to become an oak, and a few things about what sorts of circumstances are conducive to the attainment of this end, you can predict a lot about the (...)
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  44. Daniel Nolan (2006). Stoic Gunk. Phronesis 51 (2):162 - 183.
    The surviving sources on the Stoic theory of division reveal that the Stoics, particularly Chrysippus, believed that bodies, places and times were such that all of their parts themselves had proper parts. That is, bodies, places and times were composed of gunk. This realisation helps solve some long-standing puzzles about the Stoic theory of mixture and the Stoic attitude to the present.
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  45. Daniel Nolan (2006). Selfless Desires. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):665–679.
    final version in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2006 73.3: 665-679.
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  46. Daniel Nolan (2006). Vagueness, Multiplicity and Parts. Noûs 40 (4):716–737.
    There’s an argument around from so-called “linguistic theories of vagueness”, plus some relatively uncontroversial considerations, to powerful metaphysical conclusions. David Lewis employs this argument to support the mereological principle of unrestricted composition, and Theodore Sider employs a similar argument not just for unrestricted composition but also for the doctrine of temporal parts. This sort of argument could be generalised, to produce a lot of other less palatable metaphysical conclusions. However, arguments to Lewis’s and Sider’s conclusions on the basis of considerations (...)
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  47. Daniel Nolan (2005). David Lewis. Acumen Publishing.
    A seminal introduction to the greatest metaphysician since Leibniz.
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  48. Daniel Nolan (2005). Fictionalist Attitudes About Fictional Matters. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Clarendon Press. 204.
    A pressing problem for many non-realist1 theories concerning various specific subject matters is the challenge of making sense of our ordinary propositional attitude claims related to the subject in question. Famously in the case of ethics, to take one example, we have in ordinary language prima facie ascriptions of beliefs and desires involving moral properties and relationships. In the case, for instance, of “Jason believes that Kylie is virtuous”, we appear to have a belief which takes Kylie to be a (...)
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